Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Quinn Adikes has published fiction in Lit Hub, Five Points, Epiphany, december, the Southampton Review, Shenandoah, and other journals. He taught for Stony Brook Southampton, where he also earned an MFA in Creative Writing. 

María Alejandra Barrios is the author of the novel The Women of Caminito (Lake Union Publishing, forthcoming). Her short stories have appeared in Fractured Lit, The Offing, The Citron Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Jellyfish Review, Bandit Fiction, Lost Balloon, Reservoir Journal, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Fresh Ink, El Malpensante, WaxWing Mag, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Shenandoah Literary and been anthologized in Best Small Fictions. She has taught for the Universidad Del Norte Barranquilla, Paragraph New York, and the Beaubourg Theatre in New Orleans. She holds a BA from the Universidad de los Andes and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester.

David Berner is the author of the memoirs Walks with Sam, October Song, (both Roundfire) and The Consequence of Stars (Adelaide); the novels Things Behind the Sun (Adelaide) and A Well-Respected Man (Strategic); and the novella Sandman: A Golf Tale (Roundfire, forthcoming). His essays and short stories have appeared in Chicagoland Journal, Clef Notes, Epiphany, Eunoia Review, Longshot Island, Under the Gum Tree, and Write City. He is a reporter/anchor for WBBM Radio-Chicago and a contributor to the CBS Radio Network. He is the producer/writer of the audio documentaries NaNoWriMo (PRX/WRST Oshkosh, WI), Bracelets of Grace (Prairie Public Radio), and Finding My Kerouac (WFUV Radio, NYC). He teaches at Columbia College. He holds a BS from Clarion University, an MA in Teaching from Aurora University, and an MFA in Creative Writing-Nonfiction from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Nina Boutsikaris is the author of the memoir I’m Trying to Tell You I’m Sorry: An Intimacy Triptych (Black Lawrence Press), a Small Press Distribution Bestseller. Her essays have appeared in Fourth Genre, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Third Coast, Hobart, and the Los Angeles Review, among others; anthologized in The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Fiction (Rose Metal Press); and named Notable Essays by the Best American Essays series. She has taught at the University of Arizona and the New School, and is the archivist at John Ashbery's Flow Chart Foundation. She holds a BA from Ithaca College and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Arizona.

Adela Brito has published short stories in Acentos Review, the Sandy River Review, Litbreak Magazine, Hieroglyph, and Moko Magazine, and she is a former fiction editor of The Pinch literary journal. Her nonfiction and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Writer’s Digest, Cathexis Northwest Press, Underwood, Adelaide Literary Magazine, All About Jazz, c-nf, Counterculture UK, and Storyboard Memphis. She has taught at the University of Memphis and Nashville State Community College. She holds a BA from Florida International University and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Memphis.

Carmen Bugan is the author of the memoir Burying the Typewriter (Picador), the essay collection Poetry and the Language of Opression (Oxford University), and the poetry collections Time Being, Lillies from America, Releasing the Porcelain Birds, The House of Straw (all Shearsman Books), and Crossing the Carpathians (Carcanet Press). Her poems and essays have appeared in the Irish Times, the Harvard Review, the International Literature Quarterly, the Nieman Storyboard, and the anthologies Centres of Catacylsm (Bloodaxe Books), See How I Land (Heaven Tree Press), and Penguin’s Poems for Life (Penguin). She has taught at Grand Valley State University, the University of Fribourg, the Geneva Writers’ Group, and Oxford University. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan, an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and a Master’s and Ph.D, both in English Literature, from Oxford University.

Omari Chancellor has published short fiction in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Brainwxsh, Still Life, and Soft Punk. He wrote and directed the short films The One, which appeared in several film festivals including the Ohio Valley Film Festival, and SwimLessons for The Believer magazine. He has taught at Spotlight Kids NY and the 52nd Street Project. He holds a BFA from Roanoke College and an MFA from New York University.

Angie Chatman has published essays and short fiction in Taint, Taint, Taint, Pangyrus, the Rumpus, Blood Orange Review, Hippocampus, and Insider, among others. She has told stories on The MOTH, StoryCollider,  and Stories from the Stage (The World Channel). She has taught for the Boston Public Library and the University of Hartford. She holds an MBA from MIT-Sloan, and an MFA in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction from Queens University of Charlotte.

Philip Cioffari is the author of the novels If Anyone Asks, Say I Died From the Heartbreaking Blues, The Bronx Kill, Jesusville, Catholic Boysand Dark Road, Dead End, as well as the short story collection A History of Things Lost or Broken, (all Livingston Press/University of West Alabama). His short fiction has appeared in the Southern Humanities Review, the Westchester Review, the North American Review, the Connecticut Review, Italian Americana, and been anthologized in Wild Dreams (Fordham University Press), 100 Percent Pure Florida Fiction (University of Florida Press), and Many Lights in Many Windows (Milkweed Editions). His plays have been staged or received staged readings at The Actors Studio, the Belmont Playhouse, the Gettysburg College New Plays Festival, and the Circle Repertory Lab, among many others. He wrote and directed the feature film Love in the Age of Dion, which won Best Director at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival, played at many film festivals including the Rhode Island International Film Festival and the Wildwood-By-The-Sea Festival, and was selected for the New Filmmakers NY series. He teaches at William Paterson University. He holds a Ph.D from New York University.

Lyndsey Ellis is the author of the novel Bone Broth (Hidden Timber Books), and her short fiction has been published in Kweli Journal, Joyland, the Santa Monica Review, Parhelion, the Stockholm Review of Literature, and Orca, A Literary Journal, among many others. Her work has been anthologized in Golden State 2017: Best New Writing from California (Outpost 19 Books), Black in the Middle: An Anthology of the Black Midwest (Belt Publishing)and Crick! Crack!: Poems and Stories by Emerging Writers (The Bonfire Collective). She wrote the Memory Book column for Catapult magazine, blogged at For Harriet, and was fiction editor for The Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought. She has taught for the Loft Literary Center, the California Writers’ Club, Your Words STL, and midnight & indigo. She holds a BA from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts.

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.

Britt Gambino has published poetry in Armchair/Shotgun, anderbo, The Boiler, decomP, and Springgun Press, and her poem "In Bloom" was featured in an ad for 1-800-Flowers. She has served as a contributing writer at The Sexy Feminist blog and as an Associate Poetry Editor at The Doctor T.J. Eckleberg Review. She has taught at Education Unlimited, Brooklyn Brainery, and 826 NYC. She holds a BA from Drew University and an MFA in Poetry from The New School.

Serrana Laure Gay has published short stories in Sinister Wisdom, the North Dakota Quarterly, X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, Red Noise Collective, Big Bend Literary Magazine, Silver Rose Magazine, and Prometheus Dreaming. She is the author of the illustrated book Fatty Fatty No Friends (Mind the Art Entertainment), adapted from her operetta of the same name, which was winner of the Best of Fest prize at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Her plays have been workshopped or appeared at the New York International Fringe Festival, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre, the National Opera Center, the Frigid NY theatre festival, the HERE Arts Center, and Feinstein’s 54 Below. She has taught at the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute. She holds a BFA from Ithaca College and an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

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.

Pamela Harris has had TV pilots packaged with 20th Century Fox and others, and served as a staff writer for Life on the Line, a one-hour drama (Oxygen Network). She wrote the feature screenplay Joyville, which was selected for the Writers Lab, a program sponsored by Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Oprah Winfrey, and was a finalist for the WGA/FilmNation Fellowship. She directed and co-wrote a short film, En Route, that screened at many festivals including Soho International, Vermont Music and Film, and Adirondack. Pamela is also an award-winning visual artist and has exhibited extensively. She holds a BFA from the Hartford Art School.

John Oliver Hodges is the author of the novel Quizzleboon (Perpetual Motion Machine Press), the short story collection The Love Box (Livingston Press), and the novella War of the Crazies (Main Street Rag). His short stories have appeared in appeared in Southern Cultures Magazine, American Short Fiction, New World Writing, and Texas Review. He has taught at Florida State University, the University of Mississippi, and the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference. He holds a BA and an MA in Creative Writing from Florida State University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Mississippi.

George Jreije is the author of the Shad Hadid children's fantasy series, the novel Bashir Boutros and the Jewels of the Nile, and the forthcoming graphic novel Tarik’s Bazaar Adventure (all HarperCollins). He has also written short stories published in collaboration with UNICEF. He has taught for the Concord (Massachusetts) Library System, the Orlando Libraries, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. He holds a BS and an MBA from Clark University. 

Kirsten Imani Kasai is the author of the novels The House of Erzulie (Shade Mountain Press), Ice Song, a Barnes & Noble Feature Pick, and Tattoo (both Random House). Her short stories and poetry have appeared in Transition, Arts & Letters, Existere Journal of Arts and Literature, Drunk Monkeys, Disturbed Digest, Body Parts Magazine, San Diego Reader, and Pretty Owl Poetry. Her nonfiction has appeared in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Re-Discover MSN—San Diego, About Town Magazine, and Annotation Nation, as well as the anthologies My Cruel Invention (Meerkat Press) and The Body Horror Book (Oscillate Wildly Press). She has worked as the managing editor of San Diego Family Magazine, and taught at San Diego State University, Emporia State University, and Southern New Hampshire University. She holds a BA from Ashford University and an MFA from Antioch 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, Oldster, Yellow Arrow Journal: PEREGRINE, Catapult, the Boston Globe, Electric Literature's the Nervous Breakdown, Elle, New York, Gothamist, VICE, Playbill, Midnight Breakfast, and The Weeklings. She has contributed essays to the anthologies Nonwhite and Woman: 131 Micro Essays on Being in the World (Woodhall Press); 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.

Meghan Kenny is the author of the novel The Driest Season (W.W. Norton & Company), a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel, and  the short story collection Love Is No Small Thing (LSU Press). Her short stories have appeared in Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Gettysburg Review, Cincinnati Review, Hobart, and Pleiades. She has taught at Boise State University, Johns Hopkins University, and Franklin & Marshall College. She holds a BA from Kenyon College and an MFA in Fiction from Boise State University.

Kody Keplinger is the author of the young adult Hamilton High series (Little Brown/Poppy), which includes the New York Times best-selling The DUFF, also the young adult novels That's Not What HappenedRun (both Scholastic), Secrets and Lies (Poppy)and the graphic novel Poison Ivy: Thorns (DC Comics). She is also the author of the middle grade novels Lila and Hadley and The Swift Boys & Me (both Scholastic). She has published fiction in Young Adult Review Net, and nonfiction in Seventeen, YA Highway, and Poptimal.

Mo Krochmal is the executive editor and founder of Social Media News NY. He was a founding producer for the New York Times website, senior editor of GenomeWeb, executive producer of Nassau News Live, and New York editor for TechWeb. He has written for United Press International, the New York Times, the Danbury News-Times, the Wilson Daily Times, and the Washington Daily News. He is the vice president of the New York City chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He has facilitated professional communication training at the Courts of the United States, the US Patent and Technology Office, and Health Security Partners in Washington, DC. He has taught at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Hofstra University, Quinnipiac University, and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. He holds a BA from North Carolina State University and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University.

Scott LaCounte (also writing as Scott Douglas) is a long-time contributor to McSweeney’s, from which his humor series was turned into the memoir Quiet, Please: Dispatches From a Public Librarian (Da Capo Books). He has independently published a wide range of books on religion, as well as books for children and in the science fiction and humor genres. He holds a BA from California State University-Fullerton, and an MLIS in Library Science from San Jose State University.

Angela Lam is the author of the memoir Red Eggs and Good Luck (She Writes Press), the novels Friends First, The Divorce Planner, and the Women of the Crush series (all The Wild Rose Press), and Blood Moon Rising (Eternal Press), and the short story collection The Human Act and Other Stories (All Things That Matter Press). Her nonfiction has appeared in The Sun, the San Jose Mercury News, SFGate, the Portland Book Review, and the Bohemian. She holds a BA from Sonoma State University.

Cleve Lamison is the author of the science fiction novel Full-Blood Half-Breed (Penguin Random House), and he is a contributing writer to Suvudu.com, a science fiction and fantasy blog at Random House. He is a staff writer for the television show Craig Ross Jr.’s Monogamy (Urban Movie Channel), and he wrote and directed the feature film Following Bliss, which won Best Feature Film at the Global Arts International Film Festival. His short film "The Story" won the Denver World Film Festival, and his short film "Jack for President" was a runner-up in the New York 24-Hour Filmmaking Contest. He was the artistic director of the BlackBird Theatre Company in NYC; created, wrote, and drew the cartoon strip Rick the Roach for the Richmond News Leader; and is a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves. He holds a BA from Virginia Commonwealth 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.

Christine Meade is the author of the novel The Way You Burn (She Writes Press), and her personal essays have appeared in the Boston Globe, Chicago Literati, HuffPost, the Manifest-Station, and Writer’s Digest. She has taught for 826 Boston, Lasell College, and Curry College. She holds a BA from Northeastern University and an MFA in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts.

Michael Montlack is the author of the poetry collections Cool Limbo and Daddy (NYQ Books) and editor of the Lambda Finalist essay anthology My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them (University of Wisconsin Press). His poetry has appeared in North American Review, Prairie Schooner, The Offing, Poet Lore, Barrow Street, Court Green, and Los Angeles Review. He holds a BA from Hofstra University, an MFA from the New School, and an MA from San Francisco State University, all in Creative Writing and Literature.

N. West Moss is the author of the memoir Flesh and Blood (Algonquin), the short story collection The Subway Stops at Bryant Park (Leapfrog Press), and the middle-grade novel Birdy, (Christy Ottaviano Books/Little Brown Books for Young Readers, forthcoming). 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, Dorothy Parker's Ashes, 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.

Benjamin Obler is the author of the novel Javascotia (Penguin UK). His short stories and essays have appeared in The Guardian, London Times, Mirror, Electric Literature, Long Reads, Puerto Del Sol, The Junction, Belle Ombre, Qwerty, Sundress, Thirty-Two, Cottonwood, and Evansville Review. He has taught at the Loft Literary Center. He holds a BA from the University of St. Thomas and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow.

Betsey Odell is the author of the novel Deep Water (Sapphire Books) and the essay “Naked in Bohemia” in the anthology Travelers Tales Prague and the Czech Republic (Travelers’ Tales Guides). Her nonfiction has appeared in Preserving Your Memory magazine, of which she was editor-in-chief, and Yellow Rat Bastard. She has taught at Randolph-Macon College. She holds a BA from Randolph-Macon College.

Amy Scheiner has published essays and short nonfiction in Slate, the Stonecoast Review, Blue Mesa Review, the Southampton Review, Longreads/Memoir Monday, Trouble Maker Fire Starter, and the Matador Network, among others. She has taught for Stony Brook University, the Young Artists and Writers Project, and the Community College of Philadelphia. She holds a BA from Boston University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Stony Brook University.

Radhika Sharma is the author of the novel Mangoes for Monkeys and the short story collection Parikrama, (both Frog Books/Leadstart Publishing). Her short fiction has appeared in the Santa Clara Review and The Fanzine, and her essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Times of India, the Economic Times, Pacific Time, Perspectives, In the Fray, and the Forum on KQED FM, among many others. She is a former assistant fiction editor for 14Hills literary magazine, and she has taught for San Francisco State University, Milipitas Adult Education, and the Learning Bee. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.

Divya Sood is the author of the novels Find Someone to Love and Nights Like This (both Riverdale Avenue Books). Her short stories have won the New Jersey Arts and Letters First Prize for Short Fiction and appeared in The Masters Review. She has taught at Rutgers University and Southern New Hampshire University. She holds a BA from Rutgers University, an MA in English, and an MFA in Fiction, both from New York University. 

Nelsie Spencer is the author of the novel The Playgroup, (St. Martin’s Press). She wrote the feature screenplay A Girl's Best Friend and co-wrote the feature film Valley Inn, which debuted at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. She wrote, produced, and co-hosted the radio show The Radio Ritas, (Greenstone Media) and hosts the podcast Losing It. She co-wrote and starred in the play My Heart Belongs To Daddy, produced at the Pittsburgh Public Theater and Duke University’s Pre-Broadway series. She performed her one-woman show Day of the Dead Daddy at the Chain Theatre in New York City, at the Denver Fringe Festival, and it won an honorable mention in Solo Fest at the Marsh Theater in San Francisco. She studied dance and theater at Orange Coast College, and fiction at The New School.

Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen is the author of the young adult Compound series, the young adult novels The Tomb, The Raft, The Detour, the middle grade Shipwreck Island series (all Feiwel and Friends), and the Elizabeti series of picture books (Lee & Low). She has taught at the Whidbey Island Writer’s Workshop. She holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and an MFA in Writing from Spalding University.

Justine Teu has published short fiction in Passages North, Storm Cellar, The Offing, Pidgeonholes, VIDA Lit, LEVEE magazine, and Pigeon Pages, among others, and her essays have appeared in Craft Literary, the Binghamton Journal of History, and Binghamton Writes. She has taught for WriteOn and for BuzzFeed. She holds a BA from the State University of New York-Binghamton and an MFA in Fiction from the New School.

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.

Arlaina Tibensky is the author of the novel And Then Things Fall Apart (Simon & Schuster). Her short stories and nonfiction have appeared in One Story, SmokeLong QuarterlyMcSweeney's, Madison ReviewThe Dinner Party DownloadNew Stories from the Midwest 2018 (New American Press), the New York Times, and elsewhere. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University.

Cab Tran has published short fiction in Vagabond: Bulgaria's English Monthly, The Oleander Review, and Black Warrior Review, among many others. He is the translator, with Quan M. Ha, of the short-story collection Hanoi at Midnight by Bao Ninh (Texas Tech University Press). He co-founded the literary magazine Cedilla, has worked as a tutor with the Michigan Mentorship Program, and taught for the University of Michigan. He holds a BA from the University of Montana and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Michigan.

Marissa Walsh is the author of the picture book One Scoop or Two? And Other Ice Cream Questions (Union Square Books, forthcoming), the YA novel A Field Guide to High School (Delacorte Press), the memoir Girl with Glasses (Simon and Schuster), and the nonfiction book Tipsy in Madras (Penguin). She edited the anthologies Not Like I'm Jealous or Anything (Delacorte Press) and Does this Book Make Me Look Fat? (Clarion Books). She has worked as a iterary agent with Fine Print Literary Management and as an editor at Random House. She holds a BA from Smith College.

Laura Yeager is the author of the short story collection First Aid and Other Stories (Iowa State) and the essay chapbook Cancer Loot (excerpted by Cancer Wellness). Her fiction has  appeared in Paris Review, Missouri Review, North American Review, and Kaleidoscope; her personal essays have appeared at Aleteia, Skirt magazine, Dogster, the National Catholic Reporter, Guideposts, and bp Magazine; and her craft essays have appeared in Funds for Writers, WOW—Women on Writing, and Writers Weekly. She blogs for Cure Today and PsychCentral. She has taught at Kent State University, Kirkwood Community College, and Rhode Island School of Design. She holds a BA from Oberlin College, an MA in English from Iowa State University, and an MFA in English from the University of Iowa.

Salma Zarook wrote Salam From Salma, a travel and lifestyle blog, and now writes for Medium. Her essays and poetry have appeared in Pasadena Now and Voiceworks, and one of her short stories won the Australia-wide Write4Fun competition. She has taught for Johns Hopkins University, the New Horizon School LA, the Islamic Center of Southern California, and Five Tuition in Melbourne, Australia. She holds a BA from the University of Melbourne.