Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Susan Breen is the author of the novel The Fiction Class (Plume and Headline Review UK), and the Maggie Dove series of mystery books (Random House Alibi). She has published short fiction in American Literary Review, Chattahoochee Review, Nebraska Quarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, anderbo, and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and one of her stories was included in the Best American Nonrequired Reading anthology. She holds a BA from the University of Rochester and an MFA from Columbia University.

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). His short fiction has appeared in Storyglossia, Hobart, Mad Hatter’s Review, and Prime Number Magazine, among others, and been anthologized in the Dzanc Press Best of the Web collections. He has published articles in Military Review magazine and Infantry magazine. He has served as a foreign area officer and U.S. Army attaché in Oman and Yemen, 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. 

Matthew Cody is the author of the middle grade novels The Peddler's Road, (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers), Villainous (Knopf), Powerless (Yearling), The Dead Gentleman (Yearling), among others. He has published pieces in McSweeney’s and Opium Magazine. He has taught at Laguardia Community College. He holds a BFA from Webster University and an MFA in Theater from the University of Alabama.

Shari Goldhagen is the author of the novels Some Other World, Maybe (St. Martins), Family and Other Accidents (Random House) and 100 Days of Cake (Atheneum Books for Young Readers). She has published fiction in Indiana Review, Prism International, Beacon Street Review, and Wascana Review, and she has published articles in the National Enquirer, Complete Woman, teenStyle, Ohioana, and Restaurants and Institutions. She has taught at Ohio State University. She holds a BSJ from Northwestern University and an MFA in Fiction from Ohio State University.

Brendan Halpin is the author of the novels Dear Catastrophe WaitressLong Way Backand 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 Forever Changes  (by Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom (Walker Books) and A Really Awesome Mess (Egmont USA) . He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Teaching from Tufts University. 

Masha Hamilton is the author of the novels 31 Hours, What Changes Everything, and The Distance Between Us (all Unbridled Books), The Camel Bookmobile (HarperCollins), and Staircase of a Thousand Steps (BlueHen/Penguin Putnam Publishing Group). As a journalist, she worked for the AP in Israel, as the Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, and she wrote a column on Moscow for U.S. newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the Dallas Morning News and the Miami Herald. She is the founder of the Afghan Women Writer's Project. She served as director of communications and public diplomacy for the US Embassy in Afghanistan and vice president of communications for the international NGO Concern Worldwide. She holds a BA from Brown University.

Michael Harvkey is the author of the novel In the Course of Human Events (Soft Skull Press). His fiction has appeared in Zoetrope All-Story, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Mississippi Review, and his nonfiction has appeared in Salon, The Believer, Esquire, and Poets & Writers. He has also served as the Deputy Reviews Editor at Publishers Weekly. He also teaches at Columbia University. He holds a BS from the University of Central Missouri and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.

Scott Alexander Hess is the author of four novels: Bergdorf Boys and Diary of a Sex Addict, (both JMS Books), Skyscraper (Lethe Press), and The Butcher's Sons (Lethe Press). His short fiction and essays have appeared in Genre Magazine, The Fix, and The Huffington Post, and he co-wrote the short film Tom in America, which screened at more than a dozen film festivals. He holds a BJ from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MFA in Fiction from The New School.

Thaïs Miller is the author of the novel Our Machinery and the short story collection The Subconscious Mutiny and Other Stories (both Brown Paper Publishing). Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Nautilus, Bleak House Review, AmLit, and the anthology  Lethal Rejection (Carolina Academic Press). She holds a BA from American University and an MA in Creative Writing for Social Activism from NYU. 

Jessica Penner is the author of the novel in stories Shaken In The Water (Foxhead Books), and her short fiction has appeared in Lost Writers, in the anthology Tongue Screws and Testimonies (Herald Press). Her nonfiction has been published in the Bellevue Literary ReviewThe FiddlebackLuna Luna, Rhubarb, and The Center for Mennonite Writing Journal. She has taught at James Madison University and the Long Island Business Institute. She holds a BA from Eastern Mennonite University and an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. 

Lisa Reardon is the author of the novels The Mercy Killers (Counterpoint Press), Blameless (Random House), and Billy Dead (Viking), which was named one of 20 Top First Novels by Booklist. She has also written numerous plays which have been produced throughout the country. She has taught at the Circle Repertory School, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Division of Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Playwriting from Yale.

Lev AC Rosen is the author of the novels Depth (Regan Arts) and All Men of Genius (Tor), and the middle-grade novels The Memory Wall (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers) and Woundabout (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers). He has published short fiction in Esopus and written for Tor.com. He has taught at the Oberlin Experimental College. He holds a BA from Oberlin and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence.

Jessica Sticklor is the author of the novel Betwixt and Between (Ig Publishing). Her work has appeared in The Paper Nautilus, Open Wide Magazine, Conclave, The Skyline Review, Chiron Review, and Kudzu, among many others. She serves as an editor at The House of Books. She holds a BA from The New School and an MFA in Creative Writing from CUNY.

Katherine Taylor is the author of the novels Valley Fever and Rules For Saying Goodbye (both Farrar, Straus, and Giroux). Her essays and short fiction have appeared in Elle, The New York Times, Ploughshares, ZYZZYVA, Southwest Review, Town and Country, Prairie Schooner, and Shenandoah. She holds a BA from USC and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.

Arlaina Tibensky is the author of the novel And Then Things Fall Apart (Simon & Schuster). Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in One Story, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, the Madison Review, and The Dinner Party Download on NPR. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University.