Thomas Devaney teaches creative writing, current courses include, Creative Nonfiction in the fall 2023 and Poetry II spring 2024. He taught full-time in the English Department from 2010 to 2021, he now also works for the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University.
Devaney is a Pew Fellow in the Arts (2014) and wrote and co-directed the film Bicentennial City (2020) produced by Greenhouse Media and DocuLabs. The film explores the legacy of Philadelphia's 1976 Bicentennial celebration and highlights the city as a hub of resilient communal activity. It was showcased at Haverford's Hurford Center for the Arts. The film was broadcast on WHYY TV-12 and streamed on PBS in 2021 and 2022.
He is the author of Getting to Philadelphia (Hanging Loose Press), You Are the Battery (Black Square Editions), and the nonfiction title Letters to Ernesto Neto (Germ Folios). Other books include, Runaway Goat Cart (Hanging Loose) and The Picture that Remains (The Print Center) with photographer Will Brown.
Devaney's work has been featured in Best American Poetry 2019, PennSound, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Billy Penn, The Philadelphia Citizen, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, and BOMB Magazine. His poem "The Blue Stoop," inspired the name of the literary arts org Blue Stoop: A Home for Philly Writers.
His course "Philadelphia: Inventing a City" was the first offered in the joint Tri-Co Philly Program, spring 2019.
During a semester-long collaboration with Haverford's Arboretum Association, he co-created "Under an Oak Tree Tour: A Tribute to Haverford's Trees," an event where his students read their original poems and essays dedicated to the trees on campus.
Projects include, "Talking at the Table" a pop-up story project at the Reading Terminal Market, "Tales from the 215" for "Philadelphia Freedom" show at the Institute of Contemporary Art, and he was commissioned to create work for "Common Ground: Eight Philadelphia Photographers in the 1960s and 1970s" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 2021, he was featured in the short films from the Healing Verse series. A spotlight on his book The Picture that Remains aired on WHYY TV-12’s Friday Arts Program.
Devaney spent night years at the University of Pennsylvania. From 2001 to 2005, he served as the Program Coordinator of the Kelly Writers House and produced the radio show "LIVE" on 88.5 WXPN. Following that, he taught full-time for Penn's Critical Writing Program from 2005 to 2010 and received a Distinguished Teaching Award from the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing.