Authors Martha McPhee, Kelly McMasters, Kristal Brent Zook – Celebrating Our Own
Faculty, alumni and students of Hofstra’s Creative Writing Program discuss their published works and the craft of writing.
KELLY MCMASTERS is an essayist, professor, mother, and former bookshop owner. She is the author of the Zibby Book Club pick The Leaving Season: A Memoir-in-Essays (WW Norton, 2023) and co-editor of the ABA national bestseller Wanting: Women Writing About Desire (Catapult, 2023). Her first book, Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town, was listed as one of Oprah’s top 5 summer memoirs and is the basis for the documentary film ‘The Atomic States of America,’ a 2012 Sundance selection, and the anthology she co-edited with Margot Kahn, This Is the Place: Women Writing About Home (Seal Press, 2017), was a New York Times Editor’s Choice.
MARTHA McPHEE is the author of the novels An Elegant Woman, Dear Money, L’America, Gorgeous Lies, and Bright Angel Time. She is also the author of Omega Farm, a memoir. Her work has been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2002 she was nominated for a National Book Award. Her novels have been Best Books of The Year on The New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune lists. Her essays and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Newark Star Ledger, Vogue, More, Harper’s Bazaar, Self, Traveler, Travel & Leisure, among many others. McPhee is a tenured member of the English Department at Hofstra University, where she teaches fiction.
KRISTAL BRENT ZOOK is an award-winning journalist and author of four books, including Color By Fox: The Fox Network and the Revolution in Black Television (Oxford University Press) which was featured on CNN’s “The Nineties.” A former contributing writer for the Washington Post and ESSENCE magazine, her work has appeared in dozens of outlets including Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, and others. The Girl in the Yellow Poncho is Zook’s coming-of-age tale about what it means to be biracial in America. Her story is one of strong black women—herself, her cousin, her mother, and her grandmother—and the generational cycles of oppression and survival that seemingly define their lives. It has been praised and named as a favorite pick for 2023 by Vanity Fair, PEOPLE, Ms., The Root, and Kirkus. Dr. Zook is a tenured professor in journalism and former director of Hofstra’s MA Journalism program.