New Faculty and Staff Fall 2016

Martine Leavitt: Creative writing, YA and MG literature

Martine Leavitt is the author of ten novels for young adult readers, including most recently Calvin, longlisted for the Printz Award. My Book of Life by Angel was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Horn Book Fanfare book, a Booklist Best Book of the year, and winner of the Canadian Library Association's Young Adult Book of the Year Award. Other titles include Keturah and Lord Death, finalist for the National Book Award; Tom Finder, winner of the Mr. Christie's Book Award; and Heck Superhero, finalist for the Governor General’s Award of Canada. Her novels have been published in Japan, Korea, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and the Netherlands. Martine previously taught creative writing to graduate students at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the mother of seven children, all grown, and the grandmother of seventeen.

Q & A with Martine Leavitt

Emily Petersen: Rhetoric and composition, professional writing

Emily January Petersen holds a Ph.D. in the theory and practice of professional communication from Utah State University (USU), where she held one of two presidential doctoral research fellowships in the Department of English. In March, she received one of three national graduate research awards from the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing for her dissertation research on female practitioners' experiences in the technical communication workplace. Her research focuses on professional identities from a feminist perspective, examining how women act as professional communicators through social media and historically, in public spheres and in the workplace of the home. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Communication Design Quarterly, the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative, and conference proceedings. Dr. Petersen holds an M. A. in literary studies from Weber State University, a B. A. with an emphasis in editing and technical writing from Brigham Young University (BYU), and a graduate certificate in women and gender studies from USU. She has experience teaching technical communication, English composition, professional editing, feminist theory, girls' studies, and research methods. Before academia, she worked as an editor for the LDS Church's security department. She met her husband Michael, a CPA, in a BYU student ward, and they have two girls ages eleven and six.

The Bookshelf of Emily J.




Michael Taylor: American literature, indigenous studies

Dr. Michael Taylor is eager to return to BYU where he completed a BA in English and German Studies. He went on to complete an MA in American Studies at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and a PhD in English at the University of British Columbia. He specializes in Indigenous and multi-ethnic literatures of North America and the Pacific. His current research examines the writings of Indigenous nations and political action committees at the turn of the twentieth century. He argues for the need to push beyond the single-author focus of current literary studies in order to study, learn from, and more adequately celebrate the various writings of collective solidarity alongside the literature produced by individual authors.

Dr. Taylor and his wife have been best friends since high school. They have three daughters, the youngest born a couple of weeks ago. Together the family enjoys cooking, swimming, soccer, the outdoors, family movie nights, trampoline sleepovers, and spontaneous dance parties. Dr. Taylor is excited to share his love of literature, life, and the gospel with students and colleagues at BYU.



Larkin Weyand: English education

Larkin Weyand grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania and in southeastern Idaho. He received his BA in English Teaching from BYU, his MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the University of Maryland, and his PhD in Adolescent, Post-Secondary, and Community Literacies from The Ohio State University. He thinks it is pompous to say THE Ohio State even if The Ohio State University is the official name due to some 1878 state legislation. While at Ohio State, he worked as a field researcher for the Argumentative Writing Project (AWP). He collected data from two high school English Language Arts classrooms on two different yearlong federally funded grants. With his AWP colleagues, he helped write Teaching and Learning Argumentative Writing in High School English Language Arts Classrooms, which argues for the value of social processes in the teaching and learning of argument. His other major research interest is the use of narrativizations of experience as a way to realize Dewey’s (1938) argument that experience can be educative when it includes continuity and interaction. He taught high school English for nine years at American Fork High School in Utah. He won first place in the Utah Art Council’s 2011 Original Writing Competition for his short story collection: All the Pennsylvania Left to See. He met his wife at BYU during an ultimate Frisbee game when she tripped him and walked away without a word. They have four children. He is thrilled to be at BYU working with English Teaching students.

Show Me, Don't Tell Me (Writing)