MFA in Creative Writing Welcomes This Year's Visiting Writers

SMC MFA is excited to announce our 2020–2021 lineup of visiting writers. These incredible authors will be teaching courses throughout the semester, and some will be featured readers and presenters. Be sure to check our events calendar for these features.

(From top left to bottom right - Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, Ada Limón, Marie Mutsuki Mockett, Chris Feliciano Arnold, Jane Gregory, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Ismail Muhammad) 


Learn more about each of these authors through the links below


Marie Mutsuki Mockett's memoir, Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, was a finalist for the 2017 PEN Open Book Award. She received a Fellowship from the US/Japan Creative Artist Fellowship, funded by the NEA. Her novel, Picking Bones from Ash, published by Graywolf, was a finalist for the Saroyan Prize and the Paterson Prize. Her newest book, American Harvest: God, Country and Farming in the Heartland, was a finalist for the Lukas Prize.

           Read "On Innocence, Internment, and Resistance with an Open Heart" in Literary Hub

Ingrid Rojas Contreras' first novel Fruit of the Drunken Tree won the Silver Medal in First Fiction from the California Book Award. Fruit of the Drunken Tree a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and a New York Times editor's choice. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, Buzzfeed, The Believer, Nylon, Guernica, and elsewhere.

           Read a review in The New York Times of Rojas Contreras's book, Fruit of the Drunken Tree

Jane Gregory  is the author of Yeah No (The Song Cave, 2018) and My Enemies (The Song Cave, 2013). She is co-editor and co-founder (with Lyn Hejinian and Claire Marie Stancek) of Nion Editions, a chapbook press, and she works for Small Press Distribution.

           Read two poems by Gregory and a review of Yeah No in The New York Times 

Chris Feliciano Arnold has written essays and journalism for The Atlantic, Harper's, Outside, Vice News, The New York Times and more. His fiction has been published in Playboy, The Kenyon Review, Ecotone and other magazines. His work has been noted in The Best American Sports Writing and The Best American Short Stories. His first book is The Third Bank of the River: Power and Survival in the Twenty-First Century Amazon.

          Read a review of Arnold's book, The Third Bank of the River: Power and Survival in the Twenty-First Century        

          Amazon, in the The New York Times.



Marcelo Hernandez Castillo’s most recent book is Children of the Land: a Memoir, (Harper Collins 2020). He is also the author of Cenzontle, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. prize (BOA editions 2018) and was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. As one of the founders of the Undocupoets campaign, he was the first undocumented student to graduate from the Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan. His work has been featured in The New York Times, the Paris Review, and The Wall Street Journal among others. 

          Read Hernandez Castillo's interview with PBS Newshour

Ada Limón is the author of five books of poetry, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and was named one of the top 5 poetry books of the year by the Washington Post. Her fourth book Bright Dead Things was named a finalist for the National Book Award, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

           Read a review of Limón's work in the Chicago Review of Books

Ismail Muhammad is the reviews editor for The Believer, a staff writer at The Millions, a contributing editor at ZYZZYVA, and a board member at the National Books Critics Circle. He's been a recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Emerging Critics Fellowship, and a Simpson Family Literary Fellow. His work, which focuses on literature, art, identity, and black popular and visual culture, has appeared in publications like The New York Times, Slate, New Republic, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Real Life, and Catapult.

           Read Muhammad's work in Real Life and Los Angeles Review of Books

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton's most recent novel, The Revisioners, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work and was a national bestseller as well as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her debut novel, A Kind of Freedom, was long-listed for the National Book Award, won the Crook's Corner Book Prize, and was the recipient of the First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in The Paris Review; Zyzzyva; O, The Oprah Magazine; The New York Times Book Review; and other publications.

          Check out a review of The Revisioners and order your own copy!

Date of Mention: 
Wednesday, September 2, 2020