We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.
Michael Backus is the author of the novels The Vanishing Point (Cactus Moon Books) and the chapbook Coney on the Moon (Redbird Chapbooks). His short stories and nonfiction have appeared in One Story, Okey Panky, Channel, Parhelion Literary Review, Jellyfish Review, Cleaver, Digging Through the Fat, Oyster River Pages, Prime Number, and Exquisite Corpse. He has taught at Columbia College and Marymount Manhattan College. He holds a BA from Purdue University and an MFA from Columbia College.
María Alejandra Barrios has published short stories in Cosmonauts Avenue, Jellyfish Review, Bandit Fiction, Lost Balloon, Reservoir Journal, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Fresh Ink, El Malpensante, WaxWing Mag, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Shenandoah Literary. She has taught for the Universidad Del Norte Barranquilla, Paragraph New York, and the Beaubourg Theatre in New Orleans. She holds a BA from the Universidad de los Andes and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester.
is the author of the memoirs Walks with Sam, October Song, (both Roundfire) and The Consequence of Stars (Adelaide); the novels Things Behind the Sun (Adelaide) and A Well-Respected Man (Strategic); and the novella Sandman: A Golf Tale (Roundfire, forthcoming). His essays and short stories have appeared in Chicagoland Journal, Clef Notes, Epiphany, Eunoia Review, Longshot Island, Under the Gum Tree, and Write City. He is a reporter/anchor for WBBM Radio-Chicago and a contributor to the CBS Radio Network. He is the producer/
Susan Breen is the author of the Maggie Dove mystery series, originally published by Penguin Random House/Alibi and rereleased by Under the Oak Press, as well as the novel The Fiction Class (Plume/Headline Review UK). Her short stories have appeared in American Literary Review, the Chattahoochee Review, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, as well as the anthologies Best American Nonrequired Reading and Murder Most Diabolical. She holds a BA from the University of Rochester and an MA in Economics from Columbia University.
Adela Brito has published short stories in Acentos Review, Litbreak Magazine, Hieroglyph, and Moko Magazine, and she is a former fiction editor of The Pinch literary journal. Her nonfiction and poetry have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Underwood, Adelaide Literary Magazine, All About Jazz, c-nf, Counterculture UK, and Storyboard Memphis. She has taught at the University of Memphis and Nashville State Community College. She holds a BA from Florida International University and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Memphis.
Benjamin Buchholz is the author of the novel One Hundred and One Nights (Back Bay Books/Little, Brown), the nonfiction book Private Soldiers (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), and two poetry chapbooks:Thirteen Stares (Magic Helicopter Press) and Windshield (BlazeVox Press). He is also co-author, with Sam Farran, of the memoir The Tightening Dark: An American Hostage in Yemen (Hachette). His short stories have appeared in Storyglossia, Hobart, Mad Hatter’s Review, and Prime Number Magazine, and been anthologized in the Dzanc Press Best of the Web collections. His nonfiction has appeared in Military Review, Infantry, and The Writer. He has served as a foreign area officer and U.S. Army attaché in Oman, Yemen, and Uzbekistan, and lectured at Princeton University. He holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completed the Omani Royal Air Force Staff College in Arabic Language, and holds an MA in Near East Studies from Princeton University.
Carmen Bugan is the author of the memoir Burying the Typewriter (Picador), the essay collection Poetry and the Language of Opression (Oxford University), and the poetry collections Time Being, Lillies from America, Releasing the Porcelain Birds, The House of Straw (all Shearsman Books), and Crossing the Carpathians (Carcanet Press). Her poems and essays have appeared in the Irish Times, the Harvard Review, the International Literature Quarterly, the Nieman Storyboard, and the anthologies Centres of Catacylsm (Bloodaxe Books), See How I Land (Heaven Tree Press), and Penguin’s Poems for Life (Penguin). She has taught at Grand Valley State University, the University of Fribourg, the Geneva Writers’ Group, and Oxford University. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan, an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and a Master’s and Ph.D, both in English Literature, from Oxford University.
Philip Cioffari is the author of the novels If Anyone Asks, Say I Died From the Heartbreaking Blues, The Bronx Kill, Jesusville, Catholic Boys, and Dark Road, Dead End, as well as the short story collection A History of Things Lost or Broken, (all Livingston Press/University of West Alabama). His short fiction has appeared in the Southern Humanities Review, the Westchester Review, the North American Review, the Connecticut Review, Italian Americana, and been anthologized in Wild Dreams (Fordham University Press), 100 Percent Pure Florida Fiction (University of Florida Press), and Many Lights in Many Windows (Milkweed Editions). His plays have been staged or received staged readings at The Actors Studio, the Belmont Playhouse, the Gettysburg College New Plays Festival, and the Circle Repertory Lab, among many others. He wrote and directed the feature film Love in the Age of Dion, which won Best Director at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival, played at many film festivals including the Rhode Island International Film Festival and the Wildwood-By-The-Sea Festival, and was selected for the New Filmmakers NY series. He teaches at William Paterson University. He holds a Ph.D from New York University.
Tom Cooper is the author of the novels Florida Man (Random House) and The Marauders (Broadway Books/Crown Publishing). His short stories have appeared in the Mid-American Review, Gulf Coast, Boulevard, Smokelong Quarterly, and Oxford American. He has taught at Florida State University, Nicholls State University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of South Florida-Tampa. He holds a BA from Florida Atlantic University, an MA in Literature from the University of South Florida, and a Ph.D in Creative Writing from Florida State University.
Anita Diggs-Thomas is co-author, with Ida Keeling, of the memoir Can't Nothing Bring Me Down: Chasing Myself in the Race Against Time (Zondervan). She is the author of four novels, including A Meeting in the Ladies Room, (Kensington Books), and the nonfiction book Talking Drums: An African-American Quote Collection (St. Martin’s Press). She has served as senior editor and director of One World Books for Ballantine/Random House. She has taught at Salem College. She holds a BA from the State University of New York/Empire State College and an MFA in Creative Writing/Memoir from Hunter College.
Carter Edwards is the author of the short story collection The Aversive Clause (Black Lawrence Press/Dzanc) and the poetry collections From the Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes (Black Lawrence Press/Dzanc) and To Mend Small Children (Augury Books), and his work is included in the anthologies Diving Divas and Zombiality. He has published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in the New York Times Magazine, La Petite Zine, Freerange Nonfiction, Sink Review, Pax Americana, and Brooklyn Rail. He has served as an executive producer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York. He holds a BA from Reed College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School.
Seth Fried is the author of the novel The Municipalists (Penguin) and the short story collection The Great Frustration (Soft Skull Press/Counterpoint). His short stories have appeared in Kenyon Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Missouri Review, One Story, and Tin House. His work has been anthologized in the Better of McSweeney’s and the Pushcart Prizes XXV: The Best of the Small Presses, and twice named a Distinguished Story by the editors of the Best American Short Stories series. He has been regular contributor to Shouts & Murmurs in the New Yorker and to NPR's Selected Shorts. He has worked as an assistant editor at the Mid-American Review. He holds a BA from Bowling Green State University.
Serrana Laure Gay has published short stories in North Dakota Quarterly, the Hunger Journal, X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, and Prometheus Dreaming. She is the author of the illustrated book Fatty Fatty No Friends (Mind the Art Entertainment), adapted from her operetta of the same name, which was winner of the Best of Fest prize at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Her plays have been workshopped or appeared at the New York International Fringe Festival, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre, the National Opera Center, the Frigid NY theatre festival, the HERE Arts Center, and Feinstein’s 54 Below. She has taught at the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute. She holds a BFA from Ithaca College and an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.
Varud Gupta is the author of the graphic novel Chhotu: A Tale of Partition and Love and the nonfiction travel memoir Bhagwaan Ke Pakwaan: Food of the Gods (both Penguin Random House). His food and travel articles have appeared in National Geographic and America's Test Kitchen, among others, and his short graphic fiction has appeared in Comixense and Inklab. He has worked as head of originals for the production studio Resting Kitsch Face, and taught for the Indian Institute of Art and Design. He holds a BS from New York University.
Brendan Halpin is the author of the novels Dear Catastrophe Waitress, Long Way Back, and Donorboy (all by Villard); the memoirs Losing My Faculties and It Takes a Worried Man (both by Villard); and the author or co-author of eight young adult novels, including Legacy (Gum Road), Forever Changes (by Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom (Walker Books), and A Really Awesome Mess (Egmont USA). His nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Sunday Times (of London) Magazine, Best Life Magazine, Rosie Magazine, and Ladies’ Home Journal. He has taught at Emmanuel College, Bunker Hill Community College, and the Wentworth Institute of Technology. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Teaching from Tufts University.
Season Harper-Fox has published fiction, poetry, and book reviews in Cream City Review, Rocky Mountain Review of Modern Language and Literature, OnTheBus, and Primavera, and she has served as editorial assistant for Prairie Schooner. She has taught at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She holds a BA and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Scott Alexander Hess is the author of five novels, including Skyscraper, a Lambda Literary Award Finalist, The Butcher's Sons, named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2015 (both Lethe Press), and a pair of novellas The Root of Everything & Lightning (Rebel Satori Press). His work has appeared in HuffPost, Genre Magazine, The Fix, and Thema Literary Review. He co-wrote “Tom in America,” an award-winning short film, and curates Hot Lit, an LGBTQ+ themed monthly newsletter. He holds a BJ from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MFA in Fiction from The New School.
Anu Jindal has published short stories and essays in Electric Literature, Pioneer Magazine, New Quarterly, Matrix, and Joyland. He has worked as a contributing editor at Electric Literature, curator and co-administrator for the Visiting Writers Series at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and an assistant editor on the television show On Record: The History of Recorded Music (PBS). He has taught at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Baruch College Writing Center, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He holds a BA from Dalhousie University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
R. Dean Johnson is the author of the novel Californium (Plume Books) and the short story collection Delicate Men (Alternative Book Press). His short stories and essays have appeared in Ascent, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Louisville Review, New Orleans Review, Natural Bridge, Ruminate, Santa Clara Review, Slice, and Southern Review, and in the anthologies Agave (Ink Brush Press) and A Tribute to Orpheus (Kearney Street Books). He served as fiction editor at Hayden’s Ferry Review and editor of the anthology Teachable Moments: Essays on Experiential Education (University Press of America). He has taught at Arizona State University, Prescott College, Cameron University, and Eastern Kentucky University. He holds a BS from California State Polytechnic, an MA in English from Kansas State University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University.
Jaime Karnes has published fiction and nonfiction in Granta, Adirondack Review, Opium Magazine, and PopMatters. She is an editor-at-large in fiction at The Utopian. She has taught at Rutgers and Southern New Hampshire University. She holds a BA from the University of Kansas and an MFA in Fiction from Rutgers-Newark University.
Erin Entrada Kelly is the author of the middle grade novels Hello Universe, winner of the Newbery Medal; We Dream of Space, a Newbery Honor book; Those Kids From Fawn Creek; Maybe, Maybe, Marisol Rainey; Surely, Surely, Marisol Rainey; Lalani of the Distant Sea;You Go First; The Land of Forgotten Girls; and Blackbird Fly (all HarperCollins). Her short stories have appeared in the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Tayo Special Issue, Adroit Journal, Danse Macabre, Every Day Fiction, and Boston Literary Magazine. She is a contributor to Library Journal and has been a writer and editor for Thrive Magazine, where she won awards for excellence in feature writing from the Louisiana Press Association and the Associated Press. She has taught for Rosemont College and Wallingford Swarthmore Community Classes. She holds a BA from McNeese State University and an MFA in Fiction from Rosemont College.
Z Kennedy-Lopez has published fiction and essays in Foglifter, Autostraddle, Hobart Pulp, Storm Cellar, A Velvet Giant, among many others. They have taught at the University of California, Davis, Rutgers University-Camden, and the Cooper Street Writing Workshops. They hold a BA from Southern Oregon University, an MA in English from the University of California, Davis, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University-Camden.
Megan Kruse is the author of the novel Call Me Home (Hawthorne Books). She has published short stories and nonfiction in Narrative Magazine, Drunken Boat, Witness Magazine, The Sun, Bellingham Review, and Psychology Today, and her short fiction is included in the anthologies Portland Noir (Akashic) and Portland Queer (Lit Star Press). She was named a 5 Under 35 honoree by the National Book Awards. She has taught for Eastern Oregon University, the University of Montana, Ashford University, Badgerdog in Austin, and Hugo House in Seattle. She holds a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana.
Angela Lam is the author of the memoir Red Eggs and Good Luck (She Writes Press), the novels Friends First, The Divorce Planner, and the Women of the Crush series (all The Wild Rose Press), and Blood Moon Rising (Eternal Press), and the short story collection The Human Act and Other Stories (All Things That Matter Press). Her nonfiction has appeared in The Sun, the San Jose Mercury News, SFGate, the Portland Book Review, and the Bohemian. She holds a BA from Sonoma State University.
Cleve Lamison is the author of the science fiction novel Full-Blood Half-Breed (Penguin Random House), and he is a contributing writer to Suvudu.com, a science fiction and fantasy blog at Random House. He is a staff writer for the television show Craig Ross Jr.’s Monogamy (Urban Movie Channel), and he wrote and directed the feature film Following Bliss, which won Best Feature Film at the Global Arts International Film Festival. His short film "The Story" won the Denver World Film Festival, and his short film "Jack for President" was a runner-up in the New York 24-Hour Filmmaking Contest. He was the artistic director of the BlackBird Theatre Company in NYC; created, wrote, and drew the cartoon strip Rick the Roach for the Richmond News Leader; and is a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves. He holds a BA from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Casandra Lopez has published short stories in the Packinghouse Review, Flyaway, Potomac Review, California Journal of Women Writers, Unmanned Press, and the anthologies Best Small Fictions and Dimestories. She is the author of the poetry collection Brother Bullet (University of Arizona Press) and the chapbook Where Bullet Breaks (Sequoyah National Research Center), and her poetry has appeared in Bellingham Review, NewBorder, Malpais Review, Hobart, Indian Country Today, Más Tequila Review, and Hamilton Stone Review. She is a founder/managing editor of the literary journal As/Us, and she has taught for the University of New Mexico, Northwest Indian College, North Seattle Community College, and for Upward Bound. She holds a BS from Cornell, an MA in Educational Counseling from the University of Redlands, and an MFA in Fiction from the University of New Mexico.
Dan Lopez is the author of the novel The Show House (Unnamed Press), named a Best Book by Chicago Review of Books, and the short story collection Part the Hawser, Limn the Sea (Chelsea Station Editions). He is an assistant editor at Counterpoint Press and has published short stories in Storychord, Ducts, Prick of the Spindle, and the anthology With: New Gay Fiction (Chelsea Station Editions). His nonfiction has appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books,Time Out New York, The Collagist, The Millions, and Lamda Literary. He holds a BA from the University of Central Florida.
Christine Meade is the author of the novel The Way You Burn (She Writes Press), and her personal essays have appeared in the Boston Globe, Chicago Literati, HuffPost, the Manifest-Station, and Writer’s Digest. She has taught for 826 Boston, Lasell College, and Curry College. She holds a BA from Northeastern University and an MFA in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts.
N. West Moss is the author of the memoir Flesh and Blood (Algonquin), the short story collection The Subway Stops at Bryant Park (Leapfrog Press), and the middle-grade novel Birdy, (Christy Ottaviano Books/Little Brown Books for Young Readers, forthcoming). Her short stories have appeared in McSweeney’s, The Saturday Evening Post, Stockholm Review, Blotter Magazine, and Westchester Review. Her nonfiction has appeared in Salon, the New York Times, Brevity, River Teeth, Dorothy Parker's Ashes, and Ars Medica. She has taught at William Paterson University, Montclair State University, and Passaic County Community College. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, a Master of Secondary Education from Mercy College, an MFA in Creative Writing from William Paterson University, and a CPA in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University.
Benjamin Obler is the author of the novel Javascotia (Penguin UK). His short stories and essays have appeared in The Guardian, London Times, Mirror, Electric Literature, Long Reads, Puerto Del Sol, The Junction, Belle Ombre, Qwerty, Sundress, Thirty-Two, Cottonwood, and Evansville Review. He has taught at the Loft Literary Center. He holds a BA from the University of St. Thomas and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow.
Dalia Pagani is the author of the novel Mercy Road (Delacorte). Her short stories and essays have appeared in Story, Portsmouth Review, Green Mountains Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Omnificent, and Cruising World. She has taught at Plymouth State University, Lebanon College, and Johnson State College. She holds a BA and an MFA in Writing from Vermont College.
Kristin Rockaway is the author of the novels Smart Girl Summer (forthcoming), Life, Unscheduled (both Montlake), How to Hack a Heartbreak, She’s Faking It, (both Graydon House), and The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World (Center Street), as well as the young adult novel My Epic Spring Break (Up) (Underlined). She’s written essays and blog posts for Fresh Fiction, Frolic, Novel Novice, We Heart Writing, and Women Writers, Women’s Books. She holds a BA from New York University.
Lynda Sandoval is the author of numerous novels including Unsettling, (Rayo/Harper Collins), the young adult novels Who’s Your Daddy?, Chicks Ahoy (both Simon Pulse), and Father Knows Best (Bold Strokes Books), and the Amgias Y Amor romance series (Bold Stroke Books) and the Return to Troublesome Gulch series (Silhouette Books). She is a former police officer with the Wheat Ridge (Colorado) Police Department and a former 911 and fire department dispatcher with the Littleton (Colorado) Fire Department. She has taught Constitutional rights classes for middle school students and has served as a novel writing mentor with the Nevada Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She holds a BS from the Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Alanna Schubach is the author of the novel The Nobodies (Blackstone Publishing). Her short stories have appeared in Sewanee Review, Massachusetts Review, Juked, and Electric Literature's Recommended Reading. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, Jacobin, the Washington Post, the Village Voice, and the LA Review of Books. She has taught at the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, the College Readiness Program, the Westchester County Department of Corrections, and Girls Write Now. She holds a BA from American University and an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.
Radhika Sharma is the author of the novel Mangoes for Monkeys and the short story collection Parikrama, (both Frog Books/Leadstart Publishing). Her short fiction has appeared in the Santa Clara Review and The Fanzine, and her essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Times of India, the Economic Times, Pacific Time, Perspectives, In the Fray, and the Forum on KQED FM, among many others. She is a former assistant fiction editor for 14Hills literary magazine, and she has taught for San Francisco State University, Milipitas Adult Education, and the Learning Bee. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.
Divya Sood is the author of the novels Find Someone to Love and Nights Like This (both Riverdale Avenue Books). Her short stories have won the New Jersey Arts and Letters First Prize for Short Fiction and appeared in The Masters Review. She has taught at Rutgers University and Southern New Hampshire University. She holds a BA from Rutgers University and an MA in English from New York University.
Jessica Sticklor (also writing as Jessica Stilling and J.M. Stephen) is the author of the novels Just So Many Places (NineStar Press) The Weary God of Ancient Travelers (D.X Varos), The Beekeeper's Daughter (Bedazzled Ink Press), and Betwixt and Between (Ig Publishing), and the young adult Pan Chronicles series and The Rise of Runes and Shields, book one of her Seidr Sagas young adult fantasy series (all D.X. Varos). Her short stories have appeared in The Paper Nautilus, Open Wide Magazine, Conclave, The Skyline Review, Chiron Review, and Kudzu, and her nonfiction has appeared in The Writer, Ms., and Tor.com. She has worked as an editor at The House of Books. She holds a BA from The New School and an MFA in Creative Writing from CUNY.
Arlaina Tibensky is the author of the novel And Then Things Fall Apart (Simon & Schuster). Her short stories and nonfiction have appeared in One Story, SmokeLong Quarterly, McSweeney's, Madison Review, The Dinner Party Download, New Stories from the Midwest 2018 (New American Press), the New York Times, and elsewhere. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University.
David Yoo is the author of the young adult novels Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before (Hyperion) and Girls for Breakfast (Delacorte), the middle grade novel The Detention Club (Balzer + Bray), and the essay collection The Choke Artist (Grand Central). He has published short stories and nonfiction in Massachusetts Review, Rush Hour, Maryland Review, and the anthology Guys Write for Guys Read (Viking). He is also a columnist for KoreAm Journal. He has taught at Pine Manor College, Eckerd College, and CU-Boulder. He holds a BA from Skidmore College and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado-Boulder.