Kudos to #FresnoWriters is a new monthly series on the Fresno State MFA blog, celebrating the professional accomplishments of students, alumni, and faculty in the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English at Fresno State.
If you have a special announcement, a professional or creative success, or an inspiring story that you’d like us to share, please submit this short form.
Compiled by Jefferson Beavers
J.J. Anselmi (MFA Creative Writing alumni) — Announced the publication of his second book, “Doomed to Fail: The Incredibly Loud History of Doom, Sludge, and Post-Metal,” forthcoming late this year from Rare Bird Books. Also published the essay “Rock Springs and the Legend of Dax Riggs” on the CVLT Nation website. [Author site]
Venita Blackburn (English faculty) — Her debut story collection, “Black Jesus and Other Superheroes” from University of Nebraska Press, was selected Outstanding Faculty Publication from the Fresno State Department of English. Also published the essay “White People Must Save Themselves from Whiteness” in The Paris Review. [Author site]
Megan Anderson Bohigian (MFA Creative Writing alumni) — Hosted a launch event in Fresno for her second book, the poetry chapbook “Vanishing Point” from The Orchard Street Press. [Interview with Valley Public Radio]
Joseph Cassara (English faculty) — Named as a finalist in the 31st annual Lambda Literary Awards for his debut novel “The House of Impossible Beauties” from HarperCollins. Was also named as a finalist for the 2018 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction from The Publishing Triangle. [Interview in La Voz de Aztlán newspaper] [Author site]
Sarah A. Chavez (BA English alumni) — Published the poem “Dear Carole, There is no one with whom to have secrets” in IDK Magazine. Was also selected for a 2019-20 Tacoma Artist Initiative Program artist award from the Tacoma Arts Commission. [Author site]
Steven Church (English faculty) — Was interviewed in STAND magazine, “Big Dreams and Self-Made Boundaries: On the Work of Writing,” by Steven Wingate. [Author site]
Carol Claassen (MFA Creative Writing alumni) — Her essay “Why We Love after Heartbreak” made the shortlist for The A3 Review & Press “romance” essay contest.
Ronald Dzerigian (MFA Creative Writing alumni) — His poem “Breaking Milkweed” will be published in April in Into the Void magazine. Also, his poem “This is About My Hunger, This is Why” will be published in May in Crosswinds Poetry Journal.
Lillian Faderman (English faculty emeriti) — Named as a finalist in the 31st annual Lambda Literary Awards for her nonfiction book “Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death” from Yale University Press. Was also featured in the TED-Ed video on “Harvey Milk’s Radical Vision of Equality,” narrated by Addison Anderson. [Author site]
Howard V. Hendrix (English lecturer) — Announced the publication of his fourth collection of short fiction, “The Girls with Kaleidoscope Eyes (And Other Analog Stories for a Digital Age),” forthcoming in fall 2019 from Fairwood Press. [Interview with Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine]
Melanie Hernandez (English faculty) — Published the article “Currier & Ives’ Darktown Series: Recovering White Social Capital through Violent Satire” in the 20th anniversary edition of The International Journal of Comic Art. Also published the article “With His Pistol In Her Hand: Capable Women, Reluctant Heroes, and a Bad Case of Mijito Syndrome in Americo Paredes’ ‘George Washington Gomez’” in the journal Label Me Latina/o. [Interview with La Voz de Aztlán newspaper]
Brynn Saito (English faculty) — Published the poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Teacher Resource” in The Volta. Was also featured in the Vogue magazine story “The Memory Keepers” for her work with the Yonsei Memory Project. [Author site]
Steven Sanchez (MFA Creative Writing alumni) — Published the poem “Cognate / Cognado” in both English and Spanish in The American Poetry Review. [Author site]
Emily Jo Scalzo (MFA Creative Writing alumni) — Her poems “Why I Haven’t Worn Shorts in 23 Years,” “Parched in Fresno, 2010,” and “Last Night I Dreamt I Killed a Man” will be published in the forthcoming issue of Down in the Dirt magazine. [Poems posted in the Scars Publications writings directory]