Members of The Writers’ Room are poets, novelists, journalists, graphic novelists, translators, librettists, playwrights, memoirists, and historians. We pride ourselves not just on our vibrant creative diversity, but on our cultural and socioeconomic diversity, too. Below is a sample of our current members:
Arthur Bloom is a writer recently returned to his native Boston after 20 years in Paris. A graduate of Boston Latin School and Harvard College, he is a physician-scientist who studied the effects of the atomic bombs in Japan, and was professor of genetics and pediatrics at the University of Michigan and at Columbia University. While on the medical faculty at Columbia he studied creative writing, and when he went to Paris to pursue his research into environmental health effects in Eastern Europe, he changed careers and became a full-time writer. His most recent publication, pursued to completion at the Writers’ Room which he joined in 2014, is: Last Man Standing, a book of fifteen stories, and available at the Harvard Book Shop and on Amazon.
Mary Bonina’s memoir My Father’s Eyes was published in 2013 and it is a Talking Books for the Blind selection which she narrated herself for the recording at the Perkins School studio to be released in 2014. She has two collections of poetry, Clear Eye Tea (2010) and Living Proof (2007). She is also the author of Lunch in Chinatown, a chapbook of poems inspired by the experience of teaching English to recent immigrants. Her poetry and prose has been featured in Gulf Stream, Salamander, English Journal, Hanging Loose, The Worcester Review, and many other journals as well as several anthologies, most recently in Entering the Real World: VCCA Poets on Mt. San Angelo, celebrating forty years of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Bonina was commissioned by composer Paul Sayed to write a set of three poems which she called “Grace in the Wind,” and Sayed’s composition for piano, cello, and soprano voice had its world premiere at Edward M. Pickman Hall, Longy School of Music of Bard College, November 2012. Bonina earned her M.F. A. in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She has been a VCCA fellow since 2001 when named first alternate for the Goldfarb Fellowship. She also received a full fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. She is a Board member of the Writers’ Room of Boston, Inc. and lives in Cambridge with her husband, poet Mark Pawlak and their son, Gianni.
Debka Colson was the Ivan Gold Fiction Fellow in 2013 and is now the Administrator for the Writers’ Room of Boston. Debka writes fiction, poetry, essays and creative nonfiction. Her work has been published in a range of literary magazines, including: Slab, North American Review, SOL: English Writing in Mexico, Construction, and Roar, among others, and in two anthologies: Open to Interpretation: Fading Light, a juried art book of photography, poetry and prose, and Poetry Cram: The Ultimate Chicago Poetry Anthology. In 2013 she was a 2013 Finalist for the Nancy D. Hargrove Editor’s Prize for Fiction and a Finalist for the 5th Annual (2014) Fiction Normal Prize. Debka is also the Flash Fiction Contest Coordinator for JP Reads—an annual community literary celebration in Boston. She has taught creative writing at Emerson College, the Boston Public Library, Brookline Adult & Community Education, Meridian Academy, and through the Urban Scholars Program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. www.DebkaColson.com
Rosemary Booth is a native of New Jersey who lives in Cambridge, MA. She writes personal essays, poetry and criticism and has completed a series of essays on the intersection of writing and aging. Her essays, photo-essays, and poems have appeared in Under the Sun, The Oak, and, Epiphany Magazine, and the Imagination and Place 2010 anthology, Seasonings. Ms. Booth holds a B.S.Ed. from Fordham University, an M.A. in American Studies from Boston College, and a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University. She is a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild.
Robert Dall is a fiction writer from Cambridge, Massachusetts. His short stories have been published in Hunger Mountain, the Evansville Review, the Blue Moon Review, Acorn Whistle, and the Beacon Street Review. He received his MFA from Emerson College, has completed two residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, and has been a member of the Writers’ Room of Boston since 2001 (and a board member since 2009). Currently, he is working on new pieces of short fiction while hoping to find a home for his novel In the Box, the dystopian tale of a New England fishing town that decides to mix 17th-century punishments with 21st-century media saturation.
Alexander Danner is co-author of two textbooks about comics: Comics: A Global History, 1968 — Present with Dan Mazur (Thames & Hudson, 2014) and Character Design for Graphic Novels with Steven Withrow (Rotovision/Focal Press, 2007). He is author of the graphic novel Gingerbread Houses (illustrated by Edward J. Grug III) and many short comics, including Web Cartoonist’s Choice Award winners “The Discovery of Spoons” and “Five Ways to Love a Cockroach.” He teaches online courses in Graphic Novel writing and literature at Emerson College, in addition to providing guest lectures on comics and graphic novels to various schools and libraries. His comics and other writing can be found at TwentySevenLetters.com. Alexander joined The Writers’ Room in 2005, and is a past recipient of the Ivan Gold Fellowship.
Lisa Gruenberg is a physician, medical educator and writer. She is on the Fulbright Senior Consultant Roster for Global Health. She began writing in 2004, when her elderly father began having nightmares and flashbacks about the past. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University’s Low Residency Program in 2007 and joined the WROB in 2008. Her essays have been published in The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine and an excerpt from her memoir will be published in the December 2014 issue of Ploughshares. Her short story, Keiskamma, won the 2012 Massachusetts Cultural Counsel Artist’s Fellowship, among other honors. She has run writing workshops at Harvard College, Harvard Medical School, the Asian University for Women, and the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. Her memoir, Searching for Mia, has been optioned by Persea Books.
Jason Kaufman is working at the Writers’ Room on a historical novel about Prohibition and the 1921 World Series. Born & raised in Syracuse, NY, he was educated at Harvard, Princeton, and the Curtis Institute of Music. He was formerly John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University. Jason joined The Writers’ Room in 2012.
Geoff Kronik got his BA in 1983 and an MFA in 2012. He spent the twenty-nine years in between in a business career. His fiction and essays have appeared in Salamander, Opium, SmokeLong Quarterly, Litro, The Boston Globe and elsewhere. He is at work on a collection of short stories titled Vendor. Selected recent publications: “Haben Sie Schleim?” The Common, “A Second Bowl of Jook,” Litro (winner of “China” Flash Fiction Contest), “Three Thousand Lunches”, Boston Globe Magazine. Allwere written partially in the Room. Geoff joined The Writers’ Room in 2012
Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is writing a book of combined family memoir and literary journalism about a Louisiana murder and death penalty case. An essay adapted from the book appears in the new anthology TRUE CRIME (InFact Books, 2013). In support of her book, Alexandria has received a Rona Jaffe Award and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Millay Colony for the Arts, among others. Currently, she lives just outside of Boston and teaches Grub Street’s new Memoir Incubator, an innovative year-long program in the memoir
While writing fiction at Bennington College, Lisa Perkins studied the Romantic poets and went on to earn a PhD in British literature from the University of Chicago. Her work has been nominated for Pushcart Prize, and has appeared in The Painted Bride Quarterly, Quiddity, The Fourth River, Under the Sun, Front Range Review and Dislocate. Lisa was the semi-finalist in the Black River Chapbook Competition, and she is the recipient of a Vermont Studio Center fellowship. Lisa is also the writer, producer, and director of a film, Secret Intelligence: Decoding Hedy Lamarr, now in post-production. She is currently working on a novel.
Anna Ross is the author of If a Storm, selected by Julianna Baggot for the 2012 Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry, and the chapbook Hawk Weather, winner of the 2008 New Womens’ Voices Prize from Finishing Line Press and the 2009 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award from the New England Poetry Club. She has received fellowships from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Grub St. Inc., and her poetry and criticism has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Barrow Street, Salamander, The American Reader and Boston Review. Currently, she teaches at Stonehill College, where she is Poet in Residence, and is a contributing editor in poetry for Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics. She lives in Dorchester, MA with her husband, daughter, and son.
Laura van den Berg was raised in Florida and earned her M.F.A. at Emerson College. Her first collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us(Dzanc Books, 2009), was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, longlisted for The Story Prize, and shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Award. Her second collection of stories, The Isle of Youth, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in November 2013. Laura lives in the Boston area and is at work on a novel.
Val Wang is an author and multimedia storyteller. Her memoir Beijing Bastard was published by Gotham in October 2014. Starting in the fall, she will teach in the English and Media Studies department of Bentley University. Member since 2013. www.valwang.com