MFA Reading Series ft. Makella Brems, Samuel Ekanem, Ryan Phung, Kyla Walker, and Sachie Weber


Location: 232 Decio English Commons (View on map )

Come listen to the first MFA reading of the semester on Wednesday, October 18th. Readers include Makella Brems, Samuel Ekanem, Ryan Phung, Kyla Walker, and Sachie Weber.

Makella Brems is a first-year MFA student and fourth-year Ph.D. student in Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. Her writing explores the rapidly evolving relationship between humans, nature, and technology in the age of the Anthropocene. Brems is a Graduate Fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (2023-2024). She was previously a Visiting Scholar at the Rachel Carson Center in Munich (2022). Brems is from Phoenix, Arizona.

Samuel Ekanem is a Nigerian writer. He was born and bred in Uwa in the Niger Delta, southern Nigeria. His fiction—largely contemporary and historical—explores life on the margins and spirituality. His works have appeared in The Fictional Café (USA), Down in the Dirt (USA), Literary Yard (India), The Sun (Nigeria) and elsewhere. A first-generation graduate, Samuel studied Communications Arts at the University of Uyo in Nigeria. While there, he served as the general editor of the student union magazine, The Informer, and as a research assistant. Away from literature, Samuel is passionate about humanitarian services. In 2020, during his compulsory national youth service in Nigeria, he raised funds and set up an ultra-modern public restroom. He also led a team of his fellow graduate volunteers to facilitate the Financial Inclusion Campaign on behalf of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He bagged an award from the government in recognition of his efforts.

Ryan Phung, a Los Angeles native, is a graduate from UC San Diego where he studied Political Science and Creative Writing. His primary interests are apocalypse, movement, memory, and the poetics of stupidity. In his free time, he likes to pretend he doesn't know what a ladder is.

Kyla D. Walker is a Turkish and Creole writer from Los Angeles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Pomona College and will be pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame this fall. Currently, she is an editorial intern at Electric Literature. In 2023, she was selected to be a Periplus Collective Fellow and to attend the Tin House Summer Workshop in July. Her prose has been published in Electric Literature, Cultbytes, Agave Review, The Alexandria Review, and is forthcoming in The Threepenny Review. She is a Sparks Editorial Assistant for Notre Dame Review.

Sachie Weber is a fiction writer born and raised in San Francisco. As a mixed race woman, Sachie writes about isolation, belonging, and communication by miscommunication. She has a Creative Writing minor from Stanford but majored in chemistry and worked as a software engineer for five years. These experiences both inform the themes of her writing and validate her certainty that writing is her life’s passion. She loves science fiction, magical realism, and believes in ghosts when in the right company. She expresses love through food.