MFA News


Fall 2021 - Spring 2022


makalani bandele ('21)'s poem, “Afropessimism 101: Quiz on System of Weights used (1619-Present),” won the 2021 Connecticut Poetry Society Experimental Poetry Prize.

Gavin Colton ('21) has an essay, "Teeth," at Hippocampus. His story, "Lippy," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The Wax Paper. His essay, "Bury Me Here," was published in The Honest Ulsterman.

Angel C. Dye ('19) published her debut chapbook, Breathe, forthcoming from Central Square Press.

Chioma Ezeano ('22) published a story, "Small Girl Landlady," in Granta: Her story, "You Girls Are Good," was published in Guernica: She joined the O'Henry Prize as an intern and as a reader.

Austyn Gaffney ('18) published an essay, “Magic City,” in Kenyon Review. Listen to it here: Her article "Is This Giant Greenhouse in Kentucky the Future of Farming?" appeared in Rolling Stone.

Leigh Glanzman ('20) has had the following poems recently published: “Dead Girl in a Dumpster Behind an Arby’s in South Phoenix Uncovered by Thursday’s Monsoon" and "Do you believe in hearts?" in South Dakota Review; "constellation" in Pretty Owl Poetry; "lessons" in Harpur Palate; "So Many" and "The Girl They Buried" in Barely South Review; "Ghazal Meant to Be Sung to the Sea" in Iron Horse Literary Review; "carelessness" and "Spreading My Brother's Ashes" in Santa Clara Review; "one day, my mother dies" in Mom Egg Review; "Leaving Las Vegas, New Mexico" in Whale Road Review. Her short stories have appeared in the following journals: "the girl in the ghost dress lies" in Puerto del Sol; "Sample Questions from Application to Marry Me" in perhappened; and "Rapunzel Makes Her Own Door" in Fudoki Magazine. Additionally, "Haiku for leaving flowers on your headstone on the fifteenth anniversary" won the Loud Coffee Press Haiku Contest; and her story "Gretl at Hansel's Deathbed" was nominated by perhappened for Best Small Fictions. She is also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the digital literary journal miniskirt magazine. Her micro-chapbook my mother as a lighthouse, my father as the sea was published by Ghost City Press in August 2021.

Kasimma ('23) published her debut short story collection, All Shades of Iberibe, forthcoming from Sandorf Passage. Her short story, "Mbuze, " was published in Guernica. Her story, "The Price of Fee," was published in Allegory. Her poem, "Relationtrain," was published in Sylvia Magazine. Her story, "Jackie," appears in the anthology, A Cold Christmas And The Darkest of Winter, by Cinnabar Moth Publishing. Her story, "All Shades of Iberibe," was published in Lithub. Her story, “Ezuga”, is forthcoming in ALT 40. Her story, "SLAVE OF THE LIVING DEAD," was published in the anthology A Quaint and Curious Volume of Gothic Tales. Her story, "Evocation," was published in DGEKU. Her story, "Onyema's Head," was published in Solarpunk Magazine Her short story, "Healthy Heart," was published in  Isele Magazine: Her poem, "I'm in a Cave," was published in The Lake: Her story, ‘Where One Falls Is Where Their God Pushed Them Down," ( was the finalist for the 2022 Gerald Kraak Short Story Prize (

Chan Kelly ('21) published her story, "Black History," in Kweli Lierary Journal.

Sean Madden ('16) has two poems forthcoming: "Note for Inspector" in The Emerson Review and "Decoy" in Sierra Nevada Review. In 2021, two other poems were published: "The Sardines, Jeff" in Slant and "Black Sedan" in Hawaii Pacific Review. He also had a story, "Dry January," appear in The Nonconformist. The president of the Arizona State Poetry Society selected him as a guest judge for the society's 2021 Annual Contest. His story, "How the Lonesome Engine Drivers Pine," was part of the fall 2021 creative writing curriculum at Jesuit High School in Carmichael, CA.

NitaJade ('22) published two poems, “on not-drowning” and “slow down with that oven girl” in Carolina Muse. Three poems, "how i arrived," "shame(d),"on not-drowning," were accepted in Zora's Den and will be published in their next anthology, The Fire Inside. Two poems "tea tree & jojoba" and "how I arrived," are forthcoming in Inverted Syntax. Their poem, "delay(?)," was published in Poetry Northwest.

Neleigh Olson ('18) is a Baltic Writing Residency Kentucky Writers Fellow.

Betsy Packard ('22) has a poem, "Medea," forthcomng in the fall edition of The Whimsical Poet.

Erika Simpson ('21) will write for HBO's The Vanishing Half. Her essay, "If You Ever Find Yourself," was published in Audacity.



Fall 2020 - Spring 2021

Titus Chalk ('21) has a story, "This Body Also Dances" forthcoming in the Peauxdunque Review and ". -..- -.-. .... .- -. --. ."  forthcoming in Nimrod International.
Ash Baker ('20) has a story, "Nightmare in Red, Blue, Green" forthcoming in Sporazine.
makalani bandele ('21) has the following publications and honors: under the aegis of a winged mind, won the 2019 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize and was e published in September 2020; "blues in b for charlie" was nominated by Harbor Review for Best of the Net; “unit_80,” “unit_111,” unit_32,” and “unit_95,” are forthcoming in Inverted Syntax; “unit_68;” “unit_4, an interrogative unit,” is forthcoming in Action, Spectacle; "scary meds,” "ghost of the piano,” "pianism (alternate take),” and “cutting contest" are forthcoming in Artful Dodge; “unit_63 for the player in you,” “unit_72 building 11,” and “a unit_9 kind of love,” are forthcoming in Ocean State Review;  “unit_84,” “unit_35,” “unit_26,” “unit_19,” “unit_57,” and “unit_43,” are forthcoming in Posit Journal; “unit_79, an intensive care unit” and “unit_50, overtime” are forthcoming in Variant Literature Journal, Issue#4. He was the feature poet for A Dozen Nothing for February 2021.
Gavin Colton ('21) has a short story, “The Lippy” forthcoming in The Wax Paper.
Austyn Gaffney ('18) reports on the protests in Louisville for Rolling Stone
Emily Goldsmith ('21) has a poem, "Valhalla," in Vagabond City Litereary Journal. She will begin the PhD in Poetry at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg in the Fall. Fine Print Press nominated her for a Pushcart Prize for “Arkansas Roaming Wide.” She also published “Queer Poem,” and “Clitoris Poem,” in The Giving Room Review
An Envie,” and “Post-Break Up with God,” in Windows Facing Windows Review; I can’t tell you every secret,” in Versification;  and “Valhalla” in Vagabond City Lit.
Megan D. Henson ('16) published her second book, Little Girl Gray (forthcoming from Dos Madres Press).

Jordan Honeyblue ('21) has two poems, ""I'm just a black goddess" and "ryne/river/gopd," forthcoming in New Orleans Review. She published an article, “Black Englishes and AAVE” forthcoming in The University of Kentucky’s Town Branch, 7th edition (Fall 2021). She was accepted as a fellow into Harvard University’s LabXChange Program for their Antiracist Science Education Project, and will be writing content for teachers and learners on Racism as Public Health Issue and/or Antiracist and Inclusive Teaching during the time of our fellowship. The opportunity will allow her to work remotely with a global team of writers, researchers, and designers in order to best complete the project. She was nominated for 2021 Best New Poets by The New Orleans Review (April 2021).
Sarah Jiang ('21) published "The Pork Ribs" in Peauxdunque Review and "Panning for Gold" in The Write Launch.
Sean Madden ('16) has had five poems published: "Losing a Friend on Tax Day" in 580 Split, "Well-Schooled Heart" in The William and Mary Review, "The Sun Appeals to the Lady in the Moon" in Jelly Bucket, "Ace" in Sport Literate, and "Palm Frond Cross" in CAROUSEL. His story, "The Growing Terror of Nothing to Think About," appeared in White Wall Review, and was a finalist for the 52nd Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest. His craft essay, "Fiction at the Sentence Level: Elements of Craft in John Updike's 'The Happiest I've Been'", appeared in Small Print.
NitaJade ('22) was accepted as a fellow into Harvard University’s LabXChange Program for their Antiracist Science Education Project, and will be writing content for teachers and learners on Racism as Public Health Issue and/or Antiracist and Inclusive Teaching during the time of our fellowship. The opportunity will allow them to work remotely with a global team of writers, researchers, and designers in order to best complete the project. They have been selected as a KFW Summer Resident for Blooming: How to Bloom with Ellen Hagan. Their poem,“rather than, see” was published in Awake.

Rocky Olive ('20) published a short story, "Resurrection" in Southern Humanities Review
Gabrielle Oliver ('21) received a 2nd place award for the Voices of Color Fellowship from the Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Her poem, "MOOR," was published in The Amistad.  Her poem "ten translations of "Bambo Balanta"" was published by Touchstone Literary Magazine.
Betsy Packard ('22) published her poem, "The Kelpie's Visit," in Witches & Pagans Magazine. Her poem,"Guinevere's Lament," will be published in the July edition of Second Chance Lit. Three poems are forthcoming from The Atherton Review: "Defenestration: Blame the Victim #1," "Medusa: Blame the Victim #2," "Metamorphosis: Blame the Victim #3." Her poem "Drives," is forthcoming from Honeyguide Magazine.
Zeke Perkins ('20) published his story, "Hot Black Bubbles" in Volume 1 Brooklyn
Omaria Pratt ('19) published her story ""Blood Sisters on the Ghost Train" in the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Volume XII honoring Crystal Wilkinson in May 2020, and her story "Hyde River" is forthcoming in Story Magazine Fall 2020 issue in November.

Dane Ritter ('20) published a poem, "Hell is Highwater," in Flare Journal.

Prof. Frank X Walker: Listen to an article about his new book here.


Fall 2019 - Spring 2020

makalani bandele ('21) had a poem, "ÉTUDE OP. 15, NO. 1." published in Foundry; and three poems are forthcoming: "earl of harlem meets the high preist of bebop," from Prairie Schooner, "what to do while fresh ideas are organizing," from The Bookends Review, and "the cruel blue," from iO Literary. Also, he had a poem, "AFTER ECT," publish in ANMLY, and a poem, "Last Supper of Bop," published in Killens Review.

Bernard Clay's ('17) first book, English Lit (Old Cove Press 2019), was a top seller at the Kentucky Book Fair.

Angel C. Dye ('19) published her poem, "Dating in the Age of Buzzwords," in The Blue Mountain Review and her poem, "GENESIS/A POEM FOR TONI," in a gathering together

Jeremy Flick ('19) was nominated for the Best of the Net 2019 for his poem, "Bent," originally published in Matador Review.

Leigh Glanzman ('20) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Sleet Magazine for her poem, "Our Birthday, at the Beach." She also had a poem "the mapmaker's daughter" published in Stonecoast Review.

John Larson ('20) published his story, "Pace," in GRIFFEL, and his poem, "2019: The Year I Act Like a Dumb Bitch for Likes," in pulpMAG.

Sean Madden ('16) had a story, "How the Lonesome Engine Drivers Pine," published by Alternating Current Press. This story was a finalist for the 2018 Luminaire Award for Best Prose, and will be included in an anthology in early 2020. He also has two forthcoming poems: "Proposition" will appear in the December 2019 issue of Ponder Review, and "Attendance" will appear in the 2020 edition of Roanoke Review.

Gabby Oliver ('21) presented on the  Black Artists and Resistance Narratives panel at the 2020 EGSO Symposium, University of Kentucky. She published "Movie-Making” in Penumbra Literary Journal.

Erika Simpson ('21) presented "Black Ladyhood: Who Defines It and How is it Attained? Exploring African American Women’s Interiority in Gwendolyn Brooks’ Maud Martha" at the 2020 EGSO Symposium.


Fall 2018 - Spring 2019

Ash Baker ('20) won the 2019 internal Mill House Residency competition. They also published a film review of THEY (2017, Anahita Ghazvinizadeh) in Cinematary, and a blurb of ZAMA (2018, Lucrecia Martel) in Cinematary's Best Foreign Films of 2018 Canon.

Catherine Brereton ('16) won an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council.

makalani bandele ('21) has a poem, "blues in b for charlie," in Harbor Review. He also had three excerpts from his new book, under the aegis of a winged mind, in Barzakh Magazine, and "quick recipe for genius" was published in Protean Magazine.

Bernard Clay ('17) has a book, English Lit, forthcoming from Old Cove Press.

Amanda Kelley Corbin ('17) received a Kentucky Foundation for Women Artist Enrichment Grant to work on a new novel. She was also interviewed for the Bluegrass Bookend radio show.

Sean Corbin ('16) published his chapbook, The Leper Dreams of Snow (Finishing Line Press 2018).

Angel C. Dye ('19) has won a fellowship from the Poetry Foundation to attend the 2019 Furious Flower Summer Legacy Seminar. She was also commissioned in fall 2018 to write poetry that will be performed alongside a musical exploration of the Red Summer of 1919 by the Grace Chorale of Brooklyn and an ensemble. The performances will take place in Brooklyn, NY March 1st and 3rd, and she will be reading her work, which involves the story of a young boy, Eugene Williams, who was struck by a thrown rock and drowned in the "white" waters of Lake Michigan in Chicago in 1919.

Austyn Gaffney ('18) had an essay, "A Small Town’s Battle Against Radioactive Fracking Waste," published in onEarthShe also had an essay, "Homing,"  which was runner-up in a nonfiction contest judged by Leslie Jamison, published in Blue Mesa Review. She will be a Brush Creek Arts residencent for literary arts in January 2019, a PLAYA residencent for literary arts in March 2019, and an Editorial Fellow for Sierra Magazine beginning in July 2019. She was the was the Writing by Writers residency for literary arts. Her essay, "Composting," was published in Prairie Schooner and her essay, "Ha Ling," was published in Brevity in September 2018.

Leigh Glanzman ('20) had a poem "Possession" published in Tipton Poetry Journal; a short story "Equations for a Falling Body" was the runner-up for the 2019 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize, subsequently published in Electric Lit; and a poem "Our Birthday, at the Beach" was published in Sleet Magazine. She also had a flash fiction piece, "Nets," published in 
Suzanne Fernandez Gray ('19) has an essay, "Wayne's", in Michigan State University's literary journal, Fourth Genre.
Parker Hobson ('18) won an Emerging Artist grants from the Kentucky Arts Council.
Sean Madden ('16) had a poem, "God, What I Wouldn't Give for a Saturday Night," published in The Stillwater Review, and had his story, "Who Sharpens the Pencils," in Waccamaw. He published “Isaac’s Curse,” an excerpt from hisnovel-in-progress, in Blue River, Creighton University’s literary journal.
Zeke Perkins ('20) won the Peauxdunque Review's Words and Music Competition in the Short Story Category
Robin LaMer Rahija ('16) has poems forthcoming in Barely South Review, Spillway, and Bat City Review.
Krystin Santos ('18) had her essay, "A Broke Girl’s Guide to Atlantic City," published in Litro. She has accepted a full-time lectureship at LSU in Composition and Creative Writing.
Gary Thomas Smith ('17) has a story, "The Elk," in Appalachian Heritage.
Kate Tighe-Pigott ('18) had stories published in Grist Online, Willow Springs. Issue 83 (forthcoming), Passages North, and River River. She will now be represented by Rebecca Gradinger of Fletcher and Co. Her work is forthcoming in Blackbird, Grist, Passages North, River River and Willow Springs. She has stories forthcoming in 2019 in Willow Springs, Blackbird, and Passages North.

Fall 2017 - Spring 2018

Sean L. Corbin ('16) published his chapbook, The Leper Dreams of Snow (2018 Finishing Line Press).
John Duncan ('18) publish his story "girl on parade of killers" in Product Magazine.
Austyn Gaffney ('18) was awarded the Katharine Bakeless Nason scholarship for Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference.
Suzanne Fernandez Gray ('19) published her satirical creative nonfiction piece ""COLLEGE COURSE REGISTRATION: PICK THESE ‘CAUSE WE NEED THE MONEY" in McSweeney's.
Sean Madden ('16) had his story, “How the Lonesome Engine Drivers Pine,” named a finalist for Alternating Current Press’s 2018 Luminaire Award for Best Prose. He published his story "Subtraction" in The Los Angeles Review
Robin LaMer Rahija ('16) published her poem "Transitivity" in Metonym
Gary Thomas Smith ('17) published his story "Raw" in Still: The Journal.