Governance

AWP is governed by a board of up to eleven elected members and up to ten appointed members. Five board members are elected by the individual members of AWP; five board members are elected by the member writing programs, grouped by region; and up to ten board members may be appointed by a majority vote of the board. Each board member serves a four-year term.

Bonnie Culver

Bonnie Culver

Vice President & Individual Members' Representative (2011-2015)
Wilkes University

Playwright, screenwriter, and novelist Bonnie Culver is the co-founder and director of the Wilkes University Low Residency Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She is an associate professor of English at Wilkes, where she has served in various capacities over the past twenty years: faculty member, college dean, and program director. She has written over twenty plays, many of which have been produced by community, regional, and university theatres, and equity companies from New York to Los Angeles. She has received individual and institutional grants and awards from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, and the Maslow Foundation, among others. She has served on several not-for-profit and for-profit advisory boards.

Oliver de la Paz

Oliver de la Paz

Vice President & Individual Members' Representative (2011-2015)
Western Washington University

Oliver de la Paz is the author of three collections of poetry, Names Above Houses , Furious Lullaby , and Requiem for the Orchard. He co-chairs the advisory board of Kundiman, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of Asian American Poetry.  A recipient of a NYFA Fellowship Award, and a GAP grant from Artists’ Trust, his work has appeared in journals like The Southern Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, North American Review, Tin House and in anthologies such as Asian American Poetry:  The Next Generation.  He teaches at Western Washington University.

Robin Reagler

Robin Reagler

Treasurer & Individual Members’ Representative (2012-2016)
Writers in the Schools (WITS)

Robin Reagler is the executive director of Writers in the Schools (WITS) in Houston. Each year WITS serves 20,000 students in grades K-12 with long-term literary programs. Robin also heads the WITS Alliance, a national consortium of over 20 literary arts education groups. Through the alliance, she consults with writers starting new programs in the U.S. and Canada. Robin earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop and a PhD from the University of Houston’s creative writing program. Her poems have been published in Ploughshares, North American Review, American Letters & Commentary, Denver Quarterly, The Iowa Review, and VOLT. Her chapbook, Dear Red Airplane, was published this year by Seven Kitchens Press.

Jerod Santek

Jerod Santek

Secretary & Writers’ Conferences & Centers Representative (2008-2012)
Loft Literary Center

Jerod Santek is program director at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, where he administers mentorships, grants, and fellowships for writers. A poet and fiction writer, his work has appeared in numerous journals, including Ploughshares, Blithe House Quarterly, and Hayden's Ferry Review.

Steve Heller

Steve Heller

Ex Officio Board Advisor (2009-2013)
Antioch University Los Angeles

Steve Heller is chair of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Antioch University Los Angeles. He previously taught at Kansas State University, where for fifteen years he was chair of the university’s creative writing program. He holds an MFA from Bowling Green State University and an EdD in English education from Oklahoma State. His first novel, The Automotive History of Lucky Kellerman, received the Friends of American Writers Award and was a selection of Book-of-the-Month Club and QPB. Steve's most recent book, What We Choose to Remember, is a collection of nonfiction narratives from Serving House Press. His individual short stories and essays have appeared widely, in journals such as Manoa, New Letters, Colorado Review, and Fourth Genre, and in the anthologies Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, In Brief: Short Takes on the Personal, and Living Blue in the Red States. He has been a resident of Yaddo and the recipient of an NEA Fellowship and numerous other writing awards and distinctions. He helped found two literary journals, Hawaii Review and Mid-American Review.

Elise Blackwell

Elise Blackwell

Individual Members’ Representative (2012-2016)
University of South Carolina

Elise Blackwell is the author of four novels: Hunger, The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish, Grub, and An Unfinished Score. Her books have been translated into several languages and named to numerous best-of-the-year lists. She has written for The Atlantic and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Elise earned a BA in English at Louisiana State University and an MFA in fiction at the University of California, Irvine. She is Associate Professor and Director of the MFA program at the University of South Carolina, where she has been awarded the English department’s Excellence in Teaching Award, as well as the universitywide Mungo Teaching Award. She has given a hundred public readings and served on the faculty of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.

Jill Christman

Jill Christman

Midwest Representative (2013-2017)
Ball State University and Ashland University

Jill Christman’s memoir, Darkroom: A Family Exposure, won the AWP Award Series in Creative Nonfiction in 2001, and was reissued in paperback by the University of Georgia Press in Fall 2011. Her recent essays have appeared in Barrelhouse, Brevity, Descant, Harpur Palate, Literary Mama, Mississippi Review, River Teeth, and many other journals, magazines, and anthologies.  She earned her MFA at the University of Alabama, served as coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Minnesota, and now teaches creative nonfiction at Ball State University and in Ashland University’s low-residency MFA program.

David Haynes

David Haynes

Individual Members’ Representative (2012-2016)
Southern Methodist University

David Haynes is the author of six novels for adults and five books for younger readers. He is an associate professor of English at Southern Methodist University, where he directs the creative writing program. He also teaches regularly in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. His sixth and most recent novel is The Full Matilda. He is also the author of a series for children called “The West Seventh Wildcats.” David spent fifteen years as a teacher in urban schools, mostly teaching middle grades in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He worked on numerous school reform efforts, including developing the influential Saturn School of Tomorrow, where he served as Associate Teacher for Humanities. He has been involved in the work of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, coordinating efforts of the nation’s finest educators to develop standards in the fields of social studies, vocational education, early childhood education, and for teachers of students whose first language is not English.

Roger Lathbury

Roger Lathbury

AWP/GMU Liaison (2010-2014)
George Mason University

Roger Lathbury teaches at George Mason University. He is the publisher of Orchises Press.

Anna Leahy

Anna Leahy

Pacific West Representative (2013-2017)
Chapman University

Anna Leahy's book Constituents of Matter won the Wick Poetry Prize. Her poems and nonfiction appear in Crab Orchard Review, Cream City Review, The Pinch, The Southern Review, and other journals and anthologies. She edited Power and Identity in the Creative Writing Classroom and continues to publish on pedagogy and the profession. She teaches in the MFA and BFA programs at Chapman University, where she directs Tabula Poetica, including the national literary journal TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics. She blogs at Lofty Ambitions.

Christopher Perkowski

Chris Perkowski

Attorney (2011-2015)
Nixon Peabody LLP

Chris Perkowski is an attorney with the Washington, D.C., office of Nixon Peabody LLP, where he concentrates his practice on community development finance. Chris received an MFA from George Mason University in 2002 and was a founding editor of Red Morning Press.

David Rothman

David Rothman

West Representative (2013-2017)
Western State Colorado University

David J. Rothman directs the Poetry Concentration with an Emphasis on Versecraft in the MFA at Western State Colorado University. He also teaches at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop and that CU Boulder. He spent many years outside of higher education, first as co-founder of the Crested Butte Music Festival, then as the headmaster of an independent school, Crested Butte Academy. His most recent volumes of poetry are The Book of Catapults and Part of the Darkness. His sixth volume, Go Big, is forthcoming from Red Hen in 2015 and a book of essays about mountains and mountain towns, Living the Life, will appear in fall of 2013.