Maureen Buchanan Jones
Maureen Buchanan Jones is the Executive Director of Amherst Writers & Artists, serving also as Program Director of the AWA Training Program. She is an AWA Affiliate, trained and mentored by Pat Schneider, and leads weekly workshops in Northampton, Massachusetts, as well as weekend retreats either alone or with Pat Schneider. She leads a bi-monthly manuscript group, is a free-lance editor for fiction, non-fiction and memoir and has led workshops with women who have experienced domestic violence. Maureen has been an AWA instructor for the AWA workshop leadership trainings for four years in Masschusetts, Connecticut, California, Oregon and Ireland. She won the 1986 Fellowship from the American Society for Theatre Research as well as the 1991 University of Massachusetts Spectrum Graduate Poetry Award. She holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts and taught literature, creative writing and technical writing for 17 years at the University of Massachusetts, Holyoke Community College, Westfield State College and the Conway School of Landscape Design, where she oversaw Masters theses, developed an inter-subject curriculum, participated in accreditation reviews and sat on the admissions review committee. She is a Phi Beta Kappa. Her poetry has appeared in Woman in Natural Resources, 13th Moon, Peregrine, North Dakota Quarterly Review, Letters from Daughters to Fathers, WriterAdvice, Equinox and Calyx. Her middle grade novel is represented by Michele Rubin of Writers House Literary Agency. She is at work on a sequel. Her prose has appeared in Orion and on WFCR-NPR.
Board of Directors
Chair: Kathleen Olesky
Kathleen Olesky has a MA in Counseling Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing. She worked as a bilingual psychotherapist in a community mental health center in Boston for many years, serving both English and Spanish speaking adults and children. She left the field to pursue her MFA at Emerson College. Kathleen was certified in the AWA method in 2004 and has been leading workshops ever since through Newton Community Education, the Jewish Community Center and privately. She currently has two AWA workshops and also leads a workshop with seniors at the Lifetime Learning Program in Newton, Mass. Kathleen has also been a writing coach for the Memoir Project, a collaborative project between the City of Boston and Grub Street Writing Center which has published three volumes of personal essays of senior in various neighborhoods. She has a chapter published in The Buddha's Apprentices, Wisdom Press. She is also a leader for the northeast region of Soka Gakkai USA, a lay Buddhist organization promoting peace through culture and education and is the East Coast bureau chief for their weekly newspaper the World Tribune. In addition to becoming a member of the AWA board, Kathleen is on the board of Newton Community Education and is a trustee and judge of an annual creative writing award for the two Newton high schools. Kathleen writes short fiction and poetry.
Vice Chair and Acting Treasurer: Lane Goddard
Lane Goddard is co-founder (and now sole owner) of LandaBooks, which for more than twenty years has provided training in writing and related skills to adult employees of government agencies and private-industry organizations. She has written or co-written, designed, and published workbooks and other training materials, has personally taught many courses, and now supervises trainers. A graduate of Duke University, she also holds an MA in English from the University of Florida, and has earned many postgraduate hours in counseling, and a few in business administration.
A member of Winston-Salem Writers, she has co-coordinated arrangements for Pat Schneider’s North Carolina workshops since 2007, and has served on the WSW board. Lane writes short fiction and is working on a novel; she was competitively selected by Richard Bausch (on the basis of her fiction) for the Heritage Writers Workshop at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Since her first workshop with Pat Schneider in 2006, she has written with Pat as often as possible, both in Amherst and in North Carolina. An AWA affiliate, she leads a twice-monthly workshop in her home. Her principal motivation for working with writers using the AWA method is her abiding belief in the value of writing and the writing life--for writers as well as readers—and the great joy she finds in writing with others in this safe and liberating way.
Secretary: Elise Rymer
In October 1997, Elise Rymer was the New Mexico Community Foundation HIV/AIDS Committee Chairman and heard about Pat Schneider on National Public Radio. Elise attended two AWA trainings in November 1997, and subsequently used the AWA method both in HIV high school classes and as part of the Project Crossroads approach to the arts in schools. Soon after, Project Crossroads used Jay O'Callahan's complementary approach to storytelling, and Project Crossroads has used these approaches ever since in Santa Fe area classes K-12, Project Crossroads curriculum and teacher training workshops. In April 1998, Elise again attended Pat Schneider's trainings in Amherst. Upon returning to New Mexico, she and several friends formed a writing group with eight members, which continues to meet. This group has offered retreats with Pat Schneider in Santa Fe and Amherst. Elise has attended additional trainings, retreats and a manuscript writing and critique group with Pat Schneider from 1996 to the present.
Kate Hymes, a poet and educator living in the Hudson Valley, New York, leads weekly writing workshops and full-day and three-day writing retreats. She has over twenty years experience as an educator with experience teaching writing at local two- and four-year colleges, and over ten years leading workshops for people who either wish to or make writing their artistic practice. Kate is certified to lead workshops using the Amherst Writers and Artists method. She has co-led trainings with Pat and other AWA instructors to teach others how to lead workshops. Kate and Pat also lead the workshop: If We Are Sisters: Black and White Women Writing Across Race. Kate has experience as a resource trainer assisting with Undoing Racism trainings for the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond. She is a Cave Canem fellow, with a poem published in Gathering Ground: Cave Canem 10-Year Anniversary Anthology, University of Michigan Press, 2006. Cave Canem is the national foundation for the development and support of established and emerging African-American poets. Her most recent publications are two poems in the anthology Riverine: An Anthology of Hudson Valley Writers, 2007. Kate serves as Executive Director of the Hudson Valley/Catskill Partnership: Regional Adult Education Network providing technical assistance and staff development to adult educators in a ten-county region of New York state. Kate currently serves as a member of the Dutchess County Arts Council and as panelist for Special Project, New York State Council on the Arts. She has a Master of Arts in American Literature from SUNY Stony Brook.
Karen Buchinsky is a poet, visual artist, and calligrapher who has been associated with Amherst Writers & Artists since 1994. She is a member of the Original Chicopee Workshop, known internationally through the Florentine Film about the Amherst Writers & Artists method, Tell Me Something I Can't Forget. She has served on the Advisory Board of AWA Institute, founded by the Chicopee workshop members and three other AWA writers as an outreach program for under-served populations. As an instructor in Amherst Writers & Artists Institute, Karen has helped to prepare hundreds of professional people to use the AWA method in schools, shelters, jails, hospitals, and other places where voices have been silenced. Karen has worked professionally as a painter, sculptor and calligrapher, and has led workshops for young writers and artists, and for women in recovery. She was one of the original workshop leaders for Voices from Inside, a non-profit program that provides AWA method writing workshops for women who are or have been incarcerated. She continues that work to this day. Karen is a valuable member of the instructors who lead AWA trainings.