University of Minnesota
Creative Writing Program
myU OneStop

Creative Writing Program's home page.

Alumni News & Notes


Kathryn Duffy (2015) is a Minnesota native who earned her B.A. in English from the University of Iowa in 2010. At Iowa, she served as the Poetry Editor and the Editor-in-Chief of earthwords, Iowa's original undergraduate literary magazine. As part of earthwords, she implemented a creative writing program for elementary school students in Iowa City and also celebrated earthwords' thirtieth publication. During her undergraduate career, Kathryn co-worked with a musical composition major setting one of her poems to a musical score for a vocalist and piano. Her poems appear in Endless Horizons, The Daily Palette, and The Des Moines Art Center's 2010 Annual Report.

Malinda Gosvig (2015) is quirky, perky, and eats Tofurky. She likes fog bicycling, shadows cast by lace, and the white rinds of Brie.

Julia Marley (2015) is a Poetry graduate from the University of Minnesota’s MFA Program. Originally from Massachusetts, she graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in English and has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. She never misses a dead animal on the sidewalk. For several years she and Simone Weil have carried on an extensive relationship from both sides of the grave.

Elizabeth O’Brien (2015) is from Somerville, MA. Her work has appeared in The New England Review, Diagram, Sixth Finch, decomP, PANK, Swink, Versal, The Pinch, Slice, The Emerson Review, Flashquake, The Found Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Her interests include poetry, typography, linguistics, birds, the bottom of the sea, hysteria, jokes, roller coasters, motorcycles, candy, and lists.

Carl Peaslee (2015) is a Minnesota enthusiast. He grew up in Minnetonka but headed southwest for college. There he attended Claremont McKenna College and graduated with a degree in Literature (which he is convinced is just a pretentious way of saying English). After school, he switched coasts and went to New York where he participated in an urban teaching program

Hunter Sharpless (2015) is an essayist from Texas.

Lalinne Suon (2015) graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2000 with a BA in Classics and a minor in Political Science. She spent her junior year at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and traveled extensively in Western Europe, Britain, and Ireland. She developed a passion for international travel, which led her to rediscover her birth land, Cambodia. Over the last 12 years, she has worked in non-profit or government agencies, aiding poor families. Currently, she is working in West St. Paul for Dakota County in the Office of Employment and Economic Assistance while attending the U of MN for her MFA. She is in the nonfiction genre and writes a lot about her family’s experiences under the Khmer Rouge Regime, their lives in refugee camps, and their assimilation into American society, living in poverty for many years, to achieving the “American Dream.” She enjoys traveling, reading, and writing. She and her husband, Ken, have two children, Sofia, age 3 years and Lincoln, age 5 months. They also have two cats, one really skinny, called Meow-Meow, and the other, a stray they took in ( that used to be skinny), that Sofia called Baby Meow-Meow. Baby Meow-Meow has doubled in size, so they call her Big Meow-Meow (or sometimes simply the fat cat).

Nicky Tiso (2015) is Poetry graduate of the University of Minnesota’s MFA Program. He received his BA in English from the Evergreen State College in 2010 and interned with Siglio Press in-between. He has work currently or forthcoming in: n+1, Tripwire, TYPO, The Volta Blog, HTMLGiant, Revolver, Poets for Living Waters, Ditch, Thieves Jargon, and other places. A cat enthusiast and skateboarding aficionado in his spare time, Nicky was also a panelist at the 2013 Conference on Ecopoetics at UC Berkeley.

Jason Zencka (2015) is a Fiction graduate of the University of Minnesota’s MFA Program. He has lived in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. and has paid severe library fines in each place.

Jonathan Escoffery (2014) is a Fiction graduate of the University of Minnesota’s MFA Program. He holds a B.A. in English from Florida International University where he was awarded three Literary Awards for his creative works. His writing has appeared in Sliver of Stone Magazine, Foundling Review, the Lip Service Stories quarterly series, and elsewhere. Additionally, his songwriting can be found in obscure places, including the indie film, Totally Baked. Jonathan hails from Miami, Florida.

J. Fossenbell (2014) grew up in Colorado, where she earned her B.A. in English at Colorado State University in 2004. She taught high school English in central Denver for a few years and EFL abroad in Ukraine and Vietnam for a few years. She's no longer sure what all these words mean or why. Her poetry, co-translations and articles have appeared in ILK journalEveryday Other ThingsCerise PressWazee Independent Journal and The Word Hanoi magazine. She co-edited the anthology Strange Roots: Views of Hanoi (The Gioi Publishers, 2011) and co-translated The Human Field, a collection of poetry by Tran Quang Quy (Vietnam Writers Association Press, 2009). She received the Gesell Award for Poetry in 2011 and the Michael Dennis Browne Fellowship in 2012. She served as co-editor in chief of MFA-run dislocate magazine.

Isabel Harding (2014) is a 2009 graduate of Agnes Scott College. She enjoys birdwatching in rural Alabama just as much as she enjoys roaming the streets of central Paris, where she spent a year teaching English and living in a glorified closet of a studio apartment. Her story "Zombie Mermaid" appears in the anthology Strangers in Paris: New Writing Inspired by the City of Light, published by Tightrope Books.

C. Joseph Jordan (2014) is a part-time cosmonaut from Oregon. His most recent story,"The Quiet", was published in One Story magazine last fall. His blog can be found at Very soon he shall reach escape velocity.

Florencia Lauria (2014) left Argentina when she was twelve years old with two concerned parents, one sarcastic little sister, fifteen overweight suitcases and two confused siamese cats. She grew up in a suburb of Albany, NY where she learned about spirit fingers, school buses and library cards. She graduated with a B.A. in English from Marist College in 2010. Florencia is an unlikely nomad with sedentary aspirations. In a quest for "home" she has inhabited many places including Delmar, Seville, Poughkeepsie and Buenos Aires.

Carrie Lorig (2014) is the author of the chapbooks NODS. (Magic Helicopter Press, 2013), rootpoems (Radioactive Moat, 2013) with Russ Woods, and Nancy and The Dutch (NAP, 2013) with Nick Sturm. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Denver Quarterly, TYPO, Jellyfish Magazine, Forklift, OH, DIAGRAM, and other places. She writes for HTMLgiant and is a co-founder of Our Flow is Hard, a poetry collective and reading series based in the Twin Cities.

Bridget Mendel (2014)

Zoë Miller (2014) grew up in Los Angeles. She graduated from The New School in New York City as a Riggio Honors Fellow. Her short stories and poems have appeared in 12th Street, pax americana, and Front Porch.

Scott F. Parker (2014) is a nonfiction writer and the Editorial Assistant at Rain Taxi Review of Books. His writing has appeared in Oregon Quarterly, Oregon Humanities, and other publications not based in Oregon. He is grateful that his favorite writer wrote about his favorite athlete and recommends that you click here.

Nasir Sakandar (2014) was born and raised in San Diego, California. His poetry and fiction have appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, La Fovea, Midway Journal, L'Allure Des Mots, and other places. His interests include: lyric poetry, children's literature, literary fiction, the graphic novel, the fairytale, food writing, ekphrasis, the sublime, and fine art.

Victoria Scher (2014) was born in El Paso, Texas. Twenty-two years later she had achieved a degree in Creative Writing and surprised her family by moving to Mexico to teach English. A Fulbright grant later took her to Chihuahua where she spent a year with the Tarahumara, an indigenous group from the region. That year Victoria collected Tarahumara migration stories and wrote creative non-fiction. Her life became more complicated when her Tarahumara friends insisted she learn to sew, make tortillas by hand, and identify herbs in a forest. With hundreds of stories and these new skills in tow, Victoria next headed to Mexico City to spend one last fantastic year teaching English to third graders before moving to Minneapolis to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing.

Elisabeth Workman (2014) is the author of the chapbooks a city_a cloud, Opolis, Maybe Malibu, Maybe Beowulf (Dusie 2006, 2007, 2011), and Megaprairieland (Grey Book Press, 2010). She is the recipient of a 2009 Jerome/SASE Emerging Writer Fellowship, a 2010 McKnight Artist’s Fellowship in Poetry, and honors/grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Minnesota State Arts Board. Born and raised in the pharmaceutical suburbs of Philadelphia, she’s since lived in Boston, the Netherlands, on/around the Standing Rock Reservation of the Dakotas, and most recently, in the Middle East. A member of the flarf collective, she lives in Powderhorn with the designer Erik Brandt and their daughter Beatrix.

Aaron Apps (2013) published his first book of poetry, COMPOS(T) MENTIS (Blaze Vox Books) in 2013. Currently he is a PhD English candidate at Brown University. His second book, Intersex, is forthcoming from Tarpaulin Sky Press. His manuscript Dear Herculine was an honorable mention for Ahsahta Press’ 2013 open reading period. Aaron’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in LIT, Denver Quarterly, The Los Angeles Review, PANK, Spork, Caliban, House Fire, The Doctor TJ Eckleberg Review, Carolina Quarterly, and Sleeping Fish.

Isaac Butler (2013) edits the culture and politics blog Parabasis and co-founded and co-edits the website StageGrade. Isaac received Honorable Mention in Nonfiction for the 2011 AWP Intro Awards for his essay, "Gay Like Me."

(Mary) Feng Sun Chen's (2013) book of poetry, BUTCHER'S TREE, was published by Black Ocean in 2012. Radioactive Moat published her chapbook, Ugly Fish; this year another chapbook, blud, was published by Spork. She was one of Poets & Writers "debut poets" in 2013.

Kristin Fitzsimmons (2013) has published her first chapbook, all these empty bone bowls, with Dancing Girl Press. You can buy it here. Kristin teaches at the Loft Literary Center.

Sally Franson (2013) is a contributing writer to The Fiddleback and The L Magazine, as well as a teaching artist at The Loft Literary Center. Her work has been featured in Witness, Room, elimae, Bartleby Snopes, Great River Review, and The Examined Life Journal, among others. She is the recipient of a 2012 GRPP and a 2013 Gesell Residency at the Anderson Center, and she will also be completing a residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in May 2014.

Christine Friedlander (2013) graduated from Bucknell University in 2009 with a degree in English-Creative Writing, and earned her graduate certificate in publishing at the University of Denver’s Publishing Institute. Her fiction appeared in The Pinch, spring 2014.

Rose Hansen (2013) is from Sitka, Alaska and is a graduate of Oregon State University. Prior to pursuing an MFA at Minnesota, she worked as a recreation-based forester, a financial firm assistant, a whale naturalist, a commercial pilot, and on the slime-line at a salmon cannery.

Kathleen Johnston (2013)

Kate Petersen (2013) is a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University for 2013-2015 (read more at the Star Tribune). Her work has been published in The Kenyon Review, Crazyhorse, New England Review, Iowa Review, Western Humanities Review, Brevity, The Collagist, The Rumpus, Paris Review Daily, FiveChapters and elsewhere.

Adriane Quinlan (2013) received an Overseas Press Club Scholarship to research and write in Asia for the summer of 2013. She has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, The Awl, N+1, and Paper Magazine, among other publications. She is now a reporter for the Times-Picayune, covering Jefferson Parish in New Orleans.

Kerry Voigt (2013) will be a Teach for American Fellow in Mississippi beginning fall 2013.

Lucas de Lima (2012) has published poems and reviews in Action Yes, Mudfish, Rain Taxi, and other journals. He is a contributor to the culture blog Montevidayo, a translator of Brazilian poetry, and author of the chapbook Ghostlines (Radioactive Moat Press). In 2005 he was the recipient of McGill University's Peterson Memorial Prize in English Literature.

Sarah Fox (2012) is the author of Because Why and The First Flag, both from Coffee House Press. Her docupoetry work-in-progress, Mother Substance, will also be published by Coffee House. She has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bush Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, the Gesell Family Foundation, and the Graduate Research Partnership Program. Recent work appears in Fence, Conduit, Spout, Rain Taxi, La Petite Zine, Action Yes, and others. She contributes to the multi-author blog Montevidayo, is co-founder of the Center for Visionary Poetics, and works as a teacher and a doula. Her poetry rituals and other interactive performance installations are an evolving aspect of her ambition to complicate and expand the experience of poetic space.

Amir Hussain (2012) resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Mizna, Beloit Poetry Journal, Faultline, Water~Stone Review, Midway Journal, and other places. His love poem to the environment, “Again and Again I Marry the Earth,” appeared in the Poets for Living Waters response to the Gulf Oil Spill of 2010. Amir's thesis involved ecological representations and examined human relations to nature. He earned his BA in Environmental Studies and English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, where he received awards for undergraduate literary criticism on the poems of Robert Lowell and Sharon Olds.

Molly Sutton Kiefer (2012), author of PINE was a finalist for the 2013 Noemi Book Award for Poetry.

Wahida Omar (2012) is the Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) member with youth programs at Intermedia Arts. She would love to hear from you @wahidao.

Colleen McCarthy (2011) was a finalist for the 2011 Sawtooth Prize in Poetry for her manuscript. Siren.

Opal C. McCarthy (2011) published fiction in The Pinch, spring 2014.

Brian Laidlaw (2011) will have his first poetry collection, Narcissus the Stuntman, published by Milkweed Editions in 2015, along with a companion album of original music. Brian is an adjunct professor at McNally Smith College of Music. His work has been published in The Iowa Review, PANK, Lungful! Magazine, KNOCK, Abjective, 32 Poems, Handsome, and many other journals. He is the recipient of an Intermedia Arts Emerging Writer Fellowship. He was a finalist for the 2012 Loft-McKnight Fellowship in Poetry.

David LeGault (2011) was cited as a Notable Essayist in the 2013 edition of Best American Essays (edited by Cheryl Strayed) for his essay “Significant Screams,” originally published by Barrelhouse.

Colleen Coyne (2011) received a 2011 residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. She won the 2011 Academy of American Poets James Wright Prize for Poetry, judged by Garrison Keillor.

Edward McPherson (2011) is the author of two nonfiction books: Buster Keaton: Tempest in a Flat Hat (Faber & Faber) and The Backwash Squeeze and Other Improbable Feats (HarperCollins). He has written articles for the New York Times Magazine, the New York Observer, I.D., Esopus, Salon, and Talk, among others. A recipient of a Minnesota Arts Board grant, he is finishing a collection of short stories. In 2013, he published a story in Epoch magazine. Edward is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing in Washington University's MFA program. Recently he has a story in the Gettysburg Review, a story in the latest issue of Epoch magazine, and a two-part piece in the Paris Review.

Josh Morsell (2011) has been awarded writing residencies at the Anderson Center, Blue Mountain Center, and Mesa Refuge, has been published in Northwoods Anthology and New Settler, and is a former managing editor of dislocate literary journal.

Swati Avasthi (2010) Swati's work has appeared in The Portland Review, Water~Stone Review, and Special Gifts. She received a Loft’s Mentor Series Award and her fiction has been nominated for Best New American Voices. Her debut novel, Split, won a silver Parents' Choice Award and is in its second printing; German rights have been acquired by Bertelsmann. YALSA named the book a Best Fiction for Young Adults title for 2011. Split was nominated for a 2011 Minnesota Book Award in Fiction. Her second book, Chasing Shadows (Knopf) was published in fall 2013, and has been recognized by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Best Teen Books of 2013.

Meryl DePasquale (2010) is a letterpress printer and participates in a collaborative mail art project called Four-Letter Press. Her chapbook Dream of a Perfect Interface is forthcoming with Dancing Girl Press. Her first book of poems Shadow Across Skin is a finalist for the Pleiades' Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Book Prize. Her poems have appeared in Handsome Journal, DIAGRAM, Interim Magazine, Paper Darts.

Benjamin Doty (2010) has published fiction in Literary Imagination, the Colorado Review, and other places. He was a recipient of a 2010 Minnesota Arts Board Grant.

Patrick Hueller (2010) received his BA in Creative Writing from Hamline University. He is the author of a young adult novel, Foul, written under the name Paul Hoblin (Lerner Books, 2011). He is currently an adjunct professor of creative writing at Hamline University.

Priscilla Kinter (2010) has published work in New Delta Review, Caketrain, Hotel Amerika, Sentence, Orion Magazine, and Midway Journal. Her essay "Sea Change" was selected as the winner of Phoebe's 2012 Creative Nonfiction Prize, judged by Mary Roach; it will appeared in issue 41.2 of the journal.

Kevin O'Rourke (2010) New work can be found in Seneca Review, Word/forWord, Tammy, 580 Split, The Brooklyn Review, and at

Wilson Peden (2010) grew up in a number of places before he returned to his family's hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. He earned his BA in English at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He enjoys playing the banjo and other string instruments, watching freight trains, wading in rivers, and looking for little towns that have disappeared from the map. These are also his favorite subjects to write about.

Shantha Susman's (2010) writing has been published in a handful of journals. She received a Minnesota State Arts Board grant in 2010.

Holly Vanderhaar's (2010) work has appeared in The Pinch, South Loop Review: Creative Nonfiction + Art. She worked as a writer and researcher for American Public Media's The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor. She received a Minnesota State Arts Board grant in 2012. Her essay "Surrender" is a finalist for Creative Nonfiction's upcoming anthology of nonfiction, Oh, Baby: True Stories About Tiny Humans.

Emily August (2009) is a PhD candidate in English Literature at Vanderbilt University. Her poetry has been published in Hayden's Ferry Review.

Matt Burgess (2009) Matt's debut novel, Dogfight, was published by Doubleday in fall 2010. It was chosen by Publisher's Weekly as a top ten debut novel for fall 2010. Vanity Fair called the book electrifying and Barnes & Noble plucked it for the “Discover Great New Writers” series. Matt has appeared on NPR, the Leonard Lopate Show, and has been featured in Metro Magazine and Bookslut. Dogfight was nominated for a 2011 Minnesota Book Award in Fiction. Matt was a 2011 Fellow in Fiction at the Breadloaf Writers Conference. His second novel, Uncle Janice, is forthcoming from Doubleday.

Thomas Cook (2009) Three chapbooks: Homespun (Spout Press, 2006), This I'd Know of Birds (Pudding House Press, 2008, and Anemic Cinema (horse less press). Thomas is a co-founder and editor of TAMMY, a journal of poetry and prose. He is a PhD candidate at SUNY.

Katie Leo's (2009) chapbook, Attempts at Location, was published in 2009 by Finishing Line Press. She received a 2011-2012 Loft Mentorship in nonfiction. Her writing has appeared in Midway Journal and Kartika Review.

Laura Owen (2009) is now a theatre reviewer for Tucson Weekly and a contributer to the website Hello Giggles.

Luke Pingel (2009) has released two chapbooks: All Types of Breath Included (Further Adventures, 2009) and Storm That Killed the Tree (Pudding House Press, 2008). A new cycle of poems called "How the Wind Erased Your Name," was published by Trade Wind Press in 2012. Luke is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Saint Catherine.

Ethan Rutherford's (2009) short story, “The Peripatetic Coffin” is included in the 2010 edition of The Best American Short Stories. It was originally published in American Short Fiction and is the title story of his debut collection, which was released from Ecco Press in May 2013 and subsequently named a Barnes & Noble Disover pick for summer 2013. The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories won a 2014 Minnesota Book Award and was nominated as a finalist for an L.A. Times Book Prize. Ethan's fiction also appeared in the 2008 anthology, Fiction on a Stick (Milkweed Editions). In 2011, he received a McKnight Fellowship for Writers ($25,000) and a Minnesota Emerging Writer's Grant.

Emily K. Bright (2008) Emily's chapbook, Glances Back, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2007. She recently had work published in Broken City Review. Her book for K-12 teachers, Powerful Ideas in Teaching: Creating Environments Where Students Want to Learn (co-written with Dr. Mickey Kolis), was published by Rowman & Littlefield Education. Her debut short story published in the autumn issue of Kansas City Voices. Her poetry appears in three anthologies due out in November: The Heart of All That Is: Reflections on Home (Holy Cow! Press); FEAST: Poetry and Recipes for a Full Seating at Dinner (Black Laurence Press); and, A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford (Woodley Press). Her first story for radio, "Labor of Love," aired on Interlochen Public Radio in October.

Emily Freeman (2008) had a story in the 2010 edition of Best New American Voices.She was a 2008-2009 Loft Mentor Series winner. She received a 2010 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant.

Arlene Kim's (2008) debut collection of poetry, what have you done to our ears to make us hear echoes?, was published by Milkweed Editions in summer 2011.

Ann C. Linde (2008) Ann's chapbook, Courting Light, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2007. She has poems in the Gettysburg Review.

Nate Slawson (2008) is the founder and editor of the online literary magazine, dear camera, devoted to one writer/artist collaboration per issue. His first collection of poetry, PANIC ATTACK:USA, was published by YesYes Press in fall 2011.

Ryo Yamaguchi (2008), author of The Refusal of Suitors was a finalist for the 2013 Noemi Book Award for Poetry.

Eric Dregni (2007) is the author of several nonfiction books including In Cod We Trust: Living the Norwegian Dream; Zamboni: The Coolest Machines on Ice; Weird Minnesota; The Scooter Bible, Vikings in the Attic. He is an Assistant Professor and Dean of the Language Village at Concordia College in Saint Paul. Vikings in the Attic was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award in General Nonfiction in 2012.

Carla Elaine Johnson's (2007) essay, “Family Time," appeared in the anthology Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical (Cascade Press, 2009).

Stephanie Resnik (2007) was a 2008-2009 Loft Mentor Series winner in fiction. Her work has appeared in Wisconsin People and Ideas (2008). Stephanie passed the California bar exam and is now applying to waive into the Washington, D.C. Bar.  She is currently working as a first-year associate at a large law firm in D.C.

Josh Wallaert (2007) co-directed the award-winning documentary film Arid Lands. His fiction has appeared inTriQuarterly.

Amanda Coplin (2006), author of the novel The Orchardist, won a Whiting Writers Award, a $50,000 prize given annually to 10 writers who show "exceptional talent and promise in early career." She was also a 2008-2009 Provincetown Arts Center Fellow in fiction. Her 2012 debut novel, The Orchardist, is a New York Times bestseller, a Publishers Weekly top 10 pick, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and a top 10 for fall '12 O Magazine selection. She also won the Barnes & Noble "Discover" Award for Fiction, a $10,000 purse. In 2013 she was named one of the National Book Awards' "5 under 35."

Charles Conley (2006) is the recipient of a 2010 grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, which he will use to travel and write in South America. He also received a fellowship to the Sozopol Fiction Seminars in Bulgaria at the end of May. He is a former fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and received a Second Year Fiction Fellowship in 2011-2012.

Jennine Capo Crucet (2006) received the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Prize for her debut short story collection, “How to Leave Hialeah,” published by the University of Iowa Press in fall 2009. The novel was awarded the John Gardner Prize for Fiction, the 2010 Devil's Kitchen Award, and was named a Best Book of the Year by the Miami Herald, the Miami New Times, and the Latinidad List. The title story from the collection won a PEN/O. Henry Prize and will appear in the 2011 PEN/O. Henry Prize Anthology. Her fiction has appeared in Crazyhorse, The Southern Review, and Ploughshares. She is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Florida State University.

Laura M. Flynn (2006) is the author of the memoir Swallow the Ocean (Counterpoint Press, 2008). Laura won a 2009 Bush Artist Fellowship ($50,000) and was a finalist for 2009 Minnesota Book Award. She is an adjunct professor of creative writing at Hamline University. She is also the recipient of a SASE/Emerging Writer Fellowship. She is on the adjunct faculty of Hamline University's MFA program.

Nicole Johns (2006) Nicole's memoir, Purge: Rehab Diaries, was published by Seal Press in April 2009. Nicole was featured in a Q & A in Marie Claire magazine in May 2009; interviewed for the Huffington Post; and appeared on Twin Cities Live. She is currently studying for an MA in Psychology at St. Mary's University in Minneapolis.

Eireann Lorsung's (2006) first collection of poetry, Music for Landing Planes By, was published by Milkweed Editions in 2007. Her fiction has been published in the 2008 anthology Fiction on a Stick (Milkweed Editions). Her new collection of poetry, her book, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in summer 2013. She received her PhD from Nottingham University in 2012. She is the founder and co-editor of MIEL Press.

Brian Malloy (2006) Brian is the author of the Minnesota Book Award-winning young adult novel, Twelve Long Months (2008, Scholastic); the novels Brendan Wolf (St. Martin's Press, 2007 and The Year of Ice (St. Martin's, 2003). He is the Education Director at the Loft Literary Center.

Michael Medrano (2006) is the host of a poetry/prose interview show on KFCF 88.1 FM in Fresno, CA. “Radio Patlakas" airs every other Thursday at 3 pm. Michael's first collection of poetry, Born in the Cavity of Sunsets, was published by Bilingual Press in 2009.

Rachel Moritz (2006) Rachel is the author of two chapbooks: Night-Sea (New Michigan Press, 2009) and The Winchester Monologues (New Michigan Press, 2005). She is the recipient of a 2009 SASE/Emerging Writer Fellowship and two Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowships in Poetry (2004, 2010). Her first full-length collection of poetry, Borrowed Wave, will be published in 2014 by Kore Press.

Francine Tolf (2006) Francine has published two chapbooks of poetry: Like Saul (Plan B Press, Fall 2008), Blue-Flowered Sundress (Pudding House Press, 2007.) She is the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board grant. Her first collection of poetry, Rain, Lilies, Luck, was published by Antrim House Press in 2010. Joliet Girl, a memoir, is now in its second printing from North Star Press. Her work recently appeared in anthology Dust and Fire. Her new collection of poetry is Prodigal. A chapbook, Twenty Poems to God and a Poem to Satan, was recently published by Red Bird. Her essay, “Sheeba at Twenty,” which ran in the current issue of Under the Sun, was nominated for a 2013 Pushcart Prize. She published a prose chapbook with Green Fuse Poetic Arts Press of Loveland, Colorado, entitled "Shadow Town: Essays on Growing Up in Joliet, Illinois."

Michael Walsh (2006) Michael's debut collection of poetry, The Dirt Riddles (2010), won the inaugural Miller Williams Poetry Prize from the University of Arkansas Press and the Thom Gunn Prize for Gay Poetry. He is the author of the chapbook Adam Walking the Garden (Red Dragonfly Press, 2004). His fiction can be found in the 2008 anthology Fiction on a Stick (Milkweed Editions).

Shana Youngdahl's (2006) chapbook, Donner: A Passing, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008. She received a mini-grant from the Iowa Arts Council in 2010 to complete final revision of her poem “Of Nets,” which will be published by Gendun Editions in 2011. Shana's debut collection of poetry, History, Lies and Other Half-Truths, was published in spring 2013 by Stephen F. Austin University Press.

Kate Hopper (2005) celebrated the launch of her memoir, Ready for Air, at the Loft Literary Center on October 3rd. Read more about it on the Star Tribune. Kate's writing has appeared in Literary Mama, mamazine,, and Brevity. She has been the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant, and a Minnesota State Artist Initiative Grant. Kate is the co-editor for Literary Reflections at Literary Mama. Kate's first book, Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers, was published in spring 2012. Her memoir, Ready for Air, will be published by the University of Minnesota Press in fall 2013.

Marge Barrett (2005) won 2nd place in Fine Lines' 55-word fiction contest and published work in Talking Stick, Plains Song Review, and The State We're In, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. Marge's chapbook of poetry, My Memoir Dress, was published in 2011 by Finishing Line Press.

Kevin Fenton (2005) won the 2009 Associated Writing Programs award for the novel for Merit Badges. It was published by New Issues Press in spring 2011. He is now the Board Chair of Rain Taxi. Merit Badges was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award in the Novel for spring 2012. His memoir, Leaving Rollingstone, will be published in fall 2013 by Minnesota Historical Society Press.

Amanda Fields (2005) has had fiction published in Indiana Review 29.1 and nonfiction in Brevity 30 and Cerise Press. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona. She wrote a guest post about motherhood and writing on the Superstition Review blog, and co-edited the collection In, Around, and Away From Tahrir: Emerging Expressions of Egyptian Identity, which will be published in 2014 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Cheri Johnson (2005) Cheri's chapbook, Fun and Games, was published by Finishing Line Press in summer 2009. Cheri has received a Bush Artist Fellowship and was a Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellow. In 2010, Cheri received a second-year fellowship to the Fine Arts Work Center.

Laurie Lindeen (2005) Laurie's memoir Petal Pusher: A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story was published by Simon and Schuster in 2007. Laurie was a finalist for a 2009 Bush Artist Fellowship and has received a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant.

Stephanie Johnson (2005) won the 2009 Many Voices Project award from New Rivers Press. They published her debut poetry collection, Kinesthesia, in 2010.

Suzanne Rivecca (2005) was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and Radcliffe Institute Fellow. Her debut collection of short stories, Death is Not an Option, was published by WW Norton in 2010. She received a 2011-2012 Rome Prize in Literature and was a finalist for the Story Prize. Her work will appear in Best American Short Stories 2013.

Amy Shearn 's (2005) debut novel, How Far is the Ocean from Here?, was published by Shaye Areheart/Random House in 2008. Her second novel, titled The Mermaid of Brooklyn, was published by Touchstone in 2013, and has been chosen by Target for their Emerging Authors set, and by Hudson News airport booksellers for its Summer Reading Program. Shearn writes a popular parenting blog, Household Words.

Steve Pacheco (2004) is one of four poets featured in Shedding Skins: Four Sioux Poets (Michigan State University Press, 2008).

Alex Lemon (2004) The Wish Book was named to The Library Journals’ list of "Ten Essential Poetry Titles for 2014." Alex is the author of four additional poetry collections: Mosquito (Tin House/Bloomsbury, 2006), Hallelujah Blackout (Milkweed Editions, 2008), at last unfolding congo (horse less press), Fancy Beasts (Milkweed Editions) and the memoir Happy (Scribner, 2010). Alex was featured in Esquire Magazine's “Best & Brightest” of 2010 issue. A section from “Hallelujah Blackout” appeared in The Best American Poetry 2008. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Texas Christian University.

Karen Rigby-Huang (2004) Karen's debut collection of poetry, Chinoiserie, won the 2011 Sawtooth Prize and will be published in 2012. She has two chapbooks: Savage Machinery (Finishing LIne Press, 2008) and Festival Bone (Adastra Press, 2004). Karen is a co-founder and editor of Cerise Press,

Lightsey Darst (2003) Lightsey hosted the popular “The Works: A Writer's Salon" series from 2009-2011 at Bryant-Lake Bowl in Minneapolis. Her chapbook, Ginnungagap, is available now from Red Dragonfly Press. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Find the Girl, was published by Coffee House Press in spring 2010. Find the Girl was reviewed in Entertainment Weekly and won the 2011 Minnesota Book Award for Poetry.

Brady Johnson (2003) "Michiganders, 1979” appeared in Best New American Voices 2004.

Kathleen Glasgow's (2002) poetry has appeared in Buffalo Creek Review, Cimarron Review, Bellingham Review, Clackamas Litererary Review, Roanoke Review, dislocate, and other journals. She has received three Minnesota State Arts Board grants, a SASE/Emerging Writer Fellowship, and was a Loft Mentor Series winner in poetry (2000-2001). She won the 2011 Alumni Fiction Award from MINNESOTA Magazine. She is a former CW Program Coordinator, and is working as a writer and researcher for The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor.

Dominic Saucedo's (2002) story “Knowing You in Snow appeared in the 2008 anthology Fiction on a Stick (Milkweed Editions). He is the recipient of two Minnesota State Arts Board grants and was a Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellow. He had a novel excerpt, “The Train,” in the Summer 2010 issue of Cerise Press. Dominic received a McKnight Fellowship for Writers ($25,000) in 2011. He is a member of the English faculty at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Yuko Taniguchi (2001) is the author of a novel, The Ocean in the Closet (Coffee House Press, 2007) and a collection of poetry, Foreign Wife Elegy (Coffee House Press, 2001). She has received a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, SASE/Emerging Writer Fellowship, and a Loft-McKnight Writer's Fellowship. She is the Director of Writing Programs at the University of Minnesota-Rochester.

Michelle Matthees (2001) was awarded both an Arrowhead Regional Artists Fellowship and Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant in 2011. She has recent work appearing or forthcoming in Prose Poem Project, Proof Magazine, The Mom Egg, 22 Magazine, Memorious, Specs, Anderbo, Defenestration, Third Wednesday, Paradise Review, Humber Pie, Thrice Fiction, Cider Press Review, 5 Quarterly, Sou'Wester, and the anthology, "Migrations: Poetry and Prose for Life's Transitions" (Wildwood River Press, 2011). She is currently looking for a publisher for her book-length collection, "Between Languages."

Julie Gard (2000) Julie's chapbook, Obscura: The Daguerreotype Series, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2007. She is an Assistant Professor of Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Joe Hart (2000) Nonfiction, Skid Row: The Life and Death of Minneapolis's Skid Row, (University of Minnesota Press, 2002).

Mary Winstead (2000) Memoir, Back to Mississippi (Hyperion, 2002). Mary's writing has appeared in MINNESOTA Magazine.

John Colburn (1999) lives in Northeast Minneapolis. He’s an editor and co-publisher at Spout Press and the author of Invisible Daughter and Psychedelic Norway (Coffee House Press), as well as two poetry chapbooks, Kissing and The Lawrence Welk Diaries. He has taught at Hamline University and Perpich Center for Arts Education. He is also a member of the improvised music collective Astronaut Cooper’s Parade.

Mark Anderson (1999) Memoir, Jesus Sound Explosion (University of Georgia Press, 2003), winner of the AWP Award for Creative Nonfiction in 2002.

Haddayr Copley-Woods (1999) Multiple short stories in Strange Horizons, Polyphony, Best American Erotica, Ideomancer, Flytrap and other journals.

Anna Reckin (1999) First book-length poetry collection, Three Reds, was published in 2011 by Shearsman, see: Her writings have also appeared in Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets, edited by Carrie Etter (Shearsman, 2010), and In Their Own Words: Contemporary Poets on their Poetry, edited by Helen Ivory and George Szirtes (Salt, 2012). Reckin was recently awarded an Arts Council England grant to work on her second collection. Her website,, will be up soon

Lauren Fox's (1998) debut novel was Still Life with Husband ( Knopf, 2007). Her second novel, Friends Like Us, was published in February 2012 by Knopf.

Kathleen Melin's (1998) homeschooling memoir, By Heart: A Mother's Story of Children and Learning at Home, was published in spring 2009 by Clover Valley Press.

Scott Muskin's (1998) first novel, The Annunciations of Hank Meyerson, Mama's Boy and Scholar, won the 2008 Parthenon Prize for Fiction (Hooded Friar Press, 2008).

Shannon Olson (1998) Two novels: Children of God Go Bowling (Viking, 2004) and Welcome to My Planet (Viking, 2001). She is an Associate Professor of English at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Gayla's Marty's (1997) nonfiction book, Memory of Trees, was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2010.

Anna Cypra Oliver (1997) Memoir, Assembling My Father: A Daughter's Detective Story, (Houghton Mifflin, 2004).

Elissa Raffa (1997) is the author of the novel Freeing Vera (Permanent Press, 2005).

Norah Labiner (1996) is the author of four novels: German for Travelers (Coffee House Press, 2009), Miniatures (Coffee House Press, 2003), Our Sometime Sister (Coffee House Press, 2000), and Let the Dark Flower Blossom (Coffee House Press, 2013) which was nominated for a 2014 Minnesota Book Award.

Sherry Quan Lee (1996) CHINESE BLACKBIRD, a memoir in verse (Asian American Press, 2002).

Erin Hart (1995) Erin's new mystery, False Mermaid, was published in March 2010. She is also the author of Lake of Sorrows and Hallowed Ground.

Alison McGhee (1993) Adult novels: Falling Boy, (Picador, 2007); Was It Beautiful (2003); Shadow Baby (2000); and Rainlight (1998); children's picture books: Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth (2004) and Countdown to Kindergarten (2002); middle-grades novel, Snap (2004). She has received several Minnesota Book Awards.

Todd Temkin (1992) Enloquecidos Moradores de un Mundo Sin Quehacer / Crazy Denizens of the Lost World, a bilingual edition of poems (2004), and La guerra que viene: incongruencias y encrucijadas sobre el nuevo Valparaiso, a collection of essays. Both books were published by the University of Valparaiso Press (Chile).

Alex Jones (1991) published essays “Matinee” in the fall issue of the Santa Monica Review, and “The Big Breakfast” in this winter’s issue 45 of Harvard Review.

Gretchen Legler (1991) On Ice: An Intimate Portrait of Life at McMurdo Station, Antarctica (Milkweed Editions, 2005). She is Professor of English at the University of Maine-Farmington.

Marianne Herrman (1990) Story collection, Signaling for Rescue (New Rivers Press, 2007).

Rosanne Bane's (1990) latest book is Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher, 2012).

Ian Graham Leask (1986) is the author of the story collection The Wounded and Other Stories About Father's and Sons (New Rivers Press, 1992). He is the founder and former editor of Scarletta Press: He currently works for Tumblehome Learning, a children's science publisher. He is also a host and producer of the radio series, Write-On Radio.



Current MFAs and alumni have appeared in: Harpers, Fence, Sonora Review, Rattle, Beloit Poetry Journal, Bellingham Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Cimarron Review, Pleides, Gulf Coast, Threepenny Review, Rain Taxi, Star Tribune, Field, New England Review, Alaska Quarterly,Cincinnati Review, Faultine, Natural Bridge, Salt Hill, Agni, and Black Warrior Review, Shenandoah,Prairie Schooner, TriQuarterly and many other magazines and journals.

Recent Awards: McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers ($25,000), Bush Artist Fellowship ($50,000), Wallace Stegner Fellowship, Minnesota State Arts Board Grants, SASE: Emerging Writer Fellowships, AWP Award Series for Creative Nonfiction, AWP Intro Journals Award, Luce Fellowship (Thailand), Fulbright Fellowships, Rotary Scholarships, Tamarack Award for Fiction ($10,000), Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship, Prague Seminar Fellowships.

Residencies: Millay Colony, Vermont Studio Center, Anderson Center, Devil's Tower, Fishtrap, Yaddo, Breadloaf, Macdowell Colony.

  • Book Cover: Best New American Voices
  • Book Cover: The Feast of Love
  • Book Cover: onsideration of the Guitar