Writers In Residence

The writers in residence at the Bronx Academy of Letters add depth to the school’s approach to literacy by leading intensive writing workshops one day a week, brainstorming with teachers to infuse the curriculum with writing exercises, and serving as overall writing advisers—staff members students can turn to for both criticism and encouragement. The writers in residence are also faculty advisers for the school's quarterly newspaper, The Raven, and the biannual literary journal, One Pen.

The Bronx Academy of Letters is proud to welcome back poet Elana Bell and Samantha Thornhill as our writers-in-residence for the 2010-2011 school year.

ELANA BELL - http://www.louderarts.com/poets/bell/ 


Elana Bell, selected as the winner of the 2004 Stephen Dunn Poetry Award, is a 2007-2008 arts fellow at the Drisha Institute. A resident artist with the louderARTS Project, Elana has been a featured poet at Bar 13, the NuYorican Poets Cafe, Hunter College, Teachers and Writers Collaborative, The Bowery Poetry Club, Wow Café Theater, Cornelia Street Café, the Bronx Council on the Arts’ First Wednesday Series, and at the Indian Institute for Advanced Studies in Simla, India. Publications include: Words and Images Magazine, Houston Poetry Festival Journal, Parse, Clamor, Poetz.com and two chapbooks: Dreaming of Doorways and Name Carvings. She serves as the writer-in-residence for the Bronx Academy of Letters and also sings with the a cappella trio, Saheli.


SAMANTHA THORNHILL - http://www.samanthaspeaks.com/


Samantha Thornhill, a Trinidadian-born writer, has performed her work, lectured, and delivered writing workshops all throughout the Americas and in South Africa. A published poet and author, Samantha is a rising star in the world of children’s literature. Her performance poem, Little Odetta, inspired by the late folk legend, is forthcoming from Scholastic Press in the form of a picture book for children and adults. In addition, her young adult novel Seventeen Seasons is being published by Penguin Books. Samantha earned her Masters degree (MFA) in poetry from the University of Virginia while coaching Virginia’s slam team, leading them to two consecutive victories. A sought-after educator of creative written expression, Samantha’s philosophy is that inside each person exists a lover of words. In New York City she fulfills her position as professor of poetry and performance at the Juilliard School. She has presented her work in educational institutions, places of worship, festivals, conferences, museums, coffeshops and hair salons. Down to earth and diverse in both subject matter and writing style, Samantha has received enthusiastic reception in every place she has touched.