Kevin Stein

Caterpillar Professor of English; Coordinator of Creative Writing

Bradley Hall 364
(309) 677-2480

Ph.D., American Literature and Contemporary Poetics, Indiana University
M.A., Creative Writing Poetry, Indiana University
M.A., American Literature, Ball State University
B.S., English Studies, Ball State University


Professor Stein teaches American Literature, creative writing, and various writing courses. Among his specialties are courses focusing on the poetry of work and workers, on the history of Illinois poetry, on the evolution of poetic creation and distribution within an increasingly digital culture, and on the aesthetics of book culture wherein students write and design an original poetry chapbook.

Professor Stein has brought his research on digital new media poetry into both the literature classroom and the poetry workshop, introducing students to the vanguard of digital poetry expression. Many of his literature courses integrate creative writing elements. Literature students, for example, frequently analyze poetic works and produce their own poetry informed as well as inspired by these works. In turn, creative writing students undertake aesthetic analyses of professional writers’ works in order to better understand both the mechanics and the mysteries of artistic creation.

Professor Stein’s writing workshops emphasize wide reading in contemporary and historical texts as means for students to develop an appreciation for aesthetic history. These workshops also familiarize students with contemporary publishing modes and venues, so students prepare themselves to participate in contemporary literary publishing of their own works. In fact, many students in Stein’s workshops successfully place their poetry in national undergraduate and professional creative writing journals while at Bradley, joining their voices to the larger chorus of contemporary American literary life. 


Professor Stein pursues complementary roles as poet, scholar, and editor – writing poetry as well as writing about the art form and his fellow poets’ works. He has published eight poetry collections and chapbooks, three scholarly books, two poetry anthologies, and numerous poems and essays published in journals as well as anthologies. Among his scholarly works are Poetry's Afterlife: Verse in the Digital Age (University of Michigan Press, 2010) and Private Poets, Worldly Acts(Ohio University Press, 1996; rpt. 1999). His poetry collections include the forthcoming Wrestling Li Po for the Remote (Fifth Star Press, spring 2013), Sufficiency of the Actual (University of Illinois Press, 2009), and American Ghost Roses (U of Illinois, 2005), the latter garnering the 2006 Society of Midland Authors Poetry Award. Professor Stein’s poems and essays have appeared in a range of journals, including American Poetry Review, Boulevard, Colorado Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, and TriQuarterly.


Professor Stein has directed the University’s Visiting Writers Series since 1984, bringing to campus a range of award-winning and emerging writers who work with and perform for students as well as the community. He also coordinates the department’s lively Creative Writing Program.