Awards & Publications | Master of Fine Arts in Writing


Current Student and Alumni News

Find the latest publications and awards for MFA students and alumni on CommonKnowledge. Members of the MFA program can upload their announcements to the page by logging in.

Alumni in the News

Lisa Allen Ortiz (Poetry, 2014)

"Pacific MFA is run by writers and attended by writers—people who look and listen and read and make, and then gather to testify about the craft and art of writing. It’s not a careerist program. It’s not a competitive program. Pacific MFA is a supportive and lively program, run with intelligence, compassion and vision. Applying to the program is one of my life’s best decisions, and I will always be grateful for the teachers and community I found in Seaside and Forest Grove."


Lisa Allen Ortiz is author of Guide to the Exhibit, winner of the 2016 Perugia Press Prize. She is also the author of two chapbooks: Turns Out (2011) and Self Portrait as a Clock (2013). Her poems and translations have appeared in Best New Poets 2013, Verse Daily, Narrative, The Literary Review and Beloit Poetry Journal. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and awarded two Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prizes.  More information can be found at

Tim O'Leary (Fiction, 2015)

"My Pacific University MFA gave me a new life!  After a long career in advertising, I was creatively and mentally burned-out, and had lost my passion and enthusiasm. The incredible Pacific faculty creatively reinvigorated me, honed my writing skills, and gave me the tools to begin a new life as a writer."


Timothy O'Leary is a current nominee for a Pushcart Prize, and in 2015 he won the Aestas Short Story Award, and was a finalist for the Mississippi Review Prize, the Washington Square Review Prize in fiction, and the Mark Twain Prize for humor writing. His work has been published in many magazines and anthologies, including Talking River, The Fredericksburg Literary Review, and Pooled Ink. His collection of short stories, Dick Cheney Shot Me in the Face, and Other Tales of Men in Pain, is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2017. Born in Billings, MT, he received his MFA from Pacific University, and resides in the Columbia Gorge, near Portland, OR. More information can be found on his website.

Alexandra Lytton Regalado (Poetry and Fiction, 2014)

"After a decade dedicated to motherhood and publishing other people’s work—my own poetry manuscript gathering dust at the back of a drawer—I came to Pacific’s MFA program ready to reconnect with my writing self. I traveled across the continent and, although I consider myself a shy and reserved person, I felt immediately welcomed into the Pacific community. In my classmates I found lifelong writing partners and dear friends. My faculty advisors took their roles seriously. They were honest and careful readers and their detailed response letters full of keen observations, provocative questions, and specific recommendations provided the right balance of encouragement and critique. The residency presentations focused on unique topics that addressed important craft elements—when I wasn’t laughing or oohing or ahhing, I was frantically trying to write it all down. Most importantly, Pacific taught me to establish routines and become a productive writer. I learned to trust myself as an editor. I left Pacific with a ready-to-publish poetry manuscript, a collection of short stories, and a clearly established personal commitment to reading and writing every day."


Alexandra Lytton Regalado won the 2015 St. Lawrence Book Award for her poetry manuscript, Matria, which will be published in 2017. She is also the winner of the 2015 Coniston Poetry Prize and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets. Her poetry and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in cream city review, Gulf Coast, MiPOesias, Narrative, The Notre Dame Review, OCHO, Phoebe, Puerto del Sol, Radar Poetry and elsewhere. Co-founder of Kalina publishing, Alexandra is author, editor, and/or translator of ten Central American-themed books, most recently the bilingual Salvadoran poetry anthology Theatre Under My Skin;(2014). Her ongoing photo-essay project about El Salvador, through_the_bulletproof_glass, is on Instagram. Alexandra has a black belt in Kenpo Karate and currently lives in San Salvador with her husband and three children.

Kierstin Bridger (Poetry, 2014)

"The people who come to Pacific hunger for profound and meaningful connection. In this digital age it is important to know you have a community of writers who will inspire you, support your success and be there for advice or counsel long after you graduate. At Pacific we are given a golden opportunity: to apprentice and have an ongoing correspondence with seasoned, brilliant writers. The conversation, through letters and phone calls, is as important as the residencies; both impart insights and epiphanies that spark and reverberate in our consciousness and mark us like a brand. “Boxer Nation” is a real thing. Call it a tribe, call it a collective, I call it my people."
Kierstin Bridger is a Colorado writer who divides her time between Ridgway and Telluride. She is a winner of the Mark Fischer Poetry Prize, the 2015 ACC Writer’s Studio award, an Anne LaBastille Poetry Residency and was short-listed for the Manchester Poetry Competition in the UK. She is editor of Ridgway Alley Poems and Co-Director of Open Bard Poetry Series. She is a writing instructor at both the Ah Haa School and Weehawken Creative Arts. Her new book, Demimonde, was released this year by Lithic Press. More information can be found on her website.

Archive: Awards and Publications 2006-2010 | Master of Fine Arts in Writing