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Previous faculty & Visiting artists
Damiano Abeni

Damiano Abeni, MD, MPH, is an epidemiologist who has been translating American poetry into Italian since 1973. He has been a Literature Fellow at the Liguria Study Center of the Bogliasco Foundation, a Director’s Guest at the Civitella Ranieri Center, a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, and a Writer in Residence at the James Merrill House. He has published more than fifty books in translation in Italy, by authors including Frank Bidart, Elizabeth Bishop, Lewis Carroll, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Edward Lear, Jack London, Mark Strand, Charles Simic, and C.K. Williams.

Moira Egan

Moira Egan’s most recent collections are Synæsthesium, which won The New Criterion Poetry Prize (Criterion Books, 2017); and Olfactorium, a bilingual selection of poems based on perfumes (Italic Pequod, 2018). Previous collections are Botanica Arcana/Strange Botany; Hot Flash Sonnets; Spin; La Seta della Cravatta/The Silk of the Tie; Bar Napkin Sonnets; and Cleave. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies on four continents. She was a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and has held writing fellowships at the St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Malta; the Civitella Ranieri Center; the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center; and the James Merrill House.

Diamond Forde

Diamond Forde's debut poetry collection, Mother Body, received the 2019 Saturnalia Poetry Prize. A Callaloo and Tin House fellow, Diamond’s work has appeared in Boston Review, Obsidian, Massachusetts Review and more. She also serves as a contributing editor of Southeast Review and as fiction editor of Nat. Brut. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

David Fraser

David Fraser has taught interdisciplinary courses in Romanticism and Realism at Haverford College, and graduate seminars on Mental Information Processing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. For a decade he served as full-time consultant on rare illustrated books for an internationally known bookseller. As a practicing artist, Fraser has studied with Fritz Eichenberg, Burton Silverman, Robert Waddington, and Alice Meyer Wallace. His works have been represented by the Rosenfeld Gallery in Philadelphia and Tyme Gallery in Havertown, PA.


Gary Garrison is the Executive Director of the Dramatist Guild of America, and has also served as Artistic Director, Producer, and full‑time faculty member in the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Garrison’s plays include Too Quick to Pick, Ties That Bind, Skirting the Issue, Caught Without Candy, to name just a few. He has also taught playwriting at the Sewanee Writer’s Conference, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, CityWrights, The Inkwell and Source Theatre in D.C., and many others. Garrison is on the Tony Administration Committee for the Tony Awards and is the program director for the Summer Playwriting Intensive for the Kennedy Center.

Randy Hendricks

Randy Hendricks is the author of the short-story collection The Twelfth Year and Other Times and the critical study Lonelier than God: Robert Penn Warren and the Southern Exile. He is also co-editor of the six-volume Selected Letters of Robert Penn Warren. 

Parneshia Jones

Parneshia Jones is an editor and writer living in Chicago. The author of the poetry collection Vessel (2015), she has published poems in a range of literary journals and anthologies, including The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007), Poetry Speaks Who I Am (2010), and She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems (2011), edited by Caroline Kennedy.  Jones’s poems have been featured on Chicago Public Radio, and she is a member of Affrilachian Poets, a collective of black poets from Appalachia. The recipient of a Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, a Margaret Walker Short Story Award, and an Aquarius Press Legacy Award, Jones has received commissions from Art for Humanity in South Africa and Shorefront Legacy in Chicago. She serves on the boards of Cave Canem, the Guild Complex, and other arts organizations.

Charlotte Pence

Charlotte Pence is the author of two poetry collections—Code (forthcoming) and Many Small Fires (2015), both from Black Lawrence Press—and editor of The Poetics of American Song Lyrics (2012). Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have recently been published in Harvard Review, Sewanee Review, Southern Review, and others. She serves as director of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing and director of the creative writing program at the University of South Alabama.

John Poch

 John Poch’s fifth collection of poems, TEXASES (WordFarm), will be published in March 2019. His poems have appeared widely in journals such as Poetry, Paris Review, The New Republic, Agni, and Yale Review. He is the winner of the Donald Justice Award for Poetry, The New Criterion Prize, and The Nation/ “Discovery” Prize. In 2014 he was a Fulbright Core Scholar to the University of Barcelona. He teaches in the creative writing program at Texas Tech.

Barbara Ras

Barbara Ras is the author of three poetry collections: Bite Every Sorrow, which won the Walt Whitman Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; One Hidden Stuff; and The Last Skin, winner of the Award for Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters. Ras has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Orion, and numerous other magazines and anthologies. She is the editor of a collection of short fiction in translation, Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion. Ras lives in San Antonio and works at Trinity University Press, which she founded.

Kathleen (Kate) C. Riley

Kathleen (Kate) C. Riley received her doctorate in cultural and linguistic anthropology from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2001.  She has conducted fieldwork on food and language in the Marquesas, Vermont, France, Montreal, and NYC.  In particular, she is interested in how humans communicate about, around, and through food – forging our personal and cultural feelings, identities, and relationships. She is also interested in how food and language co-operate as both symbols and instruments of social justice.  She presently teaches at Rutgers University, living in NYC, but spends as much of the growing season as possible in Johnson, VT.

Megan Sexton

Megan Sexton’s poetry collection Swift Hour received the Adrienne Bond Award. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She teaches at Georgia State University where she edits Five Points. She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her husband and daughter, and also plays drums for The Skylarks.

Eric Smith

Eric Smith is the author of Black Hole Factory, forthcoming from the University of Tampa Press. His work has been published in Arkansas-International, The New Criterion, and The Writer’s Chronicle. He holds an MFA from the University of Florida and an MA from Northern Michigan University, and co-founded the text message poetry journal cellpoems. He has received grants and fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Convivio, and the North Carolina Arts Council. He has taught at Marshall University since 2010.

Jeffrey Thomson

Jeffrey Thomson is a poet, memoirist, and translator, and author of multiple books including fragile, Birdwatching in Wartime, The Complete Poems of Catullus, and From the Fishouse. He has been an NEA Fellow and a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar, and is currently a professor at the University of Maine in Farmington.

Ellen Doré Watson

Ellen Doré Watson’s most recent book is Dogged Hearts (Tupelo 2010). A fifth full-length collection, pray me stay eager, is forthcoming from Alice James. Her work has appeared The American Poetry Review, Tin House, Orion, and The New Yorker. Among her honors are a Rona Jaffe Writers Award, fellowships to the MacDowell Colony and to Yaddo, and a NEA Translation Fellowship. She has translated a dozen books from the Brazilian Portuguese, including the work of poet Adélia Prado. Watson serves as poetry editor of The Massachusetts Review, director of the Poetry Center at Smith College, and teaches in the Drew University Low-Residency MFA program in poetry and translation.

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