Loyola University Chicago

Writing Program

Virginia Bell

Adjunct Instructor



Virginia Bell is the author of From the Belly (Sibling Rivalry Press), a book-length collection of poetry, and has published poems, literary criticism, personal essays, and reviews in numerous journals and anthologies. A Co-Editor of RHINO Poetry, along with Jan Bottiglieri and Angela Narciso Torres, Bell holds a B.S. in Education and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and has taught at the Universities of North Carolina and Maryland, as well as Georgetown University, Loyola University Chicago, DePaul University, and The Chicago High School for the Arts. Originally from Pennsylvania, Bell has lived and traveled in India, Pakistan, Spain, and Mexico.


  • Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Maryland
  • Graduate Certificate in Women's & Gender Studies from the University of Maryland

Research Interests

  • Contemporary American Poetry
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Literatures of the Americas
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Women & Gender Studies


  • "Chicken" won the 2020 Nonfiction Prize from NELLE magazine.
  • "I Walk Into Every Room and Look for My Mother" won Honorable Mention in the 2019 riverSedge Poetry Prize, judged by José Antonio Rodríguez.
  • "Fish" won a 2021 Chapter One Competition from Meet Me @ 19th Street, sponsored by Arch Street Press.

Select Publications

Literary Criticism:

  • "'A Man on Fire Running Quite Fast': A Review of Adrian Matejka's Somebody Else Sold the World." RHINO Reviews, 2022.
  • “Review of Lauren Slaughter’s Spectacle.” RHINO Reviews, 2021.
  • “Review of Mike Puican’s Central Air.” RHINO Reviews, 2020.
  • “Review of Natasha Sajé’s Vivarium.” RHINO Reviews, 2019.
  • “Freedom is a Bitch: A Review of Valerie Wallace’s House of McQueen.” The Nervous Breakdown, 2018.
  • “A Reflection on Negative Capability in Erika L. Sanchez’s ‘On the Eve of the Tepehúan revolt, November 1616.’” The Keats Letters Project, 2017.
  • “The Turn as Poetic Striptease in Anne Carson’s ‘Wildly Constant.’” voltagepoetry.com, 2014.
  • “Interview with Ocean Vuong.” rhinopoetry.org, 2012.
  • Instructor’s Resource Manual for Beyond Borders: A Cultural ReaderHoughton Mifflin, 2003.
  • Beyond Borders Online, Co-authored with Randall Bass, Houghton Mifflin, 2003.
  • “Counter-Chronicling and Alternative Mapping in Memoria del fuego and Almanac of the Dead.” MELUS, 2000.
  • “Taming el Dzulúm: Appropriation of Mayan Culture in Rosario Castellanos’s Balún Canán.” Aleph, 1993.

Creative Works:

  • “The Father.” Wherever I’m At: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, Chicago Literary Hall of Fame & After Hours Press, 2022.
  • From the Belly (Book-length collection of poetry). Sibling Rivalry Press, 2012.
  • “Fish.” Winner of the Chapter One Memoir Competition, Meet Me @ 19th Street/Arch St Press, 2021.
  • “Chicken.” Winner of the Nonfiction Prize, NELLE Magazine, 2020.
  • “Battle-Axe Day.” Pushcart Prize Nomination for Nonfiction, Hypertext Review, 2020.
  • "I Walk into Every Room and Look for My Mother." Honorable Mention for the Poetry Prize, judged by José Antonio Rodríguez, riverSedge: A Journal of Art & Literature, 2019.
  • “Sallie Gardner” and “A Blackout and A Meltdown.” Kettle Blue Review, 2018.
  • “The Man Who Perfected the Disappearing Thumb Trick.” Cider Press Review, 2015.
  • “Wherever.” Brute Neighbors: Urban Nature Poetry, Prose and Photography, DePaul University Humanities Center, 2011.
  • “What Holds Constant.” Wicked Alice, 2010.