Brendan Bense

a man wearing glasses stands in front of a lake at sunset

Brendan Bense is a Pennsylvania native with a degree in Creative Writing and Religious Studies from American University in D.C. His work can be found in Columbia Journal, The Crab Orchard Review, and Press 53. Before joining the MFA cohort at UCI, he’s worked as a writer and editor in New York and Philadelphia.

 

Adam De Petris

a chocolate lab sitting passenger in a car leans across to the drivers seat with an adorable expression

Adam De Petris is a third year poetry student. He isn't good at introductions. He walks around, reads books, etc. Mostly he just drinks coffee. Pictured above is his dog Ellie Mae, the love of his life.

 

Jacob Deason

Jacob Deason is a writer who lives in Long Beach, CA. He prefers spending his time watching horror movies, writing poetry, reading, lounging in nature, and listening to music.

 

Alejandro Derieux-Cerezo

a young man sits smiling straight at the camera against a brick wall

Alejandro Derieux-Cerezo is a poet from Ann Arbor, Michigan. His work has appeared in Adroit, Laurel Moon and elsewhere. He has been awarded a Roy W. Cowden Memorial Fellowship in 2021 and a Hopwood Undergraduate Poetry Award in 2022 from the University of Michigan. In his spare time, you can find him watching videos of people making slime.

 

Griffin Fay

a young person sits on a rock in front of a river and hills

Griffin Fay is from Southern California. Before coming to Irvine, he moonlighted as a journalist named Blue. His work can be found in The Daily Californian, The San Francisco Standard, and The Harvard Advocate. He is currently the host of Orange Peel Poetry on KUCI 88.9. 

 

Mo Fowler

a young person wearing a green shirt smiles at the camera

Mo is a writer from California and Chicago. Their work currently focuses on tapestry, water, and contemporary conceptions of the American West.

 

Somi Jun

a person with an orange hat smiles slightly at the camera in a selfie pose

Somi Jun was born in Korea and raised in/near Los Angeles.

 

Andie Klarin

a femme-presenting young person leans on a windowsill

Andie Klarin is a first year poetry student returning to Orange County after a brief stint making trouble in Indianapolis. You can find their work in miniskirt magazine, Harpur Palate, and the Chaotic Merge zine.

 

Asusena Lopez

Lopez

Asusena Lopez is a native Angeleno who dreams of living in an enchanted forest but doesn’t want to abandon the grime and glamour of the city. She holds a B.A. in music education and creative writing from California State University, Northridge where she received the Academy of American Poets George Dillon Memorial Award in 2021. When not lost in her latest lyrical labyrinth or living in the surreal realm of an art house film, she loves gardening, hiking, playing guitar, visiting museums, and draping herself in velvet.

 

Nick Martino

a young man sits across a table holding a glass of beer

Nick Martino grew up beside the ocean of Lake Michigan. A 2022 Best of the Net nominee, his work has been featured in or is forthcoming from Frontier Poetry, Meridian, Hobart, Five South, and Sugar House Review, among others. He lives in LA.

 

Luan Nguyen

a young man takes a selfie in front of an off white wall

Luan Nguyen is a second-year poetry student from Sacramento, California.

 

Amaka Nwabunnia

a young woman rests her cheek on her palm across a table

Amaka Nwabunnia is a second year poetry student from the Washington, DC area. She came to the program immediately following a BA from Georgetown University in Political Science and Creative Writing.

 

Harriet Weaver

Weaver

Harriet Weaver graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Theater Studies, and for several years pursued a career as an actor and producer before allowing herself to write. She lived in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, and New York before relocating to the pleasant culture shock that is Los Angeles. She owes much of her love of poetry to her late great teachers, Harold Bloom and Wynn Handman.

 

Alexandria Brooke Williamson

a moody portrait of a young woman against a wall

Alexandria Brooke Williamson is a poet whose current endeavors include a poem about holding hands with Blue and a play about the mysterious fate of an unidentified substance caught between a forefinger and a thumb. Alexandria holds a degree in photography from the University of Notre Dame, and they once famously shoveled an entire ham off Dallas asphalt. Their favorite objects in poetry are Dorianne Laux’s old flames and dust and Rae Armnatrout’s pigeons - clean because of the morning. A special place in their heart is occupied by Andy Warhol’s drawings of feet and Agnes Varda’s spaghetti dinners.

Marissa Ahmadkhani

Ahmadkhani

Marissa Ahmadkhani is a 27 year old Bay Area native, who holds an M.A. in English Literature from Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo. Her writing can be found in Radar Poetry, Cosmonauts Avenue, Southern Indiana Review, The West Review, The Journal, and poets.org, where she received the Academy of American Poets Prize in 2015 and 2017. In her free time, she enjoys writing, sleeping, owning too many plants, and hanging out with her cat. 

Marcus Gabbert

Gabbert

Marcus Gabbert is from Northern California. He studied English at UC Davis before coming to UC Irvine. 

Marisa Lainson

Lainson

Marisa grew up in Southern California. She studied English and Spanish at Biola University and graduated from the Torrey Honors Institute. Before coming to UCI, she sold T-shirts at metal concerts and tutored ESL. Her work has recently appeared in Frontier Poetry and Foothill Poetry Journal, where she was nominated for the 2021 Foothill Editor's Prize. She currently serves as the Poetry Editor of FAULTLINE Journal of Arts & Letters and spends her free time playing D&D and singing to her cats.

Helena Li

Li

Helena split her childhood between China, Maryland, and California. She studied Applied Math and Philosophy at Berkeley before moving to Madison. She loves Gabe, her friend’s cat, and bread.

Lizabeth Yandel

Yandel

Lizabeth Yandel is a writer and musician based in San Diego, CA and originally from Chicago. She is currently a poetry reader for The Adroit Journal. Her work can be found in Rattle Magazine, Lumina Journal, Popshot Magazine, Nashville Review, The Los Angeles Review, and was chosen as the 1st runner up for the 2018 Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry. Her original music, somewhere in the Jazz/Neo-soul realm, can be found on all the streaming platforms. She definitely likes plants and music and words and she probably likes you too.