WRITERS WORKING WITH WRITERS: 2018 FACULTY
SAPPHIRE (Major Fiction Workshop)
Sapphire is the author of two bestselling novels, Push and The Kid. Push was made into the Academy Award-winning major motion film Precious, and the film adaptation received the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. Sapphire’s work has been translated into thirteen languages and has been adapted for stage in the United States and Europe. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in The Black Scholar, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Teacher’s Voice, The New Yorker, Spin, and Bomb.
Sapphire is also the author of two collections of poetry: American Dreams and Black Wings & Blind Angels. Sapphire’s presentation, poetry, novels, and the film Precious, all speak to issues of overcoming adversity and empowerment.
ELIZABETH HAND (Major Fiction Workshop)
Elizabeth Hand is the bestselling author of fourteen genre-spanning novels and five collections of short fiction and essays. Her work has received the World Fantasy Award (four times), Nebula Award (twice), Shirley Jackson Award (three times), International Horror Guild Award (three times), the Mythopoeic Award, and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, among other honors, and several of her books have been New York Times and Washington Post Notable Books. Her recent, critically acclaimed novels featuring Cass Neary, “one of literature’s great noir anti-heroes,” [Katherine Dunn] have been compared to those of Patricia Highsmith. She has written numerous novelizations of films, including Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys, and a popular series of Star Wars books for middle grade children. She is a longtime critic and book reviewer whose work appears regularly in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Salon and the Boston Review, among many others, and writes a regular column for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Her books and short fiction have been translated into numerous languages and have been optioned for film and television. Hand is on faculty at the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing, and has taught at the Yale Writers Conference, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Clarion and Clarion West, and the Odyssey writers’ workshops. She divides her time between the coast of Maine and North London.
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.
MARION WINIK (Major Nonfiction Workshop)
Longtime All Things Considered commentator (1991-2006) Marion Winik is the host of The Weekly Reader radio show and podcast. She reviews books for Newsday, People, Kirkus Review and other venues and is a board member of the National Book Critics Circle. She is the author of First Comes Love, The Glen Rock Book of the Dead and seven other books. Her Bohemian Rhapsody column at BaltimoreFishbowl.com has received the "Best Column" and "Best Humorist" awards from Baltimore Magazine, and her essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Sun and many other publications. She is a professor in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore. She has appeared on Today, Politically Incorrect and Oprah. Other honors include an NEA Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction, and the yearly "Best Local Writer" Award from the Austin Chronicle from 1993 - 1997. More info at marionwinik.com.
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.
JILL BIALOSKY (Fiction Genre Lab)
Jill Bialosky is the author of the New York Times Bestselling memoir, History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life, as well as four collections of poetry: The Players, Intruder, Subterranean, and The End of Desire. Bialosky is also the author of the novels The Prize, House Under Snow and The Life Room, and she is co-editor, with Helen Schulman, of the anthology Wanting A Child. Her poems and essays appear in The New Yorker, O Magazine, Paris Review, The Nation, The New Republic, Kenyon Review, and American Poetry Review, among other publications. She is currently Executive Editor at W. W. Norton & Company and lives in New York City.
DANA ISOKAWA (Poetry Publication Lecture)
Dana Isokawa is the associate editor of Poets & Writers Magazine, where she edits the magazine’s sections on literary news and trends, writing contests, and conferences and residencies. She writes the magazine’s column on literary journals, Literary MagNet, and also helps curate the publication’s annual feature on debut poets. She has served as the interviews editor for Washington Square Review, and has taught creative writing in New York University hospitals. She has published poems in journals such as Narrative and Literary Laundry, and was a finalist for the Poetry Foundation’s 2015 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships. She received her MFA in poetry from New York University as the Fromer Fellow, and a BA in philosophy and creative writing from Princeton University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
JEFF HILL (Fiction Lecture)
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 as a TWH Teaching Assistant.
MARIE HOWE (Major Poetry Workshop)
Marie Howe is the author of four volumes of poetry, Magdalene: Poems; The Kingdom of Ordinary Time; The Good Thief; and What the Living Do, and she is the co-editor of a book of essays, In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, Agni, Ploughshares, Harvard Review, and The Partisan Review, among others. She has been a fellow at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College and a recipient of NEA and Guggenheim fellowships, and Stanley Kunitz selected Howe for a Lavan Younger Poets Prize from the American Academy of Poets. In 2015, she received the Academy of American Poets Poetry Fellowship which recognizes distinguished poetic achievement. From 2012-2014, she served as the Poet Laureate of New York State.
CORNELIUS EADY (Poetry Genre Lab)
Cornelius Eady is the author of several books of poetry, including the critically acclaimed Hardheaded Weather, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, Victims of the Latest Dance Craze,winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and The Gathering of My Name, which was nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize. With poet Toi Derricote, Eady is cofounder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African American poetry and poets. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Literature, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to Bellagio, Italy, and The Prairie Schooner Strousse Award.
MEGHAN DAUM (Nonfiction Genre Lab)
Meghan Daum is the author of four books, most recently the collection of original essays The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, which won the 2015 PEN Center USA Award for creative nonfiction. She is also the editor of the New York Times bestseller Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not To Have Kids. Her other books include the essay collection My Misspent Youth, the novel The Quality of Life Report, and Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, a memoir. For more than a decade Meghan was an opinion columnist at The Los Angeles Times, covering cultural and political topics. From 2016-18, she wrote the Egos column in The New York Times Book Review, reviewing new memoirs. Meghan has written for numerous magazines, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and Vogue. She is the recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and is on the adjunct faculty in the MFA Writing Program at Columbia University's School of the Arts.
In the spring of 2017, Meghan was the Bedell Distinguished Visiting Writer in the Nonfiction MFA Program at the University of Iowa.
KIMIKO HAHN (Poetry Genre Lab)
Kimiko Hahn is the author of nine books of poems, including Brain Fever and Toxic Flora, both collections prompted by science; The Narrow Road to the Interior, a collection that takes its title from Basho’s famous poetic journal; The Unbearable Heart, which received an American Book Award; Earshot), which was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and an Association of Asian American Studies Literature Award. As part of her service to the CUNY community, she initiated a Chapbook Festival that became an annual event co-sponsored by major literary organizations. She has also authored many chapbooks, including Ragged Evidence, A Field Guide to the Intractable, and Boxes with Respect. Hahn has also written text for film and TV, including Coal Fields, an experimental documentary by Bill Brand, Ain’t Nuthin’ But a She-Thing , an MTV special, and Everywhere at Once, a film based on Peter Lindbergh’s photos and narrated by Jeanne Moreau.
In 2016, Hahn was elected President of the Board of Governors, Poetry Society of America. Honors include a Guggenheim, a PEN/Voelcker Award, a Shelley Memorial Prize, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, and fellowships from the NEA and the N.Y. Foundation for the Arts. She has taught in graduate programs at the University of Houston and at NYU, and is a distinguished professor at CUNY Queens. She has also taught for literary organizations such as Cave Canem and Kundiman.
TIM SEIBLES (Poetry Genre Lab)
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.
ERIN HARRIS (Agent Lecture)
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.
SCOTT BRANKS DEL LLANO (Mixed Genre Lecture)
Scott Branks del Llano is a poet, story teller, and avid traveler. He grew up in Colombia where he was raised among indigenous peoples. He completed his PhD in Humanities at University of Texas at Dallas. He teaches creative writing and coordinates peace and global human rights programs. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction are published in various education monographs, Sojourn, and Reunion: The Dallas Review for which he served as artistic editor. He is writing a novel, Song of Managraça, set near his home in the forested dunes of the Indian Ocean in Mozambique where he spends summers writing, reveling in nature, and contributing to the local community. Scott is attending TWH this year as a TWH Teaching Assistant.
NAOMI SHIHAB NYE (Major Poetry Workshop)
Naomi Shihab Nye is the author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes. Her books of poetry include 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East , A Maze Me: Poems for Girls, Red Suitcase, Words Under the Words, Fuel, and You & Yours (a best-selling poetry book of 2006). She has been a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Witter Bynner Fellow. She has received a Lavan Award, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, four Pushcart Prizes, the Golden Rose Award, the Robert Creeley Prize, and "The Betty Prize," and numerous honors for her children’s literature, including two Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards. Her collection 19 Varieties of Gazelle was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has been affiliated with The Michener Center for writers at the University of Texas at Austin for 20 years and also poetry editor at The Texas Observer for 20 years. In January 2010 Nye was elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets. She is also laureate of the 2013 NSK Neustadt Award for Children’s Literature. In 2017 the American Library Association presented Naomi Shihab Nye with the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award.
TAYLOR MALI (Major Poetry Workshop)
Taylor Mali is one of the most well-known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement and one of the original poets to appear on the HBO series “Def Poetry Jam.” A four-time National Poetry Slam champion, he is the author of four collections of poetry and a chapbook, The Whetting Stone, which won the 2017 Rattle Chapbook Prize. He is the author of the acclaimed nonfiction book, What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World. In April of 2012, Mali donated 12 inches of his hair to the American Cancer Society Mali after convincing 1,000 people to become teachers. He lives in Brooklyn where he curates the Page Meets Stage reading series at the Bowery Poetry Club.
DINAW MENGESTU (Fiction Genre Lab)
Dinaw Mengestu, a recipient of the 2012 MacArthur Foundation Genius Award, was born in Ethiopia and raised in Illinois. His fiction and journalism have been published in The New Yorker, Granta, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times. Mengestu was chosen for the 5 under 35 Award by the National Book Foundation in 2007 and was named on The New Yorker’s “20 under 40” list in 2010. He is also the recipient of a Lannan Fiction Fellowship, The Guardian First Book Award and The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other awards. He is the author of three novels: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (2008), How to Read the Air (2010) and All Our Names (2014). His work has been translated into more than fifteen languages. He is director of the Written Arts program at Bard College.
ELYSSA EAST (Major Workshop, Mixed Genre: Fiction and Nonfiction)
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 fifth year with this incredible program.
ROB SPILLMAN (Nonfiction Genre Lab)
Rob Spillman is the author of acclaimed memoir All Tomorrow’s Parties (Grove Atlantic, 2017) and the editor and co-founder of Tin House. He is the 2015 recipient of the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing as well as the 2015 VIDO Award from VIDA. He is also the Executive Editor of Tin House Books and co-founder of the Tin House Summer Workshop, now in its fourteenth year. His writing has appeared in BookForum, the Boston Review, Connoisseur, Details, GQ, Guernica, Nerve, The New York Times Book Review, Rolling Stone, Salon, Spin, Sports Illustrated, Time, Vanity Fairand Vogue, among other magazines, newspapers, and essay collections. He is also the editor of Gods and Soldiers: the Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing, which was published in 2009. He has taught at universities around the world and is currently a lecturer at Columbia University.
CAREY SALERNO (Poetry Publication Lecture)
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.
CHRISTINE KALAFUS (Poetry Lecture)
Christine Kalafus is a writer, editor, teacher, and addicted home remodeler. A published essayist, she recently completed her first book, the memoir Blueprint for Daylight. She is also a storyteller, performing to live audiences in Boston regularly. Her storytelling performance, “I Hear You Make Cakes,” was selected by The Moth for its national podcast. Since 2014, Christine has been spearheading free writing workshops in her community including those for female cancer survivors. She lives in the wilds of northeast Connecticut in a dilapidated farmhouse that needs her. Christine is attending TWH this year as a TWH Teaching Assistant.
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.
PAST FACULTY INCLUDES Mark Doty, Richard Blanco, Francine Prose, Roxana Robinson, Stephen Dunn, Tim Seibles, Marie Howe, Tina Chang, Rick Moody, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Scott Wolven, Bill Roorbach, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Richard Hoffman, Elyssa East, Shanna McNair, Barbara Hurd, Roger Bonair-Agard, Wesley McNair, Carey Salerno, Kevin Larimer, Bethany Ball, Elaine Trevorrow and Kathleen Aguero.