Alana Dagenhart


JWU Faculty Since 2008

Professor Alana Dagenhart

Contact Info


Alana Dagenhart studies how poems grow from the land, how place informs poetry, and how poesies serves poets in writing and memorializing place. She also studies how spaces of oppression and deterritorialization can silence the voices of people of color and reinforce hegemonic ideology. An effective study of any literature should compare texts from many perspectives to examine trans-hemispheric aspects of; culture, gender, ethnicity, critical theory, diaspora, marginalization and concepts of home. Dagenhart believes literature must be read in context of the greater historical framework that produces it.


  • Ph.D., English; Literature & Criticism, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • M.F.A., Creative Writing, Queens University
  • M.A., English, Gardner-Webb University
  • B.A., English, University of North Carolina Charlotte

The hurricane does not roar in pentameter. Kamau Brathwaite

Teaching Interests

Literature of the Americas, creative writing, African American literature, post colonialism, Chilean poetics, ecopoetics, global literature, place studies, multi-ethnic literature, critical theory, poetry, composition strategies, and pedagogy.

Scholarly Interests

My current research is in poetry and cultural studies of Central and South America, and what it means to be a citizen of the larger Americas versus just a citizen of the United States. I also write poetry.


  • ENG1020 English Composition
  • LIT3030 Studies In Poetry
  • ILS4080 Things That Go Bump In The Night

Professional Affiliations

President of the North Carolina Poetry Society
Board Member for the Thomas Wolfe Society



  • Yellow Leaves, Redhawk, 2022
  • Blood, Finish Line Press, June 2016
  • "The Mountains as Sacred Spaces: Church, Place, and Culture in North Carolina Appalachian Mountains Poetry," The US and the World We Inhabit, Cambridge Scholars, 2020
  • "Story, Place, and Solastalgia in the Writing of Thomas Wolfe", The Thomas Wolfe Review, 2017

Q&A with Alana

What Advice Do You Have For Incoming Freshmen?

Get involved. Meet as many people as you can, and utilize the faculty to get the most out of your education. Everyone here should know your name. We can't wait to see what you can do!

What College Do You Teach In?

College of Arts & Sciences