We are only as good as our teaching; happily, the Telling Room's teaching artists are the best.

The Telling Room has gone virtual until it feels safe for our staff, volunteers, teaching artists, students and community to gather. Like many of you, we've been actively following the progression of COVID-19 in Maine, in other parts of the country and across the globe. In the interest of following guidance from local, state and federal authorities regarding measures that best promote public health, we have suspended our daily in-person operations until further notice. Please visit our Programs page for more information and to learn about our virtual programming.

It turns out that sometimes writers, artists, and craftspeople like crawling away from their desks, coffee shops, and studios to share their secrets. Who better to introduce kids to the power of writing than the professionals who help create and give passion to it? Dozens of professional writers and artists have led our workshops. Here is a sampling of who they are.

Jaed Muncharoen Coffin is the author of A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants (Da Capo/Perseus), a memoir which chronicles his experience as a Buddhist monk in his mother’s native village in Thailand. Jaed has spoken widely at universities and colleges where his book is taught as a common text in multicultural curriculum initiatives. His forthcoming book, Roughhouse Friday (Riverhead/Penguin), is about the year he fought as the middleweight champion of a barroom boxing show in Juneau, Alaska. Recently, Jaed has served as the 2009 William Sloane Fellow at Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the 2009-10 Wilson Fellow in Creative Writing at Deerfield Academy, and the 2008 Resident Fellow at the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska.

Sara Anne Donnelly has worked as the managing editor at Mainebiz and as the staff writer at the Portland Phoenix. Her freelance journalism has been featured by The Boston Phoenix, Down East Magazine, Mainebiz, and Maine Public Radio, among others. Her fiction has been awarded the Martin Dibner Fellowship for Maine Writers and the Fred Shaw Prize, and her reporting has won numerous national and regional first-place accolades. 

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc's first collection of poems, Death of a Ventriloquist, was chosen by Lisa Russ Spaar for the Vassar Miller Prize and will be published in 2012. His poems have appeared in magazines including Tin House, The New Republic, and Poetry Northwest, and he serves as Poetry Editor of Maine magazine. In 2011 he was named one of Maine’s “emerging leaders” by the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media for his work directing The Telling Room, where he still occasionally teaches workshops on poetry, sportswriting, and whatever else might get kids excited about words and stories. He is at work on his first novel.

Henry Wolyniec is, among other things, a comic book artist. With a grant from the Xeric Foundation, he self-published two comic book series, WAHH and Life. He is a graduate of Parsons School of Design in NYC and has been an exhibiting artist for over twenty-five years. In Maine, his collages are represented by Whitney Art Works, and in Boston, by Miller Block Gallery.