MFA Program in Poetry
Members of the MFA faculty are among the foremost poets and translators writing today. Each faculty member is also selected in recognition of his or her teaching mastery. Due to our low faculty-student ratio, all students in the program will have an opportunity to work with most faculty during the residencies or as a mentor at some point during their course of study in the program. The list of faculty is subject to change without notice. The current faculty are: Carol Frost*, James Harms, Ilya Kaminsky, Brian Henry, Malena Morling, Paula McLain, Tara Rebele (New Media) and Eleni Sikelianos. Guest faculty for upcoming residencies are announced on the MFA program blog at Tygerburning Blog.
Current Faculty 2012-13
Katie Farris is the author of Boysgirls (2011) and co-translator of If I were Born in Prague: Poems of Guy Jean(2012) and This Lamentable City: Poems of Polina Barskova (2010). He work has also appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, The Literary Review, Mid-American Review and numerous other journals. She holds an MFA from Brown University and is currently an Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University as well as Core Faculty Member at the Low-Residency MFA Program at New England College.
*Carol Frost’s poems have appeared in four Pushcart Prize anthologies, and she was the poetry editor for Pushcart XXVIII. The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded her two fellowships, and her writing has been honored by PEN, the Elliston and the Poets’ Prize committees, Ploughshares, and Prairie Schooner. Her books include Love and Scorn, New and Selected Poems, Venus and Don Juan, Pure, I Will Say Beauty, and The Queen’s Desertion, all published by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press. Her essays and poems appear in such journals as The Atlantic Monthly, American Poetry Review, Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah, Southern Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and the New York Times. She founded and directs the Catskill Poetry Workshop at Hartwick College, where she was Professor of English and writer-in-residence. She has also taught at Syracuse University, for the Warren Wilson MFA Program, Wichita State University (as Distinguished Poet, in the spring of 1998), Washington University, where she was visiting writer fall, 1998, the Vermont Studio Center, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Sewanee Writers' Conference, the Five Islands Press Workshop at the University of Wollongong in Australia, and numerous other workshops and universities. She divides her time between Cedar Key, Florida, and upstate New York. She currently holds the Alfond Chair in Creative Writing at Rollins College and is the interim director of the MFA Creative Writing in Poetry Program at New England College.
Brian Henry is the author of eight books of poetry—Astronaut (short-listed for the Forward Prize), American Incident, Graft, Quarantine (winner of the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award), The Stripping Point, Wings Without Birds, Lessness, and Doppelgänger. Three of his books have appeared in separate UK editions. His poems have appeared in numerous magazines around the world, including The New Republic, American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, Grand Street, Poetry Review, and Jacket. His poetry has been collected in many anthologies and has been translated into Croatian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, and Spanish. He has co-edited Verse since 1995, and his poetry criticism has appeared widely, in such places as The New York Times Book Review, Times Literary Supplement, Boston Review, The Yale Review, The Kenyon Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. His translation of the Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun’s Woods and Chalices appeared from Harcourt in 2008, and his translation of Aleš Šteger’s The Book of Things appeared as a Lannan Foundation selection from BOA Editions in 2010. Henry’s poetry and translations have received numerous honors, including an NEA fellowship, a Howard Foundation grant, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, the Best Translated Book Award, the Cecil B. Hemley Memorial Award, the George Bogin Memorial Award, and a Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences grant.
Ilya Kaminsky was
born in the former Soviet Union city of Odessa, and his family was granted
political asylum by the United States in 1993, settling in Rochester, New York.
After his father’s death in 1994, Kaminsky began to write poems in English. He
explained in an interview with the Adirondack Review, “I chose English
because no one in my family or friends knew it—no one I spoke to could read
what I wrote. I myself did not know the language. It was a parallel reality, an
insanely beautiful freedom. It still is.”
Kaminsky went on to earn a BA in political science at Georgetown University and a JD at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. With Paloma Capanna, he co-founded Poets for Peace, which sponsors poetry readings across the globe to support relief work. He has also worked as a clerk for the National Immigration Law Center and for Bay Area Legal Aid.
With language at once ecstatic, plain, and infused with fairy tale, Kaminsky’s poems span ages and voices to summon the stuff of life: love, grief, joy, and laughter. “His poems move through the lives of others, known and unknown, connecting the sweet and bitter stories of lost worlds,” notes E.M. Kaufman in the Library Journal. Kaminsky is the author of Dancing in Odessa (2004), which won the Tupelo Press Dorset Prize, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, and ForeWord Magazine’s Best Poetry Book of the Year award, and has been translated and published in many other languages, including French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Dutch, Romanian, etc. Traveling Musicians (2007) is a selection of his poems originally written in Russian.
He co-edited, with Susan Harris, the Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (2010), and edited and co-translated Polina Barskova’s This Lamentable City (2010). He has also served as the editor of the online journal In Posse Review.
Kaminsky’s honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Milton Center’s Award for Excellence in Writing, the Florence Kahn Memorial Award, Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize as well as their Ruth Lilly Fellowship, Philips Exeter Academy’s George Bennett Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation fellowship.
Paula McLain has published two collections of poetry (Less of HerStumble, Gorgeous, both from New Issues Poetry Press), as well as a memoir about growing up in foster care (Like Family: Growing Up In Other People’s Houses), and the novel, A Ticket to Ride, which was published by Ecco in 2008 and named a “top read” by the Today Show. A second novel, which fictionalizes Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage and upstart years in Paris will be published by Ballantine in 2011, as well as internationally. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, the Ohio Arts Council, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Ucross Foundation, McLain’s work has recently appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, and Real Simple. She teaches exclusively for New England College’s low-residency MFA program in poetry, where she has been on faculty since 2002.
Malena Mörling was born in Stockholm, Sweden. She is the author of two books of poetry: Ocean Avenue, published by New Issues Press in 1999, and Astoria, published by University of Pittsburgh Press in 2006. In 2011, her translations into Swedish of Philip Levine’s collection, 1933, were published by ellerström’s bokförlag. Her translations of Tomas Tranströmer’s poetry are included in the collection, For The Living and the Dead, published by Ecco Press in 1995. She also translated two chapbooks, Tomas Tranströmer’s First Poems and Prison, Nine Haiku by Tomas Tranströmer in 2011. She is editing together with Jonas Ellerström, Swedish Writers On Writing, an anthology that is part of The Writers’ World Series from Trinity University Press, as well as translating and editing Selected Poems by Edith Södergran, forthcoming from Marick Press. She has received The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, the Lotos Club Foundation Prize, a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship and a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship. She is a Research Associate at the School For Advanced Research, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and core-faculty in the Low-Residency MFA program at New England College.
Tara Rebele is a poet and new media artist/writer. She has performed her text-based multimedia solo works to live, proximal audiences in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Milwaukee, Boston, Richmond, and Atlanta, among other places and exhibited her live interactive works worldwide. She has been an artist, board member and grant recipient for the Institute for Creative Exploration at the University of Georgia. She is a member of the Board of Directors at 1708 Gallery in Richmond, VA. Her first book, And I’m Not Jenny: Performance :: Writing, was published in 2005 by Slope Editions. Her poems have appeared in Volt, Salt, How2, Dusie and Sleeping Fish, among other places. She is the Web Producer for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. She has recenty joined New England College’s MFA Poetry Program to teach its new concentration offering in New Media Poetics.
Eleni Sikelianos is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Body Clock and The California Poem, as well as a hybrid memoir, The Book of Jon. Her translation of Jacques Roubaud’s Exchanges on Light appeared in 2009. She has been the happy recipient of a number of awards, from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Fellowships, The National Poetry Series, New York Foundation for the Arts, Princeton University’s Seeger Fellowship, and the Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative American Writing, among others. She has collaborated with musicians, visual artists, and performs a leading role in two films by Ed Bowes. Her work has been translated into a dozen languages, and she has participated in a number of international poetry festivals, including the Centre National du Livre’s Belles Etrangères two-week reading tour of France, the Days of Poetry and Wine in Slovenia, the Barcelona Poetry Festival, and Metropole Bleu in Montreal. At present, Sikelianos teaches in the Naropa Summer Writing Program and the New England College MFA Program in Poetry as well as the Creative Writing Program at the University of Denver, which she also directs. She shares her days with the novelist Laird Hunt and their daughter Eva Grace.
Guest and Visiting Writers TBA
Previous faculty mentors have included: Li Young Lee, Bruce Smith, Thomas Lux, Chard deNiord, Cecilia Wolloch, Jennifer Clarvoe, Anne Marie Macari, Gerald Stern, DA Powell, Jan Heller Levi, Ruth Ellen Kocher, Jane Mead, Judith Vollmer, Judith Hall, F.D. Reeve, Marilyn Nelson, Michael Waters, Joan Larkin, and, Jeff Friedman, Anne Waldman, Alicia Ostriker, James Harms and Jacqueline Gens.
Visiting writers have included: Jack Gilbert, Maxine Kumin, Jean Valentine, Galway Kinnell, Charles Simic, Grace Paley, Kimiko Hahn, Fannie Howe, Stephen Sandy, Martin Espada, Forest Gander, Toi Derricote, Peter Everwine, Russel Edson, Ed Ochester, and Gail Mazur among others.