staff biographies


ALI COBBY ECKERMANN is the author of six books, including the poetry collections Little Bit Long Time (2009), Kami (2010), Love Dreaming and Other Poems (2011), and Ruby Moonlight (2011), the verse novel His Father’s Eyes (2011) and a poetic memoir, Too Afraid to Cry (2013). Her awards include the Australia Poetry Centre’s 2008 New Poets Award and the 2013 Book of the Year for Ruby Moonlight. She co-edited Southerly Journal’s 2012 Aboriginal issue titled A Handful of Sand. In 2015, Eckermann was an IWP Fall Resident.

JENNIFER ELISE FOERSTER has had work appear in journals and anthologies including New California Writing 2011 and Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas. Her first book of poems, Leaving Tulsa (2013), was a Shortlist Finalist for the 2014 PEN Open Book Award. She has received a Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. Of German, Dutch, and Muscogee descent, Foerster is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. She is a non-profit development consultant and a PhD candidate in English and Creative Writing at the University of Denver. 

WILLIAM WILSON is a Diné photographer who spent his formative years living in the Navajo Nation. Some of his many awards include the Native American Fine Art Fellowship from the Eiteljorg Museum; and, in 2010, a prestigious grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. From 2009 to 2011, he managed the National Vision Project, a Ford Foundation-funded initiative at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, and helped to coordinate the New Mexico Arts Temporary Installations Made for the Environment (TIME) program on the Navajo Nation. Wilson has held visiting professorships at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Oberlin College, and the University of Arizona, and he has been an active part of New Mexico’s Science and Arts Research Collaborative, which brings together artists interested in using science and technology in their practice with collaborators from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia Labs. Recently, Wilson completed an exhibition and artist residency at the Denver Art Museum and was the King Fellow artist in residence at the School of Advanced Research in Santa Fe, NM. He is the Photography Program Head at the Santa Fe Community College. 



SAMANTHA NISSEN is the Program Coordinator for Outreach and Special Programs at the International Writing Program. She graduated from the University of Iowa and holds BA degrees in journalism and international studies, with an emphasis in Japanese language and literature.

LILA CUTTER  is a Distance Learning Fellow through the Iowa Center of Research for Undergraduates. She is a senior at University of Iowa majoring in English and creative writing. Lila has served as a poetry editor and production manager for the national undergraduate literary anthology Plain China as well as an editorial associate for New Europe Books.

SARAH RAINE is a PhD student at the University of Iowa in Anthropology, concurrently pursuing a MA in Library and Information Science. Her research focuses on libraries and language socialization from an ethnographic perspective. She holds a BA in English and taught English at Sichuan Normal University in Chengdu, China, before moving to Iowa City in 2009. She received her MA in Anthropology from the University of Iowa based on her research of Dongba pictographic script in tourist contexts of Lijiang, China.