UC San Diego SearchMenu

MFA Students

Updated September 2019

1st Year

  • Melisa Casumbal


  • Savannah Hampton

    BFA, Writing, Pratt Institute

    Writing and research interests: Text & image, lyric essays, feminist and queer theory, visual art, psychoanalysis, projection art, and the poetics of music.

    Savannah Hampton is a writer from Nevada, who for the past five years studied and worked in Brooklyn and Queens, NY. Her writing practice includes poetry, lyrical essays, art criticism, book reviews––all of which hinge on research, community, relation, context. Her work currently resides in The Felt, Tarpaulin Sky, No, Dear, Bone Bouquet, Fanzine, and Gigantic Sequins. In fall 2018, she spent a month as a resident at Millay Colony for the Arts where she collected dried steeplebush and researched the motif of gardens in the lyrics of female musicians.

    Selected publications:
    Review of Gracie Leavitt's Livingry
    "dear image less" 
    Some Corresponding Loops

  • Neon Mashurov

    BS, Journalism, Boston University College of Communication

    Writing and research interests: Poetry, nonfiction, hybrid forms, music writing, utopias & dystopias, collectivity, communal trauma & healing, DIY spaces, queer & trans legacies, radical intimacies, anxious embodiment, surveillance, machine learning, borders & state violence, post-Soviet affect, hauntology, pop culture, noise & other dissolutions, gay noir, club theory, cyborg theories, desire, monstrosity, friendship.

    Neon Mashurov (usually writing/performing as NM Esc) is a writer from Brooklyn via the post-Soviet diaspora. Their writing has appeared in The Felt, Peach Magazine, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and Ghost City Press, as well as Pitchfork, The FADER, Impose Magazine, The Media, and multiple self-published & small press chapzines.

    Their work is in conversation with the archives & practices of care that allow minoritarian subjects & communities to survive in the face of ambient violence, trauma and precarity. As a fire sign, Neon is invested in collective culture-making, pursued most recently through six years as a collective member at the Silent Barn in Brooklyn where they co-organized shows and readings; as well as across projects in Boston, Hamburg (via the Villa Magdalena residency), and elsewhere. They are currently working on a poetry project which explores the affect of collective collapse and the bureaucratic dimension of utopia-building, as well as a queer vampire noir about gentrification & NYC nightlife. They love the gig.

  • Becca Rae Rose

    BA, Interdisciplinary Concentration in Creative Writing and Gender Studies from Fairhaven College, Western Washington University

    Writing and research interests: critical gender studies, queer studies, poetry, memoir, realistic fiction, spoken word, identity politics, theory in the flesh, Women of Color feminisms, theories of intersectionality, Latin American studies and literature, mental health, madness, body art, collage and mixed-media visual art.

    Becca Rose is from the small mountain town of Sisters, Oregon, a place that greatly informs her work through imagery, nature motifs, and the complex collision of religion and gender identity. Refusing the traditional concept that poetry is written from a divine inspiration to fill the poet like a vessel, rather she experiences writing as an excavation, as a political and personal reckoning—which she learned through reading a lineage of writers such as Audre Lorde, June Jordan, and Gloria Anzaldúa. Her current work is spurred by the desire to unravel how madness, gender, bodies, and our contemporary political moment knot together. She explores this in her poetry by connecting politically disposable bodies to roadkill—deaths that are overlooked and normalized. Writing is her method of waking, this work a rejection of complacency and a reimagining of madness as power and resistance.

  • McKenzie Ross

    McKenzie Ross

    Honors BA, English; Honors BA, International Studies; Honors BA Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies—Oregon State University

    Writing and research interests: Reflexive texts, queer studies, semiotics, postmodernism, French literature, sound synthesis, comics, speculative fiction, aesthetics of eroticism, transgression, and abjection.

    McKenzie Ross, a Salt Lake City domestic, graduated summa cum laude from Oregon State University. She enjoys writing sharp, punchy fiction with formalist inclinations. Her characters are often forced to go without names and frequently have their pants around their ankles. Her work has been featured in the North Dakota Quarterly.

  • Alissa Tu

    Alissa Tu

    BA, Writing Studies, University of Washington Tacoma

    Writing and research interests: Mental health, sexuality, religion, gender expression, Southeast & Eastern Asian Culture, gentrification, street dance, hybrid forms, lyric essay, film, and mythology.

    Alissa Tu is a writer from Olympia, Washington. She writes poetry and nonfiction, and participates in a variety of visual arts. She enjoys writing and reading about the Asian American experience, and her work often centers around the different intersections of identity such as socioeconomic status, race, gender, and sexuality.

2nd Year

  • Lucas Bailor

    BA, Humanities and Communication, CSU Monterey Bay; MA, English, CSU Northridge

    Writing and research interests: Contemporary poetry and poetics, experimentation, hybrid forms, visual presentation of poems, collage, cut-up, mixed media, ekphrastic poetics, poetics around place, poetics around the body, nonfiction (particularly lyric essay), music.

    Lucas Bailor is from Moreno Valley, California, and is planning to work on projects that experiment with how poems are presented on the page and how they utilize other forms in order to create cross-genre/hybrid projects, particularly focusing on topics of place and the body. His work navigates what it means to write "around" a topic, utilizing the dual nature of the word "around" to mean both to focus in on and to avoid. His work has appeared in Ghost City Press, HVTN, and SHARKPACK Poetry Review, among other publications. He is currently a poetry reader for Gigantic Sequins and Bodega Magazine.

    Selected publications:
    "Love's Refrain" (free PDF)
    "Remembering You"

    Website: https://lucasbailor.wixsite.com/writing/publications 

  • Carlito Beal

    B.A. in English Literature and Language, with Creative Writing Concentration, College of the Holy Cross
    B.A. in Sociology, with a focus in Queer and Gender Studies, College of the Holy Cross

    Writing and Research Interests: Hybrid genres, the archive and critical fabulation, comics, zine scenes, flash fiction, queer narratives, trans narratives, digital poetics, slam poetry.

    Carlito Espudo is a queer, genderfunky Chicanx writer, born and raised in Palm Springs, California (Organic Certified) (not really). He works in hybrid forms with a focus in fragmentation, as well as the interplay of text with image. Their most recent work investigates themes of family, gender, and memory through a multicultural lens. Although school and existential dread keep Espudo busy, they still find time to be the Poetry Editor of Name and None magazine. His debut poetry chapbook, boy if, was the winner of the 2019 Outwrite DC Chapbook contest and is available online through Neon Hemlock Press.

    Find him onTwitter / Instagram as @ALittleManly
    Check out their chapbook:  boy if

    Photo: Naya Marie Velazco

  • Klara Feenstra

    BA, American Literature with Creative Writing, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

    Writing and research interests: Confucianism, psychogeography, class & feminism, phenomenology, music/composition.

    Klara Feenstra is a writer/dilettante from London whose current work is focused on comedy, cities and the limits of communication. You can find her work in The Rialto, Gatehouse Press, Ink, Sweat & Tears, amongst others. She currently serves on the editorial board of Alchemy, UCSD's journal of translation.

  • Townsend Montilla

    BA and MA, English Literature, University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras


  • Siloh Radovsky

    BA, Creative Writing, Evergreen State College

    Writing and research interests: Prose; critical poetics; new narrative; medicine; history of science and objectivity; structures of care (medical and otherwise); pop culture; religious studies; food and eating; the contemporary condition of social entrepreneurship.

    Siloh Radovsky writes personal essays, experimental prose and prose poems, and fiction. Siloh received her B.A. from the Evergreen State College, where she took an interdisciplinary approach to writing, often merging word and image. Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Sundae Theory, Inkwell, Alchemy, and is forthcoming in PANK. She is also the author of numerous zines, some of which can be found on her website. Siloh is currently working on experimental, research-based prose concerning contemporary relationships to bodily and emotional wellness, as well as institutional structures of care and their histories. Siloh was an artist-in-residence at the Hinge Arts program in Minnesota, in spring 2017. She does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has a dog, and went to herb school in Portland.

    Website: siloradovsky.net.

  • Adriana Tosun

    BA, French (Linguistics) and English, Rutgers University

    Writing and research interests: Narratology; Balkan myth and history; Islam; American religious practice; the farce and other absurdist forms; immigration; family memory and gaps therein; labor studies; the internet as mythmaker.

    Adriana Tosun has lived on two continents and a boat, but is originally from New Jersey; she writes poetry, fiction, and drama, makes visual and textile art, and taught at an alternative high school for several years before coming to UCSD. Her interactive and dramatic work has been installed and produced in New York and London (With Your Little Claws, Lolita, The Tank, NYC, 2019; Ophelia Talketh Back and MAR/TEAR, the Center at West Park, NYC, 2018; MAR/TEAR, Ugly Duck performance venue, London, 2018; What Feels To My Heart, the Brick Theater, NYC, 2017) and performed in San Diego. These days, she's invested in jokes.

    Selected publications:
    Baba Tomor

    Website: http://www.iliria-osum.com 

  • Wambui Wainaina

    BA, individualized major, New York University


3rd Year

  • Tina Lawson

    T. M. Lawson

    BA, English, Creative Writing, UCLA

    Writing and research interests: Open poetics, hybrid prose with more integration with visual aesthetics (including typography, collages, and origami), nature motifs, trans/feminist/animal subject matter, sexuality, interpersonal relationships, the acts of consumption and cannibalism, the human body, social justice (abuse, aggression, and violence of all varieties) within our contemporary global-Western culture.

    T.M. Lawson is working with open poetics, leaning into hybrid prose, with more integration with visual aesthetics (including typography, collages, and origami). They gravitates toward nature motifs, as well as trans/feminist/animal subject matter, investigating sexuality, interpersonal relationships, the acts of consumption and cannibalism, and the human body, as well as highlighting moral values against social justice (abuse, aggression, and violence of all varieties) within our contemporary global-Western culture.

    Published in Los Angeles Review, White Stag, Entropy Magazine, and Poets.org. Editor for Angel City Review.

    Selected publications: Bonsai Bondage (.docx)

  • Ayden LeRoux

    Ayden LeRoux

    BA, The Interaction of Text and Image, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University

    Writing and research interests: Nonfiction, fiction, poetry, epistolary writing, hybrid and experimental forms, visual art, aesthetic theory, phenomenology, land art, collaboration, gender and sexuality, food studies, linguistics, pilgrimage.

    Ayden LeRoux is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, critic, and educator. Her work explores embodiment, the sensory, eroticism, illness, and prophecy. Her writing has been published by Catapult, Electric Literature, Los Angeles Review of Books, edibleManhattan, and Cosmonauts Avenue, among others. LeRoux’ photography, performance, video, and installations have been presented in solo exhibitions at IDIO Gallery, Flux Factory, and the Institute for American Art (IFAA). She has participated in residencies at A-Z West, the ACE Hotel, and the Alaskan Parks & Recreation Department. In addition to her own practice, Ayden collaborates frequently and is the Assistant Director of Odyssey Works, a performance group that studies the life of one individual and makes immersive, durational experiences for that person. She is the author of two books on their work, Isolation and Amazement (Samsara Press, 2012), and Odyssey Works: Transformative Experiences for an Audience of One (Princeton Architectural Press, 2016) co-authored with Abraham Burickson. 

    Selected publications:

    "The Hunter and the Hunted," Catapult
    Odyssey Works (Princeton Architectural Press, 2016)
    Excerpts from "Every Bed I've Ever Slept In," Cosmonauts Avenue 
    "The Art of Attention," Electric Literature

    Website: www.aydenleroux.com

  • Evelyn Murdock

    Lucky Evelyn Sassafras

    BA, English and Theatre with a focus on Dramaturgy, University of Alabama in Huntsville

    Writing and research interests: Noise, writing process, improvisation, the contemporary American South, the Gothic, the grotesque, the absurd, counter-culture, queerness, education reform, punk rock, prison abolition, labor movements, addiction & recovery, sci-fi, animation.

    Lucky Evelyn Sassafras (formerly Murdock) is a Southern artist, musician, performer, and writer. After spending six years as a high-school dropout in bad punk bands scattered across the US, ze decided to go to community college. From there, ze transferred to UAH, where ze earned hir BA in December 2015. Now ze is in the third year of hir Writing MFA. Hir work has been featured in publications such as WUSSY, The Rectangle, and Fuck Art/Let's Dance, but hir best work is the private readings ze does for hir dog, Roccotillo.

    Selected publications: http://alchemy.ucsd.edu/2019/08/01/artmachina/https://www.wussymag.com/shop/the-fight-issue

MFA Program Director
Lily Hoang

MFA Graduate Coordinator

Mailing Address
UC San Diego
Literature Dept / MFA Program
9500 Gilman Drive #0410
La Jolla, CA 92093-0410