MFA in Creative Writing & Literature

Faculty and Visiting Faculty

Associate Professor and Director,
MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literature
Julie Sheehan's three poetry collections are Bar Book: Poems & Otherwise (W.W. Norton), Orient Point (also from Norton) and Thaw (Fordham). Her honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award and NYFA Fellowship in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies.
SheehanDandelion.jpgPhoto: Star Black

Professor, Novelist, Assoc. Provost Southampton Arts Campus

Robert Reeves is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, both published by Crown, as well as short fiction, essays, and literary criticism. Kirkus Review hailed Doubting Thomas as "a zesty, classy original," and Patricia Holt of the San Francisco Chronicle called Peeping Thomas "funny, disturbing, and brilliant." Reeves, director of the Southampton Writers Conference, has also taught writing at Harvard and Princeton.
Robert Reeves

Distinguished Professor of English and Writing, Essayist, Novelist
Roger Rosenblatt's essays for Time magazine have won two George Polk awards, among others. His television essays for the NewsHour on PBS have won the Peabody and the Emmy. He is the author of six off-Broadway plays and 15 books, published in 13 languages. They include the New York Times bestsellers Kayak MorningUnless It Moves the Human Heart, and Making Toast, a memoir of his family, which initially appeared as an essay in The New Yorker. Other books are the novels Beet and Lapham Rising, another bestseller, as were Rules for Aging and Children of War, winner of the Robert F. Kennedy book prize. His one-man show, Free Speech in America, was cited by the Times as one of the 10 best plays of 1991. In 2008, he was appointed Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at Stony Brook.
Roger Rosenblatt

Professor, Editor-in-Chief, The Southampton Review
Lou Ann Walker's book, A Loss for Words, a memoir, won a Christopher Award. Her other books include Hand, Heart & Mind. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared in many publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Life, Allure, Parade, The Chicago Sun-Times, The New York Times Book Review, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Writer, and The Hopewell Review. Formerly an editor at Esquire and New York Magazine, Walker has lectured on writing at Smith College and Yale University, and taught at Marymount Manhattan College, Southampton College, and Columbia University. The author of several screenplays, she is a member of the Writers Guild of America.

Novelist and Short Story Writer
Melissa Bank is the author of the best-selling story collections The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing and The Wonder Spot. She received the Nelson Algren Award for short fiction from the Chicago Tribune and holds an M.F.A. from Cornell University. Her work has been translated into 33 languages.

Star Black's poems have been anthologized in The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, 110 Stories: New York Writers After September 11The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1880 to The Present and Poetry After 911: An Anthology of New York Poets. She is the author of four collections of sonnets – Waterworn, BalefireGhostwood and Velleity's Shade; a collection of double sestinas – Double Time – and a book of free verse, October for Idas.  Her collages have been exhibited at Poets House and The Center for Book Arts and published in One of a Kind: Unique Artists Books by Pierre Menard Gallery.  Selections of her photographs are housed in the Berg Collection at The New York Public Library and at The Library of Congress. She lives in New York City and Sag Harbor.

Producer, Author and Screenwriter

Annette Handley Chandler teaches Screenwriting through the MFA Writing & Literature program at Stony Brook University and Fundamentals of Dramatic and Visual Writing at NYU Tisch. She has produced films for Paramount Pictures, Disney, PBS, ABC and CBS. In 2001, she won an Emmy as Executive Producer of Ansel Adams: A Documentary, directed by Ric Burns. A former literary agent, Handley Chandler was also a programming executive for ABC Entertainment in Los Angeles, overseeing the production of over twenty films in four years. A member of WGAWest, she has taught screenwriting at UCLA and Pepperdine University and recently at NYU Tisch. She is currently developing a documentary on the Shinnecock Nation with director Treva Wurmfeld (Shephard and Dark) and in development and pre-production of three feature films.

Annette Handley Chandler

Billy Collins is the author of nine collections of poetry, most recently Horoscopes for the Dead (Random House, 2011). Others titles include Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, Sailing Alone Around the Room, Nine Horses, Ballistics and Picnic, Lightning. He is also the editor of three anthologies: Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday, and Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Bird Poems. His poems have been published in a variety of periodicals including The New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic, and The American Scholar, and he appears regularly in The Best American Poetry. A Guggenheim Fellow and a New York Public Library "Literary Lion," he is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College, City University of New York, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. He served as New York State Poet (2004-5) and United States Poet Laureate (2001-2003). This fall will see the publication of a second new and selected collection titled Aimless Love

Cartoonist, Playwright and Screenwriter

Jules Feiffer’s Pulitzer-winning and internationally syndicated cartoon ran for 42 years in the Village Voice. His sensibility permeates a wide range of creative work: from his Obie-winning play Little Murders, to his screenplay for Carnal Knowledge, to his Oscar-winning anti-military short subject animation Munro. Other works include the Tony nominee Knock Knock, and the Pulitzer nominee Grown-Ups, as well as his screenplays for Popeye and I Want to Go Home, best screenplay winner at the Venice Film Festival. Taking inspiration from his three daughters, he has reinvented himself as a children’s book author with the award-winning books, Bark George,  I Lost My Bear, and The Man in the Ceiling.


Biographer, Essayist

Neal Gabler is the author of four books: An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood, Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity, Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality, and Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination. His essays and articles have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, including Vanity Fair, Esquire, Playboy, Newsweek, and Vogue, and he has been the recipient of two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, Time magazine's nonfiction book of the year, USA Today's biography of the year, a National Book Critics Circle nomination, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Public Policy Scholarship at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Shorenstein Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Patrick Henry Fellowship at Washington College's C.V. Starr Center. He has also served as the chief nonfiction judge of the National Book Awards.


Author, Editor

Emma Walton Hamilton is a best-selling children's author, editor, arts educator and arts and literacy advocate. She has co-authored over twenty children's books with her mother, Julie Andrews, seven of which have been on the New York Times best-seller list, including the #1 bestselling series The Very Fairy Princess. Emma’s own book for parents and caregivers, Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment, premiered as a #1 best-seller on in the literacy category and won a Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, silver medals from the Living Now and IPPY Book Awards, and Honorable Mention from ForeWord Magazine's Best Book of the Year. Emma is a faculty member and directs both the Southampton Children’s Literature Fellows program and YAWP (the Young Artists and Writers Project). She is married to actor/producer/director Stephen Hamilton. Her blog, Emmasaries: Raising the Next Generation of Readers and Writers, can be found at

emma walton hamilton

Ursula Hegi is the author of 12 books. Her Burgdorf Cycle encompasses 4 of her novels: Stones from the River, Floating in My Mother's Palm, The Vision of Emma Blau, and now Children and Fire.  Hegi's work has been translated into many languages, and her awards include the Italian Grinzane Cavour, an NEA Fellowship, and a PEN/Faulkner Award. She has taught at Barnard College, the University of California at Irvine, and Bread Loaf. She has also served as a juror for the National Book Awards and the National Book Critics Circle. A bi-cultural writer, Ursula didn’t plan to set nearly half of her work in Europe and the other half in the Americas—but that's how the pages have opened for her, reflecting what it is like to be an immigrant.


Novelist, Memoirist
Kaylie Jones is the author of five novels, including A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries, which was made into a Merchant – Ivory film in 1998. The novel Celeste Ascending was published by Harper Collins in 2001, and the memoir Lies My Mother Never Told Me, was published to critical acclaim in 2009. She has been teaching creative writing for almost 25 years at The Writers Voice, SUNY Stony Brook –Southampton MFA Program, and the Wilkes University low-residency MFA Program, and is Chairman of the annual $10,000 James Jones First Novel Fellowship.


Fiction Writer and Journalist
Matthew Klam was named one of the 20 best young fiction writers in America by The New Yorker in 1999. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim, a PEN/Robert Bingham Award, an NEA grant, a Whiting Writers' Award, and an O. Henry Award. His first book, Sam the Cat and Other Stories (Vintage), was selected as a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and Esquire, was chosen by Borders Books for their New Voices Series, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. His work has been featured in The New Yorker, GQ, Harper’s, Nerve, and The New York Times Magazine, where he is a contributing writer. He has taught creative writing at the University of Michigan, American University, and Stockholm University in Sweden, and teaches at the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.
Photo: Marion Ettlinger

Fiction, Creative Nonfiction
Patricia Marx is a staff writer for The New Yorker and a former writer for Saturday Night Live. She is the author of twelve books, including the novels Starting From Happy and Him Her Him AgainThe End of Him, both of which were finalists for the Thurber Prize for Humor, and several collaborations with the cartoonist Roz Chast. Marx was the first woman elected to the Harvard Lampoon. She has taught screenwriting at Princeton University and can take a baked potato out of the oven with her bare hand.
patricia marx


Megan McAndrew is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Going Topless (Downtown Press, 2004) and Dreaming in French (Scribner, 2009).  She lives in East Quogue and Brooklyn.  


Young Adult Fiction

A two-time National Book Award finalist, Patricia McCormick is the author of six critically acclaimed novels – Never Fall Down, a novel based on the true story of an 11-year-old boy who survived the Killing Fields of Cambodia by playing music; Purple Heart, a suspenseful psychological novel that explores the killing of a 10-year-old boy in Iraq; Sold, a deeply moving account of sexual trafficking in India, which was recently made into a feature film co-produced by Emma Thompson; My Brother’s Keeper, a realistic view of teenage substance abuse; Cut, an intimate portrait of one girl’s struggle with self-injury, and I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, co-authored with Malala Yousafzai.

Patricia’s books have earned many honors: Never Fall Down was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2012 and was named a New York Times Notable Book for 2012, and a Best Book of the Year by iTunes, The Huffington Post, School Library Journal and the Chicago Public Library. Sold was named by Publishers Weekly as one of Best 100 Books of the Year and was selected by the American Library Association as one of the Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults in 2006. Cut was an ALA Best Book for Teenagers. McCormick was named a New York Foundation of the Arts fellow in 2004. She is also the winner of the 2009 German Peace Prize for Youth Literature. She is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and lives in Manhattan.
patricia mccormick

Fiction Writer and Editor
Daniel Menaker was an editor at The New Yorker for twenty years and wrote frequently for the magazine. He went to Random House in 1995 as Senior Literary Editor and eventually became Editor-in-Chief there, working with such writers as Salman Rushdie, Colum McCann, Elizabeth Strout, and Nassim Taleb, and he now serves as a consultant for Barnes & Noble.  He has published five books of his own, two of them New York Times Notable Books, and has twice won the O Henry Award for short fiction.
Daniel Menaker
Photo: Star Black

Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist

Susan Scarf Merrell is Fiction Editor of The Southampton Review and Assistant Professor in the MFA in Creative Writing & Literature at Stony Brook Southampton.

She is most recently the author of Shirley: A Novel, about a young woman who goes to live with the famed gothic horror writer Shirley Jackson (The Lottery; The Haunting of Hill House) in 1964, and becomes obsessed with the notion that her host was involved in a long-unsolved murder. The novel has been optioned by HBO, and was selected by Paperback Book Club.

Merrell is also author of the novel A Member of the Family and the nonfiction book The Accidental Bond: How Sibling Connections Influence Adult Relationships. Her short stories and essays have been published in the literary reviews Tin House, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Publishers Weekly online, Large Hearted Boy, The Southampton ReviewThe New Haven Review and elsewhere. She has also written on the subject of adoption for The Daily Beast, and on author Shirley Jackson's Vermont homes for Merrell's articles have appeared inEdible East End, Self, New Woman, Parents, Parenting, Child, Psychology Today and elsewhere. 

Merrell’s national media appearances include The Today Show, Dateline, The O’Reilly Factor andTalk of the Nation. A graduate of Cornell University's College of Arts and Sciences, Merrell holds an MFA from The Bennington Writing Seminars.

Susan Merrill

Novelist, Short Story Writer
Susan Minot studied writing and painting at Brown University and received an MFA in writing from Columbia University. After she published short stories in Grand Street and The New Yorker. the legendary publisher Seymour Lawrence brought out her next three books: Monkeys, a collection of linked short stories which won the Prix Femina Etranger in France in l987; Lust & Other Stories, another collection, and Folly, a novel. She collaborated with the director Bernardo Bertolucci on the screenplay of Stealing Beauty. Her fourth book, Evening, was made into a major motion picture in 2007. It was followed by the novels Rapture in 2002 and Thirty Girls in 2014.

Susan Minot


Marsha Norman was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Hull-Warriner, and Drama Desk Awards for ’Night Mother; a Tony Award and Drama Desk Awards for The Secret Garden; and the John Gassner Medallion, Newsday Oppenheimer award, and the American Theatre Critics Association Citation for Getting Out. Other plays include Third and Oak, The Laundromat, The Poolhall, The Holdup, Traveler in the Dark, Sarah and Abraham, Loving Daniel Boone, and Trudy Blue. She also wrote the book for The Red Shoes, The Color Purple, and The Bridges of Madison County. Published work includes Four Plays and a novel, The Fortune Teller. Television and film credits include Face of a Stranger, starring Gena Rowlands and Tyne Daly. Norman is cochair, with Christopher Durang, of the Playwriting Department of the Juilliard School, and vice president of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Marsha Norman

Novelist, Short Story Writer
Jessica Soffer earned her MFA at Hunter College. Her work has appeared in Granta, The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue and on NPR’s Selected Shorts. Her first novel, Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots, was published in 2013. She teaches fiction and food writing at Connecticut College and lives in Amagansett. .

Jessica Soffer

Poet, Novelist, Memoirist
A dazzling master of craft with a body of work that includes five books of poetry, six novels, a memoir, a book of translation and over a hundred published short stories,Terese Svoboda's subject is human suffering. Called "disturbing, edgy and provocative" by Book Magazine, her work is often the surreal poetry of a nightmare, yet it is written with such wit, verve and passion that she can address the direst subjects. "Terese Svoboda has such range—of subject, of emotion (from whimsical play to chillingly dead serious), that these poems take you on a wild ride, fast and dangerous, but always in control. This is a goddamn terrific book!", writes Thomas Lux about Weapons Grade (2009). Forthcoming in 2015 is a biography of the radical poet Lola Ridge and her New and Selected poems.
Terese Svoboda


Frederic Tuten grew up in the Bronx and later lived in South America and Paris, writing about Brazilian Cinema Novo and teaching at University of Paris 8.  Among his novels are The Green Hour, Tintin in the New World, and The Adventures of Mao on the Long March.  He has written extensively about art, literature and film; acted in an Alain Resnais movie; taught with Paul Bowles in Morocco; cowrote the cult classic Possession; and, along the way, earned a PhD in literature, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  His most recent book, Self Portraits: Fictions, is a collection of interrelated short stories. He has been awarded two Pushcart Prizes..


Novelist and Short Story Writer

Meg Wolitzer is a novelist whose works include The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position and The Wife. Her short fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. Wolitzer has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, Columbia University, Skidmore College, the University of Houston, Boston University and Barnard College. In the fall she will be a visiting artist at Princeton University's Atelier program.


Executive Director, Southampton Arts
Carla Caglioti is the Executive Director of Southampton Graduate Arts and founding Associate Director of the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Writing and Literature. She is also an Assistant Dean at Stony Brook Southampton. Caglioti has a Bachelor's in English Literature and Writing, a Master's in English Education, and a doctorate in English Literature. Her dissertation focused on the rise of the field of creative writing in higher education. Her work has appeared in The Scrub Oak Review, Proteus, Letters from Ninevah and The Southampton Review.


Director, Southampton Arts Summer & Winter Programming
Christian McLean is the Associate Director of the Southampton Writers Conference Coordinator and the founding Director of the MFA's International Writing Workshops in Italy, Kenya & Cuba. His fiction has been published in Scores Anthology and The Southampton Review. His poetry has been featured in a collaborative work at the Dundee Contemporary Arts Museum (Dundee, Scotland). 2006 saw the publication of his first children's book Duckhampton. Christian holds a Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.
christian mclean
Photo: Star Black