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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

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.

Jotham Burrello

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. 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,  The Crisis, LitHub Weekly, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, Playboy, the Washington Post Book World, Washingtonian, 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.

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.

Non-fiction

Sybil Baker

Sybil Baker’s Immigration Essays 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, Sybil received a 2017 Individual Artist's Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission for her nonfiction. Sybil's next novel, Apparitions, will be published in early 2023, She is currently working on a book of nonfiction called Fake Nostalgias.

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.

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.

Amy Shearn

Amy Shearn is the award-winning author of the novels How Far Is the Ocean from Here, The Mermaid of Brooklyn, and Unseen City. She is senior manager of creator support at Medium, and her work has recently appeared in the New York Times Modern Love column and the anthology The Lonely Stories. Amy has an MFA from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Brooklyn with her two children.

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 and the novel When the Reckoning Comes . 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, 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. 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 / Novel Excerpts

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 , 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. McNair was nominated for the Carnegie Foundation’s U.S. Professor of the Year.

On Campus

Abayomi Animashaun

Abayomi Animashaun is an immigrant from Nigeria. He has an MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a PhD from the University of Kansas. His poems have appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, Diode, TriQuarterly, The Cortland Review, and African American Review. A winner of the Hudson Prize and a recipient of a grant from the International Center for Writing and Translation, Animashaun is the author of three poetry collections and editor of three anthologies. A poetry editor at The Comstock Review and the Anthologies Editor at Black Lawrence Press, Abayomi Animashaun teaches English at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. June 6 at 330 pm - Session is remote.

Christina Chiu

Christina Chiu is the winner of the James Alan McPherson Award for her novel Beauty, a Kirkus Best of 2020 pick. She is also author of Troublemaker and Other Saints.  Troublemaker was a nominee for a BOMC Stephen Crane First Fiction Award, and winner of the Asian American Literary Award. Chiu has published in Tin House, The New Guard, Electric Literature, and NextTribe. She has won literary prizes from Playboy, New Stone Circle, and elsewhere. Chiu is a literary curator and hosts of the Pen Parentis Literary Salon and Let’s Talk Books. She is a founding member of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. She received her MFA from Columbia University. She is a shoe designer.June 5 at 3:30 pm

Lara Ehrlich

Lara Ehrlich is the author of Animal Wife, which won Red Hen Press’s Fiction Award, judged by Ann Hood, and was published by the press in Sept 2020. She is also the host of Writer Mother Monster, a conversation series devoted to dismantling the myth of “having it all” and offering writer-moms solidarity, support, and advice. Lara is the director of marketing for the International Festival of Arts & Ideas based in Connecticut, where she lives with her husband and 5-year-old daughter. June 5 at 3:30 pm

Amity Gaige

Amity Gaige is the author of four novels, O My Darling, The Folded World, Schroder, and Sea Wife. Her novels have been translated into eighteen languages. Schroder was a New York Times Notable Book, and was shortlisted for UK’s The Folio Prize in 2014. Sea Wife was a 2020 New York Times Notable Book, and a finalist for the Mark Twain American Voice Award. Amity is the winner of a Fulbright Fellowship, fellowships at the MacDowell and Yaddo colonies, and a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship. She teaches creative writing at Yale. June 9 at 730 pm

Diane Goettel

Diane Goettel is the Executive Editor of Black Lawrence Press. Recently, her fiction and hybrid work has appeared in Full Bleed, Great Weather for the Media, Border Crossing, and The Laurel Review. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her family. June 6 at 330 pm - Session is remote.

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

Mark Oppenheimer

Mark Oppenheimer is the author of five books, most recently Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood. He has written The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, Mother Jones, GQ, and many other magazines, and for six years he wrote the Beliefs column for The New York Times. From 2006 until this year, he was the director of the Yale Journalism Initiative. June 5 at 2 pm

Ainissa Ramirez

Ainissa Ramirez, Ph.D., is an award-winning scientist and science communicator, who is the author of The Alchemy of Us. A graduate of Brown University, she earned her doctorate in materials science and engineering from Stanford. She began her career as a scientist at Bell Labs and held faculty positions at MIT and Yale. She has written for Time, The Atlantic, and Scientific American, and has explained science headlines on CBS, CNN, NPR, and PBS. June 6th at 2 pm

Alec Shane

Alec Shane majored in English at Brown University, a degree he put to immediate use by moving to Los Angeles after graduation to become a professional stunt man. Realizing that he prefers books to breakaway glass, he moved to New York City in 2008 to pursue a career in publishing. Alec quickly found a home at Writers House, where he continues to build his list. June 10th at 2pm

Sun Yung Shin

신 선 영 辛善英 Sun Yung Shin is a Korean-born poet and multi-genre artist based in Minneapolis. She is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Wet Hex (2022) and has edited three anthologies of essays: What We Hunger For: Refugee and Immigrant Stories about Food & Family (2021); A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota; and (is the co-editor of) Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption. She is also the author/co-author of two illustrated books for children including Where We Come From (2022). June 6 at 3:30 pm

Maria Whelan

Maria graduated from University College Dublin with a BA in English and Drama, then obtained her Masters in Modern Literature from the University of Edinburgh. Before joining InkWell, she worked as a Foreign Rights Assistant at Janklow & Nesbit and interned at Akashic Books. Maria represents authors in the fiction and nonfiction space and enjoys literary fiction, magical realism, upmarket women’s fiction and humor, as well as non-fiction, revolving around peculiar topics especially overlooked facets of society. Her authors include Erin Mayer, Vinod Busjeet, Luke Dumas, Dima Alzayat, Sarah Fay, and Eduardo Garcia. June 10 at 2 pm

Virtual

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

Rubén Degollado

Rubén Degollado’s stories have appeared in Beloit Fiction Journal, Gulf Coast, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Image and recently anthologized in Living Beyond Borders, and Nepantla Familias. His debut novel Throw won the Texas Institute of Letters best YA Book for 2020. WWNorton will publish his collection of short stories, The Family Izquierdo, in 2022. June 13 at 7 pm

Natashia Deón

Natashia Deón is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel, Grace, which was named a best book of 2016 by The New York Times, The Root, Kirkus Review, Book Riot, and Entropy Magazine.  She is also the author of The Perishing, forthcoming in 2021. A practicing attorney, mother, and law professor, Deón is the recipient of a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship and served as a 2017 U.S. Delegate to Armenia in partnership with the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, for a reconciliation project involving Armenian and Turkish writers. June 17 at 7 pm

Keith Lesmeister

Keith Lesmeister is the author of the story collection We Could’ve Been Happy Here. He is a founding editor of EastOver Press and Cutleaf. His fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, Gettysburg Review, New Stories from the Midwest, North American Review, Redivider, SLICE, and many others. His nonfiction has appeared in The Good Men Project, River Teeth, Sycamore Review,Tin House Open Bar, Water~Stone Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Iowa’s Driftless region. June 16th at 2 pm

Julie Stevenson

Julie Steveson is a literary agent with Massie & McQuilkin. She represents literary and upmarket fiction, suspense, memoir, graphic novels, narrative nonfiction, young adult fiction and children’s picture books. She is drawn to storytelling with unforgettable characters, an authorial command of voice, and a strong sense of narrative tension. She looks for work that both entertains and explores the depths of human experience, particularly the many facets of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, and regional backgrounds. Julie has worked in the editorial departments of Tin House and Publishers Weekly. She received her M.F.A in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College

Jess Hoare

Jess Hoare joined the Zoë Pagnamenta Agency in May, 2019 after internships at W.W. Norton and the Maria Carvainis Agency. Originally from Australia, she has a degree in English Literature with a minor in Gender Studies and Social Analysis from the University of Adelaide. Jess is looking to represent both fiction and non-fiction, she’s interested in literary fiction, voice-driven upmarket fiction, food writing, narrative non-fiction, journalism, and cultural criticism. June 16 at 2 pm

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

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 14 at 1230 pm