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
Location: Sennett 241

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
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!

Gerard P. NeCastro

Professor of English & Humanities


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.A., University of California-Riverside
B.A., Mercyhurst College

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-1293
Location: Sennett 239

Areas of Expertise

Medieval and Renaissance literature and drama, Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, Humanities, Editing, Art History, Creative Writing (Formal Poetry and Fiction), and Composition.

Gerard (“Coach”) NeCastro has B.A. degrees is both English and Business from Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA. After working for seven years in finance, accounting, and retail management, he attended The University of California at Riverside, where he earned his M.A. in English. He continued his studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he specialized in English Literature before 1500 and completed his dissertation The Theatre of Pain and Laughter about violence, healing, and humor in late Middle English drama, and taught in the legendary Integrated Liberal Studies program there. After two years as Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Maine (Orono), he has spent the past twenty years at UMM.

At UMM he regularly teaches course on the Humanities, Chaucer, Shakespeare, British Literature, World Literature, Art History, Latin, Creative Writing, and Public Speaking. He has also served for many years as the advisor to The Binnacle, UMM’s literary journal, and the Dead Poets Society. He has also served as the Chair of the Arts & Letters Division, Coordinator of IT, President of the Faculty, Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees, and UMM’s Webmaster. For the past ten years, he has been the senior editor of The UMM Press’ Library of Early Maine Literature.

He has translated and edited the works of Geoffrey Chaucer and published The Essential Chaucer Reader, Dream Visions and Minor Works, Troilus and Criseyde, and the Canterbury Tales (forthcoming). He has also published The Essential Humanities Reader, and has co-edited Mankind, the funniest play of the Middle Ages.

He is the founder and long-time secretary of Medica: The Society for the Study of Healing in the Middle Ages, an international interdisciplinary society of scholars of early medicine and related fields. He has also been the editor of the Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society Newsletter for ten years or more. He has long written and published short works of fiction and poetry, been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and completed two yet unpublished novels, Columbine AS3 and The In-Law.

Off campus, he has long served on the Machias School Committee and the Porter Memorial Library Board. When he finds spare time, he can be found with his family, in the garden, on the treadmill, or in front of a Boston Celtic game.

Bernie Vinzani

Professor of Art and Book Arts


Director of Art Galleries
B.S., M.F.A., Indiana State University

Contact Information

Phone: 255-1279
Location: Dorward 1

Areas of Expertise

Bernie Vinzani was born in Gary, Indiana. After completing his undergraduate and MFA graduate degree in Fine Arts, he was hired by Vincennes University as Assistant Professor of Art and was responsible for setting up a professional printmaking studio at the school. During this time he began making paper as an adjunct craft to teach his print students about the qualities of fine paper. In 1979, he joined Twinrocker Paper Inc. as a papermaker where he collaborated making editions of work for such artists as Robert Natkin, Claire Van Vliet, William Wegman, and Ansel Adams.

His own visual work was shown in such venues as the VI International Print Biennial, Cracow Poland, Twinrocker Papermakers, ARC Gallery, Chicago, Das Papier, Duren, Germany, and Paperworks, Caracas, Venezuela. In 1982 he moved to Downeast Maine where he established a small paper studio where he made specialty papers for art and book conservation. Institutional clients include: The Library of Congress, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harvard University Libraries, and Northeast Document Conservation Center.

In 1987 he began teaching at the University of Maine at Machias where he became a part time regular faculty member and Art Gallery Director. In July 2010 he hosted the Paper and Book Intensive on the UMM campus. He is now Professor of Art and Book Arts and directs the Book Arts Workshop.

Vinzani’s work and has been featured in such publications as Hand Papermaking, The Book of Fine Paper, American Craft Magazine, Art New England and The Boston Globe. He has taught workshops at the Penland School of Crafts, North Carolina, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Maine, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Colorado, The Southwest Craft Center, Texas, the International Paper Conference, Boston, and the Paper and Book Intensive, Michigan.

His work can be found in numerous public and private collections.

He currently teaches Art Foundation courses, Drawing, Book Arts, Papermaking, Printmaking and supervises UMM Senior IFA major projects.

Part-Time Instructors

Arthur Hill

Associate Professor of English

Lynne Hepler

Assistant Professor of English

Richard Lamasney

Assistant Professor of English

Penny Guisinger

Instructor of English

Barbara Koch

Instructor of Sign Language

Alan Kryszak

Instructor of Video Production