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Workshops are led by top MFA candidates from the renowned University of Massachusetts MFA Program for Poets and Writers who design curricula especially for the Institute setting. Studio courses are facilitated by artists and experienced teachers at the forefront of their fields.

Young writers additionally have the opportunity to interact with the acclaimed faculty and writers in residence of the concurrent Juniper Institute for adults through Q&A sessions and evening readings.

MOLLY MCARDLE'S fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared in the LA Review of Books, The Rumpus, Bitch Magazine, PANK, and Library Journal, where she was a book review editor for two years. She's currently working on her MFA in fiction at UMass Amherst and also runs The Rumblr (The Rumpus on Tumblr). Her favorite writers of the last 100 years are William Faulkner, Gabriel García Márquez, and Toni Morrison, with their long, loopy stories that have everything to do with the past. She loves the internet and musty paperbacks in equal measure, and is an expert of televised costume dramas and science fiction. Beyoncé is her personal hero. You can learn more about her writing here.

COLLEEN teaches and writes in Amherst, MA where she is a second year MFA candidate in the Program for Poets and Writers at UMass. She writes poems and draws a lot, sometimes together. On her bedside table right now you can find: a jar of old peach tea, poems by Alfred Starr Hamilton, Sylvia Plath's unabridged journals, tales by Frank Stanford, bobby pins, discarded chunks of pastel crayons, and her dog's chewed-up rainbow collar. Her biggest inspiration for her work is her friends, her students, and youtube. She's got a blog with links to some online published work and various other tidbits here.

LIZA BIRMBAUM grew up in New Mexico, studied creative writing and literature at Bard College, and has lived in Tennessee, rural Wyoming, and Portland, Oregon. She can now be found in the Pioneer Valley, where she rides her bike around, bakes cookies, and attends the MFA program in fiction at UMass Amherst. She is an editor of Big Big Wednesday, a journal of literary and visual arts, and her nonfiction has been published in Open Letters Monthly. She reads and rereads Herman Melville, Virginia Woolf, David Foster Wallace and Lydia Davis.

JONATHAN VOLK writes and teaches writing at the University of Massachusetts. He is working on a novel about a haunted pregnancy. Read a story here.

ANDREW MCALPINE is a writer, musician, and board game enthusiast. He lives in South Deerfield, Massachusetts with his wife and their shifty orange tabby. He loves poems that know how to move, weirdo science fiction, sloppy punk rock, and terrible puns. He also makes a mean omelet. You can read some of his poems here.

TED POWERS is a poet in the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at UMass Amherst. His poems have been published in Sixth Finch, Jellyfish, Strange Machine, GlitterPony and elsewhere. Visit his website or read a poem.


CHRISTOPHER WILLIAM LOTT is a musician and fiction writer in the MFA program at UMass Amherst. His childhood took place locked outside his house in soggy dirty Louisiana with three brothers and a video camera, where they would recreate Jackie Chan films. Currently, his writing desk is littered with ALL of Barry Hannah's novels, Ben Marcus's Notable American Women, Salvador Dali's autobiography, and Harmony Korine's collected zines. Christopher also makes music, crossbreeding the history of experimental music with pop psychedelia, under the moniker Wall of Ears (which you can check out here). Chris's main interest in writing is to uncover how other forms of art (film, music, dream debris, dance) can influence, intersect, or just plain transmogrify into useable and outstanding fictional material. "Daddy Miracle", a recent story of his, can be found here.