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Distinguished Alumni

For more than fifty years, the graduates of our university's Creative Writing Program and the Department of English have enjoyed great successes in literary publishing. This page focuses on our distinguished alumni since 1995, when the program transitioned into a full Master of Fine Arts program.

Here's a partial (and growing!) list of alumni accomplishments since 1995.

First Books Published

Poetry A-L

Stacey Balkun (MFA Creative Writing, 2014)
Jackalope-Girl Learns to Speak (chapbook)
Published 2016 by Dancing Girl Press

Megan Bohigian (MFA Creative Writing, 2006)
Published 2013 by Tourane Poetry Press

Michelle Brittan Rosado (MFA Creative Writing, 2011)
Theory on Falling into a Reef (chapbook)
Published 2016 by Anhinga Press

Kenneth Robert Chacón (MFA Creative Writing, 2004)
The Cholo Who Said Nothing and Other Poems
Published 2017 by Turning Point Books

Ronald Dzerigian (MFA Creative Writing, 2016)
Rough Fire
Forthcoming 2018 from Finishing Line Press

Guiseppe Getto (MFA Creative Writing, 2007; MA English Composition, 2007)
Familiar History (chapbook)
Published 2016 by Finishing Line Press

Cynthia Guardado (MFA Creative Writing, 2012)
Published 2017 from World Stage Press

Poetry M-Z

Sarah Fawn Montgomery (MFA Creative Writing, 2010)
The Astronaut Checks His Watch
Published 2014 by Finishing Line Press

Sasha Pimentel (MFA Creative Writing, 2007)
Insides She Swallowed
Published 2010 by West End Press and winner of a 2011 American Book Award

Yinka Rose Reed-Nolan (MFA Creative Writing, 2013)
First Crush (chapbook)
Published 2016 from Hyacinth Girl Press

Michael David Roberts (MFA Creative Writing, 2004; MA English Composition, 1989)
The Particulars of Being
Published 2003 by In The Grove Press

Steven Sanchez (MFA Creative Writing, 2014)
To My Body (chapbook)
Published 2016 from Glass Poetry Press

Emily Jo Scalzo (MFA Creative Writing, 2010)
The Politics of Division (chapbook)
Published 2017 from Five Oaks Press

James Tyner (MFA Creative Writing, 2009; BA English, 2003)
The Ghetto Exorcist (chapbook)
Published 2009 by Autumn House Press

Burlee Vang (MFA Creative Writing, 2009)
The Dead I Know: Incantation for Rebirth (chapbook)
Published 2010 by Swan Scythe Press

Soul Choj Vang (MFA Creative Writing, 1999; BA English, 1996)
To Live Here
Published 2014 by Imaginary Friend Press


Kyle Aisteach (MFA Creative Writing, 2014)
Little Dystopias: A Collection
Published 2015 by Lightning Cellar Publications 

Kristin FitzPatrick (MFA Creative Writing, 2009)
My Pulse Is an Earthquake
Published 2015 by West Virginia UP

Sarah Harian (MFA Creative Writing, 2013)
The Wicked We Have Done: A Chaos Theory Novel
Published 2014 by Penguin/InterMix

Tanya Nichols (MFA Creative Writing, 2004; BA English, 2001)
The Barber's Wife
Published 2014 by Alternative Book Press

Elizabeth Schulte Martin (MFA Creative Writing, 2009)
Everything You Came to See
Published 2018 from Skyhorse Publishing

Creative Nonfiction

J.J. Anselmi (MFA Creative Writing, 2014)
Heavy: A Memoir of Wyoming, BMX, Drugs and Heavy Fucking Music
Published 2016 by Rare Bird Books

Carole Firstman (MFA Creative Writing, 2013)
Origins of the Universe and What It All Means: A Memoir
Published 2016 by Dzanc Books

Monte Francis (MFA Creative Writing, 2004)
By Their Father's Hand: The True Story of the Wesson Family Massacre
Published 2007 by Harper Collins

Liz Scheid (MFA Creative Writing, 2008)
The Shape of Blue: Notes on Loss, Language, Motherhood & Fear
Published 2013 by The Lit Pub

Rachel Starnes (MFA Creative Writing, 2010)
The War at Home: A Memoir
Published 2016 from Penguin Books

Anthologies Published

Hmong American Writers' Circle

Hmong American Writers' Circle
How Do I Begin? A Hmong American Literary Anthology
Published 2011 by Heyday Books
Co-edited by alumni Burlee Vang (MFA Creative Writing, 2009), Soul Choj Vang (MFA Creative Writing, 1999; BA English, 1996) and Andre Yang (MFA Creative Writing, 2012) 

Accomplishments in Publishing

Jeffery Gleaves

Jeffery Gleaves (MFA Creative Writing, 2014)
Works as the Digital Manager for The Paris Review in New York, NY
Formerly worked as web assistant for Harper's Magazine and as marketing director for Dzanc Books 

Sarah Fawn Montgomery

Sarah Fawn Montgomery (MFA Creative Writing, 2010)
Worked as the Nonfiction Assistant Editor for Prairie Schooner in Lincoln, NE

Brandi Spaethe

Brandi Spaethe (MFA Creative Writing, 2013)
Works as the Program Associate for Poets & Writers 
California Office and Readings & Workshops (West) in Los Angeles

Vuong Quoc Vu

Vuong Quoc Vu (MFA Creative Writing, 2006)
Founder of Tourane Poetry Press, based in Cupertino, CA
Includes the literary journal Perfume River Poetry Review