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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 BARRY 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 BIRNBAUM 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.


MICHAEL ARQUILLA is the head of the theater department at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School (PVPA), where he has taught improvisation, acting, playwriting, and directs many of the school’s main stage productions. He often combines music, visual art, and poetry into his teaching practice and coaches his students to access their academic pursuits through artistic endeavors. He has an MFA in Musical Theater Writing from NYU/Tisch and his original work has been performed in Boston and New York.

ISH KLEIN Ish Klein is the author of the poetry books Moving Day and Union!, both published by Canarium Press. Her play, In a Word, Faust was published in 2013 by the Cambridge Literary Review. A compilation of videos, Success Window, has been released by Poor Claudia of Portland, Oregon. She was the recipient of a 2005 NEA Digital Filmmaker Residency, and her films have screened at Arlene’s Picture Show, The Philadelphia ICA, the Philadelphia Film Festival, as well as at Stuttgart’s FIlmwinter. She lives in Amherst with her husband Greg Purcell.

PATRICK GAUGHAN'S poems and writings have been featured in BOMB, The Brooklyn Rail, MOMA, PEN America, Everyday Genius, Coldfront, and others. He works for jubilat, and with Avram Kline, he curates PeopleHerd's Readings at Milk&Roses.

JEAN POTTER is a bookbinder who loves sharing the joy of accessible bookbinding with students of all ages. She is a native North Carolinian and graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago who is now making a home in Northampton with her partner and new baby boy. She is currently dreaming of the long, warm days of summer and can't wait to be a part of Juniper 2014. You can find her at RockpileBindery.com.

BIANCA STONE grew up in Vermont, and graduated with an MFA from NYU's Creative Writing Program. She is the author of Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Tin House/Octopus Books, 2014), several poetry and poetry comic chapbooks, and is also the illustrator of Antigonick, (a collaboration with Anne Carson). Her poems have appeared in magazines such as American Poetry Review, Tin House, and Crazyhorse. She lives in Brooklyn.

DONALD VINCENT is a poet, painter, and lover of all things art. After completing his MFA in Poetry from Emerson College, he created Mr. Hip Presents, a reading series that brings together established and emerging poets, spoken word artists with live jazz music. If not in a classroom or teashop, Mr. Hip can be found scouring the hashtags of Instagram and Twitter.


WENDY XU is the author of a poetry collection You Are Not Dead (CSU Poetry Center, 2013) and two chapbooks. She is the co-founder and publisher of iO: A Journal of New American Poetry / iO Books, a micro-press of handmade and limited edition poetry chapbooks and ephemera. She teaches writing at UMass-Amherst, follow her here.