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    Jewell Parker Rhodes

    Artistic Director, Piper Endowed Chair
    Jewell Parker Rhodes is the author of three children’s books including Ninth Ward , Sugar , and Bayou MagicTowers Falling, a new middle grade, will be published in 2016.
    Jewell is also the author of six adult novels: Voodoo Dreams , Magic City , Douglass’ Women , Season , Moon , and Hurricane ; and a memoir, Porch Stories: A Grandmother’s Guide to Happiness ; and two writing guides: Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons for Black Authors , and The African American Guide to Writing and Publishing Non-Fiction.
    Her work has been published in China, Korea, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Turkey, and the United Kingdom and in audio format and for NPR’s “Selected Shorts.” Her literary awards include: the American Book Award, the National Endowment of the Arts Award in Fiction, the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for Literary Excellence, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for Outstanding Writing, two Arizona Book Awards, and a finalist citation for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.
    Ninth Ward has received a Parents’ Choice Foundation Award and the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, among others.  Sugar has received the Jane Addam’s Children’s Book Award and has been cited as a “notable children’s book” by the American Library Association and as one of the “best children’s book of the year” by Kirkus Reviews. Bayou Magic, recently published, completes her Louisiana girls trilogy. Bayou Magic received starred reviews from Booklist and School Library Journal.



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    Angie Dell

    Assistant Director

    Angie Dell has worked at the Piper House since 2010, joining the staff full-time in 2013. She earned her BA at Hampshire College in writing and material culture, and both her MFA degree in Fiction and her Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from Arizona State University, where she also served as Prose Editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review literary journal, and is currently the President of ABBA (A-Buncha-Book-Artists). Her other interests include traveling, climate change, science writing, and bookmaking.

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    Karen Sideris

    Assistant Manager

    Karen Sideris joined the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing in June 2010. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Miami University and her MBA from Wright State University. Karen is a fiction writer, secretly a poet, a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and recently completed the Piper Center’s Your Novel Year program. When not working at the Piper Center or writing her YA novel she enjoys yoga, reading good books, spin cycling and fun-in-general.  Look for Karen at local writing events.

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    Meredith Martinez

    Creative Programs Coordinator

    Meredith Martinez joined the Piper Center in December 2014. A graduate of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers, she writes fiction and teaches creative writing at Mesa Community College. She received bachelor’s degrees in English literature and dance choreography from Arizona State University and a diploma in dance studies from the Laban Centre in London, UK. In her free time, Meredith likes to hike in the desert. 

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    Mollie Connelly


    Mollie Connelly graduated summa cum laude from  ASU twice with both a BA and an MA in English.  Having worked as a research assistant to Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes as a grad student, she has happily returned full-time to Piper as a coordinator.  She has worked in bookstores and with the writing community since she was 10, and hopes to do so until she’s 100.  Her interests include research, library sciences, women and gender studies, fiber arts and reading everything from Beowulf to Bacigalupi.

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    Aria Curtis

    Graduate Assistant

    Aria joined the Piper House in 2015. She was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia and received her bachelor’s degree in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from Emory University. She is currently an MFA Fiction student at Arizona State University. She is the International Prose Editor at Hayden’s Ferry Review. Her other interests include photography and yoga.