Kudos to Fresno Writers — Summer 2021

Kudos to #FresnoWriters. Creative Writing Program and Department of English, Summer 2021.

Kudos to #FresnoWriters is an ongoing series republished from 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 June 2021 and August 2021.

Compiled by Jefferson Beavers

William Arcé (English faculty) — Newly tenured and promoted to associate professor.

Rodolfo Avelar (BA alum) — Won the Counterclock Emerging Writer’s Award, first place in the poetry category, for the poem “somewhere, over the rainbow.”

Stacey Balkun (MFA alum) — Reviewed the Tiana Nobile poetry collection “Cleave” for The Rumpus. Had her poetry class, “The Contemporary Ode,” for The Poetry Barn listed by The Balance Careers as one of “The Best Online Poetry Classes of 2021.

Jefferson Beavers (MFA alum) — For the second year in a row, recognized by Fresno State’s Richter Center with a 2020 President’s Faculty and Staff Service Award for community volunteering. Published the photographs “Spinning,” “Shadows,” and “Effects” in Flies, Cockroaches & Poets.

Venita Blackburn (English faculty) — Her story “Halloween” was published in The New Yorker. Her stories “Black Communion,” originally published in Ploughshares, was re-published in Harper’s Magazine; and “Smoothies,” previously published in Split/Lip Magazine, was noted in the 2021 Wigleaf Top 50 list. Her second story collection, “How to Wrestle a Girl,” was included in Lambda Literary’s list of “September’s Most Anticipated LBGTQIA+ Literature;” Vulture’s list of “40 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Fall;” Alta Online’s list of “14 New Books for September;” and the Oprah Daily list of “The Best LGBTQ Books of 2021.”

Elizabeth Marie Bolaños (MFA alum) — Interviewed the poet Adrienne Su for the Adroit Journal

Mariah Bosch (MFA alum) — Named a finalist in the 2021 Discovery Poetry Contest.

Cindy Bradley (MFA alum) — Promoted to assistant editor of Under the Sun journal.

Gabi Brittsan (MFA student) — Published the poems “Tainted Soil” and “The Fragmented Self” in hais: a literary journal.

David Campos (BA alum) — With artist Maceo Montoya, published his second poetry collection, “American Quasar,” with Red Hen Press. Interviewed about the book by Daniel Chacón for the Words on a Wire podcast, and by Frederick Luis Aldama for the American Book Review. The book was reviewed by Emily Pérez for Rhino Poetry, and by Greg Bem for North of Oxford.

Amber L. Carpenter (MFA student) — Published the essays “The Cartography of Shame and Womanhood” in Entropy Magazine; and “Rape Feelings in Eight Phases” in Hobart.

Caleigh Camara (MFA student) — Published the poem “A Story From My Father, Age 16, As Told While Sitting in the Hot Tub and Drinking Coffee” on Poets.org. The poem won the 2021 Larry Levis Memorial Prize.

Mialise Carney (MFA student) — Published the story “Postcards I Send to Myself So the Postman Thinks I’m Cool” in Maudlin House.

Aidan Castro (MFA student) — Published the poem “I anesthetic back from ten” on Poets.org. The poem won the 2021 Ernesto Trejo Memorial Prize.

Erin Chavez (MA alum) — Accepted a new job as a writing specialist in Daytona State College’s writing center in Florida.

Sarah A. Chavez (BA alum) — Announced the forthcoming publication of a new poetry chapbook, “Like Everything Else We Loved,” from Porkbelly Press.

Marcus Chinn (MFA alum) — Under the pen name ślimak vr0k, published the poems “The Commonplace Kraken Exhibit” and “The Sea Shall Give Up Its Dead” in hais: a literary journal.

Mia De La Cerda (MA student) — Published the poems “Brown Noise,” “Person of Color Does Not Apply,” and “The Human Zoo” in Flies, Cockroaches & Poets.

Ethan Chatagnier (BA alum) — Announced that his second book, the novel “Singer Distance,” will be published in fall 2022 by Tin House Books. Was featured in the Cincinnati Review’s “Writers’ Day Jobs” series.

Steven Church (English faculty) — Published the essay “Trepanation (What the World Needs Now” in Diagram. Interviewed by Brynn Saito for the Fresno Poets Podcast.

Anthony Cody (MFA alum) — His debut poetry collection, “Borderland Apocrypha,” published in 2020 by Omnidawn, won a 2021 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Published the prose poem “In Praise of Fences, Broken” in the Adroit Journal. Interviewed by Brynn Saito for the Fresno Poets Podcast.

Mike Cole (BA alum) — Interviewed by Krysia Jopek for the feature “the day’s dissolutions — poetry & poetics” for diaphanous micro. The feature includes new micro essays and multiple new and selected poems.

Loretta Collins Klobah (BA alum) — With co-translator Maria Grau Perejoan, published in the journal Coolabah new translations by four women poets of the English- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean: Thaís Espaillat Ureña (Dominican Republic), Zulema Leonor Gutiérrez Lozano (Cuba), Tanya Shirley (Jamaica), and Donna Aza Weir-Soley (Jamaica and the U.S.). Also published a companion essay to the translations, “On Crossing Barriers: Contemporary Caribbean Women Poets in Translation,” in the Peepal Tree Press anthology “The Sea Needs No Ornament/El mar no necesita ornamento.”

Stephanie Duarte (BA alum) — Published the photographs “Frosty Gemini Moon” and “Small But Mighty” in Flies, Cockroaches & Poets.

Brian Dunlap (MFA alum) — Published the essay “A Historic Seaside Community” in Tropics of Meta. Published the poems “Dear White America” and “Hope” in the Vagabond Books anthology “Reimagine America.”

Ronald Dzerigian (MFA alum) — Published the poem “Night Market of Ghosts” in Zone 3 Press journal.

Karissa Ellison (MFA student) — Published the story “Plastic Horses” in hais: a literary journal.

Alejandra Espinoza Lopez (MFA student) — Published the essay “On a Sunday Afternoon” in hais: a literary journal.

Lillian Faderman (English faculty emeriti) — Interviewed by Randy Dotinga for the article “The Mother of Lesbian History Looks Back — and Forward” in Voice of San Diego.

Angela Flores (MFA alum) — Accepted to the Tin House Summer Workshop in fiction, and named a 2021 Tin House Scholar.

Rebeca Abidail Flores (BAA alum) — Published the stories “Welfare Line” in the Acentos Review; and “Interrupting a Roadside Memorial” in Your Impossible Voice. Interviewed by Monique Quintana for the article “Paleta is Choice as Possibility” in Mixed Mag.

Esmeralda Gamez (MFA alum) — Published the photographs “On Top of the World, Filling the Water Tank,” “Stained Tablecloths,” and “The Spaces They Left” in Flies, Cockroaches & Poets.

Pilar Graham (MFA alum) — Published the essay “First Watch” as part of the #Midwessay series in Essay Daily.

Cynthia Guardado (MFA alum) — Announced that her second book, the poetry collection “Cenizas,” will be published in fall 2022 as part of the Camino del Sol series with the University of Arizona Press.

Nou Her (MFA alum) — Published the digital art “Kawm” in hais: a literary journal.

Hermelinda Hernandez Monjaras (MFA student) — Published the poems “on the low-key” and “void” in hais: a literary journal. Published the poems “I” and “Untitled (it is the I i’m afraid)” in Flies, Cockroaches & Poets.

Kimberly Horg (MFA alum) — Published the essay “Dancing Apparitions in the Dark” in Sterling Clack Clack.

Randa Jarrar (English faculty) — Her memoir “Love Is an Ex-Country” was mentioned in the Book Riot list “10 Thought-Provoking Road Trip Books,” the Harper’s Bazaar list “20 Best LGBTQ+ Books of 2021 and Beyond,” and the Cultured Vultures list “10 Best LGBTQ+ Books of 2021 So Far.”

Arielle K. Jones (MFA alum) — Interviewed author Jubi Arriola-Headley for The Normal School magazine.

Alexxis Lajsiab Lee (BA student) — Published the poem “Ancestor Worship” in hais: a literary journal.

Phoua Lee (BA student) — Published the story “Greenhouse Flower” in hais: a literary journal.

Yia Lee (MFA alum) — Published the story “Instant Ramen Recipe (Pandemic Edition) by (Depressed) Hmong Writer” in hais: a literary journal.

Manuel Lemus (BA student) — Published the story “Querida mamá” in hais: a literary journal.

Esteban Lopez (Credential student) — Published the poems “East Side” and “The Grapevine” in Flies, Cockroaches & Poets.

Maiyang Lor (Credential student) — Published the story “My Imperfect Yawg” in hais: a literary journal.

Alison Mandaville (English faculty) — Awarded a month-long, interdisciplinary art and writing residency for summer 2022 at Stove Works in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Andrea A. Marin Contreras (MFA student) — Published the poem “overkill” in hais: a literary journal. Published the poem “Ipomoea” in Flies, Cockroaches & Poets.

Melinda Medeiros (MFA student) — Published the essay “Flies, All the Way Down” in hais: a literary journal.

Sarah Fawn Montgomery (MFA alum) — Her hybrid chapbook “Hug Your Mad” was named a finalist in the 2021 Split/Lip Press Nonfiction/Hybrid Chapbook Contest. Published the stories “Connect the Dots Love” in Fractured Lit; and “Pocketed” in Lost Balloon. Published the essays “Dash” in Craft Literary; and “Tumble” in the Sycamore Review. Interviewed the editors of “Fat and Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives” for The Rumpus. 

Olivia Muñoz (MFA alum) — Accepted a new job as associate dean of students at Willamette University’s Pacific Northwest College of Art.

James O’Bannon (MFA alum) — Published the poems “Poem beginning and ending with my grandfather’s tailored suits” in TriQuarterly, and “Naming” in the Mid-American Review.

Shelby Pinkham (MFA alum) — Published the poems “a [ ] of and for white conduct” in Voicemail Poems; and “cerezas for uelita” in the Oroboro issue of the Death Rattle Writers Festival journal. Published the visual poem “Self as the Manic Tumor” and three collages — “tolerant,” “hate yourself,” and “heart block” — on Honey Literary.

Monique Quintana (MFA alum) — Her flash memoir piece “Dark lord of the rainbow” was featured in the Acid and Honey episode of Mr. Bear’s Violet Hour podcast. Interviewed artist Rebeca Abidail Flores for the article “Paleta is Choice as Possibility” in Mixed Mag. Published the flash essay “at the vintage in tower” for Wind-Up Mice. Published the flash fiction pieces “for a white rose drum” in Punk Noir Magazine; and “The Disco Tech” in the anthology A Drunken Midsommar from The Daily Drunk.

René M. Rodríguez-Astacio (English faculty) — Interviewed by Jefferson Beavers for the New Faces feature on Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities blog.

Zeyda Romero (BA alum) — Published the visual art “Parts of a Loved One” and “Waste Tide” in hais: a literary journal. Published the poem “Intervention” and the visual art “Blueberry Sunrise,” “Caged,” “New Yorker,” and “Speak” in Flies, Cockroaches & Poets.

Emily Saeteurn (Credential student) — Published the graphic story in watercolor, “Papaya Salad,” in hais: a literary journal.

Alberto Saldaña Uribe (MFA student) — Published the poems “L Street” and “to my uncle i never met, grandpa said i look like you” in hais: a literary journal. Published the poems “Cocoa” and “My Father, He Once Baked” in Flies, Cockroaches & Poets.

Bradley Samore (MFA student) — Had the poems “Oil on Canvas, Believe Unfinished” and “Stolen Moments” short-listed for The River Heron Poetry Prize, from River Heron Review. Published the poems “Across Quarantine” in Cloudbank; “Song” in Nightingale & Sparrow; and “Transport” in the Maya’s Micros feature of The Closed Eye Open.

Cristina Sandoval (MFA student) — Published the poem “Burned” in the CSU Stanislaus journal Penumbra.

Manivone Kai Sayasone (MFA alum) — Published the photograph “Enumerating the Beauty of Bass Lake, CA” in hais: a literary journal.

Reva E. Sias (English faculty) — Newly tenured and promoted to associate professor.

Cailyn Smith (BA student) — Published the poems “The Graphite Girl and Ink Infested Boy” and “I’m Not Lying” in Flies, Cockroaches & Poets.

Marivi Toledo (BA student) — Published the poem “Traveling Scars” in hais: a literary journal.

Mai Der Vang (English faculty) — Her debut poetry collection, “Afterland,” published in 2017 by Graywolf Press, was translated into French. Published the poem “Disfigures” in the Adroit Journal.

Tony Vang (MFA student) — Published the poems “Touch of Kisses” and “Shadowsight” in hais: a literary journal. Published the poem “Mars Poetica — Intensity” in Flies, Cockroaches & Poets.

Tara M. Williams (MFA alum) — Published the fairy tale “The Ice Child” in the anthology “Fire & Water: Stories from the Anthropocene,” from Black Lawrence Press. Published the story “Ave” in Every Day Fiction.

Jer Xiong (MFA alum) — Published the essays “So What Now With the House Gone?” in glassworks; “Three deaths” on Medium; “Home, a fragile space” on Medium; and “An unexpected and bittersweet reflection from Sunisa Lee’s gold win” on Medium. Published the poem “Blooming Lineage” in hais: a literary journal.

Gaoyong Yang-Vang (MFA student) — Published the poems “Broken Tail” and “Yoo” in Flies, Cockroaches & Poets.

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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