Graduate Student Profiles

Fatima Jamal Alharthi

Fatima Jamal Alharthi is pursuing her Ph.D. in Fiction. She received her master's degree from the University of Sydney in 2012, and earned her B.A. in English from Taibah University, Saudi Arabia in 2008. Her fiction can be found on Smokelong Quarterly, Every Day Fiction, Flyleaf Journal, Garfield Lake Review and Santa Ana River Review, among others.

Ifeoluwa Ayandele

Ifeoluwa Ayandele

Ifeoluwa Ayandele is from Tede, Nigeria. He is an M.F.A. candidate in Poetry and he has received an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. His poetry has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net.  His work is published or forthcoming in The Los Angeles ReviewObsidian: Literature & Arts in the African DiasporaAnother Chicago MagazineWest Trade ReviewThe South Carolina ReviewMoon City ReviewThe McNeese ReviewBorderlands: Texas Poetry ReviewCider Press ReviewRattleVerse Daily and elsewhere. He presently lives in Tallahassee, Florida. 


Carrel Barber

Carrel Barber is a first year M.F.A. student studying fiction. His work has appeared in Big Bend Literary Magazine, Poetica, and The Good Life Review

Laura Biagi

Laura Biagi

Laura Biagi is a Ph.D. student in Fiction. Her work has been published in TriQuarterly and Anthropology & Humanism, and her chapbook The Fair Day is forthcoming from ELJ Editions in 2024. She is the recipient of a Kentucky Emerging Artist Award, has served as Editor-in-Chief of FSU’s graduate-run literary magazine Southeast Review, and is a former literary agent of New York Times bestselling titles. 


Oliver Brooks

Oliver Brooks is a first-year M.F.A. student in Poetry. They hold a B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Florida State University. Their work appears in Honey Literary, Full House Literary, Spellbinder, Antithesis Journal, and elsewhere.

Emily Clemente

Emily Clemente is a second-year M.F.A. candidate in fiction. She graduated with Highest Distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in English & Comparative Literature and Honors in Creative Writing, earning the 2022 Max Steele Award in Fiction for her senior thesis. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and her writing has been featured in december, Jellyfish Review, Every Day Fiction, and Deep South Magazine, among others. You can find more of her work at

Sarah Destin

Sarah Destin is a Ph.D. student in Fiction. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Washington and her B.A. from Hamilton College. Her work has appeared in Bennington Review, The Pinch, Hobart, and other journals. She is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Gemma English

Gemma English is a first-year M.F.A. student in Fiction. She graduated from Columbia University in 2019 with a degree in Creative Writing. In her work, she is interested in exploring the intersect between genre and literary fiction.

Jacklin Farley

Jacklin Farley

Jacklin “Jackie” Farley (she / her) is a poet and M.F.A. student from California and Arizona. Her work has been published in the South Florida Poetry Journal, Cola Literary Review, Decadent Review, Oakland Arts Review, and elsewhere. She has also read for the Sonora Review and served as online editor for the Southeast Review.

Alyssa Freeman-Moser

Alyssa Freeman-Moser is an M.F.A. in fiction candidate. She holds an M.A. in English from Kansas State University and an M.A. in Political Communication from The Johns Hopkins University. Find her story “The Bugman” in Dartmouth’s Meetinghouse.

Camille Louise Goering

Camille Louise Goering

Camille Louise Goering is a French-American multi-genre writer and former public school teacher pursuing an M.F.A. in Non-Fiction writing. Her work has appeared in such publications as Big Easy Magazine, Sixfold, Decaf Magazine, Strange Horizons, and more.  She holds a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Pomona College and a Master of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University. Previously, she worked as an AP Language and Composition teacher in the 9th Ward of New Orleans and as a community organizer in her hometown of Manhattan. She enjoys music, flow arts, nature, painting, and learning new things. 

Nicholas Goodly

Nicholas Goodly earned their M.F.A. from Columbia University. Their chapbook Black Swim won the 2017 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. They were runner-up for the 2019 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and finalist for the 2020 Jake Adam York Prize. Goodly is writing editor of WUSSY. They live in Atlanta.

Samuel Granoff

Samuel Granoff is a first-year Ph.D. student in Fiction. He holds degrees from Columbia University, Duke University, and the University of San Francisco. He has taught classes on The Beatles, Westerns, and baseball, and pitched professionally in Europe this past summer. He is currently working on a novel about the game.

Ian Hall

Ian Hall is pursuing a Ph.D. in poetry. He was born and reared in Eastern Kentucky. His work is featured in Narrative, Mississippi Review, The Journal, and elsewhere.

Maisha Hossain

Maisha Hossain

Maisha Hossain is from Dhaka, Bangladesh, and she is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing-Fiction. Maisha completed her M.A. in Creative Writing from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 2018. Her writing has appeared or forthcoming in Another Chicago Magazine, QUB’s Blackbird Anthology of 2018, Panjeree Publications, Poet’s Choice, The Offending Adam, and NPR’s Freshly Picked Prose. Her interest lies in postcolonial literature, South Asian studies, and women’s writing. As a part of her dissertation, she is working on a collection of short stories on Bangladeshi women, for which she was awarded the Adam M. Johnson Fellowship Award 2023 by FSU’s English department.

Stephen Hundley

Stephen Hundley is the author of The Aliens Will Come to Georgia First (University of North Georgia Press, 2023) and Bomb Island (Hub City Press, 2024). His stories and poems have appeared in Prairie SchoonerCream City ReviewCarveThe Greensboro Review, and elsewhere. He holds an M.A. from Clemson, an M.F.A. from the University of Mississippi, and is currently completing a Ph.D. He is writing a book about the feral horses of Cumberland Island.

Alex Jaros

Alex Jaros received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago in 2015, where he was a Follett Fellowship recipient. He earned his B.A. in English from the University of Missouri in 2011. His work can be found in Narrative Magazine, Glimmer Train, Bird’s Thumb, Ghost Proposal, LDOC, Goreyesque, and Epic. He hails from Kansas City, Missouri, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Creative Writing.

Blake Johnson

Blake Johnson is a first-year M.F.A. student studying fiction. His work has appeared in Story Magazine, Moon City Review, and others.

Max Lasky

Max Lasky is a poet from New Jersey, pursuing a PhD in creative writing. His poems have been published by Frontier Poetry and are forthcoming from Painted Bride Quarterly. He is the co-founder of the literary magazine Leavings ( He earned a B.A. from Ramapo College and an MFA from the University of Maryland.

Zuleyha Ozturk Lasky

Zuleyha Ozturk Lasky is a poet from Turkey, pursuing an M.F.A. in poetry. She is the co-founder of Leavings and an assistant poetry editor at Narrative Magazine. Her poems have appeared in Adroit, North American Review, Salamander, Nimrod, Palette, Four Way Review, and elsewhere. She was selected as a finalist for the 2022 Gregory Djanikian Scholars Prize.

Hikari Leilani Miya

Hikari Leilani Miya

Hikari Leilani Miya is a second-year Ph.D. student with a poetry focus, trying her best to adapt to human life. She has a master's certification in herpetology, which she uses to care for reptiles at the Tallahassee Museum. She received her B.A. from Cornell University and her M.F.A. from the University of San Francisco. Her first book of poetry, Do Not Feed the Animal, is forthcoming by Cornerstone Press, February 2024. 


Melvin Li

Melvin Li is a first-year Ph.D. student in Fiction, and he has been awarded a Legacy Fellowship. He received a B.A. in English with a minor in Asian American Studies from Cornell University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa.

Brandi Nicole Martin

Brandi Nicole Martin’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the Missouri Review, the Cincinnati Review, Prairie Schooner, Colorado Review, Bennington Review, Crazyhorse, Redivider, and At Length, among others. She is pursuing her PhD in poetry at Florida State University.

Olga Mexina

Olga Mexina

Olga Mexina is pursuing a Ph.D. in poetry with a minor in translation and serves as Interviews Editor at Southeast Review. She was born in Leningrad, USSR (presently St. Petersburg, Russia). She has lived, worked, and traveled all over, and her favorite thing about Tallahassee is Spanish moss. Olga lives with her daughter, Elsa, and son, Huckleberry.

Hera Naguib

Hera Naguib is a Ph.D. candidate in Poetry and holds an M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared in, The Common, World Literature Today, The Cincinnati Review, Gulf Coast, Prairie Schooner, among others. Raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Toronto, Canada, Hera hails from Lahore, Pakistan. Find her online at

Gwen Niekamp

Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Gwen Niekamp (she/her/hers) is pursuing her Ph.D. in Creative Writing-Nonfiction. An alumna of Vassar College, Gwen received her M.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis in 2019. Upon graduation, she was awarded a Senior Teaching Fellowship to facilitate advanced creative nonfiction workshops and a graduate-level teaching seminar. Gwen’s writing has appeared in Boulevard, Belt Magazine’s Louisville Anthology, Essay Daily, Hippocampus, and Hobart Pulp.

Hayden Nielander

Hayden Nielander is a poet from the Florida Heartland pursuing an M.F.A. in Poetry. He earned a B.A. in English from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Esther Ifesinachi Okonkwo

Esther Ifesinachi Okonkwo is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her works have appeared in Isele Magazine, Catapult, and Guernica. She is a 2021 recipient of the Elizabeth George Foundation Grant. She is currently a first-year Ph.D. student in Creative Writing-Fiction. Home for her is Lagos, Nigeria.

Vince Omni

Vince Omni

Vince Omni is a McKnight Doctoral Fellow in the department of English. His area of concentration is African-American Literary and Cultural Studies, with a focus on adapting fiction written by writers of the African diaspora for film and television. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Kansas and a B.A. in English from Saint Olaf College (Northfield, MN). He is a 2023 Kimbilio Fellow, a 2022 HurstonWright Fellow, and winner of the 2019 Margaret Walker Memorial Prize in Fiction.

Renee Roberts

Renee Roberts is an M.F.A. student studying nonfiction. She received her B.A. at Hollins University in 2021. Her work transfigures fantasy, predominantly from folklore and fairy tales, into personal essays and memoir material. Her work has been published in Catfish Creek and The Closed Eye Open, among other publications.

Sarah Robinson

Sarah E. Robinson is a Ph.D. student in Fiction. She has a B.A. in English and Studio Arts from the University of New Mexico and received her M.F.A. from the University of Houston. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Leavings and The Cincinnati Review.

Anastasia Selby

Anastasia Selby

Anastasia Selby graduated from the creative writing program at Syracuse University with an M.F.A. in Fiction. As an undergraduate, they studied English, film theory, and Hindi before graduating summa cum laude, with honors. They were the first in their family to graduate from college. Before pursuing their bachelor's degree, Anastasia worked as a wildland firefighter throughout the western United States for seven years. Currently, Anastasia is pursuing a Ph.D. in Creative Writing-Nonfiction. Anastasia's work has been published in Bellevue Literary Review, The New Ohio Review, Vox, Boulevard, and Bitch. Their narrative nonfiction book, HOTSHOT, is forthcoming in spring 2025, via Grove Press. 

Aimee Seu

Aimee Seu is a Ph.D. student in Poetry from Charlottesville, Virginia, where she received her M.F.A. in Poetry at the University of Virginia. Her first collection of poetry, Velvet Hounds, won the Akron Poetry Prize in 2020 and was published in February 2022. She is originally from the beautiful, dirty, wretched, delicious city of Philadelphia.

Olivia Sokolowski

Olivia Sokolowski

Olivia Sokolowski is from Peachtree City, Georgia, and earned her M.F.A. in Poetry at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Her work has been featured in The Paris Review, Gulf Coast, Prelude, Cherry Tree, and elsewhere. You can find Olivia online at

Daniel Sutter

Daniel Sutter is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Fiction and holds an M.F.A. from the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop. His work can be found in The Carolina Quarterly, BOOTH, Fugue, Fiction Southeast, and has been named a finalist for the Iowa Review Award in Fiction, among others. He is from Tampa, Florida.

Daniel Sutter

Daniel Sutter

Daniel Sutter is currently a Ph.D. candidate in fiction and holds an M.F.A. from the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Greensboro Review, The Mississippi ReviewThe Carolina QuarterlyBOOTHFugue, and elsewhere, and has been named a finalist for the Iowa Review Fiction Award, the Robert and Adele Schiff Award in Prose, and others. He’s from Tampa, Florida.

Heather Truett

Heather Truett holds an M.F.A. from the University of Memphis, where she served as managing editor for The Pinch. Her debut novel, Kiss and Repeat, was released from Macmillan in 2021, and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2023. She has poetry in Hunger Mountain, Sweet Lit, Whale Road Review, and others, while her fiction has appeared in Flash Fiction Online, Utopia Science Fiction, and Spoon Knife. Heather serves as an assistant fiction editor for the Southeast Review and as a reader for Beaver Magazine. Find out more at

Sophia Alise Upshaw

Sophia Alise Upshaw is an M.F.A. student studying Poetry. She graduated from Florida State University in 2023 with a B.S. in Media Communication Studies-Creative Writing, earning recognition as an Outstanding Student Scholar. Her poetry has been published in oddball magazineTipton Poetry JournalMistake House, and elsewhere. 


Chris Watkins

Chris Watkins

Chris Watkins is a poet and Ph.D. candidate writing in and about the swamplands, rivers, and other watersheds of North Florida, as well as all things drag. Their poetry has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Foundry, and Bosque among other journals.



Cassidy M. Wells

Cassidy M. Wells

Cassidy M. Wells graduated with honors from Loyola University New Orleans with a B.A. in Criminology & Justice and graduated with her Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She’s a 2024 Hurston Wrights Fellow and the nonfiction editor at The New Orleans Review. As a New Orleans native, Wells seeks to fill the gaps of literature about her home in the Mississippi and Louisiana Gulf Coast that has notably erased the Black identity and experience by blending the roles of speculative, and literary fiction in her stories.

Hugh Wilhelm

Hugh Wilhelm

Hugh Wilhelm is a Ph.D. student in Poetry. He earned a B.A. in English from Cornell University and an M.F.A. in poetry from Syracuse University. He recently had a poem published in The Progressive.