2018 Writers' Workshop Faculty
Lady Borton has received three honorary degrees for her work with all sides during and after the American War in Việt Nam. She has published annotated translations of five Vietnamese memoirs. The Vietnamese version of her biography, Hồ Chí Minh: A Journey, received a Silver Award from the Vietnamese Association of Publishers in 2013. Lady spent three years re-working essays by Vietnamese cultural scholar Hữu Ngọc into Việt Nam: Tradition and Change, which is listed by the American Library Association as one of the best scholarly works for 2017 and which has received publishing awards in both content and design from the Vietnamese Association of Publishers. With linguist/scholar/publisher Trần Đoàn Lâm, Lady re-translated from the original, ancient Chinese and Vietnamese ideographic scripts and from Romanized Vietnamese all the poetry excerpts that author Hữu Ngọc had quoted. A side-track from her usual work took Lady into finishing The Constant Listener: Henry James and Theodora Bosanquet, the imagined memoir (a novel) by her childhood friend, poet Susan Herron Sibbet.
Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. He has published almost twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His latest collection of poems from Norton is called Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), Alabanza (2003), A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (2000), Imagine the Angels of Bread (1996), City of Coughing and Dead Radiators (1993) and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (1990). His many honors include the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, an American Book Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The title poem of his collection Alabanza, about 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. His book of essays, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona, and has been issued in a new edition by Northwestern University Press. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston’s Latino community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Danielle Legros Georges is a writer, poet, editor, and translator. She is the author of two books of poetry, Maroon (Northwestern University Press, 2001) and The Dear Remote Nearness of You (Barrow Street Press, 2016), the chapbook Letters from Congo (Central Square Press, 2017), and is the editor of City of Notions: An Anthology of Contemporary Boston Poems (Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, 2017). Her essays, translations, reviews, and poems have appeared in literary journals, books and publications including Agni, The American Poetry Review, The Boston Globe, Black Renaissance Noire, Build therefore your own world, The Caribbean Writer, Callaloo, Consequence, The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin Biography, Haiti Noir: The Classics, Into English: An Anthology of Multiple Translations, The Massachusetts Review, and Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences and Writing in America. Her academic and literary awards include the Sheila Motton Book Prize from the New England Poetry Club, The PEN New England Discovery Award, faculty scholarship grants from Lesley University, and artist’s fellowships from the Boston Foundation, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Legros Georges is Boston’s Poet Laureate, a role in which she serves as an advocate for poetry, language, and the arts. She teaches at Lesley University.
Laren McClung is a poet from Philadelphia and is the author of Between Here and Monkey Mountain (Sheep Meadow Press, 2012) and coeditor of Inheriting the War: Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees (W.W. Norton, 2017). Her work has appeared or been reviewed in The Massachusetts Review; Cerise Press; The American Reader; Harvard Review, PN Review; War, Literature and the Arts and elsewhere. She has led workshops in poetry at Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island and in the Creative Writing Program at New York University. She currently teaches in New York City.
Jennifer DeLeon is the author of the YA novel, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, forthcoming from Atheneum/Simon & Schuster (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books), and the editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education (University of Nebraska Press, 2014). In 2017 De Leon was selected as a City of Boston Artist in Residence and in 2016, named Writer-in-Residence by the Associates of the Boston Public Library. Before that, her short story, “Home Movie,” originally published in The Briar Cliff Review, was chosen as the One City, One Story pick for the Boston Book Festival. De Leon is now an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Framingham State University and a GrubStreet instructor and board member. To learn more about her work, visit her at: www.jenniferdeleonauthor.com.
Adam Stumacher‘s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, Narrative, The Kenyon Review, The Sun, TriQuarterly, and others, was anthologized in Best New American Voices, and won a Nelson Algren Award and the Raymond Carver Short Story Award. He holds degrees from Cornell University and Saint Mary’s College and was the Carol Houck Smith fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. He has been awarded a tuition scholarship from Bread Loaf and residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Spiro Arts, and others. He has taught creative writing at MIT, the University of Wisconsin, Saint Mary’s College, and Grub Street, and he has many years experience as an educator in urban high schools, for which he was awarded the Sontag Prize and a fellowship from Boston College. After living in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, Adam currently lives in Boston with his wife, author Jennifer De Leon, and their family. He is working on a short story collection and a novel.
2018 Visiting Writers
Amir al-Azraki is an Assistant Professor of Arabic language, drama and diasporic literature at Renison University College, University of Waterloo. He received his PhD in Theatre Studies from York University in Toronto, Canada. Al-Azraki is a playwright and the author of the plays Waiting for Gilgamesh: Scenes from Iraq, Stuck, and The Widow and the co-editor and co-translator of Contemporary Plays from Iraq (Bloomsbury, 2017). During the first years of the Iraq War (2003-2006), Al-Azraki, in addition to teaching English drama at the University of Basra, worked as a translator for various international news outlets such as The Dallas Morning News, later working for Al Mirbad TV and Radio run by the BBC World Service Trust. He taught modern drama as he was working on his dissertation “The Representation of Political Violence in Contemporary Plays about Iraq”.
Sean Davis is the author of The Wax Bullet War, is a Purple Heart Iraq War veteran, and a community leader in Northeast Portland, Oregon. He is the winner of the Legionnaire of the Year Award from the American Legion in 2015 and the recipient of the Emily Gottfried Emerging Leader, Human Rights award for 2016. His stories, essays, and articles have appeared in the best selling Forest Avenue Press anthology City of Weird, Sixty Minutes, Story Corps, Flaunt Magazine, The Big Smoke, Human the Movie, and many more. Sean has fought in a revolution, a war, and helped save lives in New Orleans right after Katrina. He’s a wildland firefighter during the summers. He lives in the heart of the Alberta Arts District in NE Portland where he paints and writes plays, articles, and books. His forthcoming book Oregon on Fire is due out in 2019 with Arcadia Publishing.
Martha Collins is the author, most recently, of Night Unto Night (Milkweed, 2018), Admit One: An American Scrapbook (Pittsburgh, 2016), Day Unto Day (Milkweed, 2014), White Papers (Pitt Poetry Series, 2012), and Blue Front (Graywolf, 2006), a book-length poem based on a lynching her father witnessed when he was five years old. Collins has also published four earlier collections of poems, three books of co-translations from the Vietnamese, and two chapbooks. Collins has won numerous awards for her work, including an Anisfield-Wolf Award, a Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the NEA, the Bunting Institute, the Witter Bynner Foundation, and the Siena Art Institute. Founder of the creative writing program at UMass Boston, she served as Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College for ten years and is currently editor-at-large for Oberlin’s FIELD magazine and one of the editors of the Oberlin College Press.
Fred Marchant is the author of five books of poetry, most recently, Said Not Said (Graywolf Press, 2017), Full Moon Boat (2000) and The Looking House (2009). His first book Tipping Point, won the 1993 Washington Prize from the Word Works. In 2002 Dedalus Press of Dublin Ireland brought out House on Water, House in Air, a new and selected poems. He is the editor of Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford, 1937-1947, published by Graywolf in 2008. He has co-translated (with Nguyen Ba Chung) two books of Vietnamese poetry, From a Corner of My Yard by Tran Dang Khoa, and Con Dao Prison Songs, by Vo Que. He has published poems, reviews, and essays in literary journals in this country, in Ireland and the U.K., and in Vietnam. He taught for over thirty years at Suffolk University in Boston, and is now an Emeritus Professor of English and the founding co-director of the Suffolk University Poetry Center.
Bruce Weigl’s most recent collection of poetry, his 13th, The Abundance of Nothing, was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. He won the Isabella Gardner Award in Poetry from BOA Editions, who will publish his new collection, On the Shores of Welcome Home in the fall of 2018. In addition to his poetry, he has published two critical books and several volumes of translation from the Vietnamese, including The Secret of Hoa Sen, from BOA Editions, which won a Lannan Translation Series Award. With Nguyen Ba Chung he published an anthology of one hundred eight poems by Vietnamese writers about war and peace that spans a period from the Tenth Century to the present. He is a Lannan Fellow and has won the Robert Creeley Award. Weigl has been part of the William Joiner Institute’s Writers’ Workshop for over twenty years and taught the first year of the workshop.
Nguyen Ba Chung is a writer, poet and translator. He received a bachelor's degree in American literature from the University of Saigon in 1970 and a master's degree in American literature from Brandeis University in 1974. His essays and translations have appeared in Vietnam Forum, New Asia Review, Compost, Nation, Manoa, and other journals. He is the co-translator of Thoi Xa Vang (A Time Far Past), the groundbreaking novel by Vietnamese writer Le Luu, and the author of three poetry collections Mua Ngan (Distant Rain) in 1996, Ngo Hanh (Gate of Kindness) in 1997, with Tuoi Ngan Nam and Den Tu Buoi So Sinh (A Thousand Years Old At Birth) forthcoming. He co-edited with Kevin Bowen and Bruce Weigl the anthology Mountain River: Vietnamese Poetry From The Wars 1948-1993 (University of Massachusetts Press, 1998). He is currently a research associate at the Joiner Institute.
Nguyen Phan Que Mai Nguyen Phan Que Mai migrated with her family to the Mekong Delta, South of Vietnam when she was six years old. Currently researching towards her PhD in Creative Writing with the UK's Lancaster University, Que Mai writes in both Vietnamese and English. Her works have appeared in many international publications including BBC Vietnamese, Prairie Schooner, American Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Great River Review, Red Wheel Barrow, Fourth River, Words without Borders, and Moving Worlds. Que Mai's main research area is the long-lasting impact of wars. Que Mai has been honored with many awards and is committed to writing about war and injustice, to call for peace and equality. She is the author of the poetry collection The Secret of Hoa Sen. Her debut novel in English, tentatively entitled THE MOUNTAINS SING, is forthcoming with Algonquin Books in 2019. Que Mai's book for young readers, SEARCHING FOR EARTH CAKES AND SKY CAKES, is forthcoming in the United States with Benchmark Education in autumn 2018. Que Mai currently lives in Jakarta, Indonesia with her husband and two children.
Lovella Calica is a writer, photographer and multi-media artist. With backgrounds in Human Development, English and social justice organizing, she offers a unique perspective and develops creative, collaborative ways of organizing and communicating. She is the founder and director of Warrior Writers, a creative community for veterans articulating their experiences. She has edited four anthologies of veterans’ writing/artwork entitled: Move, Shoot and Communicate, Re-Making Sense, After Action Review and Warrior Writers. Lovella has received three Art and Change grants from the Leeway Foundation and was honored with the Transformation Award in 2009. She self-published her first chapbook of poetry Makibaka: Beautifully Brave and Huwag Matakot: Do Not be Afraid. She is currently at work on her next book of poetry and creative non-fiction/poetic memoir. Lovella is a co-founder of the Philipino-American artist collective, Tatlo Mestiz@s and served on the board of Culture Trust Greater Philadelphia. She has trained staff of arts organizations and universities around the country on how to better work with and understand veterans. Lovella has worked closely with veterans for over 10 years, primarily post 9/11 veterans. She is part of the caregiver program at the Philadelphia VA and is helping build a support network for caregivers.
Anne Loyer is an artist and film director, whose first short won the "Indie Soul" Special Recognition award at the Boston International Film Festival. She has been involved in visual storytelling throughout her career: from her two-dimensional fine art work, to narrative animations, to public art projects and performances that included her audio and video collages based on participants’ stories. She recently served as art director for the Academic Media Studio at Wesleyan University, where she produced award winning video and interactive web sites for educational use in the classroom and museum setting. She has been a guest artist at Montserrat College of Art, where she collaborated with professor Gabrielle Keller and students on a project that evolved into the Odysseus Project, an ongoing dialogue between veterans, artists and artist-veterans. Her work has been supported by grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Jane’s Trust, and a fellowship at the National Academy of Design. Anne is currently working on a script about an injured veteran returning from Iraq and the relationships he builds on his journey home. She's also helped organize the Her Story Is and Basra/Boston project, a collaborative project with the US and Iraq sponsored by the University of Basra, Fort Point Theatre Channel, and the William Joiner Institute.
Jennifer Jean was born in Venice, California, and lived in foster care until she was seven. She grew up in the San Fernando Valley (California) and earned her BA in creative writing from San Francisco State University and her MFA in poetry from Saint Mary’s College. Her debut poetry collection is The Fool (Big Table, 2013); her chapbooks include The Archivist (2011) and In the War (2010). She released Fishwife Tales (2011), a collaborative CD with composer Sarah Eide, which comprises art songs, rock ballads, and accompanied recitations. Jean’s poetry and prose have appeared in Rattle,Waxwing, Drunken Boat, Crab Creek Review, Caketrain, the Denver Quarterly, the Tidal Basin Review, Mud City, Solstice Magazine, and others. Her poems have been anthologized in Veils, Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women (2016) and Inheriting the War: Poetry & Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees (2017). Her poetry manuscript Object, about objectification and human trafficking in the United States, was a finalist for the 2016 Green Mountains Review Book Prize and a semifinalist for the 2016 Akron Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of the 2016 Good Bones Poetry Prize. Jean is the founder of Free2Write: Poetry Workshops for Trauma Survivors. She is also a codirector of the Morning Garden Artists Retreats, poetry editor of Mom Egg Review, and managing editor of Talking Writing Magazine. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and children.