Steve Almond spent seven years as a newspaper reporter in Texas and Florida before writing his first book, the story collection My Life in Heavy Metal. His non-fiction book, Candyfreak, was a New York Times Bestseller. His short fiction has been included in The Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies, and his most recent collection, God Bless America, won the Paterson Prize for Fiction.
Faculty // 2016
Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Hundred-Year House, winner of the Chicago Writers Association’s Novel of the Year award, and The Borrower, a Booklist Top Ten Debut which has been translated into eight languages. Her short story collection, Music for Wartime, will appear in June of 2015. Her short fiction appears regularly in journals like Harper’s, Tin House, and New England Review.
Ayana Mathis is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of the 2014-15 New York Public Library’s Cullman Center Fellowship. THE TWELVE TRIBES OF HATTIE, her first novel, was a New York Times Bestseller, a 2013 New York Times Notable Book of the Year , an NPR Best Books of 2013 and was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as the second selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. Ayana taught Creative Writing at The Writer’s Foundry MFA Program at St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn. She is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Antonya Nelson is the author of seven short story collections and four novels. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, and Harper’s, and anthologized in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a NEA fellowship and the Rea Award for Short Fiction. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of Houston.
Chinelo Okparanta is the author of the novel Under the Udala Trees and the collection of short stories, Happiness, Like Water. She was one of Granta’s six New Voices for 2012 and is a Lambda Award winner for Lesbian Fiction and an O. Henry Short Story Prize winner. Her stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere.
Luis Alberto Urrea is the author of 13 books, including The Hummingbird’s Daughter, winner of the Kiriyama Prize in fiction, and his most recent novel, Into the Beautiful North. His collection of short stories, Six Kinds of Sky, was named the 2002 small-press Book of the Year in fiction by the editors of ForeWord magazine. He has also won an Edgar award from the Mystery Writers of America for best short story, among other honors.
Jess Walter is the author of six novels, one nonfiction book and his most recent book of short stories, We Live in Water. He is a former National Book Award finalist and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award. His essays, short fiction, criticism and journalism have been widely published, in Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harper’s, Esquire, McSweeney’s, and many others.
Joy Williams is the author of four novels, five short story collections, and the book of essays Ill Nature. She has been nominated for the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and has won the Rea Award for the Short Story and the Harold and Mildred Strauss Living Award. Her most recent title is The Visiting Privilege: New & Collected Stories.
Alexander Chee is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night. He is winner of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, Guernica, NPR and Out, among others.
Jonathan Dee is the author of six novels, including A Thousand Pardons and The Privileges, a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize. A National Magazine Award-nominated critic for Harper’s, a former Contributing Writer for The New York Times Magazine, and a former Senior Editor of The Paris Review, he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.
Rachel Kushner is the author of THE FLAMETHROWERS, finalist for the 2013 National Book Award and a New York Times Top Five Novel of 2013. Her debut novel, TELEX FROM CUBA, was a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her fiction and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, the New York Times, and the Paris Review, among other places.
Dana Spiotta is the author of four novels: Innocents and Others; Stone Arabia, a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist in fiction; Eat the Document, a finalist for the National Book Award and a recipient of the Rosenthal Foundation Award; and Lightning Field. Spiotta was a Guggenheim Fellow and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow. She currently teaches in the Syracuse University MFA program.
Jo Ann Beard is the author of The Boys of My Youth, a collection of autobiographical essays and the novel, In Zanesville. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Best American Essays, and many others. She has received a Whiting Award and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Kiese Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America . Laymon has written essays, stories and reviews for numerous publications including Esquire, ESPN the Magazine, Colorlines, NPR, The Los Angeles Times, PEN Journal, Oxford American, The Best American Series, and Guernica. He is a currently a columnist at The Guardian.
Michelle Tea is the author of five memoirs: The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America, Valencia, The Chelsea Whistle, Rent Girl, and most recently How to Grow Up. Her writing has appeared in The Believer, n+1. Buzzfeed, The Bold Italic, Marie Clare, xoJane.com and many other print and web publications.
Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. His first book, Please, won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament, was named one of the best poetry books of the year by Library Journal. His poems have appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Best American Poetry.
Sharon Olds is author to 12 collections of poetry and holds numerous honors including a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Her most recent collection, Stag’s Leap, was the recipient of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the T. S. Eliot Prize. She was New York state poet laureate from 1998 to 2000 and currently teaches for New York University’s Graduate Creative Writing Program.
Gregory Pardlo is the author of Digest, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and a finalist for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His first collection Totem was selected by Brenda Hillman for the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. His poems appear in The Nation, Ploughshares, Tin House, The Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere.
Amelia Atlas is literary agent at ICM Partners. She started her career in publishing as an assistant at ICM and, after stints as a Berlin-based freelance writer and as a book publicist at Harvard University Press, she returned to ICM as an agent in 2012. Her list has a focus on literary fiction and narrative nonfiction.
Melissa Broder is the author of four poetry collections: SCARECRONE, MEAT HEART, WHEN YOU SAY ONE THING BUT MEAN YOUR MOTHER, and the forthcoming LAST SEXT. She is also the author of the essay collection, SO SAD TODAY. Her poems appear in POETRY, The Iowa Review, Tin House, Guernica, Fence, The Missouri Review, Denver Quarterly, Washington Square Review, and others.
Matthew Dickman is the author of All-American Poem and Mayakovsky’s Revolver. He is the recipient of the Honickman First Book Prize, the May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the 2009 Oregon Book Award, a 2015 Guggenheim fellowship and two fellowships from Literary Arts of Oregon. His poems have appeared in Tin House, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, and the New Yorker, among others. He is the Poetry Editor of Tin House Magazine.
Pamela Erens is the author of The Understory, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; The Virgins, a New York Times Book Review and Chicago Tribune Editors’ Choice; and the upcoming novel Eleven Hours. Her short fiction, reviews, and essays have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The New York Times, Vogue, Elle, Salon, Virginia Quarterly Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Tin House.
Sarah Manguso is the author, most recently, of three book-length essays:Ongoingness, a meditation on motherhood and time; The Guardians, an investigation of friendship and suicide; and The Two Kinds of Decay, a memoir of her experience with a chronic autoimmune disease. Her essays have appeared inHarper’s, McSweeney’s, the Paris Review, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere.
Ayesha Pande has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years. Before becoming an agent, Ayesha was a senior editor at Farrar Straus & Giroux. She has also held editorial positions at HarperCollins and Crown Publishers. She is a member of AAR (Association of Author’s Representatives), PEN, the Asian American Writer’s Workshop, and sits on the advisory board of the German Book Office.
Chris Parris-Lamb is a Vice President and literary agent at The Gernert Company, which he joined in 2005. He was born in Alabama and grew up in North Carolina, where he attended UNC-Chapel Hill on a Morehead-Cain Scholarship. His nonfiction tastes encompass a wide variety of genres and subjects, and his fiction tastes incline toward the literary; in both categories he’s looking for great writing by smart writers, and prefers queries to be accompanied by a sample chapter or two. He lives with his wife and pit bull in Brooklyn.
Marya Spence (Janklow & Nesbit Associates) represents a diverse range in fiction and nonfiction, including, but not limited to, literary novels and collections, upmarket commercial fiction, cultural criticism and voice-driven essays, narrative journalism with a humorous or critical edge, and pop culture. She lives in Brooklyn.