Graduate Program in Creative Writing
Students and Alumni
KU's MFA students and PhD students in creative writing come from a wide variety of places and backgrounds, and they often gather for activities and readings. The Kansas Writers Collective, formed by the students in the graduate creative writing program, participated in a panel discussion at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) in Denver, Colorado, organized readings, workshops, social and community outreach events in Lawrence and the surrounding communities, and was instrumental creating KUs first graduate student-run literary journal, Beecher's.
For a list of KU alumni and their publications, please see the Published KU Alumni Page.
I earned my MFA from New Mexico State University in 2006 and chose to pursue a PhD in Creative Writing at KU, one of the few universities in the country that offers a Creative Writing PhD. What I like best about the program is that the teaching opportunities are great and the writing community is strong. There is no other town like Lawrence in the Midwest. My work has been published in Lake Effect, Inkwell, Desert Voices, and Cimarron Review.
Robert J. Baumann
Robert J. Baumann's writings have appeared on Everyday Genius, Shampoo, Boo Journal, 3AM Magazine, and RobotMelon, in Abraham Lincoln, Gam, and Sprung/Spring Formal, and is forthcoming in Hobart. His chapbook, Robert J. Baumann's A Man About Town was published by Hey Tiger Press in 2010. He co-curates An Actual Kansas Reading Series, and publishes Mitzvah Chaps, a chapbook series of experimental poetry and fiction.
An Actual Kansas Reading Series: http://anactualkansas.blogspot.com/
Mitzvah Chaps: http://mitzvahchaps.blogspot.com/
I've lived in Kansas all my life and got my B.A. in English at KU, and am now working on my MFA. I've been published in Concho River Review. I enjoy writing novels, short stories, and screenplays. Before teaching English, my job highlights include serving a whole lot of jello and applesauce to residents at a retirement home, being an usher for an Ozzy Osbourne concert, and editing medical texts.
Callista Buchen has an MA in literature from the University of Oregon and an MFA in creative writing from Bowling Green State University. Her poetry and prose have appeared in The Pennsylvania Review, The New Formalist, Willow Review, Bellevue Review, elimae, Staccato Fiction, Gigantic, jmww, Connotation Press, Emprise Review, Black Heart Magazine, >kill author, and A cappella Zoo. Her reviews have been published in Mid-American Review, The Collagist, Prick of the Spindle, and jmww. Callista, a Pushcart Prize nominee and former assistant editor of Mid-American Review, is the editor of Portal del Sol, as well as a staff reader for jmww and KU's Beecher's. For more information, see http://callistabuchen.wordpress.com/.
Ben Cartwright has had poems and prose poems published in Fract/ons, Prick of the Spindle, Organization & Environment and the Blue Island Review. His fiction has been published in Pure Francis. His work is forthcoming in The Stinging Fly, Sentence and Stone Telling. Ben maintains a podcast of Lawrence area writers reading their work at www.kansasblotter.blogspot.com. He also maintains a podcast of writers and scholars reading Science Fiction at www.aboutsf.podomatic.com. Ben is the current volunteer coordinator for AboutSF through the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at KU. Ben blogs at www.hypergraphicneedling.blogspot.com.
Mickey Cesar was born in Plattsburgh, New York, and lived in Dayton, Satellite Beach, Austin, Wichita and Omaha. He briefly attended Kansas University before joining the Navy where he trained in San Francisco and was assigned to a destroyer in Norfolk, traveling extensively in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Mickey lived in Lawrence until he was mobilized as an Army Reservist, where he served as a Staff Sergeant in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
His poems have appeared in Rockhurst Review, Coal City Review, I-70 Review, The Other Side of Sorrow, Present Magazine, Seveneightfive Magazine, Flutter and other publications; he also has been published as a "Pocket Poet" by Unholy Day Press (Kansas City, 2004). His first book, “Vanishing Point” was released by 219 Press (Perry, KS) in January 2005. Having completed a Bachelor’s Degree in English following his discharge from the Army, Mickey is pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in Poetry at Kansas University.
Mary Stone Dockery is originally from farm country of northwest Missouri. Before attending Missouri Western State University, she traveled the U.S. selling magazine subscriptions door to door and served briefly in the United Sates Army. Mary graduated from Missouri Western in 2009, earning a BA in English Literature with a Creative Writing emphasis. Her writing often explores issues of motherhood and mother-daughter relationships, especially those relationships evolving within strained circumstances, and within the context of the rural Midwest.
Mary’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Amoskeag, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Lingerpost, Mochila, and Touchstone, among others. She received the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award for Poetry in 2011 and is a current staff member for the Blue Island Review. Mary is an MFA student at the University of Kansas, with a special interest in poetry and short prose.She publishes under her maiden name, Mary Stone.
Dennis Etzel Jr.
My interests are Contemporary American Poetry, poetry as survival, feminist poetry, Two-Spirit poetry, ecopoetry, ecofeminist poetry, flarf poetry, flarfists, and Audre Lorde's use of the erotic as empowerment. I graduated from K-State with an MA (literature and creative writing emphasis), while earning a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies. My primary interest is (you guessed it!) poetry, followed by short stories. I chose KU because my friend Ben suggested it, and I really love it. I live in Topeka with my wife and son, and teach at Washburn University. I also host the Top City Poetry Reading Series.
I grew up in Boston and still can't believe I am this far from the ocean. I received my BA from Wellesley College in 2004 with a major in psychology but I somehow convinced them to let me do an honors thesis in creative writing. This sort of explains why at Kansas I am getting my Phd in Clinical Psychology while pursuing my MFA. I am interested in how people work. To me, my research and my fiction are two equally important ways to explore why people do what they do. My favorite writers are Flannery O'Connor, Roald Dahl, and Raymond Carver. In between writing, research, classes, and doing therapy, I volunteer with the Lawrence Humane Society, cook excessively for dinner parties and watch terrible reality television.
DaMaris is a student in the PhD English-Creative Writing Program. She is a graduate of Morgan State University with a MA in English. Her story "On the Other Side of Heaven - 1957" won the 2003 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award for Short Fiction. Her fiction frames issues race and gender within the context of capitalism and marginalization using various settings around the globe. The majority of her poetry is spiritually based and addresses issues of gender, race and identity. Eager to express the lives and accomplishments of underrepresented women, she is currently writing a novel about female juvenile delinquents during the Great Depression. Her writing is published in Reverie, African American National Biography Project, Warpland, Women in Judaism, Bermuda Anthology of Poetry, Telling Our Stories (forthcoming), Sleet Magazine (forthcoming), Kweli Journal <www.kwelijournal.org>and The Sable Quill. She chose the University of Kansas because the Department of English offers an eloquent blend of diverse scholars and writers within one community.
B.S. in journalism from University of Kansas. I am so surprised that I actually made a good decision. This PhD program lets me write, it lets me read, it lets me teach, and it lets me talk about all of those things as much as I want, which is easy, because everyone here is into all of said topics. Here, we write things that we all read and take seriously. We give feedback, we give encouragement, and we remind each other why we are writers.
Iris Ann Moulton was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she studied English Literature and Anthropology. She now lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where she is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and works as the Assistant Poetry Editor for Beecher's. Her work has appeared in Everyday Genius, elimae, Pebble Lake Review, and Cider Press Review. http://www.irismoulton.com
Jeremy is current working on a creative non-fiction book that uses his personal experiences working for the Peace Corps in Mauritania, a country that has largely been ignored in the English-speaking world. The project explores contemporary issues such as Islam, racism, neocolonialism, and development work while portraying the humanity and hope of the people he befriended; people who simply do not exist in a meaningful way for many much of the world. In addition, he co-authored An Impossible Cast: Glen Andrews and the Birth of Professional Bass Fishing, The Whitefish Press, 2009 and has received the Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship.
BFA Film Studies, University of Colorado. I would like to be a professor and to live on a nice piece of land on the edge of a lovely college town with my wife and my dogs and cats and maybe a goat or two. That’s the main reason why I’m in the MFA program at KU. For most of the past 15 years I’ve worked as a journalist, and that industry is going to hell. Five years ago, I left a newspaper to write a book that was published in 2006. It’s called Cross-X and it’s about an inner-city high school debate squad. Right after it came out I helped this weird guy named Funkhouser get elected as mayor of Kansas City, and for a while I worked in his office, until it got too weird. Now newspapers are the new mausoleums, and I’m not yet a corpse. So I’m here digging the academic life, and writing ‘net copy about credit cards to make ends meet. Plus I grow delicious vegetables.
Chris Nelson was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia, but has been living in Lawrence, Kansas since 1995. He received his undergraduate degree in Creative Writing at KU and has been in the KU MFA Writing program since 2005. He primarily writes Fiction and poetry, and is working with both forms for his MFA. He also writes sketch comedy as one of the head writers for Lawrence’s semi-annual Victor Continental Show and has written several plays and movie scripts, many of the plays having been performed in Lawrence by KU’s English Alternative Theater, Card Table Theater and Buoys of Freedom Productions. He has two cats, loves robots, and fears the coming zombie apocalypse. He is also in the habit of speaking of himself in the 3rd person for internet bios.
Mark Petterson has had fiction published in elimae and Sunken Lines, and he is the Associate Fiction Editor of Beecher's Magazine.