Spring Writes is an annual program of Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County

Participating Writers

Page Under Contruction: 2023 writers are being entered now.


 Aishvarya Arora

Aishvarya Arora is a poet, arts worker, and double Taurus from Queens, NY. They’ve received support from the Fulbright Program and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, where they were a Poetry Coalition Fellow. Currently, they're an MFA candidate in Poetry at Cornell University, where they write about grief, desire, and birds. You can read their work in harana poetry and in the zine To Us and Ours: An Asian American Feminist Collection.

Janie E. Bibbie

Janie E. Bibbie  is author of Alzheimer’s: Up Close and Personal and several books of poetry.  She is a member of Business Leaders of Colors, and a Deaconess, Trustee, and Caregiver group leader of Calvary Baptist Church.  As Tompkins County Poet Laureate, she hopes to encourage others join her in reading, writing, and sharing poetry. 


nicole v. basta
nicole v basta is a poet, teaching artist, curator, and visual artist with proud roots in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Her poems have found homes in places like Ploughshares, The Cortland Review, RHINO, Plume, The North American Review, etc. nicole’s second chapbook the next field over was published by Tolsun Books in 2022.  Her work has been generously supported by Art Farm Nebraska, Terra Cultura, and Community Arts Partnership. nicolevbasta.com


Cory Brown
Cory Brown grew up in western Oklahoma, studied poetry writing at Cornell University, and now teaches writing at Ithaca College. His latest collection of poems, A Long Slow Climb, is from Cayuga Lake Books, as are his previous two collections. His poems have appeared in, among others, Bomb, CloudbankdecemberThe FiddleheadNimrodPostmodern Culture, and West Branch. His essays have appeared in South Loop ReviewJournal of Narrative Politics, and Writing on the Edge.

Regi Carpenter
Regi Carpenter is a storyteller, author, workshop leader and educator who focuses on writing autobiographical creative non- fiction. http://www.regicarpenter.com



Carolyn Clark

Carolyn Clark, Ph.D. Classics, was born in Ithaca, NY and  often lived abroad. She studied at Cornell, Brown and Johns Hopkins (1998 diss. Tibullus Illustrated:  Lares, Genius, and Sacred Landscapes). Her poetry books: Watershed - new Finger Lakes poems (Kelsay Books, 2023), Poet Duet:  A Mother and Daughter (Aldrich Press, 2019), New Found Land (Cayuga Lake Books, 2017), a pair of Finishing Line Press chapbooks – Choose Lethe: Remember to Forget (2017) and Mnemosyne: the Long Traverse (2013). https://www.writer.org/connect/consultants/

Susan Currie
Susan lives in Ithaca and was the award-winning director of the Tompkins County Public Library. She was an academic librarian for close to 30 years at Cornell University and SUNY Binghamton Libraries. Her soon to be published memoir is about her experience in a specialized “Preventorium” hospital in Mississippi. Ironically, she now lives fewer than 10 miles from the Cayuga Nature Center, which served as the Cayuga Preventorium


Rachel Dickinson 

Rachel Dickinson writes nonfiction and essays. Her work has appeared in many publications including The Atlantic, Aeon, Salon, Smithsonian, Audubon, The Saturday Evening Post, and Men's Journal. Author of seven books, her latest, The Loneliest Places: loss, grief, and the long journey home, published by Three Hills Press in 2022, is a memoir in essays about her life after the death of her son Jack by suicide in 2012. Dickinson lives in Freeville, NY, with her husband Tim Gallagher.

Mona Eikel-Pohen

Mona Eikel-Pohen writes in German and English and often self-translates. She also uses creative writing and improv in her teaching of German as a new language at Syracuse University, and the third volume of “Schrieben schrieb geschrieben” is currently under way. Mona recently published her third collection, “Sogar das Schweigen hat diakritische Zeichen, oder Vom Lesen wird man nicht satt”. She plants trees and plays the eBass ukulele outside Ithaca, NY.

Julia Ellis

Julia Ellis is a lover of all forms of creative expression. She is an expressive arts therapist, a singer, a dancer, a clown, and of course, a storyteller. She loves to share traditional tales, as well as original stories that combine magic with personal transformation. Julia is also passionate about the intersection of healing, community and creativity, and leads people toward accessing their inner artist in both individual and group settings. 

Briel Felton
Briel was born and raised in the cultural hub of the 757 in Virginia. She received her BA in English from Old Dominion University and her MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell. Her poems have appeared in publications including Laurel Moon, Firewords, Rigorous, and the Barely South Review. She is working on her second, original libretto with composer John Bunge for musical The Sermon on the Mount, premiering May 2022.


Yvonne Fisher
Yvonne Fisher is a writer, performer, visual artist, and psychotherapist. She's been acting and writing off and on for 50 years. Her recent projects have been her 2 solo shows: My Vienesse Mother and My Wedding Performance Piece which she wrote and performed locally in Ithaca, NY, regionally, and in NYC. She is working on her next show about aging called Decrepit. She loves working with CAP.


Brenna Fitzgerald
Brenna is a writer, editor, coach, and host of Creative Recovery podcast. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction writing and has published work in a variety of literary journals. She is currently working on a Master’s of Social Work with plans to obtain her clinical license. As a coach, she shares tools and offers support, helping people make lifestyle changes to improve their health and well-being. brennacoaching.com  / Insta: @brenna.effacebook.com/creativerecoverycoaching


Peter Fortunato
Peter Fortunato is the author of several poetry collections and most recently the novel, Carnevale. A longtime resident of Ithaca, he is an author, artist, and educator. He has been in private practice as a shaman, hypnotherapist, and holistic counselor for more than 25 years. He is a co-founder of Cayuga Lake Books and an editor of the press.  peterfortunato.net


Peaches Gillette
Peaches Gillette taught prose and poetry at College Initiative Upstate, a program that helps further the education of formerly incarcerated people. Peaches is an Ordained Clinical Chaplain and a leader in racial issues. She facilitates a series of writing workshops, We Will No Longer Hide, that promote relationships across racial divides.  Poetry Book: The Breadth of a Tree, available on Amazon or contact: Poeticvoicesworkshops@gmail.com


Mary Gilliland
Mary Gilliland's poetry has been anthologized in Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms In Our Hands and The &Now Awards: The Best Innovative Writing, in the multimedia Strange Histories: A Bizarre Collaboration, and in Wild Gods: The Ecstatic in Contemporary Poetry and Prose. Find her award-winning collection The Ruined Walled Castle Garden at your favorite bookstore, or marygilliland.com

David Guaspari

David Guaspari was trained as a pure mathematician and considers himself to be, of all post-19th century mathematical logicians, the funniest. In addition to technical papers, he has published short fiction, essays, humor, and reviews, and has had plays performed in states totaling 326 electoral votes as well as five foreign countries.  A member of the Dramatists Guild, he lives in Ithaca, NY.  https://dguaspari.com

Kris Haines-Sharp
Kris Haines-Sharp lives with her wife and pup in Ithaca, NY. She was a 2020-21 Craigardan writer-in-residence where she was selected to study with Kate Moses in the Bookgardan writing program. Her work has appeared in Entropy Magazine, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Academy of the Heart and Mind, Roi Faineant Press. krishainessharp.com

Roger Hecht
Roger W. Hecht teaches American Literature and Creative Writing at SUNY, Oneonta. He is the author of two collections of poetry: Talking Pictures (Cervena Barva Press) and Witness Report (Finishing Line Press). He lives in Ithaca.


Eleanor Henderson
Eleanor Henderson is the author of the novels Ten Thousand Saints and The Twelve-Mile Straight and the memoir Everything I Have Is Yours, which was a New York Times Notable Book in 2021. She is the Robert Ryan Professor in the Humanities and the Chair of the Department of Writing at Ithaca College. eleanor-henderson.com


Lamar Herrin
taught at Cornell University for thirty years. He is the author of ten books: eight novels, among them The Lies Boys Tell, House of the Deaf, and Fractures, as well as a book of short stories. His memoir, Romancing Spain, a section of which appears in Cayuga Lake Books’ anthology, recounts the adventure his Spanish wife and he had when they were married, as well as his travels in the small towns of Spain.

Minfong Ho
was born in Myanmar of ethnic Chinese parents, raised in Thailand and educated in Taiwan and then at Cornell University. She worked as a journalist in Singapore, taught at Chiangmai University in Thailand, and ran a food program on the Thai border for Cambodian refugees. The author of many short stories and several young adult novels, she lives in Ithaca, where she and her husband have raised three children.


Gail Holst-Warhaft
Gail Holst-Warhaft is a poet, prose writer, and translator of Greek literature. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Penelope's Confession and Lucky Country, and a number of books about Greek music and poetry. She was Poet Laureate of Tompkins County for 2011-12. Her most recent book is Nisiotika: Music, Dances and Bitter-Sweet Songs of the Aegean Islands. gailholst-warhaft.co


Dr. Sarah Jefferis
As a writing coach, Dr. Jefferis supports leaders at any stage of their project and across multiple genres. She designs writing workshops to increase awareness of DEI, as well as generative poetry workshops. Poetry publications include Forgetting the Salt (Foothills Press) and What Enters the Mouth (Standing Stone Books) and poems in The North American Review, The Cimarron Review, Rhino, The American Literary Review, Stone Canoe, and others. Jefferis holds an MFA in Poetry from Cornell, and a PhD in CW from SUNY Binghamton. sarahjefferis.com


Clare Jones

Clare Jones is the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Program, Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. https://www.clarejonespoet.com/


Carol Kammen
Carol Kammen teaches and writes about local history for many years and has been the Tompkins County Historian since 2000. She turned from writing history to fiction in order to bring to life the women in 1842 who made the first track across the country from Missouri to the Oregon Territory. She has also written a dozen dramas from episodes in our local history.


Sorayya Khan
Sorayya Khan is the author of We Take Our Cities With Us: A Memoir (2022) and three novels: Noor, Five Queen's Road, and City of Spies, which won the Best International Fiction Book Award at the Sharjah International Book Fair. Follow her on Instagram at @SorayyaKhan. http://www.sorayyakhan.com


AM Kvita
AM Kvita is a biracial/Black queer speculative fiction writer and artist who writes about how the built environment shapes us. When they’re not writing, they’re usually keeping their three wretched cats out of trouble. Kvita has participated in several mentorship programs, including Pitch Wars, Author Mentor Match, and the Write Team Mentorship Program. Follow them on Twitter @AMKvita. amkvita.wordpress.com


Katharyn Howd Machan
Katharyn Howd Machan has been writing and publishing poetry for half a century. She lives and teaches in Ithaca, New York with her beloved spouse and fellow poet Eric Machan Howd. She directed the Feminist Women’s Writing Workshops, Inc., and served as Tompkins County’s first poet laureate. She belly dances.


Brooke Lange

Brooke Lange is a writer and visual artist living in Brooktondale, NY. Through poetry, photography, and mixed media collage she explores the world from queer and neurodivergent perspectives. Brooke's art has been featured locally at State of the Art Gallery and online by Photo Trouvee Magazine. She has an upcoming solo show at The Gallery in Ithaca, NY during June and July 2023. https://www.instagram.com/brookelangeartist/

Caroline Manring
Caroline Manring’s Manual for Extinction won the National Poetry Review Book Prize. Her second book, Ceruleana, is forthcoming from the Nine Mile book series, and her poems and essays have appeared in Colorado Review, Conduit, Denver Quarterly, New Ohio Review, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. She also writes a humorous weekly Substack newsletter, Notes from the Dishwasher Cafe.


Joan Marcus
Joan Marcus lives in Ithaca and teaches fiction and creative nonfiction at Ithaca College. Her essays and stories appear in Fourth Genre, The Sun, The Georgia Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Smart Set, and elsewhere.


Katie Marks
Katie Marks teaches writing at Ithaca College. She received her MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College. She is always trying to learn something new. Current interests include how to make corn tortillas from scratch and how to give her cat nightly medicine without causing mutually assured destruction. 


Lee-Ellen Marvin

Lee-Ellen Marvin has been engaged with storytelling since 1981. She has produced storytelling recordings, conferences, and concert programs, taught storytelling at numerous colleges and universities, and performed at festivals, community centers, and schools. She is the creator of the Story Shifters Game, a non-competitive card game that inspires people to take traditional tales as raw material for fresh stories.

Jerry Mirskin
Jerry Mirskin lives in Ithaca. He is the author of three collections of poetry. His most recent collection is entitled, Crepuscular Non Driveway. Jerry's poems have been widely published and anthologized. He taught for many years at Ithaca College and Cornell and was a NYS Poet in the Schools. jerrymirskin.org


Keyturah Moore

Keyturah Moore has been writing since a child and has a desire to inspire through her words. Most of her writing is based off experience and learning how to cope and heal through grief, depression and other life lessons. She is a creative writer, songwriter, screenwriter, and poet.  


Aiden Nelson 

Aiden Nelson is a queer writer and creative. As a poet and essayist, their work hinges on their stark sense of honesty, with their work uncovering the nuances of grief, abuse, and trauma, while still showcasing the inevitability of joy and healing. https://bottlecap.press/products/lavender


  Elisabeth Nonas 

Novelist and screenwriter Elisabeth Nonas taught screenwriting and writing for emerging media at Ithaca College for over twenty years. She condensed her pedagogy into the self-published Story Workout: Exercises to Help You Connect with the Stories You Want to Tell. She recently completed her fifth novel, Grace Period, and has started on her sixth, Away with Words. http://elisabethnonas.com

Christa Núñez

Christa Núñez is the founder and Director of CAN Cooperative Media, the Learning Farm, and its non-profit sister organization Khuba International. In order to create sustainable food, land, and nature systems for systemically urbanized and displaced youth and families, this work includes the uplifting of stories that center people of color in dignity-affirming ways. http://LearningFarm.org  http://KhubaIntl.org  http://CANCoopMedia.com


Stephen Paling
Steve Paling is a poet and storyteller who lives in Ithaca, NY. His storytelling includes original and adapted tales based on the European folk and fairy tale tradition. He was recently the featured teller at Story Space (http://www.storyspace.org/Home.asp). In 2020 Cayuga Lake Books published his volume of poetry, Rooms in Old Houses. https://stevepaling.info/


Raul Palma 

Raul Palma is the author of A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens (forthcoming from Dutton) and In This World of Ultraviolet Light (Indiana University Press). He is an associate dean in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College and a member of the fiction faculty in the Department of Writing. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. http://raulpalmawriter.com

Sue Perlgut

Award winning documentarian Sue Perlgut runs CloseToHome Productions and has produced four documentaries that feature topical and socially relevant issues along with multi-media films/readings about women in Tompkins County. Perlgut founded The Senior Troupe of Lifelong in Ithaca. She has written a play/reading about abortion, appeared on national TV and has been interviewed by national media outlets about her pre Roe V Wade abortion story. http://www.CloseToHomeProductions.com

Kyara Lanee Perkins

Kyara, also known as “Kiki or KP the Intellectual” is a proud, Bronx native and dedicated community member and advocate, who’s passion resides in empowering and strengthening ties within the community through literary and visual arts. KP has long been heavily involved in social activism and community collectivism in New York City, focusing on incorporating wellness and personal development within community development

Cai Quirk 

Cai Quirk (they or other neutral pronouns) is a genderqueer/fluid multi-disciplinary artist who connects gender, mythology, restoryation, and nature-based spirituality through photos, poems, and stories. Cai’s book and photo series ‘Transcendence: Queer Restoryation,’ has been exhibited locally and internationally. They received bachelor's degrees in music and photography from Indiana University. http://caiquirk.com

Dan Rosenberg

Dan Rosenberg’s most recent collection of poems, Bassinet, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2022. His work has won the American Poetry Journal Book Prize and the Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Contest. Rosenberg teaches literature, creative writing, and translation theory at Wells College in Aurora, NY.  danrosenberg.us

Jennifer Savran Kelly
Jennifer Savran Kelly (she/they) lives in Ithaca, where she writes, binds books, and works as a production editor at Cornell University Press. Her debut novel Endpapers, forthcoming from Algonquin Books in February 2023, won a 2018 grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. In 2019 it was selected as a finalist for the SFWP Literary Awards program and for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. Jennifer's short fiction has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Hobart, Green Mountains Revire, and elsewhere. jennifersavrankelly.com

Daniel Smalls

Dan Smalls is a concert promoter based in Ithaca, NY.  He's taken to writing during the forced time of during the pandemic covering true stories from behind the scenes and a novel based loosely on past music industry experiences.  His company DSP Shows promotes of 700 events around the northeast every year from Western Mass to Buffalo. danielsmalls.com


Saviana Stanescu
Saviana Stanescu is a Romanian cutting-edge playwright, poet, and ARTivist based in NY. Winner of New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Play, Samuel French OOB Festival, Marulic Prize for Best European Radiodrama, Best Romanian Play of the Year UNITER Award, Saviana's plays have been translated and produced around the world. MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU. Associate Professor of Playwriting – Ithaca College. saviana.com, savianastanescu.com

Aoise Stratford
Aoise Stratford is a playwright, dramaturg and lecturer at Cornell. Best known locally for her adaptation of A Christmas Carol for The Hangar, she is also the author of two audio-headphone walking plays with Katie Marks and Nick Salvato, for The Cherry


Melissa Tuckey
Melissa Tuckey is a poet, literary activist and teaching artist. She is author of Tenuous Chapel, a book of poems and Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology. She’s a former poet laureate of Tompkins County, and an emeritus fellow at Black Earth Institute. A literary activist, she served as co-founding director of Split This Rock, a national literary organization dedicated to poetry of provocation & witness


Jaime Warburton
Jaime Warburton (MFA, Poetry and Creative Nonfiction, Sarah Lawrence College) is the author of the chapbook Note That They Cannot Live Happily, and her poems, stories, and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from publications such as North American Review, Gargoyle Magazine, Hoxie Gorge Review, Sequestrum, Storyscape, and The Nervous Breakdown. Jaime also acts, sings, and does dramaturgical and theatre work.


Evan D. Williams
Evan D. Williams investigates the quandaries of the numinous and carnal self in a range of documental forms. His debut full-length poetry collection, Dear Excavator (2021) is available at Odyssey Bookstore in Downtown Ithaca or at aprilgloaming.com. He lives in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains with his wife and cats. He is at work on two more poetry manuscripts


Winniebell Xinyu Zong
Winniebell Xinyu Zong is a Chinese poet and chapbook editor at Newfound Press. She was the 2020 Frontier Poetry editorial fellow and a spring 2021 publishing intern at Copper Canyon Press. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, Best of Net, and AWP’s Intro Journals Project, Zong holds an MA from Kansas State University and is an MFA poetry candidate at Cornell University. winniebellxzong.com