Current MFA Students

Laura Birdsall is a second-year MFA student in fiction. She grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA. She likes movies and songs and Youtube.

Alicia Marie Brandewie is a second year MFA student in poetry. She grew up in Wyoming, Ohio, then fell in love with Atlanta when she was an undergraduate at Emory University. She enjoys cooking, running, horseback riding, racquetball, and trying to help her cat achieve a small measure of internet fame. She is the Community Coordinator and a poetry editor for Nashville Review.

Rita Bullwinkel is a first-year MFA student in fiction. She originates from the San Francisco Bay Area, but she has also planted her feet in Brooklyn, NY, Providence, RI, and Delhi, India where she worked at the Indian National Gallery of Modern Art. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in NOON, The Fanzine, Heavy Feather Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Two Serious Ladies and the book Gigantic Worlds: An Anthology of Science Flash Fiction.

Anders Carlson-Wee is a second-year MFA student in poetry. A former professional rollerblader, he has studied wilderness survival, walked across Bosnia, and ridden freight trains across America. He is the winner of Ninth Letter‘s 2014 Poetry Award, New Delta Review‘s 2014 Editors’ Choice Prize, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, and is a two-time nominee for a Pushcart Prize. His work has also appeared in Linebreak, The Pinch, Bluestem Quarterly, Best New Poets 2012, and is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, The Paris-American, and Best New Poets 2014. The recipient of scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Anders is the music editor for Nashville Review.

Anne Charlton is the Curb Creative Writing Fellow for 2014-2015, her third year in the MFA program. Born in Lafayette, Indiana, she grew up in Versailles, a small town in central Kentucky. She earned a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Purdue University and worked as a copy editor for Purdue’s daily student newspaper. Her work appears in A Clean, Well-Lighted Place and Toad the Journal.

Lee Conell is the third-year fellow in fiction. Raised in New York City, she graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Lilith, the New York Times, and other publications. She won the 2013 Guy Goffe Means Prize for Fiction.

Katie Foster is a first-year MFA student in fiction. She grew up on the Niobrara River in the Sandhills of Nebraska and worked on trail crews for Rocky Mountain Nature Association before graduating from Creighton University in Omaha, NE with a B.A. in English and Graphic Design. She is the comics editor for Nashville Review.

Simon Han is a second-year MFA student in fiction. He was born in China and grew up in Dallas, Texas. A graduate of Northwestern University, he worked the past two years in Norwalk, Connecticut, where he was a product manager of collectible Christmas ornaments. His writing has appeared in Narrative Magazine, SmokeLong Quarterly, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. He is fiction editor for Nashville Review.


Dan Haney is a first-year MFA student in poetry. Born in the coal region of Pennsylvania, he graduated from Bucknell University, where he worked for West Branch. He has received the Cadigan Prize for Poetry, the Samuel Ziegler Lewis Prize, and a fellowship to the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. His most recent work appears in Radar.


Edgar Kunz is the third-year fellow in poetry. Winner of an Academy of American Poets Prize and finalist for the 2014 Driftless Prize, he was the 2013-2014 editor in chief of Nashville Review. New work can be found in The Journal, Redivider, Indiana Review, Passages North, Devil’s Lake, Bat City Review, and Forklift, Ohio.


Scott Lyon is a first-year MFA student in fiction. He grew up on the North Carolina coast where he learned to pray for surf. After earning a BS in Math, he moved to New York to make movies, with some success. Then he got the itch to travel and write. He has since lived in Taiwan, Nepal, and a host of other places. He currently teaches a creative writing workshop with prisoners on Death Row.

Max McDonough is a first-year MFA student in poetry. He grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but escaped to sub-rural Virginia at the age of sixteen. When night expeditions to the local Walmart parking lot became too perilous, he matriculated to the University of Virginia where he failed to become a surgeon and instead pursued a degree in English. He is a recipient of the Rachel St. Paul Prize in poetry and head nonfiction editor for Nashville Review.


Anna Silverstein is a second-year MFA student in fiction. She grew up in the Boston area and studied creative writing at Oberlin College. After college, she volunteered for six months in Peru and then worked for three years for the youth mentoring organization, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, in Boston. In addition to writing fiction, she enjoys translating prose and poetry from the Spanish. She is editor in chief of Nashville Review.

Mary Flannery Somerville is a first-year MFA student in poetry. She was born one of triplets in Chapel Hill, North Carolins, and grew up in the small college town of Hillsdale, Michigan. She graduated from the University of North Carolina in 2012 with an English major and minors in history and creative writing. After graduation, she traveled in western China before moving back to Michigan to work as a barista, nanny, and church historian. She is a poetry editor for Nashville Review.

Simone Wolff is a second-year MFA student in poetry. She was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Barnard College with a degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her interests include gardening, food, and cartoons. She is poetry editor for Nashville Review.