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.
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
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.
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.
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
Charleen McClure is a poet and educator currently residing in New York City. Her work has been published in Muzzle, Poetry Project, Kinfolks Quarterly, and elsewhere. A Fulbright scholar, she has received fellowships from the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, VONA, The Conversation, and Cave Canem. She is a graduate of Agnes Scott and Hunter Colleges and is currently an MFA Creative Writing-Poetry candidate at New York University.
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.
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.
Susan Willerman is an actor, writer and director. She teaches a memoir workshop with retirees at Morningside Retirement & Health Services which originated with Elders Share the Arts in 1994 and is now one of Teachers & Writers programs. She taught playwriting for T&W, Theatre for a New Audience, Astoria Performing Arts Center, The 52nd Street Project and The Greylock Project at Williamstown Summer Theatre Festival.
She is a co-ordinator for the Wendy Wasserstein Project at the Theatre Development Fund which takes high school juniors and seniors to the theatre followed by a discussion. Since 1986 she has been the Theatre Instructor for the Coe College (Iowa) NEW YORK TERM when juniors and seniors are in NY for 13 weeks of arts immersion and has been its NYC Director for several years.
She has been a teaching artist for TDF, Lincoln Center Institute/Education, Elders Share the Arts and Manhattan Theatre Club.
She facilitated an Oral History Project in upstate New York, which was a collaboration of The Spencertown Academy and the Austerlitz Historical Society.
Her first work as a teaching artist was with the Imagination Workshop, later Creative Alternatives of New York, in 1976, where she was a program artist and later Director of Training until 1989. During this time, Susan worked with other professional theater artists to employ theater techniques with hospitalized psychiatric patients, adolescents in treatment programs and people in homeless shelters.
Susan earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama from Carnegie-Mellon University and is a longtime member of the Ensemble Studio Theater and The Actors Ensemble.
M.L. Thompson is a poet, model, and filmmaker from Cleveland, Ohio. M.L. has performed and
shown work across the U.S. and abroad. He recently graduated from The New School’s Writing
Program, and is currently working on essays exploring Black sanity while throwing poems
around his room in an attempt to configure a chapbook. M.L. is struck by paradox, such as,
intimacy & religion / race & reality / truth & storytelling. You can find his work online and in
print at Winter Tangerine Review, Juked Poetry, Racebaitr, National Book Critics Circle blog,
and elsewhere. Feel out the wave on his Instagram & Twitter @dreamyuncle.
Stephanie Krause is a teaching artist and museum educator specializing in bookmaking. She was the Featured Artist at the Center for Book Arts in 1995, and since getting her Masters in Art Education from RISD in 1997, she has led art classes at libraries, museums and schools throughout the city. She teaches family and school programs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and art classes for the NYC homeschooling community. She is thrilled to bring her passion for book arts to Teachers & Writers.
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.
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.
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.
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
Alicia Anabel Santos is author of the memoir, Finding Your Force: A Journey to Love, which was listed in the Advocate’s 21 LGBT Biographies and Memoirs You Should Read Right Now. Most recently she is the recipient of the 2018 Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) Award in fiction for her novel in progress. Anabel is the Founder and Curator of the NYC Latina Writer’s Group, which has met monthly since 2006 offering writing workshops, events and readings across genres. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, magazines and online publications. When not organizing and facilitating writing workshops, she is a writing coach, aka The Writing Midwife, Filmmaker, Playwright, Teaching Artist and Priestess. She has spent the last ten years working on the documentary Afrolatinos The Untaught Story which screened at the United Nations in 2017. This Afrolatina writer was born in Brooklyn, yet today proudly represents the Bronx and all its hidden gems. Most days Alicia can be found facilitating writing workshops for elders throughout NYC.
David Surface is a published fiction writer, journalist, and arts educator. His stories and essays have been published in a wide range of literary journals including Doubletake, North American Review, Crazyhorse, Fiction, and many others. He is the recipient of 2005 Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and nominee for the NYFA Prize, was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize in fiction, and has been awarded multiple residencies at the MacDowell Colony for the Arts, Dorland Mountain Colony, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. As a teaching artist for Teachers and Writers Collaborative, David designs and leads writing residencies in New York City school classrooms, grades 2-12, and has conducted professional development seminars for teachers and administrators on integrating creative/narrative writing techniques and expository writing in accordance with Common Core standards. As writer-in-residence for Rockland Psychiatric Center, David designs and leads writing programs for adults living with with mental illness, substance abuse issues, and developmental disabilities in outpatient mental health facilities throughout Westchester County, and leads initiatives to increase public awareness of the creative arts in the mental health community. As founder and director of the Veterans Writing Workshop (VWW), he established a network of free writing programs for US military veterans, active duty service members, and their families throughout the New York metropolitan area, providing veterans and their families with a safe and supportive place to tell their stories and, through publishing veterans’ writing and organizing public readings and events, helping veterans and civilians connect through the written word.
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.
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.
Alice Pencavel Work includes Daphne (IRT/Arctic Group), The Glowing Boot (Best Emerging Actress, United Solo Festival; Portland Fringe Festival), Pie Shop Play (finalist, Bay Area Playwrights Festival), The Dutch Goose (semi-finalist, Eugene O’Neill Playwright’s Conference), Totally Wholesome Foods; Bubbles; Nanners in da Face; Oh My God (Politico-Comico reading series); A Box in the Mountains (reading, Naked Angels), Nightmare (Theater in the Room, Kiev, Ukraine), Field Trip: A Climate Cabaret, (Superhero Clubhouse), Nettles (semi-finalist, Manhattan Rep), A Call From the Devil (Oh Force Theatre Co.), Jeans Make Art (Romanian/American New Play Exchange), The Spider & The Wasp; How it Happens; Fly Away; What I Knead; and Yours, Truly (New School). She has taught with Arts Connection, Girls Write Now, SAY (Stuttering Ass. for the Young), and Brooklyn Acting Lab, among others. BFA Acting, Ithaca College; MFA Playwriting New School for Drama. alicepencavel.com.
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.
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.