Summer Reading Series

July 16 - 27, 2017

Each July the Ashland MFA program brings a variety of accomplished writers to the Ashland University campus for its two-week summer residency. We cordially invite writers and literary enthusiasts in northeast or central Ohio and beyond to join us for any of the craft seminars or evening readings on our schedule. This is a literary gathering unique to the area!   

If you would like to receive information each summer about our visiting writers and events, please email your contact information to We mail out a postcard in early summer and send information via email as well. 

All Craft Talks and Readings offered from July 16 through July 27 are Free and Open to the Public. 

Featured Visiting Writers for 2017

2017 Visiting Writer Terry Tempest Williams (c)2014 Zoe Rodriguez Photography

Terry Tempest Williams, 
Visiting Writer in Creative Nonfiction

Sunday, July 16, 7:00 pm 

Craft Talk: 
Monday, July 17, 1:30 p.m.

2017 Visiting Writer, Rebecca Makkai. Photo by Phillipe Matsas, Opale

Rebecca Makkai
Visiting Writer in Fiction

Wednesday, July 19, 7:00 pm 

Craft Talk: 
Thursday, July 20, 1:30 p.m.

Dexter L. Booth 2017 Visiting Writer

Dexter L. Booth
Visiting Writer in Poetry

Monday, July 24, 7:00 pm 

Craft Talk: 
Tuesday, July 25, 1:30 p.m.

All readings and afternoon craft talks are at Ashland University’s Dwight Schar College of Education Building, Room 138, Ronk Lecture Hall.
Parking in Lot C along College Blvd. 

See the Full Schedule of 2017 Seminars and Readings

Additional Visiting Writers

Marilyn Bousquin, Ashland MFA alumni speaker

Marilyn Bousquin, creative nonfiction

Marilyn Bousquin is founder of Writing Women’s Lives™ Academy. Known as an integrative writing coach, her holistic approach to writing integrates the craft skills essential to writing memoir with the consciousness work necessary for women to claim their voice and their story from the cultural shame and silencing that keep so many women’s stories untold. Her mentoring clients have gone on to publish in literary magazines, and they enjoy personal transformation in their writing and in their lives. A certified Amherst Writers and Artists group writing coach, Marilyn is 2011 graduate of the Ashland University MFA program. Her writing appears in River TeethSuperstition ReviewLiterary MamaUnder the Gum TreePithead Chapel, and elsewhere. Her memoir essay “Against Memory” was a finalist for AROHO’s Orlando Prize. She’s working on a memoir titled Searching for Salt: One Woman’s Quest to Recover Her Voice from Generations of Silence. Visit her at

Sarah Freligh

Sarah Freligh, poetry

Sarah Freligh is the author of Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis. Other books include A Brief Natural History of an American Girl, winner of the Editor’s Choice award from Accents Publishing, and Sort of Gone. Her work has appeared in Sun Magazine, Hotel Amerika, BOAAT Journal, Rattle, on Writer’s Almanac, and anthologized in the 2011 anthology Good Poems: American Places. Among her awards are a 2009 poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in 2006.

Jon Kerstetter, alumni presenter

Jon Kerstetter, creative nonfiction

Jon Kerstetter received his medical degree from the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota and his MFA degree from Ashland University in Ohio. He practiced emergency medicine and military medicine, serving as a combat physician and flight surgeon for the US Army and completing three combat tours in Iraq. He has also taught disaster relief and practiced emergency medicine in Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Honduras. His memoir, Crossings: A Doctor-Soldier's Story, is forthcoming in September 2017 from Crown Publishing, a division of Penguin Random House. His essay "Triage" was published in River Teeth, reprinted in Best American Essays 2013 and in the anthology, Red, White and True, by Potomac Press. He was the winner of the 2014 Normal School prize for Nonfiction.

Jon Parrish Peede

Jon Parrish Peede, visiting editor

Jon Parrish Peede is Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, DC. His previous positions include Publisher of the Virginia Quarterly Review at the University of Virginia, Literature Grants Director at the National Endowment for the Arts, Counselor to NEA Chairman Dana Gioia, Director of the NEA Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience program, Director of the NEA Big Read program, Director of Communications at Millsaps College, and Editor at Mercer University Press. Peede is the editor of a bilingual anthology of contemporary American fiction and co-editor of a collection of essays on Flannery O'Connor. He completed his B.S. at Vanderbilt University and M.A. at the University of Mississippi.

Kirsten Reach, visiting editor Ashland MFA

Kirsten Reach, visiting editor

Kirsten Reach is an Associate Editor for the Kenyon Review. Before her work in literary magazines, she worked in book publishing—as Editor at Melville House, Grand Central Publishing, and Henry Holt and Company—acquiring and editing a mix of literary fiction and narrative nonfiction. Before that, she worked with MacArthur fellow Bob Stein at the Institute for the Future of the Book, studying the way reading changes from page to screen; and with the Gaea Foundation, providing space and time for artists, writers and activists. She is an alumna of Kenyon College and the Columbia Publishing Course.

Nicole Robinson, MFA alumni presenter

Nicole Robinson, poetry

Nicole Robinson is the assistant director for the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University where she also teaches. In 2016 she received an Individual Excellence Award in poetry from the Ohio Arts Council. Her recent poems have appeared in Artful DodgeCALYXGreat River ReviewThe Louisville ReviewSpillway, and elsewhere.

Marci Vogel, Ashland MFA alumni and poet

Marci Vogel, poetry

Marci Vogel is the author of At the Border of Wilshire & Nobody, winner of the 2015 Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize. Her poetry, translations essays, and fictions appear in a number of journals including Jacket2FIELDVIDAQuarter After EightWaxwing, The Critical Flame, and The Account. She is the recipient of a Willis Barnstone Translation Prize, the Hillary Gravendyk Memorial Scholarship, and a writer-in-residence grant from the Fondation Ténot. A former Provost's Fellow in the PhD Program in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California, she is currently a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at USC.

Learn More about the Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at Ashland University

home of The Ashland Poetry Press and River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative

For More Information, Contact the MFA Office, 419.289.5098 or

Thank you to these organizations for their support and partnership

The Ashland University MFA Program is grateful for the support of the Ohio Arts Council, whose funding helps make this program possible. We're also grateful for past partnership with the Coburn Art Gallery, the Ashland Public Library, and The Happy Grape. 

Ohio Arts Council        Akron Public Library Ashland University MFA Summer Reading Series