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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Ned Balbo
Ned Balbo’s The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems (Story Line Press) received the 2012 Poets’ Prize and the 2010 Donald Justice Prize. His previous books are Lives of the Sleepers (University of Notre Dame Press; Ernest Sandeen Prize and Foreword Book of the Year Gold Medal) and Galileo’s Banquet (Washington Writers’ Publishing House; Towson University Prize co-winner). He has received three Maryland Arts Council grants, the Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Award, and the John Guyon Literary Nonfiction Prize. His poems, translations, reviews, and flash fictions are out or forthcoming in Able Muse, Cimarron Review, The Common, Hopkins Review, Iowa Review, Measure, Pleiades, River Styx, Sou’Wester, and elsewhere. He was co-winner of the 2013 Willis Barnstone Translation Prize. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, poet-essayist Jane Satterfield.

Kristin Baxter
A second-year student in Western’s Genre Fiction MFA program, former technical writer and journalist Kristy Baxter is a young adult writer represented by The Stringer Literary Agency. She has written seven novels and is the winner of the Pennwriters 2007 Novel Beginnings award. She currently teaches at a Pennsylvania Highlands Community College in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and works as an assistant for an award-winning photographer.


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 nine full-length books of poetry and more than twenty-five poetry chapbooks. His most recent books are Something Like Karma (Clandestine Press, 2009) and Subway Figure (Orchises Press, 2009). His most recent chapbooks are The Wither’d Sedge (Finishing Line Press, 2014), and Swimming In A Watering Can (FootHills Publishing, 2014). His New and Selected Poems, Navigating The Distances (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, NY. 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.

During his years at Wells he taught literature (including British Romantic Poetry, British Victorian Poetry, Modern British Poetry, Twentieth Century American Poetry, and Contemporary American Poetry) and creative writing courses (including Poetry Writing, Creative Nonfiction, Advanced Poetry Writing, and Advanced Creative Nonfiction). He was Director of Creative Writing, and coordinated the college’s Visiting Writers Series, and one of his courses, The Maker’s Craft (the Uses of Form in Poetry), was half literature and half poetry writing; it featured readings and writing assignments in traditional forms as well as work and class visits by visiting writers. Since the early 1990’s, Professor Bennett served as Chair of English. He retired in June 2014, and is currently Professor Emeritus of English.

During the 1980's and 90's, he was an Associate Editor (with Stan Rubin and Linda Allardt) at Judith Kitchen's State Street Press in Rochester and Brockport, NY. In 1993, he founded, with Robert Doherty and others, the Wells College Book Arts Center and Wells College Press, and was its Director until 2002. He still directs the Wells College Press, which has published a number of poetry books, chapbooks, and pamphlets, and has regularly produced letterpress broadsides by writers in the Visiting Writers Series.

Professor Bennett has reviewed contemporary poetry books in The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Harvard Review, and elsewhere, and his poems have appeared widely in national literary journals, as well as numerous textbooks and anthologies. Last fall he was Poetry Editor of Issue 9 of Stone Canoe, a journal of Arts, Literature and Social Commentary, based in Syracuse.

Meredith Bergmann is an award-winning sculptor whose works include a major public monument in Boston that portrays three writers. She is a published poet, poetry editor of the American Arts Quarterly, and has published art criticism and gallery reviews. Her poetry and essays about poetry have appeared in print or are forthcoming in Barrow Street, Contemporary Poetry Review, Hudson Review, The New Criterion, The Raintown Review, The Same, The Tri Quarterly Review and the anthology Hot Sonnets; and in many journals online. Her sonnet “The Bird in the Bathroom” won an honorable mention from the Frost Farm Poetry Prize in 2013. Her chapbook “A Special Education” has just been published by EXOT Books. Meredith lives in New York City with her husband, a writer and director, and their son.

Michael Bergmann
In addition to Influence, the film he is screening this summer at Writing the Rockies, Michael Bergmann has made feature films that include Milk & Money (1996) of which The New York Times wrote it is "A treat to see"; Trifling With Fate (2000), of which Variety said it is "unafraid to be both smart and silly"; The Reality Trap (2004); and Trifling With Fate (2008), of which The New Yorker wrote that it was "One of the more exotic and enticing independent films" of the year. His films have won prizes at festivals in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and France. This fall in New York he will direct the (stage) premiere of Stefania De Kenessey's opera The Bonfire of the Vanities, based on the novel by Tom Wolfe for which Michael wrote the libretto. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Bergmann; www.bergmannfilm.com.

Mike Black
Michael A. Black began his police career as a US Army Military Policeman. He subsequently entered civilian law enforcement and was a police officer in a south suburb of Chicago. He worked in various capacities in police work including patrol supervisor, SWAT team leader, plain clothes tactical sergeant, and investigations. He was awarded the Cook County Medal of Merit in 2010, and retired from police work in 2011. Black is the author of 24 books and over 100 short stories and articles. He has a BA in English from Northern Illinois University and a MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He has written two novels with television star Richard Belzer of Law & Order SVU. Black also writes novels in the Don Pendleton Executioner series. One of these, Sleeping Dragons, was a finalist for Best Novel in the International Media Tie-In Writer’s Association in 2013. His novel Payback was once again nominated in this category in 2014. His latest Executioner novels, Dragon KeyDesert Falcons, and Uncut Terror, are due out in 2015. Black’s latest novel under his own name, Chimes at Midnight, is a thriller set in Washington, D.C.

Kim Bridgford is the founder and director of Poetry by the Sea:  A Global Conference.  She is the past director of the West Chester University Poetry Center and the West Chester University Poetry Conference, the largest all-poetry writing conference in the United States.  As the editor of Mezzo Cammin, she founded The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project, which was launched at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington in March 2010, and celebrated its first fifty essays at Fordham at Lincoln Center in April 2014.  Her collaborative work with the visual artist Jo Yarrington has been honored with a Ucross fellowship. Bridgford is the author of eight books of poetry, including Bully Pulpit, a book of poems on bullying; Epiphanies, a book of religious poems; and the recently released Doll.  She wrote the introduction to The Children of Children Keep Coming, by Russell Goings, and joined Goings in ringing the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange, a week before the first Obama inauguration. She has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Connecticut Post, on NPR and the website of The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and in various headline news outlets.  Recently The Rotary Dial devoted an issue to her work: America’s First Lady of Form.

Eleanor Brown is the New York Times and international bestselling author of The Weird Sisters, hailed by People magazine as “a delightful debut” and “creative and original” by Library Journal. The Weird Sisters was also a winner of the Colorado Book Award. Eleanor is the author of WOD Motivation and a contributor to CrossFit Journal. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in magazines, newspapers, and journals. Eleanor teaches writing workshops at The Writers' Table in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and at conferences and writing centers nationwide.

Debra Bruce
Debra Bruce’s latest book of poetry, Survivors’ Picnic, was published in 2012 by Word Press (Word Tech Editions).  She is the author of three previous collections, Pure Daughter and Sudden Hunger, both from the University of Arkansas Press, and What Wind Will Do, from Miami University Press. Her work has been published widely in journals, including The Atlantic, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review, and others. Sudden Hunger received the Carl Sandburg Award from the Chicago Public Library, and her work has also received grants and prizes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, the Poetry Society of America, and Poetry magazine.  Originally from Albany, New York, Debra lives in Chicago where she is a professor emeritus at Northeastern Illinois University.

Sigman Byrd
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Sigman Byrd is the author of two books: Wake Up, Sleepwalker (2014), edited by David J. Rothman for Conundrum Press as the inaugural volume of the Rocky Mountain Poetry Series, and Under the Wanderer’s Star, which won the 2005 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence and the Iowa Writers’ workshop, he received his doctorate in creative writing and literature from the University of Utah. Sigman’s poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, American Poetry Review, Antioch Review, Georgia Review, Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, Plume, Poetry, Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, and many other journals. He teaches writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder and lives in Westminster with his wife, Renata, and their two daughters.

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.

Maryann Corbett
Maryann Corbett grew up in McLean, Virginia. She now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota and works for the Minnesota Legislature. Trained as a medievalist and linguist, she holds a doctorate in English from the University of Minnesota. A winner of the Lyric Memorial Award and co-winner of the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize, she received the 2014 Richard Wilbur Award for her third book, Mid Evil (University of Evansville Press); her previous books are Breath Control (David Robert Books) and Credo for the Checkout Line in Winter (Able Muse Press). Her poems, essays, and translations have appeared in Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, The Dark Horse, Evansville Review, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, Rattle, River Styx, and more. She is married to John Corbett, a teacher of mathematics and statistics. They have two grown children.

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.

Stacia Deutsch
New York Times Best-Selling Author Stacia Deutsch serves as Visiting Professor in Western's Genre Fiction Concentration. She has written more than a hundred children's books. In addition to her award-winning creative chapter book series Blast to the Past, Stacia has also ghost-written for a popular girl's mystery series, published non-fiction texts, and penned a young adult romantic comedy called In the Stars. She has written junior movie tie-in novels for summer blockbuster films including Batman, The Dark Knight and the New York Times Best Sellers Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Jr. and The Smurfs. She is currently writing stories for Lego. In 2013, she earned her MFA from Western. Find her at www.staciadeutsch.com, @staciadeutsch and www.facebook/staciadeutsch.

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 Goodtimes
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 is serving his 5th term in Telluride 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, Sedona AZ, 2013).

Emily Grosholz is a poet and philosopher. She teaches philosophy of science and British and Irish poetry at the Pennsylvania State University, where she is also a member of the Center for Fundamental Theory / Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos; and she has been an advisory editor of The Hudson Review for thirty years. She is the author of seven books of poetry (including a recent volume of poems that play with mathematical ideas and vocabulary) and three books on philosophical topics. She has also edited or co-edited seven collections of essays, including most recently a special issue of Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics on “Time and Modern Cosmology,” with essays by Abhay Ashtekar, Jeremy Butterfield, Lee Smolin, John Norton, Julian Barbour and Gordon Fleming. She previously edited a special issue of Studia Leibnitiana on “Leibniz, Time and History,” and authored the article “Space and Time” in the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe (2011). Recent critical essays on poems by Eleanor Wilner, W. S. Di Piero, Deborah Greger, Dylan Thomas, John Keats, Anne Stevenson, Weldon Kees, Yves Bonnefoy, and Olga Sedakova examine space and time both as structural features and as topics for meditation in their poetry.

Elizabyth A. Hiscox is the author of Inventory from a One-Hour Room. She has edited several poetry magazines, and her own poems have been widely published. The recipient of grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Vermont Studio Center, she has served as Poet-in-Residence at Durham University (UK). She currently teaches creative writing at Western Colorado State University.


Alissa Johnson is an award-winning writer and writing coach. She is an associate editor at the Crested Butte News and her work has also appeared in The Wall Street JournalDirt Rag Magazine, Wilderness News, Mountain Gazette, and Green Woman Magazine among other publications. The Colorado Press Association has recognized her work in the categories of best sports column, best environmental writing, and best series, and her essay “Don’t Look Down” won the Funds for Writers contest. She has taught writing through Western State Colorado University’s Strategic Communications Program and the Western Connecticut State University Masters in Fine Arts program, where she also earned her MFA in Professional and Creative Writing. As a writing coach, she helps writers show up for their writing and find the story in what they’ve written. Learn more at www.WritingStrides.com.

Alexis Jolly
Alexis Jolly came of age in Greenville, Delaware, then continued his education at Dartmouth College. Watching many of his peers go on to the high-paying careers their parents quietly endured (with accompanying addiction, suicide, etc.), he decided life was too short and pursued his need to write instead, to his family’s dismay. So he has a dramatically rich relationship with themes of home and family that he likes to explore in his work. While completing his senior year of college, Alexis’s dramedy feature script, Leaving Greenville, was optioned by production company QuasiWorld Entertainment. After moving to Los Angeles, his second spec, Don’t Think Twice, was optioned by Act 4 Entertainment. He then served as a creative consultant for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where he learned he was not nearly as funny as real comedy writers. His drama spec about Fred Rogers, A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, was acquired by Treehouse Pictures and appeared on the 2013 Black List. He then pitched and was hired for a page-one rewrite of a feature, Tiger, Tiger for the newly formed Amazon Studios. He simultaneously partnered with Nina Jacobson’s (The Hunger Games) Color Force productions and pitched and sold a period, pro-wrestling family drama to FX, which is still in development. On the television front, he is currently pitching a hyperviolent, hyper-stylized story of a female gang with CBS Studios, and will potentially be adapting a book about one of America’s first captains of industry for LD Entertainment (The Grey). On the feature front, he is currently developing a feature trilogy with producer Allison Shearmur (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; Cinderella) and pitching a book adaptation to The Weinstein Company and Channing Tatum’s production company. When not writing, Alexis enjoys watching movies and television, reading, and traveling with his wife.

Dave mason
David Mason’s books of poems include The Buried Houses (winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize), The Country I Remember (winner of the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award), and Arrivals. His verse novel, Ludlow, was published in 2007, and named best poetry book of the year by the Contemporary Poetry Review and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. It was also featured on the PBS News Hour. Author of a collection of essays, The Poetry of Life and the Life of Poetry, his memoir, News from the Village, appeared in 2010. A collection of essays, Two Minds of a Western Poet, followed in 2011. Mason has also co-edited several textbooks and anthologies, including Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry, Rebel Angels: 25 Poets of the New Formalism, Twentieth Century American Poetry, and Twentieth Century American Poetics: Poets on the Art of Poetry. His poetry, prose and translations have appeared in such periodicals as The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Times Literary Supplement, Poetry, Agenda, Modern Poetry in Translation, The New Criterion, The Yale Review, The Hudson Review, The American Scholar, The Irish Times, and The Southern Review. Anthologies include Best American Poetry and others. He has also written the libretti for composer Lori Laitman’s opera of The Scarlet Letter and her oratorio, Vedem. He recently won the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Creativity in Motion Prize for the development of a new libretto based upon Ludlow. His one-act opera with composer Tom Cipullo, After Life, premiered in Seattle and San Francisco in 2015. In 2014-15 Mason published two new poetry collections: Sea Salt: Poems of a Decade and Davey McGravy: Tales in Verse to Be Read Aloud to Children and Adult Children. A former Fulbright Fellow to Greece, he served as Poet Laureate of Colorado from 2010 to 2014, and teaches at Colorado College. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Poetry Concentration in Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing.

J S Mayank
J S Mayank is Director of Western’s Screenwriting Concentration. He is a British-Indian filmmaker, represented by ICM Partners and Ensemble Entertainment. 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.

Bill McAdams Jr.
Born and raised in Virginia, Bill McAdams Jr. graduated from The Catholic University of America in 1994 with a double major in Drama and Philosophy. Bill was playing collegiate baseball when he got his first film experience, appearing as a utility baseball player in Charlie Sheen's Major League II. Bill then went on to double Matt Damon in Francis Ford Coppola's The Rainmaker. Bill's relationship with Matt Damon lead to a four-year stint as his Photo-double / Standin on the Academy Award-winning film, Good Will Hunting, along with Rounders, and Dogma. His experience with Matt Damon enabled him to watch the work of Academy Award winning actors, cinematographers and directors. Thereafter, Bill worked on Amistad with Steven Spielberg and with David Lynch on Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive. Once he landed the visual-effects role of the invisible man in the Academy Award-nominated Hollow Man (starring Kevin Bacon and directed by Paul Verhoeven), he realized his future was behind the camera. He took a job as a key production assistant under Producer Louis D'Esposito on the films S.W.A.T, The 6th Day, Stuart Little 2, The Glass House, and Sweet Home Alabama. Bill also worked as a producer's assistant on Not Another Teen Movie and Daredevil. Bill went on to double Chris Evans on all Marvel’s Captain America and Avengers films. Bill's action-thriller and feature directorial debut, A Lure: Teen Fight Club, was picked up for distribution by Echo Bridge and Osiris Entertainment. The second feature film he wrote and directed, Money Shot, with Jason Mewes, Jessica Sonneborn and Al Snow, was picked up by Kevin Smith's Smodcast Pictures and Phase 4 Films and EONE. Bill produced the thriller House Across the Street, starring Eric Roberts, Jessica Sonneborn, Alex Rocco, Ethan Embry and Courtney Gains, which is invited to the Ft. Lauderdale film festival. His baseball documentary, Jose Canseco: The Truth Hurts, won Best Documentary at the Boston International Film Festival, Hot Springs Arkansas Documentary Film Festival and San Antonio Film Festival, also picking up the Audience Award. His newly wrapped drama Gallows Road, with Ernie Hudson and Kevin Sorbo, is in post-production and is scheduled to be released world-wide in 2015. Bill is currently in prep on The Untouchable, a true story and live-action feature about a prize-winning boxer from Argentina.

Robert McBrearty
Robert Garner McBrearty is the winner of the 2007 Sherwood Anderson Writer’s Grant. A native of San Antonio, Texas, he is a 1981 MFA graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a contributing editor of The Pushcart Prize anthology, and a consulting editor for Narrative magazine. His short stories have appeared in the Pushcart Prize, Narrative, Missouri Review, New England Review, Mississippi Review, North American Review, and in many other literary journals. McBrearty’s most recent collection of short stories, Let the Birds Drink in Peace, was published in 2011 by Conundrum Press. His previous works, Episode and A Night at the Y, met with rave reviews. His new novel, The Western Lonesome Society, is forthcoming from Conundrum Press.

Larry Meredith
Larry K. Meredith co-founded Writing the Rockies. He is the owner and publisher of Raspberry Creek Books, Ltd. He is the author of the historical novel This Cursed Valley and has a second novel in the hands of a literary agent.  He has written hundreds of published essays and newspaper and magazine articles. In his career he has been a newspaper man, a salesman, an advertising and sales promotion writer for a Fortune 500 company, a university public relations director, and has owned his own marketing and video production company. A former administrator for Western State Colorado University as well as executive director of a library district, Larry has also directed the Certificate in Publishing in Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing.

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.

Angela Alaimo O’Donnell teaches English at Fordham University in New York City and serves as Associate Director of Fordham’s Curran Center for American Catholic Studies. O’Donnell has published three collections of poems, Saint Sinatra, Moving House, and Waking My Mother, and two chapbooks MINE and Waiting for Ecstasy.  A sixth book of poems, Lovers’ Almanac, is forthcoming in 2015. Her poems have appeared in many journals and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Best of the Web Award, and the Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Imaginative Writing.  In addition to her books of poems, O’Donnell has recently published a memoir, Mortal Blessings, and a biography and introduction to the work of Flannery O’Connor.   Her website is at http://angelaalaimoodonnell.com/.

Anna lena Phillips
Anna Lena Phillips is a poet, editor, and maker. Her letterpress-printed, travel-sized guide to poetic forms, A Pocket Book of Forms, has been selected for inclusion in exhibitions at Abecedarian Gallery and at Asheville Bookworks. Her work appears or is forthcoming in the Southern Poetry AnthologyRaintown Review, and International Poetry Review, among others, and she is the recipient of the Southern Women Writers Conference Emerging Writers Award, the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Award, and the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prize. She formerly served as senior editor for American Scientist magazine, where she remains a contributing editor. She is editor of Ecotone and its sister imprint, Lookout Books, and teaches in the creative writing department at UNC Wilmington.

Randall Potts is the author of Trickster (2014), published by the University of Iowa Press in its Kuhl House poetry series. His debut, Collision Center, appeared from O Books in 1994; the same year, Leave Books released his chapbook, Recant: (A Revision). His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Antioch Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Five Fingers Review, Iowa Review, Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche, The West Marin Review, Unsplendid and many others. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, he has taught creative writing at the graduate and undergraduate levels at the University of San Francisco and California College of the Arts. He volunteered as an intern at a wildlife rehabilitation hospital and worked on several oil spill responses. He lives in Berkeley, California.

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/.

Dave Reynolds chairs the English Department at Fountain Valley School, one of Colorado's preeminent independent boarding schools, in Colorado Springs. Born in Indiana, raised in Connecticut, went to college in Maine, mastered in Seattle, he has taught high school for more than 25 years.  He writes poetry and creative non-fiction, loves hiking and nordic skiing, and is a noted bon vivant.

 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.​

Jane Satterfield’s most recent book is Her Familiars (Elixir, 2013). She is the author of two previous poetry collections: Assignation at Vanishing Point, and Shepherdess with an Automatic, as well as Daughters of Empire: A Memoir of a Year in Britain and Beyond. Her honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in poetry and three Maryland Arts Council Individual Artists Awards, the William Faulkner Society's Gold Medal for the Essay, the Florida Review Editors’ Prize in nonfiction, the Mslexia women’s poetry prize, and the 49th Parallel Poetry Prize from The Bellingham Review as well as residencies in poetry or nonfiction from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Satterfield is literary editor for Canada’s Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement and currently lives in Baltimore where she teaches at Loyola University Maryland.

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.

Corinna McClanahan Schoreder
Corinna McClanahan Schroeder is the author of Inked, winner of the X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize and forthcoming from Texas Review Press in the fall of 2015.  She received her MFA from the University of Mississippi and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Southern California, where she holds a Wallis Annenberg Endowed Fellowship.  She is the recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Award in poetry, and her poems have been published in numerous journals, including The Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah, Tampa Review, Poet Lore, and Blackbird.  Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, she lives with her husband in Los Angeles, California.

Caleb Seeling
Caleb J. Seeling is the Director of Western's Certificate in Publishing. He began working in publishing in 2006 and founded Samizdat Publishing Group in Denver in 2009. The company has since expanded, forming two imprints (Conundrum Press and Samizdat Creative), publishing between 20-30 books altogether each year. An active member of several publishing and arts organizations, Caleb is also a social entrepreneur, finding ways to serve the greater community and disadvantaged youth through strategic partnerships with organizations such as Colorado Business Committee for the Arts and Youth on Record. He has also recently published his first graphic novel, The Battle Begins, with David C. Cook Publishing, illustrated by Eisner-award winning artist Sergio Cariello. The sequel, The Seeds of Struggle, will appear in fall 2015 and he is under contract for two more. Caleb is a native Coloradan based in Golden, where he lives with his wife Angela, four children, and three chickens.

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 Magazine, Technology Illustrated, High Country News, New 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 L. Taylor, former Poet Laureate of the state of Wisconsin (2009 and 2010) and the city of Milwaukee (2004 and 2005), is the author of six poetry collections. Her award-winning poems and essays have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetry, American ScholarMeasureAble Muse, Measure, Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” column, and the Random House anthology titled Villanelles. Marilyn taught poetry and poetics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and served for five years as Contributing Editor and regular poetry columnist for The Writer magazine. She currently teaches for the Writers Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and at Lawrence University's Bjorklunden Seminar Center. She is a member of the Poetry Concentration Advisory Board of the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Western.

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.

Toni Todd
Toni Todd is Associate Conference Coordinator for Writing the Rockies, and a Lecturer in the Communication Arts, Languages and Literature Department at Western. She also 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.

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.

Wendy Videlock
Wendy Videlock’s poems have appeared widely, most notably in Poetry, Hudson ReviewRattle, The New Criterion, Poetry Review (UK), and The New York Times. She is the author of the chapbook What’s That Supposed to Mean (Exot Books), and two full-length collections with Able Muse Press: Nevertheless (2011, a finalist for the 2012 Colorado Book Award in poetry) and The Dark Gnu (2013), the latter a book for “children of all ages.” Her newest book, the satirical Slingshots and Love Plums, also appears from Able Muse Press. Wendy is a visual artist who often works in alcohol inks, and her work has been shown in several Colorado galleries. She lives with her husband in western Colorado.

Brad Wetzler
Bradley Wetzler is a freelance writer and a former senior editor at Outside magazine. He has written for some of America’s finest publications, including the New York Times Magazine and Book Review, Newsweek, Best American Travel Writing, GQ, Wired, Travel + LeisureThe Daily Beast, Men's Journal, National Geographic Adventure, George, and Outside, where he is a contributing editor. Assignments for top publications have taken him to dozens of countries, where he’s reported on stories about religion, politics, exploration, the environment, travel, sports, and more. His essay, “My Palestinian Vacation,” about his travels in the occupied West Bank appeared in Newsweek. He’s a former syndicated adventure-travel columnist. As a senior editor at Outside, he conceived and edited “Into Thin Air” (Outside, September 1996) by Jon Krakauer, considered to be one of the best-loved works of longform journalism of the past 25 years. Wetzler’s work helped earn Outside multiple National Magazine Awards. He has discussed his work on NPR, ABC News, MSNBC, and other media outlets. He teaches nonfiction writing at Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop. His website is http://www.bradwetzlerwriter.com/.

Lesley Wheeler
Lesley Wheeler is the author of Voicing American Poetry: Sound and Performance from the 1920s to the Present. Her poetry collections include Heterotopia and the forthcoming Radioland; her poems and essays appear in Ecotone, Poetry, and other venues. Recipient of fellowships from Fulbright, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other grantors, she also won an Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia in 2011. She is the Henry S. Fox Professor of English at Washington & Lee University.

Ted White
For more than half a century Ted White has worked with many of Hollywood’s greatest stars, directors, screenwriters and photographers. He has been an actor, stuntman, stunt coordinator, second unit director and screenwriter. He has doubled John Wayne, Clark Gable, Rock Hudson, Charlton Heston and many others and even became one of the screen’s greatest Jasons in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. Learn more about Ted and his career at www.tedwhite.com.

Terrie Wolf
Literary agent Terrie Wolf has traveled the world in search of good stories and great books. As a member of the international media, an award-winning journalist and promotions specialist, Terrie has learned what it takes to write well, get accepted and develop notoriety; not necessarily in that order! She is happiest when given the opportunity to pitch softly, edit gently and market fiercely. A partner at AKA Literary agency, Terrie mastered her skills in the literary world from inside the offices of several large companies, which include CBS, NBC, and Hobson's Press. She studied English Literature at Cambridge University, Creative Writing at NYU and Journalism at CU-Denver. Her specialties include all genres of Romance, Graphic Novel, Western, Young Adult, Children's (all levels) including young adult, Women's, Multi-Cultural, Empowerment (Things of Faith), and Inspirational. She also represents non-fiction: Cookbooks, Humor, Memoir, Religion, Music and Nature.

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