John Vanderslice, Ph.D., MFA

Associate Professor

Thompson Hall 316

(501) 450-3653

Ph.D., English, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
MFA, Creative Writing, George Mason University
B.A., English, University of Virginia

Teaching Specialties:
Fiction writing, poetry writing, travel writing, contemporary fiction and poetry, and composition


John Vanderslice, a native of the Washington DC metropolitan area, earned a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia in 1983.  After graduating, he worked as a writer for a major insurance corporation in Washington, DC.  In 1986 he entered the M.F.A. in creative writing program at George Mason University and graduated with that degree in 1991.  While at GMU his areas of concentration included poetry writing, modern and contemporary poetry, and the Irish Literary Revival.  Additionally, he helped arrange and edit a collection of primary documents from the Irish Literary Revival.  In 1993, he moved to Lafayette, Louisiana to enter the Ph.D. in English program at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (formerly University of Southwestern Louisiana).  There his areas of concentration included fiction writing, twentieth-century American literature, twentieth-century British Literature, early American literature, and Renaissance literature.  His dissertation, titled Christopher Robin Lives, is a collection of short fiction with a critical introduction that examines the nature, development and use of epiphany in modern and postmodern fiction, particularly the short story.  After graduating from ULL in 1997, he moved to Conway, Arkansas and began teaching at the University of Central Arkansas.  To date he has published over fifty short stories.  He also publishes poetry, literary criticism, book reviews, creative nonfiction, and one-act plays.  His work has appeared in The Seattle Review, Laurel Review, Southern Humanities Review, Versal, 1966, Sou’wester, South Carolina Review, and many other leading journals as well as several fiction anthologies including Chick for a Day, The Best of The First Line, and The Man-Date: Fifteen Bromance Stories.  “His collection of thematically linked short stories, Island Fog, is forthcoming from Lavender Ink press in 2014.”  He has recently completed the novel Days on Fire, a fictionalized life of Vincent Van Gogh.  He maintains a blog about this project, titled Creating Van Gogh along with a blog titled Payperazzi in which he muses on all matters related to writing and teaching writing.  His earlier novel Burnt Norway is available through  His teaching interests include fiction writing, poetry writing, travel writing, contemporary fiction and poetry, and composition.