Alex Penland

Thesis title: Antikythera / "Protagonist Lenses in the Songs of Achilles and Illium"


Alex Penland is a former museum kid. They spent their childhood running rampant through the Smithsonian museums, which kicked off an early career as a child adventurer. Alex has worked in the field with NASA scientists, linguists, and acclaimed photographers.

Now a Pushcart-nominated author, Alex currently lives in Scotland while studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh. Prior adventures include founding a writing organization in Iowa, a volunteering at the National Zoo in DC, and various enterprises in the field of education. Their work has been internationally published in Orion's Belt and the Midwest Review, and is forthcoming in Interzone and Metaphorosis.

They hold memberships at SFWA (associate), HNS, SOA, and BSFA.


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Undergraduate teaching

Tutorial - Lit 1A

Postgraduate teaching

Teaching Assistantships.

The World of Story: Narrative, Creativity and the Arts. Edinburgh Futures Institute.

Writing Speculative Fiction. Edinburgh Futures Institute.

TA member, EFI Learning Technology Steering Group.

Research summary

Creative Writing (Narrative, Historical Narrative)

Linguistics (Historical Linguistics, Constructing Language)

Classical Studies (Fragementology, Historical Narrative, Homeric Studies, Oral Tradition)

Current research interests

Alex's current research focuses on the chain of information survival and cultural interpretations of certain texts through time. Their creative dissertation, "Antikythera", is written in literary fragments that have undergone a synthesized historical degradation and interpretation by academics.

Past research interests

Past research involved comparing Madeline Miller's "Song of Achilles" to its source material, with particular focus on the character of Achilles and how he is portrayed through hundreds of years of re-interpretation.

Project activity

Ongoing publication of short stories, poetry, and occasional libretti.

Invited speaker


"Actus Queerus: Classical Queerness and the Discipline", Kings College London, Panelist.

"The Appeal of Alternate History and Historical Fantasy", SFWA "Nebula" Conference, Moderator.

"Horror Stories with Anna Cheung, Dhiannon Grist, and A.M. Shine", Cymera Conference, Opening Reader.



Historical Novel Society North American Conference


Papers delivered


"Three Thousand Years of Re-Interpretation: Character Continuity and Ancient Texts", Great Writing Conference, Panelist.


We, You, and the Gallery (Metaphorosis - Forthcoming)

We Are Only Ourselves (Interzone - Forthcoming)

To Take Communion (The Dark Side of Purity - Forthcoming)

Finn (Hillfire Vol. 2 - Forthcoming)

and only darkness remains (Cold Signal - Forthcoming)

How to Read the Lace (Open Book)

Twenty-Twenties Triptych (Olney Magazine)

Evolution of the Kallerian Language Family (Segments, vol. 4)

parisian attic cancer dragon (The Bear Creek Gazette, vol. 7)

Three Iterations of Odysseus (Mahogany Opera Group-Performed)

Lipogram (Hillfire Vol. 1)



You Do Not Need to Open the Door (Orion's Belt, vol. 1)

hic incipit pestis (Cambridge "Quaranzine")

Our Voices - selected (2022)

Pushcart Award Nominee (2021)