Class of 2017

Jasmine Francis
Jasmine Francis

Jasmine Francis grew up in northern California and rural Louisiana. She received an English degree in 2012 from Pomona College, where she also studied philosophy. Jasmine sometimes fantasizes about writing prose like Toni Morrison before realizing that, in order for fantasy to be reality, she would have to be Toni Morrison and, if Toni were Jasmine, Toni Morrison wouldn’t be Toni Morrison; or, if Jasmine were Toni Morrison, there would be only Toni Morrison, and Jasmine wouldn’t exist. So she is content. Jasmine writes fiction about characters with some sense of not belonging and the choices they make as a result.

Mandi Mann
Mandi Manns

Mandi Manns received a BA in English at Liberty University. Though a native Virginian, she’s spent the past year in San Francisco, where she's worked as an editor for the startup Doximity and currently works as a GTA at Virginia Tech. She spends most of her free time writing, jogging, watching philosophical movies, and enjoying Thai food.

Xandria Phillips
Xandria Phillips

Xandria Phillips grew up in rural Ohio, and received her B.A. at Oberlin College in 2014. There, she studied Creative Writing and Africana Studies. Her poetry explores Blackness in international and American contexts, queerness, displacement, and Atlantic myth. Much of her writing is about processing both personal and historical tragedies that people of the African Diaspora experience.  Xandria is a Callaloo fellow. She is a femme who loves cats, lipstick, Nina Simone, wine, and thrifting.

Sara Sheiner
Sara Sheiner

Sara Sheiner grew up in a saltbox at the foot of the Catskill Mountains. She has worked as a waitress, an ice cream soda jerk, a money clerk, a retail sales associate, barista, and an office worker bee. She has also volunteered at the New York Public Library, the Housing Works Bookstore, Poets House, and has been the editorial assistant and reader of poetry submissions for the Atlas Review. She writes poetry, lyric essays, and some fiction. 

Mariana Sierra
Mariana Sierra

Mariana Sierra left Puerto Rico when she was 23. Temporarily settling in New Jersey, she obtained an MA in English, a partner-in-crime (named Matt) and the world's cutest mutt (named Evie). She likes working with (or subverting) themes of cultural and gender roles/expectations in her poetry. Her work has appeared in Feminist Studies, Cliterature Journal and Cactus Heart.

Beejay Silcox
Beejay Silcox


Beejay Silcox grew up in Western Australia, which is why she sounds vaguely British, swears far too much, and uses the word 'thong' inappropriately. She is married to a diplomat and they live a strangely nomadic kind of life – the highlight of which was two years spent living in West Africa. Before her MFA, Beejay worked as a government strategist and a criminology lecturer. She believes in the power and vital importance of storytelling - the nexus of empathy and imagination.  

Ana-Christina Acosta Gaspar de Alba
Ana-Christina Acosta Gaspar de Alba

A dual citizen of Mexico and the U.S., I was raised bilingual and have lived everywhere from Juarez, Chihuahua, to Indianapolis, Indiana. I received my B.A. from Indiana University in Latino Studies and English with a concentration in creative writing, and I am particularly interested in literary techniques of short story interconnectedness, border writing, and narrative code-switching. There are many authors and books I admire and cherish, but those that have changed my life are Little WomenIn the Time of the Butterflies, “Cathedral”, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”, and the works of Alice Monro and Junot Diaz.

Kaitlen Whitt
Kaitlen Whitt

Kaitlen Whitt’s poetry primarily deals with Appalachian folklore, female narratives, and poverty. After spending a year teaching English in Bulgaria as a Fulbright Scholar, Kaitlen worked at Allegheny Mountain Radio where she composed stories for broadcast, some of which were featured on West Virginia Public Radio. Katilen has also published essays with The Matador Network. Kaitlen is a native of West Virginia, and maintains a small side business making and selling jewelry and household items made from antique and vintage Appalachian scrap. 

Class of 2018

Ahuradha Bhowmik
Anuradha Bhowmik

Anuradha Bhowmik is a Bangladeshi-born American poet and writer from South Jersey. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UNC Chapel Hill in 2015. Her poetry and creative nonfiction relate to her childhood in Atlantic City, the experiences of her first-generation immigrant family, dual cultural identity conflict, and racism in post-9/11 America. She is a Pushcart nominee and has received scholarships from the New York State Summer Writers Institute and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Word Riot, The Boiler, Pithead Chapel, Lunch Ticket, and elsewhere. For more on Anuradha, visit www.anuradhabhowmik.com.

Matt Hall
Matt Hall

Matt Hall is a former teacher/plasma donor/geese police officer. Born in Memphis, he was switched at birth (but found before it was too late); he’s since bounced around and considers New Jersey home. He sings two songs really well at karaoke, needs to restring his guitar, has an amazing partner, Mariana, and believes there’s nothing wrong with his owning a Kurt Vonnegut stuffed doll. He holds an MA from Monmouth University, and his prose and poetry have been published in Crack the Spine and Pif.

Cody Kour
Cody Kour

Cody Kour is a Cambodian-American poet born and raised in Rochester, Minnesota. In his writing, he aims to explore the depths of memory, loss, and the functions of violence and beauty. He always wonders if you can yearn for the return of something you have never possessed, and if he can help form become a “thing” again. Currently, he is writing poems and working on a memoir of his parent’s lives. 

Daniel Lawrence
Daniel Lawrence

Daniel Lawrence is a fiction writer and cheese enthusiast from North Carolina. He has an annoying love for burritos, archaic poetic epithets like “wine-dark,” obscure jangle pop, Chandleresque hardboiled prose, and Doctor Who. Alarmingly, he doesn’t remember a single minute of the second grade. He believes (incorrectly) that he would have made a decent British poet between 1590 and 1825, back when it was all iambic pentameter and rhyming things.

Travis McDonald
Travis McDonald

Travis McDonald was born and raised in Massachusetts, but has spent the last decade living in Texas. He received his bachelor's in English from The University of Texas at Austin and has worked a variety of unskilled jobs in the meantime: gutter installer, door-to-door environmental worker, Motocross freight handler, to name a few. His work investigates communication breakdowns, the unknowability of the other, and the standardization of the American landscape. He is interested in the unique challenges that fiction faces in the technological age. His work has appeared in various publications, including The Adirondack Review and Five [Quarterly].

Matt Prater
Matt Prater

Matt Prater is a poet and writer from Saltville, VA. Winner of both the George Scarbrough Prize for Poetry and the James Still Prize for Short Story, his work has appeared in a number of journals, both regionally (Appalachian Heritage, Now & Then, Still) and internationally (The Honest Ulsterman, The Moth, Munyori). A graduate of Radford and Appalachian State Universities, he has taught writing and literature for colleges throughout the Mountain South, including Appalachian State, Emory & Henry, and Virginia Tech. His first chapbook, Mono No Aware, was published by Finishing Line Press (Georgetown, KY) in 2016. 

Pat Siebel
Pat Siebel

Pat Siebel is the current Interviews Editor at Hobart. His work has appeared in Black Heart Magazine, Cartridge Lit, Go Read Your Lunch, Hobart, the Susquehanna Review, and was featured in the Best of Black Heart 2014 Anthology. He enjoys dogs, beer, bicycles. He thinks commas are the prettiest thing in the world. 

Kevin West
Kevin West

Kevin West grew up in Maryland and spent his undergraduate career moving around the East Coast. He started college in Boston at SMFA, then took classes at Tufts University, then transferred to NYU, and then moved back home. Once back home, he attended community college for a year before finally earning a B.S. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Towson University. His poetry primarily focuses on his interesting family dynamics and his childhood.