About Us

Vision

Our vision is to create greater equity in and through the literary arts.

Through our work, we increase access to arts education, build community, and amplify youth voices.

Mission

Teachers & Writers Collaborative (T&W) seeks to educate the imagination by offering innovative creative writing programs and by providing a variety of publications and resources to support learning through the literary arts. Our programs inspire the imagination and foster self-expression, communication, and life-long love of literature.

T&W programs include writing workshops for youth, creative aging art workshops for seniors, training for teachers, the New York State Poetry Out Loud high school recitation competition, and publishing Teachers & Writers Magazine and books on teaching creative writing.

A photo of the T&W staff from 1977
The 1977 staff of Teachers & Writers Collaborative

History

Teachers & Writers Collaborative was founded in 1967 by a group of writers and educators who believed that professional writers could make a unique contribution to the teaching of writing and literature. Those responsible for shaping T&W’s program and philosophy in the organization’s early years included June Jordan, Rosellen Brown, Victor Hernández Cruz, Kenneth Koch, Herbert Kohl, Phillip Lopate, Grace Paley, Muriel Rukeyser, and Anne Sexton, among others.

Since its founding, T&W has published more than 80 books about teaching writing. T&W writers have brought writing residencies and professional development workshops to hundreds of thousands of students and tens of thousands of teachers in New York City schools. This depth of experience led the National Endowment for the Arts to call T&W the arts education group that is “most familiar with creative writing/literature in primary and secondary schools.”

Core Values

T&W’s programs are centered around our core values of creativity, practice, collaboration, and diversity.

Creativity:

We inspire imagination, foster critical thinking, and nurture development of student voices.

Practice:

Programs are informed by the creative process and practical experience of writers.

Collaboration:

Programs are created from the ideas, planning, and best practices of writers, partners, and 50 years of T&W experience.

Diversity:

We engage and support all students through multi-modal strategies and use of diverse texts.

Staff

Asari Beale

Executive Director
Asari Beale is an Afro-Latina writer, educator, and leader deeply committed to children’s literacy. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable, and a steering committee member of LitNet, a network serving America’s literary community. She has taught literature and creative writing at Hunter College, Brooklyn College, and Fordham University. Prior to joining Teachers & Writers, she served as the Director of Communications and Community Relations at LSA Family Health Service and as Communications Manager at Reach Out and Read of Greater New York.  Ms. Beale holds a BA from New York University and an MFA from Brooklyn College.  She lives, loves, and writes out of Harlem, New York City.

Nancy L. Weber

Education Director
Nancy L. Weber is a fiction writer and teacher. Prior to joining the Teachers & Writers staff in September 2019, Ms. Weber was an Adjunct Lecturer at St. Joseph’s College and the New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn, as well as a Fiction and Business Writing teacher at Gotham Writers Workshop. She was also a Founding Board Member, Program Director, and Workshop Facilitator for NY Writers Coalition, a non-profit arts and social justice organization providing writing programs to disenfranchised youth and adults throughout NYC. Ms. Weber received a BFA in Film Production from New York University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Writer’s Foundry at St. Joseph’s College.

Alice Pencavel

Program Coordinator

Alice Pencavel is a writer and teacher. Prior to joining Teachers & Writers in 2021, Ms. Pencavel worked as a Teaching Artist for multiple non-profits, including Arts Connection, SAY (Stuttering Association for the Young), Brooklyn Acting Lab, Stages on the Sound, Girls Write Now, and Teachers & Writers, among others. As a playwright, she has collaborated with Naked Angels, Lincoln Center Theater, MCC, Manhattan Repertory, Superhero Clubhouse, and the Kitchen Theater. She also worked in Customer Support with DonorsChoose, helping public school students receive educational materials. Having served as a Teaching Artist with Teachers & Writers, Ms. Pencavel has seen first hand the impact of bringing writing programs into schools, and is thrilled to offer her services in this new capacity. Ms. Pencavel holds a BFA in Acting from Ithaca College, and an MFA in Playwriting from the New School.

Amanda Volel

Communications & Development Associate 
Amanda Volel is a poet and educator, who joined Teachers & Writers in November 2018 as a teaching artist before transitioning into this role. Ms. Volel received her BA in English Writing from DePauw University and her MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. During her time there, she worked as a teaching assistant at SUNY Purchase and in the “Right to Write” program where she taught workshops to incarcerated women in Valhalla, NY.

Join our team!

Click on the links below for open positions on the T&W staff.

Board of Directors

Patricia Hampl
Regents professor of English at the University of Minnesota; author of Blue Arabesque, I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourns in the Land of Memory, Virgin Time, and A Romantic Education; recipient of numerous awards, including MacArthur, Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships.

Luis Jaramillo (Chair)
Author of the novel The Doctor’s Wife; director, School of Writing, The New School.

Bernard Levine
Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo Advisors.

Steven Schrader 
Author of the short story collections Crimes of Passion, On Sundays We Visit the In-laws, and Arriving at Work, and the memoir What We Deserved; publisher of Cane Hill Press; former Teachers & Writers Collaborative director.

Nancy Larson Shapiro (Vice Chair)
Director of Teachers & Writers Collaborative from 1979-2005; co-editor of The Point: Where Teaching & Writing Intersect.

Barbara Stallworth
PMP, Lead Program Manager, S&P Dow Jones Indices

David Wagner (Treasurer)
Banking Executive

Tiphanie Yanique 
Author of How to Escape a Leper Colony: A Novella and Stories and the children’s picture book I Am the Virgin Islands; recipient of the 2011 BOCAS Fiction Prize for Caribbean Literature, the 2010 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award for fiction, and a 2008 Pushcart Prize; visiting associate professor of English, Wesleyan University.

 

Join our Board and make a difference!

Teachers & Writers Collaborative is currently seeking new members for the Board of Directors.  To learn more about this unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers, contact T&W Executive Director, Asari Beale.

Call for Board Members - Teachers & Writers

Contact us

Teachers & Writers Collaborative thanks the members of the T&W Advisory Board for their support of our work.

Abiodun Oyewole

Max Rodriguez

Mike Rose

Esther Rosenfeld

Jessica Siegel

Martin Skoble

Mark Statman

Peter Straub

Catherine Bowman

Rosellen Brown

Billy Collins

Christina Davis

Sasha Waters Freyer

Dixie Goswami

Colin Greer

Marvin Hoffman

Kaylie Jones

Marc Kaminsky

Simon Kilmurry

Karen Koch

Katherine Koch

Leonard Marcus

Bruce Morrow

Sidney Offit

Susan Straub

David Unger

Meredith Sue Willis

Linda Winston

Alexandra Tyler

Zelda Wirtschafter

Kevin Young

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