Bernie Vinzani

Professor of Art and Book Arts
Director of Art Galleries


B.S., M.F.A., Indiana State University

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-1279
Email: bvinzani@maine.edu
Location: Dorward B1

Areas of Expertise

Bernie Vinzani has a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from Indiana State University. He was a papermaker at Twinrocker Paper, and since the early 1980’s he has made paper and book editions in his shop in Whiting, Maine.  He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally in such venues as The VI International Print Biennial, Cracow Poland; Das Papier, Duren, Germany; Sala Mendoza, Caracas, Venezuela; ARC Gallery, Chicago; the Maine Center for Contemporary Art.

His work has been featured in such publications as Hand Papermaking, The Book of Fine Paper, American Craft Magazine, The Boston Globe, and Art New England. He has taught papermaking at Penland School of Crafts, North Carolina; Haystack School, Maine; Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Colorado; The Southwest Craft Center, Texas; the University of Alabama MFA program in book arts; and the Paper and Book Intensive. His work is in numerous corporate and private collections.

He teaches foundation courses in the arts, the book arts, and paper making at the University of Maine at Machias where he directs the Art Galleries, the book arts studio, and the gallery for the book.

Students in his courses learn many aspects of the art of the book through traditional as well as experimental media exploration using print, paper, and electronic technologies.

Professor Vinzani’s Personal Website

Click Here to View Professor Vinzani’s Spring 2019 Schedule (pdf)


Tessa Mellas

Assistant Professor of English


BA, St. Lawrence University, English (focus in Creative Writing), and Music
MFA, Bowling Green State University, Creative Writing (focus in Fiction)
PhD, University of Cincinnati, English and Comparative Literature, Creative Dissertation

Contact Information

Phone: 255-1338
Email: tessa.mellas@maine.edu
Location: Sennett 237

Areas of Expertise

Magical Realism, the Fantastic, the Female Grotesque, Eco-Fabulism, Eco-Criticism, the Lyric Essay, Feminism, African American Literature, LGBT Literature, Creative Writing Pedagogy, Rhetoric and Composition, Literacy.

Tessa teaches composition, literature, and creative writing at UMM. She has recently taught literature courses on Feminist Fabulists, African American Authors, and Neil Gaiman. Her debut story collection Lungs Full of Noise won the 2013 Iowa Short Fiction Award and was published by the University of Iowa Press. Her fiction has appeared in journals such as StoryQuarterly, Gulf Coast, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Crazyhorse, and The Pinch, and in various anthologies.

She has presented at the Associated Writers and Writers Programs (AWP) Conference the last three years on eco-fabulism, publishing and promoting story collections, flash fiction, and multi-modality in the creative writing classroom.

Tessa is working on an apocalyptic novella-in-flash about beasts in Canada who are hunted down to solve food scarcity problems. These lyrical and fantastical flash pieces blend fiction and poetry. She is co-editing an anthology on eco-fabulism with fiction writer Alexander Lumans.

She curates the Maine Writers Series and serves on the Academic Affairs Committee. She enjoys figure skating, gardening, hiking, swimming, and vegan cooking. She has composting worms in her office. Bring your banana peels to class for the worms!


Marcus LiBrizzi

Professor of English


B.A., Bard College at Simon’s Rock
M.A., University of Maine
Ph.D., McGill University

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-1230
Email: mlibrizz@maine.edu
Location: Sennett 241

Areas of Expertise

Creative writing: literary horror, dark fantasy, historical fiction. Folklore and popular culture. Scholarly editing. Composition. Critical theory.

Some Recent Books:

  • Haunted Islands in the Gulf of Maine.  Down East Books, 2017.
  • Ghosts of Acadia: True Encounters of Supernatural Terror.  Down East Books, 2011.
  • The Nelly Butler Hauntings: A Documentary History.  Library of Early Maine Literature, 2010.
  • Lost Atusville, a Black Settlement from the American Revolution.  Northeast Folklore, 2009.
  • Dark Woods and Chill Waters: Ghost Tales from Down East Maine.  Down East Books, 2007.

Marcus LiBrizzi is the author of five books, including Lost Atusville: a Black Settlement from the American Revolution, which ranked among the top three books on race by The New Republic and was mentioned in the online editorial page of The New York Times.  His book Dark Woods, Chill Waters inspired an ABC TV Extreme Make-Over—Home Edition episode in Millbridge, Maine, as well as a Weather Channel American Supernatural episode on Black’s Woods in Franklin, Maine. Additional publications include short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. He teaches literature, creative writing, professional editing, and critical theory. As Managing Editor of the Library of Early Maine Literature, an imprint of the University of Maine at Machias Press, he collaborates to produce critical editions of rare and important books about Maine.  Environment has always been an inspiration, and for him Downeast Maine stands out as a culturally rich setting, a “Transylvania by the sea.”


Richard A. Lamasney

Adjunct Professor of English


B.A., Salem State University
M.A., Northeastern University
Ph.D., The Union Institute and University

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-5854 (home)
Email: richard.lamasney@maine.edu

Areas of Expertise

American Literature:  Irish-American Literature, Ethnic Literatures.  Creative Writing:  Poetry, Short Story, and Memoir.  Story-Telling and Comic Narrative.  Composition.

Some Recent Books:

  • A Fool for the Classroom: Adventures of a Latter-Day Hedgemaster. Amazon, 2014
  • “Just Before He Became Totally Cool,” Down East Books, 2011.
  • For Green in Praise and Mourning. Library of Early Maine Literature, 2010

Rich Lamasney has taught college classes in Maine, Iowa, North Carolina, Texas, and upstate New York, where he was a tenured Professor of English in the SUNY system.  Since 2007, he has adjunct taught classes at UMM and UMA-Ellsworth in Composition and Introduction to the Humanities.  He has written a comic memoir about his education and experiences as a teacher, A Fool for the Classroom.  In his spare time, he is interested in reading and writing comic narrative, organic gardening, orchardry, and blueberry production, as well as Model A Fords, blues harmonica, and Irish music.


Heather Lynne Hepler

Associate Professor of English


BA University of Nevada at Reno Focus in Studio Art and Psychology
MLS University of North Texas Focus in Children’s and Young Adult Materials and Services
MFA University of Southern Maine Focus in Creative Writing

Contact Information

Email: lhepler@maine.edu

Areas of Expertise

Creative writing, young adult and children’s literature, and composition.

Heather Lynne Hepler has a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing. She has published six novels, including Frosted Kisses, Love? Maybe., The Cupcake Queen, Jars of Glass, Dream Factory, and Scrambled Eggs at Midnight. Her forthcoming novel, We Were Beautiful, is scheduled for a Spring 2019 release. Her work has also been featured in Southwest Review and Cincinnati Review.

She teaches foundation courses in composition and literature as well as more specialized classes in young adult literature and writing for children and young adults.

Currently she is working on a cyberpunk story about a girl named after a popular spice and a co-authored work that has her delving into her time (mis)spent in Southern California. Vegan muffins, night surfing, and Waffle house are currently on her mind.