Writing: Students and Alumni
This sampling of student and alumni profiles provides you examples of the innovative and groundbreaking work that has been realized through study and community exchanges facilitated by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) Department of Writing.
Below is a sampling of accomplishments of recent graduates of Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing program. But first, here is a list of some publications our alumni have published in: Tin House, McSweeney's, Salon, the Believer, Conjunctions, American Letters and Commentary, NOON, 3rd bed, Denver Quarterly, Quarterly West, Verse, Iowa Review, Washington Square, Caketrain, elimae, Bloom, La Petite Zine, Sawbuck, Coconut, Chicago Reader, Best New American Voices, Best American Poetry, and Norton Anthology New Sudden Fiction.
Are you an SAIC graduate?
Let us know about your professional accomplishments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent Graduate Accomplishments
Colin Winnette (MFA 2012)
Colin Winnette published the novel Revelation (Mutable Sound Press, 2011), a collection of short prose, Animal Collection (Spork Press, 2012) and two novellas titled A Long Line of Diggers (Atticus Books, 2013)
Chris Cuellar (MFA 2010)
Chris Cuellar is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work encompasses writing, sound, performance, and digital media. He has published numerous volumes on Lulu, including an early collection of spam poetry and the entire Facebook public directory circa Summer 2010. He has worked and performed for the Austin New Music Co-op in Austin, TX; the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Sullivan Galleries and Betty Rymer Gallery; the Hyde Park Art Center; the Red Rover Reading Series in Chicago; and Diapason Gallery in Brooklyn. Cuellar has also provided technical assistance for Project Cabrini Green and served as associate editor for the online literary journal Dear Navigator.
Ira S. Murfin (MFA 2008)
Ira S. Murfin's solo and collaborative writing and performance work has been presented at the Peter Jones Gallery by Walkabout Theater, Links Hall, Version Fest, The Neo-Futurists, Ox-Bow, SSTART Gallery, Prop Thtr, Chicago Calling Festival, and the Red Rover, Powells North, Quickies & Reconstruction Room reading series. Murfin is Co-Artistic Director of the Laboratory for Enthusiastic Collaboration and a founding member of the Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials.
Jac Jemc (MFA 2007)
Jac Jemc published a novel My Only Wife (Dzanc Books, 2012) and a chapbook of stories, This Stranger She’d Invited In (Greying Ghost Press, 2011. She is now a poetry editor at decomP and member of the editorial team at Tarpaulin Sky.
Lindsay Hunter (MFA 2007)
Lindsay Hunter published her short fiction collection Daddy's (Featherproof Books, 2010) and is co-founder of the Chicago reading series, Quickies. Her fiction has appeared in many magazines, including Nerve and McSweeney's Internet Tendency.
Brendan Healy (MFA 2005)
Brendan Healy (MFA 2005) was the 2004 recipient of the Heideman Award for his short play picnic (pik'nik): v.i. His full-length plays include The Secret Recordings of Lenin to His Lost Love, Relative We or Loneliness Built the Bomb or How Einstein Wrote Hamlet, and Emerald and the Lovesong of the Dead Fishermen. His work has been performed in Chicago, Florida, California, Louisville, Connecticut, and Seattle.
Kyle Beachy (MFA 2005)
Kyle Beachy published the novel The Slide (Dial Press, 2009). The Boston Globe called the novel "an unusual, and unusually good coming-of-age-story." Publishers Weekly described it as "At once hilarious, strange, and uncomfortable." The Slide won the "Readers' Choice" award for Best Book by a Chicago Author in the Last Year. Beachy is now an assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at Chicago's Roosevelt University and has recently published essays on skateboarding and David Foster Wallace.
Kathryn Regina (MFA 2004)
Kathryn Regina published two chapbooks: I Am In The Air Right Now (Greying Ghost Press) and As I Said (Publishing Genius Press).
Idris Goodwin (MFA 2004)
Idris Goodwin is a playwright, poet, essayist, educator and performer. His genre-defying, hip hop influenced work for page and stage earned him awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the Hip Hop Theater Fest and The Illinois Arts Council. His play How We Got On, developed at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center will premiere at The 2012 Humana Festival of New Plays. This acclaimed hip hop lyricist was praised by the New York Times, National Public Radio and the Root Magazine, who named him in the top 30 performance poets in the world. Goodwin appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry, the Discovery Channel, and most recently, Sesame Street. Idris is now an adjunct playwriting professor at Northwestern University and gives more than 50 performances and lectures at institutions across the country.
Beth Kohl (MFA 2003)
Beth Kohl published Embryo Culture: Making Babies in the Twenty-First Century (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007). Publisher's Weekly named the book an "insightful and honest narrative," and Elle magazine called it "not only an enlightened account of [Kohl's] brave struggle for motherhood, but also a first-class read about the painful, costly, controversial history of in vitro fertilization, 29 years after the birth of the world's first successful test-tube baby."
Samantha Peale (MFA 2002)
Samantha Peale published the novel The American Painter Emma Dial (Norton, 2009). The New York Times wrote, "In her witty and impressively observed debut novel Samantha Peale has given us what is probably the first novel narrated by a studio assistant in New York in the 21st century." The novel was chosen by Amazon.com as one of the Top 100 Editors Picks.
Danielle Dutton (MFA 2002)
Danielle Dutton published S P R A W L (Siglio Press, 2010) which was shortlisted for the Believer Book Award and Attempts at a Life (Tarpaulin Sky, 2007, which was chosen as one of the "Ten Great Titles from Underground Presses" in Time Out New York After getting her MFA 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 and is now an assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2010, Dutton launched her own independent press Dorothy, a publishing project dedicated "to works of fiction, or near fiction, or about fiction, mostly by women."
Julie Doxsee (MFA 2002)
Julie Doxsee published a debut full-length collection of poems called Undersleep (Octopus Books, 2008). Doxsee is also the author of Objects for a Fog Death (Black Ocean, 2009) and four chapbooks: You Will Build a City Out of Rags (Whole Coconut, 2007), New Body a Seafloor Body (Seeing Eye Books, 2008), The Knife—Grasses (Octopus Books, 2006), and Fog Quartets (horse less press, 2007). She now lives and writes in Istanbul where since 2007 she has been teaching creative writing, academic writing, and literature courses at Koç University.
Judith Valente (MFA 2001)
Judith Valente's poetry collection Inventing an Alphabet was awarded the 2004 Aldrich Poetry Prize. Valenti also published Discovering Moons (Virtual Artists Collective of Chicago, 2009) and co-edited with Charles Reynard Twenty Poems to Nourish Your Soul (Loyola Press, 2005). She is on-air correspondent for PBS-TV's Religion and Ethics Newsweekly and for Chicago Public Radio. Nominated twice for the Pulitizer Prize in journalism, Valente previously wrote for the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.
Gerald Richards (MFA 2001)
Gerald Richards is Chief Executive Officer of 826 National and a respected trainer and speaker on topics of youth and education access. He has appeared on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams, CNN’s Anderson Cooper’s 360, and The Michael Eric Dyson Show, as well as in articles in publications including The San Francisco Examiner and Inc. Magazine. He has also served as an education expert for national marketing campaigns promoting creativity in and outside the classroom. In 2008, he was named one of 101 African-American Champions for Youth in the Bay Area.
Sarah Eaton (MFA 2001)
Sarah Eaton published Tough Skin (BlazeVOX Books, 2010). Michael Martone writes, "This prose poses a visceral threat, the poetics flail. Who knew there were so many layers of skin to skin? Sarah Eaton rings this bell, pulls this trigger. Like that, she floors me."
Amina Cain (MFA 1999)
Amina Cain published I Go to Some Hollow (Les Figues Press , 2009), which was a Small Press Distribution Staff Pick and Bestseller. The Review of Contemporary Fiction wrote: "Cain's debut demonstrates that when the clichéd expectations of traditional narrative are gently omitted, what's left is a calming stillness, and startling language—a welcome relief from the ironic realism that characterizes so much young contemporary fiction. We need more writing like this."
Adam Novy (MFA 1998)
Adam Novy's novel The Avian Gospel was published by Hobart in spring of 2010. Publishers Weekly wrote, "This debut has the potential to become a cult classic." Novy's other work has been published in Dossier, The Believer, The Collagist, The Denver Quarterly, and American Letters and Commentary. He lives in southern California.
Caren Gussoff (MFA 1998)
Caren Gussoff published the debut novel Homecoming (Serpent's Tail, 2000) and was nominated as a Village Voice "Writer on the Verge." Gussoff published a second book, The Wave And Other Stories (Serpent's Tail, 2003).
Daniel Borzutsky (MFA 1998)
Daniel Borzutsky has published a collection of fiction, Arbitrary Tales (2005), a poetry chapbook, Failure in the Imagination (2007), and two full-length volumes of poetry, The Ecstasy of Capitulation (2007), and The Book of Interfering Bodies (2011). Borzutzky has also translated a number of works by Chilean writers, including the poet Jaime Luis Huenún’s Port Trakl (2008) and the fiction of Juan Emas, published in a special issue of the Review of Contemporary Fiction in 2007.