Creative Writing Graduate Student Profiles

Ashley Anderson Ashley Anderson
3rd Year PhD—Creative Nonfiction
Creative Writing Fellow and Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Ashley Anderson specializes in the essay form, literary journalism, feminist theory, post-World War II American literature, and the intersections of composition and creative writing pedagogy.  Her work has appeared in Peripheral Surveys, The Quarterly of the Santa Fe Writer's Project, Tahoma Literary Review, Badlands Literary Journal, and Assay. She holds an MA in Literature, Cultural/Critical Theory, and Social Practice from Kent State University, as well as an MA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Cincinnati.

Micaela Bombard Micaela Bombard
2nd Year PhD—Poetry
English Department Fellow and Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Micaela Bombard is a poet and fiction writer interested in the poetics of embodiment. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Four Way Review, The Anthology of New England Writers, Health Affairs, DMQ Review, decomP MagazinE, and others. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and an MS in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University.

K. Mikey Borgard K. Mikey Borgard
1st Year PhD—Multi-Genre
Ridgel Fellow & Graduate Teaching Instructor

  K. Mikey Borgard specializes in terrorism and trauma literature, fiction, and nonfiction prose. Mikey is a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and is writing a fictional docu-novel about this experience. He identifies as disabled and nonconforming and is intrigued by the criminal, lyric, and magical. His first essay, “Constellation of Grace,” appeared in Fourth Genre and was shortlisted for the Steinberg Prize. He is a Ridgel Fellow and recipient of the Ernest C. Van Keuren Award, the Tremblay-Crow Writing Fellowship, and the Mani Iyer Scholarship for Disabled Writers. In 2019, he earned an MFA from Colorado State University. You can find him on Twitter: @kmikeyborgard or on the web:

Tyler Corbridge Tyler Corbridge
1st Year PhD—Fiction
Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Tyler Corbridge is a husband, father, and former milkman. His research interests include American Literature from 1830, the American West, hybrid forms, fabulism, and bizzaro fiction. His fiction has appeared in Salt Hill Journal, Chicago Quarterly Review, Fjords Review, Gravel Literary Magazine, Five Quarterly, and Elsewhere Magazine, among others. Tyler holds an MFA from the University of Alabama.

Hayli Cox Hayli Cox
1st Year PhD—Creative Nonfiction
Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Hayli’s interests include short essay, flash fiction, hybrid forms, contemporary literature, and women & gender studies. Her work has appeared in Hippocampus Magazine, Paper Darts, DIAGRAM, Crab Fat Magazine, Sundog Lit, and others. She earned her MA in Writing and Literature from Northern Michigan University. Hayli currently serves as an editor for Heavy Feather Review.

Traci Cox Traci Cox
5th Year PhD—Creative Nonfiction
G. Ellsworth Huggins Fellow and Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Traci Cox specializes in creative nonfiction prose, women's and gender studies, disability studies, and folklore. Her nonfiction has appeared in publications such as The Masters Review, So to Speak, and Madison Magazine, and she has a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2014. Traci is a J.W. Fulbright Fellow (Slovakia, 2009-10) and holds an MFA from George Mason University. She serves as Audio Editor at The Missouri Review.

Cassie Donish Cassie Donish
2nd Year PhD—Poetry and Prose
Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Cassie Donish concentrates on contemporary poetry, queer theories and literatures, and ecopoetics. Author of the poetry collections The Year of the Femme (2019) and Beautyberry (2018), as well as the nonfiction chapbook On the Mezzanine (2019), their writing has appeared in Best New Poets, The Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Gettysburg Review, jubilat, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. Co-editor-in-chief of The Spectacle, they earned their MFA at Washington University in St. Louis. You can find them at

Samantha Edmonds Samantha Edmonds
1st Year PhD—Fiction & Creative Nonfiction
Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Samantha Edmonds is a first-year PhD student writing fiction and nonfiction. Her research interests include speculative/science fiction and queer theory. She’s the author of the chapbooks Pretty to Think So (Selcouth Station Press, 2019) and The Space Poet (forthcoming from Split Lip Press). Her work appears in The Rumpus, Mississippi Review, Black Warrior Review, Pleiades, The Pinch, and elsewhere. She works as the Assistant Fiction Editor for Sundress Publications and as the Fiction Editor for Doubleback Review. She holds an MA in creative writing from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA from the University of Tennessee. Visit her online at

Gwendolyn Edward Gwendolyn Edward
4th Year PhD—Creative Nonfiction and Fiction
Ridgel Fellow and Graduate Teaching Instructor & Assistant to the Director of Creative Writing 2019-2020

  Gwendolyn Edward specializes in genre-bending, theory & craft of nonfiction, pedagogy, global anglophone literature, and folkloristics. Her nonfiction, fiction, and poetry have appeared in Assay, Crab Orchard Review, Fourth River, Booth, Brevity, Bourbon Penn, Cleaver Magazine, and others; her nonfiction has earned nominations for the Pushcart and Best American Essays. Her short story collection, More Enduring for Having Been Broken, was the 2019 Husdon winner from Black Lawfence Press and is forthcoming 2021. A Texas native and member of the Cherokee Nation, she retains a MA from the University of North Texas and an MFA from Bennington College.  

Lindsay Fowler Lindsay Fowler
2nd Year PhD—Creative Nonfiction and Fiction

  Lindsay Fowler’s research interests include weird fiction, hybrid forms, sequential art, and contemporary literature. Her nonfiction has appeared in Pigeon Pages, and her flash fiction has appeared in Monkeybicycle, Psychopomp, The Golden Key, as well as on the 2017 Wigleaf Top 50 Longlist. Lindsay holds an MFA from the University of Maryland.

Grace Gardiner Grace Gardiner
3rd Year PhD—Poetry and Creative Nonfiction
Creative Writing Fellow and Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Grace Gardiner's research interests include the relationship between jazz and poetry in American literature and culture; compositional practice across the arts and intermedia; lyric and genre theory; and posthumanisms. They received an MFA in Writing from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and are a former poetry editor for The Greensboro Review. Find them online at 

Carley Gomez Carley Gomez
4th Year PhD—Fiction
Ridgel Fellow and Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Carley Gomez studies speculative fiction and border literature. Her creative work is concerned with multiplicity of identities and the intergenerational consequences of colonialism. Her fiction has appeared in Euphony, Passages North, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. She has an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona.

Jacob Hall Jacob Hall
3rd Year PhD—Poetry
Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Jacob Hall is a third year PhD student and poet who focuses on US American poetry, contemporary ecopoetics, and new materialism. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in New South, DIAGRAM, The Carolina Quarterly, Poetry South, Nightjar Review, Stirring, Split Rock Review, and elsewhere. In the past he has been the assistant poetry editor for the Mid-American Review and he currently works as audio editor for The Missouri Review.

Heather Heckman-McKenna Heather Heckman-McKenna
4th Year PhD—Creative Nonfiction and Fiction
Purcell Fellow, Research Assistant, and Graduate Instructor

  Heather Heckman-McKenna’s work focuses on creative nonfiction and women writers of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-centuries. Her nonfiction, fiction, and scholarship have appeared or are forthcoming in CutBank, Vetusta Monumenta, Newfound, Eckleburg, The Explicator, and others. Heather’s work was nominated by a Contributing Editor for Pushcart XLIII, her essay “Drive” earned Memoir Magazine’s Notable Essay designation, and another essay, “Tilt,” was awarded second prize in the Creative Writing Program Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She holds an MA in English from Simmons College.

Vedran Husić Vedran Husić
5th Year PhD—Fiction
Creative Writing Fellow and Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Vedran Husić has fiction published in The Gettysburg Review, The Massachusetts Review, Mississippi Review, Ecotone, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, and elsewhere, and his poetry is published or forthcoming in Pleiades, Spillway, Denver Quarterly, Sugar House Review, and Blackbird, among others. His collection of stories, Basements and Other Museums, won the St. Lawrence Book Award and was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2018. He is the recipient of fellowships from The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jennifer McCauley Jennifer McCauley
5th Year PhD—Fiction and Poetry
Ridgel Fellow, Graduate Teaching Instructor, Poetry Editor at The Missouri Review

  Jennifer Maritza McCauley’s interests are African-American Literature, Afro-Latino Literature, hybrid narratives, and Black Feminist Theory. Her work has appeared in Columbia Journal, Los Angeles Review, Passages North, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Kimbilio and CantoMundo, and awards from Best of the Net, Independent Publisher Book Awards, and the Academy of American Poets. McCauley is currently Fiction Editor at Pleaides. She received her MFA from Florida International University, where she was a Knight Fellow. McCauley is also the author of SCAR ON/SCAR OFF (Stalking Horse Press.) Website:

Rebecca Pelky Rebecca Pelky
5th Year PhD—Poetry
Ridgel Fellow and Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Rebecca Pelky is a poet, with research interests in Native American literatures, representations of Indigenous peoples in literature and film, North American poetry and poetics, and nature and science writing. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in Cream City Review, Booth, River Styx, Yellow Medicine Review, and others. Her first collection of poetry, Horizon of the Dog Woman, is forthcoming January 17, 2020 (Saint Julian Press). She is a native of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and an enrolled member of the Brothertown Indian Nation of Wisconsin. You can find her at

Donald Quist Donald Quist
2nd Year PhD—Fiction and Nonfiction
Ridgel Fellow and Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Donald Quist specializes in Postcolonial Literature and hybrid/experimental fiction. He is author of For Other Ghosts, a linked story collection, and Harbors—Foreword INDIES Nonfiction Bronze Winner and International Book Awards Finalist. His work has appeared in AGNI, North American Review, and The Rumpus. He’s received fellowships from Sundress Academy for the Arts and Kimbilio Fiction. He earned his MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Katie Rhodes Katie Rhodes
5th Year PhD—Fiction
Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Katie Rhodes specializes in longform fiction and short essay, with research interests in 20th century Jewish & African American fiction, Yiddish Studies, and the subject of medicine in fiction and essay. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Southampton Review, Fourth Genre, The Potomac Review, Moon City Review and others; her fiction has earned her residences with the National Park Service and Scholastics. She retains an MFA in Fiction from Washington University in St. Louis and a BA from Tulane University. She is currently at work on her first novel, a thriller.

Lacey Rowland Lacey Rowland
2nd Year PhD—Fiction
Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Lacey Rowland is interested in hybrid forms, contemporary fiction, the American west, underground culture, and feminist theory. Her work has appeared in Pleides, Hobart, Cutbank, and elsewhere. In addition, she has been listed in Glimmer Train’s Emerging Writers Top 25 and a finalist for Montana Book Festival’s Emerging Writers Contest. Recently she was named a June Dodge Fellow at the Mineral School. She retains an MFA from Oregon State University where she received the Joyce Carol Oates Commencement Award in Fiction.  

Jeff Wasserboehr Jeff Wasserboehr
4th Year PhD—Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry
Creative Writing Fellow and Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Jeff Wasserboehr researches Asian, Asian-American, and biracial literature (with a focus on Eurasians/hapas), and is interested in pop-culture/celebrity intersections with critical race theory and bi-/multiracial studies. He is the winner of the New South Writing Contest (2014), and has been named runner-up in two other writing contests, The Missouri Review's Jeffrey E. Smith Editor's Prize (2015) and the Iowa Review Awards(2018). Recent essays, poetry, and fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, The Massachusetts Review, Gulf Coast, The Midwest Quarterly, New South, and Passages North, among others. He is from Boston, MA and earned his MFA in fiction writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwasserboehr and check out his website he never updates.

Jake Young Jake Young
5th Year PhD—Poetry
Graduate Teaching Instructor

  Jake Young focuses on craft and theory of poetry and translation, and the intersections of food, drink, and literature. His collection of poems is American Oak (Main Street Rag, 2018), and his work has appeared numerous journals and anthologies. Recent critical work includes “The Offal Truth” published in Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, and “Cheers, Emily Dickinson! An Analysis of Her Poems of Drink” published in The Emily Dickinson Journal. Jake also serves as the poetry editor for the Chicago Quarterly Review. He received his MFA from North Carolina State University.