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MFA Student & Alumni Achievements

The Low-Residency MFA Program at Queens University of Charlotte is an active community of experienced and emerging writers. In light of that fact, this page is devoted to recognizing the activities and achievements of our students and alumni. 

Participants in the program are encouraged to update these entries by submitting news to Melissa Bashor, the program coordinator. If you are an Alum, please be sure to include the year you graduated.  We also encourage visitors to this site and prospective students to seek out some of the works listed here.

Mary Akers' (2003) short story collection Women Up on Blocks has been published by Press 53. She has also published Radical Gratitude and Other Life Lessons Learned in Siberia, (Allen & Unwin, March 2008) with co-author Andrew Bienkowski. The book recounts Bienkowski's harrowing childhood experiences in a Siberian gulag during WWII and his later life as a therapist. The book was also published by Simon & Schuster (UK and Canada) in March 2009 as The Greatest Gift, and will be translated into German and Polish. In addition, her short story "Comfortably Numb" was published in the anthology Home of the Brave: Stories in Uniform, edited by fellow Queens alum Jeff Hess.  Akers' work has also appeared in The Fiddlehead, Brevity, Xavier Review, Primavera, Literary Mama, Wisconsin Review, ParentLife Magazine, and the anthology The Maternal is Political: Women Writers at the Intersection of Motherhood and Social Change (Seal Press, June 2008). In 2004 she received a Bread Loaf Waitership, followed by 2005 and 2006 Bread Loaf work-study scholarships.

Hobie Anthony (2010) has been published in The LA Review, Four Branches Press and online at Shape of a Box.

Georgia Ann Banks-Martin's (2009) published poetry in Ariel The African-American Review, Pearl, and the Xavier Review. Her poem "Montgomery Stairs" was included in After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events, and her poems "On an Autumn Day" and "South Carolina Morning" were published online at Fieralingue Poets Corner and at Prick of the Spindle, respectively. Georgia also publishes book reviews in Her Circle ezine.

Beebe Barksdale-Bruner, (2003) published her first book of poems It Comes to Me Loosely Woven (Press 53) in 2007.

David-Matthew Barnes (2008)  was the first screenwriter to be selected for the Emerging Writers in Residency program at Penn State Altoona. He won the award the 2008 World AIDS Day Writing Contest, earning double awards for his stage play "Don't Mention It" and his poem "You Wonder." He received national recognition in the 2008 Split This Rock Poetry Contest for his provocative poem "Latin Freestyle." He received the 2007 Carrie McCray Literary Award in recognition of his two-woman play "Bracelets and Boyfriends" at the South Carolina Writers Workshop conference in Myrtle Beach. He also received a second place award for Best Poem for "Caution," a poem that was workshopped at Queens. His first feature film, the Latin-flavored coming-of-age drama, Frozen Stars, is available on DVD from major retailers. David-Matthew's list of publications, stage and screen credits and awards is long and growing. For a complete list, visit his website at  He currently teaches theatre and English at Southern Crescent Technical College (formerly Griffin Technical College) in Griffin, GA.

Diane Bechtler (2007) has had short work published in journals such as The Gettysburg Review, Thema, Literary Journal, Pangolin Press, Bewildering Stories, Everyday Fiction, The Dead Mule, School of Southern Literature, and The Front Porch Journal.  Her short story "Til Death Do Us Part" was nominated "Best of the Net 2008" by The Dead Mule. Her work has also appeared in The Charlotte Observer and she won an honorable mention in the Charlotte Writers Club short story contest. An excerpt from her memoir was published in New Mobility Magazine.

Wendi Berry (2008) has published fiction in storySouth, Hulltown 360 Literary Journal, and other journals.  She's an assistant professor at the University of Richmond, where she teaches Advanced Academic Writing. 

Jenny Billings Beaver (2010) has published poetry in Referential Magazine, Southern Women's Review, The Penwood Review, H.O.D., Sliver of Stone, Poets for Living Waters, Girls with Insurance, vox poetica, The Dead Mule of Southern Literature, Writer's Advice, issue.ZERO, Fox Chase Review, and many more. Her first chapbook, With or Without was published online by The Dead Mule of Southern Literature in April 2012; her second chapbook, "Ordinary Things," based on her thesis, will be published online and in print by Folded Word later this year.  She currently works as a full-time Developmental English faculty member at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. She is also the poetry editor for Referential Magazine.

Pat Bland's (2007) story "Blue Porch Ceiling" was published in The Greensboro College publication for The O.Henry Festival Stories for 2005.

Shawn Bowers (2004) under the penname Anita Cantillo, has published work in Iodine Poetry Journal, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Convergence, and Label me Latina/o.  She also edits and writes pieces for Watershed Charlotte's (a non-denominational Christian church) blog, which features stories of faith.

Janie Braverman's (2007) poem "In the Office of My Son's Psychiatrist" appeared in the poetry anthology, A Chaos of Angels.   Her fiction has appeared in Steam Ticket, published by the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, The Baltimore Review, and in Pinyon, a publication of Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Martha F. Brenner, (2004) had a short story, "The Skip," published in Hayden's Ferry Review. She was awarded a 2008 Regional Artist Project Grant via the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte/Mecklenburg to attend the Sewanee Writers' Conference, July, 2008. In 2006, she was a finalist for the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize. Previously, she published a story in The Bellingham Review and three books for children, including Abe Lincoln's Hat from Random House.

Dennis Burges (2005) published his novel Graves Gate with Caroll & Graf.  The Washington Post described Graves Gate as "slick and spooky."  Dennis has also made presentations at several conferences on mystery writing, including Bouchercon, Left Coast Crime, Sleuthfest, and the Virginia Festival of the Book.  He appeared at the 2005 Malice Domestic conference in Washington, D.C. and at the Staunton, VA. Summer of Mystery.

Mike Burrell (2010) has had his short fiction published in Southern Humanities Review, The MacGuffin, and the Livingston Press anthology, Climbing Mt. Cheaha: Emerging Alabama Writers.

Darlene Cah (2011) published a flash story, "The Jazz in her Soul," in the online journal "Staccato Fiction."  Her short Story "Shiraz" was published in the Three Rooms Press anthology, Have a NYC.  She won Second Prize in the 2012 Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition for the poem "Tupperware" and writes for the Five Writers Blog, a joint effort created by Queens University MFA grads:  She also serves on the Tryon Fine Arts Center Arts in Education committee and where she teaches improvisational theater and musical improvisation.

Jessie Carty (2009) is the author of five poetry collections including the chapbook An Amateur Marriage (Finishing Line Press, 2012) which was a finalist for the 2011 Robert Watson Prize as well as a full length collection Paper House (Folded Word, 2010) which one the NCPA prize for poetry. Her essay "I'm on a Boat" was nominated in 2012 for a Pushcart and a Best of the Net Award. Her poem "Sex Education" placed 3rd in the 2008 St. Louis Poetry Contest judged by Robert Pinsky. That poem was then published in Margie. Her poem "Drawn to Heroes" was a finalist for the 2009 Best of the Net Award. Jessie is a member of the NC Writer's Conference, NCWN, AWP, NCPS, and is a teacher consultant for the National Writing Project. She is a full-time faculty member teaching composition, literature, and creative writing at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in Concord, NC. You can find her editing Referential Magazine.

Karen Celestan (2010) manages community relations and policy in government affairs for Tulane University. She is an adjunct instructor of English at Southern University at New Orleans. Celestan is the co-author of unfinished blues: Memories of a New Orleans Music Man with Harold Battiste, Jr. (Historic New Orleans Collection, 2010). The Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Inc. (BCALA) presented the 2011 Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation to unfinished blues for excellence in scholarship. Her new e-book, Kuharimisha (Mosaic Literary LLC, 2012), a collection of memoir essays, is available at Barnes & Noble, Sony, Diesel, Kobo, Apple, and  Celestan is currently working on a collaboration with award-winning photographer Eric Waters to produce Freedom's Dance: The Second-Line in New Orleans, a collection of photographs and essays by New Orleans musicians and writers showcasing the unique cultural phenomenon that surrounds Social, Aid & Pleasure clubs. It is set for release in Fall, 2013.

Hope Coulter (2011) teaches creative writing at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.  Since receiving her MFA she has published poems in The Carolina QuarterlyFlycatcher: A Journal of Native Imagination, Rattle, and Tipton Poetry Journal.  Another poem was a finalist for the 2012 James Hearst Poetry Prize and is forthcoming in The North American Review. She was a Top Tales finalist in the Tales from the South on-air reading series in December 2011. At the Arkansas Literary Festival this April she participated in a panel called "Place/Displaced" and gave a reading at Pub or Perish. In June she will read her story "The Hurricane" at the International Conference on the Short Story in English.

Tracy Crow (2005) is the author of the memoir, Eyes Right, published in the spring of 2011 by the University of Nebraska Press. She has also published essays in The Missouri Review, Mississippi Review, and Puerto del Sol, to name a few, and her work has received three Pushcart Prize nominations. Tracy teaches journalism and creative writing at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Melanie DeCarolis (2006) published her story "Looks Like Tomorrow is Coming On Fast" in the 2008 edition of 580 Split.

Timothy C. Davis' (2008) publication credits include pieces for, Saveur, Gastronomica, the Christian Science Monitor, Travel + Life, Harp, Mother Jones, SPIN, Tracks, and No Depression. His fiction has been published in The Pedestal Magazine and Eclectica, among other outlets. He is an associate editor with Gravy, the official newsletter of the Southern Foodways Alliance, and is the former staff writer and lead music writer at Creative Loafing in Charlotte, NC, and staff writer and restaurant critic for the Weekly Surge in Myrtle Beach, SC. He's had pieces anthologized in Making Notes: Music of the Carolinas, and in Cornbread Nation 4: The Best of Southern Food Writing. He recently finished work on an essay-rich cookbook co-authored with John T. Edge, Sara Roahen, Sheri Castle and April McGreger, tentatively titled The Spiral-Bound Bible of Southern Cooking, which will be published by the University of Georgia Press.

Athena Dixon (2008) has published poetry in journals such as Blackberry:A Magazine, Tawdry Bawdry, Blast Furnace, and Emerge Literary Journal among others. She currently contributes a bi-weekly creative non-fiction column at For Harriet. She is founder of Linden Avenue Literary Journal, co-founder of Specter Literary Magazine, Poetry Editor of The Reprint, and a Managing Editor for Z-Composition.

Manolita Farolan Doise received a John Woods scholarship to study at the Prague Summer Program in July 2006.

Shelley Drancik, a current Queens student, has published her first story "Faces" in Relief (Volume 2, Issue 3).

Erika Dreifus (2003) is the author of the short-story collection, Quiet Americans (Last Light Studio), which was named a Sophie Brody Medal Honor Title for 2012; the Sophie Brody Medal is given "to encourage, recognize and commend outstanding achievement in Jewish literature." Quiet Americans was also recognized as a Notable Book of 2011 by The Jewish Journal, the largest Jewish weekly outside New York City, and as a Top 10 Small-Press Book for 2011 by Shelf Unbound magazine. A new story, "Fidelis," was commissioned by National Public Radio for NPR's 2011 "Hanukkah Lights" broadcast. Erika's other work includes poetry and prose published recently or forthcoming with, Jewish Ideas Daily, and Moment magazine. A contributing editor for Fiction Writers Review and The Writer magazine, and a member of the editorial advisory board for J Journal: New Writing on Justice, Erika publishes a free monthly newsletter for fictionists, poets, and writers of creative nonfiction; she also maintains a blog (Practicing Writing) to assist fellow writers. Web:

Sally Drumm (2005), a former Marine, has founded, developed and currently leads the Milspeak Creative Writing Seminars (, a series of writing workshops developed for military people who want to write about their experiences. She founded the Seminars in 2005 as an outreach program focused on using narrative writing to assimilate the wartime experience. Since everyone has a war story to tell, be it a story from the front or from the homefront, MCWS has evolved to include military personnel, retirees, family members, and civil service workers. During the five-week workshop, seminar participants write nonfiction stories about important moments in their lives. Most participants begin the seminar without formal creative writing training. The only requirement for participation is a desire to tell a true story about military life. Sally guides MCWS writers during five Saturday morning workshops. An anthology of MCWS writers was published in 2009 by Press 53. Sally has published work in several publications, including The Gettysburg Review, where her essay was named a notable essay in Best American Essays 2005.

Chris Duncan (2004) has published fiction in Sitrring, Ink Pot Literary Journal, Spoiled Ink, and The Best of Carve Magazine. He teaches at Virginia Highlands Community College. Chris is also the editor of the online journal Ray's Road Review.

Jilly Dybka, (2006) is the author of the collection of poetry, Trouble and Honey, available for download from Lulu Books. She has also had poems featured online by McSweeney's and Poetry Hut.  Her poetry has also appeared in Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine, Ink Pot, The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Elysian Fields Quarterly: The Baseball Review, Penwood Review, Main Street Rag and in two anthologies: Things That Go Bump in the Night by Outrider Press and an Hay(na)ku anthology by Meritage Press in California, and xPress(ed), Finland.  Her chapbook, Fair Territory, was published by Bear Shirt Press in 2004. 

Stephen G. Eoannou(2011) has published short fiction in the Barely South Review, Boomtown: Explosive Writing from Ten Years of the Queens University of Charlotte MFA Program, Pulp Modern, The Young Adult Review Network, The Cleveland Review.  New work is forthcoming from Echo Ink Review, Aethlon, and Hayden's Ferry Review.

Deborah Eshenour (2006) leads creative writing workshops at New Directions Center, a woman's shelter, in Staunton, Virginia. Her short story "Luke John" (published in the Winter/Spring 2007 issue of Fourteen Hills) was nominated for a 2008 Pushcart Prize. An excerpt from her novel The Thousandth Man, called "Stories" was published in the Summer 2008 issue of Puerto del Sol.

Linda Escalera Price (2012) has two upcoming productions scheduled:  Hendersonville (NC) Little Theatre is producing Harps & Harmonicas April 27 - May 13, and South Park (PA) Theatre is producing Silent Heroes May 17 - June 2.

Roberta Fabiani (2006) was the keynote speaker at the Spring 2005 Conference of The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.  Roberta also serves as Vice-President for the State of Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.

Melanie Faith (2007) had her poetry chapbook Bright Burning Fuse selected as a finalist in the Keyhole Magazine 2008 Poetry Chapbook Contest. Her work has also appeared in Writings From the River, published by Montana State University-Great Falls, Caesura; Arabesques, an international literary journal; Bravado, a literary journal from New Zealand; The Blue Ocean Institute's Sea Stories magazine; The Powhatan Review; and NoD, published by the University of Calgary, Canada. An essay about Billy Collin's poetry was featured in a themed issue of the Minneapolis/St. Paul literary newspaper, Whistling Shade.

Carol Fant (2006) has published poetry in The Gettysburg Review, Eclectica, Pen Himalaya, and other journals.  Her poem "Two Girls Gone" was awarded the 2006 Incite Award for Poetry by The Eckerd Review.  

Marilyn Gaston (2008) was awarded a full graduate scholarship and three-year fellowship to the University of Oklahoma to pursue an MFA in Dance, teach ballet and serve as rehearsal director for the 55-member Oklahoma Festival Ballet Company. She is the first recipient of the Ballets Russes Archival Fellowship.

Clifford Garstang (2003) is the author of the award-winning linked story collection, In an Uncharted Country, was published by Press 53 in 2009. His novel in stories, What the Zhang Boys Know, is forthcoming from Press 53 in August 2012. Recent stories have appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Blackbird, Valparaiso Fiction Review, and Tampa Review. He has received Fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Sewanee Writers' Conference and is a frequent speaker at workshops, conferences, and festivals. He is the Editor of Prime Number Magazine and teaches creative writing through

Joy Beshears Hagy (2006) had her poem "Rapture" chosen by North Carolina Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer as an Honorable Mention in the 2006 NC State Poetry Contest.  Another poem, "Traffic Jam, Butterfly" was published on Southern Gothic Online.  

Jessica Handler (2006) is the author of the memoir Invisible Sisters, published by Public Affairs Books, a division of Perseus Press.  Among many other honors, it was included in the 2010 list of "25 Books All Georgians Should Read," from the Georgia Center for the Book.  Jessica's work has appeared in More magazine; Southern Arts Journal; Ars Medica, the Canadian journal of medicine and the humanities; Brevity; The Journal of Concise Literary Non-Fiction; Brain; Child Magazine; The Utne Reader "Best of the Alternative Web"; and Shuz Magazine. She has also published poetry in The Berkshire Review. Her essay "Feeling It, Wanting" was nominated for a 2008 Pushcart Prize, and she was accepted as the Peter Taylor Fellow at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop for June 2009.  She was featured in an article on Southern women writers in the February 2011 issue of Vanity Fair, along with Kathleen Stockett and Natasha Trethewey.

Pauletta Hansel (2011) had two books of poems published in 2011, her thesis The Lives We Live in Houses (Wind Publications, 2011) and What I Did There (Dos Madres Press, 2011). She is co-editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative; poems by alumni Dominique Traverse Locke, Val Nieman and Elizabeth Swann are in the most recent issue.  She's arranged a southern book tour for herself in August 2012 with the help of Queens and other writing friends, and will begin a year-long gig as Writer-in-Residence for Thomas More College later that month.

Jeffery Hess (2005) is the editor of the anthology Home of the Brave: Stories in Uniform (Press 53). The anthology has won the Gold Medal from the Military Writer's Society of America, and a Silver Medal from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. The book features stories from many critically acclaimed authors including Kurt Vonnegut, Tim O'Brien, James Salter, and Queens own Pinckney Benedict; it also features stories from several Queens alumni: Mary Akers, Tracy Crow, Sarah Davis, Valerie Hamilton, Hannah Huber, Kevin Jones, Bruce Overby and Blaise Weller. Jeff is a freelance writer and editor who's own writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Needle: A Magazine of Noir, Shotgun Honey, The MacGuffin, Plots with Guns, R.KV.R.Y, Prime Number Magazine, among others. He lives in Florida where he leads a creative writing workshop for military veterans.

Patricia Hickman, (2006) published her latest book Painted Dresses with Random House in July 2008. Based on the thesis she submitted here at Queens, the novel follows protagonist Gaylen Boatwright. When her unbalanced sister, Delia, shoots a woman, Gaylen decides to flee the law with her. Publisher's Weekly has this to say: "Hickman gamely unpacks the lies families tell each other, the cost of family secrets to ourselves and others, the bonds between sisters and the walls between husbands and wives. Her sparkling talent is evident in this engrossing story." Her previous books include In the Cathedral of Grasshoppers, Breakfast by the Sea, Our Horn of Plenty, Fallen Angels, Nazareth's Song and Whisper Town.

Ann Hillesland's (2009) fiction and nonfiction has been published or is forthcoming in literary journals including Fourth Genre, Open City, North Dakota Quarterly, The Los Angeles Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, Prick of the Spindle, Prime Number, Foundling Review, Sou'wester, and Toasted Cheese.  It has also appeared in the anthologies A la Carte: Short Stories that Stir the Foodie in All of Us and The Incredible Shrinking Story.  Her work has been nominated for the Best of the Net anthology and has been read on stage by the theater company Stories on Stage in Denver, Colorado.

Scott C. Holstad, (2005) has published poetry in Main Street Rag, The Southern Ocean Review, The Heat City Literary Review, The Asheville Poetry Review,  and other journals.  His 15th book of poems, Cells, was published in January 2005, and his 16th book, Confessions, was published later the same year. 

Donna Hunt (2006) is a 2010 and 2011 Pushcart nominee, and her chapbook, The Coastline of Antarctica, has recently been released from Finishing Line Press.   Her poems have appeared in Tin House, Diagram, and South Dakota Review, among other journals and anthologies.  She was recently awarded a four-week full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center.  She is currently teaching at CUNY.

Kevin Jones (2005) has published nonfiction and fiction in The New York Times, Ink Pot, r.k.vr.y., Prime Number, Monkeybicycle, The Cobalt Review, and the anthologies Home of the Brave: Stories in Uniform (Press 53, 2009) and Boomtown: Explosive Writing from Ten Years of the Queens University of Charlotte MFA Program (Press 53, 2011). He is a PhD candidate at the University of Florida researching student identity development among combat veterans. A former Marine, he teaches writing and literature on Florida's Gulf Coast.

Julie King (2006) has published poetry in Tin House, Pleiades, Cimarron Review, Texas Review, and Saint of Hysteria, an anthology of collaborative poems edited by Denise Duhamel, Maureen Seaton, and David Trinidad.

Willie James King (2005) published his third collection of poetry, The House in the Heart, with Tebot Bach press. Of The House in the Heart, Cathy Smith Bowers has written, "Anyone who enters this house, so sturdily constructed by the poet's art and craft, his wisdom and childlike awe, will find himself at once both chilled and warmed by King's far-reaching vision, his deep passion, his immense and inspiring talent." Willie's work has also appeared in Mudfish, Obsidian 111, Pembroke Magazine, Puerto del Sol, RATTLE, River King Poetry Supplement, The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Southern Poetry Review, HazMat Review, Oyez Review, and an anthology of Alabama poets edited by Sue B. Walke, the Poet Laureate of Alabama. His poetry was also featured in the 1999 anthology Dark Eros: Black Erotic Writings. Willie's collection of poetry Wooden Windows was published in 1999 by Sulphur River Literary Review Press, with a forward by Yusef Komunyakaa. His chapbook, At the Forest Edge, first published in 1992, was reprinted in 2005. He has been nominated for four Pushcart Awards.

Ellen Kirschner (2006) published a short story, "How do I Tell the Kids?" in the anthology, Under Our Skin: Literature of Breast Cancer, published by The Illuminati Press.  Her work has also appeared in the bilingual journal Interfaces.  Most recently, her illustrated essay with original images, Representation of Illness in Literature and the Arts, was published in Vol. 26 of the journal. The author's lithograph, "Inner Self-Portrait" appears on the cover and a CD of her original drawings is included with the publication. 

Deborah Gerlach Klaus (2006) published her story "Sins of the Flesh" in the Spring/Summer 2006 issue of Hayden's Ferry Review.  Her story "Freedom Ride" appeared in the Winter/Spring 2005 edition of Passages North.

Lisa Williams Kline's (2008) novel for young people, Write Before Your Eyes, was published in Fall 2008 by Delacorte Press. Two previous middle-grade novels, Eleanor Hill, and Princesses of Atlantis, were published by Cricket Books. Eleanor Hill won the North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award. Her story "Guest Room" won third prize in the Elizabeth Simpson Smith Contest sponsored by the Charlotte Writers' Club.

Ron Lands (2004) is a member of the teaching faculty in the Department of Medicine at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus where he practices and teaches Internal Medicine, Hematology and Geriatrics. He has work published in the collection Breathing the Same Air: An Anthology of East Tennessee Writers as well as New Millennium Writings, Branchwood Journal, Wind, descant, The Distillery, Washington Square, Fourth River, Nassau Review, RiverSedge, the Big Muddy and others. He has published essays and poems from the intersection of writing and medicine in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of the American Geriatric Society, Journal of General Internal Medicine and the Journal of Palliative Medicine. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  For the past two years, he has facilitated a workshop with first and second year internal medicine residents in which he uses short fiction to illustrate clinical, ethical, moral and societal dilemmas that are often seen in the real life practice of medicine. He has written a narrative medicine curriculum for medical students and internal medicine residents that teaches the art of medicine by exploiting the similarities in reading good writing and reading the patient: context, point of view, reliability of the narrator, character analysis, metaphors and hidden meanings.

Jodi Laughlin (2006) has published fiction in storySouth and One Page Stories.

Tom Lombardo (2003) is Poetry Series Editor for Press 53 ( He also edited  After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events, an anthology that features 152 poems by 115 poets from 15 nations. His first collection of poetry-What Bends Us Blue-is forthcoming in 2013.  His poems have appeared in many journals in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and India, including Southern Poetry Review, Subtropics, Ambit, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, Kritya: A Journal for Our Time, Orbis, Salamander, Ars Medica, Pearl, Asheville Poetry Review, and others. His criticism has been published in New Letters, North Carolina Literary Review, and South Carolina Review. His essays and other nonfiction have appeared in Chrysalis Reader, IEEE Spectrum, Leisure magazine and other publications. His nonfiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Small Press, 2009. He has taught courses in Aesthetics and in Creative Writing at the Atlanta College of Art. He was the founding editor-in-chief of WebMD, the world's most widely used health web site, and he lives in Midtown Atlanta, where he works as a freelance medical editor.

Linera Lucas (2006) has published short stories in Pindeldyboz, VerbSap, Crucible, and Pipes & Timbrels, and her poetry has appeared in R-KV-RY, and the anthologies In the Yard, and Night Whispers. Her interview with watercolorist Ruth Armitage appeared in the 2008 issue of Salem Monthly.

Karon Luddy (2005) is the author of the poetry collection Wolf Heart, published by Clemson University Press, and the novel Spelldown, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. Her fiction has appeared in The South Carolina Review, Timber Creek Review, and One Paycheck Away, an anthology of short fiction.

Lacey Lyons (2011) teaches English at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where her craft seminar from Queens, "The Get and the Gaps: Interviewing Techniques for the Illness Memoir and Beyond," has developed into a service-learning course in which students from Belmont interview and profile students affiliated with the Kennedy Center at Vanderbilt University, a facility that provides services for individuals with disabilities and their families. She will be speaking about the course and the benefits of writing about disability at the Kennedy Center's upcoming conference on disability services on June 1, 2012.  She also served as the nonfiction judge for this year's Moore County Writers' Competition and continues to conduct author interviews for Charlotte ViewPoint. Shortly after she completed her degree from Queens, five fellow alumni recruited her to edit their anthology on race, culture, and identity. Her book about living with epilepsy, Seizing Life: A Guide to Epilepsy, is still in progress.

Margaret MacInnis (2004) was a finalist in the 2006 Mid-American Review Creative Nonfiction contest, with the essay to be published as The Editor's Choice. Margaret's nonfiction, including excerpts from her memoir, has also appeared in Massachusetts Review, Gettysburg Review, Louisville Review, Alimentum, Literal Latte, Potomac Review, Crab Orchard Review, and Brevity, and her poetry has appeared in Literary Mama and Caketrain. Margaret's honors include first place recognition in the Literal Latte essay contest, being featured by Alimentum as the magazine's emerging writer, a fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a term as writer-in-residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, Nebraska. She was nominated for a 2007 Pushcart Prize.

Kate Marchetto, a current student, had her poem Pencil & Sand Dance published in a recent issue of qarrtsiluni. She edits the New Fraktur Arts Journal, a semi-annual publication currently in production of its fourth and fifth issues.

Nick Marino (2007) is managing editor of Paste Magazine and has written cover stories for the magazine about Michael Jackson and rapper-provocateur Kanye West. Paste Magazine is an award-winning national publication dedicated to new music, film, books, and culture.

Jonnie Martin (2012) writes a literary weblog titled "Jonnie's Writerly Notes" discussing modern and classical fiction.  In the spring she will begin to market her first novel, Wrangle, set in Texas in the 1960's when quarter horse racing was held on dirt tracks and winning was a great deal more important to the ranchers than the purse money at stake.  In development is her second novel, Copper Summers, which follows the struggles of processing food along the west coast and of the migrants who fuel the industry.

Chris Mastin (2006) has published fiction in Zebulon Nights and online at, LitPot, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.  Her essays have appeared in the Winter 2003 edition of Ink Pot Literary Journal and Ray's Road Review.  Another essay appeared in From Sheep to Shawl, published by Random House in 2004.  Chris also recorded a poem for Poetic License, broadcast on public radio in Northern California.

Terri McCord (2006) had her chapbook, The Art & The Wait published by Finishing Line Press. Rebecca McClanahan describes The Art & The Wait as "an unblinking look at the world before our eyes and a glimpse into the unseen worlds of myth, dream, and dark enchantment." Terri's work has also appeared in Connecticut Review; Cortland Review; the Texas Review Press poetry anthology, Southern Poetry Anthology, South Carolina; and Kakalak 2007, published by Main Street Rag. She's the recipient of the 2007 Don Russ Poetry Prize by the Kennesaw Review and was a finalist in the Yemassee poetry contest and the Southeast Review poetry contest.

Madge McKeithen (2006) published her book Blue Peninsula: Essential Words in a Life of Loss and Change, a collection of essays about her older son's degenerative illness, with Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux in the spring of 2006.  Lines from a range of poets and lyricists including Emily Dickinson, The Rolling Stones, Paul Celan, Bruce Springsteen, Marie Howe, Walt Whitman and many others are springboards for the essays.  Her writing has also appeared in TriQuarterly, The New York Times Book Review, Utne Reader, and The Best American Essays 2011.  She teaches at The New School in New York.

Amy Mercer (2010) is the author of the book, The Smart Woman's Guide to Diabetes, Authentic Advice on Everything from Eating to Dating and Motherhood, published in September 2011 by Demos Health. A follow up, The Smart Woman's Guide to Eating Right with Diabetes, What Will Work, will be published in the late fall of 2012.

Susan Meyers (2003) is the author of Keep and Give Away (University of South Carolina Press, 2006), selected by Terrance Hayes as winner of the SC Poetry Book Prize. The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance also voted it winner of the 2007 SIBA Book Award for Poetry; and it is the recipient of the 2007 Brockman-Campbell Book Award, judged by Rigoberto Gonzalez. Susan's work has received recent prizes from Yemassee and South Carolina Review; and her poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Tar River Poetry, and Crazyhorse, as well as Verse Daily online. She has been poet-in-residence at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC, and artist-in-residence in the SC State Parks program. She serves as president of the Poetry Society of South Carolina. 

Sheryl Monks (2003) co-founded Press 53. Sheryl is also the author of Ghostly Lighthouses from Maine to Florida and a contributor to Travel North Carolina: Going Native in the Old North State, both published by John F. Blair Publisher in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was a recipient of a grant for 2004-2005 by the Northwest North Carolina Regional Artist Project, sponsored by the arts councils in Alleghany, Ashe, Watauga, and Wilkes counties, and won the Reynolds Price Short Fiction Award in 2003, judged by Shannon Ravenel, editor at Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. Her short story, "Little Miss Bobcat," appeared in a issue of RE:AL-The Journal of Liberal Arts.

Carl Moore (2009) was the recipient of the Nonfiction Award and The Morgan Fitz/George Kuhl Award at The Sandhills Writers Conference in Augusta, Georgia.

Valerie Nieman (2004) will have her third novel, Feral, published by Press53. She recently published poems in Solo Café and in three anthologies, and an essay on landscape and literature, "Correspondences," appeared in The Front Porch Journal. An associate professor at North Carolina A&T State University, where she teaches creative writing, she also teaches at the John C. Campbell Folk School, the North Carolina Writer's Network, and the new continuing education program in creative writing at Central Carolina Community College. She was a poet-facilitator in the LifeVerse program, creating poetry with residents of an assisted living facility in Greensboro. Val has published a collection of poems: Wake Wake Wake (Press 53) and a short story collection, Fidelities (West Virginia University Press).  Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Lisel Mueller has said of Nieman's poetry: "Ultimately it's a writer's excellence as a writer, her strength of language, apart from all good intentions, that convinces us she is telling the truth.  [Nieman] has an extraordinary sense of metaphor and a talent for expressive language that seems, at the same time, plain and straightforward, probably because it is so apt as to seem inevitable."

Sandra Novack, a Queens post-graduate student, published her first novel Precious with Random House in 2009. Her story "Memphis" was selected by Stephen King as a "Distinguished Story" in Best American Short Stories 200.

Bruce Overby's (2008) story, "Bookmarks," won First Prize in the 2007 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition.  Another story, "Pool," was published in Issue 24 of the online literary journal StoryGlossia (October 2007).

Steven Patten (2009) has been a four-time finalist in Glimmer Train's annual fiction contests. His stories "Undeserved" and "Night Blooming Series" were finalists in 2004, "My Father" in 2005, and "A Mouse's Death" in 2006.  His short story "Swallow" was published in the anthology Surreal South 2009, and his short story "The Lady Of Flowers" appeared in the anthology Boomtown.

Carol Peters (2005) is a poet and translator. Apobiz Press published her full-length collection, Sixty Some, in the fall of 2009. Her chapbook, Muddy Prints, Water Shine, was published in 2008 as #57 in the New Women's Voices Series by Finishing Line Press of Georgetown, Kentucky. Her work has appeared in Always on Friday, Cairn, Connotation Press, Ecotone, International Poetry Review, Letters to the World, Main Street Rag, Pebble Lake Review, Pembroke Magazine, RealPoetik, Reconfigurations, South Carolina Review, The Asheville Poetry Review, The Lyric, The Other Voices International Project, The Pedestal Magazine, The Sound of Poets Cooking, and Waccamaw. She is Editorial Assistant for The Gettysburg Review and teaches at the Charleston School of the Arts.

Nancy Pinard (2004) published a story in The Paper Journey Press's anthology on the Seven Deadly Sins.  The story, one of 49 stories chosen from a field of 250, was featured in the section on greed. 

Brittney Prichard's (2008) chapbook Lessons in Disaster, winner of the 2008 South Carolina Poetry Initiative chapbook prize, has been published by the University of South Carolina/Stepping Stone Press. Her work has also appeared in in Main Street Rag and Peeks and Valleys.

Kent Priestly (2006) is the co-author, with Jon Elliston, of North Carolina Curiosities, published by The Globe Pequot Press. The book is a travel guide to offbeat collections, attractions, and people around the state.

Sarah Park Rankin (2006) is editor of the  anthology of stories Pipes & Timbrels, featuring work by Queens alums Linera Lucas and Claudine Guertin. Sarah Park was also a panelist at the 2006 North American Conference of the Historical Novel Society in Albany, NY.

Mary Beth Ray (2006) has published essays and fiction in Arts & Letters, The North Atlantic Review, and Iodine. She has also been a Pushcart Prize nominee. 

Peter Reinhart (2008) won a 2008 James Beard Award for his book Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraoardinary Flavor, one of the projects he workshopped in the MFA program. His book was also nominated for the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Book Award. In 2002, Reinhart won Book of the Year honors from both organizations for his book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread, a finalist for the International Gourmand Best of the Best Award for "Best Baking Book of the Past Twelve Years." An earlier book, Crust & Crumb, also won a James Beard Award. Peter teaches at the Charlotte campus of Johnson & Wales University.

Christin Rice (2008) has published fiction in SoMa Literary Review, Best of Pif, and Prime Number Magazine, as well as other journals.   She has performed humor essays and short stories at LitUp Writers, Quiet Lightning, and Bikram Writing and serves on the Litquake planning committee.

Susan Rivers (2007) was awarded a 2008 Regional Artist Project Grant from the Arts and Science Council.

Charles Robbins (2007) is the author of the novel The Accomplice, forthcoming from St. Martin's Press.  He is also co-author of three nonfiction books, Life Among the Cannibals and Passion for Truth with former senator Arlen Specter and The U.S. Senate, with former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. 

Pat Riviere-Seel (2003) is the author of the book of poems, No Turning Back Now, from Finishing Line Press, which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  Her poetry has also appeared in Asheville Poetry Review, Crucible, and Main Street Rag.  Her poem, "Road Trip Conversation" was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2003.  She will read her poetry at Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, SC, on June 5, 2012. She has also been chosen as a 2012 Poet in Residence at the NC Zoo, where she will spend a week in conducting workshops for adults and children, selecting lines of poetry for installation at the zoo, and writing an original poem for the zoo. She was also selected for a two-week residency in August at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. She has just completed teaching a poetry writing class for UNC-Asheville. In addition to her poem in Boomtown, Explosive Writing from Ten Years of the Queens University of Charlotte MFA Program, new work appears in  the literary journal Cloudbank and the anthology ...and love... from Jacar Press.

Sheila Saints (2007) has published nonfiction in Charlotte's Uptown Magazine and the anthology, Making Notes: Music of the Carolinas.

Martin Seay (2005) published his story "Grand Tour" in the Summer 2007 issue of The Gettysburg Review. He was a recipient of a 2005-2006 fellowship in fiction writing from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

Hershella Smith (2007) published her story "Saved" in Appalachian Heritage.

Ron Stodghill (2007) is the author of Redbone: Money, Malice, and Murder in Atlanta, published by Amistad press. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called Redbone, "A captivating look at an extravagant life, a sordid murder and a pivotal time" Ron's work was also regularly featured in the Sunday Business Section of The New York Times and The Charlotte Observer.

Robert Stofel (2008), who writes under the pen name Robert Lavender, recently published an essay "A Place for People Like Us" in Bare Root Review.  His fiction has appeared in Brevity, Front Porch Journal, Controlled Burn, Clackamas Literary Review, Wheelhouse Magazine, Red Clay Review, Swink Magazine, Monkeybicycle, Descant, Aura Literary Arts Review, Happy, and Zone 3. His story "Police-Legs Aren't for Public Consumption" was a finalist for Mills College's 580 Split fiction award in 2007.  He was a recipient of a scholarship to the 2010 DePaul Summer Writing Conference.

Nona Stuck (2006) has published essays in O, the Oprah Magazine, More Magazine and the on-line journal Literary Mama.  One of her essays for O was nominated for the National Magazine Awards. Nona has also had an essay published as part of Dan Jones' Modern Love column in The New York Times on April 22, 2007.

Elizabeth Swann (2010) has been teaching writing workshops and retreats, most recently at Wingmaker Arts Collaborative in Charlotte. Recent publications include poetry in Ruminate Magazine, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Liturgical Credo, the blog Familiar Minds, and she has poems forthcoming in Inkwell and in Pinesong, the North Carolina Poetry Society's anthology for NCPS contest winners. She also wrote a book review for the current edition of The Pedestal Magazine. Beth was a finalist in the 2012 NC Poetry Society's Poet Laureate Contest and was awarded second place in the Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Contest. Her chapbook manuscript, Port Desire, was named a semi-finalist by Codhill Press and by Goldline Press. In addition, Beth was invited to read her work from the anthology Imagining Heaven in an event co-sponsored by Hospice of Presbyterian Hospital and by The Respite, A Centre for Grief & Hope in Charlotte. In March she was invited to read at the opening of "Beyond the Curve II: Celebrating Women's Vision," an art exhibit at the Civic & Cultural Arts Center of Pineville, N.C. In May, she will be reading at the NC Poetry Society's Spring Meeting in Weymouth, N.C.  

Charles Swanson (2008) published two collections of poetry in 2009. After the Garden: Selected Responses to the Psalms, was published by Mote Books; Farm Life and Legend, a chapbook, was published in November 2009 from Finishing Line Press. Two poems published in the literary magazine Pegasus - "Joe Pratt to His Wife" and "After the Garden: What Does it Mean, the Killing Fields?" - won first place prizes from the Kentucky State Poetry Society. His work has also appeared in Aethlon, the journal of Sport Literature; Virginia Writing; Wildlife in North Carolina; alcalines; Appalachian Journal; Grab-A-Nickel and Now & Then.

Dominique Traverse Locke (2012) has published poems in literary magazines such as The Clinch Mountain Review, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Referential Magazine, Barely South Review, and most recently, The Sow's Ear Poetry Review. Her first book, The Goodbye Child, a chapbook length collection of poems is forthcoming in 2012 from Aldrich Publishing.

Rob Trott (2007) published his short story "Loony" in Inkwell.

Suzanne Van Atten's (2010) essay "Box of Stones" was published in the The Gettysburg Review. She also has a piece on Augusten Burroughs forthcoming in The Chattahoochee Review

Jim Walke (2010) has published fiction in Gulf Stream Magazine, Hot Metal Bridge, The Ampersand Review, and the anthology Surreal South 2011.

Alison Wellford (2011) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her story "The Broken Vase," which appeared in The Gettysburg Review  

Blaise Weller (2006) was nominated for Pushcart Prize for a story published in The Licking River Review.

Ann Wicker (2005) is the editor of the nonfiction anthology, Making Notes: Music of the Carolinas, which features stories and essays about the rich legacy of music in North and South Carolina and was published Novello Festival Press in 2008.  It was a finalist in ForeWord magazine's annual contest for books from independent publishers.  In 2009, she helped start The Weathers Creek Writers' Series, which offers one-day writing workshops in a log cabin on a farm outside Cleveland, NC.  She also works with individual writers as an editor and coach and has been a presenter at the South Carolina Book Festival, Carolina Writers' Night and the Southern Festival of Books. Her work has appeared in Creative Loafing, SouthPark, Charlotte, Lake Norman Magazine and elsewhere.

Mike Willis (2006) has published poetry in Washington Square Review, Southern Arts Journal, Rattle, Studio, Quantum Leap, Paris/Atlantic, Flaming Arrows, and Orbis, where he was awarded the Editor's Choice Award in spring 2003. His work also appeared in the summer 2005 issue.

Scott Wilkerson (2010) had his first book of poems, Threading Stone published by New Plains Press in 2009. His poems, reviews, and speculative essays have appeared recently in Zafusy, Amaryllis, Word for/Word, and Eratio, where he was a featured writer.

Sam Wilson (2010) has published stories in The Sun, Connecticut Review, Red Cedar Review, Canteen, and Cold Mountain Review. In 2010, his stories "A New Painting for Marianne" and "Bob Dylan's Story" were both nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Kevin Winchester (2005) is the author of the novel, On Trembling Ground, written under the pen name A.P. Newell, released in April of 2012. His short story collection Everybody's Gotta Eat was published in June 2009 by Main Street Rag Press. Other short fiction has appeared in Gulf Coast Literary and Arts Journal, Barrel House, Story South, Rays Road Review, and the anthology Everything But the Baby.  His creative non-fiction has appeared in the Novello Press anthology entitled Making Notes: Music in the Carolinas and also in Tin House Literary Magazine.  He was also the recipient of a 2005 Bread Loaf Scholarship.

Susan Woodring (2004) is the author of the novel Goliath, published by St. Martin's Press. She is also the author of another novel The Traveling Disease (Main Street Rag, 2007) and a collection of short stories, Springtime on Mars (Press 53, 2008). Her short fiction has been published in Quick Fiction, turnrow, Passages North, and Surreal South, among other magazines and anthologies. She is the winner of the 2006 Isotope Short Fiction Contest, the 2006 Elizabeth Simpson Smith Short Fiction Prize, and the 2009 Ruminate Short Fiction Contest. Her fiction has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Sheilah Zimpel (2010) is the author of the essay "Mother Nature's Calling," which won third place in the 2008 North Carolina Writers' Network Annual Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Contest ( She has also had essays published in the November 2008 and January 2009 issues of Skirt! Magazine.

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