keynote speaker & poet
Brad Davis (MFA, Vermont College of Fine Arts; MDiv, Trinity School for Ministry) taught Creative Writing at Pomfret School, The College of Holy Cross, Eastern Connecticut State University, and, most recently, The Stony Brook School, where he was also Dean of Faculty Care. While chaplain and squash coach at Pomfret School, he earned the MFA and won an AWP Intro Journal Award. Since then, poems have appeared in Poetry, Paris Review, Michigan Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Brilliant Corners, Image, LETTERS, Presence, Spiritus, JAMA, and many other wonderful journals. His chapbook, Short List of Wonders (Hill-Stead, 2005) was selected by Dick Allen as winner of the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize. A second chapbook, Self Portrait w/ Disposable Camera (Finishing Line, 2012) was twice a finalist: Black River and White Eagle Coffee Store competitions. A third, Of All Places, was a finalist in the Slate Roof chapbook contest. He has published four books with Antrim House and three with Wipf & Stock. His most recent, Still Working It Out (2014) and Trespassing on the Mount of Olives (2021), are included in the Poiema Poetry Series. He and spouse now live above the Little River in quiet Putnam, CT. (braddavispoet.com)
Steve Almond is the author of three collections of short stories: God Bless America, My Life in Heavy Metal and The Evil B.B. Chow, and Which Brings Me to You: A Novel in Confessions, co-authored with Julianna Baggott. His nonfiction books include the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto; the memoir Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life; and (Not That You Asked): Rants, Exploits, and Obsessions. In 2018, Red Hen Press published Bad Stories. His newest release is William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life. Almond’s stories and essays have been widely anthologized, including in the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Erotica, Best American Mysteries, and Best American Food Writing annuals. His short fiction has appeared in Tin House, Playboy, Ploughshares, Zoetrope, Georgia Review, New England Review, and many other magazines. Steve has been a regular instructor at PWC as well as at the Tin House and Sanibel Island Writers’ Conferences, and has served on the faculty at Emerson and Boston Colleges, Wesleyan University, and the University North Carolina Wilmington MFA program. He teaches narrative writing at Harvard’s Nieman Fellowship for Journalism and for four years hosted, with Cheryl Strayed, the New York Times’ “Dear Sugars” podcast.
Workshop Leaders & Readers
Lori Ambacher has lived in Ohio, Hong Kong, Illinois and New York. She settled in Massachusetts after finishing a Masters Degree in English at Binghamton University. She worked as an assistant editor at Sigo Press and McGraw-Hill before friends urged her to try teaching. Lori Ambacher has published memoir, essays, poetry and fiction in small magazines, including Image and River Oak Review. Currently she is writing poems about the war in Ukraine, as well as a memoir about her childhood in Hong Kong.
A native of Essex (MA) native and a Springfield College graduate Rob Bradford has written for several North Shore and Boston newspapers: Salem News, Gloucester Times, Lowell Sun, Eagle-Tribune and Boston Herald. He joined WEEI, Boston in 2008, overseeing the station’s web site, and covering Red Sox. He has written three books: Chasing Steinbrenner, following the front offices of the Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays through the 2003 season, Deep Drive: A Long Journey to Discovering the Champion Within, which he co-authored with Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, and A Damn Near Perfect Game, which he co-wrote with Joe Kelley and published this spring. Rob currently hosts Audacy’s daily national baseball podcast ‘Baseball Isn’t Boring.’ He still covers Red Sox for WEEI—doing broadcasts, pregame shows, writing and the Bradfo Sho podcast.
Melanie Brooks is the author of Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma (Beacon Press, 2017). She teaches professional writing at Northeastern University and narrative medicine in the MFA program at Bay Path University in Massachusetts and creative writing at Nashua Community College in New Hampshire. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast writing program. Her forthcoming memoir, A Hard Silence (September 2023), explores the lasting impact of living with the 10-year secret of her father’s HIV before his death in 1995. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, two children (when they are home from college), and two Labs.
Denise Frame Harlan
Denise Frame Harlan writes from the edge of The Great Marsh in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Her essay And She Took Flour is featured in the anthology The Spirit of Food (Wipf & Stock 2010), and her essay “Smoke Rings” earned an honorable mention for the VanderMey Creative Nonfiction Award and Ruminate magazine. After completing Grub Street’s one-year intensive Memoir Incubator, she is on the umpteeth rewrite of a memoir on unaffordable housing. An avid knitter, Denise has also written for Interweave and Living Crafts. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Seattle Pacific. Denise teaches first-year writing at Massachusetts College of the Arts and Design.
Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger teaches in the English Department and directs First-Year Writing at Gordon College. Her research interests focus on medieval mysticism and metaphors in Christian spirituality.
Matthew E. Henry
Matthew E. Henry (MEH) is the author of the Colored page (Sundress Publications, 2022), Teaching While Black (Main Street Rag, 2020) and Dust & Ashes (Californios Press, 2020). He has two collections forthcoming in 2023 from NYQ Book and Harbor Editions. He is editor-in-chief of The Weight Journal and an associate poetry editor at Pidgeonholes. MEH’s poetry and prose appears or is forthcoming in Anglican Theological Review, Barren Magazine, Bending Genres, Cola, Fare Forward, The Florida Review, Massachusetts Review, Ninth Letter, Pensive, Ploughshares, Poetry East, Relief Journal, Saint Katherine Review, Shenandoah, The Windhover, The Worcester Review, and Zone 3 among others. MEH’s an educator who received his MFA yet continued to spend money he didn’t have completing an MA in theology and a PhD in education. You can find him at www.MEHPoeting.com writing about education, race, religion, and burning oppressive systems to the ground.
Richard Hoffman recently published the essay collection, Remembering the Alchemists. He is the author of five books of poetry, Without Paradise; Gold Star Road, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and the Sheila Motton Award from The New England Poetry Club; Emblem; and Noon until Night, winner of the 2018 Massachusetts Book Award for poetry, and his most recent, People Once Real. His other books include Half the House: a Memoir, the 2014 memoir Love & Fury, and the story collection Interference and Other Stories. He is Emeritus Writer in Residence at Emerson College, and nonfiction editor of Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices.
Heidi holds a degree in library and information science from Simmons University in Boston. After discovering the Folly Cove Designers, an inspiring cooperative of printmakers who worked on Cape Ann from around 1940-1969, Heidi started to study them and their teacher Virginia Lee Burton in 2016. In 2019, she interned in the Cape Ann Museum archives and processed the Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios papers, a collection of the author’s art and book manuscript materials. Heidi lives in Gloucester and currently works in a university archives, a public library and a coffee shop.
Sergio Inestrosa joined faculty at Endicott College in 2001. He primarily teaches Spanish courses, but also loves to help students who want to taste the flavor of Portuguese, as it’s his second language. He is very passionate about teaching and learning alongside others and is known for his emphatic personality. He was named the 2006 Endicott College Faculty of the Year and frequently leads student group trips to Latin America, Costa Rica, Peru, and Mexico. When not teaching, Inestrosa is writing. From works of Spanish poetry to nonfictions books and fiction novels, Inestrosa has been published in both the United States and Mexico.
Nick Maione writes poems and makes work in various disciplines. He is the author of the book Infinite Arrivals (forthcoming from Angelico Press in May 2023), and a recent finalist for the National Poetry Series, Paraclete Prize, New Measure Poetry Prize and semi-finalist for the Washington Prize. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Image, Tupelo Quarterly, Cleveland Review of Books, The Common, and many other journals. In 2022 he helped curate a poetry and video exhibition at the Kansas City Art Institute. As a visual artist Nick has shown work internationally, and as a Byzantine iconographer he works on private commission. He lives and works in Brooklyn and is from Upstate, NY. He is the founder and director of Orein Arts and edits Windfall Room.
Colleen Michaels was born in Waltham, Massachusetts and graduated from the University of Buffalo and the State University of New York – Fredonia. Her poetry has been published widely, anthologized, and made into public installations for the Trustees of Reservations and the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. She serves on the board of trustees for the Beverly Public Library, is the creator of the Improbable Places Poetry Tour, and directs the Writing Studio at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, where she lives with her family. Prize Wheel is her first collection.
Lisa Usani Phillips
Lisa Usani Phillips is a Massachusetts-based Asian American writer and editor. Her debut poetry-fiction collection, Guest People, was published by Wheeling Tern Books in 2022. Her work has also appeared in The Beacon Street Review, Current Biography, House Mountain Review, Longman Journal for Creative Writing (2001), riksha: Asian American Notes and Images, Salt Magazine, and Where the Stories Come From (2000). She has received the Emerson College Emerging Writer Award for MFA students and the Abrahms Fiction Prize from Connecticut College. For more info, visit lisausaniphillips.com/.
Elise Lonich Ryan
Dr. Elise Lonich Ryan is Teaching Assistant Professor of Literature at the University of Pittsburgh. She regularly teaches and writes about word-image relationships, poetry, the Early Modern period in England, and horses. You can read some of her work in Image, The Millions, and Exemplaria: A Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Theory. Formerly, she co-hosted the Beatrice Institute podcast.
J.D. Scrimgeour won the Association of Writers and Writing Program’s (AWP) Award for Nonfiction for his second book of nonfiction, Themes for English B: A Professor’s Education In & Out of Class. He is also the author of five poetry collections, the most recent being a book of bilingual poetry, 香蕉面包 Banana Bread (Nixes Mate Press).
Dr. Corey Sparks is Assistant Professor of English-Digital Humanities at California State University, Chico. His research and teaching interests include digital humanities, medieval studies, poetics, and critical theory. After earning an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago he completed a PhD in English from Indiana University. His scholarly work can be found in Studies in the Age of Chaucer, Pedagogy, The Medieval Review, The Once and Future Classroom, Exemplaria: medieval/early modern/theory, and Mina Loy: Navigating the Avant-Garde. His poetry has appeared in Kissing Dynamite and Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry, and his art has been shown in the Museum of Northern California Art.
Enzo Silon Surin
Enzo Silon Surin is a Haitian-born, award-winning poet, educator, librettist, publisher and social advocate. He is the author of three previous collections of poetry, including When My Body Was A Clinched Fist (Black Lawrence Press, 2020), winner of the 21st Annual Massachusetts Book Awards for Poetry and the forthcoming collection, American Scapegoat (Black Lawrence Press, May 2023). He is co-editor of Where We Stand: Poems of Black Resilience (Cherry Castle Publishing, 2022), and the recipient of a New England Poetry Club grant, a Brother Thomas Fellowship from the Boston Foundation, a PEN New England Discovery Award and a 2020 Denis Diderot Grant as an Artist-in-Residence at Chateau d’Orquevaux in France .
Surin’s work has been featured in numerous publications including by the Poetry Foundation and in Poem-a-Day by the Academy of American Poets. He teaches creative writing and literature at Bunker Hill Community College and is also Founding Editor and Publisher at Central Square Press and Founder/Executive Director at the Faraday Publishing Company, Inc., a nonprofit literary services and social advocacy organization.
Molly Forget and Makesha Mercedat edit Idiom; Maddie Miyares edits If I Told You; Ginny Vienneau edits Vox Populi. Mary Stuart Murray is editor emeritus.
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