WRITERS WORKING WITH WRITERS: 2017 FACULTY
::TWH 2018 Faculty will include Naomi Shihab Nye, Marie Howe, Elizabeth Hand, Marion Winik, Elyssa East, Scott Wolven and Shanna McNair.::
TIM SEIBLES (Major Poetry Workshop)
Tim Seibles is the Poet Laureate of Virginia. He is the author of several books of poems including Hurdy-Gurdy, Hammerlock, Buffalo Head Solos and most recently, Fast Animal, which won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and was nominated for a 2012 National Book Award. He has been a National Endowment for the Arts and Provincetown Fine Arts Word Center fellow, and received an Open Voice Award. In 2013 he received the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for poetry. Anthology publications include Manthology, Black Nature, Seriously Funny, The Autumn House Anthology of American Poetry, So Much Things to Say, and Best American Poetry 2010. He has taught at Cave Canem, The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation, University of Southern Maine, and presently teaches at Old Dominion University.
RICK MOODY (Major Fiction Workshop and Fiction Genre Lab)
Rick Moody is the author of numerous novels, including Garden State, The Ice Storm, The Four Fingers of Death, The Diviners, Purple America and Hotels of North America. Right Livelihoods, a book of three novellas, was published in 2007. His collections of short fiction include The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven and Demonology. The Black Veil: A Memoir with Digressions was a winner of the NAMI/Ken Book Award and the PEN Martha Albrand prize for excellence in the memoir. His collection of essays, On Celestial Music, was published in 2012. Moody is the recipient of the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Guggenheim fellowship.
RICHARD BLANCO (Major Poetry Workshop)
Richard Blanco is the fifth inaugural poet in US history—the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban-exiled parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterize his body of work. He is the author of three poetry collections: Looking for the Gulf Motel, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, and City of a Hundred Fires and two memoirs: The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey. His chapbook, Matters of the Sea, was read at the historic reopening of the US Embassy in Havana. Awards include the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize, the Beyond Margins Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Thom Gunn Award, and a Lambda Literary Award. In 2015, The Academy of American Poets named him its first Education Ambassador. He shares his time between Bethel, Maine and Concord, Massachusetts.
ELYSSA EAST (Major Workshop: "Fiction & Nonfiction with Research and/or Social Element Focuses")
Elyssa East’s first book, Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town, won the 2010 L. L. Winship/P.E.N. New England Award in Nonfiction. Dogtown was also a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Awards and an Editors’ Choice Selection of the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Elyssa has received fellowships from the Jerome, Ragdale, and Ludwig Vogelstein Foundations, Columbia University, the University of Connecticut, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Phillips Library and the Corporation of Yaddo. Her reviews, reportage, and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning News, The Kansas City Star, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Al Jazeera America and The Oxford American. Elyssa’s short fiction has been published in Cape Cod Noir and USA Noir: The Best of the Akashic Noir. She has taught Creative Writing at Columbia University, NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies, Rhode Island School of Design, SUNY Purchase, and Cleveland State University. She’s thrilled to be returning to The Writer’s Hotel for her fourth year with this incredible program.
TIMOTHY DYKE (Mixed Genre Lab: All three genres)
Timothy Dyke lives with parrots in Honolulu, Hawaii. He teaches high school students and writes poems, essays and stories. In 2012, he earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. His chapbook, Awkward Hugger, was published by Tinfish Press in 2015. Tinfish just released his newest collection of linked prose poems, Atoms of Muses, in March. He just completed a collection of stories, Adventures in Trumpville and Other Stories, and is currently working in multiple genres. Timothy is also a TWH TA this year. His Genre Lab is called "A Poet's Prose: Writing Between the Genres."
ERIN HARRIS (Agent Talk)
Erin Harris is a literary agent at Folio Literary Management who champions the careers of both debut and established authors, bringing a strong editorial eye and hands-on approach to her agenting practice. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and is a co-curator of the Brooklyn-based literary event series H.I.P. Lit. At Folio, Erin represents literary and upmarket fiction, narrative non-fiction, and YA. Her tastes are eclectic, but she tends to gravitate toward the ambitious, the bold, the socially relevant, and the full of heart.
Some of her authors include Literary & Upmarket Fiction: New York Times Editor’s Choice novelist Daniel Levine; Indie Next Pick author Erica Ferencik; Rona Jaffe Award Winner Natalie Haney-Tilghman; and recipient of the John Simmons Iowa Short Fiction Prize Allegra Hyde/ Narrative Non-Fiction: Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award Finalist Carla Power; and Top 25 World Thinkers of 2015 Linda Scott/ YA: VCFA graduate Katie Bayerl; MacDowell Colony Fellow Kit Frick; BEA Buzz Panel author Marie Marquardt; and Emiko Jean.
ROXANA ROBINSON (Major Fiction Workshop)
Roxana Robinson is the author of Sparta, four earlier novels including Cost, three story collections, and the biography, Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life. Four of these were New York Times Notable Books. Robinson’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, BASS, and elsewhere. She was named a Literary Lion by the NYPL, was a finalist for the NBCC Balakian Award, and has received fellowships from the NEA, the MacDowell Colony and the Guggenheim Foundation. She is the President of the Authors Guild.
TINA CHANG (Poetry Genre Lab)
Tina Chang was raised in New York City. She is the first female to be named Poet Laureate of Brooklyn and is the author of the collections of poetry, Of Gods & Strangers (2011) and Half-Lit Houses (2004). She is also the co-editor of the W.W. Norton anthology, Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (2008). She is the recipient of awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Academy of American Poets, Poets & Writers, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and the Van Lier Foundation among others. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and she is also a member of the international writing faculty at the City University of Hong Kong.
SHANNA MCNAIR (Major Fiction Workshop)
Shanna McNair is Founder and Director of The Writer’s Hotel and MFA in A Day and Founding Editor and Publisher of The New Guard literary review. She writes prose, poetry and scripts and is an award-winning journalist. She has written and directed plays, served as editor of magazines and newspapers and judged writing contests. She recently served as a 2015 RISCA Fiction Fellow Judge, and is an Interdisciplinary Study Adviser at Lesley University. She holds a Creative Writing Certificate from Oxford University, and will graduate Dartmouth College in 2017, where she is earning her second Creative Writing Master's. She has worked extensively in the visual and performing arts. She is at work on her novel, short stories, poems and a novella.
KEVIN LARIMER (Publishing Lecturer)
Kevin Larimer is the editor in chief of Poets & Writers, where he edits Poets & Writers Magazine, oversees the organization’s website, and directs Poets & Writers Live. He holds a degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and received his MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was the poetry editor of the Iowa Review. He has served on a number of panels on publishing at events such as the Library of Congress National Book Festival, the Sozopol Fiction Seminars, the Slice Literary Writer's Conference, Poets Forum, The Writer’s Hotel, and the AWP Conference. His poems have appeared in Fence, Pleiades, Verse, and a dozen other literary magazines. He has written book reviews for American Letters & Commentary, American Book Review, Chelsea, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He lives in New York City.
CAREY SALERNO (Poetry Publishing Lecturer)
Carey Salerno is the executive editor of Alice James Books, author of Shelter (2009), and co-editor of Lit From Inside: 40 Years of Poetry from Alice James Books (2013). She teaches creative writing for the University of Maine at Farmington and currently serves as a literary curator for Pen + Brush. Salerno has taught or lectured on poetry and editing at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Butler University, Drew University, Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference, Pine Manor College, The Writer’s Hotel, the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance events, and The New School. You may find her poems–and articles and interviews regarding her other professional work–in print and online. Her website is www.careysalerno.com.
STEVEN SALPETER (Agent Pitching Lecture)
Steven Salpeter is a literary agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd. He began his publishing career at Writers House and Brandt & Hochman before moving to Curtis Brown to help Timothy Knowlton manage many of the agency’s venerable estate clients, including W.H. Auden, John Knowles, Alfred Lansing, and Ayn Rand, among other bestsellers and literary award winners. He is now actively building his list, seeking literary fiction, fantasy, graphic novels for all ages, historical fiction, thrillers, young adult, and authors who choose to blend elements of these genres. In nonfiction, Steven is seeking narrative nonfiction, gift books, history, humor, and popular science. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
FRANCINE PROSE (Fiction Genre Lab)
“Francine Prose is a keen observer, and her fiction is full of wryly delivered truths and sardonic witticisms that come from paying close attention to the world.” —The Atlantic
Hailed by Larry McMurtry as “One of our finest writers,” Francine Prose is the author of numerous novels. Her most recent, Mister Monkey (2016), was praised by The New York Times Book Review as “so fresh and new it’s almost giddy, almost impudent with originality.” Her work also includes the novels Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932; My New American Life; Goldengrove; A Changed Man; and Blue Angel. Prose’s nonfiction books include Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife; Reading Like A Writer, a New York Times bestseller; The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women & the Artists They Inspired; Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles; Sicilian Odyssey, a travel book; and Gluttony. Her stories, reviews, and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Best American Short Stories, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Observer, Art News, The Yale Review, The New Republic, and numerous other publications.
MARK DOTY (Nonfiction Genre Lab)
Mark Doty is the author of nine books of poetry, including Deep Lane (April 2015), Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, which won the 2008 National Book Award, and My Alexandria, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the T.S. Eliot Prize in the UK. He is also the author of three memoirs: the New York Times-bestselling Dog Years, Firebird, and Heaven’s Coast, as well as a book about craft and criticism, The Art of Description: World Into Word. Doty has received two NEA fellowships, Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, a Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Award, and the Witter Byner Prize.
SCOTT WOLVEN (Major Fiction Workshop and Fiction Genre Lab)
Scott Wolven is a TWH & TNG Consulting Editor. He is the author of the short story collection, Controlled Burn. "The Copper Kings" is included in the prestigious new collection, 20 + 1 , an anthology of 21 new short stories "by emblematic American authors," to celebrate the 20th anniversary of "Terres d'Amerique" published by Albin Michel and edited by Francis Geffard. His short story, "Playboy," was recently featured in Playboy Magazine. The film, "Hepburn" by Tommy Davis, a work based on Scott's short story, "Hammerlock," was featured at The New York Film Festival on the Main Stage. Scott's stories have appeared seven years in a row in The Best American Mystery Stories Series, the most consecutive appearances in the history of the series. The title story of the collection appeared in Best American Noir of the Century.
SAÏD SAYRAFIEZADEH (Major Nonfiction Workshop)
Saïd Sayrafiezadeh is the author of Brief Encounters with the Enemy, which was shortlisted for the 2014 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Fiction Prize, and the critically acclaimed memoir When Skateboards Will Be Free. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, McSweeney’s, The New York Times and The Best American Nonrequired Reading, among other publications. He is the recipient of a 2010 Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction and a 2012 fiction fellowship from the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He lives in New York City and teaches creative writing at Hunter College and New York University, where he received a 2013 Outstanding Teaching Award.
WESLEY MCNAIR (Poetry Genre Lab)
Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair has been called “one of the great storytellers of contemporary poetry” poet Philip Levine. McNair has won grants from the Fulbright and Guggenheim foundations, two Rockefeller Fellowships, two NEA grants in creative writing, and an Emmy Award. The Library of Congress has invited him twice to read his poetry. The United States Artists Fellowship honored him as one of America's “finest living artists,” and in April of this year he received the PEN New England Award for Literary Excellence in Poetry, given for his latest collection, The Lost Child. The author of ten volumes of poetry, McNair has published three volumes of nonfiction and several anthologies, and has served four times on the jury for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry.
JEFF HILL (Fiction Genre Lab)
Jeff Hill is currently pitching two novels to agents while teaching high school English at Lincoln Northeast High School. He has also taught various creative writing modules in the Arts and Humanities FOCUS Program and Lincoln Southwest High School. He is a past participant of the Sarah Lawrence College Summer Seminar for Writers and served as a TWH Teaching Assistant in 2016. Jeff is also the Chief Creative Officer of ComicBooked.com. He calls Nebraska and New York home and has dozens of publications to his name. Jeff is attending TWH this year and will also be leading a Fiction Genre Lab, "Writer's Block" (with Scott Wolven.
ADEEBA AFSHAN RANA (Poetry)
Adeeba Afshan Rana is a poet and a librarian who writes and reads in Brooklyn, New York. She has been a featured performer with Body Politics at the University of Massachusetts, We Got Issues! at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Boston Progress, and the louderARTS project in NYC. She sat on the Diversity Award Judging Committee for the Walter D. Myers Award in 2015. She is a Facilitator at El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice in Brooklyn, and the Artistic Director of Kalyani Literary Magazine. Adeeba recieved her MFA in Poetry from USM Stonecoast and her Master's in Library Science at Pratt Institute.
ERICA VEGA (Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction)
Erica Vega's writing has appeared in About Place Journal, Cabildo Quarterly, elginMUSE, and The New Guard, among other publications. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from USM Stonecoast. She has taught literature and composition for the past seven years and most recently at Elgin Community College in Illinois. She continues work on her novel.
TWH 2014-2016 FACULTY:
Stephen Dunn, Tim Seibles, Marie Howe, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Scott Wolven, Bill Roorbach, Richard Hoffman, Elyssa East, Shanna McNair, Barbara Hurd, Roger Bonair-Agard, Wesley McNair, Carey Salerno, Kevin Larimer, Bethany Ball, Elaine Trevorrow and Kathleen Aguero. Faculty Assistants: Erica Vega and Adeeba Afshan Rana.