Master of Fine Arts Alumni Advance Their Careers

Eastern Washington University alumna Michelle Bonczek Evory (MFA ’03) has accepted a faculty position at Klamath Community College in Oregon. She joins EWU MFA alumni poets with permanent faculty positions at Gonzaga, Central Washington, Idaho State and Whitworth, as well as Spokane and Spokane Falls Community Colleges in the region and at numerous universities and colleges elsewhere. 

Bonczek Evory is the author of three books of poems, most recently The Ghosts of Lost Animals, winner of the 2018 Barry Spacks Prize, and a book on poetic craft. Her poetry has been published in the Best New Poets anthology and in more than 80 national literary journals and magazines. Her national honors include the Sherwin W. Howard Award and the Jane Kenyon Award for poetry. In 2015, she and her husband, poet Rob Evory, were the inaugural Artists in Residence for the National Parks Arts Foundation at Gettysburg National Military Park.

Meanwhile, EWU MFA alumna Katheryn Nuernberger (MFA ’07) has published her third book of poems, Rue. The book is dedicated to Nuernberger’s fellow poetry alumna Maya Jewell Zeller (MFA ’07), currently an Associate Professor at Central Washington University. About the collection Jewell Zeller said, “It’s a huge honor to have one of the most brilliant literary and feminist minds of our generation dedicate her book to me. Kate is among the best scholars in her field, moving easily between references to popular culture and literary scholarship. Rue is a book if ire and spite, but better than that, it’s a treatise on how to be human.”

Nuernberger is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota where she teaches in the MFA program. She has also written the essay collections Brief Interviews with the Romantic Past and The Witch of Eye (forthcoming in 2021). Her national honors include the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.

Of these poets’ success, EWU Professor Jonathan Johnson said, “I am enormously proud of the contribution our poets are making as permanent, full-time faculty at colleges and universities, not just at all five Spokane institutions and many others throughout the region, but across the country. These are incredibly competitive jobs, typically with hundreds of applicants for each, and our MFA alumni have what I consider one of the best hiring records of any comparable program in the country. And they are doing just as well in publishing. To give just one example, the two most prestigious poetry publications in the United States are the Best American Poetry annual anthology, in which three of our alumni poets have appeared in recent years, and Poetry magazine, in which two of our alumni have recently appeared. Kate and Michelle’s successes are the latest additions to the long story of EWU’s MFA poets making significant contributions to contemporary American literature and academia.”

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