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Yale Writers' Workshop Faculty Bios

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Yale Writers' Workshop Faculty 2022

Our faculty are accomplished writers and editors.

Fiction

Jotham Burello

Jotham Burrello is the director of the Yale Writers’ Workshop. His novel, Spindle City, was longlisted for the PEN/Hemingway award, and a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award. His writing has appeared in  literary journals, the Hartford Courant, the  Christian Science Monitor, and he’s a proud winner of the New Yorker caption contest. He teaches writing at Central Connecticut State University, directs Connecticut Literary Festival, and is the publisher of the award-winning Elephant Rock Books. He and his wife raise flowers and boys on Muddy Feet Flower farm in rural Connecticut.

Trey Ellis

Trey Ellis is a two-time Emmy and Peabody winning filmmaker, American Book Award winning novelist, NAACP Image award winning playwright, essayist and Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Most recently, he was an Executive Producer and Interviewer for the HBO documentaries True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality and King in the Wilderness. His screenplay Holy Mackerel! is one of the highest ever rated on Franklin Leonard’s Black List.com. Some of his other screenplays include The Tuskegee Airmen for HBO and Good Fences for Showtime, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was shortlisted for the PEN award for Best Teleplay. His works have been screened at the Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is the author of the novels, Platitudes, Home Repairs and Right Here, Right Now, as well as the memoir Bedtime Stories: Adventures in the Land of Single-Fatherhood. His essays have appeared in The New Yorker.

Lisa Page

Lisa Page is co-editor of We Wear The Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America,  (Beacon Press).  Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, LitHub Weekly, Post Book WorldThe Crisis, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, Playboy, the Washington  and other publications. She is assistant professor of English at the George Washington University and Director of Creative Writing.  She previously served as Interim Director of Africana Studies. She is also the former President of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and a faculty member of the Yale Writer’s Workshop.

Sergio Troncoso

Sergio Troncoso is the author of A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant’s Son, a collection of linked short stories which Luis Alberto Urrea called “a world-class collection.” He also edited the 2021 anthology, Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in between Worlds, which received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. A Fulbright scholar, Troncoso is president of the Texas Institute of Letters. His novel Nobody's Pilgrims is forthcoming in 2022.

Intensive

Kirsten Bakis

Kirsten Bakis's novel Lives of the Monster Dogs has won multiple awards. A 20th anniversary edition was released in 2017 by FSG, with introduction by Jeff VanderMeer. Bakis is the recipient of a 2021 Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant, as well as a Whiting Award, Michener/Copernicus Society of America grant, and a Fellowship from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. 2022 will be her tenth year teaching at the Yale Writers’ Workshop.

Jacquelyn Mitchard

Jacquelyn Mitchard is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 books for adults, teenagers and children. Her first novel was the inaugural selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club and her books have been translated into 34 languages. Mitchard has taught in several MFA programs in Creative Writing and was a member of the fiction jury for the National Book Awards. A Chicago native, she lives on Cape Cod with her family.

Non Fiction

Sybil Baker

Sybil Baker’s Immigration Essays, her book of nonfiction, was the 2018-2019 Read2Achieve book at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The author of four works of fiction, her latest novel is While You Were Gone (IPPY Silver Award winner). She is also the author of The Life Plan, Talismans,; and Into This World, which received an Eric Hoffer Award honorable mention and was a finalist for one of Foreword’s INDIES Book of the Year Awards. A UC Foundation Professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a 2017 Individual Artist's Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission for her nonfiction.

Mary Collins

Author of the award-winning At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick up the Pieces, and American Idle: A Journey Through Our Sedentary Culture, Mary Collins has spent the last few years experimenting with a blend of text and image in nonfiction essays, including collages and painting. Visit www.TheBronzedProject.com for her most recent project. She is currently completing a mixed media chapbook that looks at the importance of whimsy in creative work.

Kristin Bair

Kristin Bair’s latest novel, Agatha Arch Is Afraid of Everything, was a People magazine “Best New Book.” Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review, and Booklist called it “Hilarious!” Kristin’s other novels include The Art of Floating and Thirsty. As a writing instructor, her peripatetic nature has landed her in classrooms and conferences around the globe, from Chicago to Boston to Shanghai, and many places in between. She believes in time travel, aliens, friendship, taking risks, and storytelling.

Sean Frederick Forbes

Sean Frederick Forbes is an Assistant Professor-in-Residence of English and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Connecticut. Providencia, his first book of poetry, was published in 2013. He serves as the poetry editor for New Square, the official publication of The Sancho Panza Literary Society for which he is a founding member. In 2017, he received first place in the Nutmeg Poetry Contest from the Connecticut Poetry Society.

Sahar Mustafah

Sahar Mustafah’s first novel The Beauty of Your Face was named a 2020 Notable Book and Editor’s Choice by the New York Times Book Review, one of Marie Claire magazine’s Best Fiction by Women in 2020, and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times United We Read. Her collection of short stories Code of the West won the 2016 Willow Books Fiction Prize. She has taught high school students for 25 years.

Anne Thalheimer

Anne Thalheimer is an artist and educator whose work in visual culture, autobio comix, and independent publishing spans three decades. Her work (both academic and graphic) has appeared in numerous collections, including the MLA’s Teaching The Graphic Novel; she is a long-term reviewer for Xerography Debt and a former contributor to both Fleen and PopMatters.  Mostly she likes drawing monsters, cats, and cute food. Anne holds a PhD in English from the University of Delaware.

Children and Young Adult

Sarah Darer Littman

Sarah Darer Littman is the critically acclaimed author of 18 novels for young people. Her latest, Some Kind of Hate is out Fall 2022 from Scholastic Press. Sarah mentors writers in the MFA program at Western CT State University. She is also an award-winning columnist. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two extremely spoiled dogs, in a house that never seems to have enough bookshelves.

First Ten Pages: Fiction and Memoir

LaTanya McQueen

LaTanya McQueen is the author of the essay collection And It Begins Like This (Black Lawrence Press, 2017) and the novel When the Reckoning Comes (Harper Perennial, 2021). Her stories and essays have been published in West Branch, TriQuarterly, Pleaides, New Ohio Review, The Arkansas International, The Florida Review, Bennington Review, Passages North, Black Warrior Review, Fourteen Hills, The North American Review, Ninth Letter, New Orleans Review, Indiana Review, and other journals. She received her MFA from Emerson College, her PhD from the University of Missouri, and was the 2017-2018 Robert P. Dana Emerging Writer Fellow at Cornell College.

Personal Essay/Memoir

Mishka Shubaly

Mishka Shubaly is an author, songwriter, and storyteller. His most recent work, Cold Turkey: How to Quit Drinking By Not Drinking was a New York Times bestseller. He was awarded the Dean’s Fellowship for Fiction by Columbia University. His seven nonfiction Kindle Singles for Amazon have all been bestsellers. His work has been praised by artists as diverse as Doug Stanhope, Caitlin Flanagan, Joe Perry, Leslie Jamison, and Rob Sheffield. He tours around the world and has shared the stage with everyone from Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Richard Price. I Swear I’ll Make It Up to You, his hardcover memoir, was released in 2016. Purgatory, his ninth album, was released in 2021.

Short Stories

Molly Gaudry

Molly Gaudry is the founder of Lit Pub and the author of the verse novel We Take Me Apart, which was a finalist for the Asian American Literary Award and shortlisted for the PEN/Osterweil. Its sequel, Desire: A Haunting, is also now available. Molly holds masters degrees in fiction and poetry from the University of Cincinnati and George Mason University, respectively, and a PhD in experimental prose from the University of Utah.

Ethan Rutherford

Ethan Rutherford’s fiction has appeared in BOMB, Tin House, Electric Literature, Ploughshares, One Story, and The Best American Short Stories.  His first book, The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories, received honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.  His second collection, Farthest South, was published by A Strange Object in May 2021. He teaches Creative Writing at Trinity College lives in Connecticut with his family.

Write Here, Write Now

Patricia Ann McNair

Patricia Ann McNair writes fiction and nonfiction. Her most recent collection of short stories, Responsible Adults, was named a Distinguished Favorite by The Independent Press Awards. The Temple of Air (stories), won Southern Illinois University Devil’s Kitchen Readers Award, Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year, and was a finalist for Society of Midland Authors Adult Fiction Award. And These Are The Good Times (essays), was a Montaigne Medal finalist. She has been an associate professor at Columbia College Chicago for many years, where she has taught at the undergraduate and graduate level. McNair was nominated for the Carnegie Foundation’s U.S. Professor of the Year.

Guest Speakers

Kimberly Brower

Kimberly fell in love with reading when she picked up her first Babysitter’s Club book at the age of seven. She holds a BS in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge and received her JD from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. She takes great pride in her client list, from the debut authors to #1 NYT bestsellers. She previously worked for over two years at a boutique literary agency before starting her own. When not providing individual attention to her clients, Kimberly manages all of the day-to-day operations of the agency. June 16 at 2 pm

Mark Gottlieb

Mark Gottlieb is a prominent literary agent working at book publishing’s leading literary agency Trident Media Group in New York City. He has ranked highly among literary agents across the industry for overall number of deals. While at Trident Media Group, Mark Gottlieb has represented New York Times bestselling authors as well as award-winning authors. He has optioned and sold numerous books for film and TV adaptation. June 10 at 2 pm

Rob Harrell

Rob Harrell is the author of the novel Wink, the Life of Zarf series and the graphic novel Monster on the Hill. In addition, Harrell created the comic strip Big Top and now writes and draws the daily strip Adam@Home. His newest book is the graphic novel Batpig: When Pigs Fly. July 12 at 11 am.

Courtney Maum

Author of five books, Before and After the Book Deal and the memoir, The Year of the Horses.  A nominee for the Joyce Carol Oates prize and the host of the monthly Beyond Fiction conversation series at Edith Wharton’s The Mount, Courtney’s essays and articles on creativity have been widely published in outlets like The New York Times and Interview Magazine, and her short story This is Not Your Fault was recently turned into an Audible Original. Courtney is also the founder of the learning collaborative, The Cabins. June 16 at 12:30 pm and July 15 at 11 am.

Chandra Prasad

Chandra Prasad is the author of the YA novel Mercury Boys and Damselfly. Her general fiction titles include On Borrowed Wings, a Connecticut Book Award finalist; Death of a Circus and Breathe the Sky. Prasad is the editor of—and a contributor to—the W.W. Norton anthology Mixed. Her shorter works have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Week, Teen Voices, and numerous literary, arts, and poetry journals. Prasad is also a contributor to New Haven Noir, and the author of the how-to book Outwitting the Job Market. July 13 at 11 am

Nathaniel Rich

Nathaniel Rich is the author of the novels King Zeno, Odds Against Tomorrow, and The Mayor's Tongue, and two works of nonfiction: Losing Earth, which won several national awards and has been published in more than a dozen languages, and Second Nature, which includes the story "Dark Waters," adapted into a film starring Mark Ruffalo. Rich, a former fiction editor of The Paris Review, is a writer-at-large at the New York Times Magazine and a frequent contributor to the Atlantic and the New York Review of Books. He lives with his family in New Orleans. July 13 at 7 pm

Amor Towles

Amor Towles is the author of New York Times bestsellers Rules of Civility, A Gentleman in Moscow, and The Lincoln Highway. The three novels have collectively sold more than four million copies and have been translated into more than thirty languages.  Towles lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children. Towles received his BA in English from Yale, and his MA in English from Stanford. June 16 at 7 pm

Nicholas Ward

Nicholas Ward is an essayist, arts administrator, and long-time company member with 2nd Story, a Chicago-based storytelling collective. His first book, All Who Belong May Enter, won the 2020 Autumn House Press Nonfiction Prize. He lives in Chicago and is an organizer with the 48th Ward Neighbors for Justice. July 11 at 11 am