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Affiliated Faculty

The Newport MFA in Creative Writing

Ann Hood

Founding Director

Ann Hood is the best-selling author of the novels "The Knitting Circle," "The Obituary Writer" and "The Book That Matters Most" and the memoir "Comfort: A Journey Through Grief," which was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and named one of the top 10 nonfiction books of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly. Her essays and short stories have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Paris Review, Tin House, National Geographic Traveler, Food and Wine and the Atlantic. Hood has won two Best American Food Writing Awards, a Best American Travel Writing Award and a Best American Spiritual Writing Award, and two Pushcart Prizes. Her most recent books are the memoir "Morningstar: Growing Up with Books" and the young adult novel "She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah."

Mary-Kim Arnold

Mary-Kim Arnold is the author of "Litany for the Long Moment," which was awarded the 2016 Essay Press Open Book Prize, and the chapbook "Between Night and Night" (Artifact Press). Her full-length poetry collection, "The Fish & The Dove," is forthcoming from Noemi Press in 2020. A multidisciplinary artist and writer, Arnold's work has appeared in a number of literary and art journals, including The Georgia Review, Hyperallergic and The Rumpus, where she serves on the advisory committee. She holds graduate degrees from Vermont College of Fine Arts and Brown University, where she teaches in the nonfiction writing program.

Charles Coe

Charles Coe has authored two books of poetry: "All Sins Forgiven: Poems for my Parents" and "Picnic on the Moon." His poems have been set by numerous composers. Coe is also the author of the novella "Spin Cycles," and his essay "Hill of Dreams," about singing with a jazz band traveling the Soviet Union, appears in "Inspired Journeys: Travels with the Muse." The winner of a fellowship in poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, he is an artist fellow for the St. Botolph Club, an organization that supports arts and the humanities in greater Boston, and is also an artist-in-residence for the city of Boston. Coe has served as poet-in-residence at Wheaton College and the Chautauqua Institution and has taught in Ireland for the Bay Path University MFA abroad program.

Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III is the author of "The Cage Keeper and Other Stories," "Bluesman" and the New York Times best-sellers "House of Sand and Fog," "The Garden of Last Days" (soon to be a major motion picture) and his memoir, "Townie" (a No. 4 New York Times best-seller and a New York Times "Editors' Choice"). His work has been included in Best American Essays and Best Spiritual Writing anthologies, and his novel "House of Sand and Fog" was a finalist for the National Book Award, a No. 1 New York Times best-seller and was made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. His novella collection "Dirty Love" was listed as a "Notable Book" by the Washington Post and the New York Times and was named a New York Times "Editors' Choice" and a Kirkus "Starred Best Book of 2013." His novel "Gone So Long" received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal and was named to the Boston Globe’s "Twenty Best Books of 2018." He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Magazine Award for fiction, two Pushcart Prizes and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in literature. He teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Alden Jones

Alden Jones is the author of three books: the travel memoir "The Blind Masseuse," the story collection "Unaccompanied Minors" and "The Wanting Was a Wilderness," a hybrid work of literary criticism and personal essays. Her awards include the New American Fiction Prize, the Lascaux Book Prize, two Independent Publisher Book Awards, the Foreword Book of the Year Award and the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogal Award long list. She is the co-founder and co-director of the Cuba Writers Program, an annual trip to Cuba during the month of May.

Edgar Kunz

Edgar Kunz is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection "TAP OUT" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019). His work has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Vanderbilt University and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. His poems appear widely, including in Ploughshares, AGNI, New England Review, Narrative, Gulf Coast and the Best New Poets series. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where he is a visiting lecturer in poetry and short fiction at Goucher College.

Allen Kurzweil

Allen Kurzweil is a novelist, journalist, teacher and inventor. Educated at Yale University and the University of Rome, he has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair, and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Fulbright Commission, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. The most recent of his six books, "Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for a Twelve-Year-Old Bully," was excerpted in the New Yorker and won the 2016 Edgar Award for best fact crime.

Bernadette Murphy

Bernadette Murphy has published four books of creative nonfiction, most recently "Harley and Me," a hybrid narrative that combines memoir with research into neuroscience and biology to explore female risk-taking, as well as the best-selling "Zen and the Art of Knitting." Her essays on life and literature have appeared in Salon, Ms. Magazine, the Rumpus, Palm Springs Life, New York Observer, Climbing Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Newsday, Literary Hub, San Francisco Chronicle, MUTHA, the Nervous Breakdown and elsewhere. Murphy is a former weekly book critic for the Los Angeles Times, and ran the nonfiction genre for the Antioch University MFA program for over a decade. She is working on a novel that draws on her parents' hardscrabble childhoods in Ireland and includes apparitions of the Virgin Mary.

Bill Roorbach

Bill Roorbach’s recent work is a collection of stories titled "The Girl of the Lake." He is also the author of "The Remedy for Love," a finalist for the 2015 Kirkus Prize, and the best-selling "Life Among Giants," which won a Maine Literary Award in 2012. An earlier collection, "Big Bend," won the Flannery O’Connor and O. Henry prizes in 2000. His memoir in nature, "Temple Stream," won the 2005 Maine Literary Award in nonfiction. He was a 2018 Civitella Ranieri Foundation fellow. Roorbach lives in Maine with his wife Juliet Karelsen, who is a visual artist, and their daughter Elysia Roorbach, an aspiring ballerina and full-time teen.

Helen Schulman

Helen Schulman is a novelist, screenwriter and short story writer. She is the author of the novels "Come With Me" (San Francisco Chronicle 10 best books of 2019), "This Beautiful Life" (a New York Times and international best-seller), "A Day At The Beach," "P.S.," "The Revisionist" and "Out Of Time," and the short story collection "Not A Free Show." She co-edited the anthology "Wanting A Child." Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in such places as Vanity Fair, Time, Vogue, GQ, the New York Times Book Review, A Public Space and the Paris Review. She is the fiction chair of the writing program at The New School, where she is a tenured professor of writing. She is also the executive director of A 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, Schulman has been an NYFA Fellow, Sundance Fellow, Aspen Words Fellow, a Tennessee Williams Fellow (Columbia University) and the recipient of a Pushcart Prize.

Danielle Trussoni

Danielle Trussoni is a New York Times and international best-selling novelist and memoirist. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and the recipient of the James Michener Award and the Dana Award in the Novel. Her first book, the memoir "Falling Through the Earth," was chosen by The New York Times as one of the 10 best books of the year. Her work has been translated into more than 30 languages.

Tim Weed

Tim Weed is the winner of a Writer's Digest popular fiction award and a Solas best travel writing award. His first novel, "Will Poole's Island," was named one of Bank Street College of Education's best books of the year. His short fiction collection, "A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing," was a finalist in the short story category of the International Book Awards and has been shortlisted for the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project, the Autumn House Press fiction prize and the Lewis-Clark Press Discovery Award. Tim teaches a popular novel revision series at Grub Street in Boston, is the co-founder of the Cuba Writers Program, and occasionally works as a featured expert for National Geographic in Cuba, Spain and Patagonia.

Courtney Maum

Guest Faculty (January 2021)

Courtney Maum is the author of the novels "Costalegre" (a Goop book club pick and one of Glamour magazine’s top books of the decade), "I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You" and "Touch" (a New York Times editor’s choice and NPR best book of the year selection), the popular guidebook "Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book" and the forthcoming memoir "The Year of the Horses." Her writing has been widely published in such outlets as the New York Times and O, the Oprah Magazine, and her short story "This is Not Your Fault" was turned into an Audible Original. She is the founder of the collaborative retreat program The Cabins, and she has a creativity advice newsletter you can sign up for at

Joyce Maynard

Guest Faculty (January 2021)

Joyce Maynard is the author of 18 books, including the New York Times best-selling novel "Labor Day." Other works include "To Die For," "Under the Influence" and the memoirs "At Home in the World" and "The Best of Us." Her latest novel "Count the Ways," the story of a marriage and divorce and the children who survived it, will be published in June 2021. Maynard’s essays have been published in Vogue, Salon and the New York Times' "Modern Love" and "Lives" columns, as well as dozens of other publications, and anthologized in numerous collections. She is currently at work on a new novel and on the story of her return to Yale University two years ago as an undergraduate, 48 years after dropping out at age 18. Maynard is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. She is the founder of the Lake Atitlan Memoir Workshop and her online writing classes can be found at Her website is

Whitney Scharer

Guest Faculty (January 2021)

Whitney Scharer holds a B.A. in English literature from Wesleyan University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington. Her short fiction, essays and interviews have appeared in numerous publications including Vogue, the Telegraph, the Tatler and Bellevue Literary Review. Her first novel, "The Age of Light," based on the life of pioneering photographer Lee Miller, was a Boston Globe and IndieNext bestseller, named one of the best books of 2019 by Parade, Glamour, Real Simple, Refinery 29, Booklist and Yahoo, and selected as a "must read" title by the Mass Center for the Book. Internationally, "The Age of Light" won Le prix Rive Gauche à Paris, was a coups de couer selection from the American Library in Paris, and has been published in over a dozen other countries. She is the recipient of a 2020 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artists Fellowship in fiction and has been awarded residencies at the Virginia Center for the Arts and Ragdale. She teaches fiction in the Boston area and is a co-founder of the Arlington Author Salon, a quarterly reading series. She lives with her husband and daughter in Arlington, Massachusetts, where she is at work on her second novel.

Past Guest Faculty

June 2020
Melissa Febos
Beth Ann Fennelly
Daniel Jones

January 2020
Chard deNiord
Marie Myung-Ok Lee
Francisco Sedita
Dani Shapiro

June 2019
Jill Bialosky
Garrard Conley
Didi Jackson
Major Jackson

January 2019
Mary-Kim Arnold
Alice Hoffman
Bill Roorbach

June 2018
Andre Dubus III
Sheila Weller