Past Writers

April and May 2013

Laura Lepik comes to MVWR from a Poznan, Poland. She has studied writing at Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. She is at work on a non-fiction piece entitled Jazz, Labs & Galileo detailing her journey as mother of four who loses custody of her children.

Rose Cirigliano is on our second tour at the residency. Rose is at work on a children’s story entitled The Full Moon in Sagittarius Fancy Dress Ball. She lives in New York City.

Laura Murray is an investigative journalist based in San Francisco. She has written for the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle among other publications. Currently she is working on her memoir about her experiences
as a child trapped in the child welfare system and from which she freed herself.

Ed Hodges hails from Baltimore, MD. Ed is at work on several themed poetry chapbooks about life in Baltimore, marriage and ekphrastic poems. His work has appeared in the literary journals Harpur Palate, Lullwater, Nimrod and others.

Alex Williams is a poet, critic, and environmental activist. He writes blogs for the NPO, book reviews for, and he has published poems domestically and abroad. He holds a BA in English from Bowdoin College in Maine and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Edinburgh, UK. Now he lives in a cottage in Cole Valley, San Francisco.

Olivia Cerrone is a graduate of the MFA program in creative writing at New York University. She was recently awarded writing residencies at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and the Vermont Studio Center. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in a wide variety of journals, including The Dos Passos Review, Night Train, Word Riot, and others. She is currently at work on The Hunger Saint, a novel involving the carusi, the child-aged sulfur miners of Sicily.

Deborah Norrie-Jones is an artist, arts therapist and poet. Her childhood features the wild west coast of NZ, Dunedin and PS 43, Harlem, NYC. She had a solo exhibition of poetry and art; Grief’s Resonance in Brisbane 2005. Deborah is on a literal world tour. She bought a one-way ticket to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where she’s been writing and painting. Martha’s Vineyard is the next stop on her journey.

Jack Sonni is a former professional musician who lived out his life-long dream of playing rock and roll. His break came after a decade of struggling as a New York City performer. His current work, a memoir “Rock n Rolled”, details the journey that took him from New York clubs to Live Aid and MTV with the band Dire Straits and back to selling guitars–a two year whirlwind tour.

September and October 2012

April 2012

Nan Byrne is a feminist poet, the author of two books and has won awards for her screenplays. Her poetry and fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines including New Orleans Review, Seattle Review, Other Voices International, Canadian Woman Studies, and Borderlands. She currently works as Director of Development for New Dominion Pictures an independent television and movie production company where she has developed series and documentaries for National Geographic Channel, History Channel and Discovery Channel.

David Mitchell is a recent graduate of California College of the Arts with an MFA in Creative Writing. He is working on a historical fantasy novel entitled The Sea Devil of Orkney which began as his graduate thesis. Inspired by the spirit of adventure stories of Weird Tales authors Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft, David owes a bit to the tone and themes of these writers.

Bradford Kammin holds an MFA degree in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, where he was awarded six Hopwood Awards for his short fiction, nonfiction, and novel. His work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review.

Emily McLaughlin recently received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Meijer Post-Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing and seven Hopwood Awards for short fiction, novel,
drama, and essays. She has worked in television as a screenwriter and
has taught writing at the University of Michigan.

Stephanie Hopkins writes short stories, non-fiction and young adult fiction. You can find her work in anthologies and journals such as Painted Bride Quarterly, Blithe House and Dirty Girls. She was nominated for a Puchart Prize and was a finalist for the 2006 Rauxa Prize for Erotic Fiction. A Phd from NYU, Stephanie has taught writing at NYU, Bard and the New School. She is a founding member of the Brooklyn Writers Collaborative.

Cathy Rose is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in San Francisco. She is also a talented writer of fiction. Her work has appeared in Fifth Wednesday Journal, Santa Clara Review, Fourteen Hills, and Rosebud among others. She currently is working on a novel set on the West Coast about an eccentric family living on a defunct commune property in the Sierra Nevada’s Cathy has twice been awarded fellowships for the Prague Summer Program and Summer Literary Program in St. Petersburg Russia. Cathy has an MFA from San Francisco State

This past year Claire Shefchik signed with a literary agent to represent her memoir Princess of Pirates, or how I ran away to sea the tale of a sheltered, bookish college girl who signs aboard a tall ship in hopes of becoming a real-life modern day pirate. Claire has an mfa from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in Compass Rose, Make and Revolution house. She received a grant to study speculative fiction with Margaret Atwood at the Key west Literary seminars, she also writes and blogs for PopMatters, Beyond Race Magaine and

Mariam Abolfazli is working on her first novel, The Wind Pushers about second-generation Iranian Americans. Mary works in Washington D.C where she creates and manages two online schools for social entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs in Iran.

Jody Zordrager‘s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Antioch Review, Sycamore Poetry Review and Borderlands among other journals. She has an MFA from Warren Wilson. Her first book of poetry, Of Consequence, was published in 2008 by The Backwaters Press.

Janine Coveney is a writer and editor who has worked at Essence and Billboard, and has contributed to numerous publications. She received an MFA from Antioch University-Los Angeles and is completing a memoir as well as a novel.

Scott Crawford is an actor, dancer and writer who has performed ballet and modern dance and worked as a stage manager on Broadway for the show Carousel. He is currently working on a three person play which he hopes to direct.


September 2011

Casey Charles is the winner of the 2010 Washington Square Poetry Award. His chapbook Controlled Burn (Pudding House 2007) was named as one of the Missoula Independent’s books of the year in 2007.He teaches Shakespeare in Missoula, Montana.

Sweta Srivastava Vikram ( is a two times Pushcart Prize nominated-poet, novelist, author, essayist, columnist, blogger, and educator whose musings have translated into four chapbooks of poems, two collaborative collections of poetry, a fiction novel, and an upcoming nonfiction book of personal essays and poetry.

Erin Kelley’s short fiction has been published in literary journals worldwide, including Kyoto, the Philippines Free Press, Monkeybicycle and Keyhole. Erinwas a finalist for the 2009 Philippines Free Press Literary Award, the country’s most prestigious award for short fiction.She currently works as assistant editor of Thrive Magazine.

Ellen Goldstein received my MFA from Emerson College in 2003. She has had poems published in “Mid-American Review,” “New Hampshire Review,” “Measure,” “Muddy River Review,” and “Subtropics,” among others. Her work also has appeared in two anthologies “Letters to the World,” and “Rough Places Plain: Poems of the Mountains.”

A.S Penne is author of two books and innumerable publications in international literary journals.She facilitates writing workshops for adults and young children. “Once A Soldier,” her most recent work, is a three-act stageplay that chronicles the long-term effects of war on successive generations of veterans’ families. The play is scheduled for production in Spring, 2012.She is a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

This is Georgia Clark’s second time at Martha’s Vineyard Writers Residency.Georgia is an award-winning and widely published Australian author, journalist and producer She writes for teen and women’s lifestyle magazines and various online beasts such as So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway and Idol. In 2007 she won a national freelance film and TV pitching competition for an original vampire drama series, which bought her a ticket to New York. Her first novel, She’s With The Band, was published in Australia by Allen & Unwin in 2008.Hailing from Australia and currently based in Brooklyn, New York, she rarely uses the phrase ‘g’day’.

Cara Hoffman is the author of So Much Pretty (Simon and Schuster 2011). Hoffman grew up in an economically depressed town in upstate New York. She dropped out of high school, bought a one-way ticket to London with her savings, and spent the three years writing and working as an agricultural laborer and runner in Europe and the Middle East. Hoffman received her Masters of Fine Arts in Writing from Goddard College in 2009. She has been a guest lecturer at Cornell University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and taught English at Lehman Alternative Community School and Tompkins Cortland Community College. She lives in Manhattan with her son.

Elizabeth Besescu has a Bachelors in Philosophy and a Masters in Internet Strategy Management, but found life wasn’t complete without writing. For the past five years she’s taken classes with Mary Carroll Moore at the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center and has finished the first draft of her novel, Left of Center, a story of love, betrayal and loss and remaking one’s life set in East Texas between 1891 and 1953.

Sanderia Smith received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing/Fiction from Arizona State University. An excerpt from her upcoming novel “Mourning Bench” appeared in Mythium Literary Journal. Another will appear in Jennifer Wallach’s forthcoming book Arsnick: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Arkansas, 1962-1967, and in Sabal Literary Journal. Sanderia has received numerous grants and Scholarships including Writers’ Colony at Diary Hollow, Vermont Studio Center, and the 2011 Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. She is currently a Ph.D candidate at the University of Texas Dallas.

October 2011 residents

Chloe Yelena Miller’s poetry has been published in literary journals such as Alimentum, The Cortland Review and Narrative. Her work was a finalist for the Philip Levine Prize in Poetry and a finalist for the Narrative Poetry Contest. Poems published in Narrative were chosen as ‘Poem of the Week’ and ’30 Poems to Inspire’. Chloe blogs regularly about writing from a teacher’s perspective (she teaches creative and composition writing at George Mason University and Fairleigh Dickinson University) and about Italian language and food at has an MFA in from Sarah Lawrence College.

Roberta Bienvenu has published poems and essays in many journals, including Poetry, Ploughshares, Antioch Review, New England Review, and Crazyhorse. Retired from teaching Writing and Literature at Johnson State College in Johnson, VT, she currently is working on a memoir called It Must Give Pleasure, as well as on a book of poems, Karst Topography.She lives in Northern Vermont.

Julie Morin’s first novel, WATER FOR THE TIN HOUSE, was a finalist in the 2003 Pirate’s Alley Writing Competition and was later represented by Trident Media. She currently is working on a novel entitled SMOKE AND SOLACE.

In addition to writing, Julie studies acting and has performed in many local productions in her home city of Tucson, Arizona.

Susan Eisenberg is a poet, nonfiction author, and visual artist who works within and across forms. Her essay about her introduction to the craft of poetry will be included in Denise Levertov, In Company. She is author of We’ll Call You If We Need You: Experiences of Women Working Construction, a New York Times Notable Book that draws on memoir and oral history; and the poetry collections, Blind Spot and Pioneering. Among the first women in the country to achieve journey level status as a union electrician, she has been framing and re-framing the issues and experiences of tradeswomen for more than three decades. She holds a BA in Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan, an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College, and a master electrician’s license. She is currently a Resident Artist/Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University.

Kathy Peterson is a poet working on an pen and ink illustrated poetry manuscript. She holds a BS from Univ. of MN in secondary math education and studio arts minor and an MFA from Warren Wilson College.She recently studied poetry at San Miguel Poetry Week in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Julia Dahl is a freelance journalist who specializes in crime and justice. Her feature articles have appeared in the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine and Salon, The Columbia Journalism Review; and many others. In 2009, She was awarded a John Jay/H.F. Guggenheim fellowship in criminal justice journalism and was invited to be a contributing editor and staff writer for The Crime, a non-profit criminal justice news site run by the Center on Media, Crime and Justice.She holds a BA in English from Yale, an MFA in fiction from the New School, and an MA in journalism from American University.She is working a literary novel about a young female New York City reporter who becomes involved in the murder of a Hasidic Jewish woman.

Lisa Blackwell currently writes short stories and non-fiction to highlight the quality-of-life struggles of women in today’s fast paced world. Her work has been published in Makeshift Magazine, Innerchange Magazine, Phati’tude Literary Magazine, and the anthology Woman’s Work: The Short Stories by Michelle Sewell. She has an upcoming short story that will appear in the literary magazine CALYX. Her latest work is the self-help guide for women titled, Are You a Mule or a Queen?: How to Have Other Honor Your Wishes and Value Your Time.

Pete MacDonald is working on a literary novel about an older man who decides he must answer for crimes he committed in the distant past.He has published fiction and non-fiction in the New York Times, Barrelhouse Magazine, Inkwell, Flashquake, and has a story forthcoming in The Battered Suitcase.He lives in Seattle, WA.

Jenny Klion has had her short plays and performance pieces produced in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, at venues such as Dance Theater Workshop, and the Knitting Factory. Ms. Klion received her B.A. in Theater Arts/Dance from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and studied at L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq—Mime, Mask, Movement Theater—in Paris, France. She is a former member of the Pickle Family Circus in San Francisco, and the Big Apple Circus in New York City, more recently, she was a staff writer on the CBS prime-time game show Power of 10.

Nancy Anne Miller was born in Bermuda.She has a Masters in Literature in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.Her poems have been published in Edinburgh Review, Stand, Caribbean Writer, Dalhousie Review, The Fiddlehead, Postcolonial Text. In 2008, she was a fellow at MacDowell Colony.

Liz Dolan’s first poetry collection, They Abide, was recently published by March Street Press. She has also published poems, memoir and short stories in New Delta Review, Rattle, Harp Weaver, The Cortland Review, Illuminations, Prism International Quarterly, Philadelphia Stories and Natural Bridge, among others. Her work in Mudlark was chosen for The Best of the Web by Web Del Sol. A five-time Pushcart nominee, she lives in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware.


2010 Writers in Residence:

Jamie Pachino Jones Jamie is an award winning playwright whose work has been produced in four countries.  She is a recipient of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays and 2010 Francesca Primus Prize by the American Theatre Critics Association. She teaches at UC Irvine.

Sylvia Sukop is recipient of the 2009 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellowship .  She is currently working on a memoir about the death of her brother, an environmental activist.

Jude Marr is a librarian from Herefordshire, England.  She is working on a new novel entitled Friends In Need.  It is her third novel.

Katie Kingston is a poet from Colorado.  Her poems have appear in the Atlanta Review, Hunger Mountain, Margie and Nimrod, among others.  She is the recipient of the 2010 W.D. Snodgrass Award for Poetic Endeavor and Excellence and a perennial participant in the San Miguel Poetry Week in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Patricia Patterson is a short story writer who has taught at New York University and Fordham University.  Her work has been short-listed for the Bakeless Prize of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and a finalist for the Raymond Carver Prize.

Kirby Wright is from Hawaii.  A graduate of San Francisco State University graduate writing program, Kirby’s work has been nominated for two Pushcarts and he is a recipient of the Ann Fields Poetry Prize  and the Browning Society Award for Dramatic Monologue.

Karen Hunt has been commissioned by The Adirondack Review to write a piece about death row inmate Maureen McDermott.  Karen is co-founder of InsideOut Writers, a creative writing program for incarcerated youth in L.A. She lives in Los Angeles with her three children.

Neil Swidey is a staff writer for The Boston Globe Magazine.  His book, The Assist: Hoops, Hope, and the Game of Their Lives was a best seller and was named one of the best books of 2008. He is a recipient of numerous journalism awards.

Gay Giordano has a BA in writing from Carnegie Mellon.  Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals.  She has been a resident at Banff Center, the Vermont Writer’s Studio and Bennington College Summer Residency.

Deirdra McAfee has published her stories in The Georgia Review, The Diagram, The Baltimore Review among many others. Her work has been nominated for a pushcart prize and received a Pushcart Special Mention. She teaches creative writing at The Visual Arts Center of Richmond.

Juliet Bressan is a novelist from Dublin, Ireland.  She has published two best selling novels during the last three years.  Her most recent novel is Snow White Turtle Doves.

Renee Ranchan is from India. She writer for many journals and periodicals in India including Hindustan Times and The Sun.  Her book of poetry, Untwine the Wind was published this summer.  This is her first residency.

2009 Writers in Residence

Ellen Goldstein Ellen’s poems have appeared in Mid-American Review, Measure and Valparaiso Poetry Review. She has an MFA in Poetry from Emerson College in Boston.  She is working on the final draft of her first poetry collection.

Cynthia Lowen is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she received an MFA in Creative Writing. She was a 2007/2008 fellowship recipient to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. She has received numerous prizes for her poetry including the 2008 Discovery/Boston Review Prize.  Her work has appeared in Barrow Street and Black Warrior Review among other publications.  She lives in New York City where she is a freelance writer.

Sweta Vikram has published a collection of poetry, Pabulum and her work has appeared in several literary journals.  Currently, she is working on a collection of short stories set in India and the United States.

Gladys Swan has published two novels and six collections of short fiction. Her stories, poems and essays appear regularly in the            Sewanee Review. She has been a resident at Yaddo, the Vermont Studio Center and Chateau de Lavigny.

Marie Myuyng-Ok Lee is the author of Somebody’s Daughter (2005), Booklist Best Book of the Year and WGBH summer reading pick, published most recently in TriQuarterly and Guernica. Marie also writes for Slate, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. She teaches creative writing at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Georgia Clark is an Australian fiction writer.  Her current book series is called Tigerskins, Inc., is being published by Allen and Unwin in Australia. The books main characters serve as positive role models for young women.  Georgia has also written and directed several short films.

Katherine Govier has authored 8 novels and 3 short story collections.  Her current novel is set in the coal mining town of Canmore, Alberta.  She has been a visiting lecturer in both Creative Writing and Magazine Journalism at York University, Ryerson Polytechnical University and The University of Leeds, England.

Justen Ahren is founder and co-director of the Martha’s Vineyard Writers Residency.  His work has appeared in Borderlands and Fulcrum, BorderSenses and Comstock Review among others.  A graduate of Emerson College, Mr. Ahren’s first collection of poetry, A Strange Catechism was published in 2013.  YouTube Preview Image