Literary reading with students from UAF’s MFA in Creative Writing program

Fairbanks Arts Literary Reading ft. Third Year UAF MFA Writers

Lenette Leles – Keely O’Connell – Michael Kay – Alison Miller

Saturday, April 23, 7:00 pm

in the Bear Gallery

Fairbanks Arts is delighted to welcome third year graduate students from the UAF MFA program who will share their works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in our April reading taking place in the Bear Gallery. Join us to support their talents and wish them well on their future journeys!  

This free event will start at 7:00 pm in the Bear Gallery. All attendees are required to wear a mask.

Lenette Leles is a trans writer originally from Boca Raton, Florida. She enjoys writing about life as she lives it, taking a lot of inspiration from less traditional places like online forum culture and video games. Her work is designed to poke at the established conventions of literature and expose the ways in which they are designed for a cis-hetero audience.

Lenette will be reading from Gardening with a Migratory Girl. Gardening with a Migratory Girl is a multigenre (or as Lenette likes to say, “genrefluid”) piece of metafiction depicting the author’s inability and struggle to talk about their own transition. It uses intentionally unsatisfying writing across the first two sections as the author writes the same story over and over, attempting each time to write it in a way that will help them change gender. Eventually, the author makes a breakthrough of vulnerability and is able to finally express themself through their work and tell the story they wanted to tell.

Keely O’Connell came from the Maine coast, but she is thoroughly Alaskan now. For years she lived and taught in remote villages north of the Arctic Circle, and when the time was right she moved down to Fairbanks to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing at UAF. Her work has appeared in Northwest Review, Hippocampus, and CRAFT.

Keely will be reading from Maybe the Same Wolf: Essays her collection of nonfiction personal essays about wildness, wilderness, love and longing in Alaska.

Michael Kay grew up in southern California and received an honors degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley. He has previously worked at various non-profits as a community organizer, an editor and a lobbyist. Now an MA/MFA candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, his work has appeared in Blacklist Journal and Writer’s Room.

Michael will be reading a story from his MFA thesis, titled “Packing Birds, Beef, Boxes, Bones.”

Alison Miller has been chasing her dreams northward for the better part of her adult life. She is a writer of fiction and nonfiction, as well as a current MFA student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her writing has appeared in Litro Magazine, Evocations Review, Hippocampus, and the Free Library of the Internet Void. She lives in Alaska with her partner.

Alison will be reading from Artifacts of Belief. Somewhere between historical and speculative fiction and academic thriller, Artifacts of Belief invites the reader to think about the hidden ways in which the past shapes the present, and about the complicated relationship between belief and truth. Through Maria’s quest for the truth about the strange figurine and the history of Kuşların Tepesi, the novel explores themes of gender, heritage, place, spirituality, and abuse of power. 

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact (907) 251-8386 or email