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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Creative Writing — Kudos

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The following are recent accomplishments by Creative Writing Program students, alumni, and faculty.



LESLEY ARIMAH was recently awarded a 2019 USA Fellowship.

MELISSA HALL is now Grants Manager for Special Olympics Texas.

BRYNN HERNDON'S short story "Heartsick" was published in IO Literary Magazine's first issue in Fall 2018.

ROB LUKE had a poem awarded honorable mention from the Carver County Arts Consortium. He has also published recently in Tenth Muse.

MICHAEL TORRES will spend May 2019 at the Camargo Foundation retreat center in Cassis, France. He was recently awarded a 2019 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

THOMAS WARMBRODT has two poems forthcoming in the online journal Ink and Voices and had another accepted for the online journal The Winnow Magazine.



LEAH ALSAKER has a poem forthcoming in The Examined Life Journal.

BRIAN BAUMGART recently had poems published in The Perch, The Good Men Project, The Journal of Wild Culture, Noctua Review, and Beech Street Review. Also, he has poems forthcoming in Shantih Journal, Big Muddy, Construction, Whale Road Review, Parentheses Journal, and South Dakota Review.

In October, TYLER BARTON did a two-week residency in the Adirondacks through the Adirondack Center for Writing's Anne LaBastille Residency, where he finished his full-length story collection manuscript. He has stories forthcoming in Meridian, Subtropics, The Collagist, The Iowa Review, and Kenyon Review. His chapbook of flash fiction The Quiet Part Loud will be published by Split Lip Press in December. His flash story, "Come Live With me on This Shitty Island," won the Press 53 Flash Fiction Contest and will be published in January. 

CANDACE BLACK has recent poems in Two Hawks Review, Prairie Schooner,  and Miramar.

EMILY BUEHLER has accepted a full-time position teaching a writing-intensive Justice and Peace Studies course with the University of St. Thomas' new 2-year college in Minneapolis. 

LUKE DALY has accepted a full-time faculty position in the University Writing Program at Rochester Institute of Technology.

CLINT EDWARDS' collection of humorous essays on the toddler years will be published by Page Street (distributed by Macmillan) in November 2019.

CARSON FAUST had three poems appear in Issue #18 of Black Fox Literary Magazine back in August. He was recently awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board grant for 2019.

TINA GROSS has a poem in the November issue (#44) of Rogue Agent.

CHRISTOPHER DAVID HOPKINS has three poems in Beloit Poetry Journal's Summer/Fall 2018 Issue.

LISSA HORNEBER was recently awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board grant for 2019.

EMILY JOHNSON accepted a full-time associate lecturer position at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She will be teaching two Academic Reading/Writing, one Intro to Lit, and one Creative Nonfiction Workshop. 

ROB LUKE had a poem published in Poetry Overload.

AMANDA MALONE has recently joined the editorial staff at The Rumpus, and also just had a story accepted for publication in an upcoming issue of Stirring: A Literary Collection, due out early 2019. 

MFA students HANNAH SCHULTZ, NATALIE MARTELL, and ASHLEY RICHARDSON, with TESOL grad student Leena Litula, reported recently about their funded summer research.

ANDREW NYE has a poem in the Drunk Monkeys' December 2018 Issue.

DANIEL PORTER has a piece in McSweeney's Internet Tendency:

RICHARD ROBBINS has given over a dozen readings this fall in Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. His work has appeared in the Bennington Review.

HANNAH SCHULTZ had short stories published in KAIROS Literary Magazine and The Gordian Review, with fiction forthcoming in Barely South Review. She will also be presenting a creative reading at the 2018 John R. Milton Writers’ Conference at the University of South Dakota. 

PETE STEVENS has stories forthcoming at Little Fiction and Whiskey Island. He was featured on the Author Talk series put out by the Superstition Review, where he discussed his story "Smoked Fish" that was published in the journal.

JAMES SULLIVAN has work soon to appear in Inscape Journaland Fourteen Hills.

TESSA TORGESON had an essay published in The Rumpus and an op-ed in The Star Tribune. 

MICHAEL TORRES has poetry recently published or forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Sixth Finch, Fifth Wednesday Journal, The Sycamore Review, Water~Stone Review, Southern Indiana Review, and The Missouri Review's Poem of the Week. He was recently awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board grant for 2019. 



LEAH ALSAKER had flash nonfiction published recently on Pulse's More Voices and has a poem accepted for a future issue of Rock and Sling. Four poems are forthcoming on Oakwood.

KIT ARBUCKLE'S paper has been accepted for the South-Central Renaissance Conference to be held in Atlanta in April.

LESLEY NNEKA ARIMAH'S story collection has been shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Award for first books. She was named the Minneapolis Star Tribune's 2017 Artist of the Year.

TYLER BARTON'S story, "The Orbit of Us," was selected as the winner of the Chicago Review of Books 2017 Fall Fiction Prize, judged by Kathleen Rooney and was published in their literary magazine, Arcturus. He has stories forthcoming in the Iowa Review, Gulf Coast,  Bat City Review, and Hobart. Along with Andrew Nye, he'll be teaching a one-day creative writing workshop for teens at the Loft in April. 

SARA BIREN'S second young adult novel, Cold Day in the Sun, will be published by Amulet Books in spring 2019. 

CANDACE BLACK has a poem anthologized in the current Poetry City, USA.

KRISTYN BLESSING has had poems recently in Atlas Poetica, Failed Haiku, American Tanka, and One Man’s Maple Moon: Neverending Story Blog.

EMILY BUEHLER'S poem, "From the Back Patio of a New Orleans Shotgun Tenement," was selected for the Crossings at Carnegie 2018 Poet-Artist Collaboration Chapbook.

ALEC CICAK'S short story "Nasty Habits" will appear in the journal Switchblade; his short story "Useless Things" will appear in the journal EconoClash Review; his short story "Broke" will appear in the journal Horror Bites; his short story "Las Vegas Foot Massage" will appear in the anthology Deadline: A Tribute to William E. Wallace; and his first novel, Breaking Glass, will be published by ABC Group Documentation in July; he will be reading live in Missoula on April 5 and in Seattle on July 12.

GUSTAVO CRUZ'S "Visiting My Mother While My Father Dies, 1996" and "After the Divorce: Living with Grandmother" were featured in The Flat Water Stirs: An Anthology of Emerging Nebraska Poets.

LUKE DALY has a poem in the upcoming volume Poetry City USA.

CLINT EDWARDS' collection of humorous essays “I’m Sorry, Love...Your Husband” will be published by Page Street (distributed by Macmillan) on May 1st 2018.  

JAMES FIGY'S stories "End over End" and "For the People in the Back" are forthcoming from Cheap Pop and Hobart, respectively.

TINA GROSS has a poem in Poetry City, USA,  and two others in Third Point Press.

GWEN HART studied with Garrett Hongo at the 2017 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Her poem "Everything Is Corn" is forthcoming in the Winter 2018 issue of Midwestern Gothic. Her brief essay "Disappearing Dave" appeared in the Chicken Soup for the Soul collection I Can't Believe the Dog Did That! and was reprinted in their 2017 Christmas Miracles anthology.

GEOFF HERBACH'S YA novel, Hooper, comes out from HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen on February 20th. 

DENNIS HERBERT has published pieces recently in Barrelhouse, Flash Frontier, Moon Park Review, and Former Cactus.

CHRISTOPHER DAVID HOPKINS has or will have poems appearing in Drunk Monkeys, Bayou Magazine and Copper Nickel.

ELIZABETH HORNEBER had essays appear in Split Lip Magazine and The Tusculum Review.

JILL KALZ'S first book for adults, The Winter Bees, fiction, will be published by Minneopa Valley Press in October 2018.

ALEXIS KRUCKEBERG has published two poems recently, in Qu Literary Magazine and CALYX: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women.

CHRIS McCORMICK'S debut book of fiction, Desert Boys, was reissued by Picador in paperback.

ANDREW NYE has a poem forthcoming in Clockwise Cat and four poems forthcoming in Five:2:One Magazine's #slideshow 

RICHARD ROBBINS has a poem in the current A Public Space. During fall semester, he gave readings from his new book in California, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Utah, and the United Kingdom. He was awarded a Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council Mid-Career Artist Grant to support the promotion of his new book and to work on the next.

ASHLEY RICHARDSON and NATALIE MARTELL had their proposal accepted at The Loft for a summer fiction writing workshop, titled "Creating Complex Villains: Getting The Bad Guy Right," for 13-17 year olds.

JESS SMITH'S story "Iffy" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Natural Bridge.

SARAH SNOOK has been promoted to executive writer at Savannah College of Art and Design.

TESSA TORGESON'S creative nonfiction essay "Reverse Bartender and Wilted Wings," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize from bioStories magazine.  She also has creative nonfiction pieces published in Los Lit UK and forthcoming in Doll Hospital Literary Journal. She was recently accepted to The Normal School's Creative Nonfiction and Publishing Institute in Fresno.

MICHAEL TORRES' poem, "From My Classroom Window at the Prison, Before Students Arrive," was accepted for publication by Ploughshares, and his essay "As If To Say" was nominated for a Pushcart prize.

ELIZABETH TRUEBLOOD'S "Killing Games" is going to be published in Blackberry Winter's spring 2018 issue.

MARIANNE MURPHY ZARZANA had two poems, "Saying Our Names" and "Savasana: Corpse Pose," selected for Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems.



TIM AKERS has published two books recently, Dusty's Adventures and The Final Paladin, both available from Amazon and elsewhere.

TYLER BARTON has short stories appearing in Issue 9.1 of Gigantic Sequins, the Winter 2017 issue of Hypertrophic Literary,  the first print-issue of Split Lip Magazine, and the Fanzine. His story, "K," was nominated for a Best of the Net award by Waxwing

CANDACE BLACK had two poems published in December, two poems in Perfume River Poetry Review, and, most recently,  two poems in the latest Hubbub.

ARUNI KASHYAP has accepted a position at the University of Georgia.

TYLER BARTON'S story "I Am Pretending to be Someone I Am" was published in Passages North in May. My story "K" was published in Waxwing in June. My flash fiction, "The Grass Isn't Going to Grow Itself" was published in BOINK this summer. In October, my story "Out, Out" will be published by Burrow Press.

ERIC BLIX has new work in the Collagist. His story collection, Physically Alarming Men, is out from Stephen F. Austin State University Press.

EMILY BUEHLER'S poem "Quite Prophet" and an essay about the creative process for this poem were published in Razor Literary Magazine. Also, her poem "I was left for dead" was first runner-up in Arkana's Inaugural Writing Contest; poetry was judged by Oliver de la Paz.

BRADLEY COLE  has accepted a position at Red Line Editorial in Burnsville.

LUKE DALY has been named poet-in-residence of Wyoming County, NY.

THOMAS DELANO will begin a position as an ELL teacher for students in grades 8-12 at Albert Lea High School for the 2017-2018 academic year.

JAMES FIGY had his proposal accepted to teach at The Loft in the coming months.

MFA in Creative Writing alum NICOLE HELGET’S The End of the Wild received a Charlotte Huck Honor Award and selection by Kirkus Reviews as a Kirkus Best of 2017, AND was named to the NYPL Best Books of 2017 list by the New York Public Library.

CHRISTOPHER HOPKINS' "The Bereavement Diaries or The Dadless Decade" is going to be in Juked's next print issue.

MICHALE KUBISTA had an essay published in storySouth.

DYLAN LORING has poems forthcoming in Bridge Eight.

ANDREW NYEhad two proposals accepted to teach two one-day classes at The Loft this spring. ANON Magazine published his poem/found object/painting collage "Plenty of Fish" in print issue #8 in November.

RICHARD ROBBINS' new book Body Turn to Rain: New & Selected Poems was published in May by Lynx House Press. Individual poems have appeared in Quiddity and Iconoclast. He read twice during May in Cookham, England, as part of events surrounding the publication of Stanley Spencer Poems: An Anthology, in which two of his poems appear.

ROGER SHEFFER will have his story "Leaving Adirondack Park" appearing soon in BlueLine.

PETE STEVENS has a story in Copper Nickel.

MICHAEL TORRES' poetry will be published by Copper Nickel and Juked. He has an essay in River Teeth online and one forthcoming this November in The Sun.

JILLIAN ZIEMIANSKI has accepted a position as Learning Center Writing Specialist at Daemen College.



LEAH ALSAKER had three poems published in Pasque Petals.

TYLER BARTON accepted an editorial internship with Sundress Publications, and placed 2nd in Midwestern Gothic's 2016 Lake Prize for his story "Boots on the Ground," which will appear in their winter issue. He also has stories forthcoming in matchbook, No Tokens, and Little Fiction. 

BRIAN BAUMGART’S poetry chapbook Rules for Loving Right was released by Sweet Publications in Spring 2017. His poem “Familiar Politics” will be included in Poetry City, USA, and he has been selected to read in The Great Twin Cities Poetry Read in May 2017.

ROBIN BECKER'S short story, "Stuck on a Truck," was published by Archaeopteryx: The Newman Journal of Ideas and subsequently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She also received travel and curriculum development grants to visit Costa Rica to set up a travel course focusing on the intersection of creative writing and social movements.

After ten years with IBM, JESSICA BENJAMIN has accepted a new position with Google.

SARA BIREN'S YA novel, The Last Thing You Said, will be published by Amulet Books in April 2017, and has received a starred review from Kirkus:

CANDACE BLACK was awarded a Career Development Grant from Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council. She has three poems in the latest issue of South Dakota Review. Her Whereabouts won the 2016 Violet Reed Hass Award and has been published by Snake Nation Press (

EMILY BUEHLER has a poem in the recent Santa Ana Review.

ALEC CICAK'S short story "Creepy" was published at Beat to a Pulp in January, his short story "Atomic Fuel" will be published in The Digest Enthusiast, his short story "Worms" will be reprinted in the anthology Horror Reincarnate, and his  novella Down on the Street will be published by ABC Group Documentation in June.

JENNY YANG CROPP'S poem "Usage Error: Translator" is forthcoming in the special APA issue of Poemeleon.

Since early 2016, JENNIFER FANDEL has been teaching poetry writing to incarcerated women at a maximum security prison north of St. Louis, MO, through the nonprofit Prison Performing Arts. She will be moving to Madison, Wisconsin this spring. Her website is

MESLISSA GISH did an interview with Allan Eskens for the fall issue of Aji Magazine (where she's also on the editorial staff): She also did a post-final-exam-grading-rant poem for a website called Work:

LINNEA GUERIN'S story, "Colors of the Galaxy," will be in the Summer 2017 issue of Midwestern Gothic.

GWEN HART’S poem “Nostalgia” appears in the Main Street Rag anthology About Time; her poem “Lucky” received the Best in Volume designation in another MSR anthology, Stuck in the Middle: Writing That Keeps You in Suspense. Her poem “The Needle Jumps to Red” is in the anthology Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in Our Hands, edited by Teresa Mei Chuc.

DENNIS HERBERT had pieces published in the Airgonaut, Squalorly, and Jellyfish Review. Forthcoming this spring is a piece in Paper Darts.

ELIZABETH HORNEBER has essays in Fugue, Tin House's blog The Open Bar, and an essay forthcoming in Hotel Amerika. The editors at PRISM international nominated her essay "In Considering Henry Kissinger" for a Pushcart Prize. 

JILL KALZ'S short story "The Flight of Herman Engelmann" appears in the anthology American Fiction: Volume 15 (New Rivers Press, January 2017).

ALEXIS KLEMETSON has two poems coming out in April. "The Other Queen of Tejano" will appear in Glass: A Journal of Poetry and "Knife Work" will appear in Into the Void.  "My Father's Thoughts on Building Fires" is forthcoming from Calyx.

The Porchlights' second album, A Ghost in Time—featuring music written and performed by NATE LeBOUTILLIER—came out in September 2016.

DYLAN LORING has a poem forthcoming in Split Lip magazine.  

LAURIE LYKKEN had a poem published in The Southwest Journal. Before she retired from teaching community college, she wrote several entries for online reference sources and part of a chapter on writing profiles for a Prentice Hall online textbook.

LINDSY MASON'S essay titled "Normal: Adjective" was published in the journal Great Weather for Media.

MATT MAUCH'S third collection of poetry, Bird~Brain, was published by Trio House Press in spring 2017. 

REV. NATE MELCHER will be ordained a full elder in the United Methodist Church on June 21, 2017. He was made a provisional elder in 2014 and continues to serve as the Associate Pastor of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in downtown Minneapolis, MN. 

CHRISTINA OLSON had a piece about the chili dog in The Atlantic.

RONDA REDMOND is working on a poetry manuscript, a novel, and applying for grants and fellowships. 

RICHARD ROBBINS has poems in the recent Santa Ana Review, Miramar, Southern Review, and Watching the Perseids:  The Backwaters Press Twentieth Anniversary Anthology. His Body Turn to Rain: New & Selected Poems is due in spring 2017.

TERESA SCHNEIDER is the Communications Specialist for Strategic Initiatives at Hennepin County. She is also ABD for her doctorate in higher education administration, and hopes to complete her dissertation (about the impact of temporary employment on "full-time hopeful" adjunct faculty) during fall semester 2017.

TRISHA SPEED SHASKAN'S graphic novel for children, Q & Ray: Case#1: The Missing Mola Lisa, which is the first in a series of three books illustrated by her husband Stephen Shaskan, will be published by Lerner Publishing in September, 2017. This is the second collaboration for this husband-and-wife team (the first was their picture book Punk Skunks, HarperCollins Children's, 2016). 

PETE STEVENS had a story come out in Cardinal Sins and has another forthcoming at Beecher's. The editors of Gigantic Sequins nominated his story, "The Girl Who Could Float" for a Pushcart Prize. 

MICHAEL TORRES has poetry published or forthcoming in Green Mountains Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, McNeese Review, Huizache, The Acentos Review, Cream City Review and Forklift, Ohio. He received a travel and study grant from the Jerome Foundation and a fellowship to attend the Palm Beach Poetry festival to work with Carl Phillips. He was chosen to participate in a regional VONA workshop in Minneapolis to work with Elmaz Abinader.

JAMES VAN AMBER is currently ghost-writing a book for a Minnesota resident.  The book he wrote in the 1990's, Regina's Record, is still selling and receiving positive comments.

Jim and MARIANNE ZARZANA were interviewed on Pioneer Public TV's show "Compass" as part of their "Literary Corner" segment.



BENJAMIN ALLOCCO'S debut novel, Deathform, was released in October from Severed Press.

LEAH ALSAKER has had three poems accepted for Pasque Petals.

LESLEY ARIMAH'S book of stories What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky is due out this coming spring.

CANDACE BLACK has both a poem (“Border”) and an essay (“Homecomings”) in the Spring 2016 Commemorative Issue of Pinyon. Her poetry manuscript Whereabouts won the 2015 Violet Reed Haas Award and will be published in early 2017 by Snake Nation Press.

TYLER BARTON had stories published in Monkeybicycle, Mud Season Review's 20th issue, Hobart, and Split Lip Magazine. This fall he'll have a story in NANO Fiction. He and Erin Dorney will be launching a literary-culture website called FEAR NO LIT (, and hosting events under that same moniker.

ERIC BLIX has recently had stories published in The Pinch, Split Lip Magazine, and Four Way Review. His short story collection, Physically Alarming Men, will be published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press.

JASON DARCY a finalist in the Bahamas International Film Festival's 2016 screenplay competition.

JAMES FIGY'S short story "Scavenger Hunt" appears in the summer issue of Midwestern Gothic and his essay "Prodigal Remodeler" appears in the anthology Bad Jobs & Bullshit: It's Unlikely We'll Be Missed.

AMY FLADEBOE was awarded a $10,000 Minnesota State Arts Board grant for 2017. Earlier this fall she won an $8000 Emerging Writers' Grant from The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis for writing projects to be carried out during the next year. Only five grants in total were awarded for 2017.

JESSICA GUESS' short story "Mama Tulu" appears in the September issue of Luna Station Quarterly. 

GWEN HART has poems in FreezeRay, The Rotary Dial, Circe’s Lament, My Cruel Invention, Right Hand Pointing, and Scapegoat Review. Her story “Chuck’s Couch” appeared in the February issue of Litro magazine.

DENNIS HERBERT was awarded the Toy Wilson Blethen Fine Arts Award from the MSU College of Arts & Humanities.

ELIZABETH HORNEBER has essays forthcoming in Iron Horse Literary Review, Chattahoochee Review, and Zone 3

KATE MacLAM has a poem forthcoming in New Ohio Review.

EMILY JOHNSON has been a reader at Creative Nonfiction magazine since April, and her name has just been added to their reader list for the most recent issue, themed "Childhood." 

Brand-new MFA student MICHAEL KUBISTA a won an $8000 Emerging Writers' Grant from The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis for writing projects to be carried out during the next year. Only five grants in total were awarded for 2017.

LINTON LEWIS was recently named Digital Content Editor at and remains a regular contributor at comedy and entertainment site

JACOB LITTLE is the new Managing Editor of Brevity. His nonfiction has recently appeared  or is forthcoming in Gigantic Sequins, Split Lip Magazine, Crack the Spine, and DIAGRAM. His poetry collection, Night Shift at the Circle K, was a finalist in Iron Horse Literary Review's 2016 contest.

DYLAN LORING'S "In the Event of a Collision" is up online in the new issue of Third Point Press.

RICHARD ROBBINS traveled with painter and Art Department chair Brian Frink to Chile and Peru in May in order to set up a study tour for Art and Creative Writing students next summer. He has given readings recently at the Western Literature Conference and the University of Montana-Dillon.

AARON RUDOLPH'S manuscript, The Sombrero Galaxy, was accepted by Virtual Artists Collective and will be published soon.

LISA M. BOLT SIMONS has published three middle grade "choose your path" sports novels (hockey, baseball, and soccer), over 20 nonfiction children's titles, and an adult history book. She teaches ESL to adults part-time. Her website is

PETE STEVENS has a story in the new Gigantic Sequins (7.2), and has another story forthcoming in Copper Nickel. His collection, The Girl Who Could Float was a finalist for the Split Lip Press chapbook contest.

RICHARD TERRILL'S poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Brilliant Corners, Ascent, Accompanied Voices: Poets on Composers, andDouble Kiss: Contemporary Writers on the Art of BilliardsAn essay  is forthcoming in New Letters.

ROBIN THRONE was selected by the Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts as writer-in-residence at Wolff Cottage in Fairhope, Alabama, for the month of October.   

MICHAEL TORRES is one of twelve writers chosen to participate in the 2016-17 Mentor Series, sponsored by the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Awardees are given a stipend and travel allowance and will work with nationally known writers throughout the year. They will give a public reading with one of them in Minneapolis. He was also recently awarded a $10,000 Minnesota State Arts Board grant for 2017. 



LESLEY ARIMAH’S "The Future Looks Good," originally published in PANK (, has been anthologized in Best American Non-Required Reading.

TYLER BARTON, JAMES FIGY, and EMILY JOHNSON read at "Good Thunder Presents: Waiting," which took place at the Arts Center in St. Peter.

KRIS BIGALK read her poems as a guest on "Music With Minnesotans" on Minnesota Public Radio.

ROBIN BECKER had a short story, "The Prettiest Mama," published over the summer in an anthology called Irrational Fears.

ALEC CICAK teaches college in Florida. This summer BTAP Press published a detective novel Between Juarez and El Paso. He has been invited to read at the University of Indianapolis in 2016 as part of the Kellogg Writers Series.

BRADLEY COLE has a flash piece, "Summer Strikes," forthcoming from Forklift, Ohio. 

JASON DARCY was awarded a Minnesota Emerging Writer's Grant from The Loft Literary Center.

THOMAS DELANO will be having a poem published in the Fall issue of Stoneboat.

GWEN HART’S second poetry collection, The Empress of Kisses, has been selected by Beth Ann Fennelly for the X. J. Kennedy Award from Texas Review Press. The book will be published in the fall of 2016.  Her poems have appeared recently in Amethyst & Agate: Poems of Lake Superior, Spirit of the Horse, The Rotary Dial, One Sentence Poems, and Clementine Poetry Journal. Her story “Good Girl” appeared in the August issue of Heater.

GEOFF HERBACH has two books coming in Spring of 2016, Strange Times, Origins, co-written with Tom DeLonge of Blink 182 fame, and Knocked, from Sourcebooks Fire. His last book, Fat Boy vs. The Cheerleaders, was recently named to the International Literacy Associations' Young Adult Choices 2015 Reading List.

DENNIS HERBERT has a piece and interview forthcoming in Smokelong Quarterly.

ELIZABETH HORNEBER was selected as a winner of the 2015-2016 Loft Literary Center's Mentor Series. She also had an essay published online at Hunger Mountain.

RACHAEL IGO will be attending the National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Chicago this November to receive an award for The Honors Beacon, which she edits. The newsletter placed 1st in the student-produced print newsletter category.

BRONSON LEMER has been awarded a 2016 Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

MICHAEL O'HEARN recently published his novel for young readers, The El Dorado Map.

CHRISTINA OLSON’S next book of poems, Terminal Human Velocity, has been accepted by Stillhouse Press and is due out in December 2016.

MFA students TAYLOR TOLCHIN and KATE MACLAM have received a Mett-Mini Grant for a proposed project. Since February 2015, they have been providing poetry workshops for members of Aktion Club Theatre, a southcentral Minnesota community social justice theater group for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. During the grant period, they will arrange for the poets to give a public reading at The Arts Center of St. Peter. They will also create a limited print chapbook of the poets' work.

LAUREN MOORE has a piece called "In the Flesh" forthcoming in Windhover, a journal out of The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and one called "An Interview with Craig Ferguson" that was published in Crab Fat Magazine this summer.

RICHARD ROBBINS has been awarded a 2016 Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

PETE STEVENS had stories placed at SmokeLong Quarterly and at Fiction Southeast.

MICHAEL TORRES’ essay “On Being Remek” won The Boiler’s flash nonfiction essay contest. He also had a poem selected for inclusion in Coiled Serpent, ananthologyof Los Angeles poetry forthcoming in 2016 by Tia Chucha Press. 

STEPHANIE WILLIAMS’ published “What They Don't Tell You About Owning A Pit Bull... Or Four Of Them” in The Huffington Post.



LESLEY ARIMAH was awarded a fellowship to the Kimbilio Retreat for African American writers.

CANDACE BLACK has work in Great River Review.

KRIS BIGALK served as a judge for the 2015 Minnesota Book Awards, and as a statewide judge for the 2015 Minnesota Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest. She has recently published poems in here/there: poetry and The Good Men Project, and one of her poems is included in Down the Dark River, a forthcoming anthology of poetry on the Mississippi River, published by Louisiana Literature Press.

SARA BIREN'S debut young adult novel, The Last Thing You Said, will be published by Abrams-Amulet Books in spring 2017.

ERIC BLIX has recent stories in Corium Magazine, 3:AM Magazine, and Paper Darts.

ALEC CIZAK'S story "Proof" will be in this year's Wayne Literary Review, and a collection of his short stories called Crooked Roads will be released by ADR Books in May.

BRADLEY COLE has a flash piece, called "Filthy Feet," published in the most recent issue of Parcel. 

JASON DARCY was awarded a fellowship to the Kimbilio Retreat for African American writers.

RHEA DAVISON was chosen by poets Matt Rasmussen and Patricia Smith to participate in the 2014-2015 Loft Mentor Series last August. She gave her  reading March 13th with mentee Kinzy Janssen and mentor Kao Kalia Yang (both creative nonfiction). Here it is on YouTube:

THOMAS DELANO had poems published in FLARE: The Flagler Review and Sediments Literary-Arts Journal this past winter.

In March CLINT EDWARDS started as the new Learning Resources Coordinator in the Academics For Student Athletes Department at Oregon State University. In October of 2014 he raised over $8,000 through Kickstarter to publish a collection of essays.

MEGAN GILMORE graduated in May and moved to Chicago in August. She's been doing theatre there under the stage name Gilly Guire. She's currently working on a meta-theatre production of "Carmen" the opera staged as a 1930's radio play. Work of heres is soon to be published in The Lascaux Review Anthology.

MELISSA GISH is on the editorial staff of a new online journal called Aji [] and will have an interview with the artist Alex Nodopaka in the spring issue. She continues to write books for Creative Education.

GWEN HART has poems in Volume 8.3 of The Road Not Taken and The Quotable issues 14 and 15. Her poem “Early Introduction to Freud” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The Quotable.

RYAN HAVELY has recently placed poems in Broad River Review, Driftwood Press, Niche, Midwestern Gothic, New Plains Review, Inscape, and Dappled Things.  

NICOLE HELGET'S Wonder at the Edge of the World received a starred review from Booklist, and the cover is featured on the magazine's cover for one of the April issues.

GEOFF HERBACH'S Fat Boy vs. The Cheerleaders was named to the American LIbrary Association's Best Fiction for Young Adults list. 

DENNIS HERBERT has recent work in Profane and the Crack the Spine 2015 anthology.

ELIZABETH HORNEBER had work published on Monkeybicycle and has essays forthcoming in Issue 22.1 of Yemassee and Issue 81 of AGNI.

JACOB LITTLE won Yemassee's 2015 Creative Nonfiction Contest with the personal essay, "Pleasure," judged by Paul Bogard.

Rev. NATE MELCHER is appointed as the Associate Pastor at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in downtown Minneapolis, MN effective last July 1, 2014. His focus ministry areas include preaching and worship, hospitality, congregational care, and young adult ministries.

CHRISTINA OLSON has accepted a tenure-track position as assistant professor of creative writing at Georgia Southern University.

RICHARD ROBBINS won the Sherwin Howard Award for Best Poetry published in Weber—The Contemporary West.

LUKE ROLFES' story collection Flyover Country was just released by Georgetown Review Press.

COLIN SCHARF won a PLRAC Arts Grant for writing and will use the money to book time at the Anderson Center to revise his novel. He also gave a reading for the 2013 PLRAC Grant Winners Expo at the St. Peter Arts Center in January. Muzzleland Press—the small press he co-edits with a friend—will soon be releasing High Strange Horror, their second anthology of literary horror short stories.

PETE STEVENS had stories come out in Word Riot and BULL, and has another forthcoming in Yemassee.

RICHARD TERRILL has new essays in Great River Review, Midwestern Gothic, and Crazyhorse (runner up for their nonfiction prize), and poems in Volume One and Minnesota English Journal.  He read and lectured at the Chautauqua Writers' Center in New York.

MICHAEL TORRES had a poem and interview published by Okey-Panky.



LESLEY ARIMAH got the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant for FY2014. Her short story "War Stories" was in the Spring Issue of Mid-American Review and another short story "Windfalls" is forthcoming in Per Contra.

In a new role at IBM, JESSICA BENJAMIN is leading a grassroots digital storytelling initiative that encourages IBMers to share stories that demonstrate the corporation's culture and values. 

CANDACE BLACK has published recently in Pinyon, Gargoyle, Great River Review, Miramar, and Weber: The Contemporary West.

ERIC BLIX has stories in recent issues of Split Lip magazine and Western Humanities Review. An excerpt of my novel was published in Squalorly and reprinted at

ERIC BRAUN, AMY FLADEBOE, and NICOLE HELGET were each awarded Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grants for the coming year.

ALI CATT'S essay "On Saliva," first published in 1966: A Journal of Creative Nonfiction, will be listed as a notable essay in the Best American Essays 2014. She also has an essay in has an essay in Love and Profanity, an anthology of writing about teens.

LUKE DALY'S "Phloem Poem" is coming out in Subtropics, May 2015.

BEN DREVLOW has new work in Fiction Southeast, Split Lip, Fiction on the Web, Rock Bottom Journal, Hothouse, NEAT, Hobo Pancakes, and Caffeine Press.

This year CLINT EDWARDS has been featured on "Good Morning America" and published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. 

JENNIFER FANDEL’S poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American HeartlandMeasuremuseum of americanaRHINO, and Floating Bridge Review (a special issue on work selected by Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen). She's currently working on a poetry collaboration with artists drawing attention to watershed issues in St. Louis. See for a glimpse of the visual artists' work.

AMY FLADEBOE  has pieces in The Boiler Journal, Stanley The Whale, and Northeast Review. She was a finalist for the 2014-2015 Loft Mentor Series in poetry and nonfiction. She interviews nationally and locally acclaimed authors as a co-host of the weekly radio program "Write On Radio" on KFAI 90.3 FM in Minneapolis and 106.7 FM in St. Paul on Tuesdays from 7-8pm.

HEIDI FUHR, LORA STREY, and David Puthoff had a presentation accepted for the CCCC conference. They will be giving a presentation about the zine unit they taught last spring (which culminated in the Zine Fest at the 410 Project).

GWEN HART has four sonnets in the summer issue of Mezzo Cammin (, and her poem "Only You" is in the fall issue of PRISM international.

MELODY HEIDE has accepted a full-time English faculty position at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. She also has an essay forthcoming in the anthology, Love and Profanity:  A Collection of True, Tortured, Wild, Hilarious, Concise, and Intense Tales of Teenage Life.

GEOFF HERBACH'S YA novel, Fat Boy vs. The Cheerleaders, was published in May. It was named a top ten summer read by Kirkus and shortlisted for the American Library Association's 2014 best YA.

DENNIS HERBERT has stories forthcoming in Cardinal Sins and Crack The Spine.

LISSA HORNEBER has an essay forthcoming in AGNI magazine.  She was also a finalist in the 2014 Collagist Chapbook Contest.  

JACOB LITTLE has poetry in Word Riot and The Frank Martin Review, and was a finalist for the Black Warrior Review Creative Nonfiction Prize. He has work forthcoming in Pithead Chapel and Angle.

CHRISTINA OLSON has new poetry in Heavy Feather Review, Commons Magazine, North Chicago Review, elsewhere, and reprinted on Verse Daily. Her prose chapbook, Rook & The M.E. (A Law & Order-Inspired Narrative), will be released by Red Bird Chapbooks in 2015.

RICHARD ROBBINS' poems have appeared of late in Cincinnati Review, Stand, Great River Review, Miramar, and Weber: The Contemporary West. He was recently on a Minnesota Library Association panel featuring Mankato writers and gave a reading in Victoria, BC.

COLIN SCHARF co-edited a literary horror magazine entitled Spooklights.  His short story, "Spooklights", is also featured in the collection.  The magazine is available in e-reader and hardcopy formats, and can be ordered here:  

TERESA SCHNEIDER is presenting a paper with Dr. Steven McCullar at the 20th Annual Midwest Qualitative Research Conference (MQRC). This semester she is also qualifying for doctoral candidacy in the Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration program at St. Cloud State University. 

MICHAEL TORRES has a poem in Miramar and was a featured reader for "Good Thunder Presents" at the St. Peter Arts Center in early October.

DAN WAHL and CASSANDRA LABAIRON are currently included in the alumni art show at Southwest Minnesota State University.

MARIANNE ZARZANA had an essay, “The Bike Rally,” published in Notre Dame Magazine this past summer. She also recently presented with SMSU professor and writer Judy Wilson at the Lakeside Writers Weekend, “Write Where You Are,” in Ortonville, MN.




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Creative Writing Program
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