End of the World

Opportunities for MFA Alumni

"Returning to Bennington is like coming home." Time and again we hear this from our graduates so we've created post MFA opportunities for you to re-connect in a way that inspires and moves your work forward in a purposeful way.

Post-MFA Term

Do you have a manuscript you’d like to polish, or a new book-length project that you’d like to finish? If so, return to Bennington Writing Seminars for a Post-MFA Term. You’ll work one-on-one with our acclaimed faculty mentors, attend residency, and have the benefit of focused attention and mentorship.

Join us at the residency for five workshops, nightly readings, master classes, lectures plus room and board. You’ll work one-on-one with for six months with the faculty member of your choosing, exchanging packets and detailed feedback each month. The Post-MFA Term is tailored to your needs, focused on your goals, and designed to take your manuscript to the next level.

Dates of future residencies: January 9-19, 2020 | June 4-14 2020

Tuition: $7,000 includes residency, room and board, and six months 1:1 faculty consultation

DeadlinesApril 1 to reserve your spot at a June residency | November 1 for January residency

Genres: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry


Megan Culhane Galbraith, Associate Director

Alumni House Rentals

The Virginia Todahl Davis '40 Alumni House is available for use by Writing Seminars alumni and other College guests throughout the year. Located on campus near the Jennings Music Building and the Deane Carriage Barn, the house is newly renovated, elegantly furnished, and reasonably priced. It was established in 1986 in honor of Virginia Todahl Davis—a member of the Class of 1940 and former trustee.

Check out the amenities and book a room or the entire house. 

(Note: The Alumni House is in use during residency and cannot be booked at that time.)


We support our students and alums in all ways and maintaining the connection to the Writing Seminars long after you've graduated is important to use. We use our vibrant social media platforms to spark conversations, highlight student, faculty, and alumni achievements, and inform and connect you across the globe. Join us:


BWS at #AWP19

LITinPDX Save the Date

The AWP Conference brings together the best and brightest of the literary world for the largest literary conference in North America. With more than 550 panels, readings, and lectures, the weekend will feature over 800 presses, journals, and literary organizations. This year, the conference is in Portland, OR from March 27-30.

Join us at Table 5020 at the Bookfair. It’s our hub for meet-ups with Bennington faculty, students, and staff. We’ve got some great giveaways, so come by for information, swag, and hugs.

Here is where Bennington will be at #AWP19.

AWP19 | Find Us at Table 5020
Our AWP Bookfair table is T5020It’s our hub for Bennington faculty, students, and staff. Stop by and bring a prospective student who can enter for a chance to win one of 10 copies of Amy Hempel’s latest book, Sing To It. We’ve got other great giveaways, information, swag, and hugs. Please sign up to volunteer for a brief stint at our table or during the party. Here is the Bookfair exhibitor map.

Save the Date | Friday, March 29: #LITinPDX
Join us at #AWP19 in Portland, Oregon on March 27-31. Save the date for #LITinPDX, an off-site dance party on Friday, March 29, from 7:00-10:00 pm at Friendly House. We’ll have snacks, a cash bar, and the musical stylings of your favorite writer DJs including: Hanif Abdurraqib, Eloisa Amezcua, Alexander Chee, and Melissa Febos. Patrick Boyle (Poetry ‘14) will MC.

Volunteers Needed
As always, we’re looking for volunteers to staff our table (which is next to Bennington Review), talk with prospective students, give high-fives to alums, and be friendly faces. Please sign up to volunteer for a brief stint at the table, or during the #LITinPDX party. 

Share Your Panel Info
Are you presenting or moderating a panel at #AWP19? Let us know! Send your event information to goodnewsmfa@bennington.edu so we can list it in our flier, and promote it on social media.

MFAW Alumni Reunion—June 2019 

Learn more and register to attend

Bennington Alumni Fellowships

Each term we select three esteemed alumni from the genres of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry to return to residency as Alumni Fellows. The trio assist faculty members in workshop, conduct a master class each, and give a group reading. We select emerging writers who represent diverse voices and experiences. This ongoing fellowship program provides post-MFA teaching experience, cultivates talented graduates, and adds to our rich literary tradition. 

Meet the current and previous Alumni Fellows:

January 2020 Alumni Fellows

Lydia Martín

Lydia Martín

Lydia Martín (Fiction ’16) is an award-winning journalist and fiction writer who spent 25 years covering Miami’s growth and cultural evolution for The Miami Herald. Her work has appeared in Masters Review Anthology, Ploughshares, Fifth Wednesday Journal and Origins Literary Journal; in books such as Presenting Celia Cruz, and Louis Vuitton City Guide Miami; and in magazines such as Billboard, Esquire, InStyle, Oprah, Latina (as a contributing editor), Hispanic and Out. Martín, born in Havana and raised in Yonkers, Chicago, Flint and Miami, was part of the Miami Herald team that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of Hurricane Andrew. She was twice a finalist for journalism’s Livingston Award, and won a GLAAD Media Award for Spanish-language magazine writing.  She was a 2016 Ploughshares Emerging Writer; and received the 2016 Editor’s Prize from Fifth Wednesday Journal, which nominated her for a Pushcart Prize. Martín, a Yaddo and MacDowell Colony fellow, has a BA in English and journalism from the University of Miami (1987) and an MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars.

Angelique Stevens

Angelique Stevens

Angelique Stevens (Nonfiction '16) is a Six Nations Cayuga living in Upstate New York where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature of Genocide, and race literatures. Her nonfiction has appeared in Lit HubThe New England ReviewThe Chattahoochee Review, and a number of anthologies. She won the grand prize in the Solas Award for Best Travel Writing in 2018. She has received support from The Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and the Bennington Writing Seminars where she earned her MFA. She also holds an MA in literature from SUNY Brockport. She finds her inspiration in wandering—being in places that push the boundaries of comfort, experience, knowledge, and hunger. She is currently writing a braided travel memoir about her trips to South Sudan and her experiences growing up within a family plagued by mental illness and addiction.

Brian Tierney

Brian Tierney

Brian Tierney’s (Poetry ’13) work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Kenyon Review, AGNI, New England Review, Copper Nickel, and elsewhere. A former Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University, he was named one of Narrative’s “30 Below 30” emerging writers in 2013, has been a finalist for awards from the Poetry Society of America and The National Poetry Series, and won the 2018 George Bogin Memorial Award from The Poetry Society of America. He lives in Oakland, where he teaches poetry at The Writing Salon. He is a 2013 graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars.

Past MFA Alumni Fellows

June 2019 Alumni Fellows

Keith LesmeisterKeith Lesmeister is the author of the story collection We Could’ve Been Happy Here (MG Press, 2017). His fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, Gettysburg Review, North American Review, Redivider, Slice Magazine, and the anthology New Stories from the Midwest, among others. His nonfiction has appeared in River Teeth, Sycamore Review, The Good Men Project, Tin House Open Bar, Water~Stone Review, and elsewhere. He lives and works in northeast Iowa. He is a 2014 graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars and is the June 2019 Alumni Fellow in Fiction.

Cassie PruyenCassie Pruyn is the author of Bayou St. John: A Brief History (The History Press, 2017) and the poetry collection Lena (Texas Tech University Press, 2017), winner of the Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry and finalist for the Audre Lorde Award. Her poems, essays, and reviews have been published in numerous publications, such as AGNI Online, The Normal School, and The Los Angeles Review. Born and raised in Portland, Maine, she lives and teaches in New Orleans. She is a 2014 graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars and is the June 2019 Alumni Fellow in Poetry.

Walter RobinsonWalter M. Robinson is a writer and physician in Massachusetts. He is a 2014 graduate of BWS and a 2015 PEN-New England New Discovery in Non-Fiction. His recent essays have been published in The Sun, The Literary Review, and Harvard Review; each essay was named as a "Notable Essay" in Best American Essays (2015, 2016, 2017) He was a fellow at The MacDowell Colony and at Yaddo in 2016. He has just completed a book-length manuscript of essays entitled What Cannot Be Undone. His research has been supported by the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and the Project on Death in America. He was the executive producer for Nancy Andrews’ film The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes; which won the 2017 IFP/Gotham Award for Breakthrough Series. More about his research and writing is available here. He runs a retreat for writers and visual artists in southeastern Massachusetts (EastOverArt.com). He is the June 2019 Alumni Fellow in Nonfiction.

January 2019 Alumni Fellows

J. Mae Barzio (Poetry, '11) 
J. Mae Barzio (Poetry, '11) 

A prize-winning poet, critic and performer, J. Mae Barizo's (Poetry, '11) recent work appears in AGNIBookforumBoston Review, Hyperallergic and Los Angeles Review of Books.  She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from Bennington College, the New School, the Jerome Foundation and Poets House. Phillip Lopate wrote that Barizo's "exquisite poems display throughout a mastery of poetic form and a thoroughly professional command of surface and tone.  It is clear we are in the hands ofa highly cultivated, intelligent writer."

A classically-trained musician and a champion of cross-genre work, J. Mae has performed sound/text collaborations with musicians from The National, Bon Iver, and the American String Quartet. As a musician she has performed with Mark Morris Dance Group, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Kanye West and Pharrell, among others. 

hannah howard
Hannah Howard (Nonfiction, '18)

Hannah Howard (Nonfiction, '18) is a writer and food expert who spent her formative years in New York eating, drinking, serving, bartending, cooking on a hot line, flipping giant wheels of cheese, and managing restaurants. She writes about delicious things, appears in food videos, teaches cheese and cooking classes, and hosts culinary events. Her memoir, Feast: True Love in and Out of the Kitchen, debuted as Amazon's #1 bestselling memoir in spring of 2018. Her work has been featured in New York Magazine, VICE, SELF, mic.com, Thrillist, Serious Eats, Bust, refinery29, Salon, and the Chicago Review of Books. 

erin kate ryan
Erin Kate Ryan (Fiction, '14)

Erin Kate Ryan's (Fiction, '14) fiction has been published in hundreds of real and imaginary journals, such as Glimmer Train, Conjunctions, and The Normal School (see Writing, above). Her fiction has further been honored with a Pushcart nomination, fellowships and grants from the Vermont Studio Center, Millay Colony, the Edward Albee Foundation, the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts, Hinge Springboard for the Arts, and the Dickinson House (Belgium). She is the 2017 James Jones First Novel Fellow, a McKnight Fellow, and recipient of a Minnesota Emerging Writers' grant, multiple Minnesota State Arts Board Artist's Initiative grants, and scholarships to the Sewanee and BreadLoaf Writers' Conferences. She is represented by Dorian Karchmar of William Morris Endeavors.


June 2018 Alumni Fellows

Jia Oak Baker headshot

Jia Oka Baker (Poetry, June ‘14) (pictured left)is a poet and photographer from Phoenix, Arizona. Her poetry chapbooks are Crash Landing in the Plaza of an Unknown City and Well Enough to Travel.  She is the recipient of the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Award and an artist grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Amber caron headshot

Amber Caron (Fiction, June ‘16) (pictured right) is a fiction writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in PEN America Best Debut Short Stories, Southwest Review, Kenyon Review Online, AGNI, and The Greensboro Review. She is the recipient of a PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, the McGinnis-Ritchie Award for fiction, and a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation.

hugh ryan headshot Hugh Ryan (Nonfiction, January ‘09) (pictured left) is a writer based in Brooklyn, whose book, When Brooklyn Was Queer, is due out in March of 2019 from St. Martin's Press. He is the recipient of the 2016-2017 Martin Duberman Fellowship at the NYPL, a 2017 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature, and a 2018 residency at The Watermill Center


January 2017 Alumni Fellows

Christopher Frizzelle headshot

Christopher Frizzelle (Nonfiction, January ’17) (pictured right) has been a writer and editor at The Stranger for fourteen years, including nine years as editor-in-chief. He edited a feature story in 2012 that won a Pulitzer Prize. He is a co-author the book How to Be a Person, along with Dan Savage and Lindy West. He is the founder and host of the silent-reading party, a monthly event in Seattle that has been replicated in cities around the world.

Chelsea Hodson headshot

Chelsea Hodson (Nonfiction, January ‘17) (pictured left) is the author of the essay collection Tonight I'm Someone Else and the chapbook Pity the Animal. She teaches nonfiction at Catapult in New York and at the Mors Tua Vita Mea Workshop in Rome.

Tiffany Steward Melanson headshotTiffany Steward Melanson (Poetry, June ’15) is a poet and arts educator who teaches poetry workshops and oral interpretation at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, where she is also the faculty sponsor of Élan, an international student literary magazine and co-director of the Douglas Anderson Writers’ Festival. She is the author of the audio chapbook What Happens (EAT Poems), and her work has recently appeared in Bridge Eight Magazine, Coda Quarterly and Compose Journal. Her poetry has also been featured on Swamp Radio, a live radio show and podcast, and as part of The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens’ exhibit, Reflections: Artful Perspectives on the St. Johns River, as a self-produced video installation and oral interpretation. Her poem “Delivery” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2016 and she was awarded the Art Ventures Individual Artist Grant for her poetry project, “Burning Anna Kingsley” by the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida.

June 2017 Alumni Fellows

libby flores headshotLibby Flores (Fiction '14) was chosen as one of eight writers in the United States to receive the PEN Emerging Voices Fellowship in 2008. Her short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in American Short Fiction, The Rattling WallPost Road Magazine, FLASH: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, Bridge Eight, Tin House/ Open Bar, Coda Quarterly, The Guardian Books and Paper Darts. Her short story "The Table," published by The Rattling Wall, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012.  She teaches creative writing workshops at San Diego Writer's Ink and PEN Center USA. Libby was selected as a semi-finalist in the American Short Fiction Short(er) Contest judged by Stuart Dybek. She was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s Very Short Story Contest and a finalistGigantic Sequins 4th Annual Flash Fiction Contest.  She was selected in 2017 as Bennington Writing Seminars first  Fiction Fellow. She is the former Director of Literary Programs at PEN Center USA (PEN America's LA). Currently, she is the Director of the Believer Festival and the NYC Director of the Freya Project.

Morgan Jerkins headshotMorgan Jerkins (Nonfiction, '16) is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, This Will Be My Undoing. Her next two projects, Why We Get Out and Caul Baby, are forthcoming from Harper Books. She is a contributing editor at Catapult and a former Book of the Month judge. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York TimesThe AtlanticELLE, Lenny Letter, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, and BuzzFeed, among many others. She runs a TinyLetter called Meraki that you can subscribe to here

Safiya Sinclair headshotSafiya Sinclair (Bennington '10) is a poet, memoirist, and librettist whose other honours include a Pushcart Prize, a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, fellowships from Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her poems have appeared in PoetryKenyon Review, Granta, The Nation, New England Review, Boston Review, Oxford Americanthe 2018 Forward Book of Poetry, and elsewhere. 

Tiffany Briere headshotTiffany Briere (Fiction, '11) has been awarded a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a Pushcart Prize. She holds a PhD in genetics from Yale University and an MFA in fiction from Bennington College. Her work has appeared in Best American EssaysTin HouseThe Cut, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.

Past Workshops

Alumni Workshop: Writing from the Holy Imagination with Dorothea Lasky

Learn more and register here

Alumni Workshop: The Writer’s Notebook: Drawing for Writers with Douglas Culhane

Learn more and register here

Writing with Art: A Generative Workshop with Michael Dumanis


In this intensive five-day generative workshop (June 14-18, 2018), held in conjunction with the Bennington Writing Seminars we will experiment with ekphrastic writing, that is, text that describes, is inspired by, or otherwise reacts to visual art. We will discuss various ways to capture the power of a visual artwork through language and how to use an existing visual artwork as a springboard for a writer's own literary imagination. To this end, we will consider passages from Donna Tartt's novel The Goldfinch, Michael White's Travels in Vermeer: A Memoir, and John Ruskin's stunning essays on the paintings of J.M.W. Turner, as well as individual ekphrastic poems by John Keats, Rainer Maria Rilke, W.H. Auden, William Carlos Williams, Mark Strand, Jorie Graham, Mary Jo Bang, Kevin Young, Rick Barot, Rickey Laurentiis, and Robin Coste Lewis. Each day we will attempt our own ekphrastic pieces, taking field trips to two world-class museums – MassMoCA in North Adams and the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown--as well as considering artwork in Bennington College's own collection.

Of interest to poets, nonfiction and prose/hybrid writers, as well as to visual artists who want to incorporate writing in their work, or wish to write about art.


About Michael Dumanis:

Michael DumanisDumanis is the Director of Poetry at Bennington and editor of Bennington Review, which won CLMP’s 2017 Firecracker Award for Best Debut Magazine. He is the author of the poetry collection My Soviet Union (University of Massachusetts Press, 2007), winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry, and coeditor (with poet Cate Marvin) of the younger poets’ anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande, 2006). His poems have appeared in journals such as American Letters and Commentary, Black Warrior Review, Denver Quarterly, Epoch, New England Review, Ploughshares, and Verse. His writing has been recognized with residencies at Yaddo, Headlands Center for the Arts, and the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbertide, Italy; a 2012 Creative Workforce Fellowship from the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture; fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the James Michener Foundation, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Wesleyan Writers’ Conference; and a grant from the Ohio Arts Council.

Born in Moscow, in the former Soviet Union, Dumanis emigrated with his family at the age of five and grew up in Western New York. Dumanis has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, the University of Houston, and Nebraska Wesleyan University, and since 2007, has been a professor of English at Cleveland State University, where he also served as director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center, a literary press, and taught in the consortial Northeast Ohio MFA Program. He holds a BA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. Dumanis joined the Bennington faculty in fall 2012.


Dates of Workshop: June 14-18, 2018

Location:  Bennington College campus

Cost: $1,200

  • Includes tuition, plus room and board for four nights/five days
  • Housing is dormitory-style, single room on the Bennington College campus
  • Dining is at the Student Center
  • Participants may attend all Writing Seminars events (except Master Classes)    
  • Quiet writing time or off-campus dinner/activities are on your own at your discretion
  • Lunches during museum visits are on your own

Workshop Schedule:

Thursday June 14

Noon – 3:00 pm

  • Registration – Barn 100
  • Pick up packets/keys/IDs

3:00–5:00 pm

First Workshop

On campus: Location TBD

  • Introductions with participants and teacher
  • Examples of ekphrastic writing, poems and nonfiction
  • Generative writing
  • Readings and homework

5:00 pm

  • BWS Happy Hour (cash bar)

6:00 pm

  • Dinner in the Student Center

7:00 pm

  • BWS Writers Reading Series in Carriage Barn

8:00 pm

  • Activities on your own or join BWS activities

Friday, June 15

At Mass MoCA

8:00 am 

Breakfast at the Student Center

10:00 am

  • Leave from campus circle to travel to museums
  • Lunch is on your own
  • Van transportation / carpooling

4:00-5:00 pm

  • Time for reflection/down time

5:00 pm

  • BWS Happy Hour (cash bar)

6:00 pm

  • Dinner in Student Center

7:00 pm

  • BWS Writers Reading Series in Carriage Barn

8:00 pm

  • Activities on your own or join BWS activities

Saturday, June 16

9:00 am to noon

On campus workshop: Location TBD

  • Generative writing and discussion
  • Possible visit to Usdan and “the vault,” Bennington’s art storage space
  • Possible guest, Anne Thompson, Director and curator, Usdan Gallery

Sunday, June 17

Day at the Clark, Williamstown, MA

8:00 am 

Breakfast at the Student Center

10:00 am

  • Leave from campus circle to travel to the Clark
  • Lunch is on your own
  • Van transportation / carpooling

4:00-5:00 pm

  • Time for reflection/down time

5:00 pm

  • BWS Happy Hour (cash bar)

6:00 pm

  • Dinner in the Student Center

7:00 pm

  • BWS Writers Reading Series in Carriage Barn

8:00 pm

  • Activities on your own or join BWS activities

Monday, June 18

8:00 am

  • Breakfast at the Student Center

9:00 am—noon 

  • On-campus workshop (location TBD)

Noon–1:00 pm

  • Lunch in Student Center

1:00-2:00 pm

  • Pack, return keys and IDs

2:00 pm

  • Participants must be moved out of dorms by 2 p.m.
  • Keys and IDs returned to BWS office by 2 p.m.


  • It is recommended participants provide their own transportation
  • Van service may be available for travel to/from museums

Enrollment deadline: Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Participation/Cancellation: This workshop will run with a minimum of five students and a maximum of 10. If enrollment is below five students by end of day on May 30, the workshop will be cancelled and refunds granted.

Payment: $200 non-refundable deposit to hold your spot when you register, balance owed by May 30, 2018