Faculty Announcements from the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing



Welcome to the faculty, Karen Salyer McElmurray!


The Sena Jeter Naslund-Karen Mann Graduate School of Writing is delighted to welcome author and teacher Karen Salyer McElmurray to our faculty. Karen will begin to mentor Spalding MFA and MA in Writing fiction and creative nonfiction students in the Spring 2022 and Summer 2022 semesters.


Karen Salyer McElmurray’s Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother’s Journey, was an AWP Award Winner for Creative Nonfiction. Her novels are The Motel of the Stars, Editor’s Pick by Oxford American, and Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven, winner of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing.



Her nonfiction work has been a recipient of the Annie Dillard Award for Essay, the New Southerner Award, the Orison Anthology Award for Creative Nonfiction and, most recently, the LitSouth Award. She co-edited, with poet Adrian Blevins, an essay collection called Walk till the Dogs Get Mean. Wanting Radiance, her newest novel has just been released in paperback from University Press of Kentucky and Voice Lessons, a short collection of lyric essays, was released in June 2021 from Iris Press. McElmurray is currently a visiting writer at the University of South Dakota. She also teaches at Gettysburg College.


Welcome, Karen!




Erin Keane joins CNF faculty

The School of Writing is pleased to announce that Erin Keane will now be mentoring creative nonfiction students as well as poetry and professional writing students at Spalding. Erin’s memoir Runaway: Notes on the Myths That Made Me is now in preorder from Belt Publishing and will be released on September 13, 2022. Congratulations, Erin!


From Belt:


In 1970, Erin Keane’s mother ran away from home for the first time. She was thirteen

years old. Over the next several years, and under two assumed identities, she

hitchhiked her way across America, experiencing freedom, hardship, and tragedy. At

fifteen, she met a man in New York City and married him. He was thirty-six.


Though a deft balance of journalistic digging, cultural criticism, and poetic reimagining, Keane pieces together the true story of her mother’s teenage years,

questioning almost everything she’s been told about her parents and their relationship. Along the way, she also considers how pop culture has kept similar

narratives alive in her. At stake are some of the most profound questions we can ask ourselves: What’s true? What gets remembered? Who gets to tell the stories that make us who we are?


Whether it’s talking about painful family history, #MeToo, Star Wars, true crime forensics, or The Gilmore Girls, Runaway is an unforgettable look at all the different ways the stories we tell—both personal and pop cultural—create us.

Erin Keane is a critic, poet, essayist, and journalist. She’s the author of three collections of poetry, and editor of The Louisville Anthology (Belt Publishing). Her writing has appeared in many publications and anthologies, and in 2018, she coproduced and cohosted the limited audio series These Miracles Work: A Hold Steady Podcast. She is editor in chief at Salon, where she has worked since 2014, and teaches in the Sena Jeter Naslund-Karen Mann Graduate School of Writing at Spalding University.