Meet some of Our MFA Students

Gordon Hight, L'19 | Writer, photographer, and fly fishing guide

Gordon’s goal was simple: to learn how to write well. An accomplished photographer who also boasts a BA in economics and an MBA in finance, he wanted to find ways to blend his images and stories. Today his photos and nonfiction have appeared in Paste Magazine, 35mm Magazine, and The Drake Magazine. Through relationships built at the School of Letters, Gordon has also executive produced two feature films. (Did we mention he’s also a fly fishing guide?) “My life has been blessed by some incredible educational opportunities, but Sewanee is hands down the best and most dear to me.”

Darby Lyons, L'15 | Sr. Editorial Assistant at the Cincinnati Review

As a full-time teacher, Darby craved time and space to write poetry. At School of Letters, away from the day-to-day distractions of the classroom and life at home, she was able to immerse herself in a community of writers, hone her craft, and devote her attention fully to the creation of new work. Darby’s work has appeared in SWWIM Every Day, 8 Poems, Mud Season Review, and others. She also serves as a senior editorial assistant at The Cincinnati Review.

Donna Mintz, L'17 | Visual artist and writer

A revered visual artist with work hanging in the permanent collections at the High Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, and the Mobile Museum of Art, Donna longed for a return to an academic setting after years of solitary art-making. She completed her MFA with a concentration in nonfiction and is currently at work on an essay collection on James Agee and his masterwork, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. “School of Letters offered the four best summers of my life. I would live each of them over in its entirety if given the chance.”

Jacqui Swift, L'19 | Creative writing instructor at Southern Word

After earning her undergraduate degree at a large state school, Jacqui, a poet and spoken word artist, was pleasantly surprised by the relationships she developed with her professors and visiting authors at the School of Letters. Class hikes, generative workshops at an instructor’s home, or just a shared meal that transcended the traditional professor-student hierarchy, Sewanee offered Jacqui intimate access to those entrusted with guiding her work. Jacqui teaches both creative writing and performance art, helping her students find both their voice on the page and their stage legs. She has taught and performed at the International Youth Speaks Festival.