Christopher Bakken, Program Director
Program Director, Christopher Bakken, is the author of the culinary memoir, Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table, as well as three books of poetry, Eternity & Oranges, Goat Funeral and After Greece. He is also co-translator of The Lions’ Gate: Selected Poems of Titos Patrikios. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Ploughshares, New England Review, The Iowa Review, and Best American Poetry 2016. Bakken holds a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from University of Houston, and an M.F.A. in Poetry from Columbia University. He has served as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bucharest and is currently Department Chair and Frederick F. Seely Professor of English at Allegheny College. Bakken won Food & Wine Magazine’s Best Burger Contest in 2005 and has cooked live on the CBS Saturday Morning Early Show. He organizes an organic produce cooperative out of his garage in Pennsylvania.
Natalie Bakopoulos is the author of the forthcoming novel Scorpionfish (Tin House, 2020) and the novel The Green Shore (Simon & Schuster, 2012). Her work has appeared in Tin House, VQR, The Iowa Review, The New York Times, Granta, Ploughshares, O. Henry Prize Stories, and various other publications. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, has received fellowships from the Sozopol Fiction Seminars and from the Camargo, Can Cab, and MacDowell foundations. She was a 2015 Fulbright fellow in Athens and is currently an assistant professor at Wayne State University in Detroit.
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, Oceanic. With Ross Gay, she co-authored Lace & Pyrite, a chapbook of nature poems. She is the poetry editor of Orion magazine and her poems have twice appeared in the Best American Poetry series, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, and Tin House. Awards for her writing include an NEA Fellowship in poetry and the Pushcart Prize. She is professor of English at the University of Mississippi’s MFA program. World of Wonder, her collection of illustrated nature essays, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions.
Courtney Zoffness is the author of Spilt Milk: Memoirs (McSweeney’s 2021), named “most anticipated” or “must-read” book by LitHub, Refinery29, The Millions, Good Morning America, and others. Zoffness won the 2018 Sunday Times Short Story Award, the largest international prize for short fiction, amid entries from 38 countries. Other honors include fellowships from the Center for Fiction and MacDowell, and the Arts & Letters Creative Nonfiction Prize. Her writing has appeared in several outlets, including the New York Times, the Paris Review Daily, and Guernica. She directs the Creative Writing Program at Drew University, and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.
Joanna Eleftheriou studied at Cornell University, Old Dominion University, the Center for Ottoman, Byzantine, and Modern Greek Studies in Birmingham, UK, and the University of Missouri, where she earned a doctorate in creative writing. She is Assistant Professor of English at Christopher Newport University, and her translations and creative work have appeared in The Crab Orchard Review, Bellingham Review, and The Common.