2017 Workshop Leaders
Candice Iloh (poetry) is a first generation Nigerian-American writer, teaching artist, youth educator, and author based in Brooklyn, New York.
She has performed her work around the country, most notably at Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City; the Women in Poetry & Hip Hop celebration at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore (where she performed as Nikki Giovanni); and as part of the Africa In Motion performing arts series at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. Competitively, Iloh has advanced to the final rounds of the Graffiti DC Slam, Beltway Poetry Slam, and 11th Hour Poetry Slam.
Iloh has served as a program director and workshop facilitator with Voices UnBroken, and as a teaching artist with Split This Rock, and poetryN.O.W., and The American Poetry Museum. Throughout her work, remains engaged with the communities she works and lives in by teaching and mentoring young people creatively within public school classrooms, athletic programs, and writing workshops.
RICH VILLAR (Poetry) is a writer, performer, editor, activist, and educator originally from Paterson, New Jersey. His first collection of poems, Comprehending Forever, won the Editor’s Choice from the Willow Books Literature Awards in 2013, and it was published by Willow the following year. He is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee for both his prose and his poetry, and his work has been published in several journals, including Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Rattapallax, and Black Renaissance Noire.
He served as a founding director, host, and co-curator for Acentos, a grassroots project fostering the Latino/a voice in American letters. From 2003-2012, through its workshops, panels, reading series, and public programming, Acentos allowed Latino/a poets at all skill levels to connect with multicultural audiences as well as their peers, in the one of the most historic Latino enclaves in the nation, the South Bronx. He has been quoted on Latino/a literature and culture by HBO, The New York Times, and the Daily News. On the radio, he has been heard on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York, and on the long-running NPR newsmagazine “Latino USA.”
Since 2008, he has served as a curator for La Casita at Lincoln Center Out Of Doors, appearing twice as the show’s emcee. He has been a frequent performer, host, and curator at the iconic Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe, and he has contributed poems and performances to various theater spaces, including Actors Stock NYC, and Luna Stage in West Orange, NJ.
Amy Ewing (Fiction) grew up in a small town outside Boston, where her librarian mother instilled a deep love of reading at a young age. Amy moved to New York City in 2000 to study theater at New York University. Unfortunately, her acting career didn’t quite pan out. She worked in restaurants, as an administrative assistant, a nanny, and a sales representative for a wine distributor before the lack of creativity in her life drove her to begin writing.
Amy received her MFA in Creative Writing for Children from The New School, where she was lucky enough to meet a fabulous community of YA writers who keep her sane on a daily basis. She lives in Harlem, where she spends her days writing, eating cheese, and occasionally binge watching The Vampire Diaries.
Dave Roman (graphic storytelling) is the author/illustrator of the Astronaut Academy series and writer of the graphic novels Teen Boat! and Agnes Quill: An Anthology of Mystery. He has contributed stories to Comics Squad: Recess!, Explorer: The Mystery Boxes, Nursery Rhyme Comics, and Goosebumps Graphix: Slappy’s Tales of Horror. Dave is the co-author of two New York Times bestselling graphic novels, X-Men: Misfits and The Last Airbender: Zuko’s Story. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts, Dave has worked as an editor at Nickelodeon Magazine, and First Second Book’s Science Comics imprint. He lives in Astoria, NY and his latest project is the all-ages webcomic Starbunny, Inc.