Program Director; Nonfiction Workshop
Lori Soderlind is an award-winning essayist and journalist, and author of the memoir Chasing Montana: A Love Story (University of Wisconsin Press). She has taught for the past 20 years in the areas of journalism, fiction, nonfiction, and memoir writing at schools including Columbia University, SUNY Albany, Western Connecticut State University, and Norwalk Community College, where she served as Chair of the Humanities Department and was the Communications Arts Program Coordinator. Soderlind holds an M.F.A. in Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University and a B.A. in English and Journalism from Lehigh University.
Fiction Workshop, Screenwriting Workshop
Jeff Bens is the author of the novel Albert, Himself (Delphinium) and director of the documentary film Fatman's. His short fiction and essays are published widely. Jeff was a founding faculty member of the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and has served on film festival juries around the world. He directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Manhattanville College.
Advanced Seminar, Poetry Workshop
Mark Nowak, a 2010 Guggenheim fellow and 2015 Lannan Fellow, is an award-winning poet, social critic, and labor activist, whose writings include The New York Times “Editor’s Choice,” Shut Up Shut Down (2004, afterword by Amiri Baraka), and the acclaimed book on coal mining disasters in the US and China, Coal Mountain Elementary (2009), that Howard Zinn called “a stunning educational tool.” Nowak is also the founding director of the Worker Writers School at the PEN American Center in NYC.
Sharbari Ahmed is a novelist, short story writer and screenwriter. She worked in the writers room on the series Quantico, and her first play "Raisins Not Virgins" was produced in 2005 by the Workshop Theater Co. The screenplay was a Sundance Screenwriting Lab semi finalist. Her fiction has been published in The Gettysburg Review, Catamaran Magazine, and the Asian Pacific American Journal. She was born in Bangladesh and earned her MFA in creative writing at NYU.
Suzanne Parker is a winner of the Kinereth Gensler Book Award; her collection of poetry, Viral, was published by Alice James Books in Sept. 2013. A sequence of poems from the book were published in Hunger Mountain and were nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Viral was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Poetry. Her latest book, "Feed," won the Sunken Garden Poetry Chapbook Award and was published by Tupelo Press in June 2016.Her poetry has appeared in Drunken Boat, Hunger Mountain, Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, Rattapallax, and numerous other journals.
Jeffrey Rotter holds an MFA from Hunter College where he studied under Peter Carey, Colson Whitehead, Colum McCann, and Andrew Sean Greer and was awarded the Hertog fellowship to perform research for Jennifer Egan. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and young son. The Unknown Knowns is his first novel.