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Meet the Team

We're very pleased to introduce our spring 2018 Ashland MFA Faculty. We hope you're as excited about these names as we are. Included are a few links to help you get acquainted with these writers and their work: interviews, book reviews, short publications, excerpts.

For a full listing of faculty including their bios and additional information, visit our website's Faculty Page.


Dexter Booth

Author of Scratching the Ghost, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Booth’s poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Blackbird, VQR, and elsewhere.

Grist Journal review of Scratching the Ghost 
“Love in the Time of Revolution” (Blackbird)
“Queen Elizabeth” (VQR)
“Insomnia Poem” (Waxwing)

Gaylord Brewer

Author of nine collections of poetry including Country of Ghost and Give Over, Graymalkin. Brewer has published over nine hundred poems in journals and anthologies including Best American Poetry and The Bedford Introduction to Literature.

Smartish Pace Interview
Three Poems from Asheville Poetry Review
"Being A Good Man" (Rattle)
Three poems from Connotation Press

Douglas Manuel

Author of Testify, a volume called “a breathtaking debut” by the poet David St. John. Manuel’s poetry has appeared at the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Northwest, North American Review and elsewhere.

Article on his career from Daily Trojan
From Poetry Foundation:
"Loud Looks"
"Washing Palms"
"Heading Down"

Sandra Simonds

Sandra is not teaching in spring, but she is leading one of our classes this fall and will be our Paris Residency workshop leader in June.

Author of six books of poetry: Orlando (Wave Books, forthcoming in 2018), Further Problems with Pleasure, winner of the 2015 Akron Poetry Prize, Steal It Back (Saturnalia Books, 2015), The Sonnets (Bloof Books, 2014), Mother Was a Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2012), and Warsaw Bikini (Bloof Books, 2009).

Publishers Weekly review of The Sonnets
“Golden Buddha” (Boston Review)
“You Can’t Build a Child” (Poetry Foundation)


Brian Conn

Author of The Fixed Stars: Thirty-Seven Emblems for the Perilous Season and editor of Birkensnake, a literary zine. Conn’s work has appeared The Bestiary, Conjunctions, The Cincinnati Review, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and elsewhere.

Interview with Rain Taxi
Poets & Writers announces Conn’s acceptance of the Bard Fiction Prize
“The Hub” (Plinth)
“Leisure” (Conjunctions)

Matthew Salesses

Author of the novels I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying and The Hundred Year Flood. In addition to fiction writing, Salesses is a widely respected essayist on issues of craft, race, and pedagogy.

Kirkus review of The Hundred-Year Flood
Excerpt from I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying, a novel in flash fiction
Excerpt from The Hundred Year Flood
Loving America: Reading Carlos Bulosan with My Students” (Recent craft article in the Rumpus)

Derek Palacio

Author of The Mortifications and How to Shake the Other Man. His work has appeared in The O. Henry Prize Stories and elsewhere. Palacio runs the Mojave School, a free writing camp for rural Nevada teens, with his wife, the writer Claire Vaye Watkins.

New York Times review of The Mortifications
Excerpt from How to Shake the Other Man (Nouvella Books)
Excerpt from The Mortifications (Penguin/Random House)
"Preparations for the Body" (Short story in Witness)

Nayomi Munaweera

Munaweera’s debut novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, won the Commonwealth Regional Prize for Asia and a Godage Prize from its home country and was a Target Book Club selection. Munaweera’s second novel, What Lies Between Us, a book about a Sri Lanka-American, was hailed as one of the most exciting literary releases of 2016 from venues ranging from Buzzfeed to Elle magazine. It won the Sri Lankan National Book Award for best English novel and the Godage Award for Best English Novel.

New York Times review of Island of a Thousand Mirrors
Excerpt from Island of a Thousand Mirrors (Macmillan)
Excerpt from What Lies Between Us (Macmillan)
Recent interview with The Punch Magazine

Sarah Monette

Author or co-author of eight novels including the fantasy series The Doctrine of Labyrinths and Iskryne. Monette is a widely-published writer of fantasy, science-fiction, and horror. She sometimes publishes as Katherine Addison. Her work has appeared in Fantasy Magazine, Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and elsewhere.

The Book Smugglers review of The Goblin Emperor
“Coyote Gets His Own Back” (Apex Magazine)
“Draco Campestris” (Strange Horizons)
“White Charles” (Clarkesworld)
“Blue Lace Agate” (Lightspeed Magazine)
"The Half-Life of Angels"(Uncanny)

Creative Nonfiction

Lily Hoang

Author of five books including Unfinished, The Evolutionary Revolution, and Bestiary. Hoang’s awards include the PEN Open Books Award and the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Non-Fiction Book Prize. She is editor of Jaded Ibis Press and Executive Editor of HTML Giant.

Publishers Weekly review of Bestiary
Zyzzvya review of Bestiary
On My Birthday, Dragons & Intestines” (short nonfiction in Quarterly West)

Kate Hopper

Author of Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood and Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers. Hopper’s work has appeared in River Teeth, Brevity, Los Angeles Review of Books,, and Poets & Writers.

Interview with the Star Tribune
Story Circle book review of Use Your Words
“Becoming a SanvicenteƱa: Five Stages” (short nonfiction in Brevity)
Look inside of Use Your Words: A Writing guide for Mothers

Bonnie J. Rough

Author of Carrier: Untangling the Danger in My DNA and The Girls Alone: Six Days in Estonia, plus a new book forthcoming from Seal Press in Fall 2018. Rough’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Sun, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, and elsewhere.

Publisher's Weekly starred review of Carrier
Excerpt of Carrier
"A Yelper Spreads the Love" (short nonfiction in Brain, Child)
"Help-Selfie" essay-review in Seattle Review of Books
Chicago Tribune Review of The Girls, Alone

See more faculty and detailed information at our Faculty web page.

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Inside Look at Our 2018 Residency

This year's summer residency brought plenty of unfamiliar faces to our Ashland University campus, so while our students and faculty were able to grow familiar and bond over the course of those two weeks, anyone unable to come to campus this summer might still be yearning for a glimpse.
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