Meet our first-year students.
More student bios coming soon!
Tyler Fleser (he/him) is a fiction writer from West Michigan who now calls South Philly his home. His fiction is heavily focused on place, loss, isolation, and the absurd. He holds a Masters of Arts in English from Texas Tech University and has served as a college educator, community journalist, poetry judge, and workshop lead. While at Rutgers, he is excited to serve both the Philly and Camden art community.
Raleigh Joyner is a fiction writer from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. He spent six years at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he completed undergraduate coursework in English and German, followed by a master’s program in German. He comes to the MFA program at Rutgers-Camden after five years as a literature and film programmer for the Goethe-Institut (German Cultural Center) in DC. He can’t, and won’t, stop talking about: folklife; generational trauma; the East Coast; Berlin in the 20th century; his cats; how Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance in the rom-com Along Came Polly should’ve been nominated for an Oscar.
Maddie Paskow is a first-year MFA student writing narrative non-fiction essays. She earned her BA in Creative Writing from Florida State University, where she was the editor-in-chief of The Kudzu Review and a recipient of the 2022 Steven D. Schloff Undergraduate Creative Writing Award for Non-Fiction. She enjoys loud music, the quietest room in the library, and reading beside her cat, Clementine.
Alaina Pomykacz is a nonfiction writer from South Jersey. Her work focuses on themes of queerness and womanhood— but like both, is flexible. She has spent the past three years tutoring English and Writing for Rutgers University Camden and Camden County College. Forever curious, she’s prone to wiki deep dives on niche subjects, and loves reading non fiction about any and everything. When not thinking too much about words, Alaina likes spending time outdoors and with friends, crocheting, and being mediocre at film photography.
Matilda Stolte is a creative writer from South Jersey. She tends to write about girlhood, pain, and other redundancies. Matilda graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with an English Creative Writing major and a Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies minor in 2022. Her work can be found in Blue Marble Review and boyband, F&M’s literary magazine. When she’s not writing, or thinking about writing, or feeling guilty for not thinking about writing, she is taking a cat nap with her babies Luna (queen) and Scrat (squeaky wheel), trying any café with a pride flag out front, or studying the Real Housewives for content.
Sarah Westbrook is a writer and editor living in Philadelphia. She holds a bachelor’s in English and Creative Writing from Oberlin College. Her fiction explores themes of miscommunication, power and abuse, strangeness, and the supernatural. She has worked at a policy research organization and several nonprofits. Sarah is also a trained teacher of mindful self-compassion and is passionate about supporting mental health in her communities. She delights in baking and eating pastries, learning to dance, and running along the canal or the ocean.
Sofie Wise writes poetry and prose from her railroad apartment in South Philadelphia, where she lives with her two cats Toni and Mia. Before deciding to pursue an MFA, she worked (begrudgingly) in tech marketing for six years. Her work has been published by Passages North, Hobart, HAD, and more. She’s very happy to be here.