T&W writers are artists pursuing professional careers as demonstrated by publications or public staging/performance of their work. T&W has a roster of more than 25 writers, with expertise in a variety of writing genres and in working with a variety of youth populations and adults. T&W writers are experienced teaching artists who have previously taught in urban school settings.
Award winning storyteller/writer/teacher winner Robin Bady has been performing nationally and internationally for the last 30 years at spoken word venues, Fringe Festivals, theaters, and storytelling festivals. Her children’s work is featured at major museums, schools, theaters, libraries and parks. Robin is the founder and curator of “No, We Won’t Shut Up!” - a powerful project showcasing the voices of a diverse group of women speaking about racism, bigotry, wage theft, sexual assault and gentrification. She is the host of the BADYHouse Storytelling Concerts. Robin has been touring her her solo show - “Nancy Drewinsky and the Search for the Missing Letter” – a story about how her family was affected by the toxicity of McCarthyism and anti-Semitism -and is currently preparing it for online viewing. Robin received the J.J. Reneaux Award and the Oracle from the National Storytelling Network, and is a multi-year awardee of
Brooklyn’s SuCasa grants.
Twinkle Burke is a writer, actor, and educator among other things. She has taught students in various communities all over New York City and beyond, with populations ranging from Kindergarten to Senior Citizens. She is passionate about using a variety of techniques and disciplines to help students find their unique voice and to find out more about themselves and the world. She believes that through teaching everyone involved learns and grows, and develops trust and respect for diversity. She writes fiction, non- fiction, plays, and screenplays. She continues to work as an actor in TV, Film and in Theatre. She also works with the 29th Street Playwright’s Collective. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and resides in Beacon, New York with her family.
Matthew Burgess has been a poet-in-residence with Teachers & Writers since 2001. He is the author of a poetry collection, Slippers for Elsewhere (UpSet Press, 2014), and a children’s book, Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings (Enchanted Lion Books, 2015). Burgess received a BA from the University of Virginia, an MFA in poetry from Brooklyn College, and a PhD in Literature from the CUNY Graduate Center. He edited an anthology of art and writing titled Dream Closet: Meditations on Childhood Space, which was published in 2016 by Secretary Press. Burgess is a doctoral lecturer at Brooklyn College, and he loves to share the children’s poems with the college students.
Beatriz Coronel has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as well as a Master of Arts in Psychology. She was born and raised in NYC and exposed to the arts at a young age. Prior to Groove With Me she worked at Free Arts NYC developing art programs for families to enhance communication. At Comunilife’s Life is Precious™, a Latina teen suicide prevention program, she combined individual and group counseling, art therapy, academic enrichment, music education, and wellness initiatives in an effort to decrease risk factors while increasing protective factors. Beatriz believes that intervention is prevention. She is committed and passionate about working with youth, families, and communities.
Stanley Delgado is a first-generation Salvadoran writer originally from Los Angeles, California. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, Puerto del Sol and elsewhere. He earned his Bachelor’s at California State University, Long Beach, and is pursuing his MFA in fiction at NYU. Much of his writing is informed by concepts such as truth, history, identity, and the very act of storytelling. He is currently working on a collection of stories and a novel. When not at work, he enjoys drawing, hiking, streaming video games, and making paper dioramas. (And he spends a lot of time not at work.)
Trace Howard DePass is the author of Self-portrait as the space between us (PANK Books, 2018), which was a finalist for the 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Prize. His work has been featured on screen and radio—BET Next Level, Billboard, Blavity, Poetry Foundation, Ours Poetica, and NPR’s The Takeaway—and in print— SAND Journal, Entropy Magazine, Sonora Review, Split This Rock, The Poetry Project, Bettering American Poetry (Volume 3), & Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day series. DePass is a Poetry Foundation, Teaching Artist Project, & Poets House Fellow.
SARAH DOHRMANN is a Brooklyn-based writer of creative nonfiction, fiction, and journalism. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Tin House, The Iowa Review, New York, Condé Nast Traveler, Bustle, Joyland, and the New York Observer, among others.
She has received writing awards from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Fulbright, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Aspen Writers’ Foundation, among others. Sarah has been a writer-in-residence with Teachers & Writers since 2001, and she teaches writing in Liberal Studies at New York University and the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. She also leads two personal nonfiction writing workshops in her home called Diving Into the Wreck.
Sarah received her MFA in fiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College and is at work on a collection of personal essays called Point of Departure. You can read more about Sarah and her work at sarahdohrmann.com.
Susan Newmark Fleminger is a visual artist and art educator who teaches seniors and adults in collage, artists books and drawing for Teachers & Writers Collaborative at senior centers, and for the YMCA Amory in Park Slope. This past year, she was awarded a Su Casa grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council for a borough senior center in collaboration with a storyteller.
Prior to teaching adults, Susan was deputy director for visual arts and arts in education at Abrons Arts Center Henry Street Settlement for 25 years, where she developed and supervised: programs for public schoolchildren in the performing and visual arts with teaching artists; a visual arts instruction program for all ages; a gallery of contemporary art; an artist- in-residence space program; staff development for Department of Education (DOE) teachers to integrate the arts and curriculum; and arts experiences for the Settlement’s social service programs. Highlights included an architecture and design/community arts program for fifth-graders; the creation of an arts mini-school within Seward Park High School (called LOMA); teaching American history as part of the Gotham Center of City University for DOE social studies and history teachers; a clay program for Henry Street’s mental health program; self-portraits at the battered women’s shelter; and an interactive educational play about AIDS for Henry Street at-risk youth.
Susan has exhibited her collages and artists books in many galleries, museums, and arts centers, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Parrish Museum, Center for Book Arts, Kentler Drawing Space, Figureworks Gallery, and the galleries of John Jay, Long Island University, and Brooklyn College. She had residencies at the Lower East Side Printshop, Brydcliff, the Women’s Studio Workshop, and the Vermont Studio Center. She was guest curator of Rare Editions: The Book as Art at Lehman College Gallery/CCNY, organized many exhibitions at Henry Street, and was curator of Dialogues in the Visual Arts, an artists’ conversation series at Tribeca Performing Arts Center and Grand Army Plaza Library in Brooklyn.
Susan attended the High School of Music & Art and Pratt Institute, and received a BA from Hofstra University and an MA from Hunter College in fine art and art education. She was a board member of the Center for Book Arts and Elders Share the Arts, and is on the advisory board of Kentler International Drawing Space.
Sherese Francis is a southeast Queens-based poet, workshop facilitator, blogger and literary curator. She has published work in journals and anthologies including No Dear, The Pierian Literary Review, Bone Bouquet, African Voices, Newtown Literary, Blackberry Magazine, Kalyani Magazine, and Near Kin: A Collection of Words and Arts Inspired by Octavia Butler. Additionally, she has published two chapbooks, Lucy’s Bone Scrolls and Variations on Sett/ling Seed/ling. Sherese is also a board member of the small press Harlequin Creature and a core member of the Southeast Queens Artist Alliance. Her current projects include her Afrofuturism-inspired website, Futuristically Ancient; and her southeast Queens-based pop up bookshop/mobile library project, J. Expressions.
Marsha Gildin is a passionate teaching artist who uses her enthusiasm and keen listening to connect individuals, generations, cultures, and communities through personal story, performance and celebration. She has worked with students of all ages and different abilities through drama, puppetry, movement, writing, storytelling, American Sign Language and song. She finds meaning and joy in facilitating and harvesting stories. "When people give voice and value to their life experiences and connect in community, we empower one another." Marsha has worked extensively with Elders Share the Arts (ESTA) in New York City directing intergenerational living history theatre projects. She conducts Story Circles of wide thematic variety with robust, well and frail elders, as well as with elders on the memory loss spectrum. Using the tools of evocation, association and improvisation to spark personal story, Marsha has worked extensively in the field of creativity, aging and reminiscence.
Currently, through Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Marsha runs Story Circles with elders in senior centers and remote programming platforms. She also teaches through Girl Be Heard, with a focus on empowerment through theatre, self awareness and leadership skills for District 75 high school girls with special needs. In 2010, Marsha's work offered her an amazing opportunity. "I was contracted as a program evaluator for The Wave of Life (Dreamcatchers Foundation, Mumbai) and traveled to the tsunami affected region of Tamil Nadu, India, where I was asked to bear witness to the impact of their four-year psychosocial community regeneration program, rebuilding the village square, based on reflective practices, intergenerational community arts and social inclusion. It was there, sitting in community Wisdom Circles, that I witnessed the revolutionary expression of young girls, women, and elders discover their voice, value and capacity for leadership through the cumulative power of telling their stories." Marsha holds a Master of Science in Education (MSEd) from CUNY Queens College and served on its faculty in the Graduate School of Education offering classes in Arts Infused Curriculum Design & Multiple Learning Theory. Marsha is conversational in Spanish, American Sign Language, Yiddish and birdsong.
Amina Henry is a playwright and educator. She has been a teaching artist with Teachers & Writers since 2014. As a playwright, her work has been developed, presented, and/or produced at: The New Group, Clubbed Thumb,The Flea, National Black Theater, Theater @ Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, The Cell, Theater for the New City, Drama of Works (Brooklyn, NY), The Brick (Brooklyn, NY), LAVA (Brooklyn, NY), Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR), Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas, TX), Texas State University and Brooklyn College. Her work has been published by NoPassport Press. In 2015 her play BULLY was placed on the Kilroy List, a survey list of the top 7% of recommended new American plays by female and trans authors. Amina is a graduate of Yale University, NYU’s Performance Studies MA program, and the MFA Playwriting program at Brooklyn College. As a writer-in-the-schools, Amina teaches creative nonfiction, poetry and, whenever possible, playwriting. Additionally, she is a teaching artist with the Shakespeare Society and an adjunct lecturer in English at Brooklyn College. aminahenry.wordpress.com
Alba Delia Hernandez is a fiction writer who has taught with Teachers & Writers Collaborative since 1997. She has taught (in English and Spanish) poetry, fiction, and non-fiction writing to students from K-12 and has also taught students with special needs. She loves to work with all her students, but she especially likes to work with students who don’t consider themselves writers. With each lesson plan she gives students tools to express themselves. “There’s a writer inside all of you,” she tells them, “and I’m going to give you a shovel, a rhyme, an ax, a metaphor, a pick, a beat, a rhyme, and more to discover your work of written art.” She loves to see the students’ pride when they create art from something their grandmother told them underneath her breath. She was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico and raised in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
She has performed her poetry for El Museo del Barrio, Nuyorican Poets Café, Housing Works Reading Series, Hamilton College, and Teachers & Writers Poetry City. She graduated from Columbia University and received the department’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature/Writing. She also won the Bronx Council on the Arts’ First Chapter Award for her novel in progress, Hair on My Tongue. She is a yoga instructor who loves to teach students to stand on their heads for the first time—just as she loves teaching students to write that first poem.
Javan Howard is a poet and writer from the Bronx, NY. He truly believes that the lived experience is the ultimate teaching tool and uses poetry as a social forum to foster discourse about love, culture, and identity.
He has facilitated workshops with The New York State Office of Children and Family Services, Voices UnBroken, Community-Word Project, and Wingspan Arts.
Howard participates in open mic events under the moniker “Righteous Teacher.” His work has been featured online at Black Heart Magazine and Brooklyn Stories Vol. 13.
To read Howard’s work, visit www.Javanhoward.com
Candice Iloh is a first-generation Nigerian-American writer and teaching artist residing in Brooklyn, NY whose writing has appeared in Fjords Review, The Grio, For Harriet, Blavity, No Dear Magazine, Glass Poetry Journal, Puerto Del Sol, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of fellowships from VONA, Home School via Lambda Literary fellowship, as well as a Rhode Island Writers Colony Writer-in-Residence alum. She holds an MFA in Writing for Young People, concentrating in verse from Lesley University, where she completed her first full-length collection of poems and first young adult novel in verse. She is Hi-Arts’ first 2018 Critical Breaks artist residency recipient where her first one-woman-show, ADA: ON STAGE, debuted.
Frank Ingrasciotta is an actor, playwright, stage director, and teaching artist who has served on the Teachers & Writers Collaborative roster since 1998. He uses Common Core standards and theories of multiple intelligences to facilitate workshops in creative writing and theater arts with students of all ages. As an arts educator, he has worked with gifted, special education, ELL, visually-impaired, and at-risk youth.
His residencies infuse theater, playwriting, poetry, and scriptwriting into science, social studies, and language arts curricula. In addition, he conducts staff development workshops empowering teachers with creative tools for the classroom. For Mt. Sinai Hospital’s Adolescent Health Center, he used theater, improvisation, and writing as tools to teach health issues to adolescents. He has also directed and consulted for many high school theater productions.
Frank is the writer and performer of the critically-acclaimed Off-Broadway, one-man play Blood Type: RAGU, portraying over 20 characters based on his experiences growing up as a first-generation child of immigrant parents. The show was awarded two United Solo Awards for Best Comic Actor and Best Comedic Script and is presently touring nationally and internationally. Frank is also the recipient of the Arts Award for outstanding Performing Artist and Arts Educator for Westchester County. As an actor, he has appeared in numerous stage productions regionally and Off Broadway and has had recurring television roles on The Equalizer, The Guiding Light, and One Life to Live. He can also be seen in a featured role in the indie film Figs for Italo currently touring the film festival circuit. Frank has directed many stage musicals, play, concerts, cabarets, and has also written, directed, and produced the NY Cable Follies, a musical satire of the year’s events in the cable industry, performed for TV network executives from Time Warner, Disney Channel, and HBO.
For Lifetime Arts, Frank conducts memoir-writing workshops with mature populations in libraries and assisted living facilities. He is an adjunct acting instructor as SUNY Purchase, fluent in Italian, and holds a BA in theater arts and educational theater from SUNY Empire State College.
For more information about Frank, log on to his websites a www.fingrasciotta.com and www.bloodtyperagu.com
Brionne Janae is a poet and teaching artist living in Bedstuy. They are the author of Blessed are the Peacemakers (2021) which won the 2020 Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize, and After Jubilee (2017) published by Boat Press. Brionne has received fellowships to Cave Canem, the Sewanee Writers Conference, the Community of Writers in Squaw Valley, Vermont Studio Center and Hedgebrook. Brionne is a recipient of the St. Botoloph Emerging Artist award, and the winner of the Comstock Review’s Muriel Craft Bailey Prize judged by Kwame Dawes. Their poetry has been published in Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, The Sun Magazine, The Los Angelas Review, Brooklyn Poets, jubilat, and Waxwing among others. Off the page they go by Breezy.
Dave Johnson is a poet, playwright and translator. He is the author of Baptized To The Bone, Dead Heat, Marble Shoot, and Sister, Cousin, Aunt/Sorella, Cugina, Zia. Dave is the co-translator of Roberto Saviano’s play Gomorrah, based on the international best-selling book. His two newest theatrical translations, Fallaci and Sant
os, recently appeared at the New York-Italian Theatre Festival. Dave’s original plays have been staged throughout North America and in Rome and Umbria. He is a visiting faculty member of the MFA Program at The New School University and a lecturer at Yale University and at The Cooper Union School of Art. He teaches extensively in public libraries and with Poets House. He has appeared as guest artist for the Manhattan Borough President’s inauguration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dave is currently serving as poet-in-residence for the New York City Department of Probation and as New York State Manager of Poetry Out Loud for Teachers & Writers Collaborative.
Meher Manda is a poet, short story writer, culture critic, and educator from Mumbai, currently living in New York City. She earned her MFA in Fiction from the College of New Rochelle and is the founding editor-in-chief of the college’s first MFA curated literary journal, The Canopy Review. She teaches Fiction, Poetry, and Composition to undergraduates at the College of New Rochelle, and is a teaching artist with Teachers & Writers and Community-Word Project. Her work has been published in Newtown Literary Vol. 12, and she has performed her work with Femmelody Music Chamber Festival, Poets & Writers, Dead Rabbits Reading, Boundless Tales, and Poet’s Country. She co-hosts An Angry Reading Series in Harlem, and is currently working on her debut prose-poetry collection. She specializes in teaching narrative-focused writing residencies.
Libby Mislan is a poet and community-based artist in Queens, New York. Inspired by the intersections between poetry, music, and dance, she has collaborated extensively with dancers and musicians to create multidisciplinary works. She graduated with her MFA in poetry in 2018 from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she studied the intersections of poetry and body wisdom. Her work weaves the personal and the political in explorations of ancestral lineage, personal, collective and ecological healing, and radical re-imaginings. Libby works as a teaching artist with Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Community Word Project, and Urban Arts Partnership’s Story Studio program. Her most recent poetry project, Queens Flora, was funded by Queens Council on the Arts, explored the plant life of the Ridgewood Reservoir. To see more of Libby’s work, visit www.libbymislan.com
Nkosi Nkululeko, a 2017 Poets House and 2018 Saltonstall Foundation of the Arts Fellow, is the winner of Michigan Quarterly Review’s Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets 2018. He was a finalist for the 2016 Winter Tangerine Awards, selected by Aracelis Girmay. Nkululeko is also a performance artist, former Grand Slam winner of the Union Square Slam Team, and his poem “Unfinished/Disclaimer” was selected to be featured on the final stage of the National Poetry Slam festival in Oakland, California. His poetry and prose can be found in journals such as Callaloo, Tripwire #17, Diode Poetry Journal, The Offing, Ploughshares, and he is anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2018 and Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry. Nkosi Nkululeko is a private chess and music instructor from HARLEM.
Napoleon Felipe is a writer and teaching artist from the Bronx, New York who works with Free Verse, a poetry program based out of the South Bronx NeON. He has served as an apprentice instructor and as a Lead Poet in workshops for up-and-coming poets in the Bronx and in other sites across New York City since 2012. Napoleon was a featured artist on NY1 television, in the Daily News, in Manhattan News-Times, the Juvenile Justice Informant, for Theatre of War, the Carnegie Hall Blog, in Playbill magazine, and in domestic arts organization publications. As a teaching artist, he's worked with Carnegie Hall, Maysles Documentary Center, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, and Fortune Society. His time with these organizations has taught him film and editing skills, public speaking, teaching art in public spaces, performance, and has also furthered his career as a published creative writer. Napoleon holds a certificate as a credible messenger mentor through the Silberman School of Social Work of Hunter College. He employs crisis prevention skills in writing and theater as a healthy medium for citizens at risk and with people in need. In 2018, Napoleon was awarded a grant by The Open Program, a Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards, in Tuscany, Italy to study theatre and playwriting and to perform classic, contemporary, and original stage scripts. Presently, Napoleon teaches art, poetry, and theatre workshops with Teachers & Writers Collaborative at the Visions Senior Center for Visually Impaired Seniors. His original work has appeared in the Free Verse Magazine Issues 1 through 7, in the Film Anthology, Act Like You Mean It, and in the bilingual book (Italian/English) Versetto Libero. His newest work, Post No Judgements, is a book of Urban Art and Poetry due out in 2022.
Omar Ovalle is a visual artist and writer with combined experience of more than 25 years in advertisement, graphic design, and editorial design. He also has experience with animation, digital illustration, photography, and fine arts. Omar’s art involves an exploration of digital illustration and the relationship between poets and their work. He has taught art to adults and been an active member of the Free Verse poetry program since 2017. Free Verse provides workshops in the five boroughs of NYC to low-income and disenfranchised communities in Collaboration with The Carnegie Hall foundation and the City of New York DOP. Omar is a practitioner of martial arts for 25 yrs. Expert in traditional Japanese Martial Arts. Black Belt in Iai-Do (Sword Fight).
Jessie Paddock is a writer, actor, teaching artist, and sports enthusiast. Originally from Atlanta, Jessie has spent the better part of the last fourteen years in NYC. She receiving her BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch, where she trained with the Atlantic Theater Company and the Experimental Theatre Wing. She has performed onstage and in films both in New York and Los Angeles with the International WOW Company, 3LD Art & Technology, Theater of Note, and 6140 Productions, among others. Jessie recently earned her MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Writing for Children and Young Adults from The New School. When not toiling away at her first YA novel, Jessie can be found playing soccer in various leagues throughout Brooklyn and counting down the days until the next World Cup.
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.