Luke Whisnant

Erwin 115


Luke Whisnant’s most recent book, a novel, is The Connor Project. He is also the author of the story collection Down in the Flood; the novel Watching TV with the Red Chinese, made into an independent film in 2012; In the Debris Field, which won the 2018 Bath Flash Fiction International Novella in Flash Award; and two poetry chapbooks, Street and Above Floodstage. His fiction and poetry have appeared in many journals and magazines in the U.S., including Esquire, Arts & Letters, American Short Fiction, [PANK], Poetry East, and others, and overseas in Frank (France), Revista Neo (Portugal), and Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine (England). His work also appears in the anthologies Racing Home; This Is Where We Live: Stories by 25 Contemporary NC Writers; and Long Story Short: Flash Fiction by Sixty-Five of North Carolina’s Finest Writers. Three of his stories have been reprinted in New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, and he has been included twice on The Best American Short Stories “Distinguished Story List.” He has served on the staff of Tar River Poetry since 1985, becoming editor in 2006. A three-time recipient of the department’s Bertie Fearing Excellence in Teaching Award, Whisnant joined the ECU English faculty in 1982.


  • B.A. East Carolina University
  • M.F.A. Washington University in St. Louis

Research Interests

  • Creative Writing
  • Modern & Contemporary American Literature
  • The Short Story and Flash Fiction

Courses Taught

  • ENGL 6880: Directed Readings In Creative Writing
  • ENGL 6870: Literature from the Writer’s Perspective
  • ENGL 6865: Special Topics Seminar in Creative Writing
  • ENGL 5860: Advanced Nonfiction Writing
  • ENGL 5850: Advanced Fiction Writing
  • ENGL 5280: Twentieth Century Poetry
  • ENGL 5260: The Novel Since 1945
  • ENGL 4510: Directed Readings
  • ENGL 4300: Recent British & American Writers
  • ENGL 3880: Writing for Business & Industry
  • ENGL 3860: Introduction to Nonfiction Writing
  • ENGL 3850: Introduction to Fiction Writing
  • ENGL 3840: Introduction to Poetry Writing
  • ENGL 3420: The Short Story
  • ENGL 3410: Introduction to Poetry
  • ENGL 2815: Introduction to Creative Writing
  • ENGL 2201: Writing about the Disciplines
  • ENGL 2200: Major American Writers
  • ENGL 2000: Interpreting Literature
  • ENGL 1100: Foundations of College Writing
  • ENGL 1000: Appreciating Literature

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • In the Debris Field. London: Ad Hoc Press, 2018.
  • Above Floodstage: A Narrative Poem. Georgetown, KY: Finishing Line P, 2014.
  • Street. Portlandville NY: MAF, 1991.
  • Down in the Flood. Knoxville: Iris, 2006.
  • Watching TV with the Red Chinese. Chapel Hill: Algonquin, 1992.
  • “How To Build A House.” New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, 2006. Chapel Hill: Algonquin, 2006.
  • “Mexican Carwreck,” in Long Story Short: Flash Fiction by Sixty-five of North Carolina’s Finest Writers. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2009.