Gretchen Legler’s environmental nonfiction includes On The Ice: An Intimate Portrait of Life at McMurdo Station Antarctica (Milkweed Editions, 2005) and All The Powerful Invisible Things: A Sportswoman’s Notebook (Seal Press, 1995). Her essays have appeared in anthologies, magazines, and journals including Orion, the Georgia Review, Gifts of the Wild, A Different Angle, Isle, Matter, and Brevity. Her scholarly work in eco-criticism has appeared in journals and anthologies including Eco-Man and the Polar Journal. She received a National Science Foundation Artist and Writers Program Fellowship to spend six months in Antarctica in 1998, and received a 2012 Fulbright Fellowship to the Kingdom of Bhutan. Her writing has been awarded the Association for Literature and Environment environmental creative writing award. Her current work explores living in rural Maine, and the quest for Happiness. Writer’s Website: gretchenlegler.com
Patricia O'Donnell directs the BFA Program in Creative Writing. Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Agni Review, The North American Review, Prairie Schooner, Short Story, American Literary Review, and other journals and anthologies. Her novel Necessary Places was published in 2012; her memoir Waiting to Begin in 2016; and her short story collection, Gods for Sale, won the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award and was published in 2017.
Jeffrey Thomson is the author of four books of poems, including Birdwatching in Wartime, winner of both the 2010 Maine Book Award and the 2011 ASLE Award in Environmental Creative Writing, and Renovation. Birdwatching in Wartime is currently being translated into Spanish and Russian. His translations of the Roman poet, Catullus, are forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. In 2012 he was the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre at Queen’s University Belfast. His website is www.jeffreythomson.com.
U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine has called Wesley McNair “one of the great storytellers of contemporary poetry.” The author of nine volumes of poems, including Lovers of the Lost: New and Selected Poems, he has held grants from the Fulbright and Guggenheim foundations, two Rockefeller Fellowships, two NEA fellowships, and four honorary degrees for literary distinction. In 2006 he was selected for a United States Artists Fellowship of $50,000 as one of “America’s finest living artists.” Other honors include the Robert Frost Award, the Theodore Roethke Prize, an Emmy Award, and the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal. He was recently invited for the second time to read his poetry at the Library of Congress, and he has served four times on the jury for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. McNair's latest book, his eighteenth, is The Words I Chose, a memoir telling the story of how he became a poet. He is the Poet Laureate of Maine.
Luann Yetter is the author of three works of creative nonfiction: Portland's Past, Remembering Franklin County and Bar Harbor in the Roaring Twenties. She is advisor to the student newspaper, The Farmington Flyer, and writes a blog at luannyetter.wordpress.com. For her first-year writing seminars, she likes to use rock and roll themes such as The Beatles and Bob Dylan. She also enjoys traveling to Italy with UMF students for study abroad courses.
Shana Youngdahl's first full-length collection of poems, History, Advice and Other Half-Truths (Stephen F. Austin State University Press) was a finalist for the 2013 Maine Book Award. She is also the author of two chapbooks Winter/Window (Miel Books 2013), Of Nets (Gendun 2010) which recieved a grant for completion from the Iowa Arts Council and a nomination for the Pushcart Prize, and Donner: A Passing (2008). Her individual poems have been published widely in journals such as Third Coast, The Briar Cliff Review, and Shenandoah. Her short-short fiction appeared in the anthology Blink Again: Sudden Fiction from the Upper Midwest.
I deeply enjoy working with groups of students as well as working individually with them, and have spent the past ten years both within and outside of institutions doing just this. This work has shaped my own writing and thinking, especially as it encounters institutions themselves, and has intersected with my experiences as an immigrant to focus my writing/research and my teaching on issues of justice. My research and teaching interests are most lively where they find sites of dense intersection between and among disciplines: places where history/ies, theory, philosophy, cultural studies, art, science, and literature mix and inform one another. My book-length publications (Music for Landing Planes By, 2007; Her book, 2013; both with Milkweed) are in poetry; I have recently completed a draft of a collection of essays, and am working on another long-form prose object. I was a 2016 NEA Fellow in Prose Literature.
A native New Jerseyan, Bill Mesce is an award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction, as well as a produced screenwriter and playwright. Recent works include THE RULES OF SCREENWRITING AND WHY YOU SHOULD BREAK THEM and NO RULE THAT ISN'T A DARE: HOW WRITERS CONNECT WITH READERS, the novels LEGACY and Eric Hoffer Award category winner A COLD AND DISTANT PLACE, and the children's picture book A BIG HUG FOR LI'L FOX. He also spent 27 years in various capacities in the Corporate Communications area of pay-TV giant Home Box Office, and the last 7 years as an adjunct at a number of New Jersey universities and colleges.
Carey Salerno is the executive editor of Alice James Books, a nationally-renowned indie press that publishes eight books of poetry a year. Her first book, Shelter, was published in 2009, and she is the editor, along with Anne Marie Macari, of the anthology Lit from Inside: 40 Years of Poetry from Alice James Books (2013). Salerno teaches courses in poetry writing for UMF and also currently serves as a literary curator for Pen + Brush. You may find her creative work and news regarding her professional work in journals in print and online.