Current Cheuse Fellows

Darcyn Gross (he/him) is a first-year MFA nonfiction candidate. A Kentucky native, Darcyn spent the last five years obtaining his BFA in Creative Writing and a BA in Psychology at Lakeland University in Wisconsin. When not writing, he enjoys cooking, doomscrolling, hoping the Packers don’t break his heart, and making sure his cats don’t destroy his apartment.

With his fellowship, Darcyn intends to follow the path of his favorite poet, Matsuo Basho, who traveled just under 1500 miles across Japan in around 150 days. While absolutely not walking 1500 miles in 150 days, Darcyn does hope to gain a deeper, firsthand understanding of Basho and his craft. In his own writing, he aspires to draw a fraction of the knowledge regarding the soul, nature, and being that Matsuo Basho was able to capture in his journey.


Jessika Bouvier (she/her) is a queer Cajun writer from New Orleans & Atlanta. Her work appears in Catapult (RIP), monkeybicycle, Electric Literature, and X-R-A-Y, where she is the co-Managing Editor. She has received support from Georgia Writers, the Fine Arts Work Center, and Hub City Writers Project. She is also the Assistant Editor-in-Chief of So to Speak.

With the fellowship, Jessika will road-trip from southwestern Alaska to the Yukon, in Canada, where she will visit historical landmarks, remote archives, Indigenous museums, and attend Adäka Festival, an annual arts and culture convening that celebrates the Yukon’s 14 First Nations communities. Her research will inform her thesis, a satirical novel inspired by Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild. The novel interrogates the colonialist roots of commercialized outdoor recreation and canonical portrayals of Nature, with ruminations on political ecology, pop culture, intersectionality, and queerness.  It also spoofs the common myth among white American families that they have ancestral ties to Native American royalty (“The Cherokee Princess Myth”). It’s meant to be a little stupid and a lot of fun.


Faith Palermo (she/her) is a second-year MFA candidate studying Creative Nonfiction. She completed her BA in English and history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the assistant nonfiction editor at Phoebe.

With the Cheuse Center Fellowship, Faith will be traveling to Ireland and the UK to investigate the impact of natural and synthetic radiation on local communities. She plans to conduct oral histories of those impacted by environmental radon and the Sellafield nuclear facility.