Meet our 2021 Faculty

Chris Bachelder

Chris Bachelder is the author of the novels The Throwback Special, Abbott Awaits, U.S.!, Bear v. Shark, and Lessons in Virtual Photography. His short fiction and essays have appeared in a number of magazines and journals, including The Paris Review, Harper's, McSweeney's, The Believer, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Mother Jones, The Cincinnati Review, and New Stories from the South. His novel Abbott Awaits was published in 2011, to strong reviews: “Not since John Cheever,” said novelist Brock Clark, “has an American male fiction writer written so ingeniously, so beautifully, so heartbreakingly about the pain and sweetness of domestic life.'' His acclaimed novel The Throwback Special was a finalist for the National Book Award. The book follows twenty-two men who meet each year to reenact the 1985 Joe Theismann football injury. Bachelder was awarded the prestigious Terry Southern Prize in 2016. He received an MFA in fiction from the University of Florida and taught at New Mexico State, Colorado College, and the University of Massachusetts before joining the creative writing faculty of the University of Cincinnati in 2011.

Nickole Brown

Nickole Brown received her MFA from the Vermont College, studied literature at Oxford University, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She worked at Sarabande Books for ten years. Her first collection, Sister, a novel-in-poems, was first published in 2007 by Red Hen Press and a new edition was reissued by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2018. Her second book, a biography-in-poems called Fanny Says, came out from BOA Editions in 2015 and won the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Poetry. The audiobook of that collection became available in 2017. She was an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for four years until she gave up her beloved position there in hope of writing full time. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Kentucky Arts Council. Currently, she is the editor for the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and teaches periodically at a number of places in addition to the Sewanee School of Letters, including the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNCA and the Hindman Settlement School. Nickole Brown lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs, in Asheville, NC, where she volunteers at two different animal sanctuaries. She’s at work on a bestiary of sorts about these animals. A chapbook featuring some of these poems called To Those Who Were Our First Gods won the 2018 Rattle Chapbook Prize, and another sequence called The Donkey Elegies was published as a chapbook by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2020. In 2020, Spruce Books of Penguin Random House published Write It! 100 Poetry Prompts to Inspire, a book she co-authored with Jessica, and they regularly teach generative writing sessions together as part of their SunJune Literary Collaborative.

Ryan Chapman

Ryan Chapman is the author of Riots I Have Known (Simon & Schuster), which was longlisted for The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and named a best book of 2019 by Electric Literature and The Marshall Project. NPR praised it as "one of the smartest—and best—novels of the year," and The Washington Post called it "a compact cluster bomb of satire that kills widely and indiscriminately." He's published criticism and short humor pieces at The New Yorker, The Guardian, GQ, Bookforum, BOMB, McSweeney’s, and The Believer, and interviewed writers and visual artists for Guernica, Esquire, Frieze, and elsewhere. He has guest-lectured at The New School, Bard College, and Columbia University, and held residencies at Vermont Studio Center, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the James Merrill House. A graduate of the University of Puget Sound, he currently lives in Kingston, New York.

 

Tiana Clark

Tiana Clark is the author of the poetry collection, I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018), winner of the 2017 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, and Equilibrium (Bull City Press, 2016), selected by Afaa Michael Weaver for the 2016 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. Clark is a winner for the 2020 Kate Tufts Discovery Award (Claremont Graduate University), a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, a recipient of a 2019 Pushcart Prize, a winner of the 2017 Furious Flower’s Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize, and the 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize. She was the 2017-2018 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. Clark is the recipient of scholarships and fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Sewanee Writers' Conference, and Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University (M.F.A) and Tennessee State University (B.A.) where she studied Africana and Women's studies. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry Magazine, The Washington Post, Tin House Online, Kenyon Review, BuzzFeed News, American Poetry Review, Oxford American, and elsewhere. She is the Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence at Smith College. She has recently been awarded the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship.

Sidik Fofana

Sidik Fofana is an author from New York. Fofana's novel Stories from our Tenants Downstairs is forthcoming from Scribner in the US and Hodder in the UK in 2021. His work has appeared in the Sewanee Review and Granta

Jessica Goudeau

Jessica Goudeau is the author of After the Last Border: Two Families and the Story of Refuge in America, which was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice book and won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize. Her next nonfiction book, We Were Illegal, will also be with Viking. She has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Teen Vogue, among many other places, and is a former columnist for Catapult. She produced projects for Teen Vogue (“Ask a Syrian Girl”) and “A Line Birds Cannot See,” a documentary about a young girl who crossed the border into the US on her own that was distributed by The New Yorker. She has a PhD in literature from the University of Texas and served as a Mellon Writing Fellow and Interim Writing Center Director at Southwestern University. Goudeau has spent more than a decade working with refugees in Austin, Texas and was the co-founder of Hill Tribers, a nonprofit that provided supplemental income for Burmese refugee artisans for seven years.

 

Jamie Quatro

Jamie Quatro's debut novel, Fire Sermon, published in 2018 with Grove Press (U.S.), Picador (U.K.), and House of Anansi (Canada). Selected as one of the Top Seven Novels of 2018 by The Economist, and named a Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, LitHub, Bloomberg, and the Times Literary Supplement, Fire Sermon is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers book, Indie Next pick, and New York Times Editors' Choice. Quatro's story collection, I Want To Show You More, was a New York Times Notable Book, NPR Best Book of 2013, and was chosen as a favorite book of 2013 by James Wood in The New Yorker. The collection was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award, the Townsend Fiction Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize.
Quatro’s books are published in translation in Spain, Italy, Slovakia, Poland, and the Netherlands. A contributing editor at Oxford American, her work has appeared in Ploughshares, The Guardian, The Paris Review, The New York Review of Books, and elsewhere. Recent essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Oxford American, and as part of the Greenpeace Climate Visionaries series. Her stories are anthologized in the O. Henry Prize Stories 2013, The Story and Its Writer, and the 2018 Pushcart Prize Anthology. A recipient of fellowships from Yaddo and MacDowell, Quatro teaches in the summers-only MFA program at the Sewanee School of Letters. She lives with her family in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Mark Rasmussen

Mark Rasmussen is the Charles J. Luellen Professor of English at Centre College, where he has been teaching courses on Medieval and Renaissance literature since 1989. His recent publications include “Shakespeare and the Critics: Rhetoric, Form, Aesthetics,” in The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare (2016), as well as a critical introduction, “Jill Mann’s Patience,” to Life in Words (2014), the collected essays of the distinguished medievalist Jill Mann, a volume that he edited. Rasmussen’s other edited collection, Renaissance Literature and Its Formal Engagements (2002), has had a lasting impact within its field, renewing attention to questions of form in English Renaissance literature. A graduate of Harvard, Rasmussen received his PhD at Johns Hopkins, where he also taught before taking up his post at Centre. There he has received the Kirk Award for Teaching Excellence among many other honors. At the School of Letters he has offered courses on Chaucer, on the Arthurian legend, and on literary criticism and theory.

Justin Taylor

Taylor has taught writing at the graduate and undergraduate level in programs across the U.S., including most recently in the University of Montana M.F.A. program and at Willamette University as the 2018-2019 Presidential Distinguished Visiting Scholar. Taylor is the author of the story collections Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever and Flings, and the novel The Gospel of Anarchy. His newest book, the memoir Riding with the Ghost, was published in 2020. He serves as the fiction editor at the Literary Review. Taylor’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and the Sewanee Review, among other publications.