The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Creative Writing Instructors

Creative Writing Instructors

Juniper's Creative Writing Instructors are professional teachers, published authors, and graduate students at UMass Amherst pursuing their Masters of Fine Arts degrees in creative writing. Below are the fantastic and brilliant Instructors from 2020. The Instructors for 2021 will be announced in April!

Mark Bias author photo

Mark Bias (He/Him)

Born in Daegu, South Korea as an orphan, Mark Bias was adopted and sent to the United States at an early age. He was an 8th grade ELA instructor in Harlem, New York and is an MFA candidate at UMass Amherst where he is a current writing instructor. He received an MA in Literature at The College of New Jersey and his work appears or is forthcoming from IDK Magazine, PANK, Silver Needle Press, The Underwater Railroad, and elsewhere. Defy the boundaries of genre while exploring the narratives in your past in Mark's Writing Lab. Consider the relationship between poetry and storytelling in Mark's Craft Session.

Sarah Coates author photo

Sarah Coates (They/Them)

Sarah Coates has an MFA in Metalsmithing, but never really touched metal. Now they're a second-year MFA fiction student at UMass. They make art. They also write. It's often very shiny and about that uncomfortable schism between adulthood and childhood. Traumedy, magic, their pets past and present, Gila monsters, creosote, and their partner are important creative muses. Join together with your peers to unlock the magic of co-authorship in Sarah's Writing Lab. Come navigate the collision of the visual and verbal in Sarah's Craft Session.

Julio Diaz author photo

Julio Cesar Diaz (He/They)

Julio Cesar Diaz, son of Central American immigrants, is originally from Houston, Texas. As a bilingual left-handed and sleep-deprived Capricorn, he holds a B.A. in English along with a certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at Austin. Julio Cesar's work has appeared in Hothouse Literary, Di-vêrsé-city Anthology, Barrio Writers, and elsewhere. Julio Cesar is currently enrolled in the MFA program for poets and writers at UMass Amherst and is getting ready to dream spectacles into existence. Engage with empathy, responsibility and beingness in Julio's Writing Lab. Reconsider your relationship to language in Julio's Craft Session

JR Mahung author photo

JR Mahung (They/Them)

JR Mahung is a Garifuna poet from the South Side of Chicago. They coached poetry slam teams and helped organize the Louder than a Bomb youth poetry slam festival (now Wicked Loud Youth Poetry Festival) while living in Boston. Their second chapbook of poems “Since When He Have Wings” is available on Pizza Pi Press. JR tweets about prison abolition, meal prep and the NWSL Challenge Cup here: @jr_mahung. Allow your emotions to be a catalyst for social change in JR's Writing Lab. Learn to create atmosphere across different writing styles in JR's Craft Session.

Laura S. Marshall author photoLaura S. Marshall (She/They)

Laura S. Marshall (she/they) is a poet, educator, and former linguist who also serves on the editorial staff of the literary magazine jubilat. Laura's work has appeared in juked, decomP magazinE, Epigraph Magazine, Califragile, Lavender Review, Junoesq, and elsewhere. Laura is an MFA candidate at UMass Amherst, and loves music, nature, travel, and gluten-free vegan pizza. Gather strange ideas and images from your world in Laura's Writing Lab. Let your imagination remix old narratives in Laura's Craft Session

Alex Terrell author photograph

Alex Terrell (She/Her)

Alex Terrell is a writer and maker of worlds. Her interests include Blackness and Black bodies in magical realism, genre fiction and strange/weird fiction. She would like you all to know she is one of the Droa Milaje who protects the king in Black Panther, she's a Gryffindor, though with some Ravenclaw mixed in, and she is House Stark. Face your obsession to haunt the page in Alex's Writing Lab. Build and populate strange new worlds in Alex's Craft Session

Dāshaun Washington author photo

Dāshaun Washington (He/Him)

Dāshaun Washington is a poet from Western Massachusetts. He is a recipient of the 2018 Robert Bone Memorial Poetry Prize, as well as scholarships from Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and fellowships from The Watering Hole Retreat and Tin House Winter Workshop. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Boiler, Raleigh Review, Tinderbox, and beyond. Dāshaun is currently enrolled in the MFA for Poets and Writers Program at UMass Amherst, where he also teaches in The Writing Program. Compose at the intersection of language, body, and voice in Dāshaun's Writing Lab. Discover the tools for creating awe-inspiring images in Dāshaun's Craft Session