Breeann Kyte Kirby, M.A., M.S., M.F.A.

Assistant Professor of Writing
Director, Environmental Studies

With Master’s Degrees in literature, biology, and creative writing, Breeann Kyte Kirby is truly a master of all trades and doctor of none. As a former research scientist turned writer, Kirby is firmly grounded in both science and literature, still working in both fields by facilitating collaborations between scientists, writers, and artists. She writes in all genres but has a soft spot for speculative fiction and the weird; Kirby’s creative and scientific work has been published both in print and online.

Breeann Kyte Kirby serves as an assistant professor of creative writing in the PLNU writing program as well as the director of PLNU’s newest major: Environmental Studies (began Fall 2020). This interdisciplinary program is firmly based in the humanities with a strong scientific foundation. Drawing on her scientific background, passion for story, and experience with cross-discipline collaboration, Kirby had the privilege of designing this program in partnership with nine other departments and schools at PLNU.


  • M.F.A. Creative Writing, San Diego State University
  • M.S. Molecular Biology, San Diego State Univeristy
  • M.A. English Literature, University of West Florida
  • B.S. Biochemistry, Point Loma Nazarene University
  • B.A. Literature, Point Loma Nazarene University

Courses Taught

  • College Composition: Research - First Year Experience (GE) – WRI 1016
  • College Composition: Writing and Research - First Year Experience (GE) – WRI 1010
  • Literature and Culture (GE) – LIT 2000
  • World Literature (GE) – LIT 3050
  • Women Writers (GE) – LIT 3053
  • Creative Writing: Fiction – WRI 3022
  • Writing in Professional Careers – WRI 3065
  • Creative Writing Capstone – WRI 4020
  • Introduction to Environmental Studies – ENVS 2050
  • Environmental Studies Capstone – ENVS 4020
  • University Now – hybrid biology and composition course for high school students

Experience in Field

  • Research interests: Fiction (primarily speculative fiction), creative nonfiction, and microbial ecology as it relates to the human microbiome.
  • Adjunct Professor of Literature, PLNU, 2004 – 2007; 2015 – 2018
  • Freelance Writer, 2010 – present
  • Teaching Assistant, San Diego State University, 2007 – 2008; 2015 – 2016
  • Researcher, San Diego State University, 2007 – 2010
  • Teaching Assistant, University of West Florida, 2002 – 2004

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Organizer Year of the Phage Meeting, San Diego State University, 2015
  • Owner Wholon, a hub to connect scientist with artists, 2014 – present
  • The Second Annual Women’s Studies Conference at the University of West Florida, Spring 2003: “‘Now We See the Violence Inherent in the System’: Violence to the Other in Kathy Acker’s Empire of the Senseless”
  • The Gulf Coast Association of Creative Writing Teachers, Spring 2003: Various poems from Spaces
  • San Diego State University, Spring 2008: “What We Can Learn From the Spanish Influenza Virus”
  • San Diego Microbiology Group, Spring 2009: “What the F? Frameshift Proteins and Hepatitis C Virus”
  • Breadloaf, Orion Environmental Writers, June 2014: “Microbial Fingerprints,” “And the Multitudes Sing”
  • San Diego State University Poetic Picnic collaboration between textile artists and writers, November 2014
  • San Diego State University Poetry Pop-Up spoken-word performance, December 2014
  • CityWorks Press Sunshine/Noir II book release, October 2015: “The Night Before Deployment”
  • San Diego State University Downtown Gallery for Embodied performance poetry, November 2015/January 2016: “Son”
  • San Diego State University Will Write for Love live writing event, February 2015/2016/2017
  • The Last Bookstore (Los Angeles) for The Eeel/Shrug, March 2016: “(bio)Poïesis”
  • The Narrators, September 2016 and February 2017: “Racist Uncle” and “Red-Handed”
  • LIVE UNITED! Hosted by PLNU, Fall 2018 – Spring 2019: Connecting speculative fiction with faith (curated project by LIT3053 class)
  • PLNU Writer’s Symposium by the Sea – Exploding the Myths of Publishing, February 2019: panelist
  • Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) offsite reading in Portland, OR, hosted by Poetry International, Calypso Editions, and Locked Horned Press, March 2019: various poems
  • The Butterfly, May 2019 and November 2019: “Split the Herd” and “The Unavoidable Drawback”
  • Crossing the Lines: Interdisciplinary Christian Conversations About Difference, PLNU, October 2019: “Writing the Other: Compassionate Storytelling About Humans”
  • Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA), November 2019: “Finding Purchase in Liminal Spaces” and “This Has Nothing to Do with My Major: Facilitating Synthesis of GE Subjects with Student Career Goals”
  • Engage: Creative Inspiration: Tracing lines between cities and memories, hosted by Border, November 2019: panelist

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • Dreams of Inextricably Intertwined Determinance. UWF, 2004. (nonfiction)
  • "Elucidating the Roles of Frameshift Proteins in the Lifecycle of HCV," SDSU, 2010 (research article)
  • "Metagenomic Analysis of the Spatial Distribution of Viral Communities in the Cystic Fibrosis Lung," PlosBio, 2012 (research article)
  • "Going Viral," The Scientist, 2013 (nonfiction)
  • The Value of Women’s Work, Gallery Program for Home Affairs exhibition, Art Produce, San Diego, CA, 2015 (nonfiction)
  • "The Night Before Deployment," Sunshine/Noir II, City Works Press, 2015 (fiction)
  • "(bio)Poïesis," The EEEL, 2015 (poetry)
  • "Roost" and "City Builders," Center for Humans and Nature City Creatures blog, March/November 2015 (nonfiction)
  • "Penitent," Serving House Journal, Fall 2015 (poetry)
  • “45 Larem Lane,” Diagram, 17.3 2016 (hybrid fiction)
  • "The Hope is in the Flame," Orion Magazine (blog), January 2017 (nonfiction)
  • "Phages in Love" and "Translation," Coachella Review, 2017 (poetry)
  • pacificREVIEW 2017: A West Coast Arts Review, “Errant Mythologies" (fiction editor)