UTV 2021 PARTICIPANT PROFILES

SELENE ÁNGELES 

Tijuana, Mexico

Poetry with David Huerta

LA GÜERA TRIGOS FELLOW

NacÍ en Ciudad de México, pero he vivido en Tijuana la mayor parte de mi vida. Soy redactora y traductora. En 2019 fui becaria del III Encuentro Internacional de Literatura “13 Habitaciones Propias”. Participé en el Festival Internacional de Poesía Caracol (2017, 2019 y 2020) y el encuentro Poesía en Tijuana (2019). Mis textos han sido publicados en las revistas Timonel, Gramanimia y Círculo de Poesía.

Creo en la poesía, los versos de Dolores Castro y la defensa del medio ambiente. También encuentro mi fascinación en la fotografía, las plantas y el chocolate.

 

I was born in Mexico City but I’ve lived in Tijuana for most of my life. I work as an editor and translator. In 2019 I was a fellow of the Third Encuentro Internacional de Literatura “13 Habitaciones Propias”. I participated in the Festival Internacional de Poesía Caracol (2017, 2019 y 2020) and in the congress Poesía en Tijuana (2019). My poems have appeared in the journals Timonel, Gramanimia y Círculo de Poesía.

I believe in poetry, the verses of Dolores Castro and defense of the environment. I’m also passionate about photography, plants and chocolate.

Diego arellano

Mexico City, Mexico

Fiction with Alberto Chimal

Cuando era niño mi sueño era ser pintor y botarga en Disneylandia. Con el tiempo me fui dando cuenta que se me da mejor la pluma que el pincel y que soy un poco claustrofóbico. Escribo, no como vía de escape, sino como entrada a mi pasado, al futuro de los que me rodean y siempre desde el presente. La ciencia ficción es mi mero mole. He convertido Diego “ArGo” en mi nombre para el mundo, porque es la manera en la que mejor honro a mi padre y a mi madre: combinando sus apellidos. He publicado diferentes artículos de opinión en el periódico digital Telokwento. El día de hoy sueño y trabajo para pronto publicar mis cuentos (y guiones) llenos de mexicansimos y robots. Siempre puedes platicar conmigo de películas, cómics y cualquier chisme que te sepas.

DANIELA ARMIJO 

Quintana Roo, Mexico

Manuscript Seminar with Verónica Murguía

 LA PÁGINA DORADA FELLOW

Soy maestra en Creación Literaria por la Universidad de Texas en El Paso y licenciada en Ciencias Humanas por la Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla. He publicado en antologías: Sargazo (Instituto de Cultura de Q.R., 2020), Lados B (Editorial Nitro Press, 2018). BidiBidiBomBom (Editorial Paraíso Perdido, 2018) y en diversas revistas de circulación nacional (Efecto Antabus, Carruaje de Pájaros, La Peste, Marabunta, entre otras). Imparto cursos de literatura y escritura en instituciones educativas y en centros penitenciarios. Mis proyectos han contado con el apoyo del PECDA, FONCA y CONACYT. Soy editora del libro Flores en la herida: relatos de personas encarceladas (2020). 

Mi trabajo gira en torno a dos temas principales: la violencia y los animales. Las historias que me interesa imaginar y contar tienen que ver con la transgresión, los límites entre lo permitido y lo prohibido y las posibilidades metafóricas de los animales en relación con los humanos. 

 

I have a Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso and a B.A. in Human Science from the Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla. My work has appeared in several anthologies (see above) and in a number of Mexican journals (see above.) I teach literature and writing in several schools and in penitentiaries. I’ve received grants from PECDA, FONCA and CONACYt and have published a collection of prison writing called “Flowers in the Wound: Stories from Behind Bars.”

My work gravitates around two main themes: violence and animals. The stories I’m interested in imagining and telling have to do with transgression, the limits between the permitted and the forbidden and the metaphorical possibilities of animals in relation to humans.

RAMÓN ALFREDO BLANCO

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Escritura y Testimonio with Sandra Lorenzano

Nací en la ciudad argentina de Paso de los Libres, en frontera con Brasil. Resido en la frenética Ciudad de Buenos Aires, hace cinco años. Escribo.

Soy gestor cultural y también me dedico al periodismo cultural. Edité tres libros; dos de narrativa y pequeños ensayos y uno de entrevistas a reconocidos escritores latinoamericanos. Di cursos y charlas, publiqué en antologías, manuales de estudio, periódicos de Argentina y del exterior. Algunos premios y menciones me alentaron a seguir escribiendo. Fui becario del Fondo Nacional de las Artes y director de cultura de mi ciudad. Actualmente integro la Comisión Directiva del Centro PEN Argentina y soy delegado ante el Congreso de Escritores de la Sociedad Argentina de Escritores.

Me gusta viajar, y espero retomar pronto, conocer diversas culturas. La pandemia despertó en mí el gusto por cocinar y revivir los sabores de mi frontera, en la comida brasileña. Y por la reflexión. Actualmente estoy escribiendo sobre la vida en esa frontera argentina-brasileña, por eso es una enorme alegría iniciar este master class de escritura y testimonio con Sandra Lorenzano.

SHEILA BREEN DE URQUIDI

Seattle, Washington & Tepoztlán, Mexico

Poetry with Cyrus Cassells

I live in Bellevue, Washington and Tepoztlán, Morelos. Born in Chicago and raised in the suburbs of New York City, I moved to Mexico fifty years ago. For many years I worked in Mexico City for L’Oréal, the French cosmetics company. After retiring I started with two friends the café-book store La Sombra del Sabino in Tepoztlán. I write detective fiction and am presently working on a memoir through poetry.

 

Vivo en Bellevue, Washington y Tepoztlán, Morelos. Nacida en Chicago y criada en los suburbios de la ciudad de Nueva York, me mudé a México hace cincuenta años. Durante muchos años trabajé en la Ciudad de México para L’Oréal, la empresa francesa de cosméticos. Después de jubilarme empecé con dos amigas la café-librería La Sombra del Sabino en Tepoztlán. Escribo novelas policíacas y actualmente estoy trabajado en una memoria a través de la poesía.

nivea CASTro

New York & Georgia, US

Literary Launchpad with Tim MacGabhann

In the present iteration of my life I’m living in Georgia. I write fiction/poetry/narrative nonfiction and photograph candid portraits/events. I hope to jump start ‘Coquito Man’ after two years of crisis intervention on behalf of a beloved writers’ organization. I was curator/editor of Sinister Wisdom’s edition #97, Soy Lesbiana y Que! Out Latina Lesbians, a Lambda Literary and Golden Globe Awards finalist. I love massages and world travel, both which have been on hold since COVID.

TAYLOR CLELAND

Tucson, Arizona

Literary Launchpad with Tim MacGabhann

I’m a teacher and writer based in Tucson, Arizona, about 90 miles north of the US-Mexico border. I moved away for college and was shocked to discover that almost no narratives about the border regions or the American West include the specific cultures and histories I grew up in. It’s nearly impossible to find texts representing the students I teach – especially those who are mixed racial or indigenous – or our geographical location.

I hold a degree in screenwriting (Northwestern University, 2013) and got my start on scripted web series and podcasts (Personal Space, 2018; Parcast Network 2018-2019; Dear Earth I’m Really Sorry; upcoming 2021). After returning to Arizona three years ago, I began teaching and my return to prose. As both a writer and a teacher, my work deals with mythology, folklore, history, intersectional identity, queerness, and what it means to center the other as the default experience. I am currently working on a novel project about ghosts and a novella project about faeries, both set in Tucson.

My mother was a zookeeper when I was a child, so I have pet most of the mammal species native to the Sonoran Desert.

MATEO CORREA

Brooklyn, New York

Poetry with David Huerta

I am a Colombian-American performer and writer based in Brooklyn, New York and before the COVID-19 pandemic I was giving performance workshops in New York City jails with plans to start a several month long bilingual theatre and poetry workshop in Rikers and MDC. I hope that my time with Davíd Huerta will not only help me to grow as a writer, but will also help me grow as an educator and teacher and that I can pass along what I learn to enrich the lives of the people in my workshops once programming resumes in those facilities. I also host a weekly radio program for KpissFM based in Brooklyn, and a monthly program for Radio Alhara based in Bethlehem, Palestine.

Janet Dawson

Tepoztlán, Mexico & Toronto, Canada

Literary Launchpad with Tim MacGabhann

Born and educated in England, I’ve lived, studied and worked in Dallas, London, Mexico City, Miami, Paris, Toronto and Washington D.C. Having acquitted myself poorly at the undergraduate level, I redeemed myself somewhat with an M.Ed. from the University of Toronto in my forties, and in my fifties with an M.A. in Art History from London University, plus a Diploma in Modern Art Studies from Christie’s Education, London. My first career was teaching English as a second language at the college and university level in Toronto. I also designed specialized second language programmes and was involved in training teachers.

From time to time I give talks on art. It’s one of my passions, the others being food and Mexico. I was the Scholar in Residence for a few years at the Cocinar Mexicano cooking school in Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico, where I lectured on the roles of food and tradition in Mexican art. For the past three years I’ve been working on a memoir of sorts focusing on some of the art in my home, and the histories, stories and food associated with them. I divide my time between Tepoztlán and Toronto.

ANA DÍAZ

Medellín, Colombia – Boynton Beach, Florida

Fiction with Alberto Chimal

Nací en Medellín, Colombia. Realicé mis estudios de Comunicación Social y Periodismo en la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, donde me especialicé en periodismo radial y escrito.
Desde el 2010, resido en Estados Unidos. Actualmente estoy terminando mi Maestría en Español en Middlebury College, con énfasis en literatura y escritura creativa. Mi primera novela Lo último que diré será publicada en el mes de abril por la editorial Adarve, perteneciente al grupo Caudal. He participado en varias conferencias de literatura a nivel nacional e internacional y trabajo como profesora de español en La Florida.

 

I was born in Medellín, Colombia. I attended Pontifical Bolivarian University, where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Social Communication, with a concentration in radio journalism and writing.
Since 2010, I’ve resided in the United States. I am currently finishing my Master’s degree in Spanish (with an emphasis in literature and creative writing) at Middlebury College. I’ve participated in a variety of American and international literary conferences and I work as a Spanish professor in Florida. The Spanish publishing house Adarve, in conjunction with their editorial group, Caudal, will publish my first novel Lo ultimo que diré in April 2021.

DANIEL ESCOTO

Mexico City, Mexico

Manuscript Seminar with Verónica Murguía

Soy autor de Mujer de pieles infinitas (novela, Ediciones B, 2012) y mi trabajo ha sido incluído en Proporción áurea (cuentos, Libros del Sargento, 2012) y Te guardé una bala (antología de ensayos sobre series de televisión, Abismos, 2015). En 2013-2014 fui becario del programa Jóvenes Creadores FONCA. He sido guionista y locutor de radio pública y cultural. Mi meta en UTV 2021 es terminar de dar forma a una novela sobre el monje irlandés Juan Escoto Erígena.

Mi primer trabajo fue como vendedor de helados en un teatro. La remuneración era ver la obra gratis.

I am the author of the novel Mujer de pieles infinitas (Ediciones B, 2012)  and was anthologized in Proporción áurea (short stories, Libros del Sargento, 2012) and in Te guardé una bala (essays on TV series, Abismos 2015). I was a fellow of  the Jóvenes Creadores FONCA in 2013-2014. I have been scriptwriter and broadcaster for public and cultural radio. My goal in UTV 2021 is to finish a novel on the Irish monk John Scottus Eriugena.

My first job was as an ice cream seller in a theater. Payment was seeing the play free of charge.

RUY FEBEN

Mexico City, Mexico

Manuscript Seminar with Verónica Murguía

Soy escritor porque tengo una obsesión con las entrañas y los engranes. Por esa misma razón, en mi infancia quise ser ingeniero y músico, pero finalmente me decanté por estudiar comunicación. Mi modo de entrar a la escritura fue el periodismo, pero pronto lo abandoné: hay entrañas que no soy capaz de ver tan de cerca.

He escrito ficciones para antologías como Relatos de malta (AB-InBev, 2018), Te guardé una bala (Editorial Abismos, 2015), Emergencias: cuentos mexicanos de jóvenes talentos (Lectorum, 2014) e Hic Svnt Dracones (Tierra Adentro, 2013), entre otras. Además, he publicado en revistas como Los Bárbaros, La Peste y Guardagujas. Mi más reciente libro de cuentos, Malebolge, se publicó en 2018, y mi primer libro, Vórtices viles (Tierra Adentro, 2012) ganó el Premio Nacional de Cuento Joven Comala 2012. 

Analía Ferreyra Carreres

Mexico City, Mexico

Fiction with Alberto Chimal

I’m the daughter of Uruguayan immigrants, the first of my family to be born in Mexico. I think of myself first as a reader, second as a writer, and somehow, maybe in the middle of both, as a teacher. I worked mostly as a travel journalist for almost 10 years, but took several detours from gourmet and fashion writing to politics and topics related to violence. Nevertheless, since I read The Never Ending Story, my first and true love has always been literature, especially in its narrative form. I studied my BA in Hispanic Literature and Language at UNAM, an MA in Literature, Culture, and Media at Lund University in Sweden, and took the creative writing program at SOGEM. I write mostly narrative fiction with a big accent on the fantastic, and journals, lots and lots of them. I’m working on my first short novel, which takes place in a planet far away from our solar system, in which all the stories that happen in that world are registered in the forest as if it were a gigantic library.

I love knitting, crocheting and dancing, and enjoy life in the company of my existential copilot, Moka, a mixed breed dog that has taught me a lot about happiness, presence and love in the nine years and a half that we have been together.

NICK FITZGERALD

London, UK

Literary Launchpad with Tim MacGabhann

I’m currently based in London, having just returned from a year teaching English in South Korea. I’ve been writing short stories for about three years now, and have also tried my hand at screenwriting, writing a pilot for a sitcom and a screenplay for a film. Besides literature, my other main passion in life is music, and this often plays an important part in my writing. I spent a year living in Valencia as part of my degree, so I am looking forward to dusting off my (hopefully not too rusty!) Spanish whilst on the course.

NANCY FOLEY

Hood River, Oregon

Manuscript Seminar with Ayşegül Savaş

I was born and raised in New Mexico. I studied philosophy in college, and since then have worked all kinds of jobs in New Mexico, Los Angeles and New York. I currently live in Oregon. I have two kids. I write show bibles for reality tv. I’ve been a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook, and the opening of my novel La Rana will be published on Embark in April 2021. I recently finished the draft of a new novel set in 1970s New Mexico, which is the work I’m bringing to Under The Volcano.

TIFFANY FRITZ

Tucson, Arizona

Literary Launchpad with Tim MacGabhann

I have lived all my life in Tucson, where I teach creative writing and rhetoric to high school students. My queer fantasy fiction focuses on processing trauma and mental illness, drawing on the rich and lush landscape of my home in the Sonoran Desert. I am an alum of Northern Arizona University and Futurescapes Writers’ Workshop.

MARÍA JOSÉ GOMEZ CASTILLO

Mexico City, Mexico

Manuscript Seminar with Verónica Murguía

I was born and raised in Mexico City. I have a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Literature from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and a master’s degree in Museum Studies from New York University. Since 2011 I’ve taught at Centro, where I direct the Screenwriting MA. My stories have been published in Los mejores cuentos mexicanos 2001 (Planeta), Nuevas voces de la narrativa mexicana (Planeta, 2003), and Tierra Adentro. I have received a Fulbright scholarship (2006-2008) and a FONCA Jóvenes Creadores Fellowship (2010), the latter of which allowed me to write a short story collection entitled El vuelo del escarabajo. I am currently working on my first novel, which centers on an actual 19th century charismatic figure and her primary role in several uprisings in Northern Mexico..

 

Karla María Gutiérrez

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

Journalism with Tyrone Beason and Alicia Quiñones

ROBERT L. BREEN JOURNALISM FELLOW

Soy curiosa y preguntona: me gusta mirar y descubrir los porqués. Me motivan la libertad, la belleza y la dignidad. Transito entre el periodismo de investigación y la comunicación porque me ayudan a saber y comprender en dónde estoy. Creo en la palabra, en el diálogo. Me encuentro cuando hablo o escribo: aprecio eso. Gozo andar por el mundo y la coincidencia con los otros en el camino. Amo el maíz, la compañía de mis perros, crear algo nuevo, el café, cocinar, el sonido de una botella de vino al ser abierta, los libros, morder chocolates y ver a la gente sonreír.

I’m curious and constantly asking questions. I like to look around and discover why’s and wherefore’s. I’m inspired by freedom, beauty and dignity. I move back and forth between journalism and communication because they both help me know and understand where I am. I believe in the word, in dialogue. I find myself when I speak or write. I savor that. I enjoy roaming the world and coinciding with others along the way. I love corn, the company of my dogs, creating soething new, coffee, cooking, the sound of a wine bottle opening, books, biting chocolates and seeing people smile.

ENGELI HAUPT

Valle de Bravo, Mexico – South Africa

Writing of Witness with Elizabeth Rosner

My childhood was set in South Africa, but Mexico has been home for seventeen years. I now live where town and forest meet, in Valle de Bravo.

I write about the human experience, mostly my own, but weave in research (science) in my writing, which tends to come out as poetry or prose. I am still in the early stages of my writing life, and look forward to receiving feedback, making connections, discovering new authors and simply expanding my horizons with fellow Volcanistas.

On LinkedIn, I write educational materials for English language learning settings, but hope to expand this to other areas of non-fiction.

My writer’s alter ego is hungry for outdoor adventure, and we both share a love for dogs (especially mine) and plant-based cooking.

LISA LÓPEZ SMITH

Zapotlanejo, Jalisco, Mexico

Poetry with Cyrus Cassells

Originally from the west coast of Canada, I’ve lived and worked in Italy, Uganda, China and Brazil, but Mexico is the home of my heart. I moved with my husband and sons to Jalisco ten years ago, where we raise milk goats, sheep, hens and cows, and foster street dogs and cats on our biodynamic farm. My BA is from the University of Calgary and my MA from Royal Roads Universitym in subjects unrelated to writing or farming, of course. In addition to being a student in the care of ruminants and soil regeneration, I also am a student of temazcales, languages, mysticism, horse therapies, my second novel and my second poetry chapbook.

RICHARD LLOYD

London, UK

Literary Launchpad with Tim MacGabhann

I’m currently living in London, my hometown, cut off from my usual life in Beijing by pandemic travel restrictions. In normal times, I run a social enterprise with my two best friends that gives university students from around the world free/funded work-travel opportunities in China, but I’ve used the grounding of the last year to go back more intensively to my writing. I’m working on a novel and a collection of poetry, and I’m excited to kick on with them in a new, vibrant community of writers.

I read Chinese and Tibetan Studies at Oxford, and have spent the last six years since I graduated living mainly in Beijing, but also New York, Paris, London and Bangkok. I particularly enjoy translation and I’m now in the process of translating a Mongolian young adult fiction book from Mandarin into English.

ANNA MACONOCHIE

London, UK

Manuscript Seminar with Ayşegül Savaş

I was born in London and educated there. I went to the London School of Economics to study philosophy and then worked in the film industry in my 20s, mostly in and around London but with stints in New York, Los Angeles and the Telluride Film Festival. I began writing short stories as it was the opposite of filmmaking – one person and a laptop creating a finished product. I published for the first time in the Erotic Review in 2013. Two more stories followed for the same publication, one of which has made it into the 100 Sexiest Stories Anthology, edited by Mariella Frostrup. In 2017 I published my first short story collection with Cultured Llama Publishing – Only the Visible Can Vanish. Further stories were published in The Dublin Review, Wells Street Journal and Bitter Oleander. I am working on more stories, a novel and a non-fiction book project that my agent is valiantly trying to sell.

SUSANA MARCELO

Los Angeles, California

Writing of Witness with Elizabeth Rosner

I am a Salvadoran-born, Los Angeles-raised writer. Since I have lived in the Los Angeles area for most of my life, I enjoy exploring its history and walking around various trails. My work in progress examines the Salvadoran diaspora as a borderless, multilingual experience. Currently, I live in the San Fernando Valley with my husband, who is Filipino, and our two children. We cannot wait to be able to travel again to our motherlands of El Salvador and the Philippines. We miss our families abroad. In our home, we celebrate our cultures by keeping our foods and traditions alive. Though we also love trying new foods and cooking.

When I am not writing or trying to garden in my patio, I am reading and organizing literary events. I enjoy reading work that bends genres and explores multiple perspectives. My recent publications include work in Virginia Quarterly, Perro Azul Anthology (forthcoming), and The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States. I am also a professor in the Central American and Transborder Studies Department at California State University, Northridge, as well as professor of English at Los Angeles Valley College.

ROBERT MCQUEEN

Stratford, Canada

Poetry with Cyrus Cassells

I am a theatre director, actor and theatre educator currently living in Stratford, Canada.
For the past 43 years my theatre work has taken me across Canada, the United States. and internationally, including projects in Cambodia, Mexico, Argentina, Japan, Brazil, the UK and China. Shortly before March 2020 I started writing, and over the past year this has been the focus of my creative work. I am currently writing toward the completion of first drafts of two performance monologues.

BRITTANY MEANS

Iowa City, Iowa

Writing of Witness with Elizabeth Rosner

GRACE PALEY FELLOW

I was born dead, but now I live in Iowa. Passions include gardening, daydreaming, and playing computer solitaire. Currently, I am revising a memoir and it’s causing me to turn into a husk. I write about homelessness, trauma, and love. Being among other writers brings me joy.

MARÍA MINGUEZ ARIAS

Guadalajara, Spain/ Bay Area, California

Literatura y testimonio with Sandra Lorenzano

Soy María Mínguez Arias, escritora española bilingüe residente en Estados Unidos desde hace más de dos décadas. Soy Licenciada en Periodismo por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Traductora Certificada por el UC Berkeley Extension Program, y alumna de los talleres de escritura creativa Fuentetaja (España), Festival Internacional de Escritores de San Miguel de Allende (México, al que regresé como profesora este año, uno de los momentos más bonitos de mi trabajo como escritora), Las Dos Brujxs Writers’ Conference y The Writing Salon (ambas en San Francisco). Soy la autora de la novela Patricia sigue aquí (Editorial Egales, 2018) ganadora de un International Latino Book Award ese mismo año, así como de varios relatos y ensayos publicados en antologías y revistas digitales de España y Estados Unidos. Integro activamente el New Latino Boom, movimiento literario de escritura en español propio de Estados Unidos documentado por la escritora y académica Naida Saavedra. Trabajo como Directora de Operaciones en la Editorial feminista Aunt Lute Books, y vivo con mi compañera y nuestros dos hijes en la Bahía de San Francisco. Desde hace seis meses también soy madre humanoide de un coronaperro tamaño pony que me saca a pasear todos los días para entretenimiento de toda persona que se cruza en nuestro camino.
Estoy trabajando en mi segundo manuscrito, un híbrido entre crónica personal y exploración feminista y queer, cristalizado en ensayos y poemas, en el que reflexiono sobre el cuerpo de la mujer tomando como referente mi propio cuerpo con todas sus imperfecciones. Tengo la certeza de que Under the Volcano me ayudará a profundizar en la voz de mi narradora, así como a revisar el formato, la estructura y el espíritu del proyecto. Busco compartir mi trabajo con otras personas con inquietudes similares a las mías y acompañarnos en una comunidad segura, creativa y empoderadora. Estoy deseando.

OSCAR MOLINA

Quito, Ecuador

Journalism with Tyrone Beason and Alicia Quiñones

Soy periodista. Escribo periodismo cultural y narrativo. Nací y crecí en Quito, Ecuador. Tengo una maestría en Creación Literaria por la Universidad Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona y otra en Periodismo con énfasis en comunidades Latinx por The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism de The City University of New York (CUNY). Mi trabajo se ha publicado en medios como Gatopardo, Univision, El Espectador, y The Clinic, entre otros. Cuentos, microcuentos, crónicas y reseñas mías han sido incluidas en antologías, libros y exposiciones de arte de mi país. Venero a los animales, al mar y a los míos. Coleccionista de memes, emojis y stickers ✌🏽.

I am a journalist. I am a cultural and non-fiction writer. I was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador. I hold an M.A. in Literary Creation from Pompeu Fabra University and an M.A. in Journalism from The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at The City University of New York (CUNY). My work has been published in Gatopardo, Univision, El Espectador, and The Clinic, among others. Stories, short stories, non-fiction features, and reviews of mine have been included in anthologies, art exhibits, and books. I venerate animals, the sea, and my beloved ones. I am also a meme, emoji, and stickers collector

SEAMUS MULLIN

Brooklyn, NY

Literary Launchpad with Tim MacGabhann

I am a Brooklyn transplant, born and raised in Chicago. And yes, I do have strong opinions about pizza. I have been writing in some form or fashion since early childhood. My fiction and poetry have appeared in the journals Caustic Frolic and Outcryer, and in Hudson Valley MOCA’s “Writing the Walls 2020” exhibit. I am currently working on a novel that will hopefully find its way along the long, winding road to publication.

This spring, I will graduate with my M.A. in Irish and Irish-American Studies at New York University, after taking “the scenic route” (four years!) toward my degree while working. I have been lucky to participate in various writing workshops and courses at NYU and elsewhere, including the Frank McCourt Creative Writing Summer School. I am excited to find another writing community and a creative “jump-start” through Under the Volcano.

SINDY NANCLARES

New York/Medellín, Colombia

Journalism with Tyrone Beason and Alicia Quiñones

I am a Colombian-American multimedia journalist covering social justice issues, particularly those affecting Latinos in the United States and underrepresented communities throughout Latin America. Through rigorous investigative reporting and creative storytelling, my work in video and print (in Spanish) has portrayed the fight of translatinas to decriminalize sexwork in New York City, the women led-movement to access water in Mexico City and the threats faced by former FARC members in Antioquia, Colombia. My documentary Surviving 35, exploring the Translatina experience with marginalization and death in the United States, won the LGBTQ image award at the 2019 CUNY Film Festival.
Currently, I am creating a bilingual storytelling platform for young Latinos that uses video profiles and personal essays to showcase the wins and struggles of the Latino experience in New York.

In short, I care about politics, arts, culture, Latin America, and my pets (Aurelio and Lulu) —not in any particular order.

Ebti Numari

Brooklyn, New York

Journalism with Tyrone Beason and Alicia Quiñones

I was born and raised in Jeddah, the Arabian Peninsula. I’ve been living in New York City since 2008 after receiving the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Journalism Fellowship. I’m interested in human rights journalism that focuses on the stories of women, youth and minorities. I have written in both English and Arabic. I look forward to learning from Tyrone and Alicia how to explain and investigate complex topics through the lives of ordinary people.

My Criterion channel subscription has been saving my soul throughout this pandemic. I am a novice plant mom. I’m slowly learning Spanish and hope to be a trilingual by the end of the year, ojalá / Inshallah.

TOCHUKWU OKAFOR

Worcester, Massachusetts

Manuscript Seminar with Ayşegül Savaş

I am a Nigerian writer and an electrical engineer, presently based in Worcester, MA. I have a bachelor’s degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering and a master’s degree in Energy Science, Technology and Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. My writing has appeared in the 2018 Best of the Net, the 2019 Best Small Fictions, The Guardian, Harvard’s Transition Magazine, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. I am a 2021 Jack Straw Writing Fellow, a 2021 Frank Conley Memorial Scholar, a 2021 Albertina Tholakele Dube Scholar for Young Writers, a 2021 Longleaf Writers Conference BIPOC Scholar and an alumnus of the 2021 Tin House Workshop. I hope to establish friendships and learn more about the craft of fiction during my time at Under the Volcano. I am currently working on a novel and a story collection about the lives of Nigerians in Nigeria and Nigerian-Americans in America, examining themes across sexuality, masculinity, mental health and love. I’m on Twitter @toch_okafor and on Instagram @tochukwu_okafor

LIBERTAD PANTOJA

Mexico City, Mexico

Manuscript Seminar with Verónica Murguía

I was born in Mexico City. I love reading short stories, petting cats, and watching and taking pictures of small critters. My passion is to write. I’ve participated in fiction workshops with Francisco Rebolledo, Alberto Chimal, Gabriel Rodríguez Liceaga, José Manuel Ríos Guerra and Mario González Suárez. Currently, I mostly write fantastic short stories. I received the 2019 FONCA scholarship in the short story for young writers.

TERESA PEÑA

Orizaba, Veracruz, Mexico

Fiction with Alberto Chimal

Soy una escritora residente en la ciudad de Orizaba, Veracruz, un pueblito lleno de paisajes naturales que me asombran todos los días. El año pasado inicié una especialización en promoción de la lectura ofrecida por la Universidad Veracruzana con sede en Córdoba; también fui apoyada por el PECDA para escribir un libro de cuentos, el primero que publico. Desde la primera vez que me hablaron sobre Under the Volcano quise ser parte de la comunidad y ahora deseo que en esta experiencia virtual pueda conocer y aprender mucho de más gente encantada – como yo – por la palabra, la escritura y la imaginación. De vez en cuando intento hablar el lenguaje de los animales – en la casa donde vivo actualmente hay una gatita y una perrita que constantemente me ayudan a practicar – y las plantas, por eso disfruto la naturaleza.

MARLON PÉREZ VELASCO

Tijuana, Mexico

Poetry with David Huerta

Nací en Tijuana, región transfronteriza que se caracteriza por su dinamismo social, su condición geopolítica y su exploración literaria, artística, musical y sonora. Mi trabajo se relaciona estrechamente con lo anterior y encuentro a la poesía como una serie de motivaciones que van desde desarticular el lenguaje, creer en los signos y los símbolos, movernos del papel para su transformación y refugiarnos en ella para constatar aquello que nos unifica o disgrega.

Estudié la licenciatura en Lengua y Literatura de Hispanoamérica en la Universidad Autónoma de Baja California. Mi experiencia como poeta, escritora y artista me ha llevado por muchos caminos: desde escribir en revistas formales e independientes de las que destacan Círculo de poesía, Gramanimia y la revista eSpiral; como invitada en encuentros de literatura por la UABC, como expositora en el Festival Internacional de Poesía Caracol 2021 y en instituciones como el Centro Cultural Tijuana, Instituto Municipal de Arte y Cultura y la Secretaría de Cultura de Baja California.

He realizado piezas de poesía experimental y sonora con artistas visuales como Roberto Romero Molina y Supersadfish; he sido expositora en exhibiciones por parte de Relaciones Inesperadas y el Instituto Goethe de México (Tijuana, México) y más recientemente en Casa Familiar The Front Arte y Cultura (San Ysidro, Estados Unidos).

Actualmente soy curadora del programa de radio “Be a loud poem,” que se transmite en la plataforma Nett Nett Radio, en el que desarrollo una selección mensual de obras representativas sobre poesía sonora, spoken art forms, música y poesía, experimentación poética y sonora, poesía multimedia entre otros temas.

MARISSA REVILLA

San Crístobal, Chiapas, Mexico

Journalism with Tyrone Beason and Alicia Quiñones

ROBERT L. BREEN JOURNALISM FELLOW

Soy Marissa Revilla, originaria de la CDMX y ciudadana de San Cristóbal de Las Casas hace 23 años, la mitad de mi vida. Soy egresada de la carrera de Comunicación Social en la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Unidad Xochimilco.

Desde siempre comunicadora, me he dedicado a la producción radiofónica, a la fotografía, a la producción audiovisual y desde hace 15 años a escribir historias en y de Chiapas para el mundo como Reportera Senior en Global Press Journal.

Hice la producción de los programas radiofónicos “Voces de Mujer” y “Aquelarre” con el Grupo de Mujeres de San Cristóbal-COLEM y el Colectivo Feminista Mercedes Olivera-COFEMO. Integrante de la Red de Mujeres Radialistas de México y del colectivo de fotografía Trágameluz.

Nunca he pensado que yo le doy voz a la gente, yo creo que todas las personas tenemos voz y yo contribuyo a magnificarla para que más gente la escuche en el mundo.

JASMINE RESPESS

Coral Gables, Florida

Poetry with Cyrus Cassells

I am a Florida native who writes about the intersections of my Black, Southern, and Caribbean identities. At New College of Florida, I spent my undergrad career as a journalist, so I utilize interviews of family members and research in much of my work. The tradition of magical realism has inspired me, and I explore folktales and lore in my poems and non-fiction pieces. It is important for me to show little Black girls playing in the woods too. I earned an MFA in Poetry from The New School, in New York in 2020. I currently live in Coral Gables, Florida with my two dogs and I am an Editor and Marketing Analyst at Mango Publishing Group.

Gina Rodríguez

Mexico City, Mexico

Escritura y testimonio with Sandra Lorenzano

Cuando tenía unos seis años, mi madre me regaló unos cartoncitos que sacó de sus empaques de pantimedias y, como estaban doblados a la mitad, me pareció que tenían forma de librito, así que me puse a escribir en ellos. Ya olvidé la mayoría de las historias que escribí, pero recuerdo una de una niña que quería un hermanito y se ponía con su familia a pedirlo al cielo como deseo. Mi madre la leyó y se empezó a reír. Después se la mostró a mi papá y se carcajeó. Después enseñaron aquel mini-librito que yo había hecho en una reunión con amigos, sus amigos, y todos los de la reunión se rieron. Me sentí fatal. Me sentí burlada, humillada. Ni siquiera entendí qué podía ser tan gracioso en aquella historia. Y ahí dejé de escribir. Nunca más otro librito en cartoncitos de pantimedias. A los 22 empecé mi carrera como editora y desde entonces he corregido, editado, coordinado y publicado libros de texto, obras académicas, literarias y comerciales. Pero secretamente siempre me he preguntado qué pasaría si escribiera de nuevo. Y heme aquí.

Estudié Comunicación y tengo una maestría por la Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales de la UNAM, donde soy profesora de asignatura. Fui coordinadora editorial en la Universidad Iberoamericana y he colaborado en proyectos en México y Estados Unidos, donde he vivido los últimos años. He publicado en Este País, Revista Desocupado, El Presente del Pasado y tengo mi blog Todomal.me.

Mauricio ruiz

Mexico City – Brussels

Manuscript Seminar with Aysegül Savaş

I studied electronic engineering in college and worked in the telecom world until I quit my job in 2013 to write my first book of stories, Y sin querer te olvido. I’m fascinated by rhythm, perhaps because of my background in music —I studied piano and violin at the music conservatory in Mexico City. I have lived in Belgium, the US and Norway, and enjoy writing in both English and Spanish.

I’m interested in cognitive dissonance, how it works, especially among people in power and those close to them. The concepts of privilege and entitlement: how are they acquired and internalized? Over the past two years I have been studying the mapping of the written word (imagined or fact-based) with structures in the brain. I’ve studied their psychological affect from a social-psychology point of view. Do different brain structures get activated when we write fiction (imagined) as opposed to when we write fact-based narratives?

I’ve been shortlisted for the Bridport and Fish Short Story Prizes, and received fellowships from OMI Writers (New York), Jakob Sande (Norway), Three Seas Council (Rhodes), Société des auteurs (Belgium), and Can Serrat (Cataluña). My second collection of stories, Silencios al sur, was published in 2017.

My work has appeared in Words Without Borders, Catapult, Electric Literature, The Common, The Rumpus, Jornada Semanal, Chilango and Casa del Tiempo, among others, and has partially been translated into French, Dutch and Albanian.

I’ve finished my debut novel in Spanish, Sigo llorando la nieve, and I’m in the process of finding an agent.

STELLA SANTAMARIA

Albion, Michigan

Poetry with Cyrus Cassells

SANDRA CISNEROS FELLOW

I am a Latinx writer. Daughter of a Cuban exile and a Guatemalan immigrant, granddaughter of Afro Cuban, Indigenous and Spanish exiles, I was born in Los Angeles and raised in Miami’s “Little Havana.”

Long story short: after working as an educator in Miami area schools for twenty years, I worked in Hollywood, CA as a freelance writer, translator and editor for screenplays from 2017-2019, traveling to and from the San Francisco Bay Area while working on my MFA in poetry at Saint Mary’s College of California. I’ve published poems in Mary, Nine Mile Magazine, Juked, Brooklyn Review, Pennsylvania English, Courtship of Winds and The Rumpus, among others and have performed spoken word in the Lab in San Francisco and in Nuyorican Poets’ Café in New York City. Featured in the HBO Films and CNN documentary “Latino in America. “

As an experimental poet, I am passionate about the influence of family, identity, migration, spirituality and place. In 2020, I completed a full-length poetry manuscript, California Silence, which was a finalist for the 2020 Autumn House Poetry Prize, and a chapbook entitled perpetual exile. Currently, I serve as the inaugural Poet Laureate and inaugural Arts Commissioner for Albion, Michigan. I live with my family in a home where deer and cardinals roam free.I am honored and grateful to be the Sandra Cisneros Fellow for Under the Volcano 2021, and to be a virtual Volcanista this year during poetry month.

MARCELA SANTOS

Mexico City, Monterrey

Poetry with David Huerta

I was born in Guadalajara and raised in Monterrey, but I have been living in Mexico City for almost a decade. My first book, Sol de Monterrey, is forthcoming.

I currently work as a librarian. My job is focused on promoting literature written in English, organizing online book clubs and arranging a seemingly endless collection of books. I studied Hispanic Literature at UNAM, but my first encounter with poetry was through a computer screen, sitting in my room as a teenager. I read at least one Wikipedia article before bed.

ALI SARGENT

Mexico City – London

Literary Launchpad with Tim MacGabhann

I am a writer, translator and documentary filmmaker from London, and have lived for a year and half in Mexico City. My poetry has appeared in the journal “Multi Species”, and I have published journalism in various publications including Vice En Español. At Under the Volcano I am looking forward to working on my novel Electric Seasons and participating in a community of writers. I have previously received mentoring on the novel from the novelist Rowan Hisayo Buchanan.

I have written since my teenage years and consider it necessary to avoid sleepwalking through my life. I studied a BA in Comparative Literature with History at King’s College London, where I wrote a dissertation on the 2010 Haitian earthquake in fiction and attempted to argue for the political potentials of fiction over journalism. Clearly unconvinced by my own thesis, I became a fiction writer trapped in the world of documentary filmmaking.

I have also lived in Rio de Janeiro and speak Portuguese as well as Spanish.

MAGDA SCHONFELD

Garrison, New York

Writing of Witness with Elizabeth Rosner

I am a healing arts professional, chiropractor and director of Hudson Holistic Healthcare in upstate New York. I have practiced body/mind therapies for over 30 years. I am also a first generation immigrant from Hungary and come from a family of Holocaust survivors. I have been writing memoir/non-fiction for years on the immigrant story, survival and how the body/mind integrates past trauma into present day resilience. I am looking forward to this workshop to help move this writing forward.

PRINCE SHAKUR

Columbus, Ohio

Writing of Witness with Elizabeth Rosner

I’m a queer, Jamaican-American freelance journalist, organizer and video maker based out of Columbus, OH. After being born and raised in Cleveland to Jamaican parents, I went on to study Creative Writing at Ohio University and earned my BA in 2015. From 2014 onward, I have organized wherever I’ve lived, whether bringing Black Lives Matter to my university campus in 2014-2015, working for a labor union in Seattle and participating in the Standing Rock movement or as an organizer with the Black, Queer and Intersectional Collective at the height of the George Floyd protests.

This is why political questions about the Afro-diaspora, Black liberation, and queer life are present throughout my writings as freelance journalist and essayist. My work ranges from op-eds in Teen Vogue about the impacts of Trump’s presidency, journalistic features on the impacts of predictive policing software on poor, Black communities, and creative non-fiction essays that unpack the pitfalls of Black political iconography. As an artist, I am committed to reflecting the world I wish to live in with my work.

As a member of the Writing of Witness master class, I will be honing some of the later passages of my memoir, which charts my political coming of age and coming out in Obama and Trump’s America from the perspective of a young, closeted Black boy growing up on the East side of Cleveland to a queer, Black adult grappling with questions of liberation.

Marianne Smith

Oakland, California

Writing of Witness with Elizabeth Rosner

I have been writing fiction and creative nonfiction for over 30 years, under the pen-name Marianne Goldsmith. I grew up in Waco, Texas, and studied literature at Pitzer College in California, and in France. I received an M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. I love poetry, but I don’t write it. Ditto Jazz. I am a human rights and political activist, a communications professional, editor and proofreader. Recent credits include: “Confined to Quarters” in Into Sanity: Essays about mental health, mental illness, and living in between. Martha Nichols, ed. Mark Vonnegut (Intro) (Talking Writing Books, 2019).

Ann Folwell Stanford

Chicago, Illinois

Writing of Witness with Elizabeth Rosner

I have taught at DePaul University for nearly 30 years and am the Vincent DePaul Professor of Literary and Multi-Disciplinary Studies in the School for New Learning.  I have an MA and PhD in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from Warren Wilson Program for Writers.  Along with books on literature & medicine, women, writing & incarceration; and critical articles, I’ve published poetry in JAMA, Michigan Quarterly Review, Borderlands, Southern Poetry Review, Blue Mesa Review, among others, and was nominated in 2002 for a Pushcart Prize.  I spent a glorious month living in Everglades National Park as artist-in-residence in 2016.  I am currently working on a memoir of my mother, an essay of El Salvador, and, of course, poems.  On the board of Chicago’s Guild Literary Complex, I live in Chicago and Sarasota, FL.

MARIYA TAHER

Boston, Massachusetts

Manuscript Seminar with Aysegül Savaş

I currently live in Massachusetts but was raised in California. Two passion areas of mine are writing and social justice. I hold an MFA in Creative Writing and a Masters in Social Work. I cofounded Sahiyo, a transnational organization with the mission to empower Asian and other communities to end a form of gender-based violence known as female genital cutting. The Muslim American Leadership Alliance awarded me their Human Rights Storytellers Award for my work in utilizing storytelling to create awareness of FGC and help survivors heal. My social justice-related writing has appeared on NPR, and in Ms. Magazine, HuffPost, The Fair Observer, Brown Girl Magazine, The San Francisco Examiner and more.

A few short stories of mine have been published in various literary journals throughout the years. During Under the Volcano, I’m hoping to really dive into and continue working on my novel which is set in 1950s India. And lastly, when I’m not working, I’m an avid potter and you can find me throwing clay at the wheel!

Miguel Torhton

Mexico City, Mexico

Fiction in Spanish with Alberto Chimal

I’ve lived long enough in Mexico City to accept that being chilango is the only demonym I may ever fit. I studied political science in Mexico and received a master’s in public policy as a Fulbright Scholar. After nearly a decade of being a ghostwriter and a speechwriter, I refocused my efforts towards the exercise of developing characters for a narrative purpose. Currently, I’m in the process of writing a novel with the hypothetical title Chilango Culiacán, and some other short texts that are being weaved into the margins. Since the imperfect is so hot in us, at UTV I am looking for the delight of learning from a very talented cohort, while exploring my own narrative intuitions. Most of my time is uncarefully divided between teaching, taking care of two beautiful xolas, brewing beer with friends, and reading.

NZ TYEHEMBA

New York, New York

Poetry with Cyrus Cassells

I live in Upper Manhattan in the village of Harlem, New York. I am the sixth poem in a set of seven. I am a midwife’s child. In 2020, I led a group of poets, translators and artists in creating a poem as a cure to heal communities for whom sheltering in place safely to stop the spread of coronavirus proved impossible. I led the translation of this twenty-eight part poem into english, asante-twi, amharic, spanish, kreyól, wolof, griotlite and french. As an organizer, media maker and poet, I have directed pretty black, a documentary short on New Orleans Black Indians and belfon: photography as a healing art – lolis elie interviews jim belfon. Their poems can be found in collective fallout and digging through the fat press. Currently, I support the operations of an education organization in NYC and I also coordinate an online cafe for TWINS | parents, educators, activists and writers at www.twins.cafe.org.

EMILY WITHNALL

Missoula, Montana

Journalism with Tyrone Beason and Alicia Quiñones

MARGOT ADLER FELLOW in JOURNALISM

I was born in the mountains of northern New Mexico and lived there most of my life until I moved to Missoula, Montana, eight years ago, to pursue a graduate degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Montana. My essays appear or are forthcoming in Al Jazeera, Gay Magazine, Tin House Magazine, The Kenyon Review, The Rumpus, Orion, Indiana Review, Ms. Magazine, and High Country News, among others, and I’ve had articles in Business Insider, The Progressive Magazine, El Palacio Magazine, Health.com, the Albuquerque Journal, and the Santa Fe New Mexican. My work has been anthologized in Greetings from Janeland (Cleis Press) and We Leave the Flowers Where They Are (Sweetgrass Books). In 2016, I was awarded first place in creative nonfiction for the AWP Kurt Brown Award. I received a fellowship for the Summer Fishtrap Writers Workshop in 2017, was selected for the 2018 Tin House Summer Writing Workshop, and was the inaugural recipient of the Words of Witness fellowship for Under the Volcano in 2020. I have also served for two years as an economic justice fellow for Community Change. I am currently at work on a book that examines the parallels between domestic violence and hydraulic fracturing. Much of my work interrogates the overlap between environmental and social justice issues. During Under the Volcano I will be working on an article that looks at climate migration in the United States.

I am a solo parent to two teens and we enjoy camping, hiking and reading together.
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Reggie Scott Young

San Antonio, Texas

Writing of Witness with Elizabeth Rosner

WORDS OF WITNESS FELLOW in LITERARY NON-FICTION

I am playing around with title ideas for the book of personal narratives I am working to complete. Some of the possibilities might tell you a lot about me. They include, Prodigal Blues, The Assimilated Man, and Narrative of a Man in Contradiction. Most are informed by the differences in my native and professional lives and how they helped lead to my present situation. Grew up on Chicago’s tough West Side. Could have been included as a minor character in Judas and the Black Messiah. Also spent time as a ghetto street hustler. Developed into a community poet, but it resulted in assimilation into the world of higher education and life as a token person of color at several colleges and universities, culminating with a lengthy stint as a Black Yankee in a Tea Party-dominated region of the deep South. While teaching Twelve Years a Slave one day—within a half-hour drive from where most of that story takes place—I decided to do what authors of slave narratives always do, and that’s escape. But after leaving behind both the profession and the region of the former Confederacy where I lived in what was then called a post-race society, I found the lines dividing North and South in the US are no longer geographical, something that has become apparent to many of us during the last five years. I now write from the perspective of what I think of as American mockingbird time dividing North and South in the US are no longer geographical, something that has become apparent to many of us during the last five years. 

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