Our full-time faculty members have won numerous awards, published multiple New York Times Bestsellers, and received international acclaim in every literary category from young adult to lyric essay to crime. Their work appears in such forums as The New Yorker, Harper's, The New York Times Magazine and Best American Short Stories. Our faculty members, often referred to as "mentors", work to help each student find a literary voice, master craft and produce a manuscript worthy of publication.
Benjamin Nugent, Director of the Low-Residency MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction, is the author of the novel "Good Kids" (Scribner), and the cultural history "American Nerd" (Scribner). His short stories have appeared in The Paris Review, Tin House and Vice and been anthologized in "Best American Short Stories" and "The Unprofessionals: New American Writing from the Paris Review."
His journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Op/Ed Page, Time, GQ, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and n+1. He earned his Bachelor's in English from Reed College, and was an Arts Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he earned his MFA in fiction.
Uwem Akpan is the author of the novel "Say You’re One of Them" (Back Bay Books), a 2009 Oprah’s Book Club Selection. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker and other magazines.
Richard Adams Carey is the author of four nonfiction books including ''Raven's Children: An Alaskan Culture at Twilight,'' chosen as a Book To Remember by the New York Public Library; ''Against the Tide: The Fate of the New England Fisherman,'' awarded the New Hampshire Literary Prize for Nonfiction; and “The Philosopher Fish: Sturgeon, Caviar, and the Geography of Desire.'' The author of numerous essays and articles, his journalism addresses natural history, ecology, and social and environmental affairs. His short fiction has appeared in such magazines as Hunger Mountain, Meeting House, and Turnrow.
Carey holds a bachelor's in English from Harvard College and a master's in Educational Administration from Lesley College. His varied career includes cannery worker, commercial fisherman, mill hand, museum curatorial assistant, bookstore clerk, market researcher, actor, musician, teacher, freelance journalist, and president ex officio of the New Hampshire Writers Project board of trustees. His forthcoming book, "In the Evil Day," concerns a series of murders in New Hampshire's North Country in 1997.
Wiley Cash is "The New York Times" bestselling author of the novels "A Land More Kind Than Home" (2012) and "This Dark Road to Mercy" (2014), which are both available from William Morrow/HarperCollins. He is the recipient of the Southern Independent Bookseller Alliances' Fiction Prize, the John Creasey Award from the UK's Crime Writers' Association, the Maine Readers' Choice Award, the Appalachian Writers' Association's Book of the Year, The Crooks Corner Book Prize, and the Thomas Wolfe Prize from the Western North Carolina Historical Society.
He has also been a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize and the America Booksellers' Association's Debut Fiction Prize. His short fiction and essays on American literature have appeared in Carolina Quarterly, Crab Orchard Review, and other publications. A native of western North Carolina, a region that if featured prominently in his fiction, Cash holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He and his wife live in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Craig Childs is a nonfiction author who writes about the relationship between humans, animals, landscape, and time. His stories come from visceral, personal experience, whether in the company of illicit artifact dealers or in deep wilderness. Childs has published more than a dozen critically acclaimed books, including his most recent book, "Apocalyptic Planet," which won the Orion Book Award and the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Men's Journal and Outside. An occasional commentator for National Public Radio's Morning Edition, Childs lives in Western Colorado.
Leslie Jamison's debut novel, "The Gin Closet", was named one of San Francisco Chronicle’s Best Books of the Year and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Prize. Her second book, a collection of essays called "The Empathy Exams", won the 2012 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize and will be published in early 2014. Her work has appeared in The Believer, A Public Space, Tin House, L Magazine, Salt Hill, Black Warrior Review, The San Francisco Chronicle, and VICE Magazine. She has received fellowships from the Yaddo Corporation, the UCross Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Black Mountain Institute.
Jamison earned her bachelor's in English from Harvard College, her MFA in Fiction from The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and is currently working toward a PhD in American Literature, at Yale University, with her dissertation on addiction narratives. She has worked blending smoothies as a juice barista, peddling jeans at the GAP, typing data entry as a temp, teaching arithmetic to second-graders in Nicaragua, and playing house as an innkeeper in a bed and breakfast by the sea. Her work as a writer has taken her far and wide – to an ultra-marathon in Tennessee, a skin disease conference in Austin, a West Virginian prison, and a Bolivian silver mine.
Jo Knowles is an award-winning young adult and middle-grade novelist. Her books include "Living with Jackie Chan," "See You At Harry's", "Pearl", "Jumping Off Swings", "Lessons from a Dead Girl" and most recently, "Read Between The Lines." Some of her awards include a New York Times Editor's Choice and Notable Book, an American Library Association Notable Book, an IndieBound Summer Top 10, Amazon's Best Middle Grades, an International Reading Association Favorite, New England Children's Booksellers Advisory Top Title, two SCBWI Crystal Kite Awards, Kirkus's Best Teen Books, the PEN New England Children's Book Discovery Award, and YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults. Her books have appeared on numerous state book award lists for schools and libraries.
Jo grew up in Meredith, New Hampshire and earned her undergraduate degree at Simmons College, where she majored in English with a concentration in writing. She went on to earn a master's degree in children's literature from Simmons College. She now lives in Vermont with her family where she writes, leads writing workshops for teens and adults, and visits schools and libraries to talk about books and writing with students of all ages.
Diane Les Becquets is the author of four novels, including "Breaking Wild" (Feb. 2016) from Penguin Random House, which has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist. Her other books include three YA novels for which she was the recipient of a Pen American fellowship, a BCCB Blue Ribbon Award, the Maine Lupine Award, ALA Best Book of the Year, Foreword Reviews Gold Winner Book of the Year, Volunteer State Book Award Selection and Garden State Book Award Finalist.
A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Les Becquets has worked as a medical journalist, an archaeology assistant in the fields of Colorado, a sand and gravel dispatcher, a lifeguard, a motivational speaker, and a music teacher. She volunteers at Back in the Saddle Therapeutic Riding Center, and is an avid outdoors woman, enjoying archery, bicycling, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, backpacking, and hiking in the woods with her Labrador, Lacey. Before moving to New Hampshire she lived in a small ranching town in Northwestern Colorado for almost fourteen years, raising her three sons.
Amy Irvine McHarg is a sixth-generation Utahan and longtime wilderness advocate, who for seven years worked for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. Her work has appeared in Orion, Climbing, High Desert Journal and in numerous western, nature, and environmental anthologies. Irvine's first book, ''Making A Difference: Stories of how our Outdoor Industry and Individuals are Working to Preserve America’s Natural Places,'' was one of three books featured in the Washington Post for Earth Day 2002. Her second book, ''Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land'' (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/ North Point Press), received the Orion Book Award and Colorado Book Award-while the Los Angeles Times wrote that it "might very well be ‘Desert Solitaire's’ literary heir."
In a starred review, Booklist characterized ''Trepass'' as "a penetrating critique of Mormon sovereignty" and called Irvine McHarg "bold and original in her thinking, candid and lyrical in expression," claiming that she "joins red-rock heroes Edward Abbey and Terry Tempest Williams in breaking ranks and speaking up for the living world." Her recent essay ''Spectral Light'' (Orion, January-February 2010 /The Best American Science and Nature Writing of 2011), was a finalist for the Pen Award in Journalism. Her third book, ''Terra Firma,'' is forthcoming from Counterpoint Press. Irvine McHarg has taught non-fiction creative writing and memoir workshops throughout the West.
Born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Chinelo Okparanta is the author of "Happiness Like Water," a 2014 O'Henry Prize winner and a 2014 Lambda Literary Award winner for fiction.
She was a finalist for the 2014 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and for the 2014 Rolex Mentors and Protégés Arts Initiative. Her stories have appeared in "Granta", "The New Yorker" and "Tin House" among other journals.
Lydia Peelle is the author of the short story collection "Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing," which was a New York Times Editors' Choice book and received an honorable mention for the 2010 PEN/Hemingway Award. Her debut novel is forthcoming from HarperCollins in 2017.
A 2009 National Book Foundation ''5 under 35'' honoree, a 2010 recipient of a Whiting Award, and a recipient of the Anahid Literary Award for Armenian-American Writers, Peelle is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Virginia, and has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Corporation of Yaddo, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Ucross Foundation. Her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times Book Review, Granta, the Sun, Orion, and has been awarded two Pushcart Prizes, an O. Henry Prize, and twice been featured in Best New American Voices.
Mark Sundeen's first book landed in the publishing world in 2000 from a dusty trailer in the Utah desert. ''A riotous, beautiful, totally original road novel masquerading as a travel book,'' wrote George Saunders of ''Car Camping'' (HarperCollins). His second book, ''The Making of Toro'' (Simon & Schuster) garnered comparisons to Hunter S. Thompson and David Sedaris, and introduced readers to the would-be literary hero, Travis LaFrance. With ''The Man Who Quit Money” (Riverhead), winner of a Montana Arts Council Innovation Award, Sundeen established himself as one of the day's most innovative writers of creative nonfiction. ''This is a beautiful, thoughtful and wonderful book,'' wrote Elizabeth Gilbert. ''I suspect I may find myself thinking about it every day for the rest of my life.'' Sundeen's award-winning features and essays appear in the New York Times Magazine, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, McSweeney’s and The Believer.
Sundeen was born in Harbor City, California. After graduating from Stanford University with a bachelor's in English, he spent 10 years in Moab, Utah, sometimes homeless, working odd jobs, river guiding, and leading Outward Bound wilderness courses. Sundeen holds a master's in Writing from the University of Southern California. Since moving to Montana in 2005, he splits his time between Missoula and Moab.
Justin Taylor is the author of the short story collection “Flings” (HarperCollins) and the novel “The Gospel of Anarchy” (Harper Perennial). His stories have appeared in The New Yorker and other magazines.
Katherine Towler is author of a trilogy of novels: ''Snow Island,'' ''Evening Ferry,'' and ''Island Light.’’ Praised by the Boston Globe as "luminous and moving,'' ''Snow Island'' was chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers title. Towler is also the co-editor, with Ilya Kaminsky, of ''A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith,” a collection of interviews with prominent American poets, and her memoir will be published by Counterpoint Press in 2016.
Her essays can be found in two recently published anthologies – ''Choice,'' a collection of essays by women writers on reproductive choices, and ''Writers and Their Notebooks.'' She has published poetry, short stories, and interviews in The Sun, The Worcester Review, The Tusculum Review, and Poetry International and has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Yaddo, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and Phillips Exeter Academy, where she was the writer-in-residence. She completed an MA in Writing at Johns Hopkins and an MA in English literature from Middlebury College.
Tony Tulathimutte is the author of "Private Citizens" (HarperCollins) which New York magazine called "the first great millennial novel." He studied fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has received an O. Henry Award, as well as fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Michener-Copernicus Society of America, the Truman Capote Literary Trust, and Jentel Arts. He lives in New York.
Robin Wasserman is the author of the forthcoming novel "Girls on Fire" (HarperColllins). Her essays and reviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Tin House, and The New York Times, and her short stories have been included in several anthologies, including "The End is Nigh," "Robot Uprisings," and the forthcoming "Press Start to Play."
A former children's book editor, she is also the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten novels for young adults, including "The Waking Dark," "Hacking Harvard," and "The Book of Blood and Shadow." Her books have appeared on the ALA, TAYSHAS, Kirkus, Locus, and Booklist best of year lists, been named finalists for the CYBILS , Golden Duck, and Georgia Peach Awards, been adapted for a television miniseries, and been translated into nine languages worldwide.
Mitch Wieland is the author of the novels "Willy Slater’s Lane" and "God’s Dogs". "Willy Slater’s Lane” received starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist, and was optioned for a film. Named Idaho Book of the Year, "God’s Dogs" was featured in the annual Best of the West anthology, and was a top finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Award. Wieland’s short stories have appeared in The Missouri Review, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, TriQuarterly, The Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner and other publications.
Wieland directs the MFA program at Boise State, where he has taught for nineteen years, and serves as the founding editor of the award-winning "Idaho Review." He is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship, a Boise State University Arts and Humanities Fellowship, and two Literature Fellowships from the Idaho Commission on the Arts.