MFA in Creative Writing News: RiskPress Fellowships for Historically Underrepresented Writers

Saint Mary’s College Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program announces a $30k gift from the RiskPress Foundation in support of editorial fellowships and the publication of a critical and timely anthology dedicated to writing of resistance during times of crisis. 

Two graduate students editors will work in collaboration with Professor Matthew Zapruder, MFA in Creative Writing Director and editor at large of Wave Books, in the creation and publication of this anthology, featuring current student work as well as solicited works by established and emerging writers, with attention to including writers from historically underrepresented communities.

The two RiskPress editorial positions will be filled by current graduate students, Marrion Johnson and Liala Zaray, who will work with MARY Journal Managing Editor Natalie Dunn and Assistant Editor Hannah Wohlenberg to assemble the anthology and related content, including publicity, marketing, and fundraising events in collaboration with the MFA Advisory Board. 


Marrion Johnson is a Black, queer writer based out of Oakland, California. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Marrion uses the story to examine the complex realities facing Black communities, including queerness, liberation and Black joy.  



Liala Zaray is a Bay Area native whose work touches on intergenerational trauma carried through the Afghan diaspora and the responsibility of healing. She appreciates a good cup of chai and loves listening to the rubab.





We would like to thank Charlie Pendergast (whose poem was recently featured in the New York Times) and the RiskPress Foundation for their generous support of the arts and emerging writers, as well as Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing Advisory Board members Shirley Cookston, John Briscoe and Cynthia Randolph who are the first to sign on as additional sponsors of this project. It shows incredible vision, and tremendous generosity, to support writers during this time. We need to uplift these important voices together. 

All proceeds from this anthology will support scholarships for historically underrepresented emerging writers to attend the Master in Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College. To support to this project, give now to support historically underrepresented emerging writers.

Please contact Associate Director, Sara Mumolo, for all inquiries, sponsorship opportunities and preorders. 



Date of Mention: 
Friday, November 20, 2020