Luke Johnson, director

Luke JohnsonLuke Johnson is the author of the poetry collection After the Ark (New York Quarterly Books, 2011). His poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review, Poetry Northwest, The Southern Review, The Threepenny Review, and the Wall Street Journal. His work has been featured by the Huffington Post, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and has twice appeared in the Best New Poets anthology. He is a graduate of the writing program at Hollins University, where he was a teaching fellow, and he currently serves as Associate Poetry Editor at storySouth. Johnson teaches at the University of Mary Washington and lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia. (http://www.lukejohnsonpoetry.com)

Brandon Courtney, poetry

Brandon Courtney

Brandon Courtney was born and raised in Iowa, served four years (1999-2003) in the United States Navy (Operation Enduring Freedom), received his B.A. in English from Drake University, and his M.F.A. from Hollins University. He is the author of The Grief Muscles (Sheep Meadow Press) and Rooms for Rent in the Burning City (Spark Wheel Press), as well as the chapbook Improvised Devices (Thrush Press). He is working towards an advanced degree at the University of Chicago.

Airin Miller, fiction

Airin MillerAirin Miller is a fiction writer based in Portland, Oregon. Her short stories have appeared in Blackbird, Epiphany, and the Little Patuxent Review. She is a 2015 Oregon Literary Fellowship recipient, as well as a recipient of a Zoland Poetry fellowship with the Vermont Studio Center. She is an alumna of Hollins University and Bennington College.

Martha Park, creative nonfiction

Martha ParkMartha Park is a writer and illustrator from Memphis, Tennessee. She received an M.F.A. from Hollins University, where she worked as a teaching fellow and the assistant editor of the Hollins Critic. She was the recipient of the Melanie Hook Rice Award for Creative Nonfiction. Her work was a finalist for Crab Orchard Review‘s 2015 Rafael Torch Literary Nonfiction Award, and her writing has been published or is forthcoming at Barely South Review, Ghost Proposal, The RS 500, and Terrain. She is the Spring 2016 Philip Roth Resident in Creative Writing at Bucknell University’s Stadler Center for Poetry.

Past Faculty


Constance Adler, creative nonfiction

Constance AdlerConstance Adler is a freelance writer, whose work has been published in Utne Reader, Oxford American, Blackbird, Spy, and Philadelphia Magazine, among others. Her book, My Bayou, New Orleans Through the Eyes of a Lover, was published by Michigan State University Press in 2012. She holds an M.A. in creative writing from Hollins University and teaches the Bayou Writing Workshop.

CL Bledsoe, fiction

CL BledsoeCL Bledsoe is the author of five novels including the young-adult novel Sunlight, the novels Last Stand in Zombietown, and $7.50/hr + Curses; four poetry collections: Riceland, _____(Want/Need), Anthem, and Leap Year; and a short story collection called Naming the Animals. A poetry chapbook, Goodbye to Noise, is available online. He’s been nominated for the Pushcart Prize eight times, had two stories selected as Notable Stories by Story South’s Million Writers Award, and has been nominated for Best of the Net twice. He blogs at Murder Your Darlings. Bledsoe reviews regularly for Rain Taxi, Coal Hill Review, Prick of the Spindle, Monkey Bicycle, Book Slut, The Hollins Critic, The Arkansas Review, American Book Review, The Pedestal Magazine, and elsewhere. He received an M.F.A. in creative writing from Hollins University in 2008 and worked as an assistant poetry editor, and later assistant editor, for the Hollins Critic. Bledsoe lives with his wife and daughter in Maryland.

 Jordana Frankel, fiction

Jordana FrankelJordana Frankel has worked as a creative-writing instructor at Writopia Lab, a marketing associate at the Book Report Network, and an editorial assistant with two major NYC-based literary agencies. She received her B.A. from Goucher College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Hollins University. She currently lives in New York City. The Ward (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins) is her first novel.

Karen Salyer McElmurray, creative nonfiction

Karen Salyer McElmurrayKaren Salyer McElmurray’s Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother’s Journey, was an AWP Award Winner for Creative Nonfiction. Her novels are The Motel of the Stars, Editor’s Pick by Oxford American, and Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven, winner of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing. Other stories and essays have appeared in Iron Horse, Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Riverteeth, and in the anthologies An Angle of Vision; To Tell the Truth; Fearless Confessions; Listen Here; Dirt; Family Trouble; and Red Holler. Her writing has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Most recently, she was named Distinguished Alumna at Berea College and her essay, “Strange Tongues,” was the recipient of the Annie Dillard Award from The Bellingham Review. She was the 2014 Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence at Hollins University. She teaches in the Low Residency M.F.A. Program at Rollins College and is guest faculty at West Virginia Wesleyan University. With poet Adrian Blevins, she co-edited a collection of essay called Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia, to be released by Ohio University Press in fall 2015.

Michael Overa, fiction

Michael OveraMichael Overa is a short story writer from Seattle, and a graduate of the Hollins University M.F.A. program. His stories and poetry have appeared in the Portland Review, Fiction Daily, Husk, Dillate, cafeirreal.com, Pindeldyboz.com, and elsewhere. In addition to writing, Overa has worked with Hollins University, Seattle’s Writers-In-The-Schools program, 826 Seattle, the Richard Hugo House, Village Theatre, and Cornish College of the Arts.

Will Schutt, poetry

Will SchuttWill Schutt is the author of Westerly, selected by Carl Phillips as the winner of the 2012 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. He is the recipient of awards from the Gilman School, the James Merrill House, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University, and was recently awarded the Jeannette Haein Ballard Writer’s Prize. His poems and translations have appeared in Agni, A Public Space, FIELD, The New Republic, and elsewhere. A graduate of Oberlin College and Hollins University, he currently teaches creative writing at the Gilman School in Baltimore, Maryland. More information can be found at his website: www.wschutt.com.

 Brittney Scott, poetry

Brittney ScottBrittney Scott received her M.F.A. from Hollins University in 2010. She is a recipient of the Joy Harjo Prize for Poetry as well as a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as Prairie Schooner, The New Republic, Narrative Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, North American Review, Crab Orchard Review, Poet Lore, and many others. Her fiction has appeared in Quarter After Eight. She teaches creative writing to adults, Girl Scouts, and high-risk youth at Richmond’s Visual Arts Center.