Charlotte Lit is proud to be home to some of the area’s best writers and teachers. You can read all about them here. Elsewhere on the site, you can browse a list of classes, and sign up for a new money-saving pre-paid credits.
Kathie Collins Charlotte Lit Co-Founder, Co-Executive Director
Poet & Mythologist
Kathie Collins, Ph.D., co-founder of Charlotte Center for Literary Arts, earned her graduate degree in Mythological Studies with an emphasis in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she is currently an adjunct professor. A poet and lifelong student of Jungian psychology, Kathie thrives in the in-between space from which dreams and creativity emerge. She’s happiest when she can share that space with others and one of her great passions is bringing words and people together for transformative conversations. Kathie’s poetry has appeared in Immanence, Kakalak, BibleWorkbench, and Between. Her chapbook Jubilee was published by Main Street Rag in 2011.
Paul Reali Charlotte Lit Co-Founder, Co-Executive Director
Writer, Editor, Coach, Instructor
Paul Reali, co-founder of Charlotte Lit, is the co-author of Creativity Rising: Creative Thinking and Creative Problem Solving in the 21st Century. In addition, his work has been published in Winston-Salem Journal, InSpine, Office Solutions, Lawyers Weekly, and others. His fiction has been awarded first place in the Elizabeth Simpson Smith and Ruth Moose Flash Fiction competitions, and he received a Regional Artist Project Grant from Charlotte’s Arts & Science Council in 2018. Paul has an M.S. in Creativity from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State, where he also is an adjunct instructor and the managing editor of ICSC Press. Paul has been a trainer and facilitator for more than 25 years, in the areas of creativity, innovation, and business and writing skills.
Lisa Zerkle’s poems have appeared in The Collagist, Comstock Review, Southern Poetry Anthology, Broad River Review, Tar River Poetry, Nimrod, Sixfold, poemmemoirstory, Crucible, and Main Street Rag, among others. Author of the chapbook, Heart of the Light, she has served as President of the North Carolina Poetry Society, community columnist for The Charlotte Observer, and editor of Kakalak. She is the curator of 4X4CLT, a public art and poetry series of the Charlotte Center for Literary Arts.
Charlotte Lit Faculty
Tony Abbott is the winner of the NC Award in Literature for 2015. He is the author of seven books of poems, two novels, and four books of literary criticism. He is the Charles A. Dana Professor of English Emeritus at Davidson College, where he has taught since 1964. He and his wife Susan live in Davidson. They have three sons and seven grandchildren.
Catherine Anderson, author of The Creative Photographer, knows the power of images to speak to us on a deep level. She has expanded this knowledge in her work as a SoulCollage Facilitator where imagery, imagination and intuition are used together to access our inner wisdom. Catherine teaches creativity, photography and book-making workshops in her studio in Charlotte, and at Ghost Ranch and John C. Campbell Folk School. She has published four books of collage imagery as well as Journaling the Labyrinth Path.
Bryn Chancellor’s first novel Sycamore (Harper, 2017) has been hailed as a “hypnotic debut” (O: The Oprah Magazine) and “a transporting vision of community, connection and forgiveness” (Publishers Weekly). Her story collection When Are You Coming Home? won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and her fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals. Honors include the Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. A graduate of Vanderbilt University’s MFA program, she is an assistant professor at UNC Charlotte.
Morri Creech is the author of four collections of poetry, the most recent of which, Blue Rooms, will be released in October 2018. His third collection, The Sleep of Reason (Waywiser, 2013), was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize. A recipient of NEA and Ruth Lilly Fellowships, as well as grants from the North Carolina and Louisiana Arts councils, he is the Writer in Residence at Queens University of Charlotte.
Sarah Creech is the author of two novels, Season of the Dragonflies (William Morrow, 2014) and The Whole Way Home (William Morrow, 2017). Her short fiction and essays have appeared in The Cortland Review, WritersDigest.com, StorySouth, Literary Mama, and others. She lives in Charlotte with her husband and children and teaches at Queens University of Charlotte.
Tracy Curtis is an award-winning author, speaker and former syndicated humor columnist for The McClatchy Company, nationwide. She wrote over 500 columns for the Charlotte Observer, and published her Humor Me trilogy of gift books, collections of her columns from the last decade about the imperfection of motherhood. A former CNN producer, Tracy enjoyed a fifteen-year career in radio, television and film. She lives in Charlotte with her husband, two sons and three step-children, and is currently working on her first novel entitled Wit Happens. And when she’s not writing? She’s unloading the dishwasher!
Steve Cushman earned his MA from Hollins University and MFA from UNC-Greensboro. He has published four works of fiction, including the 2004 Novello Literary Award winning novel, Portisville, and most recently the novel, Hopscotch. His first full-length poetry collection, How Birds Fly, is the winner of the 2018 Lena Shull Book Award. Cushman lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with his family.
Axel Dahlberg has been a professional ghostwriter for nearly 20 years. He has helped countless individuals and some of the largest organizations in the nation conceptualize, structure, write, edit, and format their texts; working in subjects, genres, and industries he hadn’t dreamed about. Axel holds an MFA degree in creative writing from Arizona State University (where he taught writing) and a BA in English from the U of MN. He is the author of the acclaimed non-fiction book, Forever Hellos, Hard Goodbyes, endorsed by Make-A-Wish, the National Institutes of Health, the Society of Pediatric Nurses.
Julie Funderburk is author of the poetry collection The Door That Always Opens from LSU Press and a limited-edition chapbook from Unicorn Press. She is the recipient of fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her work appears in Best New Poets, Cave Wall, The Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Ploughshares. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Queens University in Charlotte, where she directs The Arts at Queens.
Judy Goldman is the author of six books: two memoirs, Together: A Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap (which will be published by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday on February 12, 2019) and Losing My Sister; two novels, Early Leaving and The Slow Way Back; and two books of poetry, Wanting To Know the End and Holding Back Winter. Losing My Sister was a finalist for both Southeast Booksellers Alliance’s Memoir of the Year and ForeWord Review’s Memoir of the Year. Her work has appeared in The Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Gettysburg Review, Ohio Review, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Crazyhorse, and Real Simple magazine; her book reviews in The Washington Post and The Charlotte Observer; her commentaries on public radio in Chapel Hill and Charlotte.
Patrice Gopo is a 2017-2018 North Carolina Arts Council Literature Fellow. Her essays have appeared in a variety of literary journals and other publications, including Gulf Coast, Full Grown People, Creative Nonfiction, and online in The New York Times and The Washington Post. She is the author of All the Colors We Will See: Reflections on Barriers, Brokenness, and Finding Our Way, an essay collection about race, immigration, and belonging. She lives with her family in Charlotte.
Maureen Ryan Griffin has taught the art and craft of writing for more than 20 years through a variety of venues, including Queens University, Central Piedmont Community College; the John Campbell Folk School, and the Chautauqua Institution. An award-winning poetry and nonfiction writer, Maureen’s work has appeared in Calyx, Chelsea, Cincinnati Poetry Review, The Texas Review, and others. She is the author of Spinning Words into Gold: A Hands-On Guide to the Craft of Writing, a grief workbook entitled I Will Never Forget You, and three poetry books. She offers individual coaching and critique, as well as retreats, workshops, and classes, through her business, WordPlay.
Cathy Hasty has worked as an RN-BSN, ordained minister, board certified hospital chaplain, clinical chaplain educator, psychotherapist, writer and artist. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and Diplomate for AAPC. She has specialized training in working with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, spiritual suffering and grief. At the core of her work has been the curiosity to explore the mystery of human spirit from many directions. She brings this passion to bear on her facilitation of workshops. She is married with two adult daughters. www.hastydesigns.com and https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Cathy_Hasty
Jodi Helmer. Journalist. Author. Writing teacher. Doggie momma. Beekeeper. Veggie grower. Vintage needlework collector. Napper. Eater. Canadian. Jodi has many roles and has built a freelance career by writing about them—and a host of other things that pique her curiosity. Her work has appeared in Entrepreneur, Hemispheres, National Geographic Traveler, CNNMoney, AARP, Farm Life, Health, and others. She is the author of four books, including The Green Year and Farm Fresh Georgia. Jodi teaches writing workshops, offers one-on-one consulting and query critiques, and speaks at journalism conferences to help other writers achieve their goals.
Irene Blair Honeycutt’s fourth poetry book, Beneath the Bamboo Sky (Main Street Rag, 2017), sub-titled Poems and Pieces on Loss and Consolation, “is my attempt to honor life by giving voice to sorrow and joy. Much of the book is about the loss of siblings—a grief not often recognized in our culture.” Irene founded CPCC’s annual literary festival, now called Sensoria. Upon her retirement, the college established a Distinguished Lectureship in her name. Her work has been published in Nimrod, Southern Poetry Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology: VII, and Virginia Quarterly Review, and others. She lives in Indian Trail, and continues to teach and mentor poets.
Karon Luddy was born in Lancaster, SC, the fourth of six children of hardworking, salt of the earth parents, and moved to Charlotte in 1976. During a midlife renaissance, Karon resigned from Apple Computer to pursue her lifelong passion—literature. In 2005, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing in Fiction from Queens University, yet poetry has been a constant in her creative life. 2007 saw the publication of her first book of poetry, Wolf Heart (Clemson University Press) and her first novel, Spelldown (Simon & Schuster). Karon is currently working on a poetry collection, Circling God.
Maurice Manning is the author of six collections of poetry. His first book, Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions, was selected by W.S. Merwin for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. His fourth book, The Common Man, was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize. A former Guggenheim fellow, Manning teaches at Transylvania University and for the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. He lives with his family on a small farm in Kentucky. His next book, Railsplitter, will be published in 2019.
Paula Martinac is the author of four novels, including The Ada Decades, a finalist for the 2018 Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction, and the Lambda Literary Award-winning Out of Time.A new novel, Clio Rising, will be published by Bywater Books in May 2019. Her short stories have appeared in Raleigh Review, Main Street Rag, Minerva Rising, and others; and shehas also published three nonfiction books and numerous essays, most recently in Hippocampus. Also a playwright, her plays have been produced in Pittsburgh, New York, and Washington, D.C. She teaches creative writing at UNC Charlotte and is a writing coach with Charlotte Lit.
Kevin McIlvoy lives near the banks of the Swannannoa River. Though he grew up in the American Bottomlands, the woods and rivers of Western North Carolina are his true home. For decades he has served as faculty in the Creative Writing MFA Program at Warren Wilson College. His novel, At the Gate of All Wonder (Tupelo Press, 2018), is set in a part of the North Carolina Pisgah forest designated as “the Cradle of American Forestry.” His other published works include novels, a story collection, and a book of prose poems and short fictions, 57 Octaves Below Middle C.
Cecily Parks is author of the poetry collections Field Folly Snow (University of Georgia, 2008) and O’Nights (Alice James, 2015). She also edited the anthology The Echoing Green: Poems of Fields, Meadows, and Grasses (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets, 2016). Her poems appear in The New Republic, The New Yorker, Tin House, and elsewhere.The recipient of a Pushcart Prize, she teaches in the MFA Program at Texas State University.
Jessica Peterson writes smokin’ hot romance set in her favorite cities around the world. She grew up on a steady diet of Edward Cullen and Jamie Frasier, and it wasn’t long before she started writing swoon-worthy heroes of her own. She is the author of The Study Abroad and The Flings with Kings series, both available exclusively on Amazon. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband Ben and her smelly Goldendoodle, Martha Bean. Check out her books at www.jessicapeterson.com.
Cathy Pickens’ first mystery, Southern Fried, won the coveted St. Martin’s Press Malice Domestic Award for Best Traditional Mystery. She’s written five books in the series, as well as Charleston Mysteries (History Press), an essay on historic crime cases in 27 Views of Charlotte, a regular column for Mystery Readers Journal, and articles on writing craft and on business. She served as national president of Sisters in Crime and on the national board for Mystery Writers of America. As a long-time professor in the McColl School of Business at Queens, she won numerous teaching awards.
Diana Pinckney is a popular writing teacher, an award-winning poet, and author of Fishing with Tall Women (Persephone Press Book Award, 1996), Green Daughters (Lorimer Press, 2011), Alchemy (Main Street Rag, 2013), and The Beast and the Innocent (Main Street Rag, 2015). Her poems have been published in prestigious journals and anthologies throughout the country. Her awards include prizes from Atlanta Review, Broad River Review, EKPHRASIS, Persimmon Tree, and the East Coast States Poetry Competition. Diana is the recipient of the 2013 Irene Blair Honeycutt Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts at CPCC’s Sensoria Festival.
Jaime Pollard-Smith is a full-time writing instructor at Central Piedmont Community College with a Master of Arts from New York University. She and her husband are owners and coaches of CrossFit Jane in Charlotte. She is a regular contributor for Scary Mommy and Project We Forgot. Read her thoughts at unbecoming.co.
David E. Poston taught in public schools, at UNC Charlotte, and at Charlotte’s Young Writers’ Workshop. Now retired, he volunteers extensively, edits a poetry column for the Friends of the Gaston County Public Library newsletter, and teaches occasional writing workshops for Hospice and other venues. His poetry collections are My Father Reading Greek, Postmodern Bourgeois Poetaster Blues, and Slow of Study, and his work has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. His interest in Frankenstein and Paradise Lost goes back to his graduate school days at UNCC, and his article on teaching the texts concurrently appeared in English Journal.
Dannye Romine Powell is author of four poetry collections, two of which have won the Brockman-Campbell Award for the best book of poetry published by a North Carolinian in the prior year. She’s won fellowships in poetry from the NEA and the North Carolina Arts Council and has won a residency to the writer’s colony Yaddo, where she slept one icy winter in the bedroom once occupied by Sylvia Plath. She has worked for many years at the Charlotte Observer, where she writes about books and authors.
Rick Pryll is the author of The Chimera of Prague (Foolishness Press, 2017), which won the Romance category at the 2018 New York Book Festival, a collection of short stories, Wallow (Foolishness Press, 1999), a poetry chapbook, Displaced (Foolishness Press, 1998) and a hyperfiction short story, “Lies,” that has been translated into Chinese and Spanish. A graduate of MIT, he wrote a novella to satisfy the thesis requirement for his degree in Mechanical Engineering. Rick and his wife, ArtPop Charlotte 2018 artist Holly Spruck, live in Charlotte. They have two children and two cats and a dog.
David Radavich’s poetry collections have often revolved around political themes: America Bound: An Epic for Our Time (2007), Middle-East Mezze (2011), and The Countries We Live In (2014). His plays have been performed across the U.S., including six Off-Off-Broadway, and in Europe. A cycle of plays called On the Verge focuses on various aspects of violence in our time. He has published numerous informal and scholarly essays and performed in a variety of countries, including Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, and Iceland. David has served as president of the Thomas Wolfe Society, Charlotte Writers’ Club, and North Carolina Poetry Society.
Amy Rogers is contributing editor for NPR station WFAE’s food blog, “WFAEats: All Things Food and Culture.” Her books include Hungry for Home: Stories of Food from Across the Carolinas. She has been a contributor to Cornbread Nation I: The Best of Southern Food Writing, The Food Network, and many other publications. Raised in Michigan, New York, and Florida, she lives in Charlotte, where she considers herself “Southern by choice.”
Kathryn Schwille is the author of the novel What Luck, This Life (Hub City Press, 2018) set in East Texas around the time of the Columbia shuttle disaster. Her short stories, which have appeared in New Letters, Memorious, Crazyhorse, West Branch and other magazines, have twice won honorable mention in the Pushcart Prize. In 2013, she was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council.
Sam Shapiro is a manager and programmer for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. For 30 years, he has programmed the popular, award-winning film series at Main Library and ImaginOn. In addition to presenting hundreds of classic and contemporary films to the public, Sam has also been an Instructor of Film Studies at UNC-Charlotte for 25 years. Sam is a regular contributor of book reviews to the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer.
Kristin Donnalley Sherman lives in Charlotte, where she works as a writer, editor, and writing coach. She’s published both fiction and nonfiction, and is currently at work on two novels. Her work has appeared in Brevity, Barrelhouse, Silk Road, Main Street Rag and Flashquake, and she has won or been a finalist in numerous contests, including Elizabeth Simpson Smith Short Fiction, the Writers Workshop Memoirs, the Reynolds Price Fiction, River Styx Micro-fiction, and the Press 53 Open Awards for Short Short Fiction.
Dennis Patrick Slattery, PhD, is Emeritus Faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. He is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 26 books, and the author of more than 200 articles on literature, psychology, culture and myth. He will publish three new works in 2019: Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit (Shambhala Press); a co-edited volume of the letters of Joseph Campbell; and a volume on Homer’s Odyssey. He continues to teach as Emeritus faculty and to offer “Riting Retreats” on exploring one’s personal myth. Dennis continues to take classes and paint in both acrylic and watercolor as well as ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle through the Hill Country of Texas.
Brenda Sorkin is a Feldenkrais Practitioner and Senior Trainer for Movement Intelligence. She has had a practice in movement education for more than 30 years, working individually with clients, guiding classes open to the public, and offering certification programs. Her career has emphasized the value of movement in every area of our lives. An additional benefit to bringing attention to subtle movements is that it enhances receptivity to our creative process. Brenda is also a student of mythology, dialoguing with the myths in prose, and offering experiential mythological seminars.
Gilda Morina Syverson, writer, poet, artist, educator, and speaker, is the author of the memoir My Father’s Daughter, From Rome to Sicily. Gilda’s story was a Novello Literary Award Finalist, a 2015 Nominee for the Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction, a 2016 Nominee for Author of the Year for the Artist Guild Award, a 2016 Honorable Mention for the New England Book Festival, and the 2017 Runner-Up for Autobiography in the Great Southeast Book Festival. Gilda has been a long-time memoir instructor in Charlotte, including 15 years at Queens University of Charlotte.
Elizabeth Adinolfi West is an English Instructor at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is also the faculty advisor to the student creative writing organization, SWAG. Elizabeth published an essay about her son in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hopes and Miracles. She writes a weekly blog entitled “Turning Arrows into Flowers” at elizabethmwest.com
Betsy Thorpe has been in the publishing business since the 90’s, when she started at Atheneum Publishers. Since then, she grew her way into the role of editor at HarperCollins, Broadway Books, Macmillan, and the trade division of John Wiley & Sons. She started Betsy Thorpe Literary Services when she had her first child, and has been running it as a full-time business for more than 11 years. She is the co-author of numerous non-fiction books, including three that have been written about in the New York Times, and has a literary agent for her first novel, The Thin Place.
Kim Wright is the author of Love in Mid Air, The Unexpected Waltz, The Canterbury Sisters and her latest novel, Last Ride to Graceland, which was the 2017 recipient of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. For the past three years she has been a developmental editor through The Story Doctor, helping writers with issues of story arcs, structure, and pacing.