Cheryl Buchanan is the founder of Writers Without Margins, Inc. As an attorney, working on more than 500 cases of childhood sexual abuse, she first witnessed the profound impacts of healing, empowerment, connection and clarity through silence-breaking and storytelling. Her writing credits range from a docu-series on the Discovery Network to an academic essay on ethics and new media in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing to poetry in various literary journals. In 2014 she received an Academy of American Poets Prize and in 2015 she was a recipient of the Boston Mayor’s Poetry Award. Cheryl is a member of the National Association of Poetry Therapy, the PEN New England Freedom to Write Committee, and the Connecticut, Arizona, and Nevada State Bar Associations. She has taught for several years at Emerson College and is currently the editor of Writers Without Margins: A Journal of Poetry and Prose.
Executive Director & Founder / Facilitator
Andrew Dunn is a native of Northern Maine, raised on potatoes and politics, who, after studying under Benjamin Friedlander at the University of Maine, somehow ended up an urban dweller. Making his home at the intersection between writing and advocacy, his poetry has been published in UpCountry and Hollow, and he is currently working on (what he describes as) “a children’s book for adults” and the screenplay for a short film.
Development & Communications Director / Facilitator
Pamela Taylor is a data guru by day and a poet by night. When she is not working or writing, she’s dancing Argentine tango in the Boston area. Pamela’s first chapbook of poetry, My Mother’s Child, was published by Hyacinth Girl Press in June 2015.
Susan Donnelly Cheever has been a literature and writing teacher for the past fifteen years in both public and private schools. Currently she is a writing tutor for international students preparing to continue their studies in the United States. As a writer, she writes fiction and poetry book reviews for the Colorado Review, and her own poetry has appeared in the Charles River Review. She has attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and is an active member of the Concord Poetry Center.
Olivia Kate Cerrone
Olivia Kate Cerrone’s Pushcart Prize-nominated fiction recently won the Crab Orchard Review’s2016 Jack Dyer Fiction Prize. Her short stories have appeared in various literary journals, including New South, the Berkeley Fiction Review, The MacGuffin, War, Literature and the Arts, JMWW, Word Riot, Quiddity, and Paterson Literary Review. A regular contributor to The Rumpus, she is at work on a novel. She serves as an associate editor for CONSEQUENCE Magazine, and as a writing mentor for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. She is a member of PEN American Center. Cerrone earned an MFA in fiction from New York University and a BFA from the Writing, Literature and Publishing program at Emerson College.
Caitlin McGill’s essays and flash fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Blackbird, Crab Orchard Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Short, Fast, and Deadly, The Southeast Review, and elsewhere. She has won a 2016 St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award in Literature, a 2016 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarship, and the 2014 Rafael Torch Nonfiction Literary Award. She is working on a memoir in essays, one of which, “Silent Interrogations,” was named a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2016. She teaches writing and literature at Emerson College and MCPHS University.
Taylor Johnson moved from Connecticut to Boston to finish his BFA at Emerson College. His major was in Writing, Literature, and Publishing with a focus in fiction. One of his favorite pieces of literature is Homer’s, The Odyssey, which led him to study more Greek mythology and this was a major inspiration for him to become a writer. He believes that everyone should have access to literature and the means to read, understand, and discuss it with others.
Max Smith was born and raised in London, England. An aspiring playwright and screenwriter, he currently studies at Emerson College with the aim of creating folk and grunge operas that tackle difficult issues and open social dialogue. Diagnosed with Bipolar I in 2013, Max found writing to be a therapeutic outlet and has since become a strong advocate for those struggling with mental illness and addiction. He reminds himself often that curiosity rarely kills… though it may, occassionally, sting a bit.
Evan Jymaal Cutts
Evan Jymaal Cutts is a 22 year-old Boston native. He appreciates Art & Black joy wherever he happens upon it. He believes the key to change is imagination, empathy, and action; that your story is a unique one worth listening to. Evan is a BFA Poetry candidate minoring in Africana Studies at Emerson College. He spent three weeks in South Africa during the summer of 2016 studying the construction of historical narratives, resistance, and art; Evan challenges himself to evaluate the role of these factors in his work and environment. His poetry explores themes of Blackness, magic, Boston, and the relationship between diaspora concepts of home and heritage. He is a 2016 Best of the Net Anthology nominee and his work can be found online at threelinepoetry.org, voicemailpoems.org, mapsforteeth.org, and projectpoetry.org.
Massiel is a Dominican writer and translator residing in Jamaica Plain. Massiel has published articles for Telemundo Boston, and three short stories, “El Cazador de Ciguapas” (2014), “El Arte de La Pesca” (2016), and “El Simulacro” (2017). In March 2016, Massiel was selected by SIN News Channel as one of the seven most notable Dominican women under 25. The committee sited her literacy activism and critiques of urban Dominican culture through her blog “Yo Soy Bau.” In August 2016, Massiel received an award from Mayor Walsh and the city of Boston for her leadership and academic excellence within the Dominican community in Boston.
Logan R. Boehler is a 22 year-old Michigan native, who moved to Boston to pursue his passion for fantastical fiction. He believes firmly in the fundamental and earth-changing impact of the stories we tell each other; that any insight is best explained with a narrative, and that a little magic makes every story better. Logan is a BFA fiction candidate minoring in philosophy at Emerson College.
Mark MacNeil was a quiet kid who became a disquieted teen, a high school freshman dropout, homeless teenager, substance abuser, and then a homeless twenty-something who struggled to free himself from himself. He found young and stupid love, which prompted him to enter the ‘contemplation phase’ of his recovery. In recent years, he has gotten off the streets, earned his G.E.D., attended community college, chosen to live sober, received a generous scholarship to a name brand college, and dedicated himself to his passion for creative writing.
Our special guest,Walden McGee, is a trained Therapy Animal, registered with Pet Partners, a national organization dedicated to positive human-animal interventions improving the physical, emotional and psychological lives of those it serves. According to the extensive body of research that supports Pet Partners and in alignment with our mission, interactions with animals have been shown to decrease the perception of pain, lower blood pressure, promote care compliance, and minimize anxiety. Walden is available to attend creative writing workshops, accompanied by a certified animal handler, in schools, hospitals, retirements homes, Hospice care facilities, and a variety of complex human services settings.
Everyone’s Best Friend