Board of Trustees

AWP is governed by a board of trustees who represent the creative writing programs and individual members of AWP. Trustees serve four-year terms. The board includes the chairs of regional councils of creative writing programs.

Bonnie Culver

Bonnie Culver

Vice Chair
(2011-2019)
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.

Robin Reagler

Robin Reagler

Vice Chair
(2012-2020)
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 twenty 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.

Oliver de la Paz

Oliver de la Paz

Treasurer
(2011-2019)
College of the Holy Cross

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 the College of the Holy Cross.

Jerod Santek

Jerod Santek

Secretary
WC&C Council Chair (2008-2020)
Write On Door County

Jerod Santek is Executive Director of Write On, Door County, a nonprofit writing and retreat center founded in 2014 on Wisconsin’s northeastern peninsula. Previous to this position, he had been program director at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. He has published poetry and prose in a variety of journals.

Mike Astrue

Mike Astrue

(2016-2020)

Mike Astrue has served in senior roles in four Administrations, including Commissioner of Social Security, General Counsel of HHS, and Associate Counsel to the President. He has also been a chief executive officer and board member of many publicly traded biotechnology companies. Under the pen name A.M. Juster, he has published two books of original poetry and four books of translated poetry. His most recent books are Tibullus' Elegies (Oxford University Press 2012), Saint Aldhelm's Riddles (University of Toronto Press 2015), and Sleaze & Slander (Measure Press 2016).

Kris Bigalk

Kris Bigalk

Midwest Council Chair (2017-2021)
Normandale Community College

Kris Bigalk (pronounced BEE-yahk) is the author of the poetry collection Repeat the Flesh in Numbers; her work also appears in several anthologies. She has received two Minnesota State Arts Board Individual Artist in Poetry grants and a Minnesota State Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Teaching.  Bigalk serves as Director of Creative Writing at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota, where she founded the first AFA in Creative Writing program based on AWP Recommendations on the Teaching of Creative Writing to Undergraduates and AWP Hallmarks of an Effective Program in Creative Writing at a Two-Year College.

Rigoberto González

Rigoberto González

(2016-2020)
Rutgers University

Rigoberto González is the author four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and ten books of prose, including Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. The recipient of Guggenheim, NEA, and USA Rolón fellowships, a NYFA grant in poetry, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Center Book Award, and the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, he is a contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and a professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. In 2015, he received The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. As of 2016, he serves as critic-at-large with the LA Times.

Roger Lathbury

Roger Lathbury

Host-University Liaison (2010-2018)
George Mason University

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

January Gill O’Neil

January Gill O’Neil

Northeast Council Chair (2015-2019)
Salem State University

January Gill O’Neil is the author of two poetry collections, Misery Islands and Underlife. Misery Islands was selected for a 2015 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence. It was also selected by Mass Center for the Book as a Must-Read Book for 2015, and it won the 2015 Massachusetts Book Award. She is the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, an assistant professor of English at Salem State University, and a Cave Canem Fellow. With Ben Berman, she co-edits poetry for Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices.

Elise Paschen

Elise Paschen

(2014-2018)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Elise Paschen is the author of, most recently, The Nightlife, as well as BestiaryInfidelities, winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, and Houses: Coasts. Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies, including The POETRY Anthology, 1912-2002 and Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas, and in magazines such as The New Yorker and Poetry MagazineShe has edited many anthologies, including Poetry Speaks. Former Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America, she is the co-founder of Poetry in Motion. Dr. Paschen teaches in the MFA Writing Program at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Susan Jackson Rodgers

Susan Jackson Rodgers

Western Council Chair (2017-2021)
Oregon State University

Susan Jackson Rodgers is the author of the novel This Must Be the Place and two story collections:  The Trouble With You Is and Ex-Boyfriend on Aisle 6.  Her fiction has appeared in journals such as New England Review, North American Review, Glimmer Train, Beloit Fiction Journal, Midwestern Gothic, Colorado Review, Quick Fiction, and Prairie Schooner. She earned her MFA from Bennington College, and is the past recipient of two Kansas Arts Commission Fellowships and two Pushcart Prize Special Mentions. Susan teaches creative writing and literature at Oregon State University, where she also directs the MFA program. She and her husband have three children and live in Corvallis, Oregon.

Ryan Stone

Ryan Stone

Southwest Council Chair (2017-2021)
Paradise Valley Community College

Ryan Stone is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, AZ. His short story collection, Best Road Yet, was published by Press 53 (2010). His stories have appeared widely in journals including The South Carolina Review, Wisconsin Review, Karamu, RE:AL, and others. T Director for Young Authors of Arizona, the statewide affiliate for the Scholastic Writing Awards, he is a former Vice President and President for the Two-Year College Creative Writing Caucus.

Ira Sukrungruang

Ira Sukrungruang

Southern Council Chair (2014-2018)
University of South Florida

Ira Sukrungruang is the author of the memoir Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy, Southside Buddhist, and the poetry collection In Thailand It Is Night. He is the coeditor of two anthologies on the topic of obesity: What Are You LookingAt? The First Fat Fiction Anthology and Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology. He is the recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature, an Arts and Letters Fellowship, and the Emerging Writer Fellowship. His work has appeared in many literary journals, including Post Road, the Sun, andCreative Nonfiction. He is one of the founding editors of Sweet: A Literary Confection (sweetlit.com), and teaches in the MFA program at the University of South Florida and the low-residency MFA program at City University in Hong Kong. For more information about him, please visit: www.sukrungruang.com.

Lesley Wheeler

Lesley Wheeler

Mid-Atlantic Council Chair (2015-2018)
Washington and Lee University

Lesley Wheeler’s poetry collections include Radioland; The Receptionist and Other Tales, a James Tiptree, Jr. Award Honor Book; Heterotopia, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize; and Heathen. She is also author of two books of criticism, most recently Voicing American Poetry. She blogs about poetry at http://lesleywheeler.org/. Wheeler is the Henry S. Fox Professor of English at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.