Student Accomplishments

We’re so proud to applaud the achievements of our current students and our alumni from the MFA Program and from our Undergraduate Creative Writing Program:

Kangkang Kovacs (MFA ’23) has been selected as one of two inaugural recipients of the Excellence in Experiential Learning Graduate School Award.

Hailey Williams (MFA/ARCM ’23) won the MFA Prize in Poetry for her poem, “L’Origine du Monde by Gustave Courbet, 1866.” The judge was Raena Shirali.

Kangkang Kovacs (MFA ’23) won the MFA Prize in Fiction for her novel excerpt, “Plum Snow.” The judge was Jen Julian.

Tanner Crunelle (MFA ’24) won the Klyde Robinson Poetry Prize for his poem, “Ode from a Grecian Porch.”

Emma Stough (MFA ’19) had her short story, “Jenny Watches the Exorcist,” selected for inclusion in Flash Fiction America, forthcoming from W.W. Norton in February 2023.

Hailey Williams (MFA/ARCM ’22) was selected to be an intern for the Library of Congress this Spring, working remotely full time on research with the American Archive of Public Broadcasting.

Erica Appleton (MFA ’22) published a poem, “To Be the Greenery,” in the latest issue of Pensive: A Global Journal of Spirituality & the Arts.

Joshua Garcia (MFA / ARCM ’21) will publish his first poetry collection, Pentimento, with Black Lawrence Press in spring of 2024.

Jammie Huynh (MFA / ARCM ’23) published her first poetry collection, Out of Darkness, with Free Verse Press.

Hailey Williams (MFA / ARCM ’23) has poems published and/or forthcoming in Birmingham Poetry Review, Humana Obscura, and the Free Verse Press’s first anthology of Lowcountry Poets, I Am a Furious Wish. Her poem, “To Brother-Ghost on Halloween,” was selected as a finalist for The Arkansas International‘s C.D. Wright Emerging Writers Prize.

Kangkang Kovacs (MFA ’23) was awarded second place in the Porter Fleming Literary Competition for her essay, “Firecracker Bill.” She also published a short fiction piece, “Childhood Delicacy,” in Jellyfish Review.

Gardner Dorton (MFA ’19)  was accepted into the Ph.D. in Creative Writing program for poetry at Florida State University.

Raena Shirali (BA ’12) won the 2021 Hudson Prize prize from Black Lawrence Press for her second poetry collection summonings.

Joshua Garcia (MFA / ARCM ’21) was awarded the 2021-22 Stadler Fellowship in Literary Arts Administration at Bucknell University.

Michael Plunkett (MFA ’22) was awarded a NEA Fellowship for Military Veterans at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts for a writer’s residency in November 2021. The Dead Reckoning Collective interviewed him about his writing in March 2021.

Genevieve Hudson (BA ’09) published a novel, Boys of Alabama (Liveright 2020). Their novel was named “a LGBTQ books that will change the Literary Landscape in 2020” by O, The Oprah Magazine.

Gardner Dorton (MFA ’19) won the chapbook competition from Glass: A Journal of Poetry. His chapbook Stone Fruit (a portion of his thesis) was published in Spring 2021.

Joshua Garcia (MFA ’21) has published 12 poems in 2020: “Two Figures” in Hobart; “My Antinous, Forgive Me” in Homology Lit; “Third Date Pastoral,” “Rome,” & “Énouement” in Anthropocene; “eclipse in reverse” in Sonora Review; “Evacuation” & “Wet Dream” in The Shore; “creation lesson” in Bodega; “Tulips” in Mineral Lit Mag; “Imago Dei” in Ekstasis; “I Will Tell You How I Love You in the New Year” in My Loves: A Digital Anthology of Queer Love Poems

Gardner Dorton (MFA ’19) published 4 poems: “Outside the Ark” in Ghost City Press; “Inside the Steeple” in Glass: A Journal of Poetry; and “triage” and “boy” in Crab Creek Review.

A poem, “While Housesitting for a Family Visiting Bordeaux,” by Dakota Reed (MFA ’20) was published in Blood Orange Review.

Katherine Jones‘s (MFA ’19) prose piece “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Has 8 Symptoms” is forthcoming in River Teeth.

Josh Lowder (MFA ’18) has two poems forthcoming in Cathexis Northwest Press.

Annah Browning‘s (BA ’08) first poetry book, Witch Doctrine, was published by the University of Akron Press in March 2020.

Laura Davenport‘s (BA) debut poetry collection, Dear Vulcan, was published in March 2020 from Louisiana State University Press.

Thomas Ryan Coughlin (MFA ’19) was accepted into the Ph.D. English Program at the University of South Carolina. He will focus on Early Modern and Southern literature.

Dakota Reed‘s (MFA ’20) poem “Doe, a Deer” won the Nancy Walton Pringle Prize from the Poetry Society of South Carolina.

Raena Shirali (BA ’12) was hired as an Assistant Professor in the School of Arts & Sciences at Holy Family University.

Chad Abushanab‘s (BA ’08) debut poetry collection, The Last Visit, won the 2018 Donald Justice Poetry Prize and was published by Autumn House Press in March 2019.

McKayla Watkins (MFA ’19) will have a poem, “sometimes you heal up,” included in the anthology, Women are Some Kind of Magic (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2019).

Emma Stough‘s (MFA ’19) story “Happy Birthday Parker” appeared in Third Coast.

John Byrne (MFA ’19) has two poems, “cuddleslut” and “Flower Boy,” forthcoming in Roanoke Review, and he has another poem, “The Winter We Learn To Drive,” forthcoming in pamplemousse.

Christine McSwain (MFA ’19) has a story, “Imagine Explosions Here,” forthcoming in Rock and Sling.

Grace Timko (MFA ’20) has a story “Witching Season” in HitchLit.

Kieran Kramer‘s (MFA ’18) short story, “Bubbles Here,” appeared in Chattahoochee Review (Dec. 2018).

Angelica Manglona
(pen name: A. Sirena) (BA ’19) has two flash fiction pieces, “To Lose a Jaw” and “Losing Words” forthcoming in “Losing Words” was also a finalist for Black Warrior Review‘s contest.

Terry Beyer (BA ’19) published a story, “The Habits of Monsters,” in JordanCon Anthology.

Jen Julian (BA ’08) published her debut short story collection, Earthly Delights and Other Apocalypses (Press 53, 2018). She teaches fiction and literature at Allegheny College.

Raena Shirali (BA ’12) won Binghamton University’s 2018 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award for her first poetry collection GILT (YesYesBooks, 2017).

Alexander Lumans (BA ’06) was awarded a 2018 NEA grant for fiction.

Shakarean Hutchinson (BA ’16) won the 2017 Hurston/Wright Foundation Award for College Writers.

Alex Eaker (MFA ’18) was awarded the Versailles Fellowship from the Graduate School.