We’re so excited to announce the twelve new writers who will be joining the UNLV graduate creative writing program this fall. A warm welcome to the following poets and fiction writers:
PHD/BLACK MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE FELLOWS
Leia Penina Wilson is from equal parts Kansas City & St. Joseph, Missouri. She has an MFA from the University of Alabama, and she likes all her cups of coffee to be giant. She loves animals of all sorts (her dog Kiba and cat Kalsifer can testify to this). Her book, i built a boat with all the towels in your closet (and will let you drown), is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. She also likes to bake.
Maegan Poland lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where she teaches composition. She holds degrees in fiction and film from the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern California, and has a story forthcoming in Pleiades.
MFA IN POETRY
Christine Bettis is a poet from Detroit, Michigan. She graduated from Wayne State University with a BA in English Honors (2014), where she was a member of the Wayne Writers’ Forum and served as Poetry Editor for the 2014 issue of the Wayne Literary Review. Her work has appeared in Pork & Mead Magazine, Spread ‘Em, and the Wayne Literary Review. She has lived in Philadelphia, PA where she worked with Americorps, as well as Boulder, CO as a student of Naropa University. She likes poetry, parties, and the internet. She’s cooler on the internet than IRL.
Kristian Einstman was born on Long Island, New York. A frequent traveler, he has visited many places, including Spain, Mexico, and Ireland and has lived for extended periods of time in both Germany and Peru. He is currently residing in Potsdam, NY where he is finishing a BFA in Creative Writing at SUNY Potsdam College. He writes to explore questions and consistently has to feign satisfaction with his work without having reached any answers. His work has been published in North Country Literary Magazine, and he leaves undergraduate study having received the Sylvia Angus Creative Writing Award, one of the SUNY Potsdam English Department’s highest accolades.
Kathryne “Kaz” Gargano is a Yiddish grumbling, tea-drinking, vegan-living poet from Portland, OR. She enjoys white wine and whiskey, loitering in coffee shops, and mulling through dusty thrift shops in search of treasures. She received her B.A in Middle Eastern Studies from George Washington University, and enjoys writing poems about love and Jews. The founder and managing editor of The Swanlike Review, an online literary magazine for queer youth, her poems have been published in journals such as Alchemy, Pointed Circle, Perceptions, and CALYX. Warning: don’t get her started on her love of Doctor Who or Leonard Cohen. She looks forward to joining the UNLV community in the fall, adopting a pair of rats, and naming them Amy and Melody Pond.
Danielle Henry is a poet and (somewhat) recent graduate of Virginia Tech, currently residing in her hometown of Vienna, Virginia. Besides poetry, her interests include old movies, Thai food, scotch, and the Washington Capitals. Does anyone in Nevada watch hockey? Danielle hopes so.
Ariana Turiansky comes from West Grove, Pennsylvania. She received her BA in English from Shippensburg University as well as an undergraduate research grant to study contemporary poetics and pedagogy. In June 2013 she received a fellowship from the Stadler Center for Poetry to attend the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. She’s spent the last four summers immersed in the equestrian world. Her poems have recently appeared in likewise folio and are forthcoming elsewhere.
MFA IN FICTION
Noha Al-Badry was born in Cairo, Egypt and received her B.A. in both Journalism and English Literature from the American University in Cairo. Her fiction attempts to integrate the clash between eastern and western cultures, to explore the thin line separating poetry and prose, and to make horrible things happen to her characters. She began writing when she was 13 and taught herself almost everything she knows about literature. She doesn’t know why she chose to write in English rather than Arabic, but feels that her use of language sometimes reflects the structure of Arabic lit. Her interests—shockingly—include short stories, novels and poetry. Other more mundane interests include indulging her oddball nature, cooking, autoimmune diseases, mythology, film and music.
Matthew Kollmer is a fiction writer from a rural town just east of the Twin Cities. He grew up skiing, playing baseball and football, riding horses, trap shooting, and kayaking. He attended Winona State University, where he earned his BA in English, and where his writing became an integral part of his identity. Since his undergrad, he’s worked a variety of jobs. He has been a carpenter, chairlift operator, Zamboni driver, riverboat deckhand, and standardized test scorer. He enjoys new activities and expanding his life experience.
Jessica Sadler was born in “Charm City”, hon, home of John Waters, The Wire, great music, and Artscape. Jessica studied English lit as an undergraduate at UMBC, then returned for a Masters in TESOL, and in between she taught English to high school students in the U.S. and in Thailand. Jessica has traveled throughout Southeast Asia, loves Thailand, and hopes to return soon.
New Yorker René Solivan moved to Los Angeles in the 1990’s to pursue acting and ended up writing plays that have been seen in L.A. and N.Y.C. He received an Emerging Artist Commission from the Tony Award-winning Mark Taper Forum where he was also an LTI Playwriting Fellow. He was a finalist for the 2008 Sky Cooper New American Prize. His stories have appeared in The Northridge Review, Mosaic, Stumble Magazine and River Poets Journal,among others. René is the winner of the 2009 Northridge Review Award for Outstanding Short Story and a 2005 MetLife National Playwriting Award. Since 2009 René and his partner have been hiding out in Las Vegas dabbling in real estate. They were about to move back to L.A. when Rene was accepted into the MFA program and he will forever be grateful to UNLV. The L.A. smog and traffic would’ve killed him this time, he’s sure of it.
Ernie Wang was raised overseas as a military brat, then studied engineering at Cornell. He worked in finance for fifteen years before deciding to focus on writing fiction, something that makes him feel at once exposed, baffled, and restored. He figures now is as good a time as ever, and so here goes.