Our faculty all possess outstanding teaching experience as well as current real-world credentials in their areas of expertise, and we continue to add to these ranks. Here’s the official list so far:
Barbara Chepaitis, Popular Genre Fiction/Nonfiction
Holding a doctorate in creative writing from SUNY, Albany, Barbara Chepaitis has ten published books, eight in fiction and two in nonfiction, including Saving Eagle Mitch (SUNY 2013), The Green Memory of Fear (Wildside Press 2011), Feathers of Hope (SUNY, 2010), A Lunatic Fear (Wildside Press 2004), Something Unpredictable (Simon & Schuster 2003), These Dreams (Simon & Schuster, 2002), Learning Fear (Ace 2000), Feeding Christine (Bantam 2000), Fear of God (Ave 1999), and Fear Principle (Ace 1998). She was a finalist in the 2003 Sundance screenwriters contest and has written four other screenplays. She has numerous shorter works collected in a variety of anthologies, and she also has experience in radio drama, voice-over work, and editing.
Russell Davis, Popular Genre Fiction/Nonfiction
Best-selling author and editor Russell Davis has written and sold numerous novels and short stories in virtually every genre of fiction, under at least a half-dozen pseudonyms. His writing has encompassed media tie-in work in the Transformers universe to action adventure in The Executioner series to original novels and short fiction in anthology titles like Under Cover of Darkness, Law of the Gun, and In the Shadow of Evil. In addition to his work as a writer, he has worked as an editor and book packager, and created original anthology titles ranging from westerns like Lost Trails to fantasy like Courts of the Fey. He is a regular speaker at conferences and schools, where he teaches on writing, editing and the fundamentals of the publishing industry. A past president of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Russell now writes and edits full time, as well as teaches for Western's MFA in Creative Writing. His newest work, The End of All Seasons, a collection of short fiction and poetry, came out in 2013, and he is presently working on several new projects.
JS Mayank, Screenwriting for Feature Film andTelevision
With an MFA in Film Production from Loyola Marymount University, filmmaker J S Mayank lives the life of a Hollywood screenwriter, pitching his own ideas and reworking others’ work. He’s developed scripts with Hollywood bigwigs such as Derek Dauchy (XXX, Across the Universe), Bruce Cohen (American Beauty, Big Fish), Ted Field (Last Samurai, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) & Steve McEveety (Braveheart, Passion of the Christ) and worked with some of the best production companies and studios in town. His first sci-fi feature – Slate earned him a spot on the BLOODLIST, and he was invited by Robert DeNiro to the prestigious 2010 Tribeca All Access Program. For his directorial debut, Mayank was granted an opportunity by the band Radiohead to create a concept music video for their song "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi." Most recently, his script for EMIT won a Grand Prize, winning him a trip to Sundance (2012) where a table-read of it was performed. He resides in Los Angeles.
Ernest Hilbert, Poetry with a Focus in Versecraft
Ernest Hilbert holds a doctorate in English literature from Oxford University, where he edited the Oxford Quarterly. His debut collection is Sixty Sonnets. His next, All of You on the Good Earth, will appear in 2013. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, Yale Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Parnassus, Boston Review, Verse, New Criterion, American Scholar, and the London Review. He was the poetry editor for Random House’s magazine Bold Type in New York City (1998-2003) and, more recently, of the Contemporary Poetry Review (2005-2010), which has been described as “one of the most comprehensive online journals of literary criticism.” His poems have appeared in several anthologies, including the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets and two best-selling Penguin anthologies, Poetry: A Pocket Anthology and Literature: A Pocket Anthology.
Jack Lucido, Screenwriting for Feature Film andTelevision
An Associate Professor of Communication at Western State Colorado University, Jack Lucido teaches film studies, production, and screenwriting. His Master of Fine Art degree in Cinema is from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and his BA in Theatre & Film is from California State University Humboldt. He is currently working to complete his documentary, Across the Fence, which focuses on sustainability in ranching. His recent short film Chill Out won the National Wildlife Federation’s “Chill Out: Climate Action on Campus Video Award” in 2010. In 2006, Jackson Sandwich, his documentary about his son’s autism spectrum disorder, was awarded the prestigious Cine Golden Eagle and has been broadcast on Public Television in North Carolina and South Carolina. Lucido received an Emmy nomination in 2000 for directing and producing for prime time broadcast, a documentary on engineering wonders on Northern California’s Redwood Coast. At the time, he was a producer for KEET TV, a PBS member station.
David J. Rothman, Poetry with a Focus in Versecraft
David J. Rothman has been an editor, reviewer, publisher, and judge in regional and national poetry circles for over three decades. His own work has a distinguished record in such journals as Appalachia, The Atlantic Monthly, The Gettysburg Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry and many others. He has published five collections, most recently The Book of Catapults (White Violet Press) and Part of the Darkness (Entasis Press), both in 2013. A sixth, Go Big, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2015, and a volume of essays about life in the mountains, Living the Life, is forthcoming from Conundrum Press this fall. He is Western's MFA Poetry Concentration Director and also teaches at the University of Colorado at Boulder and at Lighthouse Writers Workshop of Denver. For many years before moving to Boulder, Colorado, he lived in Crested Butte, where he taught at Western, served as the Headmaster of a private secondary school, and co-founded the Crested Butte Music Festival.
Michaela Roessner-Herman, Popular Genre Fiction/Nonfiction
With an MFA in Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine, Michaela Roessner has had four novels published, as well as assorted short fiction and nonfiction in publications that include Asimov’s Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, OMNI Magazine, Canada’s Room Magazine and anthologies that include Full Spectrum 2 and Intersections. Her first novel, Walkabout Woman, won the Crawford and John W. Campbell awards. She has also had work short-listed for the Calvino Prize, the Tiptree Award, and the Millennium Publishing short fiction contest. Her current “front-burner” projects include a fabulist novel about a mask-maker and finishing up the third and final book in her series that revolve around the life of the young Catherine de Medici.
Bob Shayne has been an active and successful screenwriter for years, both in New York and Los Angeles. He’s sold 18 prime-time pilots and written 16 of them for the major TV networks in all genres, six of which were shot, two of which went to series, and most of which he produced. He’s worked on staff of both sitcoms and one-hour dramas; been a show-runner on sitcom, drama, MOW and pilots; written something well over 100 episodes; written and produced TV movies; written two four-hour miniseries, written features both live-action and animated, and adapted four novels into screenplays (not counting his own). He’s won or been nominated for awards including Best TV Movie of the Year from the Writers Guild of America, Edgar for Best TV Movie of the Year from the Mystery Writers of America, Edgar for Best TV Episode of the Year from the Mystery Writers of America, two Emmys from the TV Academy (for Best Talk Show and Best Documentary), and a Grammy for Best Comedy Album. Bob Shayne, Screenwriting for Feature Film andTelevision
Mark Todd, Director of the MFA Program
With a doctorate in English from Texas Tech University, Mark Todd has served on the faculty at Western for 25 years and also teaches in Western’s undergraduate creative writing emphasis. His own works include two collections of poetry (Wire Song, 2001; Tamped, But Loose Enough to Breathe, 2008), and three novels -- two paranormal adventure-comedies co-written with wife Kym O’Connell-Todd (The Silverville Swindle, 2006; All Plucked Up, 2012) and one science fiction novel (Strange Attractors, 2012). He and his wife are currently at work on book three of the Silverville Saga, The Magicke Outhouse, forthcoming in early 2014. He also has a narrative nonfiction book forthcoming.
David Yezzi, Poetry with a Focus in Versecraft
David Yezzi, acclaimed poet and executive editor of The New Criterion, is former director of the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y in New York, where he also currently teaches poetry in the center’s writing program. Yezzi’s poems appear in The Atlantic Monthly, The Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The New Republic, The Paris Review and elsewhere. He writes literary criticism regularly for The Wall Street Journal, Poetry, Yale Review and many other publications. Yezzi has held editing positions at Parnassus: Poetry in Review, The New York Observer, and The New Criterion. In 1998, he was awarded Stanford University’s prestigious Wallace Stegner Fellowship. He lives in New York City with his wife.