Teachers & Writers Collaborative is pleased to continue our partnerships with the graduate writing programs at The New School and New York University during 2017–2018. Each year, five MFA candidates at The New School are chosen as T&W education or editorial associates, while three graduate students at NYU receive the Writers in the Public Schools Fellowship.
New School education associates and NYU fellows work alongside experienced T&W teaching artists to support creative writing programs at schools, senior centers, and other sites in the community. The editorial associates serve on the Teachers & Writers Magazine Editorial Board, generating and editing content for the publication.
T&W thanks The Cerimon Fund for its generous support of our partnership with The New School, and we welcome this year’s students to Teachers & Writers Collaborative.
Jacy Bryla is a creative writer and advocate for all things that encourage others to write and create. This fall, she begins her MFA candidacy in fiction writing at The New School. She began her writing career during her undergraduate years at California State University Fullerton where she studied political science and communications in journalism. In the coming year, she’ll be working a T&W editorial associate and compiling an anthology of short stories and essays. It is also worth noting that Jacy was a longtime resident of the San Francisco Bay Area and does, in fact, love riding BART.
India Lena Seijas Gonzalez was born and raised in Washington, DC. She graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University in 2016 with a degree in creative writing, concentrating in poetry. During her time at Columbia she had the pleasure of being taught by prestigious writers and professors such as Emily Fragos, Timothy Donnelly, Morgan Parker, Heidi Julavits, and Deborah Paredez. Professionally, India has served as an editorial and publicity intern at Hachette Book Group, as well as an assistant publicist at HarperCollins Publishers. She is currently a MFA candidate and fellow at New York University, pursuing poetry. In addition to her passion for writing, India is also a professionally trained dancer, actor, and musician. Moreover, India has a twin sister who is also a writer and all-around artist, attending Columbia University for her MFA in fiction.
Wynne Kontos, a T&W editorial associate, is a licensed masters social worker, currently receiving her MFA at the New School. Her work is featured in the anthology, Love Sick: Growing Up with a Parent Who Has Cancer and Moonlit Wing, with interviews on the New School Blog and the One Story blog. She has performed her work with the writing collective Lost Lit and at the 25 East Gallery in Manhattan. She lives and works in New York City.
Karisma Price was born and raised in New Orleans and holds a BA in creative writing from Columbia University. She is an MFA candidate in poetry at New York University, and along with Kwame Opoku-Duku III, she is a founding member of the Unbnd Collective. Karisma aspires to use written and performance poetry as a platform to educate on race and inequality. Karisma is a Writers in the Public Schools Fellow, a first-generation college student, and a LEDA Scholar.
Sahar Romani is a poet and educator. Her writing appears in The Offing, Asian American Writer’s Workshop, and 92Y’s Podium. Currently a fellow and MFA candidate at New York University, Sahar previously trained as a geographer and ethnographer at Oxford University and the University of Washington. She taught interdisciplinary research and writing at New York University, Yale University, and the College of Staten Island. Prior to her graduate work, she ran a creative writing program for youth in Kolkata and co-facilitated poetry workshops for fourth-graders in Seattle with the Hugo House.
Lauren Routt moved to New York City from Miami to pursue her MFA in poetry at The New School. She studied Latin American studies and education at Haverford College and proceeded to work as an educator for Teach for America in Miami. Passionate about education and creative writing, Lauren is excited to begin working for Teachers & Writers Collaborative as an education associate. In her free time, Lauren enjoys attending music festivals, wandering the insides of museums, and sharing her musings of being a young woman in New York on her blog.
Matthew Thompson is a second-year MFA creative writing student at The New School and Teachers & Writers Magazine editorial associate. He attended undergraduate school at Kent State University and has been heavily involved in student engagement and community development work since those days. Matthew is a poet and a burgeoning tea connoisseur.
Virginia Valenzuela is a poet, essayist, and yogi originally from Manhattan. She holds BA degrees in creative writing, literary studies, and women’s studies, and a minor in film studies. She is a second-year MFA candidate in poetry and creative nonfiction at The New School. She is a writer at The Warblr, curator of The New School After Hours reading series, and Prose Editor of LIT. Virginia’s poetry has appeared on the Best American Poetry Blog. She is a 2017–2018 education associate at T&W.