Reading Series: Literary Partners

Are you a published writer with new work, tried-and-true work, or work-in-progress you’re itching to share? 

Sign up to read at Writers & Books
740 University Ave Rochester, NY 14607

Become a Literary Partner! To be scheduled to read, you need only have been published in a print or online magazine, provide us with your bio and headshot, and agree to cross-promote your event (two readers/event). All readings are free and open to the public. 

To reserve your date, email Dan Herd at

February 20, 2020 Lori Nolasco Martinez & Jennifer Kellogg

A Rochester, NY, native, Lori Nolasco Martinez is the author of two FootHills poetry collections, Ariadne of the Freezing Rains (2010) and Demetrio’s Scythe (2014). Her poem “Maplewood Rose Garden,” which pays tribute to the last stop on the Underground Railroad, is included in the Rochester Poets Walk at the Memorial Art Gallery. Lori is a graduate of the Sorbonne, where she earned a Doctoral degree in Comparative Literature. As a Community Health Worker at Rochester Regional Health, she uses language skills and intercultural awareness to help those in need.

Jennifer Kellogg is a Hellenist, literary translator, and a non-profit administrator. She holds a PhD in Modern Languages and Literatures from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. From 2017 through 2019 she was the Executive Director and Academic Programs Director at the Greek America Foundation. She is currently working on translating the poetry of Greece’s first Nobel Prize winning poet, George Seferis.

March 5, 2020 | Regina Butler & Ted Obourn

Regina Butler has earned degrees in both landscape architecture and nursing, but it was Wendy Low’s “Time To Write” class at Writers & Books in 2014 that helped her to establish a daily writing habit that she has stuck with ever since. Her short fiction has appeared in Rochester Parent Magazine, Vine Leaves Journal, and Stone Canoe. Her debut novel, Absolution, will be published by Spark Press in October 2020. 

Theodore Obourn’s stories have appeared in Natural Bridge, Whetstone, Connotation Press, Spilling Ink, The Front Porch Review, and The Toucan. He also has served as a reader for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction

March 11, 2020 | CaTyra Polland & Jesse Cruz

Author, editor, entrepreneur, and speaker CaTyra Polland’s debut book, Professionalism What’s That?, is available at Amazon as a paperback or e-book. CaTyra recently published a journal tailored to Black women and is working on her first poetry collection. A community volunteer serving on the boards of several Rochester nonprofits, her passions include promoting and celebrating Black excellence and encouraging youth to read and write.

Author Jesse A. Cruz lives in upstate New York with his wife and children. The Cruz family currently serves at Cross Creek Church. He has proudly served our country as an Iraq War Veteran of the U.S. Army. Jesse is the Program Coordinator of the Wayne County Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. In addition to his career, he has been engaged in speaking at correctional facilities and other community venues. He has a B.A. in Community Youth Development from Nazareth College. Currently, Jesse is pursuing his Master's in Theology at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. In his spare time, he enjoys coaching sports, traveling, and hiking with family and friends. Jesse is available for speaking engagements and book signings. You may contact him directly at

March 12, 2020 | Jennifer Hudak & David DeGraff

Jennifer Hudak is a speculative fiction writer whose stories have appeared both online and off in such places as PodCastle and  Daily Science Fiction and the anthology Endless Apocalypse. Originally from Boston, she now lives with her family in Upstate New York, where, in addition to writing, she teaches yoga, knits tiny pocket-sized animals, and misses the ocean. Visit

David DeGraff is an astronomer, science fiction writer, and Professor of Astronomy at Alfred University. In addition to the usual Physics and Astronomy classes, he teaches or co-teaches Science in Science Fiction; Aliens and Alienation; Muggles, Magic and Mayhem; Tribbles, Tricorders and Transporters; A Beginners Guide to World Domination; and other unsusual classes. His "Above the Pole" appeared in Polaris: A Celebration of Polar Science, edited by Julie Czerneda; his "SIREN of Titan" in Carbide Tipped Pens, edited by Ben Bova and Eric Choi; and an essay in Boarding the Enterprise, edited by David Gerrold and Robert J. Sawyer.

March 18, 2020 | Lori Bruton & Seema Khaneja 

Lori Bruton is a passionate, faith-filled, fun-loving entrepreneur who shares her stories and adventures about love, travel, faith, fun, writing, essential oils, wellness, and living the Oola Lifestyle creating balance in the key areas of your life. Her book, Hole To Whole: Journey To Hope And Transformation, was published in December 2019. She is the mother of two grown sons and lives in Western New York. 

Seema Khaneja is the author of Physician, Heal Thyself: A Doctor’s Journey from Medicine to Miracles (January 2020). Passionate about integrating the wisdom of world spiritual traditions with scientific research, she practices holistic medicine; created Coaching for Inner Peace; and facilitates classes in meditation, stress management, and holistic medicine for University of Rochester Medical School students and the local lay community in Rochester. She also is a Clinical Instructor at the University of Rochester’s Department of Pediatrics and  the Director of Shanti Academy, an online learning portal offering courses for students seeking a pragmatic and concrete way to experience inner peace.

March 19, 2020 | Claudia Stanek & Patricia Roth Schwartz

Claudia M. Stanek grew up in the blur of murmurs and silences of Polish-accented English while living on the border of Polish-Catholic steel town Depew and German-Lutheran rural Lancaster in Western New York State. Her Language You Refuse to Learn was the 2013 co-winner of the Bright Hill Press chapbook contest, Her poems have appeared in such magazines as Dime Show Review, Inscape, Modern Poetry Quarterly, and Ithaca Lit, and in the anthologies Cinquainicity, Community Voices, and Le Mot Juste. She holds an MFA from Bennington College and lives in East Rochester, NY. 


Patricia Roth Schwartz is a poet, writer of fiction and memoir, editor, and teacher. Published widely in literary journals, she has seven volumes of poetry to her credit, including Charleston: A Memoir in Poems of a West Virginia Childhood, as well as a Lambda Literary Award-winning collection of short fiction. Her work appears in the Story Walk and Poets’ Walk installations in Rochester. For 14 years, she volunteered weekly at Auburn Correctional Facility conducting poetry workshops with inmates; Her Soul Knows No Bars: A Writer’s Journey Doing Poetry with Inmates was released by Olive Trees Publishing in October 2019.  Patricia is a co-founder of The Literary Guild of the Finger Lakes, a grass-roots organization dedicated to creative expression. Visit

March 26, 2020 | Bon Voyage Genesee Reading Series, Bonjour Literary Partners

6:00 pm - 10:00 pm | $20 | at Nox Cocktail Lounge

Writers & Books’ Genesee Reading Series is ending its long, illustrious run as it transforms and expands into our Literary Partners Reading Series. We couldn’t be more grateful to Wanda Schubmehl for 13+ years of inspired curation, and to her dedicated predecessor M.J. Iuppa.

You are warmly invited to join us in celebrating Wanda, GRS alums, and the series on Thursday, March 26, 6 – 10 pm, with a marathon reading of past GRS participants at Nox Cocktail Lounge.

Your $20 ticket, which entitles you to 1 complimentary drink at Nox, will help underwrite the cost of delivering admission-free Literary Partners readings in 2020 (tax deductibility: $10).

Are you a past GRS reader? If you’d like to read at the celebration, email to reserve your spot once you’ve purchased your ticket.

April 9, 2020 | Danielle Pafundo & Edward Dougherty

Danielle Pafunda is the author of nine books of prose and poetry, including The Book of Scab (Ricochet Editions, 2018), Natural History Rape Museum (Bloof Books, 2013), and Manhater (Dusie Press, 2012), Iatrogenic: Their Testimonies (Noemi Press, 2010), as well as two chapbooks. Her work has appeared in three editions of The Best American Poetry, and has been widely anthologized. A teacher at Rochester Institutute of Technology, she has served on the board of directors of VIDA; and holds a BA from Bard College, an MFA from New School University, and a PhD from the University of Georgia.

Edward A. Dougherty has published five chapbooks and five collections of poetry, including Grace Street (Cayuga Lake Books, 2017), Everyday Objects (Plain View, 2015) and Part Darkness, Part Breath (Plain View, 2008). About his latest collection, 10048 (Finishing Line Press), Alan Catlin writes, "What John Hersey did with Hiroshima, Edward A. Dougherty has done for 9/11. 10048 is an elegy for the World Trade Center, the best kind of poetic history: one which is unvarnished, accurate, compassionate, and poignant." Visit

April 16, 2020 | Katherine Hastings & Charlie Coté

Katherine Hastings is the author of three collections from Spuyten Duyvil Press: Shakespeare & Stein Walk Into a Bar (2016), Nighthawks (2014), and Cloud Fire (2012), as well as several chapbooks.  Poet laureate emerita of Sonoma County, CA, she edited Know Me Here: An Anthology of Poetry by Women; Digging Our Poetic Roots: Poems from Sonoma County; and What Redwoods Know: Poems from California State Parks. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies. She hosted WordTemple on NPR affiliate KRCB FM, 2007-2017, and founded the WordTemple Poetry Series in Sonoma County, CA (2006-2017). Hastings now lives with her partner in Western New York. 

Charles Coté’s recently released collection of elegies about his son’s illness and death, I Play His Red Guitar (Tiger Bark Press, 2019), has been lauded by Kim Dower as “remarkable and gorgeous poems, by turns tragic and joyful.” A clinical social worker in private practice in Rochester, NY, Coté is the author of Flying for the Window (Finishing Line Press, 2008). His work has appeared in Barrow Street, Big City Lit, Segue, Salamander, The Cortland Review, Connecticut River Review, Upstreet, Connotation Press, Ducts, Terminus, Quiddity, and elsewhere. He serves on the boards of BOA Editions and 13thirty Cancer Connect, where he often volunteers as a creative writing wellness facilitator.

April 22, 2020 | Paula Weld-Carey & Kitty Jospé

Paula Weld-Cary’s poetry has appeared in journals in the United States and abroad, including Portland Review, Slab, Cream City Review, Nimrod, Poetry Salzburg Review, Third Wednesday, and The Aurorean. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. One of her poems is forthcoming in The Midwest Quarterly and another in an environmental textbook. She lives in New York State.

Kitty Jospé is a linguist and poet who has moderated popular weekly reading poetry appreciation sessions since 2008. She holds an MA in French Literature and an MFA in creative writing/poetry, and has been a docent at Memorial Art Gallery since 1998. Her poems appear in such publications as Nimrod and Grasslimbs. She has published four books of poetry: Cadences (Foothills, 2010), Mosaicq (Finishing Line Press, 2012), Gathering Lines (2013), and Golden Smoke (Foothills, 2015).

April 23, 2020 | Gail Hosking & Georgia A. Popoff

Gail Hosking is the author of the memoir Snake's Daughter: The Roads in and out of War and the poetry chapbook The Tug. Her work has appeared in such journals as Nimrod International, Lillith Magazine, The South Dakota Review, The Florida Review, Post Road, Tar River Poetry, River Teeth, and Waxwing. Two of her essays were considered "most notable" in Best American Essays, and several pieces have been anthologized. She has been a finalist for several writing contests, including Iowa Review, Marsh Creek Press, River Teeth, and Center for Book Arts; and has received scholarships for a number of writing residencies. She taught at Rochester Institute of Technology for 15 years.

Georgia A. Popoff, of Syracuse, NY, is an editor, educator, and Workshops Coordinator and faculty member at the YMCA of Central NY’s Downtown Writers Center. For 20 years, she served on the editorial board of The Comstock Review, with 5 years as managing editor. Her poetry collections are Psychometry (Tiger Bark Press, 2019), Psalter: The Agnostic’s Book of Common Curiosities ( Tiger Bark Press, 2015), The Doom Weaver (Main Street Rag Publishers, 2008), and Coaxing Nectar from Longing (Hale Mary Press, 1997) Georgia co-authored Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy, & Social Justice in Classroom & Community, an NAACP 2012 Image Award finalist. In 2017, she co-edited, The Whiskey of Our Discontent: Gwendolyn Brooks as Conscience and Change Agent (Haymarket Books), which won a Central New York Book Award and a finalist for the Chicago Review of Books prize for nonfiction.

April 29, 2020 | Jessica Cuello & Liza Flum

Jessica Cuello is the author of Hunt (The Word Works, 2017) and Pricking (Tiger Bark Press, 2016). She has been awarded The 2017 CNY Book Award, The 2016 Washington Prize, The New Letters Poetry Prize, a Saltonstall Fellowship, and most recently, The New Ohio Review Poetry Prize. Her most recent poems can be found in Copper Nickel, Cave Wall, Bat City Review, Pleiades, and Salamander.

Liza Flum is a poet and teacher living in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Her poems appear in Narrative, The Tampa Review, The Southeast Review, Lambda Literary, The Collagist, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of a Barbara Deming individual artist grant, and her work has been supported by fellowships from the Saltonstall Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. A PhD student in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Utah, where she is a Vice Presidential Research Fellow, she works as a poetry editor for Omnidawn Publishing.

May 13, 2020 | Len Messineo & Rob Tyler

Len Messineo’s work has appeared in Shenandoah, Tampa Review, New Novel Review, The Sun: Journal of Ideas,  and elsewhere.  His stories have been twice nominated for inclusion in the Pushcart Prize Anthology; and his one-act plays, "By the Sea" and "My Anatomically Correct Artificial Life Form" have been performed at GEVA Theatre’s Regional Playwrights Festival in Rochester, NY.  

May 20, 2020 | Allison Roberts & Trish Annese

Allison Roberts is co-founder of Impact Interactive, a theatre-based training company. She is also a visual artist, actor, and writer. She is the founder and producer of the comedy troupe, EstroFest, ( and performs in local theater, TV commercials and film. Her visual art works include murals, theater sets, painting, illustration, and jewelry making.  Her written work has appeared in Rochester Magazine, City Newspaper, RocParent, and Democrat and & Chronicle.

May 21, 2020 | Misty Yarnall & Diane Rivoli 

Misty Yarnall has been published in The Roadrunner Review, KAIROS Literary Magazine, The Merrimack Review, and Gandy Dancer. Her short play was selected for in Writers & Books and Geva's 2 Pages/2 Voices this past January 2020. The recipient of the Langlois Award for short fiction, Misty works as a Visitors Services Associate at Writers & Books and leads the organization’s Writers Roc!, a writing group for 10-12- year- old writers. She currently is working on a novel.

The first story Diane Rivoli’s ever wrote was about a little girl and a lollipop. Over the years, her short stories, articles and poems have appeared in several local publications, including Democrat and Chronicle, 55 Plus Magazine, Rochester Woman Online, and The Empty Closet. Diane self-published her first novel, License, in 201, and a poetry collection, Every Moment is a Poem, Every Poem a Song, in 2016. Her most recent novel, Push and Pull, was published in 2018.

May 27 , 2020 | Cameron Miller & Judith Shenouda

Cameron Miller is a writer and preacher exploring the sacred hiding in plain sight. He  has published two novels, Thoughtwall Café: Espresso in the Third Season of Life (Unsolicited Press, 2018), and Steam Room Diaries (DAOwen Press, Canada, 2015). His book of poems and essays, Cairn, Marking the Trace, is forthcoming. Miller’s poems can be found in such journals and antholgies as Poetry Quarterly, The Poet’s Quest for God, Crossroads, and Inwood Indiana Press

Judith Shenouda is owner of Shenouda Associates Inc., a local business that researches, writes, and edits the many professional publications that streamline processes, launch products, and promote each client’s brand. She is the author of Career Success in 12 Easy Steps: A Journal; A Bisl of This, A Bisl of That: Eating Our Way; and Living Well in Froggy’s World of Plenty: Sweet Talk to Read Aloud. At this reading, you will meet Froggy who, along with his critter friends, lives a healing life in which all warts have faded away.

May 28, 2020 | Bill Capossere & Catherine Faurot

Bill Capossere’s work has appeared in such journals and anthologies as Colorado Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, In Short, and Man in the Moon; and has been recognized with Pushcart nominations and mentions in the “notable essays” section of several editions of  Best American Essays. His full-length and shorter plays have received readings at GEVA’s Festival of New Plays and the Rochester Fringe Festival. He lives in Rochester NY with his wife and son, where he writes, bikes to work as an adjunct English instructor, and plays ultimate frisbee.

Catherine Faurot’s first poetry book, Plow Harrow Seed, was published in 2006 by FootHills Publishing and her second book, Theology of the Broken, is forthcoming from Eyewear Publishing in 2021. She holds an MFA degree at Bennington College and an MA from Dartmouth in creative writing. Her poems have been published in The Colorado Review, Free State Review, The Christian Century, The New Orphic Review, Westchester Review and Classical Outlook, among other publications. Ms. Faurot has taught creative writing at SUNY Geneseo and the Rochester Institute of Technology and currently works at the Susan B. Anthony Center at the University of Rochester.

June 4, 2020 | Jenny Llloyd & Giovanna Campomizzi

Jenny Lloyd grew up in England. During her 20 years as a corporate wife, she lived in Italy and Mexico before moving to Rochester in 1980. A history professor at the College at Brockport, she has published Catching Meggie The Runaway Shetland SheepdogExpatriation, and In My Mind’s Eye, a memoir of growing up on a farm in the West of England.  

Giovanna Campomizzi May is an Italian-American immigrant with bi-polar disorder. Her memoir, Witness to Two Worlds (May 2020), is the story of her long path from shame to self-acceptance, the spiritual journey of letting go, and the ways people between two worlds must learn to weave those worlds together, or be fragmented by both. An excerpt from her memoir was published in As You Were, The Military Review in November 2019.

June 10, 2020 | Ralph Uttaro & 

June 18, 2020 | Taylor Solano & J. Edward Moss

Rochester-based Taylor Solano writes for Floated Alternative Culture Magazine, a local publication focused on music, art, and alternative lifestyle topics. She also writes free-verse poetry and short microfiction pieces, wherein she enjoys converging perceptible experiences or traits with allegorical or mystical embellishments. Solano works as a reading teacher, sharing her passion for literature and the power of words with elementary school students.

Edward Moss