students writing

Creative Writing Certificate Program

Creative Writing Faculty

Read some of the teaching philosophies of our faculty, in "Rock, Paper, Scissors", presented at the Associated Writers and Writing Programs convention in 2006.

Our Faculty

Anne Abel (aabel@ccp.edu) earned her MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from The New School. As a student at the Community College of Philadelphia, she won a Judith Stark Creative Writing Award. Her work has been published in The Daily News, Lilith, Main Line Today, and The Jewish Exponent. She has also been a columnist for Philadelphia Weekly. With her husband she has established the Anne and Andrew Abel Creative Writing Scholarship at the Community College of Philadelphia.

Ned Bachus (nbachus@ccp.edu) has had fiction published in literary magazines and in the anthology Meridian Bound. Twice he has been awarded fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and his fiction has been featured in InterAct Theatre’s Writing Aloud series. In addition, he has won the Alana Collos Award for Teaching Excellence and the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Crystal Bacon (cbacon@ccp.edu) earned an MFA in Poetry from the Warren Wilson MFA Program. Her first book was published by BOA Editions, and her poems have appeared in various US and Canadian journals. As a Geraldine R. Dodge Poet, she has performed at schools and at the biennial poetry festival. In addition, she has advised a college literary magazine, developed creative writing curricula, and judged academic and small press contests.

Ari Bank (abank@ccp.edu) earned an MA in Creative Writing from Temple University. In addition to teaching at the Community College of Philadelphia, he coordinates creative writing workshops for the Philadelphia Writers Conference and the Writers’ Room. His fiction and poetry have appeared in journals such as Virginia Adversaria and The Berkeley Fiction Review.

Aliya Barnhill (abarnhill@ccp.edu) earned her MH degree with a specialization in film and fiction writing from Wright State University. She is an actor, writer and poet. As a performing poet/actor she hasbeen featured in several local and nationally touring venues. Her short fiction has been published by a university press and she was the winner of the “Set in Philly” Screenplay Competition.

Alex Bove (above@ccp.edu) received his MA in Creative Writing from Temple University. He has taught creative writing and literature courses at the Community College of Philadelphia, Cabrini College, Widener University, and others. His fiction and poetry have appeared in Mississippi Review, Schuylkill, Kudzu Review, and Elephants and Other Gods, and his play “Three Non-Dramas” was performed in Tallahassee, Florida.

Toni Calvello (tcalvello@ccp.edu) teaches writing at Rowan University and Rutgers University. As a graduate assistant at Rowan, she worked on the program series The Legacy of Language and served as an editor of Asphodel, the university’s literary journal. Her work has appeared both domestically and abroad in such literary magazines as Poetry Life and Times (Great Britain), Arabesques Review (Algeria), Paterson Literary Review and Chiron Review.

Rufus Caleb (rcaleb@ccp.edu) is a well-established playwright whose work has been produced by the Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, the People’s Light and Theatre Company, and WNYC’s "Radio Stage," among others. His play Benny’s Place received the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference ABC Theatre Award and was produced for ABC television, featuring Louis Gossett, Jr. and Cecily Tyson. He is also a three-time recipient of fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Toni Calvello (tcalvello@ccp.edu) teaches writing at Rowan University, University of the Sciences, and Temple University. As a graduate assistant at Rowan, she worked on the program series The Legacy of Language and served as an editor of Asphodel, the university’s literary journal. Her work has appeared both domestically and abroad in such literary magazines as Poetry Life and Times (Great Britain), Arabesques Review (Algeria), Voices of Israel, Frogpond-Haiku Society of America, Paterson Literary Review, and Chiron Review.

Vijay Chauhan (Lakshmi), Ph.D, (vchauhan@ccp.edu) did her post-doctoral work at Yale University and has been teaching at the Community College of Philadelphia since 1991. Her publications include the collection Pomegranate Dreams and Other Stories and short stories in Wasafiri, Orbis, Amelia, and Short Story. She has given readings of her work at international conferences in the US and abroad and has been awarded a Writer-in-Residence fellowship at Can Serrat, Spain.

Sharon Rees Eiferman (seiferman@ccp.edu) has published two poetry chapbooks, Statements from the Crystal Cave and Dances in Dialogue. In addition, her poems have appeared in various journals, including Schuylkill Valley Journal of the Arts and Philadelphia Poets. Her reading venues have included the Poets and Writers Faculty Showcase and Voices and Visions bookstore. She facilitates the Community College of Philadelphia Faculty Poetry Workshop.

Quinn Eli (qeli@ccp.edu) has received a Fellowship in Literature [Nonfiction] from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. His books include African-American Wisdom, Many Strong and Beautiful Voices, and Homecoming: The Story of African-American Farmers, a companion volume to the PBS film. His work has appeared in Essence, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and elsewhere. He has taught creative writing at Bryn Mawr College and Temple University, as well as at the Community College of Philadelphia.

Alan Elyshevitz (aelyshevitz@ccp.edu) earned an MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College. His stories and poems have been widely published, and his fiction has won awards from Yemassee and Pebble Lake Review, among others. Twice he has received a Fellowship in Literature [Fiction] from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. At the Community College of Philadelphia, he has taught creative writing, both in the classroom and online, and has served as Coordinator of the Certificate Program in Creative Writing.

William Esposito (wesposito@ccp.edu) received an MFA in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts and the Joseph Langland Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His poems have appeared in "Gettysburg Review", "Indiana Review", "Antioch Review", and elsewhere. A collection of his poems is forthcoming from Katalanche Press. He has taught creative writing at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Temple University.

Leslye Friedberg (lfriedberg@ccp.edu) is the founder and faculty advisor of the CAP literary magazine and the founder of The Mid-Atlantic College Student Literary Magazine Conference. She has participated in and co-chaired numerous panels at academic conferences in which she and students collaborated on presentations about the connection between creative writing, developmental English, and academic success.

Barry George (bgeorge@ccp.edu) received an MFA in Poetry from Spalding University in Louisville, KY. His work has appeared in the leading international haiku and tanka journals, as well as numerous anthologies. A winner of the 2009 AWP Intro Poetry Contest, he has also been a Pew Fellowship Finalist and won competitions sponsored by Haiku Society of America, Haiku Canada, and The Mainichi Daily News (Tokyo).

Emilie C. Harting (eharting@ccp.edu) holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Bennington College. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and others. She is also the author of literary guides to England/Scotland and the New England States, both of which have been translated into Japanese. At the Community College of Philadelphia, she has taught creative writing both in the classroom and on online.

Shawne Johnson (sjohnson@ccp.edu) received her master’s degree in English literature at Temple University. She is the author of two novels, Getting Our Breath Back (2002) and Eden, Ohio (2004). A former Peace Corps volunteer, she is a full time faculty member in the English department at the Community College of Philadelphia. She has taught creative writing for Art Sanctuary, the Philadelphia School District, as well as at the Community College of Philadelphia.

Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela (mdjohnson@ccp.edu) earned an MFA in fiction from the University of Wyoming. She has been a recipient of a Leeway Foundation Transformation Award and the Community College of Philadelphia’s Judith Stark fiction award. She has worked extensively with the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA), an annual writer workshop for writers of color. In addition, she is the founder of Thread Makes Blanket, a chapbook press.

Joseph P. Kenyon (jkenyon@ccp.edu) has been writing and teaching writers for over 20 years. His short stories, poetry, and essays have appeared in a variety of literary journals, and lines from one poem “At Rest” were selected to be inscribed on a public monument in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Before coming to the Community College of Philadelphia, he taught at colleges in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Michigan.

Suzanne Lang (slang@ccp.edu) holds a BA in Literature and Creative Writing from Dartmouth College and an MFA in Poetry from Emerson College. Her poems have appeared in national and international journals, and she has given public readings at professional and community events. She is an Assistant Professor at the Community College of Philadelphia, where she teaches in the Honors Program and the English Department. In addition, she serves as the faculty co-advisor of the Creative Writing Club and the co-coordinator of the Poets and Writers Festival.

Jeffrey E. Lee (jelee@ccp.edu) earned a PhD and an MFA from New York University. He has published two books of poetry, the most recent of which was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. In addition, he has published two chapbooks and numerous poems in such literary magazines as North American Review and X-Connect. He has taught creative writing both in the classroom and online at a variety of institutions, including the Community College of Philadelphia and the University of Northern Colorado.

Tracey Levine (tlevine@ccp.edu) earned a BFA in Screenwriting from the University of the Arts and an MFA in Fiction from Syracuse University where she was on fellowship. She has worked at WHYY on several documentary projects, and her creative writing work has appeared in Verbal Seduction. She has done readings at 2nd Story Books and at the Kelly’s Writer’s House and was involved in the Living Writer’s Reading Series at Syracuse University.

Tracey M. Lewis-Giggets (tmlewis@ccp.edu) holds a BA in Communication from the University of Kentucky and an MBA from Montclair State University. She is the author of three poetry collections, one of which won the SBDC Poetry Award. She is also co-writer and producer of “Khepera”, an off-Broadway play that ran for four weeks in New York City. Currently she teaches writing and public speaking at the Community College of Philadelphia.

Michael Loughran (mloughran@ccp.edu) has a BA in English from Ithaca College and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Florida. His poems have appeared in Tin House, Harvard Review, jubilat, Lit, and American Letters and Commentary. He taught English and creative writing at the University of Florida, Saint Joseph’s University, and the University of the Arts before joining the Community College of Philadelphia as a full-time faculty member.

Larry MacKenzie (lmackenzie@ccp.edu) earned an MFA in Writing from the University of Oregon. His play “Oiseau Wazzat?” was performed at the Community College of Philadelphia, and his Café for the Mind poetry reading at the Free Library won a "Best Lecture of the Year" prize. At the college, he has initiated reading series, student publications and the writing club; he has also won the Alana Collos Award for Teaching Excellence and the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Jeff Markovitz (jmarkovitz@ccp.edu)has had poetry, short fiction, and creative non-fiction published in national journals and anthologies. His first novel Into the Everything was published in 2011 by Punkin House Press. He also writes a travel column for Toujours Magazine. He is the Coordinator of the Certificate Program in Creative Writing at the Community College of Philadelphia and the faculty advisor for the Creative Writing Club.

Bill McCardell (bmccardell@ccp.edu) is a prolific playwright whose recent works include “The Troops in Virginville, Styrofoam, Prelude to Jack Shit”, and “Holly and Molly”. His plays have been produced in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York City, Edinburgh, Liverpool, and London. A three-time recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Playwrights Fellowship, he is a member of Circle East in New York City and a former member of the Dramatists Guild and the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania.

Elisa McCool (emccool@ccp.edu) completed her MFA in Poetry at the University of Michigan. Currently, she teaches poetry at Temple University and has taught creative writing at the University of Michigan, in a Detroit elementary school as an IndsideOut Writer-in-Residence, and in a men’s prison as a volunteer teacher. Her work has been published in a variety of online and print magazines.

Kelly McQuain (kmcquain@ccp.edu) holds an MA from Temple University and an MFA from the University of New Orleans. He is a two-time recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship. His writing has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Painted Bride Quarterly, American Writing, Kansas Quarterly/Arkansas Review, The Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly, and elsewhere. Locally, his performance pieces have appeared in the Fringe Festival and Writing Aloud. At the Community College of Philadelphia, he co-coordinates the Poets & Writers Festival.

James Miller (jmiller@ccp.edu) received an MFA in Poetry from New York University where he studied under Philip Levine, Sharon Olds, and Yusef Komunyakaa. He also worked on the university’s literary journal, “Washington Square Review”. His poetry has appeared in Simbaa, published by Franklin University.

Nick Moudry (nmoudry@ccp.edu) received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts—Amherst. He has published three chapbooks of poetry, a collaborative chapbook, and translated a book by the Romanian-born French poet Tristan Tzara. His poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. He has taught creative writing at such institutions as the University of Massachusetts—Amherst and Temple University.

Julie Odell (jodell@ccp.edu) holds an MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Southern Mississippi. Her stories have appeared in Crab Creek Review, Berkeley Fiction Review and Philadelphia Stories. She has been a commentator on National Public Radio and a MacDowell Colony fellow. At the Community College of Philadelphia, she has served as faculty advisor for the creative writing club, a Judith Stark judge, and faculty advisor for Limited Editions.

Jonathan Pappas (jpappas@ccp.edu) earned an MFA in Fiction Writing from the New School. He has published in various journals and literary magazines, including The Broad Street Review, The Rumpus, and Communications: the Journal for the International Brecht Society. He writes fiction and screenplays, and has taught creative writing workshops in high schools and colleges in New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

Andrea Ross (aross@ccp.edu) earned an MA in Creative Writing at the University of California, Davis. She has taught creative writing at the University of California, Davis, with California Poets in the Schools, and has three times been awarded Writer in Residence grants by the California Arts Council. She teaches creative writing courses in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum, through the Mount Airy Learning Tree, and in other community venues. Her award-winning work has been published in various literary magazines.

Dianna Russell (drussell@ccp.edu) received her MA in Poetry from Syracuse University and has taught creative writing at several colleges. Her poetry has appeared in The Denver Quarterly, Earth’s Daughters, and Whiskey Island. Her play, “Whitechapel Diary” was performed at Civic Theatre of Allentown and will be read in New York City. She is currently workshopping a second play, compiling a chapbook of poetry, and finishing two novels.

Don Rutberg (drutberg@ccp.edu) received his MFA in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. In addition to teaching at the Community College of Philadelphia, he teaches advanced writing at Holy Family University. His work has been published in a variety of genres and formats, including books, children’s books, comic books, blogs, and stage plays. He has also optioned screenplays. His most recent book, about surviving the writing life, is A Writer’s First Aid Kit, available at Barnes & Noble

Lex Sonne (lsonne@ccp.edu) earned his MFA in fiction from Columbia College, Chicago. His stories have appeared in journals such as Eleven Eleven, Night Train, and New Madrid. On three occasions, he was accepted to the Appalachian Writers Workshop. In addition, a book of his short stories is forthcoming from Lark Sparrow Press.

Carla Spataro (cspataro@ccp.edu) earned an MFA in creative writing from Rosemont College. In addition to teaching at the Community College of Philadelphia, she also teaches English and creative writing at Rowan University and Rosemont College. She is a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship recipient and fiction editor and co-publisher of Philadelphia Stories. Her short fiction has been published in a variety of literary journals, most recently in The Baltimore Review.

Elaine Terranova (eterranova@ccp.edu) has published five books of poetry, the most recent of which is the chapbook, Elegiac: Footnotes to Rilke's Duino Elegies. Her writing awards include the Walt Whitman Award, a Pew Fellowship, and a National Endowment in the Arts Fellowship. In addition to teaching at the Community College of Philadelphia, she teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Rutgers University, Camden.

Paul Wright (pwright@ccp.edu) developed his lyrical skills as an “MC” on reggae dancehall sound systems in his birthplace, London, England. His published lyrics have been released in Europe, South America, and Asia. He currently performs as part of the spoken-word/singer-songwriter duo Nagohead. He has started two community based poetry/spoken-word series, Soul Speak, at The Nile Bookstore in Germantown, and Acoustically Speaking, a summer series held at Robin’s Bookstore.

Simone Zelitch, (szelitch@ccp.edu) is the author of three novels, including Louisa. Her work has also appeared in The Lost Tribe Anthology and has been featured in the NPR broadcast and the published anthology Hannukah Lights. Recent honors include a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts grant in Fiction, and residencies at the Edward Albee Barn and I-Park. She has taught in Michigan, Illinois, Hungary and at the University of Pennsylvania, and directs the Certificate Program in Creative Writing at the Community College of Philadelphia.