Indiana University Creative Writing Program
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All Students and Alumni
Our graduate students come from all parts of the country as well as Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, Indonesia, and Australia. They write no single type of narrative or poetry. What they have in common is the faculty's deep interest in and critical support of their work.

Among other honors, recent graduates of our program have won:

  • 2015 George W. Hunt, S.J. Prize for Excellence in Journalism, Arts & Letters
  • 2015 National Poetry Series
  • 2014 National Poetry Series
  • 2014 Saroyan Prize
  • 2014 Best New Poets
  • 2013 Pushcart Prize
  • 2012 Arab American Book Award
  • 2012 Anne Halley Prize from the Massachusetts Review
  • 2011 Tim R. McGinnis Award from the Iowa Review
  • 2011 Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, Emerging Author
  • 2010 Cleveland Arts Prize, Emerging Artist Award
  • 2010 International Publication Award from the Atlanta Review
  • 2009 Pushcart Prize
  • 2003 Trillium Award for Poetry

Our graduates have also been awarded:

  • MacArthur Foundation Fellowship
  • Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships
  • Wallace Stegner Fellowship
  • Bush Foundation Fellowship
  • National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in fiction, poetry, and translation
  • The Fine Arts Work Center Fellowships

Alumni News

Jacqueline Jones LaMon Elected President of Cave Canem Foundation

Cave Canem Foundation, North America’s premier home for black poetry, is pleased to announce that Jacqueline Jones LaMon (MFA, '06) has been elected to serve as the organization’s next president. She succeeds Cave Canem co-founder Toi Derricotte, who held the office from February 1997 to late September 2015. Derricotte will continue to serve on the board as a director.

Reflecting on the work ahead, LaMon says, “In our next phase of development, Cave Canem’s board, staff and stakeholders will build on the solid groundwork established by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady, continuing to advance the organization as the premier center and home for African American poetries.” She sees her two-year term as president as an opportunity to “strengthen Cave Canem’s infrastructure and ensure a healthy foundation for decades to come—emphasizing our creative excellence, shaping our legacy of mentorship, and promoting entrepreneurial leadership.”

LaMon is the author of two award-winning collections of poetry, most recently, Last Seen (University of Wisconsin Press), and a novel, In the Arms of One Who Loves Me (Ballantine Books). An Associate Professor at Adelphi University, where she teaches in the multi-genre MFA program, she has received fellowships from Yaddo Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Read the full press release here.

Micah Ling lives in New York City where she teaches in the English department at Fordham University. She has three collections of poetry from Sunnyoutside Press: SETTLEMENT (2012), SWEETGRASS (2010), and THREE ISLANDS (2009). Most recently she is the author of FLASHES OF LIFE (Hobart Handbooks, 2015). In 2011, Ling won the Indiana Emerging Authors Award.

Congratulations to Simeon Berry (2002 Graduate, Poetry) for publishing his first collection of poetry, Ampersand Revisited (Fence Books, 2015, winner of the National 2013 Poetry Series, selected by Ariana Reines) and his second book of poetry, Monograph (University of Georgia Press, 2015, winner of the 2014 National Poetry Series, selected by Denise Duhamel).

By winning both the 2013 and the 2014 National Poetry Series, Simeon becomes the second poet in the 36-year-history of the Series to win twice, and the only one to win in consecutive years. In 2014, the prize money for each of the five winners of the Series was increased to $10,000 thanks to a grant from the Lannan Foundation.

Consisting of three long poems, Ampersand Revisited traces the legacy of a father drawn toward the occult and a mother immured in a personality disorder through the experiential wisdom of a neurotic Connecticut teenager.

Written in narrow sections that blur the distinction between flash fiction and prose poetry, between memoir and meditation, Monograph veers from the elliptical to the explosive as it dissects the Gordian knot of a marriage’s intellectual, sexual, and domestic lives.

Philip J. Metres III (MFA; PhD, 2001) has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the George W. Hunt, S.J. Prize for Excellence in Journalism, Arts & Letters awarded by America Media and the St. Thomas More Chapel of Yale University. Metres's writing "has been called “beautiful, powerful, magnetically original.” Lawrence Joseph, professor at Saint John’s University, has written that “Philip Metres’s poetry speaks to us all, in ways critical, vital, profound, and brilliant.” His poems have been translated into Arabic, Polish, Russian and Tamil.

Dr. Metres will be awarded a $25,000 prize at a reception to be held at the Saint Thomas More Chapel and Center in September, where Professor Metres will also deliver an original lecture that will be published as the cover story in a subsequent issue of America. “We are very pleased with the decision of the selection committee,” said Father Robert Beloin, chaplain of the Thomas More Chapel and Center. “Professor Metres is a shining example of the power of good writing to change minds and hearts.”

The George W. Hunt, S.J. Prize for Excellence in Journalism, Arts & Letters, was established in 2014. The Hunt Prize was made possible through the generous gift of Mr. Fay Vincent, Jr., a long-time and cherished friend of the late Fr. George Hunt, S.J., the longest-tenured Editor-in-Chief of America magazine. Mr. Vincent currently serves as a trustee on the Board of Trustees of the St. Thomas More Chapel and Center and Yale University. The Hunt Prize seeks to encourage writers under the age of 45 who employ a Catholic imagination in their writing.

Kyle Dargan's Honest Engine
Congratulations to Kyle Dargan (2005 Graduate, Poetry) for publishing his fourth collection of poetry, Honest Engine (University of Georgia Press, 2015). In this collection, Dargan examines the mechanics of the heart and mind as they are weathered by loss. Following a spate of deaths among family and friends, Dargan chooses to present not color-negative elegies but self-portraits that capture what of these departed figures remains within him. Amid this processing of mortality, it becomes clear that he has arrived at a turning point as a writer and a man.

As the title suggests, Dargan aspires toward
an unflinching honesty. These poems do not purport to possess life’s answers or seek to employ language to mask what they do not know. Dargan confesses as a means of reaching out to the nomadic human soul and inviting it to accompany him on a walk toward the unknown.

“Scary smart and admirably vulnerable, this book is a treasure." - Victor LaValle, novelist and author of Big Machine and The Devil in Silver

Khaled Mattawa Named MacArthur Fellow
Congratulations to Khaled Mattawa (1994 Graduate, Poetry) who is among the 2014 recipients of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowships. Mattawa received a B.A. (1989) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, an M.A. and M.F.A. (1994) from Indiana University at Bloomington, and a Ph.D. (2009) from Duke University. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Mattawa is the 2010 recipient of the Academy of American Poets Fellowship and in 2014 he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He has received a Guggenheim fellowship, a translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alfred Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, the PEN American Center Poetry Translation Prize, and three Pushcart Prizes.

In addition to translating numerous volumes of Arab poetry, he is author of Mahmoud Darwish: The Poet’s Art and His Nation (2014); co-editor of Post Gibran: Anthology of New Arab American Writing (1999) and Dinarzad’s Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction (2004, 2009); and the author of four collections of poetry, including Tocqueville (2010).

Kiese Laymon Awarded 2014 Saroyan Prize
Kiese Laymon (2003 Graduate, Fiction) has been awarded the 2014 William Saroyan Prize by Stanford University for his debut novel, Long Division. Set in the rural Mississippi in which he was raised, Laymon's novel weaves past and present in a complex time-traveling plot that reviewer Lucy McKeon praises for both its ambition and achievement: "more than anything, Laymon shows with surprising lucidity how American racialized inequality is persistent but mutable, that the past is not the present, but isn't, either, entirely past."

The Saroyan Prize is awarded biennially by Stanford University Library to new and emerging writers in fiction and non-fiction. The judges for the 2014 award in fiction were Heidi Durrow, Patrick Hunt, and Elizabeth McKenzie. Congratulations, Kiese, on this auspicious debut and significant accolade.

“Smart and funny and sharp...I loved it.” — Jesmyn Ward, author of Salvage the Bones, 2011 National Book Award winner

Read more about Long Division and the Saroyan Prize here:

Link to the Agate Bolden page for Long Division:

Lee Ann Roripaugh's Dandarians
Lee Ann Roripaugh (1996 Graduate, Poetry) is the author of four volumes of poetry, the most recent of which, Dandarians, was released by Milkweed Editions in September 2014. Her second volume, Year of the Snake (Southern Illinois University Press), was named winner of the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award in Poetry/Prose for 2004, and her first book, Beyond Heart Mountain (Penguin Books), was a 1998 winner of the National Poetry Series. The recipient of a 2003 Archibald Bush Foundation Individual Artist Fellowship, she was also named the 2004 winner of the Prairie Schooner Strousse Award, the 2001 winner of the Frederick Manfred Award for Best Creative Writing awarded by the Western Literature Association, and the 1995 winner of the Randall Jarrell International Poetry Prize.

Her short stories have been shortlisted as stories of note in the Pushcart Prize anthologies, and two of her essays have been shortlisted as essays of note for the Best American Essays anthology. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Roripaugh is currently a Professor of English at the University of South Dakota, where she serves as Director of Creative Writing and Editor-in-Chief of South Dakota Review. She is also a faculty mentor for the University of Nebraska low-residency M.F.A. in Writing, and served as a 2012 Kundiman faculty mentor alongside Li-Young Lee and Srikanth Reddy.

Adam Sol's Complicity
Adam Sol’s fourth collection of poetry, Complicity, was published in 2014 by McClelland & Stewart, and was shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award. His previous collections include and Jeremiah, Ohio, a novel in poems that was shortlisted for Ontario’s Trillium Award for Poetry in 2008;
and Crowd of Sounds, which won the award in 2003. He has published fiction, essays, and reviews for a variety of publications, including Pank, Lemonhound, and He is an Associate Professor at Laurentian University’s campus in Barrie, Ontario.

Alison Powell’s On the Desire to Levitate
Congratulations to Alison Powell (Poetry, 2006) whose On the Desire to Levitate won last year’s Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, and has just been released by Ohio University Press (2014). (Cover design by IU alumna and poet/book designer Mary Speaker)

This striking collection includes vivid, unflinching meditations on aging, mythology, poetry, and family. In tight, elegant lines
that alternate between homage and elegy, these poems explore known subjects with a rebellious eye: a defeated Hercules and a bitter Eurydice, a sympathetic Lucifer, and generations of adolescent girls as mythical adventurers moving within a beloved but confining Midwest. Yet in Powell's skillful hands, hardship never overtakes: as judge Charles Hood writes, “There's often a delicious humor in this work, and always a deep and lasting integrity.”

Ming Holden's Survival Girls
A creative writer, artist, and international development worker, Ming Holden (2013 Graduate) was most recently invited by the US Embassy to Suriname on a diplomatic speaking engagement under the U.S. Speakers Program for Women’s History Month. In 2011, she founded the Survival Girls, a theater group for young Congolese women in the slums of Nairobi.

Her first book, the nonfiction novella
The Survival Girls (Wolfram Productions, 2013), came out in 2013. Ming also won the USAID worldwide essay contest for inclusion in the USAID Frontiers in Development publication alongside work by Bill Gates, Indra Noori, Paul Collier, and others. Her essay about the Survival Girls got some love from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself in the book’s introduction! (Ming’s writing about the Girls was also nominated for the AWP Intro Award for Nonfiction.)

Leila Wilson (1998 Graduate)
Leila Wilson is the author of The Hundred Grasses (Milkweed Editions, 2013), finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She is the recipient of a Friends of Literature Prize from Poetry Foundation, and her poems and essays have appeared in Iowa Review, Chicago Review, Poetry, A Public Space, American Letters and Commentary, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing and literature at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she also runs the Writing Center.

Brian Teare (2000 Graduate, Poetry)
A former NEA Fellow, Brian Teare is the recipient of poetry fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Fund for Poetry, and the American Antiquarian Society. He is the author of four critically acclaimed books—The Room Where I Was Born, Sight Map, the Lambda Award-winning Pleasure, and Companion Grasses, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award. His fifth book, The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven, will be out from Ahsahta in September 2015. An Assistant Professor at Temple University, he lives in Philadelphia, where he makes books by hand for his micropress, Albion Books.

Amelia Martens (2007 Graduate)
Amelia Martens is an adjunct instructor at West Kentucky Community & Technical College where she helps to edit Exit 7: A Journal of Literature and Art. She was awarded an Emerging Artist Grant from the Kentucky Arts Council in 2010, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Recently, her poems have appeared in Bellingham Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Whiskey Island, and Willow Springs. Her first poetry chapbook, Purgatory, won the Spring 2010 Black River Chapbook competition and was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2012. Floating Wolf Quarterly published her next chapbook, Clatter, online in 2013. Her third poetry chapbook, A Series of Faults, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2014. She is married to the poet Britton Shurley; their collaborative projects include two daughters. Please visit:

Shannon Gibney (2002 Graduate)
(Picture courtesy of the NYT). Shannon Gibney's Young Adult novel Hank Aaron's Daughter will be released by Land of Gazillion Adoptees Press. A 2005 Bush Artist Fellow, her creative and critical work continue to appear in a variety of venues, most recently including Gawker, The Feminist Wire, The Crisis, Gazillion Voices, The Road Weeps Bulletin, and many others. Gibney is Professor of English and African Diaspora Studies at Minneapolis Community & Technical College.

Robin Silbergleid (2001 Graduate)
Robin is the author of two chapbooks of poetry Pas de Deux: Prose and Other Poems (Basilisk Press, 2006) and Frida Kahlo, My Sister (Finishing Line Press, 2014), as well as the memoir Texas Girl (Demeter Press, 2014). Her collection of poems The Baby Book is forthcoming from CavanKerry Press in 2015. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, her poetry, essays, and scholarship can be found in a range of journals online and in print. She is a regular contributor to Role/Reboot on issues related to single parenting, infertility, and pregnancy loss.

Born and raised in Illinois, she now lives in East Lansing Michigan, where she is an associate professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program at Michigan State University. Now that she’s joined the twenty-first century, you can find her on Twitter at @RSilbergleid.

Kathleen Balma (2006 Graduate)
Katy Balma is a teacher-librarian. She lived in the Hoosier state for a total of eight years and has since made her home in Spain, where she worked as a Fulbright English teacher at a bilingual elementary school, and in New England, where she worked as a middle school Spanish teacher and a university literature instructor. She has traveled extensively on a shoestring budget to countries on or near the Mediterranean, including Portugal, France, Andorra, Morocco, Italy, Vatican City, and Turkey. Her first book of poetry, tentatively entitled VASE, is near completion.

Recent publications include: Pushcart Prize XXXVII (2013); International Publication Award, Atlanta Review (2010); Fulbright Grant (Spain, 2007-2008); Roy Battenhouse Memorial Award, National Society of Arts and Letters (Bloomington, Indiana chapter, 2004). Poetry in The 2River View, Atlanta Review, Booth, Crab Orchard Review, Crate, Cutbank, Drunken Boat, Mid-American Review, Prick of the Spindle, Puerto del Sol, Rattle, Salamander, Sixth Finch, storySouth, and The Cafe Review.

Laurie Filipelli (2003 Graduate)
Laurie Filipelli is an educator, editor, and poet who holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University and an MA in English from the University of Cincinnati. In her years of teaching, and in her work as a writing coach, she has guided students of all ages to become stronger writers and more creative thinkers.

Laurie served as chair of the Humanities Department at the Austin Waldorf High School and led education programs for the nonprofit Badgerdog Literary Publishing where she trained writers to teach in public schools. Laurie leads workshops in college application essay writing, and coaches individuals to improve all aspects of their academic and creative writing.

Her debut collection of poetry, Elseplace, was published by Brooklyn Arts Press in March 2013. Her essays and poems have appeared or are forthcoming at Coldfront, The Rumpus, Web del Sol: The Potomac, Madison Review, Salamander, apt, and So and So Magazine.

Erin McGraw (1986 Graduate)
Erin McGraw was Born and raised in Redondo Beach, California, Erin McGraw received her MFA at Indiana University and has lived in the Midwest ever since. Along with her husband, the poet Andrew Hudgins, she teaches at the Ohio State University and divides her time between Ohio and Tennessee.

Her newest novel, Better Food for a Better World, will be published next spring by Slant Books. Before that she published The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard (a novel), The Good Life (stories), The Baby Tree (a novel), Lies of the Saints (stories, and a New York Times Notable Book for 1996), and Bodies at Sea (stories). Her short work has appeared in such magazines as The Atlantic Monthly, Good Housekeeping, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, STORY, The Georgia Review, and many others. A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, she has received fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and the corporations of MacDowell and Yaddo.
Visit Erin's website:

Philip Metres (2001 Graduate)
Born in San Diego on July 4th, 1970, Philip Metres grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. He graduated from Holy Cross College in 1992, and spent the following year in Russia on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, pursuing an independent project called “Contemporary Russian Poetry and Its Relationship to Historical Change.”

Since receiving a Ph.D. in English and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Indiana University in 2001, Metres has written a number of books and chapbooks, including Compleat Catalogue of Comedic Novelties: Poetic Texts by Lev Rubinstein (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014,)A Concordance of Leaves (2013), abu ghraib arias (2011), Ode to Oil (2011), To See the Earth (Cleveland State 2008), Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront since 1941 (University of Iowa Press, 2007), Instants (a chapbook, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2006), Primer for Non-Native Speakers (a chapbook, Kent State 2004), Catalogue of Comedic Novelties: Selected Poems of Lev Rubinstein (Ugly Duckling 2004). and A Kindred Orphanhood: Selected Poems of Sergey Gandlevsky (Zephyr 2003). His writing–which has appeared widely, including in Best American Poetry–has garnered two NEA fellowships, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, four Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Beatrice Hawley Award (for the forthcoming Sand Opera), the Anne Halley Prize, the Arab American Book Award, the Cleveland Arts Prize, and the Creative Workforce Fellowship. His work has been called “beautiful, powerful, magnetically original” (Cleveland Arts Prize citation). Lawrence Joseph has written that “Philip Metres’s poetry speaks to us all, in ways critical, vital, profound, and brilliant.” His poems have been translated into Arabic, Polish, Russian, and Tamil. He is professor of English at John Carroll University, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Hannah Faith Notess (2008 Graduate)
Hannah Faith Notess is the author of Ghost House, a poetry chapbook and winner of the 2013 Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award, and the editor of Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical, an edited collection of personal essays (Cascade Books, 2009). Following her graduation from IU, she was the 2008-2009 Milton Center Postgraduate Fellow at Image Journal. Her poems have appeared in Rattle, Slate, Mid-American Review, Crab Orchard Review, and Hampden Sydney Poetry Review, among other journals.

Hannah is the managing editor of Seattle Pacific University's Response magazine and lives with her family in Seattle. Learn more about her work at Photo by Luke Rutan.

Mary Austin Speaker (2006 Graduate)
Mary Austin Speaker is the author of Ceremony, winner of the 2012 Slope Editions book prize; The Bridge (Push Press 2011); 20 Love Poems for 10 Months (Ugly Duckling Presse 2012); and a play, I AM YOU THIS MORNING YOU ARE ME TONIGHT, written with her husband, the poet Chris Martin. Her work has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, Seattle Review, Diner, Iowa Review, and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. She co-founded the Triptych poetry reading series in New York City and designs books for HarperCollins, Milkweed Editions, Alice James Books, The Song Cave, University of Iowa Press and others. New poems have recently appeared in Boston Review, Jubilat, Forklift Ohio, and elsewhere, and her critical work can be found in Pleiades, The Claudius App, and Painted Bride Quarterly. She lives in Minneapolis, where she operates a tiny design studio.
Visit her website here

Nikki Moustaki (2000 Graduate)
Nikki Moustaki’s memoir, The Bird Market of Paris: a Memoir, was published by Henry Holt and Co. in February 2015. Nikki holds an MA in poetry from New York University (1997), an MFA in poetry from Indiana University (2000), and an MFA in fiction from NYU (2008). She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant in poetry, along with other national writing awards, including three Pushcart Press nominations.

Her poetry and essays have appeared in various literary magazines, anthologies, and textbooks, including Poetry After 9-11: An Anthology of New York Poets, and America Now, chosen by Robert Atwan, editor of the Best American Essays series; she has also published fiction in the American Literary Review, and others. Nikki’s 45 published educational and how-to books, on topics from choosing a college to training dogs, have been translated into five languages and have sold over half a million copies worldwide, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Poetry” and the Cliff’s Notes to “Dante’s Inferno” and Orwell’s “1984". Before beginning her career as a freelance writer and editor, Nikki worked as an acquisitions and development editor at Macmillan Publishing and IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., where she specialized in the non-fiction market and edited more than 60 non-fiction titles. Nikki splits her time between New York City and Miami Beach.

Luke Hankins (2009 Graduate)
Luke Hankins is the author of a collection of poems, Weak Devotions, and is the editor of Poems of Devotion: An Anthology of Recent Poets (both from Wipf & Stock). A chapbook of his translations of French poems by Stella Vinitchi Radulescu, I Was Afraid of Vowels...Their Paleness, was published by Q Avenue Press in 2011. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared in numerous publications, including American Literary Review, The Cortland Review, Contemporary Poetry Review, New England Review, Poetry East, and The Writer's Chronicle, as well as on the American Public Media national radio program "On Being." He serves as Senior Editor at Asheville Poetry Review and Poetry Editor at The Freeman.

Amos Magliocco (2005 Graduate)

Amos Magliocco is a Senior Lecturer in creative writing at the University of North Texas. Recent publications include fiction and nonfiction in The Missouri Review, Isotope, Yemassee, and Redivider.

In 2011, his novel Remedy Wheel was a semi-finalist in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Contest. Publisher's Weekly called Remedy Wheel "a sprawling, highly literary tale...a grand old story." In 2009, his essay won a Pushcart Prize and appeared in the 2010 Pushcart anthology.

You can follow Amos on Twitter @amosmagliocco or on his blog

Brian Leung (2000 Graduate)
Brian Leung is the author of the short story collection, World Famous Love Acts (Sarabande, 2004), winner of both the Mary McCarthy Award for short fiction and The Asian American Literary Award for Fiction. His novels are Lost Men (Random House, 2008) and Take Me Home (Harper/Collins, 2010) winner of the 2011 Willa Award for Historical Fiction. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Lambda Literary Award for a Mid-career Novelist. His poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction appear in numerous nationally distributed publications. Leung currently serves on the LGBT Advisory Board at the University of Louisville where he is the Director of Creative Writing.

Elizabeth Dodd (1986 Graduate)
Elizabeth Dodd is University Distinguished Professor at Kansas State University. She is the author of six books, including Horizon’s Lens and In the Mind’s Eye, both from University of Nebraska Press and Archetypal Light from University of Nevada Press. Her webpage is

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