Welcome Our Incoming Fall 2018 MFA Class

August 19, 2018

Colin Bailes (P) received his BA in English from the University of Central Florida. Born and raised in Orlando, FL, he has spent the last seven years working as a bike messenger, dishwasher, and bartender in Gainesville, FL. He was an editorial intern at The Florida Review and is presently a poetry reader for The Adroit Journal. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Whiskey Island, Rust + Moth, and Saw Palm. He writes poems about birds, live oaks, palm trees, and the sea. They may or may not be allegorical. He is currently struggling to not emulate Robert Lowell too much.

Vincent Chavez (F) is from Santa Paula, a small farming town nestled within the Santa Clara Valley an hour or so north of Los Angeles. With a passion for storytelling ever since he was old enough to pick up a Calvin and Hobbes comic book, Vincent grew up on two things: creating short films with friends and writing Star Wars-inspired- mini-graphic novels. In 2017, he graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in English and has gone on to join his parents and older brother as educators within the tight-knit community of Fillmore. When he isn’t substitute teaching and bonding with his parents over their now shared profession, Vincent enjoys developing his creative blog with friends, searching for his next indie rock obsession, hiking, and listening to Bill Simmons continue to be the ultimate Boston Homer.

McKayla Conahan (P) graduated from the College of Charleston with their bachelors degree in Astronomy. They spent the summer before coming to Richmond in Wyoming as a stargazing leader. Their poetry is very stream of consciousness and explores mental health, the malleability of gender, dissection of dreams, the strength of memory, and what it is to be a young person in this country today. When they aren’t writing, they’re taking care of their four dogs or dressing in drag. They also once made the horrifying suggestion of an equation-based sestina.

Michelle Goshen (F) is a foghorn of love. A parachute of laughter. A life-long member of the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet of Creativity. She shakes her fist at clichés, provides fierce applause for correct syntax and grammar, and holds a special place in her heart for nonsensical similes (see aforementioned subject complements). For the past seven years, Michelle has lived in Baltimore, Maryland, where she worked for several international non-profit organizations while simultaneously earning her Master’s Degree in Writing from the Johns Hopkins University. Prior to her time in Charm City, Michelle served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tumbes, Peru and received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from Elon University in North Carolina. In addition to her love of writing fiction and poetry, Michelle enjoys traveling, learning new languages, and dabbling in the fine arts. When she’s not attending a yoga or spin class, you’ll find her hard at work in the kitchen cooking up a new recipe, or lounging on her patio reading amidst her many beloved plants.

Anna-Claire McGrath (F) grew up in Northern Virginia and did her undergraduate at U.Va. She's worked in theater in D.C. for most of her twenties, and did a master's in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Not too long ago, she served as interview editor for a feminist literary magazine called The Fem, and she also once started her own literary magazine with a friend in Berlin called werkloos, which had a brief but enthusiastic life. She misses Mad Men a lot.

Mary Maroste (P) received her BA from Western Michigan University, where she dual majored in creative writing and communication studies. She is a recipient of the 2018 AWP Intro Journal’s Project and the author of the chapbook Blueprint for a Home Without Tampons. Much of her writing draws inspiration from where she was raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. While at WMU she developed an interest in surrealist literature and deep imagery, both of which she attempts to incorporate into her own work. In her free time she enjoys riding her bike and being in and around water. She is very much looking forward to adopting a pet in the near future.

Emma Sachs (F) earned a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Agnes Scott College, and a minor in educational studies. She fell into writing accidently while trying to pursue an anthropology degree, and hasn’t looked back since. Having spent her life in the South, her writing often centers on the aching connections between womanhood, family, and the places we are raised. She grew up in Warrenton, Virginia, a town surrounded by mountains in the heart of horse show country. She is scared of horses.

Caitlin Wilson (P) received her BA in English with a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland, where she was also a member of the Jiménez-Porter Writers' House Program. Her writing often portrays the intersection of internal and external landscapes. Besides a few childhood years spent in England, she grew up near Baltimore, along the Chesapeake Bay. She was the Editor-in-Chief for UMD’s Stylus Literary Journal and is a reader for Settlement House Publishing. In her free time, she reads romcom novels and watches broody murder mysteries, which are more similar than you'd think.