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Alumnae/i Spotlight

Below is a sampling of accomplishments of recent graduates of our MFA and MA degree programs. If you are a graduate of one of our programs, please do let us know about your professional accomplishments by sending an email to Stephanie Young at syoung@mills.edu.

MFA Alumnae/i

Elwin Cotman, Prose MFA '12 published his second fiction collection, Hard Times Blues, in the summer of 2013. He continues to tour across the country. He is currently working on his PhD at the University of Louisiana.

José Vadi, Prose MFA '12 has started a new project exploring the intersection of journalism and poetry/storytelling called the Off/Page Project, a collaboration between the literary non-profit Youth Speaks and The Center for Investigative Reporting. Working full-time for both organizations on behalf of the collaboration, José held two preview shows at Tides Theatre in San Francisco in preparation for the project's launch in August 2013 at the Brave New Voices youth poetry festival in Chicago. José continues to write, with his short fiction recently appearing in Gigantic.

Jennifer Massoni, Prose MFA '11 recently had a piece of creative nonfiction, "Renee Mell, Corte Madera School," published with TeacherLove. She has also published a three-part commentary with ProfeConnect about her first impressions of living and teaching in Chile. Her travel essay, "Embedded in the Boot," was anthologized in Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana: Funny Travel Stories and Strange Packing Tips (Travelers' Tales, 2012).

Jessica Menkin, Prose MFA '11 is pursuing her PhD in the Composition & Rhetoric program at Texas Christian University.

Mary C. Moore, Prose MFA '11 is the Managing Editor for start-up publishing company Reputation Books, an agent-assisted publishing arm for Kimberley Cameron & Associates. She is also easing her way into becoming a literary agent there. Her erotica novella, BLOOD WITCH INFERNO, is forthcoming from Ellora's Cave. Read her tweets about the slushpile and other publishing silliness @Mary_C_Moore, or find her online at marycmoore.com.

Meg Day, Poetry MFA '10 is pursuing a PhD in Poetry & Disability Poetics at the University of Utah. A three-time Pushcart-nominated poet, nationally awarded spoken word artist & veteran arts educator who hails from San Diego by way of Oakland, she recently left posts with WritersCorps and YouthSpeaks in San Francisco and began working with Poetry Out Loud in Salt Lake City. A 2010 Lambda Fellow, nominee for the Best New Poets of 2010, & 2011 Hedgebrook Fellow, Meg now lives & writes in Salt Lake with her sweet, dumb dalmatian. You can find her most recent work in ZYZZYVA, Drunken Boat & WITH+STAND, and can follow her online at www.megday.com.

Ishmael Elias, Prose MFA '10 is technical writer for Life Science! Inc., an environmental consulting firm.  In December 2011, "Red Death," the first chapter of his novel-in-progress, was published in Cherokee Writers from the Flint Hills of Oklahoma: An Anthology in 2011 by the Cherokee Arts & Humanities Council.

Kiala Givehand, Poetry MFA '10 is the founding editor of Generations Literary Journal, coordinator of the Community Teaching Project at Mills, and an instructor in the English Department at Diablo Valley College. In 2011, Kiala was awarded a Cave Canem Fellowship. She has work published in Calyx: A Journal of Literature by Women, deadpaper.org, the Bella Vista art gallery, and forthcoming in Eleven Eleven. In 2009 Kiala read at LitCrawl with Small Press Distribution and again in 2011 with Root Division. She  attended the Voices of Our Nation (VONA) summer retreat in 2009 and 2010 and will be a member of the inaugural group to attend the Las Dos Brujas summer writing workshop in New Mexico. In her teaching life, Kiala travels the U.S. presenting workshops and training college professors on active learning strategies and educational technology. Most recently, she delivered a presentation in Asheville, NC on Socratic teaching as active learning in the English Composition classroom. For a listing of upcoming readings, workshops, and publications, visit her website. Kiala lives in Oakland with her husband Damon and a ridiculous number of fountain pens.

Jessica Langlois, Prose MFA '10 teaches journalism and academic writing at Academy of Art University in San Francisco and Woodbury University in Los Angeles, where she is currently co-developing a new course in Sustainability Studies. As a freelance journalist, she regularly writes feature articles for the East Bay Express and the Mills Quarterly. Her writing has also appeared in the Oakland Tribune, California Northern, American Literary Review, the Travelers' Tales anthology Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, and on The Rumpus. In addition to teaching and writing, Jessica serves as Creative Nonfiction Editor for Generations Literary Journal, alongside founder/editor Kiala Givehand (Poetry MFA '10), and is an active member of the Journalism & Women Symposium (JAWS).

Nathan Pensky, Prose MFA '10 had a short piece, "Sample Questions from the Don Rickles SAT", published on the McSweeney's website.

Izabela Filipiak, Prose MFA '09 is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Gdansk, Poland. Her new nonfiction book, Philomela's Sister: Debt and Its Literary Associations, will be published by Peter Lang in 2012.  She was awarded residencies at Yaddo and the Baltic Center for Writers and Translators Visby on Gotland, Sweden in 2011. Her website, listing current appearances, is www.izabelafilipiak.com.

Heather Judy, Poetry MFA '09 has published work in the California Quarterly and Tulle Review, and is featured in Flatmancrooked's Thin Volume of American Poetry. She lives in the Sacramento area where she is currently working on a poetic memoir.

Kati Knox, Poetry MFA '09 has new work in the Peacock Online Review.  She is currently cataloging the personal library of Leslie Scalapino.  Her visual artwork will be shown at RVCA Clothing in San Francisco this December.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Prose MFA '09 won a Lambda Literary Award for her second book of poetry, Love Cake, which was published in the fall of 2011 by TSAR Publications. The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities, which she co-edited with Ching-In Chen and Jai Dulani, was published by South End Press in April 2011, and was an Amazon bestseller for Gay And Lesbian Nonfiction. Her memoir except, "The Punk Kid of Color Clusterfuck" was nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize, and she was named one of the Feminist Press' 40 Feminists Under 40 Shaping the Future.  She is a lead artist with Sins Invalid and Mangos With Chili, the queer and trans people of color performance  incubator she co-founded and co-directs with Cherry Galette, will have April and June shows in 2012. She has new work forthcoming in an upcoming anthology about the life and legacy on the life and legacy of Gloria Anzaldua's work, to be published by Aunt Lute books in 2012.

Elizabeth Mathews, Prose MFA '09 is pursuing a PhD in English Literature at UC Irvine.

Roger Porter, Prose MFA '09 released his new book, The Souls of Hood Folk, in May 2010.

Samuel Sattin, Prose MFA '09 is the recipient of NYS and SLS Fellowships. His work has appeared in Salon Magazine, io9, Kotaku, The Good Men Project, and Heeb Magazine,and been featured in the The New Yorker, amongst others. He is currently a Contributing Editor at The Weeklings, and lives in Oakland, California, with his wife, beagle, and tuxedo cat. League of Somebodies is his first novel.

Sophie Sills, Poetry MFA '09 started the Peacock Online Review, a quarterly poetry magazine, in May 2010.

Samantha Giles, Poetry MFA '08 is the Executive Director for Small Press Traffic, a literary arts presentation organization. Her work has been seen and heard in places such as Elective Affinities, the Bay Area Poetry Marathon, 1111, and the Segue Reading Series. She had her first book, hurdis addo,  published by Displaced Press in 2011. Samantha wrote the book for her MFA thesis while at Mills.

Diana Ip, Prose MFA '08 attended Hedgebrook and BlueMountain Center residencies in 2007. She also received a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. Her first publication "a short story" came out in the spring 08 issue of Hyphen magazine.

Erica Lewis, Poetry MFA '08 is a fine arts publicist in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in various journals, including: New American Writing, P-Queue, Little Red Leaves, Parthenon West Review, 580 Split, With+Stand, elimae, Shampoo, alice blue, BOOG CITY, Word For/Word, and Ping Pong, among others. Books include the precipice of jupiter (Queue Books) and camera obscura (BlazeVox Books), both featuring original artwork by Mark Stephen Finein. A chapbook of excerpts from murmur in the inventory was published by Ypolita Press in 2012; a full length version of murmur in the inventory is forthcoming in early 2013 from Shearsman Books. 

Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero, Prose MFA '08 joined a delegation of Chamorus from Guahan (Guam) to testify before the United Nations Special Political and Decolonization Committee in October 2008.

Matt Runkle, Prose MFA '08 has work appearing in The CollagistBeecher’sMonkeybicycle; kill author, and onBOMBlog. Brooklyn Arts Press will publish a collection if his short fiction in 2013. A former resident at the Cartoon Art Museum, his comics have been anthologized in Gay Genius (Sparkplug Comic Books, 2011) and Rob Kirby’sTHREE. He was teaching assistant for Mills College's Book Art Department from 2008-12, and currently studies at the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

Cassandra Smith, Poetry MFA '08 works as an assistant editor with Omnidawn Publishing.  In September 2009 she read at Books & Bookshelves in San Francisco with fellow Mills alumna Erica Lewis.

Christine Lee Zilka, Prose MFA '08 is the Editor-at-Large at Kartika Review.  Her work has appeared in  ZYZZYVA, Verbsap, and Yomimono. An excerpt from her novel-in-progress The Golem of Korea, which she began at Mills, was published in  the anthology Men Undressed: Women Authors Write About Male Sexual Experience. She was awarded a residency at Hedgebrook in 2006, and her stories have placed as a finalist in Poets and Writers Magazine's Writers Exchange Contest in 2007, and received an honorable mention in Glimmer Train's Fiction Open in 2009.

Leila Abu-Saba, Prose MFA '07 (1962-2009) began her blog, Dove's Eye View, in 2004.  She was the member of many online writing communities who mourn the loss of her voice.

Robyn Brooks, Poetry MFA '07 is a San Francisco Playground artist and recently had her play The Unfaithful Wife staged in the Women's Work festival in Nashville, TN.  Another play, Surprise, was staged at the Berkeley Repertory Theater.  Other performances include the 2007 San Francisco Gay Pride festival, on the Soul Pride Stage, along with luminaries Sistahs In The Pit, Blue Buddha, Deep Dick Collective, Micia Mosley, Butta Babies, Ruff Tuff drag king talent, SMAAC and the Uptown Youth Group, Qui, Ricoshade and Dream Dance. In 2007, Robyn also read for the new anthology What I Want From You: Voices of East Bay Lesbian Poets, published by RAW ArT PRESS.

Sara Campos, Prose MFA '07 has been published in Colorlines (July/August 2009 and September/October 2009), Mom Writer's Literary Magazine (Spring/Summer 09), Literary Mama (Summer 2008), Rio Grande Review (Fall 2008), the San Francisco Chronicle (June 2007), and The Womanist (Spring 2007).  Campos was also granted a residency at Hedgebrook in Summer 2009.

Carolina De Robertis, Prose MFA '07 has published two novels. The first, The Invisible Mountain (Knopf, 2009), was an international bestseller published in fifteen langagues, was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by O – The Oprah Magazine, and one of the Ten Best First Novels of the Year by BookList, and received Italy's Rhegium Julii Prize. Rights to her second novel, Perla (Knopf, March 2012), have sold in Norway, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Israel, so far. Her English translation of The Neruda Case, by international bestseller Roberto Ampuero, is forthcoming from Riverhead Books in 2012. Carolina was also awarded a 2012 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lara Durback, Poetry MFA '07 works as Studio Director of Book Art at Mills College. She especially enjoys fixing Vandercook presses. She teaches letterpress classes that integrate the use of foraged materials at the San Francisco Center for the Book. She also taught a letterpress course at Naropa University's Summer Writing Program, and gave a talk on printing at SFMOMA's Shop Talk series. You can see her printing and/or writing work in Everyday Genius, Drift, Mrs. Maybe, Bombay Gin, the UK journal Hi Zero, and The Artist's Book Yearbook 2012-13, and her archiving work on www.deepoakland.org. In 2013, with designer Andrew Kenower, she produced the letterpress publication Field Work: Poems on the Occasion of Mark diSuvero at Crissy Field for SFMOMA.

Melissa Eleftherion, Poetry MFA '07 is the author of huminsect (dancing girl press, 2013). Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Octopus, Sprung Formal, Menacing Hedge, Bibliomancy Oracle, and Dusie.  She holds an MLIS from San Jose State University, and an MFA from Mills College. She created, developed, and currently manages the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange.

Liz Green, Poetry MFA '07 performed at the Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco with her ensemble, Queer Identified Objects in 2007. The group performed an original piece blending "spoken word, silliness, queer politics and movement."

Scott Hoshida, Prose MFA '07 is a full-time, tenure track basic skills instructor at Berkeley City College.

April Kilcrease, Prose MFA '07 had her article "Intimate Apparel" published in the New York Times Magazine (Jan. 6, 2008). She is a reporter for Red Herring magazine.

M. Mara Ann, Poetry MFA ’07 had her book Containment Scenario: DisloInter MedTextId entCation: Horse Medicine published by OBooks in 2009, from which a family of related multi-media works emerge both as excerpt and exponent. This constellating dialogue can be seen in the performance series adapted from the book: The Global Environmental Crisis (2007), The Clock (2008), FUEL (2009), Profound Fatigue (2011), and Floating Histories (forthcoming in 2012).  Additional recent work includes the vocal-dance composition Sugar Pine Tesla for ME’DI.ATE’s Playback Festival at Battery Townsley in the Marin Headlands (2011). Mara has presented work in the Bay Area and New York at Meridian, The Lab, ODC, CounterPULSE, The Bowery Poetry Club, CCA, Luggage Store Gallery, UC Berkeley, and Jeannik Méquet Littlefield Concert Hall. Additional books include lighthouse (Atelos) and forthcoming: Ecnelis (a+bend). (www.medusa.org)

Jen Nellis, Poetry MFA '07 has curated and performed in movie telling/neo-benshi performances at CounterPulse in San Francisco. Jen has performed with fellow Mills alums Dennis Somera and Stephanie Young along with local writers and filmmakers David Brazil, Amanda Davidson, and Konrad Steiner. Jen has performed her movie-telling pieces at several performances spaces in the last year, including Artists Television Access and Small Press Traffic's 2007 Poets Theater Festival.  She is currently teaching in the English Department at University of Redlands.

Sarah Ostendorf, Prose MFA '07 is pursuing a PhD at New York University.

Whitney Phaneuf, Prose MFA '07 co-curates the Rebel Reading Series at The Knockout in San Francisco with Mills alums Stephanie Pullen, MFA '07 and April Kilcrease, MFA '07.

Katrina Rodabaugh, Poetry MFA '07 was awarded an individual artist grant from the Puffin Foundation in spring 2009 and currently works as a program director at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco. Her poetry and artwork have appeared in the journals There and The Press Gang and in exhibitions at the SF Center for the Book, CounterPulse, Columbia College Chicago, The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, and others. Visit her blog, "Made by Katrina." www.katrinarodabaugh.blogspot.com  She read at the Thrive House in late September 2009 with fellow alumnae Sarah Trott and Kristin Palm.  Her most recent collaboration, The Dresses/Object Project, exhibited at Z Space in San Francisco in June- July 2010.

Jeffrey Schrader, Poetry MFA '07 has been involved in the Uglyman Collective, Another Publishing, Cricket Online Review and many other do-it-yourself experiments. His chapbooks include Speak at Every Hazard and The Man at the Other End of the Bench; grid/pattern is forthcoming from Erg.

Stephanie Brown, Prose MFA '06 had a grant proposal approved by the Los Angeles Clippers Basketball Foundation. The grant will help to fund the Literacy, Food, & Fitness program at the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library, where she is the LAMP Literacy Program Administrator.

Loretta Clodfelter, English BA '00, Poetry MFA '06 is founder and managing editor of the new quarterly online journal THERE, which seeks to collect innovative or avant-garde works of poetry with a focus on issues of land use, the environment, development, politics and people, facts and fictions, and ambiguity and ambivalence, along with essays on the intersection between activism and poetics. In summer 2009, There Press published its first title, Planned, by Mills alumna Sarah Trott.

Laura Joyce Davis, Prose MFA '06 won the 2013 Poets & Writers California Exchange Award for fiction; in March 2013 Poets & Writers flew her to New York for an all-expense-paid, week-long trip to meet with literary agents, editors, writers, and publishing professionals. She was also awarded a 2010-2011 Fulbright Scholarship to the Philippines, where she did research for her novel about human trafficking and presented at the University of the Philippines and the Fulbright Asia conference in Thailand. She was the two-time winner of the Ardella Mills Prize for graduate fiction in 2005 and 2006, and was nominated for the 2006 Best New American Voices. Her story "Slab City" was published in the spring 2009 issue of A Cappella Zoo, which nominated it for a Pushcart Prize in December 2009.  She performed at Literary Death Match in San Francisco in January 2010. She has a 2011 article in Point Magazine, where she writes about her experience living in Manila for a year.

Meeta Kaur, Prose MFA '06 is a recent recipient of the Elizabeth George Foundation Writing Fellowship.

Laleh Khadivi, Prose MFA '06 recently guest edited, with fellow alum Erika Abrahamian, a special issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review, "Inside Iran", featuring contemporary journalism, fiction, photography and poetry.  She was the 2007-2009 Creative Writing Fellow in Fiction at Emory University in Atlanta. Her first novel, The Age of Orphans, was published by Houghton Mifflin in Spring, 2009 as part of a two-book deal. Italian rights to the novel, the first in a planned trilogy about the Kurds, have also been sold.  She read at Mills for the Contemporary Writers Series on November 17, 2009.

Nina LaCour, Prose MFA '06 teaches English at Maybeck High School in Berkeley. Her novel Hold Still was released in October '09 from Dutton Juvenile and won a 2010 Northern California Book Award.

Teresa K. Miller, Poetry MFA '06 first full-length poetry collection, sped, was published by Sidebrow in Spring 2013. She wrote Forever No Lo (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2008), contributed to Conversations at the Wartime Café, Volume I, and is a writer-in-residence at San Francisco's Sanchez Grotto Annex.  Poems have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Columbia Poetry Review, Word For/Word, kadar koli, DIAGRAM,  Sous Les Pavés, slouch, and E·ratio, among other places.

J.D. Mitchell-Lumsden, Poetry MFA '06 is co-editor and founder, with Chad Lietz, of the journal Cricket Online Review. Past issues feature work from Mills alumni Jeremy Thompson, Teresa Miller, Jen Dearinger, Sarah Trott, Dan Fisher, Dillon Westbrook, and David Horton, along with writing from Charles Bernstein, kari edwards, Amy King, Noah Eli Gordon, and others. J.D.'s most recent chapbook, Hooray!, was published by Mr. Taft's Chaps in 2006.

Katie Quirk, MFA Prose '06 is the author of A Girl Called Problem, a middle-grade novel set in post-independence Tanzania. Released in the spring of 2013, the novel has received wonderful press, including a starred review from Kirkus, a glowing review from School Library Journal's Betsy Bird, and a review in the New York Times. Katie is currently working on a memoir about living in the mountains of South India for two years with a new baby.  She lives with her husband and two kids in Maine, but still dreams of life and friends in the Bay Area.

Elena Shapiro, Prose MFA '06 received a Master's Degree in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Davis. Her debut novel, 13 rue Thérèse, was published by Little, Brown.  Foreign rights for the book have been sold to the UK, Italy, Russia, Poland, and France. Her short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Zyzzyva, The Farallon Review, and Five Chapters.  Visit her blog at elenamaulishapiro.com.

Aimee Suzara, Poetry MFA '06 continues to perform widely as an individual and member of several performance collectives across the Bay Area. Her current multidisciplinary work in progress, Pagbabalik (Return), had its world premiere in full production at La Peña Cultural Center in June 2007. This work also received a Zellerbach Community Arts Grant, was selected for CounterPulse's 2006 Emerging Performance Festival, and excerpts have been staged or given staged readings at APAture, Intersection for the Arts, and Bindlestiff Studios. Her work also includes the chapbook the space between (Finishing Line Press 2008), publication in the anthology Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees (Lit Noire Publishing 2006), and a track on the "Eye of the Storm" CD benefiting the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

Jeremy James Thompson, Poetry MFA '06 curated and produced a traveling show of mixed media poetry, /Poetry Plastique/, featuring the work of many Mills graduate students and alumni, including Jacob Eichert, Dennis Somera, Dillon Westbrook, J.D. Mitchell, Cassie Smith, William Moor, Jennifer Dearinger, Lara Durback, Katrina Rodabaugh, Sarah A. Trott, M.Mara-Ann, Laurel DeCou, Jen Nellis, and Keith Mosier. Jeremy also recently performed at the Matrix Gallery, BAM/PFA, as part of Alison Smith's traveling exhibition "Notion Nanny".

Sarah Trott, Poetry MFA '06 has had her first full-length book of poetry, Planned, published by There Press.  The release party is planned for the end of September 2009 and will feature readings by Trott and Mills alumnae Kristin Palm and Katrina Rodabaugh.

Patty Tumang, Prose MFA '06 received a Fulbright to the Phillipines and along with Jenesha de Rivera, Fiction MFA '07 celebrated the release of the anthology they co-edited, Homelands: Women's Journeys Across Race, Place, and Time (Seal Press, 2007), with readings and launch events across the Bay Area. The anthology of personal essays explores the complicated notion of homeland.

Carly Anne West, Prose MFA '06 is the author of YA novel THE MURMURINGS (Simon Pulse, 2013). Her second as-yet-untitled YA novel is forthcoming from the same imprint in Spring 2015 as part of a two-book deal. Her fiction has appeared in The Black Lantern ReviewSpectrumParadigmJersey Devil PressWatchwordThe SoMa Literary Review, and Switchback. She was a 2007 Best New American Voices nominee.

Dillon Westbrook, Poetry MFA '06 is currently working on a philosophical work treating the origins of music and poetry. Writings have appeared in Cricket Online Review and OCHO. He is the resident composer for The Subject to Chance Performance Company, whose short piece Study:2013 appeared in the Streamfest and Pilot-50 festivals in 2007. He composed and performed, with Frank Dorritie, the live score for We Players production outdoor production of MacBeath in historic Fort Point in San Francisco. He lives with his wife, Cori Belew (Education MA '09), in Oakland.

Christine Lee Zilka, Prose MFA '06 has published fiction in Guernica Magazine, and nonfiction in Newport Review.

Raquel Baker, Prose MFA '05 is currently pursuing a PhD in English Literary Studies as the University of Iowa.

Meg Hamill, Poetry MFA '05 had her first book published in Factory School's Heretical Text series. Meg wrote the book, Death Notices, for her MFA thesis while at Mills. Her second book, Trillions & Trillions of Heartbeats (2008) was published by Resonant Books. She is currently working with California Poets in the Schools.

Melanie Hilario, Prose MFA '05 attended Hedgebrook in Fall 2006.  She was recently awarded a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. 

Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen, Poetry MFA '05 has been published in the Asian Pacific American Journal, There Journal, Nha Magazine, the Vietnamese Artists Collective anthology AS IS: A Collection of Visual and Literary Works by Vietnamese American Artists and the Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA) anthology Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Works by Asian American Women. Anh-Hoa has performed her work at Kearny Street Workshop's APAture 8 & 9, San Francisco's Litcrawl and Writers with Drinks. She is also the founder of Pomelo Press, and creates self-published and hand bound artists books. Her artists books and photography series "Of the Body" have been shown in various galleries in the Bay Area. Anh-Hoa has also completed a residency at Hedgebrook, a Writers-in-Residence Program for women. She's also a spring 2009 recipient of a Elizabeth George Foundation Writing Fellowship.

Dennis Somera, Poetry MFA '05 is attending the Performance Studies Program at the University of California, Davis.

Tanita Davis, Prose MFA '04 has three novels released through Knopf Books for Young Readers, A la Carte (2008) Mare's War (2009), and Happy Families (2012).  Mare’s War is a complete revision of her thesis project into a YA novel, and received a starred review from Kirkus, who judged it “absolutely essential reading,” and garnered the Coretta Scott Honor for 2010.  Happy Families a novel featuring a transgender parent, was released in May of this year.  Davis was also a panelist at the Fall 2007 conference of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Isabel Garcia-Gonzales, Prose MFA '04, was a finalist for the Summer 2007 Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Award for her story "Typhoon Season, 1943." In 2005, she was a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook in Washington state.

Sian Jones, Prose MFA '04 had a story she wrote while at Mills, "Pilot," included in Best New American Voices 2006.

Mahmud Rahman, Prose MFA '04 has published his second book, Black Ice, a translation of Bangladeshi novelist Mahmudul Haque's Kalo Barof, in January 2012 from HarperCollins India. He is currently cleaning up the manuscript of his first novel, "The Fiction Factory," a satire that explores violence and image making in contemporary Bangladesh. The novel was drafted during his extended stay in Bangladesh, then revised on the road, especially at residencies at Yaddo and the Montana Artists Refuge. He is back in the Bay Area working a day job in the IT department at Mills College.  He has a website and irregular blog at www.mahmudrahman.com.

Sarah Stevenson, Prose MFA '04 had her first novel, a book for young adults entitled The Latte Rebellion, published by Flux Books in January 2011 and featured by Scholastic Book Clubs in fall 2011. Her next novel, Underneath, will be published by Flux in summer 2013. Recently, she participated in an author panel, "Blogging Diversity," at the 2011 Kidlitosphere Conference in Seattle, and she also organized a panel on blogging children's literature at the Fall 2007 SCBWI conference. She and fellow alumna Tanita Davis co-interviewed author Sherman Alexie for their YA blog, Finding Wonderland, and the interview appeared in a print collection entitled Conversations with Sherman Alexie (University Press of Mississippi). She continues to do freelance work in writing, editing, art, and design.

Romney Steele, Poetry MFA '04 had her book, My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family and Big Sur, released in November 2009 from Andrews McNeel Publishing.

Padcha Tuntha-Obas, Poetry MFA '04 had a book published by O Books in 2006. Tresspasses is a collection of poetry which moves between writing in Thai and English. Padcha wrote the book for her MFA thesis at Mills. Trespasses is available from Small Press Distribution. A chapbook by Padcha, composite.diplomacy, is also available from Tinfish Press.

Tara Weaver, Prose MFA '04 had her first book, The Butcher & The Vegetarian, published by Rodale in '10. It received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly, was chosen as a book club selection by Elle magazine, and recommended by Smithsonian magazine, Booklist, USA Today, and Entertainment Weekly. She is a columnist for Edible Seattle and writes the award-winning blog Tea & Cookies.

Eli Brown, Prose MFA '03 won the Fabri Literary Prize for his first novel, The Great Days (New Harbinger, 2008). His second novel, Cinnamon and Gunpowder (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013) was called "Food porn and rip-roaring pirate adventure..." by NPR Book Review.

Julie Gamberg, Poetry MFA '03 won the Blue Lynx Poetry Prize for her first book, The Museum of Natural History, published by Eastern Washington University Press.

Heather Kamins, Prose MFA '03 has had her short fiction and poetry published in various journals including Pear Noir!, ChironReview, Neon, and Autumn Sky Poetry. Her poetry chapbook, Blueshifting, was published by Upper Rubber Boot Books in 2011. Come say hi at heatherkamins.com.

Becky Peterson MFA '03 is a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota. An essay on Laura (Riding) Jackson is forthcoming in a collection from University of Minnesota Press. Her poetry has appeared in 21 Stars Review, POOL, Indiana Review, and the inaugural issue of Wave Books' The Bedazzler. Her chapbook, Metropolitan Bird Culture, was published by Bigfan Press in 2004.

Cynthia Sailers, Poetry MFA '03 is pursuing a PsyD at the Wright Institute. Her book, Lake Systems, was published by Tougher Disguises in 2004, and Atticus/Finch published her chapbook Rose Lungs. Cynthia also serves on the board of Small Press Traffic and curated the New Brutalism series in Oakland from 2003–05, with co-curator and fellow alumnus Julian Brolaski.

Moya Stone, Prose MFA '03 is freelance writing for several publications including 944, a San Francisco fashion and lifestyle magazine. She is also writer and assistant editor for the fashion blog www.sfbaystyle.com. And last but not least she is a stringer for Glamour magazine. When she finds the time, Moya is working on a collection of personal essays.

Julia Bloch, Poetry MFA '02 finished a PhD in English at the University of Pennsylvania and taught as an Assistant Professor of Literature at Bard College's MAT program in Delano, California. She is also the co-editor of Jacket2. Her new book, Letters to Kelly Clarkson, was published in 2012 by Sidebrow Books, and is a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry. In the Fall of 2013, she began a new position as Associate Director of the Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania. You can listen to her on PennSound.

Michael Cross, Poetry MFA '02 is the author of In Felt Treeling (Chax, 2008) and Haecceities (Cuneiform Press, 2010) and editor of Atticus/Finch chapbooks and On: Contemporary Practice (w/ Thom Donovan & Kyle Schlesinger). Other projects include Involuntary Vision: after Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (Avenue B, 2003), Building is a process / Light is an element: Essays and Excursions for Myung Mi Kim (Queue Books, 2008), and a forthcoming edition of the George Oppen Memorial Lectures at San Francisco State. He lives in Oakland where he blogs about 21st century poetry at www.disinhibitor.blogspot.com.

Cassandra Dunn, MFA Prose '02 was a semifinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and a finalist in Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. Her stories have appeared in Clapboard House, Read Short Fiction, 322 Review, Fix it Broken, All Things Girl, Midwest Literary Magazine's Bearing North, Literary House Review, The MacGuffin, Sand Canyon Review, and Rougarou Fiction. Her debut novel, The Art of Adapting, is forthcoming from Touchstone Books (Simon & Schuster) in the Spring of 2014. Her website is www.cassandradunn.com.

Lee Romer Kaplan, Prose MFA '02, recently traveled to Bulgaria as a 2011 Sozopol Fiction Seminar Fellow, courtesy of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, followed by summer residencies at Art Farm and Ragdale. In 2010, she was awarded the Writer's Center at University of Maryland's Undiscovered Voices Prize and joined the teaching artist roster at Teachers & Writers Collaborative in NYC. Currently, she lives in Manhattan's East Village and teaches writing at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Her most recent publication is a non-fiction essay, "Stealing Poetry," in the December 2011 issue of Fiction Writers Review. She's especially grateful to Mills professor emeritus, Chana Bloch, and Professor Bloch's poetry in translation class, an invaluable aid in her current endeavor: collaborating with Bulgarian writer Yana Punkina on literary translations of Punkina's poems into English. Lee's first novel, The Flight of the Lesser Kestrel, set primarily in Jerusalem during the first Lebanon War, is forthcoming.

Stacy McKenna, Prose MFA ’02 currently teaches English and literary translation  at the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro in Querétaro, Mexico, and is translating a novel by Sara Sefchovich, a contemporary writer from Mexico City.  Her translations have appeared in The Other Poetry of BarcelonaCódols in New York580 Split, and Cerise Press.

James Meetze Poetry MFA '02  had his first book, I Have Designed This For You, published by Assemblage Editions. He edited, with Simon Pettet, Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems by James Schuyler, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2010. James lives in San Diego where he continues to do freelance book design and teaches creative writing at UCSD.

Kathryn Sussman, Prose MFA '02 went on to complete an MA in English Literature at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and is currently in her third year of a PhD in Literature at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, specializing in depictions of sexuality in African-American modern fiction.  Her short story "The Space in the Room" (which was nominated for Best New American Voices by Cornelia while she was at Mills) was published by Lichen Arts and Letters Preview in the Spring/Summer 2005 edition "Rooms".  Her poems and fiction have also been published in the online literary journal for Canadians, Regina Weese, and Artsforum magazine (another Canadian publication).  Currently she is teaching Creative Writing workshops while continuing to finish her thesis.

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Prose MFA '02 had her first book of poetry, Karma's Footsteps, published by flipped eye publishing limited in 2011. She received a 2010 Queens Council on the Arts grant for her research on herbalists of the African Diaspora working in urban settings. Her work has been the subject of a short film "I Leave My Colors Everywhere." Ekere has finally put her own undergraduate film studies to work by making short poetry videos. Those videos, her performances, her writings on herbal healing, and her writing on motherhood can be found at http://www.ekeretallie.com. Ekere currently teaches part-time at York College in New York.

Julian Brolaski, Poetry MFA '01 read in the (New) Reading Series at 21 Grand in May 2010.  Xe is the author of the chapbooks Hellish Death Monsters (Spooky Press, 2001), Letters to Hank Williams (True West Press, 2003), The Daily Usonian (Atticus/Finch, 2004), Madame Bovary's Diary (Cy Press, 2005), Buck in a Corridor (flynpyntar press, 2008), and the blog herm of warsaw. Xir first book gowanus atropolis is forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse in 2010.  Brolanski lives in Brooklyn where xe writes poetry, serves as a Litmus Press editor, plays country music in The Low & the Lonesome, and curates Mongrel Vaudeville.

Katherine Case, Poetry MFA '01 is the studio manager and volunteer coordinator at San Francisco Center for the Book Studio, where she also teaches courses in letterpress. Katherine is a member of Thicket Press, which publishes fine arts books of poetry, including letterpressed books featuring work by herself and other Mills alumni.

Daphne Gottlieb, Poetry MFA '01 performs and teaches writing workshops across the country and locally. Daphne is a Lambda Literary Award finalist for her most recent book of poetry Kissing Dead Girls (Soft Skull Press, 2008). Her newest book is Jokes and the Unconscious, a graphic novel published by Cleis Press and created with artist Diane DiMassa. Daphne also edited Homewrecker: An Adultery Reader (Soft Skull Press, 2001), and her book Final Girl (Soft Skull, 2003) was named one of the Village Voice's Favorite Books of 2003 and winner of the Audre Lorde Award in Poetry for 2003 from Publishing Triangle.

Jackie Graves, Poetry MFA '01 is an associate professor at Laney College. She recently worked on FUSION, a staging of work written by Laney students, faculty, and staff.

David Harrison Horton, Poetry MFA '01 has exhibited his art, sound and video work in New York, Minneapolis, Chicago, Paris, Berlin & Caracas. He is co-editor of the Deep Oakland website with Stephanie Young.

Elizabeth Rosenberg, Poetry MFA '01 presented her play In the Box/Out of the Box in the 2010 Stagebridge Playwriting Showcase at the Ashby Stage in Berkeley, CA.

Stephanie Young, Poetry MFA '01 is the graduate program coordinator for the English Department at Mills, where she also teaches poetry in the undergraduate program. Her second book, Picture Palace, came out in Fall 2008 from in girum imus nocte et consumimur igni. Telling the Future Off was published by Tougher Disguises in 2005, and she is the editor of Bay Poetics (Faux Press, 2006), an anthology of writing from 110 Bay Area poets. Stephanie co-curated annual poets theater performances at Small Press Traffic from 2004-08, and is co-editor with David Horton of the web project Deep Oakland.

Jennifer Arin, Poetry MFA ‘00 published her book of poetry, Ways We Hold (Dos Madres Press), in April 2012. Her poetry and essays have been published in both the US and Europe, in The AWP Writer’s Chronicle, The San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Book Review, Gastronomica, Puerto del Sol, Poet Lore, ZYZZYVA, Paris/Atlantic Review, Carlos and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among many others. Her awards include, most notably, a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a PEN Writer's Fund grant, a Poets & Writers Writers-On-Site Residency, and funding from the Spanish Ministry of Culture for collaborative research for, and editing of, a book about the Spanish Civil War. She teaches in the English Department at San Francisco State University.

Dan Godston, Poetry MFA '00 is currently teaching at Columbia College. He is the director of Borderbend Art Collective, which organizes the annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival.

Aidan Thompson, Poetry MFA '00 is currently pursuing a PhD at SUNY Albany. Her second book, So Earnest to Have a Green Point, was published by Palimpsest Press in 2006, and her first book, Particle and Probability, came out in 2001 with Potes and Poets.

Thea Hillman, Poetry MFA '99 continues to perform locally and around the country at bookstores, cafes, colleges, poetry festivals, theaters, and music venues. Her first book, Depending on the Light, was published by Manic D Press in 2001, and her second book, For Lack of a Better Word, is forthcoming from Suspect Thoughts Press. Thea recently served as a Trustee on the Mills College Board of Trustees, and as board chair and board member of the Board of the Intersex Society of North America.

Micheline Marcom, Prose MFA '99 has published a trilogy of novels about the Armenian genocide and its aftermath in the twentieth century, all with Riverhead Books. Her first novel, Three Apples Fell From Heaven, was a New York Times Notable Book and Runner-Up for the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction in 2001.  Her second novel, The Daydreaming Boy, won the PEN/USA Award for Fiction in 2004, and in 2008 her third novel, Draining the Sea, was released.  Dalkey Archive published her fourth novel, The Mirror in the Well, in that same year. Marcom received a Lannan Literary Award in 2004 and a Whiting Writers' Award in 2006.  She was a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Beirut, Lebanon where she taught creative writing at Haigazian University in 2008. Her fifth novel, A Brief History of Yes, is forthcoming from Dalkey Archive Press in 2013.

Joy Arbor, Prose MFA '98 is tenure track faculty at Kettering University in Michigan.

Judy Halebsky, Poetry MFA '98 is studying noh theatre in Tokyo on a research scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education. Her book Sky=Empty won the 2009 New Issues Poetry Prize and will be published in spring 2010 by New Issues Poetry and Prose. Her article on modern dancer June Watanabe, whom she studied with at Mills, won the Emerging Scholar award from the Association for Asian Performance and was publised in the Theatre Journal in 2007.

Mary Anne Mohanraj, Prose MFA '98 is currently teaching at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her debut collection of short stories, Bodies in Motion, was published by HarperCollins in 2005, was named a USA Today Notable Book and has been published in translation in France, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Germany and Serbia. Her novel The Arrangement is forthcoming from HarperCollins. Mary Anne earned her PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of Utah in 2005, and was the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Prose and a Steffenson-Canon Fellowship in the Humanities in 2006. Find out more about her writing here.

Jessica Rosenfeld, Poetry MFA '97 won first-place in the national Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award for poems on the Jewish experience.  Read her poem, "A Lesson in Fractions," here.

Jacqueline Berger, Poetry MFA '95 has had her third book of poetry, The Gift That Arrives Broken, published.  Selected by Alicia Ostriker, it was the winner of the 2009 Autumn House Poetry Award.

Eleanor Vincent, Prose MFA '95 taught for three semesters in the Mills MFA program and currently offers private creative nonfiction workshops. Her debut memoir, Swimming with Maya (Capital Books, 2004), was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book of the Year Award. The Sacramento Bee calls it "frank and moving...a journey from denial to acceptance to redemption." She is at work on a new book about her experiences as a member of an Oakland cohousing community. Her essay “The Resurrection of Wonder Woman,” was published in the collection At the End of Life: True Stories About How We Die by Creative Nonfiction Press in 2012.

Susan Ito, Prose MFA '94 is fiction co-editor for Literary Mama. She also co-edited A Ghost At Hearts Edge: Stories & Poems of Adoption (North Atlantic Books). Her essays and fiction have appeared in Growing Up Asian American, Hip Mama, Making More Waves, and elsewhere. She teaches writing privately and at UC Berkeley Extension.

Edie Meidav, Prose MFA '93 was awarded a Lannan Fellowship in 2007 and her novel, The Possibility of Lola, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.  She was the 2006 winner of the annual Bard Fiction Prize, which confers a $30,000 cash award and appointment as writer in residence at the college for one semester. Meidav received the award for her second novel, Crawl Space, set in rural France in the 1940s and late 1990s, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2005. Her first novel, The Far Field, was published by Houghton Mifflin. Her stories have recently appeared in Conjunctions and other journals.

MA Alumnae/i

Myha Do, MA '11 is pursuing a PhD in Comparative Literature at UC Davis.

Frances Laskey, MA '11 is pursuing a PhD in Literature at the University of Wisconsin.

Rebecca Maillet, MA '11 is pursuing a PhD in Literature at UMASS.

Kristy McCant, MA '10 is pursuing a PhD in Literature at UC Santa Barbara.

Emily Roehl, MA '10 is pursuing a PhD in the American Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin.

Sierra Lomuto, MA '09 is pursuing a PhD at UPenn.

Joe McDermott, MA '08 is teaching at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is the technical editor for Reconstruction, an online cultural studies journal.

Gania Barlow, MA '07 is pursuing a PhD at Columbia University. Her essay "All My Prayers are Vain: Social Morality and Moral Responsibility in the History of a Nun" won the 2007 Graduate Student Prize from the Aphra Behn Society.

Natalee Kehaulani Bauer, MA '07 is pursuing a PhD in Social and Cultural Studies at UC Berkeley, where she is a recipient of the Chancellor's Fellowship.

Ting Chen, MA '07 is pursuing a PhD at New York State University.

Amber Carini, MA '06 is pursuing an MA in Speech Language Pathology at San Diego State University.  She continues to teach at University of California, San Diego, which she has been doing for the past four years.

Greg Giles, MA '06 is pursuing a PhD at the University of California, Davis. His band, 20 Minute Loop, just released its fourth album, Famous People Marry Famous People.

Adriana Macias, MA '06 is pursuing a PhD at Northeastern University.

Adan Olmedo, MA '06 is pursuing a PhD at the University of Chicago.

Danielle Skeehan, MA '06 is pursuing a PhD at Northeastern University.

Jennifer Weeks, MA '06 is pursuing a PhD at Rice University.

Aynah Askanas, MA '05 is teaching full-time at Diablo Valley College.

Yuriko Shinomori, MA '05 is the translator working on a Japanese edition of Yiyun Li's award-wining collection of short stories, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers.

Yetta Howard, MA '02 completed a PhD in English and Gender Studies from the University of Southern California in 2010 and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University.

Jennifer King, MA '02 recently published her book, Turning My Face to the Sun. She was also featured in the March edition of Oakland Magazine in an article on turning 50.

Lisa Nola, MA '00 is pursuing an MSW at UCLA.

Richard Parent, MA '00 received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh and is currently tenured English faculty at the University of Vermont.

Emily Anderson, MA '97 received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and is currently tenured faculty at Knox College.

Jennifer Hoofard, MA '97 received her PhD from the University of California, Davis.

Last Updated: 1/21/14