The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

Home / Staff

Piper Center Staff

Working hard to serve the community

Behind all of the classes, talks, and all the other literary events and programs organized by the Center, our staff members are hard at work, doing their best to serve the community.  

To meet our staff, select a staff member from the list below. You can also meet Piper Center writers

Meet our Staff


Piper Center Artistic Director Alberto Álvaro Ríos

Alberto Álvaro Ríos


Alberto Álvaro Ríos, born in 1952 in Nogales, Arizona, is the author of eleven books and chapbooks of poetry, three collections of short stories, and a memoir.  His books of poems include The Dangerous Shirt, The Theater of Night, winner of the 2007 PEN/Beyond Margins Award, along with The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body, a finalist for the National Book Award, Teodoro Luna’s Two Kisses, The Lime Orchard Woman, The Warrington Poems, Five Indiscretions, and Whispering to Fool the Wind, winner of the Walt Whitman Award.  His three collections


Picture of Dana Tribke

Dana Tribke

Associate Director

Dana Tribke joined the Piper Center in early 2017, where she oversees Events, Educational Programs, Marketing and Outreach. She is also responsible for all accounting and HR related functions within the Piper Center. Dana graduated with a Bachelor’s degree of Accounting in 2009 and holds a Certificate in Community College Teaching and Learning from NAU. With a focus on servant leadership, Dana works closely with Piper Center staff to provide programs that enrich the lives of our community and provide literary opportunities that do not exist within the Valley.


Dana Hernandez

Communications Coordinator

Dana Hernandez (she/her) joined the Piper Center in November 2020. Her job at the center is to communicate the amazing, evolving work the programs team is doing–whether it be the annual Desert Nights conference, upcoming talks, salons, author events, workshops or innovations. She handles everything from the center's social media platforms, newsletters, website, branding, producing graphics and creating the annual report. Dana graduated with degrees in Communications and Journalism and Environmental Studies in 2017 from the University of St. Thomas in St.


Photograph of Mary McDonough

M. McDonough

Coordinator, Outreach Programs

M. McDonough joined the Piper center in early 2019, as the Outreach Programs Coordinator. M. received a bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Colorado Denver in 2012. Their career has centered around and continues to be shaped by community. As a national slam poet, and educator they have worked with students, teachers, youth leaders, and non-profits to leverage the power of literary arts in society. M.


Joy Young

Coordinator, Educational Programs

Joy Young joined the Piper Center in 2021 as the Coordinator for Educational Programs. They hold a bachelor's degree in Women and Gender Studies from Sonoma State University which has shaped the ways they approach creating inclusive, dynamic programming. Joy has worked in the Phoenix community as a performance and teaching artist as well as a curriculum consultant since 2012. 


Photograph of Tanya

Tanya Shirazi Galvez

Events Coordinator

Tanya Shirazi-Galvez joined the Piper Center in summer 2021 as the Coordinator fothe Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference and the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series. She was born and raised in Los Angeles. She holds a BA in History from UCLA, an MS in Counseling Psychology from Mount St.