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MFA | People



First Year

Ayden Grout


Tina Lawson


Evelyn Murdock


Alison Ogunmokun

Second Year

Zachary Bushnell


Valentina Calvache

Valentina Calvache

B.A Social Communications –  Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá

I’m a bilingual writer concerned with the liminal intersections between fiction, fashion and cultural production. I’m interested in how things work, what categorizations they create, what enactments they perform and what relations they generate. I write prose that feels uncomfortable to me and I’m always in the search for new genres to speculate about. My fiction and non-fiction work has been published, among others, in Exclama, Don Juan, Revista Antioquia, Bacánika, Antología de cuento Instituto Caro y Cuervo, Idartes.  

Shelby London Salemi

Shelby London Salemi

B.A. in Creative Writing with a thematic minor in Spanish and Portuguese

Native to Tucson, Arizona, Shelby London Salemi practices the Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira angola and has been a community social worker.  She is currently polishing her novel Sirens of the Santa Rita, dealing with a historic hotel’s demolition. Her MFA project is cross-genre, and dips into translation, ecopoetics, and other pools of art. Her poetry appears in Spiral Orb and the anthology The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide. Her art appeared in the Hey Baby! Art Show Against Sexual Violence.

Estefani Loza Torre

Estefani Loza Torre

B.A. in Philosophy

Estefani (Gidi) Loza Torre is a poet, editor, translator and current student of creative writing at UC San Diego. Her academic interests are poetry, creative writing and 20th and 21st century American literature. She has self-published the following books: Ella/Él/Ello [She/He/It], 2013, poetry; IMIX, 2012, poetry; Círculo [Circle], 2012, poetry; Felizmente [Happily], 2013, translation. She studied graphic design and earned a BA degree in philosophy. She is currently working on a book of poetry that integrates the dimensions of automatism, dictation and technology.

Calvin Walds


Third Year

Katherine Agard

Katherine Agard

 Katherine Agard grew up in Trinidad listening to the stories of her mother growing up in Ghana. She studied Visual and Environmental Studies and Social Anthropology at Harvard, where she focused on some mixture of post-colonial theory, queer studies, religion, painting and filmmaking. Her work moves between fiction, non-fiction, image-making and social practice. She is currently thinking about colour as it applies to phenomenological perception and to racial/ethnic categories; narratives of ancestral healing in the Afro-Caribbean diaspora as related to sexuality and identity; the ethical use of the mystery traditions of oppressed groups in US popular culture and how to produce synesthesia in viewers/readers of her work. She is an alumna of the VONA/Voices and Callaloo Writer's workshops.

Frank Ken Saragosa

Ken Saragosa

 I am in my third year in the MFA Program. I write formally “experimental” prose narrative, and my writing engages stories of addiction, incarceration, homelessness and mental illness. I am working on my MFA Thesis, an experimental “autobiographical” or “auto-ethnographic” narrative about the writer in prison. I am interested in experimenting with forms that claim to be autobiographical or auto-ethnographic, and interrogating the idea of the confession.

Prior to coming to UCSD, I attended Bard College, UC Berkeley, and the University of Pennsylvania. For 10 years, I taught American Literature, Comparative Ethnic Studies, and Queer Theory/ Gender studies at Swarthmore College and Soka University of America. After leaving academia, I worked in social services for several years, first as a vocational counselor for homeless mentally ill adults, then with HIV+ people just coming out of jail, and as a hepatitis case manager at UCSD Medical Center.

Gina Srmabekian




Sarah Ciston

Maria Jose Delgadillo

Marco Huerta Alardin

Kimberly Schreiber


Jeffrey M. Baker

Paola Capó-García

Tina Hyland

April Peletta

Juan (Pepe) Rojo Solis


Maria Flaccavento

Kendall Grady

Gabriel Kalmuss-Katz

Ethan Sparks

Jose Villaran

Brett Zehner


Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi

Keith McCleary

Benjamin Segal

Hanna Tawater

Rachel Taylor


Amanda Martin Sandino

Cathiana Sylne

Franciszka Voeltz


Nikolai Beope

Kara Ford-Martinez

Amy Forrest

K. Lorraine Graham

Ryan Luz

Allison Moreno

Lester O'Connor


John Pluecker

Kaitlin Solimine

Courtney Kilian


MFA Graduate Coordinator

Tania Mayer is the MFA graduate coordinator. She advises applicants and students about application and admission, graduation requirements, funding, petitions, and other administrative matters.

MFA Office

(858) 534-8849
139 Literature Bldg.
Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm
Closed on university holidays and when the MFA coordinator is away. Please make an appointment.

When planning a visit please be aware that UCSD buildings are not numbered and the closest parking may be 1/4 mile away. It's a good idea to locate the building on the campus map and to read about parking permits and construction impacts before arriving on campus.

Mailing Address

UC San Diego
Literature Department / MFA Program
9500 Gilman Dr., 0410
La Jolla, CA 92093-0410

Course Preauthorization

MFA students seeking WebReg clearance to enroll in an MFA workshop should call or email the MFA graduate coordinator. Graduate students in other departments: please submit a request through the Preauthorization system and include justification (describe previous preparation for graduate-level writing workshop and reasons for enrolling in the course).

Submitting Announcements for Students

We are happy to forward HTML announcements to our MFA students about professional opportunities related to creative writing (conferences, fellowships, calls, residencies, employment). We cannot print or forward PDF flyers. If you would like to send us a flyer, please mail one print copy for posting in our graduate lounge.

To submit announcements for forwarding to our undergraduate or doctoral students please email litug@ucsd.edu or litgrad@ucsd.edu.

MFA Program Director
Anna Joy Springer

MFA Graduate Coordinator
Tania Mayer
(858) 534-8849