Meet our Faculty



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. She was an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for four years until she gave up her beloved position to write 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 at  the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNC-A 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 worked 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. Also in 2020, Spruce Books of Penguin Random House published Write It! 100 Poetry Prompts to Inspire, a book she co-authored with Jessica 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.


Vievee Francis

Vievee Francis is an American poet and educator. She is the author of three poetry collections: Blue-Tail Fly (2006), Horse in the Dark (2012), which won the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize and Forest Primeval (2017), which won the 2017 Kingsley Tufts Award. She has a collection forthcoming in 2023, titled The Shared World.

Francis is the recipient of the 2021 Aiken Taylor Prize, awarded by the Sewanee Review to a distinguished poet. She is also the recipient of the 2016 Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award and the Rona Jaffe Award. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem and the Kresge Foundation. She earned her BA from Fisk University and her MFA from the University of Michigan. Her work has also appeared in Poetry, Best American Poetry, Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, and many others. She is currently an associate editor for Callaloo and is an associate professor at Dartmouth College.


Adam O'Fallon Price

Adam O’Fallon Price the author of two novels: The Grand Tour (Doubleday, 2016) and The Hotel Neversink (Tin House Books, 2019). The Hotel Neversink won the 2020 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. His short fiction has appeared in the Paris Review, Granta, Harper’s, VICE, the Iowa Review, the Kenyon Review Online, LitHub, Joyland, and many others. He also writes essays and criticism, which appear in many places including Ploughshares, Electric Literature, Paris Review Daily, The Millions, where he is a staff writer, and many more. He maintains a substack on the writer William Trevor and the craft of fiction writing.

Price received his BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his MFA from Cornell University in 2014. He teaches at Chapel Hill in the department of English and Comparative Literature. His research interests include the novel, narrative theory, and the English language. Of teaching he says, “My decade-plus experience publishing short stories and novels has provided me a perspective on what matters in fiction that directly affects my teaching. I strive to help students connect with what is most uniquely them in their work: the most idiosyncratic aspects of a writer's style and voice are often—perhaps surprisingly—the most commercial and marketable as well.”


Meera Subramanian

Meera Subramanian is an award-winning independent journalist whose work has been published in national and international publications including the New York TimesNew YorkerNatureVirginia Quarterly Review, and Orion, where she serves as a contributing editor. Her book A River Runs Again: India's Natural World in Crisis, from the Barren Cliffs of Rajasthan to the Farmlands of Karnataka, published by PublicAffairs in 2015, was short-listed for the 2016 Orion Book Award. Through her work, she has explored the disappearance of India’s vultures, questioned the “Good Anthropocene,” sought out fragile shorelines, and investigated perceptions of climate change among conservative Americans. Her essays have been anthologized in Best American Science and Nature Writing, as well as multiple editions of The Best Women’s Travel Writing. She was an MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellow (2016-17) and Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellow (2013-14) and earned an MA in Journalism from New York University. She is currently a co-director of the Religion & Environment Story Project and a contributing editor of Orion, and she recently taught at Princeton University as the Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and Humanities.

Justin Taylor

Justin Taylor is the author of the memoir Riding with the Ghost, published by Random House in 2020. Lauren Groff said the memoir was "gorgeously layered and deeply felt." He is also the author of three books of fiction: the story collections Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever (2010), Flings (2014), and the novel The Gospel of Anarchy (2011). His work has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, BOMB, the Sewanee Review, and Bookforum, as well as many others.

Taylor received his BA from the University of Florida, and his MFA from The New School. He has taught writing at the graduate and undergraduate level in programs across the U.S., including Columbia University, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the University of Montana. He is the current director of the School of Letters. He lives in Portland, Oregon.




Sebastian Castillo

Sebastian Castillo is a genre-blending writer and teacher who lives in Philadelphia. He is the author of 49 Venezuelan Novels (Bottlecap Press, 2017), described as “...echoing the storytelling forte of Garcia Marquez and drenched in surrealism and chimerical imagery,” by Maudlin Press, and Not I (Word West LLC, 2020), described as “surprising, charming, and formally innovative.” His work has also appeared in Philadelphia Weekly, Peach Mag, Electric Literature, The Fanzine, and elsewhere.

Castillo says of teaching, “My creative writing pedagogy is influenced by my interest in experimental and procedural writing. My hope is that the classroom can function as a laboratory for unforeseen possibilities in the same way.” Castillo will be teaching a new course, Hybrid and Experimental Literatures. 


FALL 2022


Gwen E. Kirby

Gwen E. Kirby is the author of the short story collection Shit Cassandra Saw, which was released by Penguin in 2021. Claire Oshetsky of the New York Times described the collection as "stories [that] will defy all your expectations." Kirby's book was also featured on NPR's All Things Considered, and author Kevin Wilson said of the collection, "Kirby writes with boundless humor, confidence and ease, and yet there is always that flash of a fang." Kirby’s stories appear or are forthcoming in One StoryTin House, GuernicaMississippi Review, Ninth Letter, Blackbird, SmokeLong Quarterly, and elsewhere. Her story “Midwestern Girl Is Tired of Appearing in Your Short Stories” won the 2017 DISQUIET Literary Prize for Fiction. She has received two Pushcart Prize special mentions and has been awarded scholarships to the Rivendell Writers’ Colony and the Sundress Academy for the Arts. She was the 2018-2019 George Bennett Fellow at Phillips Exeter Academy. Kirby is teaching our Fall 2022 fiction workshop. She said of teaching, "I love discovering what obsessions and passions and questions my students have brought into the room and how I can help them bring those to life through fiction."

She hails from San Diego and is a proud graduate of Carleton College. She has an MFA from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD from the University of Cincinnati. Currently, she is the Associate Director of Programs and Finance for the Sewanee Writers’ Conference at the University of the South, where she also teaches creative writing. Kirby will appear at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville in October.





Katy Simpson Smith

Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She is the author of We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835, and the novels The Story of Land and SeaFree Men, and The Everlasting, which the New York Times named among the Top 10 Historical Fiction of 2020. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times Book ReviewParis ReviewLos Angeles Review of BooksOxford AmericanGranta, and Literary Hub. She lives in New Orleans, and recently served as the Eudora Welty Chair for Southern Literature at Millsaps College. 

FALL 2021


Sidik Fofana

Sidik Fofana is an author from New York, where he lives with his wife and son and teaches. Fofana's novel Stories from our Tenants Downstairs was published by Scribner in the US in 2022. Essence said this book "It's impossible not to get sucked in." His work has appeared in the Sewanee Review and Granta. He received his MFA at New York University.