Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Amina Akhtar is the author of the novel Fashion Victim (Crooked Lane Books). She is formerly the executive editor of Elle.com, fashion editor of New York magazine—where she was the founding editor of The Cut—digital editions editor at Vogue, and style producer for the New York Times. Her nonfiction has appeared in Billboard, the New York Times, Paper Magazine, Refinery29, Reuters, and Style.com. She holds a B.A. in journalism from New York University.

Maria Alejandra Barrios has published short stories in Cosmonauts Avenue, the Jellyfish Review, Bandit Fiction, Lost Balloon, Reservoir Journal, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Fresh Ink, El Malpensante, WaxWing Mag, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Shenandoah Literary. 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.

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 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.

Adela Brito has published short stories in The Acentos Review, Hieroglyph, and Moko Magazine, and she is a former fiction editor of The Pinch literary journal. Her nonfiction and poetry have appeared in Writer’s Digest, 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.

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.

Angie Chatman is a frequent 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 Slice of MIT, the blog of the MIT Alumni Association. 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.

Roohi Choudhry has published fiction and nonfiction in the Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, the Rumpus, Callaloo, Bitch, Hyphen, Desilicious, Fiction Writers Review, and the anthology 21 Under 40. Her work has been recognized both as a Notable Essay by the Best American Essays series and a Distinguished Story by the Best American Short Stories series, and she has been named a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Fiction. She has taught at the University of Michigan and led workshops for the New York Writers’ Coalition. She holds a BSc from Lahore University of Management Sciences, an MS in Marketing Research from the University of Texas at Arlington, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan.

Carter Edwards is the author of the short story collection The Aversive Clause (Black Lawrence Press/Dzanc) and the poetry collections From the Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes (Black Lawrence Press/Dzanc), and To Mend Small Children (Augury Books), and his work is included in the anthologies Diving Divas and Zombiality. He has published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in The New York Times MagazineLa Petite Zine, Freerange Nonfiction, Sink Review, Pax Americana, and Brooklyn Rail. He has served as an executive producer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York, and has been awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Artists' Fellowship in poetry. He holds a BA from Reed College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School. 

Edward Einhorn is the author of the picture books A Very Improbable Story and Fractions In Disguise(both Charlesbridge Press), and the middle-grade novels The Living House of Oz and Paradox In Oz, (both Hungry Tiger Press). His plays have been produced at many theaters, including: The Marriage of Alice B Toklas By Gertrude Stein (Jermyn Street Theater, London), City of Glass (New Ohio), The Velvet Oratorio (The Walter Bruno Theater at Lincoln Center), Fairy Tales of the Absurd (Theater 80), Unauthorized Magic in Oz (St. Ann’s Warehouse), Doctors Jane & Alexander (Theater 5), and The Living Methuselah (Theater 22). He directed the film The Last Cyclist. He is the artistic director of Untitled Theater Co. #61. He holds a BA from The Johns Hopkins University.

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.

Seth Fried is the author of the novel The Municipalists (Penguin) and the short-story collection The Great Frustration (Soft Skull Press/Counterpoint). His short fiction has appeared in the Kenyon Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, the Missouri Review, One Story, and Tin House, among many others. His work has been anthologized in the Better of McSweeney’s and the Pushcart Prizes XXV: The Best of the Small Presses, and twice named a Distinguished Story by the editors of the Best American Short Stories series. He is a regular contributor to Shouts & Murmurs in the New Yorker magazine and to NPR's Selected Shorts. He has worked as an assistant editor at the Mid-American Review. He holds a BA from Bowling Green State University.

Britt Gambino has published poetry in Armchair/Shotgunanderbo, The Boiler, decomP, and Springgun Press, among others. She previously 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 826NYC. She holds a BA from Drew University and an MFA in Poetry from The New School.

Serrana Laure Gay has published short stories in the Hunger Journal, X-R-A-Y Literary 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 appeared at the New York International Fringe Festival, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre, 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.

Clemintine Guirado has published fiction in StoryQuartlerly, Best New American Voices, Rainbow Curve, Comet Magazine, and 580 Split. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University, and she has taught at Pacific Lutheran University, Cleveland State University, Stanford University, Kansas State University, and the Academy of Art in San Francisco.  She holds a BS from Southern Oregon State University and an MFA from Mills 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 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.

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 and poetry have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including StoryQuarterly, The Literary Review, Swink, Chiron Review, and Rattle. He has taught at FSU, the University of Mississippi, Montclair, and the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference. He holds a BA and an MA in Creative Writing from FSU, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Mississippi.

Jaime Karnes has published fiction and nonfiction in Granta, Adirondack Review, Opium Magazine, PopMatters and others. She is an Editor-at-Large in fiction at The Utopian. She has taught at Rutgers and Southern New Hampshire University. She holds a BA from the University of Kansas and an MFA in Fiction from Rutgers-Newark University.

Rosalie Morales Kearns is the founder of Shade Mountain Press, an independent publisher of literary fiction. She is the author of the novel Kingdom of Women (Jaded Ibis Press) and the short-story collection Virgins & Tricksters (Aqueous Books), and her short stories, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in Drunken Boat, Entropy, Fiction Writers Review, Luna Luna, PANK, and Yes, Poetry. She edited the anthology The Female Complaint: Tales of Unruly Women (Shade Mountain Press), and her work has appeared in the anthologies Arcana: The Tarot Poetry Anthology (Minor Arcana Press) and Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse (Lost Horse Press). She has taught at the State University of New York at Albany, the University of Illinois, and the Arts Center of the Capital Region. She holds a BA from Fordham University, an MA in Russian Language and Literature from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois.

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 of the short-story collection Love Is No Small Thing (LSU Press). Her short fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Gettysburg Review, The Cincinnati Review, Hobart, and  Pleiades, among many others. She has taught at Boise State University, The Cabin Literary Center, for the Writers in the Schools Program in Idaho, and at the Gilman School as a Tickner Writing Fellow. She holds a BA from Kenyon College and an MFA in Fiction from Boise State University.

Kody Keplinger is the author of the novel The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend), which reached No. 2 on the New York Times Young Adult Best Sellers List and was made into a feature film by CBS Films. She is also the author of the young adult novels That's Not What Happened, Run, Lying Out Loud, (all Scholastic), Shut Out, Secrets and Lies, and A Midsummer’s Nightmare (all Little Brown Books for Young Readers), and 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 magazine, YA Highway, and Poptimal.

Scott LaCounte (often 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.

Cleve Lamison is the author of the 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 the screenplay for and directed the feature film Following Bliss, which won Best Feature Film at the Global Arts International Film Festival and was an official selection at many others, including the Stratford Upon Avon Film Festival, the Houston Black Film Festival, the Great Lakes Film Festival, and the Dances With Films 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 New York City, 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.

Michael Leviton is the author of the memoir To Be Honest (Abrams Press) and the children's picture book My First Ghost (Hyperion). He has published numerous illustrated paperbacks for Scholastic's READ 180 Literacy Program, and has worked as a celebrity picture book ghostwriter at HarperCollins. He has contributed music to the HBO series Bored To Death, published nonfiction in the New York Times Modern Love column, appeared on the radio program This American Life, and worked as a screenwriter at RKO Pictures. He guest-lectures at the Parsons Pre-College Academy. He holds a BA from Wesleyan University.

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: The New Rules for Moving in With Your Man (Adams Media). She is also co-author of the humor books The Stoned Family Robinson (Adams Media) and The Purity Test: Your Filth and Depravity Cheerfully Exposed by 2,000 Nosy Questions (St. Martin’s Press). Her journalism and essays have appeared in Elle, This American Life, NPR’s Morning Edition, StoryCollider, Life of the Law, and The New York Post, among many others. She holds a BA from Tufts University.

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.

Chip Livingston is the author of the novel Owls Don’t Have to Mean Death and the story collection Naming Ceremony, (both Lethe Press), as well as the poetry collections Crow-Blue, Crow-Black (New York Quarterly Books) and Museum of False Starts (Gival Press). His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Ploughshares, Cincinnati Review, Potomac Review, Court Green, Subtropics, and Crazyhorse, among many others. He has taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts, the University of the Virgin Islands, the University of Colorado, and Brooklyn College. He holds a BS in journalism and a BA in English from the University of Florida, an MA in Fiction from the University of Colorado, and an MFA in Poetry from Brooklyn College.

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.

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.

Sarah Moriarty is the author of the novel North Haven (Little A). She has been managing editor and head writer for the blog A Child Grows in Brooklyn, where she continues to be a regular contributor, and she writes for the blogs What to Expect and Mommy Poppins. Her short nonfiction has appeared in the Quivering Pen and Large Hearted Boy. She has taught for Medgar Evers College, the College of Staten Island, and St. Ann's School. She has studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, holds a BA from Harvard University, and an MFA in Fiction from The New School. 

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.

Benjamin Obler is the author of the novel Javascotia (HamishHamilton), and he has published short fiction and essays in Cottonwood, the Evansville Review, the Times of London, QWERTY, and The Slate. 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). She has published nonfiction in Preserving Your Memory, 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.

Christine Reilly is the author of the novel Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday (Simon & Schuster), and the poetry chapbooks Too Animal, Not Enough Machine (Sundress Publications) and Mano a Mano: Or Relationship Neither Here Nor There (Shoe Music Press). She has written young adult e-books for the Sh! Pass It On series (Palindrome Media). Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in the Adirondack Review, the Brooklyn Review, FriGG, and Lifelines, among many others. A one-time Intel Science Talent Search National Semi-Finalist, she has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, the Dalton School, and the Collegiate School. She holds a BA from Bucknell University and an MFA in English from Sarah Lawrence College.

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.

Josh Sippie is Gotham’s director of publishing guidance. He has published short stories and nonfiction in Hobart, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Brevity, the Guardian, the Writer Magazine, ScreenRant, and Points in Case. He is an associate editor at Uncharted Magazine, has served as a developmental editor and proofreader for Del Sol Review and Writers Clearinghouse, and has overseen writers on numerous professional blogs. He holds a BA from the University of Central Missouri.

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 and an MA in English from New York University. 

Nelsie Spencer is the author of the novel The Playgroup, (St. Martin’s Press), and the feature screenplay A Girl's Best Friend. She 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, Dorothy Lyman’s A Director’s Theater in Los Angeles, and at Duke University’s Pre-Broadway series, and her one-woman show Goodbye Cream played at the When I’m 34 Festival in Los Angeles. She studied dance and theater at Orange Coast College, and fiction at The New School.

Jessica Sticklor is the author of the novels The Beekeeper's Daughter (Bedazzled Ink Press) and Betwixt and Between (Ig Publishing), under her author's name Jessica Stilling, and the young adult novels Into the Fairy Forest and Rise of the Hidden Prince (both D.X. Varos), under the name J.M. Stephen. She has written craft articles for The Writer magazine and essays for Ms. magazine and Tor.com, and her short fiction has appeared in The Paper Nautilus, Open Wide Magazine, Conclave, The Skyline Review, Chiron Review, and Kudzu, among many others. She has worked as an editor at The House of Books. She holds a BA from The New School and an MFA in Creative Writing from CUNY.

Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen is the author of the YA Compound series, the YA 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, in addition to conducting workshops for children and adults around the country. She holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and an MFA in Writing from Spalding 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.

Arlaina Tibensky is the author of the novel And Then Things Fall Apart (Simon & Schuster). Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in One Story, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, the Madison Review, and The Dinner Party Download on NPR. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University.

Laura Yeager is the author of the short-story collection First Aid and Other Stories (Iowa State), and her short stories have appeared in Paris ReviewMissouri ReviewNorth American Review, and Kaleidoscope. Her personal essays have appeared at Aleteia, and she has blogged at Cure 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.

Irene Zabytko is the author of the novel The Sky Unwashed (Algonquin), and the short story collection When Luba Leaves Home (Algonquin). Her short stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and her nonfiction has appeared in the Orlando Sentinel, the New York Times Book Review, and the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine. She received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award in Ukraine for an upcoming novel based on the life of Nikolai Gogol. She holds a BA from Vermont College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College.