Sheila McMullin: A Poetic Feminist MoonSpit Blog

MoonSpit Poetry of Insights, Resources, Activism, and Art


Sheila McMullin

Curriculum Vitae


Activist, artist, and educator with a diverse background in writing, teaching, editing, and publishing. Translating passion for social justice, writing, civic engagement, and improving literacy skills into community action and leadership. Author of daughterrarium (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2017) winner for the First Book Prize chosen by Daniel Borzutzky. Co-editor of the collections Humans of Ballou and The Day Tajon Got Shot from Shout Mouse Press. Board member for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts from 2015-2017 and currently volunteers to maintain the free little libraries in her neighborhood.


THE GAIA SCHOOL OF HERBALISM AND EARTH EDUCATION – Certificate in Folk Herbalism –  2019

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY – Master of Fine Arts, Poetry – 2013

  • 2012-2013 Heritage Fellow
  • 2010-2012 Teaching Assistant

TEFL Institute Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate 2009

Arizona State University Bachelor of Arts, English/Creative Writing 2008

  • Summa Cum Laude


Books | Poetry

2017 daughterrarium (Cleveland State University Poetry Center), winner of the First Book Prize selected by Daniel Borzutzky

Reviews in

Galatea Resurrects; Heavy Feather Review; Southern Indiana Review; So to Speak: A feminist journal of language and art; The Ocean State Review; Omniverse; Foreword Reviews; Aqueduct Press

Books | Edited Fiction

2017 The Day Tajon Got Shot (Shout Mouse Press), by ten teenage NE Washington, D.C. residents

Reviews in

School Library Journal; The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU; Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Literature and Poetry; Miss Marple’s Musings


Books | Edited Non-Fiction

2016 Humans of Ballou (Shout Mouse Press) collection of essays about growing up south of river in Washington D.C. written by the students of Ballou High School

2013 The Shape of Blue: Notes of Loss, Language, Motherhood & Fear (The Lit Pub) by Liz Scheid


Periodicals | Poetry

2019 Barnhouse Journal, “I was Lying (1),” “Thank You,” “I was Lying (2)”

2017 Ocean State Review, “Proof,” “Beating Belly”

2017 Barrelhouse, The Unintentionally Grim Issue, “Bad Woman, Sinkhole Variation”

2016 ythm“If I Should Rename Myself” 

2015 Free State Review, “Maine Ave Fish Market”

2015 AQUA4: (di)VISIONS of water in Washington Sponsored by Our City Festival
Washington, D.C. “Kingman Island, Anacostia Watershed,” “Maine Ave Fish Market”

2015 Poets are Present Anthology, Shakespeare Theatre Company “Paper Trees”

2015 Big Lucks ,“Hey, Big Wild (in which Frank Bends and lifts Mateo)”

2015 Construction Magazine, “Hey, Big Wild (in which Frank buries his hands and clouds Mateo)”

2015 NAILED Magazine, “Bad Woman” “Keeps Walking, Walks,” “Firelight Meditation”

2014 The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, “Bad Woman”

2014 Winter Tangerine Review, “My Brother is a Magpie”

2014 The Fem, “Luna Communicate”

2014 Quail Bell Magazine, “Apple Tinsel” “Desert Woman”

2014 Boog City “Clara’s Book”

2014 Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective “Moon Spit”

2014 A Bad Penny Review “daughterrariums I-V” “Olga’s Book”

2013 1913: A Journal of Forms “Ruth’s Book”

2013 ROAR Magazine: A Journal of the Literary Arts “Like Water”

2012 Yew: A Journal of Innovative Writing & Images by Women “Hey, Big Wild (in which Frank closes eyes and builds Mateo),” “Hey, Big Wild (in which Frank opens mouth and sees Mateo),” “Bitten”

2011 Counterexample Poetics: Assemblage of Experimental Artistry “Misery Grows in Bunches,” “Antumbra” “Half a Pill” two from Workbook: Exercises in Homographic Translations

2006 Gentle Strength Quarterly “Postmortem” “Caleb”


Periodicals | Essays and Books Reviewed

2015 “On Comics and Disability” Reading Loop, Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature 

2015 “Spotlight On! Wordgathering” VIDA Review

2014 “Spotlight On! Poets.Org” VIDA Review

2014 “Spotlight On! Weave Magazine” VIDA Review

2014 “Spotlight On! Ninth Letter” VIDA Review

2014 “VIDA and How We Can Number Up, Part II” So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art web

2014 “VIDA and Why We Should Number Up, Part I” So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art web

2014 “The Artist Activist Online” So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art web

2014 “Poetry Micro-Review: Green-wood by Allison Cobb” MoonSpit Poetry

2014 “Hibernaculum: Dissecting Story and Fable like an Animal” So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art web

2014 “Wild, But Not Lost: A Review” So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art web

2013 “Final Thoughts from StS’s Poetry and Blog Out-Going Editor, Sheila McMullin” So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art web

2013  “Ocean Fragments: The Bikini Atoll and Plastic Seas” HER KIND: A Literary Community Powered by VIDA 

2013 “6 Reasons to Love Laura Redniss’s Radioactive” The Lit Pub 

2013 “Book Review: Arco Iris by Sarah Vap” So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art web

2012 “Danielle Pafunda and the ManhaterSo to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art web

2011The Mission” Library of Congress, Poetry and Literature Center From the Catbird Seat 


Periodicals | Conversations and Interviews

Forthcoming American Micro Reviews conversation with Sheila McMullin and Melissa Studdard on daughterrarium

2019 Interview with Sheila McMullin on daughterrarium with CSU Poetry Center

2018 “Documenting the Collection of Removal: A shared interview between poets, Kristi Carter and Sheila McMullin” Tinderbox

2017 VIDA Reads with Writers — Sheila McMullin!, VIDA Review

2017 Interview with Writer and Editor Sheila McMullin on “The Day Tajon Got Shot” from Shout Mouse Press, Wordgathering

2016 “33 Life-Changing Books In Honor Of International Women’s Day: A Reading List From The Staff At VIDA,” The Literary Hub

2015 Interview with Sheila McMullin, #FemaleGaze: A Nonfiction Literary Review 

2015 “Young Poets Bare All: What Is a Culture?” by Amy King, Poetry Foundation Harriet Blog 

2015 “Featured Friday | Meet Sheila McMullin” The Fem: A Feminist Literary Magazine 

2015 Interview with Lisa Duffy on ROAR Magazine The Review Review

2014 Selfie Interview | Sheila McMullin, The Doctor J. Eckleburg Review 

2014 Imaginary Homelands “My Brother is a Magpie” Interview, Winter Tangerine 

2014 “Language’s Tag-Along: An Interview with Poet Diane Raptosh” ROAR Magazine: A Journal of the Literary Arts by Women 

2014 “The Shape of Blue: Interview with Writer Liz Scheid” MoonSpit Poetry

2014 “When They Make You Smile: An Interview with Dana Walrath” MoonSpit Poetry

2013 “Interview with Poet Paisley Rekdal” Library of Congress, Poetry and Literature Center Interview Series

2013 “Upsetting to the Mind: Art by Alison Strub” MoonSpit Poetry

2013 “The Constant of Change: Art by Ceci Cole McInturff” MoonSpit Poetry

2011 “Ballads of the Appalachians” Interview with folk singer Elizabeth LaPrelle  So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of  Language and Art web


Managed and Edited Periodicals

2015 District Lit: An Online Journal of Writing and Art | Outreach and Communications Director

2013- 2015 ROAR Magazine: a Journal of the Literary Arts |Managing Editor and Poetry Editor

2010- 2013 So to Speak: a Feminist Journal of Language and Art | Poetry and Blog Editor



2019 Santa Barbara Coast Writing Workshop guest poet and workshop leader

2019 Let’s Save the Future (Again!) A Comedy Show Benefit for Action Civics CA

2019 Visiting Poet Lecture and Reading, San Diego State University

Los Angeles Central Library, Civic Engagement and YA Literature

2018 Let’s Save the Future! A Comedy Show Benefit for Action Civics CA

2018 Young Women’s Political and Civic Leadership Conference, USC Unruh Institute of Politics, “From Issues to Action: How to Use Your Voice to Inspire Political Action”

2018 5th Annual Cal State Dominguez Hills Women’s “Visionary Voices” Conference, “From Issues to Action: Use Your Voice to Inspire Community Action”

2017 Arizona State University “Citizen Artist” talk for undergraduate creative writing students

2017 Obama Foundation Community Leadership Training Day, Arizona State University

2017 Young Women’s Political and Civic Leadership Conference, USC Unruh Institute of Politics, “From Issues to Action: How to Use Your Voice to Inspire Political Action”

2017 Constitution Day at the Reagan Presidential Library, “Inspire Youth to Find their Political Voice and Take Action”

2017 Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference, Moderator, Washington DC: “Not Invisible: Editors of Literary Journals Speak Out on Disability and Building Inclusive Writing Communities”

2017 Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference, Moderator, Washington DC: “VIDA Voices & Views: Exclusive Interview with Joan Naviyuk Kane, Ada Limon & Alicia Ostriker”

2016 Young Women’s Political and Civic Leadership Conference, USC Unruh Institute of Politics, “Young Professionals Panel: How You Can Get Involved”

2016 Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA: “Poems for the Next Generation: Bringing Poetry to Teenagers and Young Adults.”

2015 The Writer’s Center, Hill Center, Washington D.C., “How to Design Your Author Website 101 Workshop Series”

2015 The Mobile Art Lab Pop-Up, Alexandria, VA, “Erasure and Blackout Poetry Exploration” Workshop

2014 Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference,  Seattle, WA: “So You Want to Build a Platform: But What Is It and Why Do You Need One? Women Writers & Editors Speak Out”

2013 Fall for the Book Literary Festival, George Mason University: “After the M.F.A.”

2012 GMU ENGH 396: Introduction to Creative Writing Poetry Section



2019 CIACLA Poetry Beyond Borders, Los Angeles, CA

2019 Independent Bookstore Day Reading with Charles Jensen

2019 After the Tour Book Launch Reading with Jenny Minniti-Shippey

2018 A Reading with Jaimie Gusman Nagle, No’ukahau’oli Revilla, and Sheila McMullin, O’ahu, Hawai’i

2017 The Current, Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA

2017 Lighthouse Reading Series, Cleveland, OH

2017 A Reading in Venice with Joan Kane, Jennifer Croft, Sheila McMullin, Adrian Quintanar & Michaelsun Knapp, Venice, CA

2017 Fall for the Book Alumus Reading, Fairfax, VA

2017 Sumarr Reading Series, Los Angeles, CA

2017 Non-Standard Lit San Diego, CA

2017 AWP daughterrarium book launch reading with Cleveland State University Poetry Center and Rescue Press, Washington, DC

2015 Jubilant Thicket Philadelphia, PA

2015 Big Lucks & Split Lip Present Summerfade Washington, D.C.

2015 Aqua4: (di)Visions of Washington Water Sponsored by Our City Festival, MLK Jr Memorial Library, Washington D.C.

2015 La Ti Do Washington, D.C.

2015 The Inner Loop: A Literary Reading Series Anniversary Celebration Washington, D.C.

2015 Feats of Poetic Strength | An All-Ladies Reading Series Philadelphia, PA

2015 Books & Bones AWP Offsite Reading Presented by Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Boneshaker Books, Minneapolis, MN

2014 Waterbear Reading Series, Arlington, VA

2014 Three Tents Reading Series, Washington, D.C.

2014 The Inner Loop: A Literary Reading Series, Washington, D.C.

2013 Graduate Student Reading Sponsored by George Mason University MFA Program,  Fairfax, VA

2013 Loud Fire Reading Series Sponsored by George Mason University MFA Program, Fairfax, VA

2013 Art Installation and Performance of She For Him and His For Her Sponsored by Gallery B, Bethesda, MD

2012 Cloudism Waddell Art Gallery NOVA Loudoun Campus Sponsored by Mike Maggio,  Loudoun, VA

2012 Fellows Reading Grand Tier III Center of the Arts George Mason University Sponsored by Fall for the Book, Fairfax, VA

2012 After-Images Call and Response Exhibit Gallery 123 George Mason University Sponsored by Fall for the Book, Fairfax, VA

2012 Sunday Kind of Love” Busboys and Poets Sponsored by Spilt this Rock, Washington D.C.

2011Loud Fire Reading Series Sponsored by George Mason University MFA Program, Fairfax, VA

2010 Kindling Reading Series Sponsored by George Mason University MFA Program, Fairfax, VA



ASU LOCAL –  Student Success Coach – LOS ANGELES, CA –  August 2019-Ongoing

The new ASU Local center is located in Downtown Los Angeles. The ASU Local center provides academic and professional connections for students preparing for careers in high demand areas of the job market.

At the center, students participate in projects and hands-on activities connected to their degrees. Coaches provide students with the support they need to succeed. Small team spaces offer students the opportunity to work in groups in a comfortable setting or find a quiet space for study sessions.

ACTION CIVICS CA – Site Director – LOS ANGELES, CA – September 2016-June 2019

  • Direct and implement “Action Civics” community organizing and civics education programming for youth throughout Southern California, primarily in high poverty communities, including:
    • Manage and train Action Civics CA staff (2) and volunteers (cohort of over 100), and mentor colleagues from chapters sites.
    • Recruit teachers in high needs schools to participate in Action Civics programs and curricula.
    • Facilitate and support professional development of teachers throughout year.
    • Plan and lead an average 4 youth-based events and convenings throughout the year – attendance average 200 people.
    • School site visits throughout year to facilitate lessons and activities with students in community organizing, research, and power-mapping practices.
    • Connect guest speakers, community leaders, and additional resources to the classroom.
    • Track program implementation effectiveness through teacher, student, and event surveys.
  • Fundraise and maintain yearly budget for Action Civics CA including:
    • Manage, activate, and recruit Advisory Board.
    • Analyze potential contract relationships with educational hubs.
    • Plan and host an average of 4 fundraisers and friendraisers throughout the year.
    • Digital marketing campaigns, donor solicitations for giving.
  • Develop and enact communications strategy including:
    • Alumni outreach and progress tracking.
    • Regular e-newsletter communication with program updates, spotlight stories, and educational resources.
    • Social media management and network growth.
  • Assist National Director with CA statewide Action Civics professional development
    • Develop resources for statewide contract with the Sacramento County Office of Education Social Studies-History Framework “Taking Informed Action” component for K-12 educators.
    • Develop and lead professional development training for K-12 educators in “Taking Informed Action.”



  • Guided high school juniors and seniors at Title I school with low graduation rates through college application and competitive scholarships writing processes. Mentored students through writing and editing their personal narratives.
  • Collaborated with Ballou Story Project writers from low performing Title I school to transform personal essays into the provoking book Humans of Ballou (2016).
  • Edited galley copies.
  • Supported launch and market outreach for the book.
  • Worked and wrote with middle school girls at Beacon House Community Center, a non-profit serving youth who live in the adjoining housing project, to write the Black Lives Matter-inspired novel-in-stories, The Day Tajon Got Shot (2017).


VIDA: WOMEN IN LITERARY ARTS – Board of Directors – August 2013-October 2017

  • In positions of increasing responsibility, contributed to organization’s goals of promoting gender parity in publishing. Promoted to the Board of Directors December 2015.
  • Managed and trained successive teams of volunteers and interns, collaborating on the annual VIDA Count, which receives national publicity.
  • Wrote “Spotlight On!” column and solicited and edited other content for The VIDA Review online website.
  • Directed layout and design changes to website.
  • Created and organized databases and training guides, moderated web forum, supported newsletter distributions, maintained VIDA press kit, and a nationwide events calendar.
  • Promoted grassroots and not-for-profit efforts to expand membership and disseminate mission-driven information online, at community gatherings, and at AWP national conference.
    • MANAGING EDITOR – December 2015-September 2016
    • EDITOR – October 2014-December 2015
    • WEB ASSISTANT – February 2014-October 2014
    • MEMBERSHIP INTERN – August 2013-February 2014


WRITOPIA LAB – Creative Writing Instructor – WASHINGTON, DC & LOS ANGELES – July 2013-March 2017

  • Led groups of elementary, middle, and high school students in intensive story-building workshops focused on creative writing techniques, conclusions, and publication.
  • Facilitated workshops on personal statement writing for college applications
  • Facilitated workshops and other activities during week-long sleep-away camp.
  • Advised and managed interns.



  • Worked as administrative assistant to the Poet Laureate and Head of the Poetry and Literature Center.
  • Catalogued literary audio files to make publicly accessible online. Contributed posts to the Center’s From the Catbird Seat
  • Researched and prepared materials for display at the Robert Frost Birthday Celebration.


GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY – English Composition/English Literature Instructor & Writing Center Tutor – FAIRFAX, VA – 2010-2013

  • Fall 2012 Instructor, Paul Robeson Saturday Academy Enrichment Program, 8th- 9th grade, Washington D.C.
  • Spring 2012 Instructor, GMU English Literature, 2 sections, 1 semester
  • Fall 2011 Instructor, GMU English Composition, 2 sections, 1 semester
  • Fall 2010-Spring 2011 Tutor, GMU Writing Center
  • Fall 2010-Sping 2011 Mentor, Tutor High School Writing Center Start-Up with GMU Writing Center


SHANDONG UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY – English as a Foreign Language Instructor – CHINA – 2009-2010

  • Fall 2009-Spring 2010 Instructor, Shandong University of Science and Technology Speaking and Writing PhD and Graduate Student level English 4 sections, 2 semesters
  • Fall 2009-Spring 2010 Private English Tutor, Elementary and Business students, China
  • Spring 2010 Instructor, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Qingdao Offshore Oil Company Division 1 section, 1 semester


2016 Winner of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize chosen by Daniel Borzutzky
2016 Pamet River Prize at YesYes Books Semifinalist
2016 Best New Poets Nomination for Maine Ave Fish Market 
2015 Bettering American Poetry Anthology Nomination for Kingman Island, Anacostia Watershed in [AQUA4] Sponsored by Our City Festival
2015 Best of the Net Nomination for Hey, Big Wild (in which Frank buries his hands and clouds Mateo) in Construction Magazine
2015 Finalist Two Sylvia’s Press Chapbook Contest
2015 Semi-finalist Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize
2015 Finalist The Jean Feldman Poetry Prize at the Washington Writers Publishing House
2015 The Out of the Binders Scholarship, Binder Con Los Angeles, CA
2014 Semi-finalist Two Sylvia’s Press The Russell Prize
2014 Finalist New Delta Review Chapbook Prize
2014 Semi-Finalist Black River Chapbook Prize from Black Lawrence Press
2013 Finalist Ahsahta Press Chapbook Prize
2012-2013 Heritage Fellowship, George Mason University
2012-2013 Research Assistant Grant, George Mason University
2012 Mary Roberts Rinehart Poetry Award for Ruth’s Book, George Mason University
2012 Virginia Downs Poetry Award for Like Water, George Mason University
2012 Outstanding Feminist Quill, George Mason University Student Media Award
2010-2012 University Teaching Assistant Fellowship, George Mason University
2008 Cal State Summer Arts Fellowship, Spoken Word and Performance Poetry Workshop



2019 Judge, CSU Poetry Center’s Open Book Poetry Competition

2018 Judge, Arizona State University Swarthout Awards in Poetry

2018-ongoing Care-Taker, Los Angeles Motor Ave Free Little Libraries

2016-2019 Judge, Visions of Unity Poetry Contest, Torrance, CA

2014- 2015 Mentor, Higher Achievement, Middle School Enrichment Program, 8th grade, weekly high school application admissions and prep workshop, Southeast D.C.

2012-2014 Instructor, Take My Word For It After School Program, 4th-5th grade and Saturday Workshops

2011-Spring 2013 Mentor, D.C. Public Schools Professional Development Workshop in Poetry and Argument for Elementary School Teachers

2013 Judge, Regional D.C. Regional Scholastic Writing Awards, Washington D.C.

2012 Judge, Reflections Literary Contest K-2 and 3-5 Arlington Tradition School, VA



2018-2019 Apprentice, Gaia School of Healing and Earth Education, CA

2016 Slipform Poetry Workshop, Washington D.C.

2015 The Ashbery Home School, NY

2012 Pedagogy of Literature, George Mason University

2011 Pedagogy of Composition, George Mason University

2011 Mason Military Alliance Program Training Workshop—Veteran and active duty soldiers in the classroom, George Mason University

2011 Mason Counseling and Psychological Services Faculty Training Online Workshop—Helping at-risk students, George Mason University

2008 Cal State Summer Arts Program, Spoken Word and Performance Poetry, CA


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