Daniel Johnson, Executive Director
Daniel Johnson–a poet, educator, and veteran nonprofit leader–most recently served as the founding executive director of 826 Boston’s youth writing center in Roxbury for nearly a decade. At 826 Boston, Daniel helped deliver writing programming to more than 20,000 under-served Boston Public School students, published a number of award-winning collections of student writing, and helped grow 826 Boston into the city’s premier youth writing center. A Teach for America alumnus, he is a tireless proponent of delivering arts programming where it’s needed most and has taught in a variety of settings from urban schools to prisons, and county hospitals to residential programs.
Daniel is the author of How to Catch a Falling Knife, a book of poems published by Alice James Books. In conjunction with the book’s release, he performed an illuminated text involving poetry, music, and the found home movies of a World War II-era Fuller Brush salesman. Daniel is currently working on a collection of elegies for the American journalist James Foley, a longstanding friend who was killed by ISIS in Syria in 2014. Daniel’s writing has been featured in outlets such as NPR, PBS News Hour, Best American Poetry, Boston Review, and elsewhere. In 2016, Daniel was named a finalist for the Poet Laureate of Boston and has received numerous honors for his writing including awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Chicago Poetry Center. In 2018, Daniel is serving as an Artist-in-Residence with the City of Boston. He is also a member of the Writers’ Room of Boston. When not reading or writing poetry, Daniel enjoys setting off on adventures with his wife and kids in New England and beyond.
Erica Charis-Molling, Education Director
Erica Charis-Molling is a poet, educator, and librarian. Her writing has been published in Crosswinds, Presence, Glass, Anchor, Vinyl, Entropy, and Mezzo Cammin and is forthcoming in Redivider. She has taught workshops at the Boston Public Library and online courses for Berklee Online. Her work in libraries has included service in academic and public environments in a variety of roles. She’s an alum of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and recently received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University. She currently lives in Boston with her wife Beth and her fur children Juno & Simon. When she's not reading, writing, or helping others do so, she might be in the kitchen trying to figure out what else one can do with zucchini from her farm share or on her bike chasing her next triathlon participation medal and post-race beer.
Isaiah Frisbie, Events and Communications Coordinator Americorps VISTA
Originally from Southern California, Isaiah earned his dual BA in Literary Arts and English Nonfiction Writing from Brown University. He's currently pursuing his MA in Civic Media at Emerson College. A first-generation college and low-income student himself, he spent the majority of his undergraduate career working in community organizing and on-campus advocacy initiatives. He is particularly invested in the intersections of writing, social justice, educational equity, and artistic activism. Isaiah is also a writer and poet and considers poetry to be a conduit for closure and resistance. His previous professional experience includes editing, social media marketing, photography, and graphic design.
Dana Alsamsam, Program Assistant Intern
Dana is a Syrian-American poet, critic, editor, and administrator from Chicago and an MFA candidate at Emerson College. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Redivider, Senior Editorial Assistant at Ploughshares, and is committed to a career in administration and development for artistic nonprofit organizations.
Dana is the author of a chapbook, (in)habit (tenderness lit, 2018), and her poems are published or forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, North American Review, The Shallow Ends, Gigantic Sequins, Tinderbox Poetry, Salamander, BOOTH, The Common and others. Critical work appears in the Rumpus and Grist. Her work has been supported by a fellowship from Lambda Literary's Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices.
Sam Kiss, Development Assistant Intern
Sam Kiss is a poet and essayist currently pursuing a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College, as well as a minor in Nonprofit Communications. He is passionate about the intersection between social justice, community building, and the arts.
His creative nonfiction essay “Chronology of the Body” was published by Brevity magazine, and will be featured in the “Best of Brevity” print anthology in 2020. He will also present his freshman honors thesis, “Hell is a Teenage Girl: the male and female gaze in female friendship horror” at the National Collegiate Honors Council conference this fall. This summer, he worked as a summer resident at Haley House, a soup kitchen that serves and supports homeless and food insecure men in Boston. When he isn’t busy working as the Head Designer for three on-campus magazines or editing his latest writing, he can be found in his room making zines.