Meet the AWP Staff

Senior Staff

Supriya Bhatnagar

Supriya Bhatnagar

Director of Publications

Supriya Bhatnagar has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India, and a BA in nonfiction writing and editing and an MFA in creative nonfiction from George Mason University. Her short stories have appeared in Femina and 4Indianwoman.com. Her memoir, and then there were three..., was published in 2010 by Serving House Books. Essays from this book have appeared in Perigee and Artful Dodge. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee.

Sheila Black

Sheila Black

Director of Development

Sheila Black was the Executive Director of Gemini Ink, a literary arts center in San Antonio, Texas, prior to joining AWP. Before that, she served as Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at New Mexico State University Foundation. She is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Iron, Ardent (2017), and has co-edited two anthologies, Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability (2011) and The Right Way to Be Crippled and Naked: The Fiction of Disability (2017). In 2012, she received a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress. She holds a BA in French literature from Barnard College and an MFA in poetry from the University of Montana.

Juanita Lester

Juanita Lester

Director of Social Media

Juanita Lester received her MA in Publications Design from The University of Baltimore and completed her BA in Fashion Marketing. Previously, Juanita interned at WHERE, Philadelphia Magazine and Baltimore Magazine. Juanita has worked for a small tech company in Delaware, where she became the first Branding and Communications Manager. She now joins us from healthcare, where she was previously also the first Social Media Director. Juanita has deep rooted love for music and dancing, and she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. Juanita joins AWP as our first Director of Social Media. 

Kate McDevitt

Kate McDevitt

Director of Web Services and Systems Administrator

Kate McDevitt received her BS in computer science with minors in creative writing and mathematics from Virginia Tech. Also at Virginia Tech, she worked on her MS in computer science. Kate has designed and developed websites for many educational, governmental, and commercial organizations. She writes genre and young adult fiction and leads a local writers' roundtable group. In her free time she volunteers at local libraries, BookCrosses, and hunts historical markers. Kate joined AWP in 2006.

Cynthia Sherman

Cynthia Sherman

Director of Conferences

Cynthia Sherman joined AWP in 2012 as the Associate Director of Conferences & Bookfair Manager. With over twenty years of experience in meetings and exhibits management, Cynthia continues to brings her ability to listen, analyze, and lead—thoughtfully and enthusiastically—to the conference. In her free time, Cynthia loves to travel with her daughters and their pups, practice yoga, and design jewelry.

Staff

Colleen Cable

Colleen Cable

Conference Events Manager

Colleen Cable earned her MFA in creative writing at the University of Maryland, where she worked as an events planner for the admissions office. She also worked as a program coordinator for Gettysburg College’s Center for Public Service and as a volunteer for the Maryland Writer’s Association. She writes fiction.

Megan DeMatteo

Megan DeMatteo

Development Associate

Megan DeMatteo earned her MA in Creative Writing and Narrative Medicine from Lenoir-Rhyne University, Asheville. She has worked in educational and nonprofit settings across the country, focusing on curriculum design and language. Prior to becoming a teacher, Megan studied Spanish Language and Literature at the University of Tennessee. She has also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Southeastern Utah, where she supported the development efforts of a grassroots community resource center. Megan is a poet, a rock climber, and a traveler.

Bryan Head

Bryan Head

Publications Assistant

Bryan Head is currently a MFA candidate in poetry writing at the University of Maryland, College park. He is from Asheville, North Carolina. In addition to working for AWP, he is currently co-manager of HomeWord Youth Poetry, a nonprofit for young writers in western North Carolina, as well as the coach of the Asheville Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Team. Before attending UMD, he completed his B.A. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with degrees in media and journalism and in creative writing. His poems have appeared in Red Paint Hill, among other publications.

Jennifer January

Jennifer January

Social Media Intern

Jennifer January is currently a senior at the University of Maryland earning her BA in Sociology. She joins the AWP team in 2019 as a Social Media Intern. Previously, she worked as an undergraduate research assistant for the Group Processes Lab at UMD. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys going to the beach, hiking, and playing with dogs.

Aubrey Kamppila

Aubrey Kamppila

Conference Registration and Events Associate

Aubrey Kamppila earned her BA in English with a writing concentration and a studio art minor from Gettysburg College in 2018. Before joining AWP, she worked as an editorial intern for the Friedrich Agency, the Gettysburg Review, and the Studio Potter journal. In her free time, she paints, hikes, and writes poetry and creative nonfiction.

Christopher Kondrich

Christopher Kondrich

Associate Editor

Christopher Kondrich is the author of Contrapuntal (Free Verse Editions). He is the winner of The Iowa Review Award for Poetry and The Paris-American Reading Series Prize. His poetry appears or is forthcoming in Antioch ReviewBoston ReviewConjunctions, CrazyhorseGulf Coast, Poetry Northwest, Iowa ReviewKenyon Review, Massachusetts Review, Witness, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts and a PhD from the University of Denver where he was an editor for Denver Quarterly.

Kenny Lakes

Kenny Lakes

Membership Coordinator and Office Manager

Kenny Lakes holds a BA in History with a minor in Political Science from Susquehanna University. Prior to AWP, he worked as a membership associate at Global Alliance for Arts & Health. Kenny joined AWP in 2013 and has previously held the positions of Membership Assistant and Membership Associate. He works closely with AWP’s WC&C membership program and helps facilitate the matching of poetry mentors and mentees in the Writer to Writer Mentorship Program.

Bobbie Shay Lee

Bobbie Shay Lee

Bookfair Manager

Bobbie Shay Lee holds a MSW in Social Policy and Administration from Florida State University. She brings with her over twenty years of experience in nonprofit leadership, grassroots advocacy campaigns, government affairs, and event management. Additionally, Bobbie Shay is a former contributor to Huffington Post and Everyday Health, advocating and commenting on women’s health and the importance of transparency in cause-related marketing issues.

Chelsea McLin

Chelsea McLin

Conference Assistant

Chelsea McLin joined AWP as an intern in 2018. She holds a BA in English from the University of San Diego, where she also minored in creative writing and ethnic studies. Currently, she is working on her MA in English literature at the University of Maryland and as a graduate assistant at the university's Office of Undergraduate Admissions. In her free time, she manages her own blog and explores the DMV looking for good vegan restaurants.

Sarah Morris

Sarah Morris

Advertising Manager

Sarah Morris recently received her BA in Fiction Writing and Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. She has spent time working as an intern at Saturnalia Books in Ardmore, PA, and at The Center for African American Poetry and Poetics in Pittsburgh, PA. Outside of AWP, Sarah spends time working at a local winery, teaching dance classes, and writing poetry and short fiction. You can find her work in Soundings East, among other publications.

Kathy Ridenhour

Kathy Ridenhour

Membership Associate

Kathy Ridenhour has earned an MFA in Poetry from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and an MFA in Screenwriting from The American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles. In addition to raising two endearing, drama- and anime-mad children, she enjoys volunteering with NextStop Theatre, reading and writing fantasy, and going on a very occasional jaunt to the local karaoke joint.

Jennifer Strass

Jennifer Strass

Design Editor

Jennifer Strass earned her BA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and her MA in publication design from the University of Baltimore. She has over 25 years of experience designing for nonprofits, cultural organizations, and educational institutions. Her art background has influenced her career and she remains committed to creative endeavors, such as illustration, painting, and photography. In her spare time she enjoys sea kayaking, hiking, and landscape painting.

Ely Vance

Ely Vance

Membership Associate

Ely Vance graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a double degree in English and American Studies, with minors in Philosophy and Creative Writing. During his time at UMD, Ely was heavily involved in the creative writing community: he was a member of the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House, helped organize the TerPoets open-mic series, and served as a teaching assistant for workshops his senior year. He is looking forward to finding where his writing will take him.

Pam Winters

Pam Winters

Web Copy Editor

Pamela Murray Winters has a BA in English from the University of Maryland and an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her first book of poems, The Unbeckonable Bird (FutureCycle Press), was published in 2018. When she’s not copyediting for AWP, revising her next three poetry manuscripts, or going to readings (including the Evil Grin Poetry Series in Annapolis, which she helps organize), her interests include music, road trips, and fantasizing about cats.