Visiting Writers

2014 Visiting Writers

The Ashland University MFA Program has welcomed a long list of talented writers since its inception. Here are this year's visiting writers:

Kristen Iversen

Kristen Iversen, Visiting Writer in Creative Nonfiction

Kristen Iversen is the author of Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats, winner of the 2013 Colorado Book Award and the Reading the West Book Award in Nonfiction.  Full Body Burden was chosen one of the Best Books of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews and the American Library Association and Best Book about Justice by The Atlantic, and was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence. She is also the author of Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth, winner of the Colorado Book Award and the Barbara Sudler Award for Nonfiction, and a textbook, Shadow Boxing: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction.  Her work has been published inThe New York Times, The Nation, Fourth Genre, Reader’s Digest and many other journals and publications.  Currently Kristen teaches at the University of Memphis, where she directs the MFA program in creative writing.

Judith Kitchen

Judith Kitchen, Visiting Writer in Creative Nonfiction

Judith Kitchen is the author of three collections of essays (most recently Half in Shade, Coffee House Press), a novel, a collection of poetry and a critical study. In addition, she has edited or co-edited three collections of short nonfiction pieces for W. W. Norton, an anthology of poetry and a collection of literary interviews. Her awards include an NEA fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, the Lillian Fairchild Award and the S. Mariella Gable Award. She has served as judge for the AWP Nonfiction Award, the Pushcart Prize in poetry, the Oregon Book Award and the Bush Foundation Fellowships, among others. She lives in Port Townsend, WA.

David St. John

David St. John, Visiting Writer in Poetry

David St. John has been honored, over the course of his career, with many of the most significant prizes for poets, including both the Prix de Rome Fellowship and an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the O. B. Hardison Prize (a career award for teaching and poetic achievement) from The Folger Shakespeare Library, and the George Drury Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from Beyond Baroque. He is the author of ten collections of poetry (including Study for the World’s Body, nominated for The National Book Award in Poetry), most recently, The Auroras, as well as a volume of essays, interviews and reviews entitled Where the Angels Come Toward Us.

He is also the co-editor of American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry. David St. John lives in Venice Beach.

Rosanna Warren

Rosanna Warren, Visiting Writer in Poetry

Rosanna Warren is the Hanna Holborn Gray Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her book of criticism, Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry, came out in 2008. Her most recent books of poems are Departure (2003) and Ghost in a Red Hat (2011). She is the recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets, The American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Lila Wallace Foundation and the New England Poetry Club, among others. She was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1999 to 2005, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Additional 2014 Guests

Tom Montgomery Fate

Tom Montgomery Fate, Visiting Editor in Creative Nonfiction

Tom Montgomery Fate is the author of five books of nonfiction.  The most recent is Cabin Fever (Beacon Press, 2011), a nature memoir.  A regular contributor to the The Chicago Tribune, his essays have appeared in The Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun, Orion, Iowa Review, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, Sojourners, Christian Century, and many other journals and anthologies; and they often air on National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio.  He currently teaches creative writing at College of DuPage in Chicago.

Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson, Visiting Editor in Poetry

Richard Jackson is the author of eleven books of poetry, most recently Out of Place (2014), two books of criticism, and two translations, one from Slovene and one from Italian. He is a winner of Guggenheim, Fulbright, NEA, NEH and Witter-Bynner Fellowships, five Pushcart appearances, as well as prizes from Prairie Schooner, Rattle and Crazyhorse. Jackson’s poems have been translated into 15 languages. He was a recipient of the Slovene Order of Freedom Award for Humanitarian and Literary work in the Balkans and recipient of the 2009 AWP George Garrett Award. Jackson has taught at the Iowa Summer Festival, Prague Summer Program, Bread Loaf and other venues, and teaches at UT Chattanooga and the Vermont College of Fine Arts low residency program, winning teaching awards at both schools.

M.L. Liebler

M.L. Liebler

M. L. Liebler is a internationally known & widely published Detroit poet, university professor, literary arts activist and arts organizer, and he is the author of 13 books including the Award winning Wide Awake in Someone Else's Dream (Wayne State University Press 2008). Wide Awake won both The Paterson Poetry Prize for Literary Excellence and The American Indie Book Award for 2009. In 2005, he was named St. Clair Shores (his hometown) first Poet Laureate. Liebler has read and performed his work in Israel, The West Bank, Gaza, Russia, China, France, UK, Macao, Italy, Germany, Spain, Finland, Afghanistan and most of the 50 States. M.L. Liebler has taught English, American Studies, Labor Studies and World Literature at Wayne State University in Detroit since 1980, and he is the founding director of both The National Writer's Voice Project in Detroit and the Springfed Arts: Metro Detroit Writers Literary Arts Organization. He was recently selected as Best Detroit Poet by The Detroit Free Press, Detroit's Metro Times. In 2010, he received The Barnes & Noble Poets & Writers Writers for Writers Award with Maxine Hong Kingston & Junot Diaz. His groundbreaking working class literary anthology from The Coffee House Press Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams received The Michigan Library Notable Book Award for 2011.

M. L. Liebler & The Coyote Monk Poetry Band is Grammy-Winning Eminem Producer, Co-Writer Steve King on bass, Blue Room's Charlie Palazzola on guitar, Black Hat's Frankie the K on keyboards and Rodriquez and Ghost Band drummer Leonard Johnson.

Norman MacAfee

Norman MacAfee

Norman MacAfee is a poet, translator, visual and sound artist, editor, writer of fiction, creative nonfiction, nonfiction, and performance work. MacAfee's co-translation of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables for Signet Classics is the only complete modern American version and in 2014 will sell its millionth copy. His other books include his co-translations of Poems: Pier Paolo Pasolini and two volumes of Sartre’s letters to Simone de Beauvoir: Witness to My Life and Quiet Moments in a WarThree books of his poetry have been published, including One Class: Selected Poems. The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts is producing MacAfee’s poet’s opera, The Death of the Forest, to music of Charles Ives, for premiere in 2015/16 in the New Arts City of Holyoke. The New York Foundation for the Arts is a fiscal sponsor of The Death of the Forest and MacAfee’s filmscript, Life Begins Tomorrow, about Jean-Paul Sartre in the army and as a POW in a German prison camp during World War II. MacAfee's drawings, for poet Helen Adam's ballad opera San Francisco's Burning, are published in Jacket2. MacAfee's book, The Gospel According to RFK: Why It Matters Now, is about Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign. The Robert F. Kennedy Center asked MacAfee to speak in November 2005 at a celebration in the US Capitol of what would have been RFK’s 80th birthday. Other speakers included Senators Edward Kennedy, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Representatives Nancy Pelosi and John Lewis, and Harry Belafonte. MacAfee read a poem written for the occasion, which was later included in “One Class.” It can be seen in the C-Span video at the author’s website:  He is also a freelance book editor, and sometimes blogs for The Huffington Post. He lives in Greenwich Village with Dr. Miguel Cervantes-Cervantes.

Al Young

Al Young

Widely translated and acclaimed, Al Young’s many books include poetry (Something About the Blues: An Unlikely Collection of Poetry, Coastal Night and Inland Afternoons: Poems 2001-2006, The Sound of Dreams Remembered: Poems 1990-2000, Heaven: Poems Collected 1956-1990), fiction (Seduction By Light, Sitting Pretty, Who Is Angelina?), and musical memoirs (Mingus Mingus: Two Memoirs, Drowning in the Sea of Love, Kinds of Blue, Things Ain’t What They Used to Be, Bodies & Soul). From 2005 through 2008 he served as poet laureate of California. Other honors include NEA, Fulbright, and Guggenheim Fellowships. The Sea, The Sky, And You, And I, a poetry & jazz CD (featuring bassist Dan Robbins), came out last year from Bardo Digital. He currently teaches at California College of the Arts, San Francisco. Exhaustive information about this Berkeley-based author may be found at

Previous Visiting Writers

Jennifer Atkinson | Kim Barnes | Mira Bartok | Marilyn Chin | Jim Daniels | J.D. Dolan | Brian Doyle | Andre Dubus III | Rhina Espaillat | Thomas French | Alice Fulton | Linda Gregerson | Patricia Hampl | William Heyen | Garrett Hongo | Richard Jackson | Laura Kasischke | William Kittredge | Thomas Larson | M.L. Liebler | Phillip Lopate | Debra Marquart | Brenda Miller | Kathleen Norris | Alicia Ostriker | Eric Pankey | Scott Russell Sanders | Enid Shomer | Floyd Skloot | Cheryl Strayed | Natasha Trethewey | C.K. Williams | David Wojahn | Tobias Wolff | Kevin Young