Dawn Lonsinger

Assistant Professor of English

Office: Center for the Arts 271    
Email: dlonsinger@muhlenberg.edu


  • 2012  PhD, Literature and Creative Writing, University of Utah
  • 2005  MFA, Creative Writing (Poetry), Cornell University
  • MA, English Literature, Bucknell University
  • BA, English Literature & Photography, Bucknell University

Select Awards, Publications, and Presentations,

"Whelm, book of poems: winner of the Idaho Prize in Poetry, Cornell University's Freund Prize, & Shelf Unbound Notable Book of the Year, 2013."  The poem "Sundress" was chosen by the Pennsylvania Center of the Book to be one of 4 featured poems for their Public Poetry Project 2016. The poem will appear on 1500 posters that will be distributed across Pennsylvania to libraries, schools, bookstore, coffee shops, and universities as well as the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

Phoebe’s Greg Grummer Poetry Prize for the poem “Swap” (chosen by Eduardo Corral), 2014.

“Antoinette,” poem. Typo Magazine Issue 20. Reprinted in The Book of Scented Things. ed. Jeanne Dubrow. Rose O’Neill Literary House Press, 2014.

“God Shard,” “The Case of Lydia,” and “Salvaged in Asunder,” poems. The Best of Kore Press. ed. Natalie Diaz, Ann Dernier, Lisa Bowden, Gail Brown, Niki Herd, Rebecca Seiferle and Joni Wallace, 2013.

“The Economist’s Daughter,” poem. Best New Poets 2010 Anthology. ed. Claudia Emerson. Samovar Press. Reprinted in I.O.U.—New Writing on Money. ed. Ron Slate, Concord Free Press.

“Famine of Hands” and “Famine of Hands [2],” poems. Indiana Review, Winter 2013.

“Ithaca Falls” and “The Body Is a Nest of Pins,” poems. Crazyhorse Literary Journal, Spring 2013.

“Hurricane Birds,” poem. Third Coast, Spring 2013.

“Sundress,” Poetry East, Fall 2013.

“Soft Palimpsest;” “zoo sonnet [vivarium: the museum moves]” (one of 10 poems listed as Verse Daily Best of 2011); and “[but the rain is full of ghosts tonight],” poems. American Poetry Review, March/April 2012.

“[rain is a thing that happens in the past]” (nominated for a Pushcart); “Tryst;” “Hull;” “She Had No City;” and “My Tongue Feels Like a Wild Animal,” poems. Western Humanities Review, 2012.

“Basement Complex” lyric creative nonfiction essay. Western Humanities Review, Winter 2012.

“consonance,” lyric creative nonfiction essay. Black Warrior Review, Fall 2011.

Utah Writers’ Contest Prose Winner (chosen by Susan Steinberg), 2011.

Utah Writers’ Contest Poetry Winner (chosen by Wayne Koestenbaum), 2011.

Poetry Society of America’s Emily Dickinson Award Finalist for “The Body is a Nest of Pins” (chosen by H.L. Hix), 2011.

“God Shard;” “Welcome Vexillologists;” and “Why Deluge,” poems. Notre Dame Review, Spring 2010.

Winner of the Richard Scowcroft Prize for lyric essay “consonance” (chosen by Lidia Yuknavitch), 2009.

Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize for “The Sewing Birds” and “Susan of the Fields,” 2009.

The Nested Object, chapbook. Dancing Girl Press, 2009.

“Emergency Brake,” poem. The Cincinnati Review, Winter 2009.

“Incidental Love Poem” and “Backyard,” poems. The New Orleans Review, Winter 2009.

Academy of American Poets’ Larry Levis Prize, 2008.

the linoleum crop, chapbook: Jeanne Duval Editions Contest winner (chosen by Thomas Lux), 2007.

“Centralia, PA,” poem. The Massachusetts Review, Spring 2007.

Cornell University’s Corson-Bishop Poetry Prize, 2005.

Smartish Pace’s Beullah Rose Poetry Prize First Place for the poem “Interstice” 2005.

Fulbright Fellowship to South Korea, 2000.

Bucknell University Harold Miller Prize for Best Undergraduate Honors Thesis, 1998.

Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets Fellowship, 1997


Professor Lonsinger’s primary fields are Creative Writing and Cultural Studies. Her teaching and research interests include modern and contemporary poetry, the intersection of poetics & politics, monstrosity, apocalypse, elegy, visual studies, and literary theory. Her courses include Introduction to Poetry Writing, Advanced Workshops in Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, Living Writers, Writing About Place, Monstrosity in Literature & Film, Apocalyptic Literature, and First Year Seminars in contemporary immigrant literature and bodies in transformation. She co-facilitates Creative Writing, organizing such events as a literary trip to the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, a three-day Emerging Writers Conference, and the Creative Writing awards anthology and ceremony. She has organized Student Writers in the Schools, whereby Muhlenberg students teach creative writing at local Allentown elementary and middle schools, and is the advisor for the literary magazine Muses and the creative writing club, Serendipity. Professor Lonsinger encourages students to become omnivorous readers and passionate writers, and to let new knowledge unsettle and transform them. She teaches that texts are dispatches from other worlds that offer us a complexity that approximates the textured world we live in. For this unquantifiable information about humanity, we will even, for example, walk into the depths of hell with Dante. At the center of her pedagogy is the belief that by engaging with the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves students can identify inherited narratives, imagine alternative subject positions, acquire new ways of seeing, and intervene in unquestioned or policed modes of being. She is currently at work on a book of poems that explores notions of taming and wildness and a speculative fiction novel that strives to upend our ontological assumptions about animality vs. humanity.