MFA@FLA Newsletter, Spring 2010

The MFA@FLA Newsletter makes public various enterprises, literary and not, of our graduates and faculty. It seeks to connect our graduates and to inform students considering applying to MFA@FLA of our accomplishments. The headnote is written by Padgett Powell, the balance by graduates, current students, and faculty..


We are in the second year of the new three-year program, and all seems well. There will be no class of 2010 as a result of this paradigm shift.

Last year we received a larger than usual aliquot of fellowship money, and we were allowed to distribute the money to the entire incoming class (not to one or two students as had historically been the case), with the result that stipends here went from under $10,000 to over $13000. This year we have received an even yet larger aliquot of fellowship money, and the stipends (assistantship and fellowship) for 2010 will be over $15000 per year for everyone. People are getting happy here. One faculty member said, ”Ca roule ma poule.”

Here are some news oddments that did not make it into testimonials for one reason or another:

The Italian publisher Round Robin has just published Cose Che Puoi Fare Con Un Barattolo di Zuppa Campbell, a collection of short stories (in Italian translation) by Brock Adams (BA,2005). American publication will follow this spring.

An essay by Leah Carroll (MFA, 2002) was published in the “Modern Love” column in The New York Times.

John Elderkin’s (MFA, 2002) and Sam Esquith's (MFA, 2005) band The Public Good, based in Washington, DC, has released its first CD, "No. 1," produced by Brian Paulson, producer of Beck, Wilco, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and others. Available for downloading on iTunes and in hardcopy at The band plays at clubs on the east coast, the boys so handsome that bodyguards have abandoned them at times.

Oindrila Mukherjee (MFA,2004) recently earned her PhD from University of Houston and is now a creative writing fellow at Emery. Her story “The Way to Cook Fish” has been shortlisted for the Eric Hoffer Award.

Maud Newton (BA, 1993), of the substantial literary blog, appears on the cover of the Spring issue of Narrative magazine, which includes an excerpt from her novel. Her writing has recently appeared at Granta Online and in Bookforum, and her essay “Conversations You Have at Twenty,” which won second prize in Narrative’s 2008 Love Story Contest, appears in the anthology Love is a Four-Letter Word. She has reviewed books for the New York Times Book Review and many other newspapers, and is a contributor to NPR’s “Books We Like.” She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, fellow UF English Department alum Max Clarke.

Dave Reidy’s (MFA, 2006) short-story collection, Captive Audience, will be published in France by Zanzibar Editions.


Jay Atkinson (MA, 1982), <>

I will publish two books in 2010. The nonfiction narrative, Paradise Road: Jack Kerouac”s Lost Highway and My Search for America, comes out from John Wiley & Sons in March, and a collection of stories, Tauvernier Street, by Livingston Press at the University of West Alabama, in October. Writing travel stories for New York Times and Boston Globe. Coaching youth hockey and teaching at Boston University. Contact me at

David Caplan (MFA, 1993)

This March the University of Georgia / VQR Poetry series will publish my collection, In the World He Created According to His Will. I spent the last academic year as the Poetics Fellow at the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University; this year I am back at Ohio Wesleyan, where I am an associate professor of English. My poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Antioch Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Pleiades; my prose has appeared or is forthcoming in those journals, as well as in several edited collections published here and abroad. Also, I am working on a scholarly book for Oxford University Press titled Rhyme’s Challenge.

Geri Doran (MFA, 1995)

After a wonderful, chaotic year I’m settling into my first house – a handsome if somewhat neglected 1915 bungalow. The house was made possible by a new tenure-track job at the University of Oregon. Turns out I love both teaching in the MFA program and Eugene, a progressive, quirky town. Poems have been appearing occasionally, most recently in Poetry International, Ninth Letter, Southern Review, and The Stinging Fly (Dublin).

Stephanie Kartalopoulos (MFA, 2003), <>

I break hearts in bundles of ten a couple of days a week. I also have a car and I live in Missouri. And I am becoming Crazy Cat Lady, as I have adopted two kittens from my local Second Chance. On a serious note, though, I am now in my 2nd year of the PhD program in creative writing and literature at the University of Missouri-Columbia, I am a poetry series intern with Persea Books, and I am serving as the 2009–2010 poetry editor for Center: A Journal of the Literary Arts. The kind editors of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, Barn Owl Review, Subtropics, and 32 Poems have decided to accept poems of mine for publication. Some of these poems have recently been published. Others are yet to be published.

David Leavitt

I was on sabbatical spring 2009. Trips to Lisbon, Paris, and New York, researching a new novel. Several dozen false starts on said novel. Several dozen nervous breakdowns over said novel. Now I think I am writing it.

A blogger recently sent me a list of questions to answer, one of which was: "What is the biggest misconception about you?" My answer: "That I'm gay."

William Logan

I’m on sabbatical in England this year. My new book of essays and reviews, Our Savage Art, was published by Columbia University Press last spring. In the past year, I’ve had poems published in Cincinnati Review, Columbia, Kenyon Review, New Criterion, New England Review, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, and Yale Review. I had a cover review in the New York Times Book Review of the correspondence between Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop, and another review on Louise Glück. There were other reviews for the New Criterion: one on Wallace Stevens and another on interviews with Seamus Heaney, as well as the usual spring and fall poetry chronicles. I was a faculty member last summer at the Sewanee Writers' Conference, where I gave a poetry reading, read a lecture titled “Shelley’s Wrinkled Lip, Smith’s Gigantic Leg," and sat on a panel discussing the work of Richard Wilbur. Now I’m in Cambridge, where it's dark.

Anthony Luebbert (MFA, 2009), <>

I am living in Singapore. I have a story in the most recent Black Warrior Review.

Margaret Luongo (MFA, 2001), <>

Five years and counting in Ohio. I spent the summer in Provincetown, MA at the Fine Arts Work Center, on a residency funded by the Ohio Arts Council. I met two lovely drag queens named Anita and Dana, and developed mild crushes on them. If you go to P'town, stop by the Governor Bradford and give them my regards. New stories coming out in The Cincinnati Review and The Call: An Anthology of Women’s Writing.

Randall Mann (MFA, 1997), <>

My new book of poems, Breakfast with Thom Gunn, published by the University of Chicago last year, got some good reviews (LA Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Rain Taxi Review of Books, The Rumpus, others). The Kenyon Review Online published an essay on Thom Gunn; The Rumpus published an essay on the fabulous Sidney Wade; Critical Mass, the online presence of the NBCC, published an essay on Mark Doty. I have poems coming out in Poetry, Pleiades, and Court Green. I, I, I live, work, and occasionally visit the free clinic in San Francisco.

Christian Nagle (MFA, 1995)

Still in Tokyo, where crows outnumber sparrows. My first collection of poems, Flightbook, has been taken by Salmon Poetry (Ireland), to be published in the not-too-distant future, insh’Allah. I’ve been translating the early modernist, Chuya Nakahara, for the past decade, and the first book, Goat Songs, has been solicited by Princeton University Press for their Lockert Library Poetry in Translation series. Am now a raw foodist (though not a vegetarian): my diet includes 12-banana meals, 1 lb of blended spinach a day, sashimi, and, because it's safe to eat it still squawking here, raw chicken. And beer.

Sara Lou O'Connor (MA, 1977), <>

Amazing that since I left UF I have been a professional writer now 32 years: lots of medical education (research & writing), fiction in all the formats (mostly screenplays, but also novels, and poems), and short stories still dance in my head. I live at the beach in Florida now, an ongoing wonder and inspiration. I love the new CWP website Home page. It reminds me of class on whatever night of the week it was, sitting around the table, reading each other's stories outloud. It may take a long time – maybe 20 years or more – for all you learned in the MA/MFA program to sink deep into you, but it will. It does. You will get better and more sure with every year.

Padgett Powell

I published a piece of a long work at The Paris Review. The acquiring editor left there and reappeared at Ecco, whence he called me and said they were doing the book from which the PR piece had come. I said okay. The book, The Interrogative Mood, got more buzz than had it won the Pulitzer, which I became convinced, for several days, several months after the Pulitzer had actually been conferred, that it had.

Magdalen Powers (MFA, 2008), <>

Still living in the rain in Salem, Ore., with Man and Cat, teaching fiction at Willamette U. and mostly comp at Chemeketa Comm. Coll. Man and I briefly played in a band with a member of the MC5, and, as Weird Al Yankovic once sang, "I lost on Jeopardy!, baby." You may have seen the latter on TV (Nov. 17. Came in second. Spent winnings on guitars). In other also-ran news, short-shorts of mine were finalists at The Southeast Review and River Styx, and in the Top 25 at Glimmer Train. (Always the bridesmaid, etc.) Nearing Master Gardener certification through the local ag school extension. Being too busy. Feeling too nostalgic. Writing (almost) every day.

Mary Robison, <>

There may be bagpipe tunes and a few of the songs of Jon Bon Jovi I haven’t yet downloaded. I copped everything else any good. Recent novel One D.O.A., One on the Way. Also take photographs, and founded the greatly popular Flickr group, Felt Life.

Diana Smith (MFA, 2009), <>

As of November 1, 2009 I am on the cusp of moving to Texas. I have interviews lined up at Southwest Texas Community College and Park University, both in Del Rio, TX. I don't know how it will go, but I guess you’ll have to read the 2011 MFA newsletter to find out! Since graduation I have been a long-term substitute teacher at Jackson Academy in Jackson, MS.

Eric Smith (MFA, 2009), <>

I’ve been in Madrid since August, and will be teaching at Marshall University in the spring. Recent poems appear in cream city review, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Tampa Review.

Alexandra Teague (MFA, 1998), <>

My first book of poetry, Mortal Geography, won the Lexi Rudnitsky Prize and will be published by Persea Books in Spring 2010. My poem “Heartlines,” which originally appeared in New England Review, was selected for Best American Poetry 2009. I also had a poem featured in American Life in Poetry this year, and have work forthcoming in New Letters, Mid-American Review, and The Yale Anthology of Younger American Poetry. I’m living in Oakland and teaching at City College of San Francisco, plus occasional teaching at Stanford, and some poetry tutoring.

Martin Wilson (MFA, 1998), <>

My novel, What They Always Tell Us, is coming out in paperback in February 2010. An essay of mine appeared in the Fall issue of Tin House. Meanwhile, I continue to plug away at my second novel, which should come out in 2011. I still live in New York City.

C. Dale Young (MFA, 1993)

I was fortunate to receive a Poetry Fellowship in 2009 from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Amanda Davis Returning Fellowship to Bread Loaf. My third book of poems, Torn, is slated for publication in early 2012. I have written a handful of new poems, but mostly I have been writing and revising short stories, the first of which appeared in Guernica. I continue to practice medicine and to teach in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. For now, unless the climate changes or fundraising is better than expected, I will wrap up my time editing poetry for New England Review in December 2010 when the magazine is scheduled to be shuttered by Middlebury College.