Creative Writing Alumni

The Creative Writing Program is proud to count among its graduates writers and teachers who have met with tremendous success. Among our distinguished alumni are:

Francesca Abbate (PhD, 2002) is an Associate Professor of English at Beloit College. She is the author of Troy, Unincorporated (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

Colleen Abel (PhD, 2013) won 2015 Editor’s Prize of Unicorn Press for her full-length collection Remake (Unicorn Press, 2015). She also published a chapbook, Housewifery (dancing girl press, 2013). She was the 2013-2014 Beebe Fellow at Warren Wilson’s creative writing program.

Paul Scot August (MA) a former poetry editor of The Cream City Review, was nominated for a third time this year for a Pushcart Prize. He had poems published in Mead: the Magazine of Literature & Libations, Lindenwood Review, Louisville Review, South Dakota Review, Tygerburning, Connotation-Press, Midwestern Gothic, Los Angeles Review, Dunes Review, Naugatuck River Review, Passages North and elsewhere. His book Apologizing to Fish is being shopped among publishers. This year he also co-founded and now co-curates the Middle Coast Poets Reading Series in Milwaukee.

Camille Banks (PhD, 2010) is a tenured Lecturer of English at City Colleges of Chicago.

Drew Blanchard (PhD, 2012) is an Assistant Professor at UW-Waukesha. He is the author of one book of poetry, Winter Dogs (Salmon Poetry, 2011), and has a second under contract with the same publisher.

David Bowen (PhD, 2015) is a senior editor at New American Press and MAYDAY Magazine, and a contributing editor at Great Lakes Review. His fiction has appeared in The Literary Review, Colorado Review, Flyway, Serving House Journal, Printer’s Devil Review, and elsewhere.

Debra Brenegan (PhD, 2007) is an Associate Professor and English Graduate Program Director at Mount Mary University. She is the author of Shame the Devil, a novel (SUNY Press, 2011).

Brenda Cárdenas (BA 1987) is the author of Boomerang (Bilingual Review Press), Bread of the Earth/The Last Colors with Roberto Harrison, Achiote Seeds/Semillas de Achiote with Cristina García, Emmy Pérez, and Gabriela Erandi Rico, and From the Tongues of Brick and Stone. She also co-edited Resist Much/Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2017) and Between the Heart and the Land: Latina Poets in the Midwest (2001). Her poems and essays are forthcoming or have appeared in publications such as Latina/o Poetics: The Art of Poetry, Ghost Fishing: An Anthology of Eco-Justice Poetry, Poetry magazine, The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks, Return to the Gathering Place of the Waters: Milwaukee Poets in 2017, City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness, Angels of the Americlypse: New Latin@ Writing, The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry, and others. You may find her work online at various web sites, including the Library of Congress’ Spotlight on U. S. Hispanic Writers, the Academy of American Poets (poets.org), the Poetry Foundation, the Best American Poetry Blog, The Quarry: A Social Justice Database, Jet Fuel Review, Poetry Daily, Every Day Poems, Périodico de Poesía (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), and the E-Poets Network Book of Voices.

From 2010-2012, Cárdenas served as the Milwaukee Poet Laureate. In 2014, she co-taught the inaugural master workshop for Pintura : Palabra: A Project in Ekphrasis based on the exhibit Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Other inter-arts projects include “Nexus,” a poem-print translation with Cynthia Lollis in the Mind the Gap portfolio; “Song,” a poetry film with animator Kyle Jenkins (Poetry Everywhere); “Sonnet for Thunder Lovers and Primary Colors,” a choreo-poem with choreographer Kelly Anderson; and Chicano, Illnoize: The Blue Island Sessions, a spoken word and music CD, with the ensemble Sonido Ink(quieto). Her teaching areas include poetry writing, U. S. Latina/o literatures, poetry in concert with the other arts, and performance art.

Ellen Caswell (PhD, 2012) is the author of a chapbook, Going Without (dancing girl press, 2011).

Brittany Cavallaro (PhD, 2016) has a three-book deal with Harper Collins. Her first novel is titled A Study in Charlotte (Harper Collins, 2016). She has also published a book-length poetry collection titled Girl-King (University of Akron Press, 2015), which won the Editor’s Prize with the University of Akron Press, and co-authored a chapbook titled No Girls, No Telephones (Black Lawrence Press, 2014). Cavallaro won a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.

Christi Clancy (PhD, 2011) is an Assistant Professor of English at Beloit College in Beloit, WI. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Glimmer Train, and many other publications.

Michael Clark (PhD, 2010) is an Associate Professor at Azuza Pacific University and an editor of the textbook Dispatches from the Classroom: Graduate Students on Creative Writing Pedagogy (Routledge, 2011).

Ching-In Chen (PhD, 2015) is an Assistant Professor of English at Sam Houston State University. They are the author of The Heart’s Traffic: a novel in poems (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press, 2009) and recombinant (Kelsey Street Press, 2017) as well as co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press, 2011; AK Press, 2016) and Here is a Pen: an Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets (Achiote Press, 2009). They are a senior editor at The Conversant and poetry editor at the Texas Review.

Michael Dean Clark (PhD, 2010) is Associate Professor of English at Azusa Pacific University and an editor of the textbook Creative Writing in the Digital Age: Theory Practice and Pedagogy (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015).

Henri Cole’s (MA, 1978) volumes of poetry include: Touch (2011), which received both the Thom Gunn Award for Poetry and the Jackson Poetry Prize; Pierce the Skin: Selected Poems, 1982-2007 (2010); Blackbird and Wolf (2007), the 2008 recipient of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Middle Earth (2003), which received the 2004 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; The Visible Man (1998); The Look of Things (1995); The Zoo Wheel of Knowledge (1989); and The Marble Queen (1986). Henri currently teaches at Ohio State University and is the poetry editor of The New Republic.

Aviva Cristy (PhD, 2014) is the author of the chapbook The Interior Structure (dancing girl press, 2013).

Lindsay Daigle (PhD, 2016) is the author of the poetry collection The Small Disasters LP (Synecdoche Press, Brown University, 2017). She co-coordinates the annual outdoor Milwaukee reading series, Poetry in the Park, and currently teaches in UWM’s Honors College as well as Marquette University’s English Department.

Chris Drew (PhD, 2014) is an Assistant Professor at Indiana State University and an editor of the textbook Dispatches from the Classroom: Graduate Students on Creative Writing Pedagogy (Routledge, 2011).

Chris Fink (PhD, 2005) is an Associate Professor and Chair of English at Beloit College. He is the author of Farmer’s Almanac: A Work of Fiction (Emergency Press, 2013). He serves as editor for the Beloit Fiction Journal and coordinates the Mackey Chair in Creative Writing.

José “Butch” Dalisay (PhD, 1991) is director of the Institute of Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines and the author of more than 20 books: short story collections, poetry, plays, and essays. A recipient of the National Book Award from the Manila Critics Circle, Dalisay was named by the Cultural Center of the Philippines Centennial Honors List as one of the top-100 most accomplished and influential Filipino artists of the past century. His books include Pinoy Septych and Other Poems (UST Publishing House, 2011). Soledad’s Sister (Anvil Publishing, 2008), Selected Stories (U.P. Press, 2005), Man Overboard (Milflores, 2005), and Filipino Flag (Inquirer Publications, 2004), among many others.

Sarah Joy Freese (MA/MLIS, 2008) is a literary agent with WordServe Literary and an adjunct professor at Colorado Christian University. Her short stories and poems have appeared in Santa Fe Writer’s Project, The Scrambler, Twisted Ink, Ditch, The 2nd Hand, Word Catalyst Magazine, elimae, Monkeybicycle, and Prick of the Spindle.

W. D. Gagliani (MA, 1986) is the author of eight novels, including Wolf’s Trap (Dorchester 2006, Samhain 2012, Crossroad Press 2017), which was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award in 2004, plus Wolf’s Gambit (Dorchester 2009, 47North 2010), Wolf’s Bluff (Dorchester 2010, 47North 2010), Wolf’s Edge (Samhain 2012, Crossroad Press 2017), Wolf’s Cut (Samhain 2014, Crossroad Press 2017), Wolf’s Blind (Samhain 2015, Crossroad Press 2017), Savage Nights (Tarkus Press 2012, Crossroad Press 2017). Six of his short stories have received Honorable Mentions in The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror. Short stories have appeared in various anthologies, including Robert Bloch’s Psychos, Fearful Fathoms, Undead Tales, The Midnighters Club, etc., and in the collection Shadowplays, plus (with co-author David Benton) in THE X-FILES: Trust No One, Darker Passions: Hot Blood 13, SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror, SNAFU: Wolves at the Door, Zippered Flesh 2, Masters of Unreality, etc. He has published book reviews, articles, and interviews in venues such as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Cemetery Dance, HorrorWorld, The Scream Factory, BookPage, Science Fiction Chronicle, and many others, as well as nonfiction in The Writer magazine (October 2011) and the books On Writing Horror (WD Books), Thrillers: The 100 Must Reads (Oceanview), and They Bite (Citadel). His website is www.wdgagliani.com and he can be found at www.facebook.com/wdgagliani and on Twitter at @WDGagliani.

Dean Gardner’s poetry collections include Travels with an Unknown God, A Volunteer’s Chronicle, and Welcome Home Soldier, among others.

Bayard Godsave (PhD, 2008) is an Assistant Professor at Cameron University and the author of Lesser Apocalypses (Queens Ferry Press, 2012), a short story collection, and a pair of novellas titled, Torture Tree (Queens Ferry Press, 2014) and the forthcoming The Clay-Eaters, a book of Comanche County, Oklahoma (Big Pasture Chaps, 2016).

Nicholas J. Goetzfridt (M.A., 1981) is a recently retired Emeritus Professor of Library Science and Micronesian Studies, University of Guam. His books include Guahan: A Bibliographic History (2011); Pacific Ethnomathematics (2008); Micronesian Histories (2002); Indigenous Literature of Oceania (1995); Indigenous Navigation and Voyaging in the Pacific (1992). He has papers published in Pacific Asia Inquiry, Journal of Mathematics and Culture, among other journals as well as contributions to the Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures (2008); Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science (2000) and others, as well as several book chapters. He received his Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kara van de Graaf (PhD, 2015) is an Assistant Professor of English at Utah Valley University.

Maurice Kilwein Guevara (PhD, 1990) currently teaches both poetry and fiction at UWM. He is the former President of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), and has published four volumes of poetry: Poema, Autobiography of So-and-So: Poems in Prose, Poems of the River Spirit, and Postmortem. In addition, he has been appointed to visiting professor or writer positions at Universidad de las Américas in Mexico and Syracuse University, and has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Bogotá, Colombia. He is currently at work on a novel.

Derrick A. Harriell (PhD, 2012) is an Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies at University of Mississippi. He is the author of Cotton (Aquarius Press/Willow Books, 2010) and Ropes (Aquarius Press/Willow Books, 2013).

Suzanne Heagy (PhD, 2008) was an Assistant Professor at Fairmont State University until she retired in 2015. Her first novel Love Lets Us Down (All Nations Press) was released in November 2015 and recognized as a finalist in the 18th annual Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards. Her short stories have appeared most recently in The Anthology of Appalachian Literature, Your Impossible Voice, Pleiades,and Untamed Ink, among others. Her story, “A Liberating Effect,” was recently nominated for Best of the Net 2017 by Schuylkill Valley Journal. She serves as fiction editor of Kestrel, the art and literary journal at Fairmont State University.

Trent Hergengrader (PhD, 2013) is an Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and an editor of the textbook Creative Writing in the Digital Age: Theory Practice and Pedagogy (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015).

Rachel Haley Himmelheber (PhD, 2012) is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC and is co-founder of the Creative Writing Studies Organization.

Joshua Hren (MA, 2011) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Mary and Managing Editor of Dappled Things: A Quarterly of Ideas, Art, and Faith, and Editor-in-Chief of Wiseblood Books.

Zeke Jarvis (PhD, 2008) is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Eureka College. He has published a collection of his poem introductions, So Anyway… (Robocup Press, 2014) and a collection of short stories, In A Family Way: Stories (Fomite Press, 2015).

Emilie Lindemann (PhD, 2010) is full-time faculty member at Silver Lake College and the author of one full-length collection of poetry, mother-mailbox, forthcoming from Misty Publications and six poetry chapbooks, many of which are artists’ books. Three of these, Dear Minimum Wage Employee: You Are Priceless (2015), Small Adult Trees (2014), and The Queen of the Milky Way (2013) were published by dancing girl press.

Jill Logan (MA, 2011) followed her degree at UWM with an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her fiction has been published in Meridian, Bellingham Review, Crazyhorse, Quarterly West, Michigan Quarterly, Cimarron Review, Zyzzyva, and elsewhere. She teaches composition and creative writing at San Jose State University.

Molly Magestro (PhD, 2011) is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Washington County. She is the author of a non-fiction media studies book titled ‪Assault on the Small Screen: Representations of Sexual Violence on Prime Time Television Dramas (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015).

Ann McBee (PhD 2012) has published fiction and poetry in numerous literary journals including Broken Plate, Ellipsis, and At Length. Her novella “Battle Creek” received the Faculty Fiction Award at UW–Milwaukee in 2009, and her short-short titled “Trigger” won The Boiler Journal’s flash fiction contest in June 2013. She is currently lecturing in composition and creative writing at UW–Milwaukee and neighboring colleges.

Stephen McCabe (PhD, 2009) is a Lecturer of English at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

For the past twenty years, Maureen Mertens has served as a free-lance reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and has written hundreds of articles and features for the North Shore suburbs.

Kyoko Mori’s (PhD, 1984) most recent book is a memoir, Yarn: Remembering the Way Home (GemmaMedia, 2009). She has also published a book of essays (Polite Lies, Henry Holt), a memoir (The Dream of Water, Henry Holt), and three novels (Stone Field, True Arrow; One Bird; Shizuko’s Daughter–all Henry Holt). Her essays and short stories have appeared in journals such as The American Scholar, The Missouri Review, Harvard Review, and The Kenyon Review. She was born in Kobe, Japan, and moved to the United States in 1977. Prior to joining the faculty at George Mason University, she was a Briggs-Copeland lecturer in creative writing at Harvard University.

Caroline Morrell (PhD, 2009) is a Professor of General Education and Core Faculty of Communication Arts at Ashford University. She is the author of the forthcoming Final Fort (Bright Hill Press 2016), which won the press’ 2014 first book prize. She is also the author of a chapbook, Whispery her eye the flight (dancing girl press, 2012).

Phong Nguyen (PhD, 2007) is Associate Professor at the University of Central Missouri, where he edits the literary journal Pleiades. He is the author of Memory Sickness and Other Stories (Elixir Press, 2011) and Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History (Queens Ferry Press, 2014). His stories have appeared in more than 30 national literary journals including Agni, Boulevard, Chattahoochee Review, Florida Review, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review Online, Massachusetts Review, Mississippi Review, New Letters, New Ohio Review, and North American Review.

Melissa F. Olson (MA, 2012) is the author of eight novels, including Boundary Crossed (47 North, 2015), Boundary Lines (47 North, 2015), Boundary Born (47 North, 2016), Sell-By Date (Westmarch, 2014), Hunter’s Trail (47 North, 2014), The Big Keep (Westmarch, 2014), Trail Dead (47 North, 2013), and Dead Spots (47 North, 2012). Her newest novel, Nightshades, is forthcoming from Tor.com and Amazon Kindle Editions.

Allan Persinger (PhD, 2013) is an English Instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College, Concordia University, and Madison Area Technical College.

Stephen Powers (PhD, 2006) is Professor of English at Gordon State College. His work has appeared in Shenandoah, Dislocate, and 32 Poems, as well as in the anthologies Rabbit Ears: TV Poems and Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems. He has also published two full-length poetry collections with Salmon Poetry, The Follower’s Tale and Hello, Stephen.

Joseph Rein (PhD, 2012) is the author of Roads without Houses: Stories (Press 53, 2018). His short fiction has appeared in fifteen journals, most recently Pinch Literary JournalIron Horse Literary Review, and Ruminate Magazine. He is also an award-winning screenwriter of three short films and one feature-length film, Stillwater (2018). His academic work includes co-editing Creative Writing InnovationsCreative Writing in the Digital Age, and Dispatches from the Classroom, as well as contributing to numerous collections on creative writing pedagogy. He is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

James Schiller (MA, 2010) is the author of the book of poems yes i understand and wish to continue (Slope Editions, 2015). His poems can get inside your eyeballs via Everyday Genius, kill author, Knock Magazine, the Destroyer, Housefire, Spork, and Ninth Letter among others. He is editor and Mother Superior at SWINE, an online magazine of contemporary poetry (www.swinemag.com). He still lives and breathes in Milwaukee where he currently serves as 1/7 billionth of the earth’s total humans.

Carroll Matthew Schumacher (PhD, 2011) is the author of two books of poetry, The Fire Diaries (2010) and Spilling the Moon (2008), both published by Wordcraft of Oregon Press. He has served as poetry editor for Phantom Drift, a magazine of New Fabulism.

Sidney Taiko Sheehan (MA, 2016) is the Editor-in-Chief of Storm Cellar literary journal. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in PANK, CutBank, cream city review, The McNeese Review, The Maine Review, and elsewhere. She teaches in the Writing Studies program at Jefferson University.

Rene Steinke (PhD, 1993) is the author of the novels, The Fires (Morrow, 1999), and Holy Skirts (Morrow, 2005), which was a finalist for the National Book Award, a finalist for the Virginia Award, and on the year’s best books list of The Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post. Holy Skirts has been translated into Italian and Spanish. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, O: the Oprah Magazine, Vogue, Bookforum, and elsewhere. Her third novel, Friendswood, will be published by Riverhead in Fall 2014. She is the director of the MFA in Creative Writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University, in Madison, NJ, where she has taught since 2000. She lives in Brooklyn with her son.

Gene Tanta (PhD, 2009) is an Instructor at the University of Maryland and Berkley University, Online Extension. He is the author of Unusual Woods (BlazeVOX, 2010). He is the co-author of Cosimo & the Queen’s Peach (Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2010) and the editor and co-author of Memoirs & Dreams: Essays on Remembering and Imagining by University of Bucharest, American Studies, MA Students (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014). Another book of his poetry, Pastoral Emergency, is forthcoming.

Marilyn L. Taylor (PhD, 1991) former Poet Laureate of the the state of Wisconsin (2009-2010) and the city of Milwaukee (2004-2005), is the author of eight poetry collections. Her poems and essays have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetry, Able Muse, Light,Measure, and the Random House anthology, Villanelles. She also received the 2015 Margaret Reid International Competition for verse in forms.. Marilyn served for five years as a Contributing Editor for The Writer magazine, where her ”Poet to Poet” column appeared bimonthly. She currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she offers independent workshops and presentations throughout Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Dawn Tefft (PhD, 2011) is an Organizer/Representative for University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate Employees Organization. Her poems can be found in journals such as Fence, Denver Quarterly, Sentence, and Witness. Her nonfiction appears in PopMatters, Truthout, Labor Notes, Jacobin, and Woodland Pattern’s blog. She is the author of three chapbooks: Fist (dancing girl press, 2016), The Walking Dead: A Lyric (Finishing Line Press, 2015), and Field Trip to My Mother and Other Exotic Locations (Mudlark, 2005).

Paul Vogel (MA, 2010) is an Adjunct Instructor at Waukesha County Technical College and Concordia University, Wisconsin. His first chapbook is titled The Empty Quarter (Teppichfresser Press, 2011). His latest chapbook is Invisible Cities (Adjunct Press, 2015).

Tom Vollman (PhD, 2015) is Department Chair of English at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Jeremiah Webster (PhD, 2009) is an Assistant Professor of English at Northwest University. He is the author of After So Many Fires (Anchor and Plume, 2017).

Scott Winkler (PhD, 2015) teaches English at Luxemburg-Casco High School. He is the author of the forthcoming novel The Meadow (Peregrino Press 2018) and The Wide Turn Toward Home (Pocol Press 2008). He is the 2016 and 2017 winner of the Hal Prize in Fiction and has been awarded residencies at Write On Door County. His fiction and poetry have appeared in Peninsula Pulse, Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing, The Sheepshead Review, Elysian Fields Quarterly, Spitball, and Verse Wisconsin Online. Scott’s academic work has appeared in The Journal of Popular Culture, Aethlon, Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories that Shaped Our Culture and has been reprinted in Contemporary Short Story Criticism (Gale/Cengage 2014). http://www.scottawinkler.com