Jenny Mueller, Ph.D.

Photo of Jenny Mueller, Ph.D.Professor of English

Office: Carnegie Hall 215

Phone: (618) 537-6459


PhD, University of Utah

MFA, University of Iowa

MA, University of Chicago

BA, University of Chicago


Work in Progress

Currently working on a third book of poetry.

Books of Poetry

State Park (Elixir Press, 2017)

Bonneville (Elixir Press, 2007)

Found Land (chapbook, Slim Princess Holdings, 2015)

Diorama (chapbook, Polyphemus Press, 1999)

Editor of Moonie, a book of poetry by Brian Young (published posthumously by Fence Digital, 2017)

Journal Publications

I have published poetry in numerous magazines and journals, including Allium, Atlantic Monthly, Denver Quarterly, Chicago Review, Fence, Interim, New American Writing, Crazyhorse, and many others. My creative nonfiction most recently appeared as part of New Territory magazine's Literary Landscapes series and in Another Chicago Magazine.

Teaching Interests

Creative writing (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction)

20th-century American and English poetry

Advisor to Catalyst (McKendree student literary and art magazine)

Teaching Philosophy

Whether I'm teaching how to read literature or practice creative writing, what’s most important to me is to help students understand how writers write. Much of the great literature we read in class comes out of the same hard and messy process we ourselves experience when we compose in words. Writers, even the ones history has deemed “great,” do not just put what is in their brilliant heads down on paper; they have to sort their ways through language. The ideas, the characters, and the images emerge from the words, not the other way around. There’s no better way to learn this than to try it yourself, in a creative writing class!


Awarded writer's residencies at Banff Centre for Creative Arts (Canada), Alderworks Alaska,
PLAYA, 360 Xochi Quetzal, Wildacres, Benaco Arte (Italy), Herekeke Arts Center, and others

2008 Literary Award, Illinois Arts Council, for "Sylvia Plath at the Aviary," Court Green

Organizations & Memberships

Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Modern Language Association, Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature

St. Louis Poetry Center

Other Information

I serve as the contact person regarding the life and work of my mother, the poet Lisel Mueller (1924-2020). I am currently working on collecting and editing her previously unpublished poetry.