Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Amina Akhtar is the author of the novels Kismet (Thomas + Mercer, forthcoming) and Fashion Victim (Crooked Lane Books). She has served as executive editor of Elle.com, fashion editor of New York magazine (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 BA in journalism from New York University.

Maria Alejandra Barrios has published short stories in Cosmonauts Avenue, 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 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.

Adela Brito has published short stories in 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), 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.

Roohi Choudhry has published short stories and nonfiction in Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, The Rumpus, Callaloo, Bitch, Hyphen, Desilicious, Fiction Writers Review, and the anthology 21 Under 40. Her work has been recognized as a Notable Essay by the Best American Essays series and a Distinguished Story by the Best American Short Stories series. 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-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 Magazine, La 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. 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), and the middle-grade novels The Living House of Oz and Paradox In Oz (both Hungry Tiger). He's the artistic director of Untitled Theater Company #61, and his plays have been produced widely, including: The Marriage of Alice B Toklas By Gertrude Stein (Jermyn Street Theater), The Neurology of the Soul (ART), Doctors Jane & Alexander (HERE Arts), City of Glass (New Ohio), The Velvet Oratorio (Walter Bruno Theater at Lincoln Center), Fairy Tales of the Absurd (Theater 80), and Unauthorized Magic in Oz (St. Ann’s Warehouse). He directed the feature film The Last Cyclist, and wrote the audio drama podcasts: The Resistible Rise of J. R. Brinkley and The Iron Heel. He holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University and an MA in Libretto Writing from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

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.

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 stories have appeared in Kenyon Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Missouri Review, One Story, and Tin House. 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 has been regular contributor to Shouts & Murmurs in the New Yorker 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/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 North Dakota Quarterly, 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 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.

Clemintine Guirado has published short stories 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 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.

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.

Jaime Karnes has published fiction and nonfiction in Granta, Adirondack Review, Opium Magazine, and PopMatters. 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 (Minor Arcana Press) and Nasty Women Poets (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/Literature from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 and The Atlantic, appeared on the radio program This American Life, and worked as a screenwriter at RKO Pictures. He is the founder of The Tell, a storytelling/music series. 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 (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 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.

Chip Livingston is the author of the novel Owls Don’t Have to Mean Deaththe short story/essay collection Naming Ceremony, (both Lethe Press), and the poetry collections Crow-Blue, Crow-Black (New York Quarterly Books) and Museum of False Starts (Gival Press). His short stories and nonfiction have appeared in Ploughshares, Cincinnati Review, Potomac Review, Court Green, Subtropics, and Crazyhorse. 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 and a BA 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, 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 nonfiction has appeared in 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 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.

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.

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 stories and poetry have appeared in Adirondack Review, Brooklyn Review, FriGG, and Lifelines. 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 the author of the novel The Nobodies (Blackstone Publishing). Her short stories have appeared in Sewanee Review, Massachusetts Review, Juked, and Electric Literature's Recommended Reading. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Atlantic, The NationJacobin, the Washington Post, the Village Voice, and the LA Review of Books. 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 the director of publishing guidance at Gotham Writers Workshop, host of Gotham’s talk show Inside Writing, and the organizer of the Gotham Writers Conference.  He has published short stories, nonfiction, and poetry in Hobart, McSweeney’s, Brevity, Stone of Madness, the Guardian, The Writer, Bear Creek Gazette, and Sledgehammer Lit. He is an associate editor at Uncharted Magazine, has served as a developmental editor and proofreader for Del Sol Review and Writers Clearinghouse, was a literary assistant at Talcott Notch Literary. 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). 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, 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 (also writing as Jessica Stilling and J.M. Stephen) is the author of the novels The Weary God of Ancient Travelers (D.X Faros), The Beekeeper's Daughter (Bedazzled Ink Press), and Betwixt and Between (Ig Publishing), and the young adult Pan Chronicles series (D.X. Faros). Her short stories have appeared in The Paper Nautilus, Open Wide Magazine, Conclave, The Skyline Review, Chiron Review, and Kudzu, and her nonfiction has appeared in The Writer, Ms., and Tor.com. 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 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.

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, McSweeney's, Madison Review, Literary Mama, The Dinner Party Download on NPR, and the anthology New Stories from the Midwest 2018 (New American Press). 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 Review, Missouri Review, North 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.