Current Students

Second Year Students

Leslie Benigni

Leslie Benigni

Position: MFA Student - Fiction
Email: lbenign@bgsu.edu
Address: East Hall

Leslie Benigni is a second year MFA fiction graduate student originally hailing from Pittsburgh, PA where she completed a dual degree in Secondary Education and English at Duquesne University (and naturally, a minor in Creative Writing). Her short fiction has appeared in small literary journals and magazines such as :Lexicon. Besides all things pertaining to reading, writing, and English as a whole, she loves to create art, play tennis, listen to music, and drink inordinate amounts of coffee. She is excited about this new phase of her life and writing journey at BGSU!

Samantha Fain

Samantha (Sam) Fain

Position: MFA Student - Poetry
Email: sfain@bgsu.edu
Address: East Hall 411A

Samantha (Sam) Fain is an MFA candidate studying poetry at BGSU. This year, she will be teaching WRIT 1110, a seminar in academic writing. Sam is from Connersville, Indiana. She attended Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana for her undergraduate degree with a creative writing major and minors in psychology and Spanish. She studied abroad in London, England, at Roehampton University. In her free time, Sam likes to travel, read, embroider, and go to concerts. Her favorite poets are Kaveh Akbar, Terrance Hayes, and Ada Limón. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Indianapolis Review, SWWIM, The Hunger, and others.

Mackenna Finley

Mackenna Finley

Position: MFA Student - Fiction
Email: finleym@bgsu.edu
Address: East Hall 411A

Mackenna Finley is a fiction writer with the creative writing MFA program. She is continuing her education after having freshly graduated from BGSU's undergraduate creative writing program. Her work focuses primarily on relationship dynamics, psychological impulses, and LGBTQIA topics. Her background in philosophy also informs and shapes her writing, which often features critiques of the way that ideology and religion influence the masses. Although most of her work tends towards realism, she also enjoys writing within the genres of surrealism and magical realism. She hopes that when reading her writing, readers are forced to ask themselves difficult questions and challenge the bias and preconceived notions that live within their minds.

Téa Franco

Téa Franco

Position: MFA Student - Fiction
Email: francot@bgsu.edu
Address: East Hall 433B

Téa Franco is pursuing her MFA in fiction writing at BGSU. She writes both fiction and poetry that explores the intersection of humor and sincerity. She has words in Barren MagazineEntropyRedactions: Poetry & Poetics, and others.

Tim Neil

Tim Neil

Position: MFA Student - Poetry
Email: tneil@bgsu.edu
Address: East Hall

Tim Neil is a Creative Writing MFA student in Poetry, who hails from Baltimore, MD, the greatest city in America. They completed their undergraduate education at Towson University, and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. They have acted with Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Okoboji Summer Theatre, and Charm City Classics Company, among other organizations. Their poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Poet Lore, Washington Square Review, The Los Angeles Review, Pidgeonholes, Pittsburgh Poetry Journal, Ligeia, and Grub Street.

Molly Weiland

Molly Weiland

Position: MFA Student - Fiction
Email: molweil@bgsu.edu
Address: East Hall 339B

Molly is from Wisconsin. In the past ten years, she has lived in Minneapolis, Chicago, Charlotte, and Milwaukee. Molly is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction). She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English, Writing, and Secondary Education from Cardinal Stritch University and a graduate degree in School Counseling from Concordia University. Previously, Molly worked in Milwaukee as a middle school and high school teacher. She also spent summers teaching in South Africa and Ghana. Molly's fiction often explores how people and relationships evolve over time. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, singing, spending time with extended family, and traveling.

First Year Students

Samuel Burt

Samuel Burt

Position: MFA Student - Poetry
Address: East Hall

Samuel Burt is a first year MFA candidate and graduate assistant. He grew up in Grinnell, Iowa, where he later received a Russian degree from Grinnell College. Since then he has lived in Iowa City, working as a pastry chef and cheesemonger when not writing poems, running, snacking, or carving wooden spoons. Sam’s favorite books are Heather Christle’s “The Difficult Farm,” Tyehimba Jess’s “Leadbelly,” and Claudia Emerson’s “Late Wife.” His poems may be found in Rattle, Salt Hill, and Arc Poetry Magazine.

Photo of Kelly Geiger

Kelly Kurtzhals Geiger

Position: MFA Student - Fiction
Address: East Hall

Kelly Kurtzhals Geiger grew up on a farm in downriver Detroit. She earned a full scholarship to attend NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and upon graduating with a BFA in Acting she pursued a career in standup comedy. She moved to Hollywood and became a paid regular at both The Comedy Store and the Laugh Factory, made a few television standup appearances including on NBC’s Later, and had a small but poignant role in the movie Pauly Shore Is Dead. Her standup experience led to working as a television writer and producer. She earned six Daytime Emmy nominations as a producer for the celebrity entertainment show E! News. She’s also written and produced for E!’s The Daily 10, Style Network’s Clean House Comes Clean, ABC’s Wipeout, CBS’s Hollywood Squares, and HGTV’s What's With that House? and Manland.

As a fiction writer, Kelly earned her MA in English from California State University at Northridge where she received the Association of Retired Faculty Award for her thesis project, a sci-fi novel about aliens and robots. She served as a Teaching Associate of first-year composition and presented at panels for the MLA and NeMLA about her experience learning to teach during the pandemic. During her time at CSUN she also spearheaded a collaborative Middle Grade urban fantasy novel called The Portal: This Set of Journeys Is for You with some fellow English students, published in December 2021 by Dark Owl Press. She has published short stories in the anthologies Hell Comes to Hollywood II and Cemetery Riots as well as with The Arcanist, Bards and Sages Quarterly, Tell-Tale Press, Trembling With Fear magazine, and The Northridge Review. She’s currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing – Fiction at BGSU.

ChloeMcConnell

Chloe McConnell (She/Her/Hers)

Position: MFA Student - Fiction
Address: East Hall

Chloe graduated St Lawrence University in 2021 majoring in Art and English. She spent her senior year in undergraduate writing and editing a collection of feminist speculative fiction short stories and continues to focus in this genera. 

Chloe spends much of her free time dying in video games, playing DnD, and trying (and failing) to outsmart her cat. 

Chloe is from central New York and is still growing accustomed to the flatness of Ohio.

Headshot of Gabe Pine wearing glasses and a blue shirt

Gabe Pine (He/Him/His)

Position: MFA Student - Poetry
Address: East Hall

Gabe is an MFA in Creative Writing: Poetry student from San Francisco. He completed his BA at University of California, Los Angeles in 2019, where he majored in Art. His undergraduate work focused on text in performance, sculpture, and video projects. He has worked in museum visitor services in Los Angeles, and values talking to both peers and strangers about creative work. Gabe enjoys bookstores, cafes, museums, and other inspiring yet relaxed spots to spend time.