|I strongly believe students rise to the occasion when encouraged and pressed, and that teaching and learning are ultimately about disrupting and complicating, not simply confirming, one’s view of the world. Whether we’re in writing workshops, literature classes, or special topics courses, I start with the assumption that all of us are driven by strong curiosity, ready to engage with other writers and thinkers, and committed to a community of learning. Naturally, I believe that reading is the foundation for becoming a better writer, a better thinker, and a better citizen of the world. I expect students to work hard to become close readers and critics of everything they read, while finding the wonderful pleasures in leading a life of the mind.
I work in a number of genres: fiction, creative nonfiction, a little poetry, a little criticism, a little reviewing, a little “legal writing.” Writing is intricately connected to concerns that press on me. Whether it’s why people kill one another, the status of animals, why Americans remain so screwed up about race, why literature matters---you name it-----writing offers an essential means not merely to express, but to explore and render complicated questions.
I am currently writing a cultural and natural history on skunks for Reaktion Books in their Animal Series, edited by Jonathan Burt, while simultaneously working on a range of short fiction, essays, and poems. And, probably like every writer teaching inside a university, I continue to add to my academic novel/parody, that, for now, at 500 pages, still remains for my eyes only.
Alyce Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org), who came to Bloomington by way of the San Francisco Bay Area, is the author of three books of fiction and more than 200 short stories, poems, articles, and essays published in magazines and journals like Glimmer Train, New England Review, Iowa Review, Southern Review, Iowa Review, and Witness.
Her first book, The Nature of Longing, won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, and was republished in paperback by W.W. Norton in 1995, and listed as a New and Noteworthy Paperback by both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
Her novel, Stopping for Green Lights, was published in 2000 by Anchor Doubleday. About it author Susan Straight wrote: “Reading Alyce Miller’s Stopping for Green Lights was like stepping into an intricately etched portrait of a time and place I remember. The voices are pitch-perfect, the people real as if they were riding in the car with me. Miller’s characters are confused, hilarious, heart-breaking, and memorable. She gives us her version of the Sixties in her own unique crystal ball, one attuned to race and place and a painful American coming-of-age.”
Her collection of stories, Water, won the Mary McCarthy Prize in Fiction, Sarabande Books, 2008. It was also a finalist for the Patterson Prize. About Water, critics wrote, "... Miller’s superb latest collection...pulls together nine deftly wrought stories that chart the ebb and flow of several remarkably diverse lives...These psychologically acute stories are truly satisfying—imaginative, open-ended, and haunting" (O, The Oprah Magazine). ". . . Miller’s prose is vivid and multifaceted yet possesses an admirable restraint that enhances the emotional honesty----and risk..." (Booklist).
Miller’s fiction has been awarded the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Excellence in Fiction and the Lawrence Foundation Prize in Fiction from Michigan Quarterly Review; and her stories, essays, and poems have been selected for inclusion in a number of anthologies, including Sudden Stories, And We The Creatures, Crossing the Color Line, Altered States of Fiction, High Infidelity, An Intricate Weave, New American Essays, and The Most Wonderful Books: Writers on Discovering the Pleasures of Reading.
Her work has also received numerous distinguished citations and honorable mentions in Best American Essays, Best American Short Stories, O.Henry Prize Stories, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology. An essay, “All My Children,” was selected by Kathryn Harrison for inclusion in a special nonfiction issue of Ploughshares.
Miller is also a licensed attorney with a special interest in family law, and animal rights law, and has written and presented on such various topics as pet trusts, the link between animal rights and children’s rights, and issues involving voice, injury and third party standing. Her critical writing on animals has appeared in publications like Journal of Animal Law and Humanimalia, and in an anthology Being for the Other: Issues in Ethics and Animal Rights. In Fall 2006 received a New Perspectives grant to organize and chair an international, inter-disciplinary conference on animals, Kindred Spirits, here at I.U.
She has presented on animals at a number of conferences: the Texas Bar Animal Law Institute Conference in Austin; Nature Matters in Toronto; Emory Law School “Animal Vulnerabilities), Atlanta; Cosmpolitan Animals, University of London, UK; Societry of Literature, Science, and the Arts; Milwaukee, WI; etc.
In addition to teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses in creative writing and literature, she teaches special topics courses, including narrative, critical race theory, the literary and legal animal, assumed identities, and an annual honors class, Animals and Ethics.
Other university awards include the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from the Dean of Faculties at Indiana University, and two Teaching Excellence Recognition Awards by the English Department and the I.U. Board of Trustees. She has also been the recipient of a CAHI grant, New Perspectives grant, and a New Frontiers grant.