Distinguished Visiting Writers named for 2018–19

The Cornell College Center for the Literary Arts announces its Distinguished Visiting Writers for 2018–2019: Podcast writer, poet, journalist, and photographer Kathleen Maris Paltrineri and novelist and essayist Mylène Dressler. They will each teach a block-long creative writing course.

Kathleen Maris PaltrineriKathleen Maris Paltrineri

In the fall Kathleen Maris Paltrineri, creator of the podcast “Origins,” will teach the course Sound Writing at the Intersection of Literature and Social Justice. Her students will study the burgeoning podcast medium, including podcasts that feature long-form interviews with authors, activists, and thinkers (such as “On Being” and “Longform”), podcasts focused on close-readings of texts (such as “PoemTalk” or “Author’s Voice”), and podcasts that take mixed-genre approaches (such as “The Organist,” or “This American Life”). Thus inspired, students will learn to pitch story ideas, research topics, write and conduct interviews, and develop narrative sequences—skills needed to bring their own podcast ideas to life.

Paltrineri, who until recently was coordinator of the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa, created its podcast, “Origins,” to feature interviews with writers from around the world addressing the origins of their creative works, the literary and social cultures in which they write, and the art of language. A recipient of an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire, Paltrineri’s poetry has appeared in Alice Blue Review, Atlas Review, decomP, Painted Bride Quarterly, Powder Keg, and other venues, including two anthologies.  

Kathleen Maris PaltrineriMylène Dressler

Critically acclaimed author Mylène Dressler, who was a professional ballet dancer and holds a Ph.D. in literature and feminist literary theory from Rice University, will teach the course When is a Clone Not a Clone? Imitation and Experimentation in Speculative Literature. Students in her course will study novels in each of the main subcategories of the “speculative”: The futuristic, the alternative, the supernatural, and the superhero. Drawing inspiration from the novelistic worlds and models of authors like Kazuo Ishiguro, Shirley Jackson, and Swati Avasthi, students will experiment with these models, pondering the big questions of craft and genre and creating their own alternate worlds.

Dressler is the author of three novels, “The Medusa Tree,” “The Deadwood Beetle,” and “The Floodmakers.” Her novels and stories have been translated into French, Dutch, and Turkish. Her work has appeared in the Kenyon Review, Literary Hub, The Washington Post, and many other journals and magazines. Dressler’s literary awards include the Carson McCullers Fellowship, the Paisano Fellowship in Literature, and the Fulbright Award. She is a professor of writing and literature at Guilford College in North Carolina.