UTV 2020 PARTICIPANT PROFILES

JESSICA CAMILLE AGUIRRE

Location: California/Karlsruhe, Germany

Category: Investigative Journalism

MARGOT ADLER FELLOW in INNOVATIVE JOURNALISM

Bio: I am a magazine writer and investigative journalist from California. My reporting focuses on the ways people understand and interact with nature, and I am particularly interested in how environmental issues intersect with justice and extremism. My work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Deadspin, Wired, NPR, Smithsonian, Outside, Guernica Magazine and n+1, among others. In 2018, I received the Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award and I am currently a visiting scholar at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Some of my field reporting has been supported by the International Reporting Project, the International Women’s Media Foundation and the International Center for Journalists; I am also a former Fulbright fellow. Since 2013, I have been based in Europe.

 

JORDI ALONSO

Location: Columbia, Missouri

Category: Poetry in English

Bio: I graduated with an AB in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Kenyon College in the spring of 2014, where I studied poetry and literary translation. I was the first Turner Fellow in Poetry at SUNY Stony Brook, where I received my MFA, and am now a Gus T. Ridgel Fellow at the University of Missouri, Columbia where I’m a PhD candidate studying English, classics, and the cultural translation of nymphs and fauns in 19th and 20th century literature. My work has been published or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review Online, Noble/Gas Qtrly, Roanoke Review, Edible East End, and Re:AL, among other journals. My first book, a collection of erotic poems inspired by Sappho, Honeyvoiced, was published by XOXOX Press in November of 2014 and made into a cantata by the Baltimore-based musician Peter Dayton. My chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook, was published in 2017 by Red Flag Press. When not studying languages like modern Greek, Catalan, and Provençal, I am working on a manuscript of prose poems, a novel based on a strangely literary missing-person case in Southern Australia in the 1940s, and some translations from the French of the neoclassical poet and erotic writer Pierre Louÿs.  

ROSALINA ARTEAGA 

Location: Mexico City

Category: Poetry in Spanish

Bio: I first began to write poetry with my friends. We would get together in the evening, choose a word at random and each write a poem based on that word. Over time those gatherings came to an end, but not my taste for writing and poetry. Just the opposite. For me, writing is an invitation: it’s a leap into the unknown and taking risks. It’s playing with words and giving voice to the world’s silences: it returns us to our beginning, the place where everything is new.
 

RADHIYAH AYOBAMI

Location: Brooklyn/Oakland

Category:  Literary Non-Fiction

Grace Paley Fellow

Bio: I was born in Brooklyn, but my roots are in the South. My first stories were those I heard from my relatives about working in the fields in Virginia. I was too young to understand everything, but I felt the heart behind their laughter, their singing, and even the quiet spaces between the sad tales. When I grew older, I wrote the stories that friends whispered to me about the boys they slipped away to meet or the visit to the clinic where they sat alone and cried. I have always found real life stories as rich and complex as fiction, and it’s these folks I want to honor when I write.

I have a B.A in Africana Studies from Brooklyn College and an MFA from Mills College in California. These degrees opened a space for me to immerse myself deeply in literature and writing. I have been published in several journals, including Kweli, Agni and Tayo Literary Magazine, and have received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Writing has led me to some wonderful experiences. What I also want to do is uphold the tradition of the indigenous storyteller. 

 Like my relatives who worked closely with the Earth, I believe that place has a powerful role in our stories and is often its own character. I believe in the history of streets, buildings, trees and water. I’m also a Reiki master, an herbal tea blender, a listener of the trees and Mama to a beautiful son. My workshops in the dark spaces of prisons are different from my workshops with seniors in a room with open windows and sunshine. I also believe writing heals us and that one of the most important things we can do is listen to and tell each other’s stories.

 

GINA BALIBRERA

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Category: Fiction

SANDRA CISNEROS FELLOW

Bio: I earned my MFA in Prose from the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program, where I was also a Zell Postgraduate Fellow. I have been awarded grants from the Gould Center and the Rackham Institute, and received a Tyson Award and the Aura Estrada Prize for my fiction. My work appears in the Boston Review, Ploughshares, Michigan Quarterly Review, and The Wandering Song, an anthology of writing of the Central American diaspora. My novel The Volcano-Daughters centers on the story of six young girls at the time of the 1932 La Matanza massacre in Western El Salvador–each girl lives beyond death, as brujas who reimagine Salvadoran lore and revise history as ghost soul, artists, observers, and hermanas. Born and raised in San Francisco, I now live with my husband, child and dog in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I work as an editor at Michigan Quarterly Review and as a bookseller, and teach writing. I am honored and delighted to be among the volcanoes with you as this year’s Sandra Cisneros Fellow.  

AMBAR BRISEIDA BARRERA

Location: Puebla, Mexico

Category: Investigative Journalism

ROBERT L. BREEN FELLOW

Bio:  I’m a journalist born, raised and based in Puebla, México. I began to write fiction when I was ten and after writing some radio scripts at sixteen I knew I want to work in media. I am an art lover so I have an MA in Aesthetics and Art. I’m also an amateur photographer. I’ve worked as a journalist, photographer and editor at the online platform LADO B since. The topics that interest me most are art, gender and sexual diversity.  I’m currently a fellow at PRENDE (Prensa and Democracia), the journalism residency at the Universidad Iberomericana in Mexico City,

Other key words to know me: Wiccan, feminist and cat lover.

 

 

DEBORAH CASILLAS

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Category: Poetry

Bio: A native Californian, I’m a long-time resident of Santa Fe, a wonderful place to have discovered that I love to write poetry. I have a BA in English from UC Berkeley and an MA in Spanish Language and Latin American Literature from UNAM. Unfortunately the language I worked so hard to learn has almost disappeared. I travel to Spanish-speaking countries, take immersion classes, start to re-learn, then stop speaking again, each time vowing not to lose the scant traces I have left.

This will be my third Master Class at UTV. I will arrive with a newly published poetry collection, Quiet at the Edge. Several of the poems were written in and about Tepoztlán. I’m excited to be returning and look forward to another mind-enriching experience—always the unexpected waits there.

MATEO CORREA

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Category: Fiction in Spanish

Bio: I’m a writer, theater maker and artist based in Brooklyn, NY. I attended NYU’s BFA Drama program from 2014-2018 while also taking classes with the MFA Creative Writing in Spanish program. Since graduating I have contributed to online magazines Egg Y Pan and Waif and have written two theatrical texts, Caracol, Caracol and Latinidud. As the son of a Colombian father and an American mother I feel very grateful for how this dynamic forces me to always question my relationship to the concepts of identity and home. I also like to write about frogs.

RUY FEBEN

Location: Mexico City

Category: Fiction in Spanish

Bio: Soy escritor porque tengo una obsesión con las entrañas y los engranes. Por esa misma razón, en mi infancia quise ser ingeniero y músico, pero finalmente me decanté por estudiar comunicación. Mi modo de entrar a la escritura fue el periodismo, pero pronto lo abandoné: hay entrañas que no soy capaz de ver tan de cerca.

He escrito ficciones para antologías como Relatos de malta (AB-InBev, 2018), Te guardé una bala (Editorial Abismos, 2015), Emergencias: cuentos mexicanos de jóvenes talentos (Lectorum, 2014) e Hic Svnt Dracones (Tierra Adentro, 2013), entre otras. Además, he publicado en revistas como Los BárbarosLa Peste y Guardagujas. Mi más reciente libro de cuentos, Malebolge, se publicó en 2018, y mi primer libro, Vórtices viles (Tierra Adentro, 2012) ganó el Premio Nacional de Cuento Joven Comala 2012. 

SESSA KRATZ

Location: Grapevine, Texas

Category: Poetry

Bio: I have been writing poetry since childhood; it has always been the truest way I’ve found to speak myself. I have a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Housto and an MFA in Poetry from Texas State University. Many of my poems and a few works of fiction are included in Floodwall (2014); Glass Mountain (2011, 2012, 2013); Marine Creek Reflections (2009); and Under the Clock Tower (1996; 2003). My first thesis explored the topic of violence and its effect on individuals, as well as society as a whole; my second, at the graduate level, explored the idea of a city as an entity unto itself. Right now there is a new book stretching its wings inside of me and I look to this program to help push it out of the nest. 

 The idiosyncratic nature of my poetry is a reflection of an equally idiosyncratic life, which shows no signs of becoming less unusual.

KEITJE KUIPERS

Location: Seattle, Washington

Category: Fiction in English

Bio: I am the author of three books of poetry, all from BOA Editions: All Its Charms (2019), The Keys to the Jail (2014), and Beautiful in the Mouth (2010). My work has appeared in Narrative, Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review, The New York Times Magazine, American Poetry Review and The Believer, as well as in both The Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies. I was a Stegner Fellow, a Bread Loaf fellow, and PEN Northwest’s Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident. I now live with my wife and our kids on an island in the Salish Sea, a short ferry ride away from Seattle where I teach at Hugo House and serve as Senior Editor at Poetry Northwest. In addition to writing new poems (mostly about the strange world of married life) and working on the English translations of work by the Dutch poet Idwer de la Parra, I’m also deep into a fiction project set mostly in Wyoming, as well as a memoir about the seven months I spent living alone and off the grid, two hours down a dirt road from the nearest human being.

MARÍA JOSÉ LÓPEZ CASTILLO

Location: Mexico City

Category: Fiction in Spanish

GUERA TRIGOS FELLOW

Bio: I was born and raised in Mexico City. I have a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Literature from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and a master’s degree in Museum Studies from New York University. Since 2011 I’ve taught at Centro, where I direct the Screenwriting MA. My stories have been published in Los mejores cuentos mexicanos 2001 (Planeta), Nuevas voces de la narrativa mexicana (Planeta, 2003), and Tierra Adentro. I have received a Fulbright scholarship (2006-2008) and a FONCA Jóvenes Creadores Fellowship (2010), the latter of which allowed me to write a short story collection entitled El vuelo del escarabajo. I am currently working on my first novel, which centers on an actual 19th century charismatic figure and her primary role in several uprisings in Northern Mexico.

ANNA MACONOCHIE

Location: London, UK

Category: Fiction in English

Bio: I was born in London and educated there. I went to the London School of Economics to study philosophy and then worked in the film industry in my 20s, mostly in and around London but with stints in New York, Los Angeles and the Telluride Film Festival. I began writing short stories as it was the opposite of filmmaking – one person and a laptop creating a finished product. I published for the first time in the Erotic Review in 2013. Two more stories followed for the same publication, one of which has made it into the 100 Sexiest Stories Anthology, edited by Mariella Frostrup. In 2017 I published my first short story collection with Cultured Llama Publishing – Only the Visible Can Vanish. Further stories were published in The Dublin Review, Wells Street Journal and Bitter Oleander. I am working on more stories, a novel and a non-fiction book project that my agent is valiantly trying to sell.
 

PAUL ANTOINE MATOS

Location: Mérida, Yucatan

Category: Investigative Journalism

Robert L. Breen Fellowship

Bio: I’m a freelance journalist from Mérida, Mexico. My passion is to write stories about the world and the people in it. What motivates me is to recount the memories of people before they are forgotten in time.
But, the more I learn through these stories, the more I discover that the world (and the worlds inside it) is much more complex than it appears and also more enlightening.
To meet people and to listen to their stories, to tell them, permits me to see myself through a mirror and confront my own reality.
My most recent work is about the descendants of the Maya people who were taken to Cuba as slaves in the 1850’s, and the migrants who found a refugee there at the beginning of the XX century. Their community is getting lost in their memories as time goes on.
Previously I worked on a story about the bone-cleaners of the cemetery of Pomuch, in the Yucatán.
I’m also an investigative journalist, focused on social impact, working on stories like the ravaging of the sea cucumber population on the coast of Yucatan, and the contamination of the water caused by agrochemical products that have been detected in on the blood and breast milk of women with cervical cancer.
I’ve developed my career on the Yucatan peninsula, in Mexico, covering stories of all kinds, but mainly about the environment and the Maya people that live here.

CLAIRE MULLEN 

Location: Mexico City; San Francisco

Category: Literary Non-Fiction

Bio: I’m a freelance writer and audio producer based in Mexico City. Previously I worked for Reveal at the Center for Investigative Reporting and Radio Ambulante, and I’ve produced audio stories for 99% Invisible, PRI, and NPR. My writing and reporting have appeared in The Believer, The Lily, Lithub, Ploughshares, and the New Life Quarterly. I’m currently a 2019-2020 fellow with the National Book Critics Circle. At Under the Volcano I’ll be working with Emily Raboteau on a set of essays about the US-Mexico border.

DOROTHY POTTER SNYDER 

Location: Hillsborough, North Carolina

Category: Fiction in English

Bio: I write short fiction and essays, and translate literature from Spanish, including works by Mónica Lavín (Mexico), Almudena Sánchez (Spain), and Juan Carlos Garvayo (Spain). I am a passionate promoter of contemporary Hispanic women’s texts. My translations have appeared in The Sewanee Review, Surreal Poetics, Two Lines Press, Review: Literature and Art of the Americas, and Short Story Project. I contribute essays and interviews to Public Seminar, Potent Magazine, The Durham Herald Sun, and La Gaceta de Tucumán (Argentina). My short story “The Spider and the Butterfly” was published in the April 2019 issue of The Write Launch.

FERNANDA REYES RETANA

Location: Miami, Mexico City

Category: Fiction in Spanish

Bio: In my adult life I got married, became a mother and started to write, all with five countries, two continents and fifteen houses in the back ground. My writing starts with the process of facing separation by choice, but also by chance, and develops and evolves in search of the look, the encounter, and the discovery. I am interested in the bonds that people develop through love, history and ancestry.

I have a masters degree in Humanities and Literature, published two novels in Mexico and in Santiago de Chile. I have contributed to many art magazines, including Arte al límite in Santiago, Chile, and to several catalogs of contemporary art. I lead creative workshops.
I’ve lived in Miami since 2017.

EMILY STRASSER

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Category: Literary Non-Fiction

Bio: Raised in the southeastern United States, I’m currently based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where I received my MFA from the University of Minnesota. I’m working on a book about nuclear weapons history, inherited guilt and my family’s ties to the once-secret nuclear city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I also write about home, belonging, displacement, Buddhism, photography, and fragmentary or illusive histories. I’m now trying to write about climate change, deep time, and fusion energy.

My work has been published in Ploughshares, Colorado Review, Catapult, Guernica, and Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, among others, and was twice listed as notable by Best American Essays. I was a winner of the 2015 Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest, and a 2016 AWP Intro Award. My writing and research have been supported by the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, the W.K. Rose Fellowship from Vassar College, the Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship from Colgate University, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. I am currently a 2019 McKnight Writing Fellow. I’m very excited to be joining Under the Volcano for the first time this winter. 

OLIVIA TEROBA 

Location: Mexico City

Category: Manuscript Seminar with Mónica Lavín

LA PAGINA DORADA FELLOWSHIP

Bio: Desde hace varios años me dedico a escribir narrativa. Comencé escribiendo relatos, quizá por mi afición a las Mil y una noches, cuando era niña, y por los cuentistas latinoamericanos cuando fui mayor. Gracias a diversas becas y premios literarios, terminé un libro de cuentos: Cuando nací ya nadie hablaba de la guerra, que será publicado en 2020 por Enjambre Literario, un proyecto colectivo de mujeres escritoras. Después de leer ficción por un tiempo, y por recomendaciones, llegué a Una habitación propia, de Virgina Woolf. Gracias a esa lectura me acerqué a otros libros de no ficción de diversas escritoras. Las crónicas de Clarice Lispector en el Jornal do Brasil hicieron que me decidiera a crear mis propios ensayos; así escribí Un lugar seguro (Paraíso Perdido, 2019), libro donde hablo sobre ser mujer y escritora. Me parece importante conocer a otras mujeres que se dedicaron a la misma profesión, comprender su trayectoria para comprender nuestra realidad. Por eso comencé a escribir una novela sobre una escritora mexicana del siglo XX y su experiencia al vivir en el exilio durante veinte años: El tiempo afuera. Ese es el proyecto que tendré la fortuna de trabajar en Under the Volcano. 

 

ROXANA VON KRAUS

Location: Boston/Bucharest, Romania

Category: Fiction in English

Bio: I was born in Bucharest, a city that I’ve never left. Bucharest defines me, makes me who I am.

Half of my life I wanted to escape Romania, the other half I searched for it. In 1976, when I escaped the Communist regime, I found freedom in somebody else’s land and meaning in a borrowed language. My book Meridians of the Heart is a fictional interpretation of life in my small Balkan country, unknown to most; a country betrayed by its geography and destroyed by a half a century of lies. When I immigrated I lived in Frankfurt, Paris, Asbury Park and now Boston, where I teach creative writing to veterans. My work is done on a volunteer basis and the course is free to all US veterans. I have an MBA from Boston University and an MLA from the Harvard Extension School. Fragments of my book were published in the Harvard Review.  

 

EMILY WITHNALL

Location: Missoula, Montana

Category: Literary Non-Fiction

WORDS OF WITNESS FELLOW in LITERARY NON-FICTION

Bio: Originally from New Mexico, I now teach and write in Missoula, Montana. I am a solo parent to two teens and we enjoy camping, hiking and reading together. My work has appeared in Tin House, Gay Magazine, The Kenyon Review, the essay anthology Greetings from Janeland (Cleis Press, 2017), The Rumpus, Orion, Indiana Review and Ms. Magazine, among others. I am the recipient of the creative nonfiction AWP Writers’ Conferences & Centers Award and was awarded a fellowship for the Summer Fishtrap Writers Workshop. I currently serve as a writing fellow with the Center for Community Change and write about economic and social justice issues. During my residency at Under the Volcano I will be working on a manuscript that examines the parallels between domestic violence and hydraulic fracturing.  

 

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UTV 2019 INTERNS

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