2015 Writers Retreat Faculty

FICTION WORKSHOP – JUSTIN TORRES

Justin TorresJustin Torres is author of the best-selling novel We the Animals, which won the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and has been translated into fifteen languages. He has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Tin House, The Washington Post, Glimmer Train, Flaunt, and other publications, as well as non-fiction pieces in publications like The Guardian and The Advocate. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a Lambda Literary Fellow, and most recently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. The National Book Foundation named him one of 2012’s 5 Under 35.  He has been the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists. He has taught at Columbia University, Lesley University’s Low Residency MFA Program, and The Writers’ Foundry MFA Program at St. Joseph’s College. Justin is currently a 2014-2015 Cullman Center Fellow at The New York Public Library. 

GENRE FICTION WORKSHOP – SARA RYAN

Emphasis on Young Adult Fiction and Writing for Comics and Graphic Novels

Sara RyanSara Ryan is the author of the YA novels Empress of the World (Lambda Literary Award finalist, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Oregon Book Award winner, Booklist Top Ten Teen Romance) and The Rules for Hearts (Oregon Book Award winner, Junior Library Guild selection), and the graphic novel Bad Houses (TIME Magazine Top Ten Graphic Novels & Comics of 2013, USA Today Best of 2013 Comics & Graphic Novels). Her shorter comics include the Eisner Award finalist “Me and Edith Head.” She lives in Portland, Oregon with a cartoonist and a cat, and works as the Teen Services Specialist for Multnomah County Library.

NONFICTION WORKSHOP – LINDA VILLAROSA

Linda VillarosaLinda Villarosa is a journalist, author, editor, novelist and college professor. She runs the journalism program at the City College of New York in Harlem and teaches writing and media studies.  For several years, she edited the health pages of the New York Times and later spent six years as a contributing New York Times reporter. As the executive editor of Essence Magazine she wrote or edited a number of award-winning articles. Linda has also contributed to Glamour, Health, Latina, Ms., O Magazine and Vibe. She writes for The Root, Slate, AfterEllen and The Amsterdam News.

Near the start of the AIDS epidemic, as a beginning reporter for Essence, Linda wrote the first article to examine HIV/AIDS in an ethnic publication. A number of years later, two of her stories on African-Americans and HIV/AIDS appeared on the front page of the New York Times.

Linda has authored/co-authored a number of books, including Body & Soul: The Black Women’s Guide to Physical Health and Emotional Well-Being, which sold over 200,000 copies. Her first novel, Passing for Black, was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. Most recently, she wrote autobiographical essays for the anthologies Here Come the Brides and The Letter Q.

PLAYWRITING WORKSHOP – CHERRÍE L. MORAGA

Cherrie MoragaCherríe Moraga is playwright, poet, and essayist whose plays and publications have received national recognition, including: a TCG Theatre Artist Residency Grant, the NEA’s Theatre Playwrights’ Fellowship, two Fund for New American Plays awards, the Pen West Award, a Drama-logue and Critic Circles Award, two Gerbode-Hewlett Playwrights Collaboration Awards, and several Creative Work Fund and MAP Fund Grants.  In 2007, she was awarded the United States Artist Rockefeller Fellowship for Literature (Drama) and is a recipient of The American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2013, she received the “Pioneer” Award from the Lambda Literary Foundation.

Moraga is the co-editor of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, which won the Before Columbus American Book Award in 1986.  She is the author of several titles, including Waiting in the Wings – Portrait of a Queer Motherhood (Firebrand, 1997). In 2011, Duke University Press published her most recent essay collection, A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness:  Writings 2000-2010.  Her three volumes of drama are published through West End Press of Albuquerque, New Mexico. They include: Heroes and Saints and Other Plays; Watsonville/Circle in the Dirt; and, The Hungry Woman.

A Bay Area playwright, Moraga plays have been developed and presented in San Francisco and throughout the Southwest, as well as in Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and New York.  In 1995, “Heart of the Earth,” Moraga’s adaptation of the Maya Popol Vuh, premiered at the Public Theatre.  Her most recent play, NEW FIRE—To Put Things Right Again (with visual artist, Celia Herrera Rodríguez), had its world premiere at Brava Theater Center in January 2012, where over 3,000 people witnessed the work in its 10-day run.

For over 15 years, Moraga has served as Artist in Residence in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University, with a joint appointment in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity.  She is a founding member of La Red Xicana Indígena, a network of Xicanas working in education, the arts, and international organizing.

POETRY WORKSHOP – KAZIM ALI

Ali KazimKazim Ali is currently on the faculty of Oberlin College where he is associate professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature and the Director of the Creative Writing Program.  His volumes of poetry include Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry, The Far Mosque, The Fortieth Day, and the poetic memoir Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities which was finalist for the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry, the Lantern Award in Memoir and the Asian American Literary Award.  He has also published the novels Quinn’s Passage, named one of the Best Books of 2005 by Chronogram, The Disappearance of Seth and Wind Instrument.  He is the author of three collections of essays, Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence, Resident Alien: On Border Crossing and the Undocumented Divine, and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice.  He is the translator of Water’s Footfall and Oasis of Now: Selected Poems, both by Sohrab Sepehri, as well as the novel L’Amour by Marguerite Duras.  He is the founding editor of the small press Nightboat Books as well as the Series Editor for the Poets on Poetry Series from the University of Michigan Press.

Guest lecture series will be announced at a future date.

The Lambda Literary Foundation nurtures, celebrates, and preserves LGBT literature through programs that honor excellence, promote visibility and encourage development of emerging writers. LLF’s programs include: the Lambda Literary Awards, the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices, LGBT Writers in Schools, and our web magazine at www.LambdaLiterary.org. For more information call (323) 643-4281 or e-mail admin@lambdaliterary.org.

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