Book news from the UNL Creative Writing Program

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May 17, 2022 by Timothy Schaffert

The students, alumni, and faculty of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Creative Writing Program continue to shape the national and international literary culture. As another academic year comes to a close, we’ve prepared a list of new books released, books accepted for publication, and other major publishing successes over the last twelve months (or so)…

Book news from current students and recent grads

Jamaica Baldwin’s debut poetry collection, Bone Language, was accepted for publication by YesYes Books.

Rachel Cochran’s novel, The Gulf, was accepted for publication by HarperCollins.

Saddiq Dzukogi’s poetry collection, Your Crib, My Qibla, was published as part of the African Poetry Book Series of the University of Nebraska Press.

Scott Guild’s novel, Plastic, was accepted for publication by Pantheon (Penguin Random House).

Claire Jimenez’s novel, What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez, was accepted for publication by Grand Central Publishing (Hachette).

Katie Marya’s debut poetry collection, Sugar Work, will be published this summer by Alice James Books.

Ilana Masad’s novel, All My Mother’s Lovers, was released in paperback by Dutton (Penguin Random House), after receiving raves in hardcover from Ms., the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, and other national publication.

Xavier Navarro Aquino’s novel, Velorio, was published by HarperVia (HarperCollins), and reviewed in the New York Times and featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Jessica Poli co-edited (with Marco Abel and Timothy Schaffert) More in Time: A Tribute to Ted Kooser, an anthology of poetry and prose celebrating Pulitzer-winning poet and Professor Emeritus Ted Kooser.

Shawn Rubenfeld’s novel, The Eggplant Curse and the Warp Zone, was published by Brooklyn publisher 7.13.

Katie Schmid’s debut poetry collection, Nowhere, was published as part of the Mary Burritt Christiansen Poetry Series of the University of New Mexico Press.

Book news from faculty

Jonis Agee’s novel, The Bones of Paradise, is the 2022 One Book One Nebraska selection.

Professor Emerita Grace Bauer published Unholy Heart: New and Selected Poems with the University of Nebraska Press.

James Brunton and UNL alum Kristi Carter released Transnarratives: Scholarly and Creative Works on Transgender Experience, with Women’s Press.

The African Poetry Digital Archive, a project led by Kwame Dawes and Lorna Dawes, received a $750,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation; Kwame was also the 2021 recipient of the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing; unHistory, a poem cycle by Kwame and John Kinsella, is forthcoming from Peepal Tree Press.

Joy Castro’s new novel, Flight Risk, published by Lake Union Publishing, is a nominee for a Thrillerfest Award, and has accrued nearly 7,000 reviews on Amazon. Her next novel, One Brilliant Flame, is forthcoming in 2023.

Professor Emeritus and Pulitzer-winner Ted Kooser published the poetry collections The Man With a Rake and Marshmallow Clouds: Poems Inspired by Nature, and the paperback edition of Red Stilts; his book, Cotton Candy: Poems Dipped Out of the Air, is forthcoming.

Professor Emerita Hilda Raz, former editor of Prairie Schooner, published Letter From a Place I’ve Never Been: New and Collected Poems, 1986-2020, with University of Nebraska Press, edited by Kwame Dawes.

Timothy Schaffert’s novel, The Perfume Thief, was published by Doubleday, and was selected for the One World, One Book program of Penguin Random House International. His next novel is forthcoming in 2024.

Hope Wabuke published her poetry collection, The Body Family, with Haymarket Books. Her memoir, Please Don’t Kill My Black Son Please, is forthcoming from Vintage/Penguin Random House.

Creative Writing faculty also serve as the editors of book series:

Joy Castro is the editor of Machete, a series of the University of Ohio Press (with Rachel Cochran as associate editor), which has recently published or announced: The Sound of Memory: Themes from a Violinist’s Life by Rebecca Fischer; Eating Lightbulbs and Other Essays by Steve Fellner; The Guild of the Infant Saviour by Megan Culhane Galbraith; and Finding Querencia by Harrison Candelaria Fletcher.

Kwame Dawes is the editor of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and the African Poetry Book Series. Recent books from the African Poetry Book Series are: In the Net by Hawad; Your Crib, My Qibla by Saddiq Dzukogi; and The Rinehart Frames by Cheswayo Mphanza. In 2021, the PS Book Prize published Dear Diaspora, poems by Susan Nguyen, and What Isn’t Remembered, stories by Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry, which was longlisted for the 2022 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize.

Timothy Schaffert, with UNL Creative Writing alum SJ Sindu, established Zero Street, an LGBTQ+ fiction series with the University of Nebraska Press. Zero Street will release its first title in 2023.

Book news from UNL Creative Writing alumni

DeMisty Bellinger published two books: Peculiar Heritage, a collection of poetry with Mason Jar Press, and New to Liberty, a novel, from The Unnamed Press.

Precious Brady-Davis published her memoir, I Have Always Been Me, as one of the first titles in Joey Soloway’s new LGBTQ+ imprint, TOPPLE Books.

Sarah A. Chavez’s poetry chapbook, like everything else we loved, will be released from Porkbelly Press.

James Crews served as editor of The Path of Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy, which was an #1 bestseller in the category of Poetry Anthologies.

Emily Danforth’s international bestseller, Plain Bad Heroines, was released in paperback.

Erin Flanagan’s new novel, Deer Season (published by the Flyover Fiction series of University of Nebraska Press), won a 2022 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Her next novel, Blackout, is forthcoming from Thomas & Mercer.

Jehanne Dubrow’s new book, Taste: A Book of Small Bites, will be published by Columbia University Press.

Roxane Gay established Roxane Gay Books, a literary imprint of Grove Atlantic.

Pulitzer Prize finalist Lee Martin published his new memoir, Gone the Hard Road, with Indiana University Press.

Sarah Fawn Montgomery’s essay collection, Halfway From Home, is forthcoming from Split/Lip Press.

Raul Palma’s collection of stories, In This World of Ultraviolet Light, is the winner of the Don Belton Prize and will be published by Indiana University Press; his novel, A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens, is forthcoming from Dutton/Penguin Random House.

Ian Rogers’s novel, MFA Thesis Novel, was published by Vine Leaves Press.

Arra Lynn Ross’s Day of the Child: A Poem was published by Milkweed Editions.

Rainbow Rowell’s YA fantasy novel, Any Way the Wind Blows, was a New York Times bestseller.

SJ Sindu’s new novel, Blue-Skinned Gods, was featured on NPR and in the New York Times, and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award; her hybrid chapbook, Dominant Genes, was published by Black Lawrence Press.

Chris Harding Thornton’s novel, Pickard County Atlas, an editor’s pick, was released in paperback.

Cover of VELORIO by Xavier Navarro AquinoCover of BLUE SKINNED GODS by SJ SinduCover of NOWHERE by Katie SchmidCover of NEW TO LIBERTY by DeMistry D. Bellinger

Online Book Galleries

View these and other books in our online galleries (in progress).

Books by Faculty Books by Alumni and Current Students

If you are a UNL English alum and your book is not yet in the gallery, let us know!