Suma Karaman Rosen
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.
Operations & Communications Manager
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.
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.
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.
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.
School Programs Manager
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. A Kresge Artist Fellow, Shawntai is a playwright with the Extra Mile Playwrights and poet whose work has appeared in Kaleidoscope, Cactus Heart, and Synaesthesia Magazine.
Reynaldo George Hinojosa Jr.
Lead Teaching Artist Fellow
Reynaldo is a Tejano born writer and musician whose teaching focuses on community building and identity. Working with InsideOut has afforded Reynaldo the opportunity to put into practice his love of teaching and building new and unique worlds with youth. Reynaldo’s poetry and fiction focuses on identity, generational trauma, colonialism, and constructing worlds beyond Capitalism. You can find some of his work published in runner magazine Detroit, Wayne Literary Review, and Kind Writer’s Literary Magazine.
Lead Teaching Artist Fellow
A lifelong resident of Metro Detroit, Suzanne brings her natural, childlike wonder for the world into her classrooms, where students are encouraged to discover their own voices, passions, and power through the intentional communities they create together. Suzanne’s many years of experience in early childhood education influence her unique approach to community building, which emphasizes a mix of shared discussion, individual reflection, and play (no matter how old her students are). Suzanne is the author of the poetry chapbook When We Were Birds; other work has appeared in SWWIM Every Day, Soundings East and more.
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.
Lead Teaching Artist Fellow
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 Kresge Artist Fellow and Detroit slam poetry champion who has performed internationally, Jassmine’s work has been published through SlamFind, All Def Poetry and Wusgood? Magazine.
Citywide Poets Manager
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.
Aubri K. Adkins is a Detroit based prose writer originally from Montana. She founded and curated the East Side Reading Series, showcasing over a hundred poets and writers from 2015-2020.
Joumana Altallal was born in Baghdad to Iraqi and Lebanese parents. She is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia and is currently a first year MFA candidate in poetry at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program.
Former professional wrestler turned writer; Jeffrey Amato is a California-born fiction and creative non-fiction writer. He has an Associate in Arts at Oakland Community College and currently studies English and creative writing at Wayne State University.
With a drive for teaching and inclusion, Ayah brings her skills and creativity to every classroom. She has worked with students from various backgrounds, abilities, ages, and languages.
PEACE is a two-time Recording Artist, two-time Grand Slam Champion, and Motown the Spoken Word finalist, who continues to move crowds with her energetic wordplay. Her current projects include writing in preparation for publishing her book entitled “If I Were a Writer”.
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.
Catharine Batsios is from Flint, and currently stays in Detroit. She writes poems about the cities that build her. She thinks poetry is for actualization, is about creating a world to live in, and raising a voice.
Alexandra is dedicated to uplifting members of the community through youth advocacy programs and has been teaching the arts for the last 5 years in the Detroit area.
Detroit bred artist, singer, songwriter and actress; Isis Damil has experience in creative, non-profit and corporate settings.
Saniya Davis was introduced to InsideOut when she was just in the 5th grade and has been writing for 9 years. She has always been a creative person with a desire to create the truth in the most beautiful way even when the situation isn’t pretty.
Bronwen Dingeman is a second-year undergrad student and Detroit based poet, majoring in English at Wayne State University.
Ivory is a retired Citywide Poet (c/o 2015), short story writer, and book publicist from Detroit, MI. After getting her bachelor’s in English Literature and Writing and her master’s in Book Publishing, Ivory is excited to spend her time helping the creatives of the future.
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.
Cal Freeman is the author of the book Fight Songs. His writing has appeared in many journals including Southword, The Moth, Passages North, The Journal, Hippocampus, Drunken Boat, and The Poetry Review.
Brie Garbin is a queer, Michigan-born writer. She is about to finish her final year at Wayne State University with a degree in English and creative writing.
Alana Gracey has worked with vulnerable populations since 2004, dealing with issues of homelessness, intimate partner violence, and human sex trafficking.
Justin Groppuso-Cook is a poet, musician, & healing artist from Metro Detroit. His poetry has appeared in The Tiger Moth Review, Luna Luna Magazine, Dream Pop Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, Rust + Moth, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry among others.
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.
Kayla is an avid reader, writer, music and nature lover from the Midwest. She believes in healing ancestral trauma through rest and all forms of creativity.
Noor Hindi (she/her/hers) is a Palestinian-American poet and reporter. Her debut collection of poems, Dear God. Dear Bones. Dear Yellow was published by Haymarket Books.
Mary Kamal Gagnon
Mary Kamal Gagnon (b. 1986 Detroit, MI) is a Lebanese multidisciplinary artist, curator, and author.
Felicia Krol is a writer and educator from Southeast Michigan. She holds a BA in creative writing from Oakland University, and an MFA from Pacific University in Oregon.
Detroit Music Award winning singer/songwriter Audra Kubat has released 6 albums to critical acclaim in a career that spans over 20 years.
Brenna Lee is a Detroit based poet and prose writer originally from Pittsburgh. She is the author of Green Water (dancing girl press, 2021).
Sicily Amaris McRaven is a songwriter, multimedia artist, community arts facilitator, and activist working to move the conversation forward in their own right, social-behavioral connection, communication-based health, and art as social practice.
Wafaa Mustafa is an Iraqi poet from Dearborn, MI. She is a graduate of Wayne State University where she studied English and philosophy and is currently working on an MA in creative writing.
Ben Piper aka Pipes is a poet, songwriter, and educator living in Detroit with his wife and pups. He studied and sang at Michigan State University, and received his M.A. in Secondary Education from Brooklyn College.
Madelyn Porter, has worked as a professional storyteller/actor for the past forty years, and is a member of Actor’s Equity Association.
Naomi Jewels Richardson is attending Wayne State University this fall with the intention of having Accounting as her major and Film as her minor. She is currently working on her first poetry book called “Hold Me Until I Stop Overthinking”.
Breauna L. Roach
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.
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.
Caleb is a recording artist, storyteller/songwriter, musician, and a life-long Detroiter.
Nia Shumake is a storyteller and educator from Detroit who graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016.
Gio was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and is an alum of CityWide Poets. They are now pursuing a degree at the University of Michigan in Earth and Environmental Sciences, and have won the Marjorie Rapaport Award in Poetry.
Cassandra Verhaegen has called Upstate New York, Chicago, and now Detroit her home. She holds an MFA from Oregon State University, where she studied fiction and nonfiction writing, and also works with young artists at the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit.
Writer-in-Residence and Assistants
Applications for Writers-in-Residence and Assistants will reopen in summer/fall for the 2023/24 school year.