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Harriet Millan

Harriet Levin Millan

Associate Teaching Professor of English
Department of English and Philosophy
Office: 5016 MacAlister Hall

Additional Sites:


  • MFA, Creative Writing, University of Iowa Writers Workshop, 1983
  • BA, English Major, Russian Minor, State University of New York at Stony Brook and Temple University, 1977


I am the author of two books of poetry, The Christmas Show (Beacon Press, 1997), which won a Barnard New Women Poets Prize, a Poetry Society of America Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, an Ellen LaForge Memorial Poetry Prize and was a Philadelphia Inquirer Notable Book of the Year. My second book, Girl in Cap and Gown, (Mammoth Books, 2010) was a 2009 National Poetry Series finalist. I am just finishing writing a novel that is based on conversations with Lost Boy of Sudan Michael Majok Kuch. I met Michael when One Book One Philadelphia and City Paper commissioned my writing class to conduct interviews with local Sudanese refugees in conjunction with One Book's selection, What Is The What, which is about the Lost Boys. These interviews can be found here.

Another project that grew out of the interviews is the Reunion Project, an annual fundraising event that seeks to reunite Lost Boys and Girls with their mothers living abroad. Drexel students have participated in read a thons and other events to raise over $15,000 for this project. My family and I accompanied Michael on his reunion trip to Australia, an event which I describe in my novel in progress.

Favorite Authors and/or Books:
Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Frank Conroy, James Baldwin, Flannery O'Conner, Anna Akhmatova

Favorite Musical Artists:
Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin

Personal Interests and Hobbies:
Writing, Humanitarianism, Skiing, Biking, Traveling, Hiking, Attending Seminars at the Landmark Forum

A Favorite Quote:
"Can you describe this?" asked of Anna Akhmatova while she stood outside the Leningrad Prison during the Siege to visit her son. Her answer was, "Yes, I can". Thus her poem "Requiem."

Favorite TV Show: Borderland

One thing that makes me smile is : a bike path.

A Pet Peeve: no bike paths.

One reason I like my job is: having the opportunity to buy literary journals that I can't find anywhere else at Avril 50 on Samson Street.

Selected Publications:

  • "Hang up" (Poem) The Iowa Review, forthcoming
  • "Yalla!," (First two chapters of the novel-in-progress) Kenyon Review, Issue 11, Jan-February 2011
  • "A Poetic Argument: Setting the Literary Agenda in South Sudan," Smart Set, Jan 14th, 2011
  • "In a Jam," Poetry Daily, Featured Poet, Sept. 17th, 2010 Girl in Cap and Gown, Mammoth Books:Dubois, PA. April 2010
  • "Swimming in a Glass," (Poem) The Harvard Review, Issue 37, Fall/Winter 2009-2010
  • "Boy Soldier" and "King Swat," (Poems) Prairie Schooner, Volume 83, No 3, Fall 2009
  • "You Walk in Late," Drunken Boat, 10th Anniversary Issue, Fall 2009
Recent Courses:
  • Live Poets and Writers
  • Your Immigration Story
  • Creative Non Fiction (Immersion Writing)
  • Writing in Museums