Olivia Milroy Evans
Assistant Professor
Howard College of Arts and Sciences
219 Ingalls Hall

Olivia Milroy Evans teaches and writes about contemporary global anglophone poetry, documentary and television. She is especially interested in the narrative structures of serial forms, from long poems to television shows. In her book manuscript on contemporary documentary poetry, she explores how the documents incorporated into poems, such as medical records, legal contracts and court cases, transform existing poetic forms, such as elegy, ekphrasis and sonnet sequences. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Word & Image, Annulet: A Journal of Poetics, Contemporary Literature, Jacket2, and Contemporaries at Post45.

Evans comes to Samford from Cornell University, where she completed her PhD in Literatures in English. Her teaching has been recognized by the Martin Sampson Teaching Award (2020) and the Shin Yong-Jin fellowship for excellence in teaching and scholarship (2020–2021). Most recently, she served at Cornell as the Joseph F. Martino ’53 Lecturer in Undergraduate Teaching. Originally from North Carolina, she studied English and Classics at Wake Forest University before teaching literature and rhetoric middle and high school students at a classical Christian school in Northern Virginia. When she’s not proselytizing for poetry, she enjoys analyzing tv shows with friends, hanging out with her husband and their dog Albion, and learning to paint.

Degrees and Certifications

  • PhD in Literatures in English, Cornell University
  • MA in English, the University of Virginia
  • BA in English, Wake Forest University

Recent Publications

  • “Activist Documentary Poetics: On Susan Briante’s Defacing the Monument,” Jacket2, August 2022. https://jacket2.org/reviews/activist-documentary-poetics [Site down as of 7/24/2023]
  • “Speaking a Cemetery: On Alice Oswald’s Memorial and Homer’s Iliad,” Annulet: A Journal of Poetics, Issue (2) (2022). https://annuletpoeticsjournal.com/Olivia-Milroy-Evans-Speaking-a-Cemetery
  • “Ekphrasis as Evidence: Forensic Rhetoric in Contemporary Documentary Poetry,” Word & Image: A Journal of Verbal/Visual Enquiry, 37.2 (2021): 142-151. https://doi.org/10.1080/02666286.2020.1866969
  • “Archival Assemblages: Conceptualism and Documentary Poetics in the Twenty-First Century.” Contemporary Literature, 62.2 (2021): 268-275. muse.jhu.edu/article/856184.
  • “Archive as Underworld in the Modern Long Poem,” Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters, 41.2 (2018): 44–58. http://muse.jhu.edu/article/842281

Honors and Awards

  • Alan Young-Bryant Memorial Award in Poetry (2021)
  • Shin Yong-Jin Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship (2020 – 2021)
  • Martin Sampson Teaching Award (2020)
  • Corson-Browning Poetry Prize (2018)