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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Denise Grollmus

As the Simpson Center’s Communications Manager, Denise Grollmus works with faculty and students to promote their scholarship and share their work with the public.  

Denise is a writer, scholar, and teacher. After working as a full-time journalist for the Village Voice Media, she attended Pennsylvania State University, where she received her MFA in Creative Writing in 2012. From 2012-13, she was a Fulbright scholar to Poland, where she researched and wrote about post-war Jewish life, before coming to the University of Washington, where she completed her PhD in English in 2019. Her dissertation, “The Sacred Disease,” explored how addiction narratives use religious discourses to both revise and resist popular and medical models of addiction.

Aside from her research and teaching (for which she has won awards from both PSU and UW), Denise continues to publish her journalism and essays, which have appeared in The Guardian, Salon, New York Magazine, Good Magazine, The Rumpus, The LA Review of Books, The Jewish Review of Books and many other publications. Her articles and essays have also been anthologized in The Best American Crime Writing, Rust Belt Chic, and Girl On Canvas

Denise has a strong affinity for schnauzers, Mel Brooks movies, and the Cleveland Cavs. You can see her work at