Institutional News

A Year in Books

A dystopian metropolis plagued by dragons. A disillusioned detective back on the beat. An exploration of what it means to be black, feminist, and female in America. A deep dive into the new science of psychedelics. Across millions of words and myriad perspectives, one constant is clear: 2018 was a big year for Bennington writers.

In 2018, undergraduate and Bennington Writing Seminars alumni and faculty published over 75 books. Their writing spanned across a wide range of genres from nonfiction essays, memoirs, and biographies, to novels, poetry, young adult literature, and short stories.

Excited to begin your own legacy as a published writer?

Check out what the undergraduate Literature and Writing Program at Bennington is all about, or learn more about a Bennington Education in general by contacting our Admissions Office.

Cape Verdean Blues

Cape Verdean Blues

By Shauna Barbosa MFA '17

Small Fry

Small Fry

By Lisa Brennan-Jobs MFA '09

We Love All the Beautiful Girls

We Love All the Beautiful Girls

By Joanne Proulx MFA '14
(2018 U.S. Release)


American Book Fest Best Books of the Year
Poetry Finalist

Fealty: Poems by Ricky Ray MFA ’20

Chicago Public Library Best Books of 2018
This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins MFA ’16

Chicago Review of Books The Best Books of 2018 So Far
Tonight I’m Someone Else by Chelsea Hodson MFA ’17
Feast: True Love In and Out of the Kitchen by Hannah Howard MFA ’18

The Economist’s Books of the Year
Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro MFA ’09

Entropy Magazine
Best of 2018: Best Poetry Books & Poetry Collections

Nerve Chorus by Willa Carroll '97, MFA '11
Age of Glass by Anna Maria Hong, faculty member
Cruel Futures by Carmen Gimenez Smith, MFA faculty member 
Best of 2018: Best Fiction Books
H & G by Anna Maria Hong, faculty member

Goodreads Choice Awards
Best Memoir & Autobiography nominee

When They Care You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele MFA ’99

Lit Hub Favorite Books of 2018
The Sky is Yours by Chandler Klang Smith ’05

The New York Times Top Ten Books of 2018
Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs MFA ’09
How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan ’76

NPR Best Books of 2018
Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs MFA ’09
The Sky is Yours by Chandler Klang Smith ’05
How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan ’76

Publisher’s Weekly
Best Books of 2018
How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee, Former Bennington Writing Seminars Faculty
The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018
Cruel Futures by Carmen Giménez Smith, MFA Faculty

Reader’s Digest Best Audiobooks of 2018
Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik MFA ’14

Real Simple Best Books of 2018
The Kinship of Secrets by Eugenia Kim MFA ’01

2018 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship
Faculty member Natalie Scenters-Zapico

The Wall Street Journal Science Fiction: Best of 2018
The Sky is Yours by Chandler Klang Smith '05

The Washington Post 50 Notable Works of Fiction in 2018
Conscience by Alice Mattison, Bennington Writing Seminars Faculty

The Feral Detective

The Feral Detective

By Jonathan Lethem '86



By Christine Managan '04



By Jill Eisenstadt '85

2018 Bennington Writing Seminars Publications

2018 Undergraduate Alumni and Faculty Publications

2019: A Preview

In 2019, along with welcoming a new group of Bennington undergraduates and Bennington Writing Seminars candidates—and the many works they will ultimately pen—the College is eagerly anticipating a robust lineup of 2019 publications, including:

  • White, the first work of nonfiction by Bret Easton Ellis ’86.
  • An English translation from the Portuguese of Moldy Strawberries: Stories by Caio Fernando Abreu by Bruna Dantas Lobato ’15, supported by a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant.
  • Sing to It, a short story collection from 2018 Yaddo Artist Medal recipient and Bennington Writing Seminars faculty member Amy Hempel.
  • High Heel by Summer Brennan ’01, published as part of Object Lessons, an essay and book series about the hidden lives of ordinary things.

America Was Hard to Find

America Was Hard to Find

By Kathleen Alcott, visiting faculty

Coming May 2019


Anna Maria Hong

By Anna Maria Hong, faculty member




By Natalie Scenters-Zapico, faculty member

Coming May 2019

2019 Upcoming Bennington Writing Seminars Publications

2019 Upcoming Undergraduate Alumni and Faculty Publications

  • Kathleen Alcott, Visiting Faculty, America Was Hard to FindEcco Press
  • Summer Brennan '01, High HeelBloomsbury Academic
  • Bret Easton Ellis '86, WhiteKnopf
  • Bruna Dantas Lobato '15, Moldy Strawberries: Stories by Caio Fernando Abreu (translator)
  • Anais Duplan '14, Blackspace
  • Anna Maria Hong, Faculty, Fablesque, Tupelo Press (Berkshire Prize Winner)
  • Roxana Robinson '68, Dawson's FallSarah Crichton Books
  • Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Faculty, Lima: LimonCopper Canyon Press

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