Administrative Staff

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Suma Karaman Rosen

Executive Director

Dynamic classroom teacher turned nonprofit leader, Suma’s experience in corporate, nonprofit and educational settings has brought depth to her leadership of InsideOut since 2017. Suma is inspired by the resilient and empowered InsideOut students, and brings this passion to all corners of our work, from managing finances and fundraising, to amplifying students’ voices far and wide.

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Lia Greenwell

Operations Coordinator

Lia brings masterful organization to her work as Operations Coordinator, where she focuses on capacity building, marketing, and office-wide systems. Serving as the hub where program and administration meet, Lia is equally skilled in supporting the InsideOut team and providing high quality customer service to external stakeholders. A poet and essayist, her writing has appeared in the Kenyon Review, the Missouri Review, and elsewhere.

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John Randolph

Development Associate

With a deep commitment for finding the perfect intersection between donor passion and organizational need, John coordinates InsideOut’s individual and corporate giving, as well as fundraising campaigns. John previously served as a Campaign Manager at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields and a Vista Volunteer with Hunger Solutions Minnesota. He experienced the transformational power of writing as a teen and is thrilled to support InsideOut in sharing that power with students throughout Metro Detroit.

Program Staff

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Alise Alousi

Director of School & Community Partnerships

Alise has grown with InsideOut from the ground up. As a former Writer-in-Residence at Cody and Cass Tech High Schools, Alise learned first-hand how to cultivate and empower student voice. She brings this on-the-ground knowledge and many years of non-profit youth program experience to her work as Program Director, which she held from 2009-2019, and in her new role as Director of School & Community Partnerships. Alise is a talented poet whose work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and is a recipient of a Knight Arts Challenge Detroit award.

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Michelle Bolofer

Program Director

A native Detroiter, experienced educator, and lifelong Diversity and Inclusion advocate, Michelle is dedicated to closing the opportunity gap for students and communities. As a classroom teacher, corporate educational consultant, and start-up nonprofit director, she has worked to improve educational equity and expand access to resources. With her passion for youth development and community empowerment, Michelle leads the InsideOut program and directs our program vision.

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Shawntai Brown

Schools Coordinator

With a passion for literacy and pedagogy, Shawntai works with Writers-in-Residence and classroom teachers to cultivate impactful and meaningful learning. In addition to attending InsideOut programs as a student and working in the classroom as a Writer-in-Residence,  Shawntai has a Master of Arts in Literacy Learning and has worked as an educator with students of all ages as well as adults. Shawntai is a playwright with the Extra Mile Playwrights and poet whose work has appeared in Kaleidoscope, Cactus Heart, and Synaesthesia Magazine.

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Peter Markus

Senior Writer

Pete found his calling as a Writer-in-Residence with InsideOut and has been with the organization since it was founded 1995. In addition to inspiring students in the classroom, Pete partners with schools to create programs that fit their needs. Pete has published widely about the transformative power of writing, co-editing To Light a Fire: 20 Years with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project, and most recently a memoir, Inside My Pencil: Teaching Poetry in the Detroit Public Schools. A Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellow, Pete is the author of the novel Bob, or Man on Boat as well as five other books of short fiction.

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Jassmine Parks

Lead Teaching Artist

A dedicated educator who excels at creating safe spaces for youth, Jassmine joined InsideOut as Leading Teaching Artist after serving in teaching roles across our programs. Jassmine believes in the power of language to reflect on past experiences, build agency, and create a future in which we exist as our best selves. A Detroit slam poetry champion who has performed internationally, Jassmine’s work has been published through SlamFind, All Def Poetry and Wusgood? Magazine.

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Justin Rogers

Citywide Poets Coordinator

Justin’s journey with InsideOut began first as a student at Cody High School where a Writer-in-Residence encouraged his writing and recruited him to join Citywide Poets. Since then, Justin has performed for international audiences and published his writing widely. Justin now coordinates our Citywide Poets program, elevating youth voice through weekly sessions around the city, guest writer workshops, performances, and open mic opportunities for youth.

Writers-In-Residence

Joumana Altallal

Writer-In-Residence

Joumana Altallal was born in Baghdad to Iraqi and Lebanese parents and is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia.

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Tamar Ashdot

Writer-In-Residence

Tamar Ashdot is a Brooklyn born poet, photographer, and vocalist who is currently pursuing her MFA in Poetry.

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Ayah Assaf

Writer-In-Residence

Ayah has plenty of first hand experience teaching in schools, and takes pride in establishing an ongoing creative writing club at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

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Brittany Barron

Writer-In-Residence

Brittany is a poet and youth development leader in metro Detroit. She holds a BA from Oakland University and an MFA from the University of Tampa.

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Poetry Program

Cat Batsios

Writer-In-Residence

Catharine Batsios is from Flint, and currently stays in Detroit. She writes poems about the cities that build her.

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Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders

Christiana Castillo

Writer-In-Residence

Christiana Castillo is an educator, activist, urban gardener and writer.

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Kayla Chenault

Writer-In-Residence

Kayla Chenault is a Michigan native with an MA in Creative Writing and is the author of the novella These Bones.

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Isis Damil

Writer-In-Residence

Detroit bred artist, singer, songwriter and actress; Isis Damil has experience in creative, non-profit and corporate settings.

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Tarik Dobbs

Writer-In-Residence

Tarik Dobbs is an Arab American, queer writer born in Dearborn, Michigan. Dobbs’s poems appear in American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, & The Poetry Review.

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Bayan Founas

Writer-In-Residence

Bayan Founas is an educator and artist currently studying at the University of Michigan to receive a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy.

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Cal Freeman

Writer-In-Residence

Cal Freeman is the author of the book Fight Songs.

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Alana Gracey

Writer-In-Residence

Alana Gracey has worked with vulnerable populations since 2004, dealing with issues of homelessness, intimate partner violence, and human sex trafficking.

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Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders

Justin Groppuso-Cook

Writer-In-Residence

Justin Groppuso-Cook is a poet, musician, and Metro Detroit native.

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Reynaldo George Hinojosa Jr.

Writer-In-Residence

Reynaldo George Hinojosa Jr. is a Tejano born writer and musician.

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Rose Gorman

Writer-In-Residence

Rose is the Resident Fellow for the Tuxedo Project literary center, and a member of the the 808 Writers Collective, a residency for queer writers of color.

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Shayla Harris

Shayla Harris

Writer-In-Residence

Shayla Harris is a recent graduate of Eastern Michigan University where she studied Creative Writing, and Arts and Entertainment Management.

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Suzanne Honda

Writer-In-Residence

Suzanne Honda is a Michigan-born poet, fiction writer, and educator. 

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Elia Hohauser-Thatcher

Writer-In-Residence

Elia Hohauser-Thatcher is the author of The Prophet’s Toothbrush, a chapbook of poetry published by Finishing Line Press in 2021.

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Kyle Hunt

Writer-In-Residence

Kyle Hunt is a poet, painter and photographer from West Texas and Middle Tennessee.

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Darralynn Hutson

Writer-In-Residence

Darralynn has been a journalist and editor for more than 20+ years contributing to publications as diverse as Vogue Italia to The Detroit Free Press.

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Liana Imam

Writer-In-Residence

Liana Imam is a Michigan-born writer and educator, and holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Montana.

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Jonathan Jerome

Writer-In-Residence

Jonathan Jerome is a New York City native of Caribbean descent and Detroit transplant. An artist, old school music junkie, and adamant youth advocate.

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Nathan John

Writer-In-Residence

Nathan Kweku John is a second-year MFA poet at the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. He is of Gambian, Ghanaian, and Sierra Leonean descent.

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Mahogany Jones

Mahogany Jones

Writer-In-Residence

Mahogany Jones is a lyrical force, hailed internationally for her work, as a recording and performance artist, arts educator, and US musical ambassador who’s served 18 countries to date.

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Mary Kamal Gagnon

Writer-In-Residence

Mary Kamal Gagnon (b. 1986 Detroit, MI) is a Lebanese multidisciplinary artist, curator, and author.

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Saba Keramati

Writer-In-Residence

Saba Keramati is a poet and educator from California. She is the poetry editor at Sundog Lit.

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Poetry Program

Audra Kubat

Writer-In-Residence

Detroit Music Award winning singer/songwriter Audra Kubat has released 6 albums to critical acclaim in a career that spans over 20 years.

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Brenna Lee

Writer-In-Residence

Brenna Lee is a Detroit based poet and prose writer originally from Pittsburgh. She is the author of Green Water (dancing girl press, 2021).

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Patrick Morris

Writer-In-Residence

Patrick Morris has worked in non-profit and government settings in metro Detroit for over a decade. He enjoys sports and currently lives in Ferndale.

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Wafaa Mustafa

Writer-In-Residence

Wafaa Mustafa is a recent Graduate of WSU, where she majored in English and minored in philosophy.

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Judy Oldfield-Wilson

Writer-In-Residence

Judy’s work has appeared in Gigantic Sequins, Portland Review, Passages North, jmww, and Barely South, among others.

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Madelyn Porter

Writer-In-Residence

Madelyn Porter, has worked as a professional storyteller/actor for the past forty years, and is a member of Actor’s Equity Association.

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Jennifer Quartararo

Writer-In-Residence

Jennifer Quartararo is a Detroit-based writer with Maine roots.

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Breauna L. Roach

Writer-In-Residence

Breauna L. Roach is an artist from Detroit, Michigan. Her multimodal work has been displayed at the Hamill Gallery of African Art as well as adapted into animation at the Detroit Institute of Art.

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Kelsey Ronan

Writer-In-Residence

Former Writer in Residence of the Hub City Writing Project, her work has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review, New Ohio Review, and elsewhere.

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Nia Shumake

Writer-In-Residence

Nia Shumake is a storyteller and educator from Detroit who graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016.

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Channing Sinclaire

Writer-In-Residence

Channing Sinclaire is a third-year undergrad student and aspiring author majoring in Communications at Western Michigan University.

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Alexandra Smereka

Writer-In-Residence

As a recent alumni of Citywide Poets, Khila is proud to join InsideOut as a Writer-in-Residence.

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Board of Directors

Teresa McAlpine, President

Director of Marketing Operations
Plante Moran (retired)

Kevin Rashid, Vice-President

Honors College Academic Service Officer
Wayne State University

Laura Stevens, Treasurer

Director of Budgeting and Forecasting
Handelman Corporation (former)

Cindy Myers, Secretary

Executive Vice President
Chief Human Resources Officer
Flagstar Bank (retired)

Maureen Clinesmith

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA (retired)

Annmarie Erickson

Executive Vice President
Van Dyke Horn Public Relations

Sasha Griffin

Assistant Corporation Counsel
City of Detroit

Linda Spight

Principal
Detroit Public Schools (retired)

Samantha Walls

Attorney
John Deere Financial

Hiring

Writer-in-Residence – Applications for 2021/22 school year are now closed.