News Archive

Poet and visual scholar Roberto Tejada joins the Creative Writing Program as the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing.

Creative Writing Program welcomes UHCWP alumna Audrey Colombe as Visiting Associate Professor in English and Creative Writing.

UHCWP alumnus Ed Porter is awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship.

UHCWP alumna Kate Schmidt’s Singing Bones wins the Zone 3 Press 2013 Creative Nonfiction Book Award.

Being Flynn: Life as a Movie

UHCWP alumnus Russel Swensen wins the Spring 2011 Black River Chapbook Competition for Santa Ana

Entire Houston area asked to read One Amazing Thing

UH Student Christine Ha Cooks Her Way to FOX TV's 'MasterChef" Title

UHCWP Professor Mat Johnson awarded Longwood's Dos Passos Prize

UHCWP alumna Tiphanie Yanique Selected by the National Book Foundation as one of the "Top 5 Under 35" Fiction Writers

Glenn Shaheen wins Agnes Lynn Starrett Prize

UH alum, Glenn Shaheen, has won the Agnes Lynn Starrett Prize for his manuscript, which will now be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Glenn and U of Pitt press are currently negotiating the title of the book. Congratulations to Glenn.

Bob Phillips wins prize at 2010 Independent Publishers Book Awards

Bob Phillips, Professor Emeritus won a Bronze Medal in Poetry for Now and Then: New and Selected Poems at the Independent Publishers Book Awards, 2010. He also has a new book of fiction, Icehouse Sketches, to be published by Texas Review Press in 2011.

Alexander Parsons awarded

Alexander Parsons awarded the 2009-2010 UH Teaching Excellence Award, one of the highest awards bestowed by the University of Houston.

David MacLean reads on This American Life

David MacLean read one of his essays on the radio show This American Life. It is scheduled to air the weekend of January 22nd. For more information, please go to

Eric Ekstrand wins Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship

Eric Ekstrand has won a 2009 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship awarded by the Poetry Foundation. Established in 1989 by the Indianapolis philanthropist Ruth Lilly, the fellowships are intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry. The fellowship winners will be announced in the October 2009 Issue of Poetry Magazine. Eric is a third-year MFA candidate in Poetry at the University of Houston. He would like to thank his friends, teachers, students and colleagues at the University for all of their insight and encouragement over the past two years.

Samuel Amadon wins the Iowa Poetry Prize

Samuel Amadon won the Iowa Poetry Prize for his manuscript LIKE A SEA. Sam is a Ph.D. candidate in poetry who entered the program in 2008.

Janine Joseph talks about poetry on local radio segment

Graduate student and Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship winner Janine Joseph reads from her poem and discusses what inspires her during KUHF's UH Moment. See the original news article "UH Poet Earns Soros Fellowship," published on May 5 on

Tiphanie Yanique wins Rona Jaffe Prize

UH CWP alum Tiphanie Yanique has won the Rona Jaffe Prize. Congratulations to Tiphanie.

Lauren Berry wins National Poetry Series award

Selected by Terrance Hayes, Lauren Berry's manuscript, The Lifting Dress, won the National Poetry Series and will be published by Penguin in 2011.

Antonya Nelson named 2009 USA Simon Fellow in Literature

Antonya Nelson has been named a 2009 USA Simon Fellow in Literature. The fellowship carries a cash award of $50,000. Antonya Nelson is a novelist and short-fiction writer. She received an MFA in 1986 from the University of Arizona. Her collections of short stories include Nothing Right (2009), Some Fun (2006), and Female Trouble (2002). Her story "The Lonely Doll" was awarded the Pushcart Prize (2003), and "Female Trouble" was given the O. Henry Award (2001), and her work has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories (1998) and The Scribner Anthology of Short Fiction (2007). Her work lays bare the specificity and intricacies of female desire, and she writes often about family life and the emotional life of women. She shares the Cullen Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Houston with her husband, novelist Robert Boswell.

Faculty member Mat Johnson was named the USA James Baldwin Fellow in Literature in 2007.

Hayan Charara Receives an NEA Fellowship

Hayan Charara received a Literature Fellowship (Poetry), in the amount of $25,000, given by the National Endowment for the Arts. According to the NEA: "The goal of the fellowships program is to encourage the production of new work and allow writers the time and means to write." 

Farnoosh Fathi wins a Fulbright Scholarship

Farnoosh Fathi received a U.S. Student Fulbright Fellowship in Creative Writing to Brazil, a nine month grant to complete a book of poems. The work she will do there will engage the literary, natural and cultural landscape in Brazil, and will include working with Brazilian writer, Elizabeth Bishop scholar and translator, Paulo Britto.

Matthew Siegel is awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship

Matthew Siegel has been awarded the Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a two-year creative writing fellowship at Stanford University.  Fellows are regarded as working artists, intent upon practicing and perfecting their craft. There are no curricular requirements other than workshop attendance and writing. As a fellow, Matthew will be living in San Francisco and working on his first book of poetry.

Robert Phillips Retiring After Distinguished Career at UH

Robert Phillips left a successful career in advertising to move from New York to teach creative writing at the University of Houston in 1991. He directed the Creative Writing Program from 1991 to 1996 and was chosen as a John and Rebecca Moores University Scholar in 1998. He has taught fiction, poetry and non-fiction courses while at UH.  He has published 10 books of poetry, three books of fiction and numerous essays, criticisms, interviews and editions. His writing has been featured in dozens of anthologies and is often read by Garrison Keiller on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion.  

Phillips has mentored many, many students, served on committees, received many local and national awards and has been nominated for many more. The University of Houston, and specifically the Creative Writing Program, hopes that Phillips’ retirement is as successful for him as his time here has been for the UH community.

Mark Doty Moving On

In September, longtime UH Creative Writing Program professor Mark Doty joins the faculty at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where he will be Writer in Residence. Mark finds it hard to leave Houston after ten years of involvement with remarkable students, but he looks forward to taking the train to work and to connecting with a new community of writers and scholars.

The Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston wishes him the best of luck and thanks him for all he’s done while in Houston and hopes he stays in touch.

Janine Joseph wins a Paul & Daisy Soros Award

UH Creative Writing Program doctoral candidate Janine Joseph was recently awarded a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship, which are annually awarded to support the graduate study of new Americans (immigrants and children of immigrants). Joseph is one of 31 Soros Fellows who were selected from about 750 applicants. Created in 1997, these fellowships have been awarded to 354 students. See the original news article "UH Poet Earns Soros Fellowship," published on May 5 on

Jericho Brown wins 2009 American Book Award

The Before Columbus Foundation announced that Please by Jericho Brown has been selected as a winner of the thirtieth annual American Book Awards for 2009.

CWP welcomes new professor Martha Serpas

The Creative Writing Program is pleased to welcome Martha Serpas back to the University of Houston. Professor Serpas, a Ph.D. graduate of the Creative Writing Program, has been Poet-in-Residence at Gustavus Adolphus College, Visiting Associate Professor of Religion and Literature at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and, for the last ten years, an Associate Professor of English and Writing at the University of Tampa where she also served as poetry editor of the Tampa Review. In the fall of 2008 she was a visiting associate professor in creative writing in the Department of English at the University of Houston. For more info, please see her faculty page.

Lauren Berry wins the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship

Lauren Berry has received the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, which offers fellowships to poets and writers who have completed an MFA or Ph.D. but who have not yet published a book. For one academic year, she will teach creative writing workshops at the university and work on her manuscript, "Mosquito Fever Speeches," which explores ideas about girlhood in the South.