Executive Artistic Director:
Diana Norma Szokolyai is a writer and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Her edited volume, CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, will be released by C&R Press on March 7, 2018. She is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers including David Krebs (US), Robert Lemay (Canada), Claudio Gabriele (Italy), Peter James (UK), Jason Haye (UK), and Sebastian Wesman (Estonia). Diana Norma is a founding member of the performing arts groups Sounds in Bloom, ChagallPAC, and The Brooklyn Soundpainting Ensemble. Her poetry-music collaboration with Flux Without Pause, “Space Mothlight,” hit #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. Her work has been recently reviewed by The London Grip and published in VIDA: Reports from the Field, The Fiction Project, Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, The Dudley Review and Up the Staircase Quarterly, The Million Line Poem, The Cambridge Community Poem, and elsewhere, as well as anthologized in Our Last Walk, The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering, and Teachers as Writers. She is currently at work on her next book and an album of poetry & music. Diana Norma holds a M.A. in French (UCONN, La Sorbonne) and an Ed.M in Arts in Education (Harvard). Diana Norma Szokolyai is represented by Nat Kimber (The Rights Factory).
Executive Creative Director:
Rita Banerjee the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, March 2018). She is the author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, February 2018), which was a finalist for the Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Award, Three Mile Harbor Poetry Prize, and Aquarius Press / Willow Books Literature Award, the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press, 2010). She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her writing appears in the Academy of American Poets, Poets & Writers, Nat. Brut., The Scofield, The Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. She is an Associate Scholar of Comparative Literature at Harvard and teaches at Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich in Germany. She is the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest, and she is currently working on a novel, a documentary film about race and intimacy, a book on South Asian literary modernisms, and a collection of lyric essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool.
Communications and PR Manager:
Alex Carrigan is from Newport News, Virginia and attended college at Virginia Commonwealth University. He graduated this year with a degree in print/online journalism and a minor in world cinema. He is currently an managing intern for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, as well as Staff Film Reviewer for Quail Bell Magazine. He has written articles for The Commonwealth Times and has had work featured in Luna Luna Magazine. He is also a creative writer and have had work published in Amendment Literary Journal, Life in 10 Minutes, Realms YA Fantasy Literary Magazine, and in Poictesme Literary Journal, of which he was a staff member for four years, two years in which he was deputy editor-in-chief.
Yoga & Arts Coordinator:
Elissa Lewis is the Yoga & Arts Coordinator of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. She began her journey with yoga in 2006, when she moved to France and made the practice part of her daily routine. She saw yoga as a lifestyle, not only a class, helping her to clear her mind and have more compassion for herself and others. In 2010 she moved to New York and completed her teacher training at Laughing Lotus, a creative, soulful yoga studio that teaches the student to ‘move like yourself.’ She’s taught private and group classes in Manhattan and Brooklyn ever since. Visit her website for informative yoga sequences and information.
Editing and Communication Intern:
Amanda Toronto received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University where she focused on contemporary American literature, art and religion. She lives with her family in New York City and is at work on her first novel.
Media and Communications Intern:
Rachel Kurasz is a writer from Villa Park, IL where she lives with her husband Peter Kurasz IV and their loyal puppy dog Booboo. Rachel received her MFA in Creative Writing from Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL. Rachel’s poetry has been featured in “The Bicycle Review” under her maiden name of Rachel Head and she has had the honor of being a Fall 2017 AWP Writer to Writer Mentee under the mentorship of author Laura Creedle. Rachel is currently finishing up her first novel and is drafting her second along with an essay collection on the universality of grief.
Media (Audio / Visual) Development Interns:
Anna-Celestrya Carr is a Metis/Anishinaabe artist, filmmaker, writer, dancer and speaker. She graduated from both the Vancouver Film School and the National Screen Institute’s New Voices program in Canada. While at NSI she created Dreamcatcher: A short dramatic fantasy of Aboriginal mythology. In 2012 she created Tik-A-Lee-Kick, an honest and candid telling of a young Aboriginal woman’s perspective on the role of the Little People funded by the Video Pool Aboriginal Media Art Initiative. She has previously attended the University of Manitoba School of Art. Shehas worked for the National Film Board of Canada and Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery. Anna-Celestrya focuses her creative energy on her Aboriginal roots and on advancing the rights of Aboriginal women in North America. She has worked with many organizations and institutions to promote human rights and peace. The artwork that she is best known for is The Men’s Banner Project. This work is a combination of interactive performance and installation, about which she also lectures.
Shannon O. Sawyer is a graduate from the New Hampshire Institute of Art and holds a BFA in Creative Writing. She served as an editor of Ayris Magazine from 2015 to 2016 and works as a scriptwriter for the audio drama podcast Jim Robbie and the Wanderers. Her work has been published in Cartoons Underground, The Fem, and Quail Bell Magazine. In her spare time she enjoys drawing, watching cartoons, and screaming at heteronormative books in her local book stores.
Executive Board Members:
Gregory Crosby‘s poems have appeared in Court Green, Epiphany, Copper Nickel, Leveler, Ping Pong & Rattle, among others. He is co-curator of the long- running EARSHOT reading series and is co-editor, with Jillian Brall, of the online poetry journal Lyre Lyre. He has served as a host and panelist for several Cambridge Writers’ Workshop events, including 2012 & 2013 Brooklyn Lit Crawl, the 2012 Mass Poetry Festival, and our live radio shows.
Jonah Kruvant is one of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop’s NYC area program organizers, a writer, English teacher, and student of the world. Jonah Kruvant received his Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College, his Master’s degree in Teaching from Fordham University, and his MFA degree from Goddard College. His debut novel, The Last Book Ever Written, was published by PanAm Books, and his work has appeared in Digital Americana, On the Verge, and LIMN Literary and Arts Journal.
Viktor Pachas is a freelance videographer, illustrator, Spanish translator, and musician. Viktor produces videos for Cambridge Writers’ Workshop retreats and workshops, and is a contributor for their blog. After finishing his studies in Molecular Cell Biology at UConn, he began producing promotional videos for Singapore General Hospital in cooperation with Duke University/NUS while working as a Circadian Research Assistant. Studying Flamenco Guitar and performing in Granada, Spain, he made videos to market a chain of hostels in Andalusia and Morocco. Recently, Viktor shot material in Paris for David Shields’ upcoming movie Black Planet produced by James Franco. He currently lives in New York City and is an instructor for Outward Bound and Global Works. He performs solo as a singer/songwriter and is a drummer for A Thousand Ships when performing in the New England region. Viktor is currently working on illustrating a comic strip based on his travels.
Jessica Reidy is a mixed-Romani (Gypsy) heritage writer from New Hampshire. She earned her MFA in Fiction at Florida State University and a B.A. from Hollins University. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart, and has appeared in Narrative Magazine as Short Story of the Week, The Los Angeles Review, Arsenic Lobster, and other journals. She’s a staff-writer and Outreach Editor for Quail Bell Magazine, Managing Editor for VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts, Visiting Professor for the Cambridge Writer’s Workshop retreats, and Art Editor for The Southeast Review. She also teaches yoga and occasionally still works her family trades, fortune telling and dance. Jessica is currently working on her first novel set in post-WWII Paris about Coco Charbonneau, a half-Romani burlesque dancer and fortune teller of Zenith Circus, who becomes a Nazi hunter.
Kathleen Spivack is the author of A History of Yearning, winner of the Sows Ear International Poetry Prize 2010, first runner up in the New England Book Festival, and winner of the London Book Festival; Moments of Past Happiness (Earthwinds/Grolier Editions 2007); The Beds We Lie In (Scarecrow 1986), nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; The Honeymoon (Graywolf 1986); Swimmer in the Spreading Dawn (Applewood 1981); The Jane Poems (Doubleday 1973); Flying Inland (Doubleday 1971); Robert Lowell, A Personal Memoir (forthcoming 2011) and a novel, Unspeakable Things. She is a recipient of the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award 2010, the 2010 Erica Mumford Award, and the 2010 Paumanok Award. Published in numerous magazines and anthologies, some of her work has been translated into French. Other publications include The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, Massachusetts Review, Virginia Quarterly, The Southern Review, Harvard Review, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, Agni, New Letters, and others. Her work is featured in numerous anthologies. She has also won several International Solas Prizes for “Best Essays.” Ms. Spivack is a senior advisor to the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.
* Former CWW Board Members include Casey Lynch, Alyssa Goldstein Ekstrom, Katy Miller, Max March-Steinman, Samantha Milowsky, Erynn Porter, Ian Singleton, Tara Skurtu, Emily Smith, Emily Teitsworth, Megan Tilley, Roxane van Beek, and Derek JG Williams.