Faculty and Panelist Biographies

The distinguished participants in this summer's conference are all active and successful novelists, poets, screenwriters, critics, scholars, or publishing professionals. In addition to our graduate program faculty, other speakers and presenters join us from all over the country. This page includes all presenter biographies. Biographies of Workshop and Critical Seminar leaders and of participants in the Poetry Symposium can also be found on the pages with the descriptions of those programs.

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Kevin Anderson
Kevin J. Anderson has published more than 140 books, 56 of which have been national or international bestsellers.  He has written numerous novels in the Star Wars, X-Files, and Dune universes, as well as unique steampunk fantasy novels Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Lives, written with legendary rock drummer Neil Peart, based on the concept album by the band Rush. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series, the Terra Incognita fantasy trilogy, the Saga of Shadows trilogy, and his humorous horror series featuring Dan Shamble, Zombie PI. He has edited numerous anthologies, written comics and games, and the lyrics to two rock CDs. Anderson and his wife Rebecca Moesta are the publishers of WordFire Press.

Peter Anderson
Peter Anderson was the Bennett Fellow Writer-in-Residence at Phillips Exeter Academy for the 2015-16 school year. His most recent books include Heading Home: Field Notes (Conundrum Press, 2017), a collection of flash prose and prose poems exploring rural life and the modern day eccentricities of the American West; Going Down Grand: Poems from the Canyon (Lithic Press, 2015), an anthology of Grand Canyon poems edited with Rick Kempa, which was nominated for a Colorado Book Award; and First Church of the Higher Elevations (Conundrum Press, 2015), a collection of essays on wildness, mountain places, and the life of the spirit. Peter teaches writing at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado and lives with his family on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo Range.

Chris Barili
Chris Barili (WSCU MFA '16) grew up in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, but his service in the U.S. Air Force took him all over the world. He wrote his first novel in high school, and acted as co-editor of his high school literary magazine. He moved to Colorado in 1998 and has lived here ever since. He holds a bachelor's degree in English, and an MFA in Creative Writing - Popular Genre Fiction. Chris's short fiction has appeared in anthologies by Zombies Need Brains Press and Sky Warrior Books, as well as on Evil Girlfriend Media, Quantum Fairy Tales, Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry, and The Western Online. He is also author of the dark fantasy "Hell's Butcher" series, and has published his first novel, a paranormal romance called Smothered, through Winlock Press (as B.T. Clearwater). He currently lives in Colorado Springs.

Nathan Beauchamp
Nathan Beauchamp (WSCU MFA '15) serves as acquisitions editor for Centrifuge Press, an independent publisher of speculative fiction. He co-authored the award-winning YA science fiction series Universe Eventual, including the novels Chimera, Helios, Ceres, and Ascension. His short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies including the best-selling Clones: The Anthology from Holt Smith, as well as in fiction magazines such as Spark, Pantheon Magazine, The Big Adios, and many others. Nathan holds an MFA in creative writing from Western State Colorado University and lives in Denver with his wife and two young sons.

Bruce Bennett
Bruce Bennett, recipient of the 2015 Writing the Rockies Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Creative Writing, is the author of ten full-length collections of poetry and more than two dozen poetry chapbooks. His most recent book is Just Another Day in Just Our Town: Poems, New And Selected, 2000-2016 (Orchises Press). His first New And Selected, Navigating The Distances, also from Orchises Press, was chosen by Booklist as “One Of The Top Ten Poetry Books Of 1999.” He was awarded a Pushcart Prize for his villanelle, "The Thing's Impossible," which appeared in the Fall 2011 Issue of Ploughshares. He received his AB, AM, and PhD from Harvard, and taught at Oberlin College from 1967-70, where he co-founded and served as an editor of Field: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics. In 1970 he moved back to Cambridge, where he co-founded and served as an editor of Ploughshares. In 1971, he married Bonnie Apgar, a Renaissance art historian, and for two years he and Bonnie lived in Florence, Italy. In 1973 he began teaching at Wells College in Aurora, New York. He retired from teaching at Wells in 2014, and is now Professor Emeritus of English. He and Bonnie have two children, Evan and Millicent. Evan is an architect and Millicent is an editor, and both live with their families in New York City.

Kelsey L. Bennett is a writer, critic, educator, and recipient of a two-year National Endowment for the Humanities grant.  Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review, The New Criterion, Brontë Studies, The Colorado Review, Notes on Contemporary Literature, Gunnison Valley Journal, and elsewhere.  Her book of literary criticism, Principle & Propensity: Experience and Religion in the Nineteenth-Century British and American Bildungsroman, was published with the University of South Carolina Press in 2014.  She received her B.A. in Classics from St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver.  Currently she lives in Gunnison, Colorado, where she directs the Honors Program and teaches literature at Western State Colorado University.

Sandra Bond
Sandra Bond, this year's Keynote Speaker in Publishing, started her agency in Denver after working for the Jody Rein Books agency. She was the program administrator at the University of Denver's Publishing Institute from 2005-2009, and she is now a guest lecturer there every summer. She and her associate agent, Becky erLeJeune, represent adult, young adult and middle-grade fiction, both literary, commercial and genre (mystery, thriller, horror, fantasy, sci-fi), and many categories of nonfiction, and they are looking for writers who truly have studied the craft of writing. Sandra was born and raised in Denver and has a degree in microbiology from the University of Colorado. Before pursuing a career in publishing, she was a film and television script analyst in Los Angeles.

Michael and Jennifer Brody

For seven years, Michael Brody has directed, with his wife Jennifer, the Crested Butte Film Festival, a four day celebration of narrative and documentary film. In that time, total attendance has jumped a remarkable 147%. The festival is known for its challenging, provocative and international selections and has become a favorite of many filmmakers. Before that, he graduated from the University of Colorado with a B.A. in Creative Writing, Filmmaking, and Philosophy. His first screenplay The Sun King was optioned by Hollywood producer Jeff Mackler. In 2010, he wrote, directed and produced the low-budget feature film, Document. In 2012 he was hired to adapt the novel Created Equal for the screen. Most recently, he was invited to submit his TV pilot Sanctuary to Sundance's esteemed Episodic Story Lab, and is now working on another adaptation.

Tom Cable
Thomas Cable has devoted a lifetime to the study of the English language and its prosodic development in poetry. Now emeritus professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin, he has also taught in France and at the University of Illinois. Among his books are A History of the English Language (with Albert C. Baugh) and The English Alliterative Tradition. His interests range from the metrics of Old English verse to the treatment of meter by today’s New Formalists.

Brian Calvert

Brian Calvert is the Managing Editor of High Country News, the nation's leading source of reporting on the American west. A fourth-generation Wyoming native, he grew up in Pinedale and graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 1994 with a BA in English liberal arts and minors in writing and media studies. He has worked as a foreign correspondent, writer, audio journalist, and most recently, a Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado. After extensive time in Cambodia, China and Afghanistan, Brian has a new appreciation for the West and is thrilled to be back. When he's not working, you can find him outside, trying to regain his mountain hardiness. He is also earning an MFA in Poetry at Western.

Trai Cartwright
Trai Cartwright, MFA, is a 25-year entertainment industry veteran and creative writing specialist. While in Los Angeles, she was a screenwriter, independent film producer, and story consultant and development executive for HBO, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, New Lines Cinema, and 20th Century Fox. Trai currently teaches creative writing, screenwriting, and producing for Colorado colleges, writers groups, conferences, and one-on-one as a development and story editor. She is the screenwriter for Secret Ellington and Cheap Cabernet, two Colorado-based films, and the co-founder of film incubator the Colorado Smart Film Investment Coalition.

Russell Davis
Russell Davis is Director of Western’s Genre Fiction Concentration. He has written and sold numerous novels and short stories in virtually every genre of fiction, under at least a half-dozen pseudonyms. His writing has encompassed media tie-in work in the Transformers universe to action adventure in The Executioner series to original novels and short fiction in anthology titles like Under Cover of Darkness, Law of the Gun, and In the Shadow of Evil. He has also worked as an editor and book packager, and created original anthology titles ranging from westerns like Lost Trails to fantasy like Courts of the Fey. He is a regular speaker at conferences and schools, where he teaches writing, editing and the fundamentals of the publishing industry. He is a past president of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and his newest work, The End of All Seasons, is a collection of short fiction and poetry that came out in 2013.

David Anthony Durham
David Anthony Durham​, this years Genre Fiction Keynote Speaker, is the author of seven novels: The RisenThe Sacred BandThe Other LandsAcacia (John W Campbell Award Winner, Finalist for the Prix Imaginales), Pride of Carthage (Finalist for the Legacy Award), Walk Through Darkness (NY Times Notable Book) and Gabriel’s Story (NY Times Notable Book, Legacy Award Winner). His writing ranges from literary novels of the African-American experience, to historical fiction set in the ancient world, to fantasy and science fiction. His novels have been published in French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. He writes for the Wild Cards series of collaborative novels, edited by George RR Martin, with stories appearing in Fort FreakLowballHigh Stakes and forthcoming in Texas Hold ‘Em. Other short fiction has been anthologized in UnboundUnfetteredIt’s All Love, and in Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writing. Four of his novels have been optioned for development as feature films. He has taught at the Clarion Science Fiction Workshops, at the University of Maryland, the University of Massachusetts, Colorado College, the Zora Neale Hurston / Richard Wright Foundation, Cal State University and Hampshire College. He’s currently on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA Program of the University of Southern Maine, where he often works with aspiring genre writers in the program’s Popular Fiction Concentration, and he will be joining the MFA program of the University of Nevada, Reno this fall.

Natalie Gerber
Natalie Gerber is Associate Professor of English at SUNY Fredonia. Her essays on modernist poetry and poetics have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Thinking Verse, Style, and Paideuma. She has organized poetics seminars and workshops at the West Chester Poetry Conferences, the Modernist Studies Association, and the Conference on College Composition and Communication. She is currently at work on A Poet’s Field Guide to the English Language.

Art Gopodtimes
Poet, weekly newspaper columnist, and Rainbow Family elder, Art Goodtimes of Norwood weaves non-traditional coil baskets, grows 25+ varieties of organic heirloom potatoes and recently completed his fifth term in San Miguel County as Colorado’s only Green Party county commissioner. Poet-in-residence of the Telluride Mushroom Festival since 1981 (www.telluridemushroomfest.org), founder and director of various Talking Gourds poetry events since 1989 (talkinggourds.weebly.com), poetry editor for the national mycological magazine Fungi (www.fungimag.com) and co-editor of an on-line poetry zine (sagegreenjournal.org), Art served as the first Poet Laureate of Colorado’s Western Slope (2011-13) and his most recent book is Looking South to Lone Cone: the Cloud Acre Poems (Western Eye Press, 2013).

Emily Grosholz
Emily Grosholz is a poet who teaches philosophy and poetry at Pennsylvania State University, and has been an advisory editor for the Hudson Review for over thirty years. The Stars of Earth: New and Selected Poems will be published in 2017 by Word Galaxy / Able Muse Press, with drawings by Farhad Ostovani. Her most recent book of poetry, Childhood, published by Accents Publishing with drawings by Parisian artist Lucy Vines, has raised over $2500 in the past year for UNICEF from sales of the book. A Japanese translation by Atsuko Hayakawa (Tsuda College) with illustrations by Chihiro Iwasaki was published in 2015, and an Italian translation by Sara Amadori (University of Bologna / Forli) was published in 2016, along with a CD Childhood Songs by composer Mirco De Stefani. A French translation by Pascale Drouet (University of Poitier) is underway. During the past year, her poems have appeared in the San Diego Readerthe Hudson ReviewPN Review and Think Journal, including two elegies for Maxine Kumin, and poems about the Gunnison Valley Observatory, Escondido, Rome, and the ferryboat from Helsinki to Tallinn. Her new philosophy book Starry Reckoning: Reference and Analysis in Mathematics and Cosmology is just out from Springer. Next year, Springer will publish her book on poetry and mathematics, Great Circles: The Transits of Mathematics and Poetry. Her translation of the late Yves Bonnefoy's essay "Yeats' Poetics" is featured the Autumn 2016 issue of the Hudson Review, and will be included in a Carcanet edition of the poet's works due out next year.

Tyson Hausdoerffer
William Tyson Hausdoerffer graduated from Western, Summa Cum Laude, in English, with a Minor in French, in 1992. He holds an MA in Classics from the University of Colorado and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. He has more than a decade of college teaching experience, including teaching in a number of departments at Western. He has translated Homer, has a number of article publications and has given scholarly talks at major venues. His languages include French, Greek and Latin.

Jodie Hallander
Jodie Hollander was raised in a family of classical musicians. Her work has been published in journals such as The Poetry Review, PN Review, The Dark Horse, The Rialto, Verse Daily, The New Criterion, The Manchester Review, Australia’s Best Poems, 2011 and Australia’s Best Poems, 2015. Her debut collection, The Humane Society, was published with tall-lighthouse (London) in 2012, and her next collection, My Dark Horses, is due out in 2017 with Liverpool University Press.  She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to South Africa, and was awarded a MacDowell Colony fellowship in 2015. She is currently the poetry editor for GARO, the online journal for the Rocky Mountain Land Library.

Alissa Johnson
Alissa Johnson is an editor at the Crested Butte News and an award winning writer. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street JournalDirt Rag MagazineWilderness News, and Mountain Gazette among other publications. Her writing has won awards from FundsforWriters and the Colorado Press Association, and she holds an MFA in Creative and Professional Writing from Western Connecticut State University (WCSU). She is the founder of WritingStrides and has taught at WCSU and Western State Colorado University. www.writingstrides.com.

Kase johnstun
Kase Johnstun lives and writes in Ogden, Utah. He is the author of recently released Beyond the Grip Craniosynostosis (McFarland & Co), which has been featured in Pennsylvania Parenting Magazine, Portland Family Magazine, The Ogden Standard Examiner, and many other places, as well as having mentions in the Chicago Tribune and the Seattle Times. It was recently awarded the Gold Quill (First Place) in Creative Nonfiction by the League of Utah Writers for 2015. His work has been published widely by literary journals and trade magazines, including, but not limited to, Yahoo Parenting, Creative Nonfiction Magazine, and The Chronicle Review. He is the co-editor/author of Utah Reflections: Stories from the Wasatch Front (The History Press), which was name the Salt Lake Tribune’s book of the month for August 2014 and the League of Utah Writers Recommended Read in Nonfiction 2015 (Third Place). His essay collection Tortillas for Honkies was named a finalist for the 2013 Autumn House press Nonfiction Awards (most of the essays in the collection have found homes in places like The Watershed Review, Label Me Latino/a, Prime Number Literary Magazine, and Animal Literary Magazine). Most recently, he was the writer-in-residence at JIWAR international artist residency in Barcelona, Spain where he finished one novel and wrote most of another.

Julie kane
Julie Kane, last year's Poetry Keynote, holds a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. from Boston University, and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, where her dissertation on the villanelle won the Lewis P. Simpson Dissertation Award. Her poetry books include Rhythm & Booze (2003), a National Poetry Series winner; Jazz Funeral (2009), winner of the Donald Justice Poetry Prize; and Paper Bullets (2014), a collection of light verse. The Vietnam memoir that she co-authored with Kiem Do, Counterpart (1998), became a History Book Club Featured Alternate. Julie’s poems and translations appear in over fifty anthologies including Penguin’s Poetry: A Pocket Anthology, Norton’s Seagull Reader, and Best American Poetry 2016. She has collaborated with composer Dale Trumbore on the one-act opera Starship Paradise, premiered by Center City Opera Theater of Philadelphia, and with composer Kenneth Olson on City of Lights for orchestra and soprano, premiered by the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony. Composer Libby Larsen’s settings of Julie’s poems have been recorded on CDs by The American Boychoir and by mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer. Julie’s scholarly essays have been published in Twentieth Century Literature, Literature/Film Quarterly, Modern Language Quarterly, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, and other journals and edited collections. The 2011-2013 Louisiana Poet Laureate, she is a Professor of English and recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award at Northwestern State University of Louisiana.

Valerie Lester
Valerie Lester is the author of Phiz, the Man Who Drew Dickens (Chatto & Windus, 2005) and of Giambattista Bodoni, His Life and His World (Godine, 2015). She is currently at work on a biography of Clarence Bicknell (1842-1918), an extraordinarily interesting Victorian/Renaissance man. She has also written a history of Pan Am from the point of view of the cabin crew, Fasten Your Seat Belts! History and Heroism in the Pan Am Cabin (Paladwr, 1994) and translated Alain-Fournier’s, Le Grand Meaulnes (The Magnificent Meaulnes, Vintage, 2008). She studied Versification (along with David J. Rothman) at Harvard University with Robert Fitzgerald, and taught it at George Washington University. Born in England, raised in the West Indies, she currently lives in Hingham, Massachusetts.

J S Mayank
J S Mayank is Director of Western’s Screenwriting Concentration. He is a British-Indian filmmaker, represented by UTA. He has several TV projects and features in development at the moment. His first sci-fi feature script, Slate, earned him a spot on the 2009 BLOODLIST (the Horror/Sci-fi/ Thriller Blacklist). He was invited by Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Film Festival to the prestigious 2010 Tribeca All Access Program for his feature script Marathon. For his directorial debut, Mayank was granted an opportunity by the band Radiohead to create a concept music video for their song Weird Fishes / Arpeggi. He worked alongside visual artist extraordinaire John Langdon (Angels & Demons) to design special ambigrams for the video. Most recently, Mayank’s script for EMIT won a Grand Prize at the Table Read My Screenplay contest, beating out over 1200 other scripts, and winning him a trip to Sundance (2012) where a table-read of it was performed. Since then, he’s directed Emit starring Jack Coleman (Heroes, The Office, Scandal), and the short has played at over 30 festivals all over the world, including NBC|Universal Shortcuts festival and the Philip K. Dick fest in New York, Fantasia, SCI-FI London, Sci-fi Fantasy – Athens, Edinburgh, Newport Beach, New York, Las Vegas, Brazil, garnering several awards, stellar reviews and high praise for its inventiveness and creative vision. Mayank has an MFA in Film Production from Loyola Marymount University and an MA in Communication & Film from Wake Forest University. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

Larry Meredith
Larry K. Meredith is the Publisher of Raspberry Creek Books, which he started in 2012. In his career he has been a newspaper man, a salesman, an advertising and sales promotion writer for a Fortune 500 company, a university administrator and teacher, has owned his own marketing and video production company and has served as the Executive Director of a library district and the Director of the Publishing Certificate program at Western State Colorado University. He has written hundreds of published essays and newspaper and magazine articles. He is the author of two published books, the historical novel This Cursed Valley and the biography Cast a Giant Shadow: Hollywood Movie Great Ted White and the Evolution of American Movies and TV in the 20th Century.

Candace Nadon
Candace Nadon is visiting professor of Genre Fiction in Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing. has an MFA in Fiction from Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in English with Creative Concentration from Georgia State University. Her fiction, poetry, and lyric essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Hartskill Review in The Fourth River, Platte Valley Review, Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose, and Mary: A Journal of New Writing, among others. She edited the book Our Place Two, and contributed to the forthcoming textbook Primary Research and Writing. Candace is a fifth generation Coloradan and currently lives in Durango, Colorado, where she teaches at Fort Lewis College and is working on a novel.

Uche Ogbuje
Uche Ogbuji lives in Superior, Colorado with his wife and four children, having been born and largely educated in Nigeria, and having formerly lived in Egypt, England and elsewhere. By day he works on Library.Link, the project he cofounded to restore libraries to prominence on the web, but he snatches time for his deepest passion, poetry. His chapbook Ndewo, Colorado is a Colorado Book Award Winner, and a Westword Award Winner ("Best Environmental Poetry"). He founded two online poetry journals and currently co-hosts the Poetry Voice podcast, which explores the art with delight and a great deal of laughter.

Michael Pool
Michael Pool (WSCU MFA '15) was born in Tyler, Texas, and lives in Denver, Colorado. His crime noir novella, Debt Crusher, is out now from All Due Respect Books. A collection of Michael’s short fiction, New Alleys For Nothing Men, is also available from Short Stack Books. Michael’s first full-length novel, Texas Two Step, will be published by Down and Out Books in 2018. Michael’s short fiction has appeared in All Due Respect, Out of the Gutter, Thuglit, Heater, Urban Graffiti, Shotgun Honey and others. Michael is the Editor-in-Chief of the crime fiction publication Crime Syndicate Magazine, and is the editor / conceptualizer of the critically-acclaimed Short Stack Books eighties-themed anthology, Fast Women and Neon Lights: Eighties-Inspired Neon Noir.

Sean Prentiss
Sean Prentiss, this year's Creative Nonfiction Keynote Speaker, is the award winning author of Finding Abbey: a Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave, a memoir about Edward Abbey and the search for home. Finding Abbey won the 2015 National Outdoor Book Award for History/Biography, the Utah Book Award for Nonfiction, and the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for Biography. It was also a Vermont Book Award and Colorado Book Award finalist. Prentss is the co-author of the environmental writing textbook, Environmental and Nature Writing: A Craft Guide and Anthology, and the co-editor of The Far Edges of the Fourth Genre: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction, a creative nonfiction craft anthology. He and his family live on a small lake in northern Vermont and he teaches at Norwich University and in the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Alice QuinnAlice Quinn, this year's Poetry Keynote Speaker, is executive director of the Poetry Society of America, where she oversees an award-winning Chapbook Fellowship Contest and more than forty programs annually nationwide. She received a BA from Manhattanville College as well as an Honorary Doctorate in 2007. She also attended New York University for graduate study in English Literature. She is the editor of Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments by Elizabeth Bishop (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006), and she is currently working on an edition of Elizabeth Bishop’s journals and notebooks. From 1987 to 2007 she was poetry editor of the New Yorker, where for many years she was also a senior editor in the fiction department and an editor of memoirs, profiles, book reviews, and a variety of critics’ pieces, working with, among others, Alice Munro, Lorrie Moore, Rick Moody, Andrea Lee, Julie Hecht, Muriel Spark, Robert Stone, Joan Acocella, Anthony Lane, and Jamaica Kincaid. Prior to that, she worked at Alfred A. Knopf (1972-1986), publishing fiction, biographies, works of cultural history, and books on American folk art while editing the Knopf Poetry Series, which included Amy Clampitt, Edward Hirsch, Sharon Olds, and Marie Ponsot. She has lectured on poetry and given talks on publishing at many colleges and cultural institutions. Her articles on and interviews with poets and artists have appeared in ArtforumThe ForwardPoetry Ireland, the Canadian National Post, the New Yorker, and the New Yorker Online.

Mike Reiss
If you are a fan of animated comedy, chances are you have laughed at a joke written by Mike Reiss, this year's Screenwriting Keynote Speaker and a four-time Emmy award-winning producer, a 28-year veteran of The Simpsons and a contributor to more than two dozen animated films, including four Ice Age movies, two Despicable Me movies, The LoraxRioKung Fu Panda 3, and The Simpsons Movie, with a worldwide gross of $8 billion. He was the showrunner behind season four of The Simpsons, which Entertainment Weekly has called "the greatest season of the greatest show in history." Mike has also written seventeen children’s books, including the best-seller How Murray Saved Christmas and the award-winning Late for School.

Clay Reynolds
Clay Reynolds, Professor of Arts and Humanities and Director of Creative Writing at the University of Texas at Dallas, is the author of twenty volumes, including nine novels and one collection of short fiction. A Pulitzer Prize nominee in 1992 and an NEH Fellow for the same year, his work has been honored with awards by the Writers’ League of Texas, The Texas Commission for the Arts, Western Writers’ Association, and other literary and writing organizations. With more than 1,000 additional publications to his credit, he also was editor for the crime and mystery section of the library reference series, What Do I Read Next?  for the years 2007-2008. His website is http://www.clayreynolds.info/.

Sam Robards
Sam Robards is an actor and producer, known for American Beauty (1999), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) and Awake (2007). He began his acting career in 1980 in an off-Broadway production of Album, and made his feature film debut in director Paul Mazursky's 1982 film Tempest.  Among many other roles, he has portrayed Harold Ross, first editor of The New Yorker, in the Dorothy Parker biographical film Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle in 1994 for writer-director Alan Rudolph. His film résumé also includes FandangoCasualties of WarBeautiful GirlsLife as a HouseThe Other Side of the Tracks and The Art of Getting By. In the theatre, Robards was nominated for Broadway's 2002 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role – Play) for Arthur Miller's The Man Who Had All the Luck. In July 2008, Robards took over the role of Richard Hannay in the New York City theatrical run of The 39 Steps. His television credits include a recurring role on Get a Life as well as appearances on Spin CityThe West WingLaw & OrderLaw & Order: Criminal IntentSex and the CityThe Outer Limits, and Body of Proof. His recent projects included recurring roles on the series Gossip Girl (ended in 2012) and Treme (ended in 2013), and a regular role on Twisted.

 Michaela Roessner-Herman
Michaela Roessner is visiting Professor of Genre Fiction in Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing. She holds an MFA in Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine. She has published four novels, as well as assorted short fiction and nonfiction in publications that include Asimov’s Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, OMNI Magazine, Canada’s Room Magazine and anthologies that include Full Spectrum 2 and Intersections. Her first novel, Walkabout Woman, won the Crawford and John W. Campbell awards. She has also had work short-listed for the Calvino Prize, the Tiptree Award, and the Millennium Publishing short fiction contest. Her current major projects include a number of short fiction pieces, finishing up her novel The Waters of Babylon, completing the last of her trio of novels that center around the early life of Catherine de Medici, and participating in several group ekphrastic commissions.

Danny Rosen
Danny Rosen runs the Lithic Press and the Lithic Bookstore and Gallery in Fruita, Colorado. The backbone of the bookstore is poetry and science. He has worked as a geologist, and as an independent teacher giving astronomy presentations in schools throughout western Colorado in the portable Western Sky Planetarium. Part of each year between 2003 and 2008 he ran an observatory and taught astronomy and geology in Namibia. His second chapbook, Ghosts of Giant Kudu, was published by Kattywompus in 2013. His poems have appeared in FruitapulpSan Pedro River ReviewComstockPilgrimageMalpais Review, and Santa Fe Literary Journal. He lives among dogs in Colorado’s western desert.

David J. Rothman
David J. Rothman is Director of Writing the Rockies and also serves as the Director of Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing. His most recent volumes of poetry, both of which appeared in 2013, are The Book of Catapults (White Violet Press) and Part of the Darkness (Entasis Press). A book of essays about mountains and mountain towns, Living the Life (Conundrum Press), also appeared in 2013. His poems, essays and scholarly work have appeared widely, in journals including Appalachia, Atlantic Monthly, Gettysburg Review, Hudson Review, Kenyon Review, Poetry, and scores of other newspapers, journals and periodicals. He co-founded the Crested Butte Music Festival, was the founding Publisher and Editor of Conundrum Press (now owned by the Samizdat Group of Denver), and currently serves as Poet-in-Residence of Colorado Public Radio. He has served as Executive Director, President, and a Board Member of the Robinson Jeffers Association, and currently serves on the board of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). He lives in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Jan Schreiber
Jan Schreiber is a poet and critic whose work has gained a wide audience with the publication of his recent book Sparring with the Sun, a collection of essays on twentieth-century poets and theories of poetry. A founder of Canto: Review of the Arts and a co-founder of the annual Symposium on Poetry Criticism at Western State Colorado University, he is also a visiting scholar at Brandeis University and a study group leader at the university’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, with a special interest in Renaissance and modern verse. Previous books of poetry include Digressions, Wily Apparitions, Bell Buoys, and two books of translations: A Stroke upon the Sea and Sketch of a Serpent. His poems appear in both print and on-line anthologies. His newest collection is Peccadilloes. He is co-founder of the Symposium on Poetry Criticism at Writing the Rockies.

Andrew  Sellon
Andrew Sellon teaches the second summer intensive for poetry students, "Performance Skills for Poets," in Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing. He holds an undergraduate degree in English from Harvard and an MFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His stage performances have been hailed by the New York Times and other newspapers across the country, and he taught acting for two years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His recent film and TV appearances include Begin AgainMamaroshThe SmurfsThe BlacklistThe Mysteries of Laura, The Good Fight, and HBO’s Divorce. He is also an accomplished voiceover artist and audiobook narrator. He also has over twenty years of corporate sphere experience in training, facilitating, coaching, and public speaking.

Bob Shayne
Bob Shayne is Visiting Professor of Screenwriting in Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing. He has been an active and successful screenwriter for years, both in New York and Los Angeles. He’s sold 18 prime-time pilots and written 16 of them for the major TV networks in all genres, six of which were shot, two of which went to series, and most of which he produced. He’s worked on staff of both sitcoms and one-hour dramas; been a show-runner on sitcom, drama, MOW and pilots; written well over 100 episodes; written and produced TV movies; written two four-hour miniseries, written features both live-action and animated, and adapted four novels into screenplays (not counting his own). He’s won or been nominated for awards including Best TV Movie of the Year from the Writers Guild of America, Edgar for Best TV Movie of the Year from the Mystery Writers of America, Edgar for Best TV Episode of the Year from the Mystery Writers of America, two Emmys from the TV Academy (for Best Talk Show and Best Documentary), and a Grammy for Best Comedy Album.

George Sibley
George Sibley is a freelance writer and retired educator who has lived in the Upper Gunnison River valley most of the past 50 years. From 1988 through 2007 he taught journalism and regional studies at Western and coordinated special projects for the college, including the annual Headwaters Conference, Water Workshop, and Environmental Symposium. He currently serves on the board of the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy, and is education coordinator for the Gunnison River Basin Roundtable. His most recent work is Water Wranglers, a commissioned history of the Colorado River District and the development of Colorado’s share of the Colorado River, published by the Colorado River District. Raspberry Creek Books also recently published an expanded second edition of his 2004 book, Dragons in Paradise, a collection of essays and poetry about contemporary life from a mountain perspective. Prior to that, he wrote Part of a Winter, published by Crown Publishing, an account of life in the Colorado Rockies. He has also authored short histories of Crested Butte and Crawford, Colorado. His essays and articles have appeared in national publications – Harper’s MagazineTechnology IllustratedHigh Country NewsNew Age Journal and Old West and regional publications like Colorado Central and Mountain Gazette. He lives in Gunnison with his partner, Maryo Gard Ewell, and has two grown offspring, Sam and Sarah Sibley.

Marilyn Taylor
Marilyn L. Taylor holds an MA in linguistics and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. A former Poet Laureate of Wisconsin and of the city of Milwaukee, she is the author of eight collections of poetry, most recently Step on a Crack (Kelsay Books, 2016). Her poems and essays have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetry, Able Muse, Measure, Light, Rhino, Aesthetica, Mezzo Cammin, and the Random House anthology Villanelles. She has won a number of national and international poetry contests, among them the 2015 Margaret Reid Award for verse in forms. Her widely-read “Poet to Poet” column on craft appeared bi-monthly for five years in The Writer magazine. A long-time resident of Milwaukee, she now lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she facilitates independent poetry workshops, readings, and presentations locally, statewide, and elsewhere, including programs sponsored by Lawrence University’s Bjorklunden Seminar Center (Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin), Poetry by the Sea (Madison, Connecticut), West Chester University (Pennsylvania), Road Scholar, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies. She currently serves as a Contributing Editor for the poetry journals Third Wednesday and Verse-Virtual.

Mark Todd
Dr. Mark Todd, founder of Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing, has been a Professor of English at Western since 1988. He currently teaches in the undergraduate creative writing program, and serves as Editor-in-Chief for Western Press Books. He has 25 years of professional journalism experience, having published hundreds of news stories, features, columns, and editorials in local through international markets. He also served as editor and publisher of both a newspaper and a regional magazine and, at one point, digested online news for the Lycos daily news service. Mark has performed his poetry and given fiction readings across the country and in Europe. His books include two collections of poetry, Wire Song (Conundrum, 2001) and Tamped, But Loose Enough to Breathe (Ghost Road, 2008). He is author of the science fiction novel Strange Attractors (Write in the Thick, 2012) and co-author with wife Kym O’Connell-Todd of the paranormal comedy/fantasy trilogy The Silverville SagaThe Silverville Swindle (Ghost Road, 2006), which was reissued as Little Greed Men (Raspberry Creek, 2011); All Plucked Up (Raspberry Creek, 2012); and The Magicke Outhouse (Raspberry Creek, 2013). All were nominated for Colorado Book Awards and Little Greed Men was also nominated for the Colorado Blue Spruce Award. Their latest book is Wild West Ghosts (Raspberry Creek, 2015), a creative nonfiction book about hauntings in frontier mining towns of the Rocky Mountains.

Frederick Turner
Frederick Turner is Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas. He has held academic positions at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Kenyon College (where he was editor of The Kenyon Review), and the University of Exeter in England. Among his many books are Natural Classicism: Essays on Literature and Science, Shakespeare and the Nature of Time, Paradise (poetry) and Genesis: An Epic Poem.

Duane Vandenbusche
Duane Vandenbusche, this year's Conference Keynote Speaker, has been Professor of History at Western State Colorado University since 1962 (more than half the lifetime of the institution), and is the author of eleven books, including Early Days in the Gunnison CountryA Land Alone: Colorado's Western SlopeThe Gunnison Country, and Western State College: Mountain Mecca. He coached the Western State cross country and track and field teams for 37 years, winning 12 NCAA national championships and turning out out four Olympians.


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