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Knar Gavin


2023 Ph.D. Graduate
Dissertation Advisor(s): Josephine Park

Knar (they/any) is a recent graduate of the doctoral program in English at the University of Pennsylvania where they authored 'Fend for Meaningful Speech': Matters of Social Fact in Post-9/11 Documentary Poetry." Knar's research interests include documentary poetry, ecopoetics, and the shifting role of literary and media forms amidst environmental crisis. An environmental justice and community defense organizer, they are especially attuned to the many vectors through which U.S. empire and policing perpetuate and accelerate global environmental change. They hold graduate degrees from Syracuse University (MA 2016) and the Iowa Writers' Workshop (MFA, 2013), where they received a John C. Schupes fellowship for their manuscript Cotor: Excerpts from Variable Road. Knar is the author of the chapbook Vela. (the Operating System, 2019), and recent poems can be found in Foundry, Storm Cellar, AGNI, West Branch, and Denver Quarterly. You can find their essay on climate grief at Annulet. They co-created the covidXclimate project and recently served as the guest poetry editor at Reckoning, a journal of environmental justice.

In 2021, Knar held the position of Poetic Practice Fellow at the Kelly Writers House, and they have received fellowships from the Penn Program for Environmental Humanities and the Penn Office of Sustainability. They have co-coordinated Penn English working groups in Anthropocene & Animal Studies and Poetry & Poetics, and they are currently an adjunct professor in Film and Media Arts at Temple University.

Courses Taught

spring 2024

ENGL 1950.401 Television and New Media  

fall 2023

ENGL 2801.301 The Person in the Poem  

spring 2022

fall 2019

ENGL 200.304 Poetry and the Environment  

spring 2018

ENGL 101.003 Shakespeare