Faculty & Staff

Program Faculty

Kathleen Aguero Jedediah Berry Venise Berry
Reginald Dwayne Betts Laure-Anne Bosselaar Iain Haley Pollock
Amy Hoffman Steven Huff Randall Kenan
Robert Lopez Laura Williams McCaffrey Anne-Marie Oomen
Dzvinia Orlowsky Sandra Scofield Kashmira Sheth
Sterling Watson David Yoo Nicole Terez Dutton

 

Writers-in-Residence

Terrance Hayes Helen Elaine Lee Dennis Lehane
Grace Lin Michael Steinberg M.L. Liebler

 

Consulting Writers

Jacqueline Woodson  

 

Director and Staff

Meg Kearney
Director
Tanya Whiton
Associate Director

 

Kathleen Aguero — Poetry
Kathleen Aguero
© Debi Milligan

Kathleen Aguero has published five collections of poetry: Daughter Of, The Real WeatherThirsty DayInvestigations, 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

©Lucy Hamblin

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 recipient of residency fellowships from Yaddo and the James Merrill House. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Venise Berry — Fiction
Venise Berry
© Natalia Salzaar

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.

Visit www.veniseberry.com.

Reginald Dwayne Betts — Creative Nonfiction, Poetry 
© Rachel Eliza Griffiths

An award-winning writer and poet, Cave Canem fellow Reginald Dwayne Betts is author of a memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison (Penguin, 2009), recipient of the 2010 NAACP Image Award for nonfiction. In 2010 he was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship to complete The Circumference of a Prison (Penguin, 2013), a work of nonfiction exploring the criminal justice system. In addition, Dwayne is author of a collection of poetry, Shahid Reads His Own Palm (Alice James Books, 2010). He has received a Pushcart Prize and a Ruth Lily Fellowship, and his work appears in The Best American Poetry 2012. In addition to his writing, Dwayne is involved in a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Campaign for Youth Justice, for which he serves as a national spokesperson. In 2012, President Barack Obama appointed Betts to the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.He received a B.A. from the University of Maryland and his MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College, and was recently a Radcliffe Fellow to Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies. He has taught creative writing in a number of venues, including the University of Maryland and Emerson University. A husband and father of two young sons, Dwayne lives in New Haven, CT.

Laure-Anne Bosselaar — Poetry
© Star Black

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 and Sarah Lawrence College 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. She is the winner of the 2011 Cave Canem Poetry Prize for her first collection of poems, If One Of Us Should Fall. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts and is a lecturer at Boston University

Amy Hoffman — Creative Nonfiction
Amy Hoffman
© Roberta Stone

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.

Steven Huff — Fiction, Poetry
Steven Huff© 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. 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

Randall Kenan — Creative Nonfiction, Fiction
Randall Kenan

© 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

Robert Lopez — Fiction
Robert Lopez

© Nola Lopez

Robert Lopez is the author of Asunder, a collection of short fiction; and two novels, Part of the World and Kamby Bolongo Mean River, named one of 25 important books of the decade by HTML Giant. 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 — Fiction; Writing for Young People
Laura Williams McCaffrey
© Colin McCaffrey

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 mentors teens in creative writing, in addition to regularly contributing educational materials for children and teens to both HarperCollins and Penguin’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 third young-adult speculative fiction novel, tentatively titled Marked, is forthcoming from Clarion Books. Marked is a dystopic fantasy as well as a mixed-format novel that includes comics storylines 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.

Visit www.laurawilliamsmccaffrey.com.

Read Laura Williams McCaffrey's Interview by Tiara Marchando

Anne-Marie Oomen — Creative Nonfiction, Poetry
Anne-Marie Oomen
© Dianne Dupuis

Anne-Marie Oomen is author of two memoirs, Pulling Down the Barn and House of Fields, both Michigan Notable Books, An American Map: Essays  (Wayne State University Press); a full-length collection of poetry, Uncoded Woman (Milkweed Editions), and the forthcoming essay collection, Love, Sex, & 4-H.  She is also represented in New Poems of the Third Coast: Contemporary Michigan Poetry, and 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, former president of Michigan Writers, Inc., and serves as instructor of creative writing at Interlochen College of Creative Arts Writer's Retreat, and the Solstice MFA Program.  She and her husband, David Early, have built their own home near Empire, MI. 

Read Anne-Marie Oomen's Interview by Carrie Margolis.

Dzvinia Orlowsky — Poetry
Dzvinia Orlowsky
© Max Hoffman

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). 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 AnthologyFrom 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 Four Way Books, she is a contributing editor to Agni,The Marlboro Review, and Shade. 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 AgniColumbia ReviewField, DinerPloughsharesThe American Poetry Review, and The Massachusetts Review. Dzvinia was recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Poetry Grant as well as a the Council’s Professional Development Grant. She lives in Massachusetts.

Read Dzvinia Orlowsky's interview by Carrie Margolis.

Iain Haley Pollock — Poetry
© Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Iain Haley Pollock won the 2010 Cave Canem Poetry Prize for his collection Spit Back a Boy. He lives in Philadelphia and teaches at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, where he is the Cyrus H. Nathan '30 Faculty Chair for English. Iain received his undergraduate degree at Haverford College and his M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Syracuse University.  In addition, 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
© Bill Ferguson

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, Gringa, Plain Seeing, Walking Dunes, and Beyond Deserving, a National Book Award Finalist for Fiction. She has also published a memoir, Occasions of Sin, and a 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; Narrative, Llano Estacado: Island in the Sky (Texas Tech University Press), Women on the Western Plains (Texas Tech), and Family Trouble: Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family (University of Nebraska).

An experienced teacher 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 was for many years on faculty of the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.

Sandra, a Texas native and longtime resident of Oregon, now lives in Montana with her husband. She is a besotted grandmother, a frequent flier, and a painter.

Kashmira Sheth — Writing for Young People
© Larsen Portrait Design, Madison WI

Kashmira Sheth writes picture books, middle grade novels, and young-adult fiction. Her first novel, Blue Jasmine (Hyperion Books for Children), received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award and was selected by American Library Association’s Great Middle School Reads. Her historical fiction, Keeping Corner (Hyperion Books for Children), received the Parents’ Choice Gold Award and the Asian/Pacific American Librarian Association Honor Award. It was also selected as an International Reading Association’s Notable Book for a Global Society and American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults. Her picture books, My Dadima Wears a Sari (Peachtree Publishers) and Monsoon Afternoon (Peachtree Publishers), were notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. All six of her books have been selected for “Choices,” Cooperative Children’s Book Center's annual best-of-the-year list. Her latest novel, Boys Without Names (Balzer and Bray, HarperCollins), was a Junior Library Guild Selection and was on Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best List. Kashmira's chapter book, The No Dogs Allowed Rule, was published in 2012 and a picture book, Tiger in My Soup, in 2013. Kashmira was born and raised in India and comes from a family of storytellers. She grew up listening to stories her grandparents, parents, uncles, and aunts told her. As a teenager she came to the United States to attend college. She studied science at Iowa and Wisconsin but her enjoyment of reading and sharing stories nudged her into writing. Besides reading books written in English, she is a life long lover of Gujarati literature and Hindi poetry.

Visit: http://www.kashmirasheth.com/

Read Kashmira Sheth's Interview by Vivi Lee

Sterling Watson — Fiction
Sterling Watson
© John M. Clark

Sterling Watson is the author of six novels, including Fighting in the Shade, (Akashic, 2011); Sweet Dream BabyDeadly SweetBlind TonguesThe 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 SchoonerThe Georgia ReviewThe Los Angeles Times Book ReviewGulfstream MagazineThe Michigan Quarterly ReviewThe 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, where he co-directs 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, he taught at the University of Florida and in the Prison School of the Florida State Penitentiary. His seventh novel, Suitcase City, will be published by Akashic books in 2014. 

David Yoo — Creative Nonfiction; Writing for Young People
David Yoo
© Jessica Jackson

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.

Writers-in-Residence 

Terrance Hayes — Poetry
Terrance Hayes
© Ric Francis

Terrance Hayes is the author of four poetry collections, including Lighthead, winner of the 2010 National Book Award in Poetry; Hip Logic, a National Poetry Series selection and finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets; Muscular Music, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; and Wind in a Box. He has been the recipient of many honors and awards, including a Whiting Writers Award, two Pushcart Prizes, four Best American Poetry selections, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is a professor of creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his family.

Helen Elaine Lee — Fiction 
Helen Elaine Lee
© Photo courtesy of MIT

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.

Visit www.helenelainelee.com

Dennis Lehane — Fiction
© Diana Lucas Leavengood

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.

Visit www.dennislehanebooks.com.

Grace Lin — Writing for Children & Young Adults
Grace Lin
© Alexandre Ferron

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
Michael Steinberg
© Carole S. Berk

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

Consulting Writers

M.L. Liebler — Consulting Writer
M.L. Liebler
© 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 1985-2000The 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.

Visit www.mlliebler.com.

Jacqueline Woodson — Consulting Writer
©Marty Umans

Jacqueline Woodson is the author of a number of books for children and young adults, including the forthcoming Each Kindness (October, 2012), the recent 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.

Visit www.jacquelinewoodson.com.

Director and Staff

Meg Kearney — Director
Meg Kearney
© Angela Krajick

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 two novels in verse for teens: The Secret of Me (Persea Books 2005) and its sequel, The Girl in the Mirror (Persea Books 2012). Her story “Chalk” appear in Sudden Flash Youth: 65 Short Short Stories (Persea 2012). Meg’s first picture book, Trouper (the Three-Legged Dog), was published by Scholastic in fall 2013, and is illustrated by E.B. Lewis. It’s been 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.

Meg’s poetry has been featured on Poetry Daily and Garrison Keillor’s “A Writer’s Almanac,” and has been featured in myriad anthologies, including The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present (Notre Dame Press, 2006); Conversation Pieces: Poems That Talk to Other Poems (Knopf, Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets series, 2007; and The Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody Press 2014). Her nonfiction essay, “Hello, Mother, Goodbye,” appears The Movable Nest: A Mother/Daughter Companion (Helicon Nine Press in fall 2007). She is also co-editor of Blues for Bill: A Tribute to William Matthews (Akron University Press, 2005).

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 and their three-legged black Lab, Trooper.

Visit www.megkearney.com

 

Tanya Whiton — Associate Director
© Charles Tucker

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.