Kudos to Fresno Writers – February/March 2020

Kudos to #FresnoWriters

Compiled by Jefferson Beavers. Reposted from We Grow Writers.


Kudos to #FresnoWriters is a regular series on the Fresno State MFA blog, celebrating the professional accomplishments of students, alumni, and faculty in the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English at Fresno State.

If you have a special announcement, a professional or creative success, or an inspiring story that you’d like us to share, please submit this short form.


Neama Alamri (BA English alum) — Published the essay “Yemeni Farm Workers and the Politics of Arab Nationalism in the UFW” in the magazine Boom California.

Brock Allen (Creative Writing grad student) — Published the essay “From the Road” in the journal Pithead Chapel.

J.J. Anselmi (MFA Creative Writing alum) — Published an audio book version on Audible.com of his second nonfiction book “Doomed to Fail: The Incredibly Loud History of Doom, Sludge, and Post-Metal.” Was interviewed about the book by Henry Wilson for the Rare Bird Radio podcast, by George Parr for the magazine Astral Noize, by Andrew Rothmund for the Invisible Oranges blog, and by Todd L. Burns for Music Journalism Insider. Had the book reviewed by the website Dead Rhetoric. Also published an excerpt from the book on the Destroy//Exist blog.

Daniel E. Arias-Gómez (MFA Creative Writing alum) — Published the poem “Cathedrals: Ode to a Deported Uncle” in the journal Rattle.

Stacey Balkun (MFA Creative Writing alum) — Published the poems “In the Forest,” “The Water, the Truth, the Water,” and “Grounded” on Terrain.org, after winning their 10th Annual Contest in Poetry.

Jamie Barker (English grad student, MFA Creative Writing alum) — Published the essay “Anxiety’s Dark Associate” on Fresno State’s Graduate Writing Studio blog.

Venita Blackburn (English faculty) — Published the story “How to Wrestle a Girl” in the journal Foglifter.

Mariah Bosch (Creative Writing grad student) — Published the poems “wanting” and “birdshape” in the journal Cosmonauts Avenue. Also accepted into the Juniper Institute Summer Writing Workshop in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Cindy Bradley (MFA Creative Writing alum) — Published the essay “Deadlift” in the magazine Empty Mirror.

David Campos (BA English alum) — Published the poem “My Good Clothes / Middle School / 1998” in the journal Wildness.

Brian T. Carroll (MFA Creative Writing alum) — Nominated by the American Solidarity Party as their 2020 candidate for President of the United States. [Official website | Campaign website]

Ethan Chatagnier (BA English alum) — Published the story “Ape Destiny” in The Normal School magazine.

Steven Church (English faculty) — Published the essay “On ‘Angel Eyes’ and Bona Fides” for the annual March Badness tournament of bad hits, 1970-1989. Interviewed by Joseph Voth on the Dokken album “Breaking the Chains” for the My Metal Midlife Crisis podcast. Also, presented a lecture on the writing process for Fresno State’s Graduate Writing Studio.

Carol Claassen (MFA Creative Writing alum) — Published the story “Gathering Stones” in the journal 3 Elements Review.

Anthony Cody (Creative Writing grad student) — Named the Graduate Dean’s Medalist for the College of Arts and Humanities at the annual Arts in Motion celebration. Also named the 2020 MFA Student of Distinction for the Department of English. Selected as the first recipient of Canto Mundo’s Guzmán Mendoza Paredez Graduate Fellowship at the University of Arizona’s Poetry Center. Presented as a Fellow at Arizona State’s annual Piper Center writers conference, Desert Nights, Rising Stars. Published the poem “Dustlore, No. 35” in the journal Anomaly.

Jacob Eckrich (MFA Creative Writing alum) — Accepted an offer to enroll in the Ph.D. program in rhetoric and composition at the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall.

Lillian Faderman (English faculty emerita) — Had the forthcoming reissue of her 2003 memoir “Naked in the Promised Land” reviewed by Tablet Magazine as “an overlooked classic among Jewish women’s memoirs.” [Pre-order from Bloomsbury]

Rebeca Abidail Flores (BA English alum) — Interviewed author Jorge Argueta on his latest book “Caravan to the North” for El Tecolote newspaper.

Esmeralda Gamez (Creative Writing grad student) — Published the visual poem “Sauce Packet Found Poem” in the magazine Taco Bell Quarterly.

Eddie P. Gomez (MFA Creative Writing alum) — Published the essay “Battle at Diamond Head” in the magazine Your Impossible Voice.

Aaliyah Green (Creative Writing grad student) — Will publish the story “The Bones Stay” in the forthcoming debut horror story anthology from Haunted MTL.

Bethany Hazen (Creative Writing grad student) — Featured in a Fresno State MFA Twitter post on International Day of Women and Girls in Science, for her work that fuses creative writing and molecular biology.

Howard V. Hendrix (English lecturer) — Published the op/ed “Don’t Leave the Planet Behind in Chase for Profits” in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.

Nou Her (Creative Writing grad student) — Presented the story “To my mother whose voice anchors deep” as the featured performer for the College of Arts and Humanities annual State of the College event.

J.J. Hernandez (MFA Creative Writing alum) — Published the poem “We Will Remain, and Continue to Remain” in Glass: A Journal of Poetry. Also published the poem “Santa Sangre” in the American Poetry Review.

Melanie Hernandez (English faculty) — Published the article “Reinscribing La Llorona: A Semiotic Analysis of Anzaldúa’s Prietita and the Ghost Woman and Cisneros’s Have You Seen Marie?” in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies.

Mary Johnson (English undergrad student) — Named the 2020 BA Student of Distinction for the Department of Linguistics, where she double-majors.

Alison Mandaville (English faculty) — With the Division of Continuing and Global Education, announced the creation of the Reconnect Online Degree Completion Program, which she coordinates. The program gives former Fresno State students who were unable to complete their education a new opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree online.

Andrea Marin Contreras (Creative Writing minor student) — Named the 2020 BA Student of Distinction for the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism, where she majors.

Sarah Fawn Montgomery (MFA Creative Writing alum) — Interviewed by Zoë Bossiere for New Books Network, about her nonfiction book “Quite Mad: An American Pharma Memoir.”

Tanya Nichols (English lecturer, MFA Creative Writing alum) — Featured in an Around Campus profile for Fresno State’s Campus News.

Delaney R. Whitebird Olmo (Creative Writing grad student) — Published the poem “The Reservoir” in the anthology journal Visual Verse.

Liliana Perez Rodriguez (English undergrad student) — Named a Standard Bearer for the College of Arts and Humanities at the college’s annual Arts in Motion celebration. Also named the 2020 BA Student of Distinction for the Department of English.

Monique Quintana (MFA Creative Writing alum) — Published the story “The Fox Prize” on the website Mookychick. Also, had her debut novella “Cenote City” reviewed on The Friday Influence blog.

Brynn Saito (English faculty) — Shared video readings of the poems “Match” and “Time Being” on the Fresno State MFA YouTube channel, inspired by the Academy of American Poets #ShelterInPoems project.

Bradley Samore (Creative Writing grad student) — Published the poem “29 Miles Outside Raleigh” in the San Pedro River Review.

Riley Thomas (English grad student) — Named the 2020 MA Student of Distinction for the Department of English.

Jenny Toste (MA English alum) — Became a licensed Realtor and joined Realty Concepts in Fresno, where she specializes in Central Valley residences, ag land, and mountain properties.

Shane Velez (MFA Creative Writing alum) — Published the essay “How to Tell a True Travel Story” for the magazine Litro NY.

Joseph Voth (MFA Creative Writing alum) — Debuted the new podcast My Metal Midlife Crisis, hosted on SoundCloud.

Lisa Weston (English faculty) — Published the book chapter “Embodied Literacy: Paraliturgical Performance in the Life of Saint Leoba,” in the anthology New Readings on Women and Early Medieval English Literature and Culture, from ARC Humanities Press.

Alyse Yeargan (MA English alum) — Featured in the UCR Magazine article “She Sees Dead People,” for her archival work in the Ph.D. program in public history at the University of California, Riverside.

Did we miss your accomplishment? Submit this short form or contact staff Jefferson Beavers by email or at 559.278.1569.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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