Presenter of the National Book Awards

National Book Foundation's BookUp Faculty

CURRENT BOOKUP FACULTY

CURRENT BOOKUP FACULTY

Ashley C. Ford lives in Brooklyn by way of Indianapolis, Indiana. She is a writer, editor, and speaker. She is currently writing a memoir (among other things), and co-editing the anthology Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture with Roxane Gay. Ford's work has appeared in The Guardian, Elle, BuzzFeed,Talking Points Memo (The Slice), The Butter, TueNight, and various other web and print publications. She's spoken at SXSW, Earlham College, and Girls Write Now, and a host of other venues.

 

Mitchell Jackon Mitchell S. Jackson is a Portland, Oregon native who lives in Brooklyn, New York.  He received an M.A. in writing from Portland State University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from New York University.  He has been the recipient of fellowships from Urban Artist Initiative and The Center For Fiction and is the former winner of the Hurston Wright Foundation’s award for college writers. Jackson teaches writing at New York University. He published the e-book Oversoul: Stories and Essays in the summer of 2012.  His novel The Residue Years was released in the summer of 2013 and was praised by publications such as The New York Times, The Times of London, and O, the Oprah Magazine. The novel was a finalist for the Center For Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First novel prize, the PEN/ Hemingway award for first fiction, The Hurston / Wright Legacy Award for best fiction by a writer of African descent; it was long-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize for writing and the Chautauqua Prize. As well, it was named an “Honor Book” by the BCALA.
Find him here: www.mitchellsjackson.com. On Twitter: @MitchSJackson
Site: CAMBA at I.S. 240 Brooklyn, NY

 

Tim Manley Tim Manley is the writer and illustrator of Alice in Tumblr-land: And Other Fairy Tales for a New Generation, out now from Penguin. He was a raconteur on the Unchained Tour, and his stories have been featured on the Moth Radio Hour and Podcast. He is also a mentor with PEN American's Prison Writing Program, a former high school English teacher, and a wedding officiant.
Site: Cross Island YMCA at PS 134Q Hollis, Queens

 

Urayoán Noel is a poet, performer, scholar, translator, and assistant professor of English and Spanish at NYU. He is the author of the critical study In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam(University of Iowa Press, 2014), winner of the Latina/o Studies Book Prize from the Latin American Studies Association, and several books of poetry in English and Spanish, the most recent of which are Hi-Density Politics (2010), Los días porosos (2012; second edition 2014), and EnUncIAdOr (2014). His forthcoming books include the poetry collection Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico (University of Arizona Press) and a bilingual edition of the poetry of Pablo de Rokha (Shearsman Books). He has also produced poetry in a range of alternative formats, including the CD and DVD, the artist book, the digital archive, and the multimedia installation. A contributing editor of NACLA Report on the Americas, Noel has been a fellow of the Ford Foundation and CantoMundo, and his creative and critical writings have appeared in Bomb,Contemporary Literature, Fence, Lana Turner, Latino Studies, Small Axe, and in numerous anthologies. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Urayoán Noel earned his B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, his M.A. from Stanford, and his Ph.D. from NYU. He lives in the Bronx.

 

Lissette Norman Lissette Norman is the author of the children’s book, My Feet are Laughing (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006). Her work appears in anthologies: Moving Beyond Boundaries, Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam, and Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art. She has also been published in Mosaic Literary Magazine, African Voices, Dialogue, Long Shot and Drum Voices Revue. Lissette won the Lee & Low Books’ “2003 New Voices Honor Award, the “2007 Original Work” grant from the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island, the “2007 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People” (Special Recognition) from The Poetry Center (PCCC), the “Americas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature” (Commended Title), and the Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year. Lissette received her B.A. in English at SUNY-Binghamton and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Sites: I.S. 318 Brooklyn, NY
CPC-Pike Street SADCC at PS2, Lower East Side, Manhattan

 

Daniel Jose Older Daniel José Older is the author of the upcoming Young Adult novel Shadowshaper (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015) and the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, which begins in January 2015 with Half Resurrection Blues from Penguin’s Roc imprint. Publishers Weekly hailed him as a “rising star of the genre” after the publication of his debut ghost noir collection, Salsa Nocturna. He co-edited the anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History and guest edited the music issue of Crossed Genres. His short stories and essays have appeared in Tor.com, Salon, BuzzFeed, the New Haven Review, PANK, Apex and Strange Horizons and the anthologies Subversion and Mothership: Tales Of Afrofuturism And Beyond. Daniel’s band Ghost Star gigs regularly around New York and he facilitates workshops on storytelling from an anti-oppressive power analysis. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic and hear his music at ghoststar.net/ and @djolder on twitter.
Site: YMCA Dodge@PS 261, Brooklyn

 

Charlie Vázquez is a Bronx native and the Director of the Bronx Writers Center. He is a published author and freelance editor, as well as the CCO of the e-book press Editorial Trance. Charlie serves as the event coordinator for Puerto Rico's Festival de la Palabra in New York, and is writing his third novel, a suspense thriller set in Puerto Rico.
Site: Aspira of NY at PS 31 Bronx

 

Ibi Zoboi holds an MFA in Writng for Children & Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she researched the role of middle grade and YA fantasy and science fiction in the lives of marginalized girls, and was the winner of the Norma Fox Mazer Scholarship for Young Adult literature. Her writing has appeared in the Caribbean Writer, Haiti Noir edited by Edwidge Danticat, and the New York Times Book Review, among others. She's been a recipient of Brooklyn Arts Council grants in literature and writing for her literacy programs for underserved girls. She's currently working on young adult and middle grade novels. 

 

 

Zetta Elliott Born in Canada, Zetta Elliott earned her PhD in American Studies at NYU. Her poetry has been published in several anthologies, and her plays have been staged in New York and Chicago. Her essays have appeared in Horn Book Magazine, School Library Journal, and The Huffington Post. Her picture book, Bird, won the Honor Award in Lee & Low Books’ New Voices Contest and the Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers. Elliott’s young adult novel, A Wish After Midnight, has been called “a revelation…vivid, violent and impressive history.” Ship of Souls was published in February 2012; it was one of Booklist’s Top Ten Sci-fi/Fantasy Titles for Youth and was a finalist for the Phillis Wheatley Book Award. Her third novel, The Deep, was published in November 2013 and she recently published four illustrated chapter books under her own imprint, Rosetta Press.
Site: GoodwillNY Book Club at OST 145 Jackson Heights, Queens

Mitchell Jackon Mitchell Jackson received an M.A. in writing from Portland State University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from New York University. He has been the recipient of fellowships from The Lannan Foundation, The Center For Fiction, and the Urban Artist Initiative and teaches writing at New York University. Jackson’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in publications including the New York Times, Salon, and Tin House. His debut novel The Residue Years was a finalist for the Center For Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First novel prize, the PEN/ Hemingway award for first fiction, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and as well named an Honor Book by the BCALA. Find him here: www.mitchellsjackson.com. On Twitter: @MitchSJackson
Site: CAMBA at I.S. 240 Brooklyn, NY

Tim Manley Tim Manley is the writer and illustrator of Alice in Tumblr-land: And Other Fairy Tales for a New Generation, out now from Penguin. He was a raconteur on the Unchained Tour, and his stories have been featured on the Moth Radio Hour and Podcast. He is also a mentor with PEN American's Prison Writing Program, a former high school English teacher, and a wedding officiant.
Site: Cross Island YMCA at PS 134Q Hollis, Queens





Lissette Norman Lissette Norman is the author of the children’s book, My Feet are Laughing (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006). Her work appears in anthologies: Moving Beyond Boundaries, Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam, and Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art. She has also been published in Mosaic Literary Magazine, African Voices, Dialogue, Long Shot and Drum Voices Revue. Lissette won the Lee & Low Books’ “2003 New Voices Honor Award, the “2007 Original Work” grant from the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island, the “2007 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People” (Special Recognition) from The Poetry Center (PCCC), the “Americas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature” (Commended Title), and the Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year. Lissette received her B.A. in English at SUNY-Binghamton and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Sites: I.S. 318 Brooklyn, NY
CPC-Pike Street SADCC at PS2, Lower East Side, Manhattan

Daniel Jose Older Daniel José Older is the author of the upcoming Young Adult novel Shadowshaper (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015) and the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, which begins in January 2015 with Half Resurrection Blues from Penguin’s Roc imprint. Publishers Weekly hailed him as a “rising star of the genre” after the publication of his debut ghost noir collection, Salsa Nocturna. He co-edited the anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History and guest edited the music issue of Crossed Genres. His short stories and essays have appeared in Tor.com, Salon, BuzzFeed, the New Haven Review, PANK, Apex and Strange Horizons and the anthologies Subversion and Mothership: Tales Of Afrofuturism And Beyond. Daniel’s band Ghost Star gigs regularly around New York and he facilitates workshops on storytelling from an anti-oppressive power analysis. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic and hear his music at ghoststar.net/ and @djolder on twitter.
Site: YMCA Dodge@PS 261, Brooklyn

Sofia Quintero Sofía Quintero is the author of several novels and short stories that cross genres. Born into a working-class Puerto Rican-Dominican family in the Bronx, the self-proclaimed “Ivy League homegirl” earned a BA in history-sociology from Columbia University in 1990 and her MPA from the university's School of International and Public Affairs in 1992. After years of working on a range of policy issues from multicultural education to HIV/AIDS, she decided to pursue career that married arts and activism. Under the pen name Black Artemis, she wrote the hip hop novels Explicit Content, Picture Me Rollin’ and Burn. Sofía is also the author of the novel Divas Don’t Yield and contributed novellas to the “chica lit” anthologies Friday Night Chicas and Names I Call My Sister. As an activist, she co-founded Chica Luna Productions (chicaluna.com), a nonprofit organization that seeks to identify, develop and support women of color who wish to create socially conscious entertainment. She is also a founding creative partner of Sister Outsider Entertainment, a multimedia production company that produces quality entertainment for urban audiences. Sofía is the author of the young adult novel Efrain’s Secret published by Knopf in 2009.  
Sites: Kingsbridge Heights Community Center Bronx, NY
Beacon/ESD/21st Century, Bronx, NY

Amanda Nowlin_O'Banion Amanda Nowlin-Obanion's stories and essays have appeared in Callaloo, Gulf Coast, Vandal, WhiskeyPaper, The Dallas Morning News and the anthology Literary Cash. In December 2012, the Liars’ League NYC published and featured her story, “Boxing Day,” which was performed by Broadway's Maggie Lacy. She is the recipient of a Barbara Deming award and the TEX Emerging Writer Award judged by Joyce Carol Oates. Amanda earned an MFA from New York University and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. She lives in Huntsville, Texas near the state prison and teaches creative writing at Sam Houston State University. Amanda is currently completing her first novel.
Site: Boys and Girls Club of Walker County Huntsville, TX


Eisa Nefertari Ulen Eisa Nefertari Ulen
is the author of Crystelle Mourning, a novel described by The Washington Post as “a call for healing in the African American community from generations of hurt and neglect.” She is the recipient of a Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center Fellowship for Young African American Fiction Writers, and a Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship. Eisa was nominated by Essence magazine for a National Association of Black Journalists Award for her tribute to photographer Mfon Essien, and she won a National Association of Black Journalists Award for her contribution to the Heart & Soul magazine feature, “State of Our Girls.” She has contributed to numerous other publications, including The Washington Post, Ms., Health, Vibe, The Source, The Crisis, Black Issues Book Review, Quarterly Black Review of Books, TheRoot.com, TheDefendersOnline.com, TheGrio.com, and CreativeNonfiction.org. Her essays on African American culture have been widely anthologized and explore topics ranging from Hip Hop, to Muslim life in America post-9/11, to contemporary Black literature, to the gap between the Civil Rights generation and Generation X. Eisa graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and earned a master’s degree from Columbia University. She has taught at Hunter College and The Pratt Institute. A founding member of Ringshout: A Place for Black Literature, she lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn.
Sites: University Settlement at the Houston Street Center New York, NY
Friends of Crown Heights PS 189, Brooklyn


Charlie Vázquez Charlie Vázquez
is a Bronx native and the Director of the Bronx Writers Center. He is a published author and freelance editor, as well as the CCO of the e-book press Editorial Trance. Charlie serves as the event coordinator for Puerto Rico's Festival de la Palabra in New York, and is writing his third novel, a suspense thriller set in Puerto Rico.
Site: Aspira of NY at PS 31 Bronx



FORMER BOOKUP FACULTY

Angie Cruz Angie Cruz is one of the founders, along with Leslie Shipman and Emily Raboteau, of the National Book Foundation’s after-school program, BookUp, She holds a BA in English and MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. She is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, and the author of two novels, Soledad (Simon & Schuster 2001), which she has adapted into a screenplay, and Let It Rain Coffee (S & S 2005), which was also a finalist in 2007 for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She has published short fiction and essays in magazines and journals, including Callaloo, a journal of African Diaspora, The New York Times, Kweli, Phatitude, and South Central Review. She has been teaching creative writing for over 15 years in academic and nontraditional settings such as Texas A&M University, NYU, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and to middle schoolers for the National Book Foundation’s Bookup in Texas where she also serves on the advisory board. She has received numerous grants for her teaching and writing, including the Barbara Deming Award, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, Camargo Fellowship, Van Lier Literary Fellowship, and NALAC Fund for the Arts Fellowship. She has also been awarded residencies: Yaddo, The Macdowell Colony, Fundacion Valparaiso, La Napoule Foundation and The Millay Colony. She is the editor of Aster(ix), a literary/arts journal. Currently she is finishing her third novel, In Search of Caridad.
Site: Boys and Girls Club of Brazos Valley, TX


Cailyn Dougherty Cailyn Dougherty
is a student writer and BookUp volunteer majoring in English at Sam Houston State University. Her love for literature has inspired her to pursue teaching high school where she says she plans to show students that literature is much more than just words on a page. Both her high school and college literary magazines, The Oracle and Sam Houston State Review, have featured her poetry.
Site: Boys and Girls Club of Brazos Valley, TX





Marcos Del Hierro Marcos Del Hierro
is a PhD student at Texas A&M University studying Cultural Rhetorics and Writing. His work primarily looks at how hiphop methods and tactics can produce positive community change. He currently teaches freshman writing classes at Texas A&M, and he has worked for the Upward Bound program, which works with at-risk high school students to help them prepare for college.
Site: Boys and Girls Club of Brazos Valley, TX





Elisha Miranda Elisha Miranda
is a Puerto Rican filmmaker, novelist and educator from the Mission District of San Francisco, California but has resided in New York since 1998. Elisha earned her MFA from Columbia University in Screenwriting and Directing, her MCP from MIT and her BA in Ethnic Studies and English from the University of California at Berkeley. Under her pen name, E-Fierce she wrote her debut young adult novel, The Sistahood: On the Mic, about a multi-racial, all female hip-hop crew, published by Simon & Schuster. She is also a contributing author to the anthologies Juicy Mangos, Other Rican and The Fire This Time.  She’s was a Co-Founder of Chica Luna Productions, an east Harlem non-profit that seeks to identify, develop and support women of color who wish to create socially conscious entertainment.  Currently, she is in development with her a television show she co-created called Sangria Street – The Latina Sex in the City you’ve been waiting for coming soon to a TV network near you and a teen super hero web series called The Go Girl Chronicles. Elisha also teaches college creative writing, screenwriting and directing while she works on her next young adult novel and feature film project. To learn more about Elisha and her work, visit www.elishamiranda.com.
Sites: The Children’s Aid Society SUHCCS Community School New York, NY
HANAC Astoria Cornerstone, Astoria, Queens,
Good Shepherd Services PS 246 Summer Camp, Bronx, NY

John Murillo John Murillo’s first poetry collection, Up Jump the Boogie, was a finalist for both the 2011 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Open Book Award. His other honors include a 2011 Pushcart Prize, two Larry Neal Writers’ Awards, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cave Canem Foundation, The New York Times, the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Currently, he serves on the creative writing faculty at New York University and Hampshire College.
Site: CAMBA Brooklyn, NY



Willie Perdomo Willie Perdomo
is the author of The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon (Penguin Poets, 2014), Smoking Lovely (Rattapallax, 2003), winner of the PEN Beyond Margins Award, and Where a Nickel Costs a Dime (W.W. Norton, 1996), a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, BOMB, Mandorla, and African Voices. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a former recipient of the Woolrich Fellowship in Creative Writing at Columbia University, and a two-time New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellow. He is founder/publisher of Cypher Books, a VONA/Voices faculty member, and is currently an Instructor in English at Phillips Exeter Academy.
Site: CAMBA Brooklyn, NY
Photo credit: Gabriela Ramirez

Emily Raboteau Emily Raboteau is the author of a novel, The Professor’s Daughter (Henry Holt) and a work of creative nonfiction, Searching for Zion (Grove), named a best book of 2013 by The Huffington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle, a current finalist for the Hurston Wright Legacy Award, grand prize winner of the New York Book Festival, and winner of a 2014 American Book Award. Her fiction and essays have been widely published and anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Best American Non-required Reading, The New York Times, Tin House, The Guardian, Guernica, VQR, The Believer and elsewhere. Honors include a Pushcart Prize, The Chicago Tribune’s Nelosn Algren Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the MacDowell Colony. An avid world traveler, Raboteau resides in New York City and teaches creative writing in Harlem at City College, once known as “the poor man’s Harvard.”
Site: Union Settlement in East Harlem
Photo credit: Thomas Sayers Ellis

Nelly RosarioNelly Rosario is the author of Song of the Water Saints: A Novel, winner of a 2002 PEN/Open Book Award. She earned an Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from MIT. Honors include the Sherwood Anderson Award in Fiction, NALAC Artist Grants, National Arts Club Writing Fellowships, and a Hurston/Wright Award in Fiction. Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry appear in various anthologies and publications, including Callaloo, Review, Meridians, The New York Times, and el diario/La Prensa, where her bi-weekly column has run since 2008. Rosario was an assistant professor in the MFA Program at Texas State University- San Marcos and currently teaches at MIT.
Site: MHVP in Mott Haven, Bronx