Coordinator, Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
Wendy is a 42-year-old addict in long term recovery. Formerly in residence at Southern Maine Women’s Re-entry Center, she is currently a Coordinator for the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition. As a recovery coach, Allen is passionate about helping others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope from active addiction into recovery.
Allen enjoy’s good conversation, baking, anything creative, and music. She is also a Facilitator for MHC Discussion Projects and winner of the 2022 MHC Facilitator Prize.
Samara Cole Doyon is a second generation Haitian American and multi-generational Mainer–this state claiming half the roots of her family tree. She is a wife, mother, and teacher holding a BA in English from the University of Southern Maine and currently completing a Masters in Teaching and Learning.
She has been a regular contributor at Black Girl in Maine Media, has been featured in the Deep Water poetry column of the Portland Press Herald, and has authored children’s books Magnificent Homespun Brown (Tilbury House Publishers, January, 2020) and Magic Like That (Lee & Low Books, June 2021).
Founder and Director, Franco-American Women’s Institute
Rhea Côté Robbins was brought up bilingually in a Franco-American neighborhood in Waterville known as the South End. Côté Robbins is the author of creative nonfiction, memoirs titled, ‘down the Plains,’ and Wednesday’s Child, winner of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance Chapbook Award.
She is editor of Canuck and Other Stories, an anthology of translations of early 20th century Franco-American women writers who wrote about their immigration experience. Her poems and essays have appeared in many publications. She is the founder and director of the Franco-American Women’s Institute, FAWI.
Marpheen Chann is the author of an upcoming memoir titled Moon in Full: A Modern Coming-of-Age Story (Islandport Press, June 2022), a Maine politician, speaker, community organizer, and gay man of color.
As a gay, first-generation Asian American born in California to a Cambodian refugee family and later adopted by an evangelical, white working-class family in Maine, Marpheen uses a mix of humor and storytelling to help people view topics such as racism, xenophobia, and homophobia through an intersectional lens.
Poet, Writer, Organizer
LaLa Drew is a poet, writer, organizer and facilitator. They experience life as a Black, Queer, nonbinary, transracial adoptee. Drew is creator of BloodLetting, a poetry night for queer and femme people of color and co-founder of PoC Meditation: Feeling the Body/Healing the Heart.
They are also a former blogger with Black Girl in Maine and former columnist with the Portland Phoenix. Their most recent work has appeared in Autostraddle, Sisu Magazine, Maine Sunday Telegram’s Deep Water, and Poliquads Magazine.
Scholar of Cultural Narratives
Gaudet is a member of the Humanities faculty and associate director of the University Honors Program at the University of New Hampshire, where she teaches courses on topics like addiction, criminality, and plagues.
She is the editor of What Is a Criminal?, a collection of essays by people with diverse knowledge of the U.S. justice system, which is forthcoming in 2022. She is also working on a scholarly collection about literature and addiction. She lives in Saco with her spouse and two children.
Storyteller and oral historian
Before returning to her family home in western Maine as a freelance storyteller and oral historian, Jo Radner spent 31 years as a professor at American University in Washington, DC. There she taught literature, folklore, women’s studies, American studies, Celtic studies, and storytelling.
She is currently writing a book titled “Wit and Wisdom in the New England Village Lyceum,” about a 19th-century village tradition of creating and performing handwritten literary newspapers. Radner received her PhD from Harvard University and is a past president of the American Folklore Society and the National Storytelling Network.
Poet, Writer, Archivist
Jefferson Navicky is the archivist for the Maine Women Writers Collection. He is the author of Antique Densities: Modern Parables & Other Experiments in Short Prose, as well as the story collection, The Paper Coast, and the poetic novel, The Book of Transparencies. He lives in Freeport with his wife, dog, cats, and chickens.