Quan Barry Sean Bishop

Leila Chatti Amaud Jamaul Johnson

Ron Kuka Dantiel W. Moniz

Beth (Bich Minh) Nguyen Porter Shreve

THE FACULTY, by row, top to bottom: Amy Quan Barry, Sean Bishop, Leila Chatti, Amaud Jamaul Johnson, Ron Kuka, Dantiel W. Moniz, Beth (Bich Minh) Nguyen, and Porter Shreve.

Adrienne Chung K. Iver

Itiola Jones Claire Luchette

Shaina Phenix Alberto Reyes Morgan

2021-22 FELLOWS: Adrienne Chung, K. Iver, Itiola Jones, Claire Luchette, Shaina Phenix, & Alberto Reyes Morgan.

Contact Us

Undergraduate Coordinator Ron Kuka
Program in Creative Writing
Department of English
600 N. Park St, H.C. White Rm 6195
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706

phone: 608-263-3374
fax: 608-263-3709

The Faculty

Upper-level courses in creative writing are often taught by the same faculty who teach in the University of Wisconsin's MFA program in creative writing, ranked third in the nation by Poets & Writers magazine for three consecutive years. Our undergrads get the rare opportunity to work with some of the best-respected teachers and writers in the country.

AMY QUAN BARRY, Professor (MFA: University of Michigan) is the author of the poetry collections Asylum, Controvertibles, Water Puppets, and Loose Strife, as well as the novels She Weeps Each Time You’re Born and We Ride Upon Sticks. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Missouri Review, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, and other literary publications. She is the recipient of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize (for Asylum) and has received fellowships from Stanford University, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

SEAN BISHOP, Faculty Associate & Creative Writing Program Administrator (MFA: University of Houston) is Editor of the Wisconsin Poetry Series. His collection of poems, The Night We’re Not Sleeping In, won the Kathryn A. Morton Prize and the Edna Meudt Poetry Award, and appeared from Sarabande Books. He is the recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing’s Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship, and his poems have appeared in Best New Poets, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, POETRY, and elsewhere. He is the former Managing Editor of Gulf Coast and Better (bettermagazine.org).

LEILA CHATTI, Mendota Lecturer in Poetry (MFA: North Carolina State University) is a Tunisian-American poet and author of Deluge (Copper Canyon Press, 2020) and the chapbooks Ebb (Akashic Books, 2018) and Tunsiya/Amrikiya, the 2017 Editors’ Selection from Bull City Press. Her honors include a Pushcart Prize, grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Cleveland State University, where she was the inaugural Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Publishing and Writing. Her poems appear in The New York Times Magazine, POETRY, Ploughshares, Tin House, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere.

AMAUD JAMAUL JOHNSON, Professor (MPS: Cornell University) is the author of three poetry collections, Red Summer, Darktown Follies, and Imperial Liquor. His honors include a Pushcart Prize, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Edna Meudt Poetry Award, and the Dorset Prize, as well as fellowships from MacDowell, Bread Loaf, Stanford, and Cave Canem. His work has appeared Best American Poetry, American Poetry Review, Lit Hub, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Emergence Magazine, Harvard Review, Callaloo, and elsewhere.

RON KUKA, Faculty Associate & Creative Writing Program Coordinator (MFA: University of Iowa) has published short stories in the Iowa Journal of Literary Studies, Toyon, and Pavement. His teaching has been recognized with the Chancellor's Hilldale Award for Excellence in Teaching.

DANTIEL W. MONIZ, Assistant Professor (MFA: University of Wisconsin) is the recipient of the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction, the Cecelia Joyce Johnson Emerging Writer Award by the Key West Literary Seminar, and a Tin House Scholarship. Her debut collection, Milk Blood Heat, is an Indie Next Pick, an Amazon “Best Book of the Month” selection, a Roxane Gay Audacious Book Club pick, and has been hailed as “must-read” by TIME, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzefeed, Elle, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others. Her work has appeared in the Paris Review, The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Tin House, One Story, American Short Fiction, Ploughshares, McSweeney&rsuo;s Quarterly Concern, and elsewhere.

BETH (BICH MINH) NGUYEN, Professor (MFA: University of Michigan) is the author of the memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, the novel Short Girls, and the novel Pioneer Girl, all published by Viking Penguin. Her work has received honors including an American Book Award and a PEN/Jerard Award, and has been featured in numerous anthologies, journals, and university and community reads programs. She also leads workshops and craft talks at conferences including Kundiman, VONA/Voices, Aspen Summer Words, and Port Townsend.

PORTER SHREVE, Professor (MFA: University of Michigan) is the author of the novels The Obituary Writer, Drives Like a Dream, When the White House Was Ours, and The End of the Book, which have been on best of the year lists in many newspapers and magazines including the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times. Co-editor of three anthologies and three textbooks, his fiction, nonfiction, Op-Eds, and book reviews have appeared in Witness, Salon, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and other publications.

The Institute Fellows

Each year, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing receives more than eight hundred applications from the best writers all over the world who have not yet published a book of poetry, a collection of stories, or a novel. From these, we pick just seven to teach intermediate-level courses in fiction, poetry, and playwriting. As University of Wisconsin undergraduates, students of creative writing get to work not only with renowned and established authors, but also with some of the biggest names of tomorrow. You can read the biographies of our current fellows and view the list of past fellows here.

Our MFA Candidate Instructors

Every section of "ENGL 207: Intro to Creative Writing" is taught by one of our Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellows, or one of our MFA candidates in poetry or fiction. The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s MFA program is among the most competitive in the country, which means we hand-pick the instructors of ENGL 207 from a talented pool of up to six hundred applicants annually. Students of ENGL 207 have the privilege of working with immensely talented young writers at the very beginning of their literary careers.

Faculty Emeriti

KELLY CHERRY, Eudora Welty Professor Emerita of English & Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita in the Humanities (retired) has previously published twenty-five books (novels, stories, poetry, memoir, criticism, and reviews), eleven chapbooks, and two translations of classical drama. Her newest full-length collection of poems, Quartet for J. Robert Oppenheimer:, was published by L.S.U. Press in 2017 and her newest chapbook, a group of poems titled Weather, appeared from Rain Mountain Press the same year. She was the first recipient of the Hanes Poetry Prize given by the Fellowship of Southern Writers for a body of work. Other awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bradley Major Achievement (Lifetime) Award, a USIS Speaker Award (The Philippines), a Distinguished Alumnus Award, three Wisconsin Arts Board fellowships, two WAB New Work awards, the Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook Award for Distinguished Book of Stories in 1999 (2000), and selection as a Wisconsin Notable Author. Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards: Stories, The Pushcart Prize, and New Stories from the South. In 2010, she was a Director’s Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 2012, she received both the Taramuto Prize for a story and the Carole Weinstein Prize for Poetry. In 2013 she received the L. E. Phillabaum Award for Poetry. Former Poet Laureate of Virginia, she is Eudora Welty Professor Emerita of English and Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has held named chairs and distinguished visiting writer positions at a number of universities. Further details appear on her Wikipedia page.

JESSE LEE KERCHEVAL, Zona Gale Professor of English (retired) was the founding director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing from 1994–2010. She is also an Affiliated Faculty Member of the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies Program. She is the author of the 15 books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction in English. She also writes and publishes poetry in Spanish and is a translator of Spanish language poetry. Her books include the short story collections The Dogeater, which won the Associated Writing Programs Award, and The Alice Stories, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize; the novella Brazil, winner of the Ruthanne Wiley Memorial Novella Prize; the novel The Museum of Happiness; the poetry collections Cinema Muto, which won the Crab Orchard Open Poetry Award, Dog Angel, and World as Dictionary; the poetry chapbooks Chartreuse and Film History as Train Wreck, winner of the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Award; the memoir Space, which won the Alex Award from the American Library Association; and the creative writing textbook Building Fiction. Her most recent book is the poetry collection, America that island off the coast of France. Her translations of the Uruguayan poet Circe Maia have appeared in Agni, the Gettysburg Review, the American Poetry Review, jubilat and Pleiades among other magazines, and she is the editor of América invertida: an anthology of younger Uruguayan poets, which is forthcoming from the University of New Mexico Press. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Radcliffe Research and Study Center at Harvard, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and the James A. Michener and Copernicus Society of America. More information about Jesse Lee Kercheval may be found on her website.

JUDITH CLAIRE MITCHELL, Professor Emerita (retired) is the author of the novels A Reunion of Ghosts (2015) and The Last Day of the War. Her stories and poetry appear in anthologies and literary magazines such as Best of the Fiction Workshops, Shaping the Story, Behind the Short Story, Barnstorming, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, StoryQuarterly, and others. She has received fellowships from the James A. Michener and Copernicus Society of America, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and the Wisconsin Arts Board. She is currently the College of Letters & Science’s Jartz Fellow. More information is available on her website, judithclairemitchell.com.

LORRIE MOORE, Delmore Schwartz Professor Emerita in the Humanities (retired) is the author of the short story collections Self-Help, Like Life, and Birds of America, and the novels Anagrams, Who Will Run the Frog Hospital, and A Gate at the Stairs. She is the editor of the fiction anthologies I Know Some Things: Stories about Childhood by Contemporary Writers and Best American Short Stories 2004. Her work appears in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Paris Review, and many other literary publications. Her short stories have frequently been reprinted in anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike; the Best American Short Stories anthologies; and the Prize Stories: The O'Henry Awards series. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Rea Award for the Short Story and the Irish Times International Prize for Fiction, and is a member of both the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

RONALD WALLACE, Felix Pollak Professor Emeritus of Poetry & Halls-Bascom Professor Emeritus of English (retired) is the founder and Co-Director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Program in Creative Writing, and the founder and editor of the University of Wisconsin Press Poetry Series (the Brittingham and Pollak Prizes). He is the author of the poetry collections For a Limited Time Only, Now You See It, Long for This World: New & Selected Poems, The Uses of Adversity, Time's Fancy, The Makings of Happiness, People and Dog in the Sun, Tunes for Bears to Dance To, and Plums, Stones, Kisses & Hooks; the short story collection Quick Bright Things; and the critical books The Last Laugh, God Be With the Clown, and Henry James and the Comic Form. He is the editor of the poetry anthology Vital Signs. He has published poetry and stories in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, Poetry, Paris Review, and many other literary publications. His awards and honors include Council for Wisconsin Writers Book Awards, Wisconsin Arts Board Grants, the Helen Bullis Prize, three Distinguished Teaching Awards, two ACLS Fellowships, the Robert E. Gard Foundation Award, the Gerald A. Bartel Award in the Arts, the Wisconsin Library Association Notable Author award, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Major (Lifetime) Achievement Award, the Mid-List Press First Series Award for Short Fiction (for Quick Bright Things), and the Association for Writers and Writing Programs' first George Garrett Award for "exceptional donations of care, time, and labor on behalf of other writers." More information about Ron Wallace is available at his website.