Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Emily Rapp Black is the author of the memoirs Sanctuary (Random House), The Still Point of the Turning World (Penguin), and Poster Child (Bloomsbury). Her nonfiction has appeared in Vogue, the New York Times, Die Zeit, The Times-London, Lenny Letter, The Sun, Time, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, O the Oprah Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. A former Fulbright scholar, she is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Award and a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship. She has taught at the University of California-Riverside and the UCR School of Medicine. She holds a BA from Saint Olaf College, an MTS from Harvard University, and an MFA in Fiction and Poetry from the University of Texas.

Kelly Caldwell is the dean of faculty at Gotham Writers Workshop. Her nonfiction has appeared in Vox, Pacific Standard, Entropy, New York Newsday, House Beautiful, Time Out New York, The Writer, and Essay Daily. One of her essays was named a Notable Essay by the editors of the Best American Essays series and anthologized in If These Walls Could Talk: Thoughts of Home. She holds a BJ from the University of Missouri and an MS from Columbia University.

Marie Carter is the author of the novel Holly's Hurricane (Grace Goodrich Press), the memoir The Trapeze Diaries (Hanging Loose Press), and the forthcoming nonfiction book Mortimer and the Witches (Fordham University Press). Her nonfiction has appeared in the Brooklyn Rail, Bloom, Spectacle, Turntable + Bluelight, and in the anthology Best Creative Nonfiction (W.W. Norton). She has served as associate editor of Hanging Loose Press, where she edited the anthologies Word Jig and Voices of the City. She holds an MA in English Literature from Edinburgh University.

Angie Chatman is a contributor to Business Insider and iPondr, and her short stories have been anthologized in Dine (Hippocampus Books), and appeared in Pangyrus, the Rumpus, YahooLife, Blood Orange Review, Hippocampus magazine, fwriction:review, and the blog Slice of MIT. She has performed stories for The MOTH, the RISK! podcast, StoryCollider, MassMouth, Tell-All Boston, and the TV series Stories from the Stage (WGBH). She has taught for the University of Hartford, Tunxis Community College, and Des Moines Area Community College. She holds a BS from the Illinois Institute of Technology, an MS in Economics from MIT Sloan, and an MFA in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction from Queens University of Charlotte.

Michael Dunphy has pubished articles and essays in CNN, USA Today, Forbes, Tablet, American Way, Travel + Leisure, Travel Weekly, Time Out, Virtuoso Life, TravelAge West, and Beer Advocate. He is a contributing editor to Fodor's travel guides, the former managing editor of FlyWashington, Air Chicago, and LAX magazines, and former editor-in-chief of the newspaper The Bridge in Montpelier, Vermont. He holds a BA from the University of Vermont and an MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College.

Janet Flora has published nonfiction in Yalabusha Review, Willow Review, Forge, and the Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine. Her short stories have appeared in New Orleans Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Portland Review, and Hawaii Pacific Review. She has taught at NYU and the School of Visual Arts. She holds a BA from City University, Richmond College, and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from The New School.

Anita Gill is the nonfiction editor for Hypertext Magazine, and her nonfiction has appeared in Kweli Journal, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, Brevity, Hippocampus, The Citron Review, The Offing, and the Baltimore Sun. She is a former Fulbright Scholar, has worked for the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, and has taught at the UCLA Extension and Santa Monica College. She holds a BA from New York University, an MA in Literature from American University, and an MFA in Writing from Pacific University.

Shahnaz Habib is the author of the nonfiction book Airplane Mode (Catapault, forthcoming), and the translator of the novel Jasmine Days, for which she and the author Benyamin won the JCB Prize, India's most valuable prize for literature. Her short stories and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker online, Creative Nonfiction, Agni, Brevity, The Guardian, and Afar. She has been awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Artists' Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature, and her work has been cited in the Best American Essays series. She holds a BA from Mahatma Gandhi University, an MA in English Literature from the University of Delhi, and an MA in Media Studies from the New School.

Anni Irish has published nonfiction in Bomb, Brooklyn Magazine, Good, Hyperallergic, Men’s Health, the Outline, Racked, Salon, Teen Vogue, Marie ClaireCosmopolitan, Business Insider, Vice, and the Village Voice. She has taught at the School of Visual Arts. She holds a BFA from Tufts University, an MA in Gender and Cultural Studies from Simmons College, and an MA in Performance Studies from New York University.

Matt Jones has published short stories in McSweeney’s, Post Road, Ruminate, Scalawag Magazine, Whitefish Review, and the Chicago Tribune; speculative short stories in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Phantom Drift: A Journal of New Fabulism, Interfictions: A Journal of Interstitial Arts, and the Golden Key; and essays in The Atlantic, the Cincinnati Enquirer, Electric Literature’s Okey-Pankey, Entropy, Hippocampus, Michigan Quarterly Review, Penny, and Slice Magazine. He has taught at Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Alabama. He holds a BA from St. Edward’s University and an MFA in Creative Writing-Prose from the University of Alabama.

Blaise Allysen Kearsley is the creator, producer, and host of the How I Learned storytelling series, and has performed stories for The MOTH, Risk!, The Soundtrack Series, and Literary Death Match. She is a contributing editor to the Vestal Review, and her photography and essays have appeared in Longreads, the Boston Globe, Electric Literature's the Nervous Breakdown, Elle, New York, Gothamist, VICE, Gawker, Playbill, Midnight Breakfast, and The Weeklings. She has contributed to the anthologies Mortified: Real Words. Real People. Real Pathetic. (Simon Spotlight Entertainment) and Cringe: Teenage Diaries, Journals, Notes, Letters, Poems, And Abandoned Rock Operas (Crown Archetype). She holds a BA from Bennington College.

Patty Lamberti is the director of multimedia journalism and a professional-in-residence at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication. She has served as an editor with Playboy, Latina, and Lifetime online, and is an editorial consultant for LawChamps, an online legal platform. Her nonfiction has appeared in Maxim, New York Metro, the New York Post, the Chicago Tribune, and Satisfaction. She has taught at the University of Illinois. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin and an MA in Writing from the University of Illinois.

Beth Livermore has published nonfiction in Astronomy, E, Family Circle, Glamour, Health, Mademoiselle, National Geographic Adventure, National Geographic World, Natural History, Outside, Ski, Smithsonian, and Your Family. She has contributed to the nonfiction booksThe Blessing of a Mother’s Love (Ideals Publications), Early Childhood Education (McGraw Hill), MakingConnections (Seal Press), and Discovery Communications books, including Star and Sky and American Safari. She has been a science writing/journalism fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the Marine Biological Laboratory, and the University of California. She has taught at Columbia University, Rutgers University, and Fairleigh Dickinson University. She holds a BJ from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MFA in Nonfiction from Columbia University.

Sarah McColl is the author of the memoir Joy Enough (Liveright Publishing). She was the founding editor-in-chief of Yahoo Food, and her food writing has appeared in Bon Appetit, Food52, Epicurious, House Beautiful, Edible Brooklyn, Smithsonian magazine, JSTOR Daily, and TakePart. Her essays have appeared in the Paris Review, McSweeney's, Story Quarterly, South Dakota Review, In Context Journal, and in the anthology The Shell Game (University of Nebraska Press). She’s been a senior editor and producer for Condé Nast Publications, and worked for Cambridge University Press. She holds a BA from Macalester College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

Tal McThenia wrote the screenplay for the feature film Shift, which premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and aired on PBS nationwide, and he has developed feature films with Automatic Pictures and Archer Entertainment. He has written for Butterbean’s Café (Nickelodeon) and animated science mysteries for Mosa Mack Science. He authored the chapter on Scene in Gotham’s book Writing Movies (Bloomsbury USA). He reported and wrote "The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar," a one-hour documentary for the NPR radio show This American Life, and is the co-author of the book based on that documentary, A Case for Solomon (Free Press). His nonfiction has appearaed in Vanity Fair, Atlas Obscura, and Popula. He holds a BA from Oberlin College.

N. West Moss is the author of the memoir Flesh and Blood (Algonquin) and the short story collection The Subway Stops at Bryant Park (Leapfrog Press). Her short stories have appeared in McSweeney’s, The Saturday Evening Post, Stockholm Review, Blotter Magazine, and Westchester Review. Her nonfiction has appeared in Salon, the New York Times, Brevity, River Teeth, and Ars Medica. She has taught at William Paterson University, Montclair State University, and Passaic County Community College. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, a Master of Secondary Education from Mercy College, an MFA in Creative Writing from William Paterson University, and a CPA in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University.

Stacy Pershall is the author of the memoir Loud in the House of Myself  (W.W. Norton), selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Program, and her work is included in the anthologies Lost and Found (W.W. Norton) and Spent (Seal Press). She has taught at Writopia, Pratt Manhattan, City College of New York, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. She holds a BA from the University of Arkansas and an MFA in Performance Art from the University of Cincinnati.

Jil Picariello is the co-author of the memoir Jessica Lost (Union Square Press). She is the Theater Editor for ZealNYC, and her nonfiction has appeared in Afar, Food + Wine, New York, Seventeen, and USA Today. She has worked as a copywriter for New York and People, as copy chief for The Parenting Group at Time Warner, and as copy director for Reader’s Digest. She has taught at Media Bistro. She holds a BFA from New York University and an MFA in creative writing from The New School.

Mara Reinstein writes the MaraMovies blog, which features reviews, essays, and reporting about the film industry. She is the film critic for US Weekly magazine, where she is also a former deputy editor, and she is a contributing entertainment editor for Parade magazine. Her nonfiction has appeared in Architectural Digest, Billboard, Glamour, the Hollywood Reporter,Variety, TV Guide, The New York Observer, and Emmy magazine. She holds a BA from the University of Missouri. 

Alysia Li Ying Sawchyn is the author of the essay collection A Fish Growing Lungs, and she is features editor for The Rumpus. Her nonfiction has appeared in the St. Petersburg Review, Gulf Coast, Brevity, Prairie Schooner, Fourth Genre, Southeast Review, Sweet: A Literary Confection, Indiana Review, Hobart, Essay Daily, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Brevity Blog. She has taught at Catapult and the University of Maryland. She holds a BA from the University of Tampa, an MA in English from Ball State University, and an MFA in Creative Writing-Creative Nonfiction from the University of South Florida.

Rachel Simon is the deputy editor of HelloGiggles. She is also the former entertainment-news editor for Bustle and well-being editor for Mic. Her nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, Glamour, Vulture, Refinery29, and NBC News. She holds a BA from Emerson College.

Cullen Thomas is the author of the memoir Brother One Cell (Viking). His nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Salon, The Rumpus, The Sonora Review, World Hum, Current Biography, and Penthouse. He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and the National Geographic channel and has taught at NYU. He holds a BA from Binghamton University.