Writer's Block Festival Faculty



Young Adult Fiction

Olivia Cole is an author and blogger from Louisville, Kentucky. She is the author of the New Adult series Panther in the Hive and a Young Adult series, including books A Conspiracy of Stars (2018) and An Anatomy of Beasts (2019). Her essays have been published in Bitch Media, Real Simple, the LA Times, HuffPost, Teen Vogue, and others. Cole is the creator and curator of the all-women science-fiction themed art show KINDRED. She teaches creative writing at the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts. 




Idris Goodwin is the Producing Artistic Director of StageOne Family Theater in Louisville, Kentucky. He is a playwright, director, break beat poet, and educator driven by the ethos of Hip Hop. His plays And In This Corner Cassius Clay, How We Got On, and Hype Man: a break beat play are produced at theatres, college campuses, and non-traditional spaces nationwide. Goodwin has received commissions and support from The Kennedy Center, The Eugene O'neill Conference, Oregon Shakespeare Festival's American Revolutions Series, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Children's Theatre and Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor Residency. Currently, he is writing a play co-commissioned by Arena Stage's Power Plays Initiative and The Playwright Center's McKnight Fellowship. He has published three poetry collections with Haymarket Books including Can I Kick It? (2019) and appeared on HBO, Sesame Street, NPR, BBC radio, and The Discovery Channel.


Derek Mong


Derek Mong is the author of The Identity Thief (2018) and Other Romes (2011), both from Saturnalia Books. A chapbook, The Ego and the Empiricist (2017), was a finalist for the Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Contest. His collaborative translation, The Joyous Science: Selected Poems of Maxim Amelin—completed with wife, Anne O. Fisher—received the 2018 Cliff Becker Translation Prize. A poet, essayist, translator, and scholar, Derek's work appears widely in the Kenyon Review, Blackbird, At Length, Pleiades, Two Lines, Poetry Northwest, and in the recent anthology, Writers Resist: Hoosier Writers Unite (2017). He blogs for Kenyon Review Online and writes about new poetry for the Gettysburg Review. Mong is the Byron K. Trippet Professor of English Literature at Wabash College, in Crawfordsville, Indiana where he lives with his wife and son.  

300 DPI photo.jpeg



Joe Sacksteder, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, is the author of the story collection Make/Shift (Sarabande Books), winner of the 2017 Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature, and the novel Driftless Quintet (Schaffner Press). Fugitive Traces, his album of audio collages, is available from Punctum Books. His stories, poems, essays, and audiovisual work have appeared in such journals as Ninth Letter, The Rumpus, Denver Quarterly, and Salt Hill. He is in the process of completing his PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah, and he directs the Creative Writing Program at Interlochen Center for the Arts. 

Amy Wright author photo.jpg


Creative Nonfiction

Amy Wright is the author of two poetry books, one collaboration, and six chapbooks, including the prose collection Think I’ll Go Eat A Worm. Most recently her essays won first place in two contests, sponsored by London Magazine and Quarterly West. She has also received two Peter Taylor Fellowships to the Kenyon Review Writer’s Workshop, an Individual Artist Grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and a fellowship to Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her essays appear or are forthcoming in Brevity, Fourth Genre, Georgia Review, Ninth Letter, Waveform: Anthology of Women Essayists, and elsewhere.