Let's Write Together

Meet Our Staff, Board of Directors, and Advisory Circle

Our Guild board members, advisory circle, and staff passionately enact our mission and vision to empower, enlighten, challenge, and engage women writers.

Meet the women who collaborate to create a home for us all.

MICHELLE MILLER, Executive Director

Michelle joins the Guild in 2019 with over two decades of experience in international marketing and nonprofit management. Prior to joining the Guild, Michelle worked on fundraising for nonprofits focused on human services in Boston, diversity and inclusion in hospitality nationally, and human trafficking in Asia. She has also directed global marketing and branding strategies for Reebok and Pepsi while based in Europe and Asia. Michelle is passionate about advocating for and helping women find their voice and a community of support. Michelle holds a Master’s degree in Education from Boston College and a Bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies from Harvard University. She speaks Chinese, French and Spanish and is writing her first novel.

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DANA ROBB, Administrator

“The Guild found me, and I felt like I had found a home.”

What riles you up? Blind obedience to systems.

What lights you up? Sailing. Water and its magic girls. Fantastic conversations. Holding hands.

What do you champion? Bravery, vulnerability, exploration of our personal darkest places.

Notable publications & influence:

Successful entrepreneur since 1993

Small Business Advocate of the Year award winner from the SBA (Small Business Administration)

Workshop presenter: Shame – exploring our dark corners

Contributing author: Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters
.

JUDY HUGE, Board Chair

“I serve The Guild so that this generation and future generations of women can have our stories told, voices heard, and ourselves witnessed as the magical creatures we are.”

What riles you up? People unwilling to seek answers to Prufrock’s “overwhelming question(s).”

What lights you up? The eyes of my workshop participants when they realize they are seeing and writing in a new way.

What do you champion? Guiding people to mine for deeper ore, to see the gold dust on their socks when they emerge.

Notable publications and influence:

“A Middle-Aged Woman and the Sea” (Traveler’s Tales, Women in the Wild: True Stories of Adventure and Connection)

Founder of the Goucher (College) Teachers’ Institute, a graduate program focused on the teaching of writing

.

LAURA KIELEY, Board Vice Chair

“Through The Guild, I have developed my voice, learned the art and craft of writing, and been part of an incredible community of fierce and talented women. I am constantly reminded that my words can have real power in the world, and that is a message I want all women to hear.”

What riles you up? Gender inequity (everything from the “gender tax” to the lack of consistent infrastructure and policies to support working mothers).

What lights you up? Writing something wonderful. Spending time with people I love. Connecting with other women writers. Giving my time and talent to The Guild. Believing that we are on a path to empower women around the world.

What do you champion? Women finding their voices. Finding each other. Conquering fear. Making a difference.

Notable publications and influence: 

Current chair of The Guild’s Branding Committee and member of the Governance Committee; former leader of the Marketing Committee (2016–2017)

“Like Blood in a River” and “Grandfather,” Poems from 84th Street, ed. Linda Leedy Schneider

Selected work featured in Beyond the Margins: Rethinking the Art and Craft of Writing: Master Writing Workshops for Advanced and Committed Writers, by June Gould, Ph.D.

Several personal essays in the Canadian provincial newspaper The Telegram

Work included in a series of chapbooks from June Gould’s Advanced Writing Retreats at the Guest House, in CT, 2012–2015

“War and Remembrance,” Legion Magazine (award-winning short story)

 

HOPE PLAYER, Board Treasurer

“The women of The Guild have welcomed me into a world of creativity, so I offer, in return, my skills in financial management to assure the growth and sustainability of this unique and nurturing organization.”

What riles you up? Seeing women not utilizing their potential to control their lives and better their futures.

What lights you up? Watching women teaching women that they can achieve.

What do you champion? I have spent my career as a champion for micro-entrepreneurs—the smallest of businesses—which provide more than 90% of the jobs in our country. As a co-founder of a nonprofit dedicated to providing training and mentoring, I am passionate about that success for writers. IWWG is a champion for women writers so it’s a good match.

Notable publications and influence:

Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, and Certified Valuation Analyst celebrating 30 years in business in 2017

Author, Find The Numbers for Your Business Plan (Full Court Press, 2010)

Published articles in Blue Ridge Business Journal and New Jersey CPA, and on RacersReunion.com

Board member of numerous organizations, including New Century Venture Center, a small business incubator in Roanoke, VA, which I co-founded.

.

CATHLEEN O’CONNOR, Ph.D., Board Secretary

“The Guild was the place I first found my voice as a writer.”

What riles you up? Intolerance towards others, unkindness, our inability as a human family to protect the most vulnerable among us.

What lights you up? Travel—getting to explore other places and cultures, deepening my spiritual practice, connecting with my readers virtually or in person, writing, writing, writing, and teaching.

What do you champion? Creativity, self-confidence, encouragement, healthy boundaries.

Notable publications & influence:

The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory, Anchala Studios, 2018.

The Everything Law of Attraction Dream Dictionary (Adams Media, 2010)

High Heels on the Hamster Wheel (Balboa Press, 2014)

365 Days of Angel Prayers (CreateSpace, 2014)

Articles in ALIVE magazine (Canada) and SPHERE (Australia)

.

KELLY DUMAR, Board Member & Social Media Coordinator

“I love helping women value their writing voices and practice creative ways of telling their truth and beauty.”

What riles you up? Rigidity—as a personal attitude and as an attempt to control others.

What lights you up? Someone being vulnerable with the truth of her experience—risking by sharing a personal story on stage. I believe a walk in the woods every day is an absolute necessity.

What do you champion? A woman’s right to personal freedom of body, soul, mind, and pen.

Notable publications & influence:

I founded and produce the Our Voices Festival of Women Playwrights at Wellesley College, now in its 11th year.

Tree of the Apple and All These Cures (poetry chapbooks)

Before You Forget: The Wisdom of Writing Diaries for Your Children (a nonfiction book for parents)

The Adventures of Rocky & Skye: A One-Act Play for Youth (Youth Plays)

Bloom, Hothouse, & Practicing Peace, award-winning short plays (Heuer Publishing)

If You Went Missing, monologue, 60 seconds to shine. Volume 2, 221 one-minute monologues for women / edited by John Capecci and Irene Ziegler Aston

.

RAQUEL ARRECHEA, Board Member

The Guild is one of a kind. It is an organization and place where writers encourage fellow writers, where there is critique, honesty, and hard work.”

What riles you up? Narcissism, dishonesty, disrespect, and lack of consideration for another.

What lights you up? Finalizing a writing project. Camaraderie. Bursts of laughter. The sound of the D note on the violin. A galloping horse.

What do you champion? Compassionate treatment of humans and animals.

Notable publications & influence:

A Toast to My Family, A Family Memoir, and There Once Was a Time, a poem dedicated to my father and written in honor of him and those before him.

Named to the Fairleigh Dickinson University Silberman College of Business’s “50 Under 50” list of top alumni business leaders under the age of 50.

Received the National Association of Cuban-American Women’s Elena Mederos Award for my contribution to the advancement of those in the Hispanic-American community.

MORGAN LETT, Board Member

“I believe The Guild is the future of women. I’m honored to help shape it.”

What riles you up? People who talk but don’t listen. Cruelty to animals, women, and children. Traffic. Discrimination. Tardiness. Stereotypes. Violent communication. 

What lights you up? Children’s laughter. Children’s musicals and films. Salsa dancing. Barefoot vegan cooking. Old libraries. Hiking.

What do you champion? Being a positive influence for young women writers of the future. Authenticity. Loyalty. Family traditions.

Notable Publications & Influence: 

Youngest woman to be awarded Les Dames d’Escoffier International award and scholarship. 

“Naked and Wings,” a poem published in Georgia State University’s The Signal.

Work featured in The 20/20 Oracle Magazine, Natural Living, Conscious Cooking, and 360Millennials, and at MorganLettInsights.com, and Astrology.com

 

LESLIE NEUSTADT, Board Member

“IWWG helped me find my voice as a woman and a writer. I found many teachers and mentors who have helped me learn the craft of writing in an accepting atmosphere. I would never have published my book of poetry, Bearing Fruit: A Poetic Journey, without the tutelage of Linda Leedy Schneider, one of the longtime Guild workshop leaders. I have made extraordinary friends and extended my horizons.”

What riles you up? I am outraged at the callousness toward human suffering, the lack of justice in our society and the attack on the First Amendment guarantee of a Free Press. I am disturbed by the lies that pervade our public life and the anti-intellectualism of public discourse. Racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia are wreaking havoc in our world. Climate change threatens the future of humankind, but many deny its existence. I believe that we must speak truth to power and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.

What lights you up? Being alive when it was unclear that I would survive an incurable form of blood cancer. My grandchildren: Mason, Cameron, Julian, and Maia. Making collages and writing with friends. Traveling to new places. Facilitating writing and collage workshops and listening to the unique voices of each participant. Reading great poems and novels and watching movies. Cities with good art museums, music, dance, theater. Delicious food. Being outdoors in sunny weather.

What do you champion? The voiceless, abused children, survivors of disasters, patients with rare illnesses, poetic medicine. Showing people who cross my path kindness and compassion.

 Notable publications & influence:

 Bearing Fruit: A Poetic Journey. My poetry is included in the following anthologies: Veils, Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women, The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, Musematrix, A Mentor’s Bouquet, peer glass, an anthology: writings from hudson valley peer groups, Voices of Israel. My writing has also appeared in Akros Review, Cure Magazine, Cyclamens and Swords, Found Poetry Review, Jewish Women’s Literary Annual, Mused: BellaOnline Literary Review, Poetica, Workers Write!: Tales from the Courtroom, among others.

 I received a New York State Council on the Arts grant under the auspices of the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley to teach writing and collage to individuals with disabilities. I have shown my artwork and have led experiential workshops on beading, collage making, and writing in conjunction with my art shows and as part of the Women Writers and Artists Matrix.

 I am a retired lawyer and served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York for many years. I have spoken widely about legal, consumer, and health issues to lawyers, patients, teachers, and members of the community. I was awarded the Louis J. Lefkowitz Award for outstanding service to the State of New York and was active in the New York State Bar Association and the Capital District Women’s Bar Association.

MARISA MOKS-UNGER, Board Member

“The Guild and its members have helped me to set and obtain new career goals. In my ten years of membership, I have gone from being a secondary English teacher in an inner-city school district to becoming a small business owner, a published author, and a poet laureate. Furthermore, I have been able to reach out to others with playwriting and mixed media collage skills that I learned during the past summer conferences. By expressing my voice in multiple ways, it helps me to enable other women to do the same. 

What riles you up? People that demean teens and young adults. Some of the freshest ideas needed comes directly from youth. They should be encouraged and empowered to speak with authority. Also, apathy riles me up. It is important to focus on finding solid sources of news and to carry out our duties of standing up to incongruent policies about women’s rights, minority rights, and the treatment of immigrants and refugees. When people find a news cycle “boring”, “tasteless”, or “too sad for words” then that should be a red flag to take actions whether it is a letter to a congressional leader, a postcard to voters, or an editorial in a traditional and historically known newspaper. We do not have the luxury of sitting back and letting history write itself.

What lights you up? The faces of workshop attendees when they understand the power that their words hold. The bravery of the women who stand up to do their timed three-minute reading – even when their voices are strained with emotions. And seeing the silver lining inside of any storm cloud, which takes some practice, but yields wonderful images. Finally, the alchemy of combining words with mixed media arts and layering metaphors to create deeper and richer prose and poetry.

What do you champion? Young adults, teens, and children, who all need encouragement to flourish. And, the mentally, emotionally, and physically disabled, who are rich examples of courage by living full lives in spite of challenges that would shut most people down. Finally, immigrants and refugees, because they carry with them stories and traditional art practices that must be heard and preserved.

 Notable publications & influence:

Picture This: Residents Respond by Writing to Photography (Video 1), Fine Art (Video 2) and Pop Art (Video 3) found on YouTube.com

The Picture This Anthology: Poems from Pop Art, Fine Art, & Photography, Editor and Poet, Life Inside the Chimney, Mother Moon, The Erie I See in You

The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash MemoryThe Dance, (flash-fiction)

Eternal Snow: A Worldwide Anthology of 125 Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu SharmaTrust, Part I, Trust, Part II

Mud and Stars,  a chapbook of poetry written in a four-story walk-up in the Lower East Side of Manhattan

The Grow Your Flow blog on We Write It Right website

Keynote speaker/poet at the Erie Women’s March in front of over 3,000 women and others supporting women.

Numerous articles on travel, family and marriage, green living and disability awareness in Women’s World, First for Women, Money, and many others.

ADVISORY CIRCLE

Raquel Arrechea – Board Member, Member since 2000

Lynne Barrett – Instructor, Member since 1992

Dorothy Randall Gray  Board Member, Instructor, Member since 1989

Caitlin Gutheil – Member since 2003

Judy Huge – Board Chair, Instructor, Member since 1994

Laura Kieley – Board Vice Chair, Member since 2003

Dixie King – Conference Coordinator, Instructor, Member since 1999

Maureen Murdock – Instructor, Member since 1998

Cathleen O’Connor – Board Member, Instructor, Member since 1990

Kathleen A. O’Shea – Instructor, Member since 1989

Jan Phillips – Instructor, Former Co-Executive Director, Member since 1991

Hope Player – Board Treasurer, Former Co-Executive Director, Member since 2004

Eunice Scarfe – Instructor, Member since 1995

Myra Shapiro – Instructor, Member since 1993

Arielle Silver – Instructor, Member since 2016

Marylou Streznewski – Instructor, Member since 1990

Susan Tiberghien – Instructor, Member since 1990

Pam Varkony – Instructor, Member since 2011

MICHELLE MILLER, Executive Director

Michelle joins the Guild in 2019 with over two decades of experience in international marketing and nonprofit management. Prior to joining the Guild, Michelle worked on fundraising for nonprofits focused on human services in Boston, diversity and inclusion in hospitality nationally, and human trafficking in Asia. She has also directed global marketing and branding strategies for Reebok and Pepsi while based in Europe and Asia. Michelle is passionate about advocating for and helping women find their voice and a community of support. Michelle holds a Master’s degree in Education from Boston College and a Bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies from Harvard University. She speaks Chinese, French and Spanish and is writing her first novel.

.

DANA ROBB, Administrator

“The Guild found me, and I felt like I had found a home.”

What riles you up? Blind obedience to systems.

What lights you up? Sailing. Water and its magic girls. Fantastic conversations. Holding hands.

What do you champion? Bravery, vulnerability, exploration of our personal darkest places.

Notable publications & influence:

Successful entrepreneur since 1993

Small Business Advocate of the Year award winner from the SBA (Small Business Administration)

Workshop presenter: Shame – exploring our dark corners

Contributing author: Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters
.

JUDY HUGE, Board Chair

“I serve The Guild so that this generation and future generations of women can have our stories told, voices heard, and ourselves witnessed as the magical creatures we are.”

What riles you up? People unwilling to seek answers to Prufrock’s “overwhelming question(s).”

What lights you up? The eyes of my workshop participants when they realize they are seeing and writing in a new way.

What do you champion? Guiding people to mine for deeper ore, to see the gold dust on their socks when they emerge.

Notable publications and influence:

“A Middle-Aged Woman and the Sea” (Traveler’s Tales, Women in the Wild: True Stories of Adventure and Connection)

Founder of the Goucher (College) Teachers’ Institute, a graduate program focused on the teaching of writing

.

LAURA KIELEY, Board Vice Chair

“Through The Guild, I have developed my voice, learned the art and craft of writing, and been part of an incredible community of fierce and talented women. I am constantly reminded that my words can have real power in the world, and that is a message I want all women to hear.”

What riles you up? Gender inequity (everything from the “gender tax” to the lack of consistent infrastructure and policies to support working mothers).

What lights you up? Writing something wonderful. Spending time with people I love. Connecting with other women writers. Giving my time and talent to The Guild. Believing that we are on a path to empower women around the world.

What do you champion? Women finding their voices. Finding each other. Conquering fear. Making a difference.

Notable publications and influence: 

Current chair of The Guild’s Branding Committee and member of the Governance Committee; former leader of the Marketing Committee (2016–2017)

“Like Blood in a River” and “Grandfather,” Poems from 84th Street, ed. Linda Leedy Schneider

Selected work featured in Beyond the Margins: Rethinking the Art and Craft of Writing: Master Writing Workshops for Advanced and Committed Writers, by June Gould, Ph.D.

Several personal essays in the Canadian provincial newspaper The Telegram

Work included in a series of chapbooks from June Gould’s Advanced Writing Retreats at the Guest House, in CT, 2012–2015

“War and Remembrance,” Legion Magazine (award-winning short story)

 

HOPE PLAYER, Board Treasurer

“The women of The Guild have welcomed me into a world of creativity, so I offer, in return, my skills in financial management to assure the growth and sustainability of this unique and nurturing organization.”

What riles you up? Seeing women not utilizing their potential to control their lives and better their futures.

What lights you up? Watching women teaching women that they can achieve.

What do you champion? I have spent my career as a champion for micro-entrepreneurs—the smallest of businesses—which provide more than 90% of the jobs in our country. As a co-founder of a nonprofit dedicated to providing training and mentoring, I am passionate about that success for writers. IWWG is a champion for women writers so it’s a good match.

Notable publications and influence:

Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, and Certified Valuation Analyst celebrating 30 years in business in 2017

Author, Find The Numbers for Your Business Plan (Full Court Press, 2010)

Published articles in Blue Ridge Business Journal and New Jersey CPA, and on RacersReunion.com

Board member of numerous organizations, including New Century Venture Center, a small business incubator in Roanoke, VA, which I co-founded.

.

CATHLEEN O’CONNOR, Ph.D., Board Secretary

“The Guild was the place I first found my voice as a writer.”

What riles you up? Intolerance towards others, unkindness, our inability as a human family to protect the most vulnerable among us.

What lights you up? Travel—getting to explore other places and cultures, deepening my spiritual practice, connecting with my readers virtually or in person, writing, writing, writing, and teaching.

What do you champion? Creativity, self-confidence, encouragement, healthy boundaries.

Notable publications & influence:

The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory, Anchala Studios, 2018.

The Everything Law of Attraction Dream Dictionary (Adams Media, 2010)

High Heels on the Hamster Wheel (Balboa Press, 2014)

365 Days of Angel Prayers (CreateSpace, 2014)

Articles in ALIVE magazine (Canada) and SPHERE (Australia)

.

KELLY DUMAR, Board Member & Social Media Coordinator

“I love helping women value their writing voices and practice creative ways of telling their truth and beauty.”

What riles you up? Rigidity—as a personal attitude and as an attempt to control others.

What lights you up? Someone being vulnerable with the truth of her experience—risking by sharing a personal story on stage. I believe a walk in the woods every day is an absolute necessity.

What do you champion? A woman’s right to personal freedom of body, soul, mind, and pen.

Notable publications & influence:

I founded and produce the Our Voices Festival of Women Playwrights at Wellesley College, now in its 11th year.

Tree of the Apple and All These Cures (poetry chapbooks)

Before You Forget: The Wisdom of Writing Diaries for Your Children (a nonfiction book for parents)

The Adventures of Rocky & Skye: A One-Act Play for Youth (Youth Plays)

Bloom, Hothouse, & Practicing Peace, award-winning short plays (Heuer Publishing)

If You Went Missing, monologue, 60 seconds to shine. Volume 2, 221 one-minute monologues for women / edited by John Capecci and Irene Ziegler Aston

.

RAQUEL ARRECHEA, Board Member

The Guild is one of a kind. It is an organization and place where writers encourage fellow writers, where there is critique, honesty, and hard work.”

What riles you up? Narcissism, dishonesty, disrespect, and lack of consideration for another.

What lights you up? Finalizing a writing project. Camaraderie. Bursts of laughter. The sound of the D note on the violin. A galloping horse.

What do you champion? Compassionate treatment of humans and animals.

Notable publications & influence:

A Toast to My Family, A Family Memoir, and There Once Was a Time, a poem dedicated to my father and written in honor of him and those before him.

Named to the Fairleigh Dickinson University Silberman College of Business’s “50 Under 50” list of top alumni business leaders under the age of 50.

Received the National Association of Cuban-American Women’s Elena Mederos Award for my contribution to the advancement of those in the Hispanic-American community.

MORGAN LETT, Board Member

“I believe The Guild is the future of women. I’m honored to help shape it.”

What riles you up? People who talk but don’t listen. Cruelty to animals, women, and children. Traffic. Discrimination. Tardiness. Stereotypes. Violent communication. 

What lights you up? Children’s laughter. Children’s musicals and films. Salsa dancing. Barefoot vegan cooking. Old libraries. Hiking.

What do you champion? Being a positive influence for young women writers of the future. Authenticity. Loyalty. Family traditions.

Notable Publications & Influence: 

Youngest woman to be awarded Les Dames d’Escoffier International award and scholarship. 

“Naked and Wings,” a poem published in Georgia State University’s The Signal.

Work featured in The 20/20 Oracle Magazine, Natural Living, Conscious Cooking, and 360Millennials, and at MorganLettInsights.com, and Astrology.com

 

LESLIE NEUSTADT, Board Member

“IWWG helped me find my voice as a woman and a writer. I found many teachers and mentors who have helped me learn the craft of writing in an accepting atmosphere. I would never have published my book of poetry, Bearing Fruit: A Poetic Journey, without the tutelage of Linda Leedy Schneider, one of the longtime Guild workshop leaders. I have made extraordinary friends and extended my horizons.”

What riles you up? I am outraged at the callousness toward human suffering, the lack of justice in our society and the attack on the First Amendment guarantee of a Free Press. I am disturbed by the lies that pervade our public life and the anti-intellectualism of public discourse. Racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia are wreaking havoc in our world. Climate change threatens the future of humankind, but many deny its existence. I believe that we must speak truth to power and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.

What lights you up? Being alive when it was unclear that I would survive an incurable form of blood cancer. My grandchildren: Mason, Cameron, Julian, and Maia. Making collages and writing with friends. Traveling to new places. Facilitating writing and collage workshops and listening to the unique voices of each participant. Reading great poems and novels and watching movies. Cities with good art museums, music, dance, theater. Delicious food. Being outdoors in sunny weather.

What do you champion? The voiceless, abused children, survivors of disasters, patients with rare illnesses, poetic medicine. Showing people who cross my path kindness and compassion.

 Notable publications & influence:

 Bearing Fruit: A Poetic Journey. My poetry is included in the following anthologies: Veils, Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women, The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, Musematrix, A Mentor’s Bouquet, peer glass, an anthology: writings from hudson valley peer groups, Voices of Israel. My writing has also appeared in Akros Review, Cure Magazine, Cyclamens and Swords, Found Poetry Review, Jewish Women’s Literary Annual, Mused: BellaOnline Literary Review, Poetica, Workers Write!: Tales from the Courtroom, among others.

 I received a New York State Council on the Arts grant under the auspices of the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley to teach writing and collage to individuals with disabilities. I have shown my artwork and have led experiential workshops on beading, collage making, and writing in conjunction with my art shows and as part of the Women Writers and Artists Matrix.

 I am a retired lawyer and served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York for many years. I have spoken widely about legal, consumer, and health issues to lawyers, patients, teachers, and members of the community. I was awarded the Louis J. Lefkowitz Award for outstanding service to the State of New York and was active in the New York State Bar Association and the Capital District Women’s Bar Association.

MARISA MOKS-UNGER, Board Member

“The Guild and its members have helped me to set and obtain new career goals. In my ten years of membership, I have gone from being a secondary English teacher in an inner-city school district to becoming a small business owner, a published author, and a poet laureate. Furthermore, I have been able to reach out to others with playwriting and mixed media collage skills that I learned during the past summer conferences. By expressing my voice in multiple ways, it helps me to enable other women to do the same. 

What riles you up? People that demean teens and young adults. Some of the freshest ideas needed comes directly from youth. They should be encouraged and empowered to speak with authority. Also, apathy riles me up. It is important to focus on finding solid sources of news and to carry out our duties of standing up to incongruent policies about women’s rights, minority rights, and the treatment of immigrants and refugees. When people find a news cycle “boring”, “tasteless”, or “too sad for words” then that should be a red flag to take actions whether it is a letter to a congressional leader, a postcard to voters, or an editorial in a traditional and historically known newspaper. We do not have the luxury of sitting back and letting history write itself.

What lights you up? The faces of workshop attendees when they understand the power that their words hold. The bravery of the women who stand up to do their timed three-minute reading – even when their voices are strained with emotions. And seeing the silver lining inside of any storm cloud, which takes some practice, but yields wonderful images. Finally, the alchemy of combining words with mixed media arts and layering metaphors to create deeper and richer prose and poetry.

What do you champion? Young adults, teens, and children, who all need encouragement to flourish. And, the mentally, emotionally, and physically disabled, who are rich examples of courage by living full lives in spite of challenges that would shut most people down. Finally, immigrants and refugees, because they carry with them stories and traditional art practices that must be heard and preserved.

 Notable publications & influence:

Picture This: Residents Respond by Writing to Photography (Video 1), Fine Art (Video 2) and Pop Art (Video 3) found on YouTube.com

The Picture This Anthology: Poems from Pop Art, Fine Art, & Photography, Editor and Poet, Life Inside the Chimney, Mother Moon, The Erie I See in You

The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash MemoryThe Dance, (flash-fiction)

Eternal Snow: A Worldwide Anthology of 125 Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu SharmaTrust, Part I, Trust, Part II

Mud and Stars,  a chapbook of poetry written in a four-story walk-up in the Lower East Side of Manhattan

The Grow Your Flow blog on We Write It Right website

Keynote speaker/poet at the Erie Women’s March in front of over 3,000 women and others supporting women.

Numerous articles on travel, family and marriage, green living and disability awareness in Women’s World, First for Women, Money, and many others.

ADVISORY CIRCLE

Raquel Arrechea – Board Member, Member since 2000

Lynne Barrett – Instructor, Member since 1992

Dorothy Randall Gray  Board Member, Instructor, Member since 1989

Caitlin Gutheil – Member since 2003

Judy Huge – Board Chair, Instructor, Member since 1994

Laura Kieley – Board Vice Chair, Member since 2003

Dixie King – Conference Coordinator, Instructor, Member since 1999

Maureen Murdock – Instructor, Member since 1998

Cathleen O’Connor – Board Member, Instructor, Member since 1990

Kathleen A. O’Shea – Instructor, Member since 1989

Jan Phillips – Instructor, Former Co-Executive Director, Member since 1991

Hope Player – Board Treasurer, Former Co-Executive Director, Member since 2004

Eunice Scarfe – Instructor, Member since 1995

Myra Shapiro – Instructor, Member since 1993

Arielle Silver – Instructor, Member since 2016

Marylou Streznewski – Instructor, Member since 1990

Susan Tiberghien – Instructor, Member since 1990

Pam Varkony – Instructor, Member since 2011

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