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.

Angie Chatman is a contributor to Business Insider and iPondr, and her short stories have been anthologized in Dine (Hippocampus Books), and appeared in Literary Landscapes, Pangyrus, the Rumpus, 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.

Miriam Datskovsky was a writer for the series Speechless (ABC Television) and a writers' assistant for The Carrie Diaries (The CW). She developed the original pilot Hacked for Bluegrass FanFare at ABC Studios, and worked as a development associate for Silver and Gold Productions. Her pilot Missed Connections made Amazon's Consider List, and other original pilots have been finalists for the Creative World Awards and the Screencraft Pilot Launch awards. Her journalism and essays have appeared in Los Angeles magazine, New York magazine, Condé Nast Portfolio, Brides, and Ravishly. She has taught at the Posse Foundation and volunteered with WriteGirl. She holds a BA from Columbia University. 

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 has received two Fulbright fellowships in creative writing, 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, Cosmopolitan, Good, Hyperallergic, Men’s Health, Observer, the Outline, Racked, Salon, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire, 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.

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.

Joselin Linder is the author of the memoir The Family Gene (Ecco/Harper Collins), and co-author of the nonfiction books The Gamification Revolution (McGraw Hill), Game-Based Marketing (Wiley and Sons), and The Good Girl’s Guide to Living in Sin (Adams Media). She is also co-author of the humor books The Stoned Family Robinson (Adams Media) and The Purity Test (St. Martin’s Press). Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Elle, This American Life, NPR’s Morning Edition, StoryCollider, Life of the Law, and the New York Post. She holds a BA from Tufts University.

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.

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.

Stephanie Nieves has published short memoir in Ghost Girls Zine and Sumou magazine, and her essays, articles, and criticism have appeared in Business Insider, The Muse, FGRLS Club, Fairygodboss, and Thought Catalog. She is the editor of the digital literary magazine Karma Comes Before, and has worked as an editorial fellow at The Muse, a writing colleague at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and taught for Success Academy Charter Schools. She holds a BA from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

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.

Alysia Li Ying Sawchyn is the author of the essay collection A Fish Growing Lungs, and she is the editor-in-chief of 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 author of the narrative nonfiction book Pickleball for All: Everything But the "Kitchen" Sink (Harper Collins/Dey Street Books, forthcoming). Her essays, features, and opinion have appeared in in the New York Times, magazine, Shondaland, InStyle, Glamour, Vulture, Refinery29, and NBC News. She has constructed crossword puzzles for the New York Times and New York magazine's Vulture. Previously she's been the deputy editor of HelloGiggles, entertainment-news editor for Bustle, and well-being editor for Mic. 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.