Three creative writing alumni publish debut books in 2022

Aaliyah Green, Pilar Christiana Graham and Navdeep Singh Dhillon

~ By Jefferson Beavers, communication specialist, Department of English


Three alumni authors from Fresno State’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing published their debut books in 2022.

In total, 22 alumni from the program — which offers advanced training in the writing of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction — have now published their debut books in the past seven years. “It’s an exciting time for the Fresno writing community,” said Brynn Saito, assistant professor of English.

Founded in 1995-96, the university’s Master of Fine Arts program celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2020. In the past 27 years, 38 alumni from the program have published their debut books.

“Our alumni continue to transform the contemporary literary landscape with their visionary, diverse, and high-quality publications,” said Saito, who coordinates the Master of Fine Arts program. “During a time of pandemic uncertainty and an evolving publishing world, these writers held fast to their creative visions and put in the work.”

The record number of first books published in one year by Fresno State Master of Fine Arts program alumni was eight in 2016. There were three published in 2017; four published in 2018; one published in 2019; three published in 2020; and three published in 2022.

Alumni who can now count themselves as first-time book authors are:

Pilar Christiana Graham (2006) — “Currents,” a poetry collection published in 2022 by Tourane Poetry Press.

Aaliyah Green (2020) — “The Bones Stay,” a story collection published in 2022 by Passengers Literary Press.

Navdeep Singh Dhillon (2006) — “Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions,” a novel published in 2022 by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Extended interviews with many of the program’s published authors can be read as part of the Fresno State Master of Fine Arts blog’s occasional On the Books series.

Posted by

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.

One thought on “Three creative writing alumni publish debut books in 2022

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.