MFA Student Profiles

Class of 2022


Kevin Bond is a fiction writer from Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2019, he received his B.A. in English: Creative Writing from Loyola University Chicago. 

Adachioma Ezeano is Igbo. She grew up in Nigeria, studied English Education at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, worked with First Bank of Nigeria 'fore moving to Kentucky. She is an alum of the Purple Hibiscus Workshop taught by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her works or interviews have appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly, Electric Literature, FlashBack Fictions, Deyu African, Brittle Paper. In 2019, she got nominated for Best of the Net and Best Small Fictions. In 2020, her work got anthologized in Best Small Fictions, 2020. 
Payton Howard is a fiction writer from Taylor County, Kentucky. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Centre College, where she studied history and creative writing.
Nita Jade is a self-proclaimed weirdo hailing from Asheville, NC. They have competed and performed their poetry and storytelling on local, regional, and national stages since 2012. They have keynoted local storytelling events in Western North Carolina and performed at TEDxGreenville’s HeadVROOM event alongside the late Tavis Brunson. Nita Jade has been published in the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Charles Frazier Volume IX (April 2017), KRCC Voices (Issue 2, 2018), the Fall/Winter 2018-19 issue of The Griot: the Journal of African American Studies, and Rabbit Catastrophe Review #015 (2019). Nita Jade graduated from Berea College (2019) with a Bachelor’s Degree in African and African American Studies. They are currently an MFA Poetry Candidate and Teacher’s Assistant at UK.
Betsy Packard is from Needham, MA, and her family in that area goes back to the early 17th century giving her deep roots but also colonizer guilt. Her seafaring family produced a dad who was a career Coast Guard officer, so she's lived in many different places. She attended The Ohio State University in the 1970s earning a B.S. in Secondary Level Social Studies Education. Her graduate work was in Family Relations and Human Development, specializing in Developmental Disabilities.  In 1976, through a grant-funded project, she compiled and edited a resource guide for Ohio's persons with Developmental Disabilities, their families and service providers. In the mid '90s, she edited Open Minds, a grant funded project which was a collection of writing and artwork by Kentucky's mental health services consumers. Currently she am working toward a MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry at the University of Kentucky. 
Allegra Solomon  is a fiction writer from Columbus, Ohio. She got her B.A. in Creative Writing from Ohio Univeristy and has come to Kentucky to do more of what she loves. In her writing she often discusses relationships between people, the world around them, and the universal emotions that bond the characters to the reader. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, playing her Nintendo Switch, and riding her bike. 


Class 2021

mpe333's picture makalani bandele is an Affrilachian Poets and Cave Canem fellow. He has also received fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council, Millay Colony, and Vermont Studio Center. His work has been published in several anthologies, Red Holler: Contemporary Appalachian Literature and Anthology of Appalachian Writers, to name a couple. Most recently work from an unpublished manuscript, under the aegis of a winged mind, appears or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Foundry, 32poems, and North American Review. hellfightin’ is bandele's  only full-length collection of poems. 
Gavin Colton is a fiction writer from Leixlip, Ireland. He earned his B.A. in Journalism from Northern Kentucky University, and his M.A. in English Literature from Kansas State University. He’s currently working on a collection of stories about Irish people at home and abroad, as well as a novella set in the familiar town of Ballyfermot
tch268's picture

Titus Chalk is a British writer, former journalist, and recovering misanthrope. He is the author of Generation Decks: The Unofficial History of Gaming Phenomenon Magic: The Gathering (Solaris, 2017). 

ejmc242's picture Emily Jean McCollister Goldsmith is a poet from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She received her BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Louisiana State University. Her work has appeared in The Birds We Piled Loosely, YesPoetry, LSU's Delta Journal, and Witch Craft Magazine. 
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Jordan Honeyblue is a poetess from Baltimore, Maryland. In 2018, she received her B.A. from Morgan State University. Her favorite pastimes include visiting art museums, running her own online art publication to shed light on up & coming artists, and being around her family (especially her nephews).
sji234's picture Sarah Jiang loves art as equally as she loves science. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Ph.D. in Microbiology. To fulfill her interest in art, she is now here pursuing her MFA in creative writing in fiction. 
cke262's picture Chantel Kelly graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgia State University with a BA in English and a minor in Psychology. She focuses her writing around issues like anxiety, depression, and the challenges faced by minority populations. Before coming to the University of Kentucky, she was a writer for Society 19 magnazine. When not writing fiction, she enjoys spending her time painting and catching up on her favorite Netflix shows. 
geol224's picture Born and raised in Montgomery County, MD, Gabrielle Oliver is a graduate of Howard University with a BA in English and a Minor in Japanese Language; she also holds a diploma in Japanese Language and Culture from Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. A self-proclaimed linguist, Oliver is most proficient in Japanese – with experience translating for the State Department, the Embassy of Japan, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Japan-America Society of Washington, DC, and for multiple DC-based newspapers – but has also studied American Sign Language (ASL), German, Dutch, Italian, and French. She is the Japan-America Society of Washington, DC’s 2018-2019 Tanaka Green Scholarship recipient for her studies at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, as well as for her diachronic research on the aboriginal Ainu language of Japan. In the summer of 2019, she completed a writing fellowship with 7x NAACP Image Award-winning poet Nikki Giovanni on behalf of the Furious Flower Poetry Center.
ejsi226's picture Erika J. Simpson is a southern gal from Atlanta who's migrated around the U.S. She studied creative writing and theatre at DePaul University in Chicago before moving to San Francisco with her partner and three black cats. Now she's come to the University of Kentucky to invest further in her passion! She’d love to dabble in experimental nonfiction, but her heart lies in fiction, comedy, and television. She enjoys (writing about) time-traveling.



Class of 2020

Ash Baker, Leigh Glanzman, John Larson, Michael McEwen, Kaylen Rose, Raquel Olive, Zeke Perkins, Dane Ritter, Hagan Smith, Peter Williams, Julie Kuzneski Wrinn 


Class of 2019

Laurie Clewett, Angel C. Dye, Jeremy Flick, Suzanne Fernandez Gray, Tiara Brown, Isabelle Johnson, Omaria Sanchez Pratt, Taylor Sarratt 


Class of 2018

Evan Arneson, Austin Baurichter, Austyn Gaffney, Dorian Hairston, Parker Hobson, Jordan Hubrich, Rachel Kersey, Max LeNeave, Neleigh Olson, Krystin Santos, Kate Tighe-Pigott, Sophie Weiner


Class of 2017

Bernard Clay, Chad Gilpin, Amanda Kelley. Gary Smith, Ashlie Stevens


Class of 2016

Sarah Abbott, Joy Bowman, Catherine Brereton, Sean L Corbin, John Duncan, Megan D. Henson, Benjamin Honea, Jesse Houk, Sean Madden, Robin Rahija, Jordyn Rhorer, Erin Shoot


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