*Come early to guarantee seats. No reserved seating!
Join Writers & Books as we bring together a diverse group of writers to share their stories, honor history, and celebrate the lives of women.
Stephanie Woodward, J.D.
Stephanie is an attorney and a proud Disability Rights activist. She serves as the Director of Advocacy at the Center for Disability Rights where she leads an awesome team of advocates in fighting for Disability Rights on a local, state, and national level. Stephanie is also an organizer with ADAPT, a national grass-roots community that organizes to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom. When she’s not fighting for Disability Rights, Stephanie can be found eating pizza rolls on her couch with her cats.
Donna Jackel is a New York City native but has made her home in Rochester the past 27 years. Her work has appeared in Lilith, The Chicago Tribune, Yes Magazine, Texas Highways and other publications. A remembrance of her mother is included in a new anthology, Before They Were Our Mothers: Voices of Women Born Before Rosie Started Riveting.
Angela Pichichero was born in Bad-Salzhausen, Germany. She received her BA from Douglass College and her MSEd Counseling Ed from SUNY Brockport. She has worked as counselor for the New York State Division for Youth, taught in the Human Services Department at MCC, and served on the Board of Directors for the Hillside Family of Agencies.
Nadia Ghent studied literature at Brown University and violin performance at Manhattan School of Music. Her work has appeared in Necessary Fiction, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, She Rocs Magazine, and will be forthcoming in Slag Glass City: A Magazine of Essay Arts. She was a member of Listen To Your Mother Rochester 2017, and her essay, “The Girl Who Would bring Back the Tsar” was included in the recently published anthology, Before They Were Our Mothers.
Reenah L. Golden
Reenah L. Golden is an award-winning writer, actress, poet, activist and educator. For over 15 years Reenah has been using the power of performance and the Spoken Word publicly to affect social and political change and create new ways of thinking. A native of Rochester, NY, Reenah is co-founder of Kuumba Consultants, an arts-in-education agency for artists of color and was the 2006 Writers & Books Teacher of Young People Awardee. She teaches and guest lectures regularly at local schools, colleges, universities and cultural institutions and has been invited to perform and present nationally and internationally. As an accomplished producer, playwright and director, Reenah’s performing arts work includes multi-disciplinary collaborations; the most recent of which, BirthWrite, a collaborative literary work with her women’s writing collective We All Write received rave reviews at Rochester Fringe Festival. Her evolutionary production, Black Coffee; the Poets’ café, incorporates a live studio audience workshop is a local favorite for it’s innovative marriage of art, history, improvisation and audience interaction. Both Reenah and her youth theatre troupe, The noDrama Club are artists-in-residence at MuCCC Theatre. When Reenah is not globe- trotting or cyber-surfing she resides in Rochester’s 19 th ward where she also hosts a talk and music show The Goddess Hour on WAYO 104.3 FM radio. Follow her online at REENAHGOLDEN.COM or on FACEBOOK, TWITTER & INSTAGRAM: @reenahgolden
Sejal Shah (www.sejal-shah.com) is a writer, feminist, and longtime teacher of writing. Her essays and stories appear in Brevity, Conjunctions, the Kenyon Review, The Rumpus, Denver Quarterly, and others. Sejal holds a BA from Wellesley College and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. A former Assistant Professor of English at Marymount Manhattan College in NYC, she has also taught creative writing at Mount Holyoke College, Luther College (Iowa), and the University of Rochester. At Writers & Books, Sejal teaches classes with an emphasis on memoir / creative nonfiction and autobiographical fiction, as well as workshops combining writing and meditation. Her teaching and writing are informed by the belief that we all have important stories we need to tell and that creating space for these stories through a safe writing workshop and mindfulness exercises is a life-changing practice and journey.
Sonja Livingston is an award-winning essayist and author of three books of nonfiction, including the memoir, Ghostbread. Her latest, Ladies Night at the Dreamland resurrects the lives of long-gone women. Her writing is widely published and has been honored with a NYFA Fellowship, an Iowa Review Award, an Arts & Letters Prize, a VanderMay Award, and grants from Vermont Studio Center and The Deming Fund for Women. Sonja teaches in the MFA Program at Virginia Commonwealth University.
As a bilingual Arts Educator and Advocate with over 35 years of professional experience, Annette Ramos has devoted her career to ensuring equitable educational and artistic opportunities for emergent Artists of all ages. It is her mission to advocate for greater opportunities for Artists of Color & Elder communities increasing diverse arts programming in Rochester. Today, Annette continues to expand these opportunities through her work as Director of Community Engagement with the Rochester Broadway Theater League (RBTL) and as Executive Director of the Rochester Latino Theatre Company (RLTC). Annette’s ongoing commitment to Arts education is apparent with her many years of Art residencies as a Teaching Artist teaching thousands of Rochester residents and receiving numerous awards for her work and dedication to Rochester’s Arts community. As an Artists, Annette continues to write and perform on issues of Latinx identity where she can bring greater awareness, inclusion and equitability.