Meet the authors who will share their stories and insights at Adelphi's Writers & Readers Festival.

Alice Hoffman ’73

Photo credit: Alyssa Peek

Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including Magic Lessons: The Prequel to Practical Magic, The World That We Knew, The Rules of Magic (a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick), The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Book of Magic, The Red Garden, Here on Earth (an Oprah Book Club selection), The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers, which Toni Morrison called “… a major contribution to twenty-first century literature.”  

Mona Awad

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Mona Awad

Mona Awad is the author of Bunny, named a Best Book of 2019 by TIME, Vogue, and the New York Public Library. It was a finalist for the New England Book Award and a Goodreads Choice Award.  It is currently optioned for film with Bad Robot Productions. Awad’s debut, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, winner of the Colorado Book Award and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award. All’s Well was longlisted for the International Dublin Award and a finalist for a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror. Rouge, her fourth novel, was just published with Simon & Schuster.

Mona earned an MFA in fiction from Brown University and an MScR in English from the University of Edinburgh where her dissertation was on fear in the fairy tale. She completed a PhD in Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of Denver. Mona has taught creative writing  at Brown University, the University of Denver, Framingham State, Tufts and in the MFA program at UMass Amherst, where she served as a visiting writer.  Currently, she is an assistant professor in the creative writing program at Syracuse University and is based in Boston.

Kevin Baker Kevin Baker

Kevin Baker is the author, most recently, of The New York Game: Baseball and the Rise of a New City. He has written six novels, including the New York Times bestseller Paradise Alley, and is the author or co-author of five previous histories. Other work has included writing the story for the Ken Burns documentary The U.S. and the Holocaust. A contributing editor at Harper’s magazine, Baker has written for many major publications in the United States and Europe and has appeared in numerous documentaries. He is currently at work on a political and cultural history of the United States between the world wars, for which he received a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Jenn BakerJennifer Baker

Jennifer Baker is an author and editor with over 20 years’ experience in book publishing. She’s also the creator/host of the Minorities in Publishing podcast, and a faculty member of the MFA program in creative nonfiction at Bay Path University. In 2019, she was named Publishers Weekly Superstar for her contributions to inclusion and representation in publishing. Baker is also the editor of the BIPOC-short story anthology Everyday People: The Color of Life (Atria Books, 2018) and the author of Forgive Me Not (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2023) listed as a 2023 New York Public Library Best Book for Teens and 2023 Best of the Best by the Black Caucus American Library Association and was included on the Texas Library Association’s 2024 TAYSHAS Reading List. Her fiction, nonfiction and criticism has appeared in various print and online publications.

Lisa Belkin

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Lisa Belkin

Lisa Belkin is an award-winning journalist and the author of narrative nonfiction books. Her career at the New York Times includes stints as a national correspondent, medical reporter and contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine. She lives in Westchester, New York.

Salty Brine

Salty BrineSalty Brine is a New York-based cabaret artist, playwright and actor. He is the creative force behind The Living Record Collection (LRC), a series of cabaret performances that weave together iconic, popular albums with cultural touchstones from classic literature to history and beyond. The LRC contains 21 shows and counting. The Guardian says Brine is, “a storyteller in total command of voice, a cocked eyebrow and his audience.” Brine has presented works at Lincoln Center, Pangea, Soho Theater and at his artistic home, Joe’s Pub, at the Public Theater. He is the recipient of a Bistro Award for outstanding creative artistry, was a member of the Joe’s Pub Working Group (2020) and was named one of Time Out New York’s “LGBTQ influencers you should know.” As a book writer, he is in collaboration with world-renowned composer Alan Menken on the sci-fi musical ATINA: EVIL QUEEN OF THE GALAXY. And he hosted his own theater talk show, TeaTime with Salty Brine, at this year’s Under the Radar Festival.

Ada Calhoun

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Ada Calhoun

Ada Cal­houn is the author of Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me, named one of the Best Books of 2022 by the New York Times, Wash­ing­ton Post, Oprah Dai­ly, and National Public Radio (NPR); fea­tured on PBS News Hour and the Today show; and longlist­ed for an Andrew Carnegie Medal for Non­fic­tion. Times crit­ic Alexan­dra Jacobs called the book her favorite mem­oir of the year; Hud­son Book­sellers called it the non­fic­tion book of the year.

Her instant New York Times best­seller Why We Can’t Sleep: Wom­en’s New Midlife Cri­sis, was an expan­sion of her viral sto­ry for Oprah.com about the unique cir­cum­stances faced by Gen­er­a­tion X women. One of the Amazon Edi­tors’ Best Non­fic­tion Books of 2020, a Goodreads Choice Award Final­ist, and an Indie Next Pick, Why We Can’t Sleep was one of the biggest books of the sea­son accord­ing to the New York Times, Parade, and O mag­a­zine. It was translated into mul­ti­ple for­eign languages.

Peggy CassidyPeggy Cassidy

Peggy Cassidy, Ph.D. is professor and chair of the Communications Department at Adelphi University. Her research and teaching focus primarily on the history of media in the lives and education of children and adolescents. She is the author of BookEnds: The Changing Media Environment of American Classrooms (Hampton Press, 2003) and Children, Media, and American History: Printed Poison, Pernicious Stuff, and Other Terrible Temptations (Routledge, 2017). She has served as president of the Media Ecology Association (MEA) and the New York State Communication Association, and she is editor of the MEA journal Explorations in Media Ecology.

Rebecca Chace

© Marco Giugliarelli for Civitella Ranieri Foundation, 2021

Rebecca Chace

Rebecca Chace has published four books, Leaving Rock Harbor; Capture the Flag; Chautauqua Summer; June Sparrow and The Million Dollar Penny. Her novel, Talking to the Wolf, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. She is also the author of plays, screenplays, and literary essays. She has written for The New York Times, LA Review of Books, The Yale ReviewGuernica, Lit Hub, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other publications. Fellowships include Civitella Ranieri, MacDowell, Yaddo, American Academy in Rome (visiting artist), Dora Maar House, VCCA, and many others. She is Program Manager at the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College.

Mark ChiusanoMark Chiusano

Mark Chiusano is the author of The Fabulist, a George Santos biography, and the story collection Marine Park, a PEN/Hemingway Award honorable mention. He is a former Newsday columnist and his writing has appeared in places like The New York Times, New York Magazine, Politico Magazine, and The Paris Review. He teaches English at CUNY City Tech.

Ennie ConnerEnnie Conner

Ennie Conner is an author and sophomore English major at Adelphi University. They were raised in Houston, Texas, and have an interest in cats, writing, and sleeping… a lot. Ennie is currently working on a collection of African-American folktale inspired short stories.

Liana Finck

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Liana Finck

Liana Finck is a cartoonist living in Brooklyn. She is the author of three graphic novels and a memoir, and has published several collections of her cartoons with Penguin Random House that have been reviewed and featured by the New York Times and The New York Times Book Review. Her work has been featured in many publications including regular contributions to the New Yorker.

She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship  and a 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship.

David Flores

David Flores is a photographer, filmmaker and educator. His work can be found on the covers of Poets & Writers, Scalawag and in film festivals across the country. He is Head of Visual Arts at the DreamYard Project and teaches film at Hostos College. Recent arts residencies include ArtBuilt, GlobalWrites and Louisiana Arts Works. Tell Me Every Lie, his debut YA book (co-written with Ellen Hagan) is forthcoming from Bloomsbury in March 2025. David lives in Manhattan with his partner and children. 

Kim Coleman Foote

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Kim Coleman Foote

Kim Coleman Foote is the author of the novel, Coleman Hill (SJP Lit/Zando), inspired by her family’s experience of the Great Migration from Alabama and Florida to Vauxhall, New Jersey, c. 1916–80s.

An award-winning writer of fiction and memoir, Kim’s work has appeared most recently in The Best American Short Stories 2022Iron Horse Literary ReviewEcotone, and The Rumpus. Major honors include writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Phillips Exeter Academy, Center for Fiction, Yaddo, MacDowell, and Hedgebrook. Kim grew up in New Jersey and received an MFA in creative writing from Chicago State University and a BA in sociology & anthropology, concentration in Black Studies, from Swarthmore College.

Valerie FrankelValerie Frankel

Valerie Frankel has collaborated with celebrities, public figures and experts on more than 30 books, including two #1 New York Times bestsellers: Unhinged by Omarosa Manigault Newman, and Melania and Me by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. Other bestsellers she’s ghostwritten include Stay Hungry by Sebastian Maniscalco and A Shore Thing by Snooki. Before becoming a ghostwriter, Frankel, a Dartmouth grad, has been an award-winning journalist and author (she’s written 21 books under her own name, novels, memoirs and self-help guides), and served as articles editor at Condé Nast’s Mademoiselle for a decade.

Frankel joined Aevitas to put her35 years of editorial experience to use by helping you realize your dream of becoming an author. She’s interested in nonfiction (memoir, health and wellness, business, lifestyle) and fiction (thriller, mystery, romance, YA). She’s based in Brooklyn, New York, and loves cats.

Kermit FrazierKermit Frazier

Kermit Frazier has been a writer, playwright, and television writer as well as a teacher of writing, literature, and theater for nearly forty years. His plays have been produced in New York and around the country. Frazier’s plays include Kernel of Sanity, Little Rock, Legacies, An American Journey, Dinah Washington Is Dead, Class Reunion, Outside the Radio, and Smoldering Fires. He has written for multiple television series in various genres, including being a head writer for the popular children’s series.

In June, 2020, his career as a playwright was featured in a New York Times arts section article about his very first play, Kernel of Sanity, appearing online in Paul Vogel’s Bard at the Gate series of presentations of “overlooked plays.”

Robin GowRobin Gow MFA ’20

Robin Gow (it/fae/he & él y elle) is a trans poet and witch from rural Pennsylvania. He is the author of several poetry collections, an essay collection, and Middle-Grade and YA novels. Faer novels include Ode to My First Car, A Million Quiet Revolutions, and Dear Mothman. Fae works as a community educator, calling folks into discussions around queer and disability justice. It lives with its partner Rain and their menagerie of animals.

Jan-Henry Gray

Jan-Henry Gray (he/him), assistant professor of English, is the author of Documents, winner of BOA Editions’ A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize (chosen by D.A. Powell) and finalist for the 2019 Thom Gunn Award. His chapbook, Selected Emails, was published by speCt! Books. His poems have been included in various anthologies, including Undocupoetics: An Introduction (HarperCollins/Harper Perennial, 2025), Permanent Record (Nightboat, 2024), Essential Queer Voices of U.S. Poetry (Green Linden Press, 2024), Queer Nature (Autumn House, 2022) and Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color (Nightboat, 2018). His other writings, including essays and reviews, have been featured by the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Foundation, Poetry Daily, The Rumpus, The Margins, DIAGRAM, Colorado Review, Newcity and Teachers & Writers Magazine.

He has received fellowships from Kundiman and Undocupoets as well as awards from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Juniper Summer Writing Institute and the Academy of American Poets. In 2019, he co-organized Writers for Migrant Justice, a nationwide reading and fundraiser for Immigrant Families Together. He also served as a mentor for the Asian Prisoner Support Committee, a teaching artist for City Lore (New York City) and a co-curator for Meanwhile (Chicago). Born in the Philippines and raised in California, he currently lives in New York.

Lauren GrodsteinLauren Grodstein

Lauren Grodstein is the author of Our Short History; The Washington Post Book of the Year The Explanation for Everything; and the New York Times-bestselling A Friend of the Family, among other works. Her stories, essays and articles have appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies and have been translated into French, German, Chinese and Italian, among other languages.  Her work has also appeared in Elle, The New York Times, Refinery29, Salon.com, Barrelhouse, Post Road and The Washington Post. She is a professor of English at Rutgers University-Camden, where she teaches in the MFA program in creative writing.

Ellen Hagan

Ellen Hagan is a writer, performer and educator. Her books include: Reckless; Glorious, Girl; Don’t Call Me a Hurricane; and All That Shines. She has a new young adult (YA) project forthcoming in 2025 with her partner David Flores. Hagan’s poems and essays can be found in Oprah Magazine; ESPNW;  So We Can Know: Writers of Color on Pregnancy, Loss, Abortion, and Birth (edited by Aracelis Girmay); Creative Nonfiction; and Underwired Magazine.

Steven IsenbergSteven L. Isenberg, JD, ’00 (Hon.)

Festival Master of Ceremonies

Steven L. Isenberg served as the Chair of Adelphi University’s Board of Trustees, as well as Interim President, in recognition of which he was awarded an honorary doctorate.

He holds a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A., M.A. in English Language and Literature from Worcester College, Oxford. He obtained his J.D. from Yale Law School.

Previously, he was Publisher of New York Newsday; Executive Vice-President, Marketing, at the LA Times; Chief of Staff to Mayor John V. Lindsay; and the Executive Director of PEN American Center. He is an Honorary Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford, and taught most recently as a Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Scott JamesScott James ’84

Scott James, Adelphi BA ’84, is a veteran journalist and the author of the book Trial by Fire, an investigation into one of America’s deadliest criminal cases, The Station nightclub fire that killed 100. CBS News turned the book into an episode of 48 Hours. Since 2009 Scott’s reporting has also appeared in The New York Times, and he is the recipient of three Emmy Awards for his work in television news. He’s also the author of two bestselling novels, SoMa and The Sower.

Julie Klam

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Julie Klam

Julie Klam grew up in Bedford, New York. After attending NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and interning at Late Night with David Letterman, she went on to write for such publications as O: The Oprah Magazine, Rolling Stone, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and for the VH1 television show Pop-Up Video, where she earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Class Writing. Currently she writes for The New York Times, The Washington Post and the magazines that haven’t folded. She lives in New York City with her family and a variety of cute dogs. She is the author of six books, including the New York Times-bestselling memoir Please Excuse My Daughter; You Had Me at Woof; Love at First Bark; Friendkeeping; The Stars in Our Eyes;  and The Almost Legendary Morris Sisters.

Jacqueline Jones LaMonJacqueline Jones LaMon

Jacqueline Jones LaMon is a poet and writer. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications such as POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Callaloo, Narrative Magazine, Ninth Letter, Mythium, Bellevue Literary Review and Crab Orchard Review. Twice noted as a finalist for the NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work, Poetry, Ms. LaMon is the recipient of fellowships from the BAU Institute at the Camargo Foundation, the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction, the Yaddo Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and many others. She taught in Adelphi University’s multi-genre MFA program for over a decade and served as board member and past president of Cave Canem Foundation, Inc. Currently offering private coaching and institutional consulting services,  LaMon is professor emerita in the Department of English of Adelphi University in New York and former vice president of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

Victor LaValle

Victor LaValle

Victor LaValle is the author of seven works of fiction and two graphic novels. His fiction has received numerous awards. including a World Fantasy Award, multiple Bram Stoker Awards, a Whiting Writers Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His novel, The Changeling,  has been adapted as a series by Apple TV+ , a project in which he served as an executive producer. His most recent novel, Lone Women, is a national bestseller and he is adapting it for television. He teaches writing at Columbia University and lives in the Bronx with his wife, the writer Emily Raboteau, and their two children.

Ann Leary

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Ann Leary

Ann Leary is the New York Times-bestselling author of the novels The Children, The Good House, and Outtakes From a Marriage, and the memoir, An Innocent, A Broad. She has written for numerous publications including Ploughshares, NPR, Real Simple and the New York Times. The Good House was adapted as a motion picture in 2022 starring Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline, The Foundling (Scribner/MarysueRucci) was recently published in paperback, and her collection of essays, I’ve Tried Being Nice, is forthcoming in June 2024. She and her husband, Denis Leary, live in New York.

Charles Leehrson

Photo credit: Charles Leerhsen

Charles Leerhsen

Charles Leerhsen, the author of Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain, has written for Sports Illustrated, Esquire, Rolling Stone, the New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, Money, People, TV Guide and Seventeen. He has been an editor at SI, People and Us Weekly, and spent 11 years at Newsweek, where, as a senior writer, he covered sports, entertainment, family stories and breaking news. At Newsweek he won the National Mental Health Association Award for a cover story on alcohol and the family. Leerhsen’s previous books include the New York Times bestseller Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty; the award-winning Crazy Good: The True Story of Dan Patch, the Most Famous Horse in America; the groundbreaking Butch Cassidy: The True Story of An American Outlaw; and the highly-acclaimed Blood and Smoke: A True Tale of Mystery, Mayhem, and the Birth of the Indy 500. He has also co-written several best-selling biographies, including Press On! Adventures in the Good Life, with pioneer aviator Chuck Yeager; The Last Great Ride, with entertainment mogul Brandon Tartikoff; and Surviving at the Top with Donald Trump. He is an adjunct professor at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, the writer and psychotherapist Sarah Saffian.

Shariann LewittShariann Lewitt ’75

Shariann Lewitt ’75 is the author of seventeen novels under five different names, spanning the genres of hard science fiction, fantasy, and young adult.  Her short fiction has been widely published and her story “Fieldwork” was selected for Thirty-Fourth Best Science Fiction of the Year, edited by Gardner Dozois.  A third generation Manhattanite, Lewitt moved to the greater Boston area in 20000 and has become a proud citizen of the Red Sox Nation.  She dropped out of pre-law to study evolutionary/population biology (what has since become computational biology) in college—because law school looked dismal and she was afraid of fainting in bio lab like she did in high school.  She did her graduate work at Yale and never returned to live in NYC.  When not writing in local coffee shops, she teaches at MIT, plays with her pet parrots, and travels as widely as possible.

Rob LinnéRob Linné

Rob Linné, Ph.D., is a professor of education and cultural studies at Adelphi University. Recent creative nonfiction works have appeared in Texas Architect Magazine, Southern Grit Magazine, and Level Deep South. Rob is a co-founder and director of the Alice Hoffman Young Writers Retreat.

Lisa Lucas

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Lisa Lucas

Lisa Lucas is the SVP & Publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books at Penguin Random House. Formerly, she was Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, the Publisher of Guernica, and the Director of Education at the Tribeca Film Institute.

Maya Marshall

Maya Marshall (she/her) is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Adelphi University. She is the author of All the Blood Involved in Love (Haymarket Books, 2022) and a cofounder of underbelly, the journal on the practical magic of poetic revision. She holds fellowships from several institutions, including MacDowellCave Canem and Vermont Studio Center. Marshall’s writing has been published or is forthcoming in Prose to the People: A Celebration of Black Bookstores (Penguin, 2025), Prairie SchoonerBoston ReviewCrazyhorseBest New Poetsand elsewhere. She is an editor-at-large for Haymarket Books.

Matt PascaMatt Pasca

Matt Pasca is the author of two full-length poetry collections—A Thousand Doors (2011 Pushcart nominee) and Raven Wire (2017 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist)—and has had work appear in more than 50 publications. As a New York State Teacher of Excellence, Pasca has taught Creative Writing, Mythology and Literature since 1997 and advised his school’s award-winning literary-art magazine, The Writers’ Block, since 2003. Pasca has performed and taught at dozens of colleges and conferences, and co-hosts a monthly poetry series, Friday Night Fire, with his amazing wife Terri Muuss. Pasca was named Long Island Poet of the Year by the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association in 2022.

Andy PowellAndy Powell

Andy Powell’s poetry chapbook My Heart Is A Public Park was out in a limited edition from Big Lucks Press. He has a video feature out with Ours Poetica from the Poetry Foundation, and has poems out with Dear Poetry, BOAAT, and elsewhere. He was a 2018 fellow to The Poetry Foundation & Crescendo Literary’s Poetry Incubator for poets who integrate community and activism into their work, and co-founded the Rad(ical) Poetry Consortium at DreamYard. He’s at work on a young adult novel and is the manager of in school programs and special projects with The DreamYard Project.

Stephanie RostanStephanie Rostan

Stephanie started agenting in 2001 and became a principal at Levine Greenberg Rostan in 2014. Prior to that, she was an editor at Bantam Dell and the Book Producer for iVillage.com. About three quarters of her clients are fiction, including New York Times bestsellers Gillian Flynn, Lisa Lutz, Elle Cosimano, and Thomas Lennon as well as Laura Zigman, Colleen Oakley, Nicola Harrison, Wendy Wax and Julia Dahl. Unusual and vivid voices, genre-straddling stories and intense emotion (whether funny, creepy, warm or sad) – the things that make a book stick with you for a long time – are what she finds most appealing. She represents adult, YA and middle grade projects. In nonfiction, she loves projects that solve a problem or make us see things in a new way, such as La Leche League’s revised edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, Amir Levine and Rachel Heller’s Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment, Chris Santella’s 50 Places series. She has also worked on narrative nonfiction such as New York Times bestseller Miracle in the Andes by Nando Parrado with Vince Rause and the true crime memoir The Spider and the Fly by Claudia Rowe.

Raised in Andover, Massachusetts, Stephanie is the daughter of a Latin and Greek teacher whose specialty is etymology (ask her dad for a definition and you’ll get a minimum of 36 hours of explanation). This early focus on language led to her obsession with crossword puzzles, a term in Germany as an exchange student and an English/Creative Writing major at Princeton. There she became familiar with the slings and arrows of critique groups and revisions, writing under teachers such as Susan Shreve, Stephen Wright and Joyce Carol Oates. Stephanie now lives with her husband and two children in the New York City area, where she is committed to raising her kids as Red Sox fans despite the hostile environs.

Puja ShahPuja Shah ’03

Dr. Puja Shah is a visionary poet who shares her voice through written and spoken word, guided meditations, and teaching. Born in Queens, New York to immigrant parents, she defied teachers who questioned her English skills by winning countless poetry and short story awards in her youth. With over 10 years of nonprofit experience and a long public health career, she pivoted paths to follow her passion for writing while creating a campaign aligned with girls rights awareness causes for her multiple award winning debut novel, For My Sister. She is the recipient of the International Impact Book Award in Women’s Fiction, American Writing Award for Social Change, Literary Titan Fiction Book Award and Firebird Book Award for Women’s Issues. 

Puja’s bachelor of science degree from Adelphi University led her to a D.M.D. doctorate program at Tufts University. She has completed multiple training courses in yoga, meditation and ancient wisdom. Puja teaches corporate mindfulness guided meditations, is an editor and content officer for multiple brands and currently president of her family 501c3 foundation. For more information on Puja’s work, visit: www.puja-shah.com and www.formysisterbook.com.

René Steinke

René Steinke (she/her) is the author of the novel, Friendswood  (Riverhead, 2014), which was named one of National Public Radio’s Great Reads and an Amazon Book-of-the-Month. Darin Strauss called it “a large-hearted, big-brained book.” Steinke is the recipient of a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Her second novel, Holy Skirts (HarperCollins, 2005), a fictionalized biography of Dada artist and poet the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her first novel is The Fires (William Morrow 1999). Her essays and book reviews have appeared in The New York TimesVogue, Salon.com, 4Columns, Bookforum and in anthologies. She is a Professor of English and the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing.

Adriana Trigiani

Adriana Trigiani

Beloved by millions of readers around the world as one of the “reigning queens of women’s fiction,” (USA Today), Adriana Trigiani is the New York Times-bestselling author of 20 books in fiction and nonfiction, including The Shoemaker’s Wife; The Good Left Undone; Don’t Sing at the Table; and Lucia, Lucia. Published in 38 languages, the New York Times calls her “a comedy writer with a heart of gold,” and her books “tiramisu for the soul.” She is host of the hit podcast, You Are What You Read, in conversation with the great minds of our time about the books that built their souls.

Trigiani is an award-winning playwright, television writer/producer and filmmaker. She wrote and directed the major motion picture adaptation of her debut novel Big Stone Gap, adapted her novel Very Valentine for television and directed Then Came You. She wrote and directed the documentary film, Queens of the Big Time, winner of the Audience Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival and Audience Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The film was also featured at the London and Hong Kong International Film festivals.

Trigiani grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia where she co-founded The Origin Project, an in-school writing program serving over 2,700 students in Appalachia. In 2023, she was knighted with the Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia by President Sergio Mattarella of Italy. She is proud to serve on the New York State Council on the Arts and lives in New York City with her family.

Igor Webb

Igor Webbwas born in Slovakia and grew up in the Inwood neighborhood of New York City. His poems have appeared in The New YorkerPoetry (Chicago), Stand. and The Hong Kong Review, among others. Among his publications are Rereading the Nineteenth Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and the memoir Against Capitulation (London: Quartet Books, 1984). His story “Reza Says,” originally published in The Hudson Review, was selected as a Distinguished Story for Best American Short Stories 2012Christopher Smart’s Cat, a cross- or multi-genre work—part memoir, part literary talk, part fiction, lauded by the late Philip Roth—was published in 2018 by Dos Madres Press. Buster Brown’s America, a collection of nonfiction, including the series “This Old Writer: A Journal of a Plague Year,” appeared in the “Odd Volumes” series of The Fortnightly Review in Spring 2022. He is the winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and a Leverhulme Fellowship. He holds a BA from Tufts University, and an MA and PhD from Stanford University.

Laura Zigman

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Laura Zigman

Laura Zigman is the author of six novels, including Small World, Separation Anxiety (which was optioned for a limited television series); Animal Husbandry (which was made into the movie Someone Like You, starring Hugh Jackman and Ashley Judd), Dating Big Bird, Her, and Piece of Work. She has ghostwritten/collaborated on several works of nonfiction, including Eddie Izzard’s New York Times bestseller Believe Me, been a contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Huffington Post, and was the recipient of a Yaddo residency.  She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she helps clients via Zoom, phone and sometimes in person, with their writing. She is currently working on two new novels.

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