~ 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.
“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.