Faculty & Student News

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Third-year MFA fiction writer Rebecca Wood received an Honorable Mention in the 2021 AWP Intro Journals Project for her story “Ain’t No Glory for Billy.” The Intro Journals Project is a literary award series open to MFA students from the 550+ AWP member institutions. Rebecca’s story was one of eight winners and honorable mentions selected in the fiction category. Her selection marks the second time in the past three years that a UAF MFA student has received been recognized in the competition. David Aubuchon received an honorable mention in 2019 for his story “Finding Lula.”


Gerri Brightwell has a story in the new issue of Copper Nickel, the award-winning literary journal from the University of Colorado Denver. “Huldremose” is a ghost story of sorts that follows a woman escaping an abusive relationship, her landlord and a bog man. Brightwell also has recent work appearing in The Waking: Ruminate OnlineMslexiaThe Real Story, 101 Words and JMWW.


Second-year MFA/MA student Michael Kay was selected as a 2021 resident of Theater Alaska’s Alaska Writer’s Workshop. The program is a year-long residency with quarterly online gatherings, during which Kay and his cohort will receive instruction and feedback on their writing. The program, which is led by the writers and directors Maurice Emerson Decaul and Frank Henry Kaash Katasse, also offers professional development for emerging playwrights.

 

 

First-year MFA student Courtney Skaggs recently had two lyric essays published. The first one, “Lines on the Road: A Map of My Fears,” which appears in Rejection Letters, chronicles the things one would never say in response to the question, “So, how was your road trip?” The second essay, “Ode to an Acorn,” appears in Longleaf Review and meditates on the longing we feel for the familiar when we venture out into the unknown.


Third-year MFA student Sean Enfield won the 2020 Fourth Genre Michael Steinberg Memorial Essay Contest. Enfield’s essay, “The Revolution Will Be Revised,” was selected by Laura Julier and will be published in Fourth Genre‘s Spring 2021 issue. In her summary of the essay, Julier compared Enfield’s work to that of Joan Didion and James Baldwin. “The Revolution Will Be Revised,” she wrote, “is an accomplishment worth circulating widely.” Enfield’s nonfiction, which often melds personal narrative with cultural and music criticism, also appears in The Rumpus and COUNTERCLOCK. His essay “Song of the South, Reprise,” which was published in in Tahoma Literary Review, was named a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2020.


Joseph Holt had a couple essays appear in summer 2020. The first, “Highway to Hades” (Valley Voices) profiles a half marathon set in the Mississippi Delta during high summer. The second, “Smoky Water Elegy” (J Journal: New Writing on Justice), explores the obfuscated history of a steel truss bridge where six Black Mississippians were lynched in 1918 and 1942. Last year, Holt’s essay “Love Running” was featured on a “Breakup Reading List” at Longreads. His debut story collection, Golden Heart Parade, will be released by Santa Fe Writers Project in Fall 2021.


Daryl Farmer‘s story “Once a River” was published in the Winter 2019–20 issue of Ploughshares. In the story, a jaded old-school war journalist whose cover artcareer includes years of reporting on a single dictatorship takes a helicopter journey with the dictator on a mission with shocking results.

Farmer also had an essay in the new edition of After the Art, a literary journal that features personal essays and review-essays in response to artworks. The essay, which is titled “The Chapel of Man and All That Endures,” examines physical art in Quito, Ecuador, as well as the landscape of the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile.

 


We’re proud to share several 2020 Pushcart nominations from the MFA community at the University of Alaska Fairbanks:

  • Sean Enfield — “Birthday” (poetry), Thimble Literary Magazine, Volume #2.2
  • Sean Enfield — “Where Were You When Frank Ocean Returned” (nonfiction), COUNTERCLOCK, Issue #7
  • Eric Heyne (faculty) — “Candle Ice” (poetry), Shark Reef, Issue #34
  • Brandi Jo Nyberg — “Vultures” (nonfiction), Border Crossing, Volume #9

Sara Eliza Johnson had several creative works published this spring. Her poem “Vapor” appears in The Cincinnati Review. Her essay “Thanatophilia: A Travelogue” appears in AGNI. And her essay “Xenomorph,” which is partly about the 1979 movie Alien, appears in Bright Wall/Dark Room.


MFA student Ryan Shek recently had his first fiction publication. His story “Ed’s Baby,” which is about vandalism on a failing cattle farm, appeared in Bat City Review 14 (Spring 2018), edited by Leah Hampton.


Professor Gerri Brightwell‘s short story “Williamsville” was selected for publication in The Best American Mystery Stories 2017 edited by John Sandford and Otto Penzler. It originally appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review spring & summer 2016.