Ph.D., University at Albany; MFA, Iowa State University; MA, James Madison University.


Dr. Whalen teaches creative writing and literature for the Liberal Arts Department. His specialties are micro and flash prose, 20th Century American lit, and innovations in literary forms. His favorite thing about teaching is helping students along paths of self-discovery. He enjoys walking and talking, so you might see him holding peripatetic office hours on the quad. In the classroom, Brian strives to create a welcoming atmosphere where all students feel a sense of belonging.

Brian writes in multiple genres. His debut collection, Semiotic Love [Stories], was named one of the Best Books of 2021 by Kirkus Reviews. His second book, In Each Breath a Darkness [a memoir], is forthcoming from WTAW Press. His work has appeared in The Southern Review, Creative Nonfiction, Lit Hub, Copper Nickel, North American Review, Smartish Pace, The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol. IX: Virginia,, and elsewhere.

Brian runs Writer’s Block with Dr. Liz Mason (click the logo below for more information.) In his free time, he’s teaching himself to play baritone ukulele. If you see him smiling to himself, he’s probably thinking about his daughter, whom he adores. Or he’s thinking about lunch.

Learn more about his publications on his website or Instagram @brianphillipwhalen.