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ALEXANDER WEINSTEIN-Director/Fiction Instructor


Alexander Weinstein is director of the Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. He is the author of the short story collections Universal Love (Henry Holt & Co) and Children of the New World (Picador) 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 an associate professor of creative writing at Siena Heights University.  

SAMRAT UPADHYAY-Fiction Instructor 

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.

ADRIAN MATEJKA-Poetry Instructor 


Adrian Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is the author of The Devil’s Garden, which won the New York/New England Award, and Mixology, a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series. Mixology was also a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature. His third collection, The Big Smoke, focuses on Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion of the world. The Big Smoke was awarded the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was also a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and 2014 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His most recent book, Map to the Stars, was published by Penguin in 2017. Among Matejka’s other honors are the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, the Julia Peterkin Award, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Bellagio Center, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and a Simon Fellowship from United States Artists. He teaches at Indiana University and is Poet Laureate of Indiana. 

AMELIA MARTENS-Poetry Instructor


Amelia Martens is the author of The Spoons in the Grass are There To Dig a Moat (Sarabande Books), and four poetry chapbooks, including Ursa Minor (elsewhere magazine). She is the recipient of a 2019 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council; her work has also been supported by a Sustainable Arts Foundation fellowship to Rivendell Writers’ Colony and by the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She met her husband in the Indiana University MFA program; together they have created the Rivertown Reading Series, Exit 7: A Journal of Literature and Art, and two awesome daughters.

BRITTON SHURLEY-Poetry Instructor


Britton Shurley is a poet whose work has recently appeared in such journals as The Southern Humanities Review, Southern Indiana Review, Waccamaw, Indianapolis Review, and The Massachusetts Review. He was the recipient of Emerging Artist Awards from the Kentucky Arts Council in 2011 and 2017 and is an Associate Professor of English at West Kentucky Community & Technical College where he edits the journal Exit 7 with his wife, the poet, Amelia Martens.


TIA CLARK-Fiction Instructor
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 HillsNo Tokens, and elsewhere. They live in New Orleans.
WENDY RAWLINGS-Fiction Instructor
Wendy Rawlings is the author of Time for Bed, The Agnostics, and Come Back Irish. She is the recipient of residency fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo. She was also awarded the John Farrar Fellowship in Fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Her nonfiction has appeared in AGNI, Creative Nonfiction, Colorado Review, the 2016 Pushcart Prize anthology, and other magazines. She teaches and directs the MFA program at the University of Alabama.

ELIZABETH SCHMUHL-Poetry/Publishing Instructor


Elizabeth Schmuhl is a multidisciplinary artist and the author of Premonitions (Wayne State University Press) and Presto Agitato: A Dictionary of Modern Movement (Zoo Cake Press & Dancing Girl Press). Her book of paintings created with natural ink from her farm, The Four Seasons, is out from Greying Ghost. She illustrates essays for The Rumpus, has taught writing at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and worked in digital development at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. She is Shamel Pitts’ Artistic Manager and also works at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She recently performed at the Detroit Institute of Arts for the Detroit Dance Festival. Her work appears in Michigan Quarterly Review, PANK, HobartDance Magazine, and elsewhere. 

KEITH TAYLOR-Poetry Instructor


Keith Taylor has authored or edited 17 books and chapbooks. His most recent is the Ecstatic Destinations. His last full length collection, The Bird-while, won the Bronze medal for the Foreword/Indies Poetry Book of the Year. He recently retired from the University of Michigan, where he taught for 20 years. Before that he worked as a bookseller in Ann Arbor, and as a camp-boy for a hunting outfitter in the Yukon, a dishwasher in southern France, a housepainter in Ireland, a freight handler, the co-host of a radio talk show, and as the night attendant at a pinball arcade in California. Taylor has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs. He has been Writer/Artist In Residence at Isle Royale National Park (twice), the Detroit YMCA, The International Writers’ and Translators’ Centre of Rhodes, Greece, and the University of Michigan Biological Station. His poems, stories, reviews, essays and translations have appeared widely in North America and in Europe.


JOHN T. HOWARD-Assistant Director/Publishing Instructor
John T. Howard holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University.  He is originally from Long Island, New York, but currently resides at the Wellspring House Retreat in Ashfield, Massachusetts, where he is a Writer-in-Residence. He has worked as a toy designer, a trademark researcher, and a bar back; most recently, he was a Visiting Writer at Siena Heights University, where he taught creative writing, composition, publishing & editing courses, and also served as Managing Editor for Eclipse, an arts and literary journal produced by Siena Heights undergraduate students. He is at work on a first collection of short stories and a novel that explores his own Colombian heritage through the vantage point of a Colombian-American narrator growing up on the East Coast.

The Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing

a 501 (c) 3 Nonprofit Organization

      telephone: 954-242-2903       email:



Many of the Vineyard photos courtesy of Vineyard Colors

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