Ryan Clark, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor English & Creative Writing
Ph.D. in English Studies, Creative Writing concentration (2013) – Illinois State University
M.F.A. in Writing/Poetics, Poetry concentration (2008) – Naropa University
B.A. in English, minor in Political Science (2006) – University of Mississippi
Ryan Clark teaches in the English and Creative Writing programs at Waldorf University, where he serves as faculty sponsor for the Warriors Writing Club, and helps coordinate such program efforts as the Top of Iowa High School Writing Contest, the Distinguished Visiting Author series and the 24-hour Read-a-thon.
Ryan was born in what was once part of Greer County, Texas, but which now makes up the southwestern corner of Oklahoma. Thus, his parents would tell him that while he was born in the state of Oklahoma, he was–more importantly–born in the Republic of Texas. Due to the strange history of his birthplace, he is particularly interested in how poetry responds to the oppressiveness of borders, and he is likewise obsessed with the repurposing power of puns. As a result, he writes his poems using a unique method of homophonic translation that re-sounds existing texts based on each individual letter's potential for sound, often seeking to translate ethically questionable texts in an attempt to transform them into poetry that offers both critique and new possibility.
His first book, How I Pitched the First Curve, is forthcoming from Lit Fest Press (2019), and his poems have appeared in such journals as Yemassee, HOLD, Opon, Flock, Aufgabe, Homonym, Found Poetry Review and Smoking Glue Gun. He is a winner of the 2018 San Antonio Writers Guild contest, and his work has been nominated for Best of the Net.