Kathie Collins Charlotte Lit Co-Founder & Executive Director
Poet & Mythologist
Charlotte Lit co-founder Kathie Collins is a writer, poet, and lifelong student of Jungian psychology. She thrives in the in-between space from which dreams, creativity, and stories emerge. Kathie is happiest when she’s sharing that space with others and delights in the process of helping students transform their lived experience to gold. Kathie co-leads and serves as a memoir coach in Charlotte Lit’s Authors Lab program. She earned her Ph.D. in Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she also serves as adjunct faculty. Kathie’s poetry has appeared in Kakalak, BibleWorkbench, Immanence, and Between. Her chapbook Jubilee was published by Main Street Rag in 2011.
Paul Reali Charlotte Lit Co-Founder & Operations Manager
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
John Amen is the author of several collections of poetry; most recently, strange theater (NYQ Books, 2015) and Illusion of an Overwhelm (NYQ Books, 2017). His poetry and prose have appeared in various journals, including Rattle, Prairie Schooner, Los Angeles Review, and Colorado Review. He is a staff reviewer for the music magazine and website No Depression and a frequent contributor to The Brooklyn Rail. He founded and edits Pedestal Magazine.
Wiley Cash is a New York Times bestselling writer. His novels have won the Southern Book Prize, the Sir Walter Raleigh Award, the Weatherford Award, and others, and they have been named notable books of the year by The New York Times, the American Library Association, and Library Journal. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Weymouth Center for the Arts, and the North Carolina Arts Council. He is the writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA Program.
Julie Funderburk is author of the poetry collection The Door That Always Opensfrom 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. Her work appears in 32 Poems, Cave Wall, The Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Ploughshares. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte.
George Hovis grew up in rural Gaston County, North Carolina. His debut novel The Skin Artist, nominated for the 2019 Sir Walter Raleigh Award and a Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award, tells the story of Charlotte’s emergence in the 90s as a “world-class city,” one with deep and often tortured connections to the surrounding hinterlands. George’s stories and essays have appeared widely in anthologies and journals, including The Carolina Quarterly, Southern Cultures, New Madrid, and The North Carolina Literary Review. He is a professor of English at SUNY Oneonta, where he was awarded the 2017 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. georgehovis.net
Charles Israel, Jr., teaches creative writing at Queens University of Charlotte. His poetry chapbook, Stacking Weather, was published by Amsterdam Press. He’s also had poems and stories in Field, The Cortland Review, Crazyhorse, Nimrod International Journal, Zone 3, Pembroke Magazine, Eleven Eleven, Journal of the American Medical Association, Waccamaw Journal, Loud Zoo, and North Carolina Literary Review. He also likes playing tennis and urban bike riding.
Jessica Jacobs is the author of Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going (Four Way Books), one of Library Journal’s Best Poetry Books of the Year, winner of the Goldie Award in Poetry from the Golden Crown Literary Society, and a finalist for both the Brockman-Campbell and Julie Suk Book Awards. Her debut collection, Pelvis with Distance (White Pine Press), a biography-in-poems of Georgia O’Keeffe, won the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and Julie Suk Award. An avid long-distance runner, Jessica has worked as a rock-climbing instructor, bartender, and professor, and now serves as the Chapbook Editor for Beloit Poetry Journal. She lives in Asheville, NC, with her wife, the poet Nickole Brown, with whom she co-authored Write It! 100 Poetry Prompts to Inspire (Spruce Books/PenguinRandomHouse), and is at work on parallel collections of essays and poems exploring spirituality, Torah, and Midrash. You can learn more about her at jessicalgjacobs.com.
Tarik Kiley is a local musician who plays piano, drums and percussion and is versed in many different styles of music. He’s been rapping for over 20 years and wants to cultivate the scene for underground rap artists. Tariq is a member of Guerilla Poets and has presented classes on rap at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.
Paula Martinac is the author of four novels, including Clio Rising (Bywater Books, 2019), The Ada Decades, a finalist for the 2018 Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction, and the Lambda Literary Award-winning Out of Time.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.
Ashley Memory’s fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, most recently in O’Henry, Gyroscope Review, and Mental Papercuts. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has won the Doris Betts Fiction Prize twice. Her first poetry collection, Waiting for the Wood Thrush, is currently available from Finishing Line Press. Online: ashley-memory.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 Charlotte True Crime Stories and Charleston Mysteries (both for 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.
Dannye Romine Powell has won fellowships in poetry from the NC Arts Council, the NEA and Yaddo. Her poems have appeared in Georgia Review, The New Republic, Harvard Review Online, Poetry, Plougshares, Paris Review and many others. Her fifth collection, The Trick Is to Dream, will be out from Press 53 in the spring of 2020. She is also the author of Parting the Curtains: Interviews with Southern Writers.
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.
Megan Rich moved to Charlotte last summer from Denver, Colorado. She has written two books, a YA novel and a travel memoir, and is working on her third, a literary-fiction novel inspired by The Great Gatsby. As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, she was chosen to participate in the highly-selective subconcentration in creative writing, for which she completed a thesis of original poetry. In addition, she is a current member of the two-year Lighthouse Writers Workshop Book Project program. With twelve years experience as a creative writing teacher, she looks forward to providing prompts and chatting with other writers who are working through their own projects.
Melinda Ferguson Sherman was born a Buckeye, then was a New Yorker for decades, and is now a new resident of the Queen City. She is a writer, teacher, and—for nearly 20 years—a workshop facilitator in journal and memoir writing. She is passionate about writing as a tool for exploring life, and believes a successful writer is one who writes. She has a BA from Miami University, an MA from Columbia University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Southampton. She has been an editor for Warner, Walker, and Macmillan, and an adjunct professor at SCCC (NY) and CPCC.
Elizabeth Adinolfi West is Associate Professor of English at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte. She is also 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.
Kim Wright is the author of Love in Mid Air, The Unexpected Waltz, The Canterbury Sisters, Last Ride to Graceland and The Longest Day of the Year. As The Story Doctor, she coaches and offers developmental edits. Kim is a Charlotte Lit Authors Lab faculty member and coach. When she’s not teaching, writing, and editing, she’s often talking about writing on Twitter @Kim_Wright_W or at Instagram @kimwiley55.