Brendan Bense

a man wearing glasses stands in front of a lake at sunset

Brendan Bense is a poet and UC Irvine MFA candidate whose work can be found in Columbia Journal, The Crab Orchard Review, Rust + Moth, and elsewhere. Before joining the cohort at UCI, he worked as a writer and editor in New York and Philadelphia.


Jacob Deason

Jacob Deason is a writer who lives in Long Beach, CA. He prefers spending his time watching horror movies, writing poetry, reading, lounging in nature, and listening to music.


Alejandro Derieux-Cerezo

a young man sits smiling straight at the camera against a brick wall

Alejandro Derieux-Cerezo is a poet from Ann Arbor, Michigan living his best life as a Midwest/SoCal transplant. His work can be found in The Adroit Journal, and elsewhere. He has also been the recipient of the Roy W. Cowden Memorial Fellowship and the Hopwood Poetry Award from the University of Michigan. His next big goal is to eat an entire jet airliner, like that one guy.


Griffin Fay

a young person sits on a rock in front of a river and hills

Griffin Fay is from Southern California. Before coming to Irvine, he moonlighted as a journalist named Blue. His work can be found in The Daily Californian, The San Francisco Standard, and The Harvard Advocate. He is currently the host of Orange Peel Poetry on KUCI 88.9. 


Mo Fowler

a young person wearing a green shirt smiles at the camera

Mo is a writer from California and Chicago. Their work currently focuses on tapestry, water, and contemporary conceptions of the American West.


Alexandra Geurts

Alexandra Geurts

Alexandra Geurts is a poet from Los Angeles County who is woefully familiar with its public transportation system. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in English and Creative Writing, where she found her poetic voice. While in attendance she was an associate editor for Westwind, UCLA's literary journal, and an active member of UCLAPoem. While at UCI, she hopes to become an eager and enthusiastic participant of its local poetry scene while continuing to write pieces that are inspired by psychological horror and the suburban gothic.


Somi Jun

a person with an orange hat smiles slightly at the camera in a selfie pose

Somi Jun was born in Korea and raised in/near Los Angeles.


Andie Klarin

a femme-presenting young person leans on a windowsill

Andie Klarin is a first year poetry student returning to Orange County after a brief stint making trouble in Indianapolis. You can find their work in miniskirt magazine, Harpur Palate, and the Chaotic Merge zine.


Asusena Lopez


Asusena Lopez is a native Angeleno who dreams of living in an enchanted forest but doesn’t want to abandon the grime and glamour of the city. She holds a B.A. in music education and creative writing from California State University, Northridge where she received the Academy of American Poets George Dillon Memorial Award in 2021. When not lost in her latest lyrical labyrinth or living in the surreal realm of an art house film, she loves gardening, hiking, playing guitar, visiting museums, and draping herself in velvet.


Luan Nguyen


Luan Nguyen is a second-year poetry student from Sacramento, California.


Amaka Nwabunnia

a young woman rests her cheek on her palm across a table

Amaka Nwabunnia is a second year poetry student from the Washington, DC area. She came to the program immediately following a BA from Georgetown University in Political Science and Creative Writing.


Marc Huerta Osborn

Marc Huerta Osborn

Marc Huerta Osborn is a writer, educator, and college admissions counselor from Alameda, California. His poetry can be found in Rust + Moth, The Acentos Review, Defunkt Magazine, and elsewhere. His biggest creative inspirations are pelicans, pozole, and ghosts.


Lauryn Payne

Lauryn Payne

Lauryn is a self-proclaimed suburbanite turned poet. She earned her BA in Sociology from Chapman University where she would discover her passion for lyricism. Her work focuses on familial dynamism, trauma and identity. Consequently, her work can be found in several keepsake boxes in her parent’s closet, brother’s birthday cards and half-full diaries.


Sara Son

Sara Son

Sara Son is a writer and poet from Queens. She holds a BA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins. Her poetry and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Cream City Review, Smokelong Quarterly, The Margins, DIALOGIST, No Contact, and elsewhere. An AWP Scholar and Tin House alum, she is working on a poetry collection and novel.


Marion Eames White

Marion Eames White

Marion is a queer trans poet from New York. They are a tattoo artist and a VFX enthusiast. They hold a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.


Alexandria Brooke Williamson

a moody portrait of a young woman against a wall

Alexandria Brooke Williamson is a poet whose current endeavors include a poem about holding hands with Blue and a play about the mysterious fate of an unidentified substance caught between a forefinger and a thumb. Alexandria holds a degree in photography from the University of Notre Dame, and they once famously shoveled an entire ham off Dallas asphalt. Their favorite objects in poetry are Dorianne Laux’s old flames and dust and Rae Armnatrout’s pigeons - clean because of the morning. A special place in their heart is occupied by Andy Warhol’s drawings of feet and Agnes Varda’s spaghetti dinners.

Marissa Ahmadkhani


Marissa Ahmadkhani is a 27 year old Bay Area native, who holds an M.A. in English Literature from Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo. Her writing can be found in Radar Poetry, Cosmonauts Avenue, Southern Indiana Review, The West Review, The Journal, and, where she received the Academy of American Poets Prize in 2015 and 2017. In her free time, she enjoys writing, sleeping, owning too many plants, and hanging out with her cat. 

Adam De Petris

a chocolate lab sitting passenger in a car leans across to the drivers seat with an adorable expression

Adam De Petris is a third year poetry student. He isn't good at introductions. He walks around, reads books, etc. Mostly he just drinks coffee. Pictured above is his dog Ellie Mae, the love of his life.

Marcus Gabbert


Marcus Gabbert is from Northern California. He studied English at UC Davis before coming to UC Irvine. 

Marisa Lainson


Marisa grew up in Southern California. She studied English and Spanish at Biola University and graduated from the Torrey Honors Institute. Before coming to UCI, she sold T-shirts at metal concerts and tutored ESL. Her work has recently appeared in Frontier Poetry and Foothill Poetry Journal, where she was nominated for the 2021 Foothill Editor's Prize. She currently serves as the Poetry Editor of FAULTLINE Journal of Arts & Letters and spends her free time playing D&D and singing to her cats.

Helena Li


Helena split her childhood between China, Maryland, and California. She studied Applied Math and Philosophy at Berkeley before moving to Madison. She loves Gabe, her friend’s cat, and bread.

Nick Martino

a young man sits across a table holding a glass of beer

Nick Martino grew up beside the ocean of Lake Michigan. A 2022 Best of the Net nominee, his work has been featured in or is forthcoming from Frontier Poetry, Meridian, Hobart, Five South, and Sugar House Review, among others. He lives in LA.

Harriet Weaver


Harriet Weaver graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Theater Studies, and for several years pursued a career as an actor and producer before allowing herself to write. She lived in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, and New York before relocating to the pleasant culture shock that is Los Angeles. She owes much of her love of poetry to her late great teachers, Harold Bloom and Wynn Handman.

Lizabeth Yandel


Lizabeth Yandel is a writer and musician based in San Diego, CA and originally from Chicago. She is currently a poetry reader for The Adroit Journal. Her work can be found in Rattle Magazine, Lumina Journal, Popshot Magazine, Nashville Review, The Los Angeles Review, and was chosen as the 1st runner up for the 2018 Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry. Her original music, somewhere in the Jazz/Neo-soul realm, can be found on all the streaming platforms. She definitely likes plants and music and words and she probably likes you too.