SLS Georgia 2018 Faculty


AUTHORPHOTOTara Isabella Burton‘s debut novel, Social Creature, is forthcoming from Doubleday in June 2018. A nonfiction book about non-traditional religious movements, Strange Rites: Cults and Subcultures After the Death of God, is forthcoming from Public Affairs in 2019. She has lived on and off in Tbilisi since 2010, and has worked as a travel writer for National Geographic, The Economist’s 1843 Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and others, and is currently the staff religion writer for She holds a doctorate in literature and theology from Trinity College, Oxford, where she was a Clarendon Scholar.
Tara has led courses, lectures, and workshops in creative writing at the University of Oxford, Boston College, Calvin College, and others.




Rodeo-author-photo-credit-Stephanie-KaltsasBoris Fishman is the author of A Replacement Life and Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo (HarperCollins), both New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He has won the Sophie Brody Medal from the American Library Association and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. His journalism, essays, and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, The GuardianTravel & LeisureNew York Magazine, and many other publications. HarperCollins will publish his next book, Savage Feast, a family memoir told through recipes, in 2019. He lives in New York City and teaches creative writing at Princeton University.



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Jonathan Garfinkel (playwriting) is the author of a book of poems, Glass Psalms (2005, Turnstone Press), as well as the internationally acclaimed memoir Ambivalence: Crossing the Israel/Palestine Divide (2008, Penguin Canada + Norton USA). His award-winning non-fiction has been published in The Globe and Mail, Walrus, PEN International, Eighteen Bridges and Tablet Magazine, and has also been anthologized in Cabin Fever: The Best of New Canadian Non-Fiction. Jonathan’s plays have been produced throughout Canada and Europe and include The Trials of John Demjanjuk: A Holocaust Cabaret and House of Many Tongues, nominated for the 2011 Governor General’s Award. Jonathan’s latest play was his adaptation of Rawi Hage’s novel Cockroach, premiering at ATP in Calgary in March 2016. Jonathan currently lives in Montreal, where he teaches playwriting at the National Theatre School of Canada.



Portrait of Maaza MengisteMaaza Mengiste is a novelist and essayist. Her debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, was selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books and named one of the best books of 2010 by Christian Science MonitorBoston Globe and other publications. She is a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Fulbright Program. She was named the 2013 Puterbaugh Fellow and was the 2011 Runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her work can be found in The New YorkerGranta, the Guardian, the New York TimesRolling StoneBBC RadioCosmopolitan, and Lettre International, among other places. She was a writer on the documentary project, GIRL RISING and THE INVISIBLE CITY: KAKUMA. Her second novel, The Shadow King, is forthcoming.




ariana_reinesNamed one of Flavorwire’s 100 best living writers and “a crucial voice of her generation” by Michael Silverblatt, Ariana Reines lives in Queens, mostly.  Her books include The Cow (Alberta Prize, 2006), Coeur de Lion (2007); Mercury (2011), A Sand Book (2017), from FENCE, and The Origin of the World (2014) from Semiotext(e). TELEPHONE, her first play (2009) was commissioned by The Foundry Theatre and received two Obie Awards; a Norwegian translation will premiere in Mollebyen, Norway in 2017. FRANCESCA, a play by Nathalie Rozanes based on writings & performances by Reines premiered at the National Theatre of Belgium in 2016. Other performance & theatrical works include: MORTAL KOMBAT (2015), commissioned by Le Mouvement Biel/Bienne & performed at The Whitney Museum, New York, NY, USA, & Gallery TPW, Toronto, CA, and LORNA (2013) at Martin E. Segal Theatre, New York, USA, both in collaboration with Jim Fletcher, The Origin of the World (2013) at Modern Art, London UK, & many others. Art exhibitions include PUBIC SPACE (2016), a collaboration with Oscar Tuazon at Modern Art in London, UK,  EXHAUST (2016) at Contemporary Art Tasmania, AU, and JANE DARK (2014) at Western Front, Vancouver, CA.  Reines is the translator of Baudelaire’s My Heart Laid Bare (Mal-O-Mar, 2009); Jean-Luc Hennig’s The Little Black Book of Grisélidis Réal: Days and Nights of an Anarchist Whore (Semiotext(e) 2009); and Tiqqun’s Preliminary Materials Toward a Theory of the Young-Girl (Semiotext(e) 2012). She has taught at Columbia University, the European Graduate School, NYU, Tufts, Naropa, and The New School,. In 2009 she was Roberta C. Holloway Lecturer in Poetry at the University of California-Berkeley.

zangJenny Zhang is the author of the short story collection Sour Heart, the poetry collection Dear Jenny, We Are All Find, and the poetry and essay anthology, The Selected Jenny Zhang. Her writing has appeared in The New York TimesN+1, Harper’s, Poetry, Buzzfeed, New York, Lenny Letter, Dazed, and RookieHer essay, “How It Feels” was nominated for a National Magazine award. She holds degrees from Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.






Writers and editors in residence


jaquiraBorn in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami Beach, Jaquira Díaz is the 2016-18 Kenyon Review Fellow in Prose, and recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, the Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and an NEA Fellowship to the Hambidge Center for the Arts. She’s been awarded fellowships or scholarships from The MacDowell Colony, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Summer Literary Seminars, the Tin House Summer Writers’ Workshop, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Best American Essays 2016Rolling StonePushcart Prize XXXVII: Best of the Small PressesThe GuardianThe FADERPloughsharesKenyon ReviewThe SunThe Southern ReviewSalonBrevityNinth LetterSliceTriQuarterly, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications.



gaitskillMary Gaitskill‘s works include the Collection, Because They Wanted To, which was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1998 and the novels, The Mare (2015), Bad Behavior (1988), Two Girls, Fat and Thin (1991), Veronica (2005), and Don’t Cry (2009). Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire, The Best American Short Stories (1993), and The O. Henry Prize Stories (1998). Her story “Secretary” was the basis for the film of the same name. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Gaitskill is one of the leading contemporary writers at work today. She teaches creative writing at Syracuse University and lives in New York.





19_SERGEY_GANDLEVSKYSergey Gandlevsky, Russian poet and writer, graduated Moscow State University in 1977, faculty of philology. In 70s Sergey was a member of poetic group “Moskovskoe Vremja” with Aleksandr Soprovsky, Aleksey Tsvetkov and Bakhit Kenzheev. He has published 20 books, including poetry, prose, essay volumes and translations. He has received several important awards: Little Booker Prize (1996), Anti-Booker (1996),  Moskovskii Schet (2009), Kievskie Lavry (2009), Russian National “Poet” Prize (2010). Sergey has participated in many literary festivals in Austria, England, Germany, Georgia, Italy, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Lithuania, Turkey, France, Switzerland, Croatia and Japan. Since 1992 he has given invited lectures and readings at Yale University, Stanford University, Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, and many others.




033Linor Goralik is a writer, poet and artist living between Israel and Russia. Published a number of novels, short prose and poetry collections, children’s books, and non-fiction, and translates prose and poetry from Hebrew and Engilsh. She teaches costume theory at Russian State University for Humanities and Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Ms. Goralik is the Laureate of the Joseph Brodsky Poetry Prize, as well as a large number of other literature awards.




Author of a poetry collection, The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon, 2018), a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017), and two chapbooks, including That Tree is Mine (dancing girl press, 2018), Virginia Konchan‘s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Boston Review, and The Believer.  Co-founder of Matter, a journal of poetry and political commentary, and Associate Editor for Tupelo Quarterly, she lives and works in Montreal.






Gabriel Louis

Gabriel Louis grew up in Washington, D.C. He has attended the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops, and received support from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Ragdale, and VCCA. He has a BA from Columbia University and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. His work has appeared in Subtropics, and he is an associate fiction editor at Fence. He has been the Writer-in-Residence at Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop, and is a 2017-18 Fiction Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center.





Stessin Photo Nov 2017Alexander Stessin graduated from the University at Buffalo Poetics Program where he was a student of Susan Howe, Charles Bernstein, and Robert Creeley whose poetry he subsequently translated into Russian. He then went on to study French literature at the Sorbonne, followed by medical school at Cornell University. He has authored three collections of poetry and three volumes of prose, and his work has been published extensively both in the US and in Russia. In 2011 his collection of poetry “Business Hours” (“Chasy priema”) received the prestigious “Moscow Tally” (“Moscovskij schet”) award, and in 2014 he was awarded the “Russian Prize” (“Russkaja premija”) from the Boris Yeltsin Foundation for the novel “Sankofa” (based on his experiences working as a physician in Ghana). His other accolades include the Gumilev Prize (2007), Tamizdat Prize (2007), and “Bella” Russian-Italian Poetry Prize (2014). He lives in New York and works as a radiation oncologist at the Stony Brook University Medical Center.



Past SLS faculty members include Poet Laureates of the US, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the MacArthur Foundation Genius Award — luminaries such as:

Aimee Bender
Christian Bok
Amy Bloom
George Elliot Clarke
Billy Collins
Robert Coover
Robert Creeley
Toi Derricotte
Stephen Dobyns
Cornelius Eady
Dave Eggers
Stephen Elliot
Tibor Fisher
Mary Gaitskill
Vivian Gornick
Saskia Hamilton
Robert Hass
Steve Heighton
Brenda Hillman
Edward Hirsch
Tony Hoagland
Fanny Howe
Denis Johnson
Wayne Johnston
Joe Kertes
Sam Lipsyte
Phillip Lopate
Glyn Maxwell
William Meredith
Erin Moure
Eileen Myles
Padgett Powell
Francine Prose
Claudia Rankine
Dawn Raffel
George Saunders
Lynne Shareon Schwartz
Rebecca Seiferle
Gary Shteyngart
Johanna Skibsrud
Christopher Sorrentino
Anthony Swofford
Lynne Tillman
William T. Vollman
Binyavanga Wainaina
Mac Wellman
C. K. Williams
Lawrence Wright