Cheryl BuchananCheryl Buchanan is an attorney who learned the power of storytelling and silence-breaking when she worked for a decade on over 500 cases of childhood sexual abuse in Los Angeles. She has taught in a wide range of university and college classrooms, from law school to undergraduate Communication Studies and Creative Writing, as well as written for a variety of audiences from college texts to network television. She earned her MFA at Emerson College. Cheryl has been the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Prize, the Boston Mayor’s Poetry Prize and the Naugatuck River Review Narrative Poetry Award as well as nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize and twice for Best New Poets. She was the recipient of the 2018 National Association for Poetry Therapy’s Social Justice Award and serves as Editor of Writers Without Margins: A Journal of Poetry and Prose Founder / Executive Director / Facilitator
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.Facilitator
Caitlin McGill is a writer and workshop facilitator whose work is fueled by her belief in the power of storytelling. Her writing has appeared in Blackbird, The Chattahoochee Review, Consequence, Iron Horse Literary Review, The Southeast Review, Vox, War, Literature, & the Arts, and several other magazines. She is a 2016 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award winner and the 2014 winner of Crab Orchard Review’s Rafael Torch Nonfiction Literary Award, and her work has been supported by the Bread Loaf Writers’ conference, The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, The Ragdale Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is working on a memoir-in-essays, one of which was named a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2016. She teaches writing and literature at Emerson College and Northeastern University.Facilitator
Susan Donnelly Cheever has worked as an English teacher in both public and private schools for many years. She is the founder of Writing Lighthouse, a tutoring business helping middle and high school students with essay writing and AP/SAT preparation. In addition, she is the Fiction/Nonfiction Book Review Editor for the Colorado Review, where she is also a contributor.Facilitator
Toni Bee is a poet, educator, and freelance journalist raised in Dorchester, MA and educated in Roxbury. In 2011, she was elected Poet Populist of Cambridge, the first woman to grace that position. She led the Black Lives Matter march of Cambridge in 2015 and the following year was selected as the city’s Poetry Ambassador. Toni has been a teaching artist for The Wang Theatre, and she is a graduate of Simmons University. 22 Again is the title of her recently published first book of poetry. Bee has featured at: Lizard Lounge, The Boston Poetry Slam, New England Poetry Club, The Boston National Poetry Month Festival, the Boston Poetry Marathon, and has been awarded by YWCA Cambridge.Facilitator
Arthur Stratusfier Williams
Rapper, Poet, Old Soul, and Positive Thinker. This is Stratusfier. A soul-traveling artist that uses rap and poetry to condense light after exploring his own darkness. He has been a coach for the 2016 UMass Boston CUPSI team. He has been published in Oddball Magazine. His features include Comic-Con, Rapping with the Writers, and The Monson Free Library. He can be followed on Instagram @thestratusfier; on Facebook his name is Arthur Stratusfier Williams; You can also like and follow him on his Facebook page, The Stratusfier.Facilitator
Skoot Mosby is a heavy hitting poet. As the Poetry Club president and the face of Roxbury Community College, he has created many sucessful events, such as “No Filter,” “Man vs Police,” and “What That Mouth Do.” Skoot is taking the poetry world by storm with his freestyle abilities on the mic. Skoot has featured at Rapping With The Writers, Comic Con, Roxbury Rocks, Art is Life Itself, Hope Inc, Verbalization, Lizard Lounge, and Stone Soup. In a major addition to his features Skoot has been a 3x Semi finalist and a Finalist for the Lizard Lounge National Slam Team.Facilitator
Brynne, age 12, is a Chicago-based writer, and currently a rising seventh grader. Through her battle with OCD, she learned the power of what creative writing can inspire and heal in a positive, supportive environment, which led her to Writers Without Margins. In May 2020, she received a 2020 D181Foundation.org KIDS Grant for her project entitled, “Writing For a Purpose,” that aims to bring teens’ writing strengths and mental health struggles together. She donated this grant to Writers Without Margins and became actively involved with the mission at that time. Brynne, who sometimes writes as, “BEcoming12,” is excited to help others share the joy of writing, and shed light on the therapeutic side of expressing feelings through written words. In her free time, she enjoys intense competitive swimming, baking, and traveling with her family.Youth Advocate
Faith Breisblatt is a social worker and writer who received her masters in social work from Boston University and graduated with a specialization in group work. She currently serves as the Residential Program Director at Step By Step Supportive Services, a non-profit organization which supports adults with mental health diagnoses to live independently and reach their goals. She is also a consultant for Boston Senior Home Care. She has facilitated many types of groups at her agency including creative writing, poetry, expressive arts, sobriety and peer support, self-esteem building, and interpersonal skills groups. Faith has also been a creative writing instructor at Brookline Adult Education. Her poetry can be seen in Unlost Journal, Found Poetry Review, Scripting Change, Toe Good Poetry, Boston Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere.Facilitator
Evan Jymaal Cutts
Evan J. Cutts is a 25-year-old Boston-native, poet, writer, MFA Candidate, and Chancellor’s MFA Mentors Fellow at Rutgers University – Newark. Evan was a member of the Emerson College 2017 CUPSI Team and 2017 National Poetry Slam “Last Chance Slam” Team. His poetry navigates Blackness, locality, mythology, and magic. His poetry is published or forthcoming in Apogee Journal, Jabberwock Review, Juked, The Offing, Lumina Journal, Wildness, and others.Facilitator
Zachary Paul is a recovering heroin addict and convicted felon, but don’t judge a book by its cover. After being released from state prison, while in a six-month reentry program, he picked up writing and enjoys it very much as it helps him expand his mind and has been a good outlet to aid in his recovery. Zachary has also served as a Primary Trainer for New England Assisted Dog Services for people with PTSD, special needs, and disabilities; a member of Prison Voices, speaking to high school students; and a Lead Facilitator with the Correctional Recovery Academy addressing drug abuse and violence. Look for him in the documentary, In Their Shoes: Unheard Stories of Reentry and Recovery, due for release in Spring 2019.Facilitator
Kevin McLellan is the author of Hemispheres (Fact-Simile Editions, forthcoming), Ornitheology (The Word Works, 2018), [box] (Letter [r] Press, 2016), Tributary (Barrow Street, 2015), and Round Trip (Seven Kitchens, 2010). He won the 2015 Third Coast Poetry Prize and Gival Press’ 2016 Oscar Wilde Award, and his poems appear in numerous literary journals including American Letters & Commentary, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Kenyon Review, West Branch, Western Humanities Review, and Witness. Kevin lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Olivia Kate Cerrone
Olivia Kate Cerrone is the author of The Hunger Saint, a historical novella about the child miners of Sicily. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Psychology Today, Publishers Weekly, and many other publications. She teaches creative writing workshops at GrubStreet.Facilitator
Amanda is a New England native who earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and studio art, exploring how the arts could serve as an avenue into oneself and others. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Registered Arts Therapist. She also spent several years in Denver, serving as an AmeriCorps member gaining clinical experience working for individuals with developmental disabilities, which lead her to pursue a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling and expressive therapy at Lesley University. Amanda has facilitated community groups within a nonprofit serving at-risk youth, worked as a clinical coordinator at a partial hospitalization program, and clinician at a residential treatment facility for women. Ultimately, these experiences helped her develop a therapeutic lens and passion for working with marginalized populations to encourage life expression through hybrid uses of the arts.
Stephen was introduced to Writers Without Margins in 2017 through one of their many creative writing workshops. After experiencing first hand the energetic and uplifting atmosphere within the organization, he quickly jumped on board and has been involved ever since. He currently operates as the non-profit’s Communications Manager, but his day to day duties include website management and development, graphic design related to promotional and marketing efforts, social media outreach and expansion, event coordinating, workshop facilitating, and much more. He currently is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in the field of Computer Science.Communications Manager & Facilitator
Kaylee is a graduate of Emerson College who grew up in Frederick, Maryland. While at Emerson, they worked on staff for three literary magazines and interned at Candlewick Press and the Horn Book. They aspire to work in children’s literature and are motivated by the idea that in order to create media for young people, one needs to write alongside them. This motivation led them to pursue youth programming work in various settings, through two AmeriCorps positions and through volunteer work. Most recently, they served and now work in Roxbury at 826 Boston as Volunteer Coordinator. Looking ahead, they are excited to find ways to use their editorial, marketing, and community organizing experience to elevate marginalized voices, especially those of young people.Facilitator
Math Love 101
Math Love 101, aka Mathematics, was born in Cambridge, Boston, detox holdings, halfway houses, and the state prison system. He has experienced the depths of hell, but with the application of the 12 steps and 12 jewels of life, he has been able to live in spiritual heaven, always striving for perfection, knowing progress is the goal. Math believes in the power of literature to promote awareness and understanding, even with respect to our most complex problems. He has read his poetry at the National Poetry Month Festival at the Boston Public Library and at Faneuil Hall’s widely publicized demonstration to protest the namesake’s ties to slavery. He has conducted workshops at the Boston Book Festival and hosted the Writers Without Margins Annual Contributor’s Reading at the Old South Church for several years. Putting family, others, and spiritual choices first has given him a second chance at life.Facilitator
Ainslie is a Pacific Northwest native currently living in Boston as a student. She attends Emerson College as a journalism major with a narrative nonfiction minor, and she simultaneously takes classes at the Berklee College of Music as a trombonist. Her stories have appeared in The Portland Tribune, The Beaverton Valley Times, The Independent, The Clackamas Review, The Columbian and Partners Magazine. At Emerson she hosts an hour radio show on WECB and she’s currently working on her first book of poetry. Before moving to the city she was a trombonist for the Portland Youth Philharmonic and the Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra with which she opened for Jazz at Lincoln Center during their Portland tour. Now, she works with the Beantown Swing Orchestra as a freelance musician. Ainslie looks forward to the ways she can use her own work to raise the voices of marginalized communities in the future.
Caitlin Thornbrugh is a writer and workshop facilitator originally from Kansas City. Her work has appeared in Parcel Literary Journal, The Paper Napkin, Portel del Sol, and Honest Noise, among others. Her piece, “Ahuacatl Agovago, Avocado: The Corrupt Alligator Pear” was a 2014 Notable Best American Essay. She has received support for her writing from The Vermont Studio Center, Dickinson House-Belgium, and was a 2011 Lambda Literary Fellow in creative nonfiction. Caitlin is passionate about her work in the Boston community. She teaches at Northeastern University and volunteers for an organization that brings women closer to nature: the Wilderness Heals-Elizabeth Stone House pledge hike, which raises funds for a domestic violence shelter in Roxbury, MA. She is currently at work on a book of creative nonfiction about the disputed Owyhee Canyonlands in Eastern Oregon and their connection to her home rivers, the Kaw and the Muddy Mo.Facilitator
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