The Alumni

Check out our alumni bios page to see what our graduates have been up to since earning their MFAs. Some of our alumni's exciting accomplishments can also be found below.

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Kathryn Smith's chapbook, Chosen Companions of the Goblin, won the 2018 Open Country Chapbook Contest, chosen by Heather Cahoon, and was published in 2019 by Open Country Press. 

You can now read 2018 graduate Kimberly Povloski's chapbook, Hell of Birds, as of January, 2019. It won the Adrift Chapbook Contest by Driftwood Press. 


9780983074779Kimberly Lambright's debut collection Ultra-Cabin won the 42 Miles Press poetry award and was published fall 2016. Here is what Christopher Howell had to say about her collection: "I am stunned by Kimberly Lambright's verbal acuity, its lightning shifts and sudden, diamond-like stillnesses. And there are images in this book that would wake Breton from the dead. Hats off to this uniquely adventurous and mature first volume."                          — Christopher Howell



Kathryn Nuernberger is the author of The End of Pink (BOA Editions, 2016), which received the 2015 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, given to recognize a superior second book of poetry by an American poet. She is also the author of Rag & Bone, which won the Antivenom Prize from Elixir Press and was published in 2011.


Printgrist1Tim Greenup's debut poetry collection, Without Warning was published by Scablands Books in 2016.

2014 graduate Kate Peterson's chapbook Grist won the 2016 Floating Bridge Chapbook Prize and was published in October of 2016.


On September 29, 2014—The PEN American Center on Monday announced that Shawn Vestal (alumnus and Visting Writer/Professor) is the winner of this year’s $25,000 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. Mr. Vestal earned the honor for “Godforsaken Idaho,” a collection of short stories. He received the prize from Louise Erdrich at a ceremony at the New School. Read more here and here.

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize Shortlist:

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Hogarth), Anthony Marra
Brief Encounters With the Enemy (The Dial Press), Saïd Sayrafiezadeh
Everybody’s Irish (FiveChapters Books), Ian Stansel
Godforsaken Idaho (Little A/New Harvest), Shawn Vestal
The People in the Trees (Doubleday), Hanya Yanagihara


2013 Alum Karen Maner’s essay “Hugo” was been selected for the 2014 Best American Nonrequired Reading anthology. Click here for more details. Our warmest and most delighted congratulations to you, Karen!  

We also extend congratulations to another nonfiction alum, Karen Babine, whose forthcoming essay collection Water and the Shape it Takes has just been added to the line-up of The University of Minnesota Press.

2001 INCW Alum Wendy J. Fox of Denver, Colorado, was named the winner of the 2014 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction for her manuscript, The Seven Stages of Anger and Other Stories.