Liz Bolton lives in Southeast Alaska where she writes, raises children, and wrangles chickens. Originally from Brooklyn, Liz graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University. Before turning to creative nonfiction she spent nearly two decades in Los Angeles and Amsterdam, where she taught and performed sketch comedy and improv, and made a living as a voiceover and on-camera actress. Liz has been published widely in the parenting space, has written several highly regarded television pilots, and currently works as a commercial scriptwriter and producer.
Audrey Coble was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. They earned their B.A. in English (Honors) and Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience from the University of Michigan, where they also won the Feinberg Prize for Excellence in First Year Writing and the Hopwood Award for creative nonfiction. After moving to Alaska for what they thought would be just one summer, they earned a remote M.A. in Disability Studies from CUNY while living in the Brooks Range. Now they work and write in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Matt Dominick is a fiction writer from Boise, Idaho. He received a BFA in Creative Writing from Boise State University. Before a recent shift to fiction and prose, Matt primarily wrote full-feature screenplays, teleplays, short films, and stand-up comedy. As a junior, Matt co-wrote a TV show produced by Boise State called Lucky Us, which is currently making the rounds in the festival circuit. In his free time, Matt loves playing tabletop games, especially Magic: The Gathering.
Born and raised in Southern California, Heather Ezell earned her BA in English literature and creative writing from Colorado College. She works as an editor, book coach, tutor, copywriter, and admissions reader and is pursuing an MFA in fiction. Heather writes both contemporary and speculative young adult novels about unlikable and sometimes creepy girls who make questionable decisions. In March 2018, her debut novel, Nothing Left to Burn, was published with an imprint at Penguin Random House. Her writing has also appeared in The Rumpus and The Leviathan.
Lia Ferguson is from Anacortes, WA, a town on an island in the Puget Sound. She received her B.S. in Earth Systems with a focus in Oceans and a minor in Creative Writing from Stanford University. A lover of the sea, she’s been a deckhand on a number of vessels, bringing her across the South Pacific, down the coast of Mexico, whale watching on the Salish Sea, and puttering around lakes in Seattle. In between, she’s spent her time in Seattle bartending and writing. Studying in Fairbanks, she’s sad to be landlocked but is looking forward to experiencing a new vast landscape.
K Janeschek grew up in western Michigan. They mostly write poetry these days after a long and rocky relationship with prose. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Swamp Literary Magazine, Split Rock Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review and elsewhere. They received a BS in mathematics and creative writing from the University of Michigan, where they also won Hopwood awards in poetry and nonfiction. They have worked various positions at various libraries including a law library, a map library, and an anarchist library.
Michael Kay grew up in southern California and received an honors degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley. He has previously worked at various non-profits as a community organizer, an editor and a lobbyist. Now an MA/MFA candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, his work has appeared in Blacklist Journal and Writer’s Room.
Jacob Lee Knuth is a poet who was born and raised along Wisconsin’s western shore of Lake Michigan on the ancestral lands of the Menominee. Once a college dropout with a 0.0 GPA, he clawed his way toward a Bachelor of Arts in English at UW-Eau Claire (’21). Inspired by Eminem, he’s been writing bars since the age of 10 and has well over 10,000 of them. He’s into sonnets, sestinas, spoken word, the work of Kao Kalia Yang, and cups of tea in the company of his Akita, Kitsune.
Alison Miller is a born-and-raised Texas girl who comes to Fairbanks by way of Seattle. She earned her BA in Biology/Plan II Honors from the University of Texas at Austin and has since led an eclectic professional life including stints in marketing, waitressing, yoga teaching, nonprofit cancer research administration, and more waitressing. She’s not really sure of much except that she loves words more than anything else. She spends her free time cooking, reading, going for walks with her pitbull Zeus, and contemplating the inevitable heat death of the universe.
Keely O’Connell grew up on the coast of Maine and took off to have adventures as soon as she could convince the adults in her life to allow it. In her years as a classroom teacher–first in Arkansas, then in rural Alaska–she became highly adept at imparting the basics of algebra to kids who’d rather have been duck hunting. She makes a mean pizza, has an excellent sense of direction, and recently won a wood-chopping contest. Writing nonfiction gives her a dubious excuse to spend her time doing outdoor things that might someday be worth writing about.
Aaron Salzman is a fiction writer from Rochester, New York. He earned a BA in English from the College of Wooster. His senior year, he turned in an undefeated springboard diving season on his way to the NCAA Nationals. He did not win. He has won two Donaldson Prizes, one for independent study and another for short fiction. He completed service with Teach For America at the Hmong American Peace Academy, where he taught reading and writing to first generation English speakers.
Diana Saverin studied English and Creative Writing at Yale. She first came to Alaska to work in public radio for a summer in Southeast, and has lived in the state year-round since 2015. She’s worked as a freelance journalist, a commercial fishing deckhand, a ski coach, a yoga teacher, and a NOLS instructor. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, The Guardian, Orion, Alaska Public Radio, PBS, and others.
Courtney Skaggs is an MFA / MA student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she is the Nonfiction Editor and Managing Editor for Permafrost Magazine as well as a DJ at KSUA. Courtney’s writing can be found in Strange Horizons, Ghost City Review, Longleaf Review, Rejection Letters, and Lammergeier Magazine. When she’s not reading, writing, or listening to music, you can probably find Courtney taking a walk in the woods, playing frisbee golf, or re-watching The Last Unicorn for the millionth time.
Susan Sugai began taking creative writing classes at UAF in 2015 after retiring from UAF, where she was an oceanographer, instructor, and research administrator for 30 years. Having spent her entire career living off soft money (extramural grant funding), she needs deadlines to be “creative,” isn’t discouraged by rejection, and knows she’s in her final race against obsolescence.
Cade Yongue grew up in California, just north of San Francisco. He got his undergraduate degree in English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing from Boise State University. He works mainly with fiction, but dreams of one day writing plays. His literary influences are Joan Didion, William Faulkner and Suzan-Lori Parks. He also loves the movie Rango.
Congratulations to our 2021 graduates!
Sean Enfield is a writer from the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. He received his B.A. in English Literature from the University of North Texas and his MFA in nonfiction from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is a member of the Denton collective, Spiderweb Salon, a recipient of the 2020 Michael Steinberg Memorial Essay Contest, and was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered for their Three-Minute Fiction contest. His work is published in a number of online literary journals, all of which can be found at seanenfield.com. Though he has dabbled in a number of genres, he was once chastised for failing to introduce himself as a poet. He has not made that mistake since.
Greg Hindy received his MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he wrote both fiction and nonfiction. He was born and raised in Nashua, NH, and got his BA in Cognitive Science from Yale University. After spending a few postgrad years walking, working in photography, and digging holes to pay rent, he gave up and came to UAF to learn how to read and write, while simultaneously learning how to teach others. He’s known to procrastinate and spend time outside with his dogs.
Daniel Emerson Lyew graduated with his MFA in poetry from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He was born in Bethesda, Maryland, and has thus far lived in Moscow, Monterey, Beijing, London, Arlington, and Saint Paul. He received his BA in philosophy and mathematics from Macalester College, and has previously worked as a groundskeeper and meat-packer. Beyond writing and reading, he enjoys cooking, playing guitar and bass guitar, watching films, and shooting hoops with his fellow grad students.
Rebecca Wood received her MFA in fiction at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and her undergraduate degree in creative writing from Arizona State University. Rebecca worked for a rural school district in northern Arizona before making the drive to Alaska in August 2018. She writes fiction and poetry, mostly about the desert places of her home.