Visiting Associate Professor/Dean's Distinguished Visiting Scholar

Visiting Associate Professor/Dean's Distinguished Visiting Scholar
Visiting Associate Professor/Dean's Distinguished Visiting Scholar

Department of English
208 Shanks Hall 
180 Turner Street, NW 
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Janine Joseph is a visiting associate professor and 2022-2023 Dean’s Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Virginia Tech.

Joseph is a poet and librettist born in the Philippines. She is the author of Decade of the Brain: Poems and Driving Without a License, winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize, and is co-editor of anthology of poetry and poetics forthcoming from Harper Collins/Harper Perennial. Driving without a License was reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, American Microreviews and Interviews, Kenyon Review, and Rain Taxi, and was featured in an extended profile by poet and critic Stephanie Burt for The Los Angeles Times. Her poetry, essays, and critical writings have appeared in numerous publications, including The Nation, The Atlantic, Poetry Northwest, Orion, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, The Poem’s Country: Place & Poetic Practice, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, and the Smithsonian’s “What It Means to Be American” project. Her commissioned work for the Houston Grand Opera/HGOco and Washington Master Chorale includes The Art of Our Healers, What Wings They Were, “On This Muddy Water”: Voices from the Houston Ship Channel, and From My Mother's Mother. Her poems have also been set to music by the acclaimed composers Melissa Dunphy (“American DREAMers: Stories of Immigration”) and Reinaldo Moya (“DREAM Song”). A MacDowell fellow, Joseph serves on the advisory board for the Center of Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa and is a co-organizer for Undocupoets, a nonprofit literary organization that advocates for poets who are currently or who were formerly undocumented in the U.S.

  • Creative Writing
  • Poetry and Poetics
  • Libretti
  • Undocumented Immigration and Immigration Literatures
  • Undocupoetics
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Ph.D., University of Houston 
  • M.F.A., New York University 
  • B.A., University of California, Riverside 
  • A.A., Riverside City College
  • Center for Refugee Migrant and Displacement Studies Faculty Workgroup 
  • Co-organizer: Undocupoets 
  • Contributing Editor: Copper Nickel 
  • Advisory Board: Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa
  • --SELECTED-- 
  • 2022: Writer-in-Residence, Hedgebrook 
  • 2021: Finalist, Lyric Poetry Award, The Poetry Society of America 
  • 2020: English Graduate Student Association Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, Oklahoma State University 
  • 2019: MacDowell Fellowship 
  • 2018: da Vinci Eye Award Honorable Mention, Sheila Motton Poetry Book Prize, New England Poetry Club 
  • 2017: Finalist, Oklahoma Book Award 
  • 2016: Howard Nemerov Scholarship, Sewanee Writers’ Conference 
  • 2015: Robert M. Hogge Teaching Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Master of Arts in English Program, Weber State University. 
  • 2014: Kundiman Poetry Prize, Driving without a License Philippine American Writers and Artists (PAWA) Manuel G. Flores Prize 
  • 2013: Inprint/Barthelme Memorial Fellowship in Poetry Dissertation Completion Fellowship, University of Houston 
  • 2010: Academy of American Poets Prize 
  • 2009: Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans (2209-2011)


Journal Articles


  • The Art of Our Healers. Original choral work jointly commissioned by Washington Master Chorale and Houston Grand Opera. Music composed by D. J. Sparr. World premiere: 24 October 2021.
  •     o “In Our Care” excepted for Houston Grand Opera’s Community Virtual Choir for the annual Thanksgiving video. 24 November 2021.
  • Wings They Were: The Case of Emeline. Original libretto commissioned by Houston Grand 
  • Opera/HGOco. Music composed by John L. Cornelius II. World premiere: May 2016.
  • “On This Muddy Water”: Voices from the Houston Ship Channel. Original song cycle commissioned by Houston Grand Opera/HGOco. Music composed by D. J. Sparr. World premiere: December 2014.
  • From My Mother’s Mother. Original libretto commissioned by Houston Grand Opera/HGOco for the “Song of Houston: East + West” series. Music composed by Jeeyoung Kim. World premiere: November 2012.


  • “Between Chou and the Butterfly.” Original poem adapted for “DREAM Songs.” Music composed by Reinaldo Moya for the Schubert Club. World premiere: April 2018.
  • “More milk, more milk makes it better.” Original poem adapted for “American DREAMers: Stories of Immigration.” Music composed by Melissa Dunphy for the PhilHarmonia. World premiere: June 2018.


  • “Move-In.” Poetry: A Writers’ Guide and Anthology. Bloomsbury Academic: New York, 2018. Print.


  • “Assimilation.” Border Lines: Poems of Migration. Michael Waters and Mihaela Moscaliuc, eds. Penguin Random House/Everyman’s Library: NY, 2020. 190. Print. Pocket Poets Series. 
  • “Extended Stay America.” Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience. Patrice Vecchione and Alyssa Raymonds, eds. Triangle Square: NY, 2019. 31-32. Print.
  • “Between Chou and the Butterfly.” Best American Experimental Writing 2015. Douglas Kearney, ed. Seth Abramson and Jesse Damiani, series eds. Wesleyan University Press: CT, 2016. 142-144. Print. 
  • “Wreck.” Best New Poets 2011.  D.A. Powell, ed. Jazzy Danziger and Jeb Livingood, series eds. University of Virginia Press: VA, 2011. 6. Print.
  • “Junkyarding through the great Moreno Valley.” Breathe: 101 Contemporary Odes.  Ryan G. Van Cleave and Chad Prevost, eds.  C & R Press: Chattanooga, TN, 2009. 109-10. Print. 
  • “Second Lesson (Circle Inn),” “Junkyarding through the great Moreno Valley,” and “The Undocumented Immigrant Poem # 79.” Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics from 
  • California.  Christopher Buckley and Gary Young, eds. Greenhouse Review Press/Alcatraz. Editions: Santa Cruz, CA, 2008. 218-19. Print.
  • “Anilao, 1989.” Homage to Vallejo.  Christopher Buckley, ed. Greenhouse Review Press: Santa Cruz, CA, 2006. 36-7. Print.


  • “Recovery.” The Poem’s Country: Place and Poetic Practice. Shara Lessley and Bruce Snider, eds. Pleiades Press, MO. 2018. Print.
  • “Language of the Border.” VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. VIDA Exclusive. May 2015. Online.
  • “Forum: ‘MFA vs POC.’” The Asian American Literary Review. Fall/Winter 2015 Issue. Print and Online.
  • “Undocumented, and Riding Shotgun.” What It Means to Be American. Zócalo Public Square (in partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History). January 2015. Online.
  • “The Exemplary Poem and the Exemplary Life.” First Light: A Festschrift for Philip Levine on His 85th Birthday. The Press at California State University Fresno & Greenhouse Review Press. 2013. Print.


  • Review of Jose Antonio Vargas’ Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen (memoir). “What Happens After You Become the ‘Most Famous Undocumented Immigrant in America.’” 
  • Lenika Cruz, Associate Editor. The Atlantic. 24 October 2018. Online.
  • Review of Jérôme Ruillier’s The Strange (graphic novel). “The Strange: The Graphic Novel that Captures the Anxieties of Being Undocumented.” Lenika Cruz, Associate Editor.  The Atlantic. 31 July 2018. Online.


  • “The Book That Changed My Life.” PBS/ Invited Contributor. 24 July 2020. Online.
  • “What We Found in Writing: Authors on Creativity in Quarantine.” Poets & Writers. Invited Contributor. July/August 2020. Print.
  • “On ‘Tago Ng Tago (TNT)’.” Underbelly magazine. Invited contributor. Issue 3, October 2018. Online. 
  • “DACA Rescinded & Poets Respond.” Poetry Foundation/Harriet. Invited Contributor. September 2017. Online.
  • “Beyond the Finish Line.” Poets & Writers. Invited contributor. July/August 2017. Print and Online.
  • “Process Profile: Janine Joseph Discusses ‘Postcard.’” Lantern Review: Process Profiles.  Iris Law, ed.  19 May 2010. Online.


  • Decade of the Brain: Poems (Alice James Books, forthcoming January 2023) 
  • Driving without a License (Alice James Books, 2016) 

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