Writing by Current Students

Between the Ph.D. and MFA programs, over 90 graduate students study and teach in our department. Although not all are listed here, we'd like to call attention to their work and the effort and craft which underlies it. 

If you'd like your work to appear here, let Amy or Aaron know.


Leila Easa (PhD)

Coauthored book with Dr. Jennifer Stager, Public Feminism in Times of Crisis: From Sappho's Fragments to Viral Hashtags, a book of essays in classical receptions and feminist criticism developed in connection to ongoing political and epidemiological crises and the significant intersectional feminist response to this moment. 

Megan Arkenberg (PhD)

In addition to her scholarship, Megan writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Her short stories have appeared in over fifty publications and have been nominated for multiple awards. You can learn more about her work at her website

Kristin George Bagdanov (PhD)

Two collections of Kristin's poetry are currently available. Fossils in the Making presents poems as feedback loops, wagers, and proofs that register and reflect upon the nature of ecological crisis; Diurne is a procedural project, “a line each hour of waking / a poem each day of making,” that explores how poetry is durational rather than inspirational, work rather than epiphany. More information on Kristin's work is available on her website.

Gerardo Lamadrid Castillo (MFA)

Just had three poems featured in the very first issue of Third Iris zine, edited by recent UC Davis alums! You can learn more about them and their project, as well as order copies of their first issue, here.

Gerardo also recently published a poem in the most recent issue of Manzano Mountain Review, which you can read here

Amanda Hawkins (MFA)

A list of selected works and links to online publications are available at Amanda's website.

Tom Lin (PhD)

Little, Brown will publish Tom Lin's novel The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu on June 1st, 2021! More information about the book is available on the publisher's website

Faith Merino Riley (MFA)

Faith’s debut novel, Cormorant Lake, was published in February and won first place in the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing parent fellowship contest. Additionally, her short story "Queens For Sale" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The Indiana Review. A list of her other short stories can be found at her website

Bethany Williams (PhD)

Devastated by capitalism, racism, misogyny, human exceptionalism, progress, and the individualism that define modernity, Bethany and her partner Parker work to evade, undermine, and decry these systems whenever possible. They are devastated, but it doesn’t end there. See what happens when two people choose to live as vigorously and well as they can in defiance.

James Kaelan (Kaelan Yen Smith, MFA)

Kaelan's short story, "We Are Not Here to Police You," was named a finalist for the Missouri Review's 30th Anniversary Jeffrey E. Smith Editors' Prize for its "strong voice and the development and exploration of community."

A 10th anniversary edition of Kaelan's novel, We're Getting On—called "a devastating debut" by Poets & Writers—has been re-issued by Alephactory Press.

Kaelan is a writer, producer, and editor for the ongoing documentary podcast series, LEONARD: Political Prisoner, about Leonard Peltier: the wrongfully-convicted Indigenous rights activist who's served 45 years and counting for a crime he didn't commit.