Claudia Rankine comes to UH after teaching at Barnard College/Columbia University, the Iowa Writers Workshop and University of Georgia. She is the author of four collections of poetry. Poet Jorie Graham describes her most recent work, Don't Let Me Lonely, as "an utterly riveting, extraordinarily original and unforgettable book. "
Born in the Soviet Union, Ph.D. candidate Michael Dumanis is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and University of Iowa Writers Workshop. His manuscript of poems, My Soviet Union, has been a finalist or semifinalist for the Paris Review and Brittingham prizes, the Alice James Books/Beatrice Hawley and Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman awards and others. His poems have appeared in American Letters and Commentary, Chelsea, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Epoch, Indiana Review, Jacket. Lit, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Seneca Review, and Verse. He has been recognized with a Fulbright Fellowship in Creative Writing, Work-Study Scholarship to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Truman Capote Fellowship, Writers Residency at The Corporation of Yaddo, James Michener Fellowship in Fiction, and two Academy of American Poets prizes.
Ranjana Varghese was born in India and has resided in the Washington, DC, area since the age of 15. She earned bachelor degrees in psychology, English, and French and received her MFA in fiction and poetry from the University of Maryland. Her collection of short stories and poems, The Things Under a Black Umbrella, received the Maynard Mack, Jr. award. A third-year Ph.D. candidate in creative writing and literature, her short story, Phantom, was named an alternate winner of the 2003-2004 Donald Barthelme award. A Keen, Discerning Eye for the Bizarre, her review of Lorraine Lopez's debut short story collection, was published in the Gulf Coast Literary Journal Spring 2004 edition. She currently teaches undergraduate creative writing and composition at UH, and composition and literature classes at Houston Community College.