person taking notes at a table

Creative Writing Newsletter 2023



As an avid reader of the Creative Writing Newsletter, I am pleased to write my first director’s note and to introduce the annual record of our lively and productive community. I took over the directorship this year from Rebecca Lindenberg, who instead of retreating to private life to write her memoirs, accepted the post of Director of Graduate Studies. Now that’s valor. On behalf of the faculty, I’d like to thank Rebecca for her past and continued service to the program and department.

This is a program that has functioned very well for a very long time. The job of director is made easier by the work of previous directors, as well as by the reliable excellence and good will of both faculty and students. When I think about directing our program, I think of Adolf von Kleist, a ship captain in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Galapagos. At the end of the novel, a small number of surviving humans are shipwrecked on an island on which, as beneficent fortune would have it, an underground spring delivers life-sustaining water in a steady stream. But Captain von Kleist, eager to be the hero of humanity, sets out to make radical improvements to the perfectly functioning natural spring, thereby threatening the flow of water and with it the survival of our species. Vonnegut’s fool looms large in my leadership philosophy. I promise to work hard to maintain the quality of our program, but I also promise not to tamper with the underground spring.

At the risk of appearing immodest, I must say that my primary initiative this year—not having another global pandemic—was a wild success. As you’ll read about below, the year felt like a full-force return to pre-Covid days. We had an IRL visiting writers series, which included Elliston Poet Brian Teare as well as our biennial fiction festival, featuring pandemic debuts by program graduates. Our community engagement team was fully engaged. We had the marvelous good fortune to add poet Simone Savannah to our faculty for the next two years. And we very well may have set a dissertation record, with a total of thirteen poets and fiction writers defending this academic year. In the words of the Rev. Michael Griffith, the yield of doctorates this spring was “kind of a loaves and fishes situation.”

And speaking of the miraculous, check out the latest reports from our incredible alumni, current students, and incoming students—those who represent the glorious underground spring of the program. It’s with great pride and joy that we broadcast your news and accomplishments.



Participants at Hike + Write outdoors

The UC English Community Engagement team, led by Maia Morgan and Michael Peterson, built upon the foundation established last year, deepening partnerships and expanding our programs. UC English projects engaged 8 community organizations with 14 individual collaborators from those organizations; 35 UC faculty, graduate, and undergrad students; 4 departments, colleges, or organizations within the university; and over 350 members of the greater Cincinnati community.

Hike + Write, the series we piloted last year with Cincinnati Parks, drew a diverse group of writers from UC as well as the greater community for monthly hikes, talks, writing, and contemplation. Led by faculty and graduate students including Paige Webb, Hassaan Mirza, David Schwartz, and Natalie Villacorta, along with a Cincy Parks naturalist, we foraged for paw paws, reflected on home and migration, and listened to the sounds of the woods after dark. Our October Spring Grove Cemetery rambles led by Michael Griffith with music from CCM grad students had sold-out audiences. 

Students volunteer Tikkun, an urban farm and free food market

We’ve continued to develop partnerships that will offer experiential learning opportunities for undergrads. In one of these, students will volunteer at Tikkun, an urban farm and free food market, interview members of the community it serves, and research and write about issues such as urban farming and food apartheid. This partnership began with a series of professional writing classes for Tikkun’s youth job training program taught by Holli Carrel and Fernando Ramos, a local chef. In another, a collaboration with the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, undergrad interns receive trauma-informed training in creative writing pedagogy and mentorship as they design and teach after-school residencies for youth. The Kids Write internship is paid and credit-bearing and offers undergrads a unique opportunity to gain teaching experience. It’s our hope that these projects and others like them not only serve as community building initiatives but also demonstrate to students how writing can be both a tool for expression and a vehicle for individual and social change.

Students participating in the for The Queer Writers Project

A new program, The Queer Writers Project, a collaboration with UC’s LGBTQ Center and Haley Crigger, brought queer identifying graduate writers to the Center for drop-in writing workshops. A collaboration with the Ohio Justice and Policy Center matched UC faculty and grad students with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals to help them craft personal narratives. And we had another successful year at Cincinnati’s School for the Creative and Performing Arts with writing workshops and talks on everything from speculative fiction to podcasting led by Tiffany Tucker, Dior J. Stephens, Lily Davenport, Kate Jayroe, Jenn Habel, and Michael Peterson. 

Looking ahead, we’ve assembled a board of directors for the inventorium, an interdisciplinary vending machine and mini exhibition space for art, writing, and scholarship from the UC community. 

We appreciate everyone who supported and participated in programs. (A shoutout here to Michael Alessi, who researched grant opportunities.) We hope you’ll keep an eye out for ways to get involved with these and other community engagement initiatives in the coming year.


Simone Savannah speaking at Elliston Poetry Collection

We are delighted to welcome Simone Savannah, PhD, as a Visiting Assistant Professor in our department next year. Simone is the author of Uses of My Body (Barrow Street 2020), the winner of the Barrow Street Poetry Book Prize chosen by Jericho Brown. She is also the author of a chapbook, Like Kansas (Big Lucks 2018). In 2022-23 she was a Charles Phelps Taft Post-Doctoral Fellow at UC. We asked Simone if she would answer a few questions for this newsletter:

What are some of your favorite courses and literary works to teach?

I love teaching poetry workshops and courses on Black women’s literature. Some of my favorite literary works to teach are Toni Morrison’s Sula, Ann Petry’s The Street, and Morgan Parker’s Everybody’s Comfort Keep Me Up At Night

In addition to being a writer, teacher, and scholar, you’re a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. What does that kind of work mean to you and are there ways in which it connects to your writing? 

Yes, I am working on a collection of essays that explore my obsessions with language, specifically how we use language to craft the body and how we use language to craft poems. My essay “homage to hip thrusts” makes connections between Lucille Clifton’s poem “homage to my hips” and how Black women empower themselves using weightlifting and specific movements like hip thrusts.

Would you tell us more about your current writing projects?

My collection of essays on language and weightlifting also includes essays on my motherhood and womanhood. I explore my mother’s life and untimely death, as well as how desire has shaped both of our choices regarding our bodies. I am also writing a collection of poems written during my rest times at the gym and during my recovery after the gym.


Students at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture

In February, poets Madeleine Wattenberg Joely Fitch, Dior J. Stephens, and Holli Carrell (from left to right) presented papers at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture as part of the panel "Thinking In and Of Long Poems" (proposed and chaired by Aditi Machado). They discussed topics such as the longform poem as a philosophical experiment, hybrid approaches in longform poetry, and creating a new poetic tradition, and addressed writing by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Cody-Rose Clevidence, and others. 


It was a busy year for Acre Books, which published six titles. All the Tiny Beauties by Jenn Scott was described by Foreword Reviews as “a careful, beautiful literary novel that ponders the contents of happiness and the purpose with which people lead their lives.” Design Flaw: Stories by Hugh Sheehy received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which called it “[a] dark and dazzling collection pocked with surface tension and an undercurrent of menace.” Booklist praised the “dreamlike atmosphere” of You Shall See the Beautiful Things: A Novel & A Nocturne by Steve Amick, and The New Criterion praised Amit Majumudar’s Black Avatar and Other Essays: “Eschewing the facile, euphemistic language that characterizes so much writing on the subject of skin color, Majmudar weaves together memoir, religious learning, and literary criticism to produce a brilliant meditation on its role in Hindu culture and beyond.”  

Acre also published two collections of poetry this year: Metabolics by Jessica E. Johnson, which MER called a “gripping, felt collection littered with beautiful phrasings and insights” and Manatee Lagoon, in which physician and poet Jenna Le reflects upon the experience of being the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, among other topics. 

We’re pleased to report that several of Acre’s  titles won awards this year: I, Grape: The Case for Fiction by Brock Clarke was a Gold Medal Winner of an Independent Publisher Book Award in the Essay Category; This Fierce Blood: A Novel by Malia Marquez was a Silver Medal Winner of an Independent Publisher Book Award in Multicultural Fiction and was a finalist for the 2022 Housatonic Book Award; and Jonathan Alexander’s Dear Queer Self: An Experiment in Memoir was a finalist for the Foreword INDIES Award in the autobiography/memoir category.  


This year, we are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of The Cincinnati Review, including a careful redesign of the print magazine, starting with the spring issue (and a website update to follow); a special feature on Cincinnati’s writing scene in the fall issue; an in-person local event toward the end of the year; and (we hope) an AWP anniversary reading in Kansas City in early 2024.

We’re also hiring an assistant managing editor, a new position for the magazine, to help develop a stronger commitment to events, both virtual and local, and to coordinate our web and social media efforts.

We continue to offer professionalization opportunities for both our staff and any other graduate student who is interested. Our volunteer grantwriting working group applied for seven different grants this academic year, and we were awarded an Ohio Arts Council ArtSTART award to support our fall anniversary issue and an ArtsWave grant for our contributions to a reading series called Queer Soup x Queer Stories, with Esoteric Brewing and Lil’s Kitchen as organizers.

And work from the print magazine and miCRo series continues to be accepted for key anthologies. Faire Holliday’s story “Standing Still” (from Issue 19.1) was awarded a PEN/Robert J. Dau Prize for Emerging Writers—it’s an award for the first published story by a writer. This is the second year in a row that work from our pages was chosen for that prize, and we’re proud to be supporting emerging writers.


The Elliston Collection once again increased its acquisitions schedule this year, adding more than one-thousand new volumes to its collection. These acquisitions include work from the largest poetry presses in the land, of course, but we’re especially thrilled by additions from smaller presses like Further Other, Song Cave, Roof, and co-im-press. Elliston Poet-in-Residence Brian Teare handstitched a select, otherwise out-of-print back catalogue of Albion Books letterpress editions specifically for the room. Poet MC Hyland’s DoubleCross Press makes a strong contribution from their catalogue, as does printer Anthony Opal’s work from The Economy in Chicago. As press culture continues to diversify, so does the room’s acquisitions mission. Verse memoir, hybrid and lyric essay, and translation figure prominently in recent additions. It can never go without saying: the room is at its best with input from you, our visitors, as to what will serve your research and teaching needs best. Keep the recos coming.  

Special editions and artists were an emphasis this year. The seniors of Gary Weissman and Holly Prochaska’s Book Arts seminar served as special consultants to this cause, researching and purchasing a number of books for the permanent collection. Among the rare and limited work were editions from Himali Singh Soin, Johanna Drucker, Noah Ross, Pedro Xisto, Yuchen Chang, and Susie Zhu.  In addition to serving as the access point for departmental engagement initiatives, the Elliston Poetry Room and Collection instantiated several collections-centric engagement initiatives in 2022-23. We funded two Visiting Curatorships this year. Poet Marianne Chan selected new acquisitions for Filipino American History Month for a curation titled Have Come, Am Here: Filipino Poetry in English; Cincy Youth Poet Laureate Rimel Kamran led our National Poetry Month with a curation on South Asian Voices, with an emphasis on Pakistani Women Poets. Both of these poets attended to the goals of traditional LOC Laureate consultancies: namely, assessing the collection for both deficiencies and opportunities. Their work becomes the bedrock for what we hope will be a first-ever DEI audit of the room’s purchasing habits, to take place in the coming year. 

Yalie Kamara (Cincy Poet Laureate), Rimel Kamran (Cincy Youth Poet Laureate), and Gunter-Seymour

In addition to hosting the annual Visiting Writers Series, the Elliston partnered with Ben Kline and Melissa Norris of UC Libraries to found the #PoetryStacked Reading Series, a community driven initiative that connects UC artists with those of our wider community by partnering UC Students, Faculty, and Community Poets for a monthly reading right in Langsam Stacks. We were stoked by the level of attendance at these. This year we worked with CCM Ballet to pair poets with dancer-choreographers for our third #Stacked event (stay tuned for a partnership with the artists of DAAP next year), and our finale featured Ohio State Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour as community reader, with four graduating Doctoral Poets: Connor Yeck, Taylor Byas, Nick Molbert, and Marianne Chan. Gunter-Seymour’s visit concluded with a historic Laureates Talk the following day: Yalie Kamara (Cincy Poet Laureate), Rimel Kamran (Cincy Youth Poet Laureate), and Gunter-Seymour delivered a panel in the room titled “Who, What, and Why is a Poet Laureate: Poetry and Engagement” that focused on how institutions like UC can better serve and learn from the missions of Laureates and their communities.


Brian Teare

With excitement and gratitude we resumed in-person Visiting Writers Series events this year. We hosted poets Jennifer Foerster, Sara Eliza Johnson, Yalie Saweda Kamara, Simone Savannah, and Johannes Göransson, who, in addition to reading his poetry, gave a fascinating talk on the relationship between mimicry and translation. Brian Teare was this year’s Elliston Poet-in-Residence. His wonderful lecture “It’s the End of the World & We Know It,” which offers a social ecological approach to writing and reading poetry, will soon be made available in the Elliston Archive, as will a recording of his poetry reading. 

After a several-year hiatus, we revived the biennial Robert and Adele Schiff Fiction Festival. This year’s festival was designed to highlight debut books that our alumni published during the pandemic. Gwen E. Kirby, Brenda Peynado, Liv Stratman, and Bess Winter all took part. In addition, we were finally able to host Luke Geddes, who was supposed to read for us way back in 2020. The fiction program also brought Sarah Shun-lien Bynum to campus, as well as Allegra Hyde and her literary agent, Erin Harris. You’ll soon be able to listen to Hyde and Harris’s discussion of the Agent/Writer relationship in our audio archive. 

We are in the process of scheduling events for next year. To our alumni, please consider joining us remotely via Instagram Live (@ellistonpoetryroom) for upcoming readings by Anthony Cody, Sidik Fofana, Robin McLean, Emily Jungmin Yoon and more!


Chris Bachelder: Jenn Habel and I completed our collaborative novel and finally returned all of our library books about Herman Melville. Dayswork will be published in September by Norton.

Alecia Beymer: This was my first year here at UC and it has been a wonderful experience! I have cherished my time getting to know students and faculty through conversations about our writing and writing lives. I am so excited to share that I have poems forthcoming this summer in Radar Poetry and Rust & Moth. Currently, I am working on finishing up a poetry manuscript. I have had the opportunity to share my work through a reading hosted by Wisconsin People & Ideas and one at Michigan State University. One of my favorite endeavors has been exploring Cincinnati and going on hikes with my two dogs, Ripley & Starbuck.

Michael Griffith continues to serve as puzzlemaster or rather puzzlemediocrity at The Southern Review, producing two pieces for each issue (usually a crossword and a double acrostic, but mixing in a batch of 50 or so hink pinks every fall, plus an occasional web extra). This summer he will be trying to get a foothold in a new novel and suffering, in huffing milk-train fashion, through a few triathlons.

Kristen Iversen is on sabbatical and is focusing on two books of narrative nonfiction: Friend and Faithful Stranger: Nikola Tesla in the Gilded Age and Wink's Lodge: The West’s Hidden African American Jazz Club and Literary Salon. She is also finishing up a collection of new and published essays, Wide and Generous World. In Spring 2023 Kristen was recognized as a Chester Alter Scholar at Regis University and delivered a keynote lecture, “The Nuclear Legacy of Rocky Flats,” in April. She continues to work with PhD candidates/graduates in Literary Nonfiction at UC and their forthcoming book projects.

Rebecca Lindenberg started serving this year as the new Director of Graduate Studies, and continues to serve as Poetry Editor for The Cincinnati Review. Her third poetry collection, Our Splendid Failure to Do the Impossible, was accepted by BOA Editions for the American Poets Continuum Series and will be published in Fall 2024. A group of poems appeared (alongside our colleague Felicia Zamora’s work, purely coincidentally) in The Missouri Review and she has poems forthcoming in Copper Nickel and Poem-a-Day. She’ll be teaching this summer for two weeks in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Felicia Zamora conducted two archival research visits this past year for her newest project. The visits included the University of Texas Austin’s Benson Latin American Collection to research in the Gloria Anzaldúa Collection and the Vatican Apostolic Library in Rome to study the Codex Yoalli Ehēcatl (Codex Borgia). The Codex is one of a few sacred texts to survive the Spanish colonization of Mesoamerica. Both visits were life changing. Her book, I Always Carry My Bones, won the 2022 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry and she participated in the Ohioana Book Festival in Columbus this April. She also won the 2022 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize from The Georgia Review, a 2022 Tin House Next Book Residency, and a UC Latino Faculty Council Small Grant. Her poem “Chris Martin Sings Shiver & I Shiver: A Poem to Madam Vice President” was included in Best American Poetry 2022. She had 35 poems published or accepted for publication this past year from journals such as The Missouri Review, Bennington Review, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, and others. Her seventh book of poems went under contract for 2024.


Lisa Ampleman: My third full-length collection, Mom in Space, is forthcoming from LSU Press in Spring 2024, and poems and lyric essays from the book have appeared or are forthcoming in Cortland Review, Jet Fuel Review, Mom Egg Review, museum of americana, Passengers Journal, South Dakota Review, Southern Review, and TAB.

Recently Cynthia Arrieu-King became Professor of Creative Writing at Stockton University. Her books Continuity (poetry, Octopus Books) and The Betweens (experimental memoir, Noemi Press) both came out in 2021. Over AY 2022-23, she's working on a sabbatical project of short stories and a bad novel that includes stranded sheep and a caregiver bot. You can find her at

Rebekah Bloyd’s 2022 poetry collection Buoyant features our surprising, fragile planet and is available here, from Pinyon Publishing, specializing in innovative books of poetry, prose, and art. Her hybrid essay “What the Scene Reveals: a film scene linked to the deceased” was collaboratively created with workshop participants during the international symposium Borrowed Time: on death, dying & change and is available here. Last summer, she enjoyed highlighting the writing techniques of Robin Wall Kimmerer and Miroslav Holub in the presentation “Traveling Inside the Subject: Imaginative Discourse in the Writings of Two Scientists,” at another international symposium, Books, Travels, Travelers and The Discourse of Water, held in Flensburg, Germany.

Brian Brodeur's fourth poetry collection, Some Problems with Autobiography (2023), won the 2022 New Criterion Prize. Recent poems and criticism can be found in The Hopkins ReviewLos Angeles Review of BooksThe New Criterion, and The Writer's Chronicle

Alida Dean: I had a story published in Lighthouse Weekly in fall '22, a novel excerpt in Litbreak in spring '23, and I have stories forthcoming in Big Fiction and the tiny journal. I recently moved to Ithaca, NY, where I've been working at the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts and at Plenty of Posies, a flower farm, and going for lots of bike rides.  

Kelcey Parker Ervick's graphic memoir, The Keeper: Soccer, Me, and the Law That Changed Women's Lives, was published in 2022 and recommended in the New York Times Holiday Gift Guide. She is the editor, with Tom Hart, of the Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Graphic Literature, forthcoming in July 2023.  

Juliana Gray: In the past year I was a fellow at VCCA, published poems in journals such as Willow Springs and storySouth, and published an essay in The Hopkins Review. However, I'm probably proudest of my humor pieces in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, especially the (briefly) viral satirical piece, "If You Give a Bear Cocaine."

Emily Heiden has an essay forthcoming in Fast Fallen Women: 75 Essays of Flash Nonfiction, alongside Amy Tan, Jane Smiley, and others. The collection will be out in September from Wood Hall Press. She also published an article on reproductive rights in Electric Literature in December, and continues her work as a reviewer for Jewish Book Council. The new anthology is available for pre-order here. 

Rochelle Hurt's third book of poems, The J Girls: A Reality Show, was published in 2022 by Indiana University Press as the winner of the Blue Light Books Prize from Indiana Review. She performed as a Festival Poet in the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in October 2022. 

Yalie Saweda Kamara: I am pleased to share that my debut full-length poetry collection, Besaydoo, was selected by Amaud Jamaul Johnson as the 2022-2023 winner of the Copper Nickel Journal Jake Adam York Prize, and will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2024. My poem "American Beech" was recently named the winner of the 2023 Elizabeth Alexander Creative Writing Award for Poetry and will appear in the fall issue of Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, a peer-reviewed feminist interdisciplinary journal. I am excited to be joining the English Department at Xavier University as a tenure track assistant professor specializing in global and diasporic literature and creative writing. Lastly, I recently completed my first of two years as the Cincinnati and Mercantile Library Poet Laureate, which has been an incredibly rich experience thus far, part of which has involved continued engagement and collaboration with University of Cincinnati's English Department, a community that I deeply admire and respect.

Chris Koslowski's debut novel, Kayfabe, is forthcoming from McSweeney's in early 2024. 

Jim Murphy (PhD 2000) will soon see his fourth collection of poems, Versions of May, published by Negative Capability Press of Mobile, AL. He currently is in his twenty-third year of teaching at the University of Montevallo, a public liberal arts school outside Birmingham, AL.

Sarah Rose Nordgren's chapbook, The Creation Museum, was published in summer 2022. Her first creative nonfiction book, The Bird Hat Wearer's Journal, which was her dissertation project at UC, won the Essay Press Book Prize and is forthcoming in spring 2024. Sarah Rose recently founded The School for Living Futures, an experimental, interdisciplinary school in Durham, NC dedicated to creating new knowledge and possibility for our climate changed future. 

During her Academic Leave in Fall 2022, Rhonda Pettit, PhD, completed a poetry manuscript, Burden of the Song. She published eight poems during 2022: "Rainsay," "Poem Speaks from the Clutches of a Pandemic," and "Running Head" in Kentucky Philological Review; "Glass Negative" in Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel (vol. 25); "Notes from an Underground Angel" and "Stopped at a Crossing," both included in the anthology Women Speak (vol. 8); and "Ah!" and "From the Eye of a Grain of Sand" in For a Better World 2022. She was invited to read her poem "The Blue Sun" at the 2022 UC Faculty Awards Ceremony. As editor of the Blue Ash Review, the UCBA annual literary magazine, she produced a two-volume issue during the summer of 2022, and is currently at work on the next issue. In the post-pandemic era, she continues to conduct poetry and song writing contests for college and high school students each spring, and hosts the Poetry Cafe and its Poets on Fire! open mic event.

Sarah Anne Strickley’s new short story collection, Incendiary Devices, was published this March by Tolsun Books.  

Anne Valente received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Hamilton College. She has recently published book reviews and literary criticism in Chicago Review of Books and Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, and she has an essay forthcoming in CODE LIT and a short story forthcoming in The American Scholar.


Dan Hunt: I had stories and essays published in The Masters Review, CRAFT, The Maine Review, and Grist. One of the stories was a finalist for The Masters Review Winter Short Story Award. I received a scholarship to the Longleaf Writers' Conference. 

Anessa Ibrahim has a story forthcoming in The Southern Review this summer.

Kate Jayroe: My short story "A Slow, Promising Mend" is in volume 34, number 2 of The Gettysburg Review

Lily Meyer's novel Short War is forthcoming from Deep Vellum/A Strange Object next March. In Fall 2024, she will be the Translator-in-Residence at Princeton.

Hassaan Mirza: This past summer I attended Sewanee Writers’ Conference and had a fabulous time there. The story I workshopped there ended up winning Salamander Magazine's annual fiction contest. I also—to my surprise—have a poem coming out in Michigan Quaterly Review. This summer, I will be eating oysters (and "writing") at a residency in Oysterville, WA, and "researching" my "novel" in various locations in Pakistan—I am excited to visit Karachi for the first time in my life. And finally, I was offered a Stegner Fellowship and will be moving to the Bay Area in the fall. I will miss everyone at UC, and in Cincinnati—farewell Fiona, farewell Skyline Chili—but I hope to be back as much as possible. It's been a joy being part of this community. Please stay in touch!

Justin Reed: This year, I won a URC Graduate Student Stipend and Research Cost Program for Faculty award. I’ll use the money to go to Colorado this summer, where I’ll do research for my novel.  

David Lerner Schwartz was a finalist for the Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award and longlisted for the Robert J. DeMott Short Prose Contest. He presented at MELUS, served as faculty at the South Carolina Writer’s Association Conference, and was asked by Miami Book Fair to interview Percival Everett. David developed new core curriculum for the Medical Humanities certificate at UC, ENGL 3190: Narrative in Medicine. His fiction was published in Quarter After Eight and is forthcoming in The Florida Review. He was recently awarded the William C. Boyce Award for Outstanding Teaching.

Natalie Villacorta: As of August, I will be an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing and the Director of the Center for Speaking and Writing at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

Matthew Yeager's second book of poetry, Rocket Surgery, is forthcoming from New York Quarterly Books in winter '23-24. This summer, he looks forward to renovating his childhood home and writing some prose.

Connor Yeck's recent poems appeared in Nashville Review and Strange Horizons. This spring, he received a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. 


We are delighted to welcome six new students next year:

Dani Charles is a Queer Hispanic poet from McAllen, Texas. They graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2022 where they received an MFA in poetry (which is a thing that exists), the 2021 John Logan Poetry Prize, as well as appeared in Poetry Magazine and Denver Quarterly

Daniel Galef's first book, Imaginary Sonnets (Word Galaxy/Able Muse Press, 2023), is a collection of persona poems each from the point of view of a different historical character, literary or mythological figure, or inanimate object. Originally from Oxford, Mississippi, he received his bachelor's degree in philosophy and classical studies from McGill University in Montreal and his MFA in fiction writing from Florida State University. His short stories have been published in the Indiana ReviewJukedFlash Fiction Online, and the Best Small Fictions anthology, and his writing was recently featured in The New Yorker—in that last year he placed second in the cartoon caption contest.

Kristyn Garza, a queer chicana from the U.S./Mexico border, moved from her hometown of McAllen, Texas to Austin to pursue her bachelor's degree in English Literature at St. Edward’s University. She is graduating this Spring from her MFA in Poetry at the University of Notre Dame where she has been researching the ways in which the liminality of the sonic poetic space can exorcise the haunting of trauma held within the femme body. She was longlisted for Palette Poetry's 2022 Sappho Prize and her work has been published in Tupelo QuarterlyThe McNeese ReviewThe Spectre ReviewNew Note Poetry, and as a finalist for RHINO's Founders Prize 2022.

Erin Noehre holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. She has received fellowships from the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands as well as the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. In 2020-2021 she was a June Jordan Teaching Fellow at ASU. Her work has been featured in PidgeonholesSonora ReviewPassages North, and is forthcoming in the anthology: Another Last Call: Poems on Addiction and Deliverance edited by Kaveh Akbar and Paige Lewis.

Jess Silfa is an Afro-Latine, disabled, queer writer from the South Bronx. They are President of the Disabled and D/deaf Writers Caucus and have received support from the Vermont Studio Center, Aspen Summer Words, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Jess’ poetry and prose have been published or are forthcoming in beestungANMLYTransition Magazine, and others. 

Sam Simas (he/him) is a Luso-American writer and translator. His fiction has appeared in Copper Nickel, Carve, CRAFT, Foglifter, Hunger Mountain, Puerto del Sol, Sycamore Review, and other literary magazines. His writing was awarded the Copper Nickel Editor’s Prize for prose, and his novel We the Liars won first-place in CRAFT Literary’s First Chapters Contest. For the past several years, he has worked as a librarian, editor, and adjunct writing professor in non-profits and higher ed. institutions around Rhode Island.