Faculty and Guests
2021 Faculty Will Include:
Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian, Iranian and Egyptian descent. He received a BA and MA from the University of Albany-SUNY, and an MFA from New York University. His books encompass several volumes of poetry, including The Voice of Sheila Chandra; Inquisition; Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth Day; All One’s Blue; and the cross-genre text Bright Felon. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet and among his books of essays are the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. His new book, Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water, about hydroelectricity and the Pimicikamak Cree Nation will being published by Milkweed Editions in 2021. Ali has taught at various colleges and universities, including Oberlin College, Davidson College, St. Mary’s College of California, and Naropa University. He is currently a professor of Literature and Writing at the University of California, San Diego.
Oliver Baez Bendorf was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa. He is the author of two poetry collections, Advantages of Being Evergreen (CSU Poetry Center 2019), which Gabrielle Calvocoressi called “an essential book for our time and for all time,” and The Spectral Wilderness (Kent State U. 2015), selected by Mark Doty for the Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize. A 2021 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and the recipient of the 2020 early career achievement award from The Publishing Triangle, Baez Bendorf was also awarded the 2017-2018 Halls Emerging Artist Fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. He is a fellow of the CantoMundo Poetry Workshop. His poems were anthologized in Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. He teaches poetry workshops at Kalamazoo College in Michigan.
Dan Chiasson is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently The Math Campers, and a book of criticism, One Kind of Everything: Poem and Person in Contemporary America. He is the poetry critic for the New Yorker. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Whiting Writers Award, Chiasson is the Lorraine C. Wang Professor of English at Wellesley College, and lives in Massachussetts.
Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of three books, including the novel Make Your Home Among Strangers, which won the International Latino Book Award and was named a best book of the year by NBC Latino, the Guardian, and the Miami Herald; it has been adopted as an all-campus read at over thirty American universities. A contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, she’s the recipient of the Iowa Short Fiction Award, the Hillsdale Award for the Short Story, the Picador Fellowship, and a PEN/O. Henry Prize. She is an associate professor in the Creative Writing Program and the Institute for Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska. Her fourth book, a novel titled Say Hello To My Little Friend, is forthcoming from Little, Brown.
Ted Genoways is a contributing editor at Mother Jones and New Republic. He is the author of This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Farm; The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food, a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Book Award for Writing and Literature; and Tequila Wars: The Bloody Struggle for the Spirit of Mexico (forthcoming). He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation and is a winner of a National Press Club Award and the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism.
Pam Houston is the author of the memoir, Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country, as well as two novels, Contents May Have Shifted and Sight Hound, two collections of short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, and a collection of essays, A Little More About Me, all published by W.W. Norton. Her stories have been selected for volumes of The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Short Stories of the Century among other anthologies. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA Award for contemporary fiction, the Evil Companions Literary Award and several teaching awards. She teaches in the Low Rez MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, is Professor of English at UC Davis, and co-founder and creative director of the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers. She lives at 9,000 feet above sea level near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.
J. Drew Lanham, PhD, is a Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University whose writing reflects the interplay between culture and conservation. Widely published in periodicals including Orion, Oxford American and Places Journal, among others, his work has been featured on NPR, National Geographic online, USA Today, New York Times, Slate, The Guardian and YouTube. He is the author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature (2016), named a John Burroughs Medal Finalist and winner of the 2017 Southern Environmental Law Center’s Reed Environmental Writing Award. Sparrow Envy, his first chapbook, was published in 2019.
Robin MacArthur lives on the hillside farm where she was born in Marlboro, Vermont. Her debut collection of short stories, Half Wild, won the PEN New England award for fiction and was a finalist for the New England Book Award and the Vermont Book Award. Her debut novel, Heart Spring Mountain, was released in January 2018. Robin is also the editor of Contemporary Vermont Fiction: An Anthology and one-half of the indie folk duo Red Heart the Ticker, which has released four albums and been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition. Robin is the recipient of two Creation Grants from the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the founder and creative director of Wildwood Arts.
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments (2020, Milkweed Editions), which was chosen as Barnes and Noble’s Book of the Year. She has four previous poetry collections: Oceanic (Copper Canyon Press, 2018), Lucky Fish (2011), At the Drive-in Volcano (2007), and Miracle Fruit (2003), the last three from Tupelo Press. Her most recent chapbook is Lace & Pyrite, a collaboration of garden poems with the poet Ross Gay. Her writing appears twice in the Best American Poetry Series, The New York Times Magazine, ESPN, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, and Tin House. Honors include a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pushcart Prize, a Mississippi Arts Council grant, and being named a Guggenheim Fellow in poetry. She is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.
Emily Raboteau is the author, most recently, of Searching for Zion, winner of a 2014 American Book Award and finalist for the Hurston/Wright Award in nonfiction. Her essays about race, place, and identity have appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times, New York Review of Books, Orion, Oxford American, Best American Non-required Reading, Ploughshares, The Believer, and elsewhere. A contributing editor at Orion Magazine, she teaches creative writing at the City College of New York. Her next book, Caution: Lessons in Survival, forthcoming from Holt, is about social and environmental justice through the lens of motherhood.
Janisse Ray is an American writer whose subject most often falls into the borderland of nature and culture. She has published five books of nonfiction and a collection of eco-poetry. Ray has won an American Book Award, Pushcart Prize, Southern Bookseller Awards, Southern Environmental Law Center Writing Awards, and Eisenberg Award, among others. Her first book, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, was a New York Times Notable Book. The author has been inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. She lives on an organic farm near Savannah. Red Lanterns, Ray’s second book of poetry, is forthcoming in Spring 2021.
Amber Flora Thomas is the author of Eye of Water: Poems which was selected by Harryette Mullen as the winner of the 2004 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Her other books include The Rabbits Could Sing: Poems (2012) and Red Channel in the Rupture: Poems (2018). Her poetry has appeared in New England Review, Tin House, Ecotone, Callaloo, Orion Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, Saranac Review, and Third Coast, as well as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, and numerous other journals and anthologies. Thomas has received fellowships from Yaddo, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and Sewanee Writers Conference. She earned an MFA at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She was born and raised in northern California. Currently she is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.
Claire Vaye Watkins was born in Bishop, California in 1984. She was raised in the Mojave Desert, in Tecopa, California and Pahrump, Nevada. A graduate of the University of Nevada Reno, Claire earned her MFA from the Ohio State University, where she was a Presidential Fellow. She is the author of the novel Gold Fame Citrus, and the short story collection Battleborn, which won the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. Her third book, a novel called I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness, is forthcoming from Riverhead Books. Claire’s fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Granta, Paris Review, Tin House, Freeman’s, Story Quarterly, New Republic, and many other magazines and anthologies including New American Stories, Best of the West, Best of the Southwest, Pushcart Prize XLIII, and the Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story. A Guggenheim Fellow, a Lannan Literary Fellow, and one of Granta’s “Best Young American Novelists,” Claire lives in the Mojave Desert.
Guest Agents and Editors
Guest names will be posted soon.