Your New(ish) Bloggers

Amanda Marie Whiting is a second-year student in fiction at Rutgers. She received her B.A. in Philosophy from Williams College and lives in London where she arranges to have awkward encounters with notable writers. This morning Amanda saved a baby opossum.

Chris Caruso, our veteran R-N M.F.A. blogger, received his B.A. in English with a Creative Writing focus from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he graduated with honors and completed a Senior Creative Thesis.  While living in Denver, CO he was involved in several community charities; most notable an art auction/poetry reading he organized that raised money for Denver’s homeless. He currently is a second-year poetry student working on creating a more challenging and abstract poetic style. You can read his blog at  After his M.F.A. he plans to teach in Europe and Japan before pursuing a PhD concentrating on Modernist Literature with a focus on DADA.   His poetry has appeared in Matter, Rio Grande Review, Lilliput, and several anthologies.

JJ Koczan writes as much as he can, so please stop making him feel guilty for not writing more. He’s going into his second year of his Rutgers M.F.A. and when he’s not penning stories about talking bananas or traveling in time, he reviews obscure rock albums on his blog, The Obelisk, and “sings” in the bands Maegashira and Ogima. Yes, his beard is awesome. He’s lived in Jersey all his life and has worked as an editor since he was an undergrad. He drinks like a fish, curses like a sailor and is terrified of the sea. Go figure.

Kiira Alessandra Mancasola received her B.A. in English from Stanford University where she learned how to pronounce “Coetzee,” and “Goethe,” and otherwise undo some of the damage from her homeschooled upbringing. Kiira has worked as an editor for SOMA Magazine and, and is currently an Associate Editor with Narrative Magazine. When she returns for her second year in the M.F.A. program, Kiira plans to live on either the Upper East Side, or the 5th story of a rat-infested Brooklyn walkup.  She promises to report back on the frustrations and joys of commuting to campus from NY. She hopes to one day publish a work in everyfiction genre, but would be happy writing plot-lines for video games instead.

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