Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Amelia Blanquera has had essays and articles published in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, the New York Times, Orion, The Nervous Breakdown, and Climbing Magazine, among many others.  She’s served on the staffs of several publishing companies including Doubleday, Macmillan, and Putnam. She holds a BS from New York University and a JD from Brooklyn Law School.

Chloé Caldwell is the author of the essay collections Legs Get Led Astray (Future Tense Books) and I’ll Tell You In Person (Coffee House Press/Emily Books), as well as the novella Women (Short Flight/Long Drive Books). Her essays have appeared in The Sun magazine, Salon, VICE magazine, The Rumpus, xoJane, Smith Magazine, and Freerange Nonfiction, among many others. She has contributed to the anthologies True Tales of Lust and Love (Soft Skull Press) and Goodbye To All That:  Writers On Loving And Leaving New York (Seal Press). She has taught for LitReactor, The Independent Resource Center in Portland, Oregon, and The Hudson Opera House. 

Kelly Caldwell has written for Vox, New York Newsday, House Beautiful, Time Out New York, The Writer, The Huffington Post, and 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.

Nan Mooney is the author of the memoir My Racing Heart: The Passionate World of Thoroughbreds and the Track (HarperCollins), and the nonfiction books (Not) Keeping Up With Our Parents (Beacon Press) and I Can't Believe She Did That: Why Women Betray Other Women at Work (St. Martin's Press). Her work has also appeared in such publications as the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, Slate, the Seattle Weekly, and Hamptons Jitney Magazine. She holds a BA from Scripps College.

Stacy Pershall is the author of the memoir Loud in the House of Myself (W.W. Norton), selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Program, and her work is included in the anthologies Lost and Found (W.W. Norton) and Spent (Seal Press). She has taught at Writopia, Pratt Manhattan, City College of New York, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. She holds a BA from the University of Arkansas and an MFA in Performance Art from the University of Cincinnati.

Melissa Petro has published nonfiction in Cosmopolitan, New York Magazine, Poets & Writers, Salon, Daily Beast, Narratively, Jezebel, xoJane, Frisky, The Fix, and Rumpus. She is the editor of two anthologies: Pros(e): Writings by Individuals with Experiences in the Sex Industries and Corner Stories: Writings by the Washington Heights CORNER Project Community. She is a PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize finalist. She holds a BA from Antioch, an MS in Education from Fordham, and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the New School.

Domenica Ruta is the author of the memoir With Or Without You (Spiegel & Grau/Random House), which was a Barnes & Novel Discover selection. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Indiana Review, The New York Times Sunday Book Review, PEN America, and Epoch, among others. She holds a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.

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.

Clifford Thompson is the author of Love for Sale and Other Essays (Autumn House Press), and the memoir Twin of Blackness (Autumn House Press). He served for more than ten years as editor in chief of Current Biography magazine and Wilson Biographies. His articles and essays have appeared in The Iowa Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Threepenny Review, Commonweal, Film Quarterly, and have been anthologized in Best American Movie Writing, among others. He is a winner of the Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction. He has taught at Columbia University, and holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from Oberlin College.