Advisory Board


John Helfers
John Helfers is an author and editor currently living in Green Bay, Wisconsin. During his 14 years working for Martin H. Greenberg at Tekno Books (the largest commercial book packager in the nation), he has edited more than twenty short story anthologies as well as overseeing numerous other ones for other publishers in all genres. He is also the Novel Line Developer for Catalyst Game Labs, which produces role playing game books and fiction set in the BattleTech and Shadowrun universes. He also published more than forty short stories in anthologies such as If I Were an Evil Overlord, Time Twisters, and Places to Be, People to Kill. His fiction has appeared in anthologies, game books, and novels for the Dragonlance, Transformers, BattleTech and Shadowrun universes. He has written both fiction and nonfiction, including the the third novel in the first authorized trilogy based on The Twilight Zone television series, the YA novel Tom Clancy's Net Force Explorers: Cloak and Dagger, and a history of the United States. He most recently finished writing several novels in their other long-running series as well. Currently, he is working on several tie-in projects, as well as an epic, dark, paranormal, alternate-history series with his wife, fellow author and editor Kerrie Hughes.


Peter Bridges
Peter Bridges was born in New Orleans in 1932 and was raised in Chicago. He received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.A. (in Slavic languages) from Columbia University. After two years’ enlisted service in the U.S. Army, Peter was commissioned as an officer of the U.S. Foreign Service and spent three decades in the employ of the Department of State at Washington, Panama, Moscow, Prague, Rome, and finally Mogadishu, where he served as American ambassador to Somalia in 1984-1986. Subsequently he worked for a small foundation in Washington, a large corporation in Houston, and an international bank in Prague. Three books by Peter Bridges have been published by Kent State University: a memoir entitled Safirka, An American Envoy (2000) and two biographies, Pen of Fire: John Moncure Daniel (2002), and Donn Piatt: Gadfly of the Gilded Age (2012). His poems, articles, and reviews have appeared in the California Literary Review, Christian Science Monitor, Crested Butte Magazine, Crested Butte News, Eclectica, Foreign Service Journal, Michigan Quarterly Review, Notes & Records of the Royal Society of London, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. In 2013 he self-published a volume of a hundred Sonnets from the Elk Mountains. Peter and his wife have owned a home at Crested Butte since 1988. He is a co-founder of the Elk Mountains Hikers Club and a former member of the board of the High Country Citizens’ Alliance.

Dana Gioia
Dana Gioia is an American writer, critic and poet. He served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the U.S. government's arts agency, from 2003-2009. In 2011, Gioia became Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. His published collections of poetry include Daily Horoscope (1986); The Gods of Winter (1991); and The Gods of Winter (1991), which was winner of the 2002 American Book Award. His poetry has appeared in The Norton Anthology of Poetry, The Oxford Book of American Poetry, and many other anthologies. His work has been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Chinese, and Arabic. His poetry has also been set to music, in styles ranging from classical to jazz and rock. Gioia has also written the libretti for the operas Nosferatu (2001; music by Alva Henderson) and Tony Caruso's Last Broadcast (2005; music by Paul Salerni).

Enid Holden
Enid Holden is a singer-songwriter, playwright, writer, lyricist and librettist. She holds degrees in Fine Arts, English, History of Art and Theatre. Before moving to Gunnison eight years ago, she served on the board of the Potomac Theatre in Maryland and a member of a professional children’s theatre group. She became an alumna of Western after completing a BA in Music here in 2011. She has had two plays performed in the Western short play festival and has also participated in summer intensives and screenwriting courses in the MFA program at Western. Enid was nominated for a WAMMY (Washington Area Music Association) award as a recording artist, making her debut with Siya Jika in 2009. Since then she has recorded a solo album and has written the book and lyrics for “Getting It Wright,” a musical comedy about the Wright Brothers. Recently Justus Parotta set her libretto “Lottie Silks,” and it was work shopped in the 2014 Catholic University of America New Voices vocal festival in Washington, DC. She founded the Gunnison Opera Study Group, a community initiative, and sings with the Crested Butte Music Festival chorus annually. She has a local event space, The Fashion Café, where she has hosted Word Horde and other readings. She also writes a column on local culture for The Gunnison Times.

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.

Marilyn Taylor
Marilyn L. Taylor, Ph.D., the State of Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate for 2009 and 2010, is the author of six collections of poetry. Her work has also appeared in many anthologies and journals, including The American Scholar, POETRY, Able Muse, Poetry Daily, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, and Iris.  She has been awarded First Place in contests sponsored by The Atlanta Review, Passager,The Ledge, and the GSU Review, and she was also the recipient of  the Dogwood Prize for a crown of sonnets titled “The Good-Girl Chronicles”.  Her second book, SUBJECT TO CHANGE (David Robert Books, 2004), was nominated for the Poets Prize in 2005, and her most recent collection, titled GOING WRONG, was published in 2009 by Parallel Press. Marilyn taught poetry and poetics for fifteen years with the English Department and the Honors College at  the University of  Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Since her retirement from academia, she has lectured and led independent poetry workshops in dozens of communities throughout Wisconsin and across the country, from California to Connecticut. In 2004 and 2005, Marilyn served as Poet Laureate of Milwaukee, her hometown.  She is currently a Contributing Editor for THE WRITER magazine, where her ”Poet to Poet” columns on the craft of poetry appear bimonthly.


Larry K. 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 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.


David DeVries
Award-winning documentary filmmaker David DeVries has produced, directed, written and often photographed television documentaries in thirty-one countries for American and international networks. He’s written dramatic screenplays for PBS, Disney Television and Turner, for which he’s served as an executive producer. David has developed and created work for the award winning nature series, “Survival” for Britain’s Anglia Television and “The World About Us” for the BBC. In addition, he has created documentary programming for PBS, CBC, NBC, A&E, The Discovery Channel and Time-Life. His dramatic credits include writing and directing “Home At Last”, a period drama starring Adrian Brody for PBS. He’s directed episodes for Laurel Entertainment’s syndicated series “Tales From the Dark Side” and the Fox Network series “Class of ’96.”  He has developed numerous dramatic projects as a producer/director for Disney Pictures and Disney Television. He and his wife, Eleanor, live on a farm in upstate New York.

Dr. Linda Seger has consulted on over 2000 scripts, including over 40 produced feature films and about 35 produced television projects. Her clients have included TriStar Pictures, Ray Bradbury, William Kelley, Linda Lavin, Suzanne de Passe, Tony Bill, as well as production companies and writers from six continents. is an internationally known speaker in the area of screenwriting, having taught and lectured in over 30 countries on 6 continents. She presented the first professional screenwriting seminar in both Moscow and Bulgaria, and has trained script consultants and script editors in Germany, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Austria, and Italy. She has given seminars for studios, networks, production companies, television series, and film commissions. As the author of nine books, Seger has appeared in more than 60 radio and television shows, including All Things Considered, National Public Radio, Good Morning L.A., Good Morning New York, and CNN.

Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Application Information