Current M.F.A. Students per Cohort – AY 2020-2021
Tandria Fireall is a first-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.
Emilee Hackney is a first-year fiction student from Tazewell, Virginia. Her undergraduate thesis, a mini-memoir titled Unlost: From Appalachia to Harvard and Back, received the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize in 2020. She enjoys bluegrass, haunted cemeteries, and going home to the mountains.
Kanak Kapur is a first year MFA candidate in fiction. She grew up in Dubai and immigrated to the United States at fifteen. She holds a degree from the University of Southern California where she studied English and International Relations.
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 is a first-year MFA candidate in poetry from Orlando, Florida. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology at Florida State University. She was a panelist at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference in Birmingham, AL, where she presented an essay about horror literature and morbid phenomena.
Jess Sumalpong is a first 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 is a second-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 in Hobart, and he was a finalist for The Missouri Review's 2020 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize. He serves alongside Sam Marshall as Co-Editor of Fiction and Nonfiction at Nashville Review.
Sam Marshall is a second 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 is a second 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 is a second 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 is a poet and essayist from Chicago. She previously studied poetry at Columbia College Chicago and is a winner of the 2020 Eileen Lannan poetry prize with the American Academy of Poets. She has read at the Poetry Foundation's Open Door Reading Series and has also been published/is forthcoming in Court Green, Queeriosity (Young Chicago Authors), Columbia Poetry Review, Underblong, and iScream Social Anthology among others. She is currently a second-year MFA student at Vanderbilt University and an assistant poetry editor of the Nashville Review.
Caroline Stevens is a second-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.
Lara Casey is a third-year MFA candidate in Fiction. She spent most of her childhood in Germany and holds a BFA in Theatre from Emerson College. Lara currently serves as Nonfiction Editor at the Nashville Review.
Hayes Cooper is an MFA candidate in poetry. He was born and raised in Nashville, and for the last decade has lived and studied in Massachusetts and North Carolina. Hayes serves as a reader of poetry and translations for the Nashville Review.
Yi Jiang is a third-year MFA candidate in fiction from Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in Economics and Political Science. For a few years, she worked as an engineer in healthcare software. Her short fiction has been published or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, and Epoch.
Rebecca Kantor is an MFA student in fiction from Dallas, Texas. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2013, where she studied creative writing, psychology, and film. After graduation, Rebecca worked as a verbal tutor in her hometown, then taught English to high school students in Madrid, Spain, for two years. Rebecca enjoys travel, dogs, and high-stakes trivia. She hopes to one day eat the perfect taco. She is the 2021-2022 Curb Creative Writing Fellow.
Jessica Lee is a third-year MFA candidate in poetry from Nevada City, California. Her poems have been published in American Poetry Review, Narrative Magazine, The New Yorker, and Missouri Review, among other journals. She currently serves as Poetry Co-Editor and Visual Art and Comics Editor for Nashville Review.
Kiyoko Reidy is an MFA candidate in poetry from Knoxville, Tennessee. She has served as the Poetry Editor for the Madison Review and Editor in Chief for the Nashville Review. Her poetry and nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Sugar House Review, Missouri Review Poem of the Week where her work was a finalist for the Perkoff Prize, the Berkeley Poetry Review, and elsewhere.
Pallavi Wakharkar is a writer from Phoenix, AZ. Her writing has been supported by the 2018 Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellowship, the 2020 Under-30 Scholarship to attend the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference, the 2021 Peter Taylor Scholarship to attend the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a 2021 Rona Jaffe Scholarship to attend the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is the 2021 winner of The Iowa Review Award in fiction, and her work appears or is forthcoming in Joyland Magazine, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She has served as Co-Fiction Editor of Nashville Review and is at work on a novel and story collection.