Conference Administration and Staff


Conference Director

David J. Rothman
David J. Rothman serves as the Director of Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing. He is the editor of Western's national journal of poetry and criticism, THINK. 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 creative nonfiction, Living the Life: Tales from America's Mountains & Ski Towns (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, Sewanee Review, Threepenny Review and scores of other newspapers, journals and periodicals. He co-founded and served as first Executive Director of 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 represents the southwest states on the board of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and serves on the advisory board of the West Chester University Poetry Center. He lives in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Conference Coordinator

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 serves as Director of the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program, and 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 Saga: The 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. Currently, he and Kym are at work on a creative nonfiction book about hauntings in frontier mining towns of the Rocky Mountains.

Associate Conference Coordinators

Erica Boucher
Erica Boucher, Director of Extended Studies, is a Western alumna. She returned to Gunnison in 2008 after working as an English teacher and development officer at Carrabassett Valley Academy, a private ski/snowboard academy in northern Maine. Erica enjoys running during her free-time and is thrilled to be a part of this year’s Writing the Rockies conference.

Toni Todd
Toni Todd is a Lecturer in the Communication Arts, Languages and Literature Department at Western, and serves as Vice President of the Gunnison Arts Council Board of Directors. She has worked as a radio and print journalist in the Gunnison Valley, and as a ski instructor, boot-fitter, wine-tasting pourer, bank teller, census enumerator and berry picker. Toni holds an MFA from the University of Alaska at Anchorage, her short fiction has been published in several literary journals, and her freelance stories are often featured in local publications. Her current passion is the ukulele, an endeavor that draws more on enthusiasm than talent as a final measure of success. Toni is also a volunteer DJ at KBUT Community Radio in Crested Butte, host of “The Aloha Connection,” a Hawaiian Music show that airs on Saturday afternoons.

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Lead Intern

Jay Ytell
Jay Ytell is a Senior at Western State Colorado University. He spends his free time reading, writing and rock climbing, as well as involving himself with the Western community. He is Vice President of WordHorde, Western’s spoken word and performance troupe, Treasurer of the local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, and the Director of Western’s Council for Creative Expression. Jay is an avid writer and has been published in Pathfinder magazine. This is Jay’s third year as an intern at Writing the Rockies.