|Spalding MFA in Writing Faculty
some faculty members teach in more than one area (see bios for details)
not all faculty members teach each semester
Philip F. Deaver
Sena Jeter Naslund
Elaine Neill Orr
Debra Kang Dean
Elaine Neill Orr
Writing for Children & Young Adults
Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Dianne Aprile, MFA (creative nonfiction). Dianne Aprile is the author of four books of nonfiction: Making a Heart for God: A Week Inside a Catholic Monastery (2000); The Eye Is Not Enough: On Seeing and Remembering (2000) with printmaker Mary Lou Hess; The Abbey of Gethsemani: Place of Peace and Paradox (1998), and The Things We Don’t Forget: Views from Real Life (1994). Recently published books include A Landscape and Its Legacy: The Parklands of Floyds Fork (21st Century Parks, 2012) and a revised paperback edition of The Eye Is Not Enough: On Seeing and Remembering (2012). She is at work on a memoir, a portion of which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work is included in an anthology of writing exercises, Now Write Nonfiction, published by Tarcher/Penguin (2010). In 2008, she was named the first writer in residence for Spalding’s BFA in Writing program. She is the recipient of three individual artist fellowships in nonfiction from the Kentucky Arts Council (most recently in 2008), and two writing grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and a Hedgebrook Writers Residency (2011) and a Washington State Artist Trust Writers Fellowship (2012). Her essays and book reviews have been published in literary journals, newspapers, magazines and on-line journals, and also appear in anthologies, including A Kentucky Christmas, Conversations with Kentucky Authors, and Savory Memories, all published by University Press of Kentucky. She has had poems recently published in The Louisville Review and Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems. As a staff writer for The Courier-Journal and Louisville Times, she won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ top award in 1996, and in 1989 shared a staff Pulitzer Prize for team coverage of the aftermath of a northern Kentucky school bus crash. Her collection of Courier-Journal columns, The Things We Don’t Forget, was adapted for stage and produced by the University of Louisville theater department. As a journalist, she earned more than a dozen first-place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists in the areas of criticism, magazine writing column-writing and feature writing. Her work was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition with Bob Edwards and in Southern Living, and has been part of two gallery shows combining text and visual art, “Silence as Sacred Text” and “The Marriage Project.” She holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding Univeristy. She and her husband, who co-owned a jazz club in Louisville for five years, recently moved to Seattle, where she is the co-producer of A Moveable Salon, a new in-home reading series launched in summer 2012 in the Seattle area. Top
David-Matthew Barnes, MFA (playwriting, screenwriting, writing for children and young adults). David-Matthew is the award-winning author of the novels Mesmerized, Accidents Never Happen, Swimming to Chicago, The Jetsetters, Ambrosia, and Wonderland. David-Matthew wrote and directed the coming-of-age film Frozen Stars (starring Lana Parrilla of ABC’s Once Upon A Time), which received worldwide distribution. He is the screenwriter of the upcoming horror film Scare Me, Kill Me and the writer and director of the female-centric indie film Made From Scratch. To date, he has written over forty stage plays that have been performed in three languages in eight countries including And The Winner Is (Playscripts, Inc.), Are You All Right in There? (Playscripts, Inc.), Clean (JAC Publishing), Pensacola (JAC Publishing), Sloe Gin Fizz (JAC Publishing), Somebody’s Baby (Heuer Publishing), Temporary Heroes (Brooklyn Publishers), and Unrequited (Brooklyn Publishers). Two of his stage plays, the all-female Sky Lines and the gay love story We Never Made it to Paris, received world premieres at The Producer’s Club in New York City. His popular one-act play Baby in the Basement was an official selection for the NYC 15-Minute Play Festival. David-Matthew’s literary work has been featured in over one hundred publications including The Best Stage Scenes, The Best Men’s Stage Monologues, The Best Women’s Stage Monologues, The Comstock Review, Review Americana, and The Southeast Review. David-Matthew’s young adult novel Swimming to Chicago was recognized by the Rainbow Project Committee of the American Library Association. The novel was a finalist for the 2012 Rainbow Books, a list comprised of outstanding books for GLBTQ children and teens. For his young adult novel Mesmerized, David-Matthew received a 2011 LGBT Rainbow Award for Best Coming of Age/Young Adult Novel. David-Matthew was selected as the national winner of the 2011 Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Award. In addition, he has received the Carrie McCray Literary Award, the Slam Boston Award for Best Play, and earned double awards for poetry and playwriting in the World AIDS Day Writing Contest. David-Matthew graduated magna cum laude from Oglethorpe University with a degree in communications and English. He received a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. David-Matthew was the 2008 Emerging Writer in Residence at Penn State where he taught in the English program for one year. He served as the Visiting Artist for the 2009-2010 season at the Lambda Players theatre company in Sacramento. David-Matthew is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and lives in the city of Denver.
Susan Campbell Bartoletti, PhD (writing for children and young adults). Newbery-Honor author Susan Campbell Bartoletti has published seventeen books ranging from picture books, novels, and nonfiction for young readers. Her latest nonfiction book is the YALSA honor-winning They Called Themselves the K.K.K: the Birth of an American Terrorist Group. (Houghton Mifflin 2010). For her body of nonfiction work, she was awarded the prestigious Washington Post-Children’s Book Guild award in 2009. Her work has received dozens of awards and honors, including the ALA Newbery Honor, ALA Robert F. Sibert Award for Nonfiction, the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Nonfiction, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, Charlotte Zolotow honor, the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction,ALA Notable Children’s Book, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, School Library Journal Best Book, and Booklist Editors’ Choice, among others. Despite writing about depressing subjects such as home-grown terrorism in They Called Themselves the K.K.K., the horror of the Third Reich in Hitler Youth and The Boy Who Dared (Scholastic 2005, 2008), famine in Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine (Houghton, 2001), and child labor in Kids on Strike! (Houghton 1999) and Growing Up in Coal Country (Houghton 1996), and the pain of arranged marriages in A Coal Miner’s Bride (Dear America, Scholastic 2000), she insists that she has a good sense of humor, no doubt a defense mechanism developed as a result of teaching eighth grade for eighteen years. Her latest novel is Down the Rabbit Hole: The Diary of Pringle Rose, 1871 (Scholastic 2013). She holds a Ph.D. in English from Binghamton University (New York). She lives with her husband near Scranton, Pennsylvania. They have two grown children. Visit her website at http://www.scbartoletti.com. Top
Larry Brenner, MFA (playwriting, screenwriting). Larry Brenner is a graduate of Spalding’s MFA program, and is currently earning his PhD in Educational Theatre at NYU. In Fall 2010, Larry’s screenplay, Bethlehem, was one of the winners in the Final Draft Big Break Screenplay Competition, which is now being produced by Joe Roth Productions. It subsequently placed on the 2011 Hollywood Black List, Hit List, and Blood List. He’s also currently writing Angelology for SONY/Columbia Pictures, Overbrook Productions, and Apparatus Productions. Larry’s stage play, Saving Throw Versus Love, was produced at part of the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival. It was then selected for the Fringe Encore Series, and is currently in contract with producers for an upcoming Off-Broadway run. Most recently his children’s play, Uncle Big Bad and the Three Little Wolves, was workshopped as part of the NYU New Plays for Young Audiences development program. Larry is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America and WGAEast.
Julie Brickman, MFA, PhD (fiction). Julie Brickman holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College and a PhD in psychology from the University of Manitoba. Her first novel, What Birds Can Only Whisper, was published by Turnstone Press in 1997. She is currently completing a novel called An Empty Quarter, set in Gulf Arabia, and working on a linked story collection. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The North American Review,The Barcelona Review, Fireweed, The Louisville Review, International Journal of Women’s Studies, Kinesis, Canadian Psychology and Canadian Dimension, and she has published thirty book reviews in the San Diego Union-Tribune. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has received two grants for fiction from the Canada Council for the Arts; an early draft of her memoir-in-progress, A Writer in Residence in the Yukon, was a finalist in the San Diego Book Awards, and she has served as guest faculty editor of The Louisville Review in both fiction and CNF. Julie lives in Southern California with her husband, author and psychologist, Bob Hoyk. Her website is http://www.juliebrickman.com. Top
Louella Bryant , MFA (writing for children and young adults, creative nonfiction, fiction). Louella Bryant is the author of a collection of short stories, Full Bloom (Brown Fedora, 2010), and a creative nonfiction book, While In Darkness There Is Light: Idealism and Tragedy on an Australian Commune (Black Lawrence Press 2008), which chronicles events leading up to the 1974 death of Charlie Dean and won a Southwest Writers Creative Nonfiction Award. Her young-adult historical novels, The Black Bonnet, finalist for the Vermont Book Award, and Father By Blood, winner of the Silver Bay Children’s Literature Award, are both published by New England Press. A picture book, Two Tracks in the Snow (Jason & Nordic) tells the story of a boy learning to ski with the help of a disabled friend. Louella has won numerous prizes for her short stories and poems, which have appeared in the magazines Hunger Mountain, Fine Print, Carve, Vermont Life, The Teacher’s Voice, and Mobius, and the anthologies High Horse (Fleur de Lis Press), Tartts 2—Incisive Fiction from Emerging Writers (Livingston Press), and A Cadence of Horses (Yarrow Mountain Press). Her essays are included in the anthology Far From Home (Seal Press) and the magazines Sacred Fire and Vermont Quarterly. In addition to serving on the faculty of the Spalding University MFA in Writing Program, Louella teaches writing courses at the University of Vermont and mentors young writers at the New England Young Writers Conference at Bread Loaf. Visit her website at http://louellabryant.com. Top
Sheila Callaghan, MFA (playwriting, screenwriting). Sheila Callaghan’s plays have been produced and developed with Soho Rep, Playwright’s Horizons, South Coast Repertory, Clubbed Thumb, The LARK, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, New Georges, and Moving Arts, among others. Sheila is the recipient of a 2000 Princess Grace Award for emerging artists, a 2001 LA Weekly Award for Best One-act, a 2001-02 Jerome Fellowship from the Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis, a 2002 Chesley Prize for Lesbian Playwriting, a 2003 Mac Dowell Residency, a 2004 NYFA grant, a 2005 Cherry Lane Mentorship Fellow, a 2007 NYSCA grant, the 2007 Susan Smith Blackburn Award, and the prestigious 2007 Whiting Award. Her plays have been produced internationally in New Zealand, Norway, Germany, and the Czech Republic. She has been commissioned by Playwright’s Horizons, South Coast Repertory, and EST/Sloan. Her full-length plays include Scab, Crawl Fade to White, Crumble(Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake), We Are Not These Hands, Dead City, Lascivious Something, Kate Crackernuts, That Pretty Pretty: Or, the Rape Play, and Fever/Dream. Several of her plays are published by Playscripts.com and Samuel French, and her monologues can be found in various anthologies. She has taught playwriting at The University of Rochester, The College of New Jersey, and Florida State University, and she is currently on the faculty at Spalding University’s MFA program in creative writing. Sheila is a member of the Obie winning playwright’s organization 13P and resident of New Dramatists. Top
Mary Clyde MFA (fiction) Mary Clyde, MFA (fiction). Mary Clyde rejoined the fiction faculty at Spalding in November 2012. She previously taught in the MFA Program from 2002-2005, before leaving to teach at Arizona State University. Mary is the author of Survival Rates. The short story collection won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her stories have appeared in journals and anthologies including The Louisville Review, Georgia Review, Quarterly West, Boulevard, and New Stories from the South. At ASU, Mary taught literature and graduate creative writing. Later, she was an associate professor of English for seven years at Grand Canyon University, where she developed and taught nineteen different courses in creative writing and literature, including The Novel, The Short Story, Poetry, World Literature, and Contemporary Fiction. She earned a Master of Arts in English from the University of Utah and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College. She lives in Phoenix where she is at work on a collection of shot stories.
K. L. Cook, MFA (fiction). K. L. Cook’s collection of linked stories, Last Call (Univ. of Nebraska Press 2004), won the inaugural Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Stories from the collection were originally published in The Threepenny Review, Shenandoah, American Short Fiction, and Witness, among other journals and magazines. His novel, The Girl from Charnelle (William Morrow 2006, Harper Perennial 2007), won the 2007 Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction and was an Editor’s Choice selection by the Historical Novel Society and a Southwest Book of the Year, among other honors. His thematically linked cycle of stories, Love Songs for the Quarantined (Willow Springs Editions 2011), won the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Stories from this book originally appeared in Glimmer Train, One Story, Harvard Review, and The Louisville Review, as well as other journals and anthologies. Several of the pieces won individual awards, including the Western Writers of America Association Award for best short story set in the American West and selection for the 2012 Best American Mystery Stories and Best of the West 2011. Additional essays, articles, and stories have appeared in The Writer’s Chronicle, Poets & Writers, Brevity, Glimmer Train Bulletin, Now Write: Fiction Exercises from Today’s Best Writers and Teachers, Teachable Moments: Essays on Experiential Education, and When I Was a Loser. Other honors include the Grand Prize from the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Arts Series, an Arizona Commission on the Arts Fellowship, and residency fellowships to The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Blue Mountain Center, and Ucross. He is a professor of creative writing and literature at Prescott College in Arizona. Website: www.klcook.com. Top
Leslie Daniels, MA, MFA (fiction) First novel, Cleaning Nabokov’s House, was published by Simon & Schuster/Touchstone in 2011, paperback in 2012, in translation in four languages, and was recently optioned for film. Prior to the book’s publication, Leslie worked in publishing for two decades, first as an assistant, then as a literary agent in New York. Throughout her tenure as a literary agent, Leslie nurtured the work and careers of many fine writers, working closely with writers to shape and edit their work. Leslie received a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania, MA in psychology from the New School for Social Research, MFA in creative writing from Vermont College. Leslie has taught writing workshops at the University of Pennsylvania writing conference, Eastern Washington University MFA program, Franklin & Marshall College, and others. She was the 2011 Walton Award visiting writer at the University of Arkansas. She is on faculty at The Squaw Valley Writers Conference. Between 2005 and 2010, Leslie served as the fiction editor for Green Mountains Review. She is currently the artistic advisor to the Finger Lakes literary festival, Spring Writes. She has published stories or essays in Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, New Ohio Review, The Florida Review, among others. Her one-act play was produced by The Shooting Gallery in New York City. She has been nominated for Best American Essays, four times for the Pushcart Prize and for the Best of the Associated Writing Programs. Leslie is at work on a novel. (And a play.) She lives in Ithaca, New York. Website: http://www.lesliedaniels.com/
Debra Kang Dean, MFA (poetry). Debra Kang Dean has published three collections of poetry: Back to Back (North Carolina Writers’ Network, 1997), which won the Harperprints Poetry Chapbook Competition, judged by Ruth Stone; News of Home (BOA, 1998), which was co-winner of the New England Poetry Club’s Sheila Margaret Motton Award; and Precipitates (BOA, 2003), which was nominated for the William Carlos Williams Award. Her poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily, and have appeared in many journals and a number of anthologies, including The Best American Poetry (1999), The New American Poets: A Bread Loaf Anthology (2000), Yobo: Korean American Writing in Hawai’i (2003), America! What’s My Name: The “Other” Poets Unfurl the Flag (2007), and Yellow as Tumeric, Fragrant as Cloves (2008). http://www.debrakangdean.comhttp://www.debrakangdean.com Top
Gabriel Jason Dean, MFA (playwriting, screenwriting). Gabriel Jason Dean is a New York / Austin- based playwright who originally hails from Atlanta, GA. His plays have been produced or developed at Theatre Row, Hangar Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, the Lark, New York Stage & Film, People’s Light, ASSITEJ International, The Kennedy Center, Oregon Shakespeare, Dallas Children’s Theatre, A Red Orchid Theatre, Aurora Theatre, Dad’s Garage Theatre, Actor’s Express, Horizon Theatre, Vortex Rep, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, FronteraFest, Source Festival and Essential Theatre. Gabriel received the Kennedy Center’s ACTF 2012 Paula Vogel Prize, Theatre for Young Audience’s Award and was Runner-Up for the National Steinberg Award. In 2011, he received the Kennedy Center’s ACTF Ken Ludwig Prize for a body of work from an emerging writer and was Runner-Up for the Princess Grace Award. His script for children, The Transition of Doodle Pequeño received the 2011 New England Theatre Conference Aurand Harris Award and was selected for the 2012 Kennedy Center New Visions / New Voices Conference with People’s Light and Theatre Company. He is the recipient of the 2010 Essential Theatre New Play Prize and won the 2010 Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival. Gabriel was voted “Best Playwright” in 2009 by Creative Loafing: Atlanta. In 2005, he won the City of Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs Playwriting Award. Other plays have been finalists or semi-finalists for the Seven Devils Conference, The O’Neill Theatre Conference, PlayPenn, JAW, Bay Area Playwright’s Festival, Interact’s 20/20 Commissions, the Lark Playwright’s Week, the Page 73 Fellowship, the Julliard Wallace Fellowship, and Aurora Theatre’s Global Age Project. His scripts are available through Dramatic Publishing, Playscripts and Samuel French. Gabriel’s poetry, fiction and journalism have been published in Snake Nation Review, The Tower, Eclectica Magazine, The Melic Review, and Creative Loafing. He received the Porter Fleming Prize for Fiction and the Sidney Lanier Prize for Poetry. BA: Oglethorpe University. MFA: Michener Center for Writers—UT Austin. www.GabrielJasonDean.net
Pete Duval, MA (fiction). Pete Duval’s story collection, Rear View (Houghton Mifflin, 2004), won the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Bakeless Prize for Fiction, the Connecticut Book Award for fiction (nominees for which included Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America), and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. His work has appeared in a variety of national and international journals, most recently Alaska Quarterly Review, Meridian, Witness, and Appalachian Heritage. “Common Area,” a short story, won Grain Magazine‘s 2011 Short Grain fiction competition; his 248-word story “Still Life” was awarded first prize in Florida State University’s World’s Best Short-Short Story Contest. A new story collection, “Strange Mercies,” was a finalist for The Hudson Prize for Fiction at Black Lawrence Press, and the Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Contest. Twice honored with Connecticut Artist Grants and twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Duval teaches writing and film studies at West Chester University. He edits and designs books for the newly re-emergent Story Line Press; and serves as technical editor for Mezzo Cammin, the online journal of formalist poetry by women. Duval holds master’s degrees in creative writing (Boston University), in literature (University of Illinois) and in film studies (New York University) and recently attended Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School in London as the sole writer (“The writer is always welcome here!”) among 68 filmmakers. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, the poet Kim Bridgford, and their son, Nick.
Kathleen Driskell, MFA (poetry). Kathleen Driskell’s second book of poems Seed Across Snow (Red Hen Press, 2009) has been listed as a bestseller by the Poetry Foundation. She has published a full-length book of poems, Laughing Sickness (Fleur-de-Lis Press, 1999), which is in its second printing, and Place Gives Rise to Spirit: Writers on Louisville (Fleur-de-Lis Press, 2001), an anthology she edited as a fundraising project for the Kentucky Writers’ Coalition, a non-profit statewide writers’ organization she helped to found in 1996. KWC, Inc. now has over 2,000 Kentucky writers, colleges and universities, libraries, writers’ groups, bookstores and non-profit agencies in its network. Kathleen has published poems or has work forthcoming nationally in literary magazines such as The Southern Review, The American Voice, New Millennium Writings, The Connecticut Review, GulfStream, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Greensboro Review, and Mid-American Review. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she was poetry editor of The Greensboro Review. Kathleen has won grants for her poetry and fiction from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women and prizes from the Associated Writing Programs and Frankfort Arts Foundation. In 1998, Kathleen was appointed to the Kentucky Arts Council’s Poet Laureate Selection Committee. A past regular contributor to WFPL 89.3 FM, Louisville’s NPR affiliate, she also coordinated the Community Journal Project for that radio station. She is Associate Editor of The Louisville Review and has taught creative writing and literature at Spalding University, the University of Louisville, Elon College, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, as well as for many writers’ workshops and conferences. Top
Charles Gaines, MFA (nonfiction, fiction, screenwriting). Charles Gaines is a professional journalist, novelist, screenwriter, and the author of twenty-three books, three of which were made into movies. His books include the bestselling Stay Hungry, finalist for the National Book Award (1972); international bestseller Pumping Iron (1974); the biography Yours in Perfect Manhood: Charles Atlas (1982); the creative nonfiction book A Family Place: A Man Returns to the Center of His Life (Grove/Atlantic Books, 1994); and the novel The Next Valley Over (Crown, 1999). He has written a number of movie-length features for PBS, including the adaptation of Edith Wharton’s Summer, recently co-authored a screenplay with Ethan Hawke, and wrote a series of books for children with Arnold Schwarzenegger called Arnold’s Fitness for Kids. He has won two Cine Gold Eagle Awards and three Emmys for television writing. His work has appeared in Town and Country, Sports Illustrated, Harpers, Esquire, Architectural Digest, Men’s Journal, GEO, Audubon, Sports Afield and many other magazines. Formerly Charles taught creative writing at New England College. He holds the MFA in Writing from the University of Iowa. Top
Kirby Gann, MFA (fiction).Kirby Gann is the author, most recently, of the novel Ghosting (May 2012), which was listed as a Best Book of 2012 by Publishers Weekly and Shelf Unbound, and is to be translated into French by Editions du Seuil. He is also the author of the novels The Barbarian Parade (2004), and Our Napoleon in Rags (2005), which was a nominee for the Kentucky Award in Literature, a finalist in the Litblog Co-Op Read This! series, and was named one of the Top Five Novels published in 2005 by Frontiers Magazine. He is also co-editor of the anthology A Fine Excess: Contemporary Literature at Play, a finalist for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award (Anthologies). The recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship and two Professional Assistance Awards from the Kentucky Arts Council, Gann is also Managing Editor at Sarabande Books. Please visit www.kirbygann.net for more information, upcoming appearances, etc.Top
Edith M. (Edie) Hemingway , MFA (writing for children & young adults) Edie Hemingway is a graduate of Spalding University’s MFA program, is co-author of two Civil War novels, both licensed by Scholastic Book Fairs and optioned for films. Her most recent middle grade novel, Road to Tater Hill (Delacorte Press, September 2009) won a 2009 Parents’ Choice Gold Award and was listed on Bank Street College’s Best Books List for 2010. In addition to joining the Spalding MFA faculty in W4CYA, Edie is an adjunct instructor for the graduate online certificate program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at McDaniel College, Westminster, MD, and she offers creative writing workshops at Misty Hill Lodge, her secluded 1930s log cabin home near Frederick, Maryland. She is the Regional Advisor for the MD/DE/WV chapter of SCBWI, a member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC, and a contributor to the One Potato…Ten! blog, a group of ten children’s authors and illustrators at http://onepotatoten.blogspot.com. Visit Edie’s website at http://www.ediehemingway.com.
Helena Kriel (screenwriting, playwriting). Helena Kriel was raised and educated in Johannesburg South Africa. After graduating with a Dramatic Art and Literature degree from University of Witwatersrand she worked in Television, directing and writing. Her plays Pigs on Passion, Arachnid and I Can’t Wait To Tie You To The Sofa premiered at the National Arts Festival and were all produced a number of times. She was nominated for playwright of the year. She immigrated to America and won the Steven Spielberg Dianne Thomas Award for her first screenplay Virtuoso. She has been a working screenwriter in Los Angeles writing for the studios and independent producers. The adaptations of Ahab’s Wife, The Good Soldier, The Arabian Nights, Tsotsi, Valley Song, and Wuthering Heights are a few of her adaptations. Heated and The Other Woman are amongst her original screenplays. Kama Sutra was produced with Academy nominated director Mira Nair directing and released in 1996. Skin was produced by Elysian Films and released in 2009. Skin has won over eight festival awards and was named in the best ten independent films of 2009. She has finished her first novel: The Burning Ground. She is completing her first memoir: Heart and Stone.
Sena Jeter Naslund , PhD (fiction). Sena Jeter Naslund is the author of six novels, Adam & Eve (Morrow-HarperCollins, 2010), Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette (Morrow-HarperCollins, 2006), Four Spirits (Morrow-HarperCollins, 2003; Harper Perennial, 2004), Ahab’s Wife; Or, the Star-Gazer (Morrow, 1999; Harper Perennial, 2000; Harper Perennial Modern Classics Series, 2008), Sherlock in Love (Godine, 1993 and Harper Perennial, 2001), and The Animal Way to Love (Ampersand, 1993), and two short story collections, The Disobedience of Water (Godine, 1999 and Harper Perennial, 2000) and Ice Skating at the North Pole (Ampersand, 1989). Ahab’s Wife, a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection and national bestseller, was selected by Time magazine as one of the five best novels of 1999 and appeared on the notable book lists of the New York Review of Books and of Publishers Weekly. Four Spirits, a national bestseller, appeared on the notable book lists of The New York Review of Books, the Los Angeles Times, TheSeattle Times, and The (Louisville) Courier-Journal. Sena holds the MA and PhD from the University of Iowa and has taught in the MFA programs of the University of Montana, Indiana University, and Vermont College. She was the 2005-6 Kentucky Poet Laureate. She is Writer in Residence at the University of Louisville and the Program Director of the brief-residency MFA in Writing at Spalding University. Her short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, The American Voice, and The Michigan Quarterly Review, and she has received grants from the NEA, the Kentucky Arts Council, and the Kentucky Foundation for Women, as well as the Lawrence Fiction Prize, the Heasley Prize, and the Hall-Waters Award.
Lesléa Newman (writing for children and young adults). Lesléa (pronounced “Lez-LEE-uh”) Newman is the author of 60 books including A Letter to Harvey Milk, Nobody’s Mother, Hachiko Waits, Write from the Heart, The Boy Who Cried Fabulous, The Best Cat in the World, and Heather Has Two Mommies. She has received many literary awards including Poetry Fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Highlights for Children Fiction Writing Award, the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement, and three Pushcart Prize Nominations. Nine of her books have been Lambda Literary Award finalists. Lesléa wrote Heather Has Two Mommies, the first children’s book to portray lesbian families in a positive way, and has followed up this pioneering work with several more children’s books on lesbian and gay families: Felicia’s Favorite Story, Too Far Away to Touch, Saturday Is Pattyday, Mommy, Mama, and Me, and Daddy, Papa, and Me. She is also the author of many books for adults that deal with lesbian identity, Jewish identity and the intersection and collision between the two. Other topics Lesléa explores include AIDS, eating disorders, butch/femme relationships and sexual abuse. Her award-winning short story, A Letter To Harvey Milk has been made into a film and adapted for the stage. In addition to being an author, Lesléa is a popular guest lecturer, and has spoken on college campuses across the country including Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Oregon, Bryn Mawr College, Smith College and the University of Judaism. From 2005-2009, Lesléa was on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine. From 2008-2010, she served as the Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA. She has taught fiction writing at Clark University and currently she is a faculty mentor at Spalding University’s brief residency MFA in Writing program [www.spalding.edu/mfa]. Recent projects include a collection of poetry entitled Nobody’s Mother (Orchard House Press 2008), a novel called The Reluctant Daughter (Bold Strokes Books, 2009), and the board books Mommy, Mama, and Me and Daddy, Papa, and Me (Tricycle Press, 2009). Upcoming projects include I Remember: Hachiko Speaks, a chapbook of poetry about Japan’s faithful Akita (Finishing Line Press, January 2012); October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, a collection of poetry that explores Matthew Shepard’s murder and its aftermath (Candlewick Press, Fall 2012); and A Sweet Passover, a picture book about a little girl who is sick sick sick of matzo (Abrams, Spring 2012). Website: www.lesleanewman.com
Kira Obolensky, MFA (playwriting, fiction) Kira Obolensky is a playwright and writer who lives in Minneapolis. She is currently a recipient of a national Mellon Foundation fellowship that puts her on staff as a playwright with the award-winning theater Ten Thousand Things, New work includes Vasa Lisa (Ten Thousand Things Theater, Minneapolis); Why We Laugh: A Terezin Cabaret, which premiered in two international festivals; Raskol (commissioned and produced by Ten Thousand Things Theatre and featured on critics’ end of year lists); Cabinet of Wonders (produced by Gas and Electric Arts, Philadelphia; Open Eye Figure Theatre, Minneapolis; 2010 Barrymore nomination for Best New Play); Modern House, finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburne Prize), and Lune, pronounced Loony, produced by B Street. Kira is a Guggenheim Fellow and has also received fellowships and grants from the Henson Foundation, NEA and Irvine Foundations, Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, le Comte du Nouys Foundation, and a Pew Theatre Initiative Grant. Her play Lobster Alice was a Kesselring Prize winner; The Adventures of Herculina received Honorable Mention/ Kesselring Prize. She attended Williams College and Juilliard’s Playwriting Program and recently completed an MFA in Fiction Writing at Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. She is the author of three published books about architecture and design and is the co-author of the national bestseller, The Not So Big House. Her novella, “The Anarchists Float to St. Louis,” won Quarterly West’s 2009 novella contest. She is a core writer at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, and teaches playwriting at the University of Minnesota and playwriting and fiction at Spalding University’s MFA Program.
Elaine Neil Orr, Ph.D. (creative nonfiction). Elaine Neil Orr writes fiction and creative nonfiction. She is the author of a novel, A Different Sun (Berkley/Penguin 2013), a memoir, Gods of Noonday: A White Girl’s African Life (U. Virginia P. 2003/2005), and two books of literary criticism. She has also co-edited a collection of memoirs and scholarly essays, Writing Out of Limbo (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011), on international childhoods. Her many short memoirs appear in such journals as The Missouri Review, Memoir Journal, Blackbird, and Southern Cultures, while her short fiction appears in Shenandoah, Image Journal, and The Louisville Review, among others. She has three times been nominated for the Pushcart Prize; is winner of Image Journal’s Artist-of-the-Month; was selected by Book Sense Top-20 (for Gods of Noonday); is winner of Fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the North Carolina Humanities Council; and is a member of North Carolina State University’s Academy of Outstanding Teachers. She has been writer-in-residence at the University of Rhode Island and University of the Cumberlands. She has read her creative work extensively from Atlanta to New York to San Francisco to Vancouver and in Nigeria. She holds a Ph.D. from Emory University in Literature and Theology. Website: elaineneilorr.net
Greg Pape, MFA (poetry). Greg Pape is the author of ten books, including Four Swans (Lynz House Press), Border Crossings, Black Branches, Storm Pattern (all originally published by University of Pittsburgh Press), Sunflower Facing the Sun (winner of the Edwin Ford Piper Prize, now called the Iowa Prize, and published by University of Iowa Press), and American Flamingo (winner of a Crab Orchard Open Competition Award, and published by Southern Illinois University Press). Black Branches was reprinted in the Carnegie Mellon Classic Contemporaries Series. His poems have been published widely in such magazines and literary reviews as The Atlantic, Iowa Review, The New Yorker, Northwest Review, and Poetry. He has received the Discovery/The Nation Award, two National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowships, the Pushcart Prize, the Richard Hugo Memorial Poetry Award, and his poems have been featured on NPR and read by Garrison Keillor on The Writers’ Almanac. He teaches at the University of Montana, and in the Brief-residency MFA program at Spalding University. He served as Poet Laureate of Montana from 2007 to 2009.
Brad Riddell, MFA (screenwriting) Brad Riddell has written four produced feature films on assignment for Paramount, MTV, Universal and independent producers. Brad’s first film, American Pie: Band Camp, remains the highest-grossing live action DVD release in history, selling two million copies and reaching syndication on TBS. His most recent film, Crooked Arrows, was released nationally in theaters in 2012, and is the first mainstream lacrosse movie ever produced. Brad earned a BA in English from the University of Kentucky and a MFA in screenwriting from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. After teaching at USC for seven years and SUNY Oswego for one, he is now a professor at DePaul University’s School of Cinema and Interactive Media in Chicago, and serves on the Kentucky Film Commission. www.bradriddell.com. Website: www.bradriddell.com
Jeanie Thompson, MFA (poetry). Jeanie Thompson has published four collections of poetry, The Seasons Bear Us (River City Publishing, 2009), White for Harvest: New and Selected Poems (River City Publishing, 2001), Witness (Black Belt Press, 1995), and How to Enter the River (Holy Cow! Press, 1985), three chapbooks and has co-edited The Remembered Gate: Memoirs by Alabama Writers, (University of Alabama Press, 2002) with Jay Lamar. Witness won a Benjamin Franklin Award from the Publishers Marketing Association in 1996. Her poems, interviews with writers, and critical articles have appeared in Antaeus, Crazyhorse, Ironwood, North American Review, New England Review, and Southern Review. Jeanie holds the MFA from the University of Alabama, where she was founding editor of the literary journal Black Warrior Review. She has taught at the University of New Orleans and the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, as well as in the poetry-in-the schools program in New Orleans and in Alabama. Jeanie has received Individual Artist fellowships from the Louisiana State Arts Council and the Alabama State Council on the Arts and was a Walter Dakin Fellow at the Sewanee Writers Conference 2000. Jeanie is founding director of the award-winning Alabama Writers’ Forum, a statewide literary arts organization in Montgomery.
Neela Vaswani, MFA, PhD (fiction, creative nonfiction). Neela Vaswani is the author of the short story collection, Where the Long Grass Bends; a memoir, You Have Given Me a Country; and co-author of the middle-grade novel, Same Sun Here (with Silas House). She is the recipient of the American Book Award, an O. Henry Prize, the ForeWord Book of the Year gold medal, and many other honors. Her fiction and nonfiction have been widely anthologized and published in journals such as Epoch, Shenandoah, and Prairie Schooner. She has been a Visiting-Writer-in-Residence or Guest Lecturer at more than 100 institutions, among them: Knox College, 92nd Street Y (Tribeca), the Jimenez-Porter House at the University of Maryland, Kentucky Women Writers Conference, the Whitney Museum in New York City, and IIIT Hyderabad, India. She has a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies, lives in New York City, and is also on faculty at Manhattanville College’s MFA in Writing program. An education activist in India and the United States, Vaswani is founder of the Storylines Project with the New York Public Library. Neela’s website is neelavaswani.com. Top
Luke Wallin, MFA (creative nonfiction, writing for children and young adults, fiction).Luke Wallin holds an MFA in fiction writing from Iowa, as well as graduate degrees in environmental planning and philosophy. His essays about his Iowa experiences appear in Word by Word, published on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, 2011, and in The Workshop, 1999. Luke’s latest book, co-authored with his daughter Eva Sage Gordon, is The Everything Guide to Writing Children’s Books, 2nd edition, January 2011. In April 2011 the song “Trust Me,” written and performed by Luke in the film of the same name, written and directed by his grandson Skye Wallin in Prague, was featured at the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival. Luke’s nonfiction book Conservation Writing: Essays at the Crossroads of Nature and Culture, was published by the Center for Policy Analysis, 2006. His award-winning young adult novels include Ceremony of the Panther (recorded for the blind by the Library of Congress), In the Shadow of the Wind (recommended by the Committee on U.S. History Standards, and chosen a Best Book by the New York Public Library), The Redneck Poacher’ Son (an American Library Association Best Book), Blue Wings, and for middle-grade readers The Slavery Ghosts. His YA science fiction, The Bestiary Trilogy, under the pseudonym John Forrester, was translated into Danish. In 1999 Luke co-edited and contributed to a nonfiction anthology, Nature and Identity in Cross-cultural Perspective, from Kluwer Academic Publishers; it was issued in softcover in 2010. Luke is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; he has been a Fulbright Teaching Professor at University College Dublin, and has given invited talks to universities in Chile, Australia, and Canada, as well as across the U.S.A. Website: http://www.lukewallin.com. Luke’s blog is http://lukewallin.wordpress.com.
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