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Writing: Students and Alumni

SAIC Writing Program students and alumni are published widely, in publications that range from innovative on-line journals to international imprints. Our students and alumni also cultivate the literary landscape with the creation of small presses, storefront galleries, and theater and performance groups. They serve as directors, editors and educators at literary organizations, publishing houses and schools.

You’ll find our students and alumni in publications such as: African American Review, The Believer, Best New American Voices, Bloom, BOMB, Chicago Review, The Denver Quarterly, Fence, The Guardian, Iowa Review, McSweeney’s, New England Review, Norton Anthology of New Sudden Fiction, Paris Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Tin House, Tri-Quarterly, and Verse.

Are you an SAIC graduate?
Let us know about your professional accomplishments by emailing wprogr@saic.edu.

Recent Graduate Accomplishments

Daniel Borzutzky’s (MFAW 2000) book, The Performance of Being Human (Brooklyn Arts Press), won the 2016 National Book Award in Poetry. Other books include The Book of Interfering Bodies (2011); The Ecstasy of Capitulation (2007); Arbitrary Tales (2005). Borzutsky has translated Raúl Zurita's Song for his Disappeared Love (2010); Jaime Luis Huenún's Port Trakl (2008) and appears in the anthologies: La Alteracion del Silencio: Poesia Norteamericana Reciente; Malditos Latinos, Malditos Sudacas: Poesia Iberoamericana Made in USA; Seriously Funny; A Best of Fence; The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century.

Vida Cross’ (MFAW 1995) book, Bronzeville at Night: 1949, an “interplay between poetry, music, humor and culture,” has been published by Awst Press (Austin, TX). Elizabeth Alexander named her the Honorable Mention recipient for Cave Canem’s 2010 Poetry Book Award. Her work has appeared in The Literary Review, Reed Magazine, Reverie Journal, and The Journal of Film and Television.

Patty Yumi Cottrell’s (MFAW 2012) novel, Sorry to Disrupt the Peace (McSweeney’s, San Francisco), has been named the winner of the Independent Publisher Book Award’s Gold Medal for First Fiction. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Guernica, BOMB, Gulf Coast and Black Warrior Review. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Danielle Dutton’s (MFAW 2002) novel, Margaret the First, has been published by Catapult (New York, 2017). In 2015, Siglio published Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera, with texts by Dutton and images by Richard Kraft. Her book S P R A W L (Siglio Press, 2010) was shortlisted for the Believer Book Award and Attempts at a Life (Tarpaulin Sky, 2007) was chosen as one of the Ten Great Titles from Underground Presses in Time Out New York. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, BOMB, NOON, and Fence. After getting her MFAW at SAIC, Dutton earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver, where she also served as Associate Editor for the Denver Quarterly. She is now an Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

Emil Ferris (MFAW 2010) recently released her debut graphic novel, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, to critical acclaim, and is finding herself in the spotlight with profiles in The New Yorker, New York Times, and Chicago magazine. The New York Times documents Ferris’ journey from a debilitating infection of West Nile Virus that nearly took away her ability to draw to her novel being “arrested” at sea. Ferris also recently reflected on her latest graphic novel in a comic published with Chicago Magazine. Senior Editor Elly Fishman introduced The Bite That Changed My Life, describing how the artist's childhood spent in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood informed her “haunting, ambitious, and altogether remarkable” work. In the vibrant sequence, Ferris describes how her education introduced her to the formidable Art Spiegelman and “emboldened” her to begin her own graphic novel after pursuing illustration jobs. (Courtesy Fantagraphics)

Tsehaye Hebert’s (MFAW 2014) play and MFAW thesis project, Elegy for Miss Lucy, was selected for the Cultural DC 2017 Source Festival. It is slated to be read this spring May as a collaborative project between two Chicago theatre companies and as part of a 2018 Humanities course initiative in Atlanta.

Deepak Unnikrishnan’s (MFAW 2014) book, Temporary People (Restless Books, Brooklyn), is the winner of the publisher’s inaugural Immigrant Writing Prize. He currently teaches at New York University Abu Dhabi.