MFA Alumni Publishing

For more than sixty years, the graduates of our university's Creative Writing Program and the Department of English have enjoyed great successes in literary publishing. This page focuses on our distinguished alumni since 1995, when the program transitioned into a full Master of Fine Arts program.

Here's a partial (and growing!) list of MFA alumni publishing accomplishments since 1995.

First Books Published (Poetry)

Megan Anderson Bohigian (2006)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Sightlines (Tourane Poetry Press, 2013, chapbook)

Additional books:

Vanishing Point (Orchard Street Press, 2018, chapbook)

Stacey Balkun (2014)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Author website

Jackalope-Girl Learns to Speak (Dancing Girl Press, 2016, chapbook)

Additional books:

Lost City Museum (Bull City Press, 2016, chapbook)

Eppur Si Muove (Porkbelly Press, 2019, chapbook)

Fiolet & Wing: An Anthology of Domestic Fabulist Poetry (Liminal Books, 2019, anthology co-editor)

Michelle Brittan Rosado (2011)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Author website

Theory on Falling into a Reef (Anhinga Press, 2016, chapbook)

Additional books:

Why Can't It Be Tenderness (U of Wisconsin Press, 2018)

Kenneth Robert Chacón (2004)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Author website

The Cholo Who Said Nothing and Other Poems (Turning Point Books, 2017)

Anthony Cody (2020)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Author website

Borderland Apocrypha (Omnidawn, 2020, finalist for National Book Award)

Brian Dunlap (2013)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Author website

Concrete Paradise (Finishing Line Press, 2018, chapbook)

Ronald Dzerigian (2016)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Author website

Rough Fire (Finishing Line Press, 2018)

Guiseppe Getto (2007)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry; MA English, Composition

Author website

Familiar History (Finishing Line Press, 2016, chapbook)

Cynthia Guardado (2012)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Author website

Endeavor (World Stage Press, 2017)

Michael Maniquiz (2006)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Revolver (U of the Philippines Press, 1997)

Sarah Fawn Montgomery (2010)

MFA Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction

Author website

The Astronaut Checks His Watch (Finishing Line Press, 2014, chapbook)

Additional books:

Leaving Tracks: A Prairie Guide (Finishing Line Press, 2017, chapbook)

Regenerate: Poems of Mad Women (Dancing Girl Press, 2018, chapbook)

Quite Mad: An American Pharma Memoir (Ohio State U Press, 2019)

Andrea Mortimer Rhoads (2006)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

The River: Reflections on Life and Poetry (Tourane Poetry Press, 2017, chapbook)

Sasha Pimentel (2007)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Author website

Insides She Swallowed (West End Press, 2020, winner of American Book Award)

Additional books:

For Want of Water and Other Poems (Beacon Press, 2017, winner of National Poetry Series)

Yinka Rose Reed-Nolan (2013)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

First Crush (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2016, chapbook)

Michael David Roberts (2004)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry; MA English, Composition (1989)

The Particulars of Being (In the Grove Press, 2003)

Steven Sanchez (2014)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Author website

To My Body (Glass Poetry Press, 2016, chapbook)

Additional books:

Photographs of Our Shadows (Agape Editions, 2017, chapbook)

Phantom Tongue (Sundress Publications, 2018)

Emily Jo Scalzo (2010)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

The Politics of Division (Five Oaks Press, 2017, chapbook)

James Tyner (2009)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry; BA English, Literature (2003)

The Ghetto Exorcist (Autumn House Press, 2009, chapbook)

Also of note:

Fresno Poet Laureate (2013-15)

Burlee Vang (2009)

MFA Creative Writing, Fiction

Author website

The Dead I Know: Incantation for Rebirth (Swan Scythe Press, 2010, chapbook)

Also of note:

Winner of a Nicholl Fellowship from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with his brother Abel Vang. Co-directed the feature films "Bedeviled" and "The Uncanny."

Soul Choj Vang (1999)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry; BA English, Literature (1996)

Author website

To Live Here (Imaginary Friend Press, 2014) 

Erik Wilbur (2018)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

What I Can Do (Chestnut Review Press, 2020, chapbook)

First Books Published (Fiction)

Kyle Aisteach (2014)

MFA Creative Writing, Fiction

Author website

Little Dystopias: A Collection (Lightning Cellar Publications, 2015)

Kristin FitzPatrick (2009)

MFA Creative Writing, Fiction

Author website

My Pulse Is an Earthquake (West Virginia U Press, 2015)

Sarah Harian (2013)

MFA Creative Writing, Fiction; BA English Education (2010)

Author website

The Wicked We Have Done: A Chaos Theory Novel (Penguin/InterMix, 2014)

Additional books:

Our Broken Sky: A Chaos Theory Novel (Penguin/InterMix, 2014)

A Vault of Sins: A Chaos Theory Novel (Penguin/InterMix, 2014)

Eight Will Fall (Henry Holt and Company, 2019)

Janet Nichols Lynch (2002)

MFA Creative Writing, Fiction

Author website

American Music Makers (Walker and Company, 1991)

Additional books:

Women Music Makers (Walker and Company, 1992)

Casey Wooster's Pet Care Service (Atheneum, 1993)

Where Words Leave Off, Music Begins: Stories (2004)

Peace is a Four-Letter Word (Heyday Books, 2005)

Chest Pains: A Novel (Bridge Works Press, 2008)

Messed Up (Holiday House, 2009)

Addicted to Her (Holiday House, 2010)

Racing California (Holiday House, 2012)

My Beautiful Hippie (Holiday House, 2013)

Wheel of Fire (2016)

Commie Pinko (2017)

Tanya Nichols (2004)

MFA Creative Writing, Fiction; BA English, Literature (2001)

Author website

The Barber's Wife (Alternative Book Press, 2014)

Additional books:

The Circle Game (Alternative Book Press, 2018)

Stinger (West of West Books, 2019, co-authored with Bill McEwen)

Monique Quintana (2016)

MFA Creative Writing, Fiction; BA English, Literature (2013)

Author website

Cenote City (Clash Books, 2019, novella)

Additional books:

My Favorite Sancho and Other Fairy Tales (Sword and Kettle Press, 2020, chapbook)

Feroz Rather (2010)

MFA Creative Writing,Fiction

Author website

The Night of Broken Glass (HarperCollins India, 2018)

Elizabeth Schulte Martin (2009)

MFA Creative Writing, Fiction

Everything You Came to See (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018)

Navdeep Singh Dhillon (2006)

MFA Creative Writing, Fiction; BA English, Literature (2002)

Sunny G's Series of Rash Decisions (Dial Books, 2021)

First Books Published (Creative Nonfiction)

J.J. Anselmi (2014)

MFA Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction

Author website

Heavy: A Memoir of Wyoming, BMX, Drugs and Heavy Fucking Music (Rare Bird Books, 2016)

Additional books:

Doomed to Fail: The Incredibly Loud History of Doom, Sludge, and Post-Metal (Rare Bird Books, 2020)

Carole A. Firstman (2013)

MFA Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction

Author website

Origins of the Universe and What It All Means: A Memoir (Dzanc Books, 2016)

Monte Francis (2004)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Author website

By Their Father's Hand: The True Story of the Wesson Family Massacre (Harper Collins, 2007)

Additional books:

Ice and Bone: Tracking an Alaskan Serial Killer (WildBlue Press, 2016)

Liz Scheid (2008)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

The Shape of Blue: Notes on Loss, Language, Motherhood & Fear (The Lit Pub, 2013)

Rachel Starnes (2010)

MFA Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction

Author website

The War at Home: A Memoir (Penguin Books, 2016)

Ashley Wells (2012)

MFA Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction; BA English, Literature (2008)

Author website

The Cowgirl and the Racehorse: A Recovery (Skinner House Books, 2020)

Anthologies Published

Hmong American Writers' Circle

HAWC website

How Do I Begin? A Hmong American Literary Anthology (Heyday Books, 2011)

Co-edited by alumni Anthony Cody, Burlee Vang, Soul Choj Vang, and Andre Yang

The Normal School

The Normal School website

The Spirit of Disruption: Landmark Essays from The Normal School (Outpost19, 2018)

Edited by faculty Steven Church; selections, editing, and promotion by MFA students in the English 286 Practicum in Literary Arts course

Publishing and Editing Jobs

Erin L. Álvarez (2013)

MFA Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction; BA English, Literature (2010)

Previously:

Editorial Assistant, Fourth Genre

Stacey Balkun (2014)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Chapbook Series Editor, Sundress Publications

Cindy Bradley (2016)

MFA Creative Writing, Fiction; BA English, Literature (2011)

Assistant Nonfiction Editor, Pithead Chapel

Reader, Under the Sun

Peter Driscoll (2012)

MFA Creative Writing, Fiction

Previously:

Production Manager, Dwell Magazine

Jeffery Gleaves (2014)

MFA Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction

Digital Engagement and Content Director, The Academy of American Poets

Previously:

Digital Manager, The Paris Review

Director of Marketing and Publicity, Dzanc Books

Web Assistant, Harper's Magazine

Karen Eileen (Sikola) Kovach (2009)

MFA Creative Writing

Senior Editor, Beable Education

Previously:

Development Editor, National Geographic Learning

Nicole Lassen (2014)

MFA Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction

Previously:

Production Manager, Dwell Magazine

Production Manager, Afar Magazine

Sarah Fawn Montgomery (2010)

MFA Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction

Previously:

Nonfiction Assistant Editor, Prairie Schooner

Monique Quintana (2016)

MFA Creative Writing, Fiction; BA English, Literature (2013)

Contributing Writer, Luna Luna Magazine

Brandi Spaethe (2013)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Previously:

Program Associate, Poets & Writers, California office

Vuong Quoc Vu (2006)

MFA Creative Writing, Poetry

Founder, Tourane Poetry Press

Founder and editor, Perfume River Poetry Review

Creative Writing Alumni Chapter

Students have studied Creative Writing at Fresno State since the late 1950s, long before the MFA Program was started in 1995.

The Creative Writing Chapter of the Fresno State Alumni Association aims to bring together the multiple generations of Fresno writers.

Join alumni Facebook group