UT Dallas School of Arts and Humanities

REUNIONThe Dallas Review

Reunion Staff


Alana King

After earning a B.A. in English from Texas State University and an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the University of Memphis, Alana King is currently working on a Ph.D. in Literature at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her work has been published in Quaint Magazine, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Burnt Breakfast, and more. You can find her online at alanacking.com and on Twitter @alanacking.

Assistant Editor

Alex Balasa

Alexandra Balasa is a writer, editor, PhD student, and TA at the University of Texas at Dallas, though she feels more like three owls in a trench coat. Her greatest achievement is playing Magic: The Gathering (poorly) with Brandon Sanderson one time, and the other time Peter Watts threw a Timbit at her head. Although she ponders existentialism, adores owls, and collects rocks, she promises she is not a cliché. Alex is obsessed with deconstructing binaries, though she rants about Derrida more than she actually reads his work. Her writing has appeared in magazines such as PodCastle, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, and Deep Magic. You can follow her on Twitter @BalasaAl.

Managing Editor

Kriss Kirk

Kriss Kirk is a PhD student in the Arts and Humanities department at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she works as a rhetoric instructor and the fiction editor for Reunion: The Dallas Review. She holds bachelor’s degrees in sociology and English from Middle Tennessee State University and a master’s degree in literature with a focus on creative writing from Belmont University. Exploring the interplay between sociology and English is a central passion, as she seeks to integrate the popular with the academic. Her current work aims to demonstrate how popular culture, particularly rap and hip hop culture, can increase student attentiveness in the writing classroom.

Creative Non-Fiction Editor

Sunny Williams

Sunny Williams has a knack for exploring every artistic whim, and therefore, has a background in music (she’s released two albums), Irish dance (she’s won two gold medals), photography (before it was digital), and even drawing (her mum still thinks she should pursue this.) Throughout all of it, she was always writing. Sunny holds a BA in Creative Writing from California State University Northridge, where she was an editor for the Northridge Review and the lead editor for C.A.P.T.U.R.E.D. Her MA in Literary Theory comes from Queen Mary University of London, the city that remains her truest querencia. Now she pursues Philosophy and Intellectual History within the PhD program here at UT Dallas, where she is also a professor of rhetoric and co-historian for Sigma Tau Delta. She kissed a lot of metaphorical art frogs and is thrilled to have found her true calling. Though experienced in writing fiction, her passion lies in academic and nonfiction writing. Hence, Sunny is honored and delighted to be your Nonfiction Editor for this bizarre 2020/21 academic year.

Fiction Editor

Adam Michael Wright

Adam Michael Wright is a native of Stillwater, Oklahoma. At Oklahoma State University he triple majored in journalism, history, and English before going on to earn two master’s degrees—one in film production and one in creative writing. He’s taught screenwriting, literature, composition/rhetoric, and comparative religion at various colleges across Oklahoma and Texas. In August 2017, he began pursuing a humanities PhD at the University of Texas at Dallas. He’s published poems in Rattle, The Timberline Review, and North Texas Review. So far, Adam Michael's films are about snakes, puppets, ghosts, funerals, and circuses.

Poetry Editor

Diana Miller

Diana Miller is a third-year PhD student and has served as a Graduate Senator for the Humanities department at UT Dallas. She has previously served as a Poetry Reader for Reunion: The Dallas Review. She is also a Professor for DCCCD in Fine Arts Appreciation instruction. Diana has presented at conferences and symposium at SMU Dallas, CUNY School of Journalism and Media Studies in New York, and Dallas University in Irving. She has had poetry published in the Pony Expressions  Graduate Journal at SMU. Diana hopes to help make a difference in creating innovative education for Humanities and preserving historical artifacts for various cultures for critical study and enjoyment.

Translation Editor

Sam Worthington

Sam has over fifteen years experience working as a professional translator and interpreter for state and federal judicial systems, international business concerns, and healthcare providers. He is currently pursuing his doctorate at UT Dallas with a focus on Latin American History, Propaganda Studies, and translation theory. When not pursuing his academic interests, Sam is normally to be found looking for lunch. Sam has never been successfully photographed.

Drama Editor &
Visual Arts Editor

Laurence Wensel

Laurence Wensel is in his third year as a Ph.D. student in Visual & Performing Arts at UT Dallas. For the past three years, he worked as an editor for Clockhouse literary journal. He has an MFA in Creative Writing (Playwriting) from Goddard College and an MA and BFA in Directing-Theatre from Texas State University. His digital artwork has been published with Canyon Voices (2014), Every Pigeon (2017), and with Dallas Reunion (2019/2020).

Creative Non-Fiction Reader

Angela Ford

Angela Ford is a California native. She served in the US Coast Guard onboard an icebreaker that performed scientific research in the Arctic, led teams of government agencies in New Orleans during Deepwater Horizon, and inspected foreign vessels off the Maryland coast. After earning undergrad degrees in both Psychology and Biology, she has returned to UT Dallas as a member of JSOM’s Full-Time MBA cohort. She plans to combine her business experience with her passion for the arts in a career in publishing. In addition to travel and adventure, Angela loves cats, swimming, writing (everything), reading true stories of resilience, and more television than she cares to admit.

Fiction Reader

Aleena Hassan

Aleena Hassan is currently pursuing an undergraduate Information Technology and Systems degree at the University of Texas at Dallas. When not in class, she can be found watching comedies or trying new recipes (usually simultaneously). She is interested in learning about new perspectives in literature and is always open to a new book recommendation.

Fiction Reader

Rica Lelina

Rica is a full-time undergraduate literature major and full-time dreamer. She spends her time reading and writing to adventure the world imaginatively and is especially enchanted by Iceland and its folklore. She also appreciates the stories embedded in other mediums by listening to music and practicing the folk harp, bass guitar, and her favorite—kazoo—as well as taking photos on digital and analog cameras. This is her first year with the journal, and she is ready to explore new stories and new terrain with Reunion.

Fiction Reader

Sreeja Murakonda

Sreeja Murakonda is majoring in Information Technology and Systems at the University of Texas at Dallas. Whenever she's not writing or reading, she's dreaming about being a great writer. Her dream is to live in Chicago with a fat cat, a shelf full of her books, and a Halal restaurant right around the corner while philosophizing about what it really means to be human.

Fiction Reader &
Poetry Reader

Patricia Mathu

As an undergraduate history major with an interest in archaeology, Patricia Mathu loves to explore the stories we tell ourselves and how we tell them. She finds stories everywhere: in books (of course), in classes, in landscapes, in friends. She tells stories to her diary, to readers of UTD's Mercury, and to anyone else who will listen. In her free time, she likes to help others find stories by volunteering at the Richardson Public Library. Raised in Wisconsin and living in Texas, her favorites involve the intersection of identity, geography, and community.

Fiction Reader &
Translation Reader

Annie Duyen Le Tran

Annie Tran is a Fiction/Translation reader. She graduated from UT Dallas in Literary Studies and currently majors in Literature for her MA program. As an inspiring writer, she works on fiction and currently has a work on Route 7 Review’s online journal. She is a fan of J-pop and otome games, particularly listening to Johnny & Associates groups’ music and playing Voltage Inc. apps.

Poetry Reader

Samir Abubaker

Samir Abubaker is currently pursuing his BS in Healthcare studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. He has a passion for poetry and literature, and through Reunion is able to combine his passion for creative writing with helping local artists showcase their talent in the community.  This is his first year as a poetry reader and is ready to contribute to the mission and values of the journal.

Poetry Reader

Matthew Baker

Matthew W. Baker currently lives in Texas where he is pursuing a PhD in Literature from the University of Texas at Dallas. He received his MFA from the University of Nevada, Reno. He is the author of Undoing the Hide’s Taut Musculature (2019), and other work has appeared or will appear in The Atlanta Review, The Briar Cliff Review, The Baltimore Review, The Summerset Review, Booth Journal, Sundog Lit, among others.

Poetry Reader

Johnny Nguyen

Johnny Nguyen is a third-year undergraduate student studying marketing, literature, and creative writing at The University of Texas at Dallas. He is currently an editor for Xone, a student art publication for Queer & Trans People of Color. He previously interned at Deep Vellum Publishing and is interested in works by international and underrepresented authors. This is his second year at Reunion.

Drama Reader &
Poetry Reader

Alisha Chunara

Alisha Chunara is currently pursuing a major in Visual and Performing Arts (concentration: film) and a minor in creative writing. If she is not attending virtual classes, she is probably: a. reading historical fiction novels, b. watching movie trailers or clips from late-night comedy shows on YouTube, or c. searching frantically for the ideal film/series she hasn't watched yet on Netflix.

Drama Reader &
Visual Arts Reader

Hayden Dillard

Hayden Dillard's major is Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication, in the Game Design Pathway, with a concentration in Narrative and Board Games, alongside a minor in Creative Writing. If that sounds like a mouthful to say, that's because it is. Hayden grew up in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkey, with one and a half years of California squeezed in there somewhere. He has a wide variety of relatively useless skills, among them the ability to walk on stilts. Something randomly interesting about Hayden is that he's in his major by accident, he applied to the wrong major and decided to roll with it.

Creative Non-Fiction Reader &:
Translation Reader

Lauren Dougherty

Lauren is pursuing undergraduate degrees in Literature and Marketing. She's passionate about her faith, the pursuit of new experiences, and connecting with people. She believes that everyone has a story worth sharing, and enjoys discovering those stories. She has had the privilege of living in and traveling to many different places, and as a result is particularly interested in the convergence of place, emotion, and identity. In her free time, you can find her trying to learn Czech, spending time outside, or reading.

Editors at Large
Chelsea Kaye Barnard
Mickey Calderone
Brian DiNuzzo
Jill Foltz
Donovan Hufnagle
Mark Allen Jenkins
Chaz Lilly
Sarah R. Valente

Book Layout Designer
Taylor Guest

Web Designer
Brandon B. Brown

Dr. Manny Martinez

Interim Dean, School of Arts & Humanities
Dr. Nils Roemer

REUNION: The Dallas Review
is a publication of the Creative Writing Program
in the School of Arts and Humanities
at The University of Texas at Dallas

UT Dallas