Merridith Allen lives in New York City where she writes, and
teaches yoga and martial arts. She received her BFA in
performance/acting from Adelphi University in 2006, and is currently
enrolled in The University of New Orleans' MFA in Playwriting. Merridith's plays have been workshopped locally at Adelphi as well as at Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center for the arts. Her plays have received workshops abroad in Madrid, Spain, San Miguel de Allende,
Mexico and at The University of Edinborough. Her work has been featured in the Edinborough University Journal, Northern Light, Le'official magazine, and newagetravel.com.
Anny Ballardini lives in Bolzano, Italy. She grew up in New York, lived in New Orleans, Buenos Aires, and Florence. A poet, translator and interpreter (simultaneous interpreter for English, French, Italian), she teaches high school; edits Poets' Corner - Fieralingue, an online poetry site; and writes a blog: Narcissus Works. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from UNO in 2008, University of New Orleans, Chair and Director Bill Lavender. Besides various full length publications of translations on the market, to be mentioned are her two collection of poems, Opening and Closing Numbers published by Moria Editions, 2005 and just out with Otoliths Press, Editor Mark Young, 2009: Ghost Dance in 31 Movements. For a detailed CV see here.
Kim Bradley Barzso
Kim lives in St. Augustine, FL, is married to Craig Barzso, and mom to Isaac, 11, and Phoebe Xiaoyue, nine months old. She earned an MFA from the University of New Orleans in 2004. Kim is currently at work on a novel as well as a collection of short stories. Kim teaches poetry to kindergarten through fifth grade at the OUR Community Center in Hastings, Fla. She also edited a collection of poetry from the children of Hastings called "Juice up the True Say," which will be out in October.
Check out the blog at www.juiceupthetruesay.blogspot.com
Director, playwright, drama teacher, designer and visual artist. He has directed more than 100 plays and musicals while also specializing in directing ensemble-generated original plays. Several of his own plays have performed in Boston (Boston Theater Marathon and BTW), New York (Summer Play Festival NYC) and Chicago (Stage Left Theatre). He is a 2009 Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant recipient in playwriting. His newest play, Pigcat, recently won the The Holland New Voices Award at the Great Plains Theater Conference. He is cofounder of Rouged Ape, a paratheatri- cal theater company working around the Boston area. He teaches drama and directs at Lexington High School, and also teaches play- writing for the University of New Orleans Low Residency Creative Writing Program. Last year, he collaborated with Amanda Palmer and the Lexington High School Drama students on a new play, With the Needle That Sings in Her Heart. The production received an overwhelm- ing positive response from audiences, and was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Bogart’s visual art has been exhibited internationally, and most recently was part of the Decordova Museum’s exhibition, Big Bang! Abstract Painting for the 21st Century.
After a couple of years living in L.A. as a struggling actor, I returned home to Baton Rouge and completed a B.A. degree in English Literature with a theater minor at L.S.U. I worked for a year on an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, and then moved to New Orleans and took low-pay acting jobs in theater and did freelance writing assignments for LOUISIANA SPORTSMAN MAGAZINE. Later I moved back to Baton Rouge to co-produce and act in an independent film. After the film I wrote my first screenplay and upon finishing it promptly moved back to L.A. to shop it to producers. Getting nowhere with the script and running out of money, I entered the business world and moved to Houston, where I met a professional screenwriter who has helped improve my writing tremendously. Since then I have written 2 more scripts as a low-residency MFA student at UNO. Occasionally, I still do acting jobs and contribute articles to LOUISIANA SPORTSMAN MAGAZINE.
Sean Conway is a 2008 graduate of the UNO low-res program in fiction. As a student, he studied writing and literature in Montpellier, France and Madrid, Spain, while visiting many European cities along the way. In 2007, he even ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Most recently, he attended the post-graduate workshops in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Back in the Boston area, Sean teaches writing at both the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Middlesex Community College. His short fiction has been published in various online and print journals, and he is currently shopping a novel, The Empty Space Between Stars.
Philippe Custeau is a writer, Chiropractor, and musician from Québec, Canada. He holds a BSc in Biochemistry, a Doctorate degree in Chiropractic, and he graduated from the MFA program at UNO in 2006. Philippe has since found representation with the prestigious literary agency of Ann McDermid and Associates in Toronto. He completed A Faint, Blue Idea of Order, his first novel, and is now actively at work on his second. His poetry has been published in Taproot, an anthology of English-language Quebec writers. In parallel with this, Philippe also recorded and released an album of original songs in 2006, and toured extensively with his band, Jake and the Leprechauns, opening for some of the country’s best-known acts. Their second album will be coming out this fall. Philippe also founded a non-profit organization that strives to help talented Canadian musicians. He maintains a chiropractic license both in Canada and the US, and is involved with his family’s business, which he co-owns with his brother, in his hometown. When asked about what he does for a living, he most often answers “it’s complicated.”
D.C. Bradburd’s work has appeared in The Intermountain Express, Under Construction, The Berkshire Review, English Journal, NASSP Journal, and The Book of Contemporary Myth. Recent work has received awards from The Outrider Press and The Book Passages Travel Conference. He holds degrees from Syracuse University and Vermont College and an MFA from UNO in 2006. A teacher, he travels, writes and photographs from a home base in Chicago, Illinois. He thinks people should always reflect on things—in this case the Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) in Chicago’s Millennium Park.
Jeff Grieneisen is an assistant professor of English at Manatee Community College in Bradenton, Florida. He earned his B.A. from Penn State, DuBois in 1994, his M.A. in English literature from Clarion University in 2001, and his MFA from The University of New Orleans in 2007. He has published work as contributing editor for the Edgar Allan Poe book in Harold Bloom’s BioCritiques series, and his poetry has appeared in Pennsylvania English, Sylvan Review, and Red Raven Review, the limited edition chapbook Don Guillermo’s Good Book and has been translated into Portuguese and published in the Brazilian journal Revisto Espaço Académico. In addition to writing poetry, Jeff is a founding editor of the literary journal Florida English. He continues to research the work of Ezra Pound and has delivered a paper at the 22nd Ezra Pound International Conference inVenice, Italy. This year, MAMMOTH Books is publishing his first book of poetry, Good Sumacs, and his article on Edgar Allan Poe, “A Debt Owed, A Debt Paid: Poe’s Literary Cultural Heritage” is under contract with EBSCO Publishing’s Critical Insights series. Other creative and literary ventures include reading regularly with PoetryWorks at literary festivals in Sarasota, Florida, and achieving runner-up status in the 2006 UNO Annual Writing Contest for Study Abroad in poetry. He lives in Bradenton, Florida with his wife, Courtney, who is a scholar, a critic, the co-author of both Poe articles, and an assistant professor of English at Manatee Community College.
Jessica Fiorini is the author of the chapbooks Sea Monster at Night (Goodbye Better) and Light Suite (Pudding House Publications). She has been published in Lungfull!, Brooklyn Rail, Vlak and the Poetry Project Newsletter. Jessica currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and works as a writer/producer at the independent video game company Smashworx. Jessica graduated UNO with a MFA in Creative Writing in poetry.
A resident of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Chris has been an active part of the Twin Cities theatre scene for the last ten years. For many of those years he has been the Artistic Director of Commedia Beauregard, an independent professional theatre company that produces works that have been translated from other languages into English. Chris is a translator himself. He specializes in Spanish dramatic literature. Chris received an MFA from the University of New Orleans in Playwriting in 2007.
Chris is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America, the Playwrights Center, and the American Literary Translators Association.
When Eva won Style Weekly's annual fiction contest in Richmond, Virginia, she decided to quit her job as a math teacher and focus on writing. Currently living in New Orleans and getting her MFA in Fiction Writing at UNO, she also works as an orthodontic assistant and SAT tutor. She is the guest editor of UNO's new online magazine, Compass, and does freelance writing for nileguide.com. Check out her writing website at www.evalangston.synthasite.com.
Stephen Leonard earned his MFA in May 2010. His short stories have garnered awards from The Washington Post Magazine and descant.
Dawn Leslie Lenz
Dawn Leslie Lenz is a 2008 Master of Fine Arts graduate of the Low Residency Creative Writing Program at the University of New Orleans, traveling to Brunnenburg in Italy and Madrid, Spain to study writing as well as many other destinations on her own. Her work has appeared in journals, books, online, and elsewhere, including The Rambler, Mirror, Mirror: Reflections on the Way We Look (Midmarch Arts Press 2004), and Springfield Magazine, among others. Currently, she is shopping around her novel, Winged Victory. She lives in San Francisco, California with her husband, Jason.
Kelly McQuain holds an MFA from the University of New Orleans and an MA in English from Temple University. He has twice been a recipient of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships and was a winner in the Philadelphia City Paper Writing Awards in both fiction and poetry. He is a frequent panelist at the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans each May and has served as a juror for the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. His work has been staged by the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and Writing Aloud, and he currently co-coordinates the Spring Poets & Writers Festival at Community College of Philadelphia where he works as an Associate Professor of English and creative writing.
McQuain’s stories and memoir essays have appeared in newspapers, journals and numerous anthologies: the Philadelphia Inquirer; Kansas Quarterly/Arkansas Review; TO: An International Journal of the Arts; Certain Voices: Rebel Yell 2: the New Observer (Tokyo, Japan); the James White Review; the Journal of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity/International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies; Icarus: the Magazine of Gay Speculative Fiction: Obsessed: A Flesh and the Word Collection; Best American Erotica; Men on Men; Skin & Ink; Philly Fiction 2; and The Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly, where “Blueboy” was published as the inaugural story in the historic journal’s very first issue. A native of West Virginia, McQuain now calls Philly’s Italian Market neighborhood home.
Assistant Professor and Director of Studios Allan Moyé has taught communication courses at Mary Baldwin College for nine years, including video production classes, film studies, screenwriting, and broadcasting. He received his undergraduate degree from East Carolina University. He studied screenwriting at Georgetown University and UCLA, filmmaking at the New York Film Academy, and has had extensive training in audio production. He earned his MFA in Drama/Communications from the University of New Orleans, in which program he studied under filmmaker Miroslav Mandic in Prague, Czech Republic.
Moyé also teaches screenwriting for the University of New Orleans' Low Residency MFA program and has been an instructor at UNO's Summer Seminars in Madrid, Spain.
He is a two-time recipient of the Governor's Award for Screenwriting at the Virginia Festival of American Film and has won awards from America's Best Screenplay competition and the Wisconsin Screenwriter's Forum. Two of his narrative screenplays, "The Blue Man" and "The Good Neighbor" have been optioned in Hollywood. Moyé has produced and directed various short films and been a contributor to many narrative and documentary projects. He is front man and songwriter for the rock ‘n roll band, The Findells.
John is currently a mentor to doctoral students at Walden University where every dissertation must contribute to positive social change. His MFA in non-fiction writing added a valuable dimension to his professional writing that can now be enjoyed beyond his circle of family and friends. Look for him in the first issue of Compass, and for a new edition of his classic, The Living Organization: Transforming Teams Into Workplace Communities, an effort he believes will help people build psychologically healthy organizations.
G. M. Palmer is the editor of Strong Verse , a poetry magazine. His family has lived in Florida since before it was a state, and he continues this tradition by residing in Jacksonville. Apart from writing and editing poetry, Michael teaches, tutors, sings, cooks, and plays the blues. Michael and his wife Heather live in an old, wood-frame house with their daughters Cordelia and Josephine, four chickens (Morrison, Walker, Brooks, and Angelou), two bunnies (Hawthorne and Browning), and one dog (Millay).
Shelley Puhak lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She earned her MFA in Poetry from UNO in 2004. Her first collection, Stalin in Aruba (Black Lawrence Press, 2009), won the 2010 Towson University Prize for Literature and was a finalist for the Writer's Center Emerging Writers Fellowships. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Feminist Studies, Gargoyle, London Magazine, storySouth, Third Coast, and other journals.
Check out Shelley's website at www.shelleypuhak.com
Connie "Conrad" Reeder earned her MFA Creative Writing: Playwriting from the University of New Orleans in May, 2008. Reeder continues to write songs, poetry, and articles for periodicals. She is a long time member of AEA, AFTRA, BMI, and now, The Dramatists Guild, but says, "Being the mother of Cimcie and Ashlee Nichols tops any award or event." Her thesis, Jack is Dead, was inspired by the untimely death of her dear friend and fellow space traveler, John Denver. Jack is Dead and other plays are currently being read and staged by the Boca Raton Theatre Guild. Connie is an Adjunct Professor at Palm Beach State College and her plays are being work-shopped by the Coronet Writer's Lab in Hollywood, CA with a staged reading for "Graffiti" set for the fall.
Mitchell Sommers lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he has practiced law since 1986, concentrating in bankruptcy law and debtor/creditor rights. A graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and Dickinson School of Law at Penn State, Mitchell graduated from the UNO Low Residency program in 2006, concentrating in fiction. He was previously a columnist for Central Penn Business Journal, and has written op-eds and essays for numerous Pennsylvania newspapers, including The Philadelphia Inquirer. He has had short stories published in Philadelphia Stories, where is currently on the editorial board and board of directors, The Big Toe Review and Phase. His short story "Bando", was in the anthology The Best of Philadelphia Stories Volume 2. He currently writes for ipinion.me, and co-edits, along with fellow UNO alum Jesse Loren, Tatanacho Press (whose name was literally inspired from a street in San Miguel de Allende). He will be on the faculty of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's 15th Annual Bankruptcy Institute. He is a member of the Lancaster Dramatists' Platform, a playwriting group, where a staged reading of his one-act play "Eruv" was staged in December 2009. He is currently working on a novel set in colonial Pennsylvania.
Lisa G. Shillingburg
Lisa has worked in film production on over twenty feature films including, MUNICH, THE GOOD SHEPHERD, THE NOTEBOOK, and most recently, VALKYRIE starring Tom Cruise which filmed in Berlin, Germany.
She earned her B.A. in Journalism (Radio/TV/Film) with a minor in English Literature from the University of Oklahoma, and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Screenwriting) from the University of New Orleans in 2006.
Lisa has previously optioned a network soap opera and two screenplays. She is currently at work on several screenwriting projects and her first novel.
When Lisa is not traveling for business or pleasure, she happily resides with her three Chihuahuas up the road from old Route 66 and down the road from a rodeo arena in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Jeni is a 2006 graduate of UNO's Low-Residency MFA in poetry. She earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in History and English, at Emory & Henry College in 2001. Publications include Florida English, Sentence, Exquisite Corpse, The Cream City Review and Big Bridge.
Friends and faculty had hoped that after a few years in the MFA program, Tawni might figure out what her last name is. She still hasn't. She is also unclear on other basic aspects of day to day life, such as where she lives and what she wants to be when she grows up. (She ain't no lover, but she ain't no dancer.) She thinks she will be a writer someday, though she likes the idea of being an actor too. In April, she got to come to San Miguel to perform the role of Kitty in Camino Real Production's "Kitty and Lena." She has published in Bridal Guide Magazine, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque Arts Magazine, Albion Review, and Conceptions Southwest. Out of all the magnificence this world has to offer, she is still most astounded by the beauty of her children, who are both taller than her and have mostly forgiven her for condemning them to eighteen years of off-key show tunes and abysmal cooking.
Stan West received his MFA in Creative Writiing in May, 2007 from the University of New Orleans. His thesis was on American expatriate writers in Paris and Madrid. West holds a Masters in the Teaching of Writng from DePaul University. A former foreign correspondent for the San Francisco-based Pacific News Service, West remains a working journalist, reporting for WNUA 95.5 FM Chicago, a Clear Channel Broadcast, Inc. radio station. A documenatarian who co-coordinates the Oak Park International Film Festival and the Columbia College Film Series on Poverty and Privilege, West has authored and co-authored several nonfiction books. He also teaches writing, television and first-year seminar at Columbia College Chicago.
Stan's recently-published Suburban Promised Land:The Emerging Black Community in Oak Park, Illinois, 1880-1990, Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest/Soweto West Press, recently won the Illinois State Historical “Certificate of Excellence in Scholarly Book Category” award. Stan has also been included in two anthologies:
Contributor, Africana Womanism & Race & Gender in the Presidential Candidacy of Barack Obama. Ed: Dr. Clenora H. Weems, Bloomington, Il: Author House, 2010.
Alexis Wiggins's work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Story
South, Brevity and Ploughshares and was selected for W. W. Norton's
anthology, Best Creative Nonfiction Volume 1 (2007). In 2004, she was
nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
She divides her time between New York and Madrid.
Kathleen Willis Morton
Kathleen Willis Morton, '04 graduate, is the author of The Blue Poppy and the Mustard Seed; A Mother's Story of Loss and Hope, which was her Literary Nonfiction thesis that she defended via phone conference a few days before her third child was born. She participated in the Low-Res programs in Prague, France, and Spain--the latter two with baby and patient husband in tow. Her book is nationally available from http://www.wisdompubs.org/, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. She has several publications including Hip Mama Magazine, The Shambhala Sun, and the anthology "Mourning Sickness" edited by her esteemed fellow alumna, Jesse Loren. Recently, she has started her own boutique communications/writing agency and can be engaged for editing and consultation services at http://www.threestoriescom.com. Writing and raising kids continues to be her full-time occupation and lives with her kids in Cambridge, MA. She is currently working on two collections: My Sass Mouth Mother Tongue; What Parenthood Has Taught Me About Personhood, and At The Break on the Shoreline Between Here, and Now, and Beyond; Meditations on Surfing, The Soul, and The Sacred. More info on her book can be found at http://www.thebluepoppyandthemustardseed.com
*Photo Courtesy Mim Atkins
Jim Wyatt is an American writer living in Poland. He received his MFA in creative writing from the University of New Orleans in 2006, and his short fiction has appeared in a number of journals, including Cimarron Review, River Styx, News from the Republic of Letters and The Greensboro Review. He is the winner of The Greensboro Review’s Robert Watson Literary Prize, and two of his stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He has lived in Wroclaw, Poland and in Istanbul, Turkey, and he now lives with his wife and their two children in Warsaw, where he is at work on a novel examining Poland's communist ghosts.
You can view his website at http://www.jimwyatt.org/
Julian Zabalbeascoa is a 2007 graduate of the University of New Orleans’ Low-Residency MFA program. He is an adjunct professor at Merced College and about to embark on some trip somewhere. Where to? Who knows? During the composition of this bio he was planning a trip to the Middle East, but by the time you, the reader, scan over this he can easily be running from the law in Saigon, doubling over a toilet in Lima, tripping over his feet on a soccer field in Capetown, or at home trying to figure out the remote control to his TV. He is also the lead singer of the bands The Debbietaunts and Thank God for Jesus. Check out Julian's latest publication here.
Want more information?
Feel free to email the Director of The Low-Residency MFA, Bill Lavender, at email@example.com. You may also call 504 280 7457 during business hours.
To receive printed
materials, use the information request form:
The Low Residency MFA Program and all Study Abroad Programs in Writing are administered by the
Division of International Education at UNO's Metropolitan College,
Bill Lavender, Director
New Orleans, LA 70148.
(504) 280 7457
(504) 280 7317 fax