Our Faculty

bonnie-culver_300pxBonnie Culver
Program Director

Bonnie Culver is the Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program co-founder and a screenwriter, playwright, and novelist. Bonnie Culver’s twenty-plus plays have been produced from NY to LA by colleges, regional theatres, and equity companies. Her professionally produced plays include:Lifelines, Group S.O.S. (male and female versions), Accident, and Sniper. In 2004, Sniper won the New Jersey Arts Council Perry Award for Excellence in the Production of an Original Play and was produced Off-Broadway at Center Stage, NYC, in 2005. In 2006, Sniper was included in the Florida Studio Theatre’s Richard and Betty Burdick National Playwriting Reading series, an annual event that showcases “the best in American contemporary theatre.” Her screenplays Sniper, Group S.O.S., and Watchfires were Sundance Film Development Program finalists. Marlee Matlin’s film company, Solo One Productions optioned her film RainbowMan. The 2011 Villagers Playhouse production of Sniper was nominated for seven NJ Perry Awards. Her short plays “Cell” and “G.P.S” were produced in a festival of one-acts at The Venue, Norfolk, VA and her play “Auto-mated” was produced on the Virginia Eastern Shore and her essay “The Moon on the River” was included in an anthology of music, poetry, memoir, and essays, Written on Water: Writings About the Alleghany River (Mayapple Press). Group S.O.S., (male and female cast versions) and interviews with several directors who produced the plays is available at Blue Moon Plays. In 2015, her play “G.P.S” directed by faculty member Gregory Fletcher won the Piney Fork Short Play Festival, NYC, as “best play of the festival. Dr. Culver received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Binghamton University. At Wilkes, she is an associate professor of English, a former college dean, and currently the director of the Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program. She is a faculty member of the Norman Mailer Center. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, past president of the James Jones Society, and an Advisory Board member of the Norman Mailer Society and Etruscan Press. In 2014, she was elected the Chair of Board of Trustees of AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs). She is currently at work on a new one-woman show and a screenplay.

bill-schneider_450x450Bill Schneider is the Associate Director of the Wilkes Graduate Creative Writing Program. He also serves as the Managing Editor of Etruscan Press. His previous experience includes a three-decade long career in the music industry accompanied by extensive travel throughout four continents. Bill received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism Magna Cum Laude from Suffolk University. He also received his M.A. and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. His short story, “Yesterday Once More,” was included in No Regrets published by Silly Tree Anthologies in 2014.

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Laurie Loewenstein is a June 2007 graduate of the Wilkes University Creative Writing Program. Her novel, Unmentionables, was selected as the flagship publication of Kaylie Jones Books, an imprint of Akashic Books. It received a starred review from theLibrary Journal. Loewenstein, a former journalist and writing tutor, is coordinator of the Creative Writing Program’s online Writing Resource Center and co-teaches the program’s Research for Writers module. She majored in history at Colgate University and has a master’s degree in history from Syracuse University. She is currently working on a novel set during the 1930s Dust Bowl.

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Joyce Anzalone has worked in the academic world for over 16 years. She began her career at Wilkes University working in the English Department before taking a hiatus. Joyce returned to Wilkes in 2010 to join the Graduate Creative Writing Program, where she oversees the administration of the office.

An avid reader, her pride and joy are her four grandchildren, two sets of twins. Joyce spends time with them shooting hoops, bike riding, and attending various performances at their schools and community theatre.

 

rashidah_ismaili_alarbakr_300-1Rashidah Ismaili Abubakr
Poet, Essayist, Playwright

Rashidah Ismaili Abubakr is a poet, playwright, and a writer of fiction and nonfiction. Her work is widely anthologized and has been translated into: Arabic, Catalan, Dutch, French, Japanese, Mandarin, Papiamento, Spanish, Turkish and Uzbek. She is the author of five collections of poems. A play, Ricekeepers, has been published and performed nationally and internationally. Most recently she has officiated at several memorials for Sathima Bea Benjamin, a South African Jazz singer and former exile, Jayne Cortez, and Amiri Baraka. She attended the 40th Anniversary of African Literature Association, in South Africa where she presented a paper on the Exile Community in New York of South African artists and activists. Her novel in linked stories, Autobiography of the Lower East Side, has just been published by Northampton House Press. Ismaili AbuBakr is active in the Harlem community and hosts Salon d’Afrique, where artists and cultural workers from all over the world gather. She is featured in the documentary movie: Zwelededumile, directed by Ramadan Suleman. The film is a tribute to the late visual artist who lived in exile in England and finally America for over twenty-five years. He died on the eve of his return to South Africa. Her poem is a dirge she composed for him and is prominent in the film. She was a participant at PEN Voices International this past May, 2015. She did a poetry workshop with Veronique Tadjo, organized and moderated a panel held at Bronx Museum with Yuseff Kominyaka, Ngui wa Thiongo, Achille Mbembe and Boubacar Boris Diop with Vinie Burrows. She was also on a panel with James Cormack, Kerry Young and Abdourahman Waberi. Later she read at Westbeth at the closing of the Festival in which poets read to small groups in the artist’s studios, in the Village. All the events can be viewed onPEN‘s website and YouTube. She is currently completing a novel. For more information, please visit visit aalbc.com.

robert_p_arthur_300Robert P. Arthur
Poet, Fiction Writer, Critic, Playwright

Robert P. Arthur was a finalist for Poet Laureate of Virginia in 2008 and 2010 and is now the President of the Poetry Society of Virginia. Formerly the artistic director of the Edge Theatre on the Eastern Shore, he has published over 1,500 articles and/or reviews and over twenty books of poems, plays, poem/plays, and fiction. He has published two new books in 2015: Passover, a ghost story written with Aphrodite Anagnost Williams, and an expanded version of his poetry book, Hymn to the Chesapeake. Northampton House Press has recently published his newest book of selected poetry, Black Gum Against Thunder, as an eBook on Kindle and Nook. Two years ago, ScriptWorks Press published his play collection, Robert Arthur’s Eastern Shore, adding to a long list of publications. Many of his works merge plays and poetry as poem/plays. His best-known works are possibly Hymn to the Chesapeake (as both book of poetry and poem/play), Vija’s War, Phaedra, Strokes, Horse Hammock  Point, Chesapeake Celebration and The Libertine. His novel Master William and the Finman won the Maryanne Farley Award for Fiction (pre-publication) at the Virginia Writer’s Conference at Christopher Newport University. He also won the same award for Storm Caller and was the recipient of the Karma Dean Ogden Memorial Award for Poetry in the same year, as well as the recipient of numerous other awards. Arthur has directed at the North Street Playhouse in Onancock, Tidewater Community College, The Venue on 35th Street, the Generic Theatre, the 40th Street Stage in Norfolk, Virginia and the Edge Theatre in Belle Haven, Virginia. He has appeared as an actor in over fifty productions. Arthur founded two magazines of the arts, The Blackwater Review, and Lady Jane’s Miscellany and owns the San Francisco Bay Press. He received an MFA from the University of Arkansas and has taught at the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University. Arthur’s play, Phaedra, and the play version ofHymn to the Chesapeake, have won Best Play and Most Innovative Play annual awards from Port Folio Magazine.Hymn to the Chesapeake played in Washington, New York, and St. Petersburg, Russia.

 

john_bowers_300John Bowers
Fiction, Nonfiction, Editor, Journalist

John Bowers is a fiction and nonfiction writer, editor, and journalist. Raised in Johnson City, Tennessee, John Bowers has lived in New York since 1962. His latest memoir/novel isLove in Tennessee, originally published by Red Hen Press in 2009, and has been brought out again by Greenpoint Press, which has simultaneously republished his first critically acclaimed book, The Colony. His other books include The Golden Bowers (a collection of essays and articles, Tower),Helene (Ballantine), In the Land of NYX, Night and its Inhabitants (Doubleday), Stonewall Jackson: Portrait of a Soldier (Morrow), and Chickamauga and Chattanooga: The Battles that Doomed the Confederacy (Harper/Collins.) He has just completed a novel called Live Girls Dancing and is writing a memoir of his service in Korea. His play,Remembrance of Things Present, has been produced twice Off-Broadway. Bowers has been published in over 200 magazines, including the New York Times, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, New York, Cosmopolitan, and Harpers. He has been a magazine editor as well as a creator of a few. For over two decades he was on the faculty as an Adjunct Professor in the Writing Program at Columbia University.

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Becky Bradway

Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Writer, Editor

Becky Bradway is currently revising a long biographical novel set in the 1910’s and 1920’s. The book, The Beautiful New, looks at the revolutionary changes that took place in that period by focusing on a group of real writers and radicals (particularly the performer, poet, and essayist Vachel Lindsay and the romantic poet Sara Teasdale). Among the cast of characters is Eugene O’Neill, John Reed, Edna St. Vincent Millay, a bunch of IWW labor organizers, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, and oh so many others. This project is nearly finished. Now to the past….Her collection of short memoir and new journalistic pieces, Pink Houses and Family Taverns, was published by Indiana University Press. Her craft book on creative nonfiction,Creating Nonfiction, was published by Bedford-St. Martin’s. (It is currently used as the text in the Wilkes creative nonfiction class.) Becky’s stories and creative essays have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, among them Creative Nonfiction, North American Review, Ninth Letter, DoubleTake,Antioch Review, Hotel Amerika, Identity Theory, Post Road, E: The Environmental Magazine, etc. Her essays and stories have been cited as recommended reading in Best American Essays, Best American Stories, and the Pushcart anthology. She lives in Denver with husband and dogs and occasionally an adult child that pops in; she is an obsessive listener of all types of music, watches too many old movies, and spends as much time as possible in the mountains. She holds a Ph.D. in English Studies from Illinois State University.

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Philip Brady    

Poet, Essayist, Editor

Philip Brady is a poet, essayist and editor. Philip Brady’s latest book is To Banquet with the Ethiopians: A Memoir of Life Before the Alphabet (Broadstone, 2015). His essay collection, By Heart: Reflections of a Rust-Belt Bard (University of Tennessee Press), was a Gold Medalist at ForewordMagazine in 2008. He has published three collections of poems, Fathom(WordTech Press, 2007), Weal (Ashland, 2000), which won the Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize, and Forged Correspondences (New Myths, 1996), which was chosen for Ploughshares “Editor’s Shelf” by Maxine Kumin. He has also published a memoir,To Prove My Blood: A Tale of Emigrations & the Afterlife (Ashland, 2003). His poetry and fiction have appeared in over fifty journals in the United States and Ireland, including: The Literary Review, Hotel Amerika, The American Literary Review, The Graham House Review, The Belfast Literary Supplement, and Poetry Review. He holds a Ph.D. from Binghamton University and has published numerous scholarly articles in journals including: College English, The Arkansas Quarterly, and The Centennial Review. His edited collections include: Critical Essays on James Joyce’s Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man (Twayne, 1998) and Poems & Their Making (Etruscan Press, 2015). He has won The Ohio Governor’s Award, an Ohioana Award, five Ohio Arts Council Fellowships, a Thayer Fellowship from New York State, and residencies at Yaddo, Ragdale, the Headlands Center, Fundacion Valparaiso, Hawthornden Castle, and the Virginia Center. Brady has taught at University College Cork in Ireland, as a Peace Corps Volunteer at the National University of Zaire, and in the Semester at Sea Program. Currently, he is a Distinguished Professor of English at Youngstown State University. Brady is also the co-founder and Executive Director for Etruscan Press, and he plays in the New-Celtic band, Brady’s Leap.

cannady_300pxLaurie Jean Cannady has published an array of articles and essays on poverty in America, community and domestic violence, and women’s issues. She has also spoken against sexual assault in the military at West Point Military Academy. Her memoir, Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul was named one of the best nonfiction books by black authors in 2015 by The Root online magazine. A Kirkus review describes Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul as a “bold, honest, and courageous memoir.” Most recently, Foreword Reviews announced Crave as an Indiefab Book of the Year 2015 finalist in the autobiography/ memoir category. Additionally, Crave was named a finalist for the Library of Virginia People’s Choice Award for Nonfiction.

Cannady currently resides in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, Chico Cannady, and their three children. She also serves as a professor of English at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. She holds a Ph.D. in Literature and Criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

susan_cartsonis_300Susan Cartsonis
Producer

The Hollywood Reporter named Susan Cartsonis one of the top five grossing producers of the year for What Women Want (Paramount)—the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time at the time of its release, andWhere The Heart Is (20th Century Fox), which mostly takes place at a Walmart in Oklahoma. She just finished shooting Invisible Sister for The Disney Channel in New Orleans, and she recently produced the teen hit The Duff (CBS Films/Lionsgate) which opened February 2015 and according to the Hollywood Reporter “boasted a stellar multiple by grossing three times its opening” and which Variety called “an instant teen classic” and a “smart, snappy Pygmalion for the millennial age”. Cartsonis produced Beastly (CBS Films), Aquamarine (20th Century Fox) and executive-produced No Reservations (Warner Bros.). Upcoming films include Carrie Pilby, to star Hailee Steinfeld, Tom Wilkinson, Eddie Izzard, Jason Ritter, and Vanessa Bayer. Cartsonis, an executive at 20th Century Fox for nearly a decade, rose from script reader to Senior VP of Production. At Fox, a few films she supervised include Nell, French Kiss, The Truth About Cats And Dogs, For The Boys, Dying Young, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The (over 20) films Cartsonis has made as an executive and as a producer have earned more than 1B theatrically. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and serves on the Independent Committee of the Producer’s Guild of America, Digital Hollywood’s Women’s Board, the Board of Directors of Women in Film, and the Board of Directors of the non-profit CineStory. Cartsonis sits on the Advisory Boards of Wilkes University’s Creative Writing Program, Chapman University’s Dodge School of Film and Television, and Brooks Institute of Photography and Film, Cartsonis has taught producing at USC and Chapman University’s Graduate Producing Programs, and she has been a guest speaker MFA critique advisor in New York and Singapore, and has served as an external evaluator of faculty being considered for tenure at NYU’s Dramatic Writing Program and NYU’s Film School. Cartsonis was recently quoted on CNN.com by Lorenza Brascia and by Frank Bruni in the New York Times. Recent publications: Australia’s Screenhub (6/13), NY Times Room for Debate (9/12).

bev_donofrio_300Beverly Donofrio
Memoirist, Essayist, Children’s book author

Beverly Donofrio was recently dubbed a master memoirist by The Daily Beast, has published three memoirs: The  New York Times bestseller, Riding in Cars with Boys, which was made into a popular movie; Looking for Mary, a Barnes and Noble Discover pick; and Astonished, called “astonishing,” by more than one reviewer. Her three children’s books are much praised; her NPR documentaries are perennially rebroadcast; and her personal essays have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle, Marie Clair, More, Allure, Spirituality and Health, The Village Voice,Huffington Post, Slate, as well as many anthologies. Her picture book, Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary, was named by Publisher’s Weekly one of “10 Children’s Books that Never Get Old.” Its sequel, Where’s Mommy?, was chosen by The New York Times as one of the Top Ten children’s book of 2014. This year an essay appears in the anthology Shades of Blue, published by Seal Press. She teaches memoir-writing workshops around the country and is currently at work on a collection of essays. She holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia University.

greg_fletcher_300.pngGregory Fletcher
Playwright, Director

Gregory Fletcher is a graduate of California State University at Northridge with a B.A. in Theater, of Boston University with a M.A. in playwriting, and of Columbia University with an M.F.A. in Directing. His Off-Off Broadway playwriting credits include Edenville, My Sister the Cow, Eight Times Around, Family of Flechner, Roast Beef and the Rare Kiss, Robert Mapplethorpe’s Flowers, Stairway to Heaven, and The Moon Alone. Regionally, his plays have been produced in Boston, Miami, Moscow (Idaho), and Provincetown. His work has been published by Back Stage Books, Dramatic Publishing,Wilde Magazine, Anco Entertainment in the Netherlands and Belgium, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a full collection of his short plays and favorite principles of playwriting inShorts and Briefs from Northampton House Press. He is the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting and the National Ten-Minute Play Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and a first runner-up for the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award from the Association of Theatre in Higher Education. He was a playwriting grantee at the Sundance Theatre Lab, a nominee for Outstanding Original Short Script for the New York IT Awards, and a national finalist for both the Heideman Award and the Reva Shiner Comedy Award. Fletcher has taught playwriting at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, at Niagara University, at the MA/MFA Creative Writing Program at Wilkes University, and at CUNY – Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY. More at http://www.gregoryfletcher.com.

cecilia_galante_300.pngCecilia Galante
Novelist

Cecilia Galante is the author of three middle grade novels, three young-adult novels, an 8-book chapter book series, and one adult novel. Her first book, The Patron Saint of Butterflies, (2008) was the recipient of numerous awards, including an Original Voices Award by Borders, an Oprah Pick for Teens, and a Best Book of the Year by the NAIBA.Her second novel, Hershey Herself  (2008), has recently been translated into Polish, while Willowood (2009) was recently distinguished as a Keystone Award nominee for Best Book of the Year, as well as a winner for the Iowa Children’s Choice Award. World rights to Little Wings, her 8-book chapter book series for young readers, have been sold to Japan and Turkey. Her first adult novel, The Invisibles, debuted with Harper Collins in August of 2015, and she has just signed on to write a second adult novel, to be published in January, 2017. A new middle-grade novel, titled The World From Up Here, is scheduled to be released in June, 2016 with Scholastic, and she has just signed another two-book deal with Scholastic. Cecilia teaches eighth-grade English at Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School, and lives in Kingston, Pennsylvania with her husband and three children. She holds an M.F.A. from Goddard College.

lenore_hart_300Lenore Hart
Novelist, Poet, Essayist

Lenore Hart is the author of seven novels: Waterwoman (a Barnes &Noble Discover book), Ordinary Springs, Becky, The Raven’s Bride, and (as Elisabeth Graves) Black River (in Europe, Svart Frikt) and Weirwood (Sort Elv). A new Elisabeth Graves novel will be released this summer. Her work has been translated into Norwegian and Portuguese and two novels optioned for film. Young Adult and children’s books are T. Rex at Swan Lake, The Treasure of Savage Island, and a forthcoming fantasy, Still Life, With Dragons. She’s also published short stories, memoirs, essays, articles, poetry, and reviews, and won awards in the US and Canada. She’s been a visiting professor or writer in residence at FSU, Flagler College, The New College, Old Dominion University, The U.S. Naval Academy, Florida College, George Mason University, and Elizabethtown College. She’s received awards, grants, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Virginia Commission for the Arts, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Florida Fine Arts Council, and Old Dominion University. She’s been featured on Voice of America, in Poets and Writers, and on the syndicated PBS series Writer To Writer. She’s taught at The Mailer Center (Provincetown), the Ossabaw Island Writers Retreat, and as fiction editor at Northampton House Press is compiling an anthology, The Night Bazaar, due out in late fall.

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Marlon James

Novelist

2015 Man Booker Prize Winner
2015 American Book Award Winner

James, born in Kingston, Jamaica, graduated from Wilkes University in 2006 with the Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing. On Oct. 13, 2015, he was awarded the Man Booker Prize in Fiction for his critically acclaimed third novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings.  He is the first Jamaican author to win the Man Booker Prize, considered one of the most prestigious prizes in literature. Soon after, Marlon won the 2015 American Book Award for literary excellence.

Bonnie Culver, Marlon JamesHis second novel, The Book of Night Women, completed as his Wilkes M.A. thesis, received national recognition:

  • Winner of the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize
  • Winner of The Minnesota Book Award
  • Finalist for the 2010 National Books Critics Circle Award in Fiction
  • Finalist for the NAACP Image Award
His first novel, John Crow’s Devil (2005), was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and was The New York Times Editor’s Choice. James graduated from the University of the West Indies in 1991 with a degree in literature. His short fiction has appeared in the anthologies Iron Balloons, Kingston Noir, and Silent Voices, and his nonfiction has appeared in the anthology, New Orleans: What Can’t Be Lost, the Caribbean Review of Books, and Publisher’s Weekly. He has taught at the Gotham Writers Workshop in New York City and was a judge for the PEN Beyond Margins Award and the 2010 Young Lions Award. Marlon James teaches literature and creative writing at Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota.

kaylie-jonesKaylie Jones
Novelist, Creative Nonfiction

Kaylie Jones is a novelist, creative nonfiction writer, and editor. Her most recent novel, The Anger Meridian, was published by Akashic Books in June 2015. Her memoir, Lies My Mother Never Told Me, was released by Harper Collins in 2009. Her third novel, A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (Bantam, 1990) was adapted as a Merchant Ivory Film in 1998. Celeste Ascending was published by Harper Collins in 2000 and her novel, Speak Now, was released by Akashic Books in 2003.

Her novels have been translated into many languages including French, Dutch, German, and Japanese. Kaylie taught fiction at The Writer’s Voice from 1988 to 1996, before helping to create the M.F.A. Program in Writing of LIU’s Southampton campus, now the SUNY Stony Brook Southampton College M.FA. Program in Writing, where she still teaches. Currently, she chairs the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, which awards $10,000 annually to an unpublished first novel. Many of the winners have gone on to publish to critical acclaim. Kaylie is also the proud editor of the Long Island Noir anthology, published by Akashic Books in spring 2012. In November 2011, Kaylie was given an award by the National Coalition Against Censorship for her work in bringing to print an unexpurgated, uncensored edition of her father’s classic novel, From Here to Eternity.Kaylie’s newest and probably most important endeavor is the launch of her imprint, Kaylie Jones Books, under the aegis of Akashic Books.

 

ross_klavad_300.pngRoss Klavan
Screenwriter, Fiction

Ross Klavan’s work spans film, television, radio, print, live performance and visual art. A novella, Thump Gun Hitchedwill be published by Down and Out Books in 2016. His darkly comic novel Schmuck was published by Greenpoint Press in 2014. His original screenplay for the film Tigerland was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and the film was released by New Regency starring Colin Farrell. He recently finished an adaption of John Bowers’ The Colony and has written scripts for Miramax, Intermedia, Walden Media, Paramount and TNT TV among others. The “conversation about writing” he moderated with Kurt Vonnegut and Lee Stringer was televised and published as Like Shaking Hands with God, and his short stories have appeared in magazines and been produced by the BBC. An earlier novel, Trax, was published under a pseudonym. His play How I Met My (Black) Wife (Again), co-written with Ray Iannicelli, has been produced in New York City, and he has performed his work in numerous theaters and clubs. He has acted and done voice work in TV and radio commercials and has lent his voice to feature films including: Casino, You Can Count on Me, Revolutionary Road, Awake and the new Amazon web series Alpha House, written by Gary Trudeau. He has worked as a newspaper and radio journalist in New York City and London. He lives in New York City with his wife, the painter, Mary Jones.

jean_klein_300.pngJean Klein
Playwright, Technical Writer, Editor

Jean Klein is a playwright, editor, and publisher, has been a semi-finalist in the O’Neill competition, and is currently co-founder of the Virginia Playwrights Forum. Her degrees are B.A. from Carnegie-Mellon and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. A full-length play Unreasonable Possession was produced as a staged reading at the Earl Hamner Theatre in Nelson County, Virginia. Refraction Of Light was produced by Looking Glass Productions at The Venue for the Norfolk Summer PlayFest; a short play, Lifeswap was produced at The Venue on 35th in Norfolk, Virginia in 2012 and at The Edge Theater in Belle Haven, Virginia. Two plays, Lifeswapand Priming The Pump have been filmed for airing by Cox Cable for airing in Virginia and North Carolina by Cox Television. A one-act play “Snapshots” was a winner in the Kernodle Play competition at the University of Arkansas and was produced in August of 2014 at The Venue in Norfolk, VA, and at The American Theatre in Hampton, VA. She is also the founder and owner of Blue Moon Plays and Once-in-a-Blue-Moon Plays, a dramatic publishing company for new plays and spoken word poetry and fiction which explores social/political issues and challenges.

j_michael_lennon_300J. Michael Lennon, vice president emeritus for academic affairs, professor emeritus of English and co-founder of the graduate creative writing program at Wilkes University, released his new biography of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning author Norman Mailer. Norman Mailer: A Double Life was released Oct. 15 by Simon & Schuster and is described by The Washington Post as “a great wallop of a book.”

Hailed as a “must read” by Kirkus Reviews, the book reflects Mailer’s dual identities: journalist and activist, devoted family man and notorious philanderer, intellectual and fighter, writer and public figure. Lennon is Mailer’s authorized biographer and was given access to thousands of letters, interviews and other materials. Integrating the streams of material became the most difficult part of the biography project for Lennon. Included in the plethora of papers were over 45,000 letters written to and by Mailer, unpublished journals and interviews with Mailer, his friends and family. One of Lennon’s chief challenges was ensuring that Mailer and his private life were accorded as much exposition and analysis as the public man.
He describes how he got to know the late author. “In 1971, right after he got into a tussle with Gore Vidal on the Dick Cavett Show, I wrote him a letter of support, and also passed on some of my theories about his recent nonfiction books, which were changing the way major events were reported,” Lennon says. Mailer was one of the leading voices of the New Journalism during the 1960s. This literary genre is a writing technique that combines fictional story telling with reportage.
After corresponding, Lennon and Mailer met in fall 1972 at Western Illinois University. Mailer had presented a reading from his account of the 1972 elections. “We talked late into the night at a local bar,” recalls Lennon, who chairs theMailer Review board. “And every summer after that, my family and I visited him in Maine or Provincetown, Mass.” Over time, they grew closer as Lennon began editing books by and about Mailer. In 1986, after reading Lennon’s book,Critical Essays on Norman Mailer, Mailer asked him to serve as one of his literary executors.
J. Michael Lennon Teaches at Wilkes UniversityMailer described his relationship with Lennon in the preface of a bio-bibliography Norman Mailer: Works and Days, written by Lennon and his wife, Donna Pedro Lennon. “Sometimes I think Mike Lennon and I were as designed for each other as some species of American Yin and Yang, as hot dogs, perhaps, and mustard. His talents, his discipline, and his ambition form a compliment to all the slacks, voids, and indolences of my nature,” Mailer wrote.
Mailer won Pulitzer Prizes for The Armies of the Night andThe Executioner’s Song. His first book, The Naked and the Dead, was an enormous bestseller, and Mailer would have 10 more bestsellers from the 44 books he published. He also was co-founder of The Village Voice.

Wilkes University offers the M.A./M.F.A. in Creative Writing with areas of study in creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, screenwriting and playwriting. New in 2014 are genres in publishing and making documentary films. Mailer, who died in 2007 at 84, was the founding chair of the program’s advisory board. Lennon co-founded the program with program director Bonnie Culver.


 Multimedia – ‘Norman Mailer: A Double Life’

 Norman Mailer: A Double Life Reviews


J. Michael Lennon
— (Advisory Board Member, Faculty) Nonfiction Writer, Program Co-Founder.
J. Michael Lennon is the late Norman Mailer’s archivist, editor, and authorized biographer. Norman Mailer: A Double Life (Simon & Schuster, 2013) was chosen as an “Editors’ Choice” book by the New York Times Book Review and was one of Amazon’s top twenty nonfiction books of the year. The paperback edition, published October 28, 2104, was chosen as the top paperback bio for October by the Times of London. For Random House, he recently edited Selected Letters of Norman Mailer, published December 2, 2014. Other books include: Norman Mailer: Works and Days (2000) (with Donna Pedro Lennon), the recipient of a Choice Magazine award for “outstanding scholarly title” in 2001; and he edited Conversations with Norman Mailer (1988), The James Jones Reader (1991), and The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing (2003). He is the current president of The Norman Mailer Society and past president of The James Jones Literary Society, and serves as Chair of the Editorial Board of The Mailer Review. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, Mailer Review, New York Review of Books, James Jones Literary Society Journal, Playboy, Creative Nonfiction, Provincetown Arts, New York, Modern Fiction Studies, New England Review, Narrative and Journal of Modern Literature, among others. He co-authored Mailer’s last book, On God: An Uncommon Conversation (2007), and in 2012, edited Mailer’s biography of Marilyn Monroe, Norman Mailer/Bert Stern: Marilyn Monroe, also for Taschen. Recently, he edited the Taschen edition of Mailer’s The Fight (out in spring 2015), and contributed the introduction to the Taschen edition of Mailer’s ground-breaking essay on JFK, “Superman Comes to the Supermarket,” published November 1, 2014. His documentary, James Jones: From Reveille to Taps, was shown on PBS in 1984; The Lincolns of Springfield, Illinois was shown on PBS in 1990. He was a faculty member and Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Illinois-Springfield from 1972-1992. He is Emeritus Vice President for Academic Affairs and Emeritus Professor of English at Wilkes University. He continues to teach in the Wilkes M.F.A. Program, which he co-founded, and at The Mailer Colony, and serves on the advisory boards of both. He served from 2005-2007 as a literary consultant at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas-Austin, and was a Fellow there in 2009. He is currently working on a new biography (with his son Joseph, and brother Peter) titled, Sixteen Handshakes to Shakespeare. He is married to the former Donna Pedro; they live in Westport, Massachusetts.

michaelmailerMichael Mailer
Screenwriter

Michael Mailer has been working extensively in the independent film business since graduating from Harvard University in 1987. He co-wrote and produced his first feature film, A Fool And His Money, starring Sandra Bullock and George Plimpton, in 1988. Since then, Mailer has produced over 20 features. His films include the critically acclaimed Two Girls and a Guy, starring Robert Downey, Jr, Heather Graham, and Natasha Gregson Wagner (20th Century Fox, 1998); Black and White, starring Ben Stiller, Brooke Shields, Elijah Wood, and Mike Tyson (Sony Pictures, 1999); and Empire, starring John Leguizamo, Denise Richards, and Peter Sarsgaard (Universal Studios, 2002). Mailer also found success in films like Lost Junction with Neve Campbell (MGM, 2000); The Last Producer with Bert Reynolds, Lauren Holly, and Benjamin Bratt (Artisan, 2002); and Harvard Man, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joey Lauren Adams, and Adrien Grenier (Blockbuster, 2002). In 2003, Mailer produced Devour, starring Hollywood up-and-comers Jensen Ackles, Shannon Sossamon, and Dominique Swain (Columbia Tri-Star, 2004); and Loverboy with all-star cast Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon, Marisa Tomei, Oliver Platt, Sandra Bullock, Campbell Scott, and Matt Dillon (Millennium, 2004). The film made its debut at Sundance 2005 and was later released theatrically by Think Films. Michael Mailer Films was established in 2004 to focus on both independent, character-driven films and larger, concept-oriented studio pictures. Among MMF’s productions are the romantic comedies Kettle of Fish, starring Matthew Modine and Gina Gershon; and The Golden Boys, starring David Carradine, Rip Torn, and Bruce Dern. Additionally, Mailer produced two films released through Sony: The mixed martial arts-urban western Blood and Bone, and a remake of Hitchcock’s The Lodger. Mailer’s The Ledge, a suspenseful drama starring Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, Terrence Howard, and Charlie Hunnam, debuted in U.S. Main competition at Sundance 2011 and was released by IFC. Recent Mailer productions include: The James Toback feature, Seduced and Abandoned, starring Alec Baldwin, which screened out of competition at the 2013 Festival de Cannes; A Little Game, directed by Evan Oppenheimer and starring Olympia Dukakis, F. Murray Abraham, and Janeane Garofalo; Beginner’s Guide to Sex, starring Tom Arnold, Simon Rex, and Chris Lemmon; Friends and Romans, starring Michael Rispoli, Annabella Sciorra, and Tony Sirico; A Tourist starring Brett Dalton and Stana Katic; and Showing Roots with Maggie Grace, Uzo Aduba, Elizabeth McGovern, and Adam Brody.

nancy_mckinley_300.pngNancy McKinley
Fiction Writer, Creative Nonfiction Writer

Nancy McKinley is a fiction and creative nonfiction writer. Recent fiction appears in Porches Anthology, 2013; Tattoos Anthology, 2012; Commutability Anthology, 2010– Pushcart Prize nomination; Coming Home Anthology, 2010, Big Water Anthology, 2008 (Main Street Rag Publishing) and in Winter Anthology, 2010 (Punkin House Press); in Blue Penny Quarterly 2014, Blue Lake Review, 2013; The Cortland Review, 2011. Her creative nonfiction, “Title IX & Me” appears in On Becoming Anthology, 2012 (University of Nebraska). As Scholar-in-Residence for the PA Mechanicsburg Museum Association, she developed the interactive online narrative If You Lived at the Stationmaster’s House. Her narrative for the Cumberland County Historical Society Virtual Tour won the PA Museum Director’s Award. Outdoor pieces have appeared widely and in The Physician and Sportsmedicine. She presented at the AWP 2014 Conference Orchestration for Writers 101; AWP 2013 Conference, International Women’s Day Reading; AWP 2011 Conference Online Mentoring for Writers and Interns; Puerto Vallarta Mexico Writer’s Conference 2009, Unforgettable Characters; The Gathering, PA 2009, Time, Place & Story; and AWP 2007, Unsung Litany of Late Blooming Writers. Her novel, Travels with a Nuclear Whore, won the creative writing component of the Thayer Fellowship in the Arts, and she received the John Gardner Newhouse Award. She earned her Ph.D. from SUNY-Binghamton, M.A. from Colorado State University, and B.A. from College of the Holy Cross where she was one of the first females at the previously male school.

Mooney_250px.jpgRobert Mooney
Short Story Writer, Novelist, Editor

Robert Mooney is a story writer, novelist, and editor. Mooney’s most recent publication is a novel, Father of the Man (Pantheon). He has published numerous short stories, including “Halloween” in the Paterson Literary Review, which was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, The Artful Dodge,MSS, Timbuktu, Esquire, and others. Mooney earned a B.A. from Boston College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Binghamton University. He later went on to serve as Director of the Creative Writing Program at Binghamton University from 1987 to 1997, where he also served as assistant editor of MSS, the literary magazine founded by the American novelist John Gardner, and later founded and served as Senior Editor of New Myths Press, publishing the work of some of the finest writers in the country. He is co-founder and Executive Editor at Etruscan Press, and Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Washington College, where he directed the O’Neill Literary House and creative writing program from 1997 to 2005. He recently joined the honorary board at Narrative 4, a global writing initiative begun by novelist Colum McCann, the mission of which involves the incitement of “radical empathy” among people of all cultures.

kevin_oderman_300Kevin Oderman
Creative Nonfiction Writer (literary essay), Novelist

Kevin Oderman is a creative nonfiction writer (literary essay) and novelist. Kevin Oderman started his writing life as a literary critic. The Ph.D. kind. He wrote many essays on modern and postmodern poetry and even published a critical book, Ezra Pound and the Erotic Medium. Subsequently, he said no to all that. He wrote poems for the little mags and started writing literary essays, an exercise which led to How Things Fit Together (winner of a Bakeless Prize in nonfiction). He published an expatriate novel, Going, set in Granada. Twice he has lived abroad as a Fulbright Fellow. He taught Modern American Poetry as a Senior Lecturer at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece, and subsequently American literature to M.A. students at Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan. He is a Professor of English at West Virginia University and teaches in the low res MA/MFA Program at Wilkes University. His second expatriate novel,White Vespa, set on the Greek island of Symi, was published last fall by Etruscan Press, who will also be publishing a collection of his essays on travel in 2015.

taylor_polites_300Taylor M. Polites
Novelist

Taylor M. Polites’ first novel, The Rebel Wife, was published by Simon & Schuster in February 2012. It was featured as a top ten pick in the February 2012 issue of O Magazine, the Oprah magazine, and was an Okra Pick from the Southern Independent Booksellers Association. His work has appeared in the anthologies Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting (W.W. Norton, November 2013) and Providence Noir (Akashic Books, June 2015) as well as in local and regional arts and news publications including Provincetown Arts, artscope, and the Cape Codder. Together with writers Ann Hood and Hester Kaplan, he has formed Goat Hill to support and engage writers in Rhode Island’s vibrant literary life. He graduated from the Wilkes University MFA in Creative Writing program in June 2010, where he was awarded the Norris Church Mailer Fellowship. He teaches in the Wilkes University Creative Writing MFA program, at Roger Williams University and the Rhode Island School of Design. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island with his small Chihuahua Clovis.

david_poyer_300David Poyer
Novelist, Creative Nonfiction/Memoir

David Poyer writes novels and creative nonfiction. Some of his forty-plus books include The Dead of Winter, Winter in the Heart, As the Wolf Loves Winter, and Thunder on the Mountain, literary novels set in Pennsylvania; The Med, The Gulf, The Circle, The Passage, Tomahawk, China Sea, Black Storm,The Command, The Threat, Korea Strait, The Weapon, The Crisis, The Towers, and The Cruiser, USA Today best-selling military novels; White Continent, Star Seed, The Shiloh Project, and Stepfather Bank, science fiction; Fire on the Waters, A Country of Our Own, That Anvil of Our Souls, and The Only Thing to Fear, historical novels; and Ghosting and The Whiteness of the Whale, sea tales. He has also published oral history, travel and biographical nonfiction, and collaborated on memoirs. His work has been translated into Japanese, Dutch, Italian, and Serbo–Croatian, and rights have been sold for films, audiobooks, etc. Poyer has taught or lectured at University of Pittsburgh, Old Dominion University, Joint Forces Staff College, The New College, The US Naval Academy, and Elizabethtown College, and he has appeared on PBS’s “Writer to Writer.” He was a founding editor ofThe New Virginia Review, a board member of the Library of Virginia, and is currently a fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and publisher at Northampton House Press. Writers he’s mentored have been taken on by major literary agencies, published by major houses, appeared on The New York Times Top Ten bestseller lists, been nominated for the Lambda Prize, won the International Latino Book award and other prizes; and become college teachers of English and Creative Writing. His latest novel is Tipping Point, St. Martin’s/Macmillan, December 2015. Forthcoming this fall: Onslaught, St. Martin’s/Macmillan, and On Politics and War, a Memoir, with Arnold Punaro, Naval Institute Press.

sara_pritchard_300Sara Pritchard
Short Story Writer, Novelist

Sara Pritchard writes short stories and personal essays. Her most recent story collection, Help Wanted: Female, was published by Etruscan Press in June 2013. She is the author of the novel-in-stories, Crackpots, which was aNew York Times Notable Book of the Year, and the linked-story collection, Lately. Sara’s stories and creative nonfiction have been published in numerous literary magazines, including Crossborders, Green Mountains Review, Tusculum Review, Arts & Letters, Northwest Review, Chattahoochee Review, Bellingham Review, Spittoon, and New Letters. She has won aPushcart Prize, the Bakeless Prize for Fiction, the Alexander Cappon Award from New Letters, and three West Virginia Literary Fellowships. Sara has a degree in English from Susquehanna University and an M.F.A. in fiction from West Virginia University. She lives in Lewisburg, West Virginia.

jan_quakenbush_300.pngJan Quackenbush
Playwright, Editor, Prose Writer

Jan Quackenbush has had plays produced in the USA and in Europe. His published plays include Calcium and Other Plays, Still FiresOpfer (Victims, published in Austria), Im Kreis Drausssen (Inside Out, published in Austria), and Inside Out and Other Plays, London. His prose poem, Simeon In Memoriam was published by Calder & Boyars, Ltd, London, in Signature Anthology 20, with Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco. He has had several productions at the La Mama Etc. theatre in New York and has had three plays in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Additionally, he has published fiction, Stone Eggs, Barnes & Noble Anthology. His poem “Is There Someone To Uplift Me” was published in 2012 in an anthology, A Hurricane Katrina Poetic Commemorative. Jan has had several short one-act plays translated into German (2009-2015) and produced in Ulm, Germany, by the avant-garde westentasche theatre company. In summer of 2014, The Soldier’s Son -the third play of a trilogy – The Soldier and his Family – was premiered by the westentasche theatre in Ulm, and in presented again in June 2015 in a German national theatre festival Baden-Würtetembergischen Theatertagen, Heidelberg. Oct. 2015, Jan’s one-act play Irak Attack at the Pierre Fontaine, available through fellow-faculty member Jean Klein’s website, was presented at Calvary Arts Center, New Lexington, OH. Jan’s new play, The Sparrow of Ulm, will be premiered by westentache theatre company of Ulm in the summer of 2016. Jan is also writing a second new play for the westentashe theatre this year. Jan ended his service in Vietnam assigned to the Army Entertainment Branch where he co-wrote Withering Witherspoon: an Old-Fashion Mellerdrama that Command Military Touring Shows (CMTS) played to soldiers throughout Vietnam. Jan is proud to be a member of the Wilkes MA/MFA Writing Program’s faculty. Jan is presently represented by Jean Klein, host of website Blue Moon Plays.

juanita_rockwell_300.pngJuanita Rockwell
Playwright, Librettist, Lyricist, Director

Juanita Rockwell is a playwright, librettist, lyricist, and director with over 100 projects in theatre, opera, radio, video, multi-media, puppetry, dance theater, song and site-specific performance produced on four continents. Produced writing includes The World is Round (opera libretto pub. by Company One, composer James Sellars, CD by Hog River Music); Between Trains (play w/songs, composer Chas Marsh, CD by Towson University);Waterwalk: Surface and Depth (opera libretto for gamelan orchestra, composer Robert Macht); Packing/Pecking (short play pub. by Thinking Beard); Playing Dead (trans. from Bros. Presnyakov, pub. on DVD by the Center for International Theatre Development); and The Circle (radioplay, audiohere). For six years she was Artistic Director of Hartford’s Company One Theater, directing premieres of work by America’s leading experimental playwrights, and she was Founding Director of Towson University’s M.F.A. in Theatre for over a dozen years. Awards and grants include a Fulbright, a Marion Fellowship, a Rubys Artist Project Grantand funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and National Public Radio; writing residencies include: Ucross (WY), Studios at Key West (FL), Wildacres (NC), Playa (OR) and a Scientific Delirium Madness residency at Djerassi (CA).

 

Nina SolomonNina Solomon
Novelist

Nina Solomon’s, first novel, Single Wife (Algonquin 2003), was a Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Guild, and Quality Paperback Book Club selection and was optioned by Warner Bros. Her second novel, The Love Book (Akashic/Kaylie Jones Books January), was inspired by her own search for a soul mate. She was born and raised in New York City and has lived in the same zip code since she was five. Along with a collection of connected short stories about growing up in the Dakota, she is currently working on a novel based on a family story titled “Zadie Chance.” Her story “Eclipse” was published in The Collagist Magazine in June 2014. She holds an M.A. from Columbia University.

jeff_talarigo_300Jeff Talarigo
Novelist

Jeff Talarigo, a novelist is the author of two novels: The Pearl Diver and The Ginseng Hunter. Talarigo was born in Pennsylvania in 1961 and graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania in 1983. Over the next seven years, Talarigo worked as a racquetball pro, magazine publisher, in a wood shop, and as a journalist. In 1990 Talarigo embarked on a three-month journey by land from the Gaza Strip to Khartoum, Sudan and back. This was Talarigo’s first stay in Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, a place where he would return to live in 1993. From 1991 to 2006 Talarigo lived in Kyushu, Japan where he taught English and began writing fiction. The Pearl Diver was published in 2004 (Nan Talese/Doubleday) and was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Award and was a Kiriyama Prize notable book. Talarigo, along with his wife and son, moved back to the United States in 2006. He was awarded a fellowship at the New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. The Ginseng Hunter(published April, 2008, Nan Talese/Doubleday) is his second novel and was placed on the American Library Association’s Notable Book List of 2009. His short fiction has been published in many journals, including AGNI andPuerto del Sol, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013. Talarigo’s work has been translated into German, Spanish, Hebrew, Thai, and Korean. Currently living in Oakland, CA, he has finished his third book, a novel set in Gaza, and is at work on a four act play on Gaza, a memoir/family history and a novel on human trafficking.

richard_uhligRichard Uhlig
Screenwriter, Producer, Young Adult Novelist

Richard Uhlig is a screenwriter, producer, and young adult novelist. Richard Uhlig co-wrote and co-produced the feature comedy Viva Las Nowhere, starring James Caan, Daniel Stern, and Patricia Richardson, wrote the feature thriller Kept, starring Ice T, and has several other projects in development. He also wrote, directed, and produced award-winning documentaries for PBS. Richard is also the author of two young adult novels, Last Dance at the Frosty Queen and Boy Minus Girl. Richard holds a B.A. from NYU and an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute. In the spring of 2011 Richard received a grant to produce and direct his original short screenplay, Can’t Dance, which stars Saturday Night Fever‘s Karen Lynn Gorney and Law and Order‘s Catherine Wolf. Can’t Dance won Founder’s Choice Award at the 2012 Queens World Film Festival, Best Fiction at the Short Sweet FilmFest, and was a Selected Finalist at the Feel Food Film Festival. The film was also an official selection of the New Hope Film Festival, TromaDance, D.C. Shorts, and Selected Shorts Film Festival. It aired on PBS in spring, 2014. The film is distributed by IndieFlix. He is presently writing and directing My Kansas, a memoir/documentary for PBS. Richard’s latest novel, Mystery at Snake River, will be e-published by Wild Child Publishing in 2013. Richard’s memoir/documentary, My Kansas, won Best Documentary, Best Director, and New York Filmmaker Award at the 2013 NYC Chain Film Festival. His latest novel, Mystery At Snake River Bridge, earned a four-star review in the Portland Book Review.

ken_vose_300.pngKen Vose
Screenwriter, Playwright, Novelist, Nonfiction writer

Ken Vose has written for film, television, and stage. The film of his play, Papa: the Man, the Myth, the Legend, co-authored with Jordan Rhodes, and based on the life of Ernest Hemingway, was selected Best Historical Drama Feature at the 2010 New York Independent Film Festival. Time spent as an active racing driver in the 1970s led directly to the hit Warner Bros. film Greased Lightning, starring Richard Pryor and Pam Grier, the story of African-American NASCAR driver Wendell Scott, which Vose originated and co-authored both the screenplay and book. During his thirty-five plus years in the film and television industry he worked as a film editor, writer, producer, and director of documentaries, corporate films, and commercials. His editing credits include: World War One (CBS), Decision: The Truman Presidency (Screen Gems), and Trial at Nuremberg (Wolper Productions). His television writing credits include:Spies, Thundercats, Peter Pan and the Pirates, Street Frogs, and The Real Adventurers of Jonny Quest. As an author, Vose has published: Makin’ Tracks (a Book-of-the-Month Club selection), Blue Guitar, The Car: Past and Present, The Convertible, Inside Monster Garage, Monster Nation, and the novels Oversteer and Dead Pedal. Vose is a faculty member in the Wilkes University M.A., M.F.A. Low Residency Creative Writing Program where he teaches screenwriting.

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