5 Accomplished Writers You’ll Connect with at AU

We are proud of our accomplished creative writing faculty, whose achievements include acclaimed publications, national awards and reputations for excellence. There has been a lot of great work published in recent months and years.

If you are applying to, or just considering, our MFA in Creative Writing, we encourage you to check out the work of our teachers and to familiarize yourself with their styles and interests. You’ll get a sense for how they might support your own development, and you’ll gain a well-rounded understanding of how you’d fit into our program—which we hope you’ll detail in your statement of purpose.

Below we’ve gathered just a small sample of recent faculty work, available online for free. Enjoy.


Kyle Dargan, Associate Professor and Director of Creative Writing

Kyle Dargan has published four four collections of poetry with University of Georgia Press, most recently Honest Engine (2015) and Logorrhea Dementia (2010). His first collection, The Listening (2004), was the winner of the 2003 Cave Canem Prize, and his second collection, Bouquet of Hungers (2007), was awarded the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in poetry. Public Pool recently published a video by Kyle, featuring DC landscapes and Kyle’s reading of his poem on gentrification, “White. Bread. Blues.” From “White. Bread. Blues.”:

“The Islander on U Street will be shuttered says the metro section of the Washington Post. I had my first and last plate of their curry bird after Heroes Are Gang Leaders hit at Howard.”


WASHINGTON, DC-NOVEMBER 6:DC Fiction writer Kyle G. Dargan likes to spend time in the atrium of the National Portrait Gallery to reflect, read and meet up with friends.(Photo by Lucian Perkins /for The Washington Post)

WASHINGTON, DC-NOVEMBER 6:DC Fiction writer Kyle G. Dargan likes to spend time in the atrium of the National Portrait Gallery to reflect, read and meet up with friends.(Photo by Lucian Perkins /for The Washington Post)


Stephanie Grant, Assistant Professor

Stephanie Grant has penned two novels, The Passion of Alice (Houghton Mifflin, 1995) and Map of Ireland (Scribner, 2008), and has won a number of fellowships and awards. Her essay “Postpartum” explores the experience of reconsidering one’s parents through an adult lens. The essay was published in the New Yorker in December, 2015. From “Postpartum”:

“After my older brother Bill was born, my mother had a devastating postpartum depression: she cried all day, refused to dress, could not take care of the baby. The grandmothers were brought in, and she was sent to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton, Massachusetts, for electroconvulsive therapy.”


David Keplinger, Professor

David Keplinger is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently The Most Natural Thing (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2013) and The Prayers of Others (New Issues, 2006). His first collection, The Rose Inside (Truman State University Press, 1999), was chosen by the poet Mary Oliver for the 1999 T.S. Eliot Prize. David has also published translations and won a number of prizes for his work. His poem “Wave” was featured as Blog this Rock’s Poem of the Week in 2013. From “Wave”:

“Lincoln, leaving Springfield, 1861, Boards a train with a salute: but it is weak. To correct it, he slides his hand away From his face as if waving, as if brushing The snows of childhood from his eyes.”


Richard McCann, Professor

Richard McCann is the author of the acclaimed linked story collection Mother of Sorrows (Vintage, 2006), and the award-winning poetry collection Ghost Letters. He is also the editor (with Michael Klein) of Things Shaped in Passing: More ‘Poets for Life’ Writing from the Aids Pandemic (Persea Books,1996) and his work has appeared in several esteemed publications. In March 2016, the Washington Post published his essay, “How Bette Davis became a boy’s unlikely pen pal — and, for a time, gave him strength.” From the essay:

“One afternoon, maybe a month after mailing my letter, I came home from school to find in the mailbox a manila envelope, with my name and address written in large letters across the front. I recognized the handwriting at once — the blocky cursive; the oversized letters, drawn with what looked to be a hard and definitive hand; the penchant for fat dots suspended above the i’s and dramatic underscorings.”


Rachel Louise Snyder, Associate Professor

Rachel Louise Snyder is the author of two books: the nonfiction Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade (WW Norton, 2007) and the novel We’ve Lost is Nothing (Scribner, 2014). She has contributed journalism and commentary to public radio, print and online outlets including This American Life and the New Yorker. In July 2015, the New York Times published her essay “Life, an Unspooling,” on family and parenthood. From “Life: An Unspooling:”

“A marriage proposal for a woman at 38 is rarely really a marriage proposal. Or, rather, it’s not a choice of two people; it’s a choice of child or no child. It’s a last chance. I got engaged on the Mekong River, sitting in the front of a kayak, while my boyfriend attempted to get on one knee behind me.”



Would you like to study with these writers? Start your application or learn more about the MFA in creative writing.

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