English

Robert Vivian

Title

Associate Professor of English

Discipline

English

Educational Background

  • B.A., Univ. of Nebraska-Omaha (1990)
  • M.A., Univ. of Nebraska-Omaha (1994)
  • Ph.D., Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln (2001)

I am...

An inveterate lover of the written and spoken word, especially those spoken from the white hot center of a poet’s heart. I am blown away, sustained, and renewed by the poems of Rumi, Hafiz, Osip Mandelstam, Mary Ruefle, and too many others to name here. I agree utterly with Mandelstam when he wrote that “Words are sheer pleasure, a cure for anguish”–and I believe literature is the ongoing hope of the world because only it speaks for the entire array of humanity in both its particularity (you, me, a neighbor next door or in Asia) and universality. Univocity of being, the throat swollen with praise and wonder, a moan, a whisper, a tender phrase.

Rank

Associate Professor

My career at Alma began in

2001

I'm an expert in

creative writing

My expertise:

The novel is a poem and so is a play–and so is an essay, and so is a short story. Everything comes out of poetry. I write and have published in all these forms, but my home always was and always will be the lyric in its most mysterious and emotive form. When Rumi writes “Lovers, it is time for the taste for fire” he’s inviting every one who reads these words to stand up straight and lift our heads to the stars before we open our mouths to sing. If I can claim any expertise at all (I’m not sure I can), it’s the lifelong commitment to creative writing in all its forms and utterances, all the permutations it is capable of, which are as vast as the universe itself.

Signature course(s):

American Literature 261

Recent publications:

The dervish essay “Mother Forever” has been accepted for publication by Upstreet, a literary journal.

The dervish essay “Lead Me” has been accepted for publication by Iron Gall Press.

The dervish essay “Some Kind Of Holiness” has been accepted for publication by Stoneboat.

The dervish essay “Who Is The Spirit” has been accepted for publication by Gravel Literary Magazine.

The dervish essay “Inside A Whisper” has been accepted for publication by Scintilla Literary Magazine.

The dervish essay “Wake” has been accepted for publication by Pithead Chapel.

Dervish essay “More Moon, More Stars” has been accepted for publication by Compose: A Journal Of Simply Good Writing.

Dervish essays “Stay Awhile,” “Moon Snake Boogie,” and “Going To The Dentist With The Mantra Love And Devotion” have been accepted for publication by Clockhouse Magazine.

Dervish essay “Essay By The Black Sea” published by Small Portions, a literary journal.

Dervish essay “Letter To Neruda” published by Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal of Australia.

Dervish essay “High Lit Lonesome” accepted for publication by Madcap Review.

Dervish essay “Combines In The Dark” accepted for publication by Booth, a literary journal.

Dervish essay “Come Earthward” accepted for publication by Wraparound South.

Dervish essay “Lips, A Mouth” has been accepted for publication by Kindred Magazine.

Dervish essay “Gobsmack Essay” has been accepted by Profane Literary Magazine.

Dervish essay “Dog Essay” accepted for publication by Animal: A Beast Of A Literary Magazine.

Dervish essay “Chlorophyll Destiny Desiring” accepted for publication by The Bleeding Lion.

Dervish essay “Train Dreams” accepted for publication by Damfino Literary Journal.

Dervish essay “Mystery My Country” accepted for publication by The Tishman Review.

Dervish essay “Read To You” accepted for publication by the Timberline Review.

Dervish essay “Keeper Bees” accepted for publication by Twisted Vine Literary Journal.

Dervish essay “Dervish Fisherman” accepted by Temenos Literary Magazine for their special themed issue of Paradigm Shift.

Dervish essay “Phrasecstasy” accepted for publication by HOUND.

Dervish essay “Turkish Traffic” accepted for publication by Cargo Literary.

Essay published in Turkish journal Icimizdeki Daktilo on literary characters.

Dervish essay “Philokalia” accepted for publication by Mount Island.

Dervish essay “The Woman In Me” accepted for publication by Pithead Chapel.

Dervish essay “Last Minute Contributor” has been accepted for publication by Duende.

Dervish essay “Muse” accepted for publication by Cactus Heart.

Dervish essay “Green Itself Growing” accepted for publication by Smoky Blue Literary And Arts Magazine.

Dervish essay “Dust Mote Deliverance” accepted for publication by Bridge Eight Literary Magazine.

Dervish essay “Book On Two Legs” has been accepted for publication by Subprimal Poetry Art.

Dervish essay “Click Here To Begin Your Ascent” accepted for publication by Inklette.

Dervish essay “Parts Of A Windmill” accepted for publication by Aji Magazine.

Dervish essay “Windblown Wonder” accepted for publication by Upstreet Magazine.

Dervish essay “Ladybug” accepted for publication by Animal.

Dervish essay “Black Ink Essay #5” accepted for publication by GNU Journal.

Dervish essay “When Water This Earth” accepted for publication by Dirty Chai.

Dervish essa called “Essay As World’s Worst Jeweler” accepted for publication by Red Savina Review.

Dervish essay “The Waft Away World” published by Two Cities Review.

Dervish essay “Essay Takes Apart His E” accepted for publication by Eastern Iowa Review.

Dervish essay “Every Winter Darkness” accepted for publication by Split Rock Review.

Recent presentations:

“A Thousand Ways To Kiss The Ground”: a reading of dervish essays at University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Timberline Review prize winner, Portland, Oregon. Willamette Writers Conference.

River Pretty Writers Retreat–guest writer. Oct., 2015.

LSU, Baton Rouge–guest writer. Oct., 2015.

Meachum Writers Series–guest writer. Oct., 2015.

 

Creative work:

Mystery My Country, a collection of prose poems, will be published in 2016 by Anchor & Plume.

Traversings, a book of poems co-written with the poet Richard Jackson, will be published in 2016 by Anchor & Plume, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Other recent accomplishments:

Dervish essay “Mystagogic Liftoff” nominated by Sundog Lit. for a 2013 Pushcart Prize.

“Always A River” listed as notable essay in Best American Essays of 2013.

Dervish essay “Come Again Good Rain” nominated for 2014 Pushcart Prize by Red Savina Review.

Dervish essay “Some Kind Of Holiness” nominated for 2014 Pushcart Prize by Stoneboat literary journal.

“Mother Forever” selected as notable essay in The Best American Essays of 2014.

Dervish essay “Read To You” nominated for Pushcart Prize by editors of The Timberline Review.

Dervish essay “Going To The Dentist With The Mantra Love And Devotion” nominated for Pushcart Prize by editors of Clockhouse Magazine.

Dervish essay “The Woman In Me” nominated for Pushcart Prize by editors of Pithead Chapel.