MFA Alumni Panel: Life After the MFA


Location: Zoom conversation

This panel will spotlight all four of our ND MFA alumni who will be joining us over the two-week series including Ali Araghi, Angela Bickham, Sheheryar B. Sheikh (Shero), and Jessica Maich.

Registration for the event must take in advance of the reading.  Registration can be completed here

Ali Araghi is an Iranian writer and translator and the winner of the 2017 Prairie Schooner Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing. His writing and translations has been published in The New Yorker, Prairie Schooner, Fifth Wednesday Journal, and Asymptote, among others. His debut novel, The Immortals of Tehran, was published in April 2020 by Melville House. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame. As a PhD student of Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis, he is working on English translations of Persian literature.

Angela A. Bickham is a poet living in Ohio. From North Carolina, most of her poetry, short plays and articles have been published under her maiden name of Angela A. Williams.  She earned her BA from the University of Virginia (1996), her MFA from the University of Notre Dame (1998) and her MA from the College of William and Mary (2004).  In 2000, Angela became a Cave Canem poetry fellow.  A wife and mother of 3, she continues to create work that seeks to give voice to Black women in history whose stories have been suppressed, devalued or all but forgotten.  Her current interests are in the lives of Free People of Color who lived in the pre-Civil War American South.

Sheheryar B. Sheikh (Shero) publishes scholarship on apocalypticism in contemporary literature and film, and his doctorate focuses on trauma within post-9/11 American novels. His more recent novel, Call me Al: The Hero’s Ha-Ha Journey (HarperCollins India, 2019), is part critique and part celebration of Joseph Campbell’s concept of The Hero’s Journey, as well as a dark satire on political exile and messianism. Both his novels have been finalists for Pakistan’s only literary prize for English-language novels. Shero lives in Saskatoon, Canada, with his wife and son. 

Jessica Maich, a 1997 MFA graduate of the Notre Dame Creative Writing Program, has had poems published in journals as diverse as JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) and NCR (The National Catholic Reporter). Jessica’s chapbooks include The West End, Twenty-Four Questions for Billy, and Treatment Island. Her poems have also been included in the compilation  And Know This Place, Poetry of Indiana. She resides in South Bend, Indiana where she has taught in the writing program at St Mary’s College.