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:
Mary Bonina is the author of My Father’s Eyes: A Memoir ( 2013) and the poetry collections Clear Eye Tea (2010), Living Proof(2007) published by Cervena Barva Press, and Lunch in Chinatown, a poetry chapbook inspired by teaching English to recent immigrants. Winner of the Boston Contemporary Authors UrbanArtsAward, her poem “Drift” is a public art installation in the City, carved in a granite monolith and permanently installed outside Green St. MBTA Station on the Orange Line, Jamaica Plain. Commissioned by composer Paul Sayed, she wrote a set of three poems, Grace in the Wind, which inspired Sayed’s composition for piano, cello, and soprano voice; the piece had its premiere November 2012 at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, Cambridge, MA. Bonina’s poetry and prose has been featured in Salamander, Hanging Loose, English Journal,Gulf Stream, The Worcester Review, in many other journals and anthologies, including Entering the Real World: VCCA Poets on Mt. San Angelo. Bonina has had a residency at Vermont Studio Center, and she has been a fellow at VCCA since 2001 when she was named finalist for the VCCA Goldfarb Fellowship in non-fiction. She works as a narrator for Talking Books for the Blind at the Clive V. Lacey Recording Studio at the Perkins School in Watertown, MA. She is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and she serves on the Board of Directors of the Writers Room of Boston, where she is at work on a novel.
Liz Breen is a writer of screenplays, short stories and flash fiction. She has worked for productions including WordGirl, Antiques Roadshow, Phantom Gourmet and CONAN, and her fiction has appeared in Columbia’s Catch & Release and Cleaver Magazine. Liz blogs for Grub Street and teaches writing at Cambridge Center for Adult Education. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a Bachelor’s from Boston University. You can find her online at www.lizbreen.com and on Twitter @beinglizbreen.
Debka Colson was the 2013 Ivan Gold Fiction Fellow and is now the Administrator for the Writers’ Room. Debka writes fiction, poetry, essays and creative nonfiction. Her work has been published in a range of literary magazines, including: Folio, Slab, North American Review, GAMBAZine, Construction, and Roar, among others, and in two anthologies. She won 3rd place in Folio’s 2015 Fiction Contest and was a Finalist for the Nancy D. Hargrove Editor’s Prize for Fiction and the 5th Annual Fiction Normal Prize. Debka coordinates the Flash Fiction Contest for JP Reads, an annual community literary celebration in Boston and has taught creative writing at Emerson College, the Boston Public Library, Brookline Adult & Community Education, Meridian Academy, and the Urban Scholars Program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She can be found at: www.debkacolson.com/
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.
Camille DeAngelis is the author of the crossover-YA novel Bones & All as well as two novels for adults, Mary Modern and Petty Magic. She wrote and revised her forthcoming novel (tentatively titled Immaculate Heart, coming 2016) at the Writers’ Room. Camille is also a certified vegan lifestyle coach and educator, and veganizing an 18th-century Scottish cookbook is one of her pet side projects. Camille also serves on the Board for the Writers’ Room.
Kate Gilbert is a children’s fiction writer with advanced degrees in medieval and Roman history. She works as a freelance editor specializing in works on premodern history and is the associate author of The Bayeux Tapestry and Its Contexts. Prior publications include a historic preservation activity workbook for children and an English village history. She is currently writing a middle-grade historical novel set in medieval Scandinavia and revising her first novel, a middle-grade fantasy/adventure. She has also worked as an AM-radio DJ, a janitor in an English boarding school, a children’s librarian, and a high school Latin teacher. Kate can be found at www.kategilbertwriter.com and as a blogger at www.readersunbound.com.
Eric Grunwald is a fiction writer, book reviewer, and occasional translator whose work has appeared in Prick of the Spindle, Partisan Review, Spoiled Ink, The MacGuffin, Two Lines, The Boston Sunday Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, Artsfuse, and elsewhere. He was managing editor of Agni from 2000 to 2004, and he has received grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation and the St. Botolph’s Club Foundation and fellowships from the Writers’ Room of Boston, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. He was chair of PEN New England’s Freedom to Write Committee from 2006 to 2008 and ran its prison writing workshops in Massachusetts for three years. He hails from Spokane, WA, did his undergraduate work at Stanford University, and obtained his MA in creative writing at Boston University. He has taught creative writing, American literature, and composition at Suffolk University, ESL and composition at BU, and, currently, ESL and composition at MIT. He is currently at work on a novel, Dark Matter.
Jennifer L. Hollis is a music-thanatologist and the author of Music at the End of Life: Easing the Pain and Preparing the Passage (Praeger Publications, 2010). She has a master of divinity from Harvard Divinity School. Her work has appeared in the Christian Century, Word Riot, and Literary Mama and she is working on a memoir about her twin preoccupations: death and internet dating. You can connect with her at www.jenniferhollis.com
After traveling many crooked miles, Terrence Kidd arrived in Boston in late 2003. Originally from Syracuse, NY, Terry is committed to bringing diverse voices to the stage and screen; voices that tap into all the candor, comedy, empathy, hypocrisy, humility and tragedy of life’s rich pageant. He aspires to inspire. Terry earned an MFA at Lesley University in Creative Writing, concentration on Writing for Stage & Screen. His screenplays, stage plays and short films have been presented/screened at Coolidge Corner Theatre, Maine Media Workshops, Lesley University, Boston Playwrights Theatre, The Strand Theater, The Boston Theatre Marathon, the Literary Managers & Dramaturgs Association’s National Conference, and The Kennedy Center. He’s a playwriting member of the 2015 BCA/Company One PlayLab.
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. All were written partially in the Room. Geoff joined The Writers’ Room in 2012.
Kendall Kulper writes historical fiction with a fantasy twist and is the author of Salt & Storm (YALSA 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults) and Drift & Dagger. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in history and literature in 2008 and spent several years as a journalist before deciding to write full-time. She grew up in the wilds of New Jersey and now lives in Boston with her husband, daughter, and chronically-anxious Australian Shepherd mix, Abby. You can follow her online atwww.kendallkulper.com and on Twitter at @Kendall_Kulper.
Mackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults. Her debut novel, This Monstrous Thing, which won the PEN-New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award, will be published on September 22, 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. Visit her online at www.mackenzilee.com or @themackenzilee on Twitter.
Raised by martial artists, Katie Li grew up with fascinating stories and an eclectic cast of characters. She continues this tradition in her work, writing fiction and narrative non-fiction about personal transformation and unlikely possibilities. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Write From Wrong, The Nexus, and performed by the Boston based theatre company, TC Squared. Katie is the co-founder of Social Artists & Writers, Assistant Editor at Novella-T, and is a regular contributor to Xenith’s advice column, “Writers on Writing.” She is currently working on her first novel. Learn more at www.katieliwriter.com.
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.
Wendy Mnookin‘s most recent book of poetry is The Moon Makes Its Own Plea, published by BOA Editions in 2008. Her other collections are What He Took (2002) and To Get Here(1999), also from BOA, and Guenever Speaks ((1991), a book of persona poems. Widely published in journals and anthologies, Mnookin has had poems featured on Poetry Dailyand The Writer’s Almanac. She has taught poetry at Emerson College, Boston College, Grub Street, and at workshops around the country, including including The Writers’ Center in Chautauqua, New York, Music of Words in Bend, Oregon, and The Writers’ Garret in Dallas, Texas. She also taught as poet-in-the-schools in both public and private schools in the Boston area. The recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, Mnookin received the Sheila Motton Book Prize from The New England Poetry Club for What He Took. A graduate of Radcliffe College (BA) and Vermont College (MFA), Mnookin lives with her husband in Newton, where they raised their three children. You can learn more about her work at www.wendymnookin.com.
Rebecca Givens Rolland is a writer, educator, photographer and consultant. She has a doctorate from Harvard in Human Development and Education and is also a speech-language pathologist and learning specialist, with a focus on early childhood. She won the 2011 Dana Award in Short Fiction and has fiction published or forthcoming in The Literary Review, Slice, and Hobart. Her nonfiction has appeared in Brain, Child Magazine, The Harvard Education Letter, and is forthcoming in Education Week. Her first book of poetry won the May Sarton New Hampshire First Book Award and was published by Bauhan Publishing.
Ben Russell is an emerging fiction writer from South Boston. After two decades as a human resources executive in the technology sector, Ben has taken a step back from corporate America to pursue a career in writing. In May of 2015 he joined the Writer’s Room of Boston, where he is working on his first works of short fiction. Ben holds a BA in history from Colby College.
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
Pui Ying Wong was born in Hong Kong. She is the author of a full length book of poetry Yellow Plum Season (New York Quarterly Books, 2010), two chapbooks: Mementos (Finishing Line Press, 2007), Sonnet for a New Country (Pudding House Press, 2008) and her poems have appeared in Angle Poetry (U.K.), The Brooklyner, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal (Hong Kong), Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Crannog (Ireland), Prairie Schooner, The Southampton Review and 2Bridges Review among others. She lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband, the poet Tim Suermondt.