Current Graduate Students

Kristyn Childres writes about artificial intelligence and personal development. An Indiana native, she worked at Purdue as a writer and graphic designer before enrolling in the MFA program.

Lydia A. Cyrus is a writer from Huntington, West Virginia. She writes fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Her work deals with rural ness, womanhood, and family. Her academic work focuses on post colonial and feminist theory. Her teaching philosophy is that, “a mistake is not a mistake, it’s an opportunity.”

Brian CzyzykBrian Czyzyk is a candidate in Poetry at Purdue. Originally from Traverse City, Michigan, he earned his BS in English-Writing with a minor in Psychology at Northern Michigan University. In addition to teaching Introductory Composition, he also reads Poetry and Creative Nonfiction submissions for Sycamore Review. A Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, and AWP Intro Journal Awards nominee, Brian’s writing focuses on the landscapes of Northern Michigan and examines the relationship between queerness and rural environments. His most recent work appears in Waters Deep: A Great Lakes Poetry Anthology, Nimrod International Journal, Split Rock Review, and Midwestern Gothic.

Steven DawsonSteven Dawson is from East Los Angeles by way of East Denver. He writes poetry about family, addiction, and the cognitive dissonance in the strange space where nostalgia meets trauma. He is a Poetry Editor for Sycamore Review, and his most recent work was a finalist for the 2018 New Ohio Review Contest.

Javan DeHaven is an MFA candidate in poetry and assistant nonfiction editor at Sycamore Review.

depaniseEmma DePanise is an MFA candidate in Poetry, originally from the eastern shore of Maryland. Her poems are forthcoming or have appeared recently in journals such as Poet Lore, Puerto del Sol, Quarterly West, The National Poetry ReviewPlume Poetry and elsewhere. She is a winner of a 2019 AWP Intro Journals Award and the 2018 winner of the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. She is also an editor for The Shore Poetry, an online poetry journal.

Aaron DellAaron M Dell writes short fiction, most often in Midwestern settings. Some of his interests in writing deal with alienation, labor, and memory. Before coming to Purdue, he worked at a small public library, and for a brief time in mosquito control.

Johnay Hall writes contemporary fantasy focusing on experiences that affect her as a woman of color in America. Her fiction has focused on depicting mentally ill characters as human beings instead of stereotypical villains. She creates worlds where normalcy is swept under the rug in the blink of an eye. She's also from Louisiana so it should go without saying, she's a hell of a cook 😉.

hollisAudrey R. Hollis is an MFA Candidate in Purdue's fiction program. She is a 2018 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and the Los Angeles Review, among other places. She lives in Indiana with her wife and cat and can be found on the internet at or on Twitter and Instagram @audreyrhollis.

Lucas Hunter is a basketball fan who sometimes writes poetry. His work stems from joy – though joy often grows from the seed of sorrow – and can be found on small post-its and index cards scattered around his home. When not ambling through the corridors of his mind, he can be found lumbering down the basketball court, scoping for the best place to eat wings, or petrified by the cold bellows of the Lafayette winter.

khanAmina Khan is a Muslim American writer, critic, and art historian from Atlanta, GA. Her work seeks home in diaspora, grounding in the spaces between the histories we are taught and the ones we only know in stories. 

Tamara JereeTamara Jerée is a former military brat who has lost track of where home is. They write secondary world fantasy where women mother their children after death and magical girls fall in love and heal their communities. They are an editor for Sycamore Review and Luna Station Quarterly. Their recent work has appeared in Strange Horizons.

Kelsey Lefever grew up in Plymouth, Indiana. Her writing interests are broad, but she finds herself drawn to writing about women, particularly mothers and daughters, and often explores the collision of cultures, drawing on her own time spent abroad. She is allergic to cats, but that has not stopped her from fostering 7 of them.

Daschielle Louis is a Haitian American poet, writer, and graphic artist from South Florida: her work uses magical realism to examine blackness, womanhood, Haitian culture and migration.  Daschielle’s poetry and short stories have appeared in spaces such as Token Magazine, Juked, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Moko Magazine, Panku Literary and Arts Magazine, Rise Up Review, Transition Magazine at The Hutchins Center, Vagabond City Lit, and Wusgood Magazine. Her literary work is housed on her websites, and

Jennifer LloydJennifer Loyd is a poet interested in the intersection of the private voice and historical narratives. She is the managing editor for Sycamore Review and a former senior editor for Copper Nickel. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Natural Bridge, New South, and Colorado Gardener.

Katie McMorrisKatie McMorris is a writer and dancer from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her work has appeared in Quarterly WestGreen Blotter, and elsewhere. She’s interested in how different art forms can influence one another, and she sometimes puts chicken nuggets in her poems.

Andy NellisAndy Nellis writes speculative fiction. His work focuses on liminal spaces, post-colonialism, and bug people. Prior to joining Purdue's MFA program he worked in public relations, emergency medicine, administration, and the service industry. He has spent entirely too much time outside.

odonoghueKate O’Donoghue is a poet and first-generation American from Long Island. She earned her BA at Muhlenberg College, and she is the recipient of a fellowship from the Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets. She often writes about femininity, Paradise Lost, the ongoing ecological crisis, Ireland, and sometimes all four at once. In addition to poetry, Kate is an occasional playwright and essayist. Her work has appeared in Glass: A Journal of PoetryThe Tangerine(b)OINK zine, and elsewhere. Her tweets have appeared @kate_odo.

Paul Riker is an MFA candidate in fiction. His writing examines socioeconomic status, communication in the digital age, and inherent human contradictions through a satirical lens (usually). A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Paul lived in Chicago prior to joining Purdue, where he worked as a technology consultant. His work has appeared in Crack the SpineDrunk MonkeysFive on the Fifth, and elsewhere.

sakrAiya Sakr was born in the United States but grew up in Amman, Jordan, with Palestinian, Egyptian, and Jordanian heritage. She is the Author of Her Bones Catch the Sun (The Poet's Haven). A Puchcart Prize nominee, her poems have appeared in Nimrod, Burning House Press, and elsewhere. She has a Master's degree in Literature and Writing from Utah State University. She draws on lore and mythologies to write about the experience of diaspora, and the complexities of a bilingual, dual identity. 

Kelsey WortKelsey Wort is a Poetry MFA candidate and the Assistant Poetry Editor at Sycamore Review. In her work, she chiefly explores identity and relationships. She is a pop-culture enthusiast and her favorite hobby is asking people questions.

zentCarly Rae Zent is a fiction candidate in the MFA program at Purdue from Tampa, Florida. Her work appears in Peach Mag and The Offing and is forthcoming in Salt Hill. When she's not reading or writing, she takes her dog on hikes and attempts to cook.

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