Visiting Writers & Artists – 2016-2017

Alumni | 2012-13 Season | 2013-14 Season | 2014-15 Season | 2015-16 Season | 2016-17 Season

ROBERT PINSKY
April 2016

Robert Pinsky was born and raised in Long Branch, New Jersey. He graduated from Long Branch High School, as had his parents, and went on to college at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and then to graduate work at Stanford, where he held a Stegner Fellowship. His Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux) was published in 2011. His previous books of poetry include Gulf Music (2008),Jersey Rain (2000), The Want Bone (1990) and The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996. His best-selling translationThe Inferno of Dante (1994) was a Book-of-the-Month-Club Editor's Choice, and received both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. His prose books include The Life of David (2005), The Situation of Poetry (1976) and The Sounds of Poetry (1998). Among his awards and honors are the William Carlos Williams Prize, the Harold Washington Award from the City of Chicago, the Italian Premio Capri, the PEN-Volcker Award and the Korean Manhae Prize. He recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the PEN American Center. Robert Pinsky founded The Favorite Poem Project, including the videos that can be seen atwww.favoritepoem.org, while serving an unprecedented three terms as United States Poet Laureate.

National Poetry Month 2016


CRISTINA VALDES
April 2016

Committed to both contemporary and standard repertoire, Cristina Valdés is known for presenting innovative concerts with repertoire ranging from Bach to Xenakis. She has performed across four continents and in multiple venues including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, Miller Theatre, Jordan Hall and the Kennedy Center. An avid chamber musician, Cristina has toured extensively with the Bang On a Can “All Stars” and has performed with the Seattle Chamber Players, the Mabou Mines Theater Company, the Parsons Dance Company, Trio V and the award-winning chamber music group, Antares. She has also performed as concerto soloist with the Johns Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, the Binghamton Philharmonic, the Eastman BroadBand and the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra. Cristina can be heard on the Newport Classics, Albany and Innova labels. Currently, Cristina resides in Seattle where she is the founder and director of the SLAM Festival, and serves as an Artist in Residence on the faculty of the University of Washington School of Music.

FIU MBUS New Music Festival


RIO CORTEZ
April 2016

Rio Cortez is a Pushcart-nominated poet, who has received fellowships from Poet's House, Cave Canem and Canto Mundo Foundations. She was a recipient of the Sarah Lawrence College Lucy Grealy Prize in Poetry and the 2012 Poets & Writers Amy Award. She is a graduate of the MFA program at New York University and co-founder of the Good Times Collective. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of journals, including Cortland Review, Prairie Schooner, Huizache, Sugar House Review, and Chorus: A Literary Mixtape. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, she daylights in Children's Publishing. Rio lives in Queens, NY.

Cave Canem 2016 Residency Winner


MICHAEL NORSWORTHY
April 2016

MICHAEL NORSWORTHY has given over 150 world premieres with leading contemporary music groups. Currently, Norsworthy is Professor of Clarinet & Bass Clarinet, Woodwind Department Chair and Director of Contemporary Music Performance at the Boston Conservatory and has presented masterclasses at various universities. He has served as artist in residence at Harvard University with the Harvard Group for New Music and was on the artist faculty at Columbia University. He is also the Massachusetts State Chairman for the International Clarinet Association. Mr. Norsworthy holds advanced degrees from New England Conservatory and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and has attended Michigan State University. His teachers include Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, Eric Mandat, Kalmen Opperman and Richard Stoltzman. He is the recipient of many awards and distinctions, among them: The John Cage Award, Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award and Southern Illinois University’s Chancellor’s Research and Creativity Award, grants from the Yvar Mikahashoff Trust for New Music, St. Louis Artist Presentation Society and St. Botolph Club Foundation and a fellowship from the Aspen Music Festival.

FIU NODUS New Music Festival


BEN BRAM
April 2016

Ben is an esteemed arranger, music director, and producer from Los Angeles. A graduate of the USC Thornton School of Music, Ben sang with, arranged for, and directed three-time ICCA champions the SoCal VoCals. Since college, Ben has been working musically behind the scenes of The Sing-Off, Pitch Perfect, Glee, The Voice, and Modern Family, as well as arranging for various groups all over the world. Ben has had a hand in assembling multiple groups for The Sing-Off, including The Backbeats, Delilah, and most notably season 3 champions Pentatonix, who he continues to work with as an arranger, producer, and engineer.


MAJOR JACKSON
April 2016

Major Jackson is an American poet, professor and the author of three collections of poetry: HOLDING COMPANY (W.W. Norton, 2010) and HOOPS (W.W. Norton, 2006), both finalists for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature-Poetry and LEAVING SATURN (University of Georgia, 2002), winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and finalist for a National Book Critics Award Circle. He is also a recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. Jackson is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at University of Vermont and a core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars. He served as a creative arts fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, as the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence at University of Massachusetts-Lowell and currently serves as the Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review.

National Poetry Month / O, Miami


ELIZABETH SCANLON
April 2016

Elizabeth Scanlon is an editor of The American Poetry Review. Her poems have appeared in many magazines, including Boston Review, Colorado Review, andPloughshares, and in the anthologies Starting Today: Poems for Obama’s First 100 Days and Poets Against the War.

National Poetry Month / O, Miami


FRANK BIDART
April 2016

Frank Leon Bidart, Jr., was born in 1939 in Bakersfield, California, where he grew up, in his words, “obsessed with his parents.” After he was graduated from the University of California, Riverside, he attended graduate school at Harvard University. He formed a close relationship with poet Robert Lowell while residing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and soon after began to write poetry with a style and content distinctive from those of his illustrious mentor. In 1972, Bidart accepted a position at Wellesley College, later becoming Andrew W. Mellon Professor of English.

National Poetry Month / O, Miami


TIM O'BRIEN
April 2016

Tim O'Brien is from small town Minnesota. Graduation in 1968 from Macalester College found him with a BA in Political Science and a draft notice. O'Brien was against the war, but reported for service and was sent to Vietnam. After Vietnam, he became a graduate student at Harvard. Having the opportunity to do an internship at the Washington Post, he eventually left Harvard to become a newspaper reporter. Tim O'Brien is now a visiting professor and endowed chair at Southwest Texas State University where he teaches in the Creative Writing Program. He is on the advisory board for The Ridenhour Prizes.

2016 FIU Writers on the Bay Award Recipient


SILVIA CURBELO
April 2016

Born in Matanzas, Cuba, poet Silvia Curbelo emigrated to the United States with her parents as a child. Her poems couple the personal with the elemental, overlaying collective and individual paths. Her poetry collections include The Geography of Leaving(Silverfish Review, 1991), The Secret History of Water (Anhinga Press, 1997) and Falling Landscape (Anhinga Press, 2015). Her work has also appeared in numerous anthologies, including The Body Electric: America’s Best Poetry from the American Poetry Review (2000), Snakebird: Thirty Years of Anhinga Poets (2004), and the Norton Anthology of Latino Literature (2010). Curbelo has served as the editor of Organica Quarterly and is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Florida Arts Council, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, the Cintas Foundation, the Seaside Foundation, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts, as well as Mid-American Review’s James Wright Award and American Poetry Review’s Jessica Nobel Maxwell Memorial Prize. She lives in Tampa.


DAVID HENRY STERRY
May 2016

David Henry Sterry is the author of 16 books, a performer, muckraker, educator, activist, and book doctor.  His first was a memoir called Chicken, about when he was 17, and being taught existentialism by bunch of nuns at Immaculate Heart College, while being sucked into the illegal underground sex business in Hollywood.  His second memoir was called Master of Ceremonies, about when he was the master ceremonies at a nightclub called Chippendale’s in the mid-80s, when it was the hottest show in the world.  It’s about being the ugliest man at the center of a world filled with the most beautiful men in the world.  While falling madly in love with the woman he married,  he also wrote several novels, books of nonfiction and poetry.  He in fact started as a poet, and poetry has always been in his blood. “(Poetry) absolutely informs all of my writing,” says David. As a poet he has been published everywhere from Santa Monica Review to Madison Review to Coe Review.  David is also an activist, who writes regularly for the Huffington Post.  


VINCENT SCATLIFFE
May 2016

Vincent Scatliffe possesses over 10yrs of design, leadership development, and brand management experience in multinational, civil society, life coaching and educational sectors. He is a highly creative, collaborative, and intuitive leader with a proven background in designing, developing and leading large scale brand strategies that refocuses and uplifts the people, culture, policies, and systems of an organization. Vincent is a disruptive visionary who is effective in global and multicultural settings. He has worked with entrepreneurs, educators, community and business leaders, and grassroots advocates to develop effective communications for their brand in the USA, Caribbean and Europe. He has proven strengths in design development, project management, and social impact. Vincent studied Industrial Design at Rhode Island School of Design, Product/Global/Luxury/Graphic Design at Strate College Designers in France, Product Development at MIT in Massachusetts and Product Management at General Assembly in California. Born into a Caribbean family from Tortola, British Virgin Islands, Vincent currently lives in Los Angeles, California. He is an inspirational leader championing community progress through creativity, innovation and design.

Betsy Breakfast Arts Salon


DAVID FIELD
May 2016

David Field is a 2015 graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he majored in English with a Creative Writing focus. While at school he served as co-president for the college’s student-run literary magazine, Slate, and oversaw its 2012 publication. He has been writing since he was in first grade and has completed work on three unpublished novels, one of which – titled Suburban Train – began as his senior thesis project at Trinity. His self-published book, Curious Incidents: a Collection of Poe and Doyle Remixes, was written as part of the Watkinson Library Fellowship at Trinity and reimagines the classic stories of Edgar Allen Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle in new and contemporary settings. Today he is a member of the Grub Street writing community in Boston. His long-term goal is to earn an MFA and teach creative writing on the college level while continuing to write and publish his works.

Trinity College Hyam Plutzik Residency Recipient 2015


LAURA KRAMER
May 2016

Laura Kronheim Kramer is a recently retired speech pathologist from the Prince William County School District in northern Virginia. After four and a half years at PWCS, thirteen years at the Shaker Heights City Schools (Ohio), and ten years at various pediatric settings, she decided to retire from writing formal reports and Individualized Education Plans and, instead, focus on her passion - writing fictional stories for both adults and children. She has completed Books 1 and 2 of a three-part sci-fi trilogy for adults and is currently working on Book 3. In between her trilogy, she works on her children’s literature. Laura received degrees in Speech-Language Pathology and Education at the University of Michigan and Audiology at Cleveland State University. When not connected to her computer, you’ll find her exploring the world with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She is very excited about her connection with The Writer’s Room.


DAVID MILLS
June 2016

David Mills is a writer and actor who has worked professionally in the dramatic and literary communities for more than a decade. For three years, he lived in Langston Hughes’ landmark home where he was inspired to create a one-person dramatic rendition of Hughes’ poems and short stories. He has two collections of poetry: The Dream Detective, a small-press bestseller, and The Sudden Country, a finalist for the Main Street Rag Prize. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, Fence, Jubilat, Callaloo, and elsewhere. Mills was commissioned to write a play for Julliard, the narration for Deborah Willis’ exhibition, “Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers” and for I Giullari Di Piazza’s folkdance piece, “Tarantella.

The Dreamweaver: The Works of Langston Hughes, Arts at St. John


GESA MACKENTHUN
June 2016

Gesa Mackenthun is Professor of American Studies at Rostock University, Germany. Her publications include Fictions of the Black Atlantic in American Foundational Literature (2004), Metaphors of Dispossession. American Beginnings and the Translation of Empire, 1492-1637 (1997), and Sea Changes. Historicizing the Ocean (co-edited with Bernhard Klein, 2004). In 2006, she founded the graduate school “Cultural Encounters and the Discourses of Scholarship” at Rostock University (German Research Foundation) and has co-edited seven research volumes on various aspects of this problematic (including Entangled Knowledge. Scientific Discourses and Cultural Difference, 2012, and Fugitive Knowledge, 2015). Her current research deals with nineteenth-century travel and archaeology and the scientific construction of American antiquity.

Bavarian American Literature Conference


BARRETT WATTEN
June 2016

Barrett Watten is Professor of English at Wayne State University and cofounder of the Bavarian-American Academy graduate exchange program. He is the author of The Constructivist Moment: From Material Text to Cultural Poetics (winner of the 2004 René Wellek Prize, ACLA) and Questions of Poetics: Language Writing and Consequences (University of Iowa Press, 2016), as well as numerous volumes of poetry, including Frame (1971-1990), Bad History, and Progress/Under Erasure. With Carrie Noland, he co-edited Diasporic Avant-Gardes (Palgrave, 2008); and with Lyn Hejinian, he is co-editor of A Guide to Poetics Journal: Writing in the Expanded Field, 1982-98 and Poetics Journal Digital Archive (Wesleyan University Press, 2013/15).

Bavarian American Literature Conference


DAN WAKEFIELD
June 2016

Dan Wakefield is a novelist, journalist and screenwriter whose best-selling novels "Going All The Way" and "Starting Over" were produced as feature films, and he created the NBC prime time TV series "James at 15." A documentary film has been produced of his memoir "New York in the Fifties. His non-fiction books on spirituality include "Returning: A Spiritual Journey;" "Creating from The Spirit;" "The Story of Your Life: Writing a Spiritual Autobiography," "Expect a Miracle," and "How Do We Know When It's God ?: A Spiritual Memoir."


STEVEN SNYDER
June 2016

Born in 1949 in the small prairie town of Cheyenne, Wyoming, to depression-era parents, Steven Snyder formed two habits: accumulating items of value—tools, wood, wire, money—and learning useful skills through observation and trial and error. His compulsory “collecting” began as an attempt to reduce waste and plays a major role in my current art making practice. After a career in real estate and 20 years of renovation projects could no longer fulfill creative impulses, Snyder delved back into a fine arts practice. He began painting, woodworking and making photographs, eventually adding a studio to his home. Today, Snyder lives and works in Santa Fe, NM.

TransArt 2016


SAMPSON McCORMICK
June 2016

Sampson McCormick is a nationally touring, award winning, stand up comedian, writer and activist who can make audiences double over in laughter whether he's joking about his whacky and beloved, Aunt Jackie, his twink neighbor or addressing homophobia, poverty, and religion. For over a decade, he has been a favorite at LGBT pride festivals and mainstream venues alike. His screen appearances include BET, MTV's "Real World", and the Oprah Winfrey Network. He is also the author of two books "Ebonic Faggotry", and "Taboo Village: A Perspective on Being Gay In Black America" and is at work on his third. He's also released three live stand up comedy albums, including his latest "That Bitch Better Be Funny: Live at the Howard Theater", where he made history, becoming the first openly gay comedian to headline the famous venue. Other prestigious venues that he has headlined include The White House, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The World Famous Comedy Store in Hollywood, CA and Harvard University.

Arts at St. John's Harlem Renaissance


DAVID MURA
June 2016

David Mura is a writer, memoirist, poet and performance artist who brings a unique perspective to our multi-racial and multi-cultural society. A third-generation Japanese-American, he has written intimately about his life as a man of color and the connections between race, sexuality and history. In public appearances interweaving poetry, performance and personal testament, he provides powerful insights into the racial issues facing America today. Mura's memoirs, poems essays, plays and performances have won wide critical praise and numerous awards. Their topics range from contemporary Japan to the legacy of the internment camps and the history of Japanese Americans to critical explorations of an increasingly diverse America. He gives presentations at educational institutions, businesses and other organizations throughout the country.

VONA Voices 2016


DEBORAH WILLIS
June 2016

Deborah Willis, Ph.D., is chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Professor Willis and has an affiliated appointment as University Professor with the College of Arts and Sciences, Africana Studies also at NYU. Professor Willis has been the recipient of Guggenheim, Fletcher, and MacArthur fellowships, the Infinity Award in Writing from the International Center for Photography, and recipient of the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation Award. Named one of the "100 Most Important People in Photography" by American Photography magazine she is one of the nation's leading historians of African American photography and curators of African American culture. Willis's books include Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery, with Barbara Krauthamer, Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present, and many others.

Breakfast Arts Salon with co-host Carole Boyce Davies, 6/24/16


TANANARIVE DUE
June 2016

Tananarive Due is a contemporary novelist who interweaves powerful themes and dilemmas among African Americans into unconventional story-telling. Due was born in Tallahassee, Florida on January 5, 1966. Her parents, John and Patricia Stephens Due, met at Florida A&M and were civil rights activists. John was a prominent attorney who eventually headed Leon County's Office of Black Affairs while her mother participated in many protests and sit-ins that led to injuries and in one instance 49 days in jail. As a child Due became a target of racism while living in white neighborhoods where she felt unsafe. These early experiences would impact her writing style in the future.


WENDY GUERRA
June 2016

Wendy Guerra (born 11 December 1970), formally Wendy Guerra Torres Gomez de Cadiz, is a Cuban poet and novelist. After a career acting in Cuban film and television, she turned to writing and won recognition more readily in international circles than within Cuba. Her works have been translated into thirteen languages. She has been described as "a kind of diva of contemporary Cuban literature".

VONA Voices 2016


MICHAEL ROSSI
June 2016

Michael Rossi is a rising star in the next generation of conductors. He recently made debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa as well as the First Annual PepsiCo National Young Artist Competition with the Charleston Symphony. Last season, he was reengaged by the Philadelphia Orchestra to conduct a performance of Handel's Messiah and will return to the Charleston Symphony this season for performances of Handel's Messiah and 2nd PepsiCo Competition. As an opera conductor he made his international debut conducting Plácido Domingo and the Chinese National Opera Orchestra in Beijing in a live television broadcast and his Washington National Opera Main Stage Debut conducting Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. He also led the WNO Orchestra for a production of Hansel & Gretel, the first National Endowment of the Arts Opera Honors, and the orchestra’s Strathmore Hall Debut concert. In 2011, he made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting the premiere of Marcos Galvany’s opera Oh My Son and has recently recorded the album that will be released in late 2014. He returns to WNO this fall to conduct a performance of Puccini's La Boheme.

Miami Summer Music Festival


ELMAZ ABINADER
June 2016

Elmaz Abinader is a poet, memoirist, playwright and novelist. Her first memoir, Children of the Roojme, a Family’s Journey from Lebanon, chronicles three generations of immigrants battling dislocation and tradition. The poetry collection, In the Country of My Dreams… won the 2000 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Poetry award. She was also awarded a Goldies Award for Literature, as well as two Drammies (Oregon’s Drama award) for her three-act one-woman show, Country of Origin. Elmaz most recently performed Country of Origin at the Kennedy Center and has toured several countries with this play and two others: Ramadan Moon and 32 Mohammeds. Elmaz’s work has been widely anthologized, most recently in The New Anthology of American Poetry, Vol. 3 and The Colors of Nature. Elmaz has been a Fulbright Senior Fellow to Egypt, taught for the Palestine Writing Workshop and a resident at the El Gouna Writing Residency on the Red Sea. Elmaz is one of the founders of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation, (VONA/Voices), now in its 15th year providing workshops for writers of color.

VONA Voices


KATHLEEN KELLY
July 2016

Kathleen is the University of Michigan’s first Coach/Conductor of Opera at the School of Music, Theater, and Dance. As a pianist, Kelly has appeared nationally and internationally as a recital accompanist. She is a Master Teacher for the University of Michigan’s first Coach/Conductor of Opera at the School of Music, Theater, and Dance. Kelly is also the Conductor of the Alexandria Symphony 2016-17 Season.

Miami Music Festival 2016


CHRISTINE GOERKE
July 2016

Soprano Christine Goerke has appeared in the major opera houses of the world including the Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Scala, San Francisco Opera, and Washington National Opera, to name just a few. She has sung much of the great soprano repertoire, beginning with the Mozart and Handel heroines and now moving into the dramatic Strauss and Wagner roles, and has won numerous awards including two Grammy Awards and the Richard Tucker Award. Ms. Goerke is Artist in Residence in partnership with the Miami Music Festival 2016.

Miami Music Festival 2016.


ALAN HELD
July 2016

Recognized internationally as one of the leading singing actors today, American bass-baritone, Alan Held, has appeared in major roles in the world’s finest opera houses, including The Metropolitan Opera, The Vienna State Opera, The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, The Paris Opera, The Bavarian State Opera, Teatro alla Scala, among many others. He has performed with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, and has appeared at the Salzburg and Tanglewood Festivals, as well as the BBC Proms. Mr. Held is serving as the Artist in Residence for the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at The Washington National Opera during the 2015-2016 season and also at The Wolf Trap Opera Company during their summer, 2016 season.

Miami Music Festival 2016


SHAUNA BARBOSA
July 2016

Shauna Barbosa’s poems have appeared in the Minnesota Review, A Bad Penny Review, Sundog Lit, The Awl, and PANK. She is currently pursuing an MFA at Bennington College. You can find her at shaunabarbosa.com.


ANDRES CARDENES
July 2016

The Cuban-born violinist Andrés Cárdenes has won international acclaim from critics and audiences alike for his solo violin, conducting, viola, chamber music, concertmaster and recorded performances. Since taking Second Prize in the 1982 Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition in Moscow, he has appeared as soloist with over one hundred orchestras on four continents, including those of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, St Louis, Moscow, Bavarian Radio, Helsinki, Shanghai, Caracas and Barcelona. He has collaborated with many of today’s greatest conductors, including Lorin Maazel, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Mariss Jansons, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Andrew Davis,Gerard Schwarz, David Zinman and Manfred Honeck.

Miami Music Festival 2016


LOLITA STEWART-WHITE
August 2016

Lolita Stewart-White is a Cave Canem Fellow and a Pushcart nominee. She was a semi-finalist for the Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize and the Rattle Poetry Contest. Lolita was also a Sundance Screenwriters Intensive Fellow and the winner of ‘Pitch Miami’ sponsored by the Women’s International Film Festival for her screenplay ‘All-American.’ Her writing has appeared in theIowa Review, Callaloo, Brilliant Corners, Kweli and many others. She lives in Miami with her husband and seven-year-old daughter, Lola.


DAVID ORR
August 2016

David Orr writes the column “On Poetry” for the New York Times Book Review. He is the author of Beautiful & Pointless: A Guide to Modern Poetry (HarperCollins, 2011).

And Justice For All


JAMES SUTTON
Sept 2016

Dr. James Sutton holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies from Yale University. As a professor at Florida International University, Dr. Sutton teaches Renaissance English literature – Shakespeare and his contemporaries, focusing on the intersection of literature, architecture and design, and political life.

Shakespeare in Miami Breakfast Arts Salon


CARLA FUENTES
Sept 2016

Carla Fuentes is a Spanish artist based in Madrid. She’s currently living her dream: working and doing what she loves at the same time. Fuentes has illustrated for so many cool magazines such as Nylon Mx, Vogue Spain, Nero, Yen Mag, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. With quirky lines and paint she creates fantastic characters which invite us to know more about her personal and amazing world.

The Betsy's Escribe Aquí Festival 2016


SANTIAGO VAQUERA-VÀSQUEZ
Sept 2016

Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez is an unrepentant border crosser, ex-dj, writer, painter, and academic. An Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and Hispanic Southwest Literatures and Cultures in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of New Mexico, he has also taught and lectured at universities across the United States and in Spain. Author of four collections of short stories, Algún día te cuento las cosas que he visto (2012), Luego el silencio (2014), One Day I’ll Tell You the Things I’ve Seen(2015), and En el Lost y Found (2016). His literary work has been published in anthologies in Spain, Italy, Latin America and the United States, including Malos elementos. Relatos sobre la corrupción social(2012); En la frontera: i migliori raconti della letteratura chicana (2008); Pequeñas resistencias 4 (2005);Se habla español (2000); and Líneas aéreas (1998). His stories have also appeared in literary journals including Make Literary Magazine, Etiqueta Negra, Los noveles, Paralelo Sur, Revista 0, Camino Real, and Ventana abierta.

The Betsy Escribe Aquí Iberoamerican Festival


CRISTIAN PROA
Sept 2016

Cristian Proa was born in Mexico City. He is a Film director and writer who has participated in various seminars and has worked alongside teachers like Alejandro Jodorowsky, Fernando Meirelles, Mary Sweeny, Rafael Perrin, German Robles, Josefo Rodriguez and sculptor Javier Marin. Proa is the Founder and Director of "MUESTRA DE CINE 1910,” which is credited with more than 70 directors from around the world projecting in countries like USA, Chile, Argentina, Spain, Mexico and Germany. Proa’s films have been shown around the world and have been selected for various international festivals. Cristian Proa is preparing for his second feature "BLIND,” which will take place in Istanbul, Turkey. In addition, he is creating "REFLECTIONS,” a cinematic movement with 6 directors, with a focus on impacting the independent film industry in Miami.

The Betsy's Escribe Aquí Festival, 2016


CRISTINA GARCÍA
Sept 2016

Cristina García is the author of seven novels, including: Dreaming in Cuban, The Agüero Sisters, Monkey Hunting, A Handbook to Luck, The Lady Matador’s Hotel, King of Cuba, and the forthcoming Berliners Who (read an excerpt in the latest issue of New Letters Magazine). García has edited two anthologies, Cubanísimo: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Cuban Literature and Bordering Fires: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Mexican and Chicano/a Literature. García’s work has been nominated for a National Book Award and translated into fourteen languages. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and an NEA grant, among others. García has taught at universities nationwide.

The Betsy Escribe Aqui Iberoamerican Festival


PABLO BRESCIA
Sept 2016

Pablo Brescia was born in Buenos Aires and has lived in the United States since 1986. He has published two books of short stories Fuera de Lugar/Out of Place (Peru, 2012/Mexico, 2013) and La apariencia de las cosas/The Appearance of Things (México, 1997), and a book of hybrid texts No hay tiempo para la poesía/NoTime for Poetry (Buenos Aires, 2011), with the pen name Harry Bimer. Some of his stories are collected in ESC (Miami, 2013) and Gente ordinaria/Ordinary People (Mexico, 2014). His blog is Preferiría (no) hacerlo/I Would Prefer (Not) To http://pablobrescia.blogspot.com. He teaches Latin American Literature at the University of South Florida and likes philosophy, movies, soccer, tennis and music, not necessarily in that order.

Escribe Aquí Festival 2016


LILIANA V. BLUM
Sept 2016

Liliana V. Blum was born in Durango, Mexico. She is the author of The Curse of Eve and Other Stories, forthcoming from Host Publications. English translations of her stories have appeared in various literary journals, including Eclectica, Mslexia, storySouth, Blackbird, and "The Dirty Goat.” She received her bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Kansas and her master's degree from Tec de Monterey. Blum has lived in Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas since 1997. In 2005, Her story "Kisses on the Forehead" was selected for storySouth's Million Writers Award Notable Stories. Liliana Blum (Mexico, 19xx) is not one of those women who refuse to reveal their date of birth; she just likes coincidences. So that she was born the same year that Heinrich Böll’s The lost honor of Katharina Blum was published, is a great one. Liliana is a ginger who suffered through her childhood from that old Mexican pinch-the-redhead-in-the-arm-for-luck belief. She was born in Durango (famous for its scorpions, revolutionaries and narcos). She's the author of the short story collections La maldición de Eva (2003), ¿En qué se nos fue la mañana? (2006), Vidas de catálogo (2007), The curse of Eve and other stories (2008), El libro perdido de Heinrich Böll (2008), Yo sé cuándo expira la leche (2011), and No me pases de largo (2013).

The Betsy Escribe Aqui Iberoamerican Festival


JENNIFER THORNDIKE
October 2016

Jennifer was born in Lima, Peru. She is an scholar and writer. Currently she is a PhD candidate in Hispanic Studies at University of Pennsylvania. Her main interests are biopolitics, bio-economy and bio-value as theoretical frame; and body, sickness and madness in Contemporary Latin American Literature and Cinema; everyday political activism and power relationships among vulnerable subjects. She has published two fictional books and has been part of several Peruvian and Latin American short story collections. In addition, she has been invited to important book fairs such as FIL Guadalajara, FILBO, FIL Lima, among others. She presented papers in NeMLA, LASA and Universidad Federico Villareal. She has also written articles about literature and media in several journals. In 2016 she will publish her second novel by Penguin Random House.

Escribe Aquí Festival 2016


FRANCISCO ÁNGELES
October 2016

Peruvian writer, journalist and scholar born in Lima-Peru. He is currently based on Philadelphia, writing academic work at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published three novels "La línea en medio del cielo" (2008), "Austin, Texas 1979" (2014), "Plagio" (2016); and the short stories "Hollywood en doble función" (co-authored with Fernando Ampuero, illustrated by Peruvian artist Jugo Gástrico). Since 2005, he codirects the digital journal "El Hablador".

The Betsy Escribe Áqui Festival


ASDRUBAL HERNANDEZ
October 2016

Asdrúbal Hernández is the founder and president of Sudaquia Editores. Based in New York, Sudaquia Editores publishes great new and recent works of Latin American literature to cater for the Spanish speaking market in the States and beyond. Thanks to them, works from Venezuelan authors including Fransisco Massiani, Hector Torres, Eduardo Sánchez Rugeles, Gisela Kozak, Lucas García, José Urriola, Salvador Fleján, Slavko Zupcic and more are now easily and cheaply available throughout the world.

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ANA CECILIA BLUM
October 2016

Ana Cecilia Blum realizó sus estudios primarios y secundarios en el convento Stella Maris del Puerto de Manta; en 1989 para continuar con los estudios universitarios se trasladó a Guayaquil, su ciudad natal, donde se tituló como licenciada en Ciencias Políticas y Sociales por la Universidad Laica Vicente Rocafuerte mientras integraba el taller literario de la Casa de la Cultura Núcleo del Guayas, dirigido por los escritores Miguel Donoso y Mario Campaña. Durante estos años también se inscribió en la Universidad Católica para tomar clases de teoría literaria. Ha sido invitada a leer su poesía en la Biblioteca del Congreso de los Estados Unidos dentro del marco del encuentro literario La Pluma y la Palabra en Washington D.C.; ha participado en varios festivales literarios en América y Europa, entre ellos el Encuentro de Poetas Iberoamericanos en Salamanca, y la Feria Internacional del Libro de Miami.

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GRETTEL JIMENEZ-SINGER
October 2016

Nació en La Habana, Cuba, en 1973. A los 12 años abandonó la isla con su familia y luego de dos años en Venezuela, se instaló en Miami. Estudió Filosofía y Literatura en Florida International University. Edita el blog "Mujerongas" y colabora con diferentes revistas digitales. Reside actualmente en Nueva York. Todas las piezas que componen este libro tienen como protagonista a la mujer, o más bien, cierta fascinación por la naturaleza femenina y sus diferentes matices. Lo mismo en crónicas que abordan en tono confesional, desprejuiciado y con sentido del humor varios temas que afrontan las mujeres a diario, que en relatos intimistas donde se indaga sin tapujos en las diversas capas de la pasión femenina, o en los recuerdos de una casa de acogida para mujeres colocadas en situaciones límite, las protagonistas indiscutibles de estas páginas son siempre grandes mujeres que no se definen desde lo competitive sino desde lo aventurero; “mujerongas”, que son no sólo las corpulentas, sino las desgarradas y las atrevidas.

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CARLA DELLA GATTA
October 2016

Carla Della Gatta is an Assistant Professor of Critical Studies at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. She has published essays in collected editions from Oxford University Press and Palgrave Macmillan, and in journals such as Shakespeare Studies, and Bulletin of the Comediantes. She has also published reviews in Shakespeare Bulletin, Shakespeare, Theatre Journal, and Sixteenth Century Journal. With an emphasis on the performance of culture, her dissertation was entitled “Shakespeare & Latinidad: The Staging of Intracultural Theatre.” It explored how Latino culture is constructed dramaturgically and textually in recent Shakespearean adaptations and productions.

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AYANNA THOMPSON
October 2016

Ayanna Thompson is Professor of English at George Washington University, and she specializes in Renaissance drama and issues of race in/as performance. She is currently working on a book about Peter Sellars’s approach to directing Shakespeare, and a book on Shakespeare and revenge. Professor Thompson has served as a Trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Marshall Scholars.

ESCRIBE AQUÍ FESTIVAL 2016


ANA MENÉNDEZ
October 2016

Ana Menéndez is the author of four books of fiction: Adios, Happy Homeland!, The Last War, Loving Che and In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd, whose title story won a Pushcart Prize. She has worked as a journalist in the United States and abroad, lastly as a prize-winning columnist for The Miami Herald. As a reporter, she wrote about Cuba, Haiti, Kashmir, Afghanistan and India, where she was based for three years. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Vogue, Bomb Magazine, The New York Times and Tin House and has been included in several anthologies, including The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. She has a B.A. in English from Florida International University and an M.F.A. from New York University. A former Fulbright Scholar in Egypt, she now lives in Surfside, Florida.

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KRISTINA MARIE DARLING
October 2016

Kristina Marie Darling is the author of over twenty collections of poetry and hybrid prose, which include PETRARCHAN (2013), X MARKS THE DRESS (2013, with Carol Guess), FORTRESS (2014), THE SUN & THE MOON (2014), GHOST / LANDSCAPE (2016, with John Gallaher), and DARK HORSE (2017), forthcoming from C & R Press. Her books have been described by literary critics as “haunting,” “mesmerizing,” and “complex.” Poet and Kenyon Review editor Zach Savich writes that her body of work is a “singularly graceful and stunningly incisive exploration of poetic insight, vision, and transformation.” Donald Revell writes of her SELECTED POEMS, “Here is a new tradition, alive in bright air.” Kristina’s books have also been reviewed widely in literary magazines, including The Boston Review, Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, The Colorado Review, The Mid-American Review, Pleiades, and The Southern Humanities Review.


RIGOBERTO GONZALEZ
October 2016

Rigoberto González is the author four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His ten books of prose include two bilingual children’s books, the three young adult novels in the Mariposa Club series, the novel Crossing Vines, the story collection Men Without Bliss, and three books of nonfiction, includingButterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He also edited Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing and Alurista’s new and selected volumeXicano Duende: A Select Anthology. The recipient of Guggenheim, NEA and USA Rolón fellowships, a NYFA grant in poetry, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Center Book Award, and the Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award, he is contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and is professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. In 2015, he received The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle.

The Betsy's Escribe Aquí Festival, 2016


VIKTORIA MODESTA
October 2016

Viktoria Modesta is bionic artist, multimedia performance artist, creative director, DJ and a supporter of future innovations. Her work explores modern identity through performance, fashion, avant garde visuals, technology and science. Her mission remains to explore the future depths of human experience.

FIU CARTA/MBUS


I.W. GREGORIO
Nov 2016

I. W. Gregorio is a practicing surgeon by day, masked avenging YA writer by night. After getting her MD, she did her residency at Stanford, where she met the intersex patient who inspired her debut novel, None of the Above (Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins), which is finalist for the 2016 Lambda Literary Award, a Spring 2015 Publishers Weekly Flying Start, an ALA Booklist Top Ten Sports Book for Youth, and a 2015 ABC Children’s Group Best Book for Young Readers. It was also named to the 2016 American Library Association Rainbow List and is under development as a TV series by Lifetime. She is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books™ and its former VP of Development. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and Journal of General Internal Medicine. A recovering ice hockey player, she lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

The Betsy Writers for Young Readers Series


NADAV REMEZ
Nov 2016

Hailing from the outskirts of Tel Aviv, guitarist Nadav Remez is one of today’s emerging voices on the New York Jazz scene. Described as “an unassuming artist with a penchant for indie rock... forging a style built on understatement, logic and clarity,” Remez has established himself as a standout among a new crop of Israelis making waves in the jazz world, through his haunting guitar melodies and compositions that offer an intriguing combination of modern jazz, Jewish folk, and alternative rock.

(mostly jazz) at The Betsy, 11/10/16


VICTORIA AARONS
Nov 2016

Victoria Aarons holds the O.R. & Eva Mitchell Endowed Chair in Literature at Trinity University, where she teaches courses on American Jewish and Holocaust literatures. Among other titles, Victoria Aarons is the author of A Measure of Memory: Storytelling and Identity in American Jewish Fiction and What Happened to Abraham?: Reinventing the Covenant in American Jewish Fiction, both of which received a Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Book. Her work has appeared in a number of scholarly journals, essay collections, and reference works, including the two-volume compendium Holocaust Literature: An Encyclopedia of Writers and Their Work.Dr. Aarons is guest editor for a special issue of Philip Roth Studies titled Philip Roth and Bernard Malamud: Texts of a Relationship. She is on the editorial board of several scholarly journals and was an invited scholar at the Conference in Honor of Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel's 80th Birthday, hosted by Boston University's Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, where she spoke on "Bearing the Weight of History: Trauma and Narrative Fragmentation.”

Jewish American & Holocaust Literature Symposium


ALAN BERGER
Nov 2016

Alan L. Berger occupies the Raddock Family Eminent Scholar Chair for Holocaust Studies, the first Holocaust chair established in the state of Florida, and is Professor of Judaic Studies at Florida Atlantic University where he also directs the Center for the Study of Values and Violence After Auschwitz. Berger founded and directed the Holocaust and Judaic Studies B.A. Program at FAU (1998-2005). Prior to this, he was a professor in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University where he founded and directed the Jewish Studies Program. While at Syracuse, Berger served as Acting Chair of the Religion Department and Interim Chair of the Fine Arts Department. He also was the Visiting Gumenick Professor of Judaica at the College of William and Mary. Berger has chaired the Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches, and guest chaired the Lessons and Legacies of the Holocaust Conference in 1998 and 2010. He was series editor of “Religion, Theology, and the Holocaust,” Syracuse University Press (1998-2004).

JAHLIT 2016


AFFINITY KONAR
Nov 2016

Affinity Konar was raised in California. While writing MISCHLING, she worked as a tutor, proofreader, technical writer, and editor of children's educational workbooks. She studied fiction at SFSU and Columbia. She is of Polish-Jewish descent, and currently lives in Los Angeles.

Reading at The Betsy, 11/15/16


SARIT YISHAI-LEVI
Nov 2016

Sarit Yishai-Levi, a journalist and author, was born in Jerusalem in 1947 to a Sephardic family that has lived in the city for seven generations. She studied at the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio and later at Tel Aviv University. Before turning to journalism, Yishai-Levi acted in theater and film for several years. Later, she was a correspondent for various Israeli newspapers and magazines, including At, Monitin, HaOlam HaZeh and Hadashot​; she also hosted Hebrew TV and radio programs in Los Angeles. At present, she is a senior correspondent for Olam Ha’Isha magazine and hosts TV shows on tourism and lifestyle. Yishai-Levi has published four non-fiction books. Her first novel, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem, a bestseller in Israel, received the Publishers Association's Gold and Platinum Prizes (2014) and the Steimatzky Prize for best-selling book of the year (2014). It is now being made into a feature film.


INDIA CARNEY
Nov 2016

India Carney is a singer, songwriter, vocal arranger, and actress whose talents embrace a wide range of musical genres from opera to musical theater to pop. A native of Brooklyn, NY, Carney is best known for her television appearances as the Top 5 featured artist on NBC "The Voice" Season 8. Carney sang alongside Grammy-award winner Christina Aguilera, American pop artist Jason Derulo, opened for The Roots at the 26th Annual JazzReggae Festival in Los Angeles, CA, and was a featured artist at The Apollo Theater (NY), John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (DC), The Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA), Madison Square Garden (NYC) and Yankee Stadium for the New York Yankees. Carney serves as an adjudicator on the inaugural selection committee for A Cappella Education Association (AEA) "Come Together" compilation. Carney served as music director (2015) and instructor/counselor (2014) at the A Cappella Academy (co-founder Avi Kaplan, Pentatonix). As a former member of the award-winning UCLA ScatterTones A Cappella Group, Carney was music director for two years and earned Outstanding Soloist and Arrangement awards at multiple ICCA competitions. A graduate of UCLA, Carney earned her B.A. in Music with a Music Industry Minor. Carney is a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts and YoungArts Winner in Voice & Theater.[@indiacarney]

The Betsy A Cappella Festival 2016


ALEX GREEN
Nov 2016

Alex Green is a recording engineer, producer, and arranger from New York City He is a graduate of Tufts University with a dual degree in Music and Archaeology, where he sang with and directed the Tufts Amalgamates and with whom he recorded 2011's Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA)-winning Hands Off The Mannequin. He is a co-owner and producer at Plaid Productions, a full-service a cappella production company with dual home bases in Brooklyn, NY and Somerville, MA. Clients of Plaid Productions have had songs featured on SING, BOCA, Voices Only, and have garnered over 100 CARA nominations. Since graduating in 2010, he has regularly served as a master clinician and instructor at a cappella festivals nationwide, as well as singing with Overboard (Boston, MA) and writing for the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB). @atothegreen

The Betsy A Cappella Festival 2016


ROBERT DIETZ
Nov 2016

Robert Dietz has been arranging, performing, and teaching contemporary a cappella music at all levels for over ten years. His career began in high school as director of the critically acclaimed group, Ascending Height, with whom he produced the first all-original high school a cappella album. Robert has studied at both the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney, Australia, and at the Ithaca College School of Music in Ithaca, New York where he directed the award winning all-male group, Ithacappella. In addition, Robert has been a member of the creative team for seasons three, four, and five of NBC’s The Sing-Off. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA where he sings locally with Jazz/Soul group, Level and tours nationally with The Funx. He is a co-founder of A Cappella Academy, and you can find his work online at www.human-feedback.com. [@rdietz55]

The Betsy A Cappella Festival 2016


BEN BRAM
Nov 2016

Ben Bram is a Grammy-winning arranger, vocal producer, and music director from Los Angeles. A graduate of the USC Thornton School of Music, Ben sang with, arranged for, and directed four-time ICCA champions the SoCal VoCals during his time at USC. He is a longtime collaborator with Pentatonix, having co-arranged, engineered and produced all 5 of their currently released albums, including the platinum-selling "That's Christmas To Me". Ben also has an extensive resume in film, TV, and commercials, which includes work for Pitch Perfect 1 and 2, The Sing-Off, Glee, CoverGirl, Lifetime, and MTV. Together with Avi Kaplan and Rob Dietz, he founded A Cappella Academy, a summer intensive for high schoolers. He is currently working on developing two exciting new a cappella groups, and also sings with his jazz/pop group Level.

The Betsy A Cappella Festival 2016


SHAMS AHMED
Nov 2016

Shams Ahmed is a masterful arranger, music director, and educator from Cherry Hill, NJ. He is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, where he directed SoJamX and 2013 ICCA Champions, The Nor'easters and founded Pitch, Please, while double majoring in Finance and Mandarin. During his tenure, the group picked up several compilation placements and CARA awards, and Shams earned more arranging awards than any other collegiate arranger. Additionally, Shams delved into the world of musical theater, music directing community productions of RENT, A Tale of Two Cities, and Spring Awakening. He is currently living in Boston, arranging music for The Vocal Company and coaching local a cappella groups. [@shadnaushad]

The Betsy A Cappella Festival 2016


PAULA BOHINCE
Nov 2016

Paula Bohince is the author of three poetry collections, all from Sarabande: Swallows and Waves (January 2016), The Children (2012), and Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods (2008). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Granta, POETRY, The TLS, The Irish Times, Australian Book Review, and elsewhere. She has been the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholar, the Dartmouth Poet in Residence at The Frost Place, a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Amy Clampitt House Resident, the inaugural Summer Poet in Residence at the University of Mississippi, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a Hawthornden Fellow. She has received the "Discovery"/The Nation Award, the Grolier Poetry Prize, the George Bogin Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and Second Prize in the UK National Poetry Competition for her poem "Among Barmaids." She has taught at New York University, the New School, The Poetry School, and elsewhere.

SWWIM Residency and Salon, 11/29/16


SYDNEY HODKINSON
Dec 2016

A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Sydney Hodkinson received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Eastman and continued his studies at the Princeton Seminars. He received his doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Michigan in 1968. Before returning to Eastman as a faculty member in 1973, Dr. Hodkinson taught at the universities of Virginia, Ohio, and Michigan, as well as serving as artist-in-residence in Minneapolis through a grant from the Ford Foundation Contemporary Music Project. Among his many compositions are Tilt, an overture for orchestra commissioned by the Rochester Philharmonic for its 75th anniversary, and String Quartet No. 3, commissioned by the Ying, Lafayette, and Cassatt String Quartets and funded by the Reader’s Digest/Meet the Composer Project. In addition to the Ford Foundation grant, Dr. Hodkinson has received awards from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, Guggenheim Foundation, Canada Council, National Endowment for the Arts, International Congress of Jeunesses Musicales, Louisville Orchestra, and Danforth Foundation. Upon his retirement from Eastman in January 1999, Dr. Hodkinson was named Professor Emeritus of conducting and ensembles.

FIU MBUS


BRIAN TURNER
Dec 2016

Brian Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon and lived abroad in South Korea for a year before serving for seven years in the U.S. Army. He was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2000 with the 10th Mountain Division. Then in November 2003 he was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. His first book, Here, Bullet, chronicles his time in Iraq. Turner has been featured on National Public Radio, the Newshour with Jim Lehrer and the BBC. He has received a NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry, the Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship and a fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. Turner has taught English at Fresno City College and currently directs the MFA Program at Sierra Nevada College.


CARLA FORTE
Dec 2016

Carla Forte is a performer, scriptwriter and film director. Forte is the founder and Executive Director of Bistoury Physical Theatre and Film. She has directed internationally featured Video-Art works such as Interrupta, Official Selection at 27th Festival Les Instants Vidéo 2014. Her cinematographic work includes the Feature Film ANN, Official Selection Social Machinery Film Festival 2016; the documentary The Holders, which World Premiered at the Miami International Film Festival 2015; Short films "Imaginarium" and "Reset" selected for Cannes film festival's Short Film Corner; as well as the feature film Urban Stories, Winner of Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Feature Film at Bootleg Film Festival in Toronto; and Honorable Mention at both Los Angeles Movie Awards and Lucerne International Film Festival, Switzerland.


JAN BECKER
Dec 2016

JAN BECKER is from a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania. She didn’t stay there very long. She grew up in a Marine Corps family, on military bases all over the United States. She is currently an MFA candidate at Florida International University and has taught courses there in composition, technical writing, creative writing and poetry. Her work has appeared in Emerge, Brevity Poetry Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, and The Florida Book Review. She is a regular contributor to the online journal Selfies in Ink and has read for Lipservice: True Stories Out Loud.


ANITA GLESTA
Jan 2017

Anita Glesta is an artist who specializes in creating large-scale, international public art projects with a focus on the creation of place connected to specific historic events. Glesta was born in New York and has lived in Bilbao, Spain and Sydney, Australia Glesta’s work has been shown in galleries and museums, worldwide. Her multi-channel, two-phased, project Gernika/Guernica; Desde el Cielo Hasta el Fondo was exhibited in New York in 2007 at White Box (Chelsea) and at Chase Manhattan Plaza, sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. It has subsequently been exhibited internationally. Glesta has been the recipient of many grants and awards including a Pollock-Krasner Grant, a 2002 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in the category of Architecture and Environmental Structures, a New York State Council of the Arts Grant (NYSCA) for new media technologies and an Australian Council Grant. Glesta teaches a summer residency program at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York. She has lectured about her work and taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), the school of the Bellas Artes in Barcelona, Spain, the Sydney College of the Arts (Australia) and the University of New South Wales/Built Environment (Australia).


HEATHER PIERSON
Jan 2017

At first glance, Heather Pierson appears to be the girl next door – youthful, friendly, a little bit shy - but she is an award-winning pianist, multi-genre singer/songwriter, arranger, bandleader, and performer. From New Orleans-style jazz and blues to rousing Americana and poignant folk narratives, Heather’s memorable live performances feature her virtuosity on piano, her bell-tone vocals, and her commanding yet playful stage presence while wielding a tenor banjo, melodica, or acoustic guitar. She performs both solo and with her acoustic trio, featuring Davy Sturtevant on strings/cornet and Shawn Nadeau on upright bass. Her music moves seamlessly and effortlessly from one style to the next, and a growing catalog of wildly divergent CD releases reflects her boundless creativity.


TAI BEAUCHAMP
Jan 2017

An internationally recognized style influencer, public speaker, media personality, and entrepreneur, Tai Beauchamp inspires women around the world to celebrate their inner and outer beauty. A publishing industry veteran, Tai has expertise in media, fashion, and beauty that has been solidified through her experience as a beauty and fashion editor at top publications, including Harper’s Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, O, The Oprah Magazine, VIBE Vixen, and Seventeen —where she made history as the magazine's youngest and first African-American Beauty and Fitness Director. Tai frequently presents on topics ranging from entrepreneurship and girl power to stylish living and 21st century philanthropy. In 2006, she launched her game-changing media company, Tai Life Media, to holistically connect style and empowerment.


JOHN GUARE
January 2017

John Guare, is an American playwright known for his innovative and often absurdist dramas. Guare was educated at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (B.A., 1960), and at Yale University (M.F.A., 1963). He then began staging short plays, primarily in New York City, where he helped to found the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Theatre Playwrights’ Conference. His best known works include House of Blue Leaves (which won both an Obie and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for the Best American Play of 1970-71 and received four Tony Awards during its 1986 revival), Four Baboons Adoring the Sun (which was produced at the Lincoln Center Theater in 1992 and was nominated for four Tony Awards), and Six Degrees of Separation (which received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1990 and an Olivier Best Play Award in 1993.)


FREDRIK SIXTEN
Jan 2017

Sven Fredrik Johannes Sixten (born 21 October 1962) is a Swedish composer, cathedral organist and conductor. He earned his Bachelor of Arts (1986) at the Royal College of Music, Stockholm. He studied composition with Professor Sven-David Sandström and is now recognized as one of Sweden's best-known composers of church music. He is published at all major publishing houses in Sweden. He was the conductor of Gothenburg's boys choir between 1997 and 2001. Today he is the cathedral organist of Härnösand's Cathedral. His music is represented on several CD recordings and as a conductor one of his five CDs went gold.Among his other compositions are Prelude et Fugue (1986), Triptyk (2004), Messa Misteriosa (2002) for solo organ, String Quartet(1985), Sonatas for violin and piano, and cello and piano (1985), Cantata for the St. Lucia for choir, soprano solo and string orchestra (1984 and Three sacred Dances for choir (SSAA), string quartet and piano (2007). "Requiem" for string orchestra, 2 horns and timpani, choir and two soloists (soprano and bass) is also published in an English version.

Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation


ASHLEY M. JONES
Jan 2017

Ashley M. Jones received an MFA in Poetry from Florida International University (FIU), where she was a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fellow. She served as Official Poet for the City of Sunrise, Florida's Little Free Libraries Initiative from 2013-2015, and her work was recognized in the 2014 Poets and Writers Maureen Egen Writer's Exchange Contest and the 2015 Academy of American Poets Contest at FIU. She was also a finalist in the 2015 Hub City Press New Southern Voices Contest, the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award Contest, and the National Poetry Series. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in the Academy of American Poets, Prelude, Steel Toe Review, Night Owl, The Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, pluck!, Valley Voices: New York School Edition, Fjords Review: Black American Edition, PMSPoemMemoirStory, Kinfolks Quarterly, and Lucid Moose Press' Like a Girl: Perspectives on Femininity Anthology. She received a 2015 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award and a 2015 B-Metro Magazine Fusion Award. Her debut poetry collection, Magic City Gospel, is forthcoming from Hub City Press in January 2017. She serves as an editor of PANK Magazine, and she currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is a faculty member in the Creative Writing Department of the Alabama School of Fine Arts.


MARC IRWIN
Jan 2017

Marc Irwin,  Baltimore-based Jazz Pianist returns to Miami for The Betsy Hotel's Overture to Overtown, a Jazz Festival, which pays homage to Miami's rich history of jazz music, 'back in the day'. Overtown, like downtown Baltimore, was a vibrant scene for such jazz stalwarts as Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, and Cab Calloway, among many others.

Overture to Overtown, Jan. 23 & 24


GREG NERI
Jan 2017

Greg Neri is an African American author who has the pen name G. Neri, and is known for his work in young-adult fiction. He has written in free-verse (Chess Rumble, Hello I'm Johnny Cash), novelistic prose (Tru & Nelle, Ghetto Cowboy, Knockout Games,Surf Mules), and for graphic novels (Yummy).

The Betsy FIU Writers for Young Readers


ERIC GENSLER
Jan 2017

Erik Gensler is the President of Capacity Interactive Inc. a digital marketing consulting firm for the arts whose clients include some of the country's leading performing arts institutions including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Kennedy Center, and Roundabout Theatre Company. Erik founded Digital Marketing Boot Camp for the Arts, an annual two-day conference in October in NYC. Erik has presented sessions on digital marketing at the Opera America Conference, The Arts & Business Council of New York, The New York Foundation for the Arts, the LORT Conference, and the Tessitura Conference. He has guest lectured at Columbia, NYU, and Yale and has been featured on the Carnegie Mellon Arts & Technology podcast series and webinars.

Arts & Business Council's MAMP 2017


PATRICIA McCORMICK
Jan 2017

Patricia McCormick, a two-time National Book Award finalist, is the author of five critically acclaimed novels – Never Fall Down, a novel based on the true story of an 11-year-old boy who survived the Killing Fields of Cambodia by playing music; Purple Heart, a suspenseful psychological novel that explores the killing of a 10-year-old boy in Iraq; Sold, a deeply moving account of sexual trafficking; My Brother’s Keeper, a realistic view of teenage substance abuse; and Cut, an intimate portrait of one girl’s struggle with self-injury. Never Fall Down was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2012 and was named a New York Times Notable Book for 2012. It was also named a Best Book of the Year by iTunes, The Huffington Post, School Library Journal and the Chicago Public Library. McCormick was named a New York Foundation on the Arts fellow in 2004 and a MacDowell fellow in 2009. She is also the winner of the 2009 German Peace Prize for Youth Literature. McCormick currently lives in Manhattan.


KAREN BROOKS-HOPKINS
Jan 2017

Karen Brooks Hopkins is a senior fellow at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Ms. Hopkins is the former president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where she worked since 1979. As president, she oversaw the Academy's 233 full-time employees and its facilities, including the 2,100-seat Howard Gilman Opera House and 834-seat BAM Harvey Theater, the four-theater BAM Rose Cinemas, the BAMcafé, and the BAM Fisher building, which houses the 250-seat flexible Fishman Space. Most recent honors include being designated a "Woman of Achievement" by the professional association Women in Development in 2013 and named one of the "50 Most Powerful Women in New York" by Crain's. In 2014, she received the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Award and was one of 10 esteemed business leaders appointed to the inaugural Crain's Hall of Fame. Ms. Hopkins was awarded honorary doctorate degrees in 2015 from Brooklyn's Pratt Institute and Long Island University. Among the many honors she received during her BAM tenure are her appointment as Chevalier de L'Ordre des arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France for her work supporting the French arts in the United States, as well as Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star in recognition of her role in solidifying ties between the performing arts communities of Sweden and the United States. Also in 2013 during her term as president, BAM received the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given

In partnership with The Arsht Center


ROBYN PERLMAN
Jan 2017

Robyn – a founding principal of CoreStrategies for Nonprofits, Inc. – has held many positions in her more than 30 years in the business. She has served as senior in-house public relations director, senior corporate public relations liaison and independent consultant for companies such as Lucent Technologies, Saks Fifth Avenue, Kenny Rogers Roasters Corporation and Holland & Knight. Robyn also serves as a mentor and chair of the scholarship committee for the Women of Tomorrow Mentoring and Scholarship Program, which has given out more than 4 million dollars in scholarships to senior high school girls in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. She also is part of their national expansion team funded in part by a 13 million dollar grant from The Knight Foundation. Her hard work on behalf of these young women was recognized when she was selected as Mentor of the Year, 2009.


NATHANIEL "TOBY" THOMPKINS
Feb 2017

Nathaniel "Toby" Thompkins is Founder and CEO, The Center For Beautiful Leadership, LLC. Mr. Thompkins is a speaker, blogger, author, social justice activist and executive coach. In his blog, How I See It… , Toby shares his thought about leadership, culture, social justice, innovation, creativity, managing change and the future. He has over 30 years’ of experience working across corporate, for-profit, nonprofit, government and international development sectors as a senior level executive and organizational development consultant. While living and working in Ghana he led a USAID public private partnership to empower local mining families and communities to effectively respond to the consequences of surfacing gold mining in impacted villages. He also moonlighted as the Africa correspondent for Ebony/Jet magazines where he covered President Obama’s historic visit to Ghana. Toby possesses an M.P.A. and undergraduate degree in psychology and political science and lives in Manhattan, New York.

Presented in partnership with DVCAI


EMANUELEE BEAN
Feb 2017

Emanuelee "Outspoken Bean" is a performance poet, compassionate mentor and dedicated educator. Bean travels the country performing his original works and inspiring young creative minds. He is a Texas Poet Laureate nominee, ranked 9th in the Individual World Poetry Slam 2013, ranked 2nd in collaborative poetry at Group Piece Finals 2013 and, is ranked 11th at National Poetry Slam 2014 (both with Houston VIP). He started performing spoken-word in 2005. In his senior year at Prairie View A&M, Bean founded and coached the University’s first poetry slam team. In their first year, they won the title in their region and grabbed the 8th place ranking in the country at College Union Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI '08). Bean has also worked with the Harris County Department of Education, Houston’s Young Audiences: Arts for Learning and Texas Commission for the Arts, and Houston Grand Opera. He serves as the Project Coordinator, Lead Coach and mentor for Meta-Four Houston, a project under Writers in the Schools' WITS Performance program.

Tigertail Wordspeak and Reading at The Betsy


SCOTT TURNER SCHOFIELD
Feb 2017

Scott Turner Schofield aced his BA in Theatre at Emory University, but his gender expression at the time prevented him from being cast in traditional plays. So he wrote his own one man shows, and began a national tour to critical acclaim before he even graduated. He has gone on to sell out some of the biggest theatre venues in the world. As an acclaimed diversity educator on transgender issues, Schofield, has significantly changed the nondiscrimination policies of colleges and corporations across the United States. Schofield's brilliance lies in his ability to talk about intersectionality - the way that the topics of biological sex, gender, and sexuality are influenced by factors like race, socioeconomic status, geographical location, disability, etc.

Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps - presented by MDC Live Arts


NADINE PINEDE
Feb 2017

Nadine Pinede is the daughter of Haitian immigrants. She was born in Paris, where her parents were scholarship students, and she grew up in Canada and the US. Nadine graduated magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard University and was awarded Harvard University's Captain Jonathan Fay Prize for outstanding imaginative work for her creative nonfiction thesis. She was the first Rhodes Scholar of Haitian descent and earned a Masters in English and French literature from St. John's College at Oxford University. Nadine received her PhD from Indiana University and an MFA in Fiction from the Whidbey Writers Workshop/Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. She is the author of a poetry chapbook, An Invisible Geography. Her fiction has appeared in Haiti Noir, edited by Edwidge Danticat, and her nonfiction was published in Becoming: What Makes a Woman, edited by Jill McCabe Johnson. She was a contributor to American Decades: Primary Sources (1930s and 1940s) and translated a chapter on the Haitian Revolution from French for the Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History: The Black Experience in the Americas. Nadine's chapter on Walter Dean Myers was published in Literary Newsmakers. Her journalism has appeared in The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Radcliffe Quarterly, International Herald Tribune, and other publications.

Breakfast Arts Salon Feb. 13, 2017


ROGER ROBINSON
Feb 2017

Roger Robinson is an award-winning writer, musician and performer who lives between England and Trinidad. He describes himself as "a British resident with a Trini sensibility". He was chosen by arts organization Decibel as one of 50 writers who have influenced black-British writing over the past 50 years. He was a spoken-word performer in London in the early 1990s, before branching out to start performing poetry with bands he would meet, including Techno Animal, Flytronix, The Bugz, Attica Blues and Speeka. Robinson is the lead vocalist for musical crossover project King Midas Sound, whose critically acclaimed debut album Waiting for You was released on Hyperdub Records, becoming number 10 in the top 50 releases Wire Magazine.

PIANO SLAM 9


J.C. CARLESON
Feb 2017

I never intended to be an author. Although I was always a proficient writer of term papers, reports, and other necessary but mundane documents, I didn't consider myself cut out for the creative life. Nearly a decade as an officer in the CIA's clandestine service changed that. Inspired by years of intrigue, scandal, and exotic locales, I was finally ready to give writing a shot. My fiction and non-fiction works all tap into my unique experiences, drawing readers into the highly charged, real world of espionage.

The Betsy's Writers for Young Readers


BARBARA RAS
Feb 2017

Barbara Ras is the author of three poetry collections: Bite Every Sorrow, which won the Walt Whitman Award and was also awarded the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; One Hidden Stuff; and The Last Skin, winner of the Award for Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters. Ras has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others. Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Tin House, Granta, Five Points, American Scholar, Massachusetts Review, and Orion, as well as in many other magazines and anthologies. She is the editor of a collection of short fiction in translation, Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion. Ras lives in San Antonio, where she directs Trinity University Press.

Gerald Stern Poetry Reading, Feb. 22, 2017


LAUREN GRODSTEIN
Feb 2017

Lauren Grodstein is an American novelist and educator at Rutgers University of Camden in New Jersey, known for her use of male viewpoint characters. Her novel Girls Dinner Club made the New York Public Library “Book for the Teen Age” list in 2006.

FIU Writers on the Bay Series


JOHANNA POETHIG
March 2017

Johanna Poethig is a visual, public and performance artist who has exhibited internationally and has been actively creating public art works, murals, paintings, sculpture and multimedia installations for over 25 years. Poethig’s public art works intervene in the urban landscape, in neighborhoods, on freeways, in parks, hospitals, schools, homeless shelters, cultural centers, advertising venues and public buildings. She has received numerous commissions and awards for this work. Her paintings, sculpture and installations reflect her interest in satire, symbol, human nature, society and our consumerist culture. She has produced and participated in performance events that mix feminism, global politics, costume, props, cabaret, experimental music and video. Poethig is on the faculty of the Visual and Public Art (VPA) department at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB).

A Song for Women Living with War, 3/1/17


ANDREA ASSAF
March 2017

Assaf is currently Artist-in-Residence and guest faculty at the School of Theatre & Dance, University of South Florida (Tampa). Her organization, Art2Action, Inc., recently received a $189,200 grant for THIS Bridge, a project she will produce in partnership with USF. The grant is one of only six awarded nationwide by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) "Building Bridges: Campus Community Engagement Grant Program," a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Other awards include a National Performance Network Creation Fund Commission, 2010 Princess Grace Award in Theater, 2007 Hedgebrook residency and a 2004 Cultural Contact grant. She is a Board member of Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists and Alternate ROOTS, and a member of Radius of Arab American Writers).

Tigertail Speak Out 2017, Betsy Reading March 2017.


BEATRIZ COLOMINA
March 2017

Beatriz Colomina is an internationally renowned architectural historian and theorist who has written extensively on questions of architecture and media. Ms. Colomina has taught at Princeton University since 1988, and is the Founding Director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton, Her books include Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1994), which was awarded the 1995 International Book Award by the American Institute of Architects, which has been translated into many languages. In addition, Ms. Colomina has published has published has published Sexuality and Space (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1992), which was awarded the 1993 International Book Award by the American Institute of Architects; and Architectureproduction (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1988). She presented “Women in Architecture,” a keynote lecture in the conference Female Forces, 100 year anniversary, at the Royal Academy Copenhagen. In addition to being the Editor of the Multimedia Section of the JSAH (Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians) she has written numerous other publications and presented lectures throughout the world.

Presented with Centro Cultural España


LOLA HASKINS
March 2017

Lola Haskins is a poet and writer. The author of fourteen books, her most recent poetry collection is How Small, Confronting Morning (Jacar, 2016). Her last two books — The Grace to Leave (Anhinga, 2012) and Still, the Mountain (Paper Kite, 2010) — won Florida Book Awards. Her in-print books of poems are Desire Lines, New and Selected Poems (BOA Editions, 2004), Extranjera (Story Line, 1998), and The Rim Benders (Anhinga, 2001). Ms. Haskins’ prose writings include Fifteen Florida Cemeteries, Strange Tales Unearthed (University Press of Florida, 2011) and an advice book for people interested in poetry, Not Feathers Yet: A Beginner’s Guide to the Poetic Life (Backwaters, 2007). A two-time NEA Fellowship recipient, a four-time Florida State Individual Artist Fellowship recipient and winner of the Elizabeth Dickinson prize from the Poetry Society of America, Haskins is currently serving a four-year term as Honorary Chancellor of the Florida State Poets Association.

SWWIM Poetry Reading, 3/7/17


JESSE LEE KERCHEVAL
March 2017

Jesse Lee Kercheval is the author of several books, including Cinema Muto (Southern Illinois University Press, 2009), winner of the Crab Orchard Open Selection Award; Dog Angel (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004); and World as Dictionary (Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 1999). She is the Zona Gale Professor of English at University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Arts Salon for Int'l Women's Month at The Betsy


ANTHONY MORDECHAI TZVI RUSSELL
March 2017

Eight years after making his professional operatic debut in a Philip Glass world premiere, Anthony Russell is now a vocalist, composer and arranger specializing in Yiddish art and folk song, chazones and Chasidic nigunim. Inspired by the phenomena of diaspora culture, his work in traditional Ashkenazi musical forms has led to an exploration of his own roots through the research, arrangement and performance of a hundred years of African American traditional music. The result of this work is his ongoing project with klezmer consort Veretski Pass, Convergence (2014 New Jewish Culture Network Music Commission Finalist), combining Ashkenazi and African American traditional musical forms to create singular narratives. The first recording phase of this project is set to be released in 2017. Anthony's work in Jewish music has brought him to stages in Toronto, Montreal, Berkeley, Boston, Miami, New York and Tel Aviv, the JCC in Manhattan and San Francisco, Symphony Space and, recently, to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He lives in Oakland, CA with his husband, Rabbi Michael Rothbaum.


MARY MORRIS
March 2017

Mary Morris is an American author and a professor at Sarah Lawrence College. Morris published her first book, a collection of short stories, entitled Vanishing Animals & Other Stories, in 1979 at the age of thirty-two and was awarded the Rome Prize in Literature by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She has gone on to publish numerous collections of short stories, novels, and travel memoirs. She has also edited with her husband, the author Larry O'Connor, an anthology of women's travel literature, entitled Maiden Voyages, subsequently published as The Virago Book of Women Travellers. Her most recent novel, THE JAZZ PALACE, has received the 2016 Anisfield-Wolf Award for fiction.

Int'l Women's Month Arts Salon 3/12/17


KATHERINE VAZ
March 2017

Katherine Vaz, a Briggs-Copeland Fellow in Fiction at Harvard, Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute, and a National Endowment for the Arts recipient, has published two novels, SAUDADE and MARIANA, which appeared in six languages and was selected by the Library of Congress as one of the Top Thirty International Books of 1998. Her collection FADO & OTHER STORIES won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and OUR LADY OF THE ARTICHOKES won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize. THE LOVE LIFE OF AN ASSISTANT ANIMATOR & OTHER STORIES is forthcoming in 2017. She has published many short stories, including some in anthologies for children, and lives in New York City with her husband, the editor, writer, and TV producer Christopher Cerf.

International Women's Month


DAVID HENRY STERRY
March 2017

David Henry Sterry is the author of 16 books, a performer, muckraker, educator, activist, and book doctor. His first was a memoir called Chicken, about when he was 17, and being taught existentialism by bunch of nuns at Immaculate Heart College, while being sucked into the illegal underground sex business in Hollywood. His second memoir was called Master of Ceremonies, about when he was the master ceremonies at a nightclub called Chippendale’s in the mid-80s, when it was the hottest show in the world. It’s about being the ugliest man at the center of a world filled with the most beautiful men in the world. While falling madly in love with the woman he married, he also wrote several novels, books of nonfiction and poetry. He in fact started as a poet, and poetry has always been in his blood. “(Poetry) absolutely informs all of my writing,” says David. As a poet he has been published everywhere from Santa Monica Review to Madison Review to Coe Review. David is also an activist, who writes regularly for the Huffington Post.


BORIS FISHMAN
March 2017

Boris Fishman is the author of A Replacement Life and Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo (HarperCollins), both New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He has won the Sophie Brody Medal from the American Library Association and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. His journalism, essays, and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, The Guardian, Travel & Leisure, New York Magazine, among other publications. His next book is a work of creative nonfiction about food and memory. He lives in New York City and teaches creative writing at Princeton University.


MOIRA MULDOON
March 2017

Moira Muldoon writes about technology, education, bars, and healthcare. Her work has been published in Wired.com, Salon, the Austin American-Statesman, American Way, D Magazine, the Austin Chronicle, SFWeekly, Gamespot/ZDNet, and literary journals. She has an MA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from Texas State University. She taught writing at Texas State and at Johns Hopkins University’s CTYOnline before moving from adjuncting into corporate and nonprofit writing.


BRIAN THORNTON
March 2017

Cellist, conductor and educator, Brian Thornton has performed in hundreds of venues from the White House in Washington, D.C., to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. As a soloist he has performed over 100 new works for solo cello and is a champion of modern composers. He has touched the lives of thousands of children through his musical outreach programs in Head Start schools. He is the founder of the Lev Aronson Legacy Festival at Smu in Dallas, Texas, where Mr. Aronson taught for many years, an ongoing yearly festival that is dedicated to Mr. Aronson's teaching and philosophy of cello playing. Mr. Thornton teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Music and performs with the Cleveland Orchestra. His solo CD: Kol Nidrei and Beyond, Lev's Story, is centered on the vocal qualities of the cello, and is dedicated to the memory of his teacher, Lev Aronson.


JENNIFER MATTSON
March 2017

Jennifer Mattson is a writer, editor and journalist. She writes The Wellness List column for Psychology Today and teaches writing at New York University, as well as, around the country. She was awarded the Spring 2016 Writer-in-Residence at The Lemon Tree House Residency for Writers in Tuscany, Italy and is the recipient of the prestigious scholarship for non-fiction writers at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

International Women's Month


HEATHER PIERSON
March 2016

Heather Christie Pierson is a composer, songwriter, pianist, instrumentalist and vocalist. She is the owner of record label Vessel Recordings, which has released eight of Pierson's CDs to date. Currently, Pierson is the pianist for the White Mountain Hotel in North Conway, New Hampshire. She is also the music director for the First Universalist Church of Norway, Maine.

International Women's Month


OCTAVIA YEARWOOD
March 2017

Octavia Yearwood is an arts educator, motivational speaker, author, and an overall entrepreneur from New York City. She relocated to Miami in 2012 to expand her arts services company, Team Ohhh. Through Team Ohhh she provides dance and visual art enrichment programing in public schools, private schools and dance studio’s around the world. She has been an educator for the last 15 years, using the arts to bridge the gap between community and academia. She recently became Program Director for South Florida Cares Mentoring Movement where she has been able to work with, foster and build relationships with notable arts, education and community organizations like the Perez Art Museum, ICA Miami, URGENT Inc, University of Miami, Rush Philanthropic and local artist to bring transformational experience to the youth of Miami-Dade and Broward County. From curating exhibitions that commission local artist to bring fine arts to the city of Miami Gardens or collaborating with those artist to bring free arts programing to the children of Overtown, Octavia moves forward in using the arts to fortify our youth. Within those years she has also taken her craft and program to Barbados, Haiti, India, Nepal and most recently France where she worked on a photography series to support her book, “How The Hell Did You Do That?” that will serve as a guide book to foster youth and other youth suffering from a traumatic childhood. In 2016 Octavia received the American Express Emerging Lea


JOHN CASQUARELLI
March 2017

John Casquarelli is the author of two full-length collections: On Equilibrium of Song (Overpass Books, 2011) and Lavender (Authorspress, 2014). He is the chairperson of the Santa Fe chapter (Santa Fe Poetry Trails) of the New Mexico State Poetry Society (NMSPS). He received his MFA in Creative Writing at Long Island University—Brooklyn. John was awarded the 2010 Esther Hyneman Award for Poetry and the 2016 Kafka Residency Prize in Hostka, Czech Republic. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and can be read in a dozen countries.


JANE SMILEY
March 2017

Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, as well as four works of nonfiction. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature in 2006. She lives in Northern California.

International Women's Month