Workshop Leaders

NYWC is fortunate to have a talented and diverse pool of writers volunteering their time to lead creative writing workshops every week.

Miguel Ángel Ángeles is a queer Xican@ migrant from a small town in rural California and has been transplanted in New York since 2005. The youngest child of his family, he has been fascinated by the word from a young age. He currently works with immigrants as a teacher of English to speakers of other languages. He has read his poetry and short stories through out New York City, including the Mexican Consulate and the 2011 Amnesty International Write-a-thon. His short story “Cicatrices” was published in 2010 in The Best of Panic Anthology and “Este Dulce Frio” was published in 2011 in From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction. A selection of his poems have been chosen to appear in Joto: An Anthology of Queer Ch/Xicano Poetry, forthcoming.

Tamiko Beyer’s poetry has appeared in diode, Sonora Review, OCHO, Copper Nickel Review and elsewhere. She has received several fellowships and grants, including a Kundiman fellowship, a grant from the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund, and an Olin and Chancellor’s Fellowship from Washington University in St. Louis where she is currently an M.F.A. candidate. She is the poetry editor of Drunken Boat, and a founding member of Agent 409: a queer, multi-racial writing collective in New York City. Find her online at and blogging at .

Colleen Breslin joined NYWC in November 2012 as a workshop leader. Having no concrete ideas about what community of writers will best suit her, she looks forward to what will open up and to joining the Coalition’s movement to create space for new voices and new perspectives. When she is not acting like a lawyer in her gig with the National Labor Relations Board, Colleen is thinking about democracy in the workplace and watching the kids on her Clinton Hill block play sidewalk soccer. She hopes the ideas that come to her will find themselves in full written form on of these days.

Barbara Cassidy leads a NYWC workshop at the Brooklyn Public Library, Ridge Girls,which is aimed at getting Bay Ridge girls of diverse backgrounds together to write.  She also leads a NYWC kids workshop at the Queens Public Library.  A graduate of Brooklyn College’s MFA program, her play, Interim, was recently published in the anthology, New Downtown Now.

Deborah Clearman led NYWC’s workshop for seniors at the 14th Street Y from 2003 to 2011 and now leads a workshop for women in jail at RMSC (aka Rosie’s) on Rikers Island.  Deborah served as NYWC’s Program Director for about 8 years, and in that time helped build NYWC from a small grassroots organization into one of the largest community based writing programs in the world.  She wrote and illustrated The Goose’s Tale (Whispering Coyote Press) for children. Her short stories for adults have been published by various literary journals, including Beloit Fiction JournalConnecticut Review, Ginger Hill, Oasis, and Quality Women’s Fiction.  She has also performed numerous public readings and story-tellings in New York City, at venues such as The Moth, The Pink Pony, Cornelia Street Café and others. Ms. Clearman has more than twelve years of experience teaching art and English as a foreign language, including a year in Todos Santos, Guatemala. Ms. Clearman has an MFA in painting from Indiana University and her paintings have appeared in galleries and exhibitions throughout the country. Her first novel, Todos Santos,  was published by Black Lawrence Press. Check for info.

Jaime Shearn Coan is a gnc/trans poet who teaches creative writing and literature at the City College of New York and facilitates a NYWC writing workshop with LGBT elders through SAGE. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Mississippi Review, Drunken Boat, the Portland Review, and the LES Review. His artist book dear someone, the product of a collaborative queer letter-writing project, is distributed through Printed Matter.

Clarissa Cummings is a writer born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been published in African Voices Literary Journal, Fierce Magazine, and the 2007 anthology “What Your Mama Never Told You”. She has led a NYWC workshop for cancer survivors at the Creative Center.

T.K. Dalton leads a bi-lingual workshop with members of the Deaf community at Tanya Towers residence. His fiction and nonfiction appears in Red Rock Review, Radical Teacher, Rain Taxi, and The L Magazine; drafts of his novel, More Signal, More Noise, have earned him residencies at the Montana Artists Refuge and the Vermont Studio Center. He holds an MFA in Fiction from the University of Oregon and is completing the ASL-English Interpreting program at Union County College. When not camped at his writing desk or frolicking in the Deaf community, Tim teaches composition at LaGuardia Community College.

Ben Dolnick leads a youth workshop at the Brownsville Justice Community Center. He lives in Fort Greene with his wife and dog, and is the author of three novels and counting.

Erin Ehsani won third place in her elementary school’s writing contest.  She was awarded five dollars for “Tick Tock,” a poem that lamented the death of a mouse.  Now she’s a MFA candidate in nonfiction at Columbia University, where she’s at work on her first book.  She received her BA in English and Psychology at Athens State University in Athens, Alabama.

Erin has taught writing workshops at Common Ground through Columbia Artists as Teachers.  She led the NYWC workshop at the Women’s Prison Association in Brooklyn.  Erin currently resides in Manhattan, where she subsists on food cart falafels.

Susan Fedynak is a native New Yorker excited to join NYWC in bringing free writing workshops to her hometown. She received a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, where she was an Honors Trustee Scholar. She is a National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts merit award recipient. She is also the recipient of a World Learning scholarship, which sent her to South Africa to study arts and culture. Her work has appeared in Stork, Blood, and Thunder, and the speculative fiction anthology A Field Guide to Surreal Botany, published by Two Cranes Press. She lives in Queens with her music producer husband and their imaginary puppy named Tofu.

Mary Feinberg taught language arts and drama in East Harlem during an exciting and innovative period in public education when workshops were taught by people like Peter Elbow, whose focus on writing as a step in the development of language skills was instrumental in helping students to become better writers as well as readers. She conducts three workshops at the New York Presbyterian Hospital for adults and adolescents.

Shaina Feinberg has over a decade of experience working with non-profits and under-served communities. She was the Founder of WriteNY, an organization that merged with NYWC in 2002 when Shaina became NYWC’s first Program Director, a position she held from 2002-2004. She’s led workshops for NYWC in a variety of settings, including with people with mental disabilities at St. Francis Residence, with former sex workers at GEMS, and for seniors at Prime Time, where she currently leads a workshop, and is on the NYWC Board of Directors. She is also a writer and performer and recently was featured on This American Life.

Chelsea Lemon Fetzer received her MFA in fiction at Syracuse University in 2008. Her work has appeared in Stone Canoe, Callaloo, Tin House, and Mississippi Review. Currently she is also an instructor for the PEN American Center’s Readers and Writers Program.  In 2009 She founded The Create Collective, Inc. a non-profit organization working to bring collaborative arts projects and workshops to community based organizations.  She lives in Brooklyn and is at work on her first novel, Rivermaps.

Tim Fredrick is a fiction writer and writing teacher to students from Kindergarten to graduate school. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri, a Masters in English Education and a Ph.D. in English Education/ Applied Linguistics from New York University. His work has been published in Circa, Burning WoodTeachers College Record and Changing English. He’s the founding editor of Newtown Literary, a semiannual literary journal dedicated to publishing and promoting the work of writers and poets living in Queens, NY. Learn more about Tim here.

Beth Friedland enthusiastically joined NY Writers Coalition as a workshop leader in 2007.  She led writing workshops at The Creative Center from 2008-2010 and is currently leading a writing workshop at Centerlight, a community adult day health care program in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.  Beth was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is currently writing a collection of short stories.

Yvonne Garrett leads a workshop at the Brooklyn Veterans Center open to all veterans. She has an MFA in Fiction from the New School, an MA in Humanities & Social Thought from NYU, and a B.A. in English from Smith College. She’s been published in several music magazines, had stories in the Brooklyn Writers’ Space “Reader” anthology, the Raleigh Quarterly, Thema, Bardsong, Compass Rose, and poetry in Roux, Spire, and the Baltimore Review among others. She is on the editorial staff of Black Lawrence Press (associate fiction editor) and Barrow Street. She is a member of PEN America, the MLA, AWP, the PCA/ACA, a regular volunteer for Veteran-related & Animal Rights causes and lives in the East Village.

Jackie Glasthal, a freelance writer and editor, has been involved with NYWC off and on since its inception. Through it, she has led workshops at the Youth Empowerment Mission’s Blossom Program for Girls and with incarcerated women at Rikers Island’s Rose M. Singer Center. Her current inspiration are kids of all ages who come to write at the Kensington and the Cortelyou branches of the Brooklyn Public Library. Jackie has recently completed an MA in  Liberal Studies, with a specialization in biography, autobiography and memoir, at the City University of New York Graduate Center. With a background in children’s and educational publishing, Jackie is also the author of a middle-grade historical fiction novel, Liberty on 23rd Street (Silver Moon Press, 2006) and a number of books for educators. She also teaches Children’s Book Writing through Gotham Writers’ Workshop and has written on a variety of topics online and in print for sources ranging from the New York Times Learning Network and Instructor Magazine to Encarta Junior Encyclopedia and National Geographic for Kids.

Racquel Goodison was born and grew up in Jamaica. She earned a doctorate in English at SUNY Binghamton University and is currently an assistant professor at the City University of New York. She has been a resident at Yaddo and a recipient of a scholarship to the Fine Arts Works Center as well as the Astraea Emerging Lesbian Writer’s Grant. Her stories can be found in such literary journals as th eBlack Arts QuarterlyProud Flesh JournalKweli Journal, and Drunken Boat.

Kaitlyn Greenidge leads NYWC workshops for young people. She lives in Brooklyn, NY and works as a researcher for a local history museum. She has previously taught creative writing with the Writers’ Express, Inc. in Boston, MA.

Vanassa Hamra is from Northern California and received her Bachelor’s degree in English and communication studies from Westmont College, located in sunny Santa Barbara. She moved to New York to pursue a Master’s degree in humanities at New York University. For the past year, Vanassa has led a creative writing workshop at CARES High School, located in St. Luke’s Hospital. In her spare time, she coaches girls volleyball.

Rita Hickey wrote, produced and performed in plays for the educational theatre company Living Lessons in Brooklyn. She has led an NYWC workshop for the men of 7 Upper on Rikers Island through the Fortune Society and for the women of the Rose M. Singer Center (aka “Rosie’s”) on Rikers Island. She currently leads NYWC’s workshop at the Fortune Society in Long Island City.

Angela Lockhart is a writing workshop leader with life-long experience writing as a poet and playwright who also sings and directs plays.  Inspiring others to express themselves creatively, Angela has worked individually and collaboratively with other artists to create performances that include theatre, dance, poetry/spoken word and song. Angela’s Work as a playwright has been noted in the New York Times, Glamour Magazine and the book Mega Trends for Women.  Two of her poems can be found in From The Web, an anthology of previously unpublished female political poets.

In the early 1990’s Angela founded Living Lessons Inc. a non-profit Educational Theatre company teaching community members to be actor-teachers.  Angela and the company created performances that shared personal experience regarding AIDS, domestic violence and addictions.  In the summer of 2010 Angela worked with early childhood educators in North Carolina to create a multi-media performance that included song and spoken word to lobby and educate policy advisors. The summer of 2011 will be Angela’s third year leading a week-long creative writing workshop at the World Fellowship Center in Conway New Hampshire.  She is currently leading a NY Writers Coalition workshop at Stepping Stone, a transitional housing facility operated by Institute for Community Living in downtown Brooklyn.

Derek Loosvelt has led an NYWC workshop at the Queensboro Correctional Facility in Long Island City, New York. He is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the MFA program at the New School, where he received the New School Chapbook Award for “Michigan Left.” In 2008 he was named a One World Scholar by the Pan-African Literary Forum in Accra, Ghana. His writing has appeared in various magazines and journals. He lives in Brooklyn.

Margaret Lubalin has been a copywriter and advertising Creative Director for over 20 years. She is also a poet, book artist and general life observer. Margaret has taught writing and book-making classes at the Society of Scribes, The Ink Pad and in the Reading Program at P.S. 96. She has led a NYWC writing workshop at Inwood House, a residence for pregnant teens. She also leads a NYWC writing workshop in the Gramercy Park Area. Margaret studied creative writing at The New School, in a variety of writers groups and at the New York Writers Coalition. She has authored and self-published two books of poetry, “Openings” and “Harvest” and has had several of her poems published by Plum Biscuit,the NYWC online literary magazine. She also has the rare distinction of inventing the “poem mobile.”

John Maney is originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, where he attended Macalester College, majoring in Religious Studies, and Sociology. In 1995 John moved to New York to pursue writing. While in New York he has attended poetry workshops at the Frederick Douglas Creative Arts Center, as well as through Cave Canum. John is a member of the New York Writers Coalition, and The Writer’s Room. He has published in the anthology HEAL, by Clique Calm Books; the anthology Testimony, by Free Spirit Press; and most recently in Art’s Buoyant Felicity, by Evolutionary Girls. He’s also had poetry appear in Sufi Magazine, and has a chapbook entitled Nkatie Wonu, by Broken Rose Publications. John has been featured in readings at several venues throughout New York City and State. Under the auspices of the New York Writers Coalition John conducts creative writing workshops for formally incarcerated men and women at the Fortune Society, in Queens, New York.

Patrick Mathieu majored in dance at the City College of the City University of New York where he was awarded a certificate of membership to the Lavender Hill Mob for “distinguished service…and outstanding contributions” to the college and its students; and went on to receive favorable reviews as a professional dancer from Jennifer Dunning (NY Times) and Jennie Schulman (Backstage). His off-Broadway debut at the Public Theatre was in George C. Wolfe’s production of Caucasian Chalk Circle. And then, the children arrived.

Currently Patrick is seeking to publish his book Incarcerated Thoughts – One Man’s Journey; putting the final touches on his video art piece Multicultural Democracy in Action(a piece featuring Art for Change volunteers); produces his half hour television specialUnknown Artists as a Queens Public Access Television producer; and leads creative writing workshops for NY Writers Coalition on Rikers Island and at the Fortune Society.

Matt Matros is a nine-year resident of Brooklyn, and a graduate of the MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College. His non-fiction has appeared in The Washington Post and on, while his fiction has appeared in Spectrum and in his high school literary magazine. Matt is the author of the instructional memoir The Making of a Poker Player, and he is desperately trying to finish his first novel.

Rebecca McCray led NYWC’s workshop for women at College and Community Fellowship in 2012 and is now gearing up to lead a workshop for incarcerated men at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. She is thrilled to be editing and writing social justice posts for NYWC’s blog, The Narrator. In the past, Rebecca has worked as an educator and researcher at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women, the Iowa Juvenile Home, and Rikers Island, facilitating classes in creative writing, visual art, and debate. She is a regular contributor to the ACLU’s Blog of Rights, and Full Stop Magazine. An Iowa native, she lives and writes in Brooklyn.

Tory Meringoff is a new addition to the NYWC and is thrilled to be part of their unique mission. She currently has the pleasure of leading two workshops for NYC’s Seniors; one at the 14th St. YMCA and one at SAGE. Tory was born and raised in Manhattan, leaving only temporarily to major in English at Cornell University with a concentration in African American Literature. She has since proved unable to resist the artistic lure of NYC, where she currently writes and reads creative nonfiction. She particularly enjoys deconstructions of popular culture through a feminist lens and believes in the power of endless humor and wordplay–both in writing and in life.

Allegra Mira is a freelance writer and poet. In 2003, she worked with Stanley Kunitz and Genine Lentine on Kunitz’s final book, “The Wild Braid.” She is on the Board of Perugia Press, where she screens manuscripts for their annual contest. She consults for The Frost Place and is currently developing a writers residency at The Rowe Center. When living in Western Mass, she  served on the selection committee for the Northampton Poet Laureate and  wrote for the Daily Hampshire Gazette and other Western Massachusetts publications, including “Many Hands” magazine, “Home Magazine,” and “The Local Buzz.” Allegra also covered poetry and the Western Massachusetts poetry scene for The Springfield Republican’s site, on their Valley Poetry blog. Allegra’s poems have appeared in the Northampton Drive-By Poets series, and have been published in The Berkshire Review, Worcester Magazine, and Naugatuck River Review.

In New York, Allegra established Freedom Writing, a workshop for veterans. Currently Freedom Writing takes place at the VFW 2348 in Astoria. Allegra also maintains herself with Bikram yoga and is in recovery. She lives with metal guitarist Thad Jasonis, and their cat, Jasmine, who is the cutest cat in all of Queens.

Melody Nixon is New Zealand-born writer living in New York City. She is excited to join NYWC to bring free workshops to migrants to the U.S. like herself. She has taught an Introduction to Political Writing class to undergrads at Columbia University, and Writing and Dance workshops to elementary school kids in Harlem. Her own work takes the form of lyrical short prose, and investigates colonialism, place, and identity. Melody is the Interviews Editor for The Common Online,  and a Founding Editor of Apogee, a literary journal dedicated to work by writers of color and work that explores issues of identity, race and writing from the margins.

NPR host Garrison Keillor featured Kate Payne’s poetry on air for A Prairie Home Companion’s Annual Spring Lyric Contest. Kate leads her NYWC workshop with elementary children at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Bedford branch, just down the street from her house. She also writes grants for non-profit organizations on a freelance basis and collects anything that seems handy or old. Her non-fiction book: The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking, came  out in Spring 2011 from HarperCollins.

Jaclyn Perlmutter leads a NYWC workshop at Bayview Correctional Facility, a medium-security women’s prison in Manhattan.   She has studied playwriting at Primary Stages and HB Studio, as well as at The Flea Theater through their “Pataphysics” workshop, and has completed an artist’s residency at the Vermont Studio Center.  Among other projects, Jaclyn is developing a web-based series focusing on healthy eating habits for young people.  She holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Pomona College, where she was awarded a prize for excellence for her senior thesis.  Jaclyn is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America.

Melissa Petro is a freelance writer and instructor for Gotham Writers Workshop and Red Umbrella Project, a nonprofit organization that amplifies the voices of individuals with experience in the sex trades, and is the editor of PROS(E), a literary journal for current, former and transitioning sex workers. She has written for SalonDaily BeastHuffington PostJezebelxoJaneRumpusPenthouse,Poets and Writers and elsewhere.

Rolinda Ramos is a not-for-profit professional with over 10 years of experience managing supportive housing and developing programs. She has a knack for implementing community building initiatives and is especially known for her diplomacy and creative thinking. Rolinda was awarded a fellowship in Not-for-Profit Leadership, sponsored by the United Way of New York City. She also completed Safe Horizon’s mediation program and served as a volunteer mediator for the Brooklyn Community.

Currently Rolinda leads a creative writing workshop at Serendipty II, an alternative to incarceration program housing former prisoners re-entering society. Rolinda is also a proud single mom, Brooklynite,  and lover of the arts.

Alex Samets leads the NYWC workshop at SAGE, working with elders at the LGBT Center in Manhattan. She will receive an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in May of 2010. Alex lives, writes, practices yoga, and walks her dog in the relatively untamed Inwood, Manhattan, which is the urban equivalent of the wilds of Vermont, where she grew up.

Mary Ellen Sanger is currently leading a Spanish-language workshop for Mexican immigrants and their families at Mano a Mano, now located in Brooklyn. She also does a weekly workshop for people in the early stages of memory loss at Riverstone Senior Life Services in Washington Heights. She lived for 17 years in Mexico, and has published short stories and poems in Spanish and English in several Mexican journals, including Luna Zetaand Zocalo. She has published poetry, essays, and stories in online venues, including Poets Against the War, Travelers’ Tales, Mexconnect, Hack Writers, Delirium Journal, andMexico Files. Her essay “A Grammar of Place” was anthologized in Mexico, a Love Story. She is currently writing a collection of short stories inspired by the women of Ixcotel State Penitentiary in Oaxaca, Mexico where she spent thirty-three days and nights falsely imprisoned in the fall of 2003. Stories from the collection have appeared in CrossBronx andJ Journal, New Writing on Justice (from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice).

Kimberly Shelby-Szyszko is a playwright, poet and educator whose work has been produced and presented at theatres and cultural centers throughout New York, including LaMaMa, Metropolitan Playhouse, Bluestockings, and Bowery Poetry Club. An MFA candidate at Lesley University, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing at Hofstra University and trained as a performer at Marygrove College. She is a resident artist with Project Girl Performance Collective and a member of Manhattan Theatre Source’s Writer’s Forum. A miscellaneous contributor to numerous other art forms, including film, music, painting and sculpting, Kimberly teaches creative writing and theatre for various organizations. She leads NYWC workshops at the Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Crown Heights and another at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library. Her articles on education, health, and the arts have been published inMetroParent Magazine, Hour Detroit, The Big Idea, The Drive, and on numerous websites. Her work has been recognized with a Gold Award from Parenting Publications of America.

Idrissa Simmonds has been penning stories and verses since her childhood in Vancouver, BC. She has published or performed her work in Vancouver, Montreal, Ghana and New York. She holds a BA in English from the University of British Columbia, where she was the recipient of a BC Arts Council Creative Writing Scholarship, and an MA in Educational Leadership, Politics and Advocacy from New York University. She has previously led NYWC workshops for exalt youth, an organization that partners with criminal justice constituents and schools to serve NYC court-involved youth, and has led a workshop with the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN).

Danielle Smith is a recent graduate of Queens College where she majored in English and Journalism. With a fondness for fiction and nonfiction writing she has decided to fulfill her Masters in creative writing, fiction. As she awaits her letters from her preferred universities she lends her time to leading workshops with the New York Writers Coalition, writing short stories and submitting her work to various writing mediums. This Queens native has recently relocated to the Hudson Valley where she lives, writes, and blogs about the transition from a lifetime of borough dwelling to inhabiting the bottom of a mountain.

Hilary Sortor is the acting director of the Writing Center at The City College of New York, where she also teaches composition. As a volunteer for the NY Writers Coalition, she leads a creative writing workshop for adults at St Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan.

Eileen Sutton investigates the intersections of race, class, loss and love in her short stories, novels and screenplays. She leads a NYWC workshop for seniors on the Lower East Side. She is a graduate of New York University’s MFA program where her thesis advisor was E.L. Doctorow. Her first novel, Hidden Heavens, set on the Lower East Side, spans nearly 80 years and speaks in several languages including English, Spanish and Yiddish. Her stories and a chapter from her first novel have received commendation from the Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Contest, New Millennium Writings’ Fiction Competition, and the Lorian Hemingway Global Short Story Competition. She received a 2009 teaching grant from Poets and Writers, and was a semi-finalist in the 1999 Nation/Discovery Poetry Contest. Based in New York, she is currently working on a collection of stories, a second novel, and a screenplay based on one of her stories.

Melissa Tombro is an Assistant Professor of English at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC where she enjoys teaching writing in all of its forms from academic to creative. After spending years of her life toiling away on her dissertation she has happily returned to more creative pursuits. She currently runs the Moving Pen workshop at the Creative Center for New York Writers Coalition and is working on her memoir, “Third-hand Life,” about being raised in the wacky world of the antiques business.

Sarah Ulicny is a workshop leader at East Village Access which provides empowering opportunities for people with psychiatric disabilities.  She is also a MFA- fiction candidate at Columbia University.  Prior to joining NYWC, she worked in the publishing industry.  Her short story “You Are Here” was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s winter 2008 Fiction Open.  She is currently writing a novel.

Kristina Villarini is native New Yorker, who attended the very first NYWC Write-a-Thon in 2006 and through a brilliant combination of luck and happenstance, found her way back as the Fall Workshop Leader at SAGE. Kristina’s work has been published in Paige Magazine, and on amazing websites like:,,, and more. She currently discusses her struggles with writing on her personal site

Melanie Votaw is a full-time freelance writer, editor/book doctor, photographer, and publishing industry consultant. She has authored thirteen non-fiction books on a variety of subjects, and she has written articles for a number of publications, including Woman’s Day, Business Insider, Executive Travel, Reel Life With Jane, and the South China Morning Post. Books she has edited have won twenty-one awards, and one title landed on the New York Times Bestseller List. Her fiction has been published in book anthologies, and more than fifty of her poems have been published in the literary magazines of six countries. Find her online at and follow her on Twitter @melanievotow

Cait Weiss leads an NYWC workshop for teens in Coney Island. A graduate of Kenyon College, she has kept her post-college life full of writing, through Sackett Street Writers Workshop, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and NYWC itself. Cait’s work has appeared in the L Magazine, Metromix, New Theater Corps, and, of course, the twittersphere. She lives in Brooklyn and runs her own social media consulting company.

Avra Wing leads a workshop at The Center for Independence of the Disabled in Manhattan (CIDNY). Her novel, Angie, I Says, was made into the film Angie starring Geena Davis and James Gandolfini. Her poetry collection, Recurring Dream, was the winner of the 2011 Pecan Grove Press poetry chapbook competition. Avra’s poems have appeared in Hanging Loose, Michigan Quarterly Review, Apple Valley Review, New Madrid and Tattoo Highway, among other places. Her memoir, Doorway on the Mountain, is available at Avra has also published essays in The New York Times. She is an adjunct professor of English at Kingsborough Community College.

David Winter has led NYWC workshops for older adults at SAGE and the 14th Street Y. He is the author of a chapbook, Safe House (Thrush Press, 2013). His poems have appeared in The Nervous BreakdownMagma, and The SHOp, and his interviews are forthcoming in The Journal and Boxcar Poetry Review. David is currently an MFA student at Ohio State University.

Kesha Star Young has been published in Words of Fire: An Anthology of Dragon’s Den Poetry Reading from Think Tank Press, New Orleans. She has facilitated NYWC workshops in a range of settings and is currently leading NYWC’s first telephone workshop with Dorot’s University Without Walls. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Social Transformation from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is working on a collection of personal essays.