Elliott Freeman has a long standing love affair with the em dash–the best of all punctuation marks. By day, he works with healthcare students; by night, he’s a vigilante editor, writer, and marketing specialist for a regional nonprofit. Throughout it all, he’s a poet, game designer, media nerd, and arts education advocate.

Feel free to contact him to discuss writing center pedagogy, Natasha Trethewey, game design, semicolons, and movie trailers as commercial poetry.

Selected Publications

Poetry & Fiction

Featured poet in The Blue Nib Issue 40,with “Raise // Raze,” “Half Measures,” “This is to Say,” “But Do We Need Another Poem for Spring?” and “Inkblot”

Full-Tilt Hypomania Brain BeautyRogue Agent, 2018

Grammar I: The Instructor Speaks in Defense of the Casually Heterodox and Grammar II: The Instructor is a Descriptivist AnarchistConnecting Writing Centers Across Borders, 2017

ExvocationLiminality, 2016

Lighthouse WordsRust+Moth, 2016

Maps and Other MysteriesRogue Agent, 2016

Mooneyed – The Machinery, 2016

Jean Grey, Everdying, Expresses Frustration at Cyclical Bullshit – Freezeray Poetry, 2016

When I Was Afraid of My Grandfather’s Skin – Blue Monday Review, 2015

The Figure of Disfigurement – Prick of the Spindle, 2012

Apana – Product, 2010

One, the Other, Both, or Neither – Product, 2008

Essays and Chapters

“Paidia-gogy: The Writing Center as a Place of Play” in Unlimited Players: The Intersections of Writing Centers and Games Scholarship (Editors: Stephanie Vie and Holly Ryan)

“Dead Air and the Lights Above the Arby’s: The Power of Poetry in Welcome to Night Vale” in Critical Approaches to Welcome to Night Vale (Editor: Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock)

Game Design

Exalted Third Edition (Roleplaying Game)

Adversaries of the Righteous

Heirs to the Shogunate

Lunars: Fangs at the Gate

Across the Eight Directions

Crucible of Legends 

Exigents: Out of the Ashes

Many-Faced Strangers

Exalted: Essence

Scion Second Edition (Roleplaying Game)


Scion: God

trinity continuum

Trinity Continuum: Assassins


Helping Students Succeed in Writing
Presented at Virginia Tech’s CIDER Conference on Higher Education, 2015
A collaborative presentation that explored how to forge strong relationships between faculty members and student support services, especially writing centers.

Critical Conversations: Giving Feedback That Matters
Presented for Faculty Development Day at Jefferson College of Health Sciences, 2015
Partnered with Counseling & Wellness to offer faculty insight in how to better understand and respond to students both verbally and in writing.

The Pedagogical Push: Post-Graduation Transition to Being an Adjunct
Presented at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference, 2015
A panel presentation exploring the challenges that face graduate students who become adjunct instructors; I advocated for alternative places in the academy through support services.

Humanities & Social Sciences Film Series
Offered at Jefferson College of Health Sciences, 2014 – Current
Led seminars, viewings, and discussions; especially for the works of Hayao Miyazaki.

Graduate Student Writing Bootcamp
Presented at Jefferson College of Health Sciences, 2014 – Current
Conduct an annual seminar for incoming graduate students in nursing and occupational therapy, with a focus on developing advanced academic writing skills; includes both self-reflection and peer-review as major components.

Yes/No/Maybe: Social Media in the Creative Writing Classroom
Presented at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference, 2013
Chaired and moderated a panel discussion from emerging and experienced instructors who felt strongly for or against social media as a tool for creative writing pedagogy.

A Tribute to Gail Mazur
Organized for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference, 2013
Served as organizer for a panel celebrating the work of poet Gail Mazur.

Surviving the Post-MFA Hustle
Presented at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference, 2013
Served as a panelist representing the challenges faced by recent MFA graduates in transferring skills as attentive readers and careful communicators to the wide and terrifying world of employment.

The Writing Workshops @ Jefferson
Presented for Jefferson College of Health Sciences, 2013 – Current
Offer a rotating selection of writing workshops in collaboration with the Learning & Writing Center; topics include grammar and structure, transitions, effective paraphrasing, APA style, academic voice, and literature reviews.



Teaching Philosophy

On the Classroom
Students learn best when they are engaged, encouraged, and excited–and that means that a good teacher needs to help cultivate the kind of energy they want to see in the classroom. You meet students where they are, not where you think they should be.  No two classes are alike; meeting students where they are means that you recognize that your approach can and must change, not just from semester to semester but from moment to moment. The recipe for an effective teacher includes expertise, enthusiasm, salesmanship, insight, and improv.

On Creativity and the Arts
Creativity can’t be taught, but it can be nurtured. A creative student is one who has been encouraged to think and explore, to delight in questions and to accept ambiguity. Creativity isn’t a skill or a talent, it’s a method. To be creative, students have to make unorthodox connections–between the past and present, between the concrete and the abstract, and between the world as it is and the world as it could (or even should) be.

What I Love


Elliott M. Freeman was born and raised on the Gulf Coast, went to graduate school in New York, and now lives in the mountainous hinterlands of Virginia.

Hurricanes are attracted to him. No one and nothing else. Just hurricanes.

He speaks French, and can have pantomime-about-the-weather type conversations in Russian and Italian. That’s something he’s working on.

Once, he very nearly fell to his death on a mountain.

At the age of 19, his writing career reached its zenith when he composed a paragraph about two people making out on a lake of quicksilver.

He knows why kids love the taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch©. 

His weird interests outside of research include copyright law and fair use, syncretism in American occultism and religion, the history of the English language, art nouveau, material culture, mustelids, layout and design, and motion graphics.

He makes horrible puns, but just like geology, he’s not really in that bismuth.



Questions? Comments? Requests, excoriations, or declarations of war?