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April 05, 2024 3:00 pm - April 06, 2024 9:00 pm ET

Celebrating 60 years of the UMass MFA for Poets & Writers. All events are free and open to the public.



Friday, April 5, 2024

Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall


2:30pm: The Writer's Life: Susan Straight and Yvette Ndlovu discuss how to get published, moderated by Edie Meidav

3:30pm: Agent & Editor Chat with Anjali Singh

6pm: Visiting Faculty Reading with Hannah Brooks-Motl & Bianca Stone

7pm: Reception

8pm: LiveLit (current student reading)



Saturday, April 6, 2024

South College E370 (admitted students only)

10am: Admitted students Q&A with current students

11am: Lunch with admitted students & faculty

12pm: Walking tour of South College and campus


South College 3rd Floor Commons

1:30-3:00pm: Alumni Luncheon

Herter Hall, 231

3:30pm: Chat with Carey Salerno, Publisher of Alice James Books, hosted by Ide Thompson

4:30-6pm: UMass Literary Tabling: UMass Press, Massachusetts Review, & Juniper Institute

6pm: MFA Alumni Reading with Eric Baus, Rachel B Glaser, Yvette Ndlovu, and Susan Straight

7pm: Reception


The Juniper Literary Festival is produced by the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA for Poets and Writers and the Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts and Action. The Festival is also supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the UMass Chancellor's Office, the UMass English Department, the UMass Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the UMass Art Department, the UMass Arts Council, The Massachusetts Review, and the Emily Dickinson Museum. 






E Baus

Eric Baus is the author of five books of poetry: How I Became a Hum (Octopus Books, 2020) The Tranquilized Tongue, (City Lights 2014), Scared Text, winner of the Colorado Prize for Poetry (Center for Literary Publishing, 2011), Tuned Droves (Octopus Books, 2009), and The To Sound, winner of the Verse Prize (Wave Books, 2004). He is also the author of several chapbooks, most recently The Rain Of The Ice (Above/Ground Press 2014) and Euphorbia (Above/Ground Press 2019). His poems have been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, and Finnish. He is a graduate of the PhD program in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Denver as well as the MFA program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He teaches literature and creative writing at Regis University’s Mile High MFA program in Denver, which he co-directs with poet Andrea Rexilius.


Rachel B Glaser

Rachel B. Glaser is the author of the novel Paulina & Fran, the short story collection Pee On Water, and the poetry books MOODS and HAIRDO. Glaser studied painting at RISD and received her MFA in Creative Writing from UMass-Amherst. In 2017, she was on Granta's list of Best of Young American Novelists. Her fiction has been anthologized in New American Stories. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts and teaches at the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA.


Hannah Brooks-Motl

Hannah Brooks-Motl was born and raised in Wisconsin. She is the author of the poetry collections The New Years (2014), M (2015), and Earth (2019). Her poetry, essays, and criticism have appeared in the Best American Experimental Writing, the Cambridge Literary Review, the Chicago Review, Modernism/modernity, and in edited collections from Cambridge University Press and Wesleyan University Press. With Stephanie Burt she helped edit Randall Jarrell on W.H. Auden (2005). She earned an MFA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and PhD from the University of Chicago. She lives in western Massachusetts.




Yvette Lisa Ndlovu is a Zimbabwean sarungano. Her debut short story collection Drinking from Graveyard Wells (University Press of Kentucky) won the Cornell University 2023 Philip Freund Prize for Creative Writing, shortlisted for the Ursula Le Guin Prize for Fiction and nominated for the British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Collection. Her novel manuscript-in-progress was selected by George R.R. Martin for the Worldbuilder Scholarship. She earned her BA at Cornell University and her MFA at UMass Amherst. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Tin House Workshop, Bread Loaf Writers Workshop, and the New York State Summer Writers Institute. She is the Newhouse Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Wellesley College and has taught at UMass Amherst, Clarion West online, and the Juniper Institute for Young Writers. She is the co-founder of the Voodoonauts Summer Fellowship for Black SFF writers. Her work has been anthologized in the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction 2021 and the NAACP-award nominated Africa Risen (Tor). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Columbia Journal, F&SF,, Lightspeed, FANTASY Magazine, and Fiyah Literary Magazine for Black Speculative Fiction. She is currently at work on a novel. 




Carey Salerno serves as the executive director & publisher of Alice James Books where she has been dedicated to broadening the spectrum of the American poetic voice since 2008. She is the author of Tributary (2021), Shelter (2009), and a co-editor of Lit From Inside: 40 Years of Poetry from Alice James Books (2013). She serves as co-chair for LitNet: The Literary Network and teaches publishing arts and poetry writing for the University of Maine at Farmington. Salerno is a frequent guest of writing programs, conferences, and festivals, where she conducts consultations and delivers talks on publishing arts, editing, poetry, manuscript compilation, and other topics. You may find her essays, poems–and articles and interviews regarding her literary and publishing work–in print and online, including in NPR, Poets & Writers, and American Poetry Review.




Anjali Singh started her career in publishing in 1996 as a literary scout. Formerly Editorial Director at Other Press, she has also worked as an editor at Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Vintage Books. She is best known for having championed Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis after stumbling across it on a visit to Paris. She has always been drawn to the thrill of discovering new writers and among the literary novelists whose careers she helped launch are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Samantha Hunt, Preeta Samarasan and Saleem Haddad. As an agent she represents Bridgett Davis, author of the acclaimed memoir The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers; Susan Abulhawa, bestselling author of Mornings in Jenin and Against the Loveless World; Nawaaz Ahmed, author of the PEN-Faulkner finalist Radiant Fugitives; Mai Al-Nakib, author of An Unlasting Home and Rachel Harper, author of The Other Mother. Her graphic novel list includes Rebecca Hall and Hugo Martinez’ Wake: The Hidden History of Women-led Slave Revolts, Rhea Ewing’s Fine: A Comic About Gender, Gillian Goerz’s two Shirley and Jamila books and Deena Mohamed’s Shubeik Lubeik as well as new and forthcoming works by Gillian Goerz, Steenz, Salman Toor, Fouad Mezher and Tessa Hulls. She grew up between New Delhi and Alexandria, VA, graduated from Brown University and holds a diploma in French language and literature from the Sorbonne. She is a devoted New Yorker but still manages to spend a great deal of time in Rhode Island.




Susan Straight’s new novel, Mecca was a Finalist for the 2022 Kirkus Prize and the 2023 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the Southwest Book Prize for Fiction, and named by The New York Times as a Top Ten California Book of the year, one of the Best Ten Books of 2022 by The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, and a best book of 2022 by NPR. Her 2019 memoir, In the Country of Women, was a national bestseller, named a best book of the year by NPR and CodeSwitch, and longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence. She has published eight previous novels, including the bestseller Highwire Moon, a Finalist for the National Book Award, and A Million Nightingales, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her stories and essays have appeared in O Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Granta, Harpers, and elsewhere. Her awards include the Lannan Prize for Fiction, the Edgar Award for Best Mystery Story, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her work has been translated into Italian, French, Spanish, German, Turkish, Arabic, Swedish, Polish, and Japanese. She was born in Riverside, California, where she lives with her family.



Bianca Stone

Bianca Stone is the author of the poetry collections What is Otherwise Infinite (Tin House, 2022) which won the 2023 Vermont Book Award in Poetry; The Möbius Strip Club of Grief (Tin House, 2018), Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Octopus Books and Tin House, 2014) and collaborated with Anne Carson on the illuminated version of Antigonick (New Directions, 2012). Her work has appeared in many magazines, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic and The Nation. She teaches classes on poetry and poetic study at the Ruth Stone House (501c3) where she is editor-at-large for ITERANT magazine and host of Ode & Psyche Podcast. 

Contact Information
Ryan Mihaly

MFA Program Coordinator

Office: South College E349
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