We are pleased to announce our January 2014 Faculty:
Debra Allbery (Director) received her MFA from the University of Iowa and her MA from the University of Virginia. Her first collection of poetry, Walking Distance, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize and was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her next collection, Fimbul-Winter, won the Grub Street National Book Prize in poetry. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Yale Review, Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, New England Review, The Nation, FIELD, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. She has twice received fellowships from the NEA; other awards include the “Discovery”/The Nation Award, a Hawthornden fellowship, and two grants from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. She has taught writing and literature at Phillips Exeter Academy, Interlochen Arts Academy, Randolph College, Dickinson College, and the University of Michigan. Deb first taught in the Program in 1995; she became the director in June 2009.
Dean Bakopoulos’s first novel, Please Don't Come Back from the Moon (Harcourt, 2005), was a New York Times Notable Book and a New York Public Library “Book to Remember.” His second novel, My American Unhappiness, published in June 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, was one of the year’s best novels by The Chicago Tribune. He received his BA from the University of Michigan and his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The winner of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Dean now teaches at Grinnell College in Iowa. Previously, he has taught at Iowa State University and UW-Madison. He has just completed his third novel, Summerlong, and is now at work on a collaborative nonfiction project with visual artist Lee Running.
For me, a poem is a mysterious event, usually coming into focus, into being, through the difficult process of revision. I think of the photographer in the old days, coaxing his image to life through those terrible acids, work that happens in darkness and silence. I encourage poets toward a certain amount of visual imagery so we are firmly placed in the poem, housed there, and thus can begin to grasp its less visible treasures.
Once past the originating moments in such a process, I tend to see a poem not so much as self-expression but as a creature in its own right: stubborn, willful, sometimes exerting startling demands on its writer. In this surprise the real work begins in both matters of language and design. I look for a sense of revelation because what we write only begins at the self.
In honoring possibility, I urge people to read widely, including work which departs from their own concerns in style and content. I’m most interested in poets developing what Flannery O’Connor calls “the habit of art” because the growth of the imagination takes a lifetime.
Karen Brennan received her MFA from Goddard (the former Warren Wilson!) and her PhD from the University of Arizona. She is the author of three books of poems, Here on Earth, The Real Enough World as well as, forthcoming in April 2014, little dark; three collections of short stories, Wild Desire, which won the AWP Award for Short Fiction in 1990, The Garden in Which I Walk and Monsters, forthcoming from Four Way Books; and a memoir, Being With Rachel: A Personal Story of Memory and Survival. A recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Award, her essays, stories and poems have appeared in anthologies from Graywolf, Norton, Penguin, Spuytin Duyvil, Michigan, and Georgia among others. She is Professor of English Emerita from the University of Utah.
Liam Callanan’s most recent novel, All Saints, was named a Target Bookmarked Book Club Breakout pick; his previous novel, The Cloud Atlas, was a finalist for the Edgar Award. He’s a frequent essayist for local and national public radio, and has written for Slate, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and elsewhere. Liam’s also the founder and executive producer of the nationwide Poetry Everywhere animated film project (poetryeverywhere.org). Past director of the Ph.D. program in creative writing at the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee and current chair of its Department of English, Liam earned his MFA from George Mason University, his MA at Georgetown and his BA at Yale.
Daisy Fried is the author of Women’s Poetry: Poems and Advice, My Brother is Getting Arrested Again, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and She Didn’t Mean to Do It, which won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. Her poems have appeared recently in the Best American Poetry 2013, London Review of Books, Nation, New Republic, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Threepenny Review and elsewhere. She has been awarded Guggenheim, Hodder and Pew Fellowships, a Pushcart Prize, the Editors’ Prize from Poetry and the Cohen Award from Ploughshares, and was for two years the Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence at Smith College. She reviews poetry for the New York Times, Poetry and the Threepenny Review, lives in Philadelphia and teaches in the Rutgers-Camden MFA Program.
Jeremy Gavron is the author of King Leopold's Dream: Travels in the Shadow of the African Elephant, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and three novels, Moon, The Book of Israel, winner of the Encore Award, and An Acre of Barren Ground. He was educated at Cambridge University and New York University. He started out as a journalist and was a foreign correspondent in Africa and Asia for the London Daily Telegraph. He has been writer-in-residence at Her Majesty's Prison The Mount, University College London and the Marie Curie hospice in north London. His writing has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, London Magazine and Five Dials, among other publications.
Judith Grossman’s book of stories, How Aliens Think, was published by Johns Hopkins Press in 1999; the title short story was awarded the 2000 Cohen Award from Ploughshares. A novel, Her Own Terms, came out from Soho Press in 1988 and reissued in 2002. Her more recent fiction and essays have appeared in Western Humanities Review, Northwest Review, Santa Monica Review, and Ploughshares. A former Director of the MFA program in fiction at the University of California-Irvine, she has also taught at the Iowa Workshops and the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars.
Jennifer Grotz received her BA in French, English, and Art History from Tulane University, her MA in English and MFA in Poetry from Indiana University, and her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. She is the author of The Needle, winner of the Helen C. Smith Best Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters; and Cusp, winner of the Bakeless Prize for Poetry and the Natalie Ornish Prize from the Texas Institute of Letters, both published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; as well as the limited edition letterpress chapbook Not Body, available from Urban Editions. Psalms of All My Days, her translations from the French of Patrice de La Tour du Pin, appeared from Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2013. Her poems and translations from the French and Polish have appeared widely in journals and anthologies such as American Poetry Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and in three volumes of Best American Poetry. Her essays and reviews have recently appeared in The Nation, Boston Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Gulf Coast, and The Washington Post. She has received awards from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Camargo Foundation, and the Rona Jaffe Foundation. She teaches at the University of Rochester and serves as the Assistant Director of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference.
David Haynes earned a BA from Macalester College and an MA in liberal studies from Hamline University. He is an Associate Professor of English at Southern Methodist University where he directs the creative writing program. He has taught writing in the MFA Programs at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Hamline University, at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD, and at the Writers’ Garret in Dallas. His seventh and most recent novel is A Star in the Face of the Sky. He has received a fellowship from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and several of his short stories have been read and recorded for the National Public Radio series “Selected Shorts.” He is also the author of a series for children called “The West Seventh Wildcats.”
C.J. Hribal is the author of the novel The Company Car, which won the Anne Powers Book Award, and three other works of fiction. His collection of novellas and stories, The Clouds in Memphis, won the AWP Prize in Short Fiction. He is also the author of the novel American Beauty, the collection of stories and novellas, Matty’s Heart, and he edited the collection The Boundaries of Twilight: Czecho-Slovak Writing from the New World. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Bush Foundation. His BA is from St. Norbert College and his MA from Syracuse University. He is the Louise Edna Goeden Professor of English at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
James Longenbach is the author of four collections of poems, most recently The Iron Key (Norton), as well as of several books of literary criticism, most recently The Virtues of Poetry (Graywolf). His poems and reviews appear regularly in The New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, and the Threepenny Review, and he teaches at the University of Rochester, where he is the Joseph Gilmore Professor of English.
Maurice Manning received his MFA from the University of Alabama, an MA in Literature from the University of Kentucky, and a BA in English from Earlham College. Manning’s books are Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions, A Companion for Owls, Bucolics, The Common Man, and The Gone and the Going Away. He has taught at DePauw University and Indiana University and is currently Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Manning received a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2012. In 2013 he was inducted as a member of The Fellowship of Southern Writers.
Kevin McIlvoy is the author of The Complete History of New Mexico and Other Stories and four novels: A Waltz, The Fifth Station, Little Peg, and Hyssop. His stories have appeared in TriQuarterly, Southern Review, Harper’s, Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, and elsewhere. In 1983 he received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He has taught in the creative writing MFA program at New Mexico State University, where he was editor-in-chief of Puerto del Sol magazine for twenty-five years, and received the 1990 and 2000 New Mexico State University Donald C. Rousch Awards for Teaching Achievement.
Antonya Nelson is the author of four novels and seven short story collections, including the forthcoming Funny Once. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, Redbook, and many other magazines, as well as in anthologies such as The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. She is the recipient of Guggenheim, NEA, and USA Artists Fellowships, as well as the Rea Award for Short Fiction. She lives in New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas, where she holds the Cullen Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Houston.
Robin Romm is the author of two books. Her story collection, The Mother Garden (Scribner, 2007), was a finalist for the PEN USA prize and the Northern California Independent Bookseller's Book of the Year Award. Her memoir, The Mercy Papers (Scribner, 2009), was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and Notable Book of the Year, a San Francisco Chronicle Book of the Year, an Indiebound Notable Book, and a Top Ten Nonfiction Book according to Entertainment Weekly. Her fiction has been published in many magazines, including The Sun, Tin House, One Story, Antioch Review, Gulf Coast and The Threepenny Review. Her journalism has appeared in The New York Times, O Magazine, Slate and The Atlantic. She writes frequently for the New York Times Book Review. She has recently completed a second story collection and is editing an anthologies of essays on women and ambition. She has a BA in English Literature from Brown University and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.
Alan Shapiro, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has published eleven books of poetry, most recently, Night of the Republic, finalist for the National Book Award. He has been the winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award, an LA Times Book Award in poetry, and been a finalist in poetry and nonfiction for the National Books Critics Circle Award. His next book, Reel to Reel, will appear from University of Chicago Press in 2014. A recipient of two awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, the O.B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C., the Sarah Teasdale Award from Wellesley College, and an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Shapiro teaches at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he lives with his wife, Callie Warner, and their three children.
David Shields is the author of fifteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead and Salinger (co-written by Shane Salerno); Reality Hunger, named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications); Black Planet, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Remote, winner of the PEN/Revson Award; and Dead Languages, winner of the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. He lives with his wife and daughter in Seattle, where he is the Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington. His work has been translated into twenty languages.
Dominic Smith grew up in Australia and now lives in Austin, Texas. He attended the University of Iowa and the MFA program at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. He is the author of three novels, most recently of Bright and Distant Shores, which was named one of the “Best Books of 2011” by Kirkus Reviews and shortlisted for Australia’s Vance Palmer Fiction Prize and The Age Book of the Year. His awards include a Dobie Paisano Fellowship, the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Prize, the Steven Turner Prize from the Texas Institute of Letters, and a literature grant from the Australia Council for the Arts. His short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly.
Megan Staffel has a BFA from Emerson College and an MFA from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. She has two collections of short fiction, Lessons in Another Language and A Length of Wire and Other Stories and two novels, The Notebook of Lost Things and She Wanted Something Else. Her latest stories have appeared in The New England Review, The Common, Seattle Review, and Ploughshares and interviews are available at Four Way Review and archived on her website. A recipient of a grant from the Michigan Council of the Arts, Ms. Staffel has taught for many years in undergraduate programs around the country. Her writing about the craft of fiction appears in A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft, edited by Andrea Barrett and Peter Turchi, and Letters to a Fiction Writer, edited by Frederick Busch.
Ellen Bryant Voigt developed and directed the country’s first low-residency writing program in the mid-seventies, at Goddard College, and helped move it to Warren Wilson in 1981. A Guggenheim, Lila-Wallace and NEA Fellow, she was Professor of Poetry at MIT for three years and has taught at the Bread Loaf, Aspen, Indiana, Napa, Catskills, Sarah Lawrence, and RopeWalk Writers’ Conferences. Voigt has published seven eight books of poetry: Claiming Kin, The Forces of Plenty, The Lotus Flowers, Two Trees, Kyrie (a National Book Critics’ Circle Award Finalist and Teasdale Prize winner), Shadow of Heaven (a 2002 National Book Award finalist), and Messenger: New and Selected Poems 1976-2006 , (a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and the winner of the 2009 Poets’ Prize) and Headwaters. She co-edited, with Gregory Orr, Poets Teaching Poets: Self and the World, a selection of craft essays by Warren Wilson MFA faculty, and has also collected her own essays, developed from residency lectures, in The Flexible Lyric. In July 2009, Graywolf published The Art of Syntax: Rhythm of Thought, Rhythm of Song. In 2002, she received the O.B. Hardison Award for Poetry and Teaching from the Folger Library and the Merrill Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, where she was named a Chancellor.
Connie Voisine is the author of Rare High Meadow of Which I Might Dream, published by University of Chicago Press, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her first book, Cathedral of the North, won the Associated Writing Program’s Award in Poetry. She has poems published in The Georgia Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Magazine, Black Warrior Review, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. Her work was featured at The Lab at Belmar, a museum show pairing prehistoric stone tools with poems. Educated at Yale University, University of California at Irvine, and University of Utah, Voisine teaches in the creative writing program at New Mexico State University and also coordinates La Sociedad para las Artes, its outreach organization. A past fellow at Breadloaf, she recently returned from Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she was a Fulbright Fellow in the School of English at Queen’s University, and worked with writers at the Seamus Heaney Center.
Alan Williamson is Professor of English at the University of California at Davis. He has also taught at Harvard, the University of Virginia, and Brandeis. His books of poems are Presence, The Muse of Distance, Love and the Soul, Res Publica, and The Pattern More Complicated: New and Selected Poems. He has also published five critical books: Introspection and Contemporary Poetry; Pity the Monsters: The Political Vision of Robert Lowell; Eloquence and Mere Life; Almost a Girl: Male Writers and Female Identification, and Westernness: A Meditation. He has received grants from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation.
Eleanor Wilner is the author of seven books of poems: Tourist in Hell, The Girl with Bees in Her Hair, Reversing the Spell: New and Selected Poems, Otherwise, Sarah’s Choice, Shekhinah, and maya; a translation of Euripides’ Medea; and a book on visionary imagination, Gathering the Winds. Her work appears in many anthologies, including The Norton Anthology of Poetry 1996. Her awards include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Juniper Prize, Pushcart Prizes, grants from the NEA and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins University, and has taught at many colleges and universities, most recently at the University of Chicago, Smith College, and Northwestern University.
Monica Youn received her B.A. from Princeton University, a masters degree in English literature from Oxford University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. She is the author of two collections of poetry: Barter (Graywolf Press 2003), and Ignatz (Four Way Books 2010), which was a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry. She has been awarded the Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and the Witter Bynner Fellowship of the Library of Congress, as well as fellowships and residencies from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation – Bellagio, Yaddo and MacDowell. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, and the Paris Review. After practicing law for over a decade, she has recently transitioned to teaching poetry full-time. She has taught creative writing at Bennington College, Columbia University, and Princeton University.