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Academia and education
Callanan is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where he serves as the Chair of the English Department, teaches creative writing and coordinates the Ph.D. in Creative Writing program there. He also conducts workshops in creative writing for graduate students at other universities.
He describes his "teaching and research interests" as fiction writing, creative nonfiction, 20th century American literature, magic in literature, the American West, and community-based literature programs. Callanan is the creator and co-executive producer of the Poetry Everywhere animated film series, which is an offshoot of an effort to spread poetry by means of video displays on Milwaukee County Transit System buses.
His fiction includes The Cloud Atlas (Delacorte, 2004), All Saints (Delacorte, 2007), and the short story collection Listen (Four Way Books, 2015), as well as short stories in a number of little magazines and literary journals (print and online) including The Awl, Blackbird, Caketrain, Crab Orchard Review, failbetter, Phoebe, Southern Indiana Review, and The Writer's Chronicle.
He has contributed to local public radio stations (WUWM's Lake Effect) and to NPR (both as a writer and as a reader), and has written non-fiction for The Awl, Commonweal, Esquire.com, Forbes, Good Housekeeping, the New York Times Book Review, Parents, Slate, the Washington Post Magazine, and a number of other publications. He contributed a chapter to the recent compilation My Bookstore:Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read and Shop, praising Milwaukee's Boswell Bookshop.
Callanan is the creator and co-executive producer of the Poetry Everywhere animated film series.
The Cloud Atlas and Cloud Atlas
With the worldwide success of the book and the film Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, some confusion has arisen between that work of science fiction and Callanan's unrelated 2004 novel, The Cloud Atlas (set in Alaska during World War Two and the 21st century). He has written on the topic in an essay titled "Ways In Which The Movie Cloud Atlas Has Changed My Life"
- UWM webpage
- Rich, Colleen Kearney. "An Interview with Author Liam Callanan" The Mason Gazette March 13, 2008
- Indie Bookstores, Saving the World" Lake Effect, WUWM
- "Liam Callanan 'My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop'" Milwaukee OnTap
- Callanan, Liam. "Ways In Which The Movie 'Cloud Atlas' Has Changed My Life" The Awl November 2nd, 2012