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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 Magic.  Towers 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 t wo 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.

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    Karen Sideris

    Assistant Manager

    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.

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    Angie Dell

    Global and Creative Events 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 her MFA degree in fiction from Arizona State University, where she served as Prose Editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review literary journal, leads Community Outreach for ABBA (A-Buncha-Book-Artists), and is pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management. Her other interests include traveling, science writing, printmaking, and wilderness conservation.

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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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    Reese Conner

    Graduate Assistant

    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 Tempe with his well-proportioned cat, Pretzel.

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    Kyle J. Bassett

    Graduate Assistant

    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.

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    Lauren Anne Rice

    Student Administrative Assistant

    Lauren Anne Rice joined the Piper Center in May 2013. She is currently pursuing her BA in English Literature from Arizona State University. In August 2015 she will begin graduate school at ASU, where she will be studying Liberal Studies and Nonfiction Writing & Publishing, with an interdisciplinary emphasis on Creative Nonfiction, Women’s Studies, and Psychology. She also reads for ASU’s graduate literary magazine, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and is working on her first book, a narrative nonfiction novel inspired by the famous photograph known as “The Most Beautiful Suicide.” She enjoys reading and writing a variety of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, and is passionate about accurately portraying repressed identities, such as those with mental illnesses or women.

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