Humera Afridi moved to New York City in 2001 to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing at NYU, where she was the recipient of a New York Times Fellowship. Humera has worked as a feature writer in Dubai and taught English in Jeddah, Dubai, Dallas, and New York City. She earned a BA in English at Mount Holyoke College and an MA in Literary and Cultural theory at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2005, while Humera was visiting Pakistan, an earthquake of devastating magnitude hit the country, and she stayed on to volunteer with a local NGO for 7 months. Humera’s work has appeared, amongst other publications, in Pakistan’s news weekly, The Friday Times, The New York Times, and in the anthologies, Leaving Home (Oxford University, 2001), 110 Stories. New York Writes After September 11 (NYU Press 2002) and in And the World Changed (The Feminist Press, 2008). Aware of the incommensurable worlds she inhabits—her ancestral home which lies on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is often referred to as “the world’s most dangerous place”—Humera sometimes experiences a sense of dissonance as she walks the streets of New York City.
Sultana Banulescu wrote fiction in Romanian up to the age of sixteen and has been writing in English since she came to America at twenty-six. She is a Ph. D. candidate in History at the CUNY Graduate Center and the 2010-2011 recipient of the Randolph Braham Dissertation Fellowship in Eastern European History and Holocaust Studies. Sultana’s short story, “Beggars and Thieves,” a coming-of-age account set in the late Seventies in one of Bucharest’s formerly Jewish neighborhoods, selected from over 500 entries, was awarded the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction by Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry in June 2011 and will be published in its Fall 2011 issue.
Michael Caylo-Baradi Before coming to The Writers’ Institute, Michael experienced New York City only through films, books, pop-music, the Internet, and one of Frank Sinatra’s famous songs. Born in the Philippines, he has lived in California most of his life, where work is clocked at an information center in Los Angeles. Before pursuing graduate work at UCLA’s library-school, he went to the University of California at Berkeley for his B.A. in English and occasionally contributed op-ed pieces for The Daily Californian, the school’s paper. More recently, his work has appeared in Latin American Review of Books (UK), Galatea Resurrects, Los Angeles Daily News, Our Own Voice, PopMatters, Tertulia Magazine, and elsewhere. As always, some of his days are blogged, others deleted jpeg photos; but most feel like small bites into the heart of a big apple.
Isabelle Chicoine, a French-American born in Germany, spent most of her life in Europe. She holds two Masters degrees from French Universities, one in Public Law and one in Business Law. As a practicing Corporate Lawyer in France, she advised clients on capital restructurings and other transactions such as mergers and acquisitions. She also served as Secretary to the Immigration Committee of the International Bar Association. Isabelle leveraged her immigration law expertise to publish reference material in English on the topic of French Immigration Law for the Center for International Legal Studies. Over the years, her passion for writing shifted from the legal field to fiction. She now lives in the New York area.
Judy Chicurel’s writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Newsday, Parenting, and YM magazines. Her plays have been performed and read at the NYC International Fringe Festival, New Perspectives Theatre, Metropolitan Playhouse and Sage Theater. Her short story, “A Rainbow Around the Moon,” is scheduled to appear soon in the literary journal, Granta, and scenes from her play, A Better Place, will appear in the Women Playwrights International anthology, scheduled for release this fall. She is a past member of the New Perspectives Women’s Work Playwrights LAB and a member of the New York Writers Coalition. Judy holds a masters degree in Liberal Studies/Urban Education from the CUNY Graduate Center. She is currently the Development Director for Girls for Gender Equity, Inc., a youth development organization serving New York City. Judy lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Amir Dagan was born in New York and has lived there for most of his life. He received a BA from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with an Honors Concentration in Literature and Music and an MA in English Literature from NYU. He is currently a PhD candidate in English at the CUNY Graduate Center. Nevertheless, he is much more engaged in composing fiction than academic writing, and is also at work on some non-fiction essays on matters of aesthetics.
Greg D’Alessandro recently served as head writer, producer and songwriter for Zodiac Island, a popular Chinese children’s show produced in Hong Kong. Greg holds dual MFAs in screenwriting from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film & Television, where he was awarded the Jack Oakie Comedy Fellowship and the Gilbert Cates Screenwriting Fellowship. A WGA screenwriter, he has several projects in development, including an animated sitcom, Queen of the House. He has been a story consultant in Los Angeles for the past eight years. As a musician, Greg has produced 16 albums and performed around the world. His song, One World, One Dream (2008) raised money for earthquake victims in Sichuan. He has written two novels, The Driver and Schooling Uncle Frank, stories mined from his many eccentric life events and his uncanny knack for putting himself in situations that require adult supervision.
Avital Louria Hahn is a writer whose work appeared in The New York Times, Economist, Newsday, and other publications. She holds a M.S. from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism where she concentrated on print and nonfiction book writing and reported extensively on her family’s history under Ottoman and British-ruled Palestine. She holds a B.A from C.W. Post College, where she completed a double major in English and French. Hahn spent nearly a decade covering Wall Street and investment banking. Most recently she served as a senior editor at CFO magazine, where she won awards for her work on the financial meltdown. Born and raised in Israel, she traces her love of storytelling to her father and her love of literature to her uncle, an editor who pioneered the translation of world literature into Modern Hebrew. She is also a health education enthusiast and holds certifications in dance instruction and health coaching.
Peter Haje practiced law for many years, first as an associate then as a partner at a leading Manhattan-based law firm, later as the general counsel of a major international media company. Earlier in life he held (often briefly) a long series of working class jobs, from delivering newspapers to washing dishes to unloading trucks, and served in the (peacetime) U.S. Army. Today he conducts a modest solo legal and business consulting practice, serves as a director of several for-profit and non-profit organizations and mainly writes short stories and novels. He grew up in Brooklyn and Nassau County, New York and is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. He is married, lives in Manhattan and has three children and two grandchildren.
Daniel Hernandez is a Brooklyn-based writer and photographer. He was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Aurora, Colorado. After earning an English degree from Colorado State University, he moved to New York City in 2004. Since then he has worked as a paralegal for corporate law firms, copy edited on the overnight shift for a newswire, and currently works as a UN correspondent and general news reporter for the Tokyo Shimbun, a daily newspaper in Japan. His writing has been published (in English) by The Huffington Post, The New York Observer and The Big Ugly Review. His photos have appeared on Gawker, Gothamist, and in several books, including one about Pomeranians. He is thrilled to attend the Writer’s Institute.
Maggie Hill is a Brooklyn-born native New Yorker, who graduated with a journalism degree from NYU and from the Brooklyn College MFA-Fiction program. As an Associate Editor for Scholastic, she wrote about technology and education for Scholastic’s national professional magazines. She also ran a weekly features newspaper, and wrote a monthly online column about technology and the home for LinkUp Magazine. She married a fireman and raised kids, ultimately teaching Humanities to grateful and well-behaved 7th grade students in the NYC public school system. She’s written one-and-a-half novels, as well as some weird stories. Her book reviews are for Brooklyn Rail, MostlyFiction.com, and SmallSpiralNotebook. She teaches composition and literature at CUNY-Kingsborough and is psyched to join the Writers’ Institute.
Hatim Kanaaneh is a retired public health physician and a Palestinian citizen of Israel. He was born and raised in rural Galilee. On his eleventh birthday Israel came into existence and his family narrowly missed becoming refugees. His parents thought he was smart enough to study medicine and tend to the sick in his underserved rural community in Israel. With that and a total of $500, he travelled to the USA, survived the sixties campus experience and in 1970 returned to his village with an MD from Harvard, a pregnant wife from Hawaii, and a VW camper and proceeded to change the world. He slugged at it for 35 years before giving up and turning to his natural calling: writing. He published a book of memoirs entitled A Doctor in Galilee (Pluto Press, 2008) and blogs at http://a-doctor-in-galilee.blogspot.com. Kanaaneh has two semi-fictional works in progress: a Novel and a collection of portraits from his medical practice.
Debora Kuan is a poet, writer, and art critic. She holds a BA from Princeton University and an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the recipient of a Fulbright media arts scholarship (Taiwan), University of Iowa Graduate Merit Fellowship, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference work-study scholarship, and Pushcart Prize nomination. She has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa and The College of New Jersey, and has written for Artforum, Art in America, Paper Monument, Photo District News (PDN), Planet, Printculture, and World Press Review, where she was an editor for two years. Her first poetry collection, XING, is forthcoming from Saturnalia Books in 2011-12.
Thomas Lin is a senior producer for the science desk of The New York Times and teaches interactive journalism at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism. He grew up on a farm in rural Oregon, driving tractor, splitting wood, hauling bales of hay, and wanting, more than anything, to write. Before finding his way to journalism, he was an engineer and teacher, and worked for six years in Taiwan. He now covers tennis for the Straight Sets blog, edits the Scientist at Work blog and has recently written articles on game-based military simulators, ping pong, and the intersection between technology and science. He holds a College Scholar BA from Cornell University and a MA in Teaching from Oregon State University. Though he managed in 1994 to ride his bike from Eugene, Ore., to Ithaca, N.Y., he still gets lost driving his wife and son to Queens to enjoy traditional Taiwanese food.
Lloyd Lynford lives in Croton-on-Hudson and Manhattan. He received his B.A. in English and American Literature and Theatre Arts from Brown University. Originally a director working in the theatre in Poland and New York, Lloyd became an entrepreneur in the 1980s and is currently the CEO of a public company. As a writer, he has published two pieces in Playboy and is currently at work on a novel. For the last four summers he has been a member of Marilynne Robinson’s and Mary Gordon’s master class in fiction at the New York State Writers’ Institute at Skidmore College.
Laura Martineau is a middle-aged mother of four who has been writing ad copy for thirty years. She received a BA in English from Connecticut College. Her awards include Andys (Ad Club of New York,) assorted regional ad prizes, and a book of essays by Emerson for best 8th grade English student. Resident of a paradisiacal but un-peopled mountainside in Vermont, she returns part-time to the city of her birth both awestruck by the population density and worried that she has no chic pants. She is thrilled and nervous to attend the Writer’s Institute, and only slightly less terrified of learning the subway system.
Destanie McAllister’s short stories have appeared in Lit and Wordriot. She has an MA in Philosophy from Virginia Tech and studied English Literature as an undergraduate. She grew up in Arizona and has worked in New York for the last several years, running a referral system that provides fair access to jobs for members of two local unions. She writes novels in addition to short stories and has recently begun a project that will either be a novel or a collection of short stories linked by the same characters.
Danielle Milner is a Connecticut native and member of one of Hartford’s oldest Political families. Niece of Thirman L. Miner, New England’s first African American mayor, Danielle’s passion for writing developed long before any political aspirations. Danielle holds her BA in Journalism from Temple University and has worked as a writer and mentor in Philadelphia and New York. In 2008 she combined her passion for writing with her love of sports and began working in the Consumer Products department at the National Football League where she now works to build the NFL Brand Internationally. Danielle is currently working on a novel based on true stories from her life entitled The Tin and Paper Fan and intends to use the power of her prose to impact the lives and ideals of young women around the world.
Jeff Norris is a 31-year veteran of the newspaper industry. For the past eight years, he has served as Technology Director for The Santa Fe New Mexican. His newspaper career has included sports writing, news writing and editing, and management. His first short story was selected as winner of The Santa Fe Reporter’s annual fiction contest. His story “Yo El Rey!” was published this summer in the 2009 Scratch Anthology. He is currently finishing a collection of short stories and starting a novel.
Sara O’Loughlin was born in Amsterdam to Dutch-Irish parents, both of them writers. She has spent most of her life in Dublin, growing up surrounded by the ghosts of James Joyce and W.B. Yeats, as well as a colorful collection of living artists and writers. She has a Degree in English and Drama from University College Dublin, and has worked at both the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin and the Irish Arts Centre, New York. Her short story “The Beautiful People” was published in the Sunday Tribune New Irish Writing and shortlisted for the Hennessy Award, the starting point for the career of many Irish writers including Colum McCann and Joseph O’Connor. She is now working on a novel based on the short story, which moves between Dublin and New York and deals with the complex emotional world of an outsider in a world of privilege and betrayal. She looks forward to returning to New York to write, walk, rescue dogs, and finally master the subway system.
Paola Peroni was born and raised in Rome. She received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and recently earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. A WGA screenwriter, she worked and lived in Los Angeles for fourteen years. Her short stories have appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, The Antioch Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Fence, Mississippi Review Prize Issue, H.O.W. Journal, and other publications. She is the recipient of a fellowship from Yaddo. She currently lives in New York and is pursuing analytic training at the C.G. Jung Institute.
Martin Quinn was born in Limerick. After graduate study in engineering, he worked as a proprietary trader in currencies and fixed income in London and Greenwich, CT. His work has appeared in Arena and Esquire (UK).
Alessandro Ricciarelli was born in Italy moved to Germany where he immediately broke his leg, went to school, studied Comparative Literature at Munich University, broke that off, went to Boston to study Jazz, came back to Munich, drifted for ten years between the US and Germany, then finally installed himself—sort of—in NYC and began working as a music therapist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He also began writing in English, went to several residencies, and finally got an MFA from Columbia––and now maybe, maybe, will publish something.
Louise Roug was born in Copenhagen but kept moving west, living first in London and then in New York, where she got her Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. In 1999, she arrived in Los Angeles where she took a job at the L.A. Times. At the Times, she wrote about art and murder, food and war. In 2004, she went to Baghdad for the Times, and liked it so much, she decided to stay for almost three years. She also spent time in Beirut, Jerusalem, and Gaza, but came back to the U.S. to cover the 2008 American presidential election. She is a Pulitzer finalist and a recipient of a Hal Boyle Award from the Overseas Press Club, and now works as an editor at The Daily Beast. Her first book was published this year in her native Denmark. She lives in Brooklyn where, on clear days, she can see the Statue of Liberty from her fire escape.
Sajan Saini is a Canadian expatriate who left behind his favorite hockey-town for the New England life to earn a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. More recently, as a professor of physics at Queens College of CUNY, he has taught courses in introductory modern physics and astronomy, while researching optical communications and solar cell devices. Sajan also writes popular science articles and has authored two scientific book chapters. He is at work on short stories about the Indian diaspora and a hard science novella. Sajan is currently a lecturer in science writing at Princeton University and lives with his wife in Queens, New York—a brisk ten-minute walk south of Archie Bunker’s old neighborhood.
Lisa Sardinas A former copywriter in her native Turkey, Lisa moved to New York intending to write. That intention took on special meaning when she learned that her grandmother in Israel had also dreamed of becoming a writer – a dream that still haunted her at the age of 89. Following a Masters Degree in Media Studies at The New School, Lisa went to work in film. Her film career ranged from a humbling stint on a Sarah Jessica Parker set disposing of 85 people’s daily trash, to more compelling work as location manager for “Padre Nuestro,” which traveled to Cannes Film Festival and won the Grand Prize at Sundance. Lisa published a short story, “Amateur,” in the Brooklyn Rail in 2004, and studied later that year with Chris Offutt at the Summer Fiction Iowa Writer’s Workshop. In 2007, then pregnant with her son Oskar, Lisa devoted herself fully to writing, studying with Mary Gordon and Marilynne Robinson at Skidmore. Currently, Lisa is working on her debut story collection – a collection in need of much nurturing and love.
Susan Scutti writes both fiction and poetry. Her work appears in various journals, anthologies and small press publications and includes a collection of her short stories, The Renaissance Began with a Muted Shade of Green, and a book of her poems forthcoming from Paper Kite Press. She works as a freelance writer while completing her thesis for an MA in Liberal Studies here at CUNY. She earned a BA in English from Yale.
Caroline Seklir is a native New Yorker who has also lived in France, Ireland, Chile, and Northern California. She holds a BA in Literature and Creative Writing from Colby College and recently earned an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. For two years she taught University Writing at Columbia as a Teaching Fellow in the Undergraduate Writing Program. She is a contributor to The Brooklyn Rail and offManahattan.com. Caroline writes short stories and novels. She is currently at work on a novel about soil, teenagers, and longing in upstate New York.
Karen Spear-Ellinwood is a native of Long Island and now long-term resident of Tucson, Arizona. After graduating from Brooklyn Law School in 1986, she practiced criminal defense for 13 years. Karen imagined herself a writer since she was 6 years old and swore she would make writing her life’s work. Along the way, she became a criminal defense lawyer, a social studies teacher, an education researcher, as well as a mom, wife, and grammy. After leaving the practice of law, Karen devoted her “free” time to writing both short works and novel-length fiction. Karen will have completed her PhD in language, reading and culture at the University of Arizona in 2010. Her publications to date have been in the field of education research.
Hannah Sung received her B.A. from the University of Toronto in 2000. Since then, she has worked as a writer and broadcast journalist with a focus on pop culture. She produces short documentaries and enjoys traveling with a mic, pen and paper, learning the cultures of Mali, East Timor, Indonesia, Korea, Croatia, France, Japan and Brazil. Her work life has included arts reportage for the CBC, The Toronto Star, MuchMusic and TV production on several reality shows including a prank show involving chicken suits and fake funerals, which provided a special kind of illumination of human psychology under duress.
Anna Voisard is an associate editor at an educational publisher in NYC. She holds a BA in journalism from NYU. Her writing has appeared in children’s nonfiction and fiction collections for several major publishers, as well as in advertising campaigns for a number of Fortune 500 companies. She has also worked on literacy programs for both children and teens. Anna’s photography has been exhibited in NYC, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. She grew up in Switzerland, Germany, New Jersey, and Ohio. She currently lives in Queens.
George Wen was born in Seattle, Washington. A graduate of Dartmouth, Cambridge University, Harvard, the University of Paris, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he worked in Paris for thirteen years as a record producer and a university lecturer before coming to New York City. After a brief career as a magazine editor, he finally found his way to children’s book publishing, where he has been ever since. New to writing fiction, George was encouraged to continue after winning the Bronx Writers’ Center Chapter One Award. It was his first attempt at writing something longer, and more significant, than a business memo. He has received a Yaddo fellowship and a scholarship to the Norman Mailer Writers Colony.
Naomi Adiv is a doctoral student in Geography at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she focuses on public spaces, specifically municipal swimming pools. She holds a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC-Berkeley and an MS in Community Development from UC-Davis, where she was also a finalist for UC Poet Laureate. Her master’s thesis – a 35 mile walk on the railroad tracks of the far East Bay – was stopped by the cops. The blog of that project can be found at www.beatingthebounds.typepad.com. When not doing ethnography in her swimsuit, she can be found in the NYPL doing archival research for her dissertation or writing creative nonfiction pieces. Her favorite piece of writing equipment is a Remington 5, which needs to be fixed, as it currently only works when held upside down
Elizabeth Alsop received her B.A. from Brown University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center. She teaches film courses at Hunter College. Previously she worked at Vogue and Martha Stewart Omnimedia. Her most recent essay, published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, was originally submitted to The Writers’ Institute in the Spring of 2008.
Leah Anderst is a recent graduate from the PhD program in Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center. She has taught writing, film, and literature courses within CUNY since 2004. From 2007-2009 she worked as a Writing Fellow at The City College and is currently Visiting Instructor of Writing at Marymount Manhattan College. Her translation of an essay on Orson Welles is forthcoming in a Wallflower Press title on dialogue in cinema.
Marcelo Ballve was born in Buenos Aires and raised there and in Atlanta, Mexico City, and Caracas. He’s a New York-based contributing editor at New America Media, where he covers immigration and Latin America. He also writes about Latino arts and culture for the New York Daily News. His in-depth articles. essays and criticism have appeared in Mother Jones, Orion, and Wax Poetics magazines, as well as The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Baltimore Sun, and Los Angeles Spanish-language daily La Opinión. One of his literary essays was just selected for the Dzanc Books Best of the of the Web 2009 anthology: “Macedonio Fernández: the Man Who Invented Borges.” In 2007, he co-founded and served as first editor of community newspaper El Sol de San Telmo in the Buenos Aires historic district. He’s a former AP reporter and editor in the Brazil and Caribbean bureaus.
Michael Bernstein has recently returned home to New York City after spending a year as a volunteer in Israel. Although more experienced with fiction, Michael has been keeping a regular blog from abroad and is thrilled with the opportunity to develop his non-fiction interests in travel writing and topical essays. He holds a B.A. from Amherst College, where he majored in geology.
Robert Brenner is a satirist, critic, and ventriloquist. He writes about business, politics, technology, and the arts, usually in the voices of funny characters—superheroes, professional wrestlers, disgraced politicians and celebrities. His work has appeared in New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, Salon, the Barnes and Noble Review, and Happy. He lives in New York City with his child bride and two imaginary cats.
Roberta Brody was born in Brooklyn and has lived in and around New York City for most of her life. She is currently a Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies at Queens College where she teaches research related courses; including competitive intelligence, business research, and records management. Like most other tenured professors who teach for the City Univeristy of New York, she has published scholarly articles in her field. She has also written articles in related professional journals. Roberta now wishes to write for a broader audience.
Iris Brooks graduated from Bard College with a B.A. in Comparative Literature. She founded and ran the literary salon The Accompanied Library in New York City for two years. She has reviewed theater, film and books for The New York Sun and The Austin Chronicle.
Nathan Burstein, who normally doesn’t write or speak about himself in the third person, would love to be a professional movie critic or otherwise write about film, TV, books and history. He got to do a fair amount of such writing during the two and a half years he spent at The Jerusalem Post, where he also wrote occasional tourism pieces. Born in Nashville and raised near Seattle, he’s been back in the U.S. since December, freelance writing and copy editing in New York. He has an idea for a book but isn’t sure it will work; he hopes to start experimenting with it before classes begin.
Shelley Burtt taught political philosophy at Yale University from 1988 to 1998. Since that time she has moved to England and come back, sent two children to college, adopted two more, enjoyed a stint as an adjunct professor at Columbia University, earned a second-degree black belt, and explored life as an “independent scholar.” Her academic writings have been primarily concerned with questions of law, morality, and politics, with special attention to the politics of virtue and the rights of parents, children, and the disabled in liberal democracies, subjects she expects to continue to address in her writing this year.
Delois Byrd was born in Philadelphia and raised in Lawton, Oklahoma. Lawton is an Army town and joined at the hip with Fort Sill, a massive field artillery base. She holds a B. S. in Elementary Education and taught third grade for three wonderful years at a school with a disproportionate amount of chronically poor children and so-called “Army brats.” Delois writes mostly in the memoir/personal essay genre and also dabbles in poetry. She is interested in writing more about public education, especially as it relates to social justice issues, like generational poverty, incarceration, adult literacy, and the effects of a parent’s deployment to war. She eagerly anticipates the opportunity to improve and broaden the scope of her writing.
Kristen Drybread is an anthropologist, a freelance research editor, a capoeira instructor, and an actress. She has taught anthropology at Columbia University, won fellowships from the Fulbright-Hays and Woodrow Wilson Foundations, and taught gifted elementary school students in New Orleans as a member of Teach for America. A fearless explorer, Kristen has climbed mountains in 5 continents, traveled up the Nile and down the Amazon, spent nine months in a Brazilian juvenile prison, navigated the rapids of rivers across the U.S. as a whitewater raft guide, and provided entertainment—as a clown and as a dancer—at birthday parties for the children of Manhattan’s elite. Her ambition is to begin translating stories she has collected in her adventures into captivating prose.
Libby Edelson received her B.A. from Reed College, and has an MFA from the University of Minnesota. She is an associate editor at Ecco, an Imprint of HarperCollins.
Malcolm Farley has published poems in The Antioch Review, The American Scholar, Chelsea, The Denver Quarterly, The Harvard Review, The Indiana Review, The New Republic, and The Paris Review, among other publications. He has also reviewed books for The New York Times Book Review, The Lamda Book Report and The New York Blade. In 2005, Malcolm was fortunate to win a residency at The MacDowell Colony. He is currently working on a collection of short stories entitled “Mid-Atlantic States.” Malcolm blogs at WordRustler.
Albert Fayngold was born in Kiev, Ukraine, where he studied painting and architecture at the National School of Fine Arts and the National Academy of Arts (1984-91) and worked as a scene painter and set designer at the Kiev Opera Theater prior to moving to the US in 1992. While continuing to paint and exhibit here in New York, he enrolled at C. W. Post and earned a B.A. in English Literature in 1999. Later the same year, he traveled to Prague where he lived for two years—teaching, writing, and painting—before returning to NY to enter CUNY’s Graduate Program in Comparative Literature, specializing in Anglo-American and Russian Literature of the 19th and 20th Centuries. In 2005, a bilingual book of his paintings and personal prose Studies at the Forgotten Neighborhoods was published both in the Ukraine and in the U.S. His art and literature reviews have appeared in The Forward and The NY Sun.
Jessica Firger is a native New Yorker. Her stories have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York Daily News, Salon, BUST, Tablet, City Limits, Poets & Writers, among others. Jessica’s work has landed her at homicide scenes, in a boat-size SUV with pop icon Suzanne Vega, at a drunken late-night game of mah-jongg and in a meat locker in the South Bronx. She holds an MA from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, where she studied health and medical reporting, and a BA in English from the University at Albany. Prior to working as a journalist, she spent eight years on both the editorial and publicity sides of the book publishing industry. She lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
Cora Fisher was born in New York City to an émigré theater family known as the Squat Theater. She brings a wide range of aesthetic and political interests to writings on art, essays, and personal writings. She holds a BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art where she studied sculpture, printmaking and painting. She continued to be active in the institution as a Writing Associate in the Humanities Department and has worked for art historian Dore Ashton. Currently, she is staff writer for The Brooklyn Rail, and is a freelance writer. Last year she was selected for the Creative Capital/ Warhol Foundation Art Writing Workshop in partnership with the International Association of Art Critics where she worked closely with critic and art writer Lilly Wei.
Megan Foley contributes a weekly feature story to Metro newspapers in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. She holds a B.A. in creative writing and English from The George Washington University, where she received the Vivian Nellis Award for creative writing. Her poetry has appeared in Poet Lore magazine.
John Frank is the Director of Development and Public Relations at AABR.org and a lecturer of Sociology at LaGuardia Community College. A former high school teacher, John received his BA in History from Columbia University and Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. He is presently writing his Peace Corps memoirs with the hope of explaining how the ego is an illusion.
Kristen French has been a business journalist for over ten years, in both Santiago, Chile and in New York. She is currently the managing editor at a popular and award-winning monthly magazine covering Wall Street. Kristen has covered business as a reporter for the now defunct newswire Bridge News as well as for TheStreet.com, among other publications. She has a degree in English from Williams College and lives in Brooklyn.
Estee Friedman is the Associate Principal of Manhattan High School for Girls on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She oversees the school’s General Studies department, focusing on curriculum development and enrichment, and teaches the twelfth grade English course. Estee holds a B.A. in English from Touro College and a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is the recipient of the 2008 New York State English Council Program of Excellence Award in recognition of Literally Speaking, a school-wide reading program that she innovated in 2003. The granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Estee is interested in capturing the fragility and fluidity of human memory in the story of her grandmother’s survival. She wishes to write short nonfiction on the everyday—from human experience to popular culture and world events.
Michael Gately studied philosophy and politics at Princeton University and is now the program director of the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the CUNY Graduate Center. He has worked as a research assistant at the Open Society Institute and Soros Foundations; as an English and history teacher, debate coach, and student publications advisor at the Collegiate School; and as a ghost writer to the founding partner of a large New York law firm. For many years he wrote overly-long e-mail messages, but he now hopes to perfect the Facebook status update as a literary form. He is an avid cyclist and currently lives in Forest Hills, Queens.
Linda Gibson is traveling the reinvention road, becoming the fulltime writer she always wanted to be. Working backwards, she was a member of the faculty of the Division of Education at Queens College (CUNY). Before that, there was teaching young children, which was prefaced by a short career as a modern dancer. Currently, she is completing a memoir—her life and times filtered through recorded conversations with her grandson—and expanding her writing repertoire to include personal essays and journalism.
Jenny Shannon Harkins grew up in Brooklyn, NY. She attended Barnard College, Columbia U., and won the Lenore Marshall Prize for prose, among other awards and scholarships. A devotee in the temple of music since childhood, she later played in a garage band. She has written for publications such as Surface and Flaunt and is currently writing a novel. She divides her time between Brooklyn and a cabin in the woods of Leatherstocking country.
Merle Huerta, a writer, army wife, and mother of a blended family of thirteen children, finds that the subject of loss and renewal—after divorce, after death, after losing one’s reputation, and after losing one’s sense of self—offers some of the most compelling material for storytelling. She has a Masters from Columbia University in Instructional Media, and is a graduate of The Writers Institute and Technology. She has published poetry, essays, and book reviews, some appearing in LiteraryMama.com, The Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Press, and National Review Online. Currently, she teaches English and English Skills as an adjunct at SUNY/Rockland and serves as an editorial assistant in the Literary Reflections Department at LiteraryMama. She lives in Cornwall-on-Hudson with three of her children and a small dog with big dreams.
Patrick Inglis is a doctoral candidate in the sociology program at the City University of New York Graduate Center. A former high school English teacher in Vancouver, where he grew up, he moved to New York City in 2003. He is writing a dissertation on social class and upward mobility in Bangalore, India, with a specific focus on the life and work of poor golf caddies who carry the golf sets of middle- and upper-middle-class men and women at exclusive golf clubs across the city. The study reflects his broader interests in politics, economics, and labor in cities of the developing world.
Joscelyn Jurich is a freelance journalist and critic. Her reporting and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Bookforum, The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, Publishers Weekly and numerous other publications. Joscelyn was also a writer for PBS and Bravo productions, and hosted an English language radio program and children’s television show in Croatia. Her photographs have been published in The Chicago Tribune and City Limits, and she is currently working on a photography project about abandoned hotels. Joscelyn has an MA in Journalism/Cultural Reporting and Criticism from NYU, a Master of Philosophy in European Literature from Cambridge University, and a BA in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. She teaches journalism and humanities courses at NYU, and has taught writing and literature at several CUNY colleges.
Emily F. Keller is a creative nonfiction writer, poet and journalist whose work mixes personal stories with social commentary. Her articles have been published in City Limits, Courier-Life Publications, BusinessWeek.com and The New York Daily News. She has written extensively about the disability rights community in New York City for Able Newspaper and for her blog Transportation Access. She has been the featured poet at the Cornelia Street Café and was a semi-finalist for the 2011 louderARTS poetry slam team. Emily has been having a little trouble finding a job for the last three years and is writing a humor memoir about under-employment with a blog at www.revolvingjobs.com. Before that, she earned a master’s degree in journalism from the City University of New York and a bachelor’s degree from The New School. www.emilyfkeller.com.
Jean Kim grew up in suburban Maryland, and has lived the last 10 years in Manhattan and Westchester County. She currently works as a psychiatrist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in White Plains, NY and is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in NYC. She received a B.A. in English from Yale, and her M.D. from the Medical College of Virginia. She has always loved writing in all genres, including poetry, fiction, and essays. During medical school she received several national writing awards for medical students and published work in several medical magazines such as New Physician, Pharos, and Medical Student JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).
Anna King was born in Oxford, England, and has a B.A. in English from Cambridge University. She has lived in New York City for the past nine years. For seven of those years she worked for the British Consulate, before leaving to attend Columbia, where she gained a master’s in journalism. More recently, she’s been contributing regularly to Time Out New York, where she blogs and writes articles about film, books, theater, politics, celebrity fluff, restaurants and bars. Her work has also appeared in The Real Deal, New York Press, and Edible Brooklyn. annaking.wordpress.com
Dmitry Kiper was born in Russia when it was still part of the behemoth known as the Soviet Union. Not long after the U.S.S.R. broke up, he and his family immigrated to San Francisco, which is where he grew up. Dmitry holds a BA in philosophy from the University of California at San Diego and an MA from the Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. As a freelancer, he has written for The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, The Brooklyn Rail, The New York Press, The Onion (A.V. Club), Heeb, and Anthem. As a staff writer for Current Biography magazine he has profiled a great variety of fascinating people, including bassist/composer Esperanza Spalding, cellist Maya Beiser, neuroscientist Joseph LeDeux, New Yorker political columnist Hendrick Hertzberg, and many others. Earlier this year he finished doing a substantial amount of research for an upcoming book about villains by the pop-culture critic Chuck Klosterman. In addition to journalism, Dmitry writes poetry and short stories, paints, draws, takes photographs, and plays a mean guitar.
Alan Kornheiser is an experimental psychologist who earned his PhD at Columbia so long ago that the walking stick he bought as a weapon to move safely around Morningside Heights is today occasionally used as real walking stick. Once a nationally competitive fencer, he now—quite literally—cultivates his own garden in Northern Westchester. Although some years ago he was an editor of scientific publications, almost all of his recent writing (with minor exceptions) has been professional. He would like to be able to convey the meaning, importance, and emotions inherent in science and technology in an actionable, intelligible, and engaging way. It is not enough to understand how the heart beats; one must feel it beating.
Debora Kuan is a poet, writer, and art critic. She holds a BA from Princeton University and an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the recipient of a Fulbright media arts scholarship (Taiwan), University of Iowa Graduate Merit Fellowship, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference work-study scholarship, and Pushcart Prize nomination. She has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa and The College of New Jersey, and has written for Artforum, Art in America, Paper Monument, Photo District News (PDN), Planet, Printculture, and World Press Review, where she was an editor for two years. Her poems, short fiction, and art reviews can be found at www.deborakuan.com
Adele Kudish was born and raised in New York City, and received a B.A. at NYU in Comparative Literature. She held several internships in magazine publishing, including at New York magazine, Time Out New York, and Harper’s Bazaar, during college, and has worked in freelance book publishing as well. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center, and teaches English literature and composition at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Amy Leavitt, a native of New England, has written on aikido, ambivalence, and the Japanese anarchist Ito Noe. Her article on Madoff’s marks appeared in CounterPunch. After receiving a B.A. in Philosophy from Dartmouth College, she lived communally for many years and worked in the field of financial planning. She was named one of the top ten planners in the U.S. by Financial Planning magazine, and serves as a founding member of the board of directors of Burton Snowboards. Home is with Ralph and his two sons, Andre and Nikko, on a small organic farm down a dead-end dirt road in Vermont. Swinging from the front porch is a hand-carved wooden sign that reads: Purgatorio.
Timothy Ledwith has managed communications at non-profit and advocacy organizations for more than 25 years. He currently serves as news editor at the website of the United Nations Children’s Fund and has reported from the field for UNICEF in West Africa and Central America. Among other career highlights, he previously co-founded a human rights magazine at Amnesty International USA; edited the tabloid newspaper of the New York City musicians’ union, Local 802, AFM; worked with veterans of the anti-war and civil rights movements on the journal of the National Lawyers Guild; and covered housing and neighborhood issues at the influential urban-affairs monthly, City Limits. He has also written features, reviews and essays for a variety of publications and websites, including a recent memoir series at TheMorningNews.org. A native New Yorker and the father of two teenagers, Tim unwinds by playing piano in a Staten Island-based rock ensemble.
Liz Levine is originally from Tucson, and has been living in Brooklyn for the past six years, writing reviews mainly about concerts and albums. As an editor at Routledge, she commissions literature, music, theater studies, and communications monographs. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, and her writing has appeared in Movmnt magazine, Impose Magazine, Culture Bully, The Owl, and a number of other online music publications. She is currently an editor and contributing writer for the music website Knocks from the Underground, and the copyeditor for Quiet Color.
Robert Levine is currently working as the Director of Security Capital Programs at NYC Transit. He has a background in city planning and public policy, and has a MA in Political Science from the CUNY Graduate Center. At CUNY Graduate Center his area of focus was the connection between language and politics and his research was on the constitutionality of English-only legislation. He has been involved in a number of political organizations over the years and is active as part of the Leadership Form of the Coalition for One Voice in New York. He teaches yoga at the Integral Yoga Institute, and his writing stems from his background as both a yoga instructor and a political activist. For the last five years he has been writing a column for an e-magazine, LifeSherpa.com, where he is exploring the deep connection between politics and spirituality. He is working to expand and further develop the topics explored in these columns, as well as to write further on politics and social change.
Valeria Luiselli is the author of a book of personal essays titled Papeles Falsos. Before coming to New York, she held a scholarship at the Foundation for Mexican Literature (2006-2007) and at the National Endowment for Culture and the Arts in Mexico (2007-2008) and was the online editor for the literary magazine Letras Libres. She had published literary criticism, poetry translations, and personal essays in several Spanish-language magazines and newspapers, including Tierra Adentro, Metapolítica, Este País, Punto de Partida, Cuaderno Salmón, Letras Internacionales and the newspaper Reforma. She is currently a graduate student at Columbia University.
Daniel Massey covers the New York City economy, labor, immigration, housing, and economic development for Crain’s New York Business. Before Crain’s, Daniel worked at the Star-Ledger, where he wrote a six-part series on a soldier nearly killed in a roadside bombing in Baghdad. He reported for Newsday and he covered Queens for the Times Ledger, earning the New York State Press Association’s Rookie Reporter of the year award. In 2003, Daniel produced Persons of Interest—on Muslims detained after Sept. 11— which was an official selection of the Sundance, Rotterdam, Locarno and Human Rights Watch film festivals. His book on the role Nelson Mandela’s alma mater played in the South African liberation movement was published this past spring as part of the University of South Africa Press Hidden Histories series. Daniel holds MA degrees from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Fort Hare, South Africa and a BA from Brown University. He was born in Washington Heights and raised in the Bronx.
Trish Milnamow has a BA in Communications from Temple University. She has been published as a guest columnist in the Philadelphia Daily News and has written short stories. She is currently working on a memoir about growing up Catholic in a working class neighborhood in the Philadelphia area.
Leslie Nipkow came to NY with dreams of a career on the Broadway musical stage, but ended up in roles like: Nurse, Cop, CSI, Demolition Worker, Female Officer, and Erica Kane’s prison guard on All My Children. The latter inspired her one-woman show, Guarding Erica, published in Talk to Me: Monologue Plays (Vintage Books). She now cobbles together the life of an unlikely hyphenate: essayist – TV writer – actor. Her essay “A Long Day’s Journey Into Lip Gloss” appeared in the New York Times City section; “Mantooth” is featured on www.freshyarn.com; and “(Mis)Reading the Signs” ran in the Sunday New York Post. She is currently working on Guarding Erica, a memoir in parts about her life as actor, writer, bartender, mistress, Weight Watcher, personal assistant, and accidental soapwriter.
Shoshana Olidort earned her B.A. in creative writing and literature from Columbia University in 2007. She works a freelance editor, researcher and writer for various projects. Her articles–mostly book reviews–have appeared in a range of publications, including the Forward, Ha’aretz, The Jerusalem Post, Pleiades and ZEEK.
Tina Pamintuan received her M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago where she wrote a thesis on the Asian American radio program Pacific Time. She began her journalism career at National Public Radio where she worked on the science program Radio Expeditions and the cultural desk. In 2001, she was part of a a four-person production and editorial team that won a Dupont-Columbia Silver Baton for the yearlong radio series, The Geographic Century. She is the recipient of many grants and founder of X-treme Youth Zone Media, a documentary training program for urban youth. She is currently on the broadcast faculty at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism where she teaches audio podcasting and is the Director of Radio Projects and Initiatives. Her writing has appeared in publications including Bust Magazine and Humanities, the magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Dahlia Remler is a Professor at the School of Public Affairs, Baruch College of the City University of New York. An economist, Dahlia has published academic articles on many health care policy topics. She is now working on higher education issues and is especially interested in studying whether professors’ focus on research hurts teaching and learning. Last year, she published with co-author Gregg Van Ryzin a textbook on research methods for applied social and policy areas. In her youth, Dahlia’s identity was forged as a math and science person—not being a literature and writing person was central to that identity. So, she has some trepidation about entering a class likely filled with those who already have literature and writing backgrounds. But Dahlia’s career has revealed the importance—and joy—of communicating with as broad an audience as possible, so she looks forward to the Writer’s Institute to help her meet that goal.
Ruthann Robson‘s work in creative nonfiction has been recognized by a 2007 fellowship in Nonfiction Literature from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a 2006 Djerassi Residence Artists residency, a Creative Nonfiction (magazine) award, and publication in the Best of Creative Nonfiction (WW Norton, 2004), as well as appearing in various periodicals. Her other published creative work includes novels, short fiction, and poetry. She has also published widely in the area of law, specializing in law and sexuality, including the books Sappho Goes to Law School and Lesbian(Out)Law. She is Professor of Law at the City University of New York School of Law, teaching primarily in the area of constitutional law.
David Rompf‘s essays and stories have appeared in Harvard Review, Missouri Review, Creative Nonfiction, Under the Sun, Berkeley Fiction Review and many other publications. One of his recent essays was selected as a “Notable Essay of the Year” by the Best American Essays series. He has also published travel articles and book reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Philadelphia Inquirer, and several other newspapers and magazines. His most recent essay in The Los Angeles Times Op-Ed page was originally submitted to The Writers’ Institute in fall 2007.
Katherine Rowland has lived in and around New York City for the better part of her life. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in public health and social science research at Columbia University, where she focuses on issues of agricultural development and community health in Brazil, and teaches undergraduate courses on health, women and globalization. Her academic work has taken her around much of South America, visiting farms and engaging in activist movements with small-scale farmers. When she is not ensconced in academe, she can be found working on a non-fiction documentary project of international utopian endeavors, for which she has lived in a variety of communes, eco-villages and alternative living experiments in order to create literary portraits of their ideas, ideologies and inhabitants.
Michael Rymer is an education writer for Village Voice and a frequent contributor to The Second Pass, an online literary review. Rymer holds a B.A. in comparative literature from Brown University and an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College. His first feature article in Village Voice was originally submitted to The Writers’ Institute in fall 2007. www.michaelrymer.com.
Perry Santanachote traded mountain peaks for skyscrapers when she left Colorado to attend the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. She now holds a master’s degree in new media on top of a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and actually uses them both in her freelance career. A hustler in every sense of the word, Perry juggles jobs in cultural reporting, editing, fact-checking, social media-ting, producing and script-writing – in addition to playing mom to a very needy Pomeranian. Above all else, she is a storyteller. Where words are concerned, she is a staunch supporter of the perfectly placed pun and thinks brevity is beautiful.
Nicholas Sautin is a third year PhD student in English at the Graduate Center, specializing in 20th-century fiction and film. Originally from Paris, France, he holds a B.A. in English from Swarthmore College as well as an MS in Secondary English Education. He has taught English in secondary schools in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn and in Istanbul, Turkey. He currently teaches English and Composition at Brooklyn College. Nick is interested in the modern novel and in the representations of memory and trauma in modern literature and film.
Debra Schultz is the author of “Going South: Jewish Women in the Civil Rights Movement” (NYU Press, 2001). A founding board member of the Open Society Institute/Soros Foundation’s International Women’s Program, she served for ten years as its Director of Programs. She has taught history and women’s studies at the New School, Rutgers University, and Laguardia Community College. One of her primary passions is thinking about the politics of memory.
Indrani Sen is a journalism teacher, news blog editor and freelance writer. She edits the Local, a news blog about the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill that is run as a collaboration between CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and The New York Times. As a freelancer, Sen has written for The New York Times Dining section, Saveur magazine, the Village Voice, The Christian Science Monitor, and thenation.com, among other publications. Sen was a staff reporter at Newsday from 2001 to 2005, where she covered politics and wrote crime, breaking news, and feature stories. She was also the special writer of “American Lives” – a Newsday-published book and newspaper series, where she profiled more than 100 people that were killed on Sept. 11, 2001. For two years, she was a writer-in-residence and journalism teacher at Bronx Academy of Letters. She holds a B.A. in English literature and language from Oxford University and an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Joe Sgammato is a freelance writer and occasional adjunct instructor of English at local colleges. He earned an MA in English from Fordham University and an MFA in Film from Columbia University. He has written articles on film, literature, and art, but his predominant output for the last two decades has been in the field of health care. As a medical writer, he has contributed numerous articles to peer-reviewed journals and has produced a variety of sponsored projects for the pharmaceutical industry. He lives in Norwalk, CT with his family. Joe is at the CUNY Graduate Center Writers’ Institute for two reasons: to share an anticipated warm collegial experience in that loneliest of occupations—writing; and to expand the markets for his work.
Carol Spindel has published two books of nonfiction, a memoir of a year in a village in West Africa, In the Shadow of the Sacred Grove, and a book about the controversy over the use of Indian-themed mascots in American sports, Dancing at Halftime. She has written short pieces for literary journals and for her local NPR station as well as for magazines. She usually lives in Urbana, Illinois with her husband, geographer Tom Bassett, and teaches at the University of Illinois. She has two grown children. She recently returned from the same village in northern Cote d’Ivoire where she first lived twenty-seven years ago. Her neighbors there are subsistence farmers trying to feed their families after five years of political instability and rebellion have disrupted their country’s fragile economy. She plans to write about this.
Nathan Thrall has written for The New Republic, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, GQ, and Slate and is a contributing editor to Tablet Magazine. He holds an M.A. in political science from Columbia University and lives in New York.
James Trimarco is an anthropologist and writer born in New York City but raised in Florida. His non-fiction work has covered topics ranging from the souvenir trade at Ground Zero to gender relations at Burning Man, and has appeared in Critique of Anthropology, The Fifth Estate, and Strange Horizons. Recently, he won third prize in Vanity Fair’s annual essay contest. Mr. Trimarco specializes in careful, ethnographically-inspired investigative writing and thoughtful critiques of culture and politics. He is interested in publishing more widely and steadily.
Kristin Vuković is from St. Paul, Minnesota and is now a writer living in New York City. She holds an MFA in Nonfiction Writing and a BA in Literature and Writing from Columbia University. During her time in Columbia’s graduate writing program, Kristin was Editor-in-Chief of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. Her work has been published in The New Yorker’s “Goings On About Town,” The Wall Street Journal India, ForbesLife India, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Connecticut Review, and Croatian Chronicle Network, among others. Kristin is currently a Travel Expert for Jetsetter specializing in travel to Croatia, and is working on a book about the famous Paški cheese from the northern Dalmatian island Pag. http://www.kristinvukovic.com.
Michael Washburn is a Kentucky-born, New York-based writer. He has written for The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Travel Section, The Washington Post, NPR, Bookforum, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Observer, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Guardian, among others. He is a frequent contributor to The Boston Globe. Over the past decade of working in public humanities, Michael has curated programming designed to facilitate discourse on politics, history, music, and literature. He is currently a research associate with the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He previously served as the assistant director of the GC’s Center for the Humanities. Before joining CUNY he was the assistant director of The University of Chicago’s Cultural Policy Center. Michael previously taught literature and writing at DePaul University in Chicago, and starting in the fall of 2011 he will teach on book culture and the future of criticism at NYU. He was educated at The University of Chicago and The University of Louisville, his hometown school. He’s currently procrastinating – heroically, though – on a book.
Louis J. Wasser (Lou) was born and raised in Philadelphia and currently lives with his wife in East Stroudsburg, PA. He has also lived and worked in New Jersey, Washington D.C. and for many years in Southern California. He has published critical reviews and theater pieces in The Washington Post, book reviews in Washington Jewish Week and literary journals as well as film reviews for an online cultural magazine. He has a background and strong interests in jazz and classical music, and is looking to publish articles and books in the fields of the arts and American cultural history. He is currently working on a memoir of the sixties called No Senator’s Son.
Christine Wenc has published in Orion, The Stranger, the Seattle Weekly, Exquisite Corpse, and Surgery of Modern Warfare. She the former editor of The Stranger, was a member of the original staff of The Onion in Madison, WI, and worked for three years reading the news on Wisconsin Public Radio. She has an MA in English and creative writing from Hollins College in Roanoke, VA, and spent 6 years in the PhD program in the history of science at Harvard.
Erica Wetter is an acquisitions editor at the academic publisher Routledge. Over the years, her writing has appeared in Audubon, Orion, Bust, Publishers Weekly, Utne, Bitch: A Feminist Response to Pop Culture, and other publications. She has a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan and an MS in Environmental Writing from the University of Montana.
Rebecca Wharton was the editorial producer for the national weekly broadcast Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. As editorial producer, she was responsible for developing ideas, vetting potential interviewees, doing background analysis and investigation. She was also editorial producer for NOW with Bill Moyers and On Faith and Reason—a series of extended conversations with authors and thinkers on faith and reason, doubt and belief, myth and ritual. She has also worked for ABC News, Turner Broadcasting, and on several independent documentaries. She received her BA from Wesleyan University in studio art and Russian language and literature. In addition to writing, her interests include drawing, painting, yoga, and dogs.