WRITERS WORKING WITH WRITERS: 2019 FACULTY
JUAN FELIPE HERRERA (Major Poetry Workshop)
Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States (2015-2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012-2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage; Senegal Taxi; Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include: SkateFate, Calling The Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical for young audiences in New York City; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. His book Jabberwalking, a children’s book focused on turning your wonder at the world around you into weird, wild, incandescent poetry, is forthcoming in 2018. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.
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.
ALEXANDRA OLIVER (Major Poetry Workshop)
Alexandra Oliver was born in Vancouver, BC. Her 2013 collection Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway (Biblioasis 2013) was the recipient of the 2014 Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and her most recent collection, Let the Empire Down (Biblioasis 2016), was shortlisted for the same in 2017. Her libretto for From the Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King (conceived in conjunction with composer Scott Wilson at the University of Birmingham) was performed by Continuum Music in Toronto in December, 2017. Oliver is a past co-editor of Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters (Everyman's Library/Random House, 2015) and (with Pino Coluccio) of the Toronto-based formalist journal The Rotary Dial. She is currently enrolled as a PhD student in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University.
Oliver's most recent chapbook (On the Oven Sits a Maiden) is available through Frog Hollow Press. She is pleased to be joining The Writer's Hotel and looks forward to meeting students and new friends.
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.
STEVEN SALPETER (Agent 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.
RICK MOODY (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.
LEWIS ROBINSON (Major Fiction Workshop)
Lewis Robinson is the author of the novel Water Dogs (Random House, 2009), a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, and Officer Friendly and Other Stories (HarperCollins, 2003), winner of the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award. His short fiction and essays have appeared in Sports Illustrated, Tin House, The Baffler, The New York Times Book Review and on NPR’s program Selected Shorts. He has taught fiction writing at the University of Iowa, Colby College, the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program, Stanford University’s Continuing Studies program, and was the writer-in-residence at Phillips Academy. He lives in Portland, Maine.
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.
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.
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 sixth year with this incredible program.
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.
MEGHAN DAUM (Major Nonfiction Workshop)
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.
JEFFREY FORD (Major Fiction Workshop)
Jeffrey Ford is the author of the novels The Physiognomy, Memoranda, The Beyond, The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque, The Girl in the Glass, The Cosmology of the Wider World, The Shadow Year, and The Twilight Pariah. A new novel, Ahab’s Return will appear in summer of 2018 from Morrow/Harper Collins. His short story collections are The Fantasy Writer’s Assistant, The Empire of Ice Cream, The Drowned Life, Crackpot Palace, and A Natural History of Hell. He’s the recipient of the World Fantasy Award, Nebula, Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and Gran Prix de l’Imaginaire. His work has been translated into almost twenty languages. He lives in Ohio in a 115 year old farmhouse surrounded by cornfields and teaches writing part-time at Ohio Wesleyan University.
RICHARD HOFFMAN (Major Nonfiction Workshop and Nonfiction Genre Lab)
Richard Hoffman is the author of seven books, including the celebrated Half the House: a Memoir, published in a 20th Anniversary Edition in 2015, and the 2014 memoir Love & Fury. In addition to the volume Interference and Other Stories, he has published four collections of poetry: Without Paradise; Gold Star Road; Emblem; and Noon until Night. He is Senior Writer in Residence at Emerson College and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University.
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 Hybrida (2019), 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 Founding Editor and Publisher of The New Guard literary review. She writes prose, poetry and scripts and is an award-winning journalist. She was a 2018 Hewnoaks Artist Colony Writer in Residence. She recently served as a RISCA Fiction Fellow Competition Judge, and as an Interdisciplinary Study Adviser at Lesley University. In 2011 she was a Writer in Residence at the Thomas Lynch cottage in Moveen, Ireland, following a residency in Dingle via the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast MFA program. She also holds a Creative Writing Certificate from Oxford University via her study at the Dartmouth College Creative Writing Master's program. She has worked extensively in the visual and performing arts. She is at work on a novel, stories, poems, scripts 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.
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.
JEFF HILL (Fiction)
Social Media Consultant
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 and as TWH Faculty in 2017. Jeff is re-joining the TWH Faculty again in 2018 to instruct a Fiction Genre Lab with Scott Wolven. 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.
PAST FACULTY INCLUDES Mark Doty, Richard Blanco, Francine Prose, Roxana Robinson, Marie Howe, Sapphire, Naomi Shihab Nye, Stephen Dunn, Tim Seibles, Tina Chang, Rick Moody, Rob Spillman, Jill Bialosky, Kimiko Hahn, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Scott Wolven, Bill Roorbach, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Barbara Hurd, Roger Bonair-Agard, Marion Winik, Wesley McNair, Kevin Larimer, Dana Isokawa, Melissa Faliveno, Elaine Trevorrow and Kathleen Aguero.