Working in Wyoming

As a culmination of the community workshops facilitated by Mark Nowak and the University of Wyoming MFA program, a public reading and celebration was held last Thursday at the Gryphon Theather. It was a night filled with Kool Moe Dee, Monty Python, Laramie community members, and former MFA students. The evening closed with a documentary of what it means to work in Wyoming. Here are some images from the night:


photo (11)

photo (10)

photo (9)

photo (8)


Congratulations, Caleb Johnson!

Second-year fiction student, Caleb Johnson, has been awarded a residency at Jentel, located in the Lower Piney Creek Valley with spectacular views of the Big Horn Mountains.
From Caleb:
“I’ll be at Jentel mid-May to mid-June. It’s a luxury to be offered space and time, support, to work, especially when you’re headed into the post-MFA world. I feel real blessed for this time I’ll have at Jentel. While there, I plan on revising a novel, reading a whole lot and taking runs along the base of the Big Horns. I’m also excited to meet the other artists who will be there while I am.”
Congratulations, Caleb. What a wonderful opportunity!

Wyo Arts Council Features MFA Students

The Wyoming Arts Council is an invaluable resource to the state, offering grants, programming, and other means of support for working artists. Featured in their Winter Newsletter  are UW MFA students Rebecca Estee and Kali Fajardo-Anstine for their work at the Wyoming Girls School. As part of their MFA Project, these two have made monthly visits to Sheridan, Wyoming to teach creative writing.

Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 4.27.45 PM


Be sure to check out the full newsletter for other wonderful happenings around the state. You can do so here. 

MFA Reading Series Continues…


The MFA Student Reading Series is back. Join us for an evening of literary entertainment on Friday, January 25th at 7pm in Night Heron Books, located at 107 Ivinson Street. Enjoy work by Irina Zhorov (nonfiction), Jason Burge (fiction),Kristen Gunther (poetry), & Estella Soto (fiction).  Musical stylings will be provided by MFA students Daniel Freije and Caleb Johnson. Eat some cookies, drink coffee and bask in the literary amazingness. As always it is FREE.



ZZ Packer Visits UW

The University of Wyoming MFA program is pleased to host ZZ Packer this January as a Spring 2013 Visiting Writer. Packer will consult with fiction students and read manuscripts. She will also give a public reading at the Albany County Public Library on January, 31st from 7:00pm – 8:00pm. The reading will be followed by a book signing, sponsored by Second Story Books.

ZZ Packer

ZZ Packer is the author of the short story collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. She was selected as one of The New Yorker magazine’s “20 under 40” luminary fiction writers in June 2010. She has been awarded many fellowships and honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship for fiction and a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University.


The UW MFA program is excited and honred to have ZZ Packer visiting us.


A Month of Readings

The past two weeks in Laramie have marked an eventful end of the semester. We said farewell to our beloved program director, Beth Loffreda, before she goes on sabbatical in the spring. MFA graduate, Estella Soto, hosted the Laramie Writers of Color Reading which featured Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Miguel Kaminski, and Rattawut Lapcharoensap. Faculty members Andy Fitch and Danielle Pafunda gave a house reading to remember. And last night was the final MFA reading of the year with Brock Jones and Miguel. Enjoy these photos from the events, and have a wonderful break!

Q&A session with Stella, Miguel, A, and Kali

Q&A session with Stella, Miguel, A, and Kali

Kali reading fiction

Stella at the Laramie Writers of Color Reading

Stella at the Laramie Writers of Color Reading

Julian Saporiti entertains all with his musical talent

Julian Saporiti entertains all with his musical talent

Rattawut reads. Everyone is in awe.

Rattawut reads. Everyone is in awe.

Andy and Danielle read from their latest works

Andy and Danielle read from their latest works

Last night's crowd was all smiles

Last night’s crowd was all smiles

Miguel read... in a coat.

Miguel read… in a coat.

Brock reading his astounding poetry

Brock reading his astounding poetry

Rebecca Estee doing what she does - being a great reading series organizer

Rebecca Estee doing what she does – being a great reading series organizer

Miguel reading while making people laugh and maybe cry

Miguel reading while making people laugh and maybe cry

Special thanks to Kali’s grandfather and Chelsea Biondolillo, without whom there’d be no photos.  

Pizza and Poetry

Many thanks to Rebecca Lindenberg and Carolina Ebeid for their time this evening. As part of a series on post-MFA life, the program held an informal chat with these two outstanding poets about fellowships, cover letters, residencies, grants, and much more. There was pizza and good times all around.


People are reading this Friday. These people are Ryan Ikeda, Caleb Johnson, and Kali Fajardo-Anstine. When you preform a Google image search for these people, many images of people who are not Ryan, Caleb, and Kali appear.



Ryan Ikeda



Caleb Johnson



Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Don’t miss out on the reading this Friday, Nov. 2nd, at Night Heron Books, 6pm.




Congratulations, Brock!

Congratulations to second-year poetry candidate, Brock Michael Jones, who was named a finalist in the Iowa Review’s Jeff Sharlet Memorial Prize for Veterans. The contest is for U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel. It is hosted by The Iowa Review and made possible by a gift from the family of Jeff Sharlet (1942–69), a Vietnam veteran and antiwar writer and activist. The contest is open to veterans and active duty personnel writing in any genre and about any subject matter.

We couldn’t be more proud of Brock. What wonderful, wonderful news!