MFA Faculty & Staff
Dan Barden is the author of The Next Right Thing (2012, Dial Press) and John Wayne: A Novel (Doubleday, 1997). He teaches all levels of creative writing in fiction, nonfiction, and dramatic writing.
Michael Dahlie is Associate Professor of English in Butler University’s MFA program and he’s the author of two novels with W.W. Norton. His short fiction has been published in journals and magazines including Harper’s, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, and Tin House, and he won a Pushcart Prize for a short story first published in The Yale Review. He’s received the PEN/Hemingway Award and a Whiting Award, and he was a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow in 2020.
“My role as a creative writing teacher is to help studentssay the things they want to say, write aboutthe subjects they think are important, and to do it in a way they value.I assign a wide variety of publishedwork, and my courses emphasize the fact that first-rate narrative comes from adiverse set of sources and in a broad range of forms. Most important, I workhard to ensure my classes give students a sense of belonging, camaraderie and afeeling of common purpose while making sure each person has the resources andencouragement to develop and refine their own unique literary vision.”
Hilene Flanzbaum is a Professor of English and the Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing. She also holds the Allegra Stewart Chair in Modern Literature. Her specialties include Modern and American Poetry, Jewish-American Literature, Twentieth-Century Literature and creative writing. See attached cv for details.
Chris Forhan is the author of three books of poetry: Black Leapt In, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize; The Actual Moon, The Actual Stars, winner of the Morse Poetry Prize and a Washington State Book Award; and Forgive Us Our Happiness, winner of the Bakeless Prize. He has also written two books of nonfiction: My Father Before Me: A Memoir and the forthcoming A Mind Full of Music: Essays on Imagination and Popular Song. He has published three chapbooks, Ransack and Dance, x, and Crumbs of Bread, and his poems have appeared in Poetry, Paris Review, Ploughshares, New England Review, Parnassus, Georgia Review, Field, and other magazines, as well as in The Best American Poetry. He has won a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and three Pushcart Prizes, has earned a "Discover Great New Writers" selection from Barnes and Noble, and has been a resident at Yaddo and a fellow at Bread Loaf. He was born and raised in Seattle and lives with his wife, the poet Alessandra Lynch, and their two sons, Milo and Oliver, in Indianapolis, where he teaches at Butler University. More at http://www.chrisforhan.com.
Natalie Lima is a Cuban-Puerto Rican writer, raised in Las Vegas, NV and Hialeah, FL. She is a first-generation college graduate of Northwestern University and a graduate of the MFA program in creative nonfiction writing at the University of Arizona. Her essays and fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Longreads, Guernica, Brevity, The Offing, Catapult, Sex and the Single Woman (Harper Perennial, 2022), Body Language (Catapult, 2022), and elsewhere. Lima’s writing has been honored in Best Small Fictions (2020), and noted twice in Best American Essays (2019 and 2020). Her work has received support from PEN America Emerging Voices, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Tin House, the VONA/Voices Workshop, the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, the Mellon Foundation, and the Hedgebrook Writers’ Residency.
Author, Huck Finn’s America (2014), A Brain Wider Than The Sky (2009), The First Emancipator (2005), The Culture and Commerce of the American Short Story (1992), and co-editor of Creating Fiction (1994) and Postmodern American Fiction: A Norton Anthology (1997). Essays and reviews have appeared in Harper’s, American Scholar, Missouri Review, Best American Essays, and elsewhere. Winner of Slatten award for Biography (2005), reviews of work and public appearances include Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, NPR’s All Things Considered and This American Life, Spin, Sports Illustrated, C-Span, Salon, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and other places. Teaches American literature and culture and creative writing.
Alessandra Lynch, Senior Lecturer/Poet-in-Residence at Butler University, is the author
of four collections of poems, Sails the Wind Left Behind (Alice James Books), It was a
terrible cloud at twilight (LSU Press, winner of the Lena Miles-Wever Todd Award),
Daylily Called It a Dangerous Moment (finalist for the UNT Rilke Prize and the LA
Times Poetry Book Prize, winner of the 2017 Balcones Prize in Poetry, one of The New
York Times’ ten Best Poetry Books of 2017) and Pretty Tripwire (Alice James Books).
Her work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, The New England Review, The
Kenyon Review, Ploughshares and other literary journals. In 2015, Alessandra received
a Creative Renewal Fellowship, from the Indianapolis Council for the Arts. She was
also one of the three poets involved in the Stream / Lines: Reconnecting to Our
Waterways project, funded by the National Science Foundation. Alessandra has received
fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the MacDowell Colony for the Arts, and Yaddo.
Lili Wright worked as a newspaper reporter for ten years before earning her MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. She is author of the travel memoir, Learning to Float (Broadway, 2002.) Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Down East, The Cincinnati Review, The Normal School, Cream City Review, and many other literary journals. Her work was noted for distinction in Best American Essays 2010 and Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010. Her first novel, Dancing with the Tiger, a literary thriller set in Mexico, will be published by Putnam Penguin in July.
Mindy Dunn (’05) has a B.A. in English from Butler University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Purdue University, with a specialty in poetry. Mindy is Academic Program Manager for the MFA program and has taught at Butler in the English, First Year Seminar, and Honors departments.