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Kayleigh Bishop

Kayleigh Bishop grew up in the rural town of Riner, Virginia just a few miles away from Virginia Tech. She is a graduate from James Madison University in 2020 with a BA in English Literature and minors in Creative Writing and Asian Studies. In the year that she took off from her studies, Kayleigh spent her time as a long-term substitute teacher for her home county schools. She is passionate about late 18th through the 19th centuries in British Literature and is particularly fond of Charlotte Brontë and Charles Dickens–the works Jane Eyre and Dombey and Son being just a couple of her favorites. Kayleigh plans on continuing her education with books and reading in the field of Library Science where she hopes to work in archives and special collections. In her free time, she enjoys reading, binging a new Netflix series, and playing with her cat, Quartz.

Jessica Carter

Jessica Carter grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated from James Madison University in 2020 with a BA in English Literature and minors in Creative Writing and African/African-American/Diaspora studies. She is passionate about all forms of speculative fiction, and its propensity to enrich interdisciplinary criticism. She is both grateful and enthusiastic to continue her work with the Furious Flower Poetry Center. Besides learning, she enjoys watching and reading horror, writing poetry, and painting.

Emma Gentry

Emma Gentry grew up near Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from JMU in 2022 with a double major in English and Religion. She wanted to attend graduate school at JMU because she loves living in the Harrisonburg area and deeply enjoyed her academic experiences at JMU. As an undergraduate, she was particularly interested in reading literature that explores gender, sexuality, and race; Victorian literature; and literature from around the world where she can learn about different cultures! She hopes to continue these passions in her master’s program and find even more things she is passionate about. In her free time, Emma enjoys reading (obviously), listening to music, writing music of her own, hiking, enjoying a good meal, and having deep conversations with her friends! 

Richard Hollis

Hello, my name is Richard Hollis, and I am originally from Ottawa, Canada, but I grew up for many years in Charlottesville, VA. I graduated from JMU in 2021 with a BA in English. Through my undergraduate studies, I covered anything and everything from medieval stories such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to postcolonial literature like Okurut’s The Invisible Weevil. Through the variety of pieces I covered, I developed a greater passion for the historical influence behind the lines of literature. Currently, my passions involve writing poetry, reading anything from Nabokov or Kosiński, going to the gym, and playing soccer. I am grateful and excited that I can continue my studies at JMU while obtaining my MA and diving deeper into literature and its historical inspiration.

Ava Jacobs

Ava Jacobs grew up in the small town of Culpeper, Virginia and after taking some time off from school, enrolled in JMU where she graduated with her B.A. in English in 2022. Her fascination with storytelling and the complex roles it plays in culture has propelled her down a path that she has only become more enamored with as time goes on. Overall, she loves examining how stories are told, the histories and intersections of different mediums, as well as all things queer (whether that be authorial intent or the various readings that a particular text has inspired). Outside of school, she enjoys hiking and writing short fiction in her free time (with a particular penchant for science fiction and horror). She has also become increasingly interested in archival and preservation work and is hoping to use her Master’s degree as a jumping off point to continue exploring the field and its opportunities.

Bailey McInturff

Bailey McInturff grew up in southern West Virginia where she consumed a steady diet of books that took her over the river, through the woods, up to the mountaintops, and onto the path she walks today. She recently graduated from Fairmont State University with a BA in English and a minor in French. During her undergraduate career, Bailey pursued a wide range of research interests from epic literature to Parisian bookstore culture to the theme of home in Toni Morrison’s novels.

Bailey also participates in the creative side of literature study. She served on the reading staff of Whetstone, Fairmont State’s undergraduate literature and arts magazine, and she has had a handful of pieces published in Whetstone, Ghost City Press, Rue Scribe, and The Kraken’s Spire.

When she isn’t reading (either physically or over audio), Bailey enjoys listening to podcasts, crocheting, and hiking with her dogs.

Kara Miller

Kara Miller grew up in Elkton, VA (just 30 minutes outside Harrisonburg). She graduated from JMU with a Bachelor’s in English in 2019 with minors in secondary education, Spanish, and philosophy. As an undergraduate, she also led a student writing organization Word is Born Writers’ Society, which is associated with Furious Flower here at JMU. Kara went on to attend JMU for a Master’s in Education, graduating in 2020. She currently works as an 8th grade English teacher in Albemarle County. Her love for English literature is rooted deeply in postmodernism and 19th century British literature, specifically anything and everything Oscar Wilde related. Kara is a first-generation college student and is hoping to earn a doctorate degree in either English or education. In her free time, Kara enjoys spending as much time as possible surrounded by her pets, including her dogs, cats, fish, and chickens. She also enjoys reading and playing games (PC, Nintendo Switch, board games, card games).

Jeslyn Pool

Jeslyn Pool graduated from Corban University in May 2020 with a BA in English, and a concentration in Communications. Although her university did not offer any Spanish degrees or programs, she finished with the equivalent of a Spanish minor largely due to her semester abroad study in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Jeslyn's research interests are varied and sometimes seem unrelated (even to her). She loved studying Feminist Lit, Diverse American Authors, Latin American perspectives and histories, Spanish, and theology (especially as it pertains to women). She loved writing her BA thesis on the Theology of Sor Juana Inez De la Cruz --a Mexican Nun who is considered by many to be the first published Feminist in the American Hemisphere-- because she was able to tie all of these research interests into one project. She looks forward to studying the theology of William Tyndale as a research graduate assistant at JMU and deepening her understanding of American Hemishperic Lit in her classes as she earns her MA with the ultimate intention of obtaining a PhD someday.

In her freetime Jeslyn writes fiction, reads, keeps an art journal, delights in gardening (or growing green things in general), and cuddling her sweet cat named Rosemary.

Bri Sage

Bri Sage grew up in the city Roanoke, Virginia. She enjoyed reading from a young age and decided to major in English when she entered her undergrad years at James Madison University. She graduated from JMU in 2020 and is now pursuing her masters degree in English. Her main interests include British literature, particularly the Victorian era, and exploring the subject of girlhood. She hopes to one day teach at a college level. Her other hobbies include writing, hiking, and listening to podcasts. 

Abbey Sandhovel

Abbey Sandhovel grew up in Chesterfield, Virginia, a large suburb right outside of Richmond. She graduated from Longwood University in 2020 with a BA English and a minor in business administration. She is passionate about British Romanticism and Regency-era literature and enjoys creative writing when she’s not lost in a book. Abbey plans to continue her education in pursuit of a PhD, and dreams of being a college professor. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, drawing, and writing fiction.

Evan Sizemore

Evan Sizemore is a graduate student in the English department at James Madison University. His academic focus is using phenomenology to break away from normative readings and the unjust devaluation of various texts. After graduation he hopes to become a secondary school teacher and an advocate for linguistic equity in public education. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and not being able to paint.

Madeline Spivey

Madeline Spivey hails from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Messiah University in December of 2019 with a BA in both Sociology/Anthropology and English Literature, along with a minor in music. In undergrad, she spent her time studying abroad at the University of Oxford, working in the Office of Sustainability and the library, and performing with the department of dance. A gal of many research interests, Madeline is particularly intrigued by the writings of medieval women mystics (shout out to Julian of Norwich), theology of embodiment and the body, and ways of knowing, as well as children’s literature. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys playing the piano, dancing, gardening, baking cakes, and writing poetry. Madeline has hopes of teaching at the college level and perhaps starting a small-scale farm, too, with a cow and a few ducks for good measure. 

Jacob Stephens

Jacob Stephens grew up in the small town of Rose Creek, Minnesota. He received his bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Minnesota, where he also earned a minor in Medieval Studies. As an undergraduate, Jacob developed interests in Early Modern, Romantic, and Modernist Literature, with a liking for grotesque aesthetics and wordsmiths, and a partiality for such writers (among others) as Thomas Nashe (wordsmith par excellence), Sir Thomas Browne (prose stylist par excellence), Samuel Taylor Coleridge, A.E. Housman, Sherwood Anderson, Nathanael West, and so on. Jacob hopes to concentrate on Expressionism and better understand its development out of Romanticism. He has read Robert Browning’s “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” more than any other poem, and occasionally writes in his free time, though has never been published due to the stymying effect of editors who enjoy suppressing his art.  

Grace Thomsen

Grace Thomsen was raised just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in English. She is particularly interested in the Early modern period to the Victorian era with a focus on female authors and playwrights. She hopes to continue her studies by exploring the role of narrative theory paired with fictitious autobiographical accounts to discuss women author's resistance to genre classification and how this challenges their attempts at realism. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, baking, and reading. 

Samantha Wilber

Prior to JMU, Sam double majored in English and Biblical Studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University. During her undergraduate years, she wrote for a live sketch comedy club called Monday Night Live and published several original works in the Living Waters Review, PBA's creative writing publication. Her senior research project focused on expanding the coming-of-age genre to include multicultural protagonists and authors. When she's not reading or writing, she is most likely watching the Red Sox, New England Patriots, or old SNL skits with her family. Originally from Orlando, FL, Sam enjoys being outside or near the water in her free time. 


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