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English Faculty

  • stanley e. banks

    Stanley E. Banks

    Artist in Residence
    Assistant Professor of English
    Office: BOR 414
    Phone: (816) 501-3679

    B.A., M.A., University of Missouri-Kansas City 


    Personal Statement
    As Avila’s Artist-in-Residence, my main objective is to bring visibility to the university’s Creative Writing emphasis in the English major. The writing of poetry, short stories, and plays is an extremely popular pursuit by more and more professionals, students, and the general public in the contemporary world. Even before coming to Avila, I took on the cause of broadening the audience for writers in all genres. 

    Further, as Artist-in-Residence, I am joining a great tradition of artists who believe strongly that the world needs and must know about the importance of the imagination as it relates to Creative Writing. As a result, I see myself as an ambassador for Avila to the community, state, and nation. I know Avila’s Creative Writing students will go on to be serious professional writers. Finally, it is my intention to create a reputation for Avila as a place that allows one’s creative muse to flourish.

    Awards & Recognition

    2002: Kansas City, Missouri Mayor’s Recognition Proclamation Award; The United Minority Media Association's Leadership Award from the Midwest-
    Southeast Regional Conference; The Special Exhibit of Stanley E. Banks’ Life and Literature at the Black Archives of Mid-America, Inc.  2000: Writers Place Award in Kansas City, Missouri  1989: The National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship/Grant for Creative Writing 1987: Future Playwrights of America Institute Playwriting Award from the University of Missouri-Kansas City 1981: The Langston Hughes Prize For Poetry from BookMark Press, University of Missouri-Kansas City  1979: The English Department Award at University of Missouri-Kansas City             

    Books / Publications

    • On 10th Alley Way. Kansas City: BookMark Press, 1980. 
    • Coming From a Funky Time and Place. Kansas City: The Georgia A.B. Press, 1988.
    • Rhythm and Guts. Kansas City: The Georgia A.B. Press, 1992.
    • Blue Beat Syncopation . Kansas City: BookMark Press, 2003. 


    • “Uncle Orie.” The English Journal. Ed. Stephen N. Judy. East Lansing, Michigan: National Council of Teachers of English, 1979: 29. 
    • “Dee.” Shooting Star Review. Eds. E. Ethelbert Miller et al. Pittsburgh, PA: Shooting Star Productions, Inc., 1990: 14. 
    • “Huey Newton Sang His Song.” The Berkeley Poetry Review. Eds. Natalia Apostolos and Jonathan Bradford Brennan. Berkeley, CA: The Berkeley Poetry Review, 1991: 49. 
    • “Ghosts After 27 Years.” I. Ed. Stephen Caldwell Wright et al. Sanford, Florida: The Seminole Press, 1998: 46. 
    • “Annihilation No. 7-11.” Memories & Memoirs. Ed. Sharon Kinney Hanson. Warrensburg, MO: The Mid-America Press, Inc., 2000: 8. 
    • “Dysfunctioning.” Emerson of Harvard: A Celebrative Bicentennial Anthology to Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882). Ed. John H. Morgan. Bristol, IN: Quill Books, 2003: 4. 
    • “On Composing the Personal Poem.” Veterans’ Voices. Ed. Margaret Clark. Mission, Kansas: Hospitalized Veterans Writing Project, Inc., Spring 2002: 2. 


    A Black And Blue Woman
    She hates being the head 
         of the house, 
         would rather blast the radio loud, 
         let B.B. King pick her troubles away. 
    When two policemen woke her 
    in the middle of the night 
         with news that her youngest son 
         had been murdered, 
         she got mad with B.B. King 
         for twenty-four hours straight. 
    Three months later her husband 
         of twenty-five years 
         was found bled to death 
         with two bullet wounds 
         in his throat and neck 
         made by a Saturday Night Special. 
    When a doctor called 
    to tell her what had happened, 
         she cursed him and the males 
         in her family, 
         slammed down the telephone receiver, 
         ripped open a can of beer, 
         fussed with God, 
         pleaded for B.B. King 
    to wail away her deep, dark blues.

    Blown into two pieces 
    by a blast from a sawed-off shotgun; 
         that’s all his family 
         can remember sometimes. 
    Newspaper articles were written 
    as though he were born 
    a vicious street punk. 
    But, this fragile gangster 
         with a chipped front tooth 
         and ears that seemed 
         bigger than his head 
         never got the chance 
         to mature into 
         a good citizen. 
    In a photograph of 
    him at age four, 
    that his mother sleeps with 
    under her pillow, 
    he has vanilla ice cream and snot 
    smeared from chin to forehead 
         while walking gently 
         with a load 
         in the seat 
         of his pants.  

    America Are We Safe, Were We Ever
    Will we ever let America 
         Be true to her huddled masses? 
    Why do we glorify myths, 
         stereotype the least amongst us, 
    get outraged only by 
         some atrocities? 
    America, is a little starving, 
         some homelessness, 
         factions of racism tolerable? 
    Are we safe among ourselves? 
         Will a jail on every corner 
         be enough? 
    Can our pop musicians play 
         our troubles into oblivion? 
    Can we be truly free 
         if a few do away with liberties 
         they think unnecessary? 
    Will it matter in the 
    21 st Century if the 
         O’s in the ozone are massive, 
    if the planet is a 
         totally polluted place, 
    if hazardous waste makes all of us 
         other kinds of human beings? 
    Should we count on scientists 
         producing enough genetically 
         perfect human beings? 
    Maybe one day our lives 
         will be fairy tales— 
    the Brothers Grimm our gods, 
         and even then can any 
         of us guarantee that
         the bogeyman won’t visit.

  • abigail lambke

    Abigail Lambke

    Associate Professor of English
    Writing Center Director
    Office: BOR 415
    Phone: (816) 501-3633

    B.A., Rockhurst University; M.A. & Ph.D Saint Louis University


    Dr. Lambke received her Ph.D. in English from Saint Louis University. She specializes in rhetoric and composition with particular interest in the intersections of technology and rhetoric. While she researches and composes in various modes, including multimodal and textual composition, much of her scholarship is designed to be heard. Such sonic compositions are an intricate mix of speaking and writing afforded by 20th and 21st century technological innovation. Her publications can be listened to in the online journals Present Tense, Harlot, and Kairos.

  • amy milakovic

    Amy Milakovic

    Chair of the School of Humanities
    Associate Professor of English
    Office: BOR 412
    Phone: (816) 501-3652

    B.B.A, Texas Wesleyan University

    M.H., University of Dallas

    Ph.D., Texas Christian University


    Dr. Milakovic received her Ph.D. in English from Texas Christian University and joined the Avila faculty in 2009. She specializes in rhetoric and composition, with research interests that include the rhetoric of war, visual rhetoric, and modern rhetorical theory. Dr. Milakovic has served as Managing Editor of Composition Studies and published a book review on composition pedagogy in Rhetoric Society Quarterly. In addition to teaching writing, she also teaches courses which examine the intersection of war and the arts, particularly as their interplay both shapes, and is informed by, public discourse. 

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Sound and Fury

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Avila's literary magazine, the Sound and Fury is accepting submissions until Feb. 24, 2020! We accept poems, stories, essays, and short plays. Cash prizes awarded for the best in each areas. Email for more information!

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