Creative Writing: The Faculty

Marcus Wicker

Marcus Wicker, Program Coordinator (First Horizon Foundation Distinguished Associate Professor, Poetry) 

Marcus Wicker is the author of Silencer (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)—winner of the Society of Midland Authors Award—and Maybe the Saddest Thing (Harper Perennial, 2012), selected by DA Powell for the National Poetry Series. He is the recipient of a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, the Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poetry Award, a Pushcart Prize, 2011 Ruth Lilly Fellowship, as well as fellowships from The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Cave Canem, and the Tennessee Arts Commission. Wicker’s poems have appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, The Atlantic, Oxford American, and POETRY. He is Poetry Editor of Southern Indiana Review, a founding editor at SIR Press, and coordinator of the MFA program.

Mark Mayer

Mark Mayer (Assistant Professor, Fiction) 

Mark Mayer writes fiction and nonfiction. His short story collection, AERIALISTS (Bloomsbury 2019), won the Michener-Copernicus Prize and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. He has been published in American Short Fiction, The Kenyon Review, Guernica, The Iowa Review, The Colorado Review, Best American Mystery Stories, and The New York Times. His academic scholarship has appeared in Twentieth-Century Literature and LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory. Mark has taught creative writing as the R.P. Dana Emerging Writer-in-Residence at Cornell College and as a Faculty Fellow in Creative Writing at Colby College. He teaches in the MFA program.

Courtney Santo

Courtney Santo (Assistant Professor, Fiction) 

Courtney Miller Santo is the author of two novels, THE ROOTS OF THE OLIVE TREE and THREE STORY HOUSE, both published by HarperCollins. Her essays, poems, and stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Los Angeles Review, Swing, The Missouri Review, New Letters, Third Coast, and elsewhere. Additionally, her work has been an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Semifinalist, won the Memphis Magazine Fiction Contest Grand Prize, been nominated for a Whitney and placed in the Porter Fleming Literary Contest. In 2018 the University of Memphis awarded her the Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Pinch. Find her on Instagram @courtneysanto.

Eric Schlich

Eric Schlich (Assistant Professor, Fiction) 

Eric Schlich is the author of the story collection Quantum Convention (UNT Press), winner of the 2018 Katherine Anne Porter Prize and the 2020 Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award in Fiction. He is the recipient of a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers' Conference and residencies at Ragdale, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. His fiction has aired on Public Radio International's Selected Shorts and appeared or is forthcoming in American Short Fiction, Crazyhorse, Electric Literature, Fairy Tale Review, Gulf Coast, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Massachusetts Review, Mississippi Review, New South, Nimrod, Redivider, and River Styx, among other journals. 

Emily Skaja

Emily Skaja (Assistant Professor, Poetry) 

Emily Skaja's first book, BRUTE, won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. She is the recipient of the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize and fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her poems have been published in Best New Poets, Blackbird, Crazyhorse, FIELD, and The New York Times Magazine, among other places. She teaches in the MFA program and also serves as the poetry co-editor of Southern Indiana Review.