Workshop Leaders

Keynote Speaker: Naomi Shihab Nye

OUR 2017 KEYNOTE SPEAKER, AWARD-WINNING POET AND ESSAYIST, NAOMI SHIHAB NYE, is the author of more than 30 volumes. Her books of poetry include 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle EastA Maze MePoems for GirlsRed SuitcaseWords under the WordsFuel; and You & Yours (a bestselling poetry book of 2006). She is also the author of Mint SnowballNever in a Hurry; and I'll Ask You Three Times, Are You Okay?, Tales of Driving and Being Driven (essays)Habibi and Going, Going (novels for young readers). In addition to receiving numerous fellowships and awards, Naomi's work has been presented on NPR's  A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer's Almanac. She has been feautured on two PBS poetry specials including "The Language of Life with Bill Moyers" and also appeared on NOW with Bill Moyers. Born to a Palestinian father and an American mother, Naomi calls herself a "wandering poet," although she refers to San Antonio, TX, as her home.




Workshop Leaders

Rob ArnoldROB ARNOLD is cofounder of the online literary journal Memorious and coeditor of Grid Books. His poems, essays, and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Hyphen, Natural Bridge, and elsewhere. He lives in Boston where he 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 Swallowed by the Cold. His fiction has appeared recently in A Public Space, the Paris Review, and The New Yorker. He teaches at Johnson State College and in the MFA Program in Writing & Publishing at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Peter BielloPETER BIELLO is the host of All Things Considered on New Hampshire Public Radio and a writer of short stories, novels, radio journalism, book reviews, essays, and the occasional blogpost. His short fiction has appeared in Lowestoft ChronicleGargoyle, and other publications, and his story "Break and Enter" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He reviews books for Three Percent and Necessary Fiction. At NHPR, he's the host of The Bookshelf, a twice-monthly podcast that is available on iTunes. He is the founder of the Burlington Writers Workshop and co-founder of the literary journal Mud Season Review. He lives in Concord, New Hampshire.

Jennifer De LeonJENNIFER DE LEON is the editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education (University of Nebraska Press, 2014) and a Boston Artist in Residence. Her short story, "Home Movie," originally published in The Briar Cliff Review, was chosen as the One City, One Story pick for the 2015 Boston Book Festival. Named the 2015-2016 Writer-in-Residence by the Associates of the Boston Public Library, De Leon teaches Creative Writing at Emerson, Berklee, and GrubStreet. To learn more about her work, visit: http://www.jenniferdeleonauthor.com/

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.

Laura HeaberlinLAURA HEABERLIN writes lyric-centric feminist story songs in the folk duo Cricket Blue.  She has toured throughout the northeast, and has performed at the Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase, the Valley Stage Festival, the Connecticut Folk Festival, beloved folk clubs Caffe Lena and Club Passim, and has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with acts such as Anaïs Mitchell, Sean Rowe, and Darlingside. Heaberlin graduated from Middlebury College in 2013 with a degree in English literature and creative writing and has studied with poets Karin Gottshall and James Longenbach. Among her influences are songsters Laura Marling and Sufjan Stevens, as well as storytellers Alice Munro, George Saunders, Ovid and Angela Carter.

"their songs on indecision, love and perseverance seem timeless just months after release" -Paste Magazine
"Sends shivers down your spine" -Independent Music News
"Cricket Blue create literary brilliance in the form of folk music." -Take Magazine
"dovetailing harmonies and heart-melting melodies . . . This is indie folk with soul and intellect" -Seven Days

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)

Seth Jarvis portraitSETH JARVIS is a writer, director, producer, and performing artist. Several of his original plays have been produced, including The Once & Future Ubu, The Next State, Icon, The Moreau Horrors, and last fall's Transitions..., commissioned by the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. He has produced and co-hosted several series over the years, including The Burlington Poetry Slams, artsProject VT, and Playmakers. Jarvis has been a teaching artist for over twenty-five years, most recently with FlynnArts, Vermont Young Playwrights, and Champlain College. He currently works at the Vermont International Film Foundation.

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 LandJENNY LAND was born in Vermont, studied Creative Writing at Dartmouth College, completed post-graduate work at the University of Oxford and the University of St. Andrews, and returned to Vermont to write and and to teach at St. Johnsbury Academy.  She publishes poetry and historical fiction.  Last year, on her sabbatical year in Britain, she won a national poetry contest to honor the queen's 90th birthday.  She lives in Peacham, Vermont with her husband and twin daughters.

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.

Jessica Hendry NelsonJESSICA HENDRY NELSON is the author of If Only You People Could Follow Directions (Counterpoint Press, February 2014), which was selected as a best debut book by the Indies Introduce New Voices program, the Indies Next List by the American Booksellers' Association, named a Best Book of 2014 by Kirkus Review, and was a finalist for the 2015 Vermont Book Award. Her work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Tin House, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Carolina Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Columbia Journal, Crab Orchard Review, PANK, The Rumpus, Drunken Boat and many others. She teaches writing at Champlain College and the low-residency MFA program at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. She serves as the Managing & Nonfiction editor of Green Mountains Review.

Tom PaineTOM PAINE's poetry is upcoming in The Nation, Fence, Green Mountain Review, Forklift, Epiphany and elsewhere. "A Boy's Book of Nervous Breakdowns", a new collection of stories, was published in October by LSU. Stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's, The Boston Review, The New England Review and the award anthologies The O. Henry Awards and The Pushcart Prize (twice). His first collection, Scar Vegas (Harcourt), was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Pen/Hemingway finalist. A graduate of Princeton and the Columbia MFA program, he is an associate professor in the MFA program at the University of New Hampshire. 

Jericho ParmsJERICHO PARMS is the author of Lost Wax forthcoming from the University of Georgia Press in 2016. Her essays have appeared in Fourth Genre, The Normal School, Hotel Amerika, American Literary Review, Brevity and elsewhere. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, noted in Best American Essays, and anthologized in Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction, and the forthcoming Waveform: Twenty-First Century Essays By Women. She is the Assistant Director of the MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches at Champlain College.

KL Pereira portraitKL PEREIRA's debut collection of short fiction, A Dream Between Two Rivers: Stories of Liminalityis forthcoming from Cutlass Press in September, 2017. Her chapbook, Impossible Wolves, was published by Deathless Press in 2013. Her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction appear in The Drum Literary Magazine, Shimmer Zine,  Innsmouth Free Press, Mythic Delirium, Jabberwocky, Bitch Magazine and other publications. She's a member of the New England Horror Writers Association and has taught creative writing in high schools, domestic violence shelters, colleges and universities, and writing institutions throughout New England for over ten years. Find her online @kl_pereira and klpereira.com.

Adrienne RaphelADRIENNE RAPHEL  is the author of What Was It For (Rescue Press, 2017), selected by Cathy Park Hong as winner of the Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Prize; and the chapbook But What Will We Do (Seattle Review, 2016), selected by Robyn Schiff as winner of the Seattle Review Chapbook Contest. She writes for the New Yorker online, and her work has also appeared in the Paris Review Daily, The New Republic, and Lana Turner Journal, among other publications. Born in New Jersey and raised in Vermont, Raphel graduated from Princeton and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She is currently earning a PhD in English at Harvard and is working on a book about crossword puzzles.

Rasmussen portraitJOHN RASMUSSEN hails from Nebraska. The Caribbean has served as his teaching and filmmaking base for thirteen years. He is well versed in narrative, documentary, and experimental movie making. He is fond of saying "To be able to assist, instruct, and advise in the making of movies is a true gift. The Haitian Spaghetti Western is the film genre of the future."

Shuchi SaraswatSHUCHI SARASWAT's writing and photographs have appeared in EcotoneQuick Fiction, and Juked. Excerpts of her novel have won her the Gulliver Travel Research Grant from The Speculative Literature Foundation and fellowships and scholarships to Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Writers Omi at Ledig House, The Writers' Room of Boston, Tin House Summer Writers' Workshop and Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. She lives in Boston, where she received her MFA at Emerson College while working in the editorial department at Fringe Magazine and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She currently works as a buyer at Brookline Booksmith, an independent bookstore right outside of the city, and as an instructor at GrubStreet.

Adam StumacherADAM STUMACHER's fiction has appeared in Granta, Narrative, The Kenyon Review, The Sun, TriQuarterly, and others, was anthologized in Best New American Voices, and won the Raymond Carver Short Story Award. His nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times and he is a regular contributor to WBUR's Cognoscenti. 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 a teacher in urban high schools, for which he was awarded the Sontag Prize in Urban Education and a fellowship form the Lynch Leadership Academy at Boston College. He is the author of a short story collection, Eleven Kinds of Exile, and is currently working on a novel.