MFA in Creative Writing Faculty
“At SNC, we take our job as teachers and mentors as seriously as we take our own writing. My hope is to create lifelong relationships with my students.”
— Suzanne Roberts, MFA Faculty
- MFA, University of Arizona
Cara Blue Adams is a fiction writer and editor. Her stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Sun, The Missouri Review, The Mississippi Review, EPOCH, and Narrative. She has been awarded the Missouri Review William Peden Prize and the Kenyon Review Short Fiction Prize. Four of her stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and her work has been selected for an audio feature on the New England Review website. She is the recipient of scholarships and fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and has been named on of Narrative’s “15 Below 30”.
Cara’s creative nonfiction is forthcoming in Boulevard and has recently appeared in The Little Magazine in Contemporary America (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and Essay Daily. Her book reviews and literary interviews appear in Ploughshares, Tin Horse, The Southern Review, and The Rumpus. She was recently featured in a New York Times article about The Lighthouse Works residency program, where she was a 2015 fellow, and an “Ah! Moment” piece in Poets & Writers will appear in March 2016.
Cara spent five years on the editorial staff of The Southern Review, culminating in the editorship. Work she edited has been selected for inclusion in or chosen as notable by Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, Best American Travel Writing, Best American Sports Writing, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and the PEN/O Henry Prize Stories. She is quoted in an article in The Millions about teaching, editing, and publishing alongside creative writing.
Originally from Vermont, Cara is an assistant professor of creative writing at Seton Hall University. She lives in Brooklyn.
BA, Philosophy, Cedarville University
Ben Barnhart is one of the founding editors of Revolver. He was formerly an editor with Milkweed Editions, and is a past president of the Minnesota Book Publishers Roundtable.
- BA, Latin; MA, Strategic Communications, University of Minnesota
Anitra Budd is a freelance editor for clients including the Loft Literary Center, Quarto Publishing Group, and Red Line Editorial. In her past job as editor at Coffee House Press she worked with a number of authors, including Kirsten Kaschock, T. Geronimo Johnson, Kate Bernheimer, Ron Padgett, Lincoln Michel, and Christopher Merkner. She is also the coauthor of Raise Them Up: The Real Deal on Reaching Unreachable Kids (Search Institute, 2006).
In addition to her editorial work, Budd is a visiting assistant professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has presented on publishing and editing topics at a variety of venues, including Columbia College’s Story Week, SUNY–Binghamton, Hamline University, and the Minnesota Book Publishers Roundtable at Open Book. She currently lives with her family in Minneapolis.
Following his graduation from Vassar College, Ben Busch served 16 years as an infantry and light armored reconnaissance officer in the United States Marine Corps, deploying for two combat tours in Iraq. He returned to the U.S. to play a Marine in HBO’s Generation Kill, where he pretended to invade towns he had actually invaded in the line of duty. His written work has been published in Harper’s,The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, and North American Review among others, and was notable in the 2010 Best American Essays anthology.
Busch’s searing memoir Dust to Dust (Ecco 2012) reflects a complicated relationship between destruction and creation. In chapters such as “Water,” “Metal,” “Bone,” and “Blood,” Ben reflects on his rural upbringing, his combat training, his relationship with his father—acclaimed novelist Frederick Busch—and, most poignantly, his own mortality, his family and the natural world.
His photographs have been featured in Five Points, Connecticut Review, Photography Quarterly, and War, Literature, & the Arts. As an actor, he is best known for his appearances in Homicide, The Wire, Generation Kill, and The Beast. His first film, Sympathetic Details, came out in 2008 winning numerous international film awards, and his new film as writer/director, BRIGHT, was released in January 2011.
Busch was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his essay, Growth Rings, printed in the Michigan Quarterly Review, and for his poem, You Know Who You Are, printed in the Dunes Review. Busch Received a Purple Heart medal in 2005 for combat wounds sustained in Ramadi, Iraq.
Rick Campbell’s most recent book is The History of Steel: A Selected Works (2014), from All Nations Press. His other books include Dixmont (Autumn House 2008); The Traveler’s Companion (Black Bay Books 2004); Setting The World In Order (Texas Tech 2001); and A Day’s Work (State Street Press 2000). He’s won a Pushcart Prize, an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, and two poetry fellowships from the Florida Arts Council.
Campbell was the director of Anhinga Press from 1992 to 2014, during which time the press published about 80 books of poetry. He is a founder and the Director of the Florida Literary Arts Coalition and its Other Words Conference in St. Augustine, FL.
His poems and essays have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Florida Review, Prairie Schooner, Fourth River, Kestrel, Puerto Del Sol, New Madrid and other journals. He was chosen to take part in the Georgia Poetry Circuit eight school tour, and has read or presented workshops at over 100 schools and conferences in the last thirty years.
Campbell teaches English at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida.
- BA, Political Science, California State University at Fresno
- MFA, University of Oregon
Daniel Chacón is author of Hotel Juárez: Stories, Rooms, and Loops (2013). His collection of short stories, Unending Rooms, won the 2008 Hudson Prize. He also has a novel, And the shadows took him, and another collection of stories called Chicano Chicanery. His fiction has appeared in the anthologies Latino Boom; Latino Sudden Fiction; Lengua Fresca: Latinos Writing on the Edge; Caliente: The Best Erotic Writing in Latin American Fiction; and Best of the West 2009: New Stories from the West Side of the Missouri. He co-edited The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: The Selected Work of José Anontio Burciaga. He is also editor of Colón-ization: The Posthmous Poems of Andrés Montoya, forthcoming in 2014 from Bilingual Press and The Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame.
Chacón is recipient of The Hudson Prize, a Chris Isherwood Foundation Grant, The American Book Award, and the Peter and Jean de Main Emerging Writers Award, among others. He teaches courses in Borges, Kafka, Physics as Metaphor, and Fiction Writing workshops. He has a literary radio show called Words on a Wire (KTEP.org) which he co-hosts with Benjamin Alire Sáenz. He is also a photographer/blogger, and his work can be seen at http://www.soychacon.blogspot.com.
Essayist and writer of memoir and literary nonfiction Steven Church is the author of The Guinness Book of Me: a Memoir of Record, Theoretical Killings: Essays and Accidents, The Day After The Day After: My Atomic Angst, and the forthcoming books, Ultrasonic (Lavender Ink) and Jumping Into the Cage: Encounters with the Savage and the Sublime (Dzanc Books). He has been nominated nine times for the Pushcart Prize, is the winner of the Glenna Luschei Prize from Prairie Schooner, and received the Colorado Book Award in Creative Nonfiction for The Guinness Book of Me: A Memoir of Record.
His essays have been published in Passages North, DIAGRAM, Brevity, River Teeth, The Rumpus, AGNI, The Pedestrian, Colorado Review, Creative Nonfiction, Terrain.org, and many others. He is a Founding Editor and Nonfiction Editor for the nationally recognized literary magazine, The Normal School; and he teaches in the MFA Program at Fresno State.
Church received is MFA in Fiction from Colorado State University. In addition to his academic positions as an adviser, adjunct instructor, and professor, he has worked as a housepainter, paperboy, grocery store clerk and bagger, fry cook, shovel and Uni-loader operator, construction laborer, tour guide (twice), maintenance man, and conflict mediator.
Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1950, poet, teacher and activist Carolyn Forché has witnessed, thought about, and put into poetry some of the most devastating events of twentieth-century world history. According to Joyce Carol Oates in the New York Times Book Review, Forché’s ability to wed the “political” with the “personal” places her in the company of such poets as Pablo Neruda, Philip Levine, and Denise Levertov.
An articulate defender of her own aims as well as the larger goals of poetry, Forché is perhaps best-known for coining the term “poetry of witness.” In her ground-breaking anthology, Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness (1993), Forché described the difficulties of politically-engaged poetry: “We are accustomed to rather easy categories: we distinguish between ‘personal’ and ‘political’ poems…The distinction…gives the political realm too much and too little scope; at the same time, it renders the personal too important and not important enough. If we give up the dimension of the personal, we risk relinquishing one of the most powerful sites of resistance. The celebration of the personal, however, can indicate a myopia, an inability to see how larger structures of the economy and the state circumscribe, if not determine, the fragile realm of the individual.” Calling for a new poetry invested in the “social,” Forché’s anthology presented poets who had written under extreme conditions, including war, exile, and imprisonment. The anthology solidified her place as one of America’s most important and aware poetic voices.
Forché’s first book of poetry, Gathering the Tribes (1975), however, is resolutely personal, recounting experiences of the author’s adolescence and young-adult life. Published when she was just twenty four, the book won the 1975 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. Judge Stanley Kunitz described the work as centering on “kinship” and noted that Forché “tries to understand the bonds of family, race, and sex.” Highly praised as a young poet of “uncommon vigor and assurance,” again according to Oates, Forché received a Guggenheim Fellowship and traveled to El Salvador as part of Amnesty International, in time to witness the unfolding civil war. While there, she viewed inadequate health facilities that had never received the foreign aid designated for them; saw young girls who had been sexually mutilated; and learned of torture victims who had been beaten, starved, and otherwise abused. Her experiences found expression in The Country between Us (1981). As reviewer Katha Pollitt observed in the Nation, Forché “insists more than once on the transforming power of what she has seen, on the gulf it has created between herself and those who have seen less and dared less.” The poet herself admitted to the compelling nature of her Central American experience. “I tried not to write about El Salvador in poetry, because I thought it might be better to do so in journalistic articles,” she told Jonathan Cott of Rolling Stone. “But I couldn’t—the poems just came.” In these poems Forché “addresses herself unflinchingly to the exterior, historical world,” Oates explained. She did so at a time when most of her contemporaries were writing poetry in which there is no room for politics—poetry, Pollitt stated, “of wistful longings, of failed connections, of inevitable personal loss, expressed in a set of poetic strategies that suit such themes.”
The Country between Us was named the 1981 Lamont Poetry Selection and became that most-rare publication: a poetry bestseller. In a critique for the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Art Seidenbaum maintained that the poems of the second volume “chronicle the awakening of a political consciousness and are themselves acts of commitment: to concepts and persons, to responsibility, to action.” A Ms reviewer called the book, “a poetry of dissent from a poet outraged.” More than one critic singled out her poem “The Colonel,” centering on her now-famous encounter with a Salvadoran colonel who, as he made light of human rights, emptied a bag of human ears before Forché. Pollitt remarked that “at their best, Forché’s poems have the immediacy of war correspondence, postcards from the volcano of twentieth-century barbarism.” Forché herself told Cott: “The voice in my first book doesn’t know what it thinks, it doesn’t make any judgments. All it can do is perceive and describe and use language to make some sort of re-creation of moments in time. But I noticed that the person in the second book makes an utterance.”
A dozen years passed between the publication of The Country between Us and Forché’s editing of Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness. Matthew Rothschild in the Progressive called the poems in the anthology “some of the most dramatic antiwar and anti-torture poetry written in this benighted century.” They provide, Gail Wronsky pointed out in the Antioch Review, “irrefutable and copious evidence of the human ability to record, to write, to speak in the face of those atrocities.” Building on the tradition of social protest and the antiwar poems of the late 1960s, Forché presents a range of approaches: “Many of the poems here are eyes-open, horrifyingly graphic portrayals of human brutality,” observed Rothschild. “But others are of defiance, demonstrating resolve and extracting hope even in the most extreme circumstances.”
In an article in the Mason Gazette, Forché commented that “The poetry of witness reclaims the social from the political and in so doing defends the individual against illegitimate forms of coercion.” The year following the publication of Against Forgetting saw Forché bring out her own book of witness, The Angel of History (1994), which won the 1994 Los Angeles Times Book Award for poetry. The book is divided into five sections dealing with the atrocities of war in France, Japan, and Germany and with references to the poet’s own experiences in Beirut and El Salvador. The title figure, the Angel of History—a figure imagined by Walter Benjamin—can record the miseries of humanity yet is unable either to prevent these miseries from happening or from suffering from the pain associated with them. Kevin Walker, in the Detroit Free Press, called the book “a meditation on destruction, survival and memory.” Don Bogen, in the Nation, saw this as a logical development, since Forché’s work with Against Forgetting was “instrumental in moving her poetry beyond the politics of personal encounter. The Angel of History is rather an extended poetic mediation on the broader contexts—historical, aesthetic, philosophical—which include [the twentieth]…century’s atrocities,” wrote Bogen. And Steven Ratiner, reviewing the work for the Christian Science Monitor, called it one that “addresses the terror and inhumanity that have become standard elements in the twentieth-century political landscape—and yet affirms as well the even greater reservoir of the human spirit.”
Forché’s next collection, Blue Hour (2003) took its title from the translated French phrase for dawn. According to a review in Publisher’s Weekly, the book draws on personal memories, “ethereal images of twentieth-century horror” and is “dosed with a mysticism derived from Heidegger and Buber.” Placing Forché squarely in line with the “visionary abstraction” of fellow poets Michael Palmer and Jorie Graham, the reviewer found sections of the book “lovely and mysterious,” and praised the tour-de-force at its center, “On Earth,” for the adroit foregrounding of its own “lyric complications.” Her new books include the collection In the Lateness of the World (2017), which was a finalist for the Nuestadt International Prize for Literature.
Carolyn Forché is also a noted translator and teacher. Her translations of poets as various as Claribel Alegría, Georg Trakl, Robert Desnos and Mahmoud Darwish have won great critical acclaim. She has won numerous grants and awards, including fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets. In 1997, she was presented with the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation Award for using her poetry as a “means to attain understanding, reconciliation, and peace within communities and between communities.” Hope J. Smith commented in the Madison Gazette that “Forché’s work is unusual in that it straddles the realms of the political and the poetic, addressing political and social issues in poetry when many poets have abandoned these subjects altogether. In recognizing the link Forché has made between these worlds, the Hiroshima Foundation recognizes her human rights work as much as it does her writing.” Forché is currently University Professor at Georgetown University where she directs the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice.
- MFA, Columbia University
Gabriel Fried is a poet and editor. He is the author of Making the New Lamb Take (Sarabande Books), named a Best Book of 2007 by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His poems have also appeared in American Poetry Review, The American Scholar, The Paris Review, and other journals and magazines. He is Poetry Editor at Persea Books, an independently-owned, literary publishing house based in New York City.
Read an interview with Gabe about winning the Sarabande Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry, 2008:
- MA, English, University of Central Florida
- MFA, Creative Writing, University of Central Florida
Kelle Groom’s memoir, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl (Free Press/Simon & Schuster 2011; paperback 2012), is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice selection, Library Journal Best Memoir of 2011, Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Month, Oprah.com O Magazine selection, and Oxford American Editor’s Pick. Her poetry collections are Five Kingdoms (Anhinga Press 2010), Luckily (Anhinga 2006), and Underwater City (University Press of Florida 2004). Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Best American Poetry 2010, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and Poetry, and has been recognized in the Pushcart Prize and Best American Non-Required Reading anthologies.
She is the recipient of fellowships from Black Mountain Institute, University of Nevada-Las Vegas in partnership with the Library of Congress, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Millay Colony for the Arts, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, American Antiquarian Society, and Ucross Foundation, as well as both a 2010 and a 2006 Florida Book Award, a State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs grant, and Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grant. Groom was the 2012-2013 Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Sierra Nevada College. Former poetry editor of The Florida Review, she is now a contributing editor.
- BA, Journalism, University of Iowa
- MFA, Bowling Green University
- MFA, Boise State University
Alan Heathcock’s VOLT was a “Best Book” selection from numerous newspapers and magazines, including GQ, Publishers Weekly, Salon, the Chicago Tribune, and Cleveland Plain Dealer, was named as a New York Times Editors’ Choice, selected as a Barnes and Noble Best Book of the Month, and was a finalist for the Barnes and Noble Discover Prize.
“The stories in VOLT are intense, suspenseful, and utterly compelling. Heathcock writes about violence and bad luck and bad choices with a cool, grim eye that recalls Cormac McCarthy, yet he also approaches the hard lives of his stoic Westerners with great empathy and compassion and heart–a kind of miraculous combination. By turns hair-raising and tender, the tales in this collection draw you into a tough, bleak, beautiful world that you won’t soon forget.” – Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply
Heathcock has won a Whiting Award, the GLCA New Writers Award, a National Magazine Award, has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Lannan Foundation, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts. A native of Chicago, he lives and works in Boise, Idaho
Poetry, Fiction, Performance Art
- BA, Writing & Literature, Naropa University
- MFA, Bennington College
Tim Z. Hernandez is an award winning author and performance artist. His debut collection of poetry, Skin Tax (Heyday Books, 2004) received the 2006 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, the James Duval Phelan Award from the San Francisco Foundation, and the Zora Neal Hurston Award for writers of color dedicated to their communities. His debut novel, Breathing, In Dust (Texas Tech University Press 2010) was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, received the 2010 Premio Aztlan Prize in Fiction from the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was a finalist for the 2010 California Book Award.
In 2011 the Poetry Society of America named him one of sixteen New American Poets, and he was one of four finalists for the inaugural Freedom Plow Award from the Split This Rock Foundation for his work on locating the victims of the plane wreck at Los Gatos. His second collection of poetry, Natural Takeover of Small Things, and his novel of historical fiction, Mañana Means Heaven, based on the life of Bea Franco, were released in 2013 with the University of Arizona Press.
As a performer he has collaborated with Grammy Award winning classical composer Eugene Freisen, and in 2001 was commissioned by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles to write and perform an original play on homelessness. Since 2007 he has worked with Poets & Writers Inc. and the California Center for the Book at UCLA teaching poetry, fiction, and non-fiction workshops across the west coast. He is the state-wide coordinator for Writers-in-the-Schools (Colorado), which focuses on rural under-served communities, and is a frequent guest artist at universities, cultural institutions, and literary centers across the United States.
He has taught as an adjunct in fiction at Naropa University, and is currently a Mentor for Prescott College’s Graduate Program. He currently lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and children.
- PhD, University of Houston
Lacy M. Johnson is a Houston-based artist, curator, teacher, and activist; author of The Other Side (Tin House, 2014) and Trespasses: A Memoir (University of Iowa Press, 2012); and co-creator of the location-based storytelling project [the invisible city].
She worked as a cashier at WalMart, sold steaks door-to-door, and puppeteered with a traveling children’s museum before earning a PhD from University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program. She has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Houston Arts Alliance, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Kansas Arts Commission (may it rest in peace), the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, Inprint, and Millay Colony for the Arts.
Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tin House, The Racial Imaginary (Fence Books, 2014), Fourth Genre, Literature: The Human Experience (Bedford / St. Martin’s, 2013), Creative Nonfiction, Sentence, TriQuarterly, Gulf Coast and elsewhere. She teaches Interdisciplinary Art at the University of Houston.
Fiction, Poetry, Music
- Ph.D. in American Literature, University of California at Davis
Christian Kiefer’s first novel, The Infinite Tides (Bloomsbury) appeared on best of the year lists from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist and was given rave reviews in The Washington Post, Oprah.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, Brooklyn Rain, Library Journal, Huffington Post, and elsewhere. T.C. Boyle called the novel “smart, lyrical [and] deeply moving” and noted its “emotional complexity and pure aching beauty.” Pam Houston called it “the most emotionally and syntactically sophisticated debut I have ever seen.” His second novel, The Animals (Liveright / W.W. Norton) was a best book of the year from Amazon.com and was praised by Richard Ford, Janet Fitch, and many others. Porter Shreve, writing about the novel in the San Francisco Chronicle, noted that “the book is not just a galloping great read; it’s a violent, tender, terrifying, genuine work of art.”
Kiefer is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for his short fiction, which has appeared in Santa Monica Review, Zyzzyva, Catamaran Literary Reader, and elsewhere. He writes and publishes poetry on a regular basis, and has a long second career in music, under the auspices of which he has collaborated with members of Smog, Sun Kil Moon, Wilco, Low, and The Band.
He teaches regularly at conferences including the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and the Catamaran Writing Conference, and has been a fellow at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Upcoming work includes the novella, One Day Soon Time Will Have No Place Left to Hide (Nouvella) and the novel, Kingdom of Wolves (Liveright / W.W. Norton).
He lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada northeast of Sacramento, California with his wife and sons.
Born in 1965, Mike McCormack is the author of the short story collections Getting it in the Head and Forensic Songs, and the novels Crowe’s Requiem and Notes from a Coma.
In 1996 he was awarded the Rooney Prize for Literature and Getting it in the Head was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. A short film, which he scripted from one of the stories in that collection, was long listed for an Academy Award in 2003. In 2006 Notes from a Coma was shortlisted for the Irish Book of the Year Award; it was recently published by SOHO Press in New York. He was awarded a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship in 2007 and he has been the recipient of several bursaries from the Irish Arts Council.
He has taught in numerous schools and universities. He currently teaches on the MA in Writing at the National University of Ireland, Galway and on the MFA in Creative Writing at the American College in Dublin. He was visiting professor at Willamette University, Illinois in 2001 and recently he has taught in the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin.
He currently lives with his wife in Galway.
Poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Short Fiction
- BA, Richard Stockton College of NJ
- MFA, Writing and Literature, Goddard College
Laura McCullough’s most recent books are Rigger Death & Hoist Another, poems (Black Lawrence Press, 2013); Ripple & Snap, micro-fiction/prose-poems about the aftermath of a public suicide; Shutters*Voices*Wind, linked monologues in the voices of women from around the globe; The Smashing House, a short fiction chapbook (ELJ Publications, 2013); and her edited anthology, The Room & the World: Essays on the Poetry of Stephen Dunn (Syracuse University Press, 2013). Her other books are Panic (winner of the Kinereth Gensler Award, Alice James Books, and a Foreword BOTYA finalist), Speech Acts (Black Lawrence Press), and What Men Want (XOXOX Press). Her second edited anthology, A Sense of Regard: Essays on Poetry and Race is forthcoming in late 2014 from University of Georgia Press.
She has been a finalist for the Brittingham and Felix Poetry Prize, the Isabella Gardner Award, and the Frost Place residency and has been awarded scholarships or fellowships from Sewanee Writers Conference, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Vermont Studio Center, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Nebraska Summer Writers Conference, and others. Her essays, criticism, poems, creative non-fiction, and short fiction have appeared in Diode, Plume, Drunken Boat, The Georgia Review, New South, Guernica, The American Poetry Review, Green Mountains Review, Pank, The Good Men Project, The Writer’s Chronicle, Gulf Coast, Pedestal, Painted Bride Quarterly, and others. She was the founding editor of Mead: the Magazine of Literature and Libations and currently acts as an editor-at-large.
- MFA, University of Washington
Peter Mountford’s debut novel, A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), won the 2012 Washington State Book Award and was a finalist in the 2012 VCU Cabell First Novelist Prize. In its full-page review, The Seattle Times wrote: “Debut novels don’t come much savvier, punchier, or more entertaining…the work of an extraordinary talent.”
His second novel The Dismal Science (Tin House Books) was described by bestselling author Tea Obrecht as “Quietly wrenching, sharply drawn and completely un-put-downable. A deft and unflinching exponent of the human side of a polarizing world few of us actually understand.” He was awarded a 4Culture Grant, a grant from the city of Seattle, and the Corporation of Yaddo’s Wallace Fellowship for a Distinguished Writer for his work on the book.
Peter’s short fiction and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Best New American Voices 2008, Conjunctions, Salon, Granta, ZYZZYVA, and Boston Review, where he won second place in the 2007 contest judged by George Saunders. He’s currently a writer-in-residence at the Richard Hugo House and at Seattle Arts and Lectures. His first original screenplay, “I Am Not Werner Erhard,” co-written with Steven Schardt, was selected for the 2009 Film Independent Screenwriter’s Lab.
Peter grew up in Washington, DC, apart from three years in Sri Lanka during the early stages of the Sri Lankan civil war. In 1999, Peter earned a BA in International Relations, and then spent two years as the token liberal at a think tank. For most of that time, he lived in Ecuador and wrote about Ecuador’s economy. He now lives in Seattle, where he regularly teaches creative writing classes at the Richard Hugo House and elsewhere.
John Murillo is the author of the poetry collection, Up Jump the Boogie, which was finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Pen Open Book Award. His honors include the J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize from the Poetry Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Times, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Cave Canem Foundation, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.
Recent poems have been published in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, and in the anthology Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of African-American Poetry. He has taught in the creative writing programs at Cornell University, the University of Miami, Columbia College Chicago, and currently teaches at Hampshire College and New York University.
Editing, Graphic Communication, Book Design
Kristen Radtke is a writer, editor and designer based in Brooklyn. She is the managing editor of Sarabande Books, and the film and video editor of TriQuarterly magazine.
Her graphic memoir Imagine Wanting Only This is forthcoming from Pantheon Books. Her work has appeared in Oxford American, The Daily Beast, Tin House, Buzzfeed, Electric Literature, Huffington Post, and many other places.
Publishers Weekly named her a “future leader of the American publishing industry” in its 2015 Star Watch, and Buzzfeed Books named her design one of the most beautiful book covers of 2015. She has an MFA from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program.
Poetry, Spoken Word
- M.F.A., University of Southern Maine, Stonecoast
Patricia Smith is the author of six books of poetry, including Blood Dazzler, chronicling the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and one of NPR’s top five books of 2008; and Teahouse of the Almighty, a National Poetry Series selection. Her latest is Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, TriQuarterly, Tin House and both Best American Poetry 2011 and Best American Essays 2011.
She is also the author of Africans In America, the companion book to the groundbreaking PBS series, the children’s book Janna and the Kings and the editor of the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir. She is a 2012 fellow at both the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, a two-time Pushcart Prize winner and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition’s history. She is a professor at the City University of New York/College of Staten Island, and was the Writer in Residence at SNC for 2013 – 2014.
- MFA, Fiction, University of Michigan
Steve Woodward is an associate editor at Graywolf Press. Prior to joining Graywolf, he taught composition and creative writing at the University of Michigan. He is editor and co-founder of Menagerie, an online magazine that focuses on hybrid forms. His own writing has been recognized with a Minnesota State Arts Board grant and with Hopwood Awards in both fiction and nonfiction. He has spoken about publishing and independent presses at AWP, the Loft Literary Center, the Flathead River Writers’ Conference, Writers at Work, and often visits MFA programs as an editor. He lives in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.