Matthew Vollmer

Matthew Vollmer

Associate Professor

Office

431 Shanks Hall 
180 Turner Street, NW 
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

Phone

(540) 231-8322

Email

Department Membership

English

Expertise

  • Creative Writing
  • Fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction

Professional Activities

  • Arts Living Learning Steering Committee
  • MFA Committee
  • Creative Writing Committee
  • English Undergraduate Committee
  • Curator, Poetry on the Stairs, Center for the Arts

Education

  • MFA, Iowa Writers’ Workshop, The University of Iowa, 2006
  • MA, NC State University, 1998
  • BA, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1996

Awards and Honors

Pushcart Prize 2015

Best American Essays 2013

National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, 2010

Selected Publications

Books

Gateway to Paradise, Persea Books, 2015

Inscriptions for Headstones, Outpost 19, 2012

Future Missionaries of America, Salt Modern Fiction 2010, MacAdam/Cage 2009

Edited Books

A Book of Uncommon Prayer, Outpost19, 2015

Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interview, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, “Found” Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts, edited by David Shields and Matthew Vollmer, W. W. Norton, 2012 

Creative Nonfiction

“This World Is Not Your Home” in Ploughshares

“Music of the Spheres: A Meditation on NASA’s Symphonies of the Planets” in The Normal School

Fiction

“Fat Kid” in Autre

“The New You” in Sonora Review

Additional Information

As a teacher and writer, I seek to cultivate—in myself and my students—an appetite for the countless ways that human consciousness can be represented, and thus the different forms that language—and story—can take. I’ve become increasingly interested in genre: how genre dictates the shape, sound and appearance of our information; how genre defines boundaries and sets limitations. It seems to me that if we acknowledge that the rules of the game are often dictated by our genres—categories in which particular types of communication-events take place, according to whatever prescripted patterns the genre in question demands—then the experience of inhabiting a particular genre, of understanding its conventions in order to discover ways to expand it, to break it apart and make something new, can be an incredibly liberating—if not essential—exercise for writers to engage in. It is, therefore, an activity I am committed to exploring further, both in the classroom and in my own writing. 

To find out more about Matthew Vollmer, visit his personal website