Workshop Faculty

Lee K. Abbott, Fiction

Lee K. Abbott is the author of Love is the Crooked Thing, Living After Midnight, Wet Places at Noon, and, most recently, All Things, All at Once: New & Selected Stories. His fiction and articles have appeared in Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Book Review, and Southern Review, among others. For many years he taught at The Ohio State University, where he was a Humanities Distinguished Professor of English. His work has been included in Best American Short Stories and The O’Henry Awards.

Ghassan Abou-Zeineddine, Fiction

Ghassan Abou-ZeineddineGhassan Abou-Zeineddine holds an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and recently received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He was born in Washington, DC and raised in the Middle East, where he previously taught at the American University of Beirut. His novel Madame Bandar’s Theatre of Love, which is currently being shopped, is a comedic bildungsroman set in Beirut in the early 1960s and ’70s. He’s also at work on a tragicomic short story cycle entitled In the Cedars with Azrael. This project explores life in times of war in Lebanon, spanning from the 1960s to the present day. Ghassan’s research interests include Anglophone Arab literature, ethnic-American literature, comedy and folklore in fiction writing, creative writing pedagogy and short story cycles.

David Baker, Poetry, Nature Writing-Poetry

Among David Baker’s seventeen books are most recently in poetry, Scavenger Loop (2015, W. W. Norton) and Never-Ending Birds (Norton), winner of the 2011 Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize; and in prose, Show Me Your Environment: Essays on Poetry, Poets, and Poems (2014, Michigan) and the forthcoming Seek After: Seven Modern Lyric Poets (Stephen F. Austin). Baker has been awarded fellowships and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Society of America, the Ohio Arts Council, the Society of Midland Authors, and others. He currently serves as Professor of English at Denison University where he is the Thomas B. Fordham Chair of Creative Writing. He is the poetry editor of The Kenyon Review.

Angie Cruz, Fiction

Angie CruzAngie Cruz holds a BA in English and MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. She is an Assistant Professor of English and the author of two novels, Soledad (Simon & Schuster 2001), which she has adapted into a screenplay, and Let It Rain Coffee (S & S 2005), which was also a finalist in 2007 for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She has published short fiction and essays in magazines and journals, including Callaloo, the New York TimesKweliPhatitude, and South Central Review. She has been teaching creative writing for over fifteen years in academic and nontraditional settings such as Texas A&M University, NYU, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and to middle schoolers for the National Book Foundation’s Bookup in Texas where she also serves on the advisory board. She has received numerous grants for her teaching and writing, including the Barbara Deming Award, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, Camargo Fellowship, Van Lier Literary Fellowship, and NALAC Fund for the Arts Fellowship. She has also been awarded residencies: Yaddo, The Macdowell Colony, Fundacion Valparaiso, La Napoule Foundation and The Millay Colony. She is the editor of Aster(ix), a literary/arts journal. Currently she is finishing her third novel, In Search of Caridad.

Erick Gordon, Writing Workshop for Teachers

Erick Gordon is the founding director of Student Press Initiative at Teachers College, Columbia University and the former director of the New York City Writing Project. He comes from a background in small press publication that later led to classroom teaching, first in Northern California and then New York City. He was a full-time instructor in the Teaching of English Masters Program at Teachers College, where he also earned his doctorate in English Education. He has facilitated hundreds of workshops and lectures in schools across the U.S., and has published numerous articles about the teaching of writing, student publication, and genre theory in English Journal, English Education, and Teachers and Writers. He is the co-author of Becoming (Other)wise: Enhancing Critical Reading Perspectives. In his current role as Senior Fellow in Education Innovation at Teachers College, he works with a group of students and teachers to explore the potential of eBook authoring software to publish new multimedia editions of public domain texts.’

Kimiko Hahn, Poetry

Kimiko HahnKimiko Hahn was born in Mount Kisco, New York, and grew up in Pleasantville, New York, and Tokyo, Japan. She earned a BA from the University of Iowa and earned an MA in Japanese literature from Columbia University. Hahn is the author of nine books of poetry, including The Artist’s Daughter (2002), The Narrow Road to the Interior (2006), Toxic Flora (2010), and Brain Fever (2014). Hahn is the winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, the American Book Award, and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has also been award fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Hahn teaches in the MFA program at Queens College. In 2016, she was elected president of the Poetry Society of America.

Katherine M. Hedeen, Translation

Katherine M. Hedeen is a specialist in Latin American poetry and has both extensively written on and translated contemporary authors from the region. Her latest book-length translations include collections by Juan Gelman, Hugo Mujica, José Emilio Pacheco, Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, and Ida Vitale. She is an associate editor of Earthwork’s Latin American Poetry in Translation Series for Salt Publishing and an acquisitions editor for Arc Publications. She was recently awarded an English PEN Translates Prize and is the recipient of a 2009 and a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts Translation Project Grant. She resides in Ohio where she is Professor of Spanish at Kenyon College.

Caitlin Horrocks, Fiction

Caitlin HorrocksCaitlin Horrocks is author of the story collection This Is Not Your City, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her stories and essays appear in the New YorkerThe Best American Short StoriesThe PEN/O. Henry Prize StoriesThe Pushcart PrizeParis Review, the AtlanticTin HouseOne Story, and other journals and anthologies. Her awards include the Plimpton Prize and fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the MacDowell Colony. She is the fiction editor of the Kenyon Review and teaches at Grand Valley State University, and occasionally in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She is at work on a novel and a second story collection, both forthcoming from Little, Brown. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with the writer W. Todd Kaneko.

Rodger Kamenetz, Spiritual Writing

Rodger KamentzA poet, essayist, and religious thinker, Rodger Kamenetz is the author of eight books including The Jew in the Lotus and The Missing Jew: New and Selected Poems. His book, Stalking Elijah: Adventures with Today’s Jewish Mystical Masters, which was awarded the National Jewish Book Award for 1997 in the category of Jewish Thought, describes his spiritual journey through encounters with contemporary teachers of kabbalah and Jewish meditation. His articles and essays on religion have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Moment, and Reform Judaism. Kamenetz is also a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in literature. Currently, Rodger is a professor of English and of religious studies at Louisiana State University, where he teaches in the graduate creative writing program and directs the Jewish Studies minor. He lives in New Orleans with his wife and two daughters.

Geeta Kothari, Literary Nonfiction

Geeta KothariGeeta Kothari is the nonfiction editor of the Kenyon Review. She is a co-founder of the www.novelworkshop.org (formerly Kenyon Review Novel Workshop). Her writing has appeared in various anthologies and journals, including New England Review, Massachusetts Review, and others. Her essay “If You Are What You Eat, Then What Am I?” is widely taught in universities and has been reprinted in several anthologies, including in Best American Essays. She is the editor of ‘Did My Mama Like to Dance?’ and Other Stories about Mothers and Daughters. Many of the stories in her recently published collection I Brake for Moose and Other Stories, began in workshops at the Kenyon Review Writers Workhops.

E. J. Levy, Literary Nonfiction (Hybrid)

E. J. LevyE.J. Levy’s debut story collection, Love, In Theory, won the 2012 Flannery O’Connor Award, was named a 2013 Best Book of the Year by Kirkus, received the 2014 Great Lakes Colleges Award, and was released in French in 2015. Her anthology, Tasting Life Twice: Literary Lesbian Fiction by New American Writers, won a Lambda Literary Award. Her work has appeared in the Paris Review, The Best American Essays, the Kenyon Review, and the New York Times, and won a Pushcart Prize. She is at work on a novel set in Cape Town.

Elizabeth Lowe, Translation

Elizabeth Lowe, founding director of the Center for Translation Studies at the University of Illinois, is professor in the online MS in Translation at New York University. She led an NEH Summer Institute in translation for college and university teachers in 2013. Elizabeth translates Brazilian, Spanish American, and Lusophone writers. Her translation of J.P. Cuenca’s The Only Happy Ending for a Love Story is an Accident (2013) was a finalist for the IMPAC award. She recently guest-edited Review 92/93 featuring poetry and fiction from Brazil’s Northeastern backlands.

Rebecca McClanahan, Literary Nonfiction

Rebecca McClanahan’s tenth book is The Tribal Knot: A Memoir of Family, Community, and a Century of Change. She has also published five books of poetry, three books of writing instruction, and The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings, winner of the Glasgow Award in nonfiction. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Gettysburg Review, the Sun, and numerous anthologies. The recipient of the Wood Prize from Poetry Magazine, a Pushcart Prize, and literary fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council, McClanahan teaches in the MFA programs of Queens University (Charlotte) and Rainier Writing Workshop.

Dinty W. Moore, Literary Nonfiction

Dinty W. Moore’s memoir Between Panic & Desire (University of Nebraska) was winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize in 2009. His other books include The Accidental Buddhist, Toothpick Men, The Emperor’s Virtual Clothes, and the writing guide, The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction. Moore has published essays and stories in Southern Review, Georgia Review, Harpers, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, Gettysburg Review, Utne Reader, and Crazyhorse, among numerous other venues. A professor of nonfiction writing at Ohio University, Moore has won many awards for his writing, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction.

Carl Phillips, Poetry

Carl Phillips’s new book of poems—his fourteenth—is Wild Is the Wind, forthcoming from FSG in 2018. Phillips has also written two books of essays, Coin of the Realm: Essays on the Life and Art of Poetry (Graywolf, 2004) and The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination (Graywolf, 2014). His honors and awards include the PEN/USA Award in Poetry, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, and the Library of Congress. Phillips is Professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis.

Brad Richard, Writing Workshop for Teachers

Brad Richard is chair of the creative writing program at Lusher Charter High School in New Orleans. He also co-directs the New Orleans New Writers Literary Festival, a festival for high school writers, and the Scholastic Writing Awards of Southeast Louisiana, a regional affiliate of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. His books include Habitations (Portals Press, 2000); Motion Studies, winner of the 2010 Washington Prize (The Word Works, 2011) and finalist for the 2012 Thom Gunn Award in Gay Poetry from the Publishing Triangle; and Butcher’s Sugar (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2012). He has also published two chapbooks, The Men in the Dark (Lowlands Press, 2004) and Curtain Optional (Press Street, 2011). His poems and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary, Barrow Street, Bayou, Crab Orchard Review, Guernica, Hunger Mountain Review, Iowa Review, Laurel Review, Literary Imagination, Massachusetts Review, Mississippi Review, New Orleans Review, Prairie Schooner, and other journals.

Solmaz Sharif, Poetry

Solmaz SharifBorn in Istanbul to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif holds degrees from UC Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and New York University. Her debut collection LOOK (Graywolf Press) was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award and 2017 PEN Open Book Award. Sharif has published poetry in the New Republic and Poetry, and has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University.

Natalie Shapero, Poetry

Natalie-shapero-448Natalie Shapero is the Professor of the Practice of Poetry at Tufts University and an editor at large of the Kenyon Review. Her poetry collections are Hard Child (Copper Canyon, 2017) and No Object (Saturnalia, 2013) and her writing has appeared in the Nation, the New Republic, the New Yorker, Poetry, the Progressive, and elsewhere. Shapero holds degrees in creative writing and in law; she has worked as a civil rights lawyer, and she has taught at Kenyon College, the Ohio State University, and the Columbus College of Art and Design. Her awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, a Kenyon Review Fellowship, a Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award, and a Somerville Arts Council Fellowship.

A.J. Verdelle, Nature Writing-Prose

A.J. VerdelleA.J. Verdelle’s debut novel, The Good Negress, won five national prizes—including from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Bunting Institute at Harvard University, the American Library Association, and finalist prizes at The Los Angeles Times, the IMPAC/Dublin Award, and the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. Her essays on subjects ranging from slavery to art to motherhood have been published widely. She has taught at Princeton University, in the University of Vermont MFA Program, the University of Iowa Summer Writing Program, and the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA, summer writing program. Verdelle currently teaches in the MFA Program at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.

Afaa M. Weaver, Spiritual Writing

Afaa M. WeaverAfaa M. Weaver’s fourteen collections of poetry include My Father’s Geography, Timber and Prayer, Multitudes, and the three books that make up The Plum Flower Trilogy. Weaver has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a National Endowment of the Arts Literature Fellowship, a Pew Fellowship, a 2002 Fulbright Scholar appointment to Taiwan, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. He teaches in Drew University’s MFA Program.

Nancy Zafris, Fiction

Nancy Zafris has taught at the Kenyon Review workshop for many years. Her latest book, The Home Jar, a collection of short stories, was published in 2013. She has also written The People I Know, winner of the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction and the Ohioana Library prize, as well as the novels The Metal Shredders and Lucky Strike. She has received two National Endowment for the Arts grants and has taught in the Czech Republic as a Fulbright fellow. She is the former fiction editor of the Kenyon Review and former series editor of the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction. 

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