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UW Creative Writing Student Published in The Atlantic

September 26, 2019
woman sitting outside
UW Creative Writing Program student Dana Liebelson recently had her piece on voting in prison published by The Atlantic. (LP Photography Photo)

A University of Wyoming Creative Writing Program student’s exploratory article on the push for voting rights by people who are incarcerated was published recently in The Atlantic.

Online, the magazine circulated “In Prison, and Fighting to Vote” by Dana Liebelson, of Bozeman, Mont., a first-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) student in fiction. The article details a campaign for suffrage growing inside of prisons.

Liebelson’s piece introduces Derrick Washington, a 34-year-old man incarcerated in Massachusetts, who founded the Emancipation Initiative in 2012. One of the advocacy group’s priorities is the right to vote for all U.S. prisoners. The nation is a long way from embracing universal prisoner suffrage, though, according to Liebelson’s reporting. She points out the wide variance in state laws on the issue and explores recent legislation on the subject.

To read her article, visit

The Atlantic is an American magazine founded in 1857 as The Atlantic Monthly in Boston, Mass., and now is based in Washington, D.C. It was created as a literary and cultural commentary magazine and quickly achieved a national reputation that it has held for more than 150 years. The magazine recognizes and publishes new writers and poets, and encourages emerging careers for writers.

Liebelson previously worked as a staff reporter for HuffPost website and Mother Jones magazine, and her work also has appeared in Marie Claire magazine. She decided to pursue her degree at UW because of what she describes as “the amazing mentorship offered by the program and the opportunity to write in a beautiful and interesting place.” She hopes to continue working on her long-form journalism, complete a novel and survive her first Wyoming winter.

For more information about UW’s MFA Creative Writing Program, call (307) 766-6453 or visit the program’s website at

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