Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Kesi Augustine is the author of the picture books Hope for the Honeybees and Whales of Wonder, and her short fiction and poetry have appeared in Crawl Space Journal, Winter Tangerine, and For Harriet, among others. Her essays have appeared in USA Today and Connected Academics, the blog of the Modern Language Association. When she was 14, she won the New York MTA’s Poetry in Motion contest, and her poem “Sleepless” was featured on subway trains throughout the city for a year. She teaches with the Bard High School Early College program, and she has taught at New York University and the Bronx Writing Academy. She has worked as a writing assistant for Williams College. She holds a BA from Williams College, and an MA and a Ph.D in English (Children’s Literature) from New York University.

Nina Boutsikaris is the author of the memoir I’m Trying to Tell You I’m Sorry (Black Lawrence Press, forthcoming). Her short nonfiction has appeared in Brevity, Entropy, Fourth Genre, Third Coast, Hobart, the Los Angeles Review, the Mid-American Review, Phoebe, Puerto del Sol, and Redivider, among many othersand her work has been named a Notable Essay by the editors of the Best American Essays series. She has worked at Ms. magazine, the Sonora Review, Riffle Books, and Skyhorse Publishing. She has taught at the University of Arizona and the New School, and been a teaching fellow at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. She holds a BA from Ithaca College and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Arizona.

Sarah Bruni is the author of the novel The Night Gwen Stacy Died (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). She has taught at Washington University in St. Louis, and volunteered as a writer-in-schools in San Francisco and Montevideo, Uruguay. Her translations have appeared in the Buenos Aires Review. She holds a BA from the University of Iowa, an MFA in Fiction Writing from Washington University in St. Louis, and an MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University.

Carmen Bugan is the author of the memoir Burying the Typewriter: Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police (MacMillan/Picador and Graywolf Press). She is also the author of the poetry collections Releasing the Porcelain Birds (Shearsman Books), The House of Straw (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 at Harvard University, and in the anthologies Centres of Catacylsm (Bloodaxe Books), See How I Land: Oxford Poets and Exiled Writers (Heaven Tree Press), and Penguin’s Poems for Life (Penguin Hardback Classics). She has taught at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, 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.

Carole Bugge is the author of the novels Edinburgh Twilightunder the pen name Carole Lawrence, (Thomas & Mercer, the first in the Ian Hamilton series), The Star of India, (re-released by Titan Press), The Haunting of Torre Abbey (St. Martin's Press), Pride, Prejudice, and Poison (under the pen name Elizabeth Blake, forthcoming), as well as Who Killed Blanche Dubois?, Who Killed Dorian Gray?, Who Killed Mona Lisa? (all with Berkely Prime Crime for the Claire Rawlings mystery series), and, under the pen name C.E. Lawrence, Silent Screams, Silent Victim, Silent Killsand Silent Slaughter (a thriller series from Kensington Publishing). Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies from St. Martin’s Press, Doubleday, and the Mystery Writers of America. Her plays and musicals have been presented regionally and in New York City. She has taught at NYU, Duke University, the Royal Court Repertory Theatre, and the American Comedy Institute. Carole holds a BA from Duke University.

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.

Julie Chibbaro is the author of the novels Redemption (Simon & Schuster), Deadly (Athaneum), and Into The Dangerous World (Viking). She has published fiction in the Prague Review and the anthology Kraj Majales, and nonfiction in Hudson Valley Magazine, the Poughkeepsie Journal, and the Prague Post, among many others, and has also written for SundanceTV. She is a winner of the American Book Award. 

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.

BC 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: 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 is the artistic director of Untitled Theater Co. #61. He holds a BA from The Johns Hopkins University.

Seth Fried is the author of the novel The Municipalists (Penguin, forthcoming) 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.

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

Shahnaz Habib has published fiction and nonfiction in the anthologies Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers (Random House) and 21 Under 40 (Zubaan). She is a regular contributor to the New Yorker online, the Guardian, and Of Note magazine. Her work has also appeared in Afar magazine, Brevity, and Laundry, among many others, and been named a Notable Essay by the Best American Essays series. She has been awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Artists' Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature. 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.

Masha Hamilton is the author of the novels 31 Hours, What Changes Everything, and The Distance Between Us (all Unbridled Books), The Camel Bookmobile (HarperCollins), and Staircase of a Thousand Steps (BlueHen/Penguin Putnam Publishing Group). As a journalist, she worked for the AP in Israel, as the Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, and she wrote a column on Moscow for U.S. newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the Dallas Morning News and the Miami Herald. She is the founder of the Afghan Women Writer's Project. She served as director of communications and public diplomacy for the US Embassy in Afghanistan and vice president of communications for the international NGO Concern Worldwide. She holds a BA from Brown University.

Pamela Harris created Married by the Hour, a half-hour comedy (Howard Stern Productions) and served as a staff writer for Life on the Line, a one-hour drama (Oxygen Network). She wrote the feature screenplay Grandview, which was selected for the Writers Laba program funded by Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey to encourage script development for women screenwriters. She has also written and optioned feature screenplays. She co-wrote and directed the short film En Route, a selection of the New York Short Film Festival, the Big Apple Film Festival, and the Blackbird Film Festival. She is an award-winning visual artist and has shown her art all over the U.S. She holds a BFA from the Hartford Art School.

Shamar Hill has published short stories, essays, and poetry in The American Reader, Barrelhouse, The Kenyon Review, and the Washington Square Review, among others. He is a Cave Canem Fellow in Poetry and has been named a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Fiction. He has taught at New York University, the New School, the Bronx Council on the Arts, and for PEN America. He holds a BA from the New School and an MFA from New York University. 

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.

Meghan Kenny is the author of the novel The Driest Season (W.W. Norton & Company) and the short-story collection Love Is No Small Thing (LSU Press, forthcoming) and has published fiction 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 novel The Swift Boys & Me (Scholastic). She has published fiction in Young Adult Review Net, and nonfiction in Seventeen magazine, YA Highway, and Poptimal.

Scott LaCounte is the author of the humor memoir Quiet, Please (Da Capo Books). He has published humor pieces in McSweeney's, The Door, Campus Life, Morning News, Pacific Review, and Orange County Register. He holds a BA from California State University, Fullerton, and an MLIS in Library Science from San Jose State University.

Michael Leviton is the author of 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.

Chip Livingston is the author of the story collection The Naming Ceremony (Lethe Press, 2014) and the poetry collections Crow-Blue, Crow-Black (New York Quarterly Books) and Museum of False Starts (Gival Press). His fiction and nonfiction are also widely published, in journals including Ploughshares, Cincinnati Review, Potomac Review, Court Green, Subtropics, and Crazyhorse. He has taught writing at the University of the Virgin Islands, the University of Colorado and Brooklyn College. He holds a BS and a BA in English from the University of Florida, an MA in Fiction Writing from the University of Colorado, and an MFA in Poetry Writing from Brooklyn College.

Michael Montlack is the author of the poetry collection Cool Limbo (New York Quarterly Books), the chapbooks Cover Charge (Gertrude Press), Girls, Girls, Girls (Pudding House), and The Slip (Poets Wear Prada), and editor of the anthologies My Diva (University of Wisconsin Press) and Divining Divas (Lethe Press). He has published poetry in New York Quarterly, Cimarron Review, Poet Lore, Court Green, Cream City Review, and MiPOesias, among others, and he is an associate editor for Mudfish. 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.

Kate Moses is the author of the novel Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath (St. Martins Press) and of the memoir Cakewalk (The Dial Press). She co-edited the essay anthologies Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood (Washington Square Press/Pocket Books) and Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race & Themselves (HarperCollins). She was a founding senior editor and writer for Salon, and her essays and articles have appeared in The American Scholar, Good Housekeeping, the Guardian, the Hungry Mind Review, Narrative magazine, SF magazine, NPR’s Snap Judgment, and Time, and anthologized in Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave (W.W. Norton) and Truthful Fictions: Conversations with American Biographical Novelists. She has taught at the State University of New York—Plattsburgh, the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and the University of the Pacific. She holds a BA from the University of the Pacific and an MFA in Fiction from San Francisco State University.

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.

Francesca Ochoa has published fiction and nonfiction in MAKE: A Literary Magazine; Perigree, and Aorta. She is the author of chapbooks Love/ Smut and the art book Pictograph, and she has served as editor at Apogee Journal and Columbia: a Journal of Literature and Art. She has taught at NY Writers Coalition, and the Benjamin Banneker Academy. She holds a BA from the University of California, San Diego and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University.

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.

Joe Okonkwo is the author of the novel Jazz Moon (Kensington Books). His short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Chelsea Station Magazine, Cooper Street, The New Engagement, Storychord, and have been anthologized in Love Stories from Africa and Best Gay StoriesHis essays, reviews, and poetry have appeared in Publishers Weekly, and Read It Forward, among others. He is prose editor of the Newtown Literary Journal. He has taught at Bronx Arts and for the Queens Library. He holds a BA from the University of Houston and an MFA in Fiction from the City College of New York. 

G. D. Peters has published fiction in Folio, South Dakota Review, Sulphur River Literary Review, River Oak Review, Lynx Eye, Prairie Winds, The Licking River Review, Nebo,RiverSedge,and Reader’s Break, and he has served as an editor at FICTION. He has taught at The City College of New York and Lehman College. He holds a BA from Binghamton University, a JD from the University of Buffalo, and an MFA in Creative Writing from City College.

Chris Prioleau has published short nonfiction in The Awl, ZYZZYVA, and Apogee Journal, among others. He has taught at Columbia University, both undergraduate creative writing courses and in the Summer Creative Writing Program for teens, at the Benjamin Banneker Academy, the Brooklyn High School for the Arts, and the Globe Institute of Technology. He is the Development and Communications Manager for the New York Writers Coalition, a founding editor of Apogee Journal, and a current board member of the Wendy’s Subway community writing center in Brooklyn. He holds a BA from the University of California-Santa Cruz, and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia University.

Lisa Reardon is the author of the novels The Mercy Killers (Counterpoint Press), Blameless (Random House), and Billy Dead (Viking), which was named one of 20 Top First Novels by Booklist. She has also written numerous plays which have been produced throughout the country. She has taught at the Circle Repertory School, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Division of Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Playwriting from Yale.

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.

David Rice is the author of the novel A Room in Dodge City (Alternating Current Press). His short fiction has appeared in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Black Clock, The Rumpus, Hobart, and the New Haven Review, and his book reviews and essays have appeared in The Believer, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, and Salon. He has taught at Harvard University, Brownstone Tutors, and Smith Street Workshop. He holds a BA from Harvard University.

Alanna Schubach has published essays, articles, and criticism in The Atlantic, Refinery 29, The Village Voice, and the LA Review of Books, among many others. Her fiction has appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, Post Road, the Lifted Brow, and Prick of the Spindle, and she has been named a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Fiction. 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.

Divya Sood is the author of the novels Nights Like This (Riverdale Avenue Books) and Maya (IUniverse). She a winner of the New Jersey Arts and Letters First Prize for Short Fiction, and 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 The Naked Novelist. 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.

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 she has published fiction in such magazines as Paris ReviewMissouri ReviewNorth American ReviewOhio Short Fiction, and Kaleidoscope.  She has taught at Kent State University, Walsh University, Malone College, and Rhode Island School of Design. Laura holds a BA from Oberlin College, an MA in English from Iowa State University, and an MFA in English from the University of Iowa.