Fall 2016 MFA Reading #2: Bethann Merkle, Lilly Schneider, Kat Williams

On Friday, October 14th, UW Creative Writing Program students, faculty, and fans gathered at the new 8 Bytes Cafe for the second reading of the semester. Three 2nd year students read through some serious pinball machine static. A lot of fried delicacies were consumed.

Bethann Merkle, 2nd year in nonfiction, read from a section of her thesis, which explores hunting, landscapes, and food systems.


Lilly Schneider, 2nd year fiction writer, read a story, “BYOB,” that’s forthcoming in Willow Springs lit mag.


Kat Williams read a bit of short fiction, currently titled “I’ll Give You What You Want If You Ask for It Enough.”


First Fall MFA Student Reading

Each semester, the Creative Writing Program hosts a student reading series. In the fall series, 2nd year MFA students read from some of their latest work, which for many includes bits and pieces of what will become their theses in the spring.

The first reading of the fall semester went down at Night Heron Books on September 21st. Emily Pifer, Ammon Medina, and Alec Osthoff read to a full house on a Friday night that delivered Laramie’s first snow of the season!

Emily, 2nd year in nonfiction, read from her thesis-in-progress, Body of Work.


2nd year Poet Ammon read from an essay that features the re-appropriated poems of Pablo Neruda.


And Alec, 2nd year fiction, read from his novel-in-progress, Sawtooths.  He also read his poem, “Western Interior,” that inspired him to write the novel.


Huge shout-out to Lilly Schneider for her lovely locks in the foreground of most of the pictures taken at the event!


MFA Alumni Reading: Katie Schmid & Brock Jones

On Thursday, September 22nd, two University of Wyoming Creative Writing alumni poets, Katie Schmid and Brock Jones, visited campus for a lunch with current MFA students and a public reading at Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse. Both poets read to a full house, with audience members sitting on the floor next to shelves of used books, and even a few folks listening from the stairwell.


Brock read from his acclaimed chapbook, Cenotaph, a series of poems that are part memory, part inquiry into the aftermath of war.The chapbook won the Miller Williams Poetry Prize, selected by poet Billy Collins.


Katie read from sections of her chapbook, Forget Me/Hit Me/Let Me Drink Great Quantities of Clear, Evil Liquor, which won Split Lip Press‘s Chapbook Prize.


She stunned us with sections that explore the intensity of childhood, missing fathers, and masculinity. A review of her chapbook can be found at The Rumpus.



Current MFA students were impressed and heartened by the successes Katie and Brock have experienced since their tenure in the program.

MFA Reading @ Hero Depot

Last Friday was the final MFA reading of the semester. Maria Anderson, Carly Fraysier, and I read from our work at Hero Depot, our local arcade.

IMG_0760Maria read from a short story about a woman who studies bats in Borneo whose marriage is falling apart.

IMG_0764Carly read from an essay about her younger brother that grapples with addiction and the ways we speak on behalf of others.

And We’re Out!

Thanks for following along with our student blog for the 2013-2014 year. It’s been a big one: full of great times and grand events. We laughed, we cried, we wrote a lot. But, alas, it’s our last day of school, so the blog must sleep.

Check back in the fall for more UW MFA goodness! And have a great summer!

Congrats to the following second-years for completing their MFAs and best of luck in the future!

Dan Frieje


















MFA Profs Lead Writing Workshop: Tomorrow in Cheyenne

MFA Creative Writing Faculty, H.L. Hix and Kate Northrop, will lead an evening writing workshop at the Laramie County Public Library in Cheyenne Wyoming tomorrow, May 6th, 2014.

The workshop is titled “Let’s Talk Texture:  Poems that Glitter, Teem, Grow Pale, or Flash and maybe Itch then Irritate” and will give aspiring and experienced writers a chance to explore the texture of poems—as opposed to the usual tropes, that poets “use images, be specific, be concise, make music.” Participants will be invited to take part in a lively discussion and to complete a writing exercise. As a fun exercise, participants will be encouraged to paint their finished poems on windows around the library.

All community members are invited to join. Contact Robin Papaleka, Adult Programming Coordinator, Laramie County Library System, for more information.