David Hicks Headshot Photo

David Hicks


David Hicks, PhD, grew up in New York. A first-generation college student, he earned his doctorate in American Literature at NYU. He has taught at Pace University in New York, Marywood University in Scranton, Mesa State College in Colorado and Regis University in Denver, where he co-founded and co-directed the MFA in Creative Writing. In his 40s he shifted his work from academic to creative, first publishing short stories, then collecting and rearranging them as a novel-in-stories, White Plains, published by Conundrum Press (now Bower House Books) in 2017. White Plains was named the #1 book by Colorado authors by Westword Magazine, was one of three finalists for the Colorado Book Award, and was the 2018 “Village Read” for Arapahoe Libraries in Colorado, a county with more than 600,000 residents). In 2020 he became the new director of the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University. His second novel, The Gospel According to Danny, is in submission, and he is currently hard at work on a novella set in Prague.

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Patricia L. Naumann

Administrative Assistant


Program faculty are working, producing writers who will mentor you one-on-one, teaching you the craft of writing and guiding you to the completion of your full-length creative project--a novel, story collection, memoir, essay collection, chapbook, spoken-word performance, screenplay, or play. Accomplished writers themselves, they will dedicate themselves to mentoring you not solely during your time in the program but beyond. "We stay with you," is their motto, continuing their commitment to your writing success until well after you graduate.

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Rashidah Ismaili Abubakr

  • Poetry
  • Playwriting

Originally from West Africa and now, over three decades a Harlem resident, Rashidah Ismaili is a writer of plays, poetry, fiction and cultural critiques. She is one of the original faculty of the Creative Writing Low Residence at Wilkes University. She has read at many international arts festivals and as well, her plays have been presented in Zimbabwe for the HIFA, Harare International Festival of Arts, for three years. In addition to her writing Ismaili-AbuBakr is the host of Salon d' Afrique; an international forum for the gathering of artists, cultural workers and prominent activists as well as celebrations of various activities. This is something she has done prior to coming to Harlem, over forty years. She is a founding member of OWWA, Organization of Women Writers of Africa, an active member of African Literature Association, PEN International Writers, Pen&Brush as the Vice President of the Board. Currently she is organizing the archives of the late dancer/choreographer, Eleo Pomare. Ismaili-AbuBakr has a long history in literary and cultural movements and groups; Umbra, a group of visual and literary artists that formed in Lower East Side during the mid 60's along with Black Arts Movement, Calabashe Poets, Afrikan Poetry Theatre and Badenya, a Pan African cultural and arts organization. She considers herself an advocate for human rights, literacy for young people, cultural and intellectual development for women of all ages in Africa and the African Diaspora.

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Remica Bingham-Risher

  • Poetry
  • Spoken Word

Remica Bingham-Risher, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, is a Cave Canem fellow and Affrilachian Poet. Among other journals, her work has been published in The New York Times, The Writer’s Chronicle, Callaloo and Essence. She is the author of Conversion (Lotus, 2006) winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, What We Ask of Flesh (Etruscan, 2013) shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and Starlight & Error (Diode, 2017) winner of the Diode Editions Book Award and a finalist for the Library of Virginia Book Award. She is currently the Director of Quality Enhancement Plan Initiatives at Old Dominion University and resides in Norfolk, VA with her husband and children.

Remica's Website

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Sari Botton

  • Creative Nonfiction

Sari Botton is a writer and editor living in Kingston, NY. She is a contributing editor at Catapult, and the former Essays Editor for Longreads. She edited the award-winning anthology Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving & Leaving NY and its New York Times bestselling follow-up, Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love for NY. She teaches creative nonfiction at Wilkes University, Catapult and Bay Path University. Her memoir-in-essays, And You May Find Yourself..., will be published by Heliotrope in June, 2022.

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Philip Brady

  • Poetry
  • Nonfiction
  • Editing

Philip Brady is a poet, essayist and editor. His forthcoming book is The Elsewhere: New & Selected Poems (Broadstone, 2020) His latest book of essays is Phantom Signs: The Muse in Universe City (University of Tennessee Press, 2019). A book-length poem, To Banquet with the Ethiopians: A Memoir of Life Before the Alphabet appeared from Broadstone in 2015. His essay collection, By Heart: Reflections of a Rust-Belt Bard (University of Tennessee Press), was a Gold Medalist at Foreword Magazine in 2008. He has published three collections of poems, Fathom (WordTech Press, 2007), Weal (Ashland, 2000), winner of the Snyder Prize, and Forged Correspondences (New Myths, 1996), which was chosen for Ploughshares “Editor’s Shelf”by Maxine Kumin. He has also published a memoir, To Prove My Blood: A Tale of Emigrations & the Afterlife (Ashland, 2003). He holds a PhD from Binghamton University and has published numerous scholarly articles in journals including: College English, The Arkansas Quarterly, and The Centennial Review. His edited collections include: Critical Essays on James Joyce’s Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man (Twayne, 1998) and Poems and Their Making (Etruscan Press, 2015). He has been awarded the Ohio Governor’s Award in Arts Education, an Ohioana Award in Poetry, six Ohio Arts Council Fellowships, a Thayer Fellowship from New York State, and residencies at Yaddo, Ragdale, the Headlands Center, Fundacion Valparaiso, Hawthornden Castle, and the Virginia Center. Brady has taught at University College Cork in Ireland, as a Peace Corps Volunteer at the National University of Zaire, and in the Semester at Sea Program. Currently, he is a Distinguished Professor of English at Youngstown State University, where he directs the Poetry Center. Brady is also the co-founder and executive director for Etruscan Press.

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Susan Cartsonis

  • Screenwriting

Susan Cartsonis a producer and executive, is co-founder of and partner in Resonate Entertainment, a media company focused on films for the female audience. She has produced popular hits including What Women Want the second highest grossing romantic comedy of all time, and the top grossing romantic comedy at the time of its release as well as other popular films that include Where the Heart Is and No Reservations. Cartsonis is a member of the Motion Picture Academy, the Television Academy and the Producer’s Guild. She serves on the board of the non-profit screenwriters workshop, Cinestory, and mentors for the Meryl Streep-founded and funded Writer’s Lab. Her dance musical, Feel the Beat will be released by Netflix, June of 2020 and in August 2020, Upside Down Magic, executive producedfor The Disney Channel will be released. Cartsonis produced the highly rated third of the Disney Channel hit musical trilogy, The Descendants 3 (2019), Freaky Friday the Musical (2018), and Deidra & Laney Rob a Train, (Sundance, 2017). She produced the young adult favorites The Duff, Beastly, Aquamarine, Middle School, Invisible Sister, and Carrie Pilby, (Toronto Film Festival 2016) as well. Upcoming is the original romantic comedy, Give or Take for MRC Productions, Sitting in Bars with Cake, adapted by Audrey Shulman from her cookbook/memoir, for Amazon Studios, and the indie comedy/drama to star Geena Davis, Cowgirl’s Last Ride.

Rashidah Ismaili Abubakr headshot

Bonnie Culver

  • Playwriting
  • Screenwriting

Bonnie Culver is the Wilkes University creative writing program co-founder and a screenwriter, playwright and novelist. Bonnie’s 20+ plays have been produced from NY to LA by colleges, regional theatres and equity companies. Her professionally produced plays include: Lifelines, Group S.O.S. (male and female versions), Accident, and Sniper. In 2004, Sniper won the New Jersey Arts Council Perry Award for Excellence in the Production of an Original Play and was produced Off-Broadway at Center Stage, NYC, in 2005. In 2006, Sniper was included in the Florida Studio Theatre’s Richard and Betty Burdick National Playwriting Reading series, an annual event that showcases “the best in American contemporary theatre.” Her screenplays Sniper, Group S.O.S., and Watchfires were Sundance Film Development Program finalists. Marlee Matlin’s film company, Solo One Productions optioned her film Rainbow Man. The 2011 Villagers Playhouse production of Sniper was nominated for seven NJ Perry Awards. The original showcase premier in Red Bank, New Jersey, earned the “Best Original Play” Perry Award in 2003. Her short plays “Cell” and “GPS” were produced in a festival of one-acts at The Venue, Norfolk, VA and her play “Auto-mated” was produced on the Virginia Eastern Shore and her essay “The Moon on the River” was included in an anthology of music, poetry, memoir, and essays, Written on Water: Writings About the Alleghany River (Mayapple Press). Group S.O.S., (male and female cast versions) and interviews with the directors who first produced the plays is available at Her play GPS directed by faculty member Gregory Fletcher won the Piney Fork Short Play Festival, NYC, as “best play of the festival.” Dr. Culver received her M.A. and PhD from Binghamton University. At Wilkes, she is an associate professor of English, a former college dean, and co-founder/director of the Graduate Creative Writing Program. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, past president of the James Jones Society, and an advisory board member of the Norman Mailer Society and Etruscan Press. Recently, she just completed her second term as the chair of the Board of Trustees of AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs). In 2018, her play Auto-Mated was included in a 10 Minute Play Festival (Can we Talk?) at Carroll College, Montana, of Plays by Women. Her play A Ticket to the Circus, a one-woman show based upon the memoir of Norris Church Mailer is scheduled to open at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in California in 2020, directed and produced by Michelle Danner and starring Anne Archer.

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Beverly Donofrio

  • Nonfiction (Memoir)

Beverly Donofrio, recently dubbed a master memoirist by The Daily Beast, has published three memoirs: the New York Times bestseller, Riding in Cars with Boys, which was made into a popular movie; Looking for Mary, a Barnes and Noble Discover pick; and Astonished, called "astonishing," by more than one reviewer. Her three children's books are much praised; her NPR documentaries are perennially rebroadcast; and her personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle, Marie Clair, More, Allure, Spirituality and Health, The Village Voice, Huffington Post, Slate, as well as many anthologies. Her picture book, Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary, was named by Publishers Weekly one of "10 Children's Books that Never Get Old." Its sequel, Where's Mommy? was chosen by The New York Times as one of the top ten children's book of 2014. Her essays can be found in numerous anthologies, and one appears in How Does That Make You Feel, True Confessions from Both Sides of the Therapy Couch, published by Seal Press in 2016. She teaches memoir-writing workshops around the country and is currently at work on a memoir and a novel. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University.

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Gregory Fletcher

  • Playwriting
  • Directing

Gregory Fletcher is a native of Dallas, Texas, a resident of New York, a graduate with three theatre degrees from California State University at Northridge, Columbia University, and Boston University. His plays have had 12 Off-Off Broadway productions plus regionally in Boston, Miami, Moscow (Idaho), and Provincetown. Publishers include Smith & Kraus, Back Stage Books, Dramatic Publishing, Blue Moon Plays, Anco Entertainment in the Netherlands and Belgium, Wilde Magazine, and Northampton House Press for his craft book Shorts and Briefs, a collection of his short plays and brief principles of playwriting. Essays have been published by Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln in their anthology Being: What Makes a Man, by Zoetic Press in their anthology Dearly Beloved, and by the journals American Writers Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and Longridge Review. His short stories Friends of Vera resides in The Night Bazaar anthology, and Ismene in Venice in The Night Bazaar: Venice, both published by Northampton House Press. Other People’s Crazy marks Fletcher’s YA novel debut, published by Overdue Books. Awards include the Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting and the National Ten-Minute Play Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and, as a first runner-up, the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award. He was a playwriting grantee at the Sundance Theatre Lab, a nominee for Outstanding Original Short Script for the New York IT Awards, and a national finalist for the Heideman Award and the Reva Shiner Comedy Award. Fletcher has also taught playwriting at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Niagara University, and CUNY-Kingsborough. For directing and stage management credits, visit

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Christine Gelineau

  • Poetry
  • Nonfiction

Christine Gelineau is a poet and essayist and the author of three full-length collections of poetry: Crave (NYQ Books, 2016), Appetite for the Divine (Editor's Choice for the McGovern Publication Prize, Ashland Poetry Press, 2010) and Remorseless Loyalty (Ashland Poetry Press, 2006), which was awarded the Richard Snyder Memorial Prize, and which was subsequently nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Gelineau's other books include two chapbooks of poetry, as well as the anthology French Connections: A Gathering of Franco-American Poets (Louisiana Literature Press, 2007). Gelineau's poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in or been accepted to numerous journals and anthologies, including: Prairie Schooner, The New York Times Opinionator, New York Quarterly, Connecticut Review, New Letters, The Iron Horse Review, Green Mountains Review, Georgia Review, Paterson Literary Review and others, and have appeared on Verse Daily and Poetry Sunday (Women's Voices for Change). Her poem "Sockanosett" won a Pushcart Prize in 2013. Three of her essays have been cited as "Notable Essays" in Best American Essays ("Foal Watch" in 2004, “The Gift That Cannot Be Refused” in 2007, "Courtesy of the Gravedigger" in 2015), while her essay "Cops" was the runner-up in the 2009 Florida Review Editors Award in Creative Nonfiction. Gelineau lives on a farm in upstate New York. She holds a PhD in literature with a creative dissertation in poetry and essays from Binghamton University.

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Laurie Jean Carter

  • Creative Nonfiction (Memoir)

The Root online magazine listed Laurie Jean’s memoir, Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul, as one of the best nonfiction books by black authors in 2015. Kirkus Reviews described Crave as a "bold, honest, and courageous memoir." Foreword Reviews listed Crave as an Indiefab Book of the Year 2015 finalist in the autobiography/memoir category. Additionally, Crave was named a finalist for the Library of Virginia People’s Choice Award for Nonfiction. Laurie Jean has published personal essays on poverty, domestic violence, and military sexual trauma in a number of publications, including The Rumpus, Good Housekeeping, and Ink and Letters. She has presented talks, lectures, and workshops at numerous organizations, including the KGB Literary Bar, Girls Write Now, The Women’s Initiative, and West Point Military Academy. Laurie Jean is the Mellon Foundation Endowed Chair of English and Foreign Languages at Hampton University and a member of the creative writing faculty in the Wilkes University MA/MFA low-residency Creative Writing Program. Her memoir-in-progress, Wars We've Lost, Wars We've Won is represented by The Tomasino Agency, Inc. You can find additional information at Laurie Jean’s website,

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Kaylie Jones

  • Nonfiction
  • Fiction

Kaylie Jones is a novelist, creative nonfiction writer, and editor. Her most recent work, a collection of CNF essays entitled Bad Mother, have been individually published in venues such as The Rumpus, Hippocampus Magazine, and The Southampton Review. Her memoir, Lies My Mother Never Told Me, was released by Harper Collins in 2009. Her third novel, A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (Bantam, 1990) was adapted as a Merchant Ivory Film in 1998. Celeste Ascending was published by Harper Collins in 2000 and her novel, Speak Now, was released by Akashic Books in 2003. Her novels have been translated into many languages including: French, Dutch, German, and Japanese. Kaylie taught fiction at The Writer's Voice from 1988 to 1996, before helping to create the MFA Program in Writing of LIU's Southampton campus, now the SUNY Stony Brook Southampton College M.FA. Program in Writing, where she still teaches. Currently, she chairs the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, hosted at Wilkes University, which awards $10,000 annually to an unpublished first novel. Kaylie is also the proud editor of Long Island Noir, ananthology of crime fiction published by Akashic Books in 2012. Kaylie's latest novel, The Anger Meridian, was published by Akashic Books in June, 2015. In November 2011, Kaylie was given an award by the National Coalition Against Censorship for her work in bringing to print an unexpurgated, uncensored edition of her father’s classic novel, From Here to Eternity. Kaylie’s newest endeavor is her imprint, Kaylie Jones Books, under the aegis of Akashic Books. The most recent novels published by Kaylie Jones Books are Laurie Loewenstein’s Death of a Rainmaker, which was chosen as a 2018 Book of the Year by NPR and Library Journal; Laurel Brett’s The Schrodinger Girl (January 2020), reviewed in the New York Sunday Times Book Review; and Lauren Sharkey’s Inconvenient Daughter, The Rumpus’ June 2020 Book Club selection. Her latest short fiction will appear in The Night Bazaar: Venice, edited by Lenore Hart, to be published in October 2020. Her CNF essay, “Fork in the Road,” appears in the anthology One Last Lunch (May 2020), edited by Erica Heller. Kaylie holds an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and is a founding faculty member of the Maslow Family Graduate Creative Writing Program.

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Lisa Jones

  • Screenwriting
  • Nonfiction

Lisa Jones has adapted works of fiction for the screen, including Disappearing Acts (HBO) and The Wedding (ABC), written original film projects, and done feature-film rewrites for Dreamworks, Focus Features, Fox, and Universal, among other studios and production companies. She was a staff writer for the landmark children’s television shows Little Bill and Gullah Gullah Island (Nick Jr). A lifetime member of the Writer’s Guild of America, East, Jones has served as a screenwriting mentor at the Writer’s Lab.

Jones is also the author of the seminal essay collection Bulletproof Diva: Tales of Race, Sex, and Hair (Doubleday). Her work as an essayist has appeared in many anthologies, including Shaking the Tree: A Collection of New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women (Norton). An award-winning journalist, Jones was a columnist and staff writer at the Village Voice.

Jones began her writing career as a playwright. Her one-act Combination Skin, collected in Contemporary Plays by Women of Color (Routledge), was a runner-up for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and has been staged around the country. Jones co-founded the Rodeo Caldonia High-Fidelity Performance Theater with composer Alva Rogers, and their theater collaboration, Stained, won a Bessie Award. Her early work as a playwright was featured in the landmark museum show We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-1985, which opened at the Brooklyn Museum and Boston ICA in 2017. Jones’s influence as an artist central to the “New Black Aesthetic” of the 1990s was also profiled in Nelson George’s HBO documentary Brooklyn Boheme (2011).

An experienced literary collaborator, Jones has co-written three books with Spike Lee on the making of his films. She received a BA from Yale and a M.F.A in filmmaking from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Read more on Wikipedia.

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Ross Klavan

  • Screenwriting

Ross Klavan’s work spans film, television, radio, print, live performance and visual art. His novella Cut Loose All Those Who Drag You Down is due out in 2020 from Down and Out Books which published his novella, I Take Care Of Myself In Dreamland in 2018. Thump Gun Hitched, was published by Down and Out in 2016. His darkly comic novel Schmuck was published by Greenpoint Press in 2014. His original screenplay film Tigerland was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and the film was released by New Regency starring Colin Farrell. He recently finished an adaption of John Bowers's The Colony and has written scripts for Miramax, Intermedia, Walden Media, Paramount and TNT TV among others. The "conversation about writing" he moderated with Kurt Vonnegut and Lee Stringer was televised and published as Like Shaking Hands with God and his short stories have appeared in magazines and been produced by the BBC. An earlier novel, Trax, was published under a pseudonym. His play How I Met My (Black) Wife (Again), co-written with Ray Iannicelli, has been produced in New York City, and he has performed his work in numerous theaters and clubs. He has acted and done voice work in TV and radio commercials and has lent his voice to feature films including: Casino, You Can Count on Me, Revolutionary Road, Awake and the new Amazon web series Alpha House, written by Gary Trudeau. He has worked as a newspaper and radio journalist in New York City and London. He lives in New York City with his wife, the painter, Mary Jones.

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Jean Klein

  • Playwriting

Jean Klein has been a semi-finalist in the O’Neill competition, and is currently co-director of the Virginia Playwrights Forum and workshop leader at Dreamwrights, a playwrights group at Zeider’s American Dream Theatre. Her degrees are a BA from Carnegie-Mellon and an M.A and MFA from the University of Iowa. A full-length play Unreasonable Possession was produced as a staged reading at the Earl Hamner Theatre in Nelson County, Virginia; a short play, Lifeswap was produced at The Venue on 35th in Norfolk, Virginia in 2012 and at The Edge Theater in Belle Haven, Virginia. Two plays, Lifeswap and Priming The Pump have been filmed for airing by Cox Cable in Virginia and North Carolina. A one-act play “Snapshots” was a winner in the Kernodle Play competition was produced in August of 2014 at The Venue in Norfolk, VA, and at The American Theatre in Hampton, VA. A full-length play Refraction Of Light was produced by Looking Glass Productions at The Venue for the Norfolk Summer PlayFest; had a staged reading at Playwrights Night at Wilkes University; and a subsequent staged reading by Transcendence Theatre Company in NYC.A new play, Generous Rivals received a staged reading by Zeider’s American Dream Theater in Virginia in June and a production at Zeider’s Proteus Festival in October. Inside and Out, a play she wrote for Wilkes Faculty Night is scheduled for a workshop production at The Barrow Group in NYC in August of 2020. She is also the founder and owner of HaveScripts/Blue Moon Plays, a dramatic publishing company for new plays and spoken word poetry and fiction which explores social/political issues and challenges, as well as providing new scripts for the high school, college, community theater, senior performer market.

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J. Michael Lennon

  • Program Co-Founder
  • Nonfiction,

J. Michael Lennon is the late Norman Mailer's archivist, editor and authorized biographer. Norman Mailer: A Double Life (2013) was chosen as an "Editors' Choice" book by the New York Times Book Review and was one of Amazon's top twenty nonfiction books of the year. The paperback edition, published October, 2104, was chosen as the top paperback bio for October by the Times of London. He recently edited Selected Letters of Norman Mailer (2014). Other books include: On God: An Uncommon Conversation (with Mailer, 2007), Norman Mailer: Works and Days (2000) (with Donna Pedro Lennon), the recipient of a Choice Magazine award for "outstanding scholarly title" in 2001; and three edited volumes: Conversations with Norman Mailer (1988), The James Jones Reader (1991), and Mailer's The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing (2003). He is the current president of The Norman Mailer Society and past president of The James Jones Literary Society, and serves as Chair of the Editorial Board of The Mailer Review. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, Mailer Review, New York Review of Books, James Jones Literary Society Journal, Playboy, Creative Nonfiction, Times Literary Supplement, Hippocampus, Provincetown Arts, Chicago Tribune, New York, New England Review, and the Journal of Modern Literature, among others. He co-authored Mailer's last book, On God: AnUncommon Conversation (2007), and in 2012, edited Mailer's biography of Marilyn Monroe, Norman Mailer/Bert Stern: Marilyn Monroe, also for Taschen. Recently, he edited the Taschen edition of Mailer's The Fight (fall, 2016), and contributed the introduction to the Taschen edition of Mailer's essay on JFK, "Superman Comes to the Supermarket" (2014). His documentary, James Jones: From Reveille to Taps, was shown on PBS in 1984, and The Lincolns of Springfield, Illinois was shown in 1990. He was a faculty member and executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Illinois-Springfield from 1972-1992, and is Emeritus Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Emeritus Professor of English at Wilkes University. He continues to teach in the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing, which he co-founded, and for The Mailer Center, and serves on the advisory boards of both, and also Etruscan Press. He served from 2005-2007 as a literary consultant at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas-Austin. He is currently editing (with Susan Mailer) "Lipton's," Mailer's 1953-54 marijuana journal, and all of Mailer's major works for the Library of America. He received his M.A. and PhD in English from the University of Rhode Island.

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Laurie Loewenstein

  • Fiction

A writer of historical fiction, Laurie Loewenstein has published two novels, including Death of a Rainmaker: A Dust Bowl Mystery (Akashic Books/Kaylie Jones Books, 2018), named a Top Ten Crime Fiction book of 2018 by the Library Journal; acknowledged with a starred review from Publishers Weekly (“superb series launch”); and selected by Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air book critic for NPR’s Guide to 2018’s Great Reads.

Laurie Loewenstein is a 2007 graduate of the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing and a member of the faculty. Her current novel, Death of a Rainmaker (Akashic Books/Kaylie Jones Books, 2018), was named a top ten Crime Fiction book of 2018 by the Library Journal; received a starred review from Publishers Weekly;was selected for NPR’s Guide to 2018’s Great Reads; was named an Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society, a Fave Rave of the Year by Mystery Magazine and was one of CrimeReads Best Sophomore Crime fiction selections. The novel was a finalist for an Oklahoma Book Award. Her first novel, Unmentionables, was the flagship publication of Kaylie Jones Books. She is currently writing a sequel to Death of a Rainmaker.

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Robin McCrary

  • Nonfiction

Author of Island in the City (University of Nebraska Press), a memoir-in-essays. As Micah McCrary, his work also appears in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Essay Daily, and The Essay Review, among other publications. A contributing editor at Assay, Dr. McCrary lives in New York, where he researches Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Internationalization in creative writing pedagogies and teaches at Syracuse University, as well as in the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University.

Robin's Website

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Nancy McKinley

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction

Nancy McKinley is a fiction and creative nonfiction writer and founding fiction faculty member. St. Christopher on Pluto, a novel-in-stories, was published by West Virginia University Press, 2020. Recent fiction appears in The Timberline Review, Issue 7, 2018, To Unsnare Time's Warp Anthology 2016; Porches Anthology, 2013; Tattoos Anthology, 2012; Commutability Anthology, 2010– Pushcart Prize nomination; Coming Home Anthology, 2010, Big Water Anthology, 2008 (Main Street Rag Publishing); and in Winter Anthology, 2010 (Punkin House Press); in Blue Penny Quarterly 2014; Blue Lake Review, 2013; The Cortland Review, 2011. Her creative nonfiction, "Title IX & Me" appears in On Becoming Anthology, 2012 (University of Nebraska). As Scholar-in-Residence for the Pennsylvania Mechanicsburg Museum Association, she developed the interactive online narrative If You Lived at the Stationmaster's House. Her narrative for the Cumberland County Historical Society Virtual Tour won the Pennsylvania Museum Director's Award. Outdoor pieces have appeared widely, including The Physician and Sportsmedicine. She presented at the AWP 2014 Conference Orchestration for Writers 101; AWP 2013 Conference, International Women's Day Reading; AWP 2011 Conference Online Mentoring for Writers and Interns; Puerto Vallarta Mexico Writer's Conference 2009, Unforgettable Characters; The Gathering, PA 2009, Time, Place & Story; and AWP 2007, Unsung Litany of Late Blooming Writers. Her novel, Travels with a Nuclear Whore, won the creative writing component of the Thayer Fellowship in the Arts, and she received the John Gardner Newhouse Award. She earned her PhD from SUNY-Binghamton, M.A. from Colorado State University, and BA from College of the Holy Cross where she was one of the first female students. For more information, visit her website.

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Robert Mooney

  • Fiction
  • Editing

Robert Mooney is a novelist, editor and professor. Mooney's most recent publication is a short story that appeared in an anthology titled How To Be a Man collected by Esquire Magazine and published by Picador in 2013. His novel, Father of the Man, was published by Pantheon Books of Random House. He has published numerous short stories in magazines, including the Paterson Literary Review, Artful Dodge, MSS, Timbuktu, Esquire, and others. Mooney earned a BA from Boston College and an M.A. and PhD from Binghamton University. He later went on to serve as Director of the Creative Writing Program at Binghamton University from 1987 to 1997, where he also served as senior editor of MSS, the literary magazine founded by the American novelist John Gardner, and later founded and served as Executive Editor of New Myths Press, publishing the work of some of the finest poets and writers in the country. He is co-founder and Executive Editor at Etruscan Press, recently named "one of the five best small presses in the country" by Associated Writing Programs (AWP), and holds the position of Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Washington College, where he directed the O'Neill Literary House and creative writing program from 1997 to 2005. In 2013, Mooney joined the Honorary Board of Writers at Narrative 4, a global writing initiative begun by National Book Award winning novelist Colum McCann, the mission of which involves the incitement of "radical empathy" among people of all cultures.

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Nicole Pandolfo

  • Playwriting

Nicole Pandolfo was most recently selected for a commission with the Writers Theatre of NJ. Her NJPAC Stage Exchange commission play, Brick City, opened in September 2018 at Premiere Stages at Kean University. She was a 2017 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow and her work has been developed at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center as a Playwright Observer, at Tofte Lake as a Jerome Foundation Fellow, and at The Actors Studio, NJ Rep, and the Lark among others. She was a finalist for the Edward Albee Foundation Fellowship, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and the Leah Ryan Fund for Emerging Women Writers. She is a member of The Actors Studio in the Playwright/Director Unit and received her MFA at Hunter College.

Nicole's Website

Taylor Polites headshot

Taylor Polites

  • Fiction

Taylor M. Polites is a Rhode Island-based writer, educator, and researcher. His first novel, The Rebel Wife, was published by Simon & Schuster in February 2012. His work has appeared in the anthologies Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting (W.W. Norton, November 2013) and Providence Noir (Akashic Books) as well as in arts and news publications. In Providence, he has formed Goat Hill with Ann Hood and Hester Kaplan to offer workshops and talks with writers, editors, and agents. He also works with local organizations including the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities to build historical narratives that enlighten and offer ideas from the past to shape the present. He was a 2018 Community Practitioner in Residence at the Swearer Center at Brown University and is the recipient of the 2018 award for Public Humanities Scholarship from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. He is a graduate of the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University where he was awarded the Norris Church Mailer Fellowship. He teaches in the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University and at the Rhode Island School of Design. For more information, visit his website at his website.

Faculty teaches accounting class The Bog Student researching with faculty Amad Alazmy
Faculty teaches accounting class The Bog Student researching with faculty Amad Alazmy
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Jan Quackenbush

  • Playwriting

Jan Quackenbush has written 27 produced plays, four produced musicals and three screenplays. He has been produced in six countries and is translated into four languages. He is included with Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco in Signature 20 Anthology, by Calder & Boyars, Ltd, London, 1975. He is archived at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University. He has professionally worked and collaborated with Ellen Stewart, founder of La MaMa Theatre ETC, New York, and with Broadway director/composer Tom O’Horgan, New York. Play Extinct was a winner of the World Wildlife Fund- UK international play competition, 1982, and presented at the Young Vic Theatre, London. He has an MFA in Creative Writing (Playwriting/Screenwriting), Goddard University. Jan has had several short one-act plays translated into German (2009-2015) and produced in Ulm, Germany, by the avant-garde Westentasche Theatre Company. In summer of 2014, The Soldier’s Son -the third play of a trilogy – The Soldier and his Family - was premiered by the Westentasche Theatre in Ulm, and presented again in June 2015 in a German national theatre festival Baden-Würtetembergischen Theatertagen, Heidelberg. Jan ended his service in Vietnam assigned to the Army Entertainment Branch where he co-wrote Withering Witherspoon: an Old-Fashion Mellerdrama that Command Military Touring Shows (CMTS) played to soldiers throughout Vietnam. Jan is proud to be a member of the Wilkes Graduate Creative Writing Program’s faculty in which he currently teaches Playwriting and Oral Interpretation. Jan taught theatre courses seventeen years at Suny-Broome, Binghamton, NY. Jan is presently published by Blue Moon Plays. He has recently completed a short work for performers with diverse abilities: Dance Your Dreams.

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Dania Ramos

  • Audio Drama
  • Playwriting

Dania Ramos is the creator and head writer of the audio drama series Timestorm (Cocotazo Media/TRAX), named one of the “Top Trendsetting Podcasts from 2020” by School Library Journal and selected as a 2020 Webby Awards Family and Kids Podcast honoree. Her stage plays have been produced or developed by Luna Stage, Writers Theatre of New Jersey, Speranza Theatre Company, Dreamcatcher Rep, Repertorio Español/Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition, and Teatro Vivo/Austin Latino New Play Festival. She’s the author of the middle-grade novels Who’s Ju? (Overdue Books, 2015; International Latino Book Award - 2015 Best YA eBook) and Ignacio in the Dark (Overdue Books, 2019). She’s a former New Jersey State Council on the Arts playwriting fellowship recipient. She’s a graduate of the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University. She’s a member and New Jersey regional ambassador of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Dania's Website

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Juanita Rockwell

  • Playwriting
  • Directing
Juanita Rockwell is a playwright, librettist, lyricist, songwriter and director with over one hundred works of theatre, opera, radio, multimedia, puppetry, music theater, dance theater and site-specific projects presented on five continents. During the pandemic, she has co-created 3 socially-distanced multimedia performance events, each of which took into account different mandated restrictions. In the before-times, her produced writing includes: Backwards from Winter (opera libretto, Blue Moon Plays; CD/libretto, Ablaze Records - composer Douglas Knehans); Between Trains (play with songs, Blue Moon Plays; Mobtown Studios CD - composer Chas Marsh); The World is Round (opera libretto, Company One Publications; CD/sheet music, Hog River Music - composer James Sellars); Playing Dead (trans. from Bros. Presnyakov, digital publication, Center for International Theatre Development); and The Circle (audio play). For six years she was artistic director of Hartford’s Company One Theater, directing professional premieres of work by America’s leading experimental playwrights; and was founding director of Towson University’s MFA in Theatre, a rigorous laboratory environment training the total theatremaker. Awards and grants include: Marion Fellowship in the Visual and Performing Arts, Rubys Artist Project Grant, Fulbright Fellow, and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and National Public Radio. Writing residencies include: Ucross (WY), The Studios at Key West (FL), VCCA (VA), Playa (OR), Wildacres (NC) and a Djerassi Scientific Delirium Madness residency (CA).
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Nisha Sharma

  • Fiction

Nisha Sharma is the author of the critically acclaimed YA novel My So-Called Bollywood Life. She also writes adult contemporary romances including The Singh Family Trilogy and the If Shakespeare was an Aunty trilogy (launching November 2021). Her writing has been praised by NPR, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed, Hypable and more.

Nisha credits her father for her multiple graduate degrees, and her mother for her love of Shah Rukh Khan and Jane Austen. She lives in New Jersey with her Alaskan husband, her cat Lizzie Bennett and her dog Nancey Drew. You can find her online at or on Twitter and Instagram @nishawrites.

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Donna Talarico

  • Publishing

Donna Talarico is an independent writer and content strategist and founder of Hippocampus Magazine & Books and its annual conference HippoCamp. She previously served as a communications director at Elizabethtown College, and a marketing manager for a leading ecommerce firm. Donna also had careers in radio promotions, print journalism, and higher ed admissions. She speaks regularly on marketing related topics at higher ed and publishing conferences. Donna has bylines in The LA Review, The Superstition Review, Wanderlust Journal, mental_floss, The Writer, the Brevity blog, Games Magazine, The Content Strategist, The Guardian Higher Education and more. She has an MFA in creative writing from Wilkes and an MBA from Elizabethtown College. She also teaches business and marketing courses in the MA in publishing program at Rosemont College. Donna lives in Lancaster, PA, and you can follow her on Twitter at @donnatalarico.

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Jeff Talarigo

  • Fiction

Jeff Talarigo, a novelist, is the author of two novels: The Pearl Diver and The Ginseng Hunter. Talarigo was born in Pennsylvania in 1961 and graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania in 1983. Over the next seven years, Talarigo worked as a racquetball pro, magazine publisher, in a wood shop, and as a journalist. In 1990, Talarigo embarked on a three-month journey by land from the Gaza Strip to Khartoum, Sudan and back. This was Talarigo's first stay in Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, a place where he would return to live in 1993. From 1991 to 2006 Talarigo lived in Kyushu, Japan where he taught English and began writing fiction. The Pearl Diver was published in 2004 (Nan Talese/Doubleday) and was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Award and was a Kiriyama Prize notable book. Talarigo, along with his wife and son, moved back to the United States in 2006. He was awarded a fellowship at the New York Public Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. The Ginseng Hunter (published April, 2008, Nan Talese/Doubleday) is his second novel and was placed on the American Library Association's Notable Book List of 2009. His short fiction has been published in many journals, including AGNI and Puerto del Sol, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013. Talarigo's work has been translated into German, Spanish, Hebrew, Thai, and Korean. Currently living in Oakland, CA, his third novel, In the Cemetery of the Orange Trees, was published by Etruscan Press in February, 2018.

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Richard Uhlig

  • Screenwriting
  • Young Adult Fiction

Richard Uhlig is a screenwriter, producer, and young adult novelist. He co-wrote and co-produced the feature comedy Dead Simple, starring James Caan, Daniel Stern, and Patricia Richardson. He also wrote the feature thriller Kept, starring Ice T. In addition to feature films, Richard has written and directed documentaries for PBS. Richard is also the author of two Knopf-publish young adult novels, Last Dance at the Frosty Queen and Boy Minus Girl. Richard holds a BA from NYU and an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute. In the spring of 2011, Richard received a grant to produce and direct his original short screenplay, Can't Dance. It stars Saturday Night Fever's Karen Lynn Gorney and Law and Order's Catherine Wolf. Can't Dance won Founder's Choice Award at the Queens World Film Festival, Best Fiction at the Short Sweet FilmFest, and was a Selected Finalist at the Feel Good Film Festival. It aired on PBS. Richard wrote and co-directed My Kansas, a memoir/documentary for PBS which won Best Documentary, Best Director, and New York Filmmaker Award at the 2013 NYC Chain Film Festival. Richard's latest novel, Mystery at Snake River Bridge, was e-published by Wild Child Publishing and earned a four-star review in the Portland Book Review. In October of 2019, UpStage Theater, in Napa Valley, California, performed a staged reading of Richard's first play, Doctor’s Residence.