Straw Dog Writers Guild Members are patrons and advocates of literature, raising the literary profile of Western MA. We are a community of writers, authors, workshop leaders, and literary lovers.
Members are listed in alphabetical order by last name.
Janet E. Aalfs, poet laureate emeritus of Northampton and founder/director of Lotus Peace Arts at VWMA, enjoys helping to facilitate sites for revelation. Her books include Bird of a Thousand Eyes. www.vwma.org / facebook
Ella Nathanael Alkiewicz
Ella is a Labrador Inuk writer, marketer, artist, and poet. She has been the marketer for Straw Dogs since 2018. She recently joined the Steering Committee and was a judge for the EmergingWriters Fellowship. Ella holds an MFA in creative writing nonfiction. She can be reached on Twitter: @ellaalk, on Instagram: ella_alk, and at email@example.com. She lives in Northampton with her husband and their cat.
Jeannine Atkins writes about women in history. Her books include Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science and Stone Mirrors: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis (both Simon and Schuster). www.Jeannineatkins.com. twitter: @Jeannineatkins
Liz Bedell is a freelance editor, writing coach, and writer based in Northampton. A longtime English teacher, she is currently working on a novel set during the Great War and THE CARE AND FEEDING OF A WRITER’S SOUL, a nonfiction book about sustaining one’s writing practice. She also facilitates writing workshops locally and teaches at the Hartsbrook School.
Three books of poetry and fiction available on Amazon, Post-Freudian Dreaming, A General Theory of Desire & All Rise. He Won the Paris Review’s International Fiction Award and has published over 270 works of fiction, poetry, visual poetry, and memoir.
Stephen is the author of seven published science fiction/fantasy novels, including The American Book of the Dead and Quest for the Thirty-Six. From 2006 to 2016, Stephen and his wife Bela Breslau founded and ran the Shintaido Farm, a center for the practice of the Japanese body movement and martial art Shintaido, on River Road in Deerfield. Odeon Press is publishing Stephen’s literary collection of short stories entitled: A Book of Fields: Tales from the Pioneer Valley. www.stephenbillias.com
A poet, community organizer, and former chicken farmer, Lynn is the founding director of Woven Word Young Writers. Now in its 20th year, Woven Word provides a unique community for young writers through weekly workshops and summer programs that include writing on a houseboat on the Connecticut River. Lynn’s poetry has been published in Calyx, Northampton Gallery of Readers, and Equinox. Website — Facebook/Woven Word Young Writers
Anna Bozena Bowen
A poet, author, and nurse, Anna’s holistic approach to life and connection to spirit is expressed in her awards winning novel HATTIE which she says “is a testament to the multidimensional aspects of our human and spiritual lives.”
Jane Roy Brown
Jane is an award-winning journalist, editor, and the co-author, with Susan Haltom, of One Writer’s Garden: Eudora Welty’s Home Place. She is a workshop leader, helping other people write their life stories. Learn more: Website
Linda M. Rowland-Buckley
Linda M. Rowland-Buckley lives in South Hadley with her family and two dogs. She runs two drop-in writing groups at the South Hadley Public Library and is working on a collection of short stories. She has been published in Stone Walls II Journal and Legends Magazine.
Short stories, novels, plays, nonfiction, songs. Website: www.grantcarrington.freeyellow.com
Gail Cleare has written for magazines, newspapers, Fortune 50 companies, and AOL. Her new novel, The Taste of Air (2016, Red Adept Publishing)is a USA Today Bestseller. She lives on an 18th-century farm in Western Massachusetts with her family and dogs, cats, chickens, black bears, blue herons, rushing streams and wide, windy skies. Follow her at Facebook/GailCleareAuthor or on Twitter @gcleare, or visit her website at www.gailcleare.com.
Lou is the author of MAN OF THE YEAR, which chronicles his first campaign: helping Playgirl Magazine’s Mr. November become Man of the Year 1979. Lou was 13 at the time. PEOPLE Magazine called MAN OF THE YEAR “Hilarious & Poignant”. Jill Soloway (Transparent) hailed it as “a preposterous true tale about one little man’s journey into adulthood” and Amazon named it a best memoir of 2017. When he’s not writing, Lou’s is a senior advisor to an array of national nonprofits and is also the founder of CANVAS, a national fund devoted to encouraging and supporting a 21st Century Jewish arts & culture Renaissance.
Candace Curran is a writer and founding member of collaborative word and image exhibitions throughout western MA . Multimedia installations include, INTERFACE I-X, Automotive Poetry, Four on the Floor and Three on a Tree, and most recently Exploded View. She is twice named Western Massachusetts Poet’s Seat laureate and has judged for the competition as well as for the Massachusetts Book Awards. Publications include, Bone Cages and Playing in Wrecks, ( Haley’s Press), Raw Nervz, Meat For Tea, Silkworm and Compass Roads.
Corinne Demas is the author of 32 books including five novels, two short story collections, a memoir, a collection of poetry, and numerous books for children. She is a Professor of English at Mt. Holyoke College and a Fiction Editor of The Massachusetts Review.
www.corinnedemas.com Twitter: @corinnedemas
Lori Desrosiers’ poetry books are The Philosopher’s Daughter and Sometimes I Hear the Clock Speak (both from Salmon Poetry). She edits Naugatuck River Review, a journal of narrative poetry. http://loridesrosierspoetry.com
My manuscript, A Bestiary Tales from a Wildlife Garden, celebrates trees, birds, butterflies, and other beings inhabiting Flower Hill Farm Retreat. Enjoy 21 acres, forest, gardens, views, quiet? Discount/barter. www.caroldukeflowers.com
Susanne Dunlap As a traditionally published author of seven historical novels, I love bringing my experience and knowledge to bear to help aspiring or established authors polish their manuscripts for submission or self-publishing. Helping others master craft and tighten prose, fix plot holes and generate momentum and drive—all while finding the right voice for their project—is a passion. Based in Northampton, MA, I can work virtually or face-to-face. https://susannedunlapedits.com.
After 30 years as a talk show producer with hosts such as Larry King and Tom Snyder, I wrote the memoir Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers, and Losers.
My next book helps the writer prep when a guest in media.
Beth Filson was the host of Writers Night Out, a Straw Dog open mic. Most recently she won the 2015 Wild Light Poetry Prize from Red Hen Press, and her art was featured on the cover of The Florida Review .
Poet and translator of classic contemporary Danish authors, Michael Goldman’s work has appeared in dozens of literary journals. He is also a guest speaker in classrooms and at literary events. www.hammerandhorn.net –/ Facebook
D M Gordon. Book author; Fourth World, and Nightly, at the Institute of the Possible, a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award and International Book Award. https://hedgerowbooks.net/books/ Prizewinning poetry and fiction, including Glimmer Train (1st Prize), The Massachusetts Review, and Nimrod. MCC Artist Fellow in Fiction, a finalist in poetry. Editor; multiple genres, at www.dmgordoneditorial.com.
Tzivia Gover, is the author most recently of Joy in Every Moment: Mindful Exercises for Waking to the Wonders of Ordinary Life, and Learning in Mrs. Towne’s House: A Teacher, Her Students, and the Woman Who Inspired Them. As an author and workshop leader, she draws from mindfulness, dreamwork, and writing to empower people to live their best lives. To learn more visit: www.tziviagover.com / Twitter / Facebook
I am a recent Westfield State University graduate with a Bachelors of Art in English and writing. My dream is to work for a publishing company by day and write my novel by night. I came to Straw Dog Writer’s Guild as an intern and now I have gained an amazing community to be a part of.
Poetry, novels, essays, and plays are what I do. Professor of Theatre and Africana Studies at Smith. The author of WILL DO MAGIC FOR SMALL CHANGE and REDWOOD AND WILDFIRE published by Aqueduct Press website: http://www.andreahairston.com
Ellen Evert Hopman
Ellen Evert Hopman writes Celtic fiction and Herbals. She lives in Belchertown. Her latest herbal, “Secret Medicines from Your Garden” (Healing Arts Press), [expander_maker id=”1″ more=”Read more” less=”Read less”] is the winner of the International Herb Association’s Thomas DiBaggio award (2016) and of the Coalition of Visionary Resources award for Health and Healing books (2017).
Pushcart-nominated, RWH performs and writes short fiction that is spare, rich and sometimes dark. He published Sticks & Bones with MFT Press and is working on a second collection.
Alexis Johnson is co-founder and was Executive Director of International Language Institute for 31 years. Before that, she lived and taught in Barcelona for 9 years. Playing With A Full Deck is a wry look at her experiences. www.ili.edu
Becky Jones leads bereavement writing groups and has an active volunteer life. She has published some poetry and works episodically on a manuscript of stories from her hospital chaplain days. Email
My two books of poetry, All Roads Go Where They Will, 2010 and Migrations, 2013 were both published by Antrim House Press. My third book, Finding Ithaca, was published by Dos Madres Press, 2018. Copies are available from the Norwich Bookstore and at Broadside Bookshop.
Eileen P. Kennedy
Eileen P. Kennedy lives in Amherst, MA. Her chapbook Banshees (Flutter Press, 2015) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015 and awarded Second Prize from the Wordwrite Book Awards in Poetry. She was awarded Second Prize in the Penumbra Haiku Poetry Contest. She was a finalist for the 2018 Concrete Wolf Louis Poetry Prize. She won Honorable Mention from the New England, New York, and London Book Festivals, as well as from the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid/Poetry Contest and the Oregon Poetry Society. More at EileenPKennedy.com.
Winner of the Michael Doherty Award, Amy received her MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and has, for over 12 years, coached writers of many ages and backgrounds. Her work has appeared in Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, Canyon Voices, Plum Literary Journal and Write Angles Journal, to name a few. So Nice to Finally Meet You…is her debut novel. www.amylaprade.com
Susan LaRosa has a BS in Computer Science. She has published two sci-fi novels and one short story and is working on a third novel (a ghost story). susanlarosa.com
Melanie S. Lewis is an appellate and trial attorney, mediator, and poet. She just published her first book, Haiku to Nurse By, available at BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com. Melanie has had poems published in Wish Women, Even Then, Even Now, Silkworm, and most recently in Compass Roads: A Dispatch from Paradise/Poems about the Pioneer Valley, edited by Jane Yolen and the Straw Dogs Writers Guild, Leveller’s Press. Melanie has led writing workshops for victims/survivors of domestic violence and for teens.
Patricia Lee Lewis
Patricia Lee Lewis (aka Pat Sackrey) MFA, offers writing workshops & accommodations locally at Patchwork Farm Retreat; writing & yoga retreats internationally. Award-winning poet. Founding member, Straw Dog Writers Guild. Author of A Kind of Yellow, and High Lonesome. Website
Mark Luebbers is a teacher and writer living in Greenfield, Massachusetts. His work focuses on nature and the environment, the lives of eccentric and creative figures from history, and living in America. Mark has published poems in a number of journals and magazines in recent years, including The American Journal of Poetry, The Journal of Americana, Wayfarer Magazine, Apple Valley Review, Blue Line, and The Hopper. In 2018, Mark was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes. This is his first collection.
Janet MacFadyen is the author of five works of poetry, most recently Adrift in the House of Rocks, an environmental collaboration with the photographer Stephen Schmidt (New Feral Press 2019) and Waiting to Be Born (Dos Madres Press 2017). Her work has been nominated for the Forward Prize (UK) and two Pushcarts, anthologized in 50/50: Poems and Translations by Womxn over 50, and published in The Atlanta Review, CAYLX, Crannóg, Poetry, Q/A Poetry, Sweet, and Terrain. She was a writing fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, a resident at Cill Rialaig in Ireland, and is currently the managing editor of Slate Roof Press. She lives in Shutesbury, MA.
Jan Maher’s writing credits include novels, Earth As It Is, and Heaven, Indiana; plays Ismene, Intruders, Widow’s Walk, and Most Dangerous Women; and books for educators. More at http://www.janmaher.com.
Karen Malley earned her MFA at UMass Amherst in 1993 and teaches ESL at a public elementary school. Her stories have been published in Glimmer Train, Iowa Review, Fiddlehead, Antigonish Review, New Orphic Review, and Sonora Review. Her story “Roof Dog” was awarded first prize in Glimmer Train‘s New Writers Contest in 2012, and another, “Fragile,” won third prize in Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open in 2015. She has another story coming out in Glimmer Train’s final issue in Fall, 2019, and another story will appear in an upcoming issue of Bayou Magazine.
Libby Maxey, of Conway, MA, is a senior editor at the online journal Literary Mama; she also edits for Amherst College and as a freelancer. She reviews poetry for The Mom Egg Review and Solstice, and her own poems have appeared in Mezzo Cammin, Crannóg, Kestrel, Naugatuck River Review, and elsewhere. Her first chapbook, Kairos, won Finishing Line Press’s 2018 New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition. Locally, she has won both the Poet’s Seat Poetry Contest and the Robert P. Collén Poetry Contest, and her work was selected for the Northampton Arts Council’s 2017 Visual Arts and Poetry Biennial. Her nonliterary activities include singing classical repertoire and mothering two sons. libbymaxey.com
J.A. McIntosh spent too many years as an attorney in the child welfare system. She draws on her experience and her imagination to write about her former career. When not writing, she walks in the woods, plays piano, and indulges her addition to chocolate. Her book, Niagara Fontaine, a Meredith, Massachusetts novel was released in 2018. Her next novel in the series, A. B. Hartwell, will be released in 2019. jamcintosh.com
Ellen is the author of four novels, Her Sister’s Tattoo, Kinship of Clover, On Hurricane Island, and House Arrest. Her work has been honored by the Women’s National Book Association, the Massachusetts Center for the Book, PBS NewsHour, the American Book Fest, and Publishers Weekly. Recent essay publications include Lilith, The Boston Globe, The Writer, Guernica, and The Writers Chronicle. She is a founding member of Straw Dog Writers Guild and coordinates the Guild’s Social Justice Writing project. www.ellenmeeropol.com
RICHARD MICHELSON’s many books for children, teens, and adults have been listed among the Ten Best of the Year by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and The New Yorker; and among the best Dozen of the Decade by Amazon.com. Michelson hosts Northampton Poetry Radio and served two terms as Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA. www.RichardMichelson.com
Linda M. Rhinehart Neas has three books of poetry, Winter of the Soul, and Gogo’s Dream: Discovering Swaziland, and Where the Heather Meets the Stone. She, also, wrote and edited an eBook, Returning to the Circle: Inspirational Wisdom from Women for Women, which is a 30-day journey of self-discovery. Linda’s writing can also be found on her website, blog – Words from the Heart, and Facebook.
After writing for radio and films, I published my first novel wth the Harper-Saxton Award. A narrative history followed (my parents’ story), and recently a novel co-authored by Rudy Nelson. riskofreturning.com
Lesléa Newman’s 70 books include Heather Has Two Mommies and October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard. A past poet laureate of Northampton, her newest poetry collection I Carry My Mother was a 2016 Massachusetts “Must Read” title. www.lesleanewman.com / Twitter: @lesleanewman / Facebook
Nerissa Nields is a musician, songwriter, novelist, poet, and author. She has released 18 CDs, written five books and is currently at work on her third “Jintucket” novel.
She has been running writing workshops and retreats out of her home in Northampton MA since 2003. Writing It Up in the Garden is a mostly generative workshop process that welcomes all genres and levels of writers. She also runs manuscript groups (“Weeding & Pruning”) and maintains a popular blog on her website. Learn more at www.nerissanields.com.
Chris O’Carroll is the author The Joke’s on Me (White Violet Press, 2019). He is a Light magazine featured poet whose work has appeared The Great American Wise Ass Poetry Anthology, Love Affairs at the Villa Nelle, New York City Haiku, and Poems for a Liminal Age, among other collections.
Ed Orzechowski, author of You’ll like it here (Levellers Press 2016) is a retired teacher and journalist. He lives with his wife Gail in Florence, Massachusetts. www.edorze.com / www.facebook.com/edworzechowski
Dori Ostermiller, MFA is the author of Outside the Ordinary World, and founder and director of Writers in Progress, a writing center offering workshops, editing and consulting at our beautiful Florence studio www.doriostermiller.com/writers-in-progress
I’ve taught psychology, primarily counseling and psychotherapy, at Springfield College for 32 years and have been writing for 20. Psychology and writing ask the same question, “What does it mean to be human?” Good writing does a much better job. Long, loopy sentences, stories with no clear resolution, versus the DSM? No contest.
Elaine is a poet, herbalist, educator, and member of SCWBI. Her chapbook, The Heart is a Nursery For Hope, recently won honors from Flutter Press. For more info, visit her website. www.elainereardon.wordpress.com twitter: Reardon33
Robert V.S. Redick
Robert V. S. Redick is the author of The Chathrand Voyage Quartet (The Red Wolf Conspiracy and sequels), epic fantasy series. The first book in his new series The Fire Sacraments will be published in 2018. More at www.robertvsredick.com
Patricia Riggs is a writer disguised as a hospice social worker. She is at work on a memoir about food, longing, and loss but spends more time developing cookie recipes. Website is patriciariggslicsw.com
Chivas Sandage is a writing coach/consultant and offers women’s writing workshops in Easthampton. A digital columnist for Ms. Magazine, she is the author of Hidden Drive, a finalist for the 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Awards in poetry. https://www.csandage.com
Lauren Marie Schmidt
Lauren Marie Schmidt is the author of three collections of poetry: Two Black Eyes and a Patch of Hair Missing; The Voodoo Doll Parade, selected for the Main Street Rag Author’s Choice Chapbook Series; and Psalms of The Dining Room, a sequence of poems about her volunteer experience at a soup kitchen in Eugene, Oregon.
Filthy Labors, was released 2017 by Northwestern University Press. Schmidt is currently at work on a Young Adult novel. Website
Macci Schmidt is a geologist and science librarian with a murder mystery in the works. She is also pleased to be the Personal Librarian to many writers and enjoys helping with their research. Email
Straw Dog Writers Guild board member, and the assistant editor with Jane Yolen on the recent Compass Roads Anthology.
Molly Scott is a poet, singer, and psychologist. She is the recipient of the Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Award, has published “Up to the Windy Gate: Poems of Grief and Grace” with Finishing Line Press and leads Creative Resonance workshops locally and internationally.
Jacqueline Sheehan, Ph.D., is a New York Times Bestselling author. She is also a psychologist. Her novels include The Comet’s Tale a novel about Sojourner Truth, Lost & Found, Now & Then, and Picture This, The Center of the World, and The Tiger in the House. Website / Facebook / Instagram
Jessica B. Sokol
Jessica B. Sokol is the author of For Better And Worse, a raw and in-depth collection of stories about men and sexual relations in these ever-changing times.
Her book has received more than a dozen five-star reviews on Amazon and is also available at Broadside Bookshop in Northampton. Her writing focuses on real-life experiences with men, women, and relationships in the new millennium. AMAZON FACEBOOK
Vati Sreiberg is a founding editor of Stone Walls II, a literary and arts journal of the hilltowns. She is currently the fiction and non-fiction editor. She resides in the hilltowns of western Massachusetts where she practices acupuncture and writes.
She has a BA in Education and Comparative Literature and an MA in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. She is also on the program committee of Straw Dog Writers Guild.
Joshua Michael Stewart
Joshua Michael Stewart has had poems published in the Massachusetts Review, Salamander, Modern Haiku, Rattle, Brilliant Corners, and many others. His first full-length collection of poems, Break Every String, was published by Hedgerow Books in 2016. Visit him at www.joshuamichaelstewart.com
Susan Stinson is a novelist, coach, and editor. Her most recent novel, Spider in a Tree, is about 18th century Northampton. Fall 2017, she teaches Fiction Writing at Amherst College. www.susanstinson.net
I love being the Admin. Director of Straw Dog Writers Guild. I look forward to meeting all our members! Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa C. Taylor
The author of four books of poetry (most recently Necessary Silence) and one book of short fiction, Growing a New Tail. Lisa continues to be fascinated by resilient and complicated characters. She’s available for online mentoring and offers writing workshops in the U.S. and in Ireland. She also teaches writing at a small college. www.lisactaylor.com
Gail Thomas has published four books of poetry including Odd Mercy, winner of the Charlotte Mew Prize, and Waving Back, named a Must-Read for 2016 by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. www.gailthomaspoet.com/
Fungai is a journalist, writer and web developer who founded the multiple award-winning arts and culture website Zimbo Jam in 2008. In 2015 he was awarded a Nieman Journalism Fellowship and Berkman Klein Fellowship for Journalism Innovation at Harvard University. His fiction and poetry look at the promises the world makes to young people and the extent to which those promises are kept. He is passionate about using the Internet as a platform for promoting artists and artistic endeavor.
Sharon Tracey is a poet and editor, and the author of two full-length poetry collections, CHROMA: Five Centuries of Women Artists (Shanti Arts Publishing) and What I Remember Most Is Everything (All Caps Publishing). Her poems have appeared in The Worcester Review, Mom Egg Review, Tule Review, and elsewhere.
More at sharontracey.com
Award-winning author of several novels including 5 Star Reader’s Favorites, ” Delilah of Sunhats Swans”, and YA novel, “Anabelle Lost”. Also, “Still, Life: a collection of echoes”, “a life undone”, “HIDDEN” and the middle-grade fantasy, “The Thirteenth Moon”. More info at www.melissavolker.com and FaceBook / Twitter
I live in Northampton and teach at Cambridge College. My new chapbook, AIR-BREATHING LIFE, is now available: Finishing Line Press, Amazon. My essays have appeared in SALON and Huffington Post. For more information, visit my website: www.abigailwarren.org
Tom Weiner, retired school teacher, is the author of two works of non-fiction, CALLED TO SERVE: Stories of Men and Women Confronted by the Vietnam War (adapted into the play entitled “THE DRAFT” by Peter Snoad) and PHOTOGRAPHED LETTERS ON WINGS: How Microfilmed V-Mail Helped Win World War II. He is currently writing a book about men’s and women’s support groups. www.calledtoservevietnam.com
Ellen Wittlinger is the award-winning author of 15 young adult and middle-grade novels. Two more middle-grades will be published this year and next. She also writes plays and screenplays.
Sandra Worsham’s new memoir, Going to Wings, published by Third Lung Press, is the story of the struggle to reconcile sexuality, religion, family, and self. She lives in Milledgeville, Georgia, with her wife and two dogs.
Jane Yolen, often called “the Hans Christian Andersen of America,” is the author of over 366 books (actual number), including OWL MOON, THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC, and HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOODNIGHT. In 2018 you will be able to read a Jane Yolen book a day for a year–even on a leap year.) Learn more: www.janeyolen.com
Nicole M. Young
Nicole M. Young is a performance poet, playwright, theater instructor and pop culture critic originally from Detroit, MI. Her work has been performed across Western Massachusetts, New York, and Michigan. She self-produced a spoken word album, In/Put: Live from the Valley, which was recorded live and is working on her first memoir. Website