Faculty Spotlight: Keith Tuma

photo of Keith Tuma


"I received my master's and PhD from the University of Chicago. My doctorate was in Literature with a focus on 20th century British and American literature and the history of the avant garde. At Chicago I edited the Chicago Review, a graduate student-run magazine, which is one way I had the idea to try to merge my interests in literary studies and creative writing. I'm still publishing in both fields and trying to make them work together where possible.

"After getting my PhD, I was a visiting professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon and then came to Miami, where I've been for 32 years. In addition to teaching, I've held the title of associate dean in the College of Arts and Science and chair of the Department of English."


"I love teaching. The energy and intelligence of my students makes teaching classes at Miami fun and worthwhile. Many of my classes in both fields emphasize close reading and writing, either critical writing or in the creative writing courses work in various genres out of prompts and in response to published models. I expect my students to be able to read their writing and the writing of others carefully and see it from different perspectives.

"I try to create a student-centered classroom even as I include short lectures on occasion. I try to understand what my students already know about the subject, which is always quite a bit, more than they think they know sometimes, and what more they might need to know to succeed as writers and scholars."


"I've been working on several writing projects lately while continuing to do research in modern and contemporary British, Irish, and American poetry and poetry culture. The project I am currently spending most time on is a collection of short prose or prose poetry with the working title Studies in the Unnatural World.

"I moderated a poetics listserv for many years and editing selections from its archive is another project. With Billy Simms I sometimes work on Proxy Holidays, a travel photography blog that includes Billy's excellent photographs and my writing about them. I also think of my research (as well as my university service) as including work on the books Miami University Press has published since I became editor of the press in 2004."

Outside the Classroom

"I have a range of hobbies and love spending time with my wife Diane and walking our two dogs. We like to travel, especially when it allows us to see our daughter Allison in Boston. Sometimes I bang on a piano, and I love to listen to most varieties of music. I enjoy watching basketball and used to be part of a game with colleagues and graduate students. Now I garden instead, which has slowly been making its way into the prose series in progress."

[February 2020]