2017 AmpLit Fest Participants

Madeline Felix

Madeline is a writer in New York City. In 2014, she received her MFA from Columbia University in Nonfiction Writing. While at Columbia, she also taught creative writing in Columbia's Undergraduate Writing Program and with Columbia's Summer Program for High School Students.  She's currently finishing her first book—Ways to be Lost—which chronicles her time in Vietnam as a U.S. Fulbright Fellow. Her written work has been published with Al Jazeera America, Huffpost Travel, Guernica Magazine, Pennsylvania Game News, xoJane, and others.  She has also been a featured writer on the Catapult podcast. By day, Madeline works in innovation with @whatifglobalMadeline will lead our Writers Workshop.


John Haskell

John Haskell is the author of the story collection I Am Not Jackson Pollock and the novels American Purgatorio and Out of My Skin. His stories and essays have appeared on the radio, in anthologies, and in many magazines. He lives in Brooklyn. John will join us at Summer Reads.


Emily Holleman

Emily Holleman is the author of Cleopatra's Shadows and The Drowning King, a set of historical novels that reimagines the saga of Cleopatra from the perspective of her younger sister, Arsinoe. A former editor at Salon.com, she has also had essays appear in Elle, BookPage, and Lithub. She lives and writes in Brooklyn. Emily will join us at Summer Reads. 


Katie Kitamura

Katie Kitamura is the author of Gone to the Forest and The Longshot, both of which were finalists for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. A recipient of a Lannan Residency Fellowship, Kitamura has written for The New York TimesThe GuardianGranta, BOMB, Triple Canopy and is a regular contributor to Frieze. She lives in New York City. Katie will join us for a reading and conversation with Clare Smith Marash. 


Wendy Lu

Wendy Lu is a freelance writer, editor and photographer based in New York City. She received her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in 2016. Her work has appeared on The New York Times, Bustle, Romper, LADYGUNN Magazine and amNewYork. She is writing a memoir about growing up as an Asian-American disabled woman in the United States. As a college student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she hosted college writing workshops, published fiction and poetry, and wrote for numerous publications. Previously, she was a books columnist for DIYMFA.com and an editorial intern in the book publishing industry. You can follow her at http://wendyluwrites.com or on Twitter at @wendyluwrites. Wendy will join us at our panel, Literary Citizenship: The Writer's Identity. 


Nathan McClain

Nathan McClain’s debut poetry collection Scale was published by Four Way Books in March 2017. He is a recipient of scholarships from The Frost Place and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. A Cave Canem fellow, his poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Callaloo, Ploughshares, Sou’wester, Iron Horse Literary Review, Southern Humanities Review, Waxwing and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn. Nathan will join us at Summer Reads. 


Miranda K. Pennington

Miranda K. Pennington is a writer, editor, and adjunct in New York. She received her MFA in creative nonfiction at Columbia University. Her work has appeared on Electric Literature, The Toast, The American Scholar Online, the Ploughshares blog, and The Catapult podcast. Her first book, A Girl Walks into a Book, from Seal Press, hit the shelves on May 16, 2017. Miranda will lead our Kids' Writers Workshop. 


Jayson P. Smith

Jayson P. Smith is a writer, curator, & educator. Their poems & interviews appear / are forthcoming in journals such as Gulf Coast, Nepantla, Vinyl, fields magazine, & The Offing. Jayson is a 2016 Emerge-Surface-Be Fellow with the Poetry Project; has previously received support from The Conversation Literary Festival, Crescendo Literary, Millay Colony for the Arts, & Callaloo. J lives in Brooklyn, where they curate & host the NOMAD Reading Series. Jayson will join us at our panel, Literary Citizenship: The Writer's Identity. 


Jeannie Vanasco

Jeannie Vanasco has written for the BelieverLittle Star Journal, NewYorker.com, Times Literary Supplement, Tin House, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Sandusky, Ohio, she now lives in Baltimore and teaches at Towson University. Jeannie will join us at Summer Reads. 



Joanna C. Valente

Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (The Operating System, 2017), Xenos (Agape Editions, 2016) and the editor of A Shadow Map: An Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault (CCM, 2017). Joanna received a MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, a managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine and CCM, as well as an instructor at Brooklyn Poets. Some of Joanna's writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Brooklyn Magazine, Prelude, Apogee, Spork, The Feminist Wire, BUST, and elsewhere. Joanna will join us at our panel, Literary Citizenship: The Writer's Identity.