Macricostas School of Arts & Sciences

Writing Department


Full-Time Faculty

Patrick Ryan, PhD
Patrick Ryan, PhD is current Chair of the Writing Department. He joined the Department in Fall 2007. Before that, he taught college writing in Minnesota and Malaysia, Vermont and Texas, where he directed the East Texas Writing Project for four years. He writes about Elizabethan drama and rhetoric. He and his wife enjoy watching plays, attending concerts, and walking the family dogs.

Oscar De Los Santos, PhD
Oscar De Los Santos, PhD is former Chair of the Writing Department. He is the author of Hardboiled Egg (short stories) and Spirits of Texas and New England (folklore stories), and the editor of Madame Luna and other Moon stories.  Oscar’s other books include Infinite Wonderlands (short stories, with David G. Mead) and When Genres Collide (essays, with Thomas J. Morrissey).  His essays and stories have appeared in New York Review of Science Fiction, ExtrapolationConnecticut Review, and Saranac Review.  His novel, Before Celia, is forthcoming.

Brian Clements, PhD

Brian Clements, PhD coordinates the MFA in Creative and Professional Writing. He is the author of several books of poetry, including And How to End It and its sequel, Jargon (both from Quale Press), Disappointed Psalms (Meritage Press), and A Book of Common Rituals (Quale). He is editor with Jamie Dunham of the anthology An Introduction to the Prose Poem (Firewheel Editions) and was the founder and editor of Sentence: a Journal of Prose Poetics. He advises the staff of the MFA literary journal, Poor Yorick: a Journal of Rediscovered Objects, and at the undergraduate level he teaches poetry workshops and a workshop in hybrid genres.


Edward A. Hagan, PhD
Edward A. Hagan, PhD has focused his recent scholarship on contemporary Irish and American fiction and essay writing. He is particularly interested in what literary trends tell us about contemporary consciousness. He has just completed a book on contemporary Irish and Irish-American fiction and memoir; it argues that farce is the contemporary writer’s tool for puncturing the balloon of triviality of contemporary culture. Hagan authored a Fall 2007 article that argues sports metaphors have become so pervasive in contemporary society that they restrict our abilities to think outside the box of winning and losing. His memoir, To Vietnam in Vain: Memoir of an Irish-American Intelligence Advisor, 1969-1970, was published in 2015.

Kelli Custer, PhD, is the Coordinator of the Writing Center. Dr. Custer works with faculty and students to incorporate writing instruction into classrooms across disciplines. As the Coordinator of First Year Experience, she is developing programs to guide and support students in their first year at WCSU. Dr. Custer is a passionate teacher and supporter of writing education. In addition to assisting with assessment needs in the department and the university, she also works with the schools of Danbury and Bethel through WCSU’s “Building a Bridge to Student Success” program. She is a frequent presenter at regional and national conferences on composition, writing program administration, and writing centers.

Hunter Liguore, MFA, is a long-time naturalist and activist, she has written on a variety of topics that promote compassionate awareness towards the environment, indigenous rights, and endangered species. A three-time Pushcart-Prize nominee (including 2017), her work has appeared in over a hundred publications worldwide, including: Orion Magazine, Anthropology and Humanism, Bellevue Literary Review, Irish Times, The Mindfulness Bell, Writer’s Chronicle, The Writer Magazine, Great Plains Quarterly, Writer’s Digest Poetry Market, and many more. She was the first place recipient of the 2015 Ethnographic Fiction competition sponsored by the American Anthropological Association. She is also the editor-in-chief of the literary journal American Athenaeum. Her eco-fiction novel, Silent Winter, is forthcoming from Harvard Square Editions. Her work is represented by Regal Hoffman & Associates. Professor Liguore teaches several courses, including a course on the writing life of J.R.R. Tolkien, and has designed and launched “The Writing Garden,” which features some of the work of Western’s students.

John Roche, MFA, spent more than two decades as an award-winning journalist, mostly covering the Bronx, where he was born and raised. His debut novel, Bronx Bound, was released last year. A graduate of Western’s MFA in Creative & Professional Writing, he has taught Journalism in the Program for a number of years, and has now joined the Writing Department as our own Professor of Journalism. Since joining our faculty, Professor Roche has immersed himself in the culture of the University, collaborating with other departments on various projects, most recently, serving as Co-Moderator on the “Media, Politics, and the Constitution” panel on Constitution Day, September 13th. He teaches a full array of Journalism courses, and serves as academic advisor to all of our Writing Majors specializing in Journalism.

Distinguished Adjunct Faculty

Lionel Bascom began his writing career in Tokyo as a news editor for Armed Forces Radio and Television Network. He did reporting and editing stints at the Free Press in Detroit, various bureaus for United Press International and was a writer at Money Magazine and a reporter at Fortune. For many years, he wrote a wide variety of stories for The New York Times and the New York Times Syndicate. He has published numerous books. The most recent titles include: The Last Leaf of Harlem, The Uncollected Stories of Dorothy West published in the Fall of 2007 by St. Martin’s Press and The African-American Experience, Greenwood Press, Fall 2008.

Bill Bozzone

Bill Bozzone is the author of over twenty plays that have been produced throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. His plays include: Rose Cottages; House Arrest; Korea; Buck Fever (all published by Samuel French;) War (Faber and Faber;) Sonny DeRee’s Life Flashes Before His Eyes; Breast Men (both published by Smith & Kraus;) and Saxophone Music (Broadway Play Publishing.) They have been produced in New York at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Bank Street Theatre, Working Theatre, and Long Island’s Bay Street Theatre, and in L.A. at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, and Showtime’s Act One, among others.

Films include Full Moon in Blue Water, which starred Gene Hackman and Teri Garr, and The Last Elephant, which featured John Lithgow and James Earl Jones, and was nominated for an ACE Cable Award as Best Film, 1990. A short film based on his play, Buck Fever, was shot in 2006 starring John Heard.

Bozzone’s fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times. Stories (under the name Z.Z. Boone) have been published in magazines and journals including The New Ohio Review, The Tulane Review, and Weave, and his work is included in the anthology, Chick For a Day, published by Simon & Schuster. His most recent collection, Off Somewhere, was published in 2015.

Awards include an NEA Fellowship; grants from both the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Connecticut Arts Council; fellowships at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts; and the Ensemble Studio Theatre Silver Medal for Theatrical Excellence.

Louisa Burns-Bisogno

Louisa Burns-Bisogno is an award-winning screenwriter, director, author, and international media consultant with over 100 on-screen credits. Her movies have been produced on cable TV and on all the major U.S. networks, as well as distributed internationally. Among these are: My Body, My Child with Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon; Bridge to Silence, with Marlee Matlin. ‘Bridge’ was honored by Women in Film and the Congressional Committee for the Arts at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Louisa has trained professional writers in dramatic series techniques in Moscow, Dublin and more recently in Rome. She has written story and scripts for popular American daytime series such as The Young and the Restless, One Life to Live and As the World Turns Louisa was a winner of the National Playwrights Conference at the O’Neill Theatre Center. She has had numerous plays produced including Angels and Infidels which she also directed. Seven of Louisa’s plays have been presented by the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for staged readings.

A former council-member of the Writers Guild of America East, Louisa is active on the WGAE Digital Caucus. She is a professor of playwriting, screenwriting and webisode development at Western Connecticut State University.

Louisa’s most recent work, the co-authored The Night John Lennon Died…So Did John Doe, was published in 2015.

Kelly L. Goodridge has taught writing for over a decade at WCSU. She has written for The Ridgefield Press and Lewisboro Ledger and was awarded the Arthur R. Riel, Jr. Freelance Journalism Award at Fairfield University. Kelly’s recent publications include essays in Reel Rebels, SFRA’s When Genres Collide and TV Rebels: People and Programs That Shaped the Medium, Volumes 1 and 2. Forthcoming publications include: “Madame Luna,” which will appear in a short story collection in 2011 and When the Ape-Hawk Strikes: Book One of A Modern Bestiary (a co-authored YA novel). She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University and an MA in English from WCSU. Contact:

Jeanne I. Lakatos, PhD has coined the semiotic theory of iconic realism. Her foundational book, The Theory of Iconic Realism: Understanding the Arts through Cultural Context, is housed in libraries on five continents. Her doctoral research has focused on this theory, as well as semiotics and sociolinguistics associated with Anglo-Irish, French and American texts. Dr. Lakatos has also published the book, Innovations in Rhetoric in the Writing of Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan, 1781-1859). Her forthcoming book will concentrate on her semiotic theory of iconic realism and media of the twentieth century. Her research has been published by Edwin Mellen Press and Peter Lang Publisher. Also, she has written for the National Science Teachers Association Journal and the Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature. She has written the operetta, Luminescence. She serves on the administration and English teaching teams for the summer International Studies Program at WCSU. Her family name, Lakatos, means “locksmith” in Hungarian, and she hopes that through her life’s work, she has helped to unlock a few minds.

Dr. Lakatos manages two blogs:

James J. Lomuscio
James J. Lomuscio has been a journalist for 30 years, writing for Gannett, The New York Times, Connecticut Post, Stamford Advocateand has served as the editor of Westport News, Westport Magazine and He is the winner of four first place writing wards, three from the New England Press Association and one from the Society of Professional Journalists. His book, Village of the Dammed: The Fight for Open Space and the Flooding of a Connecticut Town,was a finalist for the 2006 Connecticut Book Award in Nonfiction, and he is the author of the McGraw Hill textbook, Writing with Your Head and Your Heart: Balancing Logic and Emotion to Create Powerful Nonfiction.

Ann Witkavitch
Ann Witkavitch, a communications expert and professional writer, is president of C-Suite Communications and founder of Press Pause Now. She is also managing editor of the Thin Threads book series published by Kiwi Publishing and a contributing editor and blogger at Anne is a former communications executive at GE and The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and has experience in manufacturing, financial services, insurance, technology, and consumer package goods. Her first anthology, a collection of works by women writers, was published in Spring 2010. Anne holds an M.F.A. in Professional Writing from WCSU and a B.A. in English from SCSU.