Skip Top Navigation
Jennifer McCauley

Jennifer Maritza McCauley, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Literature and Creative Writing,
College of Human Sciences and Humanities

Contact number: 281-283-3372
Office: B2617.7


Dr. Jennifer Maritza McCauley is the author of the poetry collection "Scar On/Scar Off," which received an Independent Publishers Book award. She also authored the short story collection "When Trying to Return Home." This piece was a New York Times Editors' Choice and called one of the Best Fiction Books of 2023 by Kirkus Review. It was also considered one of the best books of the month by Southern Review of Books and Ms. Magazine, and one of the best books to read in 2023 by TODAY. "When Trying to Return Home" was also longlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize.

Dr. McCauley has been granted fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Kimbilio and CantoMundo. She received her MFA in creative writing from Florida International University and her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in creative writing and literature. She is presently an assistant professor at the University of Houston-Clear Lake and fiction editor at the literary journal Pleiades.

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise

  • Creative writing
  • Poetry, fiction, non-fiction
  • Hybrid forms
  • African American literature
  • 20th and 21st century American literature
  • Afro-Latinx/Latin American literature
  • Latinx/Latin American literature


  • "Scar On/Scar Off." Stalking Horse Press. October 2017. (Book)
  • "When Trying to Return Home." Counterpoint Press. February 2023. (Book)
  • KINDS OF GRACE. Flowersong Press. Spring 2024. (Book)
  • “Fore-Mothers.” Obsidian: Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora, Illinois State University. January 2021.
  • “Mama Diaspora,” “Help I’m Fine!” Columbia Journal, Columbia University. February 2020.
  • “Afro-Colossus.” The Breakbeat Poets Anthology Volume 4: LatiNEXT, Haymarket Books. April 2020.
  • “Blackout/Apagón.” Puerto Rico en mi corazón, Anomalous Press. August 2019.
  • “Torsion.” Vassar Review, Vassar College. May 2017.
  • “Loriella is Dead.” Academy of American Poets/ (republished) and Puerto del Sol, New Mexico State University. March 2017
  • “Baby Dolls.” The Los Angeles Review. March 2017.
  • “But There is Also Rosa.” Passages North, Northern Michigan University. January 2017.

Courses (Current Academic Year)

  • American Minority Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • World/Multicultural Literature-Afro-Latine Narratives

Research Projects

Dr. McCauley is a multi-genre writer and considers hybrid forms, short stories, historical fiction, personal narratives and lyric essays a special creative home. Her creative and critical projects currently center on Black women in American literature, Black Puerto Rican transnational exchanges, and the Afro-Puerto Rican experience in the United States.

Awards and Accomplishments

  • National Endowment for the Arts fellowship
  • Independent Publisher Book Awards
  • Academy of American Poets
  • Pushcart Prize Special Mention
  • Longlisted for Aspen Words Literary Prize