Kudos to Fresno writers: December 2019/January 2020

Kudos to #FresnoWriters is a regular 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
2/06/2020

J.J. Anselmi (MFA Creative Writing alum) – Interviewed by Greg Pratt for Decibel magazine on his forthcoming second nonfiction book, “Doomed to Fail.” Published the book excerpt “Sweat and Swagger” on CVLT Nation. Shared his soundtrack to “Doomed to Fail” on Spotify.

William Arcé (English faculty) – Elected to the Modern Language Association’s delegate assembly, serving on the Chicana and Chicano Literature Forum as one of only five members on the national committee.

Stacey Balkun (MFA Creative Writing alum) – Published the poem “Bloodline” in New South, winning first place in the journal’s annual poetry contest. Published the poem “You Fit into Me” in SWWIM.

Jamie Barker (English grad student, MFA Creative Writing alum) – Published the essay “Anxiety’s Dark Associate” on Fresno State’s Graduate Writing Studio blog.

Venita Blackburn (English faculty) – Published the story “Biology Class” in Apogee journal. Published the story “Smoothies” in Split Lip magazine. Published the essay/list “A Year in Reading” for The Millions.

Mariah Bosch (Creative Writing grad student) – Published the poem “American Sentences” in superstition review. Also published the poem “Lunarpuntal” in The Shore. Reviewed the Dorothea Lasky poetry collection “Animal” for The Rumpus.

Sara Borjas (BA English alum) – Her debut book “Heart Like a Window, Mouth Like a Cliff” was named one of 2019’s Best Poetry Books & Poetry Collections by Entropy magazine, and also named on the “14 Unmissable Poetry Books from 2019” list from Electric Literature. Was featured on the cover of Poets & Writers Magazine for the 15th annual “Poetic Lenses: Annual Look at Debut Poetry.” [Read Sara’s full interview.] Also, contributed to “The Best Latino Books, According to Latinx Writers” feature/list for NBC News.

Cindy Bradley (MFA Creative Writing alum) – Published the essay “Winter Song” as part of the “What Happened on December 21, 2019” feature on Essay Daily.

Joseph Cassara (English faculty) – Published the essay/list “A Year in Reading” for The Millioins.

Ethan Chatagnier (BA English alum) – Nominated for a Pushcart Prize from Craft Literary for the previously published story “The Warden’s Prowess.” Also, his story “As Long as the Laughter” was reviewed by Mike Czyz for the Story 366 blog.

Sarah A. Chavez (BA English alum) – Wrote 30 poems in 30 days to benefit Tupelo Press’s 30/30 Project for December 2019.

Steven Church (English faculty) – Invited to present a workshop for Idea Farm, an art and writing series for teens organized by the poet Lee Herrick for the Fresno Arts Council.

Carol Claassen (MFA Creative Writing alum) – Nominated for a Pushcart Prize from The Forge magazine for the previously published essay “Object Permanence.” Published the story “Gathering Stones” in 3Elements Literary Review.

Brian Dunlap (MFA Creative Writing alum) – Published the essay “6 Essential L.A. Kid Reads” for L.A. Parent magazine’s “L.A. on the Page” feature.

Ronald Dzerigian (MFA Creative Writing alum) – Published the poem “Of a Fixed Nature” in Lunch Ticket journal. Also, his poem “Smoke & Branch” is forthcoming in Swamp Ape Review.

Kathy Fagan (BA English alum) – Published the poems “Dahlia,” “Wisdom,” and “My Father” in the New England Review.

Rebeca Abidail Flores (BA English alum) – Interviewed the novelist Tommy Orange on “The Writing Process of Native Truth” for El Tocolote.

J. Ashley Foster (English faculty) – Accepted to New Storytellers: The Research Institute Digital Ethnic Studies summer institute at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, funded by a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies.

Esmeralda Gamez (Creative Writing grad student) – Her visual art/sauce packet poem is forthcoming in Taco Bell Quarterly.

Eddie P. Gomez (MFA Creative Writing alum) – His essay “Moments of Clarity” is forthcoming in Post Road magazine.

Sarah Harian (MFA Creative Writing alum) – Her new YA novel “Eight Will Fall” was reviewed by Jana Morimoto for Bookcrushin’. Also, shared her soundtrack to “Eight Will Fall” on Spotify.

Melanie Hernandez (English faculty) – Accepted to New Storytellers: The Research Institute Digital Ethnic Studies summer institute at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, funded by a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies. Also, presented the keynote address “Race, Ephemera, and the Archive” on campus at Fresno State’s Students of English Studies fall symposium.

Patrick D. Hogan (English undergrad student) – Nominated for a Pushcart Prize from Ruble Fish Quarterly for the previously published story “Optimist.”

Melanie Kachadoorian (English lecturer, MFA Creative Writing alum) – Published the essay “Breadcrumb #549” for Breadcrumbs Magazine.

Randa Jarrar (English faculty) – Awarded a $100,000 grant from the 2020 Creative Capital Awards to support her latest novel in progress and career development. [full story]

Arielle K. Jones (MFA Creative Writing alum) – Published the story “Abel is Found” in blood tree literature.

Suzanne Lummis (MA English alum) – Interviewed by Voyage LA magazine for the feature “Meet Suzanne Lummis in North Los Angeles.” Has poems forthcoming in 2020 in Plume Poetry, Saw Palm journal, and Terminus Magazine.

Sarah Fawn Montgomery (MFA Creative Writing alum) – Her previously published essay “Steering into Winter” from Brevity Magazine was featured in Creative Nonfiction Magazine’s “Sunday Short Reads.”

Sam Pereira (BA English alum) – Presented the lecture “Creating a Third Country: The Combining of American and Portuguese Cultures into Nuanced Poetry” on campus for Fresno State’s Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute.

Monique Quintana (MFA Creative Writing alum) – Published the story “crypto” in Corvid Queen journal; the story was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Corvid Queen. Published the essay “Monique Recommends: ‘Make it Real’ by The Jets” for Memoir Mixtapes. Reviewed the Kristin Garth chapbook “shut your eyes, succubi” for Luna Luna Magazine. Invited to present a workshop for Idea Farm, an art and writing series for teens organized by the poet Lee Herrick for the Fresno Arts Council. Also, contributed to “What to Read When You Want to Escape the White Gaze” feature/list for The Rumpus.

Brynn Saito (English faculty) – Awarded a summer 2020 residency at Hedgebrook on Whidbey Island, Washington. Invited to present a workshop for Idea Farm, an art and writing series for teens organized by the poet Lee Herrick for the Fresno Arts Council.

Steven Sanchez (MFA Creative Writing alum) – Published the poem “Butterflies” in the Missouri Review’s poem of the week.

Brian Turner (BA English alum) – His poetry collection “Here, Bullet” was reimagined by composer Kurt Erickson, who won the 2020 NATS Art Song Composition Award for his piece.

James Tyner (MFA Creative Writing alum) – Awarded a Community Conversations grant from the California Center for the Book to fund programming at Betty Rodriguez Regional Library.

Brenda Venezia (English lecturer, MFA Creative Writing alum) – Published the essay “Photographs of Your Tías” in The Boiler journal.

Erik J. Wilbur (MFA Creative Writing alum) – Published the poem “Elegy” in the Southampton Review. Published the poem “After Reading Reports from a California Wildfire, Six Weeks Before My Father’s Overdose” in Tahoma Literary Review. Also, his poem “I Should Know a Millionaire” is forthcoming in New Ohio Review.

Tara Williams (MFA Creative Writing alum) – Awarded the Sally Bowerman/Bob Hall scholarship to attend the Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers in Wallowa Lake, Oregon. Also, published the story “The Ice Child” in Enchanted Conversation magazine.

Did we miss your accomplishment? Submit this short form or contact staff Jefferson Beavers by email or at 559.278.1569.

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