Pirooz Kalayeh

Pirooz Kalayeh received an MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. He is the founding member and proprietor behind the musical group, The Slipshod Swingers, and the records Orange Lamborghini (2006) and Transistor Radio (2008). Kalayeh has also served as an Associate Producer and Post Production Coordinator with Weller Grossman Productions and Screen Door Entertainment on several television programs, including STRICTLY SEX WITH DR DREW (DISC), CRAFTLAB (DIY), and LOOK WHAT I DID (HGTV). In 2009, Kalayeh’s first solo directorial feature SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL (2012) was released under his personal label ILIKENIRVANA and had a theatrical release at select theaters throughout the United States. Kalayeh’s documentary feature about Buddhist teacher Brad Warner, entitled BRAD WARNER’S HARDCORE ZEN (2013) premiered at the Buddhist Film Festival in Amsterdam on October 5, 2013. THE HUMAN WAR (2013) was co-produced and co-directed by Kalayeh and premiered at the Beloit International Film Festival on February 21, 2014. His novel THE WHOPPER STRATEGIES details an advertising executive’s journey to package Enlightenment in a Box. Kalayeh is currently working on several web series and film narratives, including the much-anticipated comedy, ZOMBIE BOUNTY HUNTER M.D. He lives with his wife in Los Angeles and South Korea. He interviews various entertainers and artists on his blog, Shikow.

Elizabeth Aguilera

Broad range of print and radio experience:
– currently healthcare reporter at NPR-affiliate in Los Angeles
Previously:
– immigration and demographics reporter at San Diego Union-Tribune
– business reporter, urban affairs and features reporter during seven years at the Denver Post
– business reporter at the Orange County Register

Highlights include: project on sex trafficking from Mexico to the U.S.; track immigration policy and report on political trends; coverage of the 2008 DNC; chronicled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; wrote about the effects of the Great Recession on families; feature stories about farmers and victims of HIV/AIDS in Cuba before the recent change in U.S. policy.

Award-winning reporter, loves a good story, easy to work with, meets deadlines, willing to go anywhere for storytelling and covering news.

Graduate of Pepperdine University and University of Southern California.

Member of IRE, NAHJ and JAWS.

Resume and references available.

Alyxandra Goodwin

I received my degree in journalism and am just trying to put my name out there and spread a message like the majority of people that have the ability to start a blog in this age of digital media.

Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Ingrid Rojas Contreras is the recipient of the 2014 Mary Tanenbaum Award for Nonfiction. She is a fellow at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto. Her writing has been anthologized in Guernica Annual (forthcoming), Wise Latinas (Nebraska University Press), and American Odysseys: Writings by New Americans (Dalkey Archive Press). She blogs about books and all things literary for KQED, San Francisco’s NPR affiliate. She am a fiction and non-fiction writer. As a Colombian immigrant, she writes about identity, displacement, and memory. Ingrid is am working on a CNF family memoir centering around my grandfather who was a folk healer in Colombia who it said could move clouds.

Josh Winters

I have a personal project of tracking music released by queer artists and making lists and stats of what has been released in a specific year.

I’m also making plans to put out an open call for a queer music writers’ anthology of personal essays I’d like to compile and edit, and achieving both gender and racial parity is a top priority of mine.

Topics

FAITH ADIELE

Author of 2 memoirs: The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide to Lady Problems (Shebooks) and Meeting Faith (W.W. Norton & Co.),
Co-editor of Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology (The New Press)
Writer / Narrator / Subject of the PBS documentary My Journey Home,

Victoria Namkung

-I have a master’s from UCLA in Asian American Studies
-I’m a stem cell donor to an unrelated donor who survived thanks to transplant
-My mom is Jewish from Ireland and my Dad is Korean
-Author of forthcoming novel, The Things We Tell Ourselves

Raina León

Dr. Raina J. León, Cave Canem graduate fellow (2006) and member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective and CantoMundo, has been published in Danse Macabre, Mandala, Connotation Press, Contrary Press, The Holly Rose Review, Bosphorus Art Project Quarterly, The Osprey Journal (Scotland), Verdad Magazine, The Sixers Review, The Externalist, Minglewood, The Cherry Blossom Review, Natural Bridge, African American Review, OCHO, Spindle Magazine, Black Arts Quarterly, Poem.Memoir.Story, Womb, Boxcar Poetry Review, Salt Hill Journal, Xavier Review, MiPoesias, Torch, Poetic Voices without Borders, Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade, Growing Up Girl: An Anthology of Voices from Marginalized Spaces, AntiMuse, Farmhouse Magazine, Furnace Review, Constellation Magazine and Tiger’s Eye Journal, among others. Her first collection of poetry, Canticle of Idols (2008), was a finalist for both the Cave Canem First Book Poetry Prize (2005) and the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize (2006). Her second book, Boogeyman Dawn (2013), was a finalist for the Naomi Long Madgett Prize (2010). Her third book, sombra: dis(locate) will be released in 2014, Salmon Poetry. She has received fellowships and residencies with Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Montana Artists Refuge, the MacDowell Colony, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland and Ragdale. She headed the High School Literacy Project at the University of North Carolina where she received her doctorate in education and is currently an assistant professor of education in the Kalmanovitz School of Education at St. Mary’s College of California. She came to Saint Mary’s from the Department of Defense Education Activity, where for three years she taught military dependents in Bamberg, Germany. Raina received her BA in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University, MA in Teaching of English from Teachers College Columbia University, MA in Educational Leadership from Framingham State University and PhD in Education under the Culture, Curriculum and Change strand at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She is currently pursuing a MFA in Poetry at Saint Mary’s College of California. Her research interests include high school engagement and the teaching of poetry, critical literacy in the high school classroom, facilitating freshmen transitions and educational technology usage among high school educators. She also is a founding editor of The Acentos Review, an online quarterly, international journal devoted to the promotion and publication of Latino and Latina arts. In her free time, she enjoys traveling to trendy spots and little holes in the wall around the world, gardening, locating fantastic ingredients for her culinary experiments, and sampling local and far flung arts scenes.

Chanté Griffin

I write about everyone’s favorite dinner party topics: race, the culture wars and God. But don’t worry, I try to mix it up with less popular subjects like blockbuster movies, Netflix’s new binge-worthy show and Jay-oncé’s latest baby pic trending on Twitter.

I spin words for the web, print and TV—from politically-themed poetry and researched news stories—to catchy website copy and restaurant reviews. With a background in education, public speaking and arts/media, I have the ability to convey complex information and ideas in an easy to understand, conversational tone.