Thisbe Nissen

Thisbe Nissen
Professor of English
(269) 387-2625
(269) 387-2562
922 Sprau Tower, Mail Stop 5331
Mailing address: 
Department of English
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5331 USA
  • M.F.A., University of Iowa, 1997
  • B.A., Oberlin College, 1994
Teaching interests: 
  • Advanced fiction
  • Fiction workshop
  • Flash fiction
  • Artifacts in fiction
Creative interests: 
  • Quilting
  • Gardening
  • Collaged picture books for children

Thisbe Nissen is an associate professor in the Department of English at Western Michigan University.

Thisbe is the author of two novels, The Good People of New York (Knopf, 2001) and Osprey Island (Knopf, 2004), and a story collection, Out of the Girls' Room and into the Night (University of Iowa Press, 1999, Winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award). She is also the co-author with Erin Ergenbright of The Ex-Boyfriend Cookbook, a collection of stories, recipes and art collages. Her fiction has been published in The Iowa Review, The American Scholar, Story, Seventeen, The Virginia Quarterly Review, StoryQuarterly, Glimmer Train, NANO Fiction, and Quick Fiction, and anthologized in The Iowa Award: The Best Stories 1991-2000 and Best American Mystery Stories 2008. Her nonfiction has appeared in Vogue, Glamour, Preservation and The Believer, and is featured in several essay anthologies.

She has been the recipient of fellowships from the James Michener-Copernicus Society, The University of Iowa, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony, and was the 19th Zale Writer-in-Residence at Tulane University. She has taught at Columbia University, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Brandeis University, The New School's Eugene Lang College and in the low residency M.F.A. program at Pacific University. 

She and her husband, poet and writer Jay Baron Nicorvo, are parents to two old cats, many sprightly chickens, and one intriguing human child. They dream, one day, of raising goats.

Nissen won the 2018 College of Arts and Sciences Women's Caucus Gender Scholar Award.