we know you tell stories.
At Grackle and Grackle we hire talented writers who love to teach. A fantastic writing teacher creates a community of writers who know how to meet each other and help each other forward on whatever path they’re on — joining an MFA program, creating a memoir for family, writing for personal reasons more than publication, working through a novel’s structure, finding the genre that most excites. We are proud of our writers.

About us


Miah Arnold


Miah Arnold, PhD, has taught creative writing for the past twenty years through Houston non-profits including Inprint, Writers in the Schools, and Aurora Picture Show as well as University of Houston, University of Houston-Downtown, Houston Community College, and Georgia College. Her essay “You Owe Me” about working for M.D. Anderson via Writers in the Schools was selected by Best American Essays in 2012. Her first novel, Sweet Land of Bigamy, was published in 2012. miaharnold@gmail.com

Raj Mankad

Raj Mankad, PhD, serves as the Op-Ed Editor at the Houston Chronicle. He was Editor of Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston, a publication of the Rice Design Alliance, from 2008 to 2019. From 2003 to 2008, he was Managing Editor of Feminist Economics, an academic journal based at Rice University. His writing and community organizing helped bring about the launch of Sunday Streets HTX in 2013. His work has won recognition from the Lonestar Awards, the Print Magazine Regional Design Annual, the New York Art Directors Club, and the American Institute of Architects. He is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum and a Next City Vanguard Fellow.

Writers who have taught or teach with us include:

Erin Belieu

Erin Belieu was born in Nebraska and educated at The Ohio State University and Boston University. She is the author of Infanta, chosen by Hayden Carruth for the National Poetry Series; One Above & One Below, winner of the Midland Authors Prize and Ohioana Poetry Award; Black Box, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist; Slant Six, named one of the ten best books of 2014 by The New York Times; and Come Hither Honeycomb (2020), all published by Copper Canyon Press. Her poems have appeared in places such as The Best American PoetryThe New Yorker, PoetryThe New York TimesThe AtlanticAGNITin House, and The American Poetry Review. Belieu also co-founded VIDA: Women in Literary Arts with poet Cate Marvin. She currently teaches in the University of Houston’s MFA/PhD Creative Writing Program, as well as for the Lesley University low-residency MFA in Cambridge, MA.

Lauren Berry

Lauren Berry received a BA in Creative Writing from Florida State University and an MFA from the University of Houston where she won the Inprint Verlaine Prize and served as poetry editor for Gulf Coast. From 2009 to 2010, she held the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute. Terrance Hayes selected Lauren’s first collection, The Lifting Dress (Penguin), to win the National Poetry Series prize in 2011. She lives in Houston, Texas where she teaches AP English Literature at YES Prep Public Schools, a charter school for Houston’s most underserved communities. Lauren is currently finalizing her second manuscript of poetry, The Rented Altar.

Elisabeth Adwin Edwards

Elisabeth Adwin Edwards’s poems have appeared in The Tampa Review, Rust + Moth, Tinderbox, B O D Y Literature, Pedestal Magazine, Posit, and elsewhere; her prose has been published in HAD, CutBank, On The Seawall, and other journals. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net, the Pushcart Prize, and Best New Poets. A native of Massachusetts, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and teen daughter in an apartment filled with books. Find her on Twitter/X at @eadwinedwards.

Rohan Chhetri

Rohan Chhetri is a Nepali-Indian poet. He is the author of Slow Startle (Emerging Poets Prize 2015) and a chapbook of poems, Jurassic Desire (Per Diem Poetry Prize 2017). His second book of poems is forthcoming from Tupelo Press in 2021 (Kundiman Poetry Prize 2018). His poems have appeared in PreludeWildnessRattleVinylEVENTLiterary Hub, Poetry Society of America, and was recently translated into French for Europe Revue. He has received fellowships from Kundiman, Imprint, and the Norman Mailer Center.

Chelsea B. DesAutels’s

Chelsea B. DesAutels’s work appears or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Copper NickelNinth LetterPleiadesTriQuarterlyWillow Springs, and elsewhere. Chelsea is the recipient of the Inprint Verlaine Prize in Poetry. She has received grants from the Vermont Studio Center and Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Chelsea recently served as Poetry Editor of Gulf Coast. She teaches at the University of Houston, where she is an MFA candidate, and with Writers in the Schools. Chelsea holds degrees from Wellesley College and the University of Minnesota Law School.

Blas Falconer

Blas Falconer is the author of three poetry collections, including Forgive the Body This Failure (Four Way Books 2018), The Foundling Wheel (Four Way Books 2012), and A Question of Gravity and Light (University of Arizona Press 2007)—and a coeditor of two essay collections, The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity (University of Arizona Press 2011) and Mentor and Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets (SIU Press 2010). Most recently, his poems have been featured by Academy of American Poets and The New York Times. His awards include an NEA Fellowship, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange, and a Tennessee Individual Artist Grant.  He is a poetry editor for The Los Angeles Review and Mentor and Muse (online), and teaches in the MFA at San Diego State University.

Niki Herd

Niki Herd is the author of The Language of Shedding Skin and co-editor of Laura Hershey: On the Life & Work of an American Masterwhich features the poetry of and critical essays about disability activist Laura Hershey. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, her poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets (Poem-a-Day), Lit HubThe Rumpus, ObsidianTupelo Quarterlyand The Break Beat Poets Volume 2: Black Girl Magicamong other journals and anthologies. Her work has been supported by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Cave Canem. In 2018, Herd was a recipient of a Newberry Library Archival Theory and Practice Fellowship. Currently, she lives in Texas where she is an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellow of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston.

Onyinye Ihezukwu

Onyinye Ihezukwu was born in Nigeria where she worked as a broadcaster and journalist. Before broadcasting, she worked with an independent theater enterprise, The Tapshak Company, as an actress, project director, and playwright. Her fiction largely explores changing socio-spiritual themes in the urban Nigerian setting. Her fiction has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, the Virginia Quarterly ReviewThe American Scholar, the St. Petersburg Review, among others. She received her MFA in 2014 from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, where she was awarded the Poe/Faulkner Fellowship, as well as the 2014 Henfield Prize for fiction. She held a 2015-2017 Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and is currently earning a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston. She’s at work on a novel.

Justin Jannise

Justin Jannise studied poetry at Yale and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Houston. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, New Ohio Review, Columbia Journal, Yale Review, The Awland Zócalo Public Square. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Gulf Coast and the recipient of an Inprint Marion Barthelme Prize.

Elizabeth Ann Michaela Keel

Elizabeth Ann Michaela Keel is a native Houstonian, as well as a playwright, director, actress, dramaturg, producer, novelist, and teacher. Her plays have been read or produced by Shattered Globe Theatre, Rec Room, Otherworld Theatre Company, Stages Repertory Theatre, Mildred’s Umbrella, METdance, Squeaky Bicycle, Landing Theatre Company, Cone Man Running, This Is Water Theatre, Nova Arts Project, Fresh Produce’d (NYC), and 14 Pews, among others. She has published two novels for adults, and currently works as a teaching artist for Stages Repertory Theatre and Writers in the Schools. Her master’s thesis work focused on the encouragement of meaningful science fiction onstage. Her play Corona was invited to the inaugural Science Fiction Theatre symposium at the University of Toronto. She is proud to serve as an Ambassador for the Dramatists Guild, the Story Captain for lo-fi puppets, and as a script reader for the Alley Theatre. Some of her most important work has been mentoring young playwrights during her time with the education department at the Alley, Stages Repertory, and at the University of Houston. Upcoming projects may be found at www.elizabethamkeel.com

Georgina Key

Georgina Key is a published author and artist who lives in Houston, Texas. She graduated with an M.A. in English and has taught writing for over 30 years: at the college level, through Writer’s in the Schools, and independently through workshops and as a private writing tutor. She has published poems in various journals, and her first novel, Shiny Bits In Between, was published in 2020. It is her love letter to Bolivar Peninsula on the Texas Gulf Coast. She’s currently working on her second novel.

Jennifer L. Knox

Jennifer L. Knox is the author of five books of poetry in English, most recently Crushing It (Copper Canyon Press, 2020). She is currently at work on MYCYOWA, a traveling public art installation dedicated to increasing awareness of mycoremediation, supported by the the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and the NEA. She has taught poetry writing at Hunter College, New York University, Iowa State University, and in her own series of private online classes. She lives in central Iowa and is the proprietor of Saltlickers, a small spice blend company.

Lucas Masllorens

Lucas Masllorens is a journalist and musician. As a journalist he has produced and hosted a radio show devoted to jazz and created music collections for magazines, among other projects. As a musician he’s a multi-instrumentalist that played in and composed for several bands. He was also the founder of Oven Music, a production company for advertising and film scores. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, he moved to Houston in 2016.

Anna Mebel

Anna Mebel is the author of the chapbook Eradicate Sex Chemicals! (dancing girl press) and the co-founding editor of Figure 1. Her writing has been published in Sixth FinchThe JournalThe RupturePinwheelTin House Open Bar, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Syracuse University.

Helena Mesa

Helena Mesa is the author of Horse Dance Underwater (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2009) and co-editor for Mentor & Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets (Southern Illinois University Press, 2010), an anthology of essays that examines poetic techniques. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various literary journals such as Barrow StreetBat City Review, Cimarron ReviewIndiana Review, Pleiades, Poet LorePrairie Schoonerand Third Coast.  She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative ArtsHambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences, and Writers in the Heartland; she was also a UMS artist in residence (2015-2016). She teaches at Albion College.

Josie Mitchell

Josie Mitchell is a graduate of the University of Houston’s MFA program in fiction. For the past 5 years she has taught creative writing at the University of Houston, with Project Row Houses, Inprint and WITS. Her work can be found in Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, Boneshaker, Vancouver Contemporary Museum and more. Recipient of the Houston Arts Alliance Support for Artists and Creative Individual 2020 grant, she is from San Diego, California, and is at work on a speculative novel-in-stories set there.

Stacy Nigliazzo

Stacy Nigliazzo is an emergency room nurse and the award-winning author of two full-length poetry collections: Scissored Moon & Sky the Oar (Press 53). Her work has appeared in JAMA, Thrush, and the Beloit Poetry Journal, among other publications. She is co-editor of Red Sky, Poetry on the Global Epidemic of Violence Against Women (Sable Books, 2016), and presently serves as the east coast poetry editor of Pulse, Voices From the Heart of Medicine (Montefiore Medical Center, NY).

Kevin Prufer

Kevin Prufer is the author of seven books of poetry and the editor of numerous anthologies, the most recent of which are How He Loved Them (Four Way Books, 2018), Churches (Four Way Books, 2014), In a Beautiful Country (Four Way Books, 2011), National Anthem (Four Way Books, 2008), New European Poets (Graywolf Press, 2008; w/ Wayne Miller), Literary Publishing in the 21st Century (Milkweed Editions, 2016; w/ Wayne Miller & Travis Kurowski), and Into English: Poems, Translations, Commentaries (Graywolf Press, 2017; w/Martha Collins). Prufer is also Editor-at-Large of Pleiades: Literature in Context, Co-Curator of the Unsung Masters Series, and Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston and the low-residency MFA at Lesley University. Among Prufer’s awards and honors are four Pushcart prizes and multiple Best American Poetry selections, numerous awards from the Poetry Society of America, the Prairie Schooner/Strousse Award, two William Rockhill Nelson awards, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lannan Foundation.

Paige Quiñones

Paige Quiñones is a PhD student in poetry at the University of Houston, where she is the Managing Editor of Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine ArtsPreviously a fellow with the Center for Mexican American Studies at UH, she received her MFA in poetry from the Ohio State University. Her work has twice been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and has appeared or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poetry Northwest, Quarterly West, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a 2019 Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize, selected by Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Kaitlin Rizzo

Kaitlin Rizzo is a writer, researcher, and translator working on a series of projects related to the life of Baroque painter, Artemisia Gentileschi. Her most recent writing can be found or is forthcoming in POETRY Magazine, Plume, and the anthology Shreela Ray: On the Life and Work of an American Master. She has been a Finalist the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry and the Olive B O’Connor Fellowship in Poetry. Kaitlin lives and teaches in Houston, where she is a Co-President and Founder of the Adjunct English Society, which advocates for sustainable wages for contingent faculty at the University of Houston.

Analicia Sotelo

Analicia Sotelo is the author of Virgin, the inaugural winner of the Jake Adam York Prize, selected by Ross Gay for Milkweed Editions, 2018. She is also the author of the chapbook, Nonstop Godhead, selected by Rigoberto González for a 2016 Poetry Society of America National Chapbook Fellowship. Her poem “I’m Trying to Write a Poem About a Virgin and It’s Awful” was selected for Best New Poets 2015 by Tracy K. Smith. Poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the New Yorker, Boston Review, FIELD, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and The Nation. She is the recipient of the 2016 DISQUIET International Literary Prize, a Canto Mundo fellowship, and scholarships from the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley and the Image Text Ithaca Symposium. Analicia holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Houston.

Obi Umeozor

Obi Umeozor received his B.A. in English from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria and taught English Literature before moving to the States in 2015, where he obtained an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida State University. His work has appeared and is forthcoming in the New Orleans ReviewaddaShift and others. He has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and is currently a PhD (Fiction) candidate at the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program.

Cait Weiss Orcutt

Cait Weiss Orcutt is the author of VALLEYSPEAK, winner of the 2017 Zone 3 First Book Prize. She holds an MFA from The Ohio State University and is a PhD candidate at the University of Houston in English Literature and Creative Writing. Her essays and poems have appeared in Boston ReviewBust MagazineChautauquaFIELDThe Pinch, The Academy of American Poets and more. Currently based in the Midwest, Cait leads poetry and creative nonfiction writing workshops centered on identity, history, intersectionality and healing. She is the recipient of a UH College of Arts and Letters Dissertation Completion Fellowship and an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor/MD Anderson Foundation Fellowship.

Martha Serpas

Martha Serpas’s poetry collections include Côte BlancheThe Dirty Side of the Storm, and The Diener;  her work has appeared in magazines and journals like The New Yorker, Poetryand the Southern Review.  She co-produced Veins in the Gulfa documentary about southern Louisiana’s coastal erosion crisis. A graduate of Yale Divinity School, Serpas returned to teach there as a visiting professor. She has also taught at Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion’s Glen Workshop East and Seattle Pacific’s low-residency MFA program in  writing and spirituality. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of Houston and serves as a hospital trauma chaplain.

Kaj Tanaka

Kaj Tanaka is a PhD candidate at the University of Houston. His stories have been selected for Best Small Fictions and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He is the fiction editor at Gulf Cost. You can read more of his work at kajtanaka.com and tweet to him @kajtanaka.

Allyn West

Allyn West  is an editor and writer at the Houston Chronicle. Previously, he worked as a writer for the Rice Design Alliance and Swamplot. He graduated from the University of Houston in 2015 with a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing.

Jessica Wilbanks

Jessica Wilbanks is the author When I Spoke in Tongues, a memoir about faith and its loss (Beacon Press, 2018). She has received a Pushcart Prize as well as creative nonfiction awards from Ninth Letter, Sycamore Review, Redividerand Ruminate magazine. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, Salon, Houston Chronicle, Sojourners, The Rumpus, Longreadsand Lit Hub, and has received Notable Mentions from Best American Essays and Best American Nonrequired Reading. For more information, visit http://jessicawilbanks.com. 

Adele Elise Williams

Adele Elise Williams is a PhD candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at The University of Houston where she serves as Nonfiction Editor for Gulf Coast. She is the winner of an Academy of American Poets Prize, Inprint Marion Barthelme Prize in Creative Writing and Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize for Poetry as well as a finalist for the 2022 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize. With Dana Levin, she co-edited the most recent volume of the Unsung Masters Series on poet Bert Meyers. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Indiana Review, The Georgia Review, Crazyhorse, Guernica, Cream City Review, The Florida Review and elsewhere. Her current goings-on can be found at adeleelisewilliams.com.

Shopping Cart
Follow by Email
Join our Waitlist Thank you for your interest in this class! We'll alert you right away if a seat opens up. If we run another round of this class, we'll let you know about that, too.

No fields found, please go to settings & save/reset fields

Scroll to Top