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.
John Sparrow joined the Virginia Piper Center in August 2012. He is a poet and digital artist from London, and works as the Creative Technology Lead for the Piper Center, and is currently completing a PhD in Digital Poetics, focusing on aesthetic and generative possibilities of writing with and through digital media.
John’s work as a digital artist has appeared online in inFlect #3, Media N: Journal of the New Media Caucus, and in a Bernadette Mayer Folio for Drunken Boat. He also contributed work to The Word in Paint, a collaboration with several poets that responds to the works of Beth Ames Swartz. He continues to work with generative texts that can be performed live.Website
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.
Mollie Connelly graduated summa cum laude from ASU with a degree in English in 2011. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Literature at ASU. She is now a graduate research assistant to Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes.