AUGUST (FIRST SESSION): Charles Cohen, Emi Makabe, Nicky Gonzalez, Bryon MacWilliams, Nadia Liz Estrela, Jay Pabarue
Charles Cohen, Visual Arts (him/he); New York, NY — Cohen participated in the Core Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston after earning an MFA (Photography ‘95) from The Rhode Island School of Design and a BA (Anthropology ‘90) from The University of Chicago. He has exhibited nationally and internationally with works recently at Jack Shainman Gallery, The School. In addition to photography, Cohen uses video and digital imaging to explore a central theme—the fluidity of Self. His photography serves as a means to depict experiences that promote an expansive, permeable sense of Self. In the way that ethnographers blur the line between participation and observation in their method, Cohen seeks to examine the overlap within the dualities on which contemporary culture defines Self (i.e. “Us” versus “Them”). His process examines mundane subjects that depict an absence and imply or directly address a viewer, suggesting that they complete the meaning of the image in order to bridge the gap between individual and collective. Cohen’s video “Figures” can be viewed on Nowness.com and FilmEssay.com. Publications include: “Digital Art” by Paul, “CURVE: The Female Nude Now” by Dailey et al. “100 New York Photographers” by Cynthia Dantzic, and “Art/Porn: A History of Seeing and Touching” by Kelly Dennis. Collections include: The Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The Portland Art Museum, Oregon.
Nadia Liz Estela, Visual Arts (she/her); Montclair, NJ — Born in 1983 in the Dominican Republic, I immigrated to Newark, New Jersey at the age of eight. My mother worked in the Newark garment factories; my father worked as an elevator mechanic. I was raised in the “in-between” of migration alongside my three sisters. My work often references the different layers of migration: looking at the invisible. Those aspects of life and society, its norms, morals and indoctrinated labels that we know exist but do not acknowledge. I received my B.A from Rutgers, University Newark followed by a Fine Art and Foundation Certification at Parson, The New School. In 2018 I graduated with a MFA in Studio Art from Montclair State University. I am an artist, educator, and researcher.
Nicky Gonzalez, Fiction; Cambridge, MA — I’m a Cuban-American writer from Florida. I received my MFA in fiction from the University of Oregon in 2018, where I worked with my thesis advisor, Karen Thompson Walker, on a collection of short stories. At the University of Oregon, I taught Intro to Fiction and first-year composition courses while doing my coursework. I also taught community workshops at Eugene Public Library through Wordcrafters, a writing center in Eugene. I also read for the online literary journal Memorious during my first year at the MFA. I currently work at a coffee shop in Boston, and I’ve been able to carve out time to write almost every day, no matter how tiny the amount I get done may be. However, I would love the chance to spend days at a time singularly focused on the world of my stories, and eventually on making each sentence of the completed draft perfect. I received my BA in English at Tufts University, where I received the Mary Grant Charles Prize Scholarship for my fiction thesis, Time Machine. My short story, “Candela”, was longlisted for the Prism International Short Fiction Prize in 2015, and the short story “Beast” was shortlisted for the Devil’s Lake Fiction Prize in 2017. My short story “Poopy” is forthcoming in Hobart in May.
Bryon MacWilliams, Fiction (him/he); Wenonah, NJ — I effectively began my writing career as a reporter at a small daily newspaper in southern New Jersey, then moved on to major broadsheets, including The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Orange County Register, before moving on to Moscow, Russia – where I was based for nearly twelve years as a foreign correspondent reporting from the territories of the former Soviet Union. There, I wrote for a host of publications, chiefly The Chronicle of Higher Education and the magazines Nature, and Science. For me, journalism was less of a calling and more of a test: If I couldn’t do journalism, I thought, I could abandon – with a clean conscience – the need to write that I recognized shortly after graduation from college. That need, or calling, intimated me, and felt more like a burden than a gift. Even as I got better and better at journalism, I couldn’t satisfy, as a reporter, all I felt was being asked of me, as it were. I started a book in Russia, and finished it in America. After my agent died suddenly, without having submitted the manuscript to trade publishers, I submitted the work to a university press, which took it. The memoir, With Light Steam – a look at Russia through the lens of its bath culture – was published in 2014. Since then I’ve placed essays, poems, and literary translations in twenty-or-so anthologies, journals, and magazines. I’ve also translated and edited the memoirs of Russian director, Andrei Konchalovsky, as well as the screenplay for his prize-winning film, Paradise. My book, The Girl in the Haystack – the true-life story of a Jewish woman in Atlantic City who, as a girl in western Ukraine during the Holocaust, survived a pogrom, the Tuchin ghetto, and nearly two years in hiding in haystacks – was published earlier this year. In short, my days are spent trying to continue to say “yes” to the calling. I still do reporting – I’m in a pool of freelance reporters used regularly by The New York Times – but, really, my income is catch-as-catch-can. I am currently translating two long Russian poems for an anthology slated for publication by Columbia University Press, and researching and writing two books: one is a look at bath culture across the United States (long-form journalism with a splash of memoir), and the other is what I’m calling an anti-memoir memoir (a hybrid work addressing trauma, body image and disordered eating).
Emi Makabe, Composing (she/her); Brooklyn, NY — Makabe is a Japanese composer, vocalist, shamisen player, and educator based in New York City. Moving to New York in 2008, she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz performance and Pro Music award from the City College of New York, and went on to complete a Master of Music from Aaron Copland School of Music. Her focus was on jazz and classical harmony, theory and vocal techniques, and her teachers include Theo Bleckman, Jen Shyu, Donna Doyle, Janet Steele, David Schober, Jeb Patton, and Billy Harper. Counterpoint is at the heart of her approach to composition, and she is taking ongoing counterpoint lessons with Paul Caputo. Since completion of her formal studies in 2015 she has performed her original music with her ensemble, string quartet, and solo. She released her debut album, “Out of Time,” consisting of six original pieces, in 2015, both in the USA and in Japan on the D-musica label. She is currently composing and performing at renowned jazz venues in New York such as the 55 Bar, Cornelia Street Cafe and St. Peter’s Church with Kenny Wollesen, Thomas Morgan, Vitor Gonçalves, Johnathan Blake, Nate Wood, Gerald Cleaver, Fabian Almazan, Ches Smith, Jacob Sacks, Fung Chern Hwei, Billy Mintz, Satoshi Takeishi and Billy Harper. She participated in the 2018 Copenhagen Jazz Festival in a duo performance with Thomas Morgan.
Jay Pabarue, Poetry; Northampton, MA — In 2014, I received a B.A. from Yale University. This year, I’ll complete an MFA in poetry at UMass-Amherst, where I’ve had the very blessed opportunity to study with Ocean Vuong and Cameron Awkward-Rich. Professionally, I’m the poetry editor for Cosmonauts Avenue, an online literary journal dedicated to publishing underrepresented voices. For the 2018-2019 season, I co-hosted the jubilat/Jones reading series, which brought 12 really stellar poets in for Sunday readings and Q&As at the Jones Library in Amherst, MA. I’ve also taught pay-what-you-can generative workshops through Northampton Poetry Community, and given readings around town. My poems and essays have been published in Vassar Review, Diagram Magazine, Gargoyle, Redactions: Poetry and Poetics, and Philadelphia Stories, among some other places.
Irina Patkanian, Visual Arts (she/her); Brooklyn, NY — I am an award-winning filmmaker, a Fulbright scholar, and the President of “In Parentheses,” a NYC based nonprofit film, theater & media arts company that has supported immigrant women artists since 1995. I teach documentary at Brooklyn College/CUNY. My work has been supported by fellowships and grants from AAUW, NYSCA (3), NYFA, Tow, Blaustein, Troy and Jerome Foundations. I grew up in Leningrad, USSR – authoritarian militarized regime, but when I was 23, I came to the U.S. and received two Master’s degrees from University of Iowa – a liberal arts college. Navigating between these two polar opposites formed the foundation of me as an artist. I make hybrid documentaries, but rather than fusing, I collide fact and fiction, poetry and history, staged and observed, performance and behavior to distill in discrete human circumstance — of war, of birth, of language, of love — the mysterious ways of making meaning. I believe only art can transcend the ambiguity and polyvalence of the human condition. In terms of themes of my work, I am keenly interested in the politics of memory and official discourse (what becomes part of national memory and who decides that), the connection between intimate violence and international politics; and the image of masculinity, the role of guns and war in its potency.
Huidi Xiang, Visual Arts; Pittsburgh, PA — Huidi is an emerging sculptor and designer based in Pittsburgh, PA. Born and raised in Chengdu, China, she studied architecture at Rice University in Houston. Huidi is pursuing her MFA in Arts at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh now. Both her artwork and design work have been exhibited at venues all over the world, including Power Room (Pittsburgh), South London Gallery (London, UK), and Yijie Gallery (Chengdu, China). In 2016, she participated in Project Row Houses Summer Studios. Huidi has been the recipient of several research grants and fellowships which include the Mavis C. Pitman Exhibition Fellowship at Rice University and the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art at the Frontier Grants from the Studio for Creative Inquiry.
JULY (FIRST SESSION): Sue Dean, Joel Kennedy, Jhani F. K. Rhandawa, Nicole Pasulka, Alicia Herrmann, Anna Cabe
JULY (SECOND SESSION): Shayan Lofti, Joel Kennedy, Sue Dean, Jhani F. K. Randhawa, Alica Herrmann, Nicole Pasulka
Anna Cabe, Fiction (she/her); Collierville, TN — I am a Pinay-American writer from Memphis, TN. I was most recently a 2018-2019 Fulbright Fellow in the Philippines, where I researched and drafted a novel set during martial law. I graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington as an MFA fiction candidate in May 2018, where I served as web then nonfiction editor for Indiana Review. My work has been supported by the 2019 NVM and Narita Gonzalez Writers’ Workshop and the 2018 Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. My work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bitch Media, Terraform, The Toast, SmokeLong Quarterly, Joyland, storySouth, and Fairy Tale Review, among others, and has been anthologized in Forward: 21st Century Flash Fiction, Not My President, and Unbroken Circle: Stories of Cultural Diversity in the South. I was most recently named second runner-up in StoryQuarterly’s Sixth Annual Fiction Prize, judged by Nafissa Thompson-Spires.
Sue Dean, Visual Arts (she/her); New York, NY — Sue Dean’s belief in the possibility of a world of respectful diversity is inspired by her background in education and her extensive travels. Her life pattern has been having deep connections with the land and the people of other cultures. Dean’s eclectic sculptures reflect Eastern, Western, and tribal influences. Different sizes and shapes of Totem Neighbors evolve as if from faraway planets, yet they’re like people on earth, distinctive in expression and energy. The anthropomorphic sculptures represent imaginary neighbors. Dean gathers textile fragments from other lands and forms them into shapes on rusty rebar and industrial cardboard tubes. She adds fibers, rust, and found objects, paint, stitchery, and drawing. Some totems are freeform wall figures. Threads signify human to human connections. Rust draws attention to the standards, and physicality, of beauty and aging. Mirror fragments remind us to see ourselves in each other. Dean has published four small books and participated in juried group exhibitions, a Creative Capital Summer Intensive Program, and Poetry Slams in New York. In a juried competition in 2017, her work, Totem Neighbors, was selected by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Artists Unite as a poster contest winner for the NYC subway system. She has shown at the Carter Burden gallery, the Maggie Peyton gallery, and the Women’s Caucus for Art and A.I.R.’s juried competition. Her sculptural totems have been centerpiece for two interfaith exhibits. Dean exhibited her first solo installation in NYC at the Carter Burden Gallery in 2020 and has a second solo installation in October.
Alicia Herrmann, Visual Arts (she/her); Lenox, MA — Alicia’s work is heavily influenced by nature, cycles of growth and decay, light, color, repetition and chaotic order. She uses SEM images as inspiration to explore concepts of blood cells, bacteria, and unicellular structures. Alicia received her BFA at Bennington College and has been in several group and solo exhibitions throughout the US.
Joel Kennedy, Composing (he/him); Pittsburgh, PA — My educational background includes includes a B.A. in music from Bennington College, where I studied composition and music history with Nicholas Brooke, Allen Shawn and Kitty Brazleton, and percussion with Milford Graves. I’ve continued to cultivate myself as a free percussionist. While at Bennington, I worked as a dance accompanist for a modern dance class. 2007-2012 I studied Pungmul Nori and Samulnori, forms of Korean percussion, informally with semi-professionals in Queens NYC, as well as at several Junsoogwans (cultural preservation centers) in Korea, and performed this percussion in contexts such as KBS (Korean Broadcasting Service) and cultural shows in the U.S. My composition repertoire includes a contemporary suite for acoustic ensemble entitled “Water and Land,” performed upon invitation at Roulette (NYC) in 2009, a collection of several pieces for various configurations of ensemble performed at Bennington College in 2010, including “Clouds/Forest” (for prepared piano and percussion) and “Antiphonal” for 4 spatially situated voices, a composition entitled “Dawning of the Verdure” for marching band and choir, written for and performed at the 2015 Polish Hill May Day parade (Pittsburgh), and an arrangement of Christmas Carols for a climate change protest put on by Three Rivers Rising Tide (Pittsburgh, 2016), as well as pieces for musical theatre. I’ve also generated and performed electronic arrangements. Additionally, I’ve composed percussive frameworks for pieces composed collaboratively with two brass players and performed as a percussionist in an improvisatory duet in Pittsburgh.
Shayan Lotfi, Playwriting (he/him), New York, NY — I am an Iranian-born, Canadian-raised, New York-based writer. I received my MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University in 2019, and was a 2019 resident at SPACE on Ryder Farm. In addition to writing, I also work as an urban planner and policy consultant, having previously been based in London, Hong Kong, and San Francisco in this capacity. MFA, New York University; MSc London School of Economics; BS University of British Columbia. I am applying to Millay Colony based on the recommendation of a professor, mentor, and former Millay resident, who indicated the structure, format and community would be very conducive for the work I’m looking to accomplish with my proposed project.
Nicole Pasulka, Non-Fiction (they/them); Philadelphia, PA — I am a journalist who writes about gender, queer culture, and LGBTQ rights and history for Harper’s, NPR, The Believer, Mother Jones, New York, Vice, Hazlitt, and BuzzFeed. I also report on criminal justice, activism, race, and music. For my 2014 report on police relations with the transgender community, I received the I.F. Stone Award from the Nation Institute and a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism. In addition to my written work, I’ve done audio reporting for KCRW’s The Organist and Life of the Law. An article I wrote about surfer Eddie Aikau was included in the 2013 Best American Sports Writing anthology and my essay on music for funeral homes was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” I am currently a visiting scholar with the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. I’ve worked at Mother Jones magazine, was a Google Journalism Fellow at Investigative Reporters and Editors, and I’m currently writing a book about New York City drag performers that will be published by Simon and Schuster. I have a bachelor’s degree in English and American literature from New York University and a Master of Arts in Journalism from New York University’s Literary Reportage program.
Jhani F. K. Randhawa, Poetry (they/them); Los Angeles, CA — Jhani is a multidisciplinary artist, publicist, curator and editor, production coordinator, and zine-maker. Jhani’s work orbits themes of disruption, hybridities, migrant ecologies, decolonization, memory, and healing. Raised between Southern California, northern Alabama, and Tennessee, and currently based in Los Angeles, Jhani is both Kenyan-Punjabi and Anglo-American. They received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and began an M.A. in Gender, Spirituality and Social Justice at the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2018. Most recently, Jhani’s visual and collaborative projects have been presented at the Woolen Mill Gallery in Reedsburg, Wisconsin in tandem with an artist’s residency at the Wormfarm Institute (2019), at the Taft Institute, a d.i.y. collective based in Los Angeles (2019), and at L.A. Zine Fest in Culver City, California (2019). In 2018, Jhani co-produced WomenRising! New Visions for a Post-Patriarchal World, an academic conference held at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California. Their poetry has featured in outlets such as bæst journal, TAGVVERK, rivulet, GOOD grief (a zine), La Vague, and South Central Los Angeles Literary Journal (formerly Dryland). Jhani works alongside Sunyoung Lee, Neelanjana Bannerjee, and Teraya Peramehta at Kaya Press, focusing on literature produced by artists in the Asian and Pacific Island diaspora, and also co-edits rivulet, an experimental arts journal and press project, with artist Teo Rivera-Dundas.
JUNE:Tom Nazziola, Kyle Sanna, Basta Winograd, Sabrina Fuch Abrams
Sabrina Fuchs Abrams, Non-Fiction, (she/her); Tenafly, NJ — Sabrina Fuchs Abrams is Associate Professor of English and Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program at the State University of New York, Empire State College. She is the author of Mary McCarthy: Gender, Politics and the Postwar Intellectual and editor of Transgressive Humor of American Women Writers and Literature of New York. She is founder and chair of the Mary McCarthy Society of the American Literature Association and is guest editor of the Mary McCarthy special issue of Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Her research interests include women intellectuals, American women writers, and women’s humor. She has been Book Review Editor of Studies in American Humor since 2018. She received an NEH grant to pursue work on her current book project, The Politics of Humor: New York Women of Wit, which includes a chapter on the subversive satire that Millay wrote under the pseudonym of Nancy Boyd. It is an inspiration to live and work among the environs of Millay as muse.
Tom Nazziola, Composing (he/him); Tom’s River, NJ — Tom Nazziola’s music has been featured on virtually every medium in the world of composition. From “live film music” to choral and orchestral pieces, his work has been performed in France, Ireland, Slovenia, Guatemala, Croatia and throughout the United States — as well as broadcast nationally and internationally on radio and television. His music has been performed by several ensembles including: Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, Bang on a Can, Eastman Percussion Ensemble, VocalEssence, New York University Percussion Ensemble, Cantori NY, and the New Jersey Youth Symphony among others His highly praised film score for “The Golem” was featured on John Schaefer’s “New Sounds” (WNYC); his compositions have also been aired on NBC, ABC, ESPN, BET, and CBS. His music has supported national ad campaigns, documentaries, and news programs with a recognizable client list including: Staples, Subway, Special Olympics, Dexter, Fox College Sports, NFL Network, ABC’s Primetime Medical Mysteries, and CBS News. In addition to composing, he is also the musical director and orchestrator for The BQE Project, a celebrated New York-based chamber ensemble known for its original compositions performed live-to-film. Nazziola’s orchestrations have also found an audience. He is responsible for orchestrating music for the U.S. Open; he was also hired to orchestrate Edward MacDowell’s “Woodland Sketches” for a performance by the New York Philharmonic with guest artist Garrison Keillor. He has served as head orchestrator and conductor for Broadway Asia International’s “Race for Love,” which premiered in Huairou, China. Tom has been commissioned by the American Composer’s Forum, VocalEssence, Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, Cantori NY, Museum of the Moving Image and the New Jersey Youth Symphony (first commissioned composer by this organization) among others. He has received numerous awards, including the Samuel Adler Grand Prize (2020), Winner of the 2016 Percussive Arts Society Composition Contest for Large Percussion Ensemble and 2009 Bistro Award (for arranging). His music has been featured on several radio stations across the country including: NPR, WNYC, WWUH, WJFF, and WCAL. Tom is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and holds a masters degree in composition from Brooklyn College and a PhD in composition from Rutgers University. He also studied composition and orchestration at the Juilliard School and at the Mannes School of Music.
Kyle Sanna, Composing (he/him); Brooklyn, NY — Hailed by The New Yorker as a “first-rate, versatile musician,” Kyle Sanna has been active as a composer, guitarist, and improviser in New York City since 2000. His compositions have been performed at the Bach House in Eisenach, Germany, the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman, Sydney’s ABC studios, the National Recital Hall in Taipei, Carnegie Hall, and points between. “Unconventionally beautiful” is how WNYC’s New Sounds and Sound Check host John Schaefer described his music. His “ruminative and shape-shifting” (San Francisco Chronicle) work for string quartet, Sequence for Minor White, won First Prize in the 2018 Charlotte New Music Festival Composition Competition. He was a Finalist in the 2019 Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra Call for Scores and in Texas A&M University’s Fresh Minds Festival. Other festival acceptances include the International Symposium on Electronic Art, The Oregon Bach Festival, and Art Basel Miami Beach. Kyle Sanna has arranged music for Bela Fleck, Jan Vogler, Anne-Sofie Von Otter, Martin Hayes, and for Yo-Yo Ma on two Grammy Award-winning albums. He studied jazz at the University of Oregon and composition at the Université Lumière Lyon II in France. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Basia Winograd, Fiction (she/her); Jackson Heights, NY — Basia is a Queens-based teacher, filmmaker, and writer. She holds MFAs in Creative Writing from Hunter College, and in Film Directing from Columbia University. In 2019, Basia was the Crossfield Fellow at the Cuttyhunk Writers Residency, as well as a 2019 Queens Arts Council New Works Grantee. She was awarded a Vermont Studio Center Merit Grant, and will be spending two weeks at the VMC residency in January 2020. In years past, Basia has been Fulbright Teaching Fellow, a Hertog Fellow, and a New York State Women in Film and Television Fellow. Since 2016, Basia has taught Introduction to Creative Writing and Fiction I to undergraduates at Hunter College. The most gratifying moments in her process as an artist come when the disciplines she works in inform one another; when a craft conversation her students helps her move past a creative obstacle in her writing, or when her video work with psychoanalysts on issues of race, language and culture inform her understanding of a character in her novel.