Meet the Visiting Writers for this year's Virtual Summer Writers' Conference
Director / Fiction Instructor
Alexander Weinstein is the founder and director of the Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. He is the author of the short story collections Universal Love and Children of the New World which was chosen as a notable book of the year by The New York Times, NPR, Google, and Electric Literature. His fiction and interviews have appeared in Rolling Stone, World Literature Today, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, and Best American Experimental Writing. He is Professor of creative writing at Siena Heights University.
Tia Clark is a New Yorker with an MFA in fiction from Indiana University in Bloomington. They were the recipient of a Writer in the World Fellowship in Nepal and a Ross Lockridge Jr. Award in Fiction. They have received support and fellowships from the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, NY, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Lambda Literary Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Their fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, The Offing, Fourteen Hills, No Tokens, and elsewhere. They live in New Orleans.
Poetry & Publishing Instructor
Samantha Tetangco is a Filipino-American writer and educator. A multi-genre writer, her fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction have appeared and/or are forthcoming in dozens of literary magazines, most notably The Sun, Tri-Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Zone 3, Gertrude, Cimmaron Review, Foglifter, and others. Sam received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Mexico where she served as editor-in-chief for Blue Mesa Review and is currently the Associate Director of Writing at the University of California Merced. Most recently, Sam joined the team at Plume: A Writer's Companion, which hosts a bi-weekly podcast and focuses on building community for women and non-binary writers around the world.
Samrat Upadhyay is the first Nepali-born fiction writer to be published in the United States. His debut short story collection Arresting God in Kathmandu was the winner of the 2001 Whiting Writers’ Award and his second short story collection, The Royal Ghosts, won the 2007 Asian American Literary Award. His first novel, The Guru of Love, was a New York Times Notable Book while his second novel, Buddha’s Orphans, was longlisted for the 2012 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. His 2014 novel, The City Son, was longlisted for the PEN Open Book award. His latest story collection, Mad Country, has been called “brilliant, daring, and memorable” by the New York Times Sunday Book Review. It was also a finalist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize. He has written for The New York Times and has appeared on BBC Radio and National Public Radio. He is the Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities and a Distinguished Professor of English at Indiana University, where he teaches creative writing.
Creative Nonfiction & Poetry Instructor
Christopher Citro is the author of If We Had a Lemon We'd Throw It and Call That the Sun (Elixir Press, 2020), winner of the 2019 Antivenom Poetry Award, and The Maintenance of the Shimmy-Shammy (Steel Toe Books, 2015). His poetry appears in American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Iowa Review, the 2018 Pushcart Prize Anthology, Crazyhorse, Missouri Review, Best New Poets, Gulf Coast, Pleiades, Denver Quarterly, Smartish Pace, Witness, and Alaska Quarterly Review. His creative nonfiction appears in Boulevard, Quarterly West, The Florida Review, Essay Daily, Passages North, Bellingham Review, and Colorado Review. He lives in sunny Syracuse, New York.
Randi Beck Ocena
Poetry & Creative Nonfiction Instructor
Randi Beck Ocena was born and raised in Oklahoma where she divided her time between bookstores and horse barns. Her love of art, writing, and a particular passage by Natalie Goldberg took her to New Mexico where she lived for 10 years, earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy, painted a few murals, and met Natalie Goldberg once for about 23 minutes. Her work has been published in The Kenyon Review, Michigan Quarterly, Threepenny Review, As/Us, Ramshackle Review, Ploughshares and other journals. Her story, “By Morning, New Mercies” received an honorable mention in Best American Short Stories in 2014 and was runner up for the Ploughshares Emerging Writer Award. In 2018, she was awarded a residency at Vermont Studio Center to complete her collection of stories, The Ground We Come From. Randi now lives in California with her wife and writing companion, Samantha Tetangco. She divides her time between teaching, writing, gardening, artmaking, mustang horses and metaphysics, depending on the season.