MFA in Creative Writing - Faculty

Director

 
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Michael C. White is the author of six novels: Beautiful AssassinSoul Catcher, A Brother's Blood, The Blind Side of the Heart, A Dream of Wolves, and The Garden of Martyrs. He is also the author of the story collection Marked Men. Selected as a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award for Fiction twice, he has published fifty stories in national and literary magazines, and was the founding editor of the American Fiction series. He currently teaches at Fairfield University, and is the fiction editor of Dogwood.

G‌uest Faculty

Winter '14 

 

                   

Guest Poet in Residence: Geof Hewitt

“I've been writing and publishing poems (since 1965) and teaching for a living. I hope the language of my poems is conversational, heightened only by a lucky image or cherished surprise. The Perfect Heart, my book of selected poems from Mayapple (2010), reflects that hope. I do not write "slam" poems, but I brag that I am Vermont's reigning poetry-slam champion (since 2004, the last year Vermont held a sanctioned championship).”

 

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Guest Writer/Director: Jeff Stephenson

 

Jeff Stephenson is a Gemini (Canadian Emmy) nominated writer/director. His highly acclaimed, award-winning work on features, short films, music videos and commercials has been distributed worldwide and screened on television networks including Showtime, Starz, PBS, Lifetime, HBO: Latin America, MTV, CBC, Bravo, TVO, The Documentary Channel and Mediaset Italy. Now Magazine, the equivalent of New York's Village Voice or LA Weekly, voted him the #1 Canadian Filmmaker to look out 

Faculty

 
 
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Rachel Basch is the author of two novels. The Passion of Reverend Nash (W.W. Norton) was named one of the five best novels of 2003 by The Christian Science MonitorDegrees of Love(W.W. Norton, Harper Paperbacks) was translated into Dutch and German and was a selection ofthe Hartford Courant’s Book Club. Basch has reviewed books for The Washington Post Book World, and her nonfiction has appeared in n+1, Parenting, and The Huffington Post. In 2011 Basch received a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and she recently won The William Van Wert Prize in fiction for the first chapter of her forthcoming novel, The Listener. A dedicated teacher of creative writing for over 20 years, Basch is a contributor to Now Write!: Fiction Writing Exercises From Today's Best Writers & Teachers. Basch has been a Visiting Writer at Trinity College in Hartford. She currently teaches in Wesleyan University's Graduate Liberal Studies Program and leads a private master class.

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Da Chen arrived in America at the age of 23 with $30 in his pocket, a bamboo flute, and a heart filled with hope. He attended Columbia University School of Law on a full scholarship, and upon graduating, worked for the Wall Street investment banking firm of Rothschilds, Inc. Colors of the Mountain, his first memoir, was compared to Angela's Ashes, was the object of an intense bidding war among 5 top New York publishing houses, and went on to become a New York Times bestseller. Published in 6 other languages, the memoir was a: New England Bookseller Association Discovery selection; BookSense '76 selection; Borders Original Voice selection: Barnes & Noble and Discover Great New Writers selection. China's Son, the children's adaptation of Da Chen's memoir, is a Borders 2002 Original Voices Award finalist and American Library Association 2002 Best Books for Young Adults final nominee. Sounds of the River, the sequel to his first memoir, was published this year to rave international reviews. His first adult fiction,Brothers, was awarded Washington Post Best Book of 2006, San Francisco Chronicle Notable Work of 2006, Miami Herald Notable Book of 2006 and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and 2007 Quills Book Award Fiction Finalist. His latest book My Last Empress was published in the fall of 2012 to national and international acclaim.

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Alan Davis, who has published 2 prize-winning collections of stories (Rumors from the Lost Worldand Alone with the Owl), was born in New Orleans, near the mouth of the Mississippi, into a large Catholic family of Italian, French, and Irish ancestry. He now lives in Minnesota, near the Mississippi's headwaters among Garrison Keillor's Lutherans, where he teaches in the M.F.A. program at Minnesota State University, Moorhead (MSUM), and serves as Senior Editor at New Rivers Press. The press was founded in 1968 by C. W. "Bill" Truesdale and has published more than 330 titles. In 2001, after Truesdale's death, it was revived and relocated to MSUM, where its dual mission is to publish new and emerging writers and provide learning opportunities for students. The press honors Truesdale's progressive spirit by publishing work with a strong sense of place that speaks to our troubled times with satyagraha (the truthforce), empathy, and aesthetic courage. Davis has received 2 Fulbright awards (to Indonesia and Slovenia), a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, and a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction in Creative Prose. He recently completed a third collection a novel, and has won the Prize Americana for Fiction 2010 for So Bravely Vegetative, his third collection of stories, scheduled to be published in December 2010 or January 2011.

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Carol Ann Davis is the author of Psalm (2007) and Atlas Hour (2011), both from Tupelo Press. The recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and the W. K. Rose Fellowship for the Creative Arts from Vassar College, her recent work has appeared in Agni, American Poetry Review, Volt, and on the ArtBeat website for PBS' Newshour. Carol Ann Davis served as editor of Crazyhorse from 2001-2012. She is currently Assistant Professor of English at Fairfield University.

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Sonya Huber  is the author of two books of creative nonfiction, Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir (2010), finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year, and Opa Nobody (2008), shortlisted for the Saroyan Prize. She has also written a textbook, The Backwards Research Guide for Writers: Using Your Life for Reflection, Connection, and Inspiration (2011), which offers exercises and approaches to exploratory life writing. Her work has been published in literary journals and magazines including The New York Times, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, Crab Orchard Review, Hotel Amerika, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Washington Post Magazine, among others. She won the 2013 Creative Nonfiction award from Terrain and her work is including inTrue Stories, Well Told: The First Twenty Years of Creative Nonfiction. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Fairfield University.

 
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Eugenia Kim is an MFA graduate of Bennington College. Her debut novel, The Calligrapher’s Daughter (Holt), won the 2009 Borders Original Voices Award, was shortlisted for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, was a Washington Post Critic’s Pick and Best Historical Novel, and aPublishers Weekly First Fiction Pick. She is the 2012 Eli Cantor Fellow at The Corporation of Yaddo, the 2011 Stanford Calderwood Fellow at The MacDowell Colony, and a fellow at Hedgebrook and VCCA. Her work has appeared in journals including Asia Literary Review, and anthologies including Echoes Upon Echoes: New Korean American Writing. She has presented at The Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution’s American History Museum, and the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea.

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Kim Dana Kupperman is the author of a critically acclaimed essay collection, I Just Lately Started Buying Wings. Missives From The Other Side Of Silence (Graywolf, 2010), which received the 2009 Bakeless Prize in Nonfiction. She is the lead editor of You: An Anthology of Essays Devoted to the Second Person (2013) and founder of Welcome Table Press, dedicated to publishing and celebrating the essay in all its forms. She has worked as a journalist, community educator, health planner, and teacher of English as a foreign language. Her honors include the 2013 Normal Prize in Nonfiction; notable mentions in the Pushcart Prize anthology (2007; 2010) and Best American Essays (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014); the 2003 Robert J. DeMott Prose Prize from Quarter after Eight; and first place in the 1996 Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest. Ms. Kupperman is the recipient of fellowships at Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Kenyon Review Writer's Workshop in 2010, a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Literature Fellowship in 2009, and a Center for Book Arts scholarship and a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in 2008. Her work has been recently anthologized in publications from University of Nebraska Press and Yale University Press, and has appeared in many literary periodicals, including Best American Essays 2006, Brevity, Fourth Genre, Hotel Amerika, Hunger Mountain,the Normal School, and River Teeth. A recent visiting writer-in-residence at Fordham University in New York City, she is the former managing editor of the Gettysburg Review, a quarterly journal of art and ideas.

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Peter Nichols is the author of the international bestsellers A Voyage for Madmen (finalist for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year), Evolution's Captain, and three other books of fiction, memoir, and non-fiction, which have been translated into many languages. His nonfiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize; his novel Voyage to the North Star was a Book Of The Month Club Main Selection and nominated for the Dublin IMPAC literary award. His novel The Rocks will be published in 2014. He has taught creative writing at Georgetown University. NYU in Paris, Bowdoin College, and elsewhere. Before turning to writing full time he spent ten years at sea working as a professional yacht captain, and has sailed alone in a small leaky boat across the Atlantic. He has also worked as a screenwriter.

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For his novels, Howard Norman has received the Lannan Award, the New England Book Award, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and a finalist for the DUBLIN IMPAC prize in international fiction. He has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction.  His novels, published in 16 languages, include, What Is Left The Daughter, Devotion, The Haunting of L, The Museum Guard, The Bird Artist, and The Northern Lights. His new novel, Next Life Might Be Kinder, will be published in 2014. Howard has written three memoirs: I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place, In Fond Remembrance of Me, and My Famous Evening and his children’s books include the bestselling, The Girl Who Dreamed Only Geese, for which he has received the Aesop Prize, the Annie Izard Storytellers' Choice Award, and the Parent's Choice Award. He has translated Inuit folktales and written numerous radio plays, screenplays and travel articles. He recently wrote the television pilot, “North Beach and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Maryland and is on the faculty of the New York State Writers Institute.

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Karen Osborn is the author of four novels: Patchwork, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Between Earth and Sky, The River Road, and Centerville, which won the Independent Publishers Award in 2013. Her poetry has been published in numerous literary journals, anthologies, and magazines, including The Southern Review, Poet Lore, The Seattle Review, The Wisconsin Review, The Montana Review, Clapboard House, The Hollins Critic, and Kansas Quarterly. She was a finalist for the Dzanc Mid-Career Novel Award in 2012 and the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence at Hollins University in 2013. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts and teaches creative writing and fiction writing at Mt. Holyoke College.

 

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Willaim B. Patrick's works have been published or produced in a number of genres: creative nonfiction, poetry, fiction, screenwriting, and drama. His latest book, The Call of Nursing: Voices from the Front Lines of Health Care, published in May of 2013, presents twenty-three occupational portraits that reveal a profession which often hides in plain sight. Saving Troy, published by SUNY Press in 2009, is a creative nonfiction chronicle of a year spent riding along with professional firefighters and paramedics. From that experience, Patrick also wrote a screenplay, Fire Ground, as well as a radio play, Rescue, which was commissioned by the BBC and aired on BBC 3. An earlier teleplay, Rachel's Dinner, starring Olympia Dukakis and Peter Gerety, was aired nationally on ABC-TV, and his third feature-length screenplay, Brand New Me, was optioned by Force Ten Productions of Los Angeles and used as the basis for the remake of The Nutty Professor. His memoir in poetry, We Didn't Come Here for This (1999), was published by BOA Editions, as was These Upraised Hands (1995), a book of narrative poems and dramatic monologues, and a novel, Roxa: Voices of the Culver Family, that won the 1990 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award for fiction.

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Hollis Seamon is the author of a young adult novel, Somebody Up There Hates You (Algonquin Young Readers, 2013), which received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.  Somebody Up There Hates You was named a Fall 2013 Indie Kids Indie Next pick, 2014 Best Book for Young Adults from the American Library Association, 2013 Best Teen Fiction from Kirkus Reviews, Bank Street College of Education Outstanding Book of 2013, and a Scholastic Book Clubs Selection.   The novel has been published in Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, and Spain.  Seamon is also the author of a short story collection, Corporeality (Able Muse Press, 2013), a gold medal winner in the 2014 Independent Publishers Awards and a finalist for Foreword Review’s 2014 book of the year.  She has published a previous collection of stories, Body Work, and a mystery novel, Flesh.  Her short stories have appeared in many journals, including Bellevue Literary Review, Greensboro Review, Fiction International, Chicago Review, Nebraska Review, Persimmon Tree, and Calyx.  Her work has been anthologized in The Strange History of Suzanne LaFleshe and Other Stories of Women and Fatness, A Line of Cutting Women, The Best of the Bellevue Literary Review, Sacred Ground, and Quarry: Crime Stories by New England Writers.  She is a recipient of a fiction fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.  Seamon is Professor of English at the College of Saint Rose in Albany NY. 

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Baron Wormser is the author of eight books of poetry and a poetry chapbook. He is the co-author of two books about teaching poetry and the author of a memoir, a novel and a collection of short stories. He is Director of Educational Outreach at the Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He served as poet laureate of Maine from 2000 to 2005 and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Maine at Augusta in 2005. His essay on the painter Willem de Kooning was chosen for Best American Essays 2014.

Former Guest faculty

mfa_shapiroSummer 2013: Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Devotion and Slow Motion, and the novelsBlack & White and Family History. Her essays and stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, Elle, Vogue, Ploughshares, One Story, The New York Times Book Review, and have been broadcast on NPR's "This American Life". She has taught in the graduate writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School, and Brooklyn College. She is co-founder of The Sirenland Writers' Conference in Positano, Italy. Her new book, Still Writing: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative Life, will be published in October, 2013. 

 

mfa_ceireSummer 2012: Carlos M. N. Eire was born in Havana, in 1950. In 1962 he fled to the United States as one of the 14,000 unaccompanied children airlifted out of communist Cuba by Operation Pedro Pan. After living in several foster homes, he was reunited with his mother in 1965, but his father was never able to leave the island. He is now the T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1979. He is the author of War Against the Idols, From Madrid to Purgatory, A Very Brief History of Eternity, and Reformations: Early Modern Europe 1450-1700 (forthcoming, Yale, 2012). He is also co-author of Jews, Christians, Muslims: An Introduction to Monotheistic Religions. His memoir of the Cuban Revolution, Waiting for Snow in Havana, which won the National Book Award in nonfiction for 2003, has been translated into thirteen languages, but is banned in Cuba, where he is considered an enemy of the state. The sequel to this memoir, Learning to Die in Miami, appeared in 2010. 

mfa_japhillips11W‌inter 2011: Jayne Anne Phillips is the author of four novels, MotherKindShelterMachine Dreams, and Lark and Termite for which she was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award. Phillips is also the author of two collections of widely anthologized stories, Fast Lanes and Black Tickets. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Bunting Fellowship. She was awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction at the age of 26 forBlack Tickets, and has also received Academy Award in Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for Shelter. Her work has been translated into twelve languages, and has recently appeared in GrantaHarper'sDoubleTake, and The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. 

 

mfa_simic_2Summer 2011: Charles Simic, the 15th Poet Laureate of the United States (2007-2008) and Pulitzer Prize winner, was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and immigrated to the United States in 1953, at the age of 15. A poet, essayist, and translator, he has been honored with the Wallace Stevens Award, two PEN Awards for his work as a translator, and a MacArthur Fellowship. Simic has published numerous collections of poems, among them, That Little Something (2008); My Noiseless Entourage (2005);Selected Poems: 1963-2003 (2004), for which he received the 2005 International Griffin Poetry Prize; The Voice at 3:00 AM: Selected Late and New Poems (2003); The World Doesn't End: Prose Poems (1990), for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His newest book of poems,Master of Disguises was released in October 2010. Simic has also published a number of prose books: Memory Piano (2006); Metaphysician in the Dark (2003); A Fly in My Soup (2003); Orphan Factory (1998); The Unemployed Fortune-Teller: Essays and Memoirs (1994); Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell (1992); Wonderful Words, Silent Truth: Essays on Poetry and a Memoir (1990); and Renegade, a book of essays. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and the poetry editor of The Paris Review.

mfa_karrWinter 2010: Mary Karr is an award-winning poet and best-selling memoirist. She is the author of Lit and the critically-acclaimed and New York Times best-selling memoirs The Liars' Club and CherryThe Liars' Club won prizes for best first nonfiction from PEN (The Martha Albrand Award for nonfiction), the Texas Institute for Letters, and was a finalist for The National Book Critics Circle Awards. Of her poet's soul, Karr says, "From a very early age, when I read a poem, it was as if the poet's burning taper touched some charred filament in my rib cage to set me alight." Her poetry grants include The Whiting Writer's Award, an NEA, a Radcliffe Bunting Fellowship, and a Guggenheim. She has won prizes from Best American Poetry as well as Pushcart Prizes for both poetry and essays. Her four volumes of poetry are Sinners Welcome (HarperCollins, 2006), Viper Rum(Penguin, 1998), The Devil's Tour (New Directions, 1993), and Abacus (Wesleyan, 1986). Her work appears in such magazines as The New YorkerThe AtlanticPoetry, and Parnassus. Karr is the Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University and was the weekly poetry editor for the Washington Post Book World's "Poet's Choice" column, a position canonized by Bob Hass, Ed Hirsch, and Rita Dove. She lives in Syracuse, New York and New York City.

mfa_lambSummer 2010: Wally Lamb is the author of 3 New York Times best-selling novels - The Hour I First BelievedI Know This Much is True, and She's Come Undone - of which 2 were Oprah's Book Club selections. Lamb edited Couldn't Keep It to Myself and I'll Fly Away, 2 volumes of essays from students in his writing workshop at York Correctional Institution, a women's prison in Connecticut, where he has been a volunteer facilitator for the past 10 years. His new novel, Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story was published in November of 2009. He is currently at work on his 5th novel, tentatively titled We Are Water. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Christine. The Lambs are the parents of three sons. 

 

mfa_schultzWinter 2010: One of American poetry's longtime masters of the art, Philip Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and the founder/director of The Writers Studio, a private school for fiction and poetry writing based in New York City. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Failure, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. These poems give voice to failures of many kinds - yet they are full of tenderness, empathy, and heartbreaking honesty, giving praise to the joy of life as well. His other collections include Living in the Past, and The Holy Worm of Praise. He is also the author of Deep Within the Ravine, recipient of The Academy of American Poets Lamont Prize; Like Wings, winner of an American Academy & Institute of Arts and Letters Award as well as a National Book Award nomination. The God of Loneliness: New and Selected Poems will be published next year. His work has been published in The New YorkerPartisan ReviewThe New RepublicThe Paris ReviewSlate, among other magazines. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry. He also received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry (1981), a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry (1985), as well as the Levinson Prize from Poetry magazine.

mfa_moodySummer 2009: Rick Moody, author of several books, short stories and a memoir, most famously, The Ice Storm, is the recipient of the Editor's Choice Award from the Pushcart Press and the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is also a winner of the NAMI/Ken Book Award, the PEN Martha Albrand prize for excellence in the memoir, and the 2994 Aga Khan Award from The Paris Review. His short fiction and journalism have been anthologized in Best American Stories 2001 and Best American Essays 2004. His latest book, three novellas called Right Livelihoods, was published last year. Moody is a member of the board of directors of the Corporation of Yaddo, an artistic community that nurtures the creative process. He is also the secretary of the PEN American Center, and he co-founded the Young Lions Book Award at the New York Public Library. He has taught at the State University of New York at Purchase, the Bennington College Writing Seminars, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the New School for Social Research. Born in New York City, Moody now lives in Brooklyn.

mfa_silvermanSue William Silverman's memoir, Love Sick: One Woman's Journey Through Sexual Addiction(W. W. Norton), is also a Lifetime television original movie. Her first memoir, Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, won the Association of Writers and Writing Programs award series in creative nonfiction. One of her essays appears in The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Nonfiction, while others won contests with Hotel Amerika, Mid-American Review, and Water~Stone Review. Her poetry collection is Hieroglyphics in Neon and a craft book, Fearless Confessions: A Writers Guide to Memoir, is forthcoming with the University of Georgia Press (Spring, 2009). As a professional speaker, Sue has appeared on "The View," "Anderson Cooper 360," and "CNN-Headline News." Additionally, she was featured in a recent interview in The Writer's Chronicle; is associate editor of Fourth Genre; and teaches in the MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts (www.suewilliamsilverman.com).

schols_fu_logoWinter 2008: Anita Shreve has published 13 novels, among them The Weight of Water, The Pilot's Wife, The Last Time They Met, A Wedding in December, and Body Surfing. She has received the PEN/L. L. Winship Award and the New England Book Award for fiction. In 1999, The Pilot's Wife became the 25th selection of Oprah's Book Club and an international bestseller. In April 2002, CBS aired the film version of The Pilot's Wife, starring Christine Lahti, and in fall 2002, The Weight of Water, starring Elizabeth Hurley and Sean Penn, was released in movie theaters. 

 

mfa_dotyMark Doty is the author of eight books of poetry and four volumes of nonfiction prose; his newest book, Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, was published by HarperCollins in 2008. His 2007 memoir Dog Years was a New York Times bestseller. His work has been honored by the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction, and a Whiting Writers Award. He remains the only American poet to have won the T.S. Eliot Prize in the United Kingdom. He's received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Ingram Merrill Foundations, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts. He has taught at the University of Iowa, Columbia University, New York University, Cornell, and Stanford, and currently is John and Rebecca Moores Professor in the graduate program in writing at the University of Houston, where he teaches one semester each year. The rest of the time, he lives in New York City. Congratulations to Mark Doty on winning the National Book Award in poetry for Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems.