Residents for 2021 – Early 2022

Monica Rico

In residence: January 8 – 22, 2021

Monica Rico is a second generation Mexican-American who grew up in Saginaw, Michigan alongside General Motors and the legend of Theodore Roethke. She is an MFA candidate at the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program and works for the Bear River Writers’ Conference. Her poems have appeared in Anomaly, Pleiades, Black Warrior Review, BOAAT, Glass: A Journal of Poetry (Poets Resist), and Split this Rock. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and Macondista.

She is currently working on her first full-length poetry collection, PINION, a magical realist history of Mexican migration to Michigan and its impact on the building of the General Motors empire. This collection focuses on family history, the roles of women, and intergenerational trauma.

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Cody Walker

In residence: January 29 – February 12, 2021

Cody Walker headshot

Cody Walker was born and raised in Baltimore. He later lived in Seattle, where he served as the city’s Poet Populist. He currently teaches English and directs the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He’s the author of two full-length poetry collections: The Self-Styled No-Child (2016) and Shuffle and Breakdown (2008), both from Waywiser Press. His chapbook The Trumpiad (Waywiser, 2017) doubled as an ACLU fundraiser. He co-directs the Bear River Writers’ Conference and co-parents (with the fiction writer Polly Rosenwaike) two children and a cat.

During his stay at Good Hart, Cody plans to complete his manuscript of Mad Gardener’s Songs, a project he’s been working on for more than a decade. (The Mad Gardener’s form was invented by Lewis Carroll; examples can be found in Carroll’s Sylvie and Bruno and Sylvie and Bruno Concluded.) He also hopes to revise some of the political poems he wrote during the End Days of the Trump presidency.

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Scott Dorsch

In residence: February 18 – March 4, 2021

Scott Dorsch was born in Georgia, raised in Michigan. He is an M.F.A. Creative Writing candidate and Writing in the Wild Fellow at the University of Idaho. His fiction has appeared in The Midwestern Gothic. Beyond writing, he is a gardener, musician, and certified wildlife tracker with a rock-climbing obsession. He currently serves as the Fiction Editor for Fugue Literary Journal.

At Good Hart, Scott will continue working on his novel based on his short story, “Holes or Tunnels,” published in the Midwestern Gothic in the summer of 2018. Set in the dunes and shoreline of Lake Michigan, the novel follows a reluctant Park Ranger who gets wrapped up in a missing-persons case connected to the mysterious appearance of “bottomless” holes in the park’s vast dune system. With themes of loss, solastalgia, and survival, his novel works to make visible the threads that connect humans to wilderness and to each other. He’s very much looking forward to having the time and head-space to continue his work on the novel and to be re-inspired by the dunes, woodlands, and communities of Northern Michigan.

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Steph Sorensen

In residence: March 12 – 26, 2021

Parent Writer

Steph Sorensen (she/her) is a feminist writer mom. She earned her MFA in fiction from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007. She has participated in several invited readings of her poetry, at the Prague International Writers Festival, the Connecticut Poetry Festival, the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival Night of Fresh Voices, and others. She was awarded a scholarship to attend the Writing the Unreal retreat at the Highlights Foundation where she worked on revising a young adult novel manuscript. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Barrelhouse, Mississippi Review, Matchbook and 3Elements Review. She lives with her family in Pittsburgh, PA.

Steph splits her time between parenting her very energetic six-year-old, writing novels for young adults, and writing poetry and short stories for grownups. She is currently at work on a collection of short form writing consisting of poetry, prose poems and flash fiction, as well as work that blurs the boundaries between those genres. This collection will explore themes of motherhood, womanhood, identity and erasure. She enjoys employing aspects of speculative writing and magical realism as metaphor, and experimenting with form and structure. She is incredibly grateful to have been granted this residency for its generous two weeks of solitude and unbroken focus on writing, and intends to use this time to continue drafting and revision for this intra-genre short forms collection.

You can follow Steph on Twitter and Instagram: @phenompen or visit her website

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Laura Berman

In residence: April 29 – May 15, 2021

Laura Berman creates images that layer time, space, form and color together. The natural world inspires her, and there is a focus on play, improvisation, and relational dynamics in her work.

Berman has exhibited her print work in over 150 exhibitions at galleries and museums around the country and internationally. Her prints are widely collected and she has made commissioned work for a number of institutions. Berman has been a visiting artist and has worked as an artist-in-residence at Anderson Ranch Arts Center (Colorado), Frans Masereel Centrum (Belgium), Atlantic Center for the Arts (Florida) and Can Serrat Artist Center (Spain), among others.

Her work has been featured in the books Contemporary American Printmakers by E. Ashley Rooney/Stephanie Stanish, Printmaking at the Edge by Richard Noyce, A Survey of Contemporary Printmaking, by Ehlers, Ehlbeck and Muise and Color Theory: A Critical Introduction by Aaron Fine. She has worked with a number of fine print and commercial publishers around the world, including Pele Prints (St. Louis) where she has a longstanding relationship. Her work is represented by galleries: Long View Gallery ( Washington, D.C.), Olson-Larsen Gallery (Des Moines), and Uprise Art (New York City).

Laura Berman is a Professor at the Kansas City Art Institute, where she has taught in the Printmaking Department since 2002. She is a Founding Member of the Art Brand Alliance, author of the ongoing online series of artist interviews: Reflections on Color and Printmaking, and together with her husband, she runs Prairieside Cottage and Outpost, a family-friendly artist’s retreat in the Flint Hills region of Matfield Green, Kansas, USA.

During my time at Good Hart Artist Residency, my goal is to experience a new engagement with my artwork, in a geographical environment that is entirely new to me. I expect the natural environment surrounding Good Hart and its location will inspire me deeply. My printmaking practice has its own disciplined momentum, which sometimes limits my ability to be free with my work. In contrast, I have built my painting practice to be intuitive and without many rules. During my residency time, my work will expand through a new rhythm of working and a fresh outlook. I plan to create new imagery, expand the materials I paint with, and further my imagery through multiple layered paintings in a variety of scales.

Images courtesy of the artist – Laura Berman –

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Zakkiyyah Najeebah Dumas-O’neal

In residence: May 21 – June 4, 2021

Zakkiyyah Najeebah Dumas-O’neal is a Chicago based multidisciplinary artist, arts educator, and independent curator. Najeebah Dumas O’neal’s work is most often initiated by personal and social histories related to family legacy, queerness, community making, intimacy, and interiority. Her practice borrows from visual traditions such as social portraiture, video assemblage, drawing, collage, and found images.

She makes work to further understand and investigate how her own singular lived experiences, and others are connected to broader shared histories and social/cultural experiences. In addition to this investigation, there’s a commitment to reinforcing a different kind of gaze (and gazing) enacted through empathy, desire, love, softness, and longing. Najeebah Dumas O’neal is continuously exploring how these feelings (within all her work and through engagement), are exchanged between herself, her family, collaborators of her portraits, and those who experience the work. 

My work functions as a meditation of my own sublime feelings regarding touch, belonging, desire, and familial legacy. In addition to my own experiences regarding belonging and emotional states of tenderness – I’ve been thinking deeply about what it means to create work that imagines ways of being beyond the systems we inhabit. 

My most recent work in progress explore the unveiling and honoring of writer and activist Lorraine Hansberry through parts of her concealed lesbian identity. As i rewrite by hand the short fictional love stories she’s left behind, i’m considering, at what lengths, by which means do Black queer women both protect and unveil themselves through public persona, interiority, and poetics. Najeebah Dumas O’neal’s work has been included in numerous group exhibitions and several solo exhibitions at ADDS DONNA, Mana Contemporary, and South Bend Museum of Art to name a few. She has also curated exhibitions at spaces such as Chicago Art Department, Blanc Gallery and Washington Park Arts Incubator at the University of Chicago. She most recently held the 2019- 20 Jackman Goldwasser Residency at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. She is also a co-founder of CBIM (Concerned Black Image Makers): a collective driven project that prioritizes shared experiences.

You can see more of Zakkiyyah’s work please see her website –

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Carla Diana

In Residence June 14-28, 2021

Carla Diana is an artist, designer and educator who explores the impact of future technologies through hands-on experiments in form, code and electronics. She has designed a range of products from robots to connected home appliances, and her work has appeared on the covers of Popular ScienceTechnology Review and The New York Times Sunday Review.

Carla is the creator and head of the 4D Design program at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. She writes and lectures frequently on the social impact of emerging technology, and created the world’s first children’s book on 3D printing, LEO the Maker Prince: Journey in 3D Printing. She also cohosts the Robopsych Podcast, a biweekly discussion around design and the psychological impact of human-robot interaction. Her latest book My Robot Gets Me: How Social  Design Can Make New Products More Human, out in March 2021, was published by Harvard Business Review Press.

Carla holds an M.F.A. in 3D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the Cooper Union. She was previously awarded residencies at the Museum of Fine Art Houston’s Dora Maar House and the Museum of Art and Design’s Open Studio program.

You can follow her creative practice on Instagram as @carladiana


As an artist/designer working on creative applications of electronics and robotics, I am interested in understanding the nature of the relationships people build with the products around them. My most recent work explores how objects can be expressive, offering a shorthand abstraction for emotional messages the way color or material choices might be used in more traditional art making practices. During my residency time, I plan to tinker with electronics to reflect on the relationship among humans, nature, and our artifacts, seeking inspiration from the serene environment surrounding Good Hart to think about ways that natural and constructed systems can be in harmony.

Images courtesy of the artist – Carla Diana

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Stephen Kade

In residence: July 30 – August 8, 2021

Stephen Kade is a fine arts painter, illustrator, art educator, and graphic designer born and
raised in Detroit, MI. He now resides in Walled Lake, MI where he lives with his wife and two
children. He graduated from Oakland Community College with a degree in Graphic Design and
continued into the sign industry creating branding for many local businesses and clients for over
15 years. He went on to earn a BFA in Illustration from the College for Creative Studies in 2007
with a concentration in children’s book illustration and character design in watercolor and acrylic

In 2007, Stephen became a freelance artist and started Stephen Kade Illustration and Design
where he continued with his design work while illustrating childrenś books for various Michigan authors. In 2010, Stephen completed his life long goal of writing and illustrating his first childrenś book, If Kids Had Their Way. He also began teaching as an adjunct instructor at his alma matter, CCS where he worked for the Community Arts Partnership teaching weekly summer art camps for kids, and Computer Illustration and Graphic Novel classes.
Stephen realized he had a passion for teaching and returned to school to get his Arts Education certificate so he could begin a career teaching art at the K-12 level. He began teaching in 2014, and has worked at Lake Orion High School, Henry Ford Academy/ School for Creative Studies where he was Lead Art Teacher, and now he teaches at O.L. Smith MIddle School in Dearborn, MI teaching both 2D and 3D art classes. While on summer break in 2018, Stephen was chosen as the first art teacher to participate in the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Teacher at Sea Program. During his 17 day voyage on the Oregon II, he assisted scientists and focused on shark research. He painted over 20 paintings during the trip documenting the many species of sharks they caught, researched and released. Through this experience, he has incorporated science into his art lessons so kids can develop a deeper appreciation for their environment and conservation.
In 2010, Stephen began showing his illustration work in various art galleries as part of different group shows until he was accepted into juried shows in the Detroit metro area. In 2011, he was named the featured artist of the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. He is now in his tenth year of doing art festivals across Michigan and Ohio.
Stephenś painting work is varied and ranges from work that is colorful and whimsical and meant for kids of all ages, while some are thought provoking paintings that explore pop culture, science fiction, and retro- futurism. During his residency at Good Hart, he plans on exploring the beautiful landscapes of the area during the day to paint on site, and then go back to the studio to add imaginative extras during the night that will take his paintings beyond just the normal landscape painting aesthetic.

Images courtesy of the artist – Stephen Kade –

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Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann

In residence: August 13 – 27, 2021

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann received her BA from Brown University and MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She is the recipient of the Sustainable Arts Foundation grant, a Fulbright grant to Taiwan, the AIR Gallery and Lower East Side Printshop Keyholder Fellowships in New York, NY, and the Arts and Humanities Grant, Mayor’s Award and Hamiltonian Fellowship in Washington, DC. Some of the venues where Mann has shown her work include the Walters Art Museum, American University Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Rawls Museum, the Art Museum at SUNY Potsdam, the US consulate in Dubai, UAE, and the US embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon. Mann is currently an instructor at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Artist Statement

My work’s abstractions arise from the subjects I portray: ecological and geological cycles, processes of chemical corrosion and natural efflorescence. With roots in traditions of Chinese landscape painting, my monumentally sized paintings and installations evolve a fantastic, abstract vision of the natural world. My latest work confronts the challenge: the resuscitation of landscape painting in a world where “landscape” is represented and defined through an ever-widening field of digital, graphic, and visual forms. How can a painting capture flux, abundance, waste, fertility, and the collision and collusion of diverse forms? How can it respond to the pressure we place on our era’s fragile ecosystem? My paintings explore both questions by sustaining tension between what is artificial and what is natural, between what is chemical and what is biological, between organic and inorganic. The paper on which I paint is not only a recognition of a tradition of Chinese painting; it is also a medium of vulnerability and expansiveness, susceptible to crease and tear as well as to collage and collation. My own role in the creation of the paintings strikes a balance between the purpose and the protective. I trust to process, chance, and change, but I encourage, direct, and facilitate all of these. In my most recent work, I hope to live in the tradition of landscape painting, experiencing it for what it has always been: an occasion for radical experimentation and confrontation with the world, in the broadest sense of the term, that sustains us.

Images courtesy of the artist – Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann –

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Sarah Stonich

In residence: September 19 – October 6, 2021

Sarah Stonich’s first novel, These Granite Islands was a Barnes & Noble Great New Writers pick, translated to a dozen languages and awarded numerous prizes. Her second, The Ice Chorus was also a critical success, though she is best known for the Northern trilogy, beginning with Vacationland, continuing with Laurentian Divide, winner of the ’19 Minnesota Book Award. That novel was read on air by Jim Fleming as a WPRI’s Chapter A Day selection. Sarah’s memoir Shelter: Off The Grid In The Mostly Magnetic North won a NEMBA award for memoir. Her Fishing With Ray Anne trilogy debuted with Fishing! in March ’20.

Second in that series, Reeling, will launch in October, ’21. Sarah’s novels have been chosen as community reads in a dozen states and provinces. She is a frequent speaker at libraries, universities and festivals, as well as writer-in-residence at such programs as The Ragdale Foundation IL, Gibraltor Pointe; Art OMI; Anderson Center; The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland, and Hawthornden Castle, Scotland, among others. The recipient of a Loft McKnight Award and four MN State Arts Board fellowships, she also reviews fiction and non-fiction for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and other newspapers, as well as editing for The Loft’s Manuscript Assessment program. Sarah lives in a repurposed flour mill on the Mississippi River with her partner; her son, and their boxer puppy, Fergal.

Artist Statement

Place is as important to me as the characters populating my stories. We are all sums of our pasts: our relationships, the landscapes we are imprinted with; the families and societies that raised and nurtured us – or didn’t. I’m a slow writer, needing to understand my characters in their entirety before committing them to the page. If they don’t ring true and full, readers might forget them. Success for me is not how many copies are sold, but that my characters and their stories are remembered.

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Rebbecca Lynn

In residence: October 20 – 27, 2021

Rebecca Lynn is a Two Spirit artist, educator, and activist from the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Born and raised in Northern Michigan, she has always been a passionate advocate for social change. After studying sociology at the University of Michigan, she moved back home to reconnect with her tribal community, family, and ancestral lands. Her work with QueerKwe Designs aims to create representation for LGBTQ & Two Spirit Native peoples within community space by incorporating modern pride flags with traditional forms of beadwork. Rebecca uses her work to not only create visibility but also educate others on traditional Anishinaabe ideologies of gender and sexuality and the way harmful effects of colonialism. She has given lectures at the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University on Two Spirit Identity and Indigenous gender and sexuality.

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Jacinta Clusellas

In residence: November 3 – 20, 2021

Jacinta Clusellas is a composer, arranger, guitarist and singer-songwriter based in New York City. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jacinta brings together South American folklore, jazz and chamber music, in the context of songs influenced by poems, literature and nature from South America. She has served as music director-composer-arranger for the ongoing development of the bilingual musical AZUL at the O’Neill National Music Theatre Conference, New York Theatre Workshop, BRIC, The Drama League, Tofte Lake Center, Catwalk Art Institute and the Prelude Festival.

Jacinta’s debut album El Pájaro Azul was released in NYC, and published in Japan under the record label Inpartmaint Inc. Her second album A Dónde Llega el Silencio is being produced by West One Music (London, UK) and will be recorded in NYC.

In New York City, Jacinta has performed at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, The Great Hall at Cooper Union, Americas Society/Council of the Americas, La MaMa Theatre, Le Poisson Rouge, Rockwood Music Hall, Musical Theatre Factory, and Women of Color on Broadway.

Jacinta has toured the US as a composer, songwriter, and performer. Selected: South by Southwest [SXSW] (Austin, TX), Lanesboro Arts (Jerome Foundation, MN), Audacious Raw Theatre (MN), Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts (WY). Internationally, she has toured her music throughout Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Canada, Greece and Italy. Jacinta has also worked as an arranger for Grammy award-winning artists Alejandro Sanz (Berklee Performance Center) and A.R. Rahman (Boston Symphony Hall). Jacinta is a Teaching Artist at the New York Philharmonic, where she develops programs and teaches for the Very Young Composers Program, has served as a mentor at Lincoln Center’s Music Across Borders program and as a workshop creator and facilitator at Lincoln Center Passport for the Arts. She is a former member of the Carnegie Hall Music Educators Workshop and holds a B.A. in Contemporary Writing and Production from Berklee College of Music.

Artist Statement:

I compose original music influenced by Latin American poetry, nature and landscapes. I am a guitarist and singer-songwriter.

Throughout my life, music has accompanied me as a universal language, helping me break barriers, connect with people and build community. Music has always made me feel less alone, an ever present feeling of belonging somewhere. Composing brings me closer to myself, and opens the possibility to connect with myself in vulnerable states, while also empowering me to move, change and grow artistically and personally.

As a composer and performer, I seek to push my limits and discover new writing methodologies and voices. I do not define myself within one genre. Collaboration is essential to my process, which is fed by an admiration for artists in all fields, as well as for people who do not label themselves artists but are part of creative communities. I work collaboratively because of the give and take, the real need for deep listening, and the clash of various academic trainings, cultural belongings and aesthetic preferences. These experiences fulfill me in all spheres of my life.

Growing up in Argentina, I was always surrounded by nature, wide landscapes and silence. I spent my childhood traveling to Patagonia for fly fishing trips with my father, spending weeks isolated from the city and in pure contact with the environment. Since then, I have always been drawn to the oscillation between silence and sound, seeking to transmit this peacefulness through my music. In the last few years, new questions and concerns have come to my mind, which have led me to continue writing music in Spanish with more awareness of the impact and the importance of creating work that reflects current demographic changes in the US. I value Spanish lyric writing, music and work that can represent so many Latinx and bilingual communities in this country that have been in the margins of the narrative.

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Kate Eberstadt

In residence: November 29 – December 13, 2021

Kate Eberstadt is a composer, singer-songwriter, writer, and performing artist, born in Washington D.C. and currently based in Brooklyn. Her work has been shown internationally, most recently at National Sawdust (Brooklyn), The Connelly Theater (NYC), and The Nemetski National Theater (Kazakhstan.) 

She was selected as a Creator for the inaugural Toulmin Partnership by National Sawdust and The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU. Past artist residencies include The Watermill Center, The American Academy in Berlin, and The Center at West Park. Selected press: NPR,, YAMAHA,El Español, Tokyo Shimbun,Der Tagesspiegel. Her writing has been published in The Berlin Journal, ROM Magazin, Slant News, and The Writer’s Rock Quarterly

Kate founded The Hutto Project, a performing arts program for children living in an emergency refugee camp in Berlin. She has taught songwriting in public schools, detention facilities, foster care, after-school programs, and on Rikers Island. Kate enjoys spending time in nature and fostering dogs with Waldo’s Rescue Pen. For more information, visit, or check out @updatesfromkate on Instagram. 

Kate makes music with her sister Izzi under the name Delune. Their music has been featured in Glamour, ELLE, PopSugar, and more. You can find their work on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and on instagram as @deluneofficial.

Artist Statement:

During her stay at Good Hart, Kate will work on her first solo album.

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Carter Sickels

In residence: January 14 – 28, 2022

Carter Sickels is the author of the novel The Prettiest Star (Hub City Press), winner of the 2021 Southern Book Prize and the Weatherford Award, and selected as a Kirkus Best Book of 2020 and a Best LGBT Book of 2020 by O Magazine. His debut novel The Evening Hour was a 2013 Oregon Book Award finalist and a Lambda Literary Award finalist.

His writing appears in various publications, including The Atlantic, Oxford American, Poets & Writers, BuzzFeed, Guernica, Joyland, and Catapult. Carter has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the MacDowell Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He is an assistant professor at Eastern Kentucky University.

Artist Statement

Carter’s writing explores gender and masculinity, queer survival, and intimacy and violence between men.He plans to use his time at Good Hart to work on a novel-in-progress about a transgender man whose twin brother spirals deeper into drug addiction. The healing power of nature plays a critical role in the protagonist’s development and narrative arc, and Carter looks forward to writing his novel in the beautiful landscape at Good Hart. He is also excited to meet and connect with members of the local community.

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Michele Battiste

In residence: February 4 – 18, 2022

Michele Battiste writes poems, essays, and stories. She also works for The Nature Conservancy raising money to fight climate change and protect nature. She is the author of three full-length poetry collections, including Waiting for the Wreck to Burn, which won the 2018 Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press. Her writing has appeared in The RumpusAmerican Poetry Review, the Gettysburg Review and Women’s Studies Quarterly, among others. She lives in Colorado where she makes her way to the mountains when she can. 

While at Good Hart, Michele will work on The Elsewhere Oracle. The work combines poetry, oracle, and art to create a ghost story, an ecological fable, and a divination tool that demonstrates the connection between the environment and the reader. The poems are set in the abandoned and fictional town of Elsewhere, where people, places, and objects function as arcana. More reflection that prediction, the oracles offer readers a way to connect their own lives to the narrative. Priscilla Gonzalez, Colorado artist and educator (not in residence), is Michele’s collaborator, creating the artwork that will comprise the oracle deck.  

Image courtesy of Priscilla Gonzalez  

To learn more about Michele, see her website at:

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Tochukwu Okafor

In residence: Selected Writer – unable to attend

Tochukwu Okafor is a Nigerian writer whose work has appeared in the 2019 Best Small Fictions, the 2018 Best of the Net, The Guardian, Harvard’s Transition Magazine, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. He is a 2021 Wellstone Center in the Redwoods (WCR) Writing Fellow, a 2021 Grub Street Emerging Writer Fellow, a 2021 Jack Straw Writing Fellow, a 2021 Frank Conley Memorial Scholar, a 2021 Albertina Tholakele Dube Scholar for Young Writers, a 2021 Longleaf Writers Conference BIPOC Scholar, and an alumnus of the 2021 Tin House Workshop. He is also a 2018 Rhodes Scholar finalist, a 2018 Kathy Fish Fellow, and winner of the 2017 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction.

He has been shortlisted for the 2017 Awele Creative Trust Award, the 2016 Problem House Press Short Story Prize, the 2016 Southern Pacific Review Short Story Prize, and has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He was a member of the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Writing Workshop and the 2015 Association of Nigerian Authors Creative Writing Workshop. He holds a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University and has received scholarships and fellowship grants from the Worcester Arts Council, Kundiman, Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Etisalat (now 9mobile), the MTN Foundation, GrubStreet, Fishtrap, Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference, the Boston Writers of Color Group, and Exxon Mobil. He lives in Worcester, USA, and is at work on a novel and a story collection. He is on Twitter @toch_okafor and Instagram @tochukwu_okafor.

Artist Statement

I was born into stories. Straddling the liminal space between the imaginary and real world, I find myself birthing possibilities through the art of fiction — stories with people who look like me, behave like me, eat what I eat. My writing explores the nature of grief and how it manifests itself in the lives of people. Using grief as the vehicle in my writing, I delve into how one responds to pain, both physical and emotional. My work interrogates the themes of sexuality, religion, gender and non-gender, and mental health. I grew up in a society where heterosexuality was the norm, shoved down everyone’s throats. To question heteronormativity was to raise dust, to disrupt the silence, to not conform. As a literary citizen, my writing, functioning as activism, becomes a way to break free from oppression.

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Garrett Stack

In residence: February 24 – March 10, 2022

Garrett Stack is a teacher and writer at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. His work has been published in many journals and anthologies, including a runner up selection in the Grand Rapids-based Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition. His first book of poetry, Yeoman’s Work, was released as part of Bottom Dog Press’ Working Lives Series in August 2020 and includes two Pushcart Prize nominees. He lives 39 miles east of the lake with his wife and twin boys.

He is currently working on his sophomore collection of poetry, which focuses on the flyover, and will include poems published so far in The Ilanot Review, Great Lakes Review, and bee house. He will spend his time in Good Hart writing, revising, and connecting with Michigan and its residents north of Mecosta County.

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Joumana Altallal

In residence: March 16 – 30, 2022

Joumana Altallal is an Iraqi-Lebanese writer who was born in Baghdad, and grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia. She received her MFA in poetry at the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Her recent work has appeared in The Rumpus, Muzzle Magazine, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry.

She is the recipient of fellowships from Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference, Napa Valley Writer’s Conference, and the Radius for Arab American Writers.You can find Joumana on Twitter @joualt, or by visiting

At Good Hart, Joumana will continue working on her first book, a hybrid poetry collection that explores themes of desire and destruction—namely how Iraqis (and in particular Iraqi women), find love, balance and settling inside the struggle of desires that have the capacity to destroy them. She is interested also in the historical and figurative relationship America has with Iraq, and the ways Americans have come to consume Iraq always, and exclusively through a lens.

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