As a freelance writer, Melissa Coleman has written about lifestyle, health, and travel, and currently writes the monthly "48 Hours In" column for Maine magazine. Her New York Times bestseller, This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone, about growing up during the 1970s back-to-the-land movement, was published by HarperCollins in April 2011, and excerpted in O Magazine. Melissa lives in Freeport, Maine, with her husband and twin daughters.
Board Vice President Susan Conley is a co-founder of the Telling Room, where she continues to teach writing workshops. She is the author of The Foremost Good Fortune (Knopf, 2011), which was excerpted in the New York Times Magazine and was an O, The Oprah Magazine Top Ten Pick, and a Slate Magazine "Book of the Week." Susan is the recipient of two MacDowell Colony residencies, a Breadloaf Writer’s Fellowship and a Massachusetts Arts Council Grant. Other work of hers has appeared in The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The North American Review andDownEast Magazine. In the past she taught workshops at Emerson College and then later at Harvard's Teachers as Scholars Program. She lives in Portland, Maine, with her husband and two boys, and is completing a novel forthcoming from Knopf.
Currently an academic advisor at Portland Adult Education, Anja Hanson has taught writing and basic computer skills to refugees and immigrants at Portland Adult Education and Barber Foods. She has also served as volunteer coordinator and grant writer at PAE. She started work in education as an English teacher in middle and high schools in Maine and California. She is fortunate to live with her family just three blocks from the Telling Room.
Board Secretary Patty Howells is a cook and cooking teacher living in Portland. She is a graduate of Smith College with an AB in economics, and she is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served 2 years in Niger, where her focus was on maternal and infant health. She lived for 9 years in San Francisco, where she was a staff investigator for an agency specializing in indigent defense and civil rights investigations. While in San Francisco she turned her attention to food, attended culinary school, and cooked in the city’s top restaurants before moving to Maine.
Lily King grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1985 with a B. A. in English and Honors in Creative Writing. In 1991 she received an MA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Syracuse University. Lily is the author of the novels The Pleasing Hour, The English Teacher, and Father of the Rain. She is the recipient of the Whiting Writer's Award, the Barnes and Noble Discovery Award, the New England Book Award, and the Maine Literary Award in Fiction twice. She has taught English and Creative Writing at Syracuse University, Harvard Extension School, The American School of Valencia in Spain, Noble and Greenough School, and the Stonecoast Writers Conference, among others, and has visited many high schools and universities across the country as writer-in-residence. She lives in Yarmouth with her husband and children.
Alex Krieckhaus, Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee, has spent the last fifteen years managing investment portfolios for large institutions with a focus on developing-country economics. Formerly based in New York, London and Madrid, Alex recently settled in Portland, Maine with his wife and their four children, who range in age from college-bound to diaper-clad. A product of academic parents, Alex has always had a passion for pedagogy; raising his children in different countries with different languages has only reinforced his belief that kids' hunger for learning is insatiable, and that we have a responsibility to provide them a steady stream of challenges and opportunities. Alex also sits on the board of IDSVA, a Maine-based doctoral program for the visual arts, and is a director and co-founder of Paper Empire, a nonprofit music promotion and recording collaborative.
Celine Bourke Kuhn
Board President Celine Bourke Kuhn is the Program Manager of Shared Decision Making at MaineHealth. Formerly she was the Assistant Research Director of Maine Medical Center's Departments of Family Medicine, Sports Medicine, and Geriatrics, collaborating on the design of departmental research projects and leading the analysis of data from research protocols. She has a special interest in quality improvement initiatives. Celine lives in Yarmouth with her husband and 2 children.
Su Langdon lives with her family in Falmouth and teaches psychology at Bates College. With a background in developmental studies and counseling, her doctoral training focused on sport and exercise psychology. Her current research is an eclectic collection of mostly unrelated foci. It includes looking at the ways in which people define and experience respect; body image and identity; school climate and bullying. She has a special interest in adolescent development and the contexts and cultures in which it occurs.
Amy MacDonald is the author of a dozen award-winning children’s books, including Rachel Fister’s Blister and Little Beaver and the Echo, which was named one of the 10 best children’s books of the year by the New York Times, and has been published in over 25 languages around the world. She has also worked as a journalist, with work appearing in magazines from the Times of London to The New Yorker. She co-produced a documentary film, On This Island that was shown on national public television and nominated for a New England Emmy. Amy has done writing workshops for K-12 students in hundreds of schools across the country and abroad. Since 1998, she has been a Teaching Artist with the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, as part of their national Partners in Arts Education program, teaching teachers about writing in an arts-integrated curriculum. She was president of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and has served on several other boards. In her spare time, she is Executive Director of the Friends of DaPonte String Quartet. She lives in Falmouth with her husband and none of their three children.
Kai McGintee is an attorney at Bernstein Shur, where she is a member of the litigation group and specializes in the area of labor and employment law. Since graduating from the University of Maine School of Law in 2007, Kai has provided pro bono legal services for victims of domestic violence. She also serves on the Auction Committee for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine. Prior to entering law school, Kai attended Davidson College and majored in English.
After twelve years as a trade non-fiction and reference book editor in New York City and environs, Lincoln Paine began writing about maritime history. In addition to articles and book reviews, he has published Ships of the World: An Historical Encyclopedia (1997) and Down East: A Maritime History of Maine (2000). Beyond the Sea: A Maritime History of the World is due to be published by Knopf in 2013. He and his wife have raised two daughters in Portland.
Christopher Seid is a freelance creative director and writer. He has over 20 years experience in advertising and marketing communications, including 13 years in New York City. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College and has published one book of poems, Prayers to the Other Life, which won the Marianne Moore poetry prize in 1997. Chris was the founding poetry editor for Maine Magazine and has been a member of the outreach committee at the Telling Room for one year. Born and raised in Iowa, Chris lives in Yarmouth with his son, Luca, and daughter, Ava.
Co-founder Sara Corbett is the author of Venus to the Hoop: A Gold-Medal Year in Women’s Basketball and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine. Her feature stories have covered topics like child-trafficking in Cambodia, the resettlement of Sudanese orphans in the U.S., and the psychological struggle of soldiers wounded in Iraq.
Gibson Fay-LeBlanc directed The Telling Room from 2006 to 2011 and still teaches workshops both here and at schools and organizations around New England. His first collection of poems, Death of a Ventriloquist, was chosen by Lisa Russ Spaar for the Vassar Miller Prize and published in 2012. His poems have appeared in magazines including Guernica, The New Republic, and Tin House, on the PBS NewsHour Art Beat, and have received awards from the Bellevue Literary Review and UC Berkeley. He lives in Portland with his wife and sons and is at work on more poems and a novel.
Ari Meil is the owner and publisher of Warren Machine Company, a regional publishing company located in Portland, dedicated to bringing Maine's excess of talent to market. His books include Portland's Best, Portland Through the Lens, and The Way Life Should Be: Stories by Contemporary Maine Writers. Ari is also the author of 2 short novels, Triptych and Fiction.
Genevieve Morgan was a founding board member of the Telling Room and served as Board President from 2008-2012. She is a writer and editor who has authored numerous works of non-fiction and is currently the contributing health and wellness editor for Maine Magazine. Formerly, she produced a local radio show focused on health and spent several years writing about women's health. Before that she was the managing editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. She writes for a variety of corporate and editorial clients and is a marketing and brand consultant, but her true love lies in making up stories and telling them to anyone who will listen.
Co-founder Michael Paterniti is the best-selling author of Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain. His work has appeared in publications including the Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and GQ.