Jim Stafford

Jim Stafford

Assistant Professor, Department of Writing
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences

Phone:(607) 274-5145
Office:413 Smiddy Hall
Ithaca, NY 14850

Director, The Writing Center


Until I was 18, I lived and worked on a cattle farm in southern Virginia. At that time, I enjoyed running, fishing, shooting guns, reading adventure books, and playing seasonally appropriate sports in my yard. All the grass, ponds, caves, barbed wire, and old barns that magically appear in my writing remind me of those times. 

Then I lived and worked at the University of Virginia, which lacked grass, ponds, barbed wire, barns and caves, but which had classical architecture, statues of Homer, Edgar Allan Poe's dorm room, a literary magazine, a crew team, a newspaper, and at least 13 creative writing classes, all of which I took (the writing classes, not the statues, etc.).

Needing to find a job, I discovered that I liked teaching. I REALLY liked teaching. Here are some people I've taught: folks in a retirement community,  gifted  high school students in an intensive summer program, community college students, students in a technical college, high school teachers in continuing education courses, high school students, and students at several colleges.

I also write. My work includes nonfiction books for young adults, poems, journal articles, and conference presentations. And, I manage and edit a small literary press called Split Oak Press.

Currently, I live with my seven-year-old daughter Jillian and my wife Maggi in Vestal, New York.



  • Composition 
  • Professional Writing 


  • Ph.D. Rhetoric and Composition, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, 2000
  • M.A. English, Radford University, 1992
  • M.A. Education, Virginia Tech, 1990
  • B.A. English, University of Virginia, 1987




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