Professor of English
Arts and Sciences Building 226
Professor Byrne joined the Valparaiso University English faculty in 1983-1984. He 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 might allow 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 modern and contemporary poetry and fiction, 19th-century poetry, film studies, environmental literature, and creative writing.
He is the author of eight published collections of poetry, including a trilogy of books: Tidal Air (Pecan Grove Press), Seeded Light (Turning Point Books), and Tinted Distances (Turning Point Books). An audio chapbook, Dark Refuge, was released by Whale Sound. In addition, he has edited two anthologies of poetry, most recently Poetry from Paradise Valley (Pecan Grove Press).
His essays of literary criticism 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 also has contributed essays to creative writing textbooks, such as The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop, edited by Diane Lockward (Wind Publications).
He has had nearly 300 journal and anthology publications of poetry or critical commentary. In addition, 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. Also, he is a photographer specializing in capturing images of sports, landscape, and portraits. His photos have served as cover artwork or appeared within the pages of journals and books, as well as in public exhibitions. For years he has chronicled the Indiana Dunes in an ongoing word and image project supported by grants funded through the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
An avid NASCAR fan, Professor Byrne includes driving laps around a NASCAR racetrack among his favorite memories. His regular activities include photography treks along hiking trails, especially in the Indiana Dunes, as well as attending numerous concerts or other community events with his wife, Pam, and son, Alex.
Ph.D. – University of Utah
MFA, B.A. – Brooklyn College (CUNY)