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Previous Faculty

Charles Baxter

Charles BaxterCharles Baxter is the author, most recently, of There’s Something I Want You to Do, published by Pantheon in February 2015; the book was a finalist for the Story Prize in 2016. He is also the author of Gryphon: New and Selected Stories, published in 2011, The Soul Thief, published in 2008, by Pantheon, and of Saul and Patsy, published in 2003 by Pantheon. His third novel, The Feast of Love (Pantheon/Vintage), was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2000 and has been made into a film starring Morgan Freeman. He has published two other novels, First Light and Shadow Play, and four books of stories. He has also published essays on fiction collected in Burning Down the House (Graywolf) and Beyond Plot, and has edited or co-edited several books of essays, The Business of Memory, published by Graywolf, Bringing the Devil to His Knees (The University of Michigan Press), and A William Maxwell Portrait, published in 2004 by W. W. Norton. He has edited the stories of Sherwood Anderson, published by the Library of America in 2012. His book of poems, Imaginary Paintings, was published by Paris Review Editions. He also edited Best New American Voices 2001 (Harcourt) and was the judge for the Bakeless Prize in Fiction in 2004. He has received the Award of Merit in the Short Story and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Rea Award in the Short Story in 2012. He was born in Minneapolis in 1947, graduated from Macalester College with a BA degree in 1969, and the State University of New York at Buffalo with a PhD in 1974, and lived for many years in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He taught at Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, Stanford, and the University of Iowa. He now lives in Minneapolis and is currently the Edelstein-Keller Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, and Harper’s, among other journals and magazines. His fiction has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories seven times, eleven times in The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and translated into many languages.

Melissa Febos

Melissa FebosMelissa Febos is the author of the memoir, Whip Smart (St. Martin’s Press 2010), and the essay collection, Abandon Me (Bloomsbury 2017). Her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Tin House, Granta, Prairie Schooner, Glamour, Salon, The New York Times, Guernica, Dissent, Poets & Writers, Lenny Letter, Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York, Elle UK, Vogue, and elsewhere. Her essays have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, Story Quarterly, and The Center for Women Writers and she has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, CNN, Anderson Cooper, and elsewhere. She is a three-time MacDowell Colony fellow, and has also received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Ragdale, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Monmouth University and MFA faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). She serves on the Board of Directors for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and co-curated the Manhattan reading and music series, Mixer, for ten years. She grew up on Cape Cod and has lived in Brooklyn for seventeen years.

David Hollander

David HollanderDavid Hollander is the author of the novel L.I.E. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in dozens of print and online forums, including McSweeney’s, Agni, Post Road, The New York Times Magazine, Poets & Writers, Unsaid, and The Collagist. His work has been adapted for film and frequently anthologized, notably in Best American Fantasy. He lives in the Hudson Valley with his wife and two children and teaches writing full time at Sarah Lawrence College.

Jeffrey McDaniel

Jeffrey McDanielJeffrey McDaniel is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Chapel of Inadvertent Joy (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013). His other books include The Endarkenment, The Splinter Factory, The Forgiveness Parade, and Alibi School. He’s received an NEA fellowship for creative writing and been published in many journals and anthologies, including Ploughshares, Field, American Poetry Review, and Best American Poetry 1994 and 2010. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

Roger Reeves

Roger ReevesRoger Reeves received an MFA in creative writing and a PhD in English from the University of Texas, Austin. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, Best American Poetry, and Indiana Review, among other publications, and he was included in Best New Poets 2009. Reeves was awarded a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation in 2008; he is also the recipient of two Bread Loaf Scholarships and a Cave Canem Fellowship. In 2012, Reeves received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize for his poem “The Field Museum.” He is an Assistant Professor of Poetry at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and a 2014–2015 Hodder Fellow at the Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University. King Me (Copper Canyon Press, 2013) is Reeves’s first book.

Susan Wheeler

Photo: Mel EdelmanSusan Wheeler is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Meme from the University of Iowa Press, which was shortlisted for the National Book Award, and a novel, Record Palace, published by Graywolf Press. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she teaches at Princeton University.

Previous Visiting Writers

Neil Arditi

Neil Arditi (2015) has taught literature at Sarah Lawrence College since 2001, and currently holds the Esther Raushenbush Chair in the Humanities. His essays on modern poetry have appeared in a number of journals, including Raritan, Parnassus, Keats-Shelley Journal, Philosophy and Literature, and The Chicago Review.

Richard Baluyut

Richard BaluyutRichard Baluyut (2016) is best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the cult independent band Versus, but formed his first real band, Flower, at Sarah Lawrence College in 1985, and has been waiting patiently for a chance to return to his roots. Once known for punk angst and boy/girl harmony, Richard's recent appearances have taken an introspective and somewhat unpredictable or confounding turn. We only hope that his fond memory of Sarah Lawrence will serve as a lifeline, to keep him from floating irretrievably into the void.

Anita Desai

Anita DesaiNovelist, short-story writer, and children's author Anita Desai (2017) was born in 1937 in Mussoorie, India. She was educated at Delhi University. Her novels include Fire on the Mountain (1977), which won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, Clear Light of Day (1980), In Custody (1984) and Fasting, Feasting (1999), each of which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. In Custody was made into a film by Merchant Ivory productions. Her children's book, The Village by the Sea (1982), won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award.

Kiran Desai

Kiran DesaiKiran Desai (2017) was born in India in 1971 and grew up there before moving to England, aged fourteen years. She was educated in India, England, and the US. Her first novel, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard (1998) won a 1998 Betty Trask Award, and her second novel, The Inheritance of Loss (2006), set in the mid 1980s in a Himalayan village, won the 2006 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics' Circle Fiction Award (USA).

Alex Gilvarry

Alex GilvarryAlex Gilvarry (2017) was born in Staten Island, New York in 1981. He is the author of From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, winner of the Hornblower Award for First Fiction and Best New Voice 2012 by Bookspan, and was selected by the New York Times as an Editor's Choice. His second novel, Eastman Was Here, will be published by Viking in August 2017. He is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and has received fellowships from the Harry Ransom Center and the Norman Mailer Center. His essays and criticism have appeared in The Nation, Boston Globe, NPR's All Things Considered, and many other publications. He is a professor at Monmouth University where he teaches fiction.

Garth Risk Hallberg

Credit: Mark VesseyGarth Risk Hallberg (2016) is the author of the novel City on Fire. His writing has appeared in Prairie Schooner, The New York Times, Best New American Voices 2008, and The Millions. A novella, A Field Guide to the North American Family, was published in 2007. He was born in Louisiana and grew up in North Carolina. He lives in New York with his wife and children.

Terrance Hayes

Terrance Hayes (2017) is the author of Lighthead (Penguin, 2010), which won the National Book Award for Poetry; Wind in a Box (Penguin, 2006); Hip Logic (Penguin, 2002), which won the 2001 National Poetry Series and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award; and Muscular Music (Tia Chucha Press, 1999), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He has received many honors and awards, including a Whiting Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, three Best American Poetry selections, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2014, he was named a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. He is professor of creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and lives in Pittsburgh with his family.

Marie Howe

Marie Howe (2017) is the author of four books, most recently Magdalene (W.W. Norton, 2017). She has received fellowships from the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She was the Poet Laureate of New York State from 2012 to 2014.

Naomi Jackson

Credit: Lola FlashNaomi Jackson (2016) is the author of The Star Side of Bird Hill, which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Jackson studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. A graduate of Williams College, her work has appeared in literary journals and magazines in the United States and abroad. She is the recipient of residencies from the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House, Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center, and the Camargo Foundation.

Jean Kilbourne

Jean KilbourneJean Kilbourne (2017) is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. In the late 1960s, she began her exploration of the connection between advertising and several public health issues, including violence against women, eating disorders, and addiction, and launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems. A radical and original idea at the time, this approach is now mainstream and an integral part of most prevention programs. Her films, lectures, and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. Kilbourne was named by The New York Times Magazine as one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses. She is the creator of the renowned Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women film series and the author of the award-winning book Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel and So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids (with Diane E. Levin).

Yusef Komunyakaa

Yusef Komunyakaa (2016) is the author of Neon Vernacular, which won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize in poetry and the Kingsley Tufts award. His recent works include Testimony: A Tribute to Charlie Parker (Wesleyan University Press, 2013), The Chameleon Couch (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), and Emperor of Water Clocks (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015). He teaches at New York University.

Rickey Laurentiis

Rickey LaurentiisRickey Laurentiis (2016) was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the author of Boy with Thorn, selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) and named one of the best poetry books of 2015 by Buzzfeed, Literary Hub, and Poets & Writers magazine, among others. His honors include a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

David Lindsay-Abaire

David Lindsay-AbaireDavid Lindsay-Abaire (2017) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, screenwriter, lyricist, and librettist. His most recent play, Good People, premiered on Broadway, and was awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, The Horton Foote Prize, The Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, and two Tony nominations. TCG named Mr. Lindsay-Abaire as the most produced playwright in America for the 2012-13 season, and Good People as the most produced play. His previous play, Rabbit Hole, received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, five Tony nominations, and the Spirit of America Award. He also wrote the book and lyrics for Shrek the Musical, which was nominated for eight Tonys, four Oliviers, a Grammy, and earned Mr. Lindsay-Abaire the Ed Kleban Award as America's most promising musical theatre lyricist. Mr. Lindsay-Abaire's other plays include Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World, and A Devil Inside, among others. In addition to his work in theatre, Mr. Lindsay-Abaire's screen credits include his film adaptation of Rabbit Hole (starring Nicole Kidman—Oscar Nomination), Dreamworks' Rise of the Guardians, and MGM's upcoming Poltergeist reboot, among others.

Sam Lipsyte

Sam LipsyteSam Lipsyte (2016) is the author of five books, including The Fun Parts (Picador), The Ask, Home Land, The Subject Steve, and Venus Overdrive. He won the first annual Believer Book Award and was a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow. He teaches writing at Columbia University's School of the Arts.

Fiona Maazel

Photo: Nina KatchadourianFiona Maazel (born 1975, Cleveland) [2017] is the author of three novels: Last Last Chance (March 2008, from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), Woke Up Lonely (April 2013, from Graywolf Press), and A Little More Human (April 2017, Graywolf Press). In 2008, she was named a 5 Under 35 honoree by the National Book Foundation. In 2017, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Emily St. John Mandel

Emily St. John Mandel (2015) is the author of four novels, most recently Station Eleven (Knopf), which was a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in fiction.

Cate Marvin

Cate MarvinCate Marvin (2016) is the author of three books, most recently Oracle (Norton, 2015). Her first book, World’s Tallest Disaster (Sarabande Books, 2001), won the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry. Her second collection, Fragment of the Head of a Queen, was published by Sarabande Books in 2007. She also co-edited Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande Books, 2006).

Nami Mun

Nami MunNami Mun (2016) grew up in Seoul, South Korea and in the Bronx, New York. Her first book, Miles from Nowhere, received a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, The Hopwood Award, and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and the Asian American Literary Award. She has worked as an Avon Lady, a street vendor, a photojournalist, a waitress, an activities coordinator for a nursing home, and a criminal defense investigator. She has garnered fellowships from organizations such as Yaddo, MacDowell, Bread Loaf, and Tin House. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing in Chicago.

Jenny Offill

Jenny Offill (2015) is the author of two novels, Last Things and Dept. of Speculation. She lives in the Hudson Valley.

Matt Rasmussen

Credit: Stephanie ColganMatt Rasmussen (2016) is the author of Black Aperture (2013), which won a Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets and was a National Book Award finalist. His honors and awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Loft Literary Center, the Jerome Foundation, Intermedia Arts, and the McKnight Foundation. He is a founding member of the poetry press Birds, LLC. Rasmussen teaches at his alma mater, Gustavus Adolphus College.

Diane Seuss

Diane Seuss (2015) is the author of two books of poetry: Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open, which won the 2010 Juniper Prize in Poetry, and It Blows You Hollow. Graywolf will publish her third book, Four Legged Girl, in the fall of 2015.

Meline Toumani

Meline ToumaniMeline Toumani (2016) is the author of There Was and There Was Not: A Journey Through Hate and Possibility in Turkey, Armenia, and Beyond (Metropolitan), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has written extensively for The New York Times on Turkey and Armenia as well as on music, dance, and film. Her work has also appeared in n+1, The Nation, Salon, and The Boston Globe. She has been a journalism fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Austria, and coordinator of the Russian-American Journalism Institute in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. Born in Iran and ethnically Armenian, she grew up in New Jersey and California and now lives in New York City.

Joan Wasser

Joan Wasser aka Joan As Police WomanJoan Wasser, aka Joan As Police Woman, picked up the violin in public school when she was 8, soaked up Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5 on the AM radio before catching the bus to school and ended up studying classically through college. Consumed by the punk rock/new wave scene, her first live shows were The Bad Brains and Black Flag when she was 14, Adam and the Ants and Siouxsie and the Banshees when she was 15.

Capitalizing on these diverse beginnings, she eventually joined, recorded and toured with The Dambuilders, Those Bastard Souls, Antony and the Johnsons, Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed, and recorded and played with countless others. Joan As Police Woman began in 2003. Since then, she’s released 4 albums of originals, one album of covers, and toured the world over many times.

Tiphanie Yanique

Tiphanie Yanique (born September 20, 1978) is a Caribbean fiction writer, poet, and essayist, born in the United States Virgin Islands, who lives in Brooklyn, New York. In 2010, the National Book Foundation named her a 5 Under 35 honoree. Yanique’s debut collection, How to Escape a Leper Colony: A Novella and Stories, was published by Graywolf Press in 2010. Her novel, Land of Love and Drowning, was published by Riverhead Books in 2014, and was described by Publishers Weekly as “an affecting narrative of the Virgin Islands that pulses with life, vitality, and a haunting evocation of place.”

Monica Youn

Photo: Joanna Eldridge MorrisseyMonica Youn is the author of three books, most recently Blackacre (Graywolf Press, 2016). Her second book, Ignatz (Four Way Books, 2010), was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The New York Times Magazine. A former lawyer, she now teaches poetry at Princeton University and Sarah Lawrence College.

Kevin Young

Kevin YoungKevin Young is the new Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, newly named a National Historic Landmark. He is the author of eleven books of poetry and prose, most recently Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015 (Knopf, 2016), longlisted for the National Book Award; Book of Hours (Knopf, 2014), a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry from the Academy of American Poets; Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels (Knopf, 2011); and Dear Darkness (Knopf, 2008). His collection Jelly Roll: a blues (Knopf, 2003) was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Young's next nonfiction book, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News, will be out from Graywolf Press November 14, 2017. Young was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. Young will be Poetry Editor of the New Yorker starting in November 2017.