For more information or to talk with MFA faculty, e-mail mfa@augsburg.edu.


Stephan Eirik Clark is a writer of fiction, creative nonfiction, and screenplays. His collection of short fiction, Vladimir’s Mustache, was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award in 2013.  Stories from the collection have been published in Witness, Ninth Letter, and Cincinnati Review.  Clark’s novel, Sweetness #9, will soon be available from Little, Brown & Company, publishers of everyone from JD Salinger to David Sedaris. His creative non-fiction has been recognized as notable in Best of the Web 2009 and Best American Essays 2009 and 2010. Professionally represented as a screenwriter while living in Los Angeles, he has optioned two scripts and seen his screenwriting honored by the Monterey County Film Commission and Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope film studios. A former Fulbright Fellow to Ukraine and one-time member of USC Film School, Stephan earned his master’s degree in English from the University of California, Davis and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California. On the web: www.stephanclark.net


Cass Dalglish is a fiction writer and prose poet who has written television news and documentaries as a broadcast journalist. Her published books include the novels Nin (Spinsters Ink) and Sweetgrass (finalist for a Minnesota Book Award), and a book-length prose poem Humming the Blues (Calyx Books). Humming the Blues is a jazz interpretation of the Sumerian cuneiform signs in Enheduanna’s Song to Inanna (Ancient Iraq, 2350 BCE). She was an invited speaker during the post museum session of the conference: Inanna — Live at the British Museum. London 2007.and selected for the McKnight/Walker/mnartists.org “Five Minutes of Fame” for her animation of her interpretation of the Song to Inanna. A recipient of The Loft Literary Center Minnesota Writers’ Career Initiative Grant, she received the 2011 Distinguished Teaching and Learning Award For Excellence in Mentoring and Advising from Augsburg College. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a PhD in writing with a concentration in ancient women’s writing from The Union Institute. Cass is the MFA Program Director. On the web: cassdalglish.com


Jack El-Hai is a writer of literary journalism and creative nonfiction. His books include The Nazi and the Psychiatrist (Public Affairs), Turbulent Air: A History of Northwest Airlines (University of Minnesota Press), and The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness (Wiley). The Lobotomist is currently in production as a TV series pilot for HBO and was previously adapted as a PBS American Experience television documentary. Jack’s newest project, The Nazi And The Psychiatrist is slated for publication by PublicAffairs Books and has recently been optioned for stage and screen by Mythology Entertainment. The book explores the complex relationship between American psychiatrist Dr. Douglas M. Kelley and Nazi war criminal and Hitler’s right-hand man Hermann Goering. It has been licensed for Italian translation to the venerable Rizzoli publishing company. It was previously licensed for French translation to the publisher Les Arenes.  In English, the book will be available in September 2013. Jack’s essays and articles have appeared in The Atlantic,WiredScientific American MindThe History Channel MagazineAmerican Heritage, and The Saturday Evening Post. Winner of a Minnesota Book Award and a McKnight Artist Fellowship, he is a past president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Bennington College and an undergraduate degree in English from Carleton College.


Cary Waterman is a poet and creative nonfiction writer. Her published books include The Salamander Migration (University of Pittsburgh Press), When I Looked Back You Were Gone (finalist for the Minnesota Book Award), and Book of Fire (Nodin Press). Her work appears in many anthologies including A Geography of Poets, Poets Against the War and The Logan House Anthology of 21st Century American Poetry. She has won awards from the Bush Foundation, The McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She has had residencies and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland and the MacDowell Colony. For many years she was Poet-in-Residence with the Minnesota Writers in the Schools program. She has an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Denver and a master’s degree from Minnesota State University-Mankato.


Nicole Brending graduated with honors from Columbia University’s MFA Film Program.  She is a three-time Jerome Foundation Grant recipient, a former McKnight Screenwriting Fellow, as well as the winner of the Ezra Litwak Award for Distinction in Screenwriting.  Her feature project PRESERVATION was the only American project selected for the 2011 Berlinale Co-Production Market and her short films have screened at over 50 festivals world-wide and garnered such awards as “Best of the Fest” (Palm Springs), “Best Short” (Hamburg and Q Cinema), the “Prix de Varti” (Ann Arbor) as well as a Student Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  In addition to her narrative work, she has made several experimental video pieces and conceived and directed music videos for artists such as Polterghost, Miss Guy and Universe Contest.  She currently works as a screenwriter and director for film and television.


Heid-E-Erdrich-lowres Heid E. Erdrich will join the mentor faculty in 2014.  She is author of four poetry collections, most recently Cell Traffic: New and Selected Poems. She is Ojibwe from the Turtle Mountain Band in North Dakota. A long-time college professor, Heid is now an independent scholar and a frequent visiting writer at educational and cultural institutions across the country. In Minnesota, Heid often works with galleries to present exhibits focused on Native American visual art  and she directs Wiigwaas Press an Ojibwe language publisher. A recipient of awards from The Loft Literary Center, the Archibald Bush Foundation and elsewhere, Heid has four times been nominated for the Minnesota Book Award which she won in 2009 for her book National Monuments. She is a 2012-13 Minnesota State Arts Board grant recipient. She is graduate of Dartmouth College  and the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and holds a Ph.D. from the Union Institute.   Her poetry films were featured in Studio Presents: Indigenous Short Film Showcase, 2013, sponsored by the Augsburg Native American Film Series.  Read/Watch/Listen to MPR News on Heid – Pre-Occupied.


Christina Lazaridi, a visiting writer in 2013, joins the mentor faculty in spring, 2015. She was nominated for an Oscar for her screenplay for One Day Crossing, a WWII short drama. Her latest produced screenplay, Coming Up Roses (starring Bernadette Peters) opened recently in New York.   She has consulted on projects developed for New Line and Bruckheimer Productions and has worked with Producers Eva Kolodner, Anne Chaisson, Lester Persky Productions and Academy Award Winner Documentarian Richard Kaplan. Her screenplays have won European Media Development Awards, a Student Academy Award, a Euroscript Development Award and a Chris Kazan Memorial Award. and her book on her screenwriting method, Stories that Change, was recently published by the Mediterranean Film Institute. A screenwriting professor at Princeton University, she also teaches Screenwriting at Columbia’s Graduate Film Division.  She is a mentor for the Mediterranean Film Institute and is Academic Director and Screenwriting Facilitator for CineQuaNon Labs, Mexico. She is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an MFA in Screenwriting (Honors) from Columbia University School of the Arts.


myerss Sarah Myers is the designer of the Playwriting curriculum and will be Playwriting Mentor when the track opens in 2014.  She is a playwright and performer, whose work has been produced in venues across the country, from the Wild Project (New York), to the Blue Theater and the Off Center (Austin, TX), to Columbia College’s Center for Book & Paper Arts (Chicago). Most recently, her adaptation of Durrenmatt’s The Visit was performed by Sod House Theater in heritage villages throughout Minnesota (2013) and her adaptation of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard,  directed by Luverne Seifert, toured historic homes throughout the state (2011 and 2012).  Her next project with Sod House, an adaptation of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, will be produced by Sod House in the summer of 2014. She is a recipient of the Waldo M. and Grace C. Bonderman Playwriting Award, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and a Heideman Award finalist. Her plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New Madrid Journal, and Dramatics Magazine. She holds an MFA in Playwriting and in Drama and Theatre for Youth & Communities and a PhD in Performance as Public Practice from the University of Texas at Austin, and she is a former company member with Austin-based Rude Mechanicals and longtime co-director of Rude Mechs’ Grrl Action program. Sarah Myers teaches in the theater program at Augsburg College,  a program listed in Backstage magazine’s 2012 Fall College Guide as one of the top five in the U.S. for theater majors who wish to continue their studies professionally.


Steven Wingate earned his MFA in film and TV production from Florida State University and has taught screenwriting since 1996 at schools such as the University of Colorado at Boulder, the College of the Holy Cross, and South Dakota State University, where he is now an assistant professor. He is a multi-genre artist whose work ranges from experimental forms to criticism, and short films he has written or produced have screened at festivals from Brussels to Tokyo. He is the author of the short story collection Wifeshopping (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008), the prose poem chapbook The Birth of Trigonometry in the Bones of Olduvai (Finishing Line Press, 2013) and the hybrid-genre collection Thirty-One Octets: Incantations and Meditations (WordTech Communications/CW Books, forthcoming 2014). As an artist and teacher he is committed to homegrown filmmaking and projects that explore the cinematic possibilities of new media.

Publishing Faculty



John Gaterud, will lead the Publishing Concentration in 2014 as Publisher/Mentor of the Augsburg Howling Bird National Book Prize.

He has long-time interests in writing, publishing, and “good stories well told.” He has worked as a newspaper and magazine reporter, editor, graphic designer, and publisher and taught mass communications at Minnesota State University, Mankato. John holds journalism degrees from the University of Northern Colorado, the University of Oregon, and The Union Institute, where he earned his doctorate, with emphases in American studies and creative nonfiction writing. He currently serves as editor and publisher of Blueroad Press, a literary-arts book-publishing company he founded with his daughter, Abbey, in 2007. Blueroad titles have received writing and design prizes from Publishers Association of the West (short stories/poetry/anthologies), Midwest Independent Publishers (cover design and travel writing), Independent Publisher (essay/creative nonfiction), and Minnesota Book Awards (memoir/creative nonfiction). Excerpts from Philip Bryant’s jazz/poetry memoir, Stompin’ at The Grand Terrace, published by Blueroad, were featured in Best Music Writing 2010 (Da Capo). John brings to Augsburg College a love for the art and craft of bookmaking – from concept to print.

John Gaterud is the MFA Publishing Mentor and director of Howling Bird Press and the National Book Prize.