Four people meeting around a table

Featured Alumni

Photo: Kalifa Damani

Michelle Anya Anjirbag
I am a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge researching children's literature and media, fairy tales and folklore, fantasy, adaptation, national myth-making, and deep stories. I have also been a journalist, columnist, and essayist, and my academic and non-academic publications can be found at The UConn Creative Writing program helped expose me to various editorial roles through a stint as fiction editor for the Long River Review, and participating in writing workshops run by the program's outstanding instructors shaped both my academic and creative writing.
Krisela Karaja
I am currently in a post-Baccalaureate apprenticeship program, through which I am teaching middle school Spanish and obtaining my teaching license in Massachusetts. I recently returned from 10 months of learning Danish in Denmark. I hold an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the University of Massachusetts Boston, where I taught six undergraduate courses solo as the instructor-of-record. I am a former US Fulbright Student Research Fellow to Albania and I have a short piece forthcoming in the Fast Funny Women Anthology (Woodhall Press), edited by UConn Professor, Gina Barreca. My time at UConn as an English and Spanish major, with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in International Studies, set the foundation for me to continue building towards my ultimate goal of furthering my career as an educator, creative writer, translator, and researcher of English, Spanish, Albanian, and Danish languages and literatures.
Stephanie Koo
Since graduating from UConn in 2017, I’ve worked on clinical research trials at Boston Children’s and Mass General. Being in close contact with patients and families in their most vulnerable moments has been emotionally difficult, yet extremely rewarding. My English degree was handy for editing protocols and other operational materials and being an effective communicator. As a writer, I process difficult moments like losing a patient by writing them down on the page. As of this fall, I am attending a master’s program in medical sciences at Loyola University Chicago. I want to become a physician who utilizes narratives to understand and empathize with my patients. I hope to always continue writing throughout my career and credit UConn Creative Writing and the Long River Review for encouraging and fostering my passion!
Crystal Maldonado
By day, I work in higher ed social media, sharing stories that depict campus life. By night, I’m a young adult author and writer whose work has been published in the Hartford Courant and Latina Magazine. Becoming a published author has been a lifelong dream of mine and I could not have achieved it without the help of my English degree! The English program—and especially my time working on the Long River Review—exposed me to the many beautiful and wonderful ways in which we share our stories. It helped me not only discover my own writing style, but furthered my deep appreciation for the written word and connected me with internships that started my career. I’m so thankful. Someday, I hope to publish a children’s book with my husband and daughter.
Mick Powell
I am an Assistant Professor in Residence of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at UConn. I feel fortunate to have had so many models for mentorship from faculty in the Creative Writing Program during my time as an undergraduate! My chapbook, chronicle the body, won Yemassee Journal's Annual Chapbook Contest and was published in March 2019. My work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for the Best of the Net Anthology. You can read my poems in Frontier Poetry, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Apogee Journal, Winter Tangerine, The Feminist Wire, and elsewhere. Check out my website:  

Alumni and Student News

Founded by UConn alum Esther Santiago, and staffed by alums Lilia Shen, Kelly Rafferty, and Liz Sankey, aurora is a journal that champions work from women, trans, non-binary, and other gender non-conforming writers and artists. We are accepting rolling submissions for poetry, translations of poetry, visual art, and multimedia with a specific focus on feminist issues and nature writing. Our website has all of the guidelines for how to submit, and all submissions and any questions can be emailed to
Kerry Carnahan, an environmentalist pursuing doctoral work in English at UConn, was featured in the popular national poetry series Poem-A-Day. Her piece [My ancestors are empty words] can be found here.