Michael Alexander Turner

M. Alexander Turner (Alex)


University of Washington, Seattle (2018 – 2020)

·         Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Poetry)

Brigham Young University (2012 – 2013, 2015 – 2018)

·         Bachelor of Arts in Linguistic with a Mandarin Chinese emphasis

·         Additional studies (academic minors) in Editing and Chinese


Linguistic Association of the Southwest Conference (LASSO), University of Texas at Austin, “In Search of the Cowboy B: Bilabial Implosives in American English”, September 2016.

BYU Religious Education Student Symposium, Brigham Young University, Utah, “Story and Persuasion: Mormon’s Narrative Style”, February 2017.

Poetry Publication

Poetry, “Dictionar (W)”, forthcoming, (Poetry Foundation).

New England Review, “The Night Song of an Odd Day”, translated from Shang Qin’s poem “逢單日的夜歌”, forthcoming, (Middlebury College), Volume 40, No. 4, December 2019.

Inscape Journal, “Untitled [‘And I came over with a dozen blue eggs’]”, Fall 2016, and “The Garnished Zither” by Li Shangyin (c. 813-858), translated from Medieval Chinese, Fall 2017.

Popular Roman Cursive, an independently published chapbook of poetry and typographic art, December 2016.


In Search of Cowboy B: Bilabial Implosives in American English, co-authored with David Eddington. Published in American Speech, Volume 92, Issue 1, pg. 41-51, February 2017.

Dirt and Destiny: The Estate of Man in the Shijing’s ‘Sheng Min’ and Edwin Markham’s
‘The Man with the Hoe’
, midterm paper for Chinese Poetry in Translation. Fall 2017.

Accord and Ambiguity: Displacement, Androgyny, and Mutual Obedience in The Tempest, final paper for Advanced Undergraduate Writing. Submitted to Criterion: A Journal of Literary Criticism. Summer 2016.

Grammatical Analysis of Joseph Conrad: The Semicolon, final paper for Grammar of English. Winter 2015.

Story and Persuasion: Mormon’s Narrative Style in 3 Nephi Chapter 3, final paper for a course in Religious Studies, focusing on the narrative, history, and doctrine of the Book of Mormon. Submitted to BYU Religious Education Student Symposium. Winter 2015.

Eponymous Adjectives Derived from the Names of Literary Authors in Modern English, final paper for Introduction to Modern Linguistics. Winter 2012.

Research Experience

Brigham Young University, College of Humanities, Department of Linguistics and English Language

Research Assistant for Don Chapman (2016–2017)

·         Documented and tabulated conservative English usage rules

·         Collaborated in a small research team

·         Produced topics for scholarly papers and articles

Research Assistant for Cynthia Hallen (2013, 2016)

·         Transcribed over 300 newspaper articles from 1840s New England (2016)

o   Close attention to detail to replicate original text of articles

·         Edited the notes on Othello by the Dr. Arthur Henry King (1910–2000), a prominent Shakespeare scholar (2013)

o   Close attention to detail to conform to the project style guide

o   Source checking several hundred entries

o   Volunteer position

Teaching and Work Experience

Instructor of Expository Writing, (100-level general writing course), University of Washington. Autumn 2018 to Spring 2020.

·         Designed the full curriculum, including syllabus, in-class activities, reading selection, assignments and projects

·         Taught basic skills in writing, argument, and academic research

·         Constructed the course focusing around departmental course-outcomes

Instructor of Beginning Verse Writing, (200-level, introductory poetry course), University of Washington. Planned for Winter 2020.

·         Will design full curriculum, including course reader, syllabus, discussion topics, assignments, and workshop procedures.

·         Will work with the class in developing a vocabulary for talking about poetry, both in criticism and in appreciation.

Chinese Interpreter and Guide, Horizon Travel Group (2018)

·         Gave driving tours of scenic areas to From Salt Lake City to Yellowstone National Park

·         Acted as interpreter for Chinese-speaking tourists

Network Failure Technician (2018), GroupLink Corporation (2018)

Manuscript Processor, L. Tom Perry Special Collections of the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University (2017–2018)

·         Titled and physically organized archival files and items

o   Followed strict title-generation procedures using Describing
Archives: A Content Standard

·         Wrote biographies on the creators and subjects of archival items

o   Utilized genealogical and census records

·         Worked on an extensive photograph collection of Yellowstone

o   Developed a deep understanding of the history of Yellowstone

o   Dated and placed the location of images within Yellowstone

o   Processed several hundred photographs (mostly taken from 1870s to 1920s)

Product Management Associate, SkyCentral Corporation (2015)

·         Researched, wrote specifications, and refined features for software product development

Student Educator, Brigham Young University Museum of Art (2012–2013)

·         Helping museum patrons (students, faculty, and community members) at the front-desk

·         Editing of PowerPoint trainings for museum docents and staff

·         Museum survey collection and analysis

·         Educational research for exhibition plaques

Research Interests


·         Medieval Chinese ethnonyms

·         Frontier and border linguistics

·         Stress and meter

·         Textual scholarship: typography, paleography, and bibliography

·         Lexicography and the history of American English dictionaries

·         Lexical variation

·         English etymology and philology

·         Chinese poetry, both medieval and contemporary: Li Shangyin (李商隱), Li Xianyong (李咸用), Shang Qin (商禽), Xi Murong (席慕容), Xu Shuifu (許水富)

Awards, Scholarships, and Accolades

American Academy of Poets 2020 winner

Nelson Bentley Fellowship (MFA Award in Creative Writing)

Paxman Student Reading

·         Selected from undergraduate and graduate students

·         Read five of my own poems and my translation of a poem by Li Shangyin

Herman W.F. Kagel, Carroll F Blessing and Helene K. Blessing Award (at Brigham Young University)

Nancy M. Sumsion Scholarship (at Brigham Young University)

New Century Scholarship (Utah State scholarship)

·         for completion of an Associate’s degree before high school graduation


Proselyting Missionary, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
(Taiwan, 2013–2015)

·         Proselyted primarily in Mandarin Chinese

·         Taught in a free, weekly community English class for twenty-two months

·         Participated in community service activities, such as grave-sweeping during the Qingming festival