Josh Barkan, 2011 – 2012 Into the Furnace Resident

Josh Barkan was awarded a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for his short story collection Before Hiroshima. His novel, Blind Speed, was named a finalist for the 2009 Paterson Fiction Prize. He has taught writing at Harvard, New York University, and Boston University, and is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Wichita State University. He spent much of his childhood abroad, living in Kenya, Tanzania, France and India. After attending Yale University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, he spent a year teaching in Japan and received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His writing has appeared in Esquire and as a contributor to The Boston Book Review.  He lives in Wichita and Mexico City.

Sarah Leavens, 2012 – 2013 Out of the Forge Resident

Sarah Leavens received her MFA in Poetry and Nonfiction from Chatham University, where she served as the Margaret Whitford Fellow. While at Chatham, she organized the monthly reading series Word Circus in collaboration with Most Wanted Fine Art Gallery and earned certificates in the Pedagogy of Creative Writing and Travel Writing. Originally from the middle of four cornfields in Indiana, she has lived at length in Ohio, where she coordinated an arts outreach program for at-risk youth and families in Springfield, and served as Vice President for the Yellow Springs Arts Council. Her recent work has appeared in Fourth River and Weave; she teaches writing and visual art in Pittsburgh.

Photo by Lindsey Peck Scherloum.