Magdalena Gómez is Co-founder and Artistic Director of Teatro V!da, an intergenerational, multi-disciplinary theater based in Springfield MA (www.teatrovida.com.) A playwright, poet, performer journalist, lyricist, and educator, she authors the column “An African American Point of View” for the Springfield newspaper and also writes for La Prensa de Western Massachusetts, a bi-lingual online news and culture source. As a jazz poet she is a regular collaborator with 2010 Harvard Arts Medal recipient, composer and baritone saxophonist Fred Ho. Gomez’s archives have been selected for inclusion in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center based at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.
In June, 2010, she was named a National Endowment for the Arts American Master Artist.
This year she also received a National Association of Latino Arts and Culture artists grant for her work on anti-bullying initiatives with Teatro V!da. Her play on the lingering and devastating legacy of McCarthyism in the U.S. educational system, “Lobster Face” (or “the shame of amanda cockshutt”), premiered off-Broadway in 2004 under the direction of Daniel Jáquez and was a NY Times pick of the season. In 2007 she received an Unsung Heroine award from the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. In 2008 she was one of five recipients of the national Laugh. Whisper. Shout. Tell the Story. award for her lifelong contributions to the theater, presented by the Black Women Playwright’s Group in Washington, D.C.
Gómez has facilitated arts integration, writing, performance, and professional development residencies in countless schools, organizations, and institutions throughout the U.S. and abroad. She has been widely anthologized in publications that include The Berkshire Review; Tea Party Magazine; upstreet Journal; The Los Angeles Times; Tonopah Review; and Palabra. She has performed her work in a wide range of venues, including, Lincoln Center; Vanderbilt University; The San Francisco State Poetry Center; Firehouse 12; Cathedral of St. John the Divine; The Massachusetts State House; Hampshire College; Mount Holyoke College; Holyoke Community College; Poet’s Passage, in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Upcoming publications include two anthologies, OtheRicans, edited by Aurora Levins Morales and Vanessa Pérez Rosario, and Breaking Ground: Anthology of Puerto Rican Women Writers in New York 1980-2010, edited by Myrna Nieves. Gómez will be a presenter at this year’s Bioneers conference. You can learn more about her at www.latinapoet.net.
Andre Dubus III is the author of a collection of short fiction, The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, and the novels Bluesman, House of Sand and Fog, and The Garden of Last Days, a New York Times bestseller. His memoir, Townie, is forthcoming in February 2011 with W.W. Norton & Co.
His work has been included in The Best American Essays of 1994, The Best Spiritual Writing of 1999, and The Best of Hope Magazine. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for fiction, The Pushcart Prize, and was a Finalist for the Rome Prize Fellowship from the Academy of Arts and Letters. An Academy Award-nominated motion picture and published in twenty languages, his novel House of Sand and Fog was a fiction finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Booksense Book of the Year, and was an Oprah Book Club Selection and #1 New York Times bestseller.
A member of PEN American Center, Andre Dubus III has served as a panelist for The National Book Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and has taught writing at Harvard University, Tufts University, Emerson College, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell where is a full-time faculty member. He is married to performer Fontaine Dollas Dubus. They live in Massachusetts with their three children.
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