Glass Mountain #20

Lida Hedayatpour is a sophomore attending UH’s Honors College. While she is seeking a career in law or academia, one of Lida’s hobbies is to write poetry. She most commonly writes about love, mental strife, and her relationship being both an Iranian and an American citizen. She has been published in Z Publishing’s Best Emerging Poet Series, has taken a poetry writing course at UH, and performed spoken word at Girls Rock, an event which showcases the talents of women at the University of Houston.

Jeremy Amorin is a writer, filmmaker, and entrepreneur from Houston, TX, who aspires to be a renowned name in original fiction throughout the world. He is a first-generation American—both of his parents are from Accra, Ghana—and his dream career is unencumbered storytelling through every available medium, from literature to film to music and more.

Erin Andrea is full of nightmares and fears. She beats them up in Krav Maga and runs from them on horseback through the desert. She also feels compelled to share them in her writing. She’s an undergraduate student with the University of Houston, and Glass Mountain is her published writing debut.

D.M. Rice is a nonbinary writer from Dallas, TX with interests including psychoanalysis, ancient religions, and a nice cup of tea. DM has recently completed a short novel, We Three Kings, is negotiating a contract for a book of erasure poems carved out of Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, and is attempting to secure permissions for a screenplay adaptation of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.

 

Wanjiku wa Ngugi & Peter Kimani

Wanjiku wa Ngugi is author of the novel The Fall of Saints, as well as the founder and former director of the Helsinki African Film Festival. She has been a columnist for the Finnish development magazine Maailman Kuvalehti, and her essays and short stories have been published in Wasafiri Magazine, The Herald (Zimbabwe), The Daily Nation & Business Daily, Pambazuka News, and Chimurenga, among others. She is currently completing her MFA in the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.

Peter Kimani is an award-winning journalist and author of the acclaimed historical novel Dance of the Jakaranda, which was selected as  a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a New York Times Notable Book of 2017.  Kimani’s previous work includes the novel Before the Rooster Crows, and the children’s novel Upside Down, for which he was awarded the 2011 Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature, Kenya’s highest literary honor. His poetry appears in several anthologies, and he was one of only three international poets commissioned by National Public Radio to compose and recite a poem to mark Barack Obama’s inauguration in January 2009. Kimani received his formal education in Kenya, the United Kingdom, and the United States, where he earned a doctorate in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston in 2014. He is a founding faculty member of the Graduate School of Media and Communications at Aga Khan University in Nairobi, Kenya, and is currently a Visiting Writer at Amherst College.

Henk Rossouw & Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Henk Rossouw’s book-length poem Xamissa won the Poets Out Loud Editor’s Prize and will be published in Fall 2018 by Fordham University Press. Best American Experimental Writing 2018 (Wesleyan University Press) features an excerpt. His chapbook Xamissa: The Water Archives is part of the boxset New-Generation African Poets: Tano (Akashic Books/African Poetry Book Fund), along with the work of ten other writers connected to the continent. His poems have come out in The Paris Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Boston Review. He holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a PhD from the University of Houston. Currently, Henk is a visiting assistant professor in the University of Houston’s Honors College and an associate editor for Tupelo Quarterly.

Novuyo Rosa Tshuma is the author of the forthcoming novel House of Stone (Atlantic Books, UK, June 2018, W. W. Norton, USA, January 2019). A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (2015), where she was a recipient of the Maytag and TWF Fellowships, as well as a Rydson Award, she is a native of Zimbabwe, has lived in South Africa and the USA, and is a recipient of the Inprint Fondren Foundation/Michael and Nina Zilkha Fellowship at the UH Creative Writing Program. Shadows, her short story collection, was published to critical acclaim by Kwela in South Africa (2013) and awarded the 2014 Herman Charles Bosman Prize. Novuyo has received writing residencies from the Rockefeller Foundation’s prestigious Bellagio Programme and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. She has work forthcoming in McSweeney’s (Issue 52, March 2018) and The Displaced (Abrams Press, April 2018), an anthology edited by the Pulitzer Prize winning writer Viet Thanh Nguyen. Novuyo serves on the Editorial Advisory Board and is a Fiction Editor at The Bare Life Review, a journal of refugee and immigrant literature.

Ecopoetics on the Gulf

Ecopoetics on the Gulf reading will feature poetry, cinepoems, and paintings by graduate students enrolled in the Ecopoetics on the Gulf course led by UH CWP faculty member Martha Serpas.

Chelsea B. DesAutels serves as poetry editor of Gulf Coast. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, Pleiades, The Texas Review, and others. She is the recipient of the Virginia Reiser Memorial Scholarship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellowship. She teaches at the University of Houston, where she is an MFA candidate.

Joshua Gottlieb-Miller’s poems can be found in concis, Grist, Four Way Review, Pleiades, Indiana Review and elsewhere, and a non-fiction/poetry hybrid is online at Pacifica Lit Review. He is the digital nonfiction editor for Gulf Coast and a PhD student at the University of Houston.

Josie Mitchell is in her third year of her MFA in fiction at the University of Houston. She is a nonfiction editor for Gulf Coast and student advisor to the UH undergraduate literary magazine, Glass Mountain. She is from San Diego, California, and is at work on an apocalyptic story collection set there. It’s called, Fuck You, El Niño.

Michelle Orsi grew up in Spokane, Washington, and currently serves as an assistant poetry editor for Gulf Coast. She is an MFA student at the University of Houston.

Sam Thilén is an MFA candidate at University of Houston and an assistant poetry editor for Gulf Coast. She studied English and Spanish at the University of Florida, where she served as editor-in-chief for the undergraduate literary magazine Tea. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Tea, The Fine Print, Prairie, and The Boston Review. Sam loves Finland, word origins, and petting other people’s dogs.

Stalina Emmanuelle Villarreal lives as a rhyming-slogan creative activist. She is a Generation 1.5 poet (mexicana and Chicana), a translator, a sonic-improv collaborator, and an instructor of English. She is a Ph.D. student in the Creative Writing Program at University of Houston. Her poetry can be found in the Rio Grande Review and the Texas Review. She is the translator of Enigmas, by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Señal: a project of Libros Antena Books, BOMB, and Ugly Duckling Presse, 2015), and Photograms of My Conceptual Heart, Absolutely Blind, by Minerva Reynosa (Cardboard House Press, 2016).

Lani Yu is a first-generation Chinese-American poet. A third-year poetry MFA student at the University of Houston, she also serves as an assistant poetry editor for Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts and teaches English. She grew up in Orlando and graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Psychology. She was a semifinalist for the 2016 DISQUIET Literary Prize Contest, and her work has appeared in University of Florida’s TEA literary magazine. She is currently working on a poetry manuscript that explores complex family dynamics, cultural identity, and the lyric self.

Roberto Tejada & Mat Johnson

Roberto Tejada is the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing with a joint appointment in the department of Art History. He is the author of poetry collections that include Full Foreground (2012), Exposition Park (2010), Mirrors for Gold (2006), and Todo en el ahora (2015).

He founded and co-edited the journal Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas, a multilingual annual of poetry and translation (1991-2014), and is the author of art histories that include National Camera: Photography and Mexico’s Image Environment (2009); a monograph on pioneering Chicana conceptual artist Celia Alvarez Muñoz (2009), and such catalog essays as “Los Angeles Snapshots” in Now Dig This!: Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980 (Hammer Museum, 2011).

His poetry and creative research develop the relationship between sight, display, public speech, and spectacle; he is at work on a trans-American project that examines specific art scenes of 1960s-1970s Los Angeles, 1980s-1990s Mexico City, and present-day São Paulo.

Mat Johnson is the author of the novels Loving Day, Pym, Drop, and Hunting in Harlem, the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot, and the comic books Incognegro and Dark Rain. He is a recipient of the United States Artist James Baldwin Fellowship, The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature.

He is a Professor at the UH Creative Writing Program.

New Creating Writing graduate students

Laura Biagi, MFA Fiction
Laura Biagi grew up in small-town Kentucky and earned her BA in Creative Writing and Anthropology from Northwestern University. After college she spent eight years working in New York at a literary agency, where she represented literary fiction, nonfiction, YA, and children’s books. She likes hot weather and the stars.

Theodora Bishop, PhD Poetry
Theodora Bishop’s poetry and short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, Prairie Schooner, Arts & Letters, and Short Fiction (England), among other journals, anthologies, and exhibits. A Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets nominee, Bishop was the winner of The Cupboard’s 2015 contest for her short story chapbook, Mother Tongues, judged by Matt Bell. Theodora Bishop holds an MFA from the University of Alabama and is pursuing her PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Houston. Her novella, On the Rocks, is forthcoming from Texas Review Press.

Justin Jannise, PhD Poetry
Justin Jannise grew up in Liberty, Texas, and has lived in Houston since 2015. He studied poetry at Yale and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Justin’s work has appeared in Columbia Journal, the Yale Review and The Awl. He likes flamingos and tastefully executed side-eye.

His poetry and creative research develop the relationship between sight, display, public speech, and spectacle; he is at work on a trans-American project that examines specific art scenes of 1960s-1970s Los Angeles, 1980s-1990s Mexico City, and present-day São Paulo.

Ji yoon Lee, PhD Poetry
Ji yoon Lee is a poet and translator whose most recent publication is Poems of Kim Yideum, Kim Haengsook, and Kim Minjeong, the collection of contemporary Korean poetry, for which she collaborated with Jake Levine, Don mee Choi, and Johannes Göransson (Vagabond Press, 2017). She translated Korean feminist poet Kim Yideum’s poetry with Don mee Choi and Johannes Göransson, the collection of which was published as Cheer Up, Femme Fatale (Action Books, 2015). She is also the author of Foreigner’s Folly (Coconut Books, 2014), Funsize/Bitesize (Birds of Lace, 2013), and IMMA (Radioactive Moat, 2012). She is the winner of the Joanna Cargill prize (2014), and her manuscript was a finalist for the 1913 First Book Prize (2012). She was born in South Korea, and immigrated to a small town in East Texas alone as a teen. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame, lived in NYC, and moved back to Texas, the land that keeps pulling her back.

David Nikityn, MFA Fiction
Dave Nikityn was born and raised in rural New Jersey where he grew up playing baseball and basketball. As an undergraduate, he studied radio broadcasting, philosophy, and creative writing. More recently, he has summited Mount Everest twice (once blindfolded), wandered the streets of Bangladesh alongside magician David Blaine in search of ancient snake-charming techniques, and safely landed a critically damaged Boeing 747 jetliner after both pilot and co-pilot had passed out due to shock. He is also the fictitious author of the fictitious bestselling guide to life: Lying: The Fast Track to Impressing Friends and Colleagues Alike.

Paige Quiñones, PhD Poetry
Paige Quiñones received her MFA from the Ohio State University, where she was a poetry editor for The Journal. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Barrow Street, Juked, McSweeney’s, Muzzle Magazine, Quarterly West, and elsewhere. Her poem “Summer, or Daughters I Haven’t Met” was a finalist for Best of the Net 2015. She is currently a graduate fellow with the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Houston.

Annie Shepherd, PhD Fiction
Annie Shepherd taught ESL in China for two years before returning to her home state of Texas to obtain an MFA in creative writing from Texas State University. Prior to entering the PhD program in fiction at University of Houston, she taught writing and literature at Texas State University and University of the Incarnate Word. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in North American Review, The Greensboro Review, and North Dakota Quarterly.

Brendan Stephens, PhD Fiction
Brendan Stephens received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. His work is forthcoming or published in the Southeast Review, Carolina Quarterly, and elsewhere. Currently, he is a PhD student at the University of Houston.

Kaj Tanaka, PhD Fiction
Kaj Tanaka’s stories have been featured in Longform, selected for Wigleaf’s Best (Very) Short Fictions, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He is the nonfiction editor for BULL Magazine.

Richard Thompson, MFA Poetry
Richard Thompson grew up in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. He has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from McGill University in Montreal. He won the 2016 Mary C. Mohr Poetry Award from the Southern Indiana Review, and his poems (some of which do not relate to farming accidents) have also appeared in Empirical Magazine, The Rectangle, and The Avenue.

Glass Mountain

Ayokunle Falomo is: a Nigerian, & a poet – who uses his pen as a shovel to unearth those things that make us human. He is a lover: of almonds, the color blue, hymns, grapes, & conversations. He is a TEDx speaker and an author, of the collection of poems – thread, this wordweaver must! & of kin.DREAD – an upcoming collection of poems and thoughts that seeks to explore the relationship between our fears and those closest to us. He is also a dreamer and an American. He enjoys walking. & talking to himself.

Gerald Smith
grew up in Yokosuka, Japan as well as San Antonio, Texas. He mainly writes absurd short fiction or free verse poetry. Currently, he is studying Creative Writing and French at the University of Houston. He has traveled through much of western Europe on a couple of occasions, but mainly travels to the Netherlands and France when he gets the chance.

Aries Jones is a former Editor of Glass Mountain. In spring of 2016, she graduated from the University of Houston with a BA in English and minors in Marketing and Psychology. Currently, she is the Content Director at Adit, a digital marketing agency in Houston. When she’s not busy typing away at a keyboard, you’ll find her scribbling in a journal instead-or playing Breath of the Wild. Otherwise, you may run into her while she’s got her head in a book.

Mai Tram Nguyen graduated in 2010 with a double major in Education and Psychology. After a few years of teaching, she joined the staff of Glass Mountain as Co-Managing Editor in 2015 and remains an enthusiastic supporter of the magazine. She is currently running a blog, mostly about books, and is part owner of a start-up baking business. She is an avid collector of children’s books and corny jokes.

Shaina Frazier is a half black and Filipino fiction writer based in Houston, Texas who likes to write about supernatural stuff like ghosts, or just regular stuff like “the struggle,” all while trying to incorporate a little humor here and there. She graduated from UH in the spring of 2015 and is a former Co-Managing Editor of Glass Mountain. She was recently laid off from the public accounting firm that botched the Oscars this year, but she’s not tripping on it. Her piece “Ill Will” is forthcoming in the 1st edition of Found Me magazine.

Tony Hoagland & Kevin Prufer

Tony Hoagland‘s fifth and most recent book of poems, Application for Release from the Dream, was published by Graywolf Press in 2015. Other collections include What Narcissism Means to Me, Unincorporated Persons of the Late Honda Dynasty, and Donkey Gospel. He has also published two collections of essays about poetry, Real Sofistakashun, and Twenty Poems That Could Save America. He has received the Mark Twain Award from the Poetry Foundation, the Jackson Poetry Prize, the James Laughlin Prize, fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and the O.B. Hardisson Prize. His next collection, Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God, is scheduled for publication by Graywolf in 2018.

Kevin Prufer‘s newest books are Churches (2014), named by The New York Times as one of the ten best poetry books of the year; In a Beautiful Country (2011), a Rilke Prize and a Poets’ Prize finalist; and National Anthem (2008), named one of the best five books of poetry of the year by Publishers Weekly. His newest poems can be found in Poetry, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, and The 2017 Pushcart Prize anthology.

Chitra Divakaruni & Peter Turchi

Chitra Divakaruni is an award-winning author, poet, activist and teacher of writing. Her work has been published in over 100 magazines & anthologies, including the Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Best American Short Stories and the O Henry Prize Stories. Her books have been translated into 29 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Bengali, Turkish and Japanese, and several have been bestsellers both nationally and internationally. Her awards include an American Book Award, a PEN Josephine Miles award, a Premio Scanno Award, a Light of India award, 2 Pushcart prizes, an Allen Ginsberg poetry award and a Barbara Deming Memorial Award. Two of her books, The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, have been made into movies. Her short story “The Word Love,” was made into an award-winning bilingual short film. Her novel One Amazing Thing was recently optioned by Hollywood. Her newest book, a novel-in-stories, is Before We Visit the Goddess, a three-generational saga of an immigrant family that begins in Kolkata, India and ends in Houston, Texas. Divakaruni loves using social media–Facebook and Twitter–to connect with her readers.

Peter Turchi is the author of six books of fiction and nonfiction, including Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer and, most recently, A Muse and A Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic. He has also co-edited three anthologies for writers, including Bringing the Devil to His Knees: The Craft of Fiction and the Writing Life and The Story Behind the Story: 16 Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work. He is the recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation.

New Creative Writing graduate students

Rachel Ballenger was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a BA in English from UC Berkeley. Before moving to Houston, she lived in a trailer in Sonoma County, homesteading a meadow by trial and error. She is honored to join the writing community at UH.

Barbara Drumheller graduated with a BA in Literature and a BBA in Finance from the University of Texas. She went from there to Texas Tech University in Lubbock where she earned a J.D. She spent quite a few years writing other people’s stories in the form of criminal appellate briefs, first as a prosecutor and later as a defense attorney. Recently, she decided to switch gears and begin writing her own stories. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Jenny Staff Johnson is a lifelong Houstonian. Her fiction and essays have appeared in publications including in Tin House’s Open Bar Blog, Literary Mothers, and New Dead Families. She holds a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin and previously worked in government and journalism.

Joshua Gottlieb-Miller received an MFA in poetry from the University of Houston; after a few cold years up north he has returned for his PhD. Previously he served as Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast and was awarded an Inprint Barthelme Prize in Poetry. Since then his work has appeared in Four Way Review, Pleiades, The Ilanot Review, Radar, Blackbird, and elsewhere.

Niki Herd grew up in Cleveland and earned degrees in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and Antioch University. Nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, she is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has been supported by the Astraea Foundation and the DC Commission on the Arts, and has appeared in several journals and anthologies including Feminist Formations, North American Review, The Feminist Wire, Split This Rock, and Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky. Her debut collection of poems, The Language of Shedding Skin, was published as part of Main Street Rag’s Editor’s Select Series. She has spent the last five years living in Washington, DC.

Saira Nadeem graduated from the University of Houston in 2013 with her BA in Creative Writing and a minor in sales from the Program for Excellence in Selling. Since then, she has worked with the Stephen Stagner Sales Excellence Institute at UH where she coaches undergraduate students on key account management. Prior to working for the institute, Saira was involved with various nonprofit literary marketing projects with Writers in the Schools and also managed film promotions for a local theater. When she’s not helping her students find jobs, she can be found dragging her husband to her favorite Pakistani restaurants and trying to teach her chocolate lab to sit.

Dallas Saylor just finished his BA in English and Mathematics at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, PA, and has now returned not only to the south, where he lived until high school, but also to his namesake state, where he attended kindergarten and first grade. In his free time, Dallas enjoys board games, cooking, and swing dancing. He’s getting married this New Year’s Eve in Pennsylvania, where he and his bride will throw their greatest New Year’s party yet at a swing dance club in York.

Novuyo Rosa Tshuma is a writer from Zimbabwe. Her collection, Shadows – a novella and short stories – was published by Kwela (South Africa 2013) and awarded the 2014 Herman Charles Bosman Prize. She earned her MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Maytag Fellow and a recipient of a Rydson Award.

Cait Weiss is a Los Angeles native, a New Yorker by heritage, an Ohioan by heart &, finally, a Texan by luck. She has led creative writing workshops at The Ohio State University, Young Writers Workshop, New York Writers Coalition and, starting this fall, WITS. Her work has been or soon will be published in Boston Review, FIELD, Hobart, Tupelo Quarterly, pacific REVIEW, The Notre Dame Review, JUKED, & more.

Charlotte Wyatt Prior to attending the University of Houston, cougars have figured prominently in Charlotte’s past-particularly Kelly, Cleo, and Felix of the Queens Zoo, where she worked as a keeper for the Wildlife Conservation Society. She holds a BA in Philosophy and Theater from Fordham University, and hails most recently from California wine country, where she developed programming for the Boys & Girls Club and poured wine for Balletto Vineyards. She currently serves as Admissions Director for the Napa Valley Writer’s Conference.