The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

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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 Angie Dell

Angie Dell

Associate Director

Angie Dell has worked at the Piper Writers House in different capacities since 2010. Before that, Angie earned a BA at Hampshire College in writing and material culture, and both an MFA degree in Creative Writing and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from Arizona State University, where they also worked as Prose Editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review literary journal, and as President of ABBA (A-Buncha-Book-Artists).


Picture of Dana Tribke

Dana Tribke

Assistant 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.


Picture of Jake Friedman

Jake Friedman

Coordinator Senior

Jake Friedman currently serves as the Coordinator Senior for the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, where he is responsible for managing various projects, partnerships, and other literary events and programs under the direction of Alberto Ríos. Prior to that, he served as the Marketing and Outreach Specialist and, prior to that, a Coordinator. He joined the Piper Center in August of 2016.


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.

Photograph of Ryan Krebs

Ryan Krebs

Graduate Assistant 2020

Having received a Bachelor of Arts degree in english literature and a minor in philosophy, Ryan values the power of art as a form of social and personal expression. Currently, he is working towards his Master of Arts degree in comparative literature and literary theory while helping put art into action through assisting as a research assistant for the Piper Center for Creative Writing. His interest in expanding the Phoenix writing community stems from his own aspirations as writer of American cultural criticism, short fiction, and scripts for the screen.


Allie Mahai

Allie Mahai

Poetry Out Loud Intern 2020

Allie (pronounced 'Ollie') is a Senior Poetry major in the Creative Writing program. She's an ENG 102 Writing Mentor, satirist for the State Press Magazine, and a cast member of Tempe Late Night. In their free time, they like to read, write, watch TV, and knit.  She's excited to meet and work with everyone!


Photograph of Jorge Sandoval

Jorge Sandoval

Outreach Intern

Jorge Sandoval is a PhD candidate in the Mary Lou Foulton teachers college at Arizona State University. Jorge's academic and professional work history includes a focus on arts-based qualitative research methods, and has worked as a public school educator in social sciences, as well as a graphic designer/illustrator in the print industry.