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Current MFA Students

Jesse Bertron is a third-year MFA student in poetry. He has worked as a carpenter, an actor, and a middle-school teacher. He is co-director of Poetry at Round Top, an annual poetry festival in the Texas hill country.












Elena Britos is a first-year MFA student in fiction from Portland, Maine. She graduated from Bowdoin College in 2015, where she studied English. After graduation, Elena worked in trade book publishing and the college study abroad world. She is assistant editor of the fiction and comics sections of the Nashville Review.










Joanna Currey is a first-year MFA candidate in poetry from Fairfax, VA. She received a BA in English and Poetry Writing from the University of Virginia where she wrote obsessively about plants, bodies, and religion. Joanna enjoys swimming in rivers and praying on trampolines, and hopes one day to record a pop/rock album, read every book she owns, and become a pretty good gardener.






Stephanie Davis is a second-year MFA student in poetry from Jamaica, Queens in New York City where she earned a B.A. in English and Media Studies at Queens College and was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. She was also a Jamaica Arts Leadership Fellow and has received a New Works Grant from the Queens Council on the Arts. She has participated in the Indiana University Writer’s Conference and the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop at Oxford University. She is the Creative Events Coordinator for the EGSA and works as assistant poetry editor for the Nashville Review and as poetry editor of |Tap| Lit Magazine.






Cydnee Devereaux is a second-year MFA student in poetry at Vanderbilt. She studied English and anthropology at the University of Florida. She works for the Nashville Review as assistant poetry editor, assistant nonfiction editor, and music editor.









Carla Diaz is a fiction writer and musician, born and raised in New York City. She currently studies fiction at Vanderbilt University’s MFA program and serves as Nonfiction Editor for the Nashville Review.












Carlina Duan is a first-year MFA student in Poetry. She hails from Ann Arbor, MI, where she holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. As a Fulbright grant recipient, she lived and taught in Malaysia, where she edited her school’s arts anthology and designed library murals. Her poems can be found in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Margins, HEArt Journal, Bodega, and elsewhere. Her debut poetry collection, I Wore My Blackest Hair, is forthcoming from Little A in November 2017. She currently works as a poetry and nonfiction assistant editor for the Nashville Review.



Alina Grabowski is a second-year MFA student in fiction from Scituate, Massachusetts. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Joyland, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Day One, and The Masters Review. She has received scholarships from the Juniper Summer Writing Institute, Squaw Valley Writers Workshop, and Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She is the fiction editor of the Nashville Review.




Mark Haslam is a third-year MFA student in fiction and the 2016-17 Creative Writing Fellow at The Curb Center, where he leads expressive writing workshops for individuals impacted by cancer. He grew up in Southern California and Seattle, Washington, and has taught middle and high school English in New York City.










Joshua Moore is a Nashville poet and first-year MFA candidate in poetry at Vanderbilt University. He serves as a reader for the Nashville Review, coordinates The Porch Writers’ Collective: Poetry on Demand Initiative, and hosts/co-produces Nashville Public Radio’s Versify podcast. He received his BA in English Writing with a minor in Biology Pre-Medicine from Eureka College. He is a recipient of the Ronald W. Reagan Fellowship and former editor of Impressions Literary Arts Journal.










Madelin Parsley is a first-year MFA student in fiction. She grew up in the panhandle of Nebraska, and has since spent time in western Massachusetts, Chicago, and San Francisco. She is assistant editor for the fiction and nonfiction sections of the Nashville Review.








Samuel Rutter is a second-year MFA student in fiction who hails from Melbourne, Australia. He has received a PhD in Spanish at the University of Melbourne and has also lived in France, Spain, Chile, and Argentina. In addition to writing fiction, Samuel has published several translations of contemporary Latin American authors; he was the recipient of a PEN Translates award in 2015 (from the English chaper of PEN). His work can be found in such journals as Meanjin, Overland and Kill Your Darlings. He is Editor in Chief of the Nashville Review.










John Shakespear is a first-year fiction writer from Cambridge, Massachusetts. He moonlights as a songwriter and a musician, and has performed across the United States, as well as in Canada, Argentina, and Cambodia. He holds a BA in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and bears no known relation to William “With-an-E” Shakespeare.










Sophia Stidis a second-year MFA student in poetry. She has received fellowships and residencies from the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets, the Lannan Foundation and Signal Fire Arts, and has worked with High Desert Test Sites. She serves as the Poetry Editor for the Nashville Review. She is from California.