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. 

Noy Holland, Creative Director and Co-founder (she/her)

Noy Holland received the Katherine Anne Porter Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her books include I Was Trying to Describe What It Feels Like, New and Selected Stories; the novel Bird; and three collections of short fiction—Swim for the Little One First, What Begins with Bird, and The Spectacle of the Body. She has published fiction and essays in Best American Short Stories, The Kenyon Review, Epoch, Antioch, Conjunctions, AGNI, The Believer, and NOON, among others. She is a co-founder and Creative Director of the Juniper Institute, and a partner in the collaborative interdisciplinary series Art Sustainability Activism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Jeff Parker, Creative Director (he/him)

Jeff Parker is the author of the nonfiction book Where Bears Roam the Streets:  A Russian Journal (Harper Collins), the novel Ovenman (Tin House), and the short story collection The Taste of Penny (Dzanc).  With Pasha Malla, he co-assembled the book of found sports poetry Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion (Featherproof), and with Annie Liontas he edited A Manner of Being: Writers on Their Mentors (UMass Press).  His short fiction and nonfiction have been published in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Ploughshares, Tin House, The Walrus, and many others. With Mikhail Iossel he co-edited two volumes of contemporary Russian prose in translation, Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia (Tin House) and Amerika:  Russian Writers View the United States (Dalkey Archive).  He also co-translated the novel Sankya by Zakhar Prilepin from the Russian.  He has taught at Eastern Michigan University, the University of Toronto, the Russian State University for the Humanities, and the University of Tampa, and he currently teaches in the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  He is the cofounder and Director of the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal.  Read more about Professor Parker’s work at

Saffron Turner, Program Coordinator (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.

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.

Allie McKean, Program Assistant (she/her)

Allie McKean holds a B.A. in Communication and Writing Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and currently a poet in the UMass Amherst MFA for Poets and Writers, and teaches college composition. Allie is always down for a cup of black coffee and a riverwalk !

Vika Mujumdar, Program Assistant  (she/her)

Vika Mujumdar was born in New Jersey and raised in Pune, India. She holds an MA in Comparative Literature from UMass Amherst, where she is an MFA student in Creative Writing (Prose). She edits Liminal Transit Review.