April 16: UMSL MFA Alumni Ron Austin and Michael Nye at Gallery 210, 12:15 pm.

Ron A. Austin has served as an editor for december and River Styx, and is a 2016 Regional Arts Commission Fellow. His stories have been placed in Ninth Letter, Story Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, The Masters Review, Midwestern Gothic, and other journals. He has taught creative writing at the Pierre Laclede Honors College, and he is now finishing his collection of stories, Avery Colt Is A Snake, A Thief, A Liar. He, his partner Jennie, and son Elijah live in St. Louis with a whippet named Carmen. 

Michael Nye is the author of the story collection STRATEGIES AGAINST EXTINCTION (Queen’s Ferry Press, 2012) and the novel ALL THE CASTLES BURNED, forthcoming from Turner Publishing in February 2018. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in American Literary Review, Boulevard, Cincinnati Review, Crab Orchard Review, EpochKenyon ReviewNew South, Normal SchoolSou’wester, and South Dakota Review, among many others. His work has been a finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in fiction and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives with his wife in Columbus, Ohio.



Donika Kelly 

The Natural Bridge Debut Writers Series welcomes Donika Kelly. Donika is the author of BESTIARY (Graywolf 2016), winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and the 2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry, long listed for the National Book Award (2016), and a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award (2017), and the chapbook AVIARIUM (500 Places 2017). Donika is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow, a finalist for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Prize, and recipient of a fellowship to the Fine Arts Work Center. She received her MFA in Writing from the Michener Center for Writers and a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University.  She is an Assistant Professor at St. Bonaventure University, where she teaches creative writing.


Past Readings

Amina Gautier, Matthew Pitt, Rachel Hall, Robin Beth Schaer, Rion Amilcar Scott, Alexander Weinstein, Jaimee Wriston Colbert, John Domini, Leslie Pietryzk, Anne Sanow, Melissa Range, Whitney Terrell, Roger ReevesChinelo Okparanta, Susan Perabo, Anne Shaw, Joshua Mehigan, Lex Williford, Rick Skwiot, Dale Ray Phillips, Kevin Wilson, Eric Puchner, Ann Patchett, Deborah Eisenberg, Elizabeth Strout, Ocean Vuong, Anthony Marra, Trudy Lewis, Katie Reigel, Gladys Swan, Phong Nguyen, Robert Stewart, Walter Bargen, Christie Hodgens, Phyllis Moore, Stephanie Powell Watts, Ira Sukrungraung, Jason Sommer, Adrian Matejka, Allison Funk, Allsion Joseph, Don Finkel, Erin McGraw, Beth Lowery, Gary Geddes, Rodney Jones, Adam Hayward, Michael Nye, Kelli Allen, Jennifer Tappenden, Sally Van Doren, Walter Bargen, William Trowbridge, Stacy Tintocalus, Andrew Atlschul, Joy Katz and many more.