Current Readers & Interns
Elinam Agbo was born in Ghana and moved to the United States when she was ten. She is currently an MFA candidate in fiction in the Helen Zell Writers’ Program and received her BA from the University of Chicago, where she was awarded the 2017 Les River Fellowship for Young Novelists. She is also a winner of the 2018 PEN/Robert Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, and her fiction has appeared in Baltimore Review. You can find her procrastinating on Twitter @evagbo.
Joumana Altallal was born in Baghdad to Iraqi and Lebanese parents. She is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia and is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. She works with Citywide Poets to lead an after-school poetry program for high school students in Dearborn, MI. Her work has appeared in Virginia Literary Review, Inkstone, and Jaffat al-Aqlam, and elsewhere.
Justin Balog is a writer and arts administrator from Beach Park, IL. He holds a BS in Biology and English/Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is currently an MFA candidate in poetry in the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. You can find him retweeting other peoples clever and witty tweets on Twitter @aybaebalog, or on Instagram @aybaebalog trying to make his life look more interesting than it actually is.
Samantha Bares is an MFA candidate in fiction in the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. She reads fiction, poetry, and essays for MQR. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cricket Online Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, and NightBlock.She has received the John Ed Bradley Award for Fiction and the Dara Weir Award for Poetry. Her novel-in-progress is a contemporary retelling of Longfellow’s epic poem “Evangeline,” set in her native south Louisiana. You can find her on Twitter @samanthabares and Instagram @samanthabares.
Bryan Byrdlong is a Haitian/African-American writer from Chicago, Illinois. He is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program and received his BA in English/Creative Writing from Vanderbilt University. At Vanderbilt, he was the co-recipient of the Merrill Moore Award for Poetry upon graduation. His work has appeared in the Nashville Review and Heavy Feather Review. He is presently writing poems about Chicago and zombies. You can find him on Instagram at @b___rye.
Eirill Falck is a writer from Oslo, Norway. She reads fiction and nonfiction submissions for MQR. Her nonfiction and poetry have appeared in US-based literary magazines and in a Norwegian anthology. She is the recipient of the John Wagner Prize and the Hopwood Award. You can find her on Twitter as @EirillFalck.
Sofia Ergas Groopman is an MFA candidate in fiction at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review Daily, and Vice Magazine, and her translation of Bestiare D’Amour by Jean-Claude Carrière and Isabella Rossellini was premiered by Rossellini at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In her past life, she was an Associate Editor at Harper/HarperCollins, where she acquired and edited a mix of nonfiction and fiction. Now, she lives in Ann Arbor with her wirehaired dachshund Roger.
Kassy Lee is currently an MFA Candidate in poetry in the Helen Zell Writers’ Program and received her BA in Comparative Literature & Society from Columbia University. She reads poetry for MQR. Her poetry has appeared in Apogee Journal, The Columbia Review, The Shanghai Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her translations from Mandarin Chinese have appeared in Spittoon Literary Magazine and her essays have appeared in LARB. Her most recent chapbook The Period of Warring States was published by Another New Calligraphy in 2017. Her first chapbook zombia was published by dancing girl press in 2014. You can find her hot takes on poetry and translation on Twitter @kassylee_
Annesha Sengupta is a first-year MFA Fiction candidate at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Her work is published and forthcoming in Catapult, Tin House The Open Bar, and The Kenyon Review Online. She was a cast member of YKR 2018, a South Asian community storytelling project. Follow her on Twitter @anneshamitha.
Michael M. Weinstein’s poetry, essays, and translations have appeared in The New Yorker, Boston Review, Conjunctions, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. A recipient of grants from the Bread Loaf School of English and the Fulbright Foundation, among others, he holds a Ph.D. in English from Harvard and most recently taught classes in American, British, and Russian literatures at Yale University. He is currently an MFA candidate in the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan.
Katelyn Elder is a senior at the University Michigan majoring in English with a minor in Chemistry and is a member of the Alpha Chi Sigma Professional Chemistry fraternity. She is also currently interning with Ann Arbor Family Magazine and is looking forward to finally getting some of her writing published this semester. This past summer, she participated in the New England Literature Program where her passion for creative writing was fully realized.
Adellyn Geenen is a Bay Area native and a junior pursuing a dual degree in Vocal Performance and English. At Michigan, she is a part of the Collegiate Recovery Program and is on a hip hop dance team. She hopes to become a freelance opera singer and writer, and eventually be an editor of a newspaper’s arts section. She does not have a Twitter, but will respond promptly to carrier pigeon.