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Writing Mentors


Heather Laurel Jensen



Heather Laurel Jensen is a junior at Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Arizona. She serves as National Student Poet of the Southwest 2018, and is co-president of Creative Youth of Arizona, an LLC which assists with the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in Arizona and administers the Phoenix Youth Poet Laureate program. Her poetry, short stories, and photography have been published by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, Best Teen Writing of Arizona, diode poetry journal, Polyphony HS, and the Blue Marble Review, among others.

Lyrik Courtney



Lyrik Courtney (b. 1999, Tampa, Florida) is a German Studies and Creative Writing double-major at Agnes Scott College, where they have been the recipient of the Janef Newman Preston Prize and the Betty W. Stoffel Award for Poetry. Much of Courtney’s work consists of abstract narratives about afro-surreal subjects or deconstructs the (necro)pastoral image and landscape. The erotic form, where it appears in the poems or short prose, is often, if not always, rendered grotesquely. They were one of the 2018 Winter Tangerine Writing Fellows and are a June Fellow (2019) of the Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets. Lyrik is an alum of various Winter Tangerine workshops and the Adroit Journal’s Summer Mentorship Program (Class of 2017). They have been published in journals such as Liminality, Ninth Letter, Blueshift, and Strange Horizons, and are the blog editor and interview correspondent for TRACK//FOUR, a magazine for people of color.

Darren C. Demaree



Darren C. Demaree is the author of eleven poetry collections, most recently “Emily As Sometimes the Forest Wants the Fire”, which will be published in June of 2019 by Harpoon Books.  He is the recipient of a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Louis Bogan Award from Trio House Press, and the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal.  He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.  He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

Kate Bucca



Kate Bucca holds a dual-genre MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she served as the Vermont Book Award Fellow, and a BFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She is the author of a novel, Companion Plants (Fomite Press), and was a finalist for the 2018 Hillary Gravendyk Prize and the 2018 Autumn House Press Rising Writer Contest. Her short fiction, essays, poetry, and paintings can be found in WelterLimestone, Timber, The Nervous Breakdown, DigBostonHalf Mystic, and elsewhere.

Kate works as a freelance writer and editor, and as an administrative assistant for the UPEI Faculty Association. This summer, she will serve as a creative writing mentor for the COUNTERCLOCK Arts Collective. Kate is an M.Ed. candidate at the University of Prince Edward Island with a focus on gender identity, writing pedagogy, and poststructuralist feminist theory. She has read manuscript submissions for the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency; taught Algebra 2, Eastern Maine Skippers Program, and Freshman Seminar at George Stevens Academy; presented a workshop as a visiting residency lecturer at Goddard College; and tutored students in Writing and Mathematics at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. She lives in PEI and Vermont with the writer Dominic Bucca and two cats, Snack and Barney.

Shahé Mankerian



Shahé Mankerian is the principal of St. Gregory Hovsepian School in Pasadena and the co-director of the Los Angeles Writing Project. He is the recipient of the Los Angeles Music Center's BRAVO Award, which recognizes teachers for innovation in arts education.

His manuscript, History of Forgetfulness, has been a finalist at the Bibby First Book Competition, the Crab Orchard Poetry Open Competition, the Quercus Review Press Poetry Book Award, and the White Pine Press Poetry Prize.

In 2017, three literary journals, Border Crossing, Cahoodaloodaling, and Lunch Ticket nominated Mankerian’s poems for the Pushcart Prize. In 2018, Sum literary journal nominated Mankerian’s poem “In Twos” for the Pushcart Prize. Recently, two online publications, Border Crossing and Cahoodaloodaling, have nominated Mankerian’s poems for the 2018 Best of the Net. Visible Poetry Project animated Shahé’s poem, “The Last Mosque,” and premiered it at the 2018 New York City Poetry Festival. Shahé received the 2017 Editors’ Prize from MARY: A Journal of New Writing.

Mankerian's poems have appeared in the following journals: Adanna, Altadena Poetry Review, Amygdala, Arts & Letters, Bacopa Literary Review, Barzakh, A Common Thread, Conclave, Crab Orchard Review, Ellipsis, Forage, Four Ties Lit Review, Hyphen, The Indian River Review, Inkwell, Lightning Key Review, The Los Angeles Review, Matter, Mizna, Metonym, The Mochila Review, NEBO, The New Guard, Palaver, Paterson Literary Review, Perfume River Poetry Review, The Poetry Box, Proximity, Silver Birch Press, Sukoon, Surreal Poetics, Spillway, The Tishman Review, Worldpeace, Writers Tribe Review, and numerous anthologies and online publications.

Sarah Feng


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Sarah is an award-winning poet and novelist from the San Francisco Bay Area. She writes of sweeping dovetails, of Californian poppies, of incense and crushed fronds and glittering green ponds in the towns of Yichang; in her work, she aims to explore the poetic essence of California, the Chinese-American identity, and the border between perception and reality, if such a border exists at all.

She is enthralled by the writing of William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, John Steinbeck, Esme Weijun Wang, Jhumpa Lahiri, and James Joyce, among others, and she finds it a lovely and exciting exercise in consciousness to remove herself from her own reality and step into the work of another.

She is a 2018 Foyle Commended Young Poet of the Year and the runner-up for the Adroit Prize for Prose. She has also been recognized by Teen Vogue, the Critical Pass Junior Poet Prize, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the Leyla Beban Young Author’s Foundation, the California Coastal Commission, Write the World, the American Scholastic Press Association, and more. Her work is in the Adroit Journal, the Critical Pass Review, Gigantic Sequins, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and Up the Staircase Quarterly. She was Kenyon Young Writer's Workshop '18 and the Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship '17.

Since March 2019, she has served as the editor-in-chief of COUNTERCLOCK Journal and the founder and program director of the COUNTERCLOCK Arts Collective. She is so excited to work with you!