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Graduates of the MFA for Poets and Writers publish their work at an extraordinary rate. They have received many of American Letters’ top honors, including the Pulitzer Prize; William Carlos Williams Prize; Puschart Prize; and NEA, Guggenheim, and Stegner fellowships. MFA program alumni have gone on to top-tier PhD programs, and have built dynamic careers in education, publishing, journalism, non-profits, and arts administration.

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Last updated: March 25, 2024

Rachelle Toarmino (MFA ‘23) is the author of the poetry collection That Ex and the chapbooks Comeback, Feel Royal, and Personal & Generic. Her poems and essays on poetry have appeared in American Poetry Review, Bennington Review, Electric Literature, Iterant, Literary Hub, Poetry Daily, Salt Hill Journal, The Slowdown, and elsewhere. Rachelle is the founding editor in chief of Peach Mag, an independent literary publishing project with an online journal, print anthologies, and live and virtual events. She is also the poetry editor of Traffic East and an editorial advisor to Foundlings Press. In 2017, she served on the editorial advisory board of the anthology My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry. Rachelle recently launched Beauty School, an independent poetry school with virtual and in-person workshops, craft intensives, reading groups, and more.

Colin Drohan (MFA ‘22) was the archives editor for jubilat and the assistant director of writing programs at Catapult.

Laura S. Marshall’s (MFA ‘22) poetry and fiction appear in Bennington Review, The Normal School, juked, South Dakota Review, Okay Donkey, Lunch Ticket, 8 Poems, and elsewhere. Their work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best Microfiction, and longlisted for the Wigleaf Top 50 Very Short Fictions. They served as a guest editor for Trestle Ties and a special features editor for jubilat.

Nellie Prior (MFA ‘22) served as Special Features Editor at jubilat and is co-organizer of the Departure Reading Series.

Dashaun Washington (MFA ‘22) is a 2023-2025 Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. He is a 2021 92Y Discovery Poetry Contest runner-up and 2021 Indiana Review 1/2 K Prize finalist. He has received support from Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Lighthouse Works, Ucross Foundation, The Watering Hole, and beyond. His work has appeared in New England Review, Poetry, The Nation, Poem-a-Day, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere.

Sarah Ghazal Ali (MFA '21) is the author of Theophanies (Alice James Books, 2024), selected as the Editors' Choice for the 2022 Alice James Award. A 2022 Djanikian Scholar and winner of The Sewanee Review Poetry Prize, her poems appear in POETRY, American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Pleiades, The Yale Review, Poem-a-Day, Guernica, Best New Poets, and elsewhere. A Stadler Fellow, Sarah is the poetry editor for West Branch. She has received fellowships and residencies from Tin House, the Stadler Center for Poetry and Literary Arts, the Hambidge Center, the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Community of  Writers, and others.

Juleen Johnson (MFA ‘21) is a MacDowell Colony Fellow and the recipient of the Isabella Gardner Fellowship. Johnson is also a 2023 recipient of the Cannon Beach Art Association Grant for art and writing. Johnson’s work has been published in: The Rio Grande Review, Whiskey Island Magazine, The Dunes Review, Poetry Northwest and other journals and anthologies. Her poem won the Zone 3 Press Prize for Poetry. Johnson’s poems have been nominated for the Best of Net. She is the founder and editor of Trestle Ties: A Landscape of Emergence. Her debut chapbook Topography of Materials was published by Bottlecap Press in 2023.

Michael Medeiros (MFA ‘21) served as managing editor of jubilat. A 2018 apprentice at the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, he is the editor of the poetry compilation A Mighty Room: A Collection of Poems Written in Emily Dickinson’s Bedroom, and co-founder of the Amherst Poetry Festival. He is founder and chief potter of Poesia Pottery.

David Richardson (MFA ‘21) has, since 2015, co-directed the publishing project dispersed holdings and has edited Reading Room (2020) and Speed of Resin (co-published with Cooperative Editions, 2019), and co-edited Reading Now (2021). He works and teaches for the Bard Prison Initiative, where he is site director of the Taconic campus and a member of the writing faculty.

Claudia Wilson (MFA ‘21) is an artist, instructor, and social worker. They have featured at various venues in Ohio and Boston. Claudia’s present work in progress centers embodiment, family, blackness and nature, and WWF wrestlers from the mid ’80s. Their chapbook GROWN was published through Game Over Books Press and is about Claudia’s time in foster care. They have received two honorable mentions from the Academy of American Poets.

Stevie Belchak (MFA '20), a finalist for both the 2018 Center for Book Arts Poetry Chapbook Contest and the 2019 Boaat Chapbook Prize, her creative non-fiction and poetry can be found published in Feelings, Queen Mob's Teahouse, Pinwheel Journal, Hobart Pulp, Blush Lit, Third Coast, Dream Pop Press, Metatron's #MicroMeta series, and JetFuel Review.

Jack Chelgren (MFA ‘20) served as an assistant editor for jubilat and is on the poetry staff of Chicago Review. Recent poems have appeared in b l u s h, 'Pider, and Bedfellows. 

Ell Davis (MFA '20)  is a writer and artist from Columbus, Ohio. 
Amy Diehl (MFA '20)  is a writer and human in Western Massachusetts and the mother of two young children. Diehl likes pen names, odd numbers, asymmetry, tension, her husband, and fog. 

Mark Mangelsdorf (MFA '20) is from Colorado. 
Aly Nichols (MFA '20) has spent seven years at UMass after going straight into her MFA from undergrad, viewing it as the time she needed to be ready to enter the real world. Through the program, she discovered her poetical voice while also learning how to make her own voice heard inside of her writing and out. Having grown up in Massachusetts, she now seeks to move out to California to pair her love of writing with her other love -- video games. Taking her two kittens, Ashe and Rae, with her, she feels she's finally ready for an adventure beyond academia. 
Jay Pabarue (MFA '20)  is a poet and teacher from Philly. He has run the jubilat/Jones reading series, facilitated workshops in the Pioneer Valley, received a fellowship from the Millay Colony, and gotten little grants from reactionary, oppressive, neoliberal universities ugghhhh. If you're trying to find another way, he wants to join you. Jay's poems have appeared in DiagramThe Vassar Review, and Gargoyle
Kritika Pandey (MFA '20) is a Pushcart-nominated writer from Jharkhand, India. She was awarded the 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for her story "The Great Indian Tee and Snakes." She is a recipient of a 2020 grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. Her works have thrice been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and have appeared in The CommonThe Bombay Literary MagazineRaleigh ReviewUCity ReviewThe Bombay Review, and eFiction India. She is the winner of the 2020 James W. Foley Memorial Prize, 2018 Harvey Swados Fiction Prize, the 2018 Cara Parravani Memorial Award in Fiction, and a 2014 Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship for Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh. She is a 2014 Young India Fellow and an Electronics Engineer. 
Jay Ritchie (MFA '20) is the author of the poetry collection Cheer Up, Jay Ritchie (Coach House Books, 2017). While completing his MFA in Poetry at UMass Amherst, he won the Daniel and Merrily Glosband MFA Fellowship in Poetry, the Skolfield/Goeckel Award for Poetry, and the Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award for Fiction. His work has appeared in EVENTPowder KegThe PuritanSporkPeach MagglitterMOBcarte blanche, and been performed on CBC Radio, at the Newmarket National 10-minute Play Festival, and as part of a digital installation at the Phi Centre in Montreal. He is a PhD student in English at McGill University and a recipient of a SSHRC CGS Doctoral Scholarship.

Rebecca Valley (MFA '20) is a poet, essayist, and animal enthusiast from rural Vermont. She has published work in Black Warrior ReviewTinderbox Poetry JournalRattleBirdcoat Quarterly, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, The Bird Eaters, was published by dancing girl press in 2017. She was the 2019 winner of the Academy of American Poets Prize at UMass Amherst, and the inaugural recipient of the Young Writer's Project Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center in Spring 2019. She is the editor-in-chief of Drizzle Review, a book review site with a focus on marginalized authors, and curates surreal and theatrical writing prompts on Instagram @Living_Room_Theatre

Juliana Ward (MFA '20) is a poet living in Northampton MA. Her chapbook Venus in November is out now from b l u s h. 

Hannah Bishop’s (MFA ‘19) work has appeared in Noble / Gas Qtrly, Seneca Review, Eye Flash Poetry, ellipses, Faultline, and Yes Poetry.

Brittany Capps (MFA ‘19) is a PhD Candidate in Composition and Rhetoric at the University of South Carolina. She decided to pursue a career in academia once she taught her first College Writing class at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Her research interests include finding creative alternatives to FYC curricula, specifically those with multi-modal components.

Joe Crescente (MFA '19) is currently serving as the Media Literacy Fellow at the American Center in Moscow, Russia, where he conducts trainings, seminars, online courses, and webinars on media literacy to students, journalists, PR specialists, and others. He is currently querying his first novel, "Karaoke at the Train Station," and has begun his second.

Gion Davis’s (MFA ‘19) manuscript Too Much received the 2021 Ghost Peach Press Prize selected by Chen Chen and was published in 2022. They are also the author of the chapbook Love & Fear & Glamour. They have received the Best New Poets of 2018 Prize selected by Ocean Vuong. Clementine Was Right is the songwriting project of Mike Young and Gion Davis.

Zachery Elbourne (MFA ‘19) has served as reader and social media editor for jubilat, Poetry Editor for Delta journal, Assistant Managing editor of Slope Editions, and a co-founder and co-host of the Dead Bird reading series. Their work can be found in Seventh Wave Magazine, Kestrel, and Gigantic Sequins.

Emily Hunerwadel (MFA ‘19) is the author of the chapbook Professional Crybaby, selected by Kyle Dargan for the Poetry Society of America’s 2017 Chapbook Fellowship, and Peach Woman, selected by Doublecross Press for their Bound-Together contest. Their third chapbook, Night is as Long as the Window Desires, will be published by O-Blēk Editions in early 2023.

Emelie Menzel (MFA ‘19) is the author of the book-length lyric The Girl Who Became a Rabbit (Hub City Press, 2024), winner of the New Southern Voices Poetry Prize (selected by Molly McCully Brown). Her poetry hybridities have been awarded the Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award in Poetry (selected by Diana Khoi Nguyen) and the Cara Parravani Memorial Award in Fiction (selected by Leigh Newman) and have been featured in such journals as The Bennington Review, The Offing, and Copper Nickel.

Since graduating from the MFA, Ben Parson (MFA '19) has been teaching literature and creative writing at Eagle Hill School in Hardwick, MA. He currently lives in Greenfield with his partner and their dog—finding time to write in-between bouts of grading. 

Andy Nicole Bowers (MFA ‘18) is the author of the chapbook Vulturine (Factory Hollow Press).

John Goodhue (MFA ‘18) served as a contributing editor for jubilat. A finalist for the 2020 National Poetry Series, he was awarded an Academy of American Poets Prize and The Daniel and Merrily Glosband Award in poetry while at UMass.

Tom McCauley (MFA ‘18) is a Pushcart Prize-nominated writer, comedian and musician whose work has appeared in Willow Springs, Superstition Review, Leveler and What Rough Beast. His poem “People Are Not Lights” won the 2018 Joseph Langland Prize from the Academy of American Poets. In 2012, he scored Constance Congdon’s play “Tales of the Lost Formicans” for the Great Plains Theatre Conference, and in 2018, was a writer-in-residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center of Nebraska City.

Caroline Rayner (MFA ‘18) is the author of THE MOAN WILDS (Shabby Doll House, May 2023). Her poetry can be found in Annulet, b l u s h, KEITH LLC, Black Warrior Review, Peach Mag, Shabby Doll House, and elsewhere. She served as assistant managing editor of jubilat. Her essays, reviews, and interviews can be found in Tiny Mix Tapes and elsewhere.

Halie Theoharides (MFA ‘18) is the author of Final Rose (Mount Analogue) and Into the Leaf Gloom (Factory Hollow Press). She is former managing editor of jubilat and current instruction librarian at Deerfield Academy.

Callum Angus (MFA '17) is a trans writer and editor currently based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Nat. BrutWest BranchLA Review of BooksCatapultThe CommonSeventh Wave Magazine and elsewhere. He has received support from Lambda Literary and Signal Fire Foundation for the Arts, and he holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He edits the journal smoke and mold, and his first book of stories, A Natural History of Transition, was published by Metonymy Press in April 2021.

Kate Lindroos (MFA ‘17) is the author of the chapbooks Bumper Crop (Scram Press) and The Costume of a Hunter (Factory Hollow Press).

Nick Maione (MFA ‘17) is the author of the book Infinite Arrivals (Angelico Press), and a recent finalist for the National Poetry Series, Paraclete Prize, New Measure Poetry Prize and semi-finalist for the Washington Prize. In 2022 he helped curate a poetry and video exhibition at the Kansas City Art Institute. As a visual artist Nick has shown work internationally, and as a Byzantine iconographer he works on private commission. He is the founder and director of Orein Arts and edits Windfall Room.

John Sieracki’s (MFA ‘17) work has been published in jubilat, 34th Parallel, and elsewhere. You can watch him read his poem, The Cleaning, in Windfall Room Issue 08; the poem was selected for the Northampton Arts Council 2019 Visual Art and Poetry Biennial. He is a member of the once and future Connecticut River Valley Poets Theater (CRVPT).

Laura Warman (MFA ‘17) is the author of Dust (Inpatient Press), Whore Foods (Inpatient Press), and is Principal of the Warman School.

Lindsey Webb (MFA ‘17) is the author of the chapbooks House and Perfumer’s Organ. Her writings have appeared in Chicago Review, Denver Quarterly, jubilat, and Lana Turner, among others. She lives in Salt Lake City, where she is a Clarence Snow Memorial Fellow and PhD candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Utah. Plat is her first book.

Andrew Cothren’s (MFA '16) work has appeared in Redividerfields magazineThe Atlas Review, and Yalobusha Review. He received his MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Currently, he lives and bartends in New York City, where he is at work on a novel.

David Feinstein (MFA ‘16) is the author of the chapbook Woods Porn: The Adventures of Little Walter (No Dear / Small Anchor Press) and Tarantula (Factory Hollow Press).

Chris Hunt Griggs (MFA ‘16) is cofounder and editor of Biscuit Hill.

Daniel Moysaenko (MFA ‘16) is the author of the chapbook New Animal (H_NGM_N Books, 2015). His poems have appeared in Poetry, Pleiades, New American Writing, Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, and elsewhere. And his translations and critical writing have appeared in such journals as Asymptote, Chicago Review, Harvard Review, and Kenyon Review. Recipient of an Academy of American Poets prize, Pushcart Prize nomination, and Emory University Rose Library Fellowship, he has been named a finalist or semifinalist in the Cleveland State University Poetry Center's First Book Prize and Lighthouse Poetry Series, YesYes Books Open Reading Period, Autumn House Press Rising Writer Prize, Key West Literary Seminar Scotti Merrill Memorial Award, and Burnside Review Press Chapbook Contest.

Delia Pless (MFA ‘16) is an editor for Biscuit Hill. Her work has appeared in jubilat, Prelude, LIT, Sixth Finch, Western Beefs of North America, and elsewhere.

Jon Ruseski (MFA ‘16) is the author of the chapbooks Sporting Life, Neon Clouds, and most recently, Enter Sandman. He is a founder and editor of b l u s h.

Steven Tagle (MFA '16) is a writer, photographer, and philhellene. He is the recipient of an Asian American Writers' Workshop Margins Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship to Greece, and a Soros Fellowship for New Americans. He has been published in themLARBNew Delta ReviewSporkThe RumpusLiFO, and Nea Hestia. He has received residencies from the Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers, the International Writers and Translators' Center of Rhodes, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. He works for the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece.

Colleen Louise Barry (MFA ‘15) runs the interdisciplinary publishing projects Mount Analogue and Angel Tears. She is the author of Colleen (After Hours Editions) and the chapbook Poultry in Motion (Factory Hollow Press).

Patty Gone (MFA ‘15) is the author of Love Life (Mount Analogue, 2019) and The Impersonators (Factory Hollow Press, 2017) and director of the ongoing video serial Painted Dreams (2017, 2018, 2020). Her performance and video art has appeared at the Queens Museum, AS220, Dixon Place, The Poetry Project, and Smack Mellon, and has received grants and support from Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Mass MoCA, NYU, and Northampton Open Media. In 2021, she founded Gone University, an anti-school that aims to smash each student’s personal taste and replace it with a non-judgmental, open, and interconnected relationship to art.

Andrew McAlpine (MFA ‘15) is the author of The Volunteer (Burnside Review) and My Utmost Devotion (Factory Hollow Press). With Jedediah Berry, he runs Phantom Mill Games.

Rushing Pittman (MFA ‘15) is the author of the chapbooks Mad Dances for Mad Kings (Factory Hollow Press, 2015) and There Is One Crow That Will Not Stop Cawing (Another New Calligraphy, 2016). He is an editor for Biscuit Hill, an online poetry journal.

Ted Powers (MFA ‘15) is the author of Manners (Cold Cube Press).

Alexander Scalfano (MFA '15) is originally from northern Alabama and graduated from UMass Amherst’s MFA in Poetry program. He is currently the English Department Chair at Dublin School in the mountains of southern New Hampshire where he is also the founding editor of the school’s literary magazine, Layman’s Way. Some of his poems appear in Atticus ReviewCosmonauts AvenueNew Southsmoking glue gun, and Jellyfish.

Caroline Belle Stewart (MFA ‘15) is the author of the chapbook Husbandly Things (Factory Hollow Press) and co-author of a deck of narrative birding flashcards called Mast Year: A Mystical Field Guide (Mount Analogue Press). She is a recipient of a fellowship from the MacDowell Colony.

Bryan Beck (MFA ‘14) works in the University Analytics and Institutional Research Department at UMass Amherst.

Emily Bludworth de Barrios (MFA ‘14) is the author of Shopping or The End of Time (University of Wisconsin 2022), which received the Felix Pollak Prize, as well as Women, Money, Children, Ghosts (Sixth Finch 2016), Splendor (H_NGM_N 2015), and Extraordinary Power (Factory Hollow Press 2014. Rich Wife: Hera is forthcoming from Tupelo Press.

Shannon Burns (MFA ‘14) is the author of In God’s Hair (essays) and Oosh Boosh (poems).

Stella Corso (MFA ‘14) is the author of the poetry collections Green Knife (Rescue Press, 2023) and TANTRUM (Rescue Press, 2017), selected by Douglas Kearney for the Black Box Prize, along with the chapbooks Taboo Vivant (blush lit, 2022) and Wind & the Augur (Sixth Finch, 2021). She is a founding member of the Connecticut River Valley Poets' Theater (CRVPT) and the current Managing Editor of Denver Quarterly and FIVES.

Sadie Dupuis (MFA ‘14) is the guitarist, songwriter & singer of rock band Speedy Ortiz, as well as the producer & multi-instrumentalist behind pop project Sad13. Sadie heads the record label Wax Nine, edits its poetry journal, and is a regular contributor to Spin, Tape Op, Talkhouse, and more. Mouthguard, her first book, was published in 2018 (Gramma); Cry Perfume, a second poetry collection, was released in 2022 (Black Ocean). She is an organizer with the Union of Musicians & Allied Workers and its local UMAW Philly.

JoAnna Novak (MFA '14) is the author of I Must Have You and two books of poetry: Noirmania and Abeyance, North America. Her short story collection, Meaningful Work, won the 2020 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest and will be published by FC2. Her essay “My $1000 Anxiety Attack” was anthologized in About Us: Essays from the Disability Series of The New York Times. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris ReviewThe New York Timesthe Washington PostThe AtlanticFenceGuernicaAGNIBOMB, and other publications. She is a co-founder of the literary journal and chapbook publisher, Tammy, and teaches in the MFA program at Mount Saint Mary's University in Los Angeles. 

Liana Quill’s (MFA ‘14) first book, Fifty Poems, was chosen for the 2010 Mississippi Review Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in 1913: a journal of forms, jubilat, blackbird, and elsewhere.

Wendy Xu (MFA ‘14) is the author of The Past, published by Wesleyan in September 2021. Phrasis (Fence Books) was named one of the 10 Best Poetry Books of 2017 by The New York Times Book Review. Her debut collection You Are Not Dead (2013), was named by Poets & Writers Magazine as one of the year’s Top 10 debuts. Xu was awarded the Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry in 2011, a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation in 2014, and her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, Granta, Tin House, Poetry, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Conjunctions, and widely elsewhere. Her work has been supported by fellowships from Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. She has been on creative writing faculty at the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Columbia University, New York University, and is currently Assistant Professor of Writing (Poetry) at The New School in New York City.

Ben Estes (MFA ‘13) is the author of the poetry collections ABC Moonlight and Illustrated Games of Patience (both published by The Song Cave). Ben worked as the editor of A Dark Dreambox of Another Kind: The Poems of Alfred Starr Hamilton (with Alan Felsenthal); Together & Alone, The Photographs of Karlheinz Weinberger; and the poetry anthology On The Mesa: An Anthology of Bolinas Writing. With Alan Felsenthal, he runs the small literary press The Song Cave, is a painter who has most recently shown his paintings at Situations Gallery, Paula Cooper Gallery, and Headstone Gallery, and spends time working in a community ceramics studio in Kingston NY.


Brian Foley (MFA ‘13) is the author of The Constitution (Black Ocean, 2014) for which he was selected as a 2014 "New American Poet" by the Poetry Society of America. He’s authored several chapbooks including Going Attractions (Greying Ghost, 2012) & TOTEM (Fact-Simile Editions, 2014). His poems have appeared in PEN American, Verse Daily, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, jubilat, The Volta and elsewhere. 

Leora Fridman (MFA '13) is a writer whose work is concerned with issues of identity, assimilation, care, ability, and embodiment. Within and across these frames, she writes on books, art, and human stories. She's author of My Fault, selected by Eileen Myles for the Cleveland State University Press First Book Prize, in addition to other books of prose, poetry and translation. Her work appears or is forthcoming in the Millionsthe New York Timesthe RumpusTricycle MagazineOpen SpaceDenver Quarterlyjubilat, and jacket2, among others. Forthcoming books include Static Palace, a collection of essays about chronic illness and apocalypse, Fasci/nation, a book of nonfiction focused on embodied relationships to whiteness and historical oppression, and Vessel, collected poems on shattering and consecration. Leora holds degrees with honors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA Program for Poets and Writers and Brown University.  She has taught online and in person in universities, homes and community organizations, and collaborates widely with artists, writers and organizations. She is a recipient of support, grants and residencies from organizations including Fulbright, Creative Capital / Andy Warhol Foundation, Caldera, the National Endowment for the Arts, Alley Cat Books, Real Time & Space, Vermont Studio Center, the Center for Cultural Innovation, and the Dorot Foundation. She’s currently a 2019-2020 Fulbright research fellow to Mexico, and in 2020-2021 will be a Visiting Assistant Professor in nonfiction at Saint Lawrence University.

Emily Hunt’s (MFA ‘13) book Stranger is forthcoming from The Song Cave in 2024. Claudia Rankine selected an earlier version of this manuscript as an honorable mention in the 2020 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry competition. Hunt’s other works include the poetry collection Dark Green (The Song Cave), named a “standout debut” by Publishers Weekly and a "Must-Read Poetry Debut" by Lit Hub; Cousins (Cold Cube Press), a book of photographs; Company (The Song Cave), a poetry chapbook; and This Always Happens (Brave Men Press), a book of drawings and text. Her honors include the 2012 Iowa Review Poetry Prize (selected by Timothy Donnelly), the Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award in Poetry, and nominations for Best New Poets. She has been a Visiting Writer at Reed College, UC Santa Cruz, and the University of Richmond. Hunt’s poems have been published in Folder, PEN Poetry, Hyperallergic, The Iowa Review, Tupelo Quarterly, TYPO, The Volta, Diagram, and the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Now series, among many others. She has published photo series in numerous publications, including jubilat, No Materialism, Gramma, and Mount Analogue. She has also provided cover art for several poetry collections and exhibited art in group shows at Woodland Pattern Book Center, Carriage Trade, A.P.E. Gallery, Gallery 5, Goldsmith’s College of Art, and elsewhere

Dr. Kate Litterer (MFA '13, PhD '20) is an independent scholar and Productivity Coach. After earning an MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, she shifted course to focus on research, publishing, and coaching in an alt-ac role. She coaches creatives, entrepreneurs, and academics to help them develop sustainable productivity practices and achieve long-term, high stakes goals without feeling overwhelmed. During her PhD, Dr. Litterer received a Dissertation Fellowship from UMass and a LGBTQ Research Fellowship from the ONE Archives in Los Angeles. Notable publications include the anthology "Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation," an article in the Journal of Lesbian Studies, and pieces in Inside HigherEd, The Homeworker, and The Tempest. Notable podcast interviews include "The Slow Home Podcast" and "Here to Thrive." You can view more of what Dr. Litterer's up to at

Hannah Brooks Motl (MFA ‘13) is the author of the poetry collections The New Years (2014) and M (2015). Her criticism has appeared in the Kenyon Review Online and The New Republic/The Book, among other places. With Stephen Burt she helped edit Randall Jarrell on W.H. Auden (2005). She is Acquisitions Editor for Amherst College Press.

Angela Buck’s (MFA '12) stories have appeared in Fairy Tale ReviewBlack Scat ReviewThe Champagne RoomUnbrokenJukedWestern Humanities ReviewMid-American ReviewGobshite Quarterly, and Modern Grimmoire: Contemporary Fairy Tales, Fables and Folklore. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts and a PhD in English from the University of Denver. Her first book, Horses Dream of Money, was a finalist for the AWP Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, and will be published in Spring 2021 by FC2.

Caroline Cabrera (MFA '12) is the author of the lyric essay collection, (lack begins as a tiny rumble) from Tinderbox Editions, as well as three poetry collections and two chapbooks, including most recently The Coma of the Comet from Burnside Review and Saint X, winner of the Hudson Prize from Black Lawrence Press. She is the Education Coordinator & Lead Instructor at O, Miami. She is founder and editor of Bloom Books and, along with fellow UMass MFA Alumni Anne Holmes & Gale Thompson, co-host of the arts & advice podcast Now that We’re Friends.

Anne Holmes (MFA ‘12) is the author of The Jitters (horse less press 2015) and the chapbooks Dead Year (Sixth Finch 2016), Junk Parade (dancing girl press 2012), and I Am A Natural Wonder (with Lily Ladewig; Blue Hour Press 2011).She co-hosts the Miami arts & advice podcast Now That We’re Friends.

Andrea Lawlor (MFA '12) teaches writing at Mount Holyoke College, edits fiction for Fence magazine, has been awarded fellowships by Lambda Literary and Radar Labs, and is a 2020 Whiting Award recipient. Their writing has appeared in various literary journals including PloughsharesMuthathe Millionsjubilatthe Brooklyn RailFaggot Dinosaur, and Encyclopedia, Vol. II. Their publications include a chapbook, Position Papers (Factory Hollow Press, 2016), and a novel, Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, a 2018 finalist for the Lambda Literary and CLMP Firecracker Awards. Paul, originally published by Rescue Press in 2017, is out now from Vintage/Knopf in the US and Picador UK in the UK & Ireland. 

Mark Leidner (MFA '12) has previously taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and Portland State University. He currently lives in Atlanta and teaches at Emory University and Georgia State University. Returning the Sword to the Stone, Leidner’s second full-length poetry book, has been announced for publication in 2021 by Fonograf Editions. Empathy, Inc. has an 85% score on and has earned rave reviews in Variety and The Verge. It is available to stream on iTunes, Amazon, and Shudder. “21 Extremely Bad Breakups,” a story published in Under the Sea, was adapted for the stage and directed by Amy Rummenie of the Walking Shadow Theatre Company in Minneapolis in 2018. 

Gale Thompson (MFA ‘12) is the author of Mountain Amnesia (Colorado Prize for Poetry, 2023), Helen or My Hunger (YesYes Books, 2020), Soldier On (Tupelo Press, 2015) and two chapbooks, Expeditions to the Polar Seas (Sixth Finch, 2013) and If You’re a Bear, I’m a Bear (2013). She is the founding editor of Jellyfish Poetry and lives in the North Georgia Mountains, where she directs the Creative Writing program at Young Harris College. Her work may be found in Gulf Coast, Guernica, jubilat, American Poetry Review, BOAAT, Crazyhorse, and others. Gale has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and her poems have received prizes including Best New Poets and Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art.

Luke Bloomfield (MFA ‘11) is the author of the book Russian Novels (Factory Hollow Press) and the chapbook Duffel Bag (Factory Hollow Press). He is a Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Resource Economics at UMass Amherst.

Francesca Chabrier (MFA ‘11) is the author of the chapbook The Axioms (Pilot Books, 2013) and Throw Yourself Into the Prairie (Sarabande Books, 2014).

Jack Christian (MFA ‘11) is the author of two collections of poetry, Domestic Yoga (Groundhog Poetry Press, 2016) and Family System (University Press of Colorado, 2012), which was selected for the Colorado Prize. His poems and stories have appeared in The New York Times MagazinejubilatDenver QuarterlyThe Mississippi ReviewCimarron ReviewCarolina QuarterlyVerse Daily, and Web Conjunctions.

Kyle Flak (MFA '11) enjoys strolling quietly near turtle ponds. He is also a great admirer of jams, jellies, and preserves. His recent books of weird poetry / strange performance monologues include: Sweatpants Paradise and I Am Sorry For Everything in the Whole Entire Universe, both from Gold Wake Press. He has done some "studying" and "teaching" at Northern Michigan University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Texas State University. You can follow him on Twitter (@kpflak) or YouTube.

Robin McLean (MFA '11) was a lawyer and then a potter for 15 years in the woods of Alaska before receiving her MFA at UMass Amherst. Her first short story collection Reptile House won the BOA Fiction Prize and was named a best book of 2015 in Paris Review. Her stories have appeared widely, in such places as The Cincinnati ReviewCarveThe CommonCopper Nickel, and others. Her debut novel Pity The Beast is forthcoming from And Other Stories in 2021 and her second collection of stories are due out from AOS in 2022-23. She now directs writing at the Ike’s Canyon Ranch, an extreme-remote writers’ outpost in the high plains desert of central Nevada, where we’d love to host other UMass writers. She also teaches writing at The Loft in Minneapolis and at Hugo House in Seattle.

Hilary Plum (MFA '11) is the author of the novel Strawberry Fields (2018), winner of the Fence Modern Prize in Prose; the work of nonfiction Watchfires (2016), winner of the 2018 GLCA New Writers Award; and the novel They Dragged Them Through the Streets (2013). She teaches at Cleveland State University and in the NEOMFA program and is associate director of the CSU Poetry Center. With Zach Savich she edits the Open Prose Series at Rescue Press. Recent poetry, prose, and criticism have appeared in GrantaFenceDenver Quarterlythe Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere.

Henk Rossouw's (MFA '11) book-length poem Xamissa, published by Fordham University Press in 2018, won the Poets Out Loud Editor's Prize. Best American Experimental Writing 2018 featured an excerpt. The African Poetry Book Fund and Akashic Books included his chapbook The Water Archives in the 2018 boxed set New-Generation African Poets. Poems have appeared in The Paris ReviewThe Massachusetts Review, and Boston Review, among other publications. He earned an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a PhD from the University of Houston. A tenure-track assistant professor, he teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is from Cape Town.

Zach Savich (MFA ‘11) is the author of six poetry collections: Daybed (Black Ocean, 2018); The Orchard Green and Every Color (Omnidawn Publishing, 2016); Century Swept Burial (Black Ocean, 2013); The Firestorm (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011), winner of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Open Award; Annulments (Center for Literary Publishing, 2010), winner of the 2010 Colorado Prize for Poetry; and Full Catastrophe Living (University of Iowa Press, 2009), winner of the 2008 Iowa Poetry Prize. He is also the author of the lyric memoir Events Film Cannot Withstand (Rescue Press, 2011). Savich has held editorial positions at Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, and Thermos Magazine, and has taught creative writing and literature courses at the University of Iowa; the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; the University of Washington’s Creative Writing Seminar in Rome; Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; and Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. He is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the Cleveland Institute of Art and serves as the coeditor of Rescue Press’s Open Prose Series.

Jono Tosch (MFA ‘11) is the author of the chapbooks Under Sea (Chuckwagon Press) and Probably (Kendra Steiner Editions). He founded Tosch Builders.

Gabe Durham (MFA '10) is the founding editor of Boss Fight Books, a press for nonfiction critical books about video games. He has written two books for the series and edited 20+ others, including entries by Alyse Knorr, Michael Kimball, Jarett Kobek, Nathan Rabin, and Matt Bell. He is also the author of the novel FUN CAMP, and has published prose and poetry in 50+ venues including Puerto del SolDiagramBarrelhouse, and The Mid-American Review. He lives in Los Angeles.

Jessica Fjeld (MFA ‘10) is the author of Redwork (BOAAT Press, 2018) and the chapbooks The Tide (Pilot Books, 2010) and On animate life (Poetry Society of America, 2006), and the recipient of the PSA's Chapbook Fellowship and a "Discovery" Poetry Prize from the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center and the Boston Review. Her poems have appeared in Conduit, jubilat, Poetry, Shallow Ends, Sixth Finch, and elsewhere. She teaches in the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic, where she works on legal issues related to digital media, art, and emerging technologies’ impact on human rights. She has served as the managing editor for jubilat.

Matty Weingast (MFA '10) is co-editor of Awake at the Bedside and former editor of the Insight Journal at Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. With almost two decades of meditation experience, Matty completed much of the work on The First Free Women: Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns while staying at Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery in Northern California.

Mike Young (MFA ‘10) is the author of Sprezzatura (poems), Look! Look! Feathers (stories), and We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough (poems). He designs and publishes NOÖ Journal and runs Magic Helicopter Press. Mike started Clementine Was Right in 2018 as a return to songwriting. The band features an orchard of collaborators from the Sierra Nevadas to the Ozarks, complicating and queering the lineage of "country music" with yokel fuzz.

Michael Carolan (MFA '09) was born Kansas City, Missouri. Writing and reporting named notable in the Best American Essays series; writing prizes include The Atlantic Monthly and the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Credits for fiction, journalism, essay, photography and interviews include The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, National Public Radio, Kansas City Star, Nashville Review, Springfield Republican and The Massachusetts Review. Editor of The Mass Deportation of Poles to Siberia, a published book of wartime memoirs (2009). Professor of Practice, Clark University. 

Heather Christle (MFA ‘09) is the author of four poetry collections: The Difficult Farm (Octopus Books), The Trees The Trees (Octopus Books), What Is Amazing (Wesleyan University Press), and Heliopause (Wesleyan University Press). Her first work of nonfiction, The Crying Book, was published in 2019 by Catapult in the US and Hanser in Germany. It is also being translated into Dutch, Korean, Spanish, and Turkish, and adapted for radio by the BBC. The Trees The Trees, which won the Believer Poetry Award, was adapted into a ballet in a collaboration between the composer Kyle Vegter and the choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams. It premiered in 2019 at the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Christle's poems have also appeared in The Believer, Granta, London Review of Books, The New Yorker, and Poetry. Before coming to Emory she taught creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, the University of Texas at Austin, and Wittenberg University. She has been a writer in residence and faculty member at the Juniper Summer Writing Institute, and was a contributing editor at jubilat. In 2021, she was awarded a Howard Foundation Fellowship in Nonfiction from Brown University.

Anjali Khosla’s (MFA '09) first poetry chapbook, Ghostbot, was named a finalist in the 2020 Eric Hoffer Awards. Anjali is currently an Assistant Professor in the Journalism + Design Program at The New School. Her reporting and other nonfiction work has appeared in publications such as The GuardianGossamerHemispheresAir Mailthe New York Daily News, and Fast Company. She recently completed a residency at Arteles Creative Center in Haukijärvi, Finland. 

Emily Toder (MFA ‘09) is the author of Babies (BlazeVOX Books, 2022), Waste (BlazeVOX Books, 2019), Beachy Head (Coconut Books, 2014), and Science (Coconut Books, 2012), as well as the chapbooks It’s Not Over Yet (If A Leaf Falls Press, 2018), No Land (Brave Men Press, 2014), and Brushes With (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2010).

Chris DeWeese (MFA ‘08) is the author of The Black Forest (Octopus Books, 2012) and The Father of the Arrow is the Thought (Octopus Books, 2015). The Confessions was published by Plymouth University's Periplum Poetry imprint in 2017. He writes and edits newsletters for

Seth Landman (MFA ‘08) is the author of two books of poems: Confidence and Sign You Were Mistaken. He co-hosts The Dungeon, a podcast about movies, and All Our Pretty Songs, a podcast about 90s rock music, and he publishes a newsletter about the NBA called The Windmill.

Seth Parker (MFA ‘08) is the author of FAX (Agnes Fox Press), Beethoven of Smells (Invisible Ear) The Physical Poets: Altars (Lil' Norton), Man-Wing (Four Plates Press), and is founder of SKEIN Magazine.

Brian Baldi’s (MFA ‘07) fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have been published in the AWP Writer’s Chronicle, The Massachusetts Review, ZYZZYVA, Fairy Tale Review, Denver Quarterly, Brothers and Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales (Wayne State University Press), Monsters: A Collection of Literary Sightings, (Pressgang), and Best of the Web 2010 (DZANC Books)He has also published a chapter on faculty scholarly writing programming in "Working with Faculty Writers" (Utah State University Press), and an article, “Mutual Mentoring for Early-Career and Underrepresented Faculty: Model, Research, and Practice," in Innovative Higher Education.

Joshua Bolton’s (MFA ‘07) collection, One Hundred Suggestions for Seekers and Spiritual Activists, was published in 2018 by Alternadox Press. Rabbi Josh is the executive director at Brown RISD Hillel in Providence, RI.

Marie Buck (MFA ‘07) is the author of three collections of poetry: Life & Style (Patrick Lovelace Editions, 2009), Portrait of Doom (Krupskaya, 2015), and Goodnight, Marie, May God Have Mercy on Your Soul (Roof, 2017). She also recently completed a dissertation, Weird Propaganda: Texts of the Black Power and Women’s Liberation Movements. She is managing editor of the journal Social Text, where she also curates the online poetry and fiction sections.

Natalie Lyalin (MFA ‘07) is the author of Blood Makes Me Faint, But I Go For It (Ugly Duckling Presse 2014), Pink & Hot Pink Habitat (Coconut Books, 2009), and a chapbook, Try A Little Time Travel (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010). She is a part of the Agnes Fox Press editing collective and the cofounder and editor of Natural History Press. She teaches at The University of the Arts.

Andrew Robin's (MFA '07) recent poetry collections are Stray Birds (Kelson Books, 2021), and a chapbook, Small Pale Telegrams From The World (Sixth Finch Books, 2022). Under his former name, Andrew Michael Roberts, he also published the collections good beast (Burnside Review Books) and something has to happen next (University of Iowa Press). Andrew is the recipient of the Iowa Poetry Prize and a Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He lives with his wife Sarah on Lopez Island in Washington State, where he works as a registered nurse and volunteers as an EMT.

Jung Yun (MFA '07) is the author of Shelter (Picador, 2016), which was long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and a finalist for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award. Her second book, O Beautiful, is forthcoming from St. Martin's (fall 2021). Her fiction and essays have appeared in Tin HouseThe Massachusetts ReviewThe Indiana ReviewThe AtlanticThe Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Currently, Jung is an assistant professor of English at the George Washington University.

Steven Zultanski (MFA ‘07) is the author of several books of poetry, including Relief (Make Now Press, 2021), On the Literary Means of Representing the Powerful as Powerless (Information as Material, 2018), Bribery (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014), and Agony (Book*hug, 2012). An essay, Thirty-Odd Functions of Voice in the Poetry of Alice Notley, was published as a pamphlet by Ugly Duckling Presse in 2020.

Christopher Harris (MFA '06) has published four novels, as well as stories in such literary journals as Washington SquareLITNews from the Republic of Letters, and Slush Pile. He also hosts podcasts and a YouTube channel, via Harris Football. On Twitter, you can follow him @HarrisFootball.

Lauren Ireland (MFA '06) is the author of four books: FEELINGS (Trembling Pillow Press), The Arrow (Coconut Books), Dear Lil Wayne (Magic Helicopter Press), So Below (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press) as well as two chapbooks. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Mark Mendoza’s (MFA ‘06) work has appeared in Against the Current, AND, Compost, Cul-de-Qui, Neon Highway, Pages, Plantarchy, Quid, Shearsman, Streetvibes, The Gig, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Verse, and The Rialto special issue on younger British poets. He is currently writing a study on British civil society and the literary sphere, 1789-1848.

Arisa White (MFA ‘06) is a Cave Canem fellow and author of the poetry chapbooks Disposition for Shininess, Post Pardon, Black Pearl, Perfect on Accident, and “Fish Walking” & Other Bedtime Stories for My Wife, which won the inaugural Per Diem Poetry Prize. Published by Virtual Artists Collective, her debut full-length collection, Hurrah’s Nest, was a finalist for the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards, 82nd California Book Awards, and nominated for the 44th NAACP Image Awards. Her second collection, A Penny Saved, inspired by the true-life story of Polly Mitchell, was published by Willow Books, an imprint of Aquarius Press in 2012. You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, published by Augury Books, was nominated for the 29th Lambda Literary Awards. Arisa co-authored, with Laura Atkins, Biddy Mason Speaks Up, a middle-grade biography in verse about the midwife and philanthropist Bridget “Biddy” Mason, which is the second book in the Fighting for Justice series. Biddy Mason Speaks Up was awarded the FOCAL Award, Maine Literary Award for Young People’s Literature, Nautilus Book Award Gold Medal for Middle-Grade Nonfiction, and the Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal for Multicultural Juvenile Nonfiction and is now part of the New York City Department of Education’s Mosaic Curriculum. Her current publications are the poetic memoir Who’s Your Daddy and the anthology Home is Where You Queer Your Heart, co-edited with Miah Jeffra and Monique Mero and published by Foglifter Press. In collaboration with composer Jessica Jones, Arisa is working on Post Pardon: The Opera, which will premiere in 2025. Selected by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the 2010 Hot Pink List, Arisa was a 2011-13 member of the PlayGround writers’ pool. Recipient of the inaugural Rose O’Neill Literary House summer residency at Washington College in Maryland, she has also received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from Indigo Arts Alliance, The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, Juniper Summer Writing Institute, Headlands Center for the Arts, Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. As a visiting scholar at San Francisco State University’s The Poetry Center in 2016, she developed a digital special collections on Black Women Poets in The Poetry Center Archives. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in 2005, 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2019, her poetry has been published widely and is featured on the recording WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet. Arisa is an associate professor in English and Creative Writing at Colby College and serves as a community advisory board member for Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance.

Eric Baus (MFA ‘05) is the author of four books of poetry: 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). His work has been included in the following anthologies: 60 Morning Walks: Serial Interviews with Contemporary Authors (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014), The New Census: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry (Rescue Press, 2013), Open the Door: How to Excite Young People about Poetry (McSweeney's, 2013), The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral Poetry (Ahsahta Press, 2012), Poets on Painters (Ulrich Museum of Art, 2007).

Chris Carrier (MFA ‘05) is the author of Mantle and After Dayton.

Laura Solomon (MFA ‘05) is the author of three books of poetry, most recently The Hermit from Ugly Duckling Press, and two works of translation. Over the years, she’s worked with a number of literary journals and small presses, including Verse and Verse Press (now Wave Books), the early online journal castagraf (which she ran from 2002–2005), and the Georgia Review. She is the longtime executive director of Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee.

Rob Casper (MFA ‘04) is the head of poetry and literature in the Literary Initiatives Office at the Library of Congress. A founding publisher of the literary magazine jubilat, he previously worked at the Poetry Society of America and the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses. He also served on the latter’s board of directors, as the poetry chair of the Brooklyn Book Festival Poetry Committee, and on the LitNet Steering Committee.

Noah Eli Gordon’s (MFA ‘04) many books include The Frequencies (2003); The Area of Sound Called the Subtone (2004), which won a Sawtooth Poetry Prize; Inbox (2006); Novel Pictorial Noise (2007), chosen by John Ashbery for the National Poetry Series and winner of a San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award; A Fiddle Pulled from the Throat of a Sparrow (2007); The Source (2011); The Year of the Rooster (2013); The Word Kingdom in the Word Kingdom (2015); and Is That the Sound Of A Piano Coming From Several Houses Down? (2018). His book-length collaborations include, with the poet Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Figures for a Darkroom Voice (2007). His poetry, reviews, and essays have all been widely published and anthologized. Gordon directed Subito Press at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he was an associate professor.

Nick Hundley’s (MFA ‘04) first book, The Revolver in the Hive, won the 2012 Poets Out Loud Editor's Prize and was published by Fordham University Press in 2013. His poems have appeared in Green Mountains Review, FIELD, Massachusetts Review, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, Verse, LIT, Conduit, and other publications.

Dorothea Lasky (MFA ‘04) is the author of six books of poetry: The Shining (Wave Books, 2023); Milk (Wave Books, 2018); Rome (Liveright, 2014); Thunderbird (Wave Books, 2012); Black Life (Wave Books, 2010); and AWE (Wave Books, 2007). She has also authored numerous chapbooks and pamphlets, including The Blue Teratorn (YesYes Books, 2012); Matter: A Picturebook (Argos Books, 2010); Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010); and Art (H_NGM_N Books, 2005). She co-edited the book Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry (McSweeney’s, 2013). Along with Alex Dimitrov, she is one half of the Astro Poets, whose book, Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac, was published by Flatiron Books in October 2019. In 2013, Lasky was named a Bagley Wright Lecturer at Harvard University. She currently is an associate professor of poetry at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

Travis Nichols (MFA ‘04) is the author of two books of poetry: Iowa (2010, Letter Machine Editions) and See Me Improving (2010); and he is the author of two novels: Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder (2012) and The More You Ignore Me (2013).

Alex Phillips’ (MFA ‘04) poetry and translations have appeared in journals such as PoetryOpen City, and jubilat, and in Ted Kooser’s newspaper column “American Life in Poetry.” He is the author of CRASH DOME (Factory Hollow Press) and Unkindness (H_NGM_N Books).

Michael Robins (MFA ‘04) is the author of five collections of poetry, including People You May Know (2020) and The Bright Invisible (2022), both from Saturnalia Books. He writes the newsletter If You Lived Here

Lori Shine’s (MFA ‘04) poems have appeared in 6×6, APR, Boston Review, Conduit, New American Writing, Tin House and other magazines. With Kathranne Knight she heads Correspondence Publishing. She is Director of Content Development and Managing Editor for UMass Magazine.


Leni Zumas (MFA '04) is the author of two novels (Red Clocks and The Listeners) and a story collection, Farewell Navigator. She lives in Oregon and teaches in the MFA program at Portland State University.

Paul Fattaruso (MFA ‘03) is the author of Bicycle and Travel in the Mouth of the Wolf. His work has appeared in VoltJubilatFenceBlack Warrior ReviewAnother Chicago MagazineThe Tiny, and others.

Lisa Olstein (MFA ‘03) is the author of five poetry collections published by Copper Canyon Press: Radio Crackling, Radio Gone (2006), Lost Alphabet (2009), Little Stranger (2013), Late Empire (2017), and Dream Apartment (2023). She has also published two books of nonfiction: Pain Studies (Bellevue Literary Press, 2020), a book-length lyric essay on the intersection of pain, perception, and language; and Climate (Essay Press, 2022), an exchange of epistolary essays co-written with Julie Carr. Olstein’s honors include a John S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Pushcart Prize, Lannan Writing Residency, Hayden Carruth Award, Writers League of Texas Discovery Book Award, and Sustainable Arts Foundation award. She is the Ellen Clayton Garwood Centennial Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches in the New Writers Project and Michener Center for Writers MFA programs. She is also the lyricist for the rock band Cold Satellite and curates an interview series with poets about their new books for Tupelo Quarterly. 

Susie Meserve (MFA '01) is a poet and essayist whose debut poetry collection, Little Prayers, won the Blue Light Book Award and was published in 2018 by Blue Light Press. Her work has appeared in The New York TimesElleSalon.comThe Washington Post, and many literary journals, and in the anthology Show Me All Your Scars. She is also the author of the poetry chapbook Faith (Finishing Line Press, 2008). Susie is on the faculty at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband and two sons.

David Roderick’s (MFA ‘01) first book, Blue Colonial, won the APR/Honickman Prize and was published jointly by the American Poetry Review in 2006. Blue Colonial led to fellowships at the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences. Following the book’s publication, David was named the recipient of the 2007-2008 Amy Lowell Travelling Scholarship. The Americans, David's second collection, was published as part of the Pitt Poetry Series in 2014. Shenandoah awarded him its annual James Boatwright III Prize for a sequence of poems from the book. A larger sample of poems won the 2012 Campbell Corner Poetry Prize, selected by Phillis Levin, Vijay Seshadri, and Elizabeth Spires. The Americans also won the 2014 Julie Suk Award for poetry. Since completing a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, David has taught creative writing and literature classes at Stanford, the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. For nine years he taught in the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. David currently co-directs and teaches at Left Margin LIT, a creative writing center serving writers in the East Bay.

Connolly Ryan (MFA ‘01) is currently a professor of literature at University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he was thrice a finalist for the Distinguished Teaching Award. His visceral and witty poetry has been published in various journals including Bateau, Ditch, Umbrella, Citron, Satire, Scythe, Slope, Meat For Tea, Pannax Index, Satire and Old Crow. He is also a multiple Pushcart nominee. He has two finished Manuscripts: Fort Polio and The Uncle Becky Chronicles.

Michael Teig’s (MFA ‘01) first book, Big Back Yard (BOA Editions, 2003), was selected by Stephen Dobyns to receive the inaugural A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize. Teig was also the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Teig is a founding editor of jubilat.

Melissa Caruso (MFA '00) is the author of several fantasy novels, including the Swords & Fire trilogy (The Tethered MageThe Defiant Heir, and The Unbound Empire) from Orbit Books. Her new trilogy, Rooks & Ruin, is forthcoming from Orbit Books starting in June 2020 with The Obsidian Tower. Melissa's debut, The Tethered Mage, was shortlisted for the Gemmell Morningstar Award in 2017.

Corwin Ericson (MFA ‘00) is the author of the novel Swell (Dark Coast Press, 2011. He lives in western Massachusetts where he works as a university lecturer. Work of his appears in a variety of publications, such as Fence, the Massachusetts Review, and Conduit. Checked Out OK was first published in jubilat and later reprinted in Harper’s Magazine and elsewhere. Ericson also built one of the stone walls outside of Flying Object.

James Heflin’s (MFA ‘00) poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, Poetry Ireland Review, Conduit, and other journals, and his fiction has appeared in Cafe Irreal, The Golden Key, and others. He is a two-time Massachusetts Cultural Council grant recipient. He was for some years the arts editor of The Valley Advocate, editor of Preview Massachusetts, and features writer for the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Nicholas Montemarano (MFA '00) is the author of four books of fiction, most recently a novel, The Senator's Children (Tin House Books, 2017). His short stories have appeared in many publications including EsquireZoetropeTin HouseThe Southern ReviewAGNIThe Gettysburg Review, and The Antioch Review. He has won a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. He is the Alumni Professor of Creative Writing and Belles Lettres at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA.

Susan Steinberg (MFA '00) is the author of four books of fiction, Machine (Graywolf), Spectacle (Graywolf), Hydroplane (FC2), and The End of Free Love (FC2).  Her work has appeared McSweeney'sConjunctionsThe Gettysburg ReviewZyzzyvaBOMB online, The Believer online, American Short FictionBoulevardThe Massachusetts ReviewQuarterly WestDenver Quarterly, and other literary journals. She was awarded a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, a National Magazine Award, and a United States Artist Fellowship. She has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Civitella Ranieri Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the James Merrill House, the Millay Colony, Vermont Studio Center, the Wurlitzer Foundation, Jentel, Blue Mountain Center and Ledig House.  She earned a BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA in English from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is Professor of English at the University of San Francisco, and she was the Bedell Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Creative Nonfiction Program at the University of Iowa.

Andrew Varnon (MFA '00) lives in Greenfield, MA, with his wife Lynette (MFA '02) and their two kids. Over the years, he has received awards ranging from the 92nd St. Y/The Nation "Discovery" award to the Greenfield Poet's Seat Poetry contest. He worked for 12 years as an adjunct instructor where he developed the "Beer, Baseball and the Bible" class, before walking away from higher education and is now attempting to transition into public school teaching. He is currently working occasionally as a substitute teacher and coaching the boys tennis team at Greenfield High School.

Michael Earl Craig (MFA ‘99) is the author of Iggy Horse (Wave Books, 2023) Woods and Clouds Interchangeable (Wave Books, 2019), Talkativeness (Wave Books, 2014), Thin Kimono (Wave Books, 2010), Yes, Master (Fence Books, 2006), Can You Relax in My House (Fence Books, 2002), and the chapbook Jombang Jet (Factory Hollow Press, 2012). Along with James Tate, he is the voice of the recent audiobook Hell, I Love Everybody: The Essential James Tate. He lives in Montana, where he makes his living as a farrier. He was the 2015-2017 Poet Laureate of Montana.

Christian Hawkey’s (MFA ‘99) poetry collections include The Book of Funnels (2004) and Citizen Of (2007), which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. His cross-genre, multimedia book Ventrakl (2010) explores the work and life of poet Georg Trakl, an Austrian Expressionist, through layers of image, text, imagined Q&A, and conceptual translation. As Karla Kelsey noted in a review of Ventrakl for Constant Critic, “This book manages to be at the same time an overheard emotional utterance that comes from a particularly felt subjective location (that is to say, the lyric as conventionally described) and a discourse on language, identity, politics, and the making of life and of art.” Hawkey has translated the work of contemporary German poets Sabine Scho, Steffen Pop, and Daniel Falb, and has collaborated with German poet Uljana Wolf to translate the work of Austrian poet Ilse Aichinger. Hawkey’s own work has been translated into several languages. In 2000, Hawkey co-founded the literary journal jubilat. His honors include awards from the Poetry Fund and the Academy of American Poets, as well as a Creative Capital Innovative Literature Award and a DAAD Fellowship.

Kelly LeFave (MFA ‘99) co-founded the literary journal jubilat. Her poems have appeared in Tin House, Image, the Notre Dame Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Massachusetts Review, and other journals. Her book Me Comma You won the 2002 Gibbs-Smith Poetry Prize.

Alexandria Peary (MFA '99), PhD, serves as Poet Laureate of New Hampshire. She is a professor in the English Department at Salem State University and the author of six books. Her 2019 TEDx talk, "How Mindfulness Can Transform the Way You Write," is available on YouTube.

Matthew Zapruder (MFA ‘99) is the author most recently of Father’s Day, Copper Canyon, 2019, and Why Poetry, a book of prose, Ecco/Harper Collins, 2017. He is editor at large at Wave Books, where he edits contemporary poetry, prose, and translations. From 2016-7 he held the annually rotating position of Editor of the Poetry Column for the New York Times Magazine. He teaches in the MFA and English Department at Saint Mary’s College of California. He also plays lead guitar in the rock band The Figments, a Western Massachusetts based band led by songwriter Thane Thomsen. Zapruder’s other collections of poetry include Sun Bear (2014), Come On All You Ghosts (2010), The Pajamaist (2006), and American Linden (2002). He collaborated with painter Chris Uphues on For You in Full Bloom (2009) and co-translated, with historian Radu Ioanid, Romanian poet Eugen Jebeleanu’s last collection, Secret Weapon: Selected Late Poems (Coffee House, 2008). His awards include a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship in Marfa, TX, and the May Sarton prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has taught at New York University, The New School, the University of Houston, and at the University of California at Berkeley as the 2010 Holloway Lecturer in the Practice of Poetry.

Kristin Bok’s (MFA ‘98) collection of poetry, Cloisters, won Tupelo Press’s First Book Award and an Eric Hoffer da Vinci Eye Award. Her second collection, Glass Bikini, was published by Tupelo Press. She has published widely in journals, including The Black Warrior Review, Columbia, Crazyhorse, FENCE, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, and VERSE. A Massachusetts Cultural Council fellow, she lives in the village of Montague, MA with her husband, artist Geoffrey Kostecki, and together they restore liturgical art.

Herman Fong (MFA ‘98) is Senior Lecturer of Business Communication, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts. His poetry has appeared in Best American Poetry, Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, Gettysburg Review, Massachusetts Review, and Indiana Review, among others.

Daniel Hales (MFA '98) the author of ¿Cómo Hacer Preguntas? or, How To Make Questions: 69 Instructional Poems (Frayed Edge Press), the hybrid novel, Run Story (Shape&NaturePress), and three poetry chapbooks. He currently teaches 6th and 8th grade English at The Bement School.

Leo Hwang (MFA '98) received his Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts in Geosciences with a focus on the diverse community economies of artists and artisans in Franklin County, an M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and his B.A. in English and Fine Arts from the University of the South. His work has appeared in The Handbook of Diverse EconomiesHuman Being & LiteratureThe SAGE International Encyclopedia of Travel and TourismRoute NineRethinking MarxismSolidarity Economy I: Building Alternatives for People and PlanetMeat for TeaThe Massachusetts ReviewGlimmer Train StoriesRivendellCan We Have Our Ball Back?FictionThree CandlesGulf CoastThe Vermont Literary Review, and The Dickinson Review. He was the recipient of the Rosselli/de Filippis Scholarship at the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference and has been awarded scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He has taught at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Mount Holyoke College; Greenfield Community College; and Westfield State University. Mr. Hwang is currently the Dean of Humanities, Engineering, Math, and Science at Greenfield Community College. He also plays guitar in two bands, The Warblers and Vimana, and bass in The Original Cowards and The Big Why. 

Jane Rosenberg LaForge (MFA '98) lives in New York City with her husband, daughter, and two cats. Her novel, The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War (Amberjack Publishing) was a finalist in two categories in the 2019 Eric Hoffer awards. Her chapbook of poems, The Navigation of Loss, was one of three winners in the Red Ochre Press' annual chapbook contest in 2012. She reads poetry and edits copy for Counterclock, an online literary magazine; and reviews books for American Book Review. You can find her on Facebook or on Twitter @JaneRLaForge. Her web site is

Karen Skolfield’s (MFA '98) book Battle Dress (W. W. Norton, 2019) won the Massachusetts Book Award in Poetry and the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Her book Frost in the Low Areas (Zone 3 Press) won the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry and the First Book Award from Zone 3 Press, and is a Massachusetts “Must Read” selection. Skolfield is the winner of the 2016 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in poetry from The Missouri Review, the 2015 Robert H. Winner award from the Poetry Society of America, and the 2015 Arts & Humanities Award from New England Public Radio. She’s received fellowships and awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Split This Rock, Ucross Foundation, Hedgebrook, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center. She was the poet laureate for Northampton, Massachusetts, from 2019-2022. Skolfield is a U.S. Army veteran and teaches writing to engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Brian Henry’s (MFA ‘97) books include Astronaut (2000), American Incident (2002), Graft (2003), Quarantine (2006), In the Unlikely Event of a Water (2007), The Stripping Point (2007), Wings Without Birds (2010), Lessness (2011), Doppelgänger (2011), Permanent State (2020), and Things Are Completely Simple: Poetry and Translation (2022). An advocate for Slovenian poets and poetry, he has translated Tomaž Šalamun’s Woods and Chalices (2008) and Aleš Šteger’s The Book of Things (2010). Henry’s translation of Aleš Debeljak’s Smugglers received a 2011 Howard Foundation fellowship. Henry edited the collection of essays On James Tate (2004). He is the cofounder and coeditor, with Andrew Zawacki, of Verse Magazine. Henry and Zawacki also coedited The Verse Book of Interviews: 27 Poets on Language, Craft & Culture (2005). He has received fellowships for translation from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fulbright Program, the Slovenian Ministry of Culture, and the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. His honors and awards include a Distinguished Educator Award, a Cecil B. Hemley Memorial Award, an Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and a George Bogin Memorial Award. He teaches at the University of Richmond.

Carol Ann Davis (MFA '96) is a poet, essayist, and author of the poetry collections Psalm (2007) and Atlas Hour (2011), and The Nail in the Tree: Essays on Art, Violence, and Childhood (2020), from Tupelo Press. The daughter of one of the NASA engineers who returned the Apollo 13 crew from the moon, she grew up on the east coast of Florida the youngest of seven children, then studied poetry at Vassar College and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, and a finalist for the National Magazine Awards in Essays and Criticism. A former longtime editor of the literary journal Crazyhorse, she is Professor of English at Fairfield University, where she is founding director of Poetry in Communities, an initiative that brings writing workshops to communities hit by sudden or systemic violence, and Director of the Fairfield University Low-Residency MFA.  She lives in Newtown, CT, with her husband and two sons.

Jerry Wemple (MFA ‘96) is the author of three poetry collections: You Can See It from Here, selected by Pulitzer Prize-winner Yusef Komunyakaa for the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, The Civil War in Baltimore, and Artemas and Ark: the Ridge and Valley poems. He is also the author of two poetry chapbooks. He is co-editor, along with Marjorie Maddox, of the anthology Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania. His creative nonfiction has been published in several venues including the online journal Full Grown People and the newsmagazine He is the recipient of several awards for writing and teaching including The Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, The Word Journal Chapbook Prize, Fellowship in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Jack and Helen Evans Endowed Faculty Fellowship from Bloomsburg University, Two-time recipient of the Dean's Salute to Excellence at Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg University Institute for Culture and Society Award for Outstanding Creative Work, Fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center, the Celebrate Literacy Award from the Susquehanna Valley Reading Council, A Best of the Net award nomination for poetry, and Pushcart Prize nominations for poetry and creative nonfiction. Wemple is a Professor of English at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania where he teaches in the Creative Writing Program. 

Greg Bachar (MFA '95) earned his MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His writing has appeared in ConduitRain TaxiIndiana ReviewRedactionsLitroSentenceArroyo Literary ReviewSoutheast ReviewPontoon: An Anthology Of Washington State Poets, and Maintenant: A Journal Of Contemporary Dada Writing & Art. He is the author of the books Three-Sided CoinSensual EyeCuriosisosityBeansThe Amusement Park Of The MindThe Writing MachineThe Book Of Was. He plays bass as the leader of The Jack Waste Orchestra and was an Executive Producer of the 2015 documentary Elstree 1976.

Elan Barnehama’s (MFA '95) second novel, Escape Route (Running Wild 2021) is set in the summer of '69, a year littered with hope and upheaval around the globe. His first novel, Finding Bluefield (2012), chronicles the lives of Nicky and Barbara as they seek love and family during a time when relationships like theirs were mostly hidden and often dangerous. Elan's work has appeared in Drunk MonkeysRough Cut PressBoston AccentJewish FictionRunning Wild Press Short Story AnthologyHuffPostthe New York Journal of Books, public radio, and elsewhere. At different times Elan has taught writing online and in-person, was the fiction editor at Forth Magazine LA, worked with at-risk youth, was a ghostwriter for a university president, coached high school varsity baseball, had a gig as a radio news guy, and did a mediocre job as a short-order cook. He's a New Yorker by geography. A Mets fan by default.

David Cloud Berman (MFA ‘95) founded the band Silver Jews. His only published volume of poetry, Actual Air, was published in 1999. Returning to music following a hiatus, he later adopted the band name Purple Mountains and released an eponymous debut album in July 2019.

Joy Ladin (MFA '95) holds the Gottesman Chair in English at Yeshiva University, and, in 2007, became the first (and still only) openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. A poet, memoirist, and essayist, she long worked at the intersection of gender identity, religious tradition, and literature.  Her memoir, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders, was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award, and prompted conversations about trans and Jewish identities around country. Her most recent book, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective, a Lambda Literary Award and Triangle Award finalist, is the first book-length work of trans theology from a Jewish perspective. Recognized as a founding exponent of trans poetics, she has published nine books of poetry, including two Lambda Literary Award finalists and, most recently, The Future is Trying to Tell Us Something: New and Selected Poems. Her work has been recognized with a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, and an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship, among other honors. She serves on the Board of Keshet, an organization devoted to full inclusion of LGTBQ Jews in the Jewish world. Links to her writing are available at

Lesle Lewis (MFA ‘95) is the author of Small Boat (winner of the 2002 Iowa Poetry Prize), Landscapes I & II (Alice James Books, 2006), lie down too (Alice James Books, 2011), A Boot’s a Boot (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2014), and Rainy Days on the Farm (Fence Books, 2019). Her chapbook, It’s Rothko in Winter or Belgium was published by Factory Hollow Press in 2012. She has had poems appear in American Letters and Commentary, Northern New England Review, Hotel Amerika, Mississippi Review, The Cincinnati Review, Green Mountains Review, Barrow Street Mudfish, LIT, Pool, jubilat, notnostrums, and Sentence.


Natasha Trethewey’s (MFA ‘95) first collection of poetry, Domestic Work (Graywolf Press, 2000), was selected by Rita Dove as the winner of the inaugural Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African American poet and won both the 2001 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize and the 2001 Lillian Smith Award for Poetry. She is also the author of Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir (HarperCollins, 2020); Monument: Poems New and Selected (Houghton Mifflin, 2018), which was long-listed for the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry; Thrall (Houghton Mifflin, 2012); Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), which received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; and Bellocq’s Ophelia (Graywolf Press, 2002). Trethewey is the recipient of the 2016 Academy of American Poets Fellowship. Trethewey’s other honors include the Bunting Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Beinecke Library at Yale. In 2012, Trethewey was named as both the state poet laureate of Mississippi and the nineteenth U.S. poet laureate by the Library of Congress. In 2013, she was appointed for a second term, during which she traveled to cities and towns across the country, meeting with the general public to seek out the many ways poetry lives in American communities, and reported on her discoveries in a regular feature on the PBS News Hour Poetry Series. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013 and received the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities in 2017. In 2019, she was named a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Trethewey was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2019. In 2019, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is also the recipient of the 2020 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for lifetime achievement in poetry. Trethewey is the Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.


Melanie Almeder’s (MFA ‘93) first book of poems was shortlisted for the Walt Whitman Award and was given the Editor’s Prize by Tupelo Press. Her individual poems have received awards, been published widely in a range of journals, including Poetry, The Seneca Review, 32 Poems, Five Points, and The American Literary Review, and been nominated by editors for Pushcart Prizes. Her writings on art have appeared in national and international books and exhibitions. A believer in the crucial interconnections between writing, the arts, and community, Melanie Almeder has collaborated with arts organizers to organize community arts projects in Roanoke, Virginia, Miami, Florida, and Sitka, Alaska. She has received teaching awards from the University of Florida, Roanoke College, and, in 2011, the Virginia State Council of Higher Education named her as one of the top professors in Virginia. Melanie Almeder is the John P. Fishwick Professor of English at Roanoke College.

Lesley Dauer’s (MFA ‘92) poems have appeared in numerous magazines, including Poetry and Grandstreet, and several anthologies, including American Poets: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon UP) and The New American Poets (UP of New England). Her first book, The Fragile City (Bluestem Press), won the Bluestem Award. Lesley teaches at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA, where she is Co-Director of the Creative Writing Department.

William Waltz (MFA ‘92) is the author of Zoo Music (Slope Editions, 2004) and Adventures in the Lost Interiors of America (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013), and the chapbook Confluence of Mysterious Origins (Factory Hollow Press). He is the founder and editor of Conduit.

William Billiter (MFA ‘91) is the author of Stutter, a winner in the 2010 National Poetry Series (University of Georgia Press).

Kelly Everding (MFA ‘91) is the author of Strappado for the Devil, a chapbook published by Etherdome Press. She is the co-founder of Rain Taxi.

Andrea Holland’s (MFA '91) collection of poems Broadcasting was winner of the Norfolk Commission for Poetry (published by Gatehouse Press/StoryMachine). Her pamphlet Borrowed (Smith/Doorstop) was first stage winner of the Poetry Business Competition. Her writing has been published in The World Speaking Back: Poems for Denise Riley (Boilerhouse Press, 2018); Pestilence (Lapwing Press, 2020) and Nasty Women Poets (Lost Horse Press, 2017) as well as in journals such as Mslexia, The North, Rialto, Honeyguide and Slanted: 12 Poems for Christmas (IST, 2014) and online at and Andrea was elected to the Executive Board of the European Assoc of Creative Writing Programs (EACWP) in April 2019. She is a member of the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) Higher Education Committee and contributed to the development of the QAA benchmark statement for creative writing in 2015

Eric Lorberer (MFA '91) has published poems, essays, and criticism in numerous magazines and has been awarded a SASE/Jerome Fellowship for his writing. As the editor of Rain Taxi Review of Books, he is responsible for the voice and style that has brought the magazine widespread acclaim. Lorberer is also the director of the Twin Cities Book Festival, has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, and speaks at conferences and literary festivals around the country as an advocate for independent publishing and literary culture.

William Ryan (MFA ‘90) is the author of To Die in Latin and Eating the Heart of the Enemy.

Karen Donovan’s (MFA ‘89) newest collection of poems, Monad+Monadnock (Wet Cement Press), was published in 2022. Her book Planet Parable (Etruscan Press) appears in the innovative multi-author volume Trio along with complete books by the poets Diane Raptosh and Daneen Wardrop. Her other books of poems are Your Enzymes Are Calling the Ancients (Persea Books), which won the Lexi Rudnitsky / Editor’s Choice Award, and Fugitive Red (University of Massachusetts Press), which won the Juniper Prize. She is also the author of Aard-vark to Axolotl (Etruscan Press), a collection of tiny stories and essays illustrated with engravings from a vintage Webster’s dictionary. She has new work in the 2022 anthology Dreaming Awake: New Contemporary Prose Poetry from the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. From 1985 to 2005 she co-edited ¶: A Magazine of Paragraphs, a print journal of very short prose

James Haug (MFA ‘88) is the author of the books Riverain (Oberlin College Press), Legend of the Recent Past (National Poetry Review Press), Walking Liberty (Northeastern University Press), The Stolen Car (University of Massachusetts Press), and the chapbooks Three Poems (Factory Hollow Press), Why I Like Chapbooks (Factory Hollow Press), Scratch (Tarpaulin Sky Press), A Plan of How to Catch Amanda (Factory Hollow Press), and Fox Luck (Center for Book Arts).

Alexandra Kennedy (MFA ‘88) retired from The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst in 2023 where she had served as executive director for 15 years. She’s spending her time now consulting for non-profits, writing, and getting her field naturalist certificate. Earlier in her career, she was a vice-president at Disney Publishing, in charge of editorial for their US magazines. Her book of poems, The Animal Lover, was published by Scram Press in 2020.

Grace Bauer (MFA ‘87) has published six books, including Unholy Heart: New and Selected Poems (Backwaters Press/University of Nebraska, 2021), MEAN/TIME (University of New Mexico Press, 2017), The Women At the Well (Portals Press, 1996; 20th Anniversary Re-issue, Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2016), Nowhere All At Once (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2014), Retreats & Recognitions (Lost Horse Press, 2007), and Beholding Eye (CustomWords, 2006), as well as four chapbooks. With Julie Kane she co-edited the anthologies Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse and Umpteen Ways of Looking at a Possum: Critical & Creative Responses to Everette Maddox. She also guest edited a special Baby Boomer issue of the journal Prairie Schooner (Fall 2009), which was cited as a Notable Special Issue in Best American Essays. Her awards for poetry include an Academy of American Poets Prize, Individual Artists Fellowships from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Nebraska Arts Council, the Idaho Poetry Prize, the Society of Midland Authors’ Book of the Year Award, a Poets’ Prize nomination, as well as Residencies at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. In 2019, she was one of three finalists for the position of Nebraska State Poet. Her awards for teaching include an Aaron Douglas Distinguished Professorship, a College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Education, the Annis Chaiken Sorenson Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities, and several Certificates of Recognition for Contributions to Students—all from the University of Nebraska. She is the Aaron Douglas Professor Emerita from the University of Nebraska. 

Gillian Conoley (MFA ‘83) is a poet, editor, and translator. Her new collection is Notes from the Passenger  (Nightboat Books). The author of ten collections of poetry, Conoley received the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and was awarded the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and a Fund for Poetry Award. A Little More Red Sun on the Human, also with Nightboat, won the 39th annual Northern California Book Award in 2020. Conoley’s translations of three books by Henri Michaux, Thousand Times Broken, appearing in English for the first time, is with City Lights. Conoley has taught at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the University of Denver, Vermont College, Tulane University, and Sonoma State University. A long-time resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, founder and editor of VOLT magazine, Conoley has collaborated with installation artist Jenny Holzer, composer Jamie Leigh Sampson, and Butoh dancer Judith Kajuwara.

Lee Upton (MFA ‘81) is a multi-genre author of books of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and literary criticism. Her books include The Day Every Day Is (Saturnalia 2023); Visitations: Stories (Louisiana State University Press), Bottle the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles (CSU Poetry Center), The Tao of Humiliation: Stories (BOA), and Swallowing the Sea: On Writing & Ambition Boredom Purity & Secrecy (Tupelo). She is the author of an award-winning novella, The Guide to the Flying Island, five additional books of poetry, and four books of literary criticism. Her fourth book of literary criticism, Defensive Measures, a study of how poets claim distinctive voices, was published by Bucknell University Press. She wrote the libretto for The Mask of Edgar Allan Poe (composer: Kirk O'Riordan). Her awards include the Open Book Award, the Lyric Poetry Award and The Writer/Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America; the Pushcart Prize; the National Poetry Series Award; the Georgia Contemporary Poetry Series Award; the BOA Short Fiction Award; the ForeWord Review Book of the Year Award for Swallowing the Sea in the category of books about writing; and the Mary Louise Vanartsdalen Prize for Scholarship, the Marquis Teaching Award, the Jones Award, and the Jones Faculty Lecture Award at Lafayette College.

Dennis Finnell (MFA '80) has taught at the University of Tennessee, Mount Holyoke College, and Wesleyan University, and has briefly held over thirty jobs, at last count. His 2014 book, Ruins Assembling, was nominated for the 2016 Poets' Prize. He's received fellowships from the Arthur Vogelstein Foundation, twice from the Ragdale Foundation, with residencies at MacDowell and Ragdale. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, he now lives in western Massachusetts.

David Graham’s (MFA '80) most recent of seven poetry collections is The Honey of Earth (Terrapin Books, 2019). He co-edited (with Kate Sontag) the essay anthology After Confession, and (with Tom Montag) Local News, poems on small town America. He is a former Poet in Residence at The Frost Place. Now retired from teaching at Ripon College, where he hosted the Visiting Writers Series for 28 years, he writes a column, Poetic License, for the online journal Verse-Virtual. He lives in Glens Falls NY.

Marianne Boruch (MFA ‘79) is the author of collections including Bestiary Dark (2021), The Anti-Grief (2019), Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing (2016), Cadaver, Speak (2014), The Book of Hours (2011) from Copper Canyon Press, Grace, Fallen from (Wesleyan University Press, 2008), and Poems: New & Selected (Oberlin College Press, 2004). Her memoir, The Glimpse Traveler (Indiana University Press, 2011), concerns a hitchhiking trip she took in 1971. She is the author of prose collections on poetry, including The Little Death of Self (University of Michigan Press, 2017), In the Blue Pharmacy (Trinity University Press, 2005), and Poetry’s Old Air (University of Michigan Press, 1995). Boruch’s honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, residencies from the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center, Pushcart prizes, the 2011 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, a 2012 Fulbright Visiting Professorship at the University of Edinburgh, and a 2019 Fulbright Senior Scholarship at the International Poetry Studies Institute at the University of Canberra. She has been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome and at two national parks: Isle Royale and Denali.

Co-winner of Reed Magazine's Edwin Markham Prize (2019), Jeanne Julian (MFA '79) has published in such journals as Prairie Wolf Press ReviewPoetry QuarterlyLascaux Prize 2016 AnthologypacificREVIEWThe RavensPerchSnapdragonPoemeleonIris Literary Journal, and Kakalak. Her poems have won awards from The Comstock ReviewNaugatuck River Review, and the North Carolina Poetry Society. Jeanne regularly reviews poetry books for The Main Street Rag. Now retired from a 27-year career in higher education administration, she lives in Maine.

Diane Wald’s (MFA '78) novel Gillyflower was published in April 2019 by She Writes Press and won first place in the novella category from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, first place in the novella category from American Book Fest, first place in Fiction: Novella from International Book Awards, and a bronze medal from Reader’s Favorite. Diane has also published more than 250 poems in literary magazines. She the recipient of a two-year fellowship in poetry from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and has been awarded the Grolier Poetry Prize, The Denny Award, The Open Voice Award, and the Anne Halley Award. She also received a state grant from the Massachusetts Council on the Arts. She has published four print chapbooks and won the Green Lake Chapbook Award. An electronic chapbook appears on the Mudlark website. Her book Lucid Suitcase was published by Red Hen Press in 1999 and her second book, The Yellow Hotel, was published by Verse Press in the fall of 2002. Wonderbender, her third poetry collection, was published by 1913 Press in 2011. A fourth poetry collection, The Warhol Pillows, was published in 2021 by Finishing Line Press. My Famous Brain, her second novel with She Writes Press, was published in October 2021, and has won first place in Visionary Fiction from the New York City Big Books Awards, and first place in Visionary Fiction, New Adult Fiction, and Speculative Fiction from the Firebird Book Awards. You can read more about My Famous Brain at

Dr. Irma McClaurin (MFA '76), Black Feminist Speaker, is a woman of many talents who believes profoundly that you must “change minds, change hearts, change behavior to achieve transformation.” She is an activist bio-cultural anthropologist who studies the social construction of inequality. McClaurin is the founder and senior consultant of Irma McClaurin Solutions (IMS), a business that is focused on leadership and organizational development; diversity and change strategies; authentic community engagement practices; and research and evaluations. McClaurin seeks to find immediate and sustainable solutions to emerging and urgent issues, and offers support informed by past experiences as a president of Shaw University and Chief Diversity Officer at Teach For America. Dubbed an “academic entrepreneur,” she has held numerous executive positions that include grant making and fundraising.  She has a background in policy and was a senior faculty at the Federal Executive Institute (FEI) teaching leadership education to senior federal executives. Dr. McClaurin recently founded the “Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive” in 2016; it is a collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s W.E.B. Du Bois Library Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) and the W.E.B. Du Bois Center. She now presents nationally on the Archive and has appeared on ABC7 “Here and Now” to talk about this legacy project.  In 2019, the  @CiteBlackWomen launched its inaugural podcast with an interview with McClaurin on the Black Feminist Archive.  And Ms. Magazine published an interview about the Archive in 2018. 

Ellen Doré Watson (MFA ‘74) is Director Emerita of the Poetry Center at Smith College. She is the author of five full-length collections of poems, most recently, pray me stay eager, from Alice James Books. Earlier works include Dogged Hearts, from Tupelo Press, This Sharpening, also from Tupelo, and two from Alice James Books, We Live in Bodies and Ladder Music, winner of the New England/New York award. Watson’s journal appearances include APR, Tin House, Orion, Field, Ploughshares and The New Yorker. Among her honors are a Rona Jaffe Writers Award, fellowships to the MacDowell Colony and to Yaddo, and a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship. She has translated nine volumes from Brazilian Portuguese, most notably the poetry of Adélia Prado, including The Alphabet in the Park (Wesleyan University Press), Ex-Voto (Tupelo), and, most recently The Mystical Rose, from the UK poetry publisher Bloodaxe Books. Watson serves as poetry and translation editor of The Massachusetts Review and core faculty at Drew University’s Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Poetry and Translation.

Chris Howell (MFA '73) has published ten collections of poems, most recently Gaze and Love’s Last Number, which was a finalist for the UNT Rilke Prize. His poems, translations, and essays have been widely published in anthologies and journals, including Harper’s, Gettysburg Review, Denver Quarterly, and Antioch Review. The recipient of three Pushcart Prizes, he has also received multiple fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Washington Artist Trust, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. He has also been awarded the Helen Bullis, Vachel Lindsay, and Vi Gale prizes, the Washington State Governor’s Prize for Literature, the Washington State Book Award, and the Stanley W. Lindberg Award for Editorial Excellence. A native of the Northwest, Howell was a military journalist during the Vietnam War and now teaches at Eastern Washington University, where he is also director of Willow Springs Books as well as director and principal editor for Lynx House Press.

Bill Tremblay’s (MFA ‘72) work has appeared in seven full-length volumes of poetry including Crying in the Cheap Seats (University of Massachusetts Press) The Anarchist Heart (New Rivers Press), Home Front (Lynx House Press), Second Sun: New & Selected Poems (L'Epervier Press), Duhamel: Ideas of Order in Little Canada (BOA Editions Ltd.) , Rainstorm Over the Alphabet (Lynx House Press), and most recently Shooting Script: Door of Fire (Eastern Washington University Press). Hundreds of his poems have been published in literary magazines in the United States and Canada, as well such anthologies as the Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Jazz Poetry Anthology, Best American Poetry, 2003, The Portable Poetry Workshop, and Responding to Literature. In 1994, he published his first novel, The June Rise, which was widely and favorably reviewed, especially on NPR's "All Things Considered." In 2004, his book, Shooting Script: Door of Fire received both the ForeWard Magazine "Silver Award" and the Colorado Book Award from the Colorado Center for the Book (2004), an affiliate of the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities and the United States Library of Congress. He has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as The Pushcart Prize Anthology and the Corporation at Yaddo. He was a visiting Lecturer at the Univerisdade Nova in Lisbon, Portugal, through the Fulbright Commission. Mr. Tremblay edited Colorado Review for 15 years, served as a member of the Program Directors Council of the Associated Writing Programs (AWP), and is the recipient of the John F. Stern Distinguished Professor award for his thirty years teaching in and directing the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Colorado State University.