Alumni News

We want to keep up with our graduates! Please e-mail Wren Williams with any alumni news.

2018 News

Nancy Dillingham (1966) is proud to announce the publication of her latest book, Like Headlines: New and Selected Poems


Alana Gerlach (2015) will be attending law school at Northwestern University.


Dr. Michael Cody (1993), Professor of English in the Department of Literature and Language at East Tennessee State University, has released his first novel, Gabriel's Songbook. The book was published by Pisgah Press.

2017 News

Sister Suite, a chapbook by Christine Stroud, was published in September by Disorder Press.  Stroud's first chapbook, The Buried Return, was published in 2014.  She has also contributed poetry to a number of publications, including Ninth Letter, The Paterson Literary Review, Cimarron Review, and The Laurel Review.


The following alumni have been accepted to graduate schools: Scott Hufham (English at WCU), Jared Worley (English at WCU), Jean-Patrick Grillet (Public Administration at Duke), Grace Schermerhorn (Appalachian Studies at App State), Jozef Lisowski (Creative Writing at Hunter College), Marcy Pedzwater (Latinx Literature at UNC Chapel Hill), Jesse Rice-Evans (Rhetoric and Composition at CUNY Grad Center), and Kira Leander (English Education at Brown).


December graduate Dana Schlanger (2016) has won the 2017 Appalachian Studies Association Carl A. Ross student paper award for her senior thesis, "It Was The Writing Of Them, That Signified: Reshaping Reader Perceptions of Appalachian and Disabled Identities in Lee Smith’s Fair and Tender Ladies."

2016 News

Chelsea Walker (2016) has just finished her internship with The Great Smokies Review.  Her essay, "On Survival: That Five-Fingered Beast," appears in a recent issue of the GSR.  It can be accessed online.


Barbie Byrd (2016) has had a paper accepted for publication in a forthcoming online issue of NCUR Proceedings.  Her paper's title is "Egg Full of Words: Language & Power in Atwood’s Oryx and Crake."  The date of publication is pending.


This fall, Reid Drake (2014) will be starting an MFA in Writing program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  The two-year program promotes writing as a studio practice and allows candidates to utilize the Art Institute's resources to create a multidisciplinary experience.  Reid is the recipient of the Writing Department's 2016 New Artists Society Scholarship, as well as an MFA Writing Fellowship. 

This summer, Reid was also collaboratively involved in the production of Sunburnt!, a variety show featuring music, poetry, and drag.


Rhonda Alamour (2015) was hired to teach English at Asheville High School.  She teaches British literature, and is helping twelth grade students with their senior projects.

2015 News

Finishing Line Press has just published Nancy Dillingham's (class of '65) chapbook entitled 1950: Poems. Nancy and her co-editor Celia Miles have just published their fourth anthology of WNC women writers entitled, It's All Relative: Tales from the Tree from 50 WNC Women Writers.


Graduating Senior Runda Alamour was named a 2015 Newman Civic Fellow by the national Campus Compact organization, one of only three students in North Carolina, and 201 nationwide, to receive this honor. She was celebrated for her active citizenship, support of public education, and statewide leadership of the Student North Carolina Assocation of Educators. Congratulations to Runda!


Mesha Maren (2012), is the winner of the 2015 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize for her short story “Chokedamp.” She will receive $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review. Final Judge Lee Smith, a 2008 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, chose Maren’s story from more than 220 entries—a record number.

“It is very realistic, a big story,” Lee said. “I was impressed by the complexity of theme, situation, and the brothers’ relationship; the narrative voice rang true, and the writing was wonderful throughout.”

Mesha Maren is a fiction writer whose work appears in Tin House, The Oxford American, Hobart, The Barcelona Review, and Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial. She is the recipient of a 2014 Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, an Appalachian Writing Fellowship from LMU University, and a residency fellowship from the Ucross Foundation.



Mesha Maren (2012) was the winner of the 2014 Jean Ritchie Fellowship in Appalachian Writing, awarded by Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) in Harrogate, Tennessee. The prize is $1,500 and is awarded to an Appalachian writer who shows overwhelming promise in the continuation of great writing in the region.

Mesha’s fiction has been anthologized in Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial, and published in journals such as The Oxford American, Tin House, The Barcelona Review, Hobart, and Night Train. Her writing has previously received accolades such as first place in the Sherwood Anderson Short Story Contest, winner of the Lex Allen Literary Festival Fiction Contest, The Thomas Wolfe Award, the Press 53 Award and the James Hurst Prize for Fiction.  She has been the recipient of grants from the Barbara Deming Fund for Women Writers and the Elizabeth George Foundation and a fellowship from the Ucross Foundation.  She is currently working on editing a manuscript of linked short stories and drafting her first novel. Her winning story was described as "a vigorous, disquieting tale of the burdens of history and nature, both inner and outer."


Sarah Addison Allen has been chosen as the 2015 Goodman Endowed Artist.  She spoke on campus on March 21, 2015, at 2:30, in the Moutain View Room of the Sherrill Center.  Her new novel, First Frost, was published in January.



Sarah Addison Allen's latest novel, her fifth, was published in January, 2014. Called Lost Lake, it is published by St. Martin's Press.



Beverly Knupp Rudolph was back for Homecoming.  She is a middle school principal in the triangle and a new member of UNC Asheville's National Alumni Board.

Older News

Dalton Day (2014) was accepted for graduate work at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Matt Owens (2012), who is currently working on an MFA at the University of Iowa, has an essay in The Oxford American, published under the name Randal O'Wain. It can be accessed online.


Caroline Ketcham, one of the Topp/Grillot winners in poetry, is an intern at the new Great Smokies Review, a biannual online literary magazine produced by the Great Smokies Writing Program.  Caroline has a piece in the spring issue, called "Writing Home."


Mason Currey (2002) has recently published his first book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.  Slate has been running selections from it on a daily basis.


Hannah Virginia Harrison, a December 2009 graduate, has completed a Master's degree at the University of Louisville and is now headed for a Ph.D.  She was accepted to both the University of Louisville, and to the University of Texas at Austin, with fellowship offers. Congratulations to Hannah!


Brian Sneeden (2008) was admitted to the University of Virginia's prestigious MFA program with a full fellowship for two years. He was one of ten students chosen from more than 800 applicants. He said he's really looking forward to working with Rita Dove, Greg Orr, and Paul Guest.