MFA Spring Festival


2021 Spring Festival

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Featuring Readings by MFA Candidates, Class of 2021

  • Yuan Zhuang, Feather Coat
  • Scott Bentley, Bwai \ Remapping
  • Gregory Buck, ... S& W8
  • Annika G. Rundberg Bunney, Long Exposure
  • Alec Gabin, The Son
  • Troy Landrum Jr., Dreaming of the Great Migration
  • Chris Ryan Lauer, La Fin du Monde
  • Sanika Nalgirkar, Memories- A Grief Journal
  • Joseph Niduaza, Chimera
  • Rose K. O'Connor, Dutch Boats
  • Julie Voss, A Woman’s Mutation
  • Cliff Watson, 6-foot pine
  • Simon Wolf, Charging

with Guest Artist Diana Khoi Nguyen

Diana Khoi NguyenA poet and multimedia artist, Diana Khoi Nguyen is the author of Ghost Of (Omnidawn 2018), which was selected by Terrance Hayes. In addition to winning the 92Y "Discovery" / Boston Review Poetry Contest, 2019 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and Colorado Book Award, she was also a finalist for the National Book Award and L.A. Times Book Prize. A Kundiman fellow, and former visiting writer in the MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics, she is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Candidate Bios

Scott Bentley is a student and teaching assistant in the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing & Poetics at the University of Washington Bothell. He is a curator for the Gamut literary series and an editor for Clamor. His writing and art are forthcoming from yehaw and have appeared in Submergence, Vote the Earth, and elsewhere.

Greg Buck is an interdisciplinary maker and writer. Their thesis explores early childhood memory formation and the narrative structures of family, as well as the material intersections of content and form.

Annika G. Rundberg Bunney is an interdisciplinary artist and writer from the Pacific Northwest. Her work focuses on memory and how it intertwines with imagination, history, and the environment. Her most recent project, her MFA thesis, includes long exposure, uncertain perceptions of reality, a box of old photos, and Edgar Allan Poe. Aside from writing, she also spends much time working in her garden, watercolor painting, and building assorted wooden projects.  She has been published in The Journal of Occurrences (2018) and Clamor (2020) and is scheduled to publish in The CROW and Clamor in 2021.

Alec Gabin: Setting down his musical instruments in 2018, Alec Gabin has spent the last several years merging his writing with his prayer practice.  Written while travelling around the country alone in a van, his thesis work The Son is concerned with interiority, inbetweenness, trees and God. In the tradition of Japanese Haiku, Alec writes moments, believing them to be the only respite from the noise of the imaginary.  Alec's work leans into mystery, unknowing, and absurdity as ways of embracing the void, striving to access a place beyond judgement or intellectual understanding. Alec is interested in the possibility of a writing which embodies joy.

Troy Landrum, Jr. is a native of Indianapolis, IN and has lived in Seattle WA, for 7 years. He developed a passion for reading and writing during a process of self-rediscovery surrounding identity, faith, his culture and his family’s migration stories from Jim Crow South to the Midwest. A process that will continue to be at the helm of his human experience and literature process as a artist. He is a part of the 2021 class of Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Washington Bothell. 

Chris Ryan Lauer is an author, artist, and academic in practicum at the University of Washington, with interests in the New York School literary movement, modernism, postmodernism, assemblage, montage, film d’auteur, visual culture, and intersection points between film, literature, and painting.

Sanika Nalgirkar is a student in the MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics program at the University of Washington Bothell. She is a part of an online magazine club HerCampus and the editorial team of the literary and arts journal, Clamor at UW Bothell. Her work has appeared in Anti-Heroin Chic.

Joseph Niduaza is a fiction writer from Salinas, California.  He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Humboldt State University in 2014, and he proudly served as a Machine Operator for the Mad River Brewing Company in Blue Lake, California from 2015 to 2018.  In 2019, after a five-year hiatus from the arts, he reignited his artistic practice and enrolled at the University of Washington Bothell.  Through historical fiction, magical realism, and speculative fiction, his work explores the sociopolitical, economical, and linguistic building blocks of cultural identities, cyclical and historical patterns of violence, class consciousness, modes of sociability, and the role of the individual identify within culture.  His work has appeared in Clamor and The Homestead Review.

Rose K. O’Connor is a fiction writer whose work explores our emotional ties to those close to us and to the natural world. Key to Rose's practice is the creation of intense, scenic description which she uses to connect with her audience and guide her storytelling. Though her interest in fiction emerged in grade school, Rose’s writing career began when she was an undergraduate at Skidmore College, where she graduated with a B.A. in English in 2018. Rose believes our writing skills are key to how our ideas are interpreted and accepted, and she hopes to one day teach at the college level so she can help others gain the skills they need to succeed in their pursuits and passions. She will continue working toward this goal next fall in the English MA program at Boston College.

Julie Voss is a French artist who found her way in Seattle, WA, about ten years ago. Her thesis took an unexpecting turn when she found out that she was about to become a mother in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Through her writing, Julie shares the story of a millennial woman struggling with depression, becoming a mother for the first time, and living on the other side of the globe from her friends and family.

Cliff Watson came to the UW Bothell MFA program to find different thinkers and new creative challenges. He succeeded! With a master’s degree in applied mathematics, business admin certificate, tech industry experience, over 30 roles performed as a musical theatre and opera soloist, and a decade of international living, Cliff is a big believer in hybridity. It’s no surprise, then, that his thesis, 6-foot pine, is a hybrid-text speculative fiction romance prose-play-poetry-comic-computer game story. Recent works published include a script-memorial, haibun, poem, and lyric essay in Clamor, and a technological autobiography, Airtime, that explores an artistic methodology to resist the medical-industrial complex and reclaim the self, published in research journal The Crow. In 2017, his piece Dialogue about croquet in a library was performed by acrobats in a circus show. At UW Bothell, Cliff served as an Assistant Career Adviser, and was a GA/TA for several classes. And now…?!

Simon Wolf is a poet, teacher and community organizer. He writes to reflect opposites, to find similarities everything shares and differences that make each unique. As a teen, Simon performed slam poetry and co-led workshops with Youth Speaks Seattle. In his twenties, he returned to the Center School classroom where he first wrote poetry, to create lesson plans encouraging students to be active participants in the media they consume. Simon is co-founder of Stay Happy Collective, organizing welcoming spaces for people to share and witness each other's creative work. Currently, he is inspired by how native and invasive plants tell human stories of migration, colonization, resilience and adaptation. His work has been published by Seattle’s Poetry on Buses, Leveler, and featured with Coastal Poets - A Reading and Film Festival.

Yuan Zhuang is from Beijing, China. She is a second-year graduate student in the MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics program at UW Bothell. During her two years of study, Yuan worked on improving her English reading and writing skills and developing fictional stories based on traditional Chinese folk/ghost stories. Yuan holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts Printmaking from Pratt Institute and an associate degree in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of America.