The 2022 Summer Residency will be held at Ashland University Monday, July 25 through Friday, August 5. For the public events schedule, please visit our Summer Reading & Seminar Series page. Readings and panels will be livestreamed on Facebook and craft sessions will be recorded and put on our website.

Visiting Writers & Schedule

Ashley C. Ford, visiting writer

Ashley C. Ford, Visiting Writer in Creative Nonfiction

fiction Reading: TBA
Craft Class: TBA

Ashley C. Ford is the author of the New York Times Bestselling memoir, Somebody’s Daughter, published by Flatiron Books on June 1, 2021. Ford is the former host of The Chronicles of Now podcast, co-host of The HBO companion podcast Lovecraft Country Radio, seasons one & three of MasterCard’s Fortune Favors The Bold, as well as the video interview series PROFILE by BuzzFeed News, and Brooklyn-based news & culture TV show, 112BK. She currently lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband, poet and fiction writer Kelly Stacy, and their chocolate lab Astro Renegade Ford-Stacy.

Ford has written or guest-edited for The Guardian, ELLE Magazine, BuzzFeed, OUT Magazine, Mailchimp Presents, Slate, Teen Vogue, New York Magazine, Allure, Marie Claire, The New York Times, Netflix Queue, Domino, Cup of Jo, and various other web and print publications. She's taught creative nonfiction writing at The New School and Catapult.Co, and had her work listed among Longform & Longread's Best of 2017. 

While working as an executive for Matter Studios, Ford focused on developing web series and documentaries. She was also the host of the first season of Audible's literary interview series, Authorized. She has been named among Forbes Magazine's 30 Under 30 in Media (2017), Brooklyn Magazine's Brooklyn 100 (2016), Time Out New York's New Yorkers of The Year (2017), and Variety’s New Power of New York (2019).

John Keene

John Keene, Visiting Writer in Poetry

Poetry Reading: TBA
Craft Class: TBA

John R. Keene was born in St. Louis in 1965. He graduated from the St. Louis Priory School, Harvard College, and New York University, where he was a New York Times Fellow. In 1989, Mr. Keene joined the Dark Room Writers Collective, and is a Graduate Fellow of the Cave Canem Writers Workshops. He is the author of Annotations, and Counternarratives, both published by New Directions, as well as several other works, including the poetry collection Seismosis, with artist Christopher Stackhouse, and a translation of Brazilian author Hilda Hilst’s novel Letters from a Seducer. Keene is the recipient of many awards and fellowships—including a MacArthur Genius Award, the Windham-Campbell Prize, and the Whiting Foundation Prize for fiction. He teaches at Rutgers University-Newark.

Benjamin Percy

Benjamin Percy, Visiting Writer in Fiction

Fiction Reading: TBA
Craft Class: TBA

Benjamin Percy is the author of six novels, the most recent among them The Unfamiliar Garden (Mariner Books/William Morrow, 2022). He is also the author of The Ninth Metal (Mariner Books, 2021), The Dead Lands (Grand Central/Hachette, 2015), Red Moon (Grand Central/Hachette, 2013) and The Wilding (Graywolf Press, 2010), as well as three books of short stories, Suicide Woods (Graywolf Press, 2019),  Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf Press, 2007) and The Language of Elk (Grand Central/Hachette, 2012; Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2006).

His craft book — Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction — was published by Graywolf Press in 2016 and is now widely taught in creative writing classrooms.

He broke into comics in 2014, with a two-issue Batman story arc for Detective Comics. He is known for his celebrated runs on Nightwing, Green Arrow, Teen Titans, and James Bond. He currently writes Wolverine, X-Force, and Ghost Rider for Marvel Comics. He also writes the series Devil’s Highway and Year Zero for AWA Studios.

Participating Faculty

Dexter L. Booth 2017 Visiting Writer

Dexter Booth, MFA Faculty in Poetry

Dexter L. Booth is the author of Abracadabra, Sunshine (Red Hen Press, 2021), the chapbook Rhapsody (Upper Rubber Boot Books, 2019), and the collection Scratching the Ghost (Graywolf Press, 2013), which won the 2012 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. His poems have been included in numerous anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 2015The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and LossThe Golden Shovel Anthology honoring Gwendolyn BrooksFurious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry, and Plume Poetry 9. Booth holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Southern California.

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, MFA Faculty in Poetry

Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is the author of the multiple award winning book Cenzontle, (A. Poulin, Jr. Prize, BOA Editions); Dulce, (Drinking Gourd Prize, Northwestern University Press); and Children of the Land: A Memoir (Harper Collins). As a founding member of the Undocupoets campaign, which eliminated citizenship requirements from all first book prizes in the nation, he was awarded the Barnes and Noble “Writers for Writers” Award.  His work appears in The New York Times, PBS Newshour, Fusion TV, New England Review, Gulf Coast, Buzzfeed, Indiana Review, Washington Square Review, and Southern Humanities Review, among others.

Brian Conn, fiction author

Brian Conn, MFA Faculty in Fiction (Sci-Fi/Fantasy)

Brian Conn is the author of The Fixed Stars: Thirty-Seven Emblems for the Perilous Season, which won the Bard Fiction Prize and appeared on’s list of the top ten science fiction and fantasy books of the year. His short fiction has appeared in The Year's Best Weird Fiction, Conjunctions, Unstuck, The Cincinnati Review, and Greatest Uncommon Denominator, among other journals. He earned his MFA from Brown University, and has also taught at Bard College, UC Santa Cruz, and the University of Rhode Island.

Cass Donish

Cass Donish, MFA Faculty in Creative Nonfiction & Poetry

Cass Donish is a queer writer from California. They are the author of the poetry collections The Year of the Femme (University of Iowa Press, 2019), chosen by Brenda Shaughnessy as winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize and shortlisted for the Julie Suk Award, and Beautyberry (Slope Editions, 2018). Their nonfiction work On the Mezzanine (Gold Line Press, 2019) was chosen by Maggie Nelson as winner of the Gold Line Press Chapbook Competition. Donish has writing appearing or forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Gettysburg Review, Guernica, Iowa Review, jubilat, Kenyon Review, Tupelo QuarterlyVICE, and elsewhere. A founding editor of The Spectacle, Donish earned their MFA in poetry from Washington University in St. Louis. Their current poems and essays explore themes of queer and trans lived experience, grief, ecology, desire, and young widowhood. They live in Columbia, Missouri.

Edan Lepucki

Edan Lepucki, MFA Faculty in Fiction

Edan Lepucki is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels California and Woman No. 17, as well as the editor of Mothers Before: Stories and Portraits of Our Mothers as We Never Saw Them. Her fiction and nonfiction has been published in the New York Times Magazine, Esquire Magazine, McSweeney's, and The Cut, among other publications. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Sarah Monette, MFA Faculty in Fiction

Sarah Monette, MFA Faculty in Fiction (Sci-Fi/Fantasy)

Sarah Monette has published more than fifty short stories, seven solo novels, and three collaborations with her friend Elizabeth Bear. Her most recent novel is The Witness for the Dead (Tor Books, 2021). The Goblin Emperor, written under the pen name Katherine Addison, won the 2015 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel and was a finalist for the Hugo, the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Award. Her work has been translated into Russian, Japanese, Chinese, German, Turkish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Czech.

Nayomi Munaweera, fiction Ashland MFA

Nayomi Munaweera, MFA Faculty in Fiction

Nayomi Munaweera's debut novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, won the Commonwealth Prize for Asia. It was long listed for the Dublin IMPAC Prize and the Man Asia Prize. The novel was also short listed for the Northern California Book Prize and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and was a Target Book Club selection in January 2016. Her second novel What Lies Between Us was hailed as one of the most exciting literary releases of 2016 by venues ranging from BuzzFeed to Elle Magazine. She writes about the consequences of living in a female body and her voice has been compared to that of Michael Ondatjee and Jumpha Lahiri. The book was awarded Sri Lanka's State Literary Award for English novel. Her short fiction and nonfiction is also widely available.

Lisa Nikolidakis

Lisa Nikolidakis, MFA Faculty in Creative Nonfiction

Lisa Nikolidakis's memoir, No One Crosses the Wolf, about the traumas of a perilous childhood, a shattering murder-suicide, and a healing journey from escape to survival to recovery is forthcoming with Little A. Her essay “Family Tradition” was selected by Jonathan Franzen for inclusion in The Best American Essays 2016. Other writing of hers has won various prizes and mentions, including the Annie Dillard Prize for Creative Nonfiction 2021, Gulf Coast Prize, Indiana Review’s Fiction Prize, the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, the Calvino Prize, A Room of Her Own’s Orlando Prize, Cincinnati Review’s Robert and Adele Schiff Award for Prose, Hunger Mountain’s Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, The Briar Cliff Review’s Annual Nonfiction Contest, and The Chattahoochee Review’s Lamar York Prize.

Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Los Angeles Review, New Orleans Review, Bellingham Review, Hunger Mountain, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Salt Hill, The Rumpus, Nimrod, Passages North, Gulf Coast Online, and elsewhere. She writes nonfiction and fiction, returning often to themes of trauma, mental health, chronic illness, music, and nature. She also writes humor, mostly for survival.

Kelly Sundberg, MFA Faculty in Creative Nonfiction

Kelly Sundberg, MFA Faculty in Creative Nonfiction

Kelly Sundberg's memoir Goodbye, Sweet Girl: A Story of Domestic Violence and Survival was released by HarperCollins in June of 2018 and in paperback in June of 2019. Her essay "It Will Look Like a Sunset" was anthologized in Best American Essays 2015 and other essays have been listed as "notables" in Best American Essays 2013, 2016, and 2018. Her essays are published or forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Denver Quarterly, Guernica, The Los Angeles Review, Gulf Coast, Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, and elsewhere. Other work and commentary has appeared at Good Housekeeping, Glamour, and Psychology Today, among others. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from West Virginia University, a PhD in Creative Writing and English Studies from Ohio University and has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, A Room of Her Own Foundation, Dickinson House, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tess Taylor

Tess Taylor, MFA Faculty in Poetry

Tess Taylor is the author of five collections of poetry, including The Misremembered World, selected by Eavan Boland for the Poetry Society of America’s inaugural chapbook fellowship, and The Forage House, called “stunning” by The San Francisco ChronicleWork & Days was named one of The New York Times best books of poetry of 2016.  In spring 2020 she published two books of poems. Last West was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art as a part of the Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures exhibition; Rift Zone, from Red Hen Press, was hailed as “brilliant” in the LA Times and named one of the best books of 2020 by The Boston Globe. Taylor has served as on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered for over a decade. 

Naomi Williams

Naomi J. Williams, MFA Faculty in Fiction

Naomi J. Williams is the author of Landfalls, long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in numerous venues, including One Story, A Public Space, Ninth Letter, Lit Hub, The Rumpus, and the Brevity blog. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories honorable mention, Sustainable Arts Foundation grant, and residencies with Hedgebrook, Djerassi, Willapa Bay, and Storyknife. She lives in Sacramento and is working on a novel about the Japanese poet Yosano Akiko.

Visiting Faculty

Vanessa Angelica Villarreal

Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, Visiting Faculty in Poetry

Vanessa Angélica Villarreal was born in the Rio Grande Valley to Mexican immigrants. She is the author of the 2019 Whiting Award winning collection Beast Meridian (Noemi Press, Akrilica Series, 2017), a 2019 Kate Tufts Discovery Award finalist, and winner of the John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Paris Review, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, the Rumpus, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Buzzfeed Reader, and Poetry Magazine, where her poem “f = [(root) (future)]” was honored with the 2019 Friends of Literature Prize. She is a recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo and Jack Jones Literary Arts, and is a doctoral candidate in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she is raising her son with the help of a loyal dog.

Sarah M. Wells

Sara M. Wells, Visiting Faculty

Sarah M. Wells is the author of five books, most recently a memoir-in-essays, American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation. She is a freelance marketing content writer and also writes regularly for Root & Vine News and God Hears Her, a blog from Our Daily Bread. She lives in Ashland, Ohio, with her husband, a dozen fish, three children, two westies, and one bearded dragon named Joey.