Catherine Zobal Dent, Ph.D.

Department: English & Creative Writing

Associate Professor of English & Creative Writing

  • Education
  • PHD, SUNY Binghamton
  • MA, SUNY Binghamton
  • BA, Duke University

Many of the stories I write are set on the eastern shore of Maryland, where I grew up on the Tuckahoe River, surrounded by miles of corn and soybean fields. Since then, I've lived in North Carolina, California, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania, with long periods spent in France, Italy, and England.

I love teaching at Susquehanna for many reasons, one of which being that I share my position with my spouse, Silas Zobal, also a writer. We write, teach, and raise two young children in Freeburg, a town four miles away from campus, and we end up sharing a lot of our life (including two dogs, three cats, chickens, bees, a garden, a woodshop, and a house built over a century ago) with students. 

I'm the director of SU's Common Reading Program, which publishes an annual anthology based on the university theme, and I'm also the director of FUSE, a national organization for undergraduate editors. FUSE gives me the chance to travel with students all around the country, networking with other writers and editors, both students and professional. 

When I was in my twenties, I did a lot of long-distance hiking, and one of my current writing projects is called Falling. It's a memoir about through-hiking the Appalachian Trail. I'm also working on a translation of the French short story writer Cyrille Fleischman with my friend Lynn Palermo, a French professor at SU. Fleischman survived the Holocaust and published 13 books, mostly collections of short stories centered on life in Le Marais, a Jewish neighborhood in Paris, in the 1950s and 1960s.

My first book, Unfinished Stories for Girls, a collection of 16 stories, came out with Fomite Press in May 2014. You can find other work I've written in the Harvard Review, North American Review, PANK and elsewhere.


Binghamton University, Doctor of Philosophy in English Language and Literature, 2006

Binghamton University, Masters in English Language and Literature, 2003

Duke University, Bachelor of Arts in English, 1994   


Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing, Susquehanna University

Director of the Common Reading Program, Susquehanna University

Summer Writers Workshop Coordinator, Susquehanna University

Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing, Susquehanna University (2009- 2015)

Assistant Professor of English, Shippensburg University (2006-2009)

Graduate Assistant, English Department, Binghamton University (2000-2006)

Writing Instructor, School of Engineering, Binghamton University (2004-2005)

English Teacher, Saints Peter and Paul High School (1996-1997; 1998-2000)

French Teacher, Berkshire School (1997-1998)   




Unfinished Stories of Girls, collection of short fiction.  Burlington, Vermont: Fomite (2014).   

Book Chapters

"The Short Fiction Workshop," Creative Writing Guidebook, Co-written with Silas Zobal.  Ed. Graeme Harper.  London, UK: Continuum (2009).  

Short Stories

"At the Mouth."  Drunken Boat.  Vol. 14 (Summer/Fall 2011).  n. pag. Web.

"Rise."  Harvard Review.  Vol. 39 (Fall 2010): 16-24.  Print.

"Flesh."  PANK.  Vol 5 No 5.  Web (May 2010):  n. pag.  Web.

"Drunk."  The North American Review.  Vol. 294 No 2 (Fall 2009): 15-17.  Print.

"Wheels."  Elsewhere: a Journal for the Literature of Place Vol 1 Issue 1 (Fall 2007): 42-48.  Web.

"Perdurability."  EAPSU: A Journal of Critical and Creative Work Vol 4 (Fall 2007): 64-72.  Web.

"Half Life."  Crab Orchard Review Vol 12 No 1 (Winter/Spring 2007): 5-15.  Print.

"The Done For Man." Louisville Review Issue 60 (Fall 2006): 57-67.  Print.

"Thoughts That Wend Toward Love." The MacGuffin Vol 23 No 1  (Fall 2006): 129-135.  Print.

"The Hole in Backyard Park." Echolocation Issue 4 (Fall 2005): 34-48.  Print.

"There Is Smoke." Portland Literary Review Vol 51 Issue 2 (Winter 2004): 7-15.  Print.

"Be Content, Lost Queens." Patterson Literary Review Issue 32 (Winter 2003): 231-232.  


Short stories

"On the Terrace of La Samaritaine and Elsewhere," by Cyrille Fleischman, co-translated with Lynn Palermo.  Lowestoft Chronicles: forthcoming.  Web.   

Publications/Book Reviews and Essays

Book Review of Pieces for Small Orchestra by Norman Lock.  Green Mountains Review.  Vol. 24 No. 2 (Winter 2011): 259-262.

"Compostmodernism."  North American Review.  Issue 294 No. 6 (Nov-Dec 2009): 48.   

Media Appearances

Reviews of Unfinished Stories of Girls

Donnelly, Will.  Green Mountains Review, Vol. XXVII, No. 2.  September, 2014.  Print.

Shaffer, Caryn.  San Francisco Book Review.  July 16, 2014.  Web.

Allen, Jill.  Foreword Reviews.  May 27, 2014.  Web.

"Unfinished Stories of Girls."  Kirkus Reviews.  April 8, 2014.  Print/Web.  


"Homegrown: An interview with Catherine Zobal Dent."  Braddock Avenue Books.  June 3, 2015.  Web.

"Oyster Shells, Broken Bones, and Snow-Houses: A Conversation with Catherine Zobal Dent."  Hayden's Ferry Review Blog.  May 9, 2014.  Web.

"Proud and Professional SU Women."  Interview with Larell Scardelli.  A Page of Her Own, Susquehanna Women's Center Newsletter.  Vol 5 Issue 1 (February 2013): 3-4.

"Ask the Author: Catherine Zobal Dent."  PANK.  June 2010.  Web.  


Smith, Mackenzie.  "How Do You Sell That Book After You Have Written It?"  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  March 3, 2014.  Web.

"Assistant Professor to Read from Short Story Collection."  Daily Item.  March 10, 2014.

"Local Author to Give Reading at DC Bookstore."  Star Democrat.  February 10, 2014.  Print.

"More Parents Share Their Workload When Mom's Learn to Let Go."  USA Today, News article.  May 4, 2009.

"USA Today's Jayson, Relationship Expert Allen, And A Couple On Skype Discuss Couples Sharing Child Rearing."  The Today Show, NBC.  May 5, 2009.   

Work in Progress

Dina, a novel.

Falling: A Book of the Appalachian Trail, Polyester, and the American Dream, creative nonfiction. 

Translation of Destiny's Repairman, short story collection by Cyrille Fleischman, in collaboration with Dr. Lynn Palermo.   

Editorial and Professional/Pedagogical Work

Executive Director and Founder, FUSE National Board of Faculty Directors.  2011-present.

Associate Editor: Fiction and Poetry, MLS.  2011-present.

Judge, Flash Fiction Contest.  Hayden's Ferry ReviewSpring and Summer, 2014.

Chair, NEMLA Creative Writing Committee, 2011-2013.

External Reviewer, Proteus: A Journal of Ideas.  Shippensburg University.  2013-2014.

Reader, NeMLA Book Award.  Fall, 2012.       


Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA (2009-Present)

Courses Taught

ENGL 100: Writing & Thinking

ENGL 200: Literature and Culture

ENGL 205: Living Writers

ENGL 265: Forms of Writing: Short Story

WRIT 250: Introduction to Fiction

WRIT 270: Small Press Editing and Publishing

WRIT 350: Intermediate Fiction: Short Story

WRIT 450: Advanced Fiction

WRIT 590: Independent Study

My book Unfinished Stories for Girls, published by Fomite Press in 2014, features sixteen stories accompanied by the artwork of my SU colleague Ann Piper.  Kirkus Reviews wrote that the book is: "Keenly observed and lyrical, an evocative collection with emotional heft."

I started publishing stories in graduate school with the Paterson Literary Review, Louisville Review, and Crab Orchard Review, winning the Charles Johnson Student Fiction Award in 2006.  Since then, I've been publishing fiction in the Harvard Review, North American Review, PANK, Drunken Boat, and elsewhere.

I've co-written a chapter on how to write short fiction that appears in Creative Writing Guidebook, edited by Graeme Harper.

My newest passion is translation from French to English: I'm in love with the work of a writer named Cyrille Fleischman.  My colleague Lynn Palermo and I have completed his book of short stories called Destiny's Repairman, and we have started on a second book, Rendezvous at the Saint Paul Metro.  My newest short stories echo Fleischman's longing and humorous perspective.  Other writing projects include a novel titled Dina, and a nonfiction book about the Appalachian Trail.

Courses taught:

  • ENGL-265 Forms of Writing: Novel
  • ENGL-540 Internship
  • OFFP-FRNC French Language & Culture
  • OFFR-FRNC French Language & Culture
  • OFFS-FRNC French Language & Culture
  • WRIT-251 Introduction to Fiction
  • WRIT-351 Intermediate Short Story
  • WRIT-451 Advanced Short Story
  • WRIT-500 Independent Study
  • WRIT-520 Practicum
  • WRIT-540 Internship