Meet our Instructors
Our instructors are award-winning poets, novelists, playwrights, and memoirists, and essayists. From first book prize winners to Guggenheim award recipients, our instructors are passionate about teaching each and every Hudson Valley Writers' Center student and sharing their expertise with them. We are fortunate to be able to provide our community with a diverse and dedicated team of teachers who guide our students to develop their craft year-round.
Hannah Lillith Assadi received her MFA in fiction from the Columbia University School of the Arts, where she was granted a Woolrich Award. She was raised in Arizona by her Jewish mother and Palestinian father. She lives in Brooklyn. Sonora is her first novel.
Kirsten Bakis's novel Lives of the Monster Dogs was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, won a Bram Stoker Award, was shortlisted for Britain's prestigious Baily's Prize, and has a band named after it. A special 20th anniversary edition will be out in May 2017, with an introduction by Jeff VanderMeer. Bakis is the recipient of a Whiting Award, a Michener/Copernicus Society of America grant, and a Teaching/Writing Fellowship from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She's currently at work on a novel, is an editor-at-large for the literary journal Origins, and has been a member of the resident faculty at the Yale Summer Conference since it began. A great essay in The Atlantic on The Lives of the Monster Dogs, on the occasion of its 20th Anniversary.
Peter Bricklebank has published fiction in such journals as The American Voice, Carolina Quarterly, Mid-American Review, Kansas Quarterly, Confrontation. He has published fiction, and nonfiction in The New York Times Book Review, the American Book Review, The Chicago Tribune. His chapter on writing essay and memoir appears in The Portable MFA (Writers Digest Books), and his latest nonfiction appears in the inaugural issue of Two Bridges Review. He has received a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in fiction and been a panelist for the BRIO awards for the Bronx Council of the Arts He has taught private writing workshops in NYC and in Oaxaca and Morelia (Mexico) and at New York University and elsewhere, including a year as Nonfiction writer-in-residence at Central Connecticut State University. He taught fiction and nonfiction at Bar-Ilan University in Israel in summer 2012 and taught at the Festival of Writers, Rensselaerville, New York in August 2013. As well as at HVWC, he currently teaches in the online graduate program of National University and the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence.
MICHAEL P. COLLINS
Michael Collins’ poems have received Pushcart Prize nominations and appeared in more than 50 journals and magazines, including Grist, Kenning Journal, Pank, and Smartish Pace. His first chapbook, How to Sing when People Cut off your Head and Leave it Floating in the Water, won the Exact Change Press Chapbook Contest in 2014. A full-length collection, Psalmandala, was published later that year, and a second chapbook, Harbor Mandala, appeared in 2015. He lives in New York with his wife and son and teaches creative and expository writing at New York University.
Joanne Dobson is a novelist, a retired Fordham University English Professor, and a long-time fiction teacher and workshop leader at HVWC. Her most recent book is The Kashmiri Shawl, a historical novel published in 2014. Author of the Professor Karen Pelletier mystery series, she has, co-authored, with Bev Myers, Face of the Enemy, a novel set in WWII New York City. The Hudson Valley Writers' Center honored her as writer, teacher, and scholar at their benefit gala in 2014.
Jennifer Franklin concentrated in English and Creative Writing at Brown University. She holds an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts. Her poems debuted in the Paris Review’s “Ten New Poets” issue in 1996. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections, No Small Gift (Four Way Books, 2018) and Looming (Elixir Press, 2015). Her poetry has appeared widely in anthologies, literary magazines, and journals including Boston Review, Gettysburg Review, Guernica, The Nation, "poem-a-day" on poets.org, and Prairie Schooner. A selection of her poetry is featured in Andrew Solomon’s award winning book, Far From the Tree. Franklin is co-editor of Slapering Hol Press, the small press imprint of The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center. She teaches poetry workshops and seminars at The Hudson Valley Writers' Center and lives in New York City.
Herbert Hadad is the author of Finding Immortality: The Making of One American Family, and is currently working on another book of non-fiction stories, The Best Intentions. He has written articles for The New York Times, Gannett Newspapers, and International Herald Tribune. He has been featured in Parenting, Lear’s, and The New York Daily News Magazine. He has also contributed to the anthology, The Random House Guide to Writing and Sephardic American Voices. He has been honored by The New York Press Club and Folio magazine. Until recently, he worked as a press officer for the Department of Justice in the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Manhattan and Westchester.
Beth Hahn studied art and writing at The University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and earned an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She has attended The Bread Loaf Writer's Conference and the Ragdale Foundation. Her essays and short stories have appeared in Mr. Beller's Neighborhood, Writer's Digest, Largehearted Boy, Necessary Fiction, The Hawai'i Review, The South Carolina Review, and The Emrys Journal. The Singing Bone is her first novel. Beth lives in New Castle, New York, with her husband. She is the daughter of the popular children's author Mary Downing Hahn and the sister of the humor writer, Kate Hahn.
Susan Hodara has been teaching memoir writing workshops since 2002 and writing memoir for nearly twenty years. Her short pieces have been published in a variety of literary journals and anthologies, and she is co-author of the collaborative memoir Still Here Thinking of You: A Second Chance With Our Mothers (Big Table Publishing, 2013). She is also a freelance journalist who writes about the arts and real estate for publications including The New York Times, Communication Arts, and others.
Amy Holman is the author of Wrens Fly Through This Opened Window (Somondoco Press, 2010), and Wait for Me, I’m Gone, winner of the 2004 Dream Horse Press Annual Poetry Chapbook Prize. Poems have also been in The Best American Poetry 1999, The Westchester Review, Gargoyle, Failbetter, Barrow Street, American Letters & Commentary, and online at Archaeology Magazine. She has been a guest poet for The Masters School 10th grade trip to the Ossining Weir, The Hudson School 7th & 8th graders in Hoboken, and the Putnam County Arts Council poetry workshop. As a literary consultant she’s been a guest speaker at colleges, universities, conferences and literary centers, including an annually at the Bread Loaf Conference since 1995. Her essays have appeared in magazine columns, anthologies, and literary journals. She lives in Brooklyn.
Peter Andrews has sold dozens of short stories in science fiction and fantasy. His Zombie Chic was recently optioned by a Hollywood producer. Peter is a graduate of the Clarion Writers Workshop, where his teachers were Damon Knight, Harlan Ellison, Peter S. Beagle, and Kate Wilhelm. He has worked professionally in PR, and as a Web producer, speechwriter, and radio producer. Currently, he is a full-time, independent writer of speeches, articles, and blogs, including the popular How To Write Fast Blog.
KATE KNAPP JOHNSON
Kate Knapp Johnson has been teaching poetry at Sarah Lawrence College since 1987 and has directed the Graduate Poetry Program there for 11 years. She is the author of three collections of poetry: When Orchids Were Wildflowers (Dragon Gate), This Perfect Life (Miami Univ.) and Wind Somewhere, And Shade (Miami). She has been the recipient of a NYFA and two GRADIVA awards for her work—most recently published in Ploughshares, The Sun, The Atlanta Review, and Lumina. She is also a graduate of the Westchester Institute for Training in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis with a specialty in Jungian Studies.
Fred Marchant's new collection of poetry, Said Not Said, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in May 2017. The Looking House (Graywolf Press 2009) was named by Barnes and Noble Review as one of the five best books of poetry in 2009. He was the 2009 co-winner of the May Sarton Award, given to poets whose "work is an inspiration to other poets."
Sergio Troncoso is the author of From This Wicked Patch of Dust, which Kirkus Reviews called "an engaging literary achievement" in a starred review. The novel won the Southwest Book Award and was selected by Kirkus as one of the Best of 2012. Troncoso also wrote Crossing Borders: Personal Essays, which won the Bronze Award for Essays from ForeWord Reviews. He is also the author of The Nature of Truth and The Last Tortilla and Other Stories, which won the Premio Aztlan Literary Prize. In 2012, he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters. Troncoso co-edited Our Lost Border: Essays on Life Amid the Narco-Violence in 2013. He is a resident faculty member of the Yale Writers' Conference.