Our Faculty

Academic Program Director of the MCW program, Frank Montesonti holds an MFA from the University of Arizona. He is the author of two books of poetry: Blight, Blight, Blight, Ray of Hope (winner of the 2012 Barrow Street Book Contest), and Hope Tree (Black Lawrence Press, 2013). His poems have appeared in such journals as Black Warrior Review, AQR, Cream City Review, Poet Lore, Lit, among many others. He oversees the poetry and pedagogy classes and coordinates the student literary journal the GNU. If you have any questions about the program, feel free to email him at fmontesonti@nu.edu.

Amanda Ackerman is the author of four chapbooks: Sin is to Celebration (co-author, House Press), The Seasons Cemented (Hex Presse), I Fell in Love with a Monster Truck (Insert Press), and Short Stones (Dancing Girl Press).  She co-publishes and co-edits the press eohippus labs. Her writing has been published in a variety of publications including WestWind ReviewThe Incongruous QuarterlyShearsman MagazineJoyland Retro Vol. 2 Anthology, and The Encyclopedia Project: Volume F-K. Her book The Book of Feral Flora is forthcoming from Les Figues press.

Peter Bricklebank has published fiction in such as The American Voice, Carolina Quarterly, Mid-American Review, Kansas Quarterly, Confrontation, Fiction, and nonfiction in The New York Times Book Review, the American Book Review, The Chicago Tribune. His chapter on writing essay and memoir appears in The Portable MFA (Writers Digest Books). He has received a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in fiction and been a panelist for the BRIO awards for the Bronx Council of the Arts. He has taught private writing workshops in NYC and in Oaxaca and Morelia (Mexico) and at New York University and elsewhere, including a year as Nonfiction writer-in-residence at Central Connecticut State University. Recent nonfiction appears in the inaugural issue of Two Bridges Review (see http://2bridgesreview.blogspot.com/). He taught fiction and nonfiction at Bar-Ilan University in Israel in summer 2012 and taught at the Festival of Writers, Rensselaerville, New York in August 2013.

Amina-smAmina Cain received her MFA in Creative Writing/Fiction from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was a recipient of the 1999 graduate writing fellowship. She is the author most recently of the short story collection Creature (Dorothy, a publishing project, 2013) and a novel is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2019. Stories and essays have appeared in BOMBn+1The Paris Review DailyFull StopVice, the Believer Logger, and other places. She is currently working on a book of essays on the space of reading and writing fiction. In the MCW Program, she coordinates the fiction workshops and thesis courses. acain@nu.edu

Adam portrait4194pBWAdam Chanzit earned a BA in literature and playwriting from Yale and an MA in Chinese literature with a designated emphasis in film from UC Berkeley. His screenwriting credits include ASURA, a Buddhist-inflected Chinese fantasy epic to be released in 2018 by Alibaba; WALDEN, a radical contemporary reimagining of Thoreau’s classic starring Oscar-Nominee Demián Bichir; and 3 NIGHTS IN THE DESERT starring Wes Bentley and Amber Tamblyn. He’s written for Universal Pictures International and Marc Platt Productions, and adapted the bestseller The Piano Tuner into a screenplay with the novelist. Adam’s stage plays Down to This and The Great Divide both premiered in the Bay Area. Honors include a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a Djerassi Colony Residency, the San Francisco Film Society Screenwriting Award, and a nomination for the Steinberg New American Play Award. Fluent in Mandarin, Chanzit was awarded a yearlong fellowship from Yale to study Daoist religion throughout China, edited the book Daoism in China and is working on a book about his experiences living with remote Daoist communities. Adam has taught writing to students at a diverse range of institutions from UC Berkeley to San Quentin Prison. He lives in Los Angeles.

Colin Dickey is the author of Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius, and Afterlives of the Saints: Stories from the Ends of Faith, both from Unbridled Books.  His work has appeared in Cabinet, The Santa Monica Review, and TriQuarterly, among other places.  He is the co-editor (with Nicole Antebi and Robby Herbst) of Failure! Experiments in Aesthetic and Social Practices.  cdickey@nu.edu   Great news about Dr. Dickey’s new book: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/book-deals/article/64851-book-deals-week-of-november-24-2014.html

Brandi Megan Granett holds an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and a Masters in Adult Education with an emphasis on Distance Education from Penn State University.  Granett’s first story was published in the third grade, and she looks forward to maintaining the tradition of publication until she is 95. Her first novel, My Intended, was published in Spring 2000 by Eagle Brook/Morrow.  Her second novel, Floaters, was published in Spring 2006 by Blast Press.  Her short fiction can be found in Pebble Lake Review, The Literary Review, Pleiades and Folio among others. When she is not writing or teaching or mothering, she is honing her archery skills as the New Jersey State Adult Female FITA Recurve Champion.  Brandi.granett@gmail.com

John Coyne

John Coyne is the author of 26 books of fiction and non-fiction, including several bestsellers. His novel, The Legacy, was a successful film starring Sam Elliott. His short stories have been included in “best of” anthologies, such as Modern Masters of Horror and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. His most recent book is a novel, Love Ago and Far Away, a love story set in Africa, Europe and the United States that spans 40 years. He has also published three novels on golf and edited three books of golf instruction. A former college professor and college dean at the State University of New York, he has written three books on alternatives to traditional college education. His articles have appeared in Smithsonian, Travel & Leisure, Glamour, Foreign Affairs, Redbook, among other magazines. Currently, he is organizing for National University the new Peace Corps Cohort.

Bryan Hurt holds a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. His stories and essays have appeared in The American Reader, Connu, Kenyon Review Online, Joyland, New England Review, Salt Hill, Tikkun, Tin House, and TriQuarterly. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and his story collection was recently named a finalist for Black Lawrence Press’s Hudson Prize. He is the co-editor (with Amaranth Borsuk and Genevieve Kaplan) of The Loudest Voice anthology.

Marci Rae Johnson teaches English at Valparaiso University, where she serves as Poetry Editor for The Cresset. She is also the Poetry Editor for WordFarm press. Her poems appear or are forthcoming inThe Collagist, Hobart, Redivider, Redactions, Books & Culture, The Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Louisville Review, The Christian Century, and 32 Poems, among others. Her first collection of poetry won the Powder Horn Prize and was published by Sage Hill Press in 2013.

Lee Pendleton holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts (fiction). He has published more than 20 books. Writing as Lee Thomas, he is the author of the novels Stained (House of Dominion Press, 2004), winner of the Bram Stoker Award, The Dust of Wonderland (Alyson Books, 2007), winner of the Lambda Literary Award, The German (Lethe Press, 2011), also a Lambda Literary Award winner, as well as a finalist for several other awards. His short fiction has been collected into the books In the Closet, Under the Bed (Dark Scribe Press, 2009), and Like Light for Flies (Lethe Press, 2013), and has been anthologized extensively, most notably in A Walk on the Dark Side (Roc Books, 2004), Inferno (Tor Books, 2009), Supernatural Noir (Dark Horse Books, 2011), Best Gay Stories 2010 (Lethe Press, 2010), and Best Horror of the Year, Volume 6 (Night Shade Press, 2014). Writing as Thomas Pendleton he has authored several young adult novels, including Mason (HarperCollins, 2009), and the Wicked Dead series of thrillers, co-authored with Stefan Petrucha (HarperCollins, 2007).

Amarnath Ravva has an MFA in Creative Writing/Integrated Media from Calarts and a BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. He is currently working on a book about Victorian era botanical expeditions called The Glass House. His first book, American Canyon, was published by Kaya Press in 2014.

Michael RerickMichael-Rerick earned his PhD in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA in Poetry form the University of Arizona. He is the author of the poetry collections In Ways Impossible to Fold (Marsh Hawk Press), X-Ray (Flying Guillotine Press), and morefrom (Alice Blue Press). Recent work appears at CoconutCosmonauts AvenueH_NGM_N,Indefinite SpaceMadHatPing Pong and Tarpaulin Sky. He teaches composition, literature, and creative writing.

Jeffrey Stephenson is a highly acclaimed, award-winning writer and director whose work has been distributed worldwide.  His feature film, Not Since You, sold to over 65 countries and was released by Warner Bros. before premiering on Showtime Network.  His latest feature film, Bank$tas, was released day-and-date in theaters across the United States and on VOD in November 2014.  Writing credits include Trial By Fire for Lifetime Network that was released by Millennium Entertainment as Smoke Jumper.  Documentary credits include working with Tom Cruise on the narration for Industrial Light & Magic: Creating The Impossible that Jeff co-wrote and co-edited for Starz Network.  He also co-wrote and directed the Gemini Award (Canadian Emmy) nominated Hamlet {Solo} for Bravo! Network as well as directing Flyerman (Toronto International Film Festival) and Bellini’s Drive (Vancouver International Film Festival).  Jeff holds a BFA in Film Production from York University in Toronto, Canada and an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

Andrew Terhune Andrew Terhune holds a BA in English from Union University, an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago, an MA in Cinema Studies from Savannah College of Art & Design, and a PhD in English – Screen Studies/Creative Writing from Oklahoma State University. He is the author of the chapbook Helen Mirren Picks Out My Clothes (Greying Ghost Press) and his work has appeared in Meridian, Sixth Finch, West Wind Review, Diagram, and Court Green. He currently works as the creative executive for an independent film production company based in Memphis and Los Angeles.

Michael Grant Zimmer is a writer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. He has developed writing projects at CBS Television Studios, Gunpowder & Sky Studios, and Blumhouse, among others. He also co-directed and produced an award-winning feature documentary, The Entertainers, about the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest. His fiction has appeared in Pithead Chapel, Crack the Spine, Akashic Books’ Mondays Are Murderand more. mzimmer@nu.edu