The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

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Piper Center Staff

The people behind the institution

Literary centers don't run themselves. Our staff members are writers, editors, educators, community organizers, and administrative professionals, working hard to present talks, readings, classes, and more. 

To meet our staff, select a staff member from the list below. You can also meet our affiliate faculty or 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 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 is 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 Felicia Zamora

Felicia Zamora

Education Programs Manager

Felicia Zamora is the education programs manager for the Piper Center. She is the author of the books Of Form & Gather, winner of the 2016 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize (University of Notre Dame Press 2017), & in Open, Marvel (Parlor Press 2017), and Instrument of Gaps (Slope Editions 2017). Of Form & Gather was listed as one of “9 Outstanding Latino Books Recently Published by Independent and University Presses” by NBC News.


Picture of Jake Friedman

Jake Friedman

Marketing and Outreach Specialist

Jake Friedman joined the Piper Center in August 2016, where he is responsible for marketing and outreach, event planning, and program support. He is the Founder and Editor in Chief of an independent community literary magazine and small press called Four Chambers, and has extensive experience organizing numerous grassroots events and programs throughout the Valley (including readings, writing groups, workshops, classes, and presentation). He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from McDaniel College in 2011 with a BA in English and Philosophy.


Picture of Piper Center Coordinator Ashley Wilkins

Ashley Wilkins


Ashley Wilkins joined the Piper center in early 2018, where she is responsible for coordinating the Distinguished Visiting Writer’s Series and rotating conferences such as NonfictioNow. She graduated with her Bachelors in Religious Studies in 2012 and has continued accumulating Bachelor’s throughout her three and a half years at ASU. Coordinating literary events is Ashley’s dream job and she hopes to continue helping grow the community based programming offered by the Center.


Piper Center Staff Member Katie Berta,

Katie Berta

Senior Editor, Hayden's Ferry Review

Katie Berta is the Senior Editor of Hayden's Ferry Review. She graduated from the MFA program at Arizona State University in 2011 and from the Creative Writing PhD at Ohio University in 2017. She's served as a Visiting Assistant Professor and Post-Doctoral Fellow at Ohio University, as the Assistant Editor of New Ohio Review, and as an Associate Editor of Hayden's Ferry Review.


Photograph of Kalani Pickhart

Kalani Pickhart

Piper Center Graduate Assistant 2018 - 2019

Kalani Pickhart is an MFA fiction candidate at Arizona State University. She is the recipient of the 2018 Virginia G. Piper Creative Writing Research Fellowship where she traveled to Kyiv, Ukraine and Prague, Czech Republic to complete research on her first novel. Additionally, in 2018 she was selected as a Title VIII Fellow and awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Intelligence in Eastern European Research. Pickhart was a finalist for the Yemassee Journal's Fiction Writing Prizes.


Piper Center Undergraduate Intern 2019 Addison Gallegos

Addison Gallegos

Undergraduate Intern 2019

Addison Gallegos is currently in her last year as an undergrad at Arizona State University, studying English Creative Writing with a concentration in fiction. She completed a year-long internship with ASU’s Marooned Literary Journal as an Editorial Board Member for the 2017-2018 edition. Addison joined the Piper Center in August 2018 as the undergraduate intern.