Visiting Writers & Artists – 2017-2018

Alumni | 2012-13 Season | 2013-14 Season | 2014-15 Season | 2015-16 Season | 2016-17 Season | 2017-18 Season

NICK MAKOHA
April 2017

Nicholas Makoha is a dynamic writer born in Uganda and has lived in Kenya, Saudi Arabia and currently resides in London. He is one of ten contemporary poets in the UK to have been selected for Spread the Word’s Complete Works development programme. During the programme he has been mentored by eminent poet George Szirtes, both writers in exile. As a resident artist of Spoke-Lab he developed a 1-man- show “My Father & Other Superheroes”. One man’s honest revelation of how pop culture raised him in the absence of his father. It was showcased at Stratford Theatre East and toured to Olso with the British Council.

O, Miami and Nat'l Poetry Month


HANIF ABDURRAQIB
April 2017

Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism has been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, and The New York Times. He has been nominated for the pushcart prize, and his poem "Hestia" won the 2014 Capital University poetry prize. His first full length collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, is forthcoming in 2016 from Button Poetry / Exploding Pinecone Press. He is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow, an interviewer at Union Station Magazine, and a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine. He is a member of the poetry collective Echo Hotel with poet/essayist Eve Ewing. Additionally, he is a columnist at MTV News, where he writes about music, and fights to get Room Raiders back on the air. He thinks poems can change the world, but really wants to talk to you about music, sports, and sneakers.

O, Miami and National Poetry Month


MICHELE POULOS
April 2017

Michele Poulos's first feature-length documentary film, A Late Style of Fire: Larry Levis, American Poet, made its world premiere at the 2016 Mill Valley Film Festival in October. The film is an official selection at four other film festivals including the 2017 Palm Beach Int'l Film Festival and the 2017 Richmond Film Festival. She is an award-winning poet, screenwriter, and filmmaker. She holds a BFA in filmmaking from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, an MFA degree in poetry from Arizona State University, and an MFA in fiction from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her first full-length collection of poems, Black Laurel, was published by Iris Press in March 2016. Her screenplay, Mule Bone Blues, won the 2010 Virginia Screenwriting Competition, and it made it to the second round of the 2017 and 2015 Sundance Screenwriters Lab, and the second round in the 2010 Austin Screenplay Contest. She just completed co-writing a feature-length comedy with a stand-up comic about a stand-up comic. She is currently writing two screenplays: an animated Disney film and a drama about a young photographer.

O, Miami and National Poetry Month


GREGORY DONOVAN
April 2017

Gregory Donovan is the author of the poetry collections Torn from the Sun (Red Hen Press, 2015), and Calling His Children Home, (U. of Missouri Press), winner of the Devins Award, as well as poetry, essays, and fiction published in The Kenyon Review, New England Review, Chautauqua, storySouth, TriQuarterly, diode, The Southern Quarterly, Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, and elsewhere. Donovan is Senior Editor of the online journal Blackbird and he teaches in the graduate creative writing program at Virginia Commonwealth University.

O, Miami and National Poetry Month


CHRIS BARKER
April 2017

Barker is an Atlanta native and art director who began his career as founding art director for Fenuxe Magazine and is a member of the artistic project 50 Shades of Black, which combine art with personal stories to explore the complex relationship between sexuality and skin tone in the formation of black identity.

O, Miami and National Poetry Month


KATHRYN NUERENBERGER
April 2017

Kathryn Nuernberger was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 1, 1980. She earned a BA from the University of Missouri, an MFA from Eastern Washington University, and a PhD from Ohio University. Nuernberger is the author of The End of Pink (BOA Editions, 2016), which received the 2015 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, given to recognize a superior second book of poetry by an American poet. She is also the author of Rag & Bone, which won the Antivenom Prize from Elixir Press and was published in 2011.


SAM RIVIERE
April 2017

Sam Riviere received an Eric Gregory Award in 2009. His most recent book is 81 Austerities (Faber and Faber, 2012), which won the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection. He lives in Belfast.

O, Miami and National Poetry Month


JACK UNDERWOOD
April 2017

Jack Underwood’s debut collection, Happiness, was published by Faber & Faber in 2015. He lives in South East London.

O, MIAMI and National Poetry Month


LUISITA LOPEZ TORREGROSA
April 2017

Professor Torregrosa, an award-winning writer and journalist based in New York City, is a former New York Times editor and columnist for The International Herald Tribune. Torregrosa’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue, The Washington Post Magazine, Washingtonian magazine, Yahoo News, and Women in the World/NYTimes.com She writes on women’s issues, foreign policy, international politics and pop culture. She has reported from Havana, Manila, Tokyo, Rio, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Jakarta, Singapore, New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Juan, and Antigua. She has also worked out of Hong Kong, Bangkok, New Delhi, Sao Paolo and Brasilia. Torregrosa has published two books of nonfiction: Before the Rain: A Memoir of Love & Revolution, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012), and The Noise of Infinite Longing (HarperCollins, 2004). She is a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at Fordham University’s Latin American and Latino Studies Institute and in the Department of Communication and Media.


SOPHIE COLLINS
April 2017

Sophie Collins is cofounder of tender, an online quarterly promoting work by female-identified writers and artists. She is carrying out research on poetry and translation at Queen’s University Belfast.

O, MIAMI and National Poetry Month


JENNY BROWNE
April 2017

Jenny Browne is the author of three collections of poems Dear Stranger, The Second Reason, and At Once, all from the University of Tampa Press. Her poems and essays have appeared widely, including American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Pleiades, The New York Times, Tin House, and Threepenny Review. A former James Michener Fellow at the University of Texas in Austin, she has received grants from the San Antonio Artist Foundation, the Texas Writers League, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently she is an Associate Professor of English at Trinity University and lives with her husband and daughters Lyda and Harriet in downtown San Antonio.


DYLAN BRENNAN
April 2017

Originally from Dublin and currently based in Mexico, Dylan Brennan writes poetry and prose. His debut poetry collection, Blood Oranges, for which he received the runner-up prize in the Patrick Kavanagh Award, is available from The Dreadful Press. Atoll, an e-chapbook is available for free from Smithereens Press. In 2016, he co-edited Rethinking Juan Rulfo’s Creative World: Prose, Photography, Film for Legenda Books. His most recent publication is GUADALUPE & other hallucinations, a digital collection of prose featuring prints by Jonathan Brennan.

O, Miami and National Poetry Month


KATHI APPELT
April 2017

Kathi Appelt is the New York Times best-selling author of more than forty books for children and young adults. Her first novel, THE UNDERNEATH, was named a National Book Award Finalist, a Newbery Honor Book, and the PEN USA Literature for Children Award. That was followed by KEEPER, which was named an NCTE Notable Children’s Book and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Her memoir, MY FATHER’S SUMMERS, won the Paterson Prize for Young Adult Poetry. Ms. Appelt was presented with the A.C. Greene Award by the Friends of Abilene Public Library, which named her a “Texas Distinguished Author.” Her novel, THE TRUE BLUE SCOUTS OF SUGAR MAN SWAMP, was named a National Book Award Finalist and won the Green Earth Award, the Texas Institute of Letters Award, and the Judy Lopez Memorial Award. Her most recent picture book, COUNTING CROWS (illustrated by Rob Dunlavey), was a finalist for the Writers League of Texas Award, and her newest novel, MAYBE A FOX (co-written with Alison McGhee) won the Jean Flynn Award given by the Texas Institute of Letters, and has also been named to the Texas Bluebonnet Master List. She and her husband Ken live in College Station, TX with five adorable cats, Django, Peach, Mingus, Chica and Jazz. For more information, check her website: www.kathiappelt.com.

The Betsy's WYR Program and National Poetry Month


ELIZABETH HARPER NEELD
April 2017

"When someone asks me how I decide on the subject of my next book, I say, “I write about what I most need to know.” That’s because when any of us writes, we discover things we would never have thought about if we had not been writing. If I’m in grief, I write books like Seven Choices: Finding Daylight After Loss Shatters Your World and Tough Transitions. If I need more balance between my inner and outer life, I write A Sacred Primer: The Essential Guide to Quiet Time and Prayer. If I want to be inspired by others, I write a biography like Sister Bernadette: Cowboy Nun From Texas or edit my father’s spiritual autobiography, From The Plow to the Pulpit." Elizabeth Neeld

The Betsy's WYR Program and National Poetry Month


JOE PERA
April 2017

Joe Pera is a stand-up comedian living in New York.

O, MIAMI and National Poetry Month


JOSE SEREBRIER
April 2017

GRAMMY-winner conductor and composer José Serebrier is one of most recorded classical artists in history, with forty-five GRAMMY nominations. Serebrier has made international tours with the Russian National Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Toulouse Chamber Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Spain and many others. As composer, Serebrier has won most of the important awards in the United States, including two Guggenheims (as the youngest in that Foundation's history, at age 19), Rockefeller Foundation grants, commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Harvard Musical Association, the B.M.I. Award, Koussevitzky Foundation Award, etc. Born in Uruguay of Russian and Polish parents, Serebrier has composed more than 100 works, published by Peer Music, Universal Edition Vienna, Kalmus, Warner Music, and Peters Corp. His First Symphony was premiered by Leopold Stokowski (who premiered several of his works) when Serebrier was 17, as a last-minute replacement for then then still unplayable Ives 4th Symphony.

Barry University St. Martha's Concert Series


BELEN GOPEGUI
April 2017

Belén Ruiz de Gopegui is a Spanish writer. She studied law at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and she worked for several newspapers including El sol.

Centro Cultural España Miami


MIA LEONIN
May 2017

Mia Leonin is the author of three poetry collections, most recently, Chance Born (Anhinga Press) and a memoir, Havana and Other Missing Fathers (University of Arizona Press). A book-length poem, Fable of the Paddle Sack Child will be published by BkMk Press this fall. Leonin has been awarded fellowships from the State of Florida Department of Cultural Affairs, two Money for Women grants by the Barbara Deming Fund, and she has been a fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts/Annenberg Institute on Theater and Musical Theater. Leonin has written extensively about theater and culture for the Miami Herald, New Times, and other publications. She teaches creative writing at the University of Miami. Leonin will be reading excerpts from essays and poems she has written in response to Madera’s curatorial projects, the Havana Habibi film, and her work with women in Miami and Cuba.


JULIE FARKAS
May 2017

Julie Farkas is an educator and writer working on a project that has taken her 10 years to complete. Because she primarily identifies as a poet, she always works on prose and poetry, simultaneously, and she says the work and language always feed off of and into each other. Her work has been published in literary magazines such as Hanging Loose, Painted Bride Quarterly, and forthcoming, in Forklift, Ohio. She received her Master of Arts in Education/Teaching at Teachers College Columbia University, her Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at Vermont College of Fine Arts,and is a Children's Literature Fellow with Stony Brook University.


KEVIN JENNINGS
May 2017

Kevin Jennings is a lauded social entrepreneur with over three decades starting and leading organizations promoting progressive change in America. A First-Generation college graduate, Jennings received his B.A. magna cum laude in History from Harvard in 1985 and then became a high school history teacher. In 1988 he helped students at Concord Academy to create the nation’s first Gay-Straight Alliance, leading him two years later to found the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Jennings is the author of seven books, and was perhaps best known for his role as the President’s “anti-bullying czar,” leading a national campaign to reduce bullying that culminated in the 2011 White House Conference on Bullying Prevention.


RENA KRAUT
May 2017

Rena Kraut is the Founder and Director of Cuban American Youth Orchestra. Ms. Kraut is an active freelance performer whose recent work includes concerts with IRIS Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota. She plays frequently with the Minnesota Orchestra, including on their historic tour to Cuba. Dr. Kraut is principal clarinetist of the Mill City Summer Opera Orchestra and has held positions with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and the Sarasota and Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestras. Dr. Kraut received her D.M.A. from the University of Minnesota, where she studied with Burt Hara, and she holds degrees from Rice and Northwestern Universities. A devoted educator, Dr. Kraut has taught musicians young and old for over 20 years, including beginners, college students, and retirees. She directs the summer music camps at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music, is an active clinician, and coaches award-winning chamber ensembles in the Twin Cities. As an admirer of Latin American culture, she has happily co-led teenage student exchanges to Costa Rica and Argentina in addition to travels in Spain and Cuba.

Breakfast Salon on Monday, 5/15/17


BARBRA NIGHTINGALE
May 2017

Barbra Nightingale is the author of the poetry collection Singing in the Key of L, winner of the 1999 Stevens Poetry Manuscript Award, and Greatest Hits, a chapbook of twelve poems spanning twenty years. Her book Two Voices, One Past (2010), a collection of poems in her mother’s voice and her own, was a runner-up in the Yellow Jacket Press annual chapbook contest, and she was also a finalist in Narrative’s First Annual Poetry Contest. Nightingale is a professor of English, literature, and poetry at Broward College, Florida.

School's Out Poetry Reading, May 19, 2017


JENSEN BEACH
May 2017

Jensen Beach is the author of two story collections, most recently SWALLOWED BY THE COLD (Graywolf). He holds an MFA in fiction from the Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as well as an MA and BA in English from Stockholm University. He teaches in the BFA program at Johnson State College, where he is the fiction editor at Green Mountains Review. He’s also a faculty member in the MFA Program in Writing & Publishing at Vermont College of Fine Arts. His writing has appeared recently in A Public Space, the Paris Review, and The New Yorker. He’s a former web editor at Hobart. He lives in Vermont.


ALEJANDRO PALOMAS
May 2017

Author, translator and Spanish philologist , Alejandro Palomas studied English Philology at the University of Barcelona, ​​specializing later in Poetry at New College in San Francisco, United States. After completing these studies he has worked as a translator in important publishing houses and as a collaborator of several media, an activity that has been able to alternate with his work as a writer. Among the work of Palomas would be to emphasize titles like The time of the heart , The soul of the world , finalist of the Spring , or The secret of the Hoffman , finalist of the City of Torrevieja , without leaving aside its last trilogy with which it has Won the favor of the readers, who started with A mother , followed with A son and who has recently finished with A dog.

Breakfast Salon with Centro Cultural España, May 23


STEVEN LECKART
May 2017

Steven Leckart has been a journalist for 14 years and earned his master's from the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. Since 2010, his work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Men's Health, Popular Science, Maxim, and Esquire,among others. Leckart has written two feature documentaries -- "All Things Must Pass" (2015) and "Silicon Cowboys" (2016). He is also the author of Cabin Porn, a New York Times bestseller about hand-built architecture, which was published by Little, Brown, & Company in 2015.


DENISE DESPEYROUX
May 2017

Escritora y guionista uruguaya, Denise Despeyroux también ha destacado como dramaturga, actriz y directora teatral. Residente en España desde hace varios años, Despeyroux ha participado en varias obras con gran éxito. Además, ha trabajado como traductora y ha publicado varios libros dedicados a un público infantil, como son ¡Atrévete a pensar! o El gran libro de las hadas. En cuanto a la poesía, Despeyroux publicó en 2003 la antología Palabras de amor de Shakespeare.

Centro Cultural España


THADDEUS RUTKOWSKI
June 2017

Thaddeus Rutkowski grew up in central Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Cornell University and the Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of the fiction collection Violent Outbursts (Spuyten Duyvil) and the novels Haywire (Starcherone/Dzanc), Tetched (Behler Publications) and Roughhouse (Kaya Press). All three novels were finalists for an Asian American Literary Award, and Haywire won the Members' Choice Award, given by members of the Asian American Writers Workshop in New York. Haywire reached No. 1 on Small Press Distribution's fiction best-seller list. Tetched was chosen as one of the best books reviewed in 2006 by Chronogram magazine. He is a one-time winner of the Nuyorican Poets Café Friday slam, the Poetry Versus Comedy slam at the Bowery Poetry Club, and the Syracuse poetry slam. He was selected to read in the former home of East German President Erich Honecker in Berlin. He has been a featured reader in Budapest, Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Paris and Singapore, as well as in a number of U.S. cities.

Breakfast Arts Salon, June 5 at 9:30am


MAY COLLINS WOOLLCOTT
June 2017

May Collins P. Woollcott ’16 is this year’s awardee of the South Beach Writing Residency, offered by the family of Hyam Plutzik ’32. Originally from Atlanta, GA, May is an English major with a focus on creative writing. This semester she is completing a poetry thesis under Professor Clare Rossini, poet and Artist-in-Residence at Trinity College. Upon graduation, May will be moving to Boston to work in publishing. She hopes to attend an MFA program in the coming years. The family of Hyam Plutzik (Trinity ’32) provides an annual residency (for five years) in South Beach in the Betsy Writer’s Room to a graduating senior with outstanding talent in the literary arts. The award is bestowed as part of the graduation program (Honors Day).


DAN KRAINES
June 2017

Dan Kraines has published poems in The Journal, Phantom, Salamander, and was anthologized in The Traveler's Vade Mecum. He is a Phd candidate at the University of Rochester and he holds an MFA from Boston University as well as an MA in social thought and modernism from New York University. He has received scholarships from the New York State Summer Writers Institute and taught at Skidmore College.


CECILIA RODRÍGUEZ MILANÉS
June 2017

Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés was born in New Jersey to Cuban parents. Her works appear in numerous journals and anthologies, including Literary Mama, The Bilingual Review, Kweli Journal, Guernica, and The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. Her short story collections, Oye What I’m Gonna Tell You (2015) and Marielitos, Balseros, and Other Exiles (2009), were #4 and #5 on the Guardian’s list of 10 of the best books to help understand Cuba. Everyday Chica, winner of the 2010 Longleaf Press Poetry Prize was followed by Everyday Chica, Music and More, a poetry CD. She teaches at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Escribe Aquí Breakfast Salon on June 19, 2017.


JENNY MOLBERG
June 2017

Jenny Molberg won the 2014 Berkshire Prize for her debut collection of poems, Marvels of the Invisible (forthcoming, Tupelo Press). Her poems have appeared in North American Review, Missouri Review, Copper Nickel, Third Coast, The New Guard, Mississippi Review and other journals. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, is the winner of the 2013 Third Coast Poetry Prize, and was featured in Best New Poets 2014. Originally from Dallas, Jenny holds a BA from Louisiana State University, an MFA from American University, and a PhD from the University of North Texas.

SWWIM Poetry Night June 21, 2017


SHELLY ORIA
June 2017

Shelly Oria is the author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 (FSG & Random House Canada, 2014), which earned nominations for a Lambda Literary Award and the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, among other honors. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review among numerous other places and has won a number of awards, including the Indiana Review Fiction Prize. Most recently, Shelly has co-authored a digital novella, CLEAN, commissioned by WeTransfer and McSweeney's. She lives in Brooklyn, where so co-directs the Writer's Forum at the Pratt Institute and has a private practice as a life & creativity coach. www.shellyoria.com


ANITA GLESTA
June 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).


SHACHAR ISRAEL
June 2017

Cited by the New York Times as "a gifted young trombonist,” Shachar Israel joined The Cleveland Orchestra in 2009 as assistant principal trombone. Born in Nahariya, Israel, he received his bachelor of music degree from Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Nitzan Haroz, principal trombone of the Philadelphia Orchestra. His primary teachers have included Joseph Alessi, Mark Lawrence, Mitchell Ross, Micha Davis and Joseph Nashkes. Mr. Israel started his musical journey at the Kiryat-Yam Wind Band, and he is a graduate of the Thelma Yellin High School in Givatyim, Israel. His studies while in Israel were made possible by the generosity of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation through its scholarship program, the Keren Sharet Competitions. Mr. Israel performs on an Edwards T350E Trombone.


NIKKI HARITATOS
June 2017

Delight finder, delight designer, creativity consultant, speaker, MC/host, idea generator and brainstormer, theme and event designer, event and party stylist, set dresser, playlist creator, music explorer, choreographer, dancer and dance instructor, burlesque performer, bombshell trainer, calligrapher, word art creator, traveler, cabaret life drawing event host, entrepreneur, collaborator, curator and collector. Director of a bit o’ Burlesque, past Director of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School San Diego, Founder & Designer at Boom Pow Creative Studio (launching soon).


DONALD DAEDALUS
June 2017

Donald Hǻi Phú Daedalus grew up in the shadow of the country’s largest public observatory, an area so remote and sparsely populated it served as the first plutonium-processing plant for the Manhattan Project. These two experiences impressed an urge for thinking of the sky as both a near and distant body that is a recent fading history and the earth a place where humans hide. His art practice is motivated by uncovering the recovered. He makes books, videos, sculptures and public artworks. Through Triangle’s support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Daedalus is in residence at Triangle from December–February 2016–17.


TEO CASTELLANOS
July 2017

Teo Castellanos is an actor/writer/director, who works in theater, film and television. His award winning solo NE 2nd Avenue toured extensively for a decade and won the Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland 2003. His most recent solo Third Trinity, was directed by Oscar winner and Mac Arthur Genius, Tarell Alvin McCraney. He founded the Dance/Theater Company Teo Castellanos D-Projects in 2003. He is the recipient of several awards and grants including NEA, NEFA, MAP, NPN, Knight Arts Challenge, Knight Foundation People’s Choice Award, Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs and also won the State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship 2005 and 2013. He’s a Sundance Institute Screenwriters Intensive Fellow 2015. Teo is a member of SAG/AFTRA, and Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and holds a BFA in Theater.


JOEL SMIRNOFF
July 2017

Joel Smirnoff, conductor and violinist, is President of the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is a native of New York City and former chair of the violin department at The Juilliard School. He has been a member of the Juilliard String Quartet since 1986, and the ensemble's leader since 1997. Mr. Smirnoff has participated in the world premiere of numerous contemporary works, many of which were composed for him. Mr. Smirnoff is a Sony recording artist and has solo recordings on GM, CRI and Northeastern Records. Mr. Smirnoff has served as Chair of the Violin Department at The Juilliard School since 1993 and served as Head of String Studies at the Tanglewood Music Center during the late 1990s. Mr. Smirnoff has been on the faculty of Tanglewood since 1983. Mr. Smirnoff also plays jazz, performing frequently as improvising soloist with Tony Bennett. His solos were featured on the GRAMMY Award-winning CD Tony Bennett Sings Ellington Hot and Cool. He has also been guest soloist with Gunther Schuller and the American Jazz Orchestra, as well as the Billy Taylor Trio. Mr. Smirnoff was born into an eminent New York musical family. His mother sang with the Jack Teagarden Band under the stage name of Judy Marshall and his father, Zelly Smirnoff, played in the NBC Symphony under Toscanini and was second violinist of the Stuyvesant String Quartet. Mr. Smirnoff has been president of CIM since 2008.


CHRISTINA LANE
July 2017

Christina Lane is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema and Interactive Media at the University of Miami, and Director of the Norton Herrick Center for Motion Picture Studies. She is the author of the books Feminist Hollywood: From Born in Flames to Point Break (2000) and Magnolia (2011), the first full-length critical evaluation of Paul Thomas Anderson. With a specialization in Hollywood directors and stars, she has published widely on such figures as Kathryn Bigelow, Sofia Coppola, Jodie Foster, and Sally Field. She is considered an expert on the subject of Alfred Hitchcock’s women writers, having published "Alma Reville: Adaptation, Continuity, Writing" (in Hitchcock and Adaptation 2014) and “Stepping Out from Behind the Grand Silhouette: Joan Harrison’s Films of the Forties” (in Film and Authorship 2003). She is currently writing Hitchcock’s Phantom Lady: The Life and Career of Joan Harrison, which chronicles the untold story of Hollywood’s most powerful female writer-producer of the 1940s. Harrison went from being the worst secretary Alfred Hitchcock ever had to one of his most influential collaborators, critically shaping his brand as the “Master of Suspense."


LENNY DELLAROCCA
July 2017

Lenny DellaRocca has had poems in numerous literary magazines including: Poet Lore, Fairy Tale Review, Seattle Review, POEM, Sun Dog, Gulf Stream Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Long Island Quarterly, Apalachee Review, The Prose-Poem Project, Poetrybay, Chiron Review, 2River View and Nimrod. DellaRocca is a former president of the Hannah Kahn Poetry Foundation. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and his chapbook, The Sleep Talker, is available at Night Ballet Press. His latest collection, is Blood and Gypsies. DellaRocca is founder and co-publisher of South Florida Poetry Journal, SoFloPoJo, and Interview With a Poet both at southfloridapoetryjournal.com.


ANDRES CARDENES
July 2017

Andres Cardenes- 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.Andrés Cárdenes holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Violin Studies and the Dorothy Richard Starling/Alexander Speyer Jr Endowed Chair at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music. Andrés Cárdenes was appointed Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra by Lorin Maazel in 1989 and holds the Rachel Mellon Walton Endowed Concertmaster Chair, leaving at the end of the 2009–2010 season to concentrate on his conducting, solo and chamber music careers.

MIAMI MUSIC FESTIVAL 2017


ROB CASPER
July 2017

Robert Casper is the Head of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress.

On July 25, 2017, O, Miami and The Betsy Writer's Room present an evening with Rob Casper and Matthea Harvey. O, Miami director P. Scott Cunningham leads a discussion with Casper, the current head of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress, about the state of poetry in America, the process for selecting the Poet Laureate of the United States, and the role of publishing in contemporary culture. The talk is followed by a reading by award-winning poet Matthea Harvey


MATTHEA HARVEY
July 2017

Matthea Harvey is the author of five books of poetry—If the Tabloids are True What Are You?, Of Lamb (an illustrated erasure with images by Amy Jean Porter), Modern Life (a finalist for the National Book Critics Cirlcle Award and a New York Times Notable Book), Sad Little Breathing Machine and Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form. She has also published two children’s books, Cecil the Pet Glacier, illustrated by Giselle Potter and The Little General and the Giant Snowflake, illustrated by Elizabeth Zechel. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence and lives in Brooklyn.

On July 25, 2017 O, Miami and The Betsy Writer's Room present an evening with Rob Casper and Matthea Harvey. O, Miami director P. Scott Cunningham leads a discussion with Casper, the current head of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress, about the state of poetry in America, the process for selecting the Poet Laureate of the United States, and the role of publishing in contemporary culture. The talk is followed by a reading by award-winning poet Matthea Harvey.


ETHAN MERMELSTEIN
July 2017

Ethan Mermelstein is a New York-based screenwriter. He worked as script coordinator for the writers rooms on HBO’s “Girls" and Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie.” Much of his work stems from a deep desire to really know people — his friends, his family, his characters and himself. His work as host on “Emotionally Reckless,” a podcast featuring “raw and intimate conversations between friends, lovers, professionals, relatives, and strangers," reflects this obsessive need. His feature screenplay “The Zuckermans,” a dark comedy/drama about a Modern-Orthodox Jewish family from New York, forced to dig the podiatrist father out from a reckless insurance fraud scheme, was most recently selected as a finalist for the Nantucket Screenwriters Colony.


GERARD CALISTE
July 2017

Gerard Caliste was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1994, he became involved with Young Aspirations/Young Artists (YA/YA), through which Caliste produced art for a long list of private collectors, and for companies, organizations and celebrities, including MTV, Swatch Watch, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and Oprah Winfrey. In 1994, Caliste was one of 700 artists commissioned by the United Nations to design seat covers for the General Assembly Room in honor of the United Nations’ 50th anniversary in 1995. Caliste attended the Savannah College of Art and Design on a portfolio scholarship and Presidential scholarship. His series, Waterlines- more than two dozen paintings, poems and sculptures - was previewed at Le Mieux Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana. Caliste is a teacher in Houston, Texas and continues to make work in his approach, a figurative style which he calls New American Abstract Modern Expressionism. Caliste has been selected as the Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator Caribbean Crossings Artist in Residence for 2016 and 2017.

Breakfast Arts Salon with DVCAI, 7/21/17


ANNETTE FROMM
July 2017

Annette B. Fromm is a museum specialist and folklorist. At the present she serves as Coordinator/Assistant Professor of Museum Studies at Florida International University. She is the Past President of the International Committee of Museums of Ethnography (ICME), an international committee of the International Council of Museums, and Chair of the Florida Folklife Council. She is a graduate of Indiana University (Ph.D., Folkore, minors in art history & anthropology) and Kent State University (B.A., African Studies and textiles). Fromm’s book, We Are Few, Folklore and Ethnic Identity of the Jewish Community of Ioannina, Greece, written for Indiana University, was published in 2008 by Lexington Books. She has published articles on immigrant-ethnic groups in America, Jews in Greece, Greek folklore, Native Americans in museums, multicultural museums, and folk art. Another area of research is food history and traditions. She has taught many workshops on folklore and folklife, American ethnicity, oral history and museum issues. Fromm has conducted extensive field research in ethnic communities across the United States and in Greece.


MAGGE J. NIGRO
August 2017

Magge Nigro has been selected as the 2017 Trinity College Hyam Plutzik Poetry Residency Recipient. Magge is originally from Reading, MA. She entered Trinity College in the Fall of 2013, and became an English major with a concentration in creative writing (poetry) during her sophomore year. She has studied under professors Ciaran Berry, Ethan Rutherford, Daniel Mrozowski, Clare Rossini, Chloe Wheatley, Christopher Hager, and Milla Riggio. During her senior fall semester she was selected as one of the Connecticut Poetry Circuit Student Poets, and toured colleges in Connecticut with four other poets during her senior spring semester—reading her work at Trinity, Connecticut College, the University of Hartford, the University of Connecticut (Storrs and Waterbury), Central Connecticut State University, Manchester Community College, and Yale University.


MARTHA FRANKEL
August 2017

Martha Frankel is a writer, storyteller, knitter, and reformed busy-body. She is the host of Woodstock Booktalk, a weekly podcast, where she interviews writers, including many who have been at The Writer’s Room at The Betsy. She is the executive director of Woodstock Bookfest, a yearly gathering of readers and writers in Woodstock, NY. Her memoir, Hats & Eyeglasses: A Family Love Affair with Gambling, tells of her foray into online poker and its disastrous results.


JESSIE ASKINAZI
August 2017

Jessie Askinazi is an interdisciplinary creative and communications manager. She has worked in photography, performance art, journalism, poetry, film, design and the contemporary art world. Jessie studied at the Atlantic Theater Company's performing arts conservatory in New York City. She is most notably affiliated with Purple Fashion Magazine, where she has documented cultural events for several years. Jessie also dedicates her life to social justice and activism, currently working with the East Los Angeles Women's Center; a crisis center for women who have experienced sexual or domestic violence. Most recently, she collaborated with Pussy Riot to make a video about threats to the Violence Against Women Act. Her upcoming poetry chapbook "Ear Tagging" will be published through Shirt Pocket Press, along with a short film she made about the collection. Follow her on instagram @jessieaskinazi


LENNA BAUERLY
August 2017

Lenna Bauerly has written songs for a considerable numbers of others, and made her debut in 2007 as an artist herself, reaching #29 on the Billboard Club Play Chart with a remix of her pop song “Evenly.” Lenna went onto chart three subsequent times on Billboard as an artist. Lenna was one of the most played artists on the CBS hit show Guiding Light, which was the longest running drama ever, entertaining fans for over 70 years. In 2009 she received an Emmy nomination for her self- penned song “The Leaver.” Lenna has had songs on the charts in The Netherlands, France and Mexico to name a few. She also sings and writes in French. She has performed in places like The Staples Center, Los Angeles , bars in Viet Nam, and the streets of Paris. Lenna songs have been played on numerous TV shows such as Walker Texas Ranger, Laguna Beach, Oprah, Dr. Oz, Drake and Josh, and Wheel Of Fortune, to name a few. Lenna is currently in pre-production for a one hour animated Christmas special which she created titled “Joe The Suntanned Reindeer.” Lenna penned the screenplay. She has collaborated with many award winning songwriters and artists to create the soundtrack album which accompanies the movie. For additional information please visit latourmusic.com


HEATHER SELLERS
August 2017

Heather Sellers’ award-winning memoir, You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know, has been featured by O, the Oprah Magazine, where it was a book of the month pick, Good Morning America, Rachel Ray, NPR, The New York Times, Dick Gordon’s The Story, Good Housekeeping, More, Elle, and many others. Heather Sellers was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. Her PhD in English/Creative Writing is from Florida State University. A professor of English at the University of South Florida in the creative writing program, she’s teaches poetry, nonfiction, and writing for children. Awarded an NEA Fellowship for fiction, she published a short story collection, Georgia Under Water, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. She’s published a children’s book, Spike and Cubby’s Ice Cream Island Adventure, three volumes of poetry, and three books on the craft of writing. Her popular textbook for writers in any genre, The Practice of Creative Writing, is out in its second edition from Bedford/St. Martins . She’s taught at the University of Texas—San Antonio and St. Lawrence University, and, for 18 years, at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. She’s currently at work on a novel for young readers, essays, and a new memoir.


ANDREA C. MARTIN
August 2017

Winner of CuentoManía 2016 - "My favorite pastime when I was a child was a blank piece of paper and a pencil. Poems will just flow. At some points, I stapled them together in a notebook, put a cover, a title and my first book was born. I was not even ten. Later, I decided to put aside writing to experience the world. Nobody knew back then that I will live in eight different countries and will visit many others. Miami was never in my map. Destiny brought me here four years ago, and, to my greatest surprise, I found something real in this place. The dynamics of this city is captivating and a great source of inspiration. I write about everyday life. There is a bit of the persons I met along the way in my stories. People like you and me, ordinary people, are the ones that have the most extraordinary stories to tell."


LYDIA MARTIN
August 2017

Lydia Martín is an award-winning journalist and author who spent three decades covering Miami’s growth and cultural evolution for The Miami Herald. Her work has appeared in books such as Presenting Celia Cruz (Clarkson Potter) and Louis Vuitton City Guide, Miami; in literary journals such as Ploughshares, Fifth Wednesday Journal and Origins Literary Journal; and in magazines such as Billboard, Esquire, InStyle, Oprah, Latina (for which she also served as contributing editor), Hispanic and Out. She has B.A. in English and journalism from the University of Miami and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Bennington College. She was part of the Miami Herald staff that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of 1992’s Hurricane Andrew; was twice a finalist for the Livingston Award, the largest all-media, general reporting prize in American journalism; and won a GLAAD Media Award for Spanish-language magazine writing, among other journalism awards. Her short story “The Adjustment Act” won the Ploughshares 2016 Emerging Writer’s contest; the short story “La Guagua”, published in Fifth Wednesday Journal, won the 2016 Editor’s Prize for Fiction and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.


GABRIELA GUIMAREY
August 2017

Gabriela Guimarey was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was a radio and television host in her country until she moved to the US in 2001. She switched sides on the camera, and became a Content Producer and scriptwriter for Promofilm US, Plural Entertainment, Zodiak Latino, Endemol, Telemundo, Cinemat y Univision. Gabriela, or Gaby as most of her friends call her, paints canvases, river rocks and the walls of her house, and is also a Reiki Master and tea sommelier. She has been writing poetry and short stories since her adolescence. Guimarey has two kids she adores, two cats, one mango tree, another one with avocados, she enjoys playing the guitar and awaits to one day take piano lessons. Milán Kundera, Arturo Perez Reverte, José Saramago, Raymond Carver, Rosa Montero, Claudia Piñeiro, Marcela Serrano are some of the authors that take up the most space in her book collection. She collects vinyls from Carole King, Miles Davis, Crosby Still Nash and Young, Carpenters, Joni Mitchell, The Who and Kendrick Lamar. Currently, she is working on her first novel.


NEIL DE LA FLOR
August 2017

Neil de la Flor earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami. His first book, Almost Dorothy, won the 2009 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize and will be published in January 2010. In addition, his literary work has been published in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Barrow Street, Sentence, 42opus, Scene360, Court Green and other literary journals on the web and in print. In 2006, Facial Geometry (Neo Pepper Press), a collaborative chapbook of triads co-authored with Maureen Seaton and Kirstine Snodgrass, was published. Neil is the Founder and Director of Reading Queer, a Miami Knight Arts Challenge Award Recipient.


AMINA GAUTIER
August 2017

Amina Gautier, Ph.D. is the author of three award-winning short story collections: The Loss of All Lost Things, which won the Elixir Press Award in Fiction and received the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, Now We Will Be Happy, which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, the USA Best Book Award in African American Fiction, the International Book Award, a Silver IPPY Award in Multicultural Fiction, a Florida Authors and Publishers Association Award Gold Medal in Short Fiction, and was Long-listed for The Chautauqua Prize in Fiction, and At-Risk, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and received an Eric Hoffer Legacy Award and a First Horizon Award. Gautier has published a record number of short stories. More than eighty-five of her short stories have been published and her fiction appears in African American Review, African Voices, Agni, Antioch Review, B&A: New Fiction, Cicada, Chattahoochee Review, Colorado Review, Crab Orchard Review, Crazyhorse, Glimmer Train, Iconoclast, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, Nimrod, North American Review, Notre Dame Review, Opium.com, Pindeldyboz, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, Quarter After Eight, Red Rock Review, River Styx, Salt Hill, Shenandoah, Southeast Review, Southern Review, Southwest Review, Storyquarterly, Studio Magazine, Sycamore Review, Timber Creek Review, Today’s Black Woman, Torch, and Yemassee among other places. Gautier’s work has been extensively reprinted, appearing in A


VIVEK KAMATH
August 2017

Violist Vivek Kamath joined the New York Philharmonic in January 1998. Mr. Kamath earned his bachelor's degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Donald Weilerstein. He has appeared as soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, he has performed at the Marlboro, Ravinia, Sarasota, Blossom, and Bowdoin festivals. In 1997 Mr. Kamath was a prize-winner in the Washington International String Competition and in the Irving Klein International String Competition. In his spare time he enjoys playing tennis, studying wildlife, and dining out.


SHEENA POWELL SZURI
Sept 2017

Sheena Powell Szuri is a Miami native who comes to the Writer’s Room at the Betsy to complete her first collection of poems “Polyhymnia”, a passion of truth, beauty and love drawn from nature, personal relationships and art with music as muse. As part of a thriving South Florida poetry community, Sheena is proudly affiliated with the Miami Poets, Florida State Poets Association and Famous Last Fridays at Books & Books. She has presented original works in live reads at the O, Miami Poetry Festival, the USpeak Open Verse and Story Performance Series, and Odd Blue Roses. As a member of the South Florida Writers’ Association she has served as poetry and prose judge for the Junior Orange Bowl Creative Writing contest and the Miami VA Creative Arts Festival. Sheena is a Yoga teacher with a day job as a Scientist. As an amateur poet she is still looking for the answers and still dreaming through poetry in her own lyrical voice over the scaffolding of free verse.


PEDRO MEDINA LEÓN
Sept 2017

Pedro Medina Leon is the author of the books Streets of Miami (The Write Deal, USA) and Tomorrow I will not see you in Miami (Ediciones Oblicuas, Spain). Pedro is based in the United States and is the founder of the literary magazine Suburbano.


EDUARDO LAGO
Sept 2017

Eduardo Lago (born 31 January 1954) is a Spanish novelist, translator, and literary critic, born in Madrid and currently living in Manhattan, New York, United States. In 2002, he was the recipient of the Bartolomé March Award for Excellence in Literary Criticism for his critical comparison of three Spanish translations of James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses. In 2006, he won the Premio Nadal, Spain's oldest and most prestigious literary award, for his first novel, Llámame Brooklyn (Call Me Brooklyn). For many years, he interviewed North American writers for the literary supplement Babelia in the Spanish newspaper El País. He returned to teaching Spanish, Spanish literature, and European Literature at Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers in 2011, after leaving in 2005 for the position of Director of the Cervantes Institute in New York.

Presented in partnership with Centro Cultural Español Miami


STEPHAN MORAVSKI
Sept 2017

Stephan Moravski is a set, production and graphic designer based in downtown Manhattan who is an alumnus of Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, graduating with a Master of Set Design for Stage and Film. He completed his Master of Architecture at the University of Melbourne, giving him the opportunity to travel to India to study modernist architects and to paint his way across the South Australian Outback, before completing his thesis in Indigenous Australian architecture and moving to New York.

SoBe Arts Production of "Tesla"


ROD COFFEE
Sept 2017

As a career journalist in both print and broadcast media, Rod Coffee has covered news, sports and entertainment around the country and even freelanced at the 2012 London Olympic Games in a never-ending quest to inform, and hopefully entertain, the masses via a variety of communicative outlets. A native Detroiter, Coffee grew up in a hotbed of artistic talent and views creative expression as a natural way of communicating. His journalistic journey has taken him from Motown to Miami and several cities in-between, including the nation’s capital where he currently resides.


PAUL DI PIERRO
Sept 2017

Paul DiPierro is a video designer and 3D animator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been creating video content for the Opera world since 2010. In addition to his theatrical work, DiPierro frequently collaborates with National Geographic and the Ford Foundation.

SoBe Arts production of "Tesla"


MILANA STREZEVA
Oct 2017

Praised by the critics for her “technically fluid, dramatically convincing, and sonically full-bodied supportive collaborations” (Boston Globe) - Milana Strezeva is a Moldovan-American pianist. At the age of 11 she began playing chamber music with her clarinetist father and her mother, a renowned soprano. Milana's love for family collaboration eventually grew into a passionate advocacy of vocal and instrumental chamber music.

Int'l Music Day Concert, 10/1/17


ARLO HASKELL
Oct 2017

Arlo Haskell is a historian, poet, literary organizer, and publisher. Much of his work focuses on the literary and social histories of Key West, Florida. His forthcoming book is The Jews of Key West: Smugglers, Cigar Makers, and Revolutionaries (1823-1969) (November, 2017). He is also the author of the poetry collections Fool Proof (2003) and Joker (2009). As an editor, Haskell has worked on critically acclaimed editions of poetry and literature in translation, including The Last Books of Héctor Viel Temperley (translated by Stuart Krimko and named a BOMB magazine “Editor’s Choice” for 2011) and Harry Mathews’s poetry collection, The New Tourism (selected as a Times Literary Supplement “Book of the Year” in 2010). He is also the editor of Mathews’s posthumous Collected Poems: 1956-2016 (forthcoming, 2018). He lives with his family in Key West, where he is executive director of the Key West Literary Seminar.

Art of Bookmaking: Publishers Perspectives


IBI ZOBOI
Oct 2017

Ibi Zoboi (Fall 2017) was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and immigrated to the U.S. when she was four years old. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she was a recipient of the Norma Fox Mazer Award. Her award-winning and Pushcart-nominated writing has been published in Haiti Noir, the Caribbean Writer, The New York Times Book Review, the Horn Book Magazine, and The Rumpus, among others. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and three children. AMERICAN STREET is her first novel. Visit Ibi at www.ibizoboi.net.

Presented in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Libraries and Betys Writer for Young Readers.


EMILIO SOSA
Oct 2017

While his training is rooted in theater, Emilio's experience runs the creative gamut. He has served as vice president and creative director for Grace Costumes, a 40-year staple within the costume design industry catering to television, film, theater, ballet, and opera. Prior to his recent 2012 TONY Award nomination for Best Costumes for his work on Broadway's, "The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess", and his 2012 Lucille Lortel Award win for "By the Way, meet Vera Stark", Emilio was recognized for his extensive collaborations with high profile dance companies such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet Hispanico, and the New York City Ballet. He has found widespread recognition while featured as a finalist on Project Runway Season 7.


ANTONIO DIAZ OLIVA
Oct 2017

Antonio Díaz Oliva (Temuco, Chile, 1985) has published the non-fiction book Piedra Roja: El mito del Woodstock chileno (Red Stone: The myth of Chilean Woodstock, 2010) and the novel La soga de los muertos (The rope of the dead, Alfaguara, 2011; Sudaquia NY, 2016). He has been awarded fellowships from the Council for Culture and the Arts in Chile, the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation for New Journalism and Fulbright. He is studying the MFA in Creative Writing in Spanish at New York University. Currently, he coordinates “20/40“, an Ebook collection of Latin American writers living in the United States. www.antoniodiazoliva.com


JAVIER MONTILLA
Oct 2017

Javier Montilla is a Spanish journalist with a long history in the press, radio and television. His most recent novel, "Last Days with Sara Montiel" has been received with great success. In 2011, Montilla was awarded the FEDAN journalism award.

Unity Coalition / Coalicion Unida's Celebrate Orgullo


NYUGEN SMITH
Oct 2017

Drawing heavily on his West Indian heritage, Nyugen is committed to raising the consciousness of past and present political struggles through his practice which consists of sculpture, installation, video and performance. He is influenced by the conflation of African cultural practices and the remnants of European colonial rule in the region. Responding to the legacy of this particular environment, Nyugen’s work considers imperialist practices of oppression, violence and ideological misnomers. While exposing audiences to concealed narratives, he aims to destabilize constructed frameworks from which this conversation is often held.

Prizm Art Fair Panel Discussion, 10/19/17


IBRAHIM AHMED
Oct 2017

Born to Egyptian parents living in Kuwait in 1984, Ibrahim Ahmed spent his childhood between Bahrain and Egypt before moving to the US at the age of thirteen. He now lives and works in Cairo. Working with both traditional and non-traditional media, he has developed a personal aesthetic that represents his journey as artist and migrant. His multidisciplinary works challenge the political lines that define borders and the so-called authenticity of “national identity.” Ahmed has shown his work internationally, including the Volta Art Fair in New York, Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, the Sharjah Art Museum, and the ArtRio Art Fair. In 2014, he was an artist-in-residence at artellewa Art Space in Giza, Egypt, before setting up his working studio in the Ard El Lewa neighborhood of Cairo.


BRUCE BEASLEY
Oct 2017

Bruce Beasley is a professor of English at Western Washington University and the author of eight collections of poems, including most recently All Soul Parts Returned (2017) and Theophobia (2012), both from BOA Editions. He has won the Colorado Prize for Poetry (selected by Charles Wright) for Summer Mystagogia; the Ohio State University Press/Journal Award for The Creation; and the University of Georgia Press Contemporary Poetry Series Award for Lord Brain, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Artist Trust. He has won three Pushcart prizes for poetry and hs recent poems appear in Yale Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Field, Southern Review, and other journals.

FIU Writers on the Bay Series 2017-18


SUSANNE PAOLA ANTONETTA
Oct 2017

Susanne Paola Antonetta’s Make Me a Mother, ranked a Top Ten Book of the Year by Image Journal, was published by W.W. Norton. A digital book, Curious Atoms: A History with Physics, was published by Essay Press in May of 2016. She is also author of Body Toxic, A Mind Apart, the novella Stolen Moments, and four books of poetry. She is a frequent blogger with the Huffington Post. Awards for her poetry and prose include a New York Times Notable Book, an American Book Award, a Library Journal Best Science book of the year, a Lenore Marshall Award finalist, an Oprah Bookshelf pick, a Pushcart prize, and others. Her essays and poems have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Orion, The New Republic and many anthologies. She lives in Bellingham, Washington.

FIU Writers on the Bay Series 2017-18


CHARLIE SEPULVEDA
Oct 2017

Charlie Sepúlveda is known as the trumpet player of his generation. He studied at the Escuela Libre de Música de Puerto Rico; also at City College of New York with Ron Carter and William Fielder. In 1987 he was the musical director of his cousin, Eddie Palmieri, with who he collaborated in the nineties sessions and recorded “Sueño” (1989). He worked with the Talking Heads and Rei Momo and in the “Aventura Latina” of David Byrne (1989). He is the trumpeter of Hilton Ruiz in “Manhattan Mambo” (1992), “Heroes”(1993) and “Hands of Percussion” (1995). He also participated with Tito Puente in “Out of this World” (1990) and “Mambo of the Times” (1991); also with Golden Latin Jazz All Stars “In Session” (1993). Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Dave Valentín and Free leaded other sessions on file. In 1991 he had a solo debut with “The New Arrival” as head of his group, under the name of Charlie Sepulveda & The Turnaround. It highlighted the tenor David Sánchez and Adam Cruz on drums. The pianist Danilo Pérez was one of the guests. Sepulveda pays tribute to three of his heroes: Rafael Cortijo, Kenny Dorham and Art Blakey. The achievement of "Algo Nuestro" (1992) became one of the essential albums of the nineties. Starting from its roots (danza, bolero, plena), Sepulveda takes us into melodic paths with his innovation; a

St. Martha Concert Series / Barry U.


JENNIFER GROTZ
Oct 2017

Jennifer Grotz is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Window Left Open. Also a translator from the French and Polish, her most recent translation is Rochester Knockings, a novel by Tunisian-born writer Hubert Haddad. Her poems, reviews, and translations have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, The New Republic, New York Review of Books, Ploughshares, New England Review, and in four volumes of the Best American Poetry anthology. Director of the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference and assistant director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, she teaches at the University of Rochester.


LAUREN CAMP
Nov 2017

Lauren Camp is the author of three books, most recently One Hundred Hungers (Tupelo Press, 2016), winner of the Dorset Prize. Her poems have appeared in New England Review, Poetry International, World Literature Today, The Missing Slate, Beloit Poetry Journal and as a Poem-a-Day for Poets.org. Other literary honors include the Margaret Randall Poetry Prize, the Sheila Margaret Motton Book Prize, the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award, and a Black Earth Institute Fellowship. www.laurencamp.com


SHAMS AHMED
Nov 2017

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.

Betsy's A Cappella Festival 2017


ALEX GREEN
Nov 2017

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. Alex shares two RIAA-certified Platinum and Billboard-charting albums with Ed Boyer, Ben Bram, and Bill Hare for his work with Pentatonix, while other clients of Plaid Productions have had songs featured on SING, BOCA, Voices Only, and have garnered over 150 CARA nominations. Since graduating in 2010, he has regularly served as a masterclass leader 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).

The Betsy A Cappella Festival 2017


BEN BRAM
Nov 2017

Ben Bram is a two-time Grammy award-winning arranger, vocal producer, engineer, 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 co-founder, collaborator, and a longtime friend of Pentatonix and has served in many different capacities, most notably as arranger, engineer, and producer. 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. In addition to film, TV, and recording work, Ben enjoys staying involved in the greater a cappella community. Along with Avi Kaplan and Rob Dietz, he co-founded A Cappella Academy, a teen summer intensive designed to train and mentor up-and-coming vocal talents. He is a frequent guest clinician at various a cappella festivals and continues to arrange for scholastic and professional groups alike. He recently created Snowfall, a pop/jazz caroling company based in Los Angeles.

The Betsy A Cappella Festival 2017


HOLLI KITCHING
Nov 2017

An alumna of James Madison University's School of Theatre and Dance, Holli Kitching was a member of the BluesTones for five years, serving as music director and president. After graduation, Holli moved to New York City, where she taught middle school theatre and worked for a variety of children's theatre companies. While living in New York, Holli became one of the original members of the all-female CAL group Empire, serving as music director from 2011-12. In 2012, she moved to Washington, DC, where she currently resides and works at an independent school coordinating after-school programming and teaching theatre and voice. In 2012, Holli formed the all-female group The District and has been serving as music director ever since. Holli is currently a member of VXN, a professional all-female vocal group. In addition to her performance resume, Holli has been active in the a cappella community through festivals and event production for the past five years. Since 2010, Holli has also been an ICCA Producer for Varsity Vocals, serving both the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, and a workshop and masterclass clinician at various festivals across the country.

The Betsy A Cappella Festival 2017


ROBERT DIETZ
Nov 2017

Rob Dietz is a multiple CARA winning producer who has been arranging, performing, and teaching contemporary a cappella music for over fifteen years. Based in Los Angeles, Rob is best known for his work as an arranger and group coach for NBC’s The Sing-Off. Through his work on the show, Rob has had the pleasure of collaborating with some of the top talent in the vocal music world, including Pentatonix, Streetcorner Symphony, The Exchange, Traces, and many more. As a performer, he is an award winning vocal percussionist, recognized for his work with Jazz/Pop super group, Level, and Pop/Soul quintet, The Funx. Rob has a deep passion for a cappella education, and is a founding co-director (along with Ben Bram and Avi Kaplan) of A Cappella Academy. In addition to his work with the Academy, Rob is also the director of Legacy: an auditioned, community youth a cappella group based in Los Angeles. In 2017, the group’s inaugural year, Legacy won first place in both the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival’s Scholastic Competition, and the Southwest semifinal round of the Varsity Vocals A Cappella Open.

The Betsy A Cappella Festival 2017


BORIS SANDLER
Nov 2017

Boris Sandler (b. 1950) is a prolific and award-winning figure in the contemporary Yiddish arts world, working across genres as a prose writer, poet, journalist, playwright, musician, and filmmaker. Born in Balti, USSR (Moldova today), he lived in Israel before settling in New York. He is perhaps best known as the editor-in-chief of the New York-based Yiddish newspaper Forverts, a position he held for eighteen years before stepping down in 2016. A recipient of the prestigious Fichman Prize (2002), his most recent novel Keinemsdorf (Nomansland, AZ) was published by Forward Association Press in 2012.

JAHLit 2017


INDIA CARNEY
Nov 2017

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.

The Betsy A Cappella Festival 2017


ERIKA MEITNER
Nov 2017

Erika Meitner is the author of Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore (Anhinga Press, 2003), Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls (Anhinga Press, 2011), and Ideal Cities (Harper Perennial, 2010), which was a 2009 National Poetry series winner. Her fourth book of poems, Copia, was published by BOA Editions in 2014. Meitner’s poems have been anthologized widely, and have appeared in Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Tin House, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Blue Mountain Center, and The MacDowell Colony, and she was a 2014-15 US-UK Fulbright Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast. Meitner is currently an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she directs the MFA program in Creative Writing.

JAHLIT 2017


DAVID PATTERSON
Nov 2017

David Patterson joined the University of Texas at Dallas in 2010. With degrees in philosophy (B.A., Oregon, 1972) and in comparative literature (M.A., Ph.D., Oregon, 1976, 1978), he has taught at the University of Memphis, where he held the Bornblum Chair in Judaic Studies, as well as at Oklahoma State University and the University of Oregon. Patterson has served as the visiting Sutton Chair in the Humanities at the University of Oklahoma and as a guest professor at Pepperdine University.

JAHLIT 2017


JESSIE LOUISE MARK
Nov 2017

Jessie Louise Mark graduated from Duke University in 2011 where she majored in History and minored in Music. She is currently pursuing an MBA at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. During her four years as a member and director of Duke’s award-winning all-female a cappella group Lady Blue, Jessie developed a love for music theory and a cappella education. She has taught beginner music theory for vocal arranging for several years at a cappella festivals around the country and now serves the Scholastic Festival Producer of The Betsy's A Cappella Festival and Education Coordinator for the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival. Jessie sings and beatboxes with VXN, a bicoastal all-female vocal quintet, and Ross’s house rock band, Risky Business.

The Betsy A Cappella Festival 2017


EDUARDO HALFON
Nov 2017

Eduardo Halfon was born in Guatemala City. He moved to the United States with his family at the age of ten, went to school in South Florida, studied industrial engineering at North Carolina State University, and then returned to Guatemala to teach literature at Universidad Francisco Marroquín for eight years. Named one of the best young Latin American writers by the Hay Festival of Bogotá, he is also the recipient of the prestigious José María de Pereda Prize for the Short Novel. Although bilingual, Halfon chooses to write in Spanish and has published nine books of fiction. In 2011 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to work on continuing the story of The Polish Boxer, which was the first of his books to be published in English, in 2012, by Bellevue Literary Press. Halfon now lives in Nebraska.

JAHLit 2017


DR. HENRY GREENSPAN

HENRY GREENSPAN is a psychologist and playwright at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor who has been writing and teaching about the Holocaust for almost three decades. He is the author of On Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Recounting and Life History and, with Agi Rubin, Reflections: Auschwitz, Memory, and a Life Recreated as well as the acclaimed play, REMNANTS, described below. He received his B.A. and M.Ed. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Brandeis University. In 2000, he was the annual Weinmann Lecturer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

JAHLit 2017


KEITH BLANEY
Nov 2017

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, storyteller Keith Blaney received his degree in theatre from Florida State University and went on to a post-graduate acting internship at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. He has been acting on stage, screen, and television for 20 years, as well as developing, writing and performing a wide range of projects and solo performances.

Artist Talk with Keith Blaney, November 16, 2017


SUSAN STRAIGHT
Nov 2017

Susan Straight was born in Riverside and still lives there with her family. (She can actually see the hospital from her kitchen window, which her daughters find kind of pathetic; most days, she walks the dog past the classroom where she wrote her first short story at 16, at Riverside City College, which they find even more sad.) She has published seven novels and one middle-grade reader. Highwire Moon was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001; A Million Nightingales was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2006. Her short stories have appeared in Zoetrope, The Ontario Review, The Oxford American, The Sun, Black Clock, and other magazines. “The Golden Gopher,” from Los Angelas Noir, won the Edgar Award in 2007; “El Ojo de Agua,” from Zoetrope, won an O. Henry Award in 2007. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Family Circle, Salon, The Los Angeles Times, Harpers, The Nation, and other magazines. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to work on Highwire Moon, and a Lannan Prize was an immense help when working on Take One Candle Light a Room.

FIU Writers on the Bay Series, Reading at FIU on 11/16.


AMIR KATZ
Nov 2017

Amir Katz, born 1973 in Ramat Gan, Israel, is a pianist who lives in Germany. He began piano lessons at the age of 11 and won his first national competitions in Israel four years later. He received scholarships to study in Europe, including at the International Piano Foundation at Lake Como, where he had lessons with Leon Fleisher, Karl Ulrich Schnabel and Murray Perahia. These led him to Munich, Germany, where he finished his studies with Elisso Wirssaladse and Michael Schäfer.Amir Katz has played all over the world, including at Alice Tully Hall New York, at the Théâtre du Châtelet Paris, at the Tonhalle Zurich, and in concert in Japan and China. Among the orchestras he has worked with are the Munich Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic, conducted by Zubin Mehta.

Great Artist Encounters, Nov. 20 at The Betsy


ALLISON JOSEPH
Dec 2017

Allison Joseph is Associate Professor of English at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Joseph is the author of What Keeps Us Here (Ampersand, 1992), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon, 1997), In Every Seam (Pittsburgh, 1997), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon, 2003) and Worldly Pleasures (Word Press, 2004). Her honors include the John C. Zacharis First Book Prize, fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers Conferences, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry. She is editor and poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review and director of the Young Writers Workshop, an annual summer residential creative writing workshop for high school writers. She holds the Judge Williams Holmes Cook Endowed Professorship.

SWWIM Poetry Reading, 12/13/17


LAUREN BELFER
Dec 2017

Lauren Belfer has an M.F.A. from Columbia University. Her debut novel, City of Light, was a New York Times bestseller, as well as a New York Times Notable Book, a Library Journal Best Book, and a Main Selection of the Book of the Month Club. City of Light was a bestseller in Great Britain and has been translated into six languages. Her novel, A Fierce Radiance, was named a Washington Post Best Novel of 2010 and an NPR Best Mystery of 2010. Her third novel, And After the Fire, received a 2016 National Jewish Book Award. Belfer’s fiction has also been published in the Michigan Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, and Henfield Prize Stories. Her nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post Book World, the Christian Science Monitor, and elsewhere.


SARA FRUNER
Jan 2018

Sara Fruner was born in Riva del Garda (Trento) in 1978. She specializes in literary translation and has worked as a translator, editorial consultant and reviewer for classics. Her poems are in magazines and anthologies such as " Graphie", Poets in the Cinque Terre, Panunzio Prize, and she is the author of several short stories and novels. She worked as an editorial coordinator in CREATE-NET, an international research center in ICT; as a teacher at the Istituto Superiore Interpretatori e Traduttori in Trento; as speaker at international conferences on translation and literature; and at the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles. Since 2016, she has lived in New York, where she writes for The Voice of New York, a bilingual online newspaper based in the United Nations, where she also collaborates with Cultural Liaison & Public Relations. She also writes for online magazine "Warehouse 26", under the heading "The Milkshake - The Side of Fru".

Culture Break Artist Talk 1/4/18


ELIZABETH POWELL
Jan 2018

Elizabeth A. I. Powell is the author of “The Republic of Self” a New Issue First Book Prize winner, selected by C.K. Williams. Her second book “Willy Loman’s Reckless Daughter: Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances” won the Robert Dana Prize in poetry, chosen by Maureen Seaton, and will be published by Anhinga Press in 2016. In 2013, she won a Pushcart Prize. Powell has also received a Vermont Council on the Arts grants and a Yaddo fellowship. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Barrow Street, Black Warrior Review, Ecotone, Harvard Review, Handsome, Hobart, Indiana Review, Missouri Review, Mississippi Review, Slope, Sugarhouse Review, Ploughshares, Post Road, and elsewhere. She is Editor of Green Mountains Review, and Associate Professor of Writing and Literature at Johnson State College. She also serves on the faculty of the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing and Publishing. Born in New York City, she has lived in Vermont since 1989 with her four children.


SANA KRASIKOV
Jan 2018

Sana Krasikov's first book, ONE MORE YEAR (2008) explored the lives of immigrants from across the terrain of a collapsed Soviet empire. It was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Prize, received a National Book Foundation’s ‘5 under 35’ award, and the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Zoetrope, and other magazines. In 2017 Sana was named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists. To research THE PATRIOTS, Sana traveled to oil fields in Texas and KGB record warehouses in Moscow. After four years in Kenya, she recently moved back to New York with her family and currently lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband, radio journalist Gregory Warner, and their two children.

Miami Beach JCC Literary Series


NEIL BALDWIN
Jan 2018

Neil Baldwin was born in New York City and attended the Horace Mann School. He was a Visiting Student at the University of Manchester, England, and received his B.A. in English from the University of Rochester and his Ph.D. in Modern American Poetry from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Culture Break Artist Talk 1/11/18


ILEANA PEREZ VELAZQUEZ
Jan 2018

Cuban born composer Ileana Perez Velazquez lives in upstate NY and is a Professor of Music Composition at Williams College, MA. The New York Times has praised the “imaginative strength and musical consistency” and the “otherworldly quality” of her compositions. Her music has been featured regularly in numerous international festivals and concerts around the world. She was a recipient of a 2015 commission from the Fromm Foundation from Harvard. She has written music premiered by prestigious contemporary music ensembles from NYC such as Continuum, ICE, Flux, and Momenta quartets, Miranda Cuckson and NUNC, League of Composers NYC, and Dal Niente from Chicago among many others. Albany Records, Innova, and Urlicht Audiovisual have released recordings of her music.

FIU NODUS 2018


DANI SHAPIRO
Jan 2018

Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and has been broadcast on “This American Life”. Dani was recently Oprah Winfrey’s guest on”Super Soul Sunday.” She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School and Wesleyan University; she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. A contributing editor at Condé Nast Traveler, Dani lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her most recent book, Hourglass, was just published by Knopf.


SIMON FAITHFULL
Jan 2018

Simon Faithfull’s practice has been described as an attempt to understand and explore the planet as a sculptural object – to test its limits and report back from its extremities. Within his work, Faithfull often builds teams of scientists, technicians and transmission experts to help him bring back a personal vision from the ends of the world. Faithfull was born in Braziers Park – a utopian community in Ipsden, Oxfordshire. He studied at Central St Martins and then the University of Reading . His practice takes a variety of forms – ranging from video, to digital drawing, installation work and writing. Faithfull is also a Reader of Fine Art at Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London.

ArtCenter / South Florida


BRENDA MILLER
Jan 2018

Brenda Miller teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing and the MA program in English Studies at Western Washington University. She is the author of An Earlier Life (Ovenbird Books, 2016), Who You Will Become (Shebooks Press, 2015), Listening Against the Stone: Selected Essays (Skinner House Books 2011), Blessing of the Animals (Eastern Washington University Press 2009), and Season of the Body (Sarabande Books 2002). She co-authored, with poet Holly J. Hughes, The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World (Skinner House Books, 2012). She is also the co-author of Tell it Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction, 2nd Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2012). Her work has received six Pushcart Prizes, and all six prize-winning essays are included in Listening Against the Stone. Her essays have been published in many journals, including Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, The Sun, Utne Reader, The Georgia Review, and The Missouri Review. Brenda lives in Bellingham, WA, with her dog Abbe and many foster dogs who find temporary shelter with her through Happy Tails Happy Homes.

FIU Writers on the Bay Reading Series, 1/25/18


KAREN EBER DAVIS
Jan 2018

Karen Eber Davis works with leaders who lead from vision, not fear. She helps organizations and businesses discover propulsion tools to grow their profits and performance.  As the leading authority on nonprofit revenue, she helps businesses and nonprofits engage with each other to create dynamic partnerships, that make an extraordinary impact.

Arts & Business Council MAMP 2018


ALYSIA ABBOTT
Jan 2018

Alysia Abbott is the author of Fairyland, A Memoir of My Father, which was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and an ALA Stonewall Award winner and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards. She grew up in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, the only child of gay poet and writer, Steve Abbott. As a journalist and critic, she's written for The New York Times, Real Simple, Vogue, Marie Claire, OUT, Slate, Salon, TheAtlantic.com, TriQuarterly and Psychology Today, among other publications. She holds an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from New School University and was a contributing producer at WNYC Radio. Her first full-length book, Fairyland was completed with the help of a Ragdale Fellowship and the wonderful staff at W.W. Norton. She's presented Fairyland at bookstores, libraries, literary festivals and universities across the United States as well as on NPR's Weekend Edition, Fresh Air, The Leonard Lopate Show, The Brian Lehrer Show, KQED's Forum, and the BBC's Outlook, among other venues. The French edition of Fairyland was published by Edition Globe on March 12, 2015 with a series of events in Paris. Alysia is also co-founder of The Recollectors Project, dedicated to remembering parents lost to AIDS and supporting the children they left behind. You can learn more about this project by listening to her interviews on The Leonard Lopate Show and Here & Now. Alysia currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and t

Culture Break Artist Talk 2/1/18


JESSICA SUE BURSTEIN
Feb 2018

Jessica Sue Burstein is an award-winning writer director actor producer working in film and TV for the past 10 years. She co-wrote/directed the award-winning short film, "Abbie Cancelled" (Official Selection of Sundance FF and Best Short Film, Big Apple FF) and co-wrote the feature version based on the short which is in development. She wrote one of the story lines for the upcoming ensemble feature film "Mutual Friends" starring Michael Stahl-David and Caitlin Fitzgerald (Official Selection Seattle Int. Film Festival). Jessica wrote, directed, produced and starred in her award-winning MFA thesis film, "Veronika's Birthday" (Best Direction/Performance Arizona Int. Film Festival & Best Student Film New Jersey Int. Film Festival). She is a former Co-President of CineWomen NY and has her MFA from the School of Visual Arts. While at MTV On-Air Promos, Jessica won Promax awards and special recognition in Digital Arts Magazine. After MTV, Jessica worked as a Sr. Writer/Producer/Director at Blue Room, a creative services agency in New York City. She is a Sr. Writer/Director for Syfy at NBC Universal and is writing her third feature film based on her short film "Chicken". When she's not making media she enjoys yoga, dancing, writing poetry and swimming in the ocean. She lives in Brooklyn with her beautiful green eyed kitty Lilly Anne.


PETER GODWIN
Feb 2018

Peter Godwin was born and raised in Africa. He studied law at Cambridge University, and international relations at Oxford. He is an award winning foreign correspondent, author, documentary-maker and screenwriter.He is the author of five non fiction books: 'Rhodesians Never Die' - The Impact of war and Political Change on White Rhodesia c.1970 - 1980 (with Ian Hancock), Wild at Heart: Man and Beast in Southern Africa (with photos by Chris Johns and foreword by Nelson Mandela), The Three of Us - a New Life in New York (with Joanna Coles) and Mukiwa, which received the George Orwell prize and the Esquire-Apple-Waterstones award. When a Crocodile Eats the Sun - a Memoir of Africa, won the Borders Original Voices Award, and was selected by American Libraries Association as a Notable Book winner for 2008. He has taught writing at the New School, Princeton and Columbia and was a 2010 Guggenheim Fellow. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and currently serves as the president of PEN American Center.

Meet the Artist 2/8


RACHELLE SALNAVE
Feb 2018

In a 10-year span, filmmaker Rachelle Salnave’s work has garnered many accolades, including “Best Documentary” at the 2010 African World Documentary Film Festival in St. Louis, Missouri, “Beacon of Hope and Achievement” Award from the General Consulate of the Republic of Haiti in Miami, and the Sundance Institute 2015 Screenwriters Intensive Fellow. She has recently been nominated for a 2016 EMMY for her feature documentary, “La Belle Vie: The Good Life,” which examines her Haitian identity. Salnave is a Knight Foundation recipient and named as the 2017 “Knight Champion” her leadership in the film community in Miami. February 2018 she begins the launch of her new monthly film series entitled the Black Lounge Film Series in which she will be bringing films to Historic Overtown that explore the Black experience.

Meet the Artist 2/15


SARAH B. POMEROY
February 2018

Dr. Sarah B. Pomeroy is an American ancient historian, author, translator, and former Distinguished Professor of Classics and History at C.U.N.Y. She is best known for her pioneering work on the history of women in classical antiquity. Pomeroy graduated from Barnard College and received her Ph.D. from Columbia University. She is the author of many books including Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity, Women in Hellenistic Egypt, Spartan Women, The Murder of Regilla: A Case of Domestic Violence in Antiquity, and Pythagorean Women. She has received many awards and honors including a Guggenheim Fellowship, is an Honorary Fellow of St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, and has been elected to the American Philosophical Society.

Culture Break, Feb. 22 at 10:30am


ADA LIMÓN
Feb 2018

Ada Limón is the author of four books of poetry, including Bright Dead Things, which was named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award, and one of the Top Ten Poetry Books of the Year by The New York Times. Her other books include Lucky Wreck, This Big Fake World, and Sharks in the Rivers. She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program, and the 24Pearl Street online program for the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. She also works as a freelance writer splitting her time between Lexington, Kentucky and Sonoma, California.

SWWIM Poetry Reading 2/28/18


KRISTINA MARIE DARLING
March 2018

Kristina Marie Darling is the author of twenty-seven books, which include JE SUIS L’AUTRE: ESSAYS & INTERROGATIONS (C&R Press, 2017), DARK HORSE (C&R Press, forthcoming), and THE DISAPPOINTMENT ACTS (C&R Press, forthcoming). 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.

Meet the Artist Reception, 3/1/18


MELANIE ALMEDER
March 2018

Melanie Almeder’s first book of poems was shortlisted for the Walt Whitman Award and was given the Editor’s Prize by Tupelo Press. Her individual poems have received awards, been published widely in a range of journals, including Poetry, The Seneca Review, 32 Poems, Five Points, and The American Literary Review, and been nominated by editors for Pushcart Prizes. Her writings on art have appeared in national and international books and exhibitions. A believer in the crucial interconnections between writing, the arts, and community, Melanie Almeder has collaborated with arts organizers to organize community arts projects in Roanoke, Virginia, Miami, Florida, and Sitka, Alaska. She has received teaching awards from the University of Florida, Roanoke College, and, in 2011, the Virginia State Council of Higher Education named her as one of the top professors in Virginia.

Presented in partnership with O, Miami Poetry Festival 2018.


WILLIAM FLYNN
MARch 2018

Described as “playing a mean guitar” (Wichita Eagle), William Flynn is a Kansas-based guitarist and composer emerging onto the contemporary jazz community with an increasingly original musical voice. William’s recent professional engagements include sharing the stage with saxophonist Bob Reynolds (John Mayer, Snarky Puppy), as well as performances at The Blue Room (Kansas City), the Charlie Parker Celebration Festival (Kansas City), and the Wichita Jazz Festival. William’s playing and composing can be heard on the Artists Recording Collective label (Traveler, 2017), and Armored Records (The Songbook Project, 2016).

The Betsy's Overture to Overtown Jazz Festival 2018


DAVID LIDA
March 2018

I began this web site back in 2008, when the editor of my book First Stop in the New World pretty much put a gun to my head, saying that these days writers need to have a presence on the internet. Since First Stop is an exploration of Mexico City, where I’ve lived most of the time since 1990, for years I posted about the ins, outs and idiosyncrasies of the city. If you go back in time in the Blog page to the older posts, you’ll find eight years of writing, mostly about Mexico City. However, at the same time that First Stop came out, I began to work as a mitigation specialist, assisting lawyers in the U.S. who defend Latin Americans who are facing the death penalty. As such, my life is no longer exclusively devoted to parsing the eccentricities and characteristics of my home base. From here on in, I’m going to continue to write about Mexico City, but also to post about my other preoccupations, from the criminal justice system to Latin America to Luis Buñuel’s recipe for martinis. It will also be a forum to keep you abreast about my progress as a writer.

MBJCC Literary Series 2018


MARC IRWIN
March 2018

MARC IRWIN is a pianist, composer, arranger, and recording artist, Dr. Marc Irwin uses his diverse talents as a musician within the fields of contemporary, jazz, classical, theater, and world musics. Currently residing in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area. Marc Irwin is a native New Yorker who has played for and with a variety of top performers. Presently, Marc Irwin is a pianist and musical director with The Capitol Steps, performing political satire throughout the 50 United States and Canada.

Overture to Overtown Jazz Festival 2018


MICHELE MARTINEZ, PhD
March 2018

Michele Martinez was born in London, England, and raised in California’s San Joaquin Valley. She attended Stanford University for her Bachelor’s degree and then changed coasts for a doctorate at Yale. She teaches literature and writing courses at Boston University and Harvard. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century British poetry, painting, and photography and the literary origins of modern art reception and curatorial practices. Michele has published her work in a variety of academic journals and book collections, including Victorian Review, Victorian Poetry, and Modern Language Studies. Her book Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh: A Reading Guide sheds light on the verse-novel’s origins in classical epic and the English novel and illuminates the text’s portrayal of women’s work and sexuality, engagement with visual art, and passionate response to mid-nineteenth-century political and social change. Michele’s current work-in-progress focuses on sentimentality and the resistant subject in the photography of Julia Margaret Cameron, Sally Mann, and other photographers whose models were children, elders, or domestic workers from the artist’s own household.


CHAZZ CHITWOOD
March 2018

Chazz Chitwood is a 28 year old gay writer living in North Miami Beach. He has his BA and JD from University of Miami, and is a current MFA candidate at Florida International University. Miami-raised, Chazz is writing poetry, lyric essay, and fiction with an eye towards gender, sexuality, male relationships, hybridism, transhumanism, myth, science, and science fiction.

Reading Queer 2018; Meet the Artist 3/15/18


ALAN ZWEIBEL
March 2018

An original “Saturday Night Live” writer whom the New York Times says has “earned a place in the pantheon of American pop culture.” Alan has won multiple Emmys and awards from the Writers Guild of America and The TV Critics Association for his work in television which includes “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” (which he co-created & produced), Curb Your Enthusiasm” and "The Late Show with David Letterman.” A frequent guest on late night talk shows, Alan can currently be seen on stage at New York’s Triad Theater as an ensemble performer in Celebrity Autobiography! Alan’s theatrical works include his collaboration with Billy Crystal on the Tony Award winning “700 Sundays,” Martin Short’s Broadway hit “Fame Becomes Me,” the off-Broadway plays “Happy,” “Comic Dialogue,” “Between Cars,” “Pine Cone Moment” and “Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner-A Sort of Romantic Comedy” which he adapted from his bestselling book.

MBJCC Literary Series 2018 Series


ZOLTÁN FEJÉRVÁRI
March 2018

Winner of the 2017 Concours Musical International de Montréal for piano and recipient  of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, Zoltán Fejérvári has appeared in recitals throughout Europe and the United States in such prestigious venues as Carnegie’s Weill Hall in New York, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Library of Congress in Washington DC, Gasteig in Munich, Lingotto in Turin, the Palau de Música in Valencia, the Biblioteca Nacional de Buenos Aires and the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He has performed as a soloist with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Hungarian National Orchestra, the Verbier Festival and Concerto Budapest Orchestras among others, under such conductors as Iván Fischer, Zoltán Kocsis, Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi, and Gábor Takács-Nagy. Since 2014 Zoltán Fejérvári, has been teaching at the Chamber Music Department of the Liszt Academy of Music.

Miami International Piano Festival 2018


NEFERTITI NGUVU
March 2018

Nefertite is a graduate of New York’s School of Visual Arts, where she obtained a B.F.A in Film. As writer/director/producer, Nefertite made her feature film debut with “In The Morning,” a film about love and its inevitable change/decline charting the emotional anatomy of several relationships over the course of one day. “In The Morning” delves into the emotional landscape of contemporary black life in a way rarely seen in modern cinema. The film debuted at the Urban World Film Festival in New York City and won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film. After a string of successful film festival screenings across the country and in Paris, Rome and Johannesburg, the film also won the award for Best International Film at the Terra Di Siena Film Festival in Italy, Best Narrative Feature at the BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia, and Best Feature Film and Best Overall at the Bronzelens Film Festival in Atlanta. “In The Morning” is now available worldwide via Video on Demand.

Black Lounge Film Series 2018


BEN MEZRICH
March 2018

New York Times Bestselling Author, Ben Mezrich cracked the Hollywood Reporter’s annual hot list: Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors. Mezrich was chosen among a group of 11 new authors to join this power list of 25 authors that are touted to be “the industry’s most sought-after word nerds.” The Hollywood Reporter power list is derived from book sales, number of adaptations, projects in development, additional credits and cultural influence. Mezrich clocks in at #17 among other stats like his multiple movie deals in production such as his newest book Woolly, about the resurrection of the woolly mammoth from frozen DNA, Seven Wonders, Once Upon a Time in Russia, and The 37th Parallel: The Secret Truth Behind America’s UFO Highway.


CHINELO OKPARANTA
March 2018

Born and raised in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Chinelo Okparanta received her BS from Pennsylvania State University, her MA from Rutgers University, and her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. A Colgate University Olive B. O'Connor Fellow in Fiction as well as a recipient of the University of Iowa's Provost's Postgraduate Fellowship in Fiction, Okparanta was nominated for a US Artists Fellowship in 2012. She is a winner of a 2014 Lambda Literary Award, a 2016 Lambda Literary Award, the 2016 Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Award in Fiction, the 2016 Inaugural Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from the Publishing Triangle, and a 2014 O. Henry Prize.

UM IBIS Reading Series, 3/22/18


TAYARI JONES
March 2018

Tayari Jones is the author of the novels Leaving Atlanta, The Untelling, Silver Sparrow, and An American Marriage (Algonquin Books, February 2018). Her writing has appeared in Tin House, The Believer, The New York Times, and Callaloo. A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, she has also been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. Silver Sparrow was named a #1 Indie Next Pick by booksellers in 2011, and the NEA added it to its Big Read Library of classics in 2016. Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She is currently an Associate Professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University.

UM IBIS Reading Series, 3/22/18


SARAH CAHILL
March 2018

Sarah Cahill, recently called “a sterling pianist and an intrepid illuminator of the classical avant-garde” by the New York Times and “a brilliant and charismatic advocate for modern and contemporary composers” by Time Out New York, has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous compositions for solo piano. Composers who have dedicated works to her include John Adams, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Oliveros, Yoko Ono, and Ingram Marshall, and she has also premiered pieces by Lou Harrison, Julia Wolfe, Toshi Ichiyanagi, George Lewis, Leo Ornstein, and many others.

FIU NODUS New Music Festival 2018


HEATHER SELLERS
March 2018

Heather Sellers (PhD, Florida State University) is professor of English at Hope College in Michigan, where she teaches fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Fiction and a Barnes & Noble New Discovery Writers Award, she has published widely in a variety of genres. Her books include Georgia Under Water, a collection of linked stories; Drinking Girls and Their Dresses: Poems; Page After Page, a memoir of the writing life; and Spike and Cubby s Ice Cream Island Adventure, a children s book.

Meet the Artist 3/29