Dana Bisignani is currently in the fifth year of her Ph.D. in Literature at Purdue University, where she studies 20th/21st century poetry and poetics and women’s studies. She has an M.F.A. in poetry from Purdue (2007), an M.A. in English from Western Illinois University (2004), and a B.A. in English with a music minor from Western Illinois University (2002). While at Purdue, she has taught courses in rhetoric and composition (ENGL 106) as well as creative writing (ENGL 205 and 407) and American Literature (ENGL 250). She also spent four years tutoring at Purdue’s Writing Lab and working on the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab), creating teaching materials and working one-on-one with students on their writing in a variety of disciplines. In addition to her teaching, Dana assists engineers at the Indiana Department of Transportation with editing their technical reports and has worked on the staff of Purdue’s literary journal, the Sycamore Review, where she has published book reviews and interviews. Her own poetry has appeared in several journals, including Splipstream, Cimarron, Crab Orchard Review, Prairie Schooner, and Blue Collar Review. Her poem “Bankruptcy Hearing” was chosen for reprint in Ted Kooser’s column American Life in Poetry in March 2010.
Dana grew up in the suburb of Worth on Chicago’s South Side and has held a wide variety of jobs over the years. She has cleaned and repaired driver’s ed films as an audio-visual library assistant; sold bras at Victoria’s Secret and cards at Hallmark; worked as the marketing director for a dance theater company in St. Louis; cleaned apartments; taught campers how to use computer software; edited reports for INDOT; and prepared rotisserie chickens and sliced deli meat at the West Lafayette Marsh. In addition, she has pet-sat, house-sat, and car-sat (though, oddly enough, has never baby-sat). Her current hobbies include knitting, photography, and digging through every second-hand store in town, and she is contemplating archery. She enjoys a good demo derby and can often be found reading and drinking coffee at the Steak ‘n’ Shake on Rt. 26, which is also where she grades her students’ papers.