Current Contributors


Corinna Cook studies and writes lyric essays, triangulating this specialty with contemporary Native American fiction. She is a lifelong Alaskan currently chipping away at a PhD in English / Creative Writing at the University of Missouri, where she teaches nonfiction and fiction workshops, composition, film studies, and American literature. Across courses, Corinna works to sharpen students’ civic literacy, and her classroom practices often center on the tenets of dynamic storytelling: narrative structure and concrete image are the touchstones her students adapt and deploy across a range of academic, creative, and professional writing contexts.

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Elaina Frulla teaches in the English Department at Siena College in upstate New York. She enjoys teaching courses on early American literature, the short story, science fiction, film, and composition.  She is also currently working on her dissertation on literary dialect and representations of foreign language speech in early American literature at the University at Albany. Elaina is a Pisces.

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Shelli Homer is an adjunct at community colleges in San Diego County. She researches African Diaspora literature, Southern literature, migration narratives and theories, and women’s and feminist texts. Her pedagogy is driven by inquiry, both at the course design stage and helping students develop their own lines of questioning. Shelli incorporates texts that play with form and genre to expose students to unfamiliar writing that challenges and expands their understandings of literature. She also creates various avenues within her courses for students to make decisions about class content and shape their learning environments. She is a Managing Editor of PALS.  Find her on twitter @sehomer13.


Catherine Hostetter is the Instructional Support Specialist for the English department at Middlesex Community College in Middletown, Connecticut. Her current role focuses on providing support for developmental students through teaching noncredit workshops, serving as a supplemental instructor in embedded and intensive composition courses, and tutoring students. In addition to these responsibilities, she teaches one English 102: Composition and Literature course online each semester. Find her on twitter @chostetter7.


Brianne Jaquette teaches English literature and culture at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences in Bergen. Her research interests are nineteenth-American literature, women writers, and regionalism. You can also find her writing about pedagogy and Rhet/Comp. Her two  main pedagogical goals are 1) to encourage students to see themselves at the center of their own learning  2) to contribute to an environment where individual courses/classroom experiences are not isolated events but part of a larger learning community. She is a Managing Editor of PALS. Find her on twitter @brjaquette.

Caitlin L. Kelly is the Director of the Naugle Communication Center and is a faculty member in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA. Her teaching and research interests include British 18th-century and early American fiction, women’s writing, pedagogy, and writing center studies and writing program administration. You can follow her on Twitter at @CaitlinLeeKelly.


Darcy Mullen is a Postdoctoral Marion L. Brittain Fellow, teaching about food and media literacy at Georgia Institute of Technology. Publications include articles exploring the use of “local” as a tool for mapping food movements, the politics of place in tourism, the Anthropocene, and pedagogy studies. She is currently teaching community engaged courses linking poetics and food systems in urban agriculture. She is currently working on a book project, The Food and Drink of Atlanta. For more about her, visit her website,, where she blogs about dirt and its role in everyday life.


Melissa Range is the author of the poetry collections Horse and Rider (Texas Tech University Press, 2010) and Scriptorium (Beacon Press, 2016), the recipient of a 2015 NEA fellowship in poetry, and an Assistant Professor of English at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where she teaches creative writing and American literature. Particular teaching and research interests include 19th century poetry (especially abolitionist poetry), contemporary poetry, and rhyme. She is committed to four things in the classroom, no matter what she’s teaching: studying a diversity of voices; writing as exploration; emphasizing historical and material contexts; and telling lots of literary jokes.

Greg Specter manages the vast, ever-expanding social media empire of PALS, along with serving as the keeper of the PALS Computer Battle Station. Tweets, original memes, gifs, tech advice, and more, all come from him. He’s also working on digital project documenting the Moravian Boarding School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania during the period between 1786 to 1815. Find him on Twitter @gregspecter.


Randi Tanglen is an associate professor of English and director of the Robert and Joyce Johnson Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in Teaching at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. She is currently co-editing a volume of essays on “Teaching Western American Literature.”

Clay Zuba is an English Teacher at Xavier College Preparatory High School in Phoenix, Arizona, where he teaches American Literature and writing. In 2016, he was awarded a Ph.D. in American literature at the University of Delaware. His acclaimed blog about Nathaniel Hawthorne is a precursor to his upcoming historical novel Love in the House of the Seven Gables.

Past Contributors


Meagan Ciesla is an Assistant Professor at Gonzaga University where she teaches literature and creative writing. Her research interests include working class literature and labor studies. Dedicated to the exploration of non-canonical literature and disenfranchised voices, her classes often ask students to redefine how they categorize literature. In doing so,  she encourages students to grapple with the ways formal play influences textual content.



Bethany Petrik has taught composition, literature, and creative writing for eight years, most recently at the University of Columbia, MO, and now lives and writes on Block Island, RI. Her research and teaching interests include Gaelic literature (particularly that of Irish islands) and its influence on American literature, missive narratives and poetry, and environmental subcultures. Her teaching goals are rooted in fostering curiosity and empowering students to seek out questions. She aims to teach and discuss a wide variety of authors and texts, and to emphasize the importance of understanding environmental and historical context. She also values and encourages students to conduct fieldwork outside of the classroom in conjunction with composition, literature, and creative writing classes.


Mike Petrik lives and writes 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island on Block Island.  He is a PhD candidate in Fiction at the University of Missouri, and he received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Memphis.  His research and writing are focused on American environmental fiction and science fiction, particularly of the 20th and 21st centuries.  As such, his classes often revolve around ideas of place, community, home, and the ability of literature to create change.  He is on Twitter @fictionalmdp.