Irene McKinney, Founding Director

Irene McKinney was the State Poet Laureate of West Virginia. Her five books include Six O'Clock Mine Report, Vivid Companion, and Unthinkable: Selected Poems 1976-2004. We are committed to carrying on Irene's vision now and for the future.


Jessie van Eerden, Director, vaneerden@wvwc.edu

Jessie van Eerden is the author of the novel Glorybound (WordFarm, 2012). Her essays and short fiction have appeared in The Oxford American, River Teeth, Bellingham Review and other publications. Her prose has also been included in Best American Spiritual Writing and Red Holler: An Anthology of Contemporary Appalachian Literature.

Mark De Foe, defoe@wvwc.edu

Mark De Foe's poems have appeared in dozens of publications including Poetry, The Yale Review, The Paris Review, and in over twenty anthologies. His tenth chapbook is Ten Scenes with Mockingbird. He has been a Bread Loaf Scholar, and has taught workshops in a variety of venues, including The Chautauqua Institute.

Devon McNamara, mcnamara@wvwc.edu

Devon McNamara has taught writing in schools, prisons and reform facilities in West Virginia and elsewhere, and her poems, essays, reviews and interviews have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Dark Horse and Hiram Poetry Review, where she was Contributing Editor. She leads cultural tours of Ireland for students of writing and literature.

Richard Schmitt, schmitt@wvwc.edu

Richard Schmitt has had stories in Puerto Del Sol, Gulf Coast and Blackbird, and is the author of an acclaimed novel, The Aerialist. His work is also included in New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 1999. He is the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Grant.

Doug Van Gundy, vangundy_d@wvwc.edu  

Doug Van Gundy's first book of poetry, A Life Above Water, was published in 2007, and his poems and essays have appeared in The Oxford American, Ecotone and The Fretboard Journal. In addition to writing, he is an acclaimed traditional musician, playing fiddle, guitar and banjo.


Eric Waggoner, waggoner@wvwc.edu

Eric Waggoner has written film and music journalism for a variety of publications, including The Village Voice. His music writing has appeared on MTV.com and in the collection Kill Your Idols: A New Generation of Rock Writers Considers the Classics. He is currently a contributing writer for Magnet magazine.