Fiction

Kirstin Chen (she/her)

Books:

Kirstin Chen is the New York Times best-selling author of three novels. Her latest, Counterfeit, is the June ’22 Reese’s Book Club pick. It has also been recommended by The New York TimesThe Washington PostPeople MagazineEntertainment WeeklyVogueTime, Oprah Daily, Harper’s BazaarCosmopolitanGood HousekeepingParade and more.

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Kirstin Chen

Edan Lepucki (she/her)

Books:

  • California (Little, Brown and Company, 2015)
  • Woman No. 17 (Random House Publishing Group, 2018)

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 have been published in The New York Times MagazineEsquire MagazineMcSweeney's and The Cut, among other publications.

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Edan Lepucki

Nayomi Munaweera (she/her)

Fiction

Books:

  • What Lies Between Us (St. Martin's Press, 2016)
  • Island of a Thousand Mirrors (St. Martin's Press, 2014, St. Martin's Griffin, 2016)

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. The book was awarded Sri Lanka's State Literary Award for English novel. Her short fiction and nonfiction are also widely available.

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Nayomi Munaweera

Vi Khi Nao

Fiction

  • Swimming with Dead Stars: novel (FC2, 2022)
  • Fish Carcass: poetry (Black Sun Lit, 2022)
  • Waiting for God: play (Apocalypse Party, 2022)
  • That Woman Could Be You: creative nonfiction (BlazeVOX, 2022)
  • The Vegas Dilemma: short stories (PRESS 11:11, 2021)
  • A Bell Curve Is A Pregnant Straight Line: poetry (PRESS 11:11, 2021)

Vi Khi Nao is also the author of these poetry collections - Human Tetris (11:11 Press, 2019) Sheep Machine (Black Sun Lit, 2018), Umbilical Hospital (Press 1913, 2017), The Old Philosopher (winner of the Nightboat Prize for 2014) - and of the short stories collection, A Brief Alphabet of Torture (winner of the 2016 FC2's Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize) and the novel, Fish in Exile (Coffee House Press, 2016). She is an interdisciplinary artist who works in multiple and interchangeable mediums. Her work includes poetry, play, fiction, nonfiction, performance, film and cross-genre collaboration. She was the Fall 2019 fellow at the Black Mountain Institute.

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Vi Khi Nao

Naomi J. Williams (she/her)

Books:

  • Landfalls (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015)

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.

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Naomi J. Williams

Kyle Winkler

Books:

  • The Nothing That Is (2021)
  • OH PAIN (2021)
  • Boris Says the Words (2022)

Kyle Winkler is the author of the cosmic horror novella, The Nothing That Is, the short story collection, OH PAIN and the speculative novel, Boris Says the Words. His writing has appeared in Conjunctions, The Millions and The Rumpus. His academic work focuses on the crossover between artistic and academic genres. He’s also the host of the podcast, The Left Hand of Le Guin.

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Kyle Winkler

Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Brian Conn (he/him)

Books:

  • The Fixed Stars: Thirty-Seven Emblems for the Perilous Season

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 Amazon’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. He co-founded, and for seven years co-edited, the literary journal Birkensnake.

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Brian Conn

Sarah Monette (she/her)

Books:

  • The Witness for the Dead (Tor Books, 2021)
  • The Goblin Emperor (Tor Books, 2014)
  • The Iskryne Series (with Elizabeth Bear, Tor Books): A Companion to Wolves (2007), The Tempering of Men (2011), An Apprentice to Elves (2015)
  • The Doctrine of Labyrinths series (Ace Books): Melusine (2005), The Virtu (2006), The Mirador (2007), Corambis (2009)

Sarah Monette has published more than fifty short stories, seven solo novels and three collaborations with her friend Elizabeth Bear. 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.
She's on Twitter as @pennyvixen, has a blog at truepenny.dreamwidth.org and (as Katherine Addison) reviews her nonfiction reading on GoodReads.

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Sarah Monette

Poetry

Aria Aber

Books:

  • Hard Damage (University of Nebraska Press, 2019)

Aria Aber’s debut book Hard Damage won the 2018 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Her poems are forthcoming or have appeared in The New Yorker, Kenyon Review, The Yale Review and The New Republic. She was also the 2018-2019 Ron Wallace Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Aria Aber

Dexter Booth

Books:

  • Abracadabra, Sunshine (Red Hen Press, 2021)
  • Rhapsody (Upper Rubber Boot Books, 2019)
  • Scratching the Ghost (Graywolf Press, 2013)

Dexter L. Booth’s collection, Scratching the Ghost, 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.

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Dexter Booth

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo (he/him)

Books:

  • Children of the Land: A Memoir (Harper Collins, 2020)
  • Cenzontle (BOA Editions LTD, 2018)
  • Dulce (Northwestern University Press, 2017)

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo’s Cenzontle is a winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. prize and Dulce, won the Drinking Gourd Prize. As one of the founders of the Undocupoets campaign, he was the first undocumented student to graduate from the Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan. His work has been featured in the New York TimesHarper’s Magazine and The Paris Review.

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Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Adam J. Gellings

Books:

  • Little Palace (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2022)

Adam J. Gellings received his MFA from Ashland University and his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he was the recipient of a fellowship from the Marion Clayton Link Endowment. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and magazines such as Best New Poets 2017 & 2021, New South, Salamander, The Southampton Review and Willow Springs.

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Adam J. Gellings

Tess Taylor

Books:

  • Last West (Museum of Modern Art, 2020)
  • Rift Zone (Red Hen Press, 2020)
  • Work & Days (Red Hen Press, 2016)
  • The Forage House (Red Hen Press, 2013)

Tess Taylor is the author of five collections of poetry, including The Misremembered World, which was 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 2016Taylor’s book of poems, Last West, was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art as a part of the Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures exhibition. Her other book of poems Rift Zone, was hailed as “brilliant” in the LA Times and named one of the best books of 2020 by The Boston Globe. Taylor has also served as on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered for more than a decade.

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Tess Taylor

Creative Nonfiction

Cass Donish (they/them)

Books:

  • The Year of the Femme (University of Iowa Press, 2019), poetry collection
  • On the Mezzanine (Gold Line Press, 2019), nonfiction chapbook / selected by Maggie Nelson
  • Beautyberry (Slope Editions, 2018), poetry collection

Cass Donish is the author of the poetry collections The Year of the Femme, chosen by Brenda Shaughnessy as winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize and shortlisted for the Julie Suk Award, and Beautyberry. Donish’s nonfiction work On the Mezzanine was chosen by Maggie Nelson as winner of the Gold Line Press Chapbook Competition. Donish has work appearing or forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Gettysburg Review, Guernica, Iowa Review, jubilat, Kenyon Review, Tupelo Quarterly and VICE. A founding editor of The Spectacle, Donish’s current poems and essays explore themes of queer and trans lived experience, grief, ecology, desire and young widowhood.

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Cass Donish

Kate Hopper (she/her)

Books:

  • Silent Running: Our Family's Journey to the Finish Line with Autism with Robyn K. Schneider (Triumph Books, 2015)
  • Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood (University of Minnesota Press, 2013)
  • Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers (Viva Editions, 2012)

Kate Hopper is the author of Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood, winner of a Midwest Independent Publishing Award, and she’s co-author of Silent Running, a memoir of one family’s journey with autism and running. Her writing has appeared in a number of journals, including BrevityLos Angeles Review of BooksThe New York Times online, Poets & Writers and River Teeth. Kate has been the recipient of two Minnesota State Arts Board Grants, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant and a Fulbright Scholarship.

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Kate Hopper

Terese Marie Mailhot

Books:

  • Heart Berries: A Memoir (Counterpoint Press, 2018)

Terese Marie Mailhot is the author of Heart Berries: A Memoir, a New York Times bestseller. Her work has been featured in Time Magazine, Elle, The Guardian, Mother Jones, "Best American Essays," Men's Health, Guernica and Granta.

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Terese Marie Mailhot

Lauren Markham (she/her)

Books:

  • The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life (Crown, 2017)

Lauren Markham is the author of The Far Away Brothers, which won the 2018 Ridenhour Prize and the California Book Award Silver Medal, was shortlisted for the LA Times Book Prize and was named a Barnes and Noble “Discover New Writers” Selection and a New York Times Critics’ pick for 2017. Her essays have appeared in outlets such as OrionHarper’sLitHubThe New Republic, Guernica and VQR, where she is a contributing editor.

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Lauren Markham

Lisa Nikolidakis  (she/they)

Books:

  • No One Crosses the Wolf (Little A, 2022)

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. 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 the Los Angeles Review, New Orleans Review, Bellingham Review, Hunger Mountain, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Salt Hill, The Rumpus, Nimrod, Passages North and Gulf Coast Online. She writes nonfiction and fiction, returning often to themes of trauma, mental health, chronic illness, music and nature.

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Lisa Nikolidakis

MFA Staff

Christian Kiefer, Director (he/him)

Books:

  • Phantoms: A Novel (Liveright/W.W. Norton, 2019)
  • One Day Soon Time Will Have No Place Left to Hide (Nouvella Books, 2016)
  • The Animals (W.W. Norton, 2015)
  • The Infinite Tides (Bloomsbury, 2012)

Christian Kiefer writes in the poetry, fiction and drama genres. His scholarly publications focus on American literature. As a professional musician, he’s released a number of albums primarily in the folk rock and avant garde traditions.

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Christian Kiefer