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Meeting Our New MFAs!

A photo of Colson Hall in the late summer.

The new semester is underway at WVU, with the promise of autumn in the wind, and the WVU English Department is delighted to welcome nine new MFAs to the program.  You can learn more about these writers below.


  • Benjamin Clabault is a fiction writer from Sandwich, Massachusetts. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a B.A. in Social Thought and Political Economy. When not reading or writing, he can be found walking through the woods, watching soccer on TV, or joking around with his wife.
  • Kelly Ward graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with her B.A. in English, and is now a fiction candidate in WVU's MFA program. She is a writer from Kentucky, and enjoys exploring speculative elements in her writing, with attention to Appalachia as a recurring setting. She is exceptionally skilled at finding four-leaf clovers.
  • Elise Zukowski moved from southeast Michigan with her two cats, Daisy and Charlie.  She received her B.A. in Language, Literature, and Writing from Eastern Michigan University.  When not reading or writing, she likes to spend as much time outside as she can, especially in the woods and on the water. 


  • Ashley Campbell is an MFA candidate in Creative Nonfiction from Alabama. Her essays have been published in Salt Hill Journal and Newfound Journal. 
  • Brent Cronin was born and raised in Seattle, WA. In 2016, he received his B.A. in Creative Writing and Film Studies from the University of Washington. Before coming to WVU to pursue his M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction, he worked as a landscaper, wildland firefighter, bartender, winery cellar hand, and arborist. His M.O. has been to have adventures and write about them– thus he's reasonably well-traveled and can't wait to visit more places. He stays active with a rotating cast of hobbies, from shooting hoops and lifting weights to swimming and trail-running. Other extracurriculars include watching movies, exploring West Virginia on his motorcycle, and the occasional rave.
  • I'm Emily Yandel, a creative nonfiction writer. Though I'm originally from Atlanta, Georgia, I graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Japanese. I recently moved back to America after spending six amazing years as an EFL teacher in rural Japan. In my free time I like to crochet, and I'm currently working on a large Gengar (Pokemon) blanket.


  • Pilar Randolph grew up in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania with her parents and two dogs. She graduated from the College of Wooster in 2022 with a B.A. in English. She enjoys writing poetry and dreams of one day being handy enough to live on a homestead (she has a long way to go).
  • Nathaniel Ricketts is a poet from Pittsburgh, PA. Lately he’s been loving the short stories of Breece DJ Pancake. His poems appear in Tampa Review and Peace, Land & Bread.
  • Sam Stebbins is a poet from Michigan who grew up in Cadillac and studied writing at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids. She is interested primarily in micropoems and prose poems (for now). Outside of poetry, Sam enjoys punk music, thrifting, Halloween, and spending time with her dog, Rosie.