- Application Guide
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- MFA Student Projects
- Graduate Course Descriptions
Kaitlyn Von Behren is a first-year poet from Wisconsin. She can't stop writing about mythology, healing, and being a girl. You can find her writing in publications such as The Mochila Review, Redivider, and Red Cedar Review, among others.
Tor Strand is a poet who promises to write an essay one of these days. He is also trying his hand at the making of abstract art through stained glass. Tor is a recipient of the Mari Sandoz emerging writer award, a Fishtrap fellowship, and the Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency. Samples of his work can be found or forthcoming in Inverted Syntax, The Santa Ana River Review, and Palette Poetry.
Lila Cutter is a first-year MFA candidate studying Poetry, with a background in equitable arts education work. Though originally from Iowa, she spent the past five years in California’s Bay Area, working for the writing nonprofit 826 Valencia as an educator and Internship Manager. Lila studied literature and public action at Bennington College and earned her B.A. from University of Iowa in Creative Writing. Within her poetry, Lila is interested in refracting perceptions of femininity.
Sam Olson was raised in Portland, OR. He returns to the Oregon after nearly a decade spent between Montana and Washington, where he facilitated poetry workshops, taught environmental science, and patrolled wilderness trails. In part, his poetry seeks to respond to Elizabeth Woody’s demand that "we must all the power of our minds and hearts to bring the salmon back.".
Hannah Ariesen is a first-year poetry MFA candidate from Las Vegas, Nevada. She most recently worked as a barista and part-time substitute teacher. They enjoy writing about and exploring the relationship between the self, the spirit, and the natural world. When not writing, you can find her walking aimlessly in parks and likely saying hello to trees.
Monique originally comes from Salt Lake City, UT. She spent the last couple years in Cambridge, MA where she graduated with a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. In her poetry you will find her wrestling with theodicy, the apocalypse, motherhood, gender, and, of course, the Anthropocene and Patriarchy. To lighten things up, she explores longing, elemental distance, and the erotic/sensuality of, in, and lost, with the Beloved.
Selene Ross loves words, stories, and sounds. She is an audio producer, fiction writer and musician from Berkeley, California, or more specifically, El Sobrante–a semi-rural "census designated place" just east of Richmond. Her stories have been featured on The Kitchen Sisters, KALW, NPR, KCRW and independent podcasts. Before moving to Corvallis, she lived in Oakland and was a senior audio producer at Dipsea, where she directed voice actors, oversaw sound-design and led the development of a new genre of sleep audio. Her short stories often explore themes of power and trust and the raptures and ruptures thereof, especially as experienced by teenage girls. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies & Sociology from UC Santa Barbara and a love of all things weird and wonderful. Learn more at selross.com.
Aviva Wei Xue is a first-year fiction MFA candidate from mainland China. Having published a book and several articles in literary and feminist studies with Bloomsbury, Routledge, International Journal of Women’s Studies and Comparative Literature in China, she is now working on her short stories and a novel, delving into counter-narratives and metafictional writing. She describes herself as nimble, hard-working and sensitive, daring like a leaping cat experimenting new things, and meticulous like Australian waxflowers, tiny yet blossom seriously.
Haley is a computational linguist with a BA in Linguistics and an MSc in Speech and Language Processing. Her recent fiction explores our relationships with language, housing, wildlife, and water. She wants to be a xenolinguist when she grows up.
Veronica Suchodolski found her way to Corvallis via Western Mass, New York City, and Seattle. She holds a BA from Barnard College and worked professionally as a social media manager. In fiction, she’s interested in women, social class, and expectation — “how we thought it would be, and how it is.” Loves farmers markets, hates driving, friendly with other dogs.
Sukayna is a fiction MFA candidate, originally from Dearborn, Michigan. She previously studied literature at Wayne State University, where she earned a BA and MA in English with a concentration in Middle Eastern representation/Orientalism in modern and post-modern media. In her fiction writing, Sukayna is interested in exploring the intergenerational relationships and tensions between immigrant women. When she isn’t writing, Sukayna can be found taking long walks or watching The Great British Bake Off on repeat.
Elliot 'Icarus' Laurence is a writer from St. Louis, Missouri. He drove to Oregon with his sister, his dog, and his cat to write about underrepresented groups in a style he calls 'poverty fiction'. As a transgender Air Force veteran and activist for the LGBTQ+ community, Laurence is a recipient of the Young Alumni Award from Webster University, where he earned his B.A. in English, minor in Creative Writing, and certificate in Digital Media. Laurence enjoys hiking when they have time; Laurence likes having time.
Grace Hime is a fiction candidate from Wisconsin, who enjoys visual storytelling as much as writing. She is constantly trying to combine the two, creating collages and scrapbooks to accompany her work, which has been described as "camp with an indelible sincerity", "Americana with classical appeals". Grace likes the term "kitschy" and would invite you to the poker table. The buy-in is two Milk-Bones and a cigar.
Miranda hails from Connecticut and identifies as an east coast cynic. She has a B.A. in English with a double minor in Women's and Gender Studies and Philosophy from Southern Connecticut State University. Her fiction deals primarily with grief monsters, garbage, bodily yuckiness, and being a child. "Hi, Mom and Dad."
Emily Podwoiski practices écriture féminine by placing women at the heart of her narratives. Born and raised in Metro Detroit, Emily holds her BA in English from University of Michigan-Dearborn and her MA in English from Wayne State University. She is currently working on a collection of personal essays about love, loss, and the literary roots of Valentine’s Day. In her essays, she obsesses over Old Hollywood Bombshells with a capital B, Emily Dickinson’s love letters, seashell jewelry, Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck (1987), and all things valentine.
Cooper is an essayist from central Idaho who writes in, of, and from the rural American West. His obsessions include pickled red onions, Muji’s 0.38mm gel pens, and the light fixture aisle of Home Depot. His essays can be found in DIAGRAM, The Adroit Journal, and Washington Square Review, and he holds a B.A. in environmental studies and anthropology from Bowdoin College.
Bec Ehlers was raised in Seattle and has recently returned to the PNW after years in New York devising accessible theatre and petting bodega cats. Their work centers on the body, through the experiences of living in a body and being a caregiver to the bodies of others. Their writing has been seen in print with Harmony Ink Press and Sinister Wisdom, and onstage with Macha Monkey Productions and Fantastic.Z Theatre
RT Villa is from the middle of nowhere mid-Atlantic. Her essays and prosetry explore escapism, the mundane horrors of the everyday, and the tension points of relationships between beings and themselves, others, and the objects around them. Their work has been featured in McSweeney's, The Believer, and Grub Street, among other publications. They are the nonfiction editor of the VIDA Review, and currently call Oregon home, along with their chunky child of a cat.
Isabelle Robinson is a cross-genre writer and poet from South Florida, by way of a long line of New York Jews. In 2018, she returned to New York to study English and creative writing at Barnard College. In all forms, her work is moored in themes of grief and loss, violence, and memory. If she had to choose an emblem of her writing, it would be an empty chair. Her other literary and academic interests include playwriting, Shakespeare, gender and sexuality studies, and the photographic essay. She loves rooftops, Scream (1996), the almighty em-dash, and everything bagels—ideally toasted with veggie cream cheese.
Natalie Van Gelder’s research, writing, and teaching interests center around the use of narrative medicine in the medical humanities and writing across the curriculum, specifically as it applies to neurodiversity, child development, and trauma studies. She holds an MA in creative writing from California State University Northridge and a BA in English and sociology from CSU Bakersfield. Natalie calls Agua Dulce, California home and is often inspired by her childhood and the natural landscapes of the Mojave Desert where she grew up. When not writing or teaching, Natalie can often be found looking down at the ground in search of insects or up at the stars wondering about extraterrestrials.
Ellison is a nonfiction writer and poet born and raised in the rural South. They hold a B.A. in English: Creative Writing from the University of Memphis and spent 8 years in food service before making their way to the MFA. While here, they intend to use their work to explore rural cultural wealth, as well as the legacies of immigration, assimilation, and intergenerational trauma. When not hunched over a book or a notebook, you can find them scampering through the forest taking film photographs of water droplets, or else sprawled out on the carpet making flower crowns while listening to podcasts.
Katherine Cusumano is a writer and editor whose work focuses on gender, culture, and the outdoors. Her essays and reportage are interested in the ways people relate to the world around them: their environments and their obsessions. Before coming to Corvallis, she spent seven years working as a journalist in New York; her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Outside, W Magazine, and many others. She grew up in Bermuda, and she still thinks of it as home. Her full portfolio exists at katherinecusumano.com.