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September 22, 2015

Meet Our Instructors


Barbara Apoian

has had a home in Delaware County since 1962 and became a member of WIM when she moved to Roxbury permanently in 1994. As an active member of WIM since 1996, Barbara chairs the Teachers’ Committee. She was a travel writer and coordinator in London, Paris and New York, as well as a public relations/publicity writer in the field of Architecture and Interior Design in New York City. Barbara studied Creative Fiction Writing at NYU and for the past twelve years has taught the Critics Corner Class and recently added a Journaling to Memoir workshop. She is also the co-editor of the WIM publications, “In Our Own Words” and “Out of Our Minds.” Barbara teaches Memoir in the winter months at Life Long Learning Academy, University of Southern Florida, Sarasota. In addition, she presents her “People & Places” and “Among My Souvenirs” performance/readings at various Performing Arts Centers around the country.


Lynn Domina

is the author of two collections of poetry, Corporal Works and Framed in Silence, and the editor of a collection of essays, Poets on the Psalms. Her recent poetry appears in The Southern Review, The New England Review, Prairie Schooner, and many other periodicals. She has earned an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. in American literature from SUNY Stony Brook. Since 1997, she has lived with her family in Delhi.





Ev EllsworthEv Ellsworth

is a remarkable “journalist” herself, and through her sensitivity and understanding, writers can expect an encouraging environment in her workshop. Ev taught English in Northern New Jersey for many years. She served as the Director of WIM for two years and remains active with the organization. Ev has lived in Roxbury for 12 years and enjoys her life immensely, especially being with her great-grandchildren. She leads WIM’s Introductory Journal Writing classes in the Winter and in the Summer.





Ann Epner

is a founding member of the Writers in the Mountains. She has been writing since she could put letters together to form words. Ann has taught creative writing classes and facilitated critical thinking workshops in several contexts, including vocational training programs with refugees and women on public assistance, adult basic literacy classes and as a teacher of English as a second language in Italy and Turkey.

Her published work included a monthly column for the New York Business Women’s Newspaper as well as the Catskill Guide. Those who sign up for her workshop will greatly benefit from her wisdom and experience! She currently works as the Executive Director of the Pine Hill Community Center.



Ellen Greene-Stewart

MA, ATR-BC, LCAT is a graduate of Goddard College’s Psychology and Counseling program. She is a licensed, board certified Art Therapist, and a certified school counselor. She has been in private practice for the past nine years. She has been a member of WIM since the beginning, serving on the Board of Directors for ten years. She is the author of two non-fiction books: Kaleidoscope, which is about the uses of art therapy with dementia patients, and Superheroes Unmasked, which is about using superheroes that kids create themselves to teach them about self-esteem, teambuilding, leadership and bullying. She has published numerous articles and reviews in Activities Director’s Quarterly, the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, and Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. Her development of the Wild Mind class blends awareness of the creative and writing processes so each one enhances the other.


Jennifer Kabat

moved to Margaretville recently from London. She works as a journalist and her writing has appeared in New York Magazine, Wired, Conde Nast Traveler, The Financial Times, Vogue, The Guardian, and also Metropolis. She’s been an editor at the British style magazine The Face and men’s magazine Arena as well as the American design magazine ED. She got her MFA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia and works closely with a lauded group of young British writers including Diana Evans, Tash Aw and Richard Benson. After her MFA she taught American high school students creative writing as part of the prestigious Oxbridge summer abroad program at Cambridge University. She recently participated in the advanced fiction group and the master class in the short story at the New York State Summer Writers Institute. She is currently putting together a short story collection.


Andrew Tully

Andrew Tully

holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and has been teaching and tutoring writing since 1996, at various colleges in several states, including New Mexico, California, Oregon, and New York.  Most recently, he taught literature, and expository and creative writing in New York City, but moved to Margaretville in the summer of 2012.  He has written many poems, publishing some in various, obscure journals around the country, and is currently revising a manuscript for his first collection.



Helane Levine-Keating

has lived in New Kingston, New York since 1989. Since 1983, she has been a professor of Literature and Creative Writing at Pace University, New York.

Having written poetry and fiction since childhood, she took her first creative writing workshop with poet Anthony Hecht as an undergraduate at the University of Rochester. After receiving a PhD in Comparative Literature at New York University, where she studied with critic and poet M. L. Rosenthal and semiotician and novelist Umberto Eco, she studied poetry and fiction with Toby Olson, Edward Field, Sharon Olds, Galway Kinnell, and Richard Howard. Since 1971 her poetry has appeared in The New York Quarterly, The Malahat Review, Heresies, Central Park, and Graham House Review, and other journals; thirteen of her poems appear in Women and Stepfamilies: Voices of Anger and Love (Maglin and Schneidewind, eds., Temple University Press, 1988) as well as other anthologies. The recipient of several poetry prizes, she has given numerous poetry and fiction readings in the New York metropolitan area and upstate. Levine-Keating’s other writings include book reviews and scholarly articles on myth and poetry, and she is the co-author, with Walter Levy, of Lives Through Literature: A Thematic Anthology, 3e (Prentice Hall 2001). She is presently completing a novel, Nights of the Black Moon, the story of a labyrinthine female odyssey, and is working on a new collection of poems, Fractal Landscapes. Also a photographer, Levine-Keating is a member of the Longyear Gallery, Margaretville, and her work has appeared in Longyear shows and recent shows sponsored by the Roxbury Arts Group.


Carol Little

holds a Master’s degree in Counseling, and is a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She has extensive experience working with groups, and with the use of writing for personal expression. Before returning to this area in 1994, she had a private practice in Santa Rosa, and Mill Valley, California, and taught graduate students at J.F. Kennedy University, Orinda, CA. She continues with a private practice, and has written numerous columns on topics related to emotional well-being.


Bethany Lyttle

holds an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts. A recipient of several literary scholarships, honors and awards, her teaching experience includes adjunct work at Columbia University and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. In addition, she has mentored private students and served as both a freelance writer and editor since 1995. She lives in Brooklyn and Roxbury.


Philip Potak

a member of Dramatists Guild, has had productions at a number of theaters in New York, including The Producers Club, Circle Repertory Company, Polaris Theater North, H.O.M.E. for Contemporary Theater & Arts, and the Samuel French Annual One-Act Play Festivals. His most recent New York productions were NO ONE’S HOME and THINNESS OF BLOOD, presented at 13th Street Repertory Company. He has had productions at Albany University, Adelphi University, SUNY Cobleskill, and University of Nevada, Las Vegas. LIES WITHIN THE SILENCE, a play about high school students, merited his second Individual Artist Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and was produced by a number of high schools upstate New York and on Long Island. He has been commissioned to write for Open Eye Theater, Adelphi University, and NYPA and to write a play for the Town of Jefferson, Schoharie County, New York celebrating its bicentennial. ANOTHER SATURDAY NIGHT AT CAFÉ BISON premiered in 2004 at Actors Anonymous Theatre Company in Buffalo, New York. His plays have been presented at numerous regional theaters including Colonial Little Theater, Depot Lane Theater, as well as many clubs, Arts Councils, Community Theaters, colleges and performance spaces throughout the states. His plays include MY SKY BLUE, INCOMPLETE STRANGERS, THE FIFTH SEASON, THE BACK ROOM, SAFE HARBOR, FERN & OLDIE, and numerous short plays. WHAT COMES AROUND is his newest full length play. Mr. Potak directed his one act play, “Worn Wooden Benches,” for the Theatre Project of Schoharie County in January 2009. In March 2009, Colonial Little Theater in Johnstown, NY presented a staged reading of his full length play CROSSING THE BLUE LINE.

After receiving his B.F.A. and Master’s of Arts in Theater Education from Adelphi University, Mr. Potak went on to write, act, direct and wait on tables in New York. After moving upstate, he has directed many of his plays at the Depot Lane Theatre. He has been the recipient of many grants from the NYS Council on the Arts to write and direct, including its inaugural Individual Artist Grant.

Mr. Potak directed both “Incomplete Strangers” and “The Fifth Season” for the Schoharie Theatre Project in April 2010.


Bethany Saltman

received her MFA in poetry from Brooklyn College, where Allen Ginsberg was her advisor, in 1992. She has published poems in many national journals such as Witness, Nimrod, New York Quarterly, and Spoon River, and her non-fiction appears in many national magazines, such as The Sun and Buddhadharma, and in a monthly column in our very own regional, Chronogram. In addition to being an award-winning editor, Bethany has been teaching writing since 1992 to high school students, college students, graduate students, and “disadvantaged” inner-city girls. Her many years as a Zen student inform her teaching style, creating an intuitive and very beginner-friendly approach. You can visit her web site at www.bethanysaltman.com.


Barry Seiler

is the author of four volumes of poetry. His most recent book, Frozen Falls, published in 2001 by the University of Akron Press, was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize. He has received three grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, including being named Distinguished Artist in Poetry. He has also received a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Among his other awards and prizes are the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize of the University of Southern California and the Capricorn Poetry Prize. Until recently he taught in the English Department of Rutgers University, Newark where he also directed the Rutgers University Newark New Jersey High School Poetry Contest. He is an editor of American Book Review. He lives very happily in Roxbury, New York with his cats Cooper, Cody, Conrad, and Cornell; his cockatiel Bella, and his wife Dian.


Melora Wolff

is an essayist and prose poet whose work appears regularly in journals and anthologies, most recently in The Best American Fantasy 2007 (June), The Southern Review, Green Mountains Review, The Chronicle Review, Cimarron Review, Fugue and West Branch. She has taught creative writing in colleges and for arts organizations for the past 17 years, including her three years at WIM. Currently, she teaches nonfiction and poetry at Skidmore College, where she is a full-time lecturer in English. She is the recipient of an Artists’ Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Philip Roth Residency in Poetry awarded by the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University.



Leslie T. Sharpe

lesliesharpeLeslie T. Sharpe is an author, editor and educator. She is a Member of PEN American Center.

Sharpe is author of Editing Fact and Fiction: A Concise Guide to Book Editing (Cambridge University Press, New York: 1994), which is regarded as the “modern editing classic.” Her essay, “On Writing Smart: Tips and Tidbits” is featured in The Business of Writing (Allworth, 2012), edited by Jennifer Lyons. She began her editing career at Farrar, Straus & Giroux and is currently an editorial consultant, specializing in literary nonfiction, literary fiction and poetry.

She was Adjunct Associate Professor of Writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where she taught in the undergraduate and graduate (MFA) writing programs. She was also an MFA thesis advisor and referee, working with both literary fiction and nonfiction graduate writing students, and

she also taught Introduction to Publishing and The Editorial Process at The City College of New York’s Publishing Certificate Program, and Manuscript Editing at New York University’s Certificate Program in Book Publishing. She also teaches online courses for the cutting-edge all-media website, mediabistro.com—The Nonfiction Book and Nonfiction Writing Master Class.

Sharpe was a regular contributor to New York Newsday’s “Urban ‘I’” column, for which she wrote pieces that portrayed urban life. Her essays and articles have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including the Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Global City Review, International Herald Tribune, Newsday, New York Times, New York Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Psychology Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine, The City Sun, The Urban Audubon, Who Knew? Catskill Literary Journal, The Village Voice, The Villager, and The Writer. She recently finished her memoir, Our Fractured, Perfect Selves, and is currently at work on a new book, The Quarry Fox and Other Tales of a Catskill Summer. Her poems for children have appeared in Ladybug Magazine  Who Knew? : A Catskill Literary Journal, and From the Catskills.

Leslie T. Sharpe received a B.A. from Wheaton College (MA), in Ancient Greek Language and Literature, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, and she also received a Master’s degree in Ancient Greek from Columbia University in New York City, where she was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.



Amie Brockway Amie Brockway

AMIE BROCKWAY-HENSON’s play “Pepacton,” based on the writings and life of 19th and early 20th century naturalist John Burroughs, was commissioned by the Catskill Watershed Corporation and produced by The Open Eye Theater in Margaretville, NY, in spring 2011. “Pepacton” was performed for students in grades 3-12, as well as for the general public.  Her stage adaptations of Homer’s “The Odyssey” and Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Nightingale,” (co-authored with William Electric Black), both with music by Elliot Sokolov,  premiered at The Open Eye Theater in New York City, and have been produced in Canada, Europe, and throughout the United States.  They are published by Dramatic Publishing Company.   “The Cricket on the Hearth,” adapted from Charles Dickens’ novel, and “You, Alice, and Me,” based on Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass,” have also been produced by The Open Eye Theater.  “Remembering the Valley,” based on oral histories of Denver-Vega Valley in the Catskill Mountains was produced at the Denver-Vega Old School Baptist Church, a National Historic Site.  Curriculum-based plays “I Do Solemnly Swear,” highlighting major challenges faced by Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, and “Hobo Jungle,” set during the Great Depression, were produced at Margaretville and Andes Central Schools.  Works in progress include “Dulce Domum,” an adaptation of Chapter V from “Wind in the Willows,” and “Ragamuffin,” a collection of monologues based on memoir.

Amie is producing artistic director of The Open Eye Theater, where she has directed dozens of world premieres and nurtured playwrights through three seasons of Summer Shortcuts at The Open Eye Theater in Margaretville, and the Eye on Playwrights Lab at The Open Eye Theater in NYC.  She has served as Editor of TYA Today, and has had articles published in Dramatists Guild Newsletter, American Theatre Magazine, and Animal Issues.  She has served as guest director of new plays at the Bonderman National Youth Theater Playwriting Symposium, New Visions/New Voices at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and The Coterie in Kansas City, MO.  She taught a playwriting class for Writers in the Mountains at the Roxbury Arts Group.  She has been a Playwright Fellowship Panelist for Ohio Arts Council and PlaywrightsCenter in Minneapolis, MN, and Literary Consultant at Mount Sequoya New Play Retreat.  She has been a script reader/evaluator for Manhattan Theatre Club and Playwrights Horizons in New York City, the Bonderman in Indianapolis, and Write Now in Tempe, AZ.  She is currently among the judges for the 2013 ALAP Short Play Festival in Los Angeles, CA. In 2015 the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) awarded her the Sara Spencer Artistic Achievement Award. Amie holds an MFA in directing from Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts, and a BFA in theater from SUNY, Purchase.




Geoff Rogers  Geoff Rogers

A full time resident of the Catskill Mountains since 1975, Geoff Rogers has operated a Custom Picture Framing shop in Pine Hill for almost thirty years. He is a host of “The Writers Voice” program heard weekly on WIOX 91.3 FM from Roxbury N.Y. A lifelong journal keeper Geoff began taking WIM classes in 2009, and joined the board of directors the following year. He soon became enamored with the writing process, and embraced two basic tenets; write about what you know and write every day.  He credits this process with improving his ability to focus scattered thoughts, feelings, and memories into coherent written passages. Geoff sees the writing process as a journey of self discovery and revelation, one where you can explore neglected interests, address anxieties, heal emotional damage, celebrate life or just rant at an unjust world.



Anique Taylor

Anique Taylor’s MFA in Poetry is from Drew University. Her Drawing MFA is from Pratt Institute. (Also — Painting BFA from Pratt [Highest Honors], the Sorbonne [Diplome] and Antioch College [literature].) She’s co-authored works for HBO, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, a three-act play performed at Playwrights Horizons. She’s given featured readings at St. Mark’s Poetry Project, Dixon Place, the Speakeasy, Cedar Tavern, and group readings at What Happens Next, Tompkin’s Square, Charas, The Knitting Factory. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Rattle, Common Ground Review, Stillwater Review, The World (St. Mark’s Poetry Project), Adanna, Cover Magazine, Cheap Review, Southern Poetry Review, Earth’s Daughters and bibliotekos’ Pain&Memory. She’s published a chapbook Poems (Unimproved Editions Inc). Her chapbook Where Space Bends was chosen Finalist in Minerva Rising’s Chapbook Contest and Finalist also in Blue Light Press’ Chapbook Contests. She and Etan Ben-Ami edited the acclaimed (& short lived) Cheap Review, publishing several wonderful poets – Alice Notley, Bill Kushner, Bernadette Mayer, Sheila Alson, Norman MacAfee. From the 80′s thru 2000 she performed a children’s show (Pirouette) in & around NYC. She currently also teaches The Creative Journal at Bard LLI and the Poetry Workshop at Benedictine’s Oncology Support Program.



Sharon Ruetenik

Sharon Ruetenik is the author of a poetry chapbook, The Wooden Bowl.She is currently working on a manuscript of sevenlings. Her work has appeared in print and online journals, most recently The Green Door. Ruetenik was awarded a poetry fellowship at the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. As a speaker for the the New York Council for the Humanities, she has lectured on short stories, novellas, and poetry. Her day job is working at SUNY Delhi as the coordinator of the writing center, the international student advisor, and adjunct instructor in composition and literature.Ruetenik lives in Delhi with her family, which includes many large dogs and several indolent cats.


Nanci Panuccio

Nanci PanuccioNanci Panuccio is a writer, editor, writer’s coach, and creator of the online course, Writer Unleashed. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, Redbook, and the Italian lifestyle magazine, Inizio. She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is a finalist in the Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize and the Gulf Coast Fiction Award. Nanci blogs about writing and the writing life at EmergingWriters.us.




Durga Yael Bernhard

D Yael Bernhard is the illustrator of over three dozen children’s books – all of which she designed except for one – including fiction and non-Yael at Huckleberry Pointfiction, natural science titles and multicultural folktales. She has also written several unique concept books for children.  Her illustrated books include A Ride on Mother’s Back (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); While You Are Sleeping (Charlesbridge Publishing); In the Fiddle is a Song(Chronicle Books); and Never Say a Mean Word Again (Wisdom Tales Press).  Most recently, she has published a calendar of fine art paintings titled The Jewish Eye.  Yael brings unique influences to her work, including a strong grounding in musical rhythm and graphic design, and a deep love of African culture, Eastern and Western religion, and the natural world.  She is a firm believer in blurring the lines between commercial and fine art, and between work and play as an artist.  Yael’s work encompasses several different styles, and has been published on everything from book, magazine and CD covers, to business logos, brochures, websites, corporate promotional materials, and publicity for religious and ecological causes.  As an arts-in-ed teacher, Yael brings creative inspiration into elementary school classrooms, combining illustration and book-making with academic learning.  She enjoys teaching artists of all ages. Her website is http://dyaelbernhard.com.


Dara Lurie

Dara Lurie is an Author, Workshop leader and Book Coach who helps writers of all levels discover their passionate and original voices in DaraPhotostories.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Film & Theater from Vassar College and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Hunter College. Her first book, “Great Space of Desire: Writing for Personal Evolution” is a memoir and creative guide for writers.  For over 12 years, Dara has facilitated writing workshops and retreats in diverse locations from college classrooms in New York City and the Hudson Valley to an open-air pavilion in the Costa Rican Rainforest. This year, Dara launched a new online mentorship program for small-business owners who want to create inspired content & marketing copy to grow their business.



Sari Botton

Sari Botton is a writer and editor living in Kingston, NY. She edited the award-winning anthology Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and SB_3906LRLeaving New York and the follow-up New York Times best-seller Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love for New York. She has taught writing workshops at SUNY Ulster and SUNY Albany, and for TMI Project, a non-profit organization that gives voice to marginalized populations through memoir and storytelling workshops, for which she is editorial director.



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