Michael Farris Smith - Fiction
Michael Farris Smith is an award-winning writer whose novels have appeared on Best of the Year lists with Esquire, NPR, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, Oprah Magazine, Book Riot, and numerous other outlets, and have been named Indie Next, Barnes & Noble Discover, and Amazon Best of the Month selections. He has also written the feature-film adaptations of his novels Desperation Road and The Fighter, titled for the screen as Rumble Through the Dark. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife and daughters.
Smith is represented by Ellen Levine of Trident Media Group. All foreign rights are handled by Trident Media Group.
Film/television rights are represented by Jason Richman of UTA (Los Angeles).
Maggie Smith - Creative Nonfiction
Born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1977, Maggie Smith is the author of the national bestsellers Goldenrod and Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change, as well as Good Bones, named one of the Best Five Poetry Books of 2017 by the Washington Post and winner of the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal in Poetry; The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, winner of the 2012 Dorset Prize and the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal in Poetry; and Lamp of the Body, winner of the 2003 Benjamin Saltman Award.
Maggie Smith’s next book, a memoir, You Could Make This Place Beautiful, will be published on April 11, 2023. Her debut picture book, My Thoughts Have Wings, illustrated by SCBWI Portfolio grand prize winner Leanne Hatch, is forthcoming from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in winter 2024.
A 2011 recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Smith has also received six Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council, two Academy of American Poets Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her poems have been widely published and anthologized, appearing in Best American Poetry, the New York Times, The New Yorker, Tin House, The Believer, The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, the Kenyon Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review, The Southern Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Her essays have been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, on the Poetry Foundation website, and elsewhere.
In 2016 Maggie Smith’s poem “Good Bones” went viral internationally, receiving coverage in the Washington Post, theGuardian, the Telegraph, Slate, Huffington Post Italia, and elsewhere. To date it has been translated into nearly a dozen languages; interpreted by a dance troupe in Chennai, India; and set to music by multiple composers. PRI (Public Radio International) called it “the official poem of 2016.” In 2017 the poem was featured on an episode of the CBS primetime drama Madam Secretary, also called “Good Bones,” and was read by Meryl Streep at Lincoln Center.
Jos Charles - Poetry
Jos Charles is author of the poetry collections a Year & other poems (Milkweed Editions, 2022), feeld, a Pulitzer-finalist and winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series selected by Fady Joudah (Milkweed Editions, 2018), and Safe Space (Ahsahta Press, 2016). She is visiting faculty for UC RIverside’s Creative Writing Department and teaches as a part of Randolph College's low-residency MFA program. She resides in Long Beach, CA.
Current MFA Faculty
Kirstin Chen (she/her)
- Counterfeit (HarperCollins/The Borough Press, 2022)
- Bury What We Cannot Take (Little A/Amazon Publishing, 2018)
- Soy Sauce for Beginners (New Harvest/Amazon Publishing, 2014)
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 Times, The Washington Post, People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, Time, Oprah Daily, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Parade and more.
Edan Lepucki (she/her)
- 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 Magazine, Esquire Magazine, McSweeney's and The Cut, among other publications.
Nayomi Munaweera (she/her)
- 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.
- 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.
Naomi J. Williams (she/her)
- 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.
- 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.
Brian Conn (he/him)
- 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.
Sarah Monette (she/her)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 2015, The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss, The Golden Shovel Anthology honoring Gwendolyn Brooks, Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry and Plume Poetry 9.
Marcelo Hernandez Castillo (he/him)
- 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 Times, Harper’s Magazine and The Paris Review.
Adam J. Gellings
- 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.
- 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 Chronicle. Work & Days was named one of The New York Times best books of poetry of 2016. Taylor’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.
Cass Donish (they/them)
- 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.
Kate Hopper (she/her)
- 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 Brevity, Los Angeles Review of Books, The 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.
Terese Marie Mailhot
- 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.
Lauren Markham (she/her)
- 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 Orion, Harper’s, LitHub, The New Republic, Guernica and VQR, where she is a contributing editor.
Lisa Nikolidakis (she/they)
- 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.
Christian Kiefer, Director (he/him)
- 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.