2017 Gathering Faculty Bios



Keynote Brian Leung is the author of Take Me Home (HarperCollins) which was a recipient of a Willa Award for Historical Fiction, World Famous Love Acts (Sarabande Books) the recipient of both the Mary McCarthy Award in Short Fiction and the Asian American Literary Award for fiction, and the well-received novel, Lost Men (Random House). In 2012 Lambda Literary Foundation presented him with its Mid-Career Novelist Award. Brian’s fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in numerous anthologies as well as Story, Numero Cinq, The Ocean State Review, Crazyhorse, Grain, Gulf Coast, Kinesis, The Barcelona Review, Mid-American Review, Salt Hill, Gulf Stream, River City, Runes, The Bellingham Review, Hyphen, Velocity, The Connecticut Review, Blithe House Quarterly, Indiana Review, Crab Orchard Review, Crowd, and in the short story anthologies, The Habit of Art, Law and Disorder, and Altered States. He is also the co-author of the non-fiction humor title, Not Another Feel Good Singles Book.  For six years Professor Leung worked with the U.S. Department of State Institute on Contemporary U.S. Literature where, in his final year, he served as Principal Investigator and Director. He is a recipient of the University of Louisville's President’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity, and a College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award at that same institution.  Currently, he serves as Director of Creative Writing at Purdue University. A native of California, he received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Indiana University. He has teaching experience in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, drama, literary genre, and special topics in contemporary American literature. His writing interests include writing within difference and diversity including concerns surrounding race, class, gender, and sexuality. His novel, Ivy vs. Dogg is forthcoming from C&R press in fall, 2017.


Andrew Black has an MFA in playwriting from Ohio University. His full-length play Strange Bedfellows (co-written with Patricia Milton) was produced at Khaos Company Theatre in Indy. Khaos will be producing Andrew’s full-length play Another Dude’s Slingbacks in June of 2017. Slingbacks won the New Works of Merit award in 2008 and received its world premiere at the 13th Street Repertory Theatre in New York City in March, 2010. Andrew’s newest work, Puppet Man, was produced at Theatre on the Square in Indianapolis in January of 2017. He teaches playwriting at the Indiana Writers Center and for Indiana Repertory Theatre


Brian Brodeur is the author of the poetry collections Natural Causes and Other Latitudes, as well as the poetry chapbooks Local Fauna and So the Night Cannot Go on Without Us. New poems and essays appear in American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry (online), The Hopkins Review, Measure, The Missouri Review, River Styx, Southwest Review, and The Writer’s Chronicle. Founder and Coordinator of the Veterans Writing Workshop of Richmond, Indiana, he lives with his wife and daughter in the Whitewater River Valley. 


Mary Ann Cain lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she teaches writing and rhetoric at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne. She is the author of a novel, Down from Moonshine, and her fiction, essays, and poems have appeared in numerous literary journals. Her critical work on writing theory and praxis includes a collaborative book, Composing Public Space: Teaching Writing in the Face of Private Interests and a monograph on writing workshops, Revisioning Writers’ Talk, as well as dozens of articles and book chapters about writing and writing instruction. Her latest project is a nonfiction book about the legacy of Chicago artist-teacher-activist Dr. Margaret Burroughs, founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Washington Park.


Sarah Gerkensmeyer’s story collection, What You Are Now Enjoying, was selected by Stewart O’Nan as winner of the Autumn House Press Fiction Prize, longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and chosen as winner of Late Night Library’s Debut-litzer Prize. A finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction and the Italo Calvino Prize for Fabulist Fiction, Sarah’s stories and poetry have appeared in American Short Fiction, Guernica, The New Guard, The Massachusetts Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, B O D Y, and Hobart, among others. Her story “Ramona” was featured in a Huffington Post piece on flash fiction and also selected by Lily Hoang for the 2014 Best of the Net Anthology. Sarah was a Pen Parentis Fellow and is the 2016 winner of the Indiana Authors Award in the emerging category.


Jean Harper’s writing has appeared in The Iowa Review, North American Review, The Florida Review, Harpur Palate, and elsewhere. Her first book Rose City: A Memoir of Work won the Mid-List Press First Series Award for Creative Nonfiction. Her second book, Still Life with Horses ​is forthcoming from Howling Bird Press, November 2017. Her writing has been supported by residencies at Yaddo and MacDowell, grants from the Indiana Arts Commission, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches at Indiana University East and lives and writes on a hundred-year-old horse farm in northern Indiana. Website: www.jeanharper.org


George Kalamaras, former Poet Laureate of Indiana (2014-2016), has published fifteen volumes of poetry, including eight full-length books, several of which have won national prizes. He has also published hundreds of poems in anthologies and magazines, including The Best American Poetry, American Literary Review, Denver Quarterly, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, Missouri Review, New Letters, North American Review, and elsewhere. He is Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he has taught since 1990.


Adrian Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up in California and Indiana. He is a graduate of Indiana University and the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is the author of The Devil’s Garden, which won the New York / New England Award and Mixology, a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series, and finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature. His most recent collection of poems, The Big Smoke, was awarded the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and was also a finalist for the National Book Award, Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His new book, Map to the Stars, is forthcoming from Penguin in March 2017. Among Matejka’s other honors are the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, the Julia Peterkin Award, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and a Simon Fellowship from United States Artists. He teaches in the MFA program at Indiana University in Bloomington.


Michael McColly is the author of The After-Death Room: Journey into Spiritual Activism for which he won a Lambda Award in memoir writing. He’s also the author of The World is Round, a collection of his immigrant narratives on their experiences living in Chicago. He teaches literary nonfiction in Northwestern University’s MFA program. His journalism and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, NUVO, The Sun, and other journals and publications. He is currently completing a book that blends reportage, travel, and memoir that chronicles a 63-mile walk from Chicago to the Indiana Dunes that focuses on the stark divides that dominate the historic shoreline of Chicago and Northwest Indiana. 


Greg Schwipps was born and raised on a working farm in Milan, Indiana. He graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, before attending Southern Illinois University at Carbondale for his MFA in creative writing. His essays and short fiction can be found in the collections Not Like the Rest of Us: An Anthology of Contemporary Indiana Writers and Winesburg, Indiana: A Fork River Anthology. He co-authored Fishing For Dummies, 2nd Edition, and his first novel, What This River Keeps, was rereleased with Indiana University Press in 2012. In 2010 he won the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award in the Emerging Writer category. What This River Keeps was one of thirteen titles named to the Next Indiana Bookshelf, an honor celebrating Indiana’s bicentennial. Currently a Professor of English at DePauw, Greg and his wife Alissa live with their two sons, Milan and Arlo, in Greencastle.

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