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MFA Writers

73 EpisodesProduced by Jared McCormackWebsite

MFA Writers is the podcast where host Jared McCormack interviews creative writing MFA students about their program, their process, and a piece they’re working on.


Bryan Byrdlong — Helen Zell Writers’ Program, University of Michigan

How is the zombie of Haitian folklore a poetic metaphor for how society treats Blackness? Bryan Byrdlong of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan tells Jared about his project on the traditional and modern conceptualization of zombies, how poetry can transcend fake news, and how his MFA program gave him an inner editorial voice.

Bryan Byrdlong is a Black poet from Chicago, Illinois. In high school, he was part of Chicago’s Louder than a Bomb poetry slam competition. He graduated from Vanderbilt University where he received an undergraduate English/Creative Writing degree and was the co-recipient of the Merrill Moore Award for Poetry upon graduation. He has been published in the Nashville Review, Heavy Feather Review, and Pleiades Magazine. Most recently, he received the Gregory Djanaikian Scholarship from The Adroit Journal. He is a graduate of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan and a current Zell Fellow. You can find him on Twitter @BByrdlong.

MFA Writers is hosted by Jared McCormack and produced by Jared McCormack and Hanamori Skoblow. New episodes are released every two weeks. You can find more MFA Writers at

Twitter: @MFAwriterspod
Instagram: @MFAwriterspodcast
Facebook: MFA Writers

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