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M.F.A. Students

Current M.F.A. Students per Cohort  –  AY 2022-2023

Alissa Morgan Barr

Alissa Morgan Barr is a first-year poetry MFA candidate from Alleghany County, Virginia. She holds a Bachelors in Nursing from Radford University and has worked as a cardiovascular critical care nurse for several years. She received a 2022 Rona Jaffe Scholarship to attend the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crab Creek Review, Salt Hill Journal, Flypaper Lit, and elsewhere.




Nathan Blum

Nathan Blum is an MFA candidate in fiction from Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. He graduated with a degree in English and Education from Bowdoin College, where he received the David Sewall Writing Prize, the Non-Fiction Prize, and the Micoleau Family Fellowship. His fiction appears in The Westchester Review.





Michael Carlson

Michael Carlson is a first-year MFA candidate in fiction. He holds a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater where he majored in creative writing. Michael enjoys spending time with his wife, Kameo, running marathons, taking naps after reading, and helping other drug addicts find hope in recovery.





Carson Colenbaugh

Carson Colenbaugh is a first year MFA candidate in poetry from Kennesaw, Georgia. He graduated with a BS in horticulture from Clemson University, where he worked alongside the university and the US Forest Service as a researcher and prescribed fire technician. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in Birmingham Poetry Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Chautauqua, and elsewhere; his ecology work can be found in Castanea. In 2022, he received an honorable mention from the Tor House Poetry Prize.


Lela Ni

Lela Ni (she/they) is a tattoo artist and a first year MFA candidate in fiction. She received her undergraduate degree in English from University of Southern California and currently serves as a fiction and nonfiction reader for the Nashville Review. She is from Brooklyn, New York.





Anika Potluri

Anika Potluri is a first-year MFA candidate in Poetry. She holds a BA from Cornell University where she studied Literatures in English. She was a 2020-21 Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets June Fellow. Her work appears in The Massachusetts Review and The Adroit Journal.


Tandria Fireall

​Tandria Fireall is a second-year MFA candidate in poetry. She holds a BA in English from the University of South Carolina where she studied creative writing and film. She currently serves as an assistant editor of poetry and fiction for the Nashville Review. 




Kanak Kapur

Kanak Kapur is a writer from Dubai and Los Angeles. Her work has previous appeared online at Black Warrior Review and received support through a scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She is currently a second year MFA candidate in fiction at Vanderbilt University.





Em Palughi

Em Palughi is a poetry MFA candidate from Alabama. She graduated with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing from Goucher College, where she received the Eleanor Denoon Poetry Prize and was a Kratz Writing Fellowship recipient. Her poems appear in The Loch Raven Review and Oakland Arts Review.




Alexandria Peterson

Alexandria Peterson is a second-year MFA candidate in poetry from Orlando, FL. She graduated from Florida State University with a BS in psychology and currently serves as poetry and social media editor for Nashville Review.






Jess Sumalpong

Jess Sumalpong is a second-year MFA candidate in fiction from Southern California. She studied English and Japanese at UC Santa Barbara, and serves as a reader for fiction and creative nonfiction for the Nashville Review.


Danny Lang-Perez

Danny Lang-Perez is a third-year MFA candidate in Fiction. Originally from Southern California, he received his undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley before studying creative writing at Seattle’s Hugo House. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in the Kenyon Review and Hobart, and he was a finalist for The Missouri Review's 2020 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize. He previously served alongside Sam Marshall as Co-Editor of Fiction and Nonfiction at Nashville Review



Sam Marshall

Sam Marshall is a third-year MFA candidate in fiction from Florida. She received a BA in English with a minor in Teaching from the University of Florida and serves alongside Danny Lang-Perez as Co-Editor of fiction and nonfiction for the Nashville Review.




John Mulcare

John Mulcare is a third-year MFA candidate in poetry. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, he holds a degree from the University of Oregon where he studied creative writing and political science.





Jess Silfa

Jess Silfa is a third-year fiction student from New York City. They graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and are currently working on their first novel about a tight-knit immigrant community rattled by the war on drugs. Jess has received support from the Vermont Studio Center and the Himan Brown Charitable Trust and serves as President for the Disabled and D/deaf Writers Caucus.



Lily Someson

Lily Someson is a poet from Gary, Indiana. She is the author of Mistaken for Loud Comets, winner of the Host Publications Spring 2021 chapbook prize. She has also been published in the Academy of American Poets, Underblong, Court Green, and Columbia Poetry Review among others. She is currently a third-year Poetry MFA candidate at Vanderbilt University.



Caroline Stevens

Caroline Stevens is a third-year MFA candidate in poetry from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2017 with a BA in creative writing, Spanish, and gender & women’s studies. She currently serves as Editor in Chief of the Nashville Review.