Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Faculty
Behind the scenes of any academic program are the people you rarely meet. However, without their dedication and hard work, this MFA program would not thrive. These individuals are the support behind all we provide for the students and they are a vital component to everyone’s success and the administrative backbone to the MFA program.
Michelle Harlow is an English Professor at Reinhardt University. Originally from Oklahoma, she holds a BA from the University of Oklahoma, an MA from the University of Central Oklahoma, and an MFA in Screenwriting from Hollins University in Virginia. Michelle teaches Screenwriting and World Literature at Reinhardt. She has collaborated in adapting a novel into a screenplay and has also written several original feature film and documentary screenplays.
Margaret M. Morlier is Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies and Professor of English at Reinhardt University. A noted Elizabeth Barrett Browning scholar, Morlier’s scholarship and teaching focus on Victorian literature and women’s literature. Hailing from New Orleans, she holds an MA from the University of New Orleans and a PhD from the University of Tennessee. She has held previous teaching posts at the University of Richmond and at Auburn University. Her scholarly articles have appeared in Bloom's Literary Themes, Victorian Poetry, The Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, Victorian Literature and Culture, Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism, Studies in Browning and His Circle, the volume Sexuality, the Female Gaze, and the Arts and Browning Institute Studies.
In 2004-2005, Dr. Morlier was selected as a Governor's Teaching Fellow for the State of Georgia. In 2005-2006 she was Director of the Reinhardt University Institute for Teaching Excellence (ITE). From 2002-2011, she also served as Director for the Reinhardt University Honors Program. Since 2011, she has served as Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies, coordinating Reinhardt’s growing array of graduate programs.
Mark A. Roberts, Ph.D.
Mark A. Roberts is the Editor of the James Dickey Review as well as the President of Reinhardt University. Mark was born and raised in Maryville, Tennessee and educated by his close-knit family, by his local Baptist church, and by teachers in the Blount County public school system. A typical middle-class country kid of the 1970s, his early years were marked by equal bouts of television watching and working on the family farm. Following graduation from Heritage High School in 1986, he attended Middle Tennessee State University where he earned a BA and MA in English Literature. While studying at MTSU, Roberts served as poetry editor for Collage, the campus literary magazine, and later started his own independent literary publication Fault Lines.
While living in middle Tennessee in the early 1990s, Roberts also wrote, performed, and recorded music with the band Idaho Beach House, whose song “Rejection” remained number one on Vanderbilt University’s college rock station for six weeks. Roberts then moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he worked with Autistic teenagers at Chapel Hill High School, while apprenticing with lyric poet Jeffery Beam and Black Mountain College essayist, poet, and publisher Jonathan Williams.
After reading Wendell Berry’s Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community, Roberts moved back to Blount County and worked on the family farm, wrote poems, and taught in the local schools as a substitute teacher until being offered a position as a “floating teacher” aboard the USS Doyle. Aboard the Doyle, Roberts taught courses in college composition, which included Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience,” while the ship’s crew patrolled the Persian Gulf in search of crude oil smugglers from Iraq. This was the summer of 1996.
Upon return from the Persian Gulf, Roberts began teaching at Tennessee State University, a historically black college, in Nashville, Tennessee. In September 1997, he took the position of Writing Center Director at Virginia Intermont College and continued to publish poetry in a variety of journals. In 2000, he became a founding and literary editor of Nantahala: A Review of Writing and Photography from Appalachia (www.nantahalareview.org). Nantahala won the e-Appalachian Award in 2003 from the Appalachian Studies Association. In 2002, Roberts took the position of full-time faculty member in the English program and developed two successful American studies courses (Censorship and the American Counterculture & Environmental Literature) with Mellon and Teagle grants, respectively. During this time, he also earned a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary American Studies, under the tutelage of the nature writer John Tallmage, at Union Institute and University, a private college founded on the Oxford model of mentor-student relationships.
In 2003, he became a Fellow of the Salzburg Seminars, an international conference dedicated to creating dialogue on global issues. In that same year, he also served as a DuPont Fellow at the National Humanities Center where he studied cultural problems associated with Globalization. In 2004, he was a National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar, devoting concentrated study in the field of Appalachian culture and literature. He has presented papers at major conferences— including the Appalachian Studies Association conference, Society for the Study of Southern Literature, and the American Literature Association Conference—on such topics as hillbilly performances at regional festivals, urban Appalachian literature, and the poet George Scarbrough. His book reviews, essays, and poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Southern Writers: A Biographical Dictionary, Southern Voices in Every Direction, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Community Literacy Journal, James Dickey Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Oyster Boy Review, and the Appalachian Journal.
In 2009, Roberts was appointed Interim Provost of Virginia Intermont College and was confirmed in that position in 2010. In July of 2013, he took the position of Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs at Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia.
Dr. Roberts continues his academic and creative work, most recently publishing a poem in the Southern Poetry Anthology: Contemporary Appalachia, participating in a round-table discussion on Appalachian literature at the 2013 Appalachian Studies Conference, and chairing a panel called “James Dickey’s Literary Heirs” at the 2015 South Atlantic Modern Language Association. Roberts will serve as Editor of the James Dickey Review, which will be published under the auspices of Reinhardt University’s MFA program, in fall 2016. He also gives public lectures on the hillbilly stereotype where he examines what he calls the phenomenon of “rehillbillification.” He is working on a manuscript of poems called Of Local Habitation.
He is married to Kelley Ingram Roberts and is the father four children— Taylor, Raynah, Zoe, and Jayden. He lives near the Etowah River in Canton, Georgia.