Kudos to Fresno Writers — Spring 2021

Kudos to #FresnoWriters - Creative Writing Program & Department of English

Republished from We Grow Writers – The Fresno State MFA Creative Writing Program


Kudos to #FresnoWriters is an ongoing series on the Fresno State MFA blog, celebrating the professional accomplishments of students, alumni, and faculty in Fresno State’s Creative Writing Program and the Department of English. This compilation includes news between December 2020 and May 2021.

If you’re an alum of the English Department and you have a special announcement, a new job, a professional or creative success, or an inspiring story that you’d like to share, please submit this short “Keep in Touch” form.

Compiled by Jefferson Beavers
6/07/2021

Claudia Amador (BA student) — Named the English Department’s 2021 B.A. Student of Distinction.

Megan Anderson Bohigian (MFA alum) — Named the City of Fresno’s fifth poet laureate, to serve as the city’s literary ambassador from 2021-23.

J.J. Anselmi (MFA alum) — Published the essay “The Rise and Fall of a Fracking Boom Town: An Oral History” in the New Republic. Had his second book, “Doomed to Fail: The Incredibly Loud History of Doom, Sludge, and Post-Metal,” reviewed by Stephen McClurg for the Drunken Odyssey podcast.

Rodolfo Avelar (BA alum) — Published the poem “Carnal Dyptych” in the Nomadic Press + Nomadic Coffee series; and the poems “void me,” “i the match-” “finger me::” “ay, the garden’s hose,” “unearth me,” “jtxlnd,” and “jtx-559” in Sporazine.

Stacey Balkun (MFA alum) — Her poem “Benediction” was named a finalist for the 2021 Mississippi Review Prize and will be published this summer. Her essay “Using Fabulist Elements to Write the Difficult,” previously published in the MockingHeart Review, was included in Sheila Squillante’s article “What to Read When You’re a Weird Girl” in The Rumpus.

Stephen Barile (MFA alum) — Published the poems “On the Death of Adonis” in the Kathmandu Tribune; and “Tall Trees Mobile Home Park” on Osamase Torbest Ehkator’s featured poets page.

Venita Blackburn (English faculty) — Published the stories “Ambien and Liquor” in Ploughshares journal; and “Trial of Ghosts” in the queer fiction issue of McSweeney’s. Her story “Black Jesus,” previously published on LitHub, was a featured selection of the Gotham Writers Workshop. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize for the story “Smoothies,” previously published in Split Lip Magazine; the story was also selected for inclusion in the 2021 Best Small Fictions anthology.

Sara Borjas (BA alum) — Published the poem “I’m So White” in Tribes magazine. Interviewed by author Monique Quintana for Luna Luna Magazine. Featured in Zoë Ruiz’s “A Year in Reading” list in The Millions.

Mariah Bosch (MFA student) — Published the poem “Obituary Generator” in the Poem-a-Day series from the Academy of American Poets. Published the mix piece “Anywhere but Here” in Honey Literary. Interviewed author Monica Sok for The Normal School magazine. Earned a scholarship to attend the Desert Nights, Rising Stars virtual conference, hosted by Piper Center at Arizona State University.

Cindy Bradley (MFA alum) — Published the essay “On Cocktail Parties” in the Florida Review.

Michelle Brittan Rosado (MFA alum) — Published the poem “On an Airplane at Night While Another is Missing” in TAB Journal.

Phyllis Brotherton (MFA and MA alum) — With co-author Armen Bacon, named third-place prize winner of the Streetlight Magazine essay/memoir contest. Their essay “Water” will be published this fall.

Caleigh Camara (BA student) — Named winner of the undergraduate Larry Levis Poetry Prize for the poem “A Story from My Father, Age 16, as Told While Sitting in the Hot Tub Drinking Coffee,” as selected by author Steven Kleinman. Named winner of the undergraduate Fresno Fiction Prize for the story “Ugly-Shaped Tomatoes,” as selected by author Navdeep Singh Dhillon.

David Campos (BA alum) — With co-author and artist Maceo Montoya, interviewed by Frederick Luis Aldama for the American Book Review about his forthcoming poetry collection, “American Quasar,” to be published in June 2021 by Red Hen Press.

Mialise Carney (MFA student) — Named winner of the graduate Fresno Fiction Prize for the story “The Hydrangea Fairy,” as selected by author Navdeep Singh Dhillon. Interviewed author Hanif Abdurraqib for The Normal School magazine. Published the story “During a Quake” in Hobart journal. Published the essay “Shelved” in the Rappahannock Review, and was interviewed for the journal’s contributor spotlight.

Amber L. Carpenter (MFA student) — Named winner of the graduate Fresno Creative Nonfiction Prize for the essay “The Cartography of Shame and Womanhood,” as selected by author Ashley Wells. Earned a scholarship to attend the Desert Nights, Rising Stars virtual conference, hosted by Piper Center at Arizona State University.

Aidan Castro (MFA student) — Named winner of the graduate Ernesto Trejo Poetry Prize for the poem “I anesthetic back from ten,” as selected by author Steven Kleinman. Named winner of the graduate Mireyda Barraza Martinez Prize for Social Justice Writing for the poem “The Revision of Section 1557,” as selected by author Anthony Cody.

Kenneth R. Chacón (MFA alum) — His poem “Christ in a Cholo Stance,” previously published in Blackbird journal, finished as a finalist for Best of the Net.

Ethan Chatagnier (BA alum) — Reviewed the Jim Shepard novel “Phase Six” for the Chicago Review of Books; and the Lee Conell novel “The Party Upstairs” for the Washington Square Review.

Sarah A. Chavez (BA alum) — Published the poems “The Birds” in Entropy; and “Halfbreed Helene Learns 17 Things About the Pony Express and U.S. Territorial History from the Young Riders T.V. Show (airing 1989-1992)” in The Museum of Americana, a literary review.

Jack Chavoor (MFA alum) — Published the essay “Recalling Armenian food, friends, and a most unlikely apology for the genocide” as part of the Valley Voices series in The Fresno Bee.

Steven Church (English faculty)— Published the essay “Paw. Dog. Song.: On ‘Jessie’” for the March Plaidness literary tournament.

Carol Claassen (MFA alum) — Published the essay “Three Wishes for the Missing Man’s Daughter” in Fourth Genre; “Missing Man: A Memoir of Apparition/Author’s Notes” in Pidgeonholes; and the essay “How to Kill Your Father” in SAND journal. Her essay “Object Permanence,” previously published in The Forge, finished as a finalist for Best of the Net.

Corrinne Clegg Hales (English faculty emeriti) — Published the poem “1967, Girl and Show” in the Poem-a-Day series from the Academy of American Poets.

Anthony Cody (MFA alum) — Won the Western Association of Graduate Schools’ Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award for his yet-to-be published second book, “The Rendering.” Featured by Poets & Writers magazine in their 2020 Debut Poets cover story. His debut book, “Borderland Apocrypha,” won the 2020 Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association; finished as a finalist for the PEN America Jean Stein Book Award; finished as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; was named a finalist for the California Book Awards; and was longlisted for The Believer Book Awards. The book was reviewed by Emily Pérez for RHINO Poetry; and by Niccolo Rocamora Vitug for Singapore Unbound. Served as a keynote speaker at Fresno State’s 48th annual Chicanx Youth Conference. Served as guest poetry editor for the Nomadic Press + Nomadic Coffee series. Published the poem “Static Communique B97.598.4RK” in the forthcoming Latinx Futurisms anthology; and the poems “Piso de Piedra; or a falling farmer feigns rest” and “Maquiladora, as Borderland Apocrypha” in the Nomadic Press + Nomadic Coffee series. Featured with author Keith S. Wilson in an episode of Curated Conversation(s): a Latinx Poetry Show, organized by The Writer’s Center and Letras Latinas. Interviewed by Daniel Chacón for the Words on a Wire podcast; and by Diana Arterian for the To-Read Pile feature in Enclave magazine.

Ronald Dzerigian (MFA alum) — Published the poem “Smoke and Branch” in Swamp Ape Review.

Karissa Ellison (MFA student) — Earned a scholarship to attend the Desert Nights, Rising Stars virtual conference, hosted by Piper Center at Arizona State University.

Chesslyn Ernst (BA student) — Received a Best Reflection Award for the poster presentation “The Necessity of Motivation” at Fresno State’s Service Learning Showcase.

Lillian Faderman (English faculty emeriti) — Featured in the article “Forty Years of Queering the Suburbs” in Jezebel.

Kathy Fagan (BA alum) — Her poem “Conquerer,” previously published in the Kenyon Review, was chosen by editor Tracy K. Smith for inclusion in the 2021 Best American Poetry anthology. Her poem “Dedicated,” previously published in Pleiades journal, was selected for the 2021 Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses anthology. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize for the poem “Birds are Public Animals of Capitalism,” previously published in Ninth Letter. Published the essays “Haircut” in Passages North; and “Notes to My Father” in River Teeth journal. Published the poems “Inactive Fault, with Echoes” in the EcoTheo Review; and “Repeats Itself” and “What Kind of Fool Am I” in Memorious.

Manuel Farias (BA student) — Presented the paper “Frontier Legacy in U.S. Naturalist Literature” at the College of Arts and Humanities honors symposium. His mentor was Dr. Melanie Hernandez.

Miriam Fernandez (MA alum) — Published the article “La Llorona and Rhetorical Hauntings in Mexico’s Public Sphere” in the Journal for the History of Rhetoric (JHR).

Michelle Ferrer Alvarez (BA student) — Named honorable mention for the undergraduate Larry Levis Poetry Prize for the poem “St. Clare’s Response,” as selected by author Steven Kleinman.

Alexander Flores (MA student) — Selected as the 2021 M.A. English student ambassador for Fresno State’s Division of Research and Graduate Studies.

Rebeca Abidail Flores (BA alum) — Published the story “Interrupting a Roadside Memorial” in Your Impossible Voice journal.

J. Ashley Foster (English faculty) — Received Fresno State’s 2021 Promising New Faculty Award as selected by university provost Xuanning Fu.

Esmeralda Gamez (MFA alum) — Published the poem “By 4:28 AM” in QUINCE magazine.

Sadie Gleason (undergrad student) — Named honorable mention for the undergraduate Larry Levis Poetry Prize for the poem “if clothes make the girl,” as selected by author Steven Kleinman. Named honorable mention for the undergraduate Fresno Fiction Prize for the story “Pushing Daisy,” as selected by author Navdeep Singh Dhillon.

Jeffery Gleaves (MFA alum) — Featured in Fresno State’s “MFA @ 25” video playlist, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the university’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing.

Angel Gonzales (MFA student) — Accepted a new job as an editorial assistant at POETRY magazine. Named runner up for the graduate Ernesto Trejo Poetry Prize for the poem “This Body, If Not Holy,” as selected by author Steven Kleinman. Interviewed author torrin a. greathouse for The Normal School magazine.

Brooklyn Haley (BA student) — Received a Distinguished Presentation Award for the video presentation “Journalism’s Facilitation of Youth Media Literacy Skills and Civic Engagement” at Fresno State’s High Impact Practice Symposium.

Nou Her (MFA alum) — Accepted a new job as a copywriter for Valley Animal Center.

Hermelinda Hernandez Monjaras (BA student) — Named winner of the undergraduate Mireyda Barraza Martinez Prize for Social Justice Writing for the poem “Roma / City Limit / Pop 9765,” as selected by author Anthony Cody. Named winner of the undergraduate Fresno Creative Nonfiction Prize for the essay “Mujeres de la nubes,” as selected by author Ashley Wells.

Kimberly Horg (MFA alum) — Published the essays “The Grey Ghost and the Beautiful Stranger” in East By Northeast magazine; “Three Days Underwater and Inside the Witch’s Belly” in Iris Literary Journal; and “Protect Me from Evil” in the Abstract Elephant magazine.

Manuel Jacquez (BA alum) — Accepted a new job teaching English literature and theatre at Sidwell Friends School in Washington D.C. Served as assistant director “Looking for Hamlet, 1603,” a full-length documentary film about the earliest text of Shakespeare’s play, produced with Lord Denney’s Players at the Ohio State University.

Randa Jarrar (English faculty) — Published her third book, the memoir “Love is An Ex-Country,” with Catapult Books. Published two chapters from the memoir in the Los Angeles Review of Books; and a snippet on the AudioFile Magazine podcast. Interviewed by Poets and Writers magazine for their Ten Questions feature; by Deirdre Sugiuchi for Electric Literature; by Neelanjana Banerjee for Harper’s Bazaar; by Madhuri Sastry for Bitch Magazine; by Bani Amor for Afar Magazine; by Jer Brown for Roadtrippers magazine; by Liz Ohanesian for the Orange County Register; by Sabrina Papas for Hazlitt; and by Marisa Siegel for The Rumpus. The book was noted in the New York Times; noted by the Today Show; noted in Esquire’s “31 Best Books of 2021” list; selected by Indiebound for its monthly Indie Next List; and selected by The Rumpus for its monthly book club. The book was reviewed by Olivia Edward in Geographical magazine; by Yvonne C. Garrett for The Brooklyn Rail; by Simon Clark for The AU Review; by David L. Ulin for Alta Journal; by Nat Wassell for Cultured Vultures; and by Maria Chance for Paperback Paris. Interviewed by Harper’s Bazaar for the article “Six Palestinian Writers on Celebrating Eid During Turbulent Times.” Also published the new essay “The Lineage of Maternal Grief, from the Maryam to the Mothers of the Movement” on LitHub.

Arielle K. Jones (MFA alum) — Her story “Sabbath,” previously published in The Rumpus, finished as a finalist for Best of the Net.

Wenmimareba Klobah Collins (MFA student) — Published the story “Call Them Children” in The Dark magazine. The story was reviewed by Paula Guran for Locus Magazine and also included in the Locus 2020 recommended reading list for science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

Primavera Leal Martinez (BA alum) — Accepted an offer to pursue a J.D. in law at the University of California, Berkeley.

Phoua Lee (BA student) — Published the story “Drowning Summer” in the BreakBread Literacy Project.

Janette Lopez Villalobos (BA student) — Received a Distinguished Presentation Award for the video presentation “The More You Know: My Time Working with The kNOw Youth Media” at Fresno State’s High Impact Practice Symposium.

Suzanne Lummis (MA alum) — Nominated for a Pushcart Prize for the poem “For the Millions,” previously published in Ruminate magazine. Interviewed by Michael C. Baradi for the Los Angeles Public Library.

Andrea A. Marin Contreras (MFA student) — Named honorable mention for the graduate Ernesto Trejo Poetry Prize for the poem “Calmness,” as selected by author Steven Kleinman.

Harrison Martin (MA student) — Named the 2021 Graduate Dean’s Medalist for the College of Arts and Humanities. Also named the English Department’s 2021 M.A. Student of Distinction.

Carolina Mata (MFA student) — Named honorable mention for the graduate Fresno Fiction Prize for the story “Death Loved, Death Abandoned,” as selected by author Navdeep Singh Dhillon. Earned a scholarship to attend the Desert Nights, Rising Stars virtual conference, hosted by Piper Center at Arizona State University.

Michael B. McMahon (MA alum) — Published the new poetry collection “The Silent Ones” from Finishing Line Press.

Victoria Monsivaiz (BA student) — Her poem “What is Beauty?” was selected as a poetry finalist for Fresno State’s annual Art Song Festival.

Sarah Fawn Montgomery (MFA alum) — Published the essays “Still Life” in Redivider Journal;  “Excavation” in the Bellingham Review; “Deep Roots: Excavating the Nebraska Essay” in Essay Daily; “Hug Your Mad” in Hobart journal; and “Experiment” in the Cincinnati Review, which was also highlighted by the editors in their Why We Like It feature. Published the essay “In Flame” in the Southeast Review, and was interviewed for the journal’s About the Work feature. Published the story “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” in MonkeyBicycle. Published the poems “Cartwheel” in Hobart journal; “Hard Water” in the Briar Cliff Review; “Hermit Crab Struggles to Move House” in The Fourth River journal; “Pigeon Dear” in The Pinch journal; and “Ordering In” in Diode Poetry Journal.

James T. Morrison (BA student) — Named honorable mention for the undergraduate Fresno Creative Nonfiction Prize for the essay “The Sinner’s Prayer,” as selected by author Ashley Wells.

Olivia Muñoz (MFA alum) — Accepted a new job as the economic justice program manager for the Latino Community Foundation. Published the article “Props to the #mamapreneurs” on LinkedIn.

Samina Najmi (English faculty) — Published the essays “Trinità” in Under the Sun magazine; “One Summer in Gaza” and “Between Cave and Canyon” in Entropy magazine; “The Straight Lines of a Circle” in Split Lip Magazine; and “Yellow Coat” in The Manifest Station.

Tanya Nichols (English lecturer and MFA alum) — Received Fresno State’s 2021 Outstanding Lecturer Award as selected by university provost Xuanning Fu.

Janet Nichols Lynch (MFA alum) — Published her latest book, the biography “Clara Schumann, Pianist and Composer” with Bedazzled Ink Publishing.

James O’Bannon (MFA alum) — Published the poems “I wanted to be nowhere when I grew up” in the Northwest Review; and “Microsoft word keeps underlining the names of people i love in red” in the Nomadic Press + Nomadic Coffee series. Accepted to the Tin House Summer Workshop.

Delaney R. Whitebird Olmo (MFA student) — Published the poems “Dear Ancestors” in the Watershed Review; “Mourning for Oranges” and “Ritual Before Spring” in Sand Hills journal; “Strawberry Festival Union” in the Rockvale Review; and “MMIW I.” in Foothill journal. Had multiple poems featured in the All Words Have Roots Here exhibition at Fresno City College, as part of the NEA’s Big Read project that featured U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. Earned a scholarship to attend the Desert Nights, Rising Stars virtual conference, hosted by Piper Center at Arizona State University.

Michelle Patton (MFA alum) — Published the essay “A Sabbatical in 2020: Not What I Had Planned” in Community College Daily.

Mary Paul (English lecturer and MA alum) — Published the co-authored articles “The Role of Teaching Goals and Instructional Technology Perceptions in Faculty Members’ Technology Use” in Contemporary Educational Technology journal; and “Engaging the control-value theory: a new era of student response systems and formative assessment to improve student achievement” in Research in Learning Technology journal. With co-author Trang Phan, presented the training course “Flipped Classroom: Application of Technology in the Classroom” at Dong A. University in Vietnam.

Sam Pereira (BA alum) — Published his seventh book, the poetry collection “True North and Untrue You” with Nine Mile Press. Performed the poem “Sonnet with No Hope Other Than You” for the National Poetry Month video series produced by Fresno State’s Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute.

Sasha Pimentel (MFA alum) — Curated the Poem-a-Day series in March 2021 for the Academy of American Poets. Featured in Fresno State’s “MFA @ 25” video playlist, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the university’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing.

Shelby Pinkham (MFA student) — Her poem “Showing Various Parts of My Bi-Polar Brain Without the Interference of Stabilizers” was named a finalist for the Poetry Online Launch Prize, judged by author torrin a. greathouse. Published the poems “one possible formula for grief” and “Self-Portrait as Trickster Tale” in deathcap, a publication of Coven Editions.

Payton Polanco (BA student) — Selected by the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) as a 2021 All American Debater, one of 23 students nationwide recognized as the best in intercollegiate debate.

Monique Quintana (MFA alum) — Published her second book, the story chapbook “my favorite sancho and other fairy tales” with Sword and Kettle Press. Published the stories “mother bloomed a war” and “the ice bear” in the Off Menu Press zine; “2 goblin” in Headcanon Magazine; “The Disco Tech” in the Midsommar themed issue of Daily Drunk Magazine; “Cherry Baby ’89” in Vox Viola; “Blue Rabbits” in Cheap Pop; “A Xicana Watches Slasher Films and Ponders Divination” and “my mother’s circus/hand-sewn carnival” in Fright Girl Summer; and “The Fox Prize” in Mookychick. Published the hybrid pieces “mother mirror,” “the egg,” and “the tulips” in Honey Literary; and “winter fish” in Dwelling. Published the essays “Yolanda” in Ligeia magazine; “Steven talks about the corpse flower over breakfast” in Daily Drunk Magazine; and “Chinampas (spring sick)” in “Her Plumage: An Anthology of Women’s Writing” from Quail Bell Magazine. Published the poem “sea low” in Drunk Monkeys magazine. Reviewed the Tara Isabel Zambrano story collection “Death, Desire and Other Destinations” for Luna Luna Magazine. Interviewed author Sara Borjas for Luna Luna Magazine.

Charles L. Radke (MA alum) — Published his debut book, the memoir “Stuccoville: Life Without a Net,” with WiDō Publishing. Also published the essays “What We Needed” in Stoneboat Literary Journal; “The Disappearance of Daughter X” in Montana Mouthful; “Pretty Bird” in the Sierra Nevada Review; and “The King of Luxury (Vinyl)” in Pa’lante Journal.

Ernesto Reyes (MFA student) — Won his back-to-back Tutor of the Semester Awards from Fresno State’s Learning Center, for fall 2020 and spring 2021.

Iris D. Ruiz (MA alum) — With co-authors Alexandria L. Lockett, James C. Sanchez, and Christopher Carter, published the book “Race, Rhetoric, and Research Methods” with the WAC Clearinghouse, part of University Press of Colorado.

Brynn Saito (English faculty) — Published her fourth book, the poetry chapbook “Wild Recovery,” co-authored with Traci Brimhall, as part of the “Four Quartets: Poetry in the Pandemic” anthology from Tupelo Press; the anthology was reviewed by The Best American Poetry blog. Performed the poem “A Blessing for The People’s Inauguration” as part of The People’s Inauguration, hosted by activist Valarie Kaur; several lines from the poem were embroidered onto Levi’s trucker jackets in honor of AAPI heritage month. Published the poems “Stone in the Desert Camp, 1942” in The Atlantic; “Self-Portrait Disguised as Stones” in the Northwest Review; and “Dear Past,” co-authored with Traci Brimhall, for The Best American Poetry blog.

Bradley Samore (MFA student) — His poem “Visiting the Shinzen Friendship Garden” was selected as the poetry winner for Fresno State’s annual Art Song Festival. Interviewed authors Leah Silvieus and Lee Herrick for The Normal School magazine.

Steven Sanchez (MFA alum) — Announced that his fourth book, the poetry chapbook “Breathe,” will be published in fall 2021 by Seven Kitchens Press. Published the poem “Most People Drown Facing the Shore” in Boxcar Poetry Review; the poem “Brother” in Frontier Poetry; and the poem “Satan Devouring His Children” in the Cortland Review.

Sabrina Sandoval (BA student) — Presented the paper “Finding Power Through Food: Carmen Amato’s Cliff Diver and the Reclamation of Femininity” at the College of Arts and Humanities honors symposium. Her mentor was Dr. William Arcé.

Navdeep Singh Dhillon (MFA alum) — Featured in Fresno State’s “MFA @ 25” video playlist, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the university’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing. Had his debut book, the novel “Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions” mentioned in Buzzfeed’s list of “40 Contemporary Books We’re Looking Forward to Reading”; and on Book Riot’s list of “18 Great YA Books by AAPI Authors.” The novel will be published in February 2022 from Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. [See the cover and read an excerpt.]

David St. John (BA alum) — Published the poem “Overlooking the Cortile” in the Poem-a-Day series for the Academy of American Poets.

Hector Tapia III (MA student) — His graduate thesis, “Lust in Translation,” was selected as Outstanding Graduate Thesis for Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities.

Riley Thomas (MA alum) — Accepted an offer to pursue a Ph.D. in English at Temple University.

Jenny Toste (MA alum) — Won the Agvocate Award at the Fresno County Farm Bureau’s annual journalism awards, for her short documentary film “BEEware,” produced as part of The Big Tell Film Festival.

Brian Turner (BA alum) — Published the essays “The Lovers” and “The Mosquito” in Terrain. His previously published poetry collection, “Here, Bullet,” won the 2021 Poetry of Modern Conflict Award from the Sangria Summit Society.

Mai Der Vang (English faculty) — Announced the publication of her second book, the poetry collection “Yellow Rain,” forthcoming in September 2021 from Graywolf Press. Received Fresno State’s 2021 Extraordinary Teaching in Extraordinary Times Award for supporting student success, as selected by university provost Xuanning Fu. Delivered a virtual keynote address on poetry, resilience and the refugee experience for the Woodland Pattern Book Center.

Tony Vang (MFA student) — Named runner up for the undergraduate Larry Levis Poetry Prize for the poem “Juan Felipe’s Harvest Festival,” as selected by author Steven Kleinman.

Ashley Wells (MFA alum) — Published her debut book, the memoir “The Cowgirl and the Racehorse: A Recovery” with Lantern Publishing and Media. Interviewed about the book by Jefferson Beavers for the “On the Books” series on Fresno State’s MFA blog. Interviewed activist Bri Noble for Calling All Horse Girls magazine.

Lisa Weston (English faculty) — Her photographs “Penumbra,” “After Rain,” and “Illuminatio” were featured in Fresno State’s annual employee art exhibit, [Re]Adaptation. “Penumbra” was named honorable mention in the artworks category.

Erik Wilbur (MFA alum) — Published his debut book, the poetry chapbook “What I Can Do” with Chestnut Review Press.

M.L. Williams (MA alum) — Published the poem “Two-mile” in the Journal of Florida Studies.

Jer Xiong (MFA student) — Named the runner up for the 2021 Graduate Dean’s Medal for the College of Arts and Humanities. Also named the English department’s 2021 MFA Student of Distinction. Selected as the 2021 MFA Creative Writing student ambassador for Fresno State’s Division of Research and Graduate Studies. Named honorable mention for the graduate Fresno Creative Nonfiction Prize for the essay “Flaws,” as selected by author Ashley Wells. Interviewed author Khaty Xiong for The Normal School magazine. Earned a scholarship to attend the Desert Nights, Rising Stars virtual conference, hosted by Piper Center at Arizona State University.

Gaoyong Yang-Vang (MFA student) — Named winner of the graduate Soul Vang Prize for Poetry for the poem “My Will,” as selected by author Anthony Cody.

Katherine Yturralde (BA student) — Received a Best Reflection Award for the poster presentation “Promoting Digital Literacy with The kNOw” at Fresno State’s Service Learning Showcase.

Did we miss your accomplishment? Submit this short “Keep in Touch” 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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