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.

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Maureen Okasinski

Grants & Evaluation Coordinator

Maureen combines her love of numbers and a passion for arts into key processes such as program evaluation, grant coordination and reporting. A social worker by training, Maureen’s an empathic team player who helps us know that our programs work and enjoys telling the story of their impact.

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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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.

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Rose Gorman

Louder Than a Bomb Coordinator

Rose Gorman brings her deep roots in community arts and event planning prowess to InsideOut, where she coordinates Detroit’s Louder Than a Bomb Youth Poetry Festival for teens. A talented teacher, Rose has facilitated writing groups for youth and adults, including formerly homeless veterans, recent immigrants, incarcerated men, and LGBTQ+ homeless youth and elders. Her writing has appeared in Six Little Things, The Bridge, Paste Magazine, and elsewhere. Rose is the Resident Fellow for the Tuxedo Project, a community-based literary center in Detroit, and a member of the the 808 Writers Collective, a residency for queer writers of color.

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.

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.

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Devin Samuels

Youth Leadership Coordinator

A masterful facilitator, Devin works with teens as a Writer-in-Residence as well as leading our Youth Advisory Board and Youth Poet Laureate Initiatives. Dedicated to uplifting and empowering youth voice, Devin has coached slam teams and performed his own poetry on stages around the country.

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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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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Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders

Megan Catana

Writer-In-Residence

Megan Catana (formerly Schikora) is a Detroit native.

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Rachel Cawkwell

Writer-In-Residence

Originally from New York, Rachel Cawkwell is currently a graduate student in English at the University of Michigan.

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Tony DeGenaro

Writer-In-Residence

Tony DeGenaro has an MFA in poetry from the University of San Francisco, and is currently a Ph.D. student in rhetoric & composition at Wayne State University.

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Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders

Kelly Fordon

Writer-In-Residence

Kelly Fordon’s work has appeared in The Florida Review, The Kenyon Review (KRO), Rattle and various other journals.

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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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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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Suzanne Honda

Writer-In-Residence

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

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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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Nathan Kweku John

Writer-In-Residence

Nathan Kweku John is a Gambian-“American” poet whose work seeks to interrogate and uncover linkages across the African diaspora.

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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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Robert Laidler

Writer-In-Residence

Robert Laidler is an African American poet who was born in Detroit. He is a graduate of Oakland University and is furthering his education through Wayne State Universities MA program.

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Amy Loji

Writer-In-Residence

Amy Loji first discovered her love of poetry in the seventh grade, when she penned a poem inspired by her favorite grandmother. Today, she writes poetry and short stories, and loves to read and analyze just about anything that takes written form.

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Poets After School Program

Nadine Marshall

Writer-In-Residence

Nadine Marshall is a poet, avid reader, collaborator, and curator with an MSW and B.S. in Psychology/African American Studies, and currently lives in Detroit.

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Julia McDaniel

Writer-In-Residence

Julia McDaniel is a poet, cat mom, and Midwesterner who received her B.A. in Creative Writing from Denison University.

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Natalie McKinney

Writer-In-Residence

Natalie McKinney is a Detroit native, poet, and storyteller.

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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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Jennifer Quartararo

Writer-In-Residence

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

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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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Poets After School Program

John Rybicki

Writer-In-Residence

John Rybicki was born and raised in Detroit. He is the author of three previous poetry collections, We Bed Down Into Water, When All the World is Old, and Traveling at High Speeds.

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Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders

Lauren Ryder Williams

Writer-In-Residence

Born in the middle of the Detroit riots, Lauren Ryder Williams is a Detroit-girl, through and through.

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Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders

Anita Schmaltz

Writer-In-Residence

Anita Schmaltz is a painter, photographer, writer and singer-songwriter.

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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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Daniella Toosie-Watson

Writer-In-Residence

Daniella Toosie-Watson is a poet, visual artist and educator from New York. 

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Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders

Naidra Walls

Writer-In-Residence

Naidra Walls is a​n​ ​artist, educator, and real estate agent.

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H.R. Webster

Writer-In-Residence

H.R. Webster is a poet and educator from New Hampshire, currently living in Ypsilanti, MI.

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Khila Williams

Writer-In-Residence

Khila Williams is a recent alumni of Citywide Poets and proud to integrate her skills now as an Assistant Writer-in-Residence for Citywide Poets.

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Board of Directors

Annmarie Erickson, President

Executive Vice President
Van Dyke Horn Public Relations

Teresa McAlpine, Vice-President

Director of Marketing Operations
Plante Moran

Laura Stevens, Treasurer

Director of Budgeting and Forecasting
Handelman Corporation (former)

Kevin Rashid, Secretary

Honors College Academic Service Officer
Wayne State University

Maureen Clinesmith

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA (retired)

Sasha Griffin

Assistant Corporation Counsel
City of Detroit

Hon. Noah Hood

Circuit Court Judge
Wayne County Third Circuit

Cory Joyrich

Senior Director of Advancement
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum (former)

Michelle Krebs

Director of Automotive Relations
Cox Automotive

Dwight Levens

Executive Director
Children Matter Forever (retired)

Cindy Myers

Executive Vice President
Chief Human Resources Officer
Flagstar Bank

Linda Spight

Principal
Detroit Public Schools (retired)

Hiring

Writer-in-Residence – Applications now closed for 2019/20 school year.

Citywide Poets Writer-in-Residence – Applications now closed for 2019/20 school year.