Brooklyn College English Department
Master of Fine Arts Program

Brooklyn College ImageJulie Agoos, professor and coordinator of the Poetry Program; MA, Johns Hopkins. Agoos publishes widely in journals and is the author of three collections of poems, Property (Ausable/Copper Canyon, 2008), Calendar Year (Sheep Meadow, 1996) and Above the Land (Yale University Press, 1987), for which she won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award.

Anselm Berrigan is the author of five books of poetry, most recently the book-length poem Notes from Irrelevance, published by Wave Books in 2011. Other titles include Free Cell (City Lights, 2009), Some Notes on My Programming (Edge, 2006), and Zero Star Hotel (Edge, 2002). Skasers, a book jointly-written with poet John Coletti, will be published in 2012 by Flowers & Cream. He is the current poetry editor for The Brooklyn Rail (, and a member of the subpress publishing collective. From 1998-2007 he worked for The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church in various capacities, including a stint as Artistic Director from 2003-2007. He's also co-chair of Writing at the Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts, Bard College's interdisciplinary summer MFA program. He received his MFA from Brooklyn College in 1998.

Erin Courtney’s play I Will Be Gone, directed by Kip Fagan, premiered at Actors Theater of Louisville, Humana Festival in 2015. Her play A Map Of Virtue produced by 13P and directed by Ken Rus Schmoll, won a special citation OBIE in 2012. She has written two operas with Elizabeth Swados, The Nomad and Kaspar Hauser: both were commissioned and produced by The Flea Theater. Her play Honey Drop was developed at The Atlantic Theater, the Clubbed Thumb/Playwrights Horizons Superlab and New Georges. Her other plays include Alice the Magnet, Demon Baby, Quiver and Twitch, and Black Cat Lost.  She is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb, a member of the Obie award winning playwright collective -13P, as well as the co-founder of the Brooklyn Writer’s Space. Ms. Courtney teaches playwriting at Brooklyn College. She earned her MFA in playwriting at Brooklyn College with Mac Wellman, and her BA from Brown University where she studied with Paula Vogel. She is a member of New Dramatists since 2012 and is a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow.

.Myla Goldberg is the bestselling author of Bee Season, Wickett's Remedy, and The False Friend.  Her short stories have appeared in Harper's  and she is an occasional contributor to NPR.  She teaches at various MFA programs and leads writing workshops in and around NYC.

David Grubbs, associate professor in the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, has released eleven solo albums and appeared on more than 150 commercially-released recordings.  He is known for his cross-disciplinary collaborations with writers such as Susan Howe and Rick Moody, and with visual artists such as Anthony McCall, Angela Bulloch, Cosima von Bonin, and Stephen Prina.  His work has been presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, MoMA, the Tate Modern, and the Centre Pompidou.  Grubbs was a founding member of the groups Gastr del Sol, Bastro, and Squirrel Bait, and directs the Blue Chopsticks record label.  He is currently completing the book Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, The Sixties, and Sound Recording for Duke University Press. Grubbs was a 2005-6 grant recipient from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and has been called one of two “Best Teachers for an Indie-Rocker to Admire” in the Village Voice and “le plus Français des Américains” in Libération.  He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago.

Joshua Henkin, professor and coordinator of the Fiction Program, is the author of the novels Swimming Across the Hudson, a Los Angeles Times Notable Book; Matrimony, a New York Times Notable Book; and The World Without You, which was named an Editors' Choice Book by The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune and was the winner of the 2012 Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Jewish American Fiction and a finalist for the 2012 National Jewish Book Award. His short stories have been published widely, cited for distinction in Best American Short Stories, and broadcast on NPR's "Selected Shorts." His reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere.

Lisa Jarnot is the author of four books of poetry and a biography, Robert Duncan, The Ambassador from Venus (University of California Press). Her Selected Poems 1992-2012 is forthcoming from City Lights in 2013. 

Ben Lerner, Associate Professor, is the author of three books of poetry: The Lichtenberg Figures (2004), Angle of Yaw (2006), and Mean Free Path (2010), all published by Copper Canyon Press. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award in poetry and the Northern California Book Award, a Fulbright Scholar in Spain, and a Howard Foundation Fellow. In 2011 he became the first American to win the Preis der Stadt Münster für Internationale Poesie for the German translation of The Lichtenberg Figures. His first novel, Leaving the Atocha Station (Coffee House, 2011) won The Believer Book Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for First Fiction and the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award. It was named one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker, The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, and New York Magazine, among many others. His recent criticism can be found in Art in America, boundary 2, and Critical Quarterly, where he also serves as poetry editor. 

Fiona Maazel is the author of the novels, Last Last Chance. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008) and Woke Up Lonely (Graywolf, 2013). She is a 2008 National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree and winner of the Bard Prize for fiction in 2009. Her work has appeared in Anthem, Bomb, Book Forum, Boston Book Review, The Common, Conjunctions, Fence, Glamour, The Millions, Mississippi Review, N+1, The New York Times, The NY Times Sunday Book Review, Salon, Selected Shorts, This American Life, Tin House, The Village Voice, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn. 

Dinaw Mengestu, a recipient of the 2012 MacArthur Foundation Genius Award, was born in Ethiopia and raised in Illinois. He graduated from Georgetown University and received his MFA degree from Columbia University. His fiction and journalism have been published in The New Yorker, Granta, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, and The Wall Street Journal. Mengestu was chosen for the 5 under 35 Award by the National Book Foundation in 2007 and was named on The New Yorker’s “20 under 40” list in 2010. He is also the recipient of a Lannan Fiction Fellowship, The Guardian First Book Award, The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Prix du Premier Meilleur Roman Etranger, among other awards. He is the author of three novels: All Our Names (2014), a New York Times Editors’ Choice book, and The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (2008) and How to Read the Air (2010), both New York Times Notable Books. His work has been translated into more than fifteen languages.

Ernesto Mestre is the author of two novels, The Lazarus Rhumba and The Second Death of Unica Aveyano. His fiction has been collected in various anthologies, including Best American Gay Fiction 1996, A Whistler in the Nightworld: Short Fiction from the Latin Americas, and Cubanisimo!: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Cuban Literature.

Meera Nair's debut collection, Video, received the Asian-American Literary Award for Fiction in 2003. She has published fiction in The Threepenny Review and Calyx, and in the anthology Charlie Chan is Dead. She is at work on her first novel, which will be published by Pantheon.

Sigrid Nunez has published six novels, including A Feather on the Breath of God, The Last of Her Kind, and, most recently, Salvation City. She is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. Among the journals to which she has contributed are The New York Times, Threepenny Review, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, Tin House, The Believer, and Conjunctions. Her honors and awards include four Pushcart Prizes, a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Berlin Prize Fellowship, and two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters: the Rosenthal Foundation Award and the Rome Prize in Literature. She has taught at Amherst College, Smith College, Columbia University, and the New School, and has been a visiting writer or writer in residence at Baruch College, Vassar College, Boston University, and the University of California at Irvine, among others. She has also been on the faculty of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and of several other writers’ conferences across the country.

Jenny Offill's novel, Last Things, was chosen as a notable or best book of the year by the New York Times, the Village Voice and the Guardian (U.K) and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Book Award. She is also the editor, along with Elissa Schappell, of two anthologies, The Friend Who Got Away and Money Changes Everything. She has written one children's book, 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore, and has two more forthcoming from Random House. She received a NYFA fellowship in fiction in 2008 and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University from 1991 to 1993. Her flash fiction is featured in the new anthology, Long Story Short (UNC-Press, 2009).

Julie Orringer is the author of a novel, The Invisible Bridge, and an award-winning story collection, How to Breathe Underwater, which was a New York Times notable book and was named Book of the Year by the LA Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, The Yale Review, and The Washington Post, and have been widely anthologized; she has received fellowships from the New York Public Library, Stanford University, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  She lives in Brooklyn, where she is working on a new novel.

Helen Phillips is the author of the novel-in-fables And Yet They Were Happy (Leapfrog Press, 2011), which was a semifinalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, a finalist for the McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns First Novel Prize, and declared a notable collection of 2011 by The Story Prize. Her second book, Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green (Random House Children’s Division/Delacorte Press, 2012), is a children’s adventure novel, and has been published internationally as Upside Down in the Jungle (Chicken House UK, 2012; Chicken House Germany, 2013). She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, the Italo Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction, The Iowa Review Nonfiction Award, the DIAGRAM Innovative Fiction Award, the Meridian Editors’ Prize, and a Ucross Foundation residency. Her work has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts in Fall 2012. She has been published in Tin House, BOMBMississippi Review, and PEN America, among many others. A graduate of Yale and the Brooklyn College MFA program, she is an assistant professor of creative writing at Brooklyn College. Named one of the Breakout Brooklyn Book People of 2011 by The L Magazine, Helen (born and raised in Colorado) now lives in Brooklyn with her husband, artist Adam Douglas Thompson, and their baby girl..

Ellen Tremper, professor and chair of the English Department; Ph.D., Harvard. Specializing in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British poetry and fiction, she has published many articles on Henry James, Virginia Woolf, and children's literature and is the author of "Who Lived at Alfoxton?": Virginia Woolf and English Romanticism (Bucknell University Press) and I'm No Angel: The Blonde in Film and Fiction, which was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2006.

Marjorie Welish is the author of several books of poetry, limited-edition constructed artist’s books, and a book of art criticism. Recent books of poetry include The Annotated “Here” and Selected Poems (2000), which was an Academy of American Poets Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize Finalist and A Village Voice Best Book of the year, Word Group (2004), Isle of the Signatories (2008), In the Futurity Lounge /Asylum for Indeterminacy (2012), and So What So That [2016]--all from Coffee House Press. Constructed books include The Napkin and Its Double (with Buzz Spector) and Oaths? Questions? (with James Siena), published by Granary Books in 2007 and 2009 respectively.  Her book of art criticism is Signifying Art: Essays on art since 1960 (Cambridge University Press, 1999); she is also a contributor to The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (Oxford University Press, 1998), and has written art criticism for popular magazines such as Art in America and Art Monthly (U.K.) as well as for scholarly journals, such as Partisan Review, Salmagundi  and Textual Practice (U.K.). Fellowships include: Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, 2014-15; St. Edmonds’ College, Cambridge University, Visiting Fellow—granted for 2014-15; New York Foundation for the Arts, 2007-8; Judith E. Wilson Visiting Poetry Fellowship of Cambridge University, 2004-5; Pratt Faculty Development Fund, 2002; Academy of American Poets, Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize finalist, 2001; Fund for Poetry, awards: 1999 / 1989, and the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship of Brown University, 1998-99. Her creative arts practice and criticism were the subjects of day-long conference at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002, resulting in a 300-page conference book Of the Diagram: The work of Marjorie Welish (Slought Foundation, 2003). She first came to Brooklyn College in 2009, having taught at Brown University, Columbia University and at Pratt Institute. She teaches courses on literature, especially poetry and poetics. Special interests are theories of modernity, the avant-garde, the manifesto, landscape theory, the history and theory of art and literary criticism, and the art of word and image.

Mac Wellman, professor and coordinator of the Playwriting Program; MA, University of Wisconsin. His recent work includes The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (Montclair, 2006) and 1965 UU (Chocolate Factory, 2008). His most recent collection of plays is The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (University of Minnesota Press, 2008). Four other collections of his plays have been published: The Bad Infinity and Cellophane (PAJ/Johns Hopkins University Press), and Two Plays and The Land Beyond the Forest (Sun & Moon). He has written a volume of stories, A Chronicle of the Madness of Small Worlds (Trip Street Press, 2008), as well as three novels: Q’s Q (Green Integer, 2006), Annie Salem (Sun & Moon 1996), and The Fortuneteller (Sun & Moon, 1991). His recent books of poetry are Miniature (Roof Books, 2002), Strange Elegies (Roof Books, 2006), and A Shelf in Woop's Clothing (Sun & Moon, 1990). In 1997 he received the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award. In 2003 he received his third Obie, for lifetime Achievement (Antigone, Jennie Richee and Bitter Bierce all cited). In 1990 he received an Obie (Best New American Play) for Bad Penny, Terminal Hip and Crowbar. In 1991 he received another Obie for Sincerity Forever. He has received numerous honors, including both NEA and Guggenheim Fellowships. In 2004 he received an award from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. He is the Donald I. Fine Professor of Playwriting at Brooklyn College. Currently, he is working on two plays for chorus: The Invention of Tragedy (Classic Stage Company) and Nine Days Falling (Stuck Pigs Company, Melbourne, Australia).