2017 Postgraduate Writers' Conference Faculty

VCFA is pleased to present the following faculty for the August 2017 Postgraduate Writers' Conference:


Steve AlmondSTEVE ALMOND’s most recent nonfiction book, Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto (2014), was a New York Times sports bestseller. He is the author of the memoir Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life; (Not That You Asked): Rants, Exploits, and Obsessions; and the New York Times-bestselling Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America, which won awards from the American Library Association, Booksense, amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. On the fiction side, he’s published three short story collections—God Bless AmericaMy Life in Heavy Metal, and The Evil B.B. Chow—and Which Brings Me to You: A Novel in Confessions, co-authored with Julianna Baggott. His stories and essays have been widely anthologized, including in Best American Short StoriesBest American EroticaBest American Food Writing and Pushcart Prize annuals. His short fiction has appeared in Tin House, Playboy, Ploughshares, Zoetrope, Georgia Review, New England Review, and many other magazines. Steve has been a regular instructor at PWC as well as at the Tin House and Sanibel Island Writers’ Conferences, and has served on the faculty at Emerson and Boston Colleges, Wesleyan University and the University North Carolina Wilmington MFA Program. He originated the “Dear Sugar” advice column for The Rumpus before passing it along to Cheryl Strayed; he and Strayed now co-host WBUR’s “Dear Sugar Radio” podcasts. www.stevealmondjoy.com 

Harrison FletcherHARRISON CANDELARIA FLETCHER is the author of two memoirs: Descanso For My Father: Fragments Of A Life (University of Nebraska Press, 2012), winner of the Colorado Book Award and International Book Award for Best New Nonfiction, and Presentimiento: A Life In Dreams, autobiography finalist for the 2016 International Latino Book Award and winner of the 2015 Autumn House Press Nonfiction Prize. His essays have been nominated for eight Pushcart Prizes and have appeared in many journals and anthologies including New Letters, Fourth Genre, TriQuarterly Review, The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction and Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction. He is the recipient of the New Letters Literary Award, Sonora Review Essay Award, High Desert Journal Obsidian Prize and Pushcart Prize Special Mention as well as fellowships from the Arizona Poetry Center and Vermont Studio Center. He is at work on a new essay collection exploring mixedness. Before receiving his MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts, he was an award-winning columnist, feature writer and beat reporter at newspapers throughout the West. He now teaches in the Colorado State University Creative Nonfiction Program and recently joined the VCFA faculty. A native New Mexican, he lives in Fort Collins with his wife and two children.

Sue SilvermanSUE WILLIAM SILVERMAN’s latest memoir, The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew, came out in 2014 in the University of Nebraska Press “American Lives” series and was a finalist in Foreword Reviews’ IndieFab Book of the Year Award. Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction (W. W. Norton) is also a Lifetime television original movie nominated for two PRISM Awards. Sue’s first memoir, Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, won the Association of Writers and Writing Programs award in creative nonfiction. She is also the author of Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir. One of Sue’s personal essays appears in The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Nonfiction: Work from 1970 to the Present (Simon & Schuster), while three others won contests with Hotel Amerika, Mid-American Review, and Water~Stone Review. Other essays and poems have appeared in such places as Prairie Schooner, The Chicago Tribune, The Detroit Free Press, Brevity, Arts & Letters, Creative Nonfiction, Drunken Boat, and River Teeth. Sue was featured in an interview in The Writer’s Chronicle and has been the subject of several documentaries including for the Discovery Channel and WE-TV. As a professional speaker, she has appeared on national radio and television programs such as “The View,” “Anderson Cooper-360” and “CNN-Headline News.” She holds an honorary doctorate from Aquinas College for her work in literature and child abuse victim advocacy. She teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is a regular member of the Conference faculty. www.SueWilliamSilverman.com

Joan WickershamJOAN WICKERSHAM 's memoir, The Suicide Index: Putting My Father’s Death in Order (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) was a 2008 National Book Award Finalist, a recipient of the Ken Book Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and an ALA Notable Book, and named to “best books of the year” lists by The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine, Salon.com and The Washington Post, among others. Her most recent book, The News from Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story (Knopf) was named one of 2012’s best fiction picks by Kirkus Reviews and The San Francisco Chronicle and was selected as an Oprah.com Book of the Week. She is also the author of a novel, The Paper Anniversary. Her fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and many magazines, and received the Ploughshares Cohen Award for Best Short Story. Joan writes a regular op-ed column for The Boston Globe and her nonfiction pieces often appear in The International Herald Tribune. Her work has also been featured in The Los Angeles Times and on National Public Radio. She has been awarded fellowships by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony. A returning favorite at PWC, Joan has also taught at The Provincetown Fine Arts Works Center, Emerson College’s MFA program, Harvard and the Bennington Writing Seminars. www.joanwickersham.com


Andre Dubus IIIANDRE DUBUS III’s latest release is the quartet of loosely linked novellas, Dirty Love, which earned editors’-pick designations from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Kirkus and AudioFile Magazine. He is the author of the novel, House of Sand and Fog, a finalist for The National Book Award, an Oprah Book Club pick, #1 New York Times bestseller and basis for the Oscar-nominated motion picture starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. His best-selling memoir, Townie, was named a New York Times "Editors’ Choice," placed on numerous 2011 Best Books lists by periodicals as well as booksellers, and selected as Adult Non-Fiction Book of the Year for the 2012 Indie Choice Awards. Andre’s other fiction titles are The Garden of Last Days and Bluesman, both novels, and The Cage Keeper and Other Stories. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for fiction and a Pushcart Prize, named a Finalist for the Rome Prize Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and is a 2012 recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. Andre has served as a panelist for The National Book Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts, and taught writing at Harvard University, Tufts University, Emerson College, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he is a full-time faculty member. andredubus.com

Ann HoodANN HOOD’s newest, The Book That Matters Most (W.W. Norton, 2016), joins her list of bestselling novels including The Knitting Circle, The Obituary Writer, The Red Thread and Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine, which has been in print since its debut in 1987. Her memoir, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, about losing her five-year-old daughter Grace in 2002, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and an Entertainment Weekly Top Ten Nonfiction Book of 2008. Hood is also the author of a short story collection and editor of two anthologies of essays by writers on knitting. She has won two Pushcart Prizes, two Best American Food Writing Awards, a Best American Spiritual Writing and a Best American Travel Writing Award, as well as the Paul Bowles Prize for Short Fiction and a Boston Public Library Literary Light Award. Her essay, “Now I Need a Place to Hide Away,” was picked by The New York Times as one of the fifty best from its “Modern Love” column. Hood teaches frequently at writers’ conferences across the U.S. and abroad. Her first career after college was as a flight attendant for TWA. She lives in Providence, RI. www.annhood.us

Lee MartinLEE MARTIN is the author of five novels: Late One Night (2016); The Bright Forever, a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction; River of Heaven; Quakertown; and Break the Skin. He has also published three memoirs, From Our House, Turning Bones, and Such a Life. His first book was the short story collection, The Least You Need to Know; a new collection, The Mutual UFO Network, is forthcoming. He is the co-editor of Passing the Word: Writers on Their Mentors, and has a craft book, Telling Stories: The Craft of Narrative and the Writing Life, due out in spring, 2017. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in such places as Harper's, Ms., Creative Nonfiction, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Glimmer Train, and Best American annual volumes for both Mystery Stories and Essays. He is the winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council. He teaches in the MFA Program at The Ohio State University, where he is a College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of English and a past winner of the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. www.leemartinauthor.com


David JaussDAVID JAUSS is the author of three collections of short stories: Glossolalia: New & Selected Stories, Black Maps, winner of the AWP Award in Short Fiction, and Crimes of Passion. A fourth collection is forthcoming from Press 53 in 2017. His volume of craft essays, originally titled Alone With All That Could Happen: Rethinking Conventional Wisdom on the Craft of Fiction, was reprinted in paperback in 2011 as On Writing Fiction. David has also edited Words Overflown by Stars, a collection of craft essays by VCFA’s MFA in Writing faculty, and The Best of Crazyhorse. His short stories and poems have been included in numerous journals and reprinted in the Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize, and Pushcart Prize annual anthologies, as well as in The Pushcart Book of Short Stories: The Best of the Pushcart Prize, and The Poetry Anthology, 1912-2002: Ninety Years of America’s Most Distinguished Verse Magazine. His essays on fictional craft have appeared regularly in The Writer’s Chronicle. David is also the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the James A. Michener/Copernicus Society of America, the Arkansas Arts Council and the Minnesota Arts Board. He taught for many years at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, and is a longtime core member of the VCFA MFA in Writing faculty. 

Ellen LesserELLEN LESSER’s current project is a linked collection of short stories about mothers and teenage daughters in crisis. Stories from the cycle have appeared in The Iowa Review, The Antioch Review, North American Review, upstreet and Brain, Child magazine’s special 2015 issue on parenting teenagers. She was recently awarded a 2017 Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant to support the project’s completion. Her previous story collection is The Shoplifter's Apprentice (Simon & Schuster). Work from that volume has been performed in the “Selected Shorts” series on National Public Radio, anthologized in Houghton Mifflin's Images of Women in Literature and in Contemporary Vermont Fiction, and previously published in journals including The Missouri Review, Mississippi Review and Epoch. She is also the author of two novels, The Other Woman (Simon & Schuster) and The Blue Streak (Grove). Ellen’s essays on fictional craft have been featured in The Writer’s Chronicle and in craft anthologies including Words Overflown by Stars (edited by David Jauss). A long-time member of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing Program faculty, she is currently Faculty Chair, and is also proud to serve as the Postgraduate Writers’ Conference Director. 


Eduardo CorralEDUARDO C. CORRAL is the author of Slow Lightning, selected by Carl Phillips as the 2011 winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. Corral is the first Latino poet to be published in the series, the oldest annual literary award in the country. Slow Lightning was also a finalist for the 2012 Publishing Triangle Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, and named one of the best poetry books of 2012 by Publishers Weekly. Corral’s poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2012, Ploughshares, and Poetry, among other places. His work has been honored with a "Discovery"/The Nation Award, the J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize from Poetry, and writing residencies to the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. A CantoMundo fellow, he holds degrees from Arizona State University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has served as the Olive B. O'Connor Fellow in Creative Writing at Colgate University, the Philip Roth Resident in Creative Writing at Bucknell, and Writer-in-Residence at North Carolina State University. The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts and a Whiting Writers' Award, he teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Pacific University. In 2016 he won the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University. www.eduardocorral.com


Tina ChangTINA CHANG is the author of two collections of poems published by Four Way Books: Of Gods & Strangers (2011) and Half-Lit Houses (2004), a finalist for the 2005 Asian American Literary Award. She is co-editor of the anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (W.W. Norton, 2008), which the Academy of American Poets hailed as “one of the 10 greatest international anthologies, a timeless resource.” Chang’s own work has been published in periodicals including Ploughshares and The New York Times, and anthologized in Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation and Identity Lessons: Contemporary Writing About Learning to Be American (Penguin Books). She is the recipient of awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Academy of American Poets, Poets & Writers, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and the Van Lier Foundation, among others. In 2010, she was the first woman to be named Poet Laureate of Brooklyn. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College, and has served as a member of the international writing faculty at the City University of Hong Kong. Born in Oklahoma to Chinese immigrants, Chang was a year old when the family moved to New York City; not long after she and her brother were sent to live in Taiwan with relatives for two years. She received her MFA from Columbia University, and now lives in Brooklyn with her family. tinachang.com

Matthew DickmanMATTHEW DICKMAN is the author of All-American Poem (American Poetry Review/ Copper Canyon Press, 2008), 50 American Plays (co-written with his twin brother Michael Dickman, Copper Canyon Press, 2012), Mayakovsky’s Revolver (W.W. Norton, 2012), Wish You Were Here (Spork Press, 2013), 24 HOURS (One Star Press, Paris, France, 2014), Brother (Faber & Faber UK, 2016), and the forthcoming poetry collection Wonderland (W.W. Norton). He is the recipient of The Honickman First Book Prize, The May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Kate Tufts Award from Claremont College, and a 2015 Guggenheim. His poems have appeared in McSweeny’s, The Believer, The London Review of Books, Esquire, Best American Poetry and The New Yorker, among other places. Matthew is the Poetry Editor of Tin House magazine and a core faculty member of the MFA in Writing Program at VCFA. He’s currently living in Berlin, Germany. www.matthewdickmanpoetry.com

Kathleen GraberKATHLEEN GRABER was a New Jersey middle-school English teacher when Student Day at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival inspired her, at age 35, to take up a life in poetry. Her debut collection, Correspondence, was chosen in 2005 by poet Bob Hicok to receive the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, and also earned her a Writer’s Award from the Rona Jaffe Foundation. In 2007, Graber was awarded the Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, followed by the Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship. She spent that travel time working on her second book, The Eternal City, which was selected by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon to re-launch the prestigious Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets under his editorship in 2010. The Eternal City was named a finalist for the 2010 National Book Award, the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry and the 2011 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America; it won the 2011 Literary Award for Poetry from the Library of Virginia. Graber’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, American Poetry Review, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review and AGNI, among other magazines. She has received grants from the NEA and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and was the winner of a 2012 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. She teaches in the creative writing program at Virginia Commonwealth University.

A. Van JordanA. VAN JORDAN is the author of four collections of poetry. His most recent volume, The Cineaste (W.W. Norton, 2013)—a montage exploring film, poetry, and the elusiveness of reverie—was a finalist for both an NAACP Image Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. His debut volume, Rise (Tia Chucha Press, 2001), won the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award and was selected for the Book of the Month Club from the Academy of American Poets. M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A (Norton, 2005) tells the story of the first African American to reach the National Spelling Bee finals in 1936; it was awarded the Anisfield-Wolf Award and selected as one the Best Books of 2005 by The London Times. Norton also published his third collection, Quantum Lyrics (2007). Jordan has been awarded a Whiting Writers Award and a Pushcart Prize, is a recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a United States Artists Williams Fellowship, and had work selected for inclusion in Best American Poetry 2013. He recently joined the faculty of the Rutgers University—Newark’s MFA in Creative Writing Program and English Department through the first Henry Rutgers Presidential Professor appointment. He previously served as Professor at the University of Michigan, and teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.