Alden Jones is the author of The Blind Masseuse, named “the best travel book of 2013” by the Huffington Post and a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogal Award, and the story collection Unaccompanied Minors, winner of the New American Fiction Prize, the Lascaux Book Prize, and an Independent Publishers Book Award for Short Fiction. Alden spent the summers of 2001-2004 in Havana and Cojímar as a creative writing instructor and director of educational programs for American high school students, and, with Tim Weed, co-founded the Cuba Writers Program in 2015. She has sailed as a Visiting English Professor with Semester at Sea and with Royal Caribbean Cruises as a Cuban Culture Expert. She teaches creative writing and cultural studies at Emerson College, and is a core faculty member of the Newport MFA, where she teaches both fiction and nonfiction. She also serves as a manuscript consultant for Grub Street and independently, and specializes in working with writers to complete their book projects.
“I will follow Alden and Tim anywhere. Those two cast an easygoing thrall over all of us. Having been to the Cuba Writers Program in 2016, 2017, and 2018, I love Cuba’s slow reveal. On the Cuba Writers Program I felt more like a participant in the culture than an observer.”
Past Faculty, Guest Writers, and Guest Lecturers
Ann Hood is the best-selling author of the novels “The Knitting Circle,” “The Obituary Writer” and “The Book That Matters Most” and the memoir “Comfort: A Journey Through Grief,” which was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and named one of the top 10 nonfiction books of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly. Her essays and short stories have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Paris Review, Tin House, National Geographic Traveler, Food and Wine and the Atlantic. Hood has won two Best American Food Writing Awards, a Best American Travel Writing Award and a Best American Spiritual Writing Award, and two Pushcart Prizes. Her most recent books are the memoir “Morningstar: Growing Up with Books” and the young adult novel “She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah.”
Victor Fowler Calzada is one of the most influential poets and intellectuals writing from Cuba today. He is the author of ten books of poetry and five books essays and has won top literary prizes in Cuba for these works. His most recent books of poetry are La Obligación de Expresar (The Obligation to Express), winner of the Nicolás Guillén prize for poetry in Cuba, and El Maquinista de Auschwitz (The Train Conductor of Auschwitz), winner of the UNEAC prize for poetry. His most recent book of essays is Caminos Corporales y de Escritura (Paths of Embodiment and Writing), winner of the Alejo Carpentier Essay Prize.
Michel Encinosa Fú is the author of the books Sol negro, Niños de neón, Veredas, Dioses de neón, Dopamina, sans amour, Enemigo sin voz, El Cadillac rojo y la gran mentira, Casi la verdad, Todos tenemos un mal día, and Vivir y morir sin ángeles. He has been included in more than twenty anthologies in Cuba as well as in Italy, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and the United States. He is considered one of the best writers of the science-fiction and fantasy epic genres in Cuba.