Check out our 2011 Writers-in-Residence:
Dr. Terry Blackhawk (www.terrymblackhawk.com) is the author of five collections of poems, including Body & Field, Escape Artist, and The Dropped Hand (winner of the 2002 John Ciardi Prize) and has poems and essays in numerous journals and anthologies. She taught creative writing for many years in Detroit high schools and founded InsideOut in order to spread the pleasure and power of language to more schools and students. Her honors include the 1990 Foley Poetry Award, the Michigan Governors' Award for Arts Education, five Pushcart Prize nominations, grants from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs Artist-in-Residence and the National Endowment for the Humanities and a Detroit Metro Time Progressive Hero Award. She received the Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize from Nimrod International in 2010.
Ben Alfaro is a writer, organizer, and educator. An undergraduate student at Wayne State University in Detroit, he is studying Urban & International Planning. His poemshave appeared in Unsquared: Ann Arbor Writers Unleash Their Edgiest Stories and Poems (2006), Decibels: An Anthology of the VOLUME Youth Poetry Project (2008), HBO's original series, Brave New Voices (2008), and Red Cedar Review (2011). He performs with the collegiate poetry troupe Ann Arbor Wordworks and recently co-founded WayneSLAM on the campus of Wayne State University.
Zach Braun grew up in California and studied writing at the University of California Irvine and now lives in Ann Arbor.
Nina Buckless lives and writes in Ann Arbor. She is a student of the University of Michigan MFA Program for Fiction. Her fiction has appeared in the Santa Monica Review. She studied with Jim Krusoe in Los Angeles for three years and was invited to attend the 2010 Squaw Valley of Writers Conference. Nina has a poetry piece forthcoming in unsaid and a story forthcoming in tinhouse. Recently, she adopted a one-eyed-cat named Ron-Banjo. She plays the autoharp and sings.
Norene Cashen is a former music journalist. She's currently a writer-in-residence and Citywide Poets Coordinator with InsideOut Literary Arts. Her poems have been published in Exquisite Corpse; markszine.com; Adanna Literary Journal; Temenos, Abandon Automobile (Wayne State University Press). Her first collection of poems, The Reverse Is also True, was published by Doorjamb Press in 2007.
Anna Clark is a writer living in Detroit who recently returned from a Fulbright fellowship in Kenya. In Nairobi, she facilitated creative writing and collaborative storytelling workshops throughout the city, and assisted as an editor at Kwani Trust, a Kenyan publisher and literary agitator. Her work has appeared in The American Prospect, Salon, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Grantland, The Detroit Free Press, Midwestern Gothic, Blood Lotus, and other publications. Anna edits the literary blog, Isak (www.isak.typepad.com) and facilitates a theater workshop with incarcerated men through the Prison Creative Arts Project. She has been a fellow with the Peter Jennings Center for Journalists and the Constitution. Anna graduated from the University of Michigan's Residential College and from Warren Wilson College's MFA Program for Writers.
With the help of six brothers, Zack Crawford spent most of his childhood pushing back bedtimes with yet another game of capture the flag, whiffle ball, kick the can. He recently graduated from the University of Michigan where his fiction and poetry were awarded multiple Hopwood awards, including an Academy of American Poets Prize, a First Place Undergraduate Poetry Award, and the Marjorie Rapaport Award. Zack is shocked every time he picks up Cummings.
Kelly Fordon's work has appeared in The Boston Review, The Kenyon Review (KRO), Flashquake, The Windsor Review and various other journals. Her poetry chapbook, On The Street Where We Live, won the 2011 Standing Rock Chapbook Contest and was published in February. Her new poetry chapbook, Tell Me When It Starts To Hurt, will be published by Kattywompus Press in 2013. She has received awards and fellowships for both fiction and poetry. She is currently working towards her MFA in fiction writing at Queens University. www.kellyfordon.com
Cindy Frenkel is delighted to be returning for her third year with InsideOut. Her poetry has been featured in such journals as The MacGuffin and Renaissance City (e-zine). Her prose has appeared in numerous publications ranging from Vanity Fair to The New York Observer, where she was a regular columnist. She was the writer/editor of The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) magazine, and wrote three columns for an online magazine, Women's Wire. She also co-authored the book, 100 Essential Books for Jewish Readers, with Rabbi Daniel B. Syme. She received her M.F.A. from Columbia University's creative writing program while working on the editorial staff of The New Yorker. She also tutors, and teaches writing at Oakland Community College and Wayne State University.
Lara Hamza earned an MFA in creative writing from Ohio State University and MA in Education, Instructional Theory and Practice, from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her publications include poetry in Inclined to Speak: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry edited by Hayan Charara, Banipal, and nonfiction in ArabDetroit: From Margin to Mainstream. She has taught writing at The University of Michigan, Oakland University, and Ohio State University. She enjoys writing dark humor, mother/daughter narratives, prose poetry, and collecting family oral histories. She is excited to join InsideOut, sharing her love of poetry, art, and music with children while feeling inspired by them in return.
francine j. harris is originally from Detroit and has recent work appearing or forthcoming in Rattle, B O D Y, Southern Indiana Review and Meridian. Her first collection, allegiance, was published in the spring of 2012 and reached the number one spot on the national poetry bestseller's list within a month of publication. She is a Cave Canem fellow and received her MFA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she lives, teaches and writes.
Heather Abner Harrison (http://habner.org) is a poet and librarian who lives in southeast Michigan and she is excited to be working with InsideOut this year. Heather delights in introducing school children to poetry and thrives on students' energy and sense of wonder at the world around them. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan's MFA program in Creative Writing and received a Hopwood Award while studying there. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Rattle, Nerve Cowboy, and wtf pwm. She recently acquired a letterpress and is learning the art of fine printing.
J. Joseph Kane is a writer, editor, and organizer from Michigan. He received his MA in Creative Writing from Central Michigan University, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of Temenos literary magazine. Joe's poems and stories have appeared or are forthcoming in variety of literary magazines including Clapboard House, Elimae, RHINO, Central Review, Cricket Online Review, Psychic Meatloaf, Right Hand Pointing, Admit2,and The Newer York. He grew up on Lake Huron and loves the water.
Christina Najla LaRose's poetry, fiction, essays, articles, and academic work has appeared in Humanity & Society, Third Coast Literary Magazine, Live Science, Staccato Fiction, Flashquake, and Mizna: A Forum for Arab American Art, among other publications. She has written for the National Science Foundation and Amnesty International, trained as a human rights educator at the University of Toronto, completed the Prague Literary Seminars, and taught writing at the University of Michigan, Purdue University, Ohio State University, and in the Upward Bound Program. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing is currently working on her Ph.D. in English Literature and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. Her website is www.christinalarose.com.
Peter Markus is the author of the novel, Bob, or Man on Boat along with three books of short fiction, Good, Brother, The Moon is a Lighthouse, The Singing Fish and We Make Mud. His stories have appeared in a wide range of literary journals, including Denver Quarterly, Chicago Review, Massachusetts Review, Black Warrior Review, New Orleans Review, Quarterly West, Northwest Review, Third Coast, Willow Springs, Another Chicago Magazine, Seattle Review, 3rd Bed, Post Road, and Unsaid. His work has also appeared in anthologies brought out by HarperCollins, Norton, St. Martin's Press, Bloomsbury. He has received grants from ArtServe Michigan, was for six years the writer-in-residence at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and has been a writer with InsideOut since its inception in 1995.
Nate Marshall is the star of the award winning full-length documentary "Louder Than A Bomb" and has been featured on HBO's "Brave New Voices". He is from the South Side of Chicago. He is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan and received his BA at Vanderbilt University. His work has appeared in The Spoken Word Revolution: Redux, The Vanderbilt Review, on Chicago Public Radio and in many other publications. He is also a rapper.
Kelsey R. Miller is a first-year poet in the University of Michigan MFA program. She grew up in Cincinnati, OH, and attended Johns Hopkins University, receiving a BA in Writing Seminars in 2012. When she's not in school, she likes to travel and work on organic farms. And when she isn't writing, she is teaching herself how to play piano and make stop-motion animation films.
Isaac Miller is a Writer-in-Residence with InsideOut Literary Arts Project and an Artist in Residence with Detroit Future Schools. He participated in the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival for over ten years as both a participant and mentor. Isaac graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Ethnic Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies and received the Stronach Baccalaureate Prize. His work in organizing against cuts to California public education while a student at UC Berkeley was covered by outlets including The New York Times, TIME Magazine, the New Yorker, and NPR. His writing has been featured by Turnstyle, Racialicious, and the Berkeley Poetry Review. Recently, Isaac was the Summer Internship Coordinator for the Boggs Educational Center, a school founded to honor the legacy of Detroit philosopher-activists James and Grace Lee Boggs.
Chace "Mic Write" Morris is a poet/emcee heralding from the city of Detroit. In 2010, he impressively earned the titles of Rustbelt Slam Champion (#1 slam poet in Midwest) & Detroit Slam Champion (#1 slam poet in Detroit). He has been a member an integral part of the last three annual Detroit slam teams that competed nationally against the best slam poets in the world. He is currently working on his first published collection of poetry, The Robocop Prologue, and preparing for next year's National Poetry Slam events.
Chigozie Obioma was born in Nigeria. He obtained a degree in English from a University in North Cyprus where he lived for five years. His fiction has appeared in Virginia Quarterly review, New Madrid and elsewhere. He has received fellowship from OMI International Writer's Colony at Ledig House and is currently an MFA student at the University of Michigan where he is completing a novel. He is looking forward to working with the children of Detroit.
Deonte Osayande is a writer, editor, poet, and youth activist from Detroit, Mi. A former Presidential Ambassador for the University of Detroit Mercy, he has been a two time Dudley Randall Poetry Contest winner as well as winning Wayne Literary Review's 2011 Poetry Contest among other distinctions. On the stage, he has competed in many poetry slams including the 2011 National Poetry Slam and at 2012's Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam won the title of #5 poet in the Midwest. On the page he has had work published in numerous publications including Red Poppy Review, Quantum Poetry Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, Curbside Splendor and many others. A previous instructor with the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute, and The Future Foundation, he has a B.A. in Elementary Education and is finishing his Master's of Liberal Studies, both at the University of Detroit Mercy.
John Rybicki is the author of three previous poetry collections, We Bed Down Into Water, Yellow Haired Girl with Spider, and Traveling at High Speeds. His latest book, When All the World is Old, is forthcoming on Lookout Books, April 2008. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Ecotone, and the Paris Review, among many others, and have been reprinted in Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize Anthology. His main gig, his missionary work, is teaching poetry writing to Detroit Children through the Insideout Literary Arts Project; he also works with "Wings of Hope" Hospice teaching poetry writing to Children who have been through a trauma or loss. (photo credit: Savannah Dooley)
Widely published poet, Suzanne Scarfone, English Romantic Poetry and Virginia Woolf scholar, is a creative writing teacher with the Afghan Women's Writing project as well as writer-in-residence with InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit. She earned her Ph.D. in English Literature with cognates in Art History, Russian Art and French Literature and specializations in English Romantic poetry and the Modern British novel. She has produced two music and poetry compact discs, The Poetry Harmonium and Arts at an Exhibition, in collaboration with composer Christian Kreipke. In each of her poems, she paints the domestically surreal moments found in the musicality of everyday experience. Each sensed moment owes its language to a longing for something beyond the moment but born out of the potential beauty of the moment. Links to her work here, here and here.
Scheherazade Washington Parrish is excited to lead her second year as writer in residence with Written In Stone, Inside Out Literary Art Project's collaboration with Pewabic Pottery. A writer and certified life coach, she uses techniques for removing blocks that prevent writers from writing, and is thrilled each time a student comes to the realization that their voice matters. Her poetry has been published online and in Driftwood, A Periodic Review of Michigan Writers, #9. Her other writings can be found on her website www.worthcoach.com.
Sherina Rodriguez Sharpe is a Black/Filipina writer /educator who used to imagine herself as a shape shifter. Through a history of straddling worlds, she has come to notice that most cultures have common threads that could easily allow interwoven patterns. Her work investigates cultural intersections. She is interested in the patterns that emerge when class, gender, race and religion overlap. Her current collection paints parallels between Filipino tales, myths from the American South and the cultures that have traditionally dominated both.
Catherine Shubert A southeastern Michigan native, Catherine Shubert earned her B.A. in English from the University of Michigan and her M.S. in Education specializing in Urban Education and Writing Across the Disciplines from the University of Pennsylvania. While at U of M, she earned the Hopwood Award and the Helen J. Daniels award for her writing. She has taught high school Spanish and English in Philadelphia as a Teach For America corps member and has taught English as a second language in the tiny European principality of Andorra through a Fulbright grant. She is excited for the opportunity Inside Out provides to combine her two passions of teaching and poetry writing. In addition to working as a writer-in-residence with two schools in Detroit, she also mentors first year Teach For America teachers in Detroit through Oakland University's Teacher Mentor program.
Naidra Wallsis a poet, thinker, and innovator. Owner of Invictus Custom Woodwork, LLC & contributor to the tuesdaysaturday blog, she combines her interests of art, creativity, and justice with forward movement toward good. Current projects include an Invictus expansion, laying the foundation of an incubator for healthy community in Detroit, and learning about the food/transportation/green/sustainable efforts that are happening in the city. Professionally, she contracts with nonprofit organizations in Michigan for graphic design work, fund development, grant writing, and website management. Her academic background includes an undergraduate and a graduate degree from Western Michigan University in Marketing and Public Administration.
Sara Williamsstudies and practices mixed media writing and helps others explore the myriad modes of expression possible. Sara graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a BA in creative writing and literature. She earned an MA in creative writing from Eastern Michigan University, where she also studied art, and where she now teaches creative writing. She's published with newspapers, magazines, and journals such as The Santa Cruz Sentinel, Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine and Chinquapin. She is the author of the chapbook Sing (the Secret) Moment, lyric essay "The Migraine and the Migraineur," and mixed media video "On Eggshells." This will be her fifth residency with InsideOut Literary Arts Program. Each residency has been a source of renewal, a regenerative process that teaches her as she teaches within it. Artist credit: Joan Newberry Wind
RaNeeka J. Witty is a returning Writer-in-Residence to InsideOut Literary Arts Project. A native Detroiter, Claxton received her MFA in Creative Writing – Fiction from the University of California, Riverside – Palm Desert, and her BA in English from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. She is currently a Composition Professor at Baker College, and has a future goal of becoming a Young Adult novelist and fiction professor. Claxton sees the world as her canvas, and she paints with her pen. She is a journalist by trade – having covered fashion trends, travel destinations and community news in newspapers and magazines throughout the Detroit area, the British Virgin Islands, Jersey City, New York City, Palm Springs and South Africa . She has been invited to study fiction with writers from around the world through Summer Literary Seminars in Nairobi and Lamu, Kenya.