Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Gabrielle Bellot is a staff writer at Literary Hub, and her essays and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Tin House, New York magazine’s “The Cut,” Electric Literature, Guernica, and VICE, among many others. She has served as a board member for VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts, fiction editor for The James Franco Review, and as assistant prose, creative, and life writing editor for Transnational Literature. She has taught at Florida State University. She holds a BA from St. Leo University, an MFA in Creative Writing-Fiction, and a Ph.D in English-Creative Writing, both from Florida State University.

Emily Rapp Black is the author of the memoirs The Still Point of the Turning World (Penguin) and Poster Child (Bloomsbury), and she collaborated on the memoir I Should Have Honor by Khalida Brohl (Random House). Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, Salon, VOGUE, O the Oprah Magazine, among other places. A former Fulbright scholar, she is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award and a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship. She is Associate Professor in the University of California-Riverside Creative Writing Program and at 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 has written for Vox, Pacific Standard, Entropy, New York Newsday, House Beautiful, Time Out New York, The Writer, and Essay Daily, among many others. 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 is also dean of faculty at Gotham Writers Workshop. 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) and the memoir The Trapeze Diaries (Hanging Loose Press). Her work has been published in the Brooklyn Rail, Bloom, Spectacle, Turntable + Bluelight, and in the anthology Best Creative Nonfiction (W.W. Norton). She serves as associate editor of Hanging Loose Press, where she has edited the anthologies Word Jig and Voices of the City. She holds an MA in English Literature from Edinburgh University.

Michael Dunphy is the managing editor of FlyWashington, Air Chicago, and LAX magazines, and is former editor-in-chief of The Bridge, in Montpelier, Vermont, and contributing editor to Fodor's travel guides. His articles and essays have appeared in CNN, USA Today, Forbes, Tablet, American Way, Travel + Leisure, Travel Weekly, Time Out, Virtuoso Life, TravelAge West, and Beer Advocate, among many others. 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, Health Magazine, Salon News, Dramatics, Dan's Papers, and Makeup Artist Magazine, and she served as nonfiction editor of LIT. Her short fiction has been published in NDQ, New Orleans 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 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 fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker online, Creative Nonfiction, Agni, Brevity, The Guardian, and Afar, among many others. 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 cultural criticism, articles, and essays in Bomb magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, Good, Hyperallergic, Men’s Health, the Outline, Racked, Salon, Teen Vogue, Vice, and the Village Voice, among many others. She has taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. 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 fiction in McSweeney’s, Post Road, Ruminate, Scalawag Magazine, Whitefish Review, and the Chicago Tribune; short speculative fiction 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, the 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.

Patty Lamberti has served as an editor with Playboy, Latina, and Lifetime online. She has written nonfiction for Maxim, New York Metro, the New York Post, the Chicago Tribune, and Satisfaction. She is the Professional-in-Residence at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. 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 written articles and essays for the magazines Astronomy, E: The Environmental Magazine, Family Circle, Glamour, Health, Mademoiselle, National Geographic Adventure, National Geographic World, Natural History, Outside, Ski, Smithsonian, and Your Family. She has contributed to many books, including: The Blessing of a Mother’s Love (Ideals Publications), Early Childhood Education (McGraw Hill), MakingConnections: Mother-Daughter Travel Adventures (Seal Press), and several Discovery Communications books including Star and Sky and American Safari (Insight Guides/Discovery Communications). She’s 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, Berkeley. 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 Internet Tendency, 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 dramatic 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, an award-winning middle-school science curriculum. 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 essays and articles have appearaed in Vanity Fair, Atlas Obscura, and Popula, among others. He authored the chapter on Scene in Gotham’s book Writing Movies (Bloomsbury USA). He holds a BA from Oberlin College.

N. West Moss is the author of the short-story collection The Subway Stops at Bryant Park (Leapfrog Press), and her fiction has been published in McSweeney’s, the New World Review, The Saturday Evening Post, Cahoodaloodaling, The Stockholm Review, Salt,Blotter Magazine, and The Westchester Review, among many others. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Salon, The New York Times, Brevity, Memoir Journal, Sou-Wester, Ars Medica, and Hospital Drive Magazine, among others. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and 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, and an MFA in Creative Writing from William Paterson 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 work has appeared in Afar, Food + Wine, New York magazine, Seventeen magazine, and USA Today, among many others. She’s worked as a copywriter for New York magazine 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, an ad-supported site that 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 journalism, interviews, reviews, and essays have appeared in Billboard, Glamour, Variety, TV Guide, The New York Observer, and Emmy magazine, among many others. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Missouri. 

Alanna Schubach is a Center for Fiction Emerging Writers Fellow and has been named a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Fiction. Her essays, articles, and criticism have appeared in The Atlantic, Refinery 29, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, and the LA Review of Books, among many others, and her short fiction has appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, Post Road, the Lifted Brow, and Prick of the Spindle. She has taught at the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, the College Readiness Program, the Westchester County Department of Corrections, and Girls Write Now. She holds a BA from American University and an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.

Ashley Shelby is the author of the nonfiction book Red River Rising: The Anatomy of a Flood and the Survival of an American City (Minnesota Historical Society Press) and the novel South Pole Station (Picador USA). Her short fiction, journalism, and essays have appeared in J Journal: New Writings on Social Justice, the Los Angeles Review, The Nation, Post Road, Seattle Review, Sonora Review, Southeast Review, and Third Coast, among many others. As an editor at Penguin Group (USA), she acquired and edited both narrative nonfiction and memoir. She holds a BA from Indiana University and an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University.

Rachel Simon is the deputy editor of Hello Giggles. She is also the former Entertainment News Editor for Bustle, Wellbeing Editor for Mic, and Movies Editor and Associate Entertainment Editor for Bustle. Her essays and articles have appeared in Gay Magazine, Glamour, Cosmo, Teen Vogue, and NBC News, among others, and she is a college-essay specialist for Prompt. She holds a BA from Emerson College.

Steven James Snyder has written articles for People.com, USA Today, Newsday, the Newark Star-Ledger, L Magazine, the Villager, and Art Forum. He has served as associate editor at Time magazine, film critic for the New York Sun, arts reviewer with Downtown Express Collider, film editor for SOMA magazine, and is executive editor of The 74. He is also a member of the New York Film Critics Circle. He holds a BS from the University of Minnesota and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University.

Cullen Thomas is the author of the memoir Brother One Cell (Viking). His work has also 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 holds a BA from Binghamton University.