Torres poem published in ‘New Yorker’

The latest issue of The New Yorker is the latest tier of success for University creative writing instructor and alumnus Michael Torres.

The magazine’s Feb. 1 issue features Torres’ poem, “Portrait of My Brother at 13 and 5’2.””

“It’s exciting and surreal,” Torres said. He was notified in fall that the poem had been accepted by the publication.

Torres’ time since joining the English staff has been loaded with similar high points. He won the 2019 National Poetry Series Open Competition, for his book of poems, “An Incomplete List of Names.” He’s been published in Ploughshares, POETRY, The Georgia Review and other literary journals.

Torres is also a 2016 graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program who, like many of its other graduates, credits his success to a program where everything from workshops to readings to student-teaching is done in a wildly supportive environment. He joins short story writer Leslie Nneka Arima as a New Yorker-published alum of the program.

Michael Torres’ first book of poetry was published in 2020 and won the National Poetry Series Open Competition.

Arriving to Mankato from his hometown of Pomona, Calif., Torres felt the program’s three-year MFA plan allowed him to immerse in the character of the program in and outside of the school.

“One of the things I really appreciated about the three-year program was the community it built,” he said in a 2020 interview on campus. “You could do a bunch of other stuff that’s not in the class. That got me motivated to wanting to write on top of learning craft—I just wanted to spend time writing with friends to kind of move forward.”

Torres joined the faculty in the 2019-2020 academic year.

“It’s interesting because I still go to those same professors with questions that I have,” he said. “They’re still mentors or mine, but now I’m going to meetings with them. They treat me with a huge amount or respect and I really appreciate that, because I want to grow as a professor.”