College of Arts and Sciences 226
Professor Byrne joined the Valparaiso University English faculty in 1984.
What first attracted him to Valparaiso was that the university and the community were almost seamless. According to Professor Byrne: “The classes, students, faculty, and townspeople all seemed to have a common purpose, which was to make Valparaiso—the university and the town—something special.”
Professor Byrne believes his role as a teacher is to make the authors and the readings in literature classes come to life for the students. Even if the events and characters are fictional, he wants students to respond in ways that will make it possible for the content to enrich their own lives. In his creative writing classes, Professor Byrne attempts to establish a constructive community of writers aiding one another in developing compelling and publishable works. His teaching specialties include twentieth-century poetry and fiction, contemporary poetry and fiction, creative non-fiction, film studies, environmental literature, and creative writing.
Professor Byrne is the author of eight published collections of poetry, including Tidal Air (Pecan Grove Press, 2002), Seeded Light (Turning Point Books, 2010), and Tinted Distances (Turning Point Books, 2011). An audio chapbook, Dark Refuge, was released by Whale Sound in 2011. In addition, he has edited two anthologies of poetry, most recently Poetry from Paradise Valley (Pecan Grove Press, 2010).
His essays of literary criticism also have been published in various book collections, including Mark Strand (Chelsea House Publishers), edited by Harold Bloom, A Condition of the Spirit: The Life and Work of Larry Levis (Eastern Washington University Press), edited by Christopher Buckley and Alexander Long, “Claudia Emerson: Literary Criticism” in Poetry for Students (Thomson Gale Publishing), edited by Ira Mark Milne, and David Bottoms: Critical Essays and Interviews (McFarland & Co.), edited by William Walsh.
He has had nearly 300 journal and anthology publications of poetry or critical commentary. He is the editor of Valparaiso Poetry Review and a co-editor of Valparaiso Fiction Review. Furthermore, Professor Byrne has published numerous magazine articles or newspaper reviews on subjects concerning film studies and American movies. He writes regular articles on literature and the arts for the VPR editor's blog, One Poet's Notes, and he appears with a weekly column for the regional Internet publication, ValpoLife.
An avid NASCAR fan, Professor Byrne includes driving laps around a NASCAR racetrack among his favorite memories. He also is an amateur digital photographer. He enjoys spending his weekends watching races, photographing the Indiana Dunes or other local scenery, and writing his next book.
He received his B.A. and M.F.A. in English from the City University of New York: Brooklyn College, and he earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Utah.
Valparaiso Poetry Review
Valparaiso Fiction Review
Tidal Air and East of Omaha
Ph.D. - University of Utah; M.F.A., B.A. - Brooklyn College (CUNY)