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Coordinator, Creative Writing Minor
Contact Info

Erica Cavanagh

Office: Keezell 417

Spring 2024 Office Hours:
Tuesdays, 11:00am - 1:00pm or by appointment

Specialization: Creative Nonfiction, Food Studies, Trauma Studies, and African American Literature

MFA, Nonfiction Writing Program, University of Iowa, 2004
MA, Humanities, University of Chicago, 2001
BA, English and Art History, James Madison University, 1996

Selected Publications:
To the Inescapable Teacher,” Off Assignment. Web. April 2016. Reprinted in Letter to a Stranger: Essays to the Ones Who Haunt Us, Algonquin, 2022.
"The Dream of No Small Thing." Allium: A Journal of Poetry & Prose, Fall 2021.
"The Story of My Breasts." Breasts Across Motherhood: Lived Experiences and Critical Examinations, Demeter Press, March 2020.
"The Last Nude Photographs." The Journal. Vol. 23, No. 2. Spring 2019.
"Excision," Entropy. Web. January 2019.
“Fortress of Confection: Lessons from my Yankee Grandmother,” What’s Cooking, Mom? Narratives about Food and Family, Demeter Press, 2015.
"Oranges," Bellevue Literary Review, Fall 2014.
"Come and Eat," Gastronomica, Summer 2013.
"Possible Us,” The Wilson Quarterly, 2012. Web. 4 September 2012.
"Feeding the Future,” The Wilson Quarterly, 2012. Web. 27 April 2012.
“Stop,” North American Review, Summer 2010.
“The Country They Lost,” The Iowa Review, Winter 2007/2008.
“Obedience,” The Missouri Review, Spring 2006.

Selected Publicity:
Food is Family.” Interview on With Good Reason with host, Sarah McConnell. December 2021.
2006 Editor’s Prize Winner in Nonfiction: Erica Cavanagh.” Interview with host, Traci Cox, the Missouri Review’s Soundbooth Podcast. October 2016.

An unforgettable journey: Professor volunteered in West African village for two years” by Julia Nelson for The Breeze. Web. 26 January 2016.
"Story Corps: The Peace Corps Experience.” Interview aired on Wisconsin Public Radio. November 7-11, 2011.
"On Bringing the King Corn Guys to the Valley,” WMRA, 2010. Web. 13 September 2010."

Selected Honors:
Provost Diversity Curriculum Grant, James Madison University, 2021
Advancing the Arts Creative Inspiration Grant, Arts Council of the Valley, 2020
College of Arts & Letters Summer Research Grant, James Madison University, Summer 2017
Provost Research Grant, James Madison University, 2016
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellow, Millay Colony, 2016
Millay Colony for the Arts, a 1-month artist residency, Austerlitz, NY, June 2016
Feminist Scholarship, Women’s and Gender Studies, James Madison University, 2015
Professional Development Grant, Madison Caucus for Gender Equality, James Madison University, 2013
Madison Caucus for Gender Equality Grant, 2013
Innovative Diversity Efforts Award, James Madison University, 2008
Nominee, Pushcart Prize, 2007
Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in Literary Nonfiction, The Missouri Review, 2006
T. Anne Cleary Fellowship, travel research fellowship, University of Iowa, 2003
Stanley Foundation Fellowship, travel research fellowship, University of Iowa, 2002
Iowa Arts Fellowship, full tuition scholarship, University of Iowa, 2001–2003
Ruth Murray Prize for the essay, “Rituals of Initiation in Benin, West Africa,” Center for Gender Studies, University of Chicago, 2001

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