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MFA News 2018-19

Book publications, awards, and other creative activities from students and alums
June 17, 2019

Congratulations to Creative Writing Program 2019 MFA graduates!

Jennifer Carter (poetry)
Vincent Cheng (fiction)
Kelsey Donk (nonfiction)
Theodosia Henney (poetry)
Leslie Hodgkins (fiction)
Damian Johansson (nonfiction)
Benjamin Meyerson (poetry)
Mae Rice (nonfiction)
Mihret Sibhat (fiction)
Gao Vang (nonfiction)

Students

Antonia Angress’ novel excerpt won the Writers' League of Texas Manuscript Contest in the fiction category. As part of the prize, Antonia received a scholarship to attend their Agents & Editors Conference in June in Austin. Antonia also was awarded the O'Dwyer Scholarship to attend the 49th annual Community of Writers at Squaw Valley conference this summer.

Purvai Aranya won first place in the ArtWords competition, sponsored by the Weisman Art Museum and The Tower literary magazine.

Clare Boerigter received a CLA Summer Research & Travel grant.

Rebecca Brill received the Great River Review scholarship.

Ellie Garran received a CLA Summer Research & Travel grant.

Theodosia Henney won the Gesell Award for Excellence in Poetry, as well as a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant for 2019.

Damian Johansson was the co-winner of the English Graduate Student Teaching award. He received a Gesell Anderson Center summer residency. His undergraduate class was featured in a Star Tribune article and an NBC Nightly News segment about retirees taking college classes.

Ember Johnson received Graduate Research Partnership Program (GRPP) support for summer 2019.

May Lee-Yang won the Gesell Award for Excellence in Fiction and the summer 2019 Scribe for Human Rights Fellowship. She was one of the recipients of the Audrey Christensen Library Acquisition Prize, which awards funds to English graduate students to expand their personal libraries. She was interviewed for an episode of United Shades of America hosted by comedian W. Kamau Bell on CNN.

Mariela Lemus was awarded the Michael Dennis Browne Fellowship for Poetry.

Amanda Minoff received Graduate Research Partnership Program (GRPP) support for summer 2019.

Zining Mok received a CLA Summer Research & Travel grant.

Dylan Reynolds received a Gesell Anderson Center summer residency and a CLA Summer Research & Travel grant.

Chelli Riddiough won the Academy of American Poets James Wright Prize.

Kathryn Savage won a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant for 2019. She also received second place in the ArtWords competition, sponsored by the Weisman Art Museum and The Tower literary magazine.

Mihret Sibhat won a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant for 2019. She was named a 2019 fellow of A Public Space.

Connor Simons received a CLA Summer Research & Travel grant.

Greg Smith received the Winifred Fellowship for Fiction.

Hannah Suchor received a CLA Summer Research & Travel grant.

Gao Vang won the Gesell Award for Excellence in Creative Nonfiction.

Brooke White won third place in the ArtWords competition, sponsored by the Weisman Art Museum and The Tower literary magazine.

Alumnae/i

Maureen Aitken (1997) published her debut novel The Patron Saint of Lost Girls, which won the Nilsen Prize for a First Novel. The book won the 2018 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year prize for fiction and was a finalist in the Novel & Short Story category of the Minnesota Book Awards.

Mike Alberti (2016) was awarded a MacDowell Colony fellowship, and received a Travel and Study grant from the Jerome Foundation, which he used to travel to Kansas to do research for his novel-in-progress.

D. Allen (2017) published the poetry, art, and essay collection A Bony Framework for the Tangible Universe (The Operating System). They received a $40,000 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship.

Kendra Atleework (2016) will publish her memoir Flight Plan with Algonquin Books in the spring of 2020. She won a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant for 2019.

Marge Barrett (2005) will publish a book of poetry, If You Have Something to Say, Margaret, in 2020 with WordTech Communications LLC under the imprint of CW Books. She published poems in the anthologies Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan (New Rivers Press) and Under Purple Skies (Belt Publishing).

Erica Berry (2018) was named the 2019-20 Teaching Fellow at the National Writers’ Series in Traverse City, Michigan. Her essay “Like a Shipwreck,” selected by Robin Hemsley for the 2018 Steinberg Essay Prize, can be found in the most recent issue of Fourth Genre. She was the recipient of a 2018 Work-Study scholarship to the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference.

Victoria Blanco (2014) was awarded the Roxane Gay Fellowship in Nonfiction.

Kristin Collier (2018) won a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant for 2019.

Colleen Coyne (2011) accepted a position as Assistant Professor of English at Framingham State University.

Matthew Duffus (2005) will publish his first novel, The Unhomecoming, with SFK Press in August 2019 and his collection of short stories, Dunbar's Folly and Other Stories, with Unsolicited Press in October 2020.

Jonathan Escoffery (2014) has been accepted to USC’s PhD program in Creative Writing. He was awarded an Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellowship.

Amanda Fields (2005) and Rachel Moritz (2006) co-edited an anthology of writing by women about C-sections, My Caesarean: Twenty-One Mothers on the C-Section Experience and After (The Experiment).

Sally Franson (2013) was a finalist in the Novel & Short Story category of the Minnesota Book Award for her novel A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out.

Kathleen Glasgow (2002) published her second YA novel How to Make Friends with the Dark.

Roy Guzmán (2017) is the recipient of an National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Literature Fellowship for 2019.

Rose Hansen (2013) took first in Arts and Culture Feature Writing from the International Regional Magazine Association.

Richard Hermes (2011) won Phoebe’s fiction prize for the story “The Rubber Tapper’s Wife.”

Su Hwang (2016) received a $40,000 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship.

Trevor Ketner (2016) founded Skull + Wind Press.

Janna Knittel (2016) won a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant for 2019.

Brian Laidlaw (2011) published his second book, The Mirrormaker, with Milkweed Editions in October. It is accompanied by an album of music.

Carrie Lorig (2014) published the chapbook The Blood Barn with Inside the Castle.

Brian Malloy (2006) won a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant for 2019.

Edward McPherson (2011) won the PEN Southwest Book Award for Nonfiction (2017) for the essay collection The History of the Future (Coffee House Press).

Kerry Ann Moore (2013) will direct Cumberland University’s Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing, the first such program to be offered in Tennessee.

Kevin O’Rourke (2010) received a grant from 4Culture to support his in-progress second book, Head Up High, a memoir.

Scott Parker (2014) published his second book A Way Home: Oregon Essays.

Amy Shearn (2005) will publish her third book, Unseen City, with Red Hen Press in 2020.

Alyson Sinclair (2007) co-founded the literary agency Nectar Literary.

Emily Strasser (2016) was awarded a 2019 Loft McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers of $25,000. She taught creative writing as an Olive B. O'Connor Fellow at Colgate University in 2018-19. She also received a Metro Regional Arts Council “Next Step Fund” award and a Jerome at Camargo residency in Cassis, France.

Yuko Taniguchi (2001) was an artist in residence in the Department of Medicine at UMN and Weisman Art Museum in 2018 for the project Target Studio for Creative Collaboration. She worked with Dr. Katie Cullun (child psychiatrist) to provide creative writing experiences for people with mental health issues.

Got an update for us? Email your news to sutt0063@umn.edu