Kathleen Aguero — Poetry
© Debi Milligan
Kathleen Aguero has published five collections of poetry: Daughter Of, The Real Weather, Thirsty Day, Investigations, a collection of poems inspired by Nancy Drew, and After That (Tiger Bark Press, 2013). Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Poetry magazine, Massachusetts Review, and the Cincinnati Review. She is also co-editor of three collections of multicultural literature: A Gift of Tongues, An Ear to the Ground, and Daily Fare. Her creative nonfiction essay, “Marriage Koan,” appears in the anthology Why I’m Still Married. Recipient of a Massachusetts Fellowship in Poetry and a fellowship to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Kathi also was awarded a writing grant from the Elgin/Cox Trust. She has taught at the Writers’ Center at the Chautauqua Institute in upstate New York, the NY State Young Writers' Program at Skidmore, as well as in the Poets in the Schools Programs of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In 2004, she held the position of Visiting Research Associate at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center in Waltham, Massachusetts. In addition to teaching in the Solstice MFA program, Kathi teaches for “Changing Lives Through Literature,” an alternative sentencing program based on the power of books to change lives through reading and group discussion. She is a consulting editor in poetry for Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices. Visit www.kathleenaguero.com
Read Kathi Aguero's interview by Tiara Marchando.
Jedediah Berry — Fiction
Jedediah Berry’s first novel,The Manual of Detection, won the IAFA Crawford Award and the Dashiell Hammett Prize, and was adapted for broadcast by BBC Radio Four. The book was also named a New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award finalist and has been widely published in translation. His short fiction appears online at Tor.com and Interfictions; in the journals Conjunctions, Unstuck, Massachusetts Review, Chicago Review, and Fairy Tale Review, among others; and in the anthologies Best American Fantasy, Salon Fantastique, and Coyote Road: Trickster Tales. His essays, interviews, and book reviews have been published by the Los Angeles Times, Rain Taxi Review of Books,and Bookslut. He has taught creative writing at Bard College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA Program for Poets & Writers, and has served on the editorial staff of PEN America, jubilat, and Small Beer Press. He is an associate editor of Conjunctions, and a co-founder of Ninepin Press, which published his story in cards,“The Family Arcana.”A recipient of residency fellowships from Yaddo and the James Merrill House, he lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Venise Berry — Fiction
Venise Berry is the author of three national bestselling novels: So Good, An African American Love Story; All of Me, A Voluptuous Tale —recipient of a 2001 Honor Book Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association— and Colored Sugar Water. Her fourth Novel, Sansara, is expected in 2014. She is currently at work on a memoir, Driven, and a spiritual anthology series, What do you believe?. In 2003, she received the Creative Contribution to Literature Award from the Zora Neale Hurston Society; and in 2001, she was recognized with an Iowa Author Award from the Public Library Foundation in Des Moines. She has co-authored two nonfiction resource books with S. Torriano Berry, an associate professor in Film at Howard University: The Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema and The 50 Most Influential Black Films. Her book Mediated Messages and African-American Culture: Contemporary Issues, a co-edited, nonfiction project, won the Meyers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America in 1997. She is an associate professor of Journalism and Mass Communication and African American Studies at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
Laure-Anne Bosselaar — Poetry
Laure-Anne Bosselaar grew up in Belgium, where she worked for Belgian and Luxembourg Radio and Television. Her first poetry collection in English, The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, was a finalist for the Walt Whitman Award, the National Poetry Series, the Ohio State University Prize, and the Nicholas Roerich Prize. Her second book of poems, Small Gods of Grief, won the Isabella Gardner Prize for Poetry. Her third poetry collection, A New Hunger, was an ALA Notable Book in 2008. A graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, she co-directed the Aspen Writers’ Conference from 1989 to 1992. Her other honors and awards include a Fellowship at the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference; Writer-in-Residence positions at Hamilton College and at the Vermont Studio Center; a Pushcart Prize; and the McEver Chair In Poetry at Georgia Tech. Garrison Keillor chose four of her poems to read on the Writers' Almanac. She is the editor of the anthologies Never Before: Poems About First Experiences; Outsiders: Poems About Rebels, Exiles, and Renegades; and Urban Nature: Poems About Wildlife in the City, and co-editor of Night Out: Poems About Hotels, Motels, Restaurants, and Bars. A translator of French and Flemish poetry, she and her late husband, the poet Kurt Brown, published a book of translations from Flemish poet Herman de Coninck:The Plural of Happiness. Laure-Anne has taught at Emerson College,Sarah Lawrence College, U.C. Santa Barbara, and at writers’ conferences across the country. Visit www.laureannebosselaar.com.
Read Laure-Anne Bosselaar's Interview by Tiara Marchando
Nicole Terez Dutton — Poetry
© Diana L.B. Dutton
Nicole Terez Dutton's work has appeared in Callaloo, Ploughshares, 32 Poems, Indiana Review and Salt Hill Journal. Nicole earned an MFA from Brown University and has received fellowships from the Frost Place, the Fine Arts Work Center, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her collection of poems, If One Of Us Should Fall, was selected as the winner of the 2011 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts where she serves as the city’s inaugural poet laureate, and she teaches at Grub Street and is the Poetry Editor of The Baffler Magazine.
Amy Hoffman — Creative Nonfiction
A writer and community activist, Amy Hoffman is editor-in-chief of Women's Review of Books. Her third memoir, Lies About My Family, was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2013. Her second memoir, An Army of Ex-Lovers: My Life at the Gay Community News, was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in fall 2007. It was short-listed for the New York Publishing Triangle Judy Grahn Award and a Lambda Literary Award. Her first memoir, Hospital Time, about taking care of friends with AIDS in the late 1980s, was short-listed for the American Library Association Gay Book Award and the Judy Grahn Award, and was a New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age selection. Amy's essays, interviews, and book reviews have been published in the Ocean State Review, Prairie Schooner, the Gay and Lesbian Review, and the Journal of Lesbian Studies. A former development director for Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and the Women's Lunch Place, a daytime shelter for homeless women, she has also been an editor at Gay Community News, South End Press, and the Unitarian Universalist World magazine. She received her MFA from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has taught at UMass Amherst and Emerson College. Visit www.amyhoffman.net.
Randall Horton — Creative Nonfiction
© Rachel Eliza
Poet, fiction writer, and creative nonfiction writer Randall Horton is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea González Poetry Award and a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature. His latest poetry collection, Pitch Dark Anarchy, was selected by Beltway Poetry Quarterly as a Best Book of 2013. His essays have appeared in Black Renaissance Noire, the International Journal of Literary Nonfiction, and A Sense of Regard: Essays on Poetry & Race. His Hook: A Memoir was released from Augury Books in fall 2015. With an MFA from Chicago State University and a PhD from SUNY Albany, Randall is Associate Professor of English at the University of New Haven.
Steven Huff — Fiction, Poetry
© Joe Flaherty
Steven Huff is the author of a collection of stories, A Pig in Paris (2008), and two collections of poems, The Water We Came From (2003) and More Daring Escapes, published by Red Hen Press in 2008. His chapbook Proof was named Editor’s Choice in the 2004 Two Rivers Review Chapbook Competition. Steve’s poems and stories have appeared in Ploughshares, The Hudson Review, Kestrel, The Chatauqua Literary Review, Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” column, and other journals and publications. Garrison Keillor has also read his poetry on “The Writer’s Almanac” public radio program. His non-fiction has appeared in The Gettysburg Review. A Pushcart Prize winner in fiction, Steve was creator and host of a weekly radio feature in Western New York, “Fiction in Shorts,” which aired on public radio stations WXXI-FM and WJSL-FM from 2002 through 2008. The former executive director of BOA Editions, Ltd., he also directed adult education and programs at the Writers & Books community literary center in Rochester, New York, and taught at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is the founder of Tiger Bark Press, which recently published After That by Kathleen Aguero and I've Come This Far to Say Hello: Poems Selected and New by Kurt Brown.
Read Steven Huff's Interview by Jiao Fu
Robert Lopez — Fiction
© Nola Lopez
Robert Lopez is the author of two novels, Part of the World and Kamby Bolongo Mean River —named one of 25 important books of the decade by HTML Giant— and two story collections, Asunder and Good People, which was published by Bellevue Literary Press in January, 2016. A new novel, All Back Full, will be published by Dzanc Books in late 2016. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has appeared in dozens of publications, including Bomb, The Threepenny Review, The Mississippi Review, New England Review, and the Norton Anthology of Sudden Fiction – Latino. He has taught at The New School, Pratt Institute, and Columbia University, and was a fellow in fiction for the New York Foundation for the Arts as well as visiting writer at the Vermont Studio Center. He lives in Brooklyn, New York and edits No News Today, a running anthology of newsworthy nonfiction.
Read Robert Lopez' Interview with Hareem Shafi.
Laura Williams McCaffrey was born and raised in Vermont. She attended Barnard College of Columbia University, then returned to Vermont and eventually became a school librarian, answering to the names “Ms. Librarian,” “Library Lady,” and sometimes simply “Ms. Library.” A passionate advocate for the arts in education, she now teaches writing and literature at Pacem School, an alternative school and homeschooling center. She also mentors teens in creative writing, in addition to regularly contributing educational materials for children and teens to both Harper Collins and Algonquin’s young readers divisions. Laura's speculative fiction short stories have been published in Solstice Literary Magazine,Soundings Review,Cicada, and YA Review Network. Her short story "Into the Vast," published by YA Review Network, won SCBWI's 2014 Magazine Merit Award for fiction. Marked, her third young-adult speculative fiction novel, was published by Clarion Books in spring 2016. Marked is a dystopic fantasy as well as a mixed-format novel that includes comics story lines integrated into prose text. Laura is the author of two other young-adult speculative fiction novels: Water Shaper (2006), selected for the 2007 New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age list; and Alia Waking (2003), named an International Reading Association Notable Book. Alia Waking was also a nominee for the annual Teens’ Top Ten Books list and for Vermont’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award. Laura is currently at work on on a fourth speculative fiction young-adult novel, a story inspired by her research of WW I nurses, as well as a speculative fiction young-adult mystery.
Read Laura Williams McCaffrey's Interview by Tiara Marchando
Josh Neufeld is a cartoonist known for his nonfiction narratives of political and social upheaval, told through the voices of witnesses. His works of comics journalism have been published by Al Jazeera America, The Boston Globe, Medium, Fusion, Cartoon Movement, and The Atavist, among others. As a comics artist, he has collaborated with such acclaimed writers as Brooke Gladstone, Harvey Pekar, and Nick Flynn. Josh is the writer/artist of the New York Times-bestselling nonfiction graphic novel A.D.: New Orleans after the Deluge (Pantheon). In addition, he is the illustrator of the New York Times-bestselling graphic nonfiction book The Influencing Machine (W.W. Norton). He was awarded a 2004 Xeric Foundation grant for his first book, A Few Perfect Hours (and Other Stories from Southeast Asia & Central Europe). In 2014, Josh was an Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist, where he mentored eight Associate Artist cartoonists. In 2012, he was awarded the Knight-Wallace Fellowship in Journalism at the University of Michigan — the first long-form cartoonist ever admitted to the program. As part of the U.S. Department of State's Speaker and Specialist program, Josh has traveled abroad as a “cultural ambassador,” giving presentations and conducting workshops in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. He has taught comics workshops at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and has served as a thesis advisor for students at the Center for Cartoon Studies and Hunter College. His illustrations have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. His books have been translated into numerous languages. Josh lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, the writer Sari Wilson, and their daughter. To learn more, visit www.JoshComix.com.
Anne-Marie Oomen — Creative Nonfiction, Poetry
Anne-Marie Oomen is author of three memoirs: Love, Sex and 4-H; Pulling Down the Barn; and House of Fields, (the latter two both Michigan Notable Books); as well as An American Map: Essays (Wayne State University Press);and a full-length collection of poetry, Uncoded Woman (Milkweed Editions).She is also represented in New Poems of the Third Coast: Contemporary Michigan Poetry. She edited Looking Over My Shoulder: Reflections on the Twentieth Century, an anthology of seniors' essays funded by the Michigan Humanities Council. She has written seven plays, including the award-winning Northern Belles (inspired by oral histories of women farmers), and most recently, Secrets of Luuce Talk Tavern, 2012 winner of the CTAM contest. She adapted the meditations of Gwen Frostic for "Chaotic Harmony," a choreopoem. She is founding editor of Dunes Review and former president of Michigan Writers, Inc. Anne-Marie serves as instructor at the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing at Pine Manor College in Massachusetts and the Interlochen College of Creative Arts in Michigan, and appears at conferences throughout the country. She and her husband, David Early, built their home near Empire, Michigan. Visit www.anne-marieoomen.com.
Read Anne-Marie Oomen's Interview by Carrie Margolis.
Dzvinia Orlowsky — Poetry
Pushcart-Prize winner Dzvinia Orlowsky is the author of five poetry collections, including Convertible Night, Flurry of Stones, co-winner of the 2010 Sheila Motton Book Award, and Silvertone (2013) for which she was named Ohio Poetry Day Association’s 2014 Co-Poet of the Year. Her first collection, A Handful of Bees, was reprinted as a Carnegie Mellon University Classic Contemporary in 2008. Dzvinia’s poetry and translations have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Antioch Review; International Poetry Review; Los Angeles Review; A Map of Hope: An International Literary Anthology; From Three Worlds: New Writing from Ukraine; and A Hundred Years of Youth: A Bilingual Anthology of 20th Century Ukrainian Poetry. Her translation (from Ukrainian) of Alexander Dovzhenko’s novella, The Enchanted Desna, was published by House Between Water press in 2006. A founding editor of FourWay Books, she is also a contributing editor to Agni and Editor for Poetry in Translation for Solstice Literary Magazine. She has taught poetry at the Mount Holyoke Writers’ Conference, The Boston Center for Adult Education, Emerson College, Gemini Ink, the Stonecoast Summer Writers’Conference, the Stonecoast MFA Program, Writers in Paradise, and the Solstice Summer Writers’ Conference at Pine Manor College; she recently accepted a one-year appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Providence College and currently conducts poetry and prose poetry workshops as Guest Lecturer at the college. Her poems have appeared in a number of magazines, including Agni, Columbia Review, Field, Diner, Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, and TheMassachusetts Review. Dzvinia was recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Poetry Grant as well as a Council’s Professional Development Grant. Jeff Friedman's and her co-translation of Memorials by Polish Poet Mieczyslaw Jastrun was published by Dialogos in 2014, and she and Friedman were awarded a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Translation Fellowship in support of continuing their translation work of Jastrun’s poems. She lives in Massachusetts.
Read Dzvinia Orlowsky's interview by Carrie Margolis.
Iain Haley Pollock — Poetry
Iain Haley Pollock lives in Mount Kisco, NY, and and teaches English at Rye Country Day School. His first collection of poems, Spit Back a Boy, earned the 2010 Cave Canem Prize. His work has appeared in several literary journals, including American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and Callaloo. Iain received his undergraduate degree at Haverford College and his MFA in Creative Writing at Syracuse University, where he won the Joyce Carol Oates Award. He held a Cave Canem Fellowship from 2006-2009. He was the Solstice MFA Program’s first Cave Canem Partner Poet and joined the MFA faculty in summer 2012.
Sandra Scofield — Fiction, Creative Nonfiction
Author of seven novels, Sandra Scofield won the Texas Institute of Letters Best Fiction Award in 1997 and was a 1991 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. Her titles include A Chance to See Egypt, Plain Seeing, Walking Dunes, Beyond Deserving —a 1991 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction —and others. She has also published a memoir about her Texas childhood, Occasions of Sin, and a popular craft book for writers titled The Scene Book: A Primer for the Fiction Writer. Recent work has appeared in The Examined Life: A Literary Journal of the University of Iowa College of Medicine; Callaloo (a special issue of Texas writers); Narrative (winning the 2012 annual prize for "Story of the Week;" and the spring 2014 Story contest), and Llano Estacado: Island in the Sky (Texas Tech University Press). Her papers are archived in The Sowell Family Literary Collection at Texas Tech. Texas Tech published the book Mysteries of Love and Grief in fall 2015. An experienced teacher (grades one through graduate school) with a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in Curriculum and Instruction, Sandra has served on the faculty of Southern Oregon State College (now Southern Oregon University) and Seattle Pacific University, and has been a visiting writer at Macalaster College, the University of Arkansas, Miami University (Oxford, OH), and Old Dominion University. Through the National Book Foundation, she has twice served as writer-in-residence on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington. She has taught in private and public elementary and secondary schools, and has extensive experience as an educational planner, having worked with the Northwest Educational Laboratory, the Montana Department of Public Instruction, and school districts in Oregon and Alaska. Sandra has been on the faculty of the Iowa Summer Writing Festival since 1992. Born and raised in Texas, Sandra presently divides her time between Montana and Oregon. She is an avid landscape painter and traveler.
Sterling Watson — Fiction
© John M. Clark
Sterling Watson is the author of seven novels, including Suitcase City (Akashic, 2015); Fighting in the Shade; Sweet Dream Baby; Deadly Sweet; Blind Tongues; The Calling; and Weep No More, My Brother. Sterling is the recipient of three Florida Fine Arts Council Awards for Fiction Writing. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in such publications as Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, Gulfstream Magazine, The Michigan Quarterly Review, The Chattahoochee Review, and The Southern Review. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He is the Peter Meinke Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida; for eleven years he co-directed the Writers In Paradise Conference with Dennis Lehane. He was the recipient of both the John M. Bevan Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award and the Lloyd W. Chapin Award for Excellence in Scholarship and the Arts for the 2006-2007 academic year. Before Eckerd College, he taught at the University of Florida and in the Prison School of the Florida State Penitentiary.
Renée Watson — Writing for Young People
Renée Watson is the author of the YA novel This Side of Home (Bloomsbury 2015) and the picture book Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills (Random House 2012). Her work has received several honors including an NAACP Image Award nomination in children’s literature. Her novel, What Momma Left Me, (Bloomsbury 2010), debuted as the New Voice for 2010 in middle-grade fiction. Renée also writes poetry for children and has taught as a writer-in-residence for youth organizations and public schools teaching spoken word poetry. Her one woman show, “Roses are Red Women are Blue,” debuted at the Lincoln Center at a showcase for emerging artists. One of Renée’s passions is using the arts to help youth cope with trauma and discuss social issues. Her picture book, A Place Where Hurricanes Happen (Random House, 2010), is based on poetry workshops she facilitated with children in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and was featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Renée has worked as a writer in residence for several years teaching creative writing and theater in public schools and community centers throughout the nation. She has taught college courses on writing for children as Adelphi University and University of New Haven. Her articles on teaching and arts education have been published in Rethinking Schools and Oregon English Journal. Renée has given lectures and talks at many renowned places, including the United Nations Headquarters and the Library of Congress.She grew up in Portland, Oregon and currently lives in New York City. For more information about Renée visit www.reneewatson.net.
David Yoo — Creative Nonfiction; Writing for Young People
David Yoo is the author of the novels Girls for Breakfast (Delacorte), which was named a NYPL Best Book for Teens and a Booksense Pick, and Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before (Hyperion), a Chicago Best of the Best selection, along with a middle grade novel, The Detention Club, (Balzer and Bray). His first collection of essays, The Choke Artist (Grand Central) was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award. He holds a B.A. from Skidmore College and an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder. David has a regular column in Koream Journal, and teaches at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop. He resides in Massachusetts. Visit www.daveyoo.com.
Read David Yoo's interview by Hareem Shafi.
Terrance Hayes — Poetry
Terrance Hayes most recent poetry collection is How to Be Drawn, long-listed for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry. In 2010, his book Lighthead, won the National Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and Hurston-Wright Award. His first book, Muscular Music, won both a Whiting Writers Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. His second book, Hip Logic, was a National Poetry Series selection, and a finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Wind In a Box, a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award finalist, was named one of the best books of 2006 by Publishers Weekly. Terrance’s other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a profile on the PBS Newshour with Jim Leher, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. His poems have appeared in seven editions of the Best American Poetry anthology and two editions of the Pushcart Best of the Small Presses anthology. He was also guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2014, the preeminent annual anthology of contemporary American poetry. He is a professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his wife, the poet Yona Harvey, and their children.
Randall Kenan — Creative Nonfiction, Fiction
© Jill Krementz
In researching his nonfiction book, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century, Randall Kenan spent eight years traversing the United States, gathering more than 200 interviews that represent the wide range of experiences in black American life today. In Walking on Water, which was nominated for the Southern Book Award, Randall brings to his interviews, travels, and comments the deep heart, keen curiosity, and inquisitive imagination that make him one of America’s finest writers and commentators. A Visitation of Spirits was Randall’s first novel, published in 1989. His collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead (1992), was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was among The New York Times Notable Books of the year. He is also the author of a young-adult biography of James Baldwin and wrote the text for Norman Mauskoff’s book of photographs, A Time Not Here: The Mississippi Delta. His most recent book is a work of nonfiction, The Fire This Time (2007), and he wrote the biographical essay in the forthcoming A New Historical Guide to James Baldwin, in addition to editing Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin (2010). Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Writers Award, Randall received the Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy in 1997. He was a member of the editorial staff at Alfred A. Knopf publishers in the mid 1980s. He has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University, Vassar College, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Memphis. He now teaches in the creative writing program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Read Randall Kenan's Interview with Tiara Marchando
Helen Elaine Lee — Fiction
Helen Elaine Lee is a novelist and short-story writer. Her first novel, The Serpent's Gift, was published by Atheneum and her second novel, Water Marked, was published by Scribner. She recently finished Life Without, a novel about the lives of ten people who are incarcerated in two neighboring U.S. prisons, and The Hard Loss, a novel about a DNA exoneree’s first week of freedom after 24 years of incarceration for a crime he did not commit. Stories from Life Without have appeared in Callaloo, Prairie Schooner, Hanging Loose, Best African American Fiction 2009 (Bantam Books), and www.solsticelitmag.org. Helen is a member of the Board of Directors of PEN New England, and she serves on its Freedom to Write Committee and volunteers with its Prison Creative Writing Program. She has written about the experience of teaching creative writing in prison in a New York Times Book Review essay, “Visible Men.” Her short story, “Lesser Crimes” will be published in the spring of 2015 in the Boston Review. She is Writer-in-Residence with the Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College and Professor of Fiction Writing in MIT’s Comparative Media Studies/Writing department.
Dennis Lehane — Fiction
Dennis Lehane is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including: The Given Day, Shutter Island, and Mystic River — winner of the Anthony Award for Best Novel, the Barry Award for Best Novel, and the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction — in addition to the popular Patrick Kenzie series of Boston detective novels: A Drink Before the War; Darkness, Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone, Baby, Gone; Prayers for Rain; and Moonlight Mile. His tenth novel, Live By Night, was published in October, 2012. Three of Dennis’ novels have been adapted for film: the Academy Award-winning Mystic River, directed by Clint Eastwood; Gone Baby Gone, directed by Ben Affleck; and Shutter Island, directed by Martin Scorcese. His short story collection,Coronado, features the story “Until Gwen,” the basis of his play “Coronado,” which premiered in New York City in December 2005. “Until Gwen was also selected for The Best American Short Stories 2005, The Best American Mystery Short Stories 2005, and New Stories from the South 2005. Writer-in-Residence at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, Dennis is the co-director of the Writers in Paradise Conference, was a staff writer for HBO’s The Wire, and is a writer/producer on HBO's Boardwalk Empire. He has taught fiction and literature at the Harvard Extension School, the Stonecoast MFA Program, and Tufts University.
Grace Lin — Writing for Children & Young Adults
Grace Lin is the author and illustrator of picture books, early readers and middle grade novels. Her first book, The Ugly Vegetables, was published in 1999 and heralded as an American Booksellers Association's “Pick of the List” and a Bank’s Street College Best Book of the Year. The Ugly Vegetables was also nominated for the California Young Reader Children’s Choice Award and named a Growing Good Kids Book Award Classic. Grace followed that success with the publication of more than a dozen more books, including Dim Sum for Everyone!, Fortune Cookie Fortunes, and Olvina Flies. Grace’s first middle-grade novel, The Year of the Dog, was released with glowing praise, as was her sequels, The Year of the Rat and Dumpling Days. Grace’s 2010 Newbery Honor book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon was chosen for Al Roker's Today Show Kid’s Book Club and was a New York Times Bestseller. Ling & Ting, Grace’s first early reader, was honored with the Theodor Geisel Honor in 2011. Her most recent and forthcoming books include Starry River of the Sky and Needle at Sea Bottom. An Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominee for the U.S., Grace says her books are about the Asian-American experience because she believes, “Books erase bias, they make the uncommon every day, and the mundane exotic. A book makes all cultures universal.” Visit www.gracelin.com.
Read Grace Lin's Interview by Jiao Fu
Michael Steinberg — Creative Nonfiction
A native New Yorker, Michael Steinberg is a memoirist, personal essayist, and founding editor of the literary journal, Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction. In 2003, ForeWord Magazine chose Still Pitching as the Independent Press Memoir of the Year. Other books include Peninsula: Essays and Memoirs from Michigan; The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction (a co-edited anthology with Robert Root, now in its sixth edition); Those Who Do, Can: Teachers Writing, Writers Teaching (also with Robert Root); and a textbook,The Writer's Way. His essays and memoirs have appeared in many literary journals and have been cited several times in Best American Essays and Best American Sports Writing. Steinber taught writing and literature at Michigan State University for more than thirty years; and from 1990-94, he co-directed the Michigan State University London Writing Program. From 1985-1993, he was the co-founder/director of the Traverse Bay Reading and Writing Workshops for Teachers. Over the past several years, he has been a guest writer at several universities, as well as at national and international writing conferences--including, the Paris Writers' Workshop, the California State University Fine Arts Festival, the Geneva Writers' Conference, the Prague Summer Writing Program, the NYU Summer Writing Program, Chautauqua Writer's Center, and the Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference in Homer, Alaska. He's currently working on a collection of personal essay/memoirs and a source book of essays and interviews on/about the art and craft of literary nonfiction.
Visit: http://www.mjsteinberg.net; http://www.mjsteinberg.net/blog.htm
M.L. Liebler — Consulting Writer
© Photos by Alex Lumelsky
M. L. Liebler is an acclaimed poet, university professor, literary arts activist, arts organizer and an award winning educator. He was awarded the 2010 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, bestowed by the literary magazine Poets and Writers to honor authors who "have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community." He is author of thirteen books, including the award-winning Written In Rain: New & Selected Poems 1985-2000; The Moon In a Box (which includes a CD of his performance poetry); Greatest Hits 1984-2005; a bilingual edition (in Russian and English) of The Fragrant Benediction of Life, and Wide Awake in Someone Else's Dream (Wayne State University Press), featuring poems written in and about Russia, Israel, Germany, Alaska, and Detroit. His recent working class literary anthology, Working Words: Punching the Clock & Kicking Out the Jams (Coffee House Press), was selected as a Michigan Library Notable Book for 2011. On behalf of the U.S. State Department, he has read, performed, and taught poetry in such countries as China, Russia, Israel, Germany, Austria, France, Czech Republic, Britain, Wales, and elsewhere, including almost every state in the USA. In 2005, he was named the first Poet Laureate of his home town, St. Clair Shores, Michigan. He has taught English, Creative Writing, Labor Studies, and American Studies at Wayne State University since 1980. He is the founding director of both The National Writer’s Voice Project in Detroit and the Springfed Arts: Metro Detroit Writers Literary Arts Organization. He was recently selected at Best Detroit Poet by The Detroit Free Press and Detroit’s Metro Time, and he is the nation’s first-ever Artist in Residence for a Public Library, the Chelsea District Library (2008-2009). M.L. is available to consult with MFA students and prospective students who are interested in pursuing a third-semester, applied-track internship.
Jacqueline Woodson — Consulting Writer
Jacqueline Woodson is the author of a number of books for children and young adults, including the 2014 National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming, Each Kindness, Beneath a Meth Moon; Peace, Locomotion; the Newbery Honor books After Tupac & D Foster, Show Way, and Feathers; Miracle’s Boys, winner of the Coretta Scott King Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (made into a six-part television miniseries, directed by, among others, Spike Lee); Hush, a Finalist for the National Book Award and the American Library Association (ALA) “Best Book For Young Adults”; Locomotion, also a National Book Award finalist, a Horn Book Award Honor Book, and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; and If You Come Softly, named a Best Book for Young Adults by the ALA. Her picture book The Other Side has won many awards, including the Texas Blue Bonnet Award and a Child Magazine Best Book Award; it was also named an ALA Notable Book. She also adapted Locomotion as a play, and the stage version premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in October, 2010. Jacqueline has received several additional honors, including two Jane Addams Peace Awards, three Lambda Literary Awards, the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Excellence, a Granta Best Writer Under Forty Award, Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of 1994, and a number of ALA Best Book Awards. A former drama therapist for runaways and homeless children in New York City, Jacqueline has taught fiction at the Vermont College MFA in Creative Writing Program; The City College, City University of New York; Goddard College’s MFA in Creative Writing Program; the National Book Foundation Summer Writing Camp; and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She resides with her family in Brooklyn, New York.
Director and Staff
Meg Kearney — Director
Meg Kearney is Founding Director of the Solstice Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program of Pine Manor College. For eleven years prior to joining Pine Manor, she was Associate Director of the National Book Foundation (sponsor of the National Book Awards) in New York City. She also taught poetry at the New School University. Meg’s most recent collection of poems for adults, Home By Now (Four Way Books, 2009), was winner of the 2010 PEN New England LL Winship Award; it was also a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year. The title poem of Home By Now was included in Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems: American Places anthology (Viking Penguin 2011). Meg’s first collection of poetry, An Unkindness of Ravens, was published by BOA Editions Ltd. in 2001, and is still in print. She is author of a trilogy of verse novels for teens: The Secret of Me (Persea Books 2005); The Girl in the Mirror (Persea Books 2012); and the forthcoming When You Never Said Goodbye (Persea Books 2017). Meg’s first picture book, Trouper (the Three-Legged Dog), was published by Scholastic in fall 2013, and is illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Winner of the Kentucky Bluegrass Award and the Missouri Show Me Readers Award, it was selected as one of the Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People of 2014; one of the most “Diverse and Impressive Picture Books of 2013” by the International Reading Association; and one of the season's best picture books by the Christian Science Monitor and Bank Street College of Education. Meg’s poetry has been featured on Poetry Daily and Garrison Keillor’s “A Writer’s Almanac,” and has been featured in myriad anthologies. Her nonfiction essay, “Hello, Mother, Goodbye,” appears The Movable Nest: A Mother/Daughter Companion (Helicon Nine Press in fall 2007). She is the recipient of several awards, including an Individual Artist’s Fellowship from the New Hampshire Council on the Arts, an Artist’s Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts; a New York Times Fellowship; and the Alice M. Sellers Academy of American Poets Award. She was also a three-time fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. A native New Yorker, Meg lives in New Hampshire with her husband, their three-legged black Lab, Trouper; their three-legged cat, Hopkins; and, oddly, their four-legged cat named Magpie.
Tanya Whiton — Associate Director
Tanya Whiton has published short stories and poems in numerous literary journals, including: Solstice: a Magazine of Diverse Voices, North Dakota Quarterly, Western Humanities Review, Northwest Review and Crazyhorse 63. Her short story "Giving Her Away" was included in the 2006 anthology The Way Life Should Be: A Collection of Stories by Contemporary Maine Writers. She also collaborated on the adaptation of her first Maine-based noir piece, "The Deal," for an eponymous short film, which was winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2003 U.S. National Short Film Competition. She was recipient of the 2009 Martin Dibner Memorial Fellowship for Poets and the 2000 Martin Dibner Fellowship for Fiction Writers.
A former arts and travel writer and a contributor to Casco Bay Weekly, The Portland Phoenix, and Maine Public Radio, Tanya holds two New England Press Association awards for her writing about boxing and no-holds barred fighting. Her book Two for the Road: Adventures in Maine, a collection of travel essays created in collaboration with photographer Heidi Killion, is forthcoming in 2014.
Tanya has taught creative writing for the Lesley Seminars, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, the Stonecoast Writers’ Conference, and the University of Southern Maine.