Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

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.

Blaise Allysen Kearsley is the creator, producer, and host of the How I Learned storytelling series, and has performed stories for The MOTH, The Soundtrack Series, and Literary Death Match, among other series. Her photography and essays have appeared in Elle, New York magazine, Gothamist, VICE magazine, 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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Nancy Weber is a founding board member of the New York Writers Coalition, where she also served as program director, youth program director, and instructor. She has published short stories and poetry in the Evergreen Review, the Brooklyn Rail, and The Narrator. She has taught at St. Joseph’s College and LaGuardia Community College. She holds a BFA from New York University and an MFA in Creative Writing from St. Joseph’s College.