2019 Guest Writers

Fiction Workshop Faculty

Noy Holland

Noy HollandNoy Holland was awarded the Katherine Anne Porter prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2018. Her short story Tally was selected for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2017. Her latest work I Was Trying to Describe What It Feels Like, New and Selected Stories, was published by Counterpoint in January 2017. Her debut novel, Bird (Counterpoint), appeared in 2015, to great critical acclaim. Holland’s collections of short fiction and novellas include Swim for the Little One First (FC2), What Begins with Bird (FC2), and The Spectacle of the Body (Knopf.) She has published work in The Kenyon Review, Antioch, Conjunctions, The Quarterly, Glimmer Train, Electric Literature, Publisher’s Weekly, The Believer, NOON, and New York Tyrant, among others. She was a recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council award for artistic merit and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She has taught for many years in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts. Visit her website, or read an interview, and listen to her read. Embrace the challenge of creating new, meaningful work while focusing on everything from dialogue to syntax in Noy’s fiction workshop. Explore the limitless possibilities of point of view in Noy’s craft session.

Joy Williams Joy Williams

Joy Williams is the author of five collection of stories including, most recently, 99 Stories of God, and The Visiting Privilege, winner of the PEN/Malamud Award. She has also published four novels, including The Quick and the Dead, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and a book of essays, Ill Nature, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Among her many honors are the Rea Award for the short story and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has taught at the Universities of Houston, Florida, Iowa, and Arizona. Read a story or a profile from The New York Times MagazineBring your raw material and get ready to explore stories, whether they be classic or out of the ordinary, in Joy’s fiction workshop.

Poetry Workshop Faculty


CAConrad is the author of nine books of poetry and essays including While Standing in Line for Death, which received the 2018 Lambda Award, A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon, and The Book of Frank. A recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, they also received The Believer Magazine Book Award and The Gil Ott Book Award. Their work has been translated into Spanish, Greek, Polish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Danish and German. They teach regularly at Columbia University in New York City and Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam. Their books, films, essays, rituals and other publications can be found here or follow them on Twitter @CAConrad88. Discover the magic of poetry and ritual in CAConrad’s workshop. Engage with a new kind of love for a changing world in CAConrad’s craft session.

Ross Gay Ross Gay

Ross Gay is the author of three books: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Catalog was also a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry, the Ohioana Book Award, the Balcones Poetry Prize, the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, and it was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Ross is the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook “Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens,” in addition to being co-author, with Richard Wehrenberg, Jr., of the chapbook, “River.” He is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin’, in addition to being an editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press. Ross is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University. Let your imagination take center stage in Ross’s poetry workshop. Examine the daily practice of attention in Ross’ craft session.

Dara WierDara Wier

Dara Wier’s newest book of poems in the still of the night was released in fall 2017 from Wave Books, which has been her publisher since the book length poem Reverse Rapture. In 2014 THE BELIEVER named Dara Wier’s You Good Thing a reader’s choice book of the year. Her poems have been awarded the American Poetry Review’s Jerome Shestack Prize, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artists Award, and The Poetry Center’s Book of the Year Award; are included in the Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies; limited editions include (X IN FIX) and the big broadside The Usual Ratio of Banality To Wonder from RainTaxi’s brainstorm series, A Civilian’s Diary of the War Years from The Song Cave, and with James Tate, The Lost Epic of Arthur Davidson Ficke, the Author’s Annotations, Commentary, and Notes Of Reference For A Millennium’s Teardrop from Waiting for Godot Books. Forthcoming is a chapbook from Scram Press, THRU. Recent poems and prose can be found in Granta, Verse, Fence, Boston Review, Conduit, Volt, Poor Claudia, Bat City Review, Divine Magnet, Big Wednesday, Epiphany, LITERATURA, Hyperallergic, and elsewhere. She’s been a poet-in-residence at the University of Montana, University of Texas, Emory University and the University of Utah; she has served as the Louis Rubin chair at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia and is a member of the poetry faculty of the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She publishes and edits for the small independent press factory hollow press, and the literary magazine jubilat. Along with Noy Holland she co-founded the Juniper Initiative for literary arts and action and the Juniper Summer Writing Institute and Workshops. Dara Wier was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. A link to her on-going series about reading and writing is here, INSIDE UNDIVIDED and a short interview is here. Follow your gut feelings and instincts and leave your fear of taking risks at the door in Dara’s poetry workshop. Challenge yourself to break some rules in Dara’s craft session.

Creative Nonfiction Workshop Faculty

Mitchell S. Jackson

Mitchell S. Jackson

Mitchell S. Jackson’s debut novel The Residue Years received wide critical praise. He is the winner of a Whiting Award. His novel also won the Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence and was a finalist for the Center for Fiction Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. His honors include fellowships from TED, the Lannan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, PEN America, NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts), and the Center for Fiction. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, The Guardian, Tin House, and elsewhere. His nonfiction book Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family is forthcoming from Scribner. Jackson is a Clinical Associate Professor of writing in the Liberal Studies Program of New York University. Read a short essay or a story. “Preserve the work of the mind against oblivion” by further developing your creative nonfiction writing skills Mitchell’s workshop. Discover unique philosophies in Mitchell’s craft session

Special Topic Workshop Faculty

Bianca Stone Bianca Stone

Bianca Stone is a poet and visual artist. She is the author of Someone Else’s Wedding Vows, (Tin House & Octopus Books 2014); Poetry Comics From the Book of Hours, (Pleiades, 2016), the illustrated edition of Antigonick, (New Directions, 2012) a collaboration with Anne Carson, and The Mobius Strip Club of Grief, (Tin House, 2018). Bianca runs The Ruth Stone Foundation & Monk Books along with her husband, the poet Ben Pease, and their daughter Odette, in Vermont. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter @biancastone. If the poetry or prose in your notebook shares space with scribbles, pictures, or sketches, check out Bianca’s workshop that explores the relationship between words and images. Investigate the mystical in writing of the body in Bianca’s craft session.

Visiting Poets & Writers

Cameron Awkward-RichCameron Awkward-Rich

A poet and critic, Cameron Awkward-Rich is the author of Sympathetic Little Monster (Ricochet Editions, 2016) and Dispatch (Persea Books, 2019), winner of the 2018 Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award. His poetry has appeared in Narrative, The Baffler, The American Poetry Review, Verse Daily, and elsewhere, and he has received fellowships from Cave Canem, The Watering Hole, and Duke University. Cam received his PhD in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University and is an assistant professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Find him at www.cawkwardrich.com or on social media @cawkward_rich. Prepare to partake in experimental revision in Cameron’s craft session.

Gabriel BumpGabriel Bump

Gabriel Bump is from South Shore, Chicago. His first two novels—Everywhere You Don’t Belong and The New Naturals—are forthcoming from Algonquin Books. He received his MFA from UMass-Amherst. Find him on Instagram @bumperg or follow him on twitter @gabrieljbump. Dive into constructing effective dialogue in Gabriel’s craft session.

Jaquira DíazJaquira Diaz

Jaquira Díaz is the author of ORDINARY GIRLS, a memoir, and I AM DELIBERATE, a novel, both forthcoming from Algonquin Books. She’s the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, and fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Kenyon Review, and The MacDowell Colony. Her work appears in The Best American Essays, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The FADER, Tin House, Brevity, Longreads, Gulf Coast, Kenyon Review, and The New York Times Style Magazine. She teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, and is a Consulting Editor at the Kenyon Review. Read an essay, visit her website or follow her on twitter @jaquiradiaz. Re-imagine what you know about plot in Jaquira’s craft session.

LeAnne HoweLeAnne Howe

LeAnne Howe’s forthcoming Savage Conversations from Coffee House Press, February 2019, is set in 1875 and is the story of Mary Todd Lincoln and a Savage Indian spirit she invented who tortures her nightly. She’s the author of novels, plays, poetry, screenplays, and scholarship that deal with Native experiences. A citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, her awards include: the Western Literature Association’s 2015 Distinguished Achievement Award for her body of work; the inaugural 2014 MLA Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures; a 2012 United States Artists Ford Fellowship; a 2010 Fulbright Scholarship to Jordan; and an American Book Award in 2002 for her first novel, Shell Shaker. She’s the Eidson Distinguished Professor of American Literature in English at the University of Georgia. Read more about her here or watch a video. Question your initial instincts about verbs in LeAnne’s craft session.

Khadijah Queen

Khadijah Queen

Khadijah Queen is the author of Conduit (Akashic Books 2008), Black Peculiar (Noemi Press 2011), and Fearful Beloved (Argos Books 2015). As part of the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers, Litmus Press published her verse play Non-Sequitur in 2015. Fiona Templeton’s The Relationship theater company staged a full production off-Broadway at Theaterlab NYC from December 10 – 20, 2015. Individual poems and prose appear in The American Poetry Review, Fence, Tin House, Buzzfeed, Hyperallergic, Gulf Coast, and widely elsewhere. Reviews of her work can be found in The New Yorker, BOMB Magazine, Los Angeles Review, Kenyon Review, and other publications. Her fifth book, I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On was published by YesYes Books in March 2017. Queen is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at University of Colorado in Boulder, and serves as core faculty in poetry for the Mile-High MFA in Creative Writing at Regis University.

Jordy Rosenberg

Jordy Rosenberg

Jordy Rosenberg is the author of Confessions of the Fox, New York Times Editor’s Choice selection and shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Confessions was published by Random House US/Canada, Atlantic Books UK, and Allen & Unwin Australia/NZ in 2018, and is forthcoming from Paseka in Czech. He is a professor of 18th Century Literature, Gender and Sexuality Studies + Critical Theory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Visit his website. Loosen the hold of realism and push boundaries in Jordy’s craft session

Safiya Sinclair

Safiya Sinclair

Safiya Sinclair is a poet and librettist born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She is the author of Cannibal, winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Poetry, the Phillis Wheatley Book Award, and the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, The Nation, Poetry, Kenyon Review, Oxford American, and elsewhere. Her other honors include a Pushcart Prize, a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, fellowships from Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Visit her website. Tap into the power of feminine erotic creativity in Safiya’s craft session.

Ocean VuongOcean Vuong

Ocean Vuong is the author of the best-selling poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds, a New York Times Top 10 Book of 2016, and the debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin 2019). His writings have been featured in The Atlantic, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. He is the winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, his honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and the Puschcart Prize. Visit his website or read a profile from The New Yorker.