Betsy Wheeler, Director (she/her)

Betsy Wheeler is the author of the poetry collection Loud Dreaming in a Quiet Room and the poetry chapbooks Start Here and Mental Detours. She earned her MFA in poetry at The Ohio State University in 2005, and held the Stadler Fellowship at Bucknell University from 2005-2007. Her poems have appeared in Tupelo QuarterlyWindfall Room, The Journal, Bat City Review, Better, MiPoesias, Forklift Ohio and elsewhere. She lives with her wife and daughter in Amherst, MA. 

Riley Jones, Program Assistant (she/her)

Riley Jones is a current poetry candidate in the UMass Amherst MFA for poets and writers. She is from a very small town in Massachusetts and now lives in Northampton, a slightly larger town in Western Massachusetts. She has been working for the Juniper Institute in various capacities for the last five years. She likes rivers, dried flowers, and empty vases. One day she’d like to teach poetry to children in a large grass field.

Porter Lunceford, Program Assistant (he/him and they/them)

Porter Lunceford is a poet and playwright from Northern Utah. Porter holds a BA in English with a Creative Writing emphasis from Weber State University and is an MFA candidate in poetry at UMass Amherst. Porter has written children’s musicals with their partner, Kyle, and the pair currently live in Northampton, MA with their dog.

Saffron Turner, Administrative Assistant (they/them)

Saffron is an undergraduate junior transfer student majoring in sociology. They received an Associate of Arts degree in Sociology from Santa Fe College, Gainesville, FL. Their research interest is disability studies with a focus on autistic self-advocacy. Saffron is a writer and previously took poetry workshops at Hampshire College. After a prolonged sojourn in their home state of Florida, Saffron now resides in Northampton, MA with their two cats.

Franchesca Viaud, Program Assistant  (she/her)

Franchesca received her bachelor’s degree in English Lit. from Boston University. It’s two years later, and she’s starting the first year of her MFA in Prose at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Try as she might, she can’t seem to venture beyond The Old Colony State. She currently resides in Northampton, MA.