Workshop Leaders

Keynote Speaker: Ellen Bryant Voigt

OUR 2016 KEYNOTE SPEAKER, AWARD-WINNING POET AND ESSAYIST ELLEN BRYANT VOIGT, is the author of Claiming Kin, The Forces of Plenty, The Lotus Flowers, Two Trees, Kyrie, Shadow of Heaven, Messenger: New and Selected Poems, and Headwaters. A former Vermont State Poet, Ellen’s work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New England Review, and elsewhere. She designed and directed the nation's first low-residency MFA Writing Program, served as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and in 2015 received the coveted John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur “genius grant.”

Workshop Leaders

Paige Ackerson-KielyPAIGE ACKERSON-KIELY is the author of the poetry books My Love is a Dead Arctic Explorer, In No One's Land, and other works of poetry and prose. She lives in Vermont and works at a homeless shelter.

Rob ArnoldROB ARNOLD is a poet and editor living in Boston. He cofounded the online journal Memorious, and was managing editor of Ploughshares, Fence, and Fence Books, where he launched the Fence Modern Prize in Prose. He currently reads for the National Poetry Series, coedits Off the Grid Press, and serves as Associate Director of PEN New England.

Howard AxelrodHOWARD AXELROD's memoir, The Point of Vanishing, about the two years he lived in solitude in northern Vermont, is forthcoming from Beacon Press, 2015. His work has appeared in 25 and Under: Fiction (Norton/DoubleTake), The Moral Intelligence of Children (Random House), and The New York Times Magazine, Shambhala Sun, Harvard Magazine, and The Boston Globe. He received the Michael C. Rockefeller fellowship from Harvard, and has been awarded residencies from the Blue Mountain Center, Ucross, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Axelrod has taught literature and writing at Harvard, University of Arizona, and Grub Street.

Philip Baruth portraitPHILIP BARUTH is a novelist and award-winning commentator for Vermont Public Radio. His latest novel, The Brothers Boswell (Soho Press), tracing the famous friendship between James Boswell and Samuel Johnson, was selected as one of the Best Books of 2009 by The Washington Post. His novel, The X President was selected by The New York Times as a Notable Book of 2003. Referred to as a member of "the new generation of up-and-coming writers" by the Washington Post, Philip teaches Vermont Literature and creative writing at the University of Vermont, where he has served on the Faculty senate and is currently Associate Chair of the English Department.

Beach portraitJENSEN BEACH is the author of two short story collections, the forthcoming Swallowed by the Cold (Graywolf Press) and For Out of the Heart Proceed (Dzanc Books and Dark Sky Books). His recent stories, reviews, interviews, and essays have appeared in A Public Space, American Short Fiction (web), Cincinnati Review, Fifty-Two Stories, Kenyon Review Online, Ninth Letter, Sou’wester and Witness, among others.‚Äč He teaches in the BFA program at Johnson State College, where is also fiction editor Green Mountains Review. He lives in Vermont with his family.

Beeber portraitSTEVEN LEE BEEBER Steven Lee Beeber is author of The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB’s: A Secret History of Jewish Punk (Chicago Review Press, 2007), editor of AWAKE! A Reader for the Sleepless (Soft Skull Press, 2008), and associate editor of the literary journal, Conduit. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Fiction, Harper’s, The New York Times, and elsewhere. As a writer and journalist he has collected garbage in the nation’s wealthiest suburb, dealt blackjack at a nudist colony, been an undercover judge at a teenage beauty pageant, and had his life threatened by Richard Hell. He currently is working on a novel about the early Jewish community in Atlanta, writing a column for the German magazine, Spex, and teaching fiction and creative nonfiction at Lesley University and Grub Street.

Steven Brykman portraitSTEVEN BRYKMAN left medical school to pursue a writing career as Managing Editor of National Lampoon. His work has appeared in Tablet, Playboy, Cracked, Boston Magazine, Nerve, and The New Yorker where he was featured in Talk of the Town. He has written for and/or appeared on Prairie Home Companion, Comedy Central, G4TV, and the Food Network. As a writing fellow at the University of Massachusetts, his fiction was awarded the Harvey Swados prize. His latest story, Coming Into Money—published in Abalone Ink’s debut issue—won Ep. 13 of the Literary Death Match. A blog detailing his misadventures in espionage is currently running on the Huffington Post.

Michael Chorney portraitMICHAEL CHORNEY is a self-taught musician, composer, and arranger who has lived and worked in Vermont for 30 years. He has been called "one of the Green Mountains' most inventive musician-composers." As a bandleader, Michael has created and led viperHouse, Magic City, Orchid, 7 Deadly Sins, and his newest ensemble, the Michael Chorney Sextet.

Michael has also produced fellow Vermonter Anais Mitchell's albums Hymns for the Exiled and The Brightness. Over the past three years they have collaborated on Mitchell's folk opera, Hadestown (Righteous Babe, 2010). Michael's arrangements feature the playing of producer/bassist Todd Sickafoose, Jim Black, Josh Roseman, Tanya Kalmanovich and Marika Hughes. Guests singers include Justin Vernon, Ani DiFranco, Greg Brown and the Haden Triplets.

In 2009, Michael received a New Works Grant from the Vermont Community Foundation, as well as a commission from the Flynn Theater, for his new works for sextet.

Jim Ellefson portraitJ.C. ELLEFSON. At one time or another, J.C. Ellefson has made his living as a hired hand, a blacksmith, and a fiddler in an old-timey band. He has taught at Shanghai International Studies University, the Universidade Dos Acores, and has published poetry and short fiction in magazines throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, and Japan. Jim currently teaches writing and literature at Champlain College, where he is Poet-In-Residence, and chair of The Committee on Verbal Insurrection. His book, Foreign Tales of Exemplum and Woe, will be out this spring. He and his wife, Lesley Wright, own and operate Summer's Gale Farm in Leicester, VT, and direct the Champlain College Young Writers’ Conference.

Rose Gorman portraitROSE GORMAN is an advice columnist, book reviewer, and fiction writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Her writing has appeared in Buzz! Entertainment Guide, The Bridge, Paste Magazine, Six Bricks Press’ Six Little Things and other publications. Rose is currently the Program Manager at NY Writers Coalition, a community writing organization that provides free creative writing workshops in New York City. There, she facilitates writing groups for LGBTQ seniors and homeless youth, teens recovering from addiction, and other groups. Learn more about her work with NYWC at

Geof Hewitt portraitGEOF HEWITT lives in Calais, Vermont. Vermont's slam champion, Geof has been teaching, editing, writing, performing, and passing out wolf calls for forty-five years. This makes him sound like an oracle, and he is. His latest books are Only What's Imagined (poems) and Hewitt's Guide to Slam Poetry and Poetry Slam, which comes with a DVD and won the Mom's Choice award for poetry in 2008. His collection of selected and new poems, The Perfect Heart, is due from Mayapple in the fall. (Photo credit to Jeb Wallace-Brodeur)

Ray Hudson portraitRAY HUDSON’s books include Moments Rightly Placed, An Aleutian Memoir; Family After All: Alaska’s Jesse Lee Home; An Aleutian Ethnography by Lucien Turner (1847-1909; Before the Storm: A Year in the Pribilof Islands, 1941-1942; and Lost Villages of the Eastern Aleutians. An artisan of both wood block prints and fine grass basketry, he lives in Middlebury, Vermont, where he is currently at work on a young adult novel.

Clark Knowles portraitCLARK KNOWLES has been teaching fiction and creative non-fiction at the University of New Hampshire for eighteen years and holds the title of Charles S. Murkland Lecturer. He received his M.A. in fiction writing from the University of New Hampshire, and his MFA in Writing from Bennington College. In 2009, the New Hampshire Arts Council awarded him an Individual fellowship, and his fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines, most recently in issues of The Collagist, Northern New England Review, Harpur Palate, Conjunctions, Bellevue Review, Limestone, Nimrod, Eclipse, and Glimmer Train Stories.

Jenny Land portraitJENNY LAND studied literature and creative writing at Dartmouth College, the University of Oxford, England, and at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. She writes and publishes poetry and short fiction. Her novel "The Spare Room" was published by Voyage Press in 2012, and she will have a collection of poetry co-authored with poet Adrienne Raphel, "By Sea and By Plane", published in 2014. A native Vermonter, Jenny teaches at St. Johnsbury Academy.

Larkin portraitTANYA LARKIN is the author of two collections of poetry, My Scarlet Ways, winner of the 2011 Saturnalia Prize and Hothouse Orphan, Convulsive Editions. She is the recipient of two artist fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a MacDowell Colony Calderwood Fellowship, and an Academy of American Poets Prize. She teaches Expository Writing at Tufts University and also teaches poetry writing at a local jail.

Kerrin McCaddenKERRIN McCADDEN is the author of Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes, winner of the 2013 New Issues Poetry Prize, judged by David St. John. She has received fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and The Vermont Studio Center, as well as a Sustainable Arts Foundation Writing Award and support from The Vermont Arts Endowment Fund. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, Verse Daily, American Poetry Review, Rattle, Green Mountains Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poet Lore and other journals. She holds an MFA from The Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and teaches at Montpelier High School. She lives in Plainfield, Vermont.

Morrison portraitNINA LOUISE MORRISON is a playwright, director, actor and dramaturg with an MFA from Columbia University. Her plays have been workshopped and produced by the One-Minute Play Festival, Company One, Fresh Ink Theatre Company, Wax Wings Productions, Bostonia Bohemia and Interim Writers.  She is a member of Project: Project, an ensemble theatre company. Before moving to Boston, Nina was the Senior Program Associate at the Philadelphia Theater Initiative. She studied acting at the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, the New Actors Workshop, and Oberlin College. She currently teaches playwriting at Grub Street writing center in downtown Boston and theatre and literature at Mount Ida College.

Tom PaineTOM PAINE is the author of The Pearl of Kuwait (a novel about a Vietnamese marine who falls in love with a Kuwaiti princess during the Gulf War and goes AWOL with his surfer dude buddy to rescue her ), and Scar Vegas-- a book of ten stories set around the globe. His stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's, The New England Review, Playboy and in the O. Henry Award and Pushcart Award anthologies. Scar Vegas was a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway award. He teaches at The University of New Hampshire, and is a graduate of Princeton and the Columbia MFA program.

KL Pereira portraitKL PEREIRA chapbook, Impossible Wolves, was published by Deathless Press is 2013. Her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction are forthcoming or appear in Shimmer Zine, Lightning Cake, The Golden Key, Innsmouth Free Press, Innsmouth Magazine, Mythic Delirium, Jabberwocky, The Medulla Review, Bitch Magazine and other publications. Pereira’s work on fairy tales, sexuality, Wonder Woman, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are featured on Studio 360 and other radio programs, cited in numerous publications, and assigned in courses all over the United States and Canada. Find Pereira online on and @kl_pereira and in person at Grub Street where she is the manager of The Grub Daily, a blog for the whole writer, and a long-time instructor of amazing adult and teen writers.

Ross portraitANNA ROSS is the author of If a Storm, winner of the Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry,and the chapbooks Figuring (Bull City Press, forthcoming) and Hawk Weather (Finishing Line Press). She is the recipient of fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Squaw Valley Poetry Workshop, and Grub Street, and was named a finalist for the 2105 Alice Fay DiCastagnola Award. Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, The Brooklyn Quarterly, Memorious, The Paris Review, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Southwest Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Pangyrus, and other journals. She holds an MFA from Columbia University, teaches in the Writing, Literature & Publishing Program at Emerson College, and is a contributing editor for Salamander. She lives in Dorchester, MA, with her husband, daughter, and son.

Schlossberg portraitLINDA SCHLOSSBERG Linda Schlossberg received her PhD in English from Harvard University, where she teaches courses in literature and creative writing and serves as the Assistant Director of Studies for the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. She has received writing grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, several awards for excellence in teaching, and was thrilled to be voted one of Harvard’s “favorite professors” by the graduating classes of 2010 and 2011. Her novel Life in Miniature (Kensington, 2010) was chosen as a Book Club recommendation by the Harvard Book Store as well as a Book Club selection for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Linda lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Sherman portraitRACHEL SHERMAN holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. Her short stories have appeared in McSweeney’s, Fence, Open City, Conjunctions, and n+1, among other publications. Her first book, The First Hurt, was short-listed for the Story Prize and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and was named one of the 25 Books to Remember in 2006 by the New York Public Library. Her first novel, Living Room, was released in 2009, also to broad critical acclaim. She teaches writing at Rutgers and Columbia Universities, and leads the Ditmas Writing Workshops. She blogs for the Parenting Section of The Huffington Post and is the “Fiction Expert” for

Stracher portraitCAMERON STRACHER Cameron Stracher is the author of two memoirs, Dinner with Dad (Random House, 2007) and Double Billing (William Morrow 1996), a novel, The Laws of Return (William Morrow 1994), the YA thriller, The Water Wars (Sourcebooks 2011), and a non-fiction book about the 1970’s running boom, Kings of the Road (Houghton Mifflin 2013). His essays and opinion pieces have been frequently published in the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. When he’s not writing, he is a media lawyer whose clients include The National Enquirer and Star magazines, the producers of the hit television series Dog the Bounty Hunter and Extreme Weight Loss, and Al Roker Entertainment. Both he and his wife are graduates of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.