News and Alumni Achievements

Purdue MFA students past and present are on a roll! Natalie Lund’s debut novel, We Speak in Storms is forthcoming and Gabriela Garcia just received a $30,000 Rona Jaffe award to support a current fiction project. Corey Van Landingham placed a second poem in The New Yorker and Rosalie Moffett won the National Poetry Series for her second book, Nervous System.  Recently Sarah Layden visited Lafayette to give a reading from her debut novel, The Story I Tell Myself About Myself.  Finally, this year at Purdue’s  Literary Awards, Diana Clarke received the prestigious Budd and Betty Knoll Award.

Our Creative Writing faculty  have had a great year as well. Brian Leung’s novel Ivy vs. Dogg: With a Cast of Thousands! was published in spring, and Kaveh Akbar’s UK edition of Calling a Wolf a Wolf also appeared this year. Of further note, Roxane Gay was guest editor of Best American Short Stories 2018 and Visiting Assistant Professor Terese Mailhot’s breakout memoir reached The New York Times Best Seller list

Sycamore Review continues its tradition of publishing the finest prose, poetry, and contemporary art. Allison Davis’ poem “The Heart of it All + A Free Beer,” which appears in issue 26.2, was recently published in Best American Poetry.

Below, please find a sampling of other alumni accomplishments, and as always, for up-to-the-minute Purdue Creative Writing News visit our Facebook page.

A Sample of Alumni Accomplishments

Purdue University’s MFA’s students and alumni are published novelists, short story writers, essayists, and poets. They are Wallace Stegner Fellows, Yaddo and Bread Loaf residents, Pushcart Prize and O’Henry Prize winners. Our students and alumni have had their stories, poetry, and essays published in prestigious journals and papers such as The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Threepenny Review, AGNI, Ploughshares, Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner,Tin House, Boston Review, Southwest Review, The Rumpus, The Believer, Glimmer Train, Southern Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and frequently have their work published in Best American Poetry (Simon & Schuster) and Best New Poets (University of Virginia Press).

James Tadd Adcox (MFA, 2007) is the author of a novel, Does Not Love, a novella, Repetition, and a collection of short fiction, The Map of the System of Human Knowledge. His work has appeared in GrantaPANK Magazine, and TriQuarterly​, among other places. He holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MFA from Purdue University.

Gregory R. Allendorf (MFA, 2013) Gregory is currently a PhD candidate at University of Missouri-Columbia with a concentration in poetry. His chapbook, Fair Day in an Ancient Town, was selected by Kiki Petrosino for the Mineral Point Chapbook series from Brain Mill Press (official release February 2016) and his poems have been published in Chicago Quarterly Review, Gigantic Sequins, and Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction.

Lindsey Alexander  (MFA, 2013) Lindsey produces the podcast "Story of My Life," which features guests over age 70 sharing how they came to be who & where they are. Her poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Waxwing, Arts & Letters, and other publications. Her work won the 2015 Devil's Lake Driftless Poetry Prize. In 2014, she was a scholar at the month-long NEH Institute "Reconsidering Flannery O'Connor."

Christopher Feliciano Arnold (MFA, 2009) won an NEA and placed a book with Macmillan (Picador).

Julie Babcock (MFA, 1998) Julie’s poetry collection Autoplay was published by MG Press in 2014 and her poems and fiction have appeared in numerous journals such as PANK, Slipstream, decomP, Spoon River Poetry Review, Split Lip Magazine, The Collagist, Rain Taxi, The Rumpus, and Feast: An Anthology from Black Lawrence Press. Julie currently teaches at the University of Michigan.

Lori Benjamin (MA, English: Creative Writing, 1995) is a writer, editor, and marketing consultant in Washington and a former copywriter for Wunderman in Seattle. Her short fiction has been published in Smokelong Quarterly, Cutbank, and Literary Orphans and has been a finalist in multiple contests at numerous journals including Glimmer Train, Yemassee, and The Greensboro Review.

Dana E. Bisignani (MFA, 2007; Ph.D. candidate in Literature) Dana’s poetry has been published in Slipstream, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review, Cimarron Review, Grasslands Review. She has won numerous awards for teaching and scholarship and she blogs about gender, sexuality, race, and class at

Cara Chamberlain (MA, 1988) Cara’s poetry, essays, and short fiction have been published or are forthcoming in over 150 journals, including Virginia Quarterly Review, The Southern Review, Passages North, and Tar River Poetry. She is the author of Hidden Things (FootHills Publishing, 2009), a collection of poetry. She currently teaches at Rocky Mountain College.

Lauren M. Carpenter (MFA, 2014)  Lauren Carpenter’s poems have appeared in Rivet, The Greensboro Review, Dark Sky Magazine, and The Lumberyard.

Mario D. Chard (MFA, 2011) Mario was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University in poetry in 2014 and his recent poems have appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal, Boston Review, Colorado Review, FIELD, Image, and Indiana Review, among others. Winner of the 2012 “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Prize, he currently teaches English at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia.  His first book recently won the Dorset Prize, judged by former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky, and will be published by Tupelo Press in 2017.

Sean M. Conrey (MFA, 2002, Ph. D. in English, 2006) Sean has published two poetry collections —The Word in Edgewise (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and A Conversation with the Living (Finishing Line Press Chapbook Series, 2009) — and a scholarly work, Coming to Terms with Place: Toward a Topographic Technique of Language Use (VDM Publishing: Saarbrücken, 2007). His articles, essays, and poems have been published in Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing and Culture, The Wayfarer, Baltimore Review, Notre Dame Review, Verdad: Journal of Literature and Art.

Tony Cook (MFA, 2010), an Indianapolis Star reporter, was named Indiana Journalist of the Year in 2014 by the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists.

Kelsey Ann Cox (MFA, 2011) Kelsey’s short fiction has appeared in Tales of the Unanticipated, REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters and Albion Review. Kelsey currently teaches English at Southern New Hampshire University.

Robert G. Davidson (MFA, 1997) Robert Davidson is the author of The Farther Shore: Stories (Bear Star, 2012), The Master and the Dean: The Literary Criticism of Henry James and William Dean Howells (University of Missouri Press, 2005), and  Field Observations: Stories (University of Missouri Press, 2001). He won the 2009 Camber Press Fiction Award, judged by Ron Carlson and was twice selected Artist-in-Residence at the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony in Woodstock, New York. His fiction, essays and interviews have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Haydens Ferry Review, Indiana Review, The Normal School, New Delta Review, and elsewhere. He is currently Professor of English at California State University, Chico, where he teaches creative writing and American literature.

Laura Donnelly (MFA, 2007) Laura Donnelly’s first full-length collection of poetry, Watershed, won the 2013 Cider Press Review Editors’ Prize and was a finalist for the Brittingham and Pollak Prizes. She is also the author of a chapbook, Nocturne Schumanns Letters (Finishing Line Press, 2010), and her poems have been published in Rhino, Cimarron Review, Typo, Third Coast, PANK, Flyway, CutBank, Poetry East, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. She is a former Editor-in-Chief of the national literary journal Third Coast and the recipient of a Yaddo fellowship and is currently an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at the State University of New York at Oswego.

Melinda R. Dunn (MFA, 2005) Melinda R. Dunn’s poems have appeared in Georgetown Review and Phoebe.

Steve Edwards (MFA, 2000) Steve’s non-fiction book Breaking into the Backcountry was published by University of Nebraska Press in 2010. His essays and fiction have appeared in Orion Magazine, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, Whiskey Paper, AGNI Online, The Fiddleback and the anthology on fatherhood, When I First Held You (Berkley Books/Penguin USA, 2014). Among his awards are Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship for Fiction/Nonfiction and PEN-Northwest Wilderness Writing Residency, Josephine County, Oregon.

Carol Frome (MA ) Carol Frome’s work has appeared in many literary journals, including The Humanist, Nimrod, Colorado Review, Plainsongs, and The Stockholm Review of Literature, among others. She is also a recipient of a Discovery/The Nation Award and her collection, Lives & Mortalties is forthcoming from WordTech Communications’ CW imprint.

Wayne Neal Gill Jr. (MFA, 2001) Wayne’s poems have been published in Fence, Maize, Bombay Gin, Northwest Review, and Silverfish.

Sarah Green (MFA, 2005) Sarah Green is an award-winning poet and singer-songwriter living in Athens, OH, where she is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing. Her poems have appeared in The Pushcart Prize XXXIII (Pushcart Press, 2009), Field, Forklift, Ohio, Gettysburg Review, H_ngm_n, Passages North, Poets for Living Waters, Redivider, The Cortland Review. Sarah Green won a Pushcart Prize in 2008.  Her first book, Earth Science, was published in 2016 by Atlanta 21.

Stephen D. Gibson (MA, 1995) Stephen D. Gibson’s fiction has appeared in The Southeast Review, Quarterly West, Story Quarterly, Western Humanities Review and elsewhere.

Daniel C. Hefko (MFA, 1998) Daniel’s poetry has been published in Negative Capability, The Threepenny Review, Seneca Review, and New York Quarterly. His textbook English Composition was published by The College Network (2000) and reprinted in an expanded edition in 2002.

Allison Hutchcraft (MFA, 2011) Allison Hutchcraft’s poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Barrow Street, the Beloit Poetry Journal, The Cincinnati Review, Crazyhorse, Kenyon Review, and other journals. She teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Jessica Jacobs (MFA, 2013) is the author of Pelvis with Distance (White Pine Press), winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Her chapbook In Whatever Light Left to Us was published by Sibling Rivalry Press and her second full-length collection Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going is forthcoming from Four Way Books in 2019. She serves as the Associate Editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal.

Alisha Karabinus's (MFA, 2014, PhD candidate, English) short fiction has been published in many journals including PANK, The Pinch, Baltimore Review, The Southeast Review, Word Riot, Ninth Letter, and Smokelong Quarterly and has been shortlisted or a finalist for many awards including Flyway’s Iowa Sweet Corn Prize for Short Fiction and the Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Contest 2014. Her game reviews and criticism have appeared on multiple sites including Haywire Magazine, Not Your Mama’s Gamer, and Joystiq.

Munib Khan (MFA, 2015) was accepted with funding to several PhD programs and is attending Florida State University.

Sarah Layden (MFA, 2006) Sarah Layden’s first novel, Trip Through Your Wires, was recommended and reviewed by The Chicago Tribune, PANK, and elsewhere. Sarah is the winner of the Allen and Nirelle Galson Prize for fiction and an AWP Intro Award. Her short fiction can be found in Boston Review, Stone Canoe, Blackbird, Artful Dodge, The Evansville Review, Booth, PANK, the anthology Sudden Flash Youth, and elsewhere. A two-time Society of Professional Journalists award winner, her recent essays, interviews and articles have appeared in Ladies' Home Journal, The Writer's Chronicle, NUVO, and The Humanist. 

Barbara C. Harroun (MFA, 2003) Barbara Harroun is an assistant professor of English at Western Illinois University where she teaches creative writing and composition. Her work has appeared in the Sycamore Review, issues of Another Chicago Magazine, Buffalo Carp, Friends Journal, In Quire, issues of Bird's Thumb, Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland, Requited Journal, Festival Writer, and Red Wolf Journal and is forthcoming in i70 Review, Sugared Water, Per Contra, The Riveter Review, Catch and Release, Pea River Journal, and Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal.

Terrance Manning, Jr. (MFA, 2014) He won first place in Iowa Review’s short fiction contest. He also received first place in Boulevard's Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers, The David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction, and Crab Orchard Review’s John Guyon Literary Nonfiction Prize. His work appears or is forthcoming in prestigious literary magazines Witness, Ninth Letter, Southwest Review, Hunger Mountain, The Carolina Quarterly.

Rebecca McKanna (MFA, 2015) Rebecca’s short fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in Midwestern Gothic, Narrative’s Story of the Week, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Arts & Letters, among other publications. In 2014 Rebecca was one of Narrative Magazine’s “Thirty Under Thirty” List and she has been a finalist for numerous awards including Arts & Letters’ 2014 PRIME Poetry Prize. Starting in August, she will serve as a visiting assistant professor of English and creative writing at Waldorf College.

Beth McDermott (MFA, 2014) Beth McDermott is the author of How to Leave a Farmhouse, a chapbook published by Porkbelly Press (2015).  She earned her PhD from the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Beth’s poetry has been published in journals such as DIAGRAM, Harpur Palate, Bayou, Watershed Review, The National Poetry Review, and Southern Humanities Review. She is an associate editor with RHINO.

Rosalie Ruth Moffett (MFA, 2013) Rosalie is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow in the department of Creative Writing at Stanford University. Her poems have appeared in Tin House, The Believer, FIELD, Prairie Schooner, Hayden's Ferry Review, Cincinnati Review, AGNI, Ploughshares, Indiana Review and other magazines, as well as the anthology Gathered: Contemporary Quaker Poets.  She has won Ploughshares’ Emerging Writer’s Contest.  Her first book, June in Eden, won the Wheeler Poetry Prize and will be published by Ohio State University Press.

Aaron Morales (’03)’s MFA thesis Drowning Tucson was published by prestigious Coffee House Press in 2010, and called the "bleakly human debut of the new Bukowski." He was an assistant professor of English at Indiana State University.

Gretchen Steele Pratt (MFA, 2007) Gretchen’s poetry collection, One Island, was published by  Anhinga Press in 2011 and her poems have been published in Best American Poetry 2011 and Best New Poets 2009 as well as Cimarron Review, Southern Review, Mid-American Review, Gettysburg Review, AGNI, and Boston Review. Her poems have won the Anhinga Prize for Poetry and have been shortlisted for prizes including the Erskine J. Poetry Prize.

Nicholas Reading (MFA, 2003) Nicholas Reading is the author of the chapbook The Party In Question (Burnside Review Press, 2007). His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Bat City Review, jubilat, Nimrod, Painted Bride Quarterly, and San Pedro River Review. He also serves as the Managing Editor for Sport Literate.

Jessica Suzanne Reed (MFA, 2000) Jessica’s essays and poems have been published or are forthcoming in the journals North American Review, Bellingham Review, The Fourth River, Spiral Orb, Conjunctions, Web Conjunctions, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Spiral Orb, Kudzu House Quarterly, The Fourth River, and Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing.

Emily Skaja’s (MFA) poems have been published by or are forthcoming from such prestigious journals and anthologies as Best New Poets 2015, Blackbird, Black Warrior Review, Devil’s Lake, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Mid-American Review, Ninth Letter, PANK, The Pinch, Pleiades, Southern Indiana Review, and Vinyl. Emily was the winner of the 2015 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize for her poem “My History As.” Her poems have been shortlisted for the Indiana Review Poetry Prize, the Booth Poetry Prize, the Sonora Review Poetry Prize, and the Black Warrior Review Poetry Contest. In 2015, Emily was the winner of The Russell Prize for emerging poets.

Cassander Smith (’05) received her PhD from Purdue and is an associate professor of English at Alabama University.

Elizabeth Stuckey-French (MFA, 1992) Elizabeth Stuckey-French is the author of two novels, The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady and Mermaids on the Moon, as well as a collection of short stories, The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa. She is a co-author, along with Janet Burroway and Ned Stuckey-French, of Writing Fiction: A Guide to the Narrative Craft.  Her short stories have appeared in The Normal School, Narrative Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Gettysburg Review, Southern Review, Five Points, and The O’Henry Prize Stories 2005. She was awarded a James Michener Fellowship and has won grants from the Howard Foundation, the Indiana Arts Foundation, and the Florida Arts Foundation. She teaches fiction writing at Florida State University.

Daniel Blue Tyx (MFA, 2009) Daniel Blue Tyx’s articles, creative non-fiction and fiction have appeared in Best American Travel Writing, Texas Observer, Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, Portland Review, and CutBank. He teaches at South Texas College.

Natalie van Hoose (MFA, 2012) Natalie van Hoose has published articles and features in Purdue University News Service Purdue's Agricultures, Connections, Dimensions of Discovery, and Life 360 magazines and fiction, essays, and poems in The Southeast Review, Used Furniture Review, THiNK, Rougarou, and Lumberyard.

Corey Van Landingham (MFA, 2012) Corey Van Landingham is the author of Antidote, winner of the 2012 Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry. A former Wallace Stegner Poetry Fellow at Stanford University, her poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry 2014, Best New Poets 2012, Boston Review, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Ninth Letter, Passages North, and elsewhere. She is currently the 2015-2016 Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College.

Michael X Wang (’09) Received his PhD from FSU at Tallahassee. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Cimarron Review, Prick of the Spindle, Day One, Driftwood Press, and Juked, among others. His chapbook, A Minor Revolution (StoryFront, 2013), is available from Amazon. A story from his MFA collection appeared 2015 in the New England Review. He teaches at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.

Joshua R. Wild (MFA, 2011) Joshua Wild’s poems have been published in Poetry and Best New Poets 2011.

Dallas Woodburn (MFA, 2013) Dallas is the author of 3 a.m., an award-winning collection of short stories that was featured on the national PBS book talk show “Between the Lines.” Her children’s book There’s a Huge Pimple on My Nose was lauded in Girls’ Life magazine, CosmoGIRL! Magazine and The Los Angeles Times Book Review. She was a 2013-14 Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing at San Jose State University, a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize. Her short stories have appeared in The Nashville Review, The Fourth River, Superstition Review, Louisiana Literature, Ayris, Monkeybicycle, Cicada, North Dakota Quarterly, and many other journals, as well as American Fiction 13: The Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging American Writers. Her nonfiction has been published in Family Circle, Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Prime Number, The Indian River Review, and more than two dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul series books. Her plays have been produced in New York City (as a finalist for the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival), and Los Angeles (where she received an Audience Award at the Hurricane Season New Play Festival).

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