Jewell Parker Rhodes is the award-winning author of the historical novels, Voodoo Dreams, Magic City, Douglass’ Women, and the contemporary voodoo-inspired trilogy, Season, Moon, and Hurricane. She has also written a memoir, Porch Stories: A Grandmother’s Guide to Happiness, two writing guides including Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons for Black Authors and The African American Guide to Writing and Publishing Nonfiction, and the middle grade novels, Ninth Ward and Sugar.
Her work has been published in China, Korea, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, and has been reproduced in audio and for NPR’s “Selected Shorts.” Her literary awards include the American Book Award, the National Endowment of the Arts Award, the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for Literary Excellence, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for Outstanding Writing, and two Arizona Book Awards. Ninth Ward, selected as one of the “Best Books of 2010″ by School Library Journal, has received a Parents’ Choice Foundation Gold Award, the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, and the 2011 Jane Addams Peace Association Honor Award. Sugar, published May 2013, was chosen as a Summer 2013 Kids’ Indie Next List Selection and a Junior Library Guild Selection.
Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes is the Founding Artistic Director and Piper Endowed Chair of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University.Website
Karen Sideris joined the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing in June 2010. A former banker, she earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Miami University and a MBA degree in finance from Wright State University. As a fiction writer and humorist, Karen is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is active in the local writing community.
Angie Dell has worked at the Piper House since 2010, joining the staff full-time as Creative Programs Coordinator in 2013. She earned her BA at Hampshire College in writing and material culture, and her MFA degree in fiction from Arizona State University, where she served as Prose Editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review literary journal, and still serves as Treasurer for the ABBA (A-Buncha-Book-Artists) collective. Her other interests include traveling, science writing, printmaking, and wilderness conservation.
Reese Conner joined the Piper House staff in 2014. He earned his BA in English with honors at The Ohio State University, and he is currently pursuing his MFA degree in poetry from Arizona State University. Previously, Reese taught the first-year composition courses and beginning poetry workshops at ASU, where he earned a Chili Pepper on Rate My Professor. In his free time, Reese plays a suspicious amount of basketball. He lives in Mesa with his well-proportioned cat, Pretzel.
Kyle joined the Piper House in 2014. A native Texan, Kyle attended Texas Tech University where he received his BA in English and History. Currently he is pursuing his MFA in Poetry at ASU where he also reads for the Hayden’s Ferry Review. Kyle was also fortunate enough to receive the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Mentor Award for his teaching of first-year composition. An avid cyclist and bacon-artisan, Kyle resides in Scottsdale with his wife, Laura, and their cat, Thesis.
Lauren Anne Rice joined the Piper Center in May 2013. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Creative Writing from Arizona State University, and plans to earn her MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Although she is a memoir and young adult enthusiast, she enjoys reading and writing all genres of literature.