Meet the Alumni of the Creative Writing MFA

Our alumni are accomplished writers of poetry and prose, who have gone on to successful and varied careers in academia, publishing, arts administration, public policy, library science, journalism, and the nonprofit sector. Meet a few of our proud graduates below.

FELICIA ZAMORA

“My art is ever-evolving. Like my mind, it’s hungry and building. My current projects consider social justice and liberation for marginalized people, but also the complexities of human memory (or the lack of) as a type of imagination for survival—a type of magic, familial and cultural structures, and writing out of trauma into joy. I think of my own evolution a lot: how a person becomes. The first time I called myself a poet was at Colorado State. The MFA program expanded me as a human, gave me knowledge, and more importantly questions, to prepare for this poetic existence. I will always be grateful for those stages of development and the people who continue to support me.”

  • Author of six books of poetry
  • Winner of the 2020 Iowa Poetry Prize and the 2018 Benjamin Saltman Award
  • Fellowships from CantoMundo, the Ragdale Foundation, PLAYA, Moth Magazine, et. al.
  • Occupation: Assistant Professor of Poetry at the University of Cincinnati
Felicia Zamora

CLAIRE BOYLES

“The MFA program at CSU gave me new writers to love, new ways of thinking about craft and story and language, and a community that supported me as I became a better writer. I was 40 years old when I started the program, working full-time, raising two kids, unsure whether I was fooling myself about the entire endeavor, but the flexibility and generosity of the professors, program staff, and my student cohort made it possible. I grew as a writer and a human, and I am grateful for the ways the MFA program valued and encouraged and challenged me.”

  • Debut short story collection and novel forthcoming from W. W. Norton
  • Published in VQR, Kenyon Review, Boulevard, Masters Review, et. al.
  • Occupation: Screenwriter, mom, former farmer
Claire Boyles

DEVIN MURPHY

“I currently teach creative writing at Bradley University, and spend most days mimicking the mentors I had while at CSU’s MFA program. At CSU I found teachers I trust, respect, and look up to. They taught me the fundamentals of fiction writing with a kindness I seek to pay forward in my own teaching. They also took my writing seriously, and their voices have combined into my most trusted inner critic. They set a high bar which I have, and will, spend the rest of my life working towards. I’m forever grateful for my time in the program.”

  • Bestselling author of two novels published by Harper Perennial
  • Short stories published in The Chicago TribuneGlimmer Train Missouri ReviewThe Sun, et. al.
  • Honors include Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers and Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year
  • Occupation: Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Bradley University
Devin Murphy

ABIGAIL CHABITNOY

"In 2020, I joined the faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts low-residency MFA in Creative Writing and began teaching workshops and courses at the Denver Lighthouse Writers Workshop. I chose Colorado State University because I believed the faculty would challenge my writing, and that was certainly the case as my thesis, which would be my first book, developed. Now as I mentor students of my own, I seek to return that generosity and model my own teaching after their example. The network I have built through my work began while I was a student at CSU, and the community there continues to contribute to my success as a writer today."

  • Author of How to Dress a Fish, winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award for Poetry
  • Poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry ReviewBoston Review, Tin House,Gulf CoastLitHub,et. al.
  • Recipient of the Witter Bynner Funded Native Poet Residency
  • Occupation: Mentor, Institute of American Indian Arts; Instructor, Lighthouse Writers Workshop
Abigail Chabitnoy

KRISTIN GEORGE BOGDANOV

“In many ways it feels as if my time at CSU never ended. I continue to be shaped by collaborations with my former professors and the publications of my former colleagues. Their work in the world – in writing and beyond – helps me keep doing my own.”

  • Author of two poetry collections, published by Tupelo Press and Black Ocean
  • Poems appear in Boston Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Puerto Del Sol, et. al.
  • Winner of the 2019 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize and fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, Phi Kappa Phi, and Bilinski Educational Foundation
  • Occupation: PhD candidate at University of California, Davis
Kristin George Bogdanov

C.L. Young

“My three years at CSU have now become inseparable from my identity as a writer. Not only did I learn an incredible amount about the reading, writing, and teaching of poetry, I learned about the necessity of community building and literary citizenship that comes with being a poet. Each member of the faculty imparted this in a slightly different way, and their combined teaching has defined much of what I've done since graduating; it informs my work as a public servant in a city-run arts organization and it led me to start a literary organization of my own. With regard to my artistic life, the memory of the concentration of work I created while at CSU reminds me it's possible (and necessary) to write even when time and energy are scarce.”

  • Author of chapbooks published by Dancing Girl Press and Belladona* Collaborative
  • Poems published in Poetry Northwest, Lana Turner, PEN Poetry Series, et. al.
  • 2019 Fellowship from the Idaho Commission on the Arts
  • Occupation: Arts Administrator, City of Boise; Director of the Sema reading & workshop series
C.L. Young

ANDREW MANGAN

“My teachers at Colorado State taught me invaluable lessons in craft. Revising my work, I keep their voices—and those of my cohort—in my mind. What would they say about X or Y decision? What aspect of my story would they bring up first? One teacher told me the primary goal of revision is to make your story a stranger to yourself. This way you can gain a new perspective, really kick the tires of the thing. On top of this, my time at Colorado Review schooled me in the ins and outs of professional copyediting, which has helped me find work post-MFA and gives me yet another way to look at my writing.”

  • Short stories published in Washington Square Review, ZYZZYVA, Nimrod, et. al.
  • Fellowships from the Center for Fiction, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Vermont Studio Center, et. al.
  • Occupation: Senior Editor, Data for Progress
Andrew Mangan

CSU writers have PUBLISHED BOOKS with presses large and small, including: BlazeVOX Books, Broadway Books, D.C. Comics, Dzanc Books, Futurepoem, Graywolf Press, Harper Perennial, Penguin Random House, Red Hen Press, Simon & Schuster, Soft Skull, Spuyten Duyvil, Tupelo Press, VERGE Books, Wesleyan University Press, W.W. Norton.

 

They have won AWARDS including the AWP Intro Award, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers, Colorado Book Award, Iowa Short Fiction Award, and the Pulitzer Prize; and FELLOWSHIPS & RESIDENCIES from A Public Space (Emerging Writers Fellowship), Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Center for Fiction, Idaho Commission on the Arts, Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Colgate University (Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship), Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Ragdale Foundation, Sewanee Writers Conference, Vermont Studio Center, and Virginia Center for Creative Arts.

Their work has appeared in prominent PUBLICATIONS including: A Public Space, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Atlantic, Black Warrior Review, Boulevard, The Chicago Tribune, Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, Electric Literature, Fence, Glimmer Train, Gulf Coast, Hotel Amerika, Iowa Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, McSweeney’s, Missouri Review, The Nation, Orion, Pindelyboz, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol, Rain Taxi, Seattle Review, The Sun, Third Coast, TriQuarterly, Virginia Quarterly, ZYZZYVA, and many others.