Academic Director, Adjunct Lecturer
Leslie Rubinkowski is the author of Impersonating Elvis. A journalist, feature writer, and film critic, she taught writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work has appeared in Harper's, Creative Nonfiction, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She was director of the news-editorial program at West Virginia University's School of Journalism and has lectured at the Poynter Institute and the Chautauqua Institution, among other places. Her essay "In the Woods" was named a Notable Essay in Best American Essays, 2001.
Madeleine H. Blais
Madeleine H. Blais was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University Class of 1986, and she is a professor of journalism at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. From 1979 to 1987, she was on the staff of Tropic at the Miami Herald, where she won many awards, including a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. She is the author of The Heart is an Instrument, a collection of journalism, and In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle, which was chosen as a finalist in the category of general nonfiction by the National Book Critics’ Circle and was cited by ESPN as one of the top one hundred sports books of the twentieth century. Uphill Walkers: Portrait of a Family was selected by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill for its annual Ken Book Award and was also chosen as a finalist for Massachusetts Book of the Year. To the New Owners: A Martha’s Vineyard Memoir was published in July 2017. Her work has been anthologized in Mike Sagar’s and Patsy Sims’ collection of long-form journalism by women practitioners, the first of its sort. She contributes regularly to the National Book Review.
Diana Hume George
Diana Hume George is the author of The Lonely Other: A Woman Watching America and co-editor of The Family Track, an anthology of essays on work-family balance. An essayist, poet, and critic, her other books include: A Genesis, Koyaanisqatsi and Blake and Freud. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays, River Teeth, Creative Nonfiction, and MS. Co-editor of Anne Sexton’s Selected Poems and author of two books on Sexton, she is a former director of the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival, as well as the gender studies and creative writing programs at Penn State at Erie. She has been a visiting writer at Davidson College, Antioch-LA, Ohio University, and University of North Carolina-Wilmington. George is also a contributing editor of Chautauqua Journal.
Philip Gerard is the author of four novels, seven nonfiction books, and a collection of short stories, as well as numerous essays, short stories, radio commentaries, an hour-long radio drama, and eleven documentary scripts for public television. He is the former chair of the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and is co-editor with his wife, Jill Gerard, of Chautauqua, the literary journal of Chautauqua Institution in New York. His collection of personal essays, The Patron Saint of Dreams, was released by Hub City Press in 2012 and was awarded the North American Gold Meal for Essay/Creative Nonfiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. He is also the author of Down the Wild Cape Fear: A River Journey Through the Heart of North Carolina. He is the recipient of the 2012 Sam Ragan Award for Contributions to the Fine Arts of North Carolina, an honor shared by Tom Wicker, David Brinkley, and Fred Chappell, among others. In 2016, he released American Anthem, an album of fifteen original songs about the American experience, and has performed in selected venues including the Earle Theater in Mount Airy, North Carolina and the Chautauqua Institution in New York. His nonfiction narrative of the Civil War, The Last Battleground: The Civil War Comes to North Carolina, is scheduled for publication in Fall 2018.
Jesse J. Holland M.F.A. '12
Jesse J. Holland is an award-winning writer and journalist, and the author of the The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slavery Inside the White House, which was named as the 2017 Silver Medal Award winner in U.S. History in the Independent Publisher Book Awards and one of the top history books of 2016 by Smithsonian.com. Jesse is also the author of Black Men Built the Capitol: Discovering African American History In and Around Washington, D.C. His fiction includes Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Finn's Story, the upcoming Black Panther: Who Is the Black Panther prose novel, and he is the co-creator of the late comic strip, Hippie and the Black Guy. In addition to his books, Jesse is also a race and ethnicity writer for The Associated Press, as well as a former White House, Supreme Court, and Congressional reporter. Holland hails from Holly Springs, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Liberal Arts degree with an emphasis in journalism and English. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College in 2012.
Wil S. Hylton
Wil S. Hylton is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine, a contributing editor at New York Magazine, and the author of Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II. His articles and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, GQ, and Rolling Stone and have been selected for the anthologies Best American Political Writing, Best Music Writing, Best Business Stories, and Next Wave: America's New Generation of Great Literary Journalists. Hylton is a recipient of the Curtis Harnack Residency for Writers at the Yaddo artist colony; the Ocean Science Journalism Fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; and the John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Journalism, granted by the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Vanished was chosen as one of the Best Books of 2013 by Esquire, Men’s Journal, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, and the American Booksellers Association.
Suzannah Lessard is the author of The Architect of Desire: Beauty and Danger in the Stanford White Family, a memoir, and The Absent Hand: A Meditation on the American Landscape Now, a book-length reportorial essay to be published in 2018. For twenty years, she was a staff writer at the New Yorker under William Shawn and has since published in a number of venues including: The New York Times Sunday Magazine and Harvard Design. She is the recipient of the Whiting Award, the Anthony Lukas Award, and was a fellow at The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. She has taught at the New School since 2003.
Jacob Levenson is the author of The Secret Epidemic: The Story of AIDS in Black America, a narrative nonfiction book that weaves together the public health, political, Southern, and urban history of how AIDS became a black epidemic in the United States. His writing has appeared in such publications as Mother Jones, Vibe, The Utne Reader, and the Columbia Journalism Review and has been anthologized in academic journals and books. Levenson has also worked in radio and documentary film and has been a fellow at the Nieman Foundation at Harvard and the Open Society Institute. He is currently working on a memoir about the death of his father and birth of his son. He has taught narrative nonfiction at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and worked with Samuel Freedman on his renowned book seminar at the university.
Maggie Messitt is the author of The Rainy Season, long-listed for the 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award in South Africa where she was a journalist and editor for 8 years. Since returning to the US, her essays and reportage have been published in Creative Nonfiction, Mother Jones, River Teeth, and the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance magazine, among others. Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies honored an excerpt of her first book as the “best documentary writing for a long-term project,” and her work for Wisconsin Public Television and POV Documentary Films earned her a 2010 Multimedia Storytelling Fellowship at UC—Berkeley's Knight Digital Media Center. More recently, Messitt was a 2015 Kenyon Review Peter Taylor Fellow, a Scholar-in-Residence at Bowers Writers House, and the 2016 Ofstad Endowed Writer-in-Residence (Truman State University). She has a PhD in Creative Nonfiction from Ohio University and MFA from Goucher College.
Michelle Orange is the author of This Is Running for Your Life: Essays (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013), which was named a best book of 2013 by The New Yorker, the National Post, Flavorwire, and other publications. She is a contributing editor and columnist at the Virginia Quarterly Review. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s, McSweeney’s, The Nation, Bookforum, the New Yorker, The New York Times, Slate, Film Comment, The Village Voice, and other publications. She is an adjunct assistant professor of writing at Columbia University. Her second book, Pure Flame, is forthcoming from FSG.
Meline Toumani is the author of There Was and There Was Not: A Journey Through Hate and Possibility in Turkey, Armenia, and Beyond, a hybrid of memoir, reporting and commentary that was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Toumani's essays and reported features have appeared in The New York Times, Harper's, The Nation, n+1, and other publications. She began her journalism career with an international focus, reporting from Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Russia. She also helped run an NYU-sponsored journalism summer school at Rostov State University in the North Caucasus and was a journalism fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. Toumani is now based in New York and working on her second book, an essay collection focused on topics closer to home. In addition to writing, she is a musician, performing with Accord Treble Ensemble.
Thomas French is the author of Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives. His other books are Unanswered Cries, the chronicle of a murder case, and South of Heaven, which details a year in the life of a Florida high school. He is a former staff writer for the St. Petersburg Times, where he specialized in book length narrative series. He won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing and a Sigma Delta Chi Award for Angels & Demons, a seven-part series about the murders of a mother and her two daughters. His work has been excerpted in America's Best Newspaper Writing. He is a writing fellow at the Poynter Institute and teaches reporting and writing there and at newsrooms around the world. He is on the faculty at the Indiana University School of Journalism.
Richard Todd has worked as a magazine and book editor for more than 30 years. He was executive editor of Atlantic Monthly and published books under his own imprint at Houghton Mifflin, where his authors included Tracy Kidder, Ward Just, and Ann Patchett. He has taught literature and writing at Amherst and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts. He is the author of The Thing Itself, published by Penguin USA and the co-author, with Tracy Kidder, of Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction (Random House).
Webster Younce has edited history, journalism, travel, politics, and fiction at several publishing houses, including Free Press/Simon & Schuster, Henry Holt, Houghton Mifflin, and Random House. He also spent several years as the editorial director for English-language and international literature at the German publisher Suhrkamp Verlag in Berin. His authors have included Paul Theroux, Diane McWhorter, Joseph Epstein, Jonathan Chait, James Kynge, Ward Just, and Jonathan Miles. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the University of Oxford, and his journalism and criticism have appeared in Harper's, Time Out New York, National Review, Beliefnet.com, and in the anthology A Galaxy Not So Far Away.
Mark Rotella is the author of Stolen Figs and Other Adventures in Calabria and wrote the introduction to the classic Christ Stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Salon, Washington Post, Village Voice, Saveur and American Heritage, among others. He is a senior editor at Publishers Weekly.
Laura Wexler is the author of Fire in a Canebrake: The Last Mass Lynching in America, a narrative account of a 1946 quadruple lynching in Walton County, Georgia. Wexler's work has been published in The Washington Post, Utne Reader, DoubleTake, Oxford American, and elsewhere. She has received scholarships and fellowships to the Breadloaf Writers' Conference, the MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Arts Center, and the Harry S. Truman Library. She has taught creative writing at the University of Georgia, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is a senior editor Baltimore's Style magazine and curator of the Stoop Storytelling Series.
Joanne Wyckoff is with the Carol Mann Agency. Before becoming an agent, she was a senior editor at Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, and executive editor at Beacon Press. Among the authors she worked with as an editor are Karen Armstrong, Bruce Barcott, Louise DeSalvo, Sven Birkerts, Jonathan Kirsch, and Anne Lamott. As an agent, she represents a wide array of nonfiction and selected fiction. Her nonfiction list includes memoirs and personal narratives of all kinds, as well as books in psychology, women's issues, education, health and wellness, natural history, religion, and spirituality.
MFA Advisory Committee
Madison Smartt Bell
Madison Smartt Bell is the author of the novels The Washington Square Ensemble; Waiting for the End of the World; Straight Cut; The Year of Silence; Ten Indians; Save Me, Joe Louis; and Soldier's Joy, which received the Lillian Smith Award in 1989. He received the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Mildred and Harold Strauss Livings Award in 2008 and is currently director of the Kratz Center of Creative Writing at Goucher College.
Gerald Early is the Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters and director of the Center for the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis. His books include The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture, which won the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.
Gareth Esersky is a literary agent with the Carol Mann Agency, where she specializes in representing nonfiction. She has held editorial positions at five publishing houses and co-authored three nonfiction books. She is an adviser and serves on the panel of judges for the annual Next Generation Independent Book Awards. She is a Goucher alumna.
Lee Gutkind is the founder and editor of Creative Nonfiction. His books include the award-winning Many Sleepless Nights: The World of Organ Transplantation; Stuck in Time; Fat Forever: Essays by the Godfather; and The Art of Creative Nonfiction. Identified by Vanity Fair as "the Godfather behind creative nonfiction" and Harper's Magazine as "the leading figure in the field," he is editor of Best Creative Nonfiction anthology. Gutkind is the Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, and a professor at the Hugh Downs School for Human Communication at Arizona State University. He is also the author of Old Friends, Home Town, My Detachment, Mountains Beyond Mountains, and, with Richard Todd, Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction(Random House).
Walt Harrington was a staff writer at The Washington Post Magazine for nearly 15 years and is now a professor in the Department of Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His books include the memoir The Everlasting Stream: A True Story of Rabbits, Guns, Friendship, and family, which became an Emmy-winning PBS documentary film, and Crossings: A White Man's Journey into Black America. His magazine work is collected in American Profiles and At the Heart of It. He also edited the anthologies Intimate Journalism, The Beholder's Eye, and Next Wave.
Tracy Kidder won the Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction and the National Book Award for The Soul of the New Machine, and National Book Critics' Circle nominations for House, Among Schoolchildren and Strength in What Remains, his most recent book. He is also the author of Old Friends, Home Town, My Detachment, and Mountains Beyond Mountains.
Jane Kramer is the European correspondent for The New Yorker and writes the "Letters from Europe" for that magazine. She is author of nine books, including The Politics of Memory, Europeans, Unsettling Europe, The Last Cowboy, and Lone Patriot. She is the first American to win the Prix European de l'Essai, Europe's most prestigious award for nonfiction.
Andrew Miller is a senior editor at Alfred A. Knopf, where he edits books in history, journalism, and general nonfiction. He previously worked at Vintage/Anchor, Grove/Atlantic and St. Martin's Press and is a member of the American Association of Publishers' International Freedom to Publish Committee.
Hilda Raz's books include Trans and Divine Honors (poetry), Living on the Margins, and the anthologies The Prairie Schooner Book Prize: Tenth Anniversary Reader, Best of Prairie Schooner: Essays and Best of Prairie Schooner: Fiction and Poetry. What Becomes You, a collection of essays written with Aaron Raz Link, was a finalist for the Lambda Book Award. Luschei Professor Emerita and past editor of Prairie Schooner, she is the founding director of the Prairie Schooner Book Prizes in Short Fiction and Poetry, and continues as a member of the advisory board. Now she is editor of the poetry series for the University of New Mexico Press, poetry editor of the literary magazine Bosque, and a member of the board of Arbor Farms Press in Corrales, NM.
Norman Sims is an honors professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he teaches the history of literary journalism, freedom of the press, and writing. Northwestern University Press published his history, True Stories: A Century of Literary Journalism, in 2008 and republished the classic work of scholarship, Literary Journalism in the 20th Century, which he edited, in 2008. He is the editor of The Literary Journalists and of Literary Journalism (with Mark Kramer).
Gay Talese is credited by Tom Wolfe with creating "The New Journalism." His nonfiction books include Unto the Sons, The Kingdom and the Power, Honor Thy Father, The Bridge, New York: A Serendipiter's Journey, and Fame and Obscurity, an anthology of his articles from Esquire magazine. His most recent book is A Writer's Life.