Erin Bartnett has been in love with words and their magic from the time she was able to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? In many ways, her life to date has been an attempt to explore that question and its implications on community development and the arts. She is a recent graduate from Rutgers University in New Jersey, where she was editor-in-chief of The Anthologist literary magazine, coordinator for Alternative Winter and Spring Break Service Trips, and a College Writing Center tutor. She moved to Maine with her boyfriend after a very lucky Google search and thanks the search engine daily for its suggestion. She lives in the West End and works at Apple. Currently, Erin is a publishing and programs intern and is grateful for the opportunity to work with the staff and volunteers who are true masters in patience, passion and a good laugh. In her role as field trip volunteer and Young Authors Group facilitator, Erin tries to ask the students a more species-appropriate form of that question, What do you see? She is honored to be apart of The Telling Room community that listens for their answers, and shares them. Erin will head to the University of Virginia this fall to pursue an English PhD with a concentration in Modern & Contemporary Studies.
Colleen Clark is a singer, writer, and biking enthusiast. Since graduating from University of Southern Maine with a bachelors in English, she has filled her days with various gigs, short stories, memoirs, and outdoor excursions. Despite her passions and love of Portland, she recently sought to achieve something more impactful. During this time she was lucky enough to find The Telling Room. She feels so incredibly blessed by the numerous experiences she has had through her volunteerism, whether it be teaching vocals to a group at Reiche, exploring the Old Port with students from Bonny Eagle, or building books from the ground up during countless fieldtrips. Each new instance has truly touched, motivated and inspired her insomuch as she can honestly count The Telling Room among the primary reasons her own writing and creative projects have come so effortlessly as of late. She is so grateful to all of her students and The Telling Room for the immeasurable positive impact they have had on her life. Colleen now looks forward to pursuing a career in education and continuing her commitment to The Telling Room.
Stephanie Hatzenbuehler came to The Telling Room through the many wonderful people she knows in Maine who have had a hand in creating and growing this center. She grew up in Idaho and lived on the west coast for many years before coming to understand that she and her family belong in Maine. The Telling Room is a place where dedicated, whole-hearted people come together to create a safe, nurturing place for children and young adults to find their voices and stories. Organizing Glitterati with her mighty co-conspirators has been a gift and truck loads of fun. Steph lives in Portland with her husband (John), two kids (Eva and Miles), cat (Jonah), several bats in the attic (who shall not be named), and 6 chickens (Harriet, Ruthie, Lucy, Marshmallow, CoCo, and May). May might actually be a rooster. It's too soon to tell.
Blaise Maccarone likes cooking, baking, reading, long walks (though not necessarily on the beach), traveling to new places and trying new things, and being on boats. Her background is in college admissions, volunteer leading and organizing, a bit of carpentry and a dab of cooking, counseling, and study abroad and inter-cultural education. Blaise believes everyone can and should be involved in some kind of service to others, big or small, and her belief in that, and love of writing and working with kids, brought her to The Telling Room. She says, "Because of my 9-5 job, I can’t be involved as much in the field trips and summer camps as I would like, so I moved into the role of silent-auction co-chair on the Glitterati committee where I can use my powers of organization and bugging people for forms and details for good."
Sean Lynch grew up in Maine and has been helping out at the Telling Room since last spring. He’s studied literature and fiction writing as an undergrad in Massachusetts, as a regular citizen during a month-long writers’ program in Prague, and as a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) student on his sofa in front of a computer screen. After a somewhat reluctant return to his home state two years ago—reluctant because it was rather directionless, not because he dislikes his home state—he finally got around to filling out The TR’s Volunteer Application and has marveled ever since at the creative valve-opening the organization seems to have mastered. Shaping a story with a Young Writer and Leader, clomping up the hill to the PPL’s Portland Room during essay-writing camp, listening to students’ hard won vox pops, and writing into the room: these have been occasions where Sean’s felt storytelling’s powerfully connective exchange. When Sean’s not at The Telling Room, he’s scratching out some stories of his own, editing and writing for a local magazine, traveling, working some shifts at the public library, and wincing at having to write short third-person bios.