Meet our Staff, Faculty & Guests
Todd Hearon — Visiting Faculty
Todd Hearon teaches in the English Department at Phillips Exeter Academy. His poems, plays and articles have appeared in AGNI, Essays in Criticism, The Kenyon Review, Parnassus, Ploughshares, Poetry, The New Republic, Slate and The Southern Review. His first book of poems, Strange Land, was published in 2010 by Southern Illinois University Press. Todd is the recipient of a Dobie-Paisano writing fellowship (University of Texas, Austin), a Paul Green Playwrights Prize (North Carolina Writers' Network), a PEN New England "Discovery" Award and he won the Rumi Prize for Poetry in 2011 and the Friends of Literature Prize from Poetry magazine..
He earned his M.A. in Irish Studies from Boston College and his Ph.D. in Editorial Studies from Boston University; while in Boston, he co-founded The Bridge Theatre Company, a troupe committed to the production of classical and contemporary verse drama from Aristophanes to Yeats. His directing credits include Aristophanes's Lysistrata; Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss; Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida; The Love of the Nightingale by Timberlake Wertenbaker, and Bloody Poetry by Howard Brenton.
John Casteen — Writers' Conference Faculty
John Casteen is the author of For the Mountain Laurel (2011) and Free Union (2009), part of the VQR Poetry Series from The University of Georgia Press. His poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and The Best American Poetry. He has contributed prose on gun policy, professional ethics, and environmental policy to Slate.com, The Washington Post, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and other magazines and newspapers.
A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he was self-employed for ten years as a designer and builder of custom furniture. Casteen teaches at Sweet Briar College, where he founded and directs the Sweet Briar Undergraduate Creative Writing Conference. He has also taught on Semester at Sea, at the University of Virginia, and as Visiting Artist Faculty in Residence at New York University. He lives in Earlysville, Virginia.
Ralph Sneeden — Writers' Conference Director
Ralph Sneeden was born in Los Angeles and grew up on the North Shore of Massachusetts and Long Island. He has been teaching English since 1995 at Phillips Exeter Academy, in Exeter, New Hampshire, where he also directs the George Bennett Writer-in-Residence Fellowship and is the Continuing Professional Development Coordinator. He has also taught at the Pingree School and Lake Forest Academy. The title poem of his first book Evidence of the Journey (Harmon Blunt, 2007) received the Friends of Literature Prize from POETRY Magazine/Poetry Foundation and the book also received honorable mention for Washington and Lee University/Shenandoah Magazine's Glasgow Prize.
He has been a Klingestein Fellow at Columbia University, the Chubb/LifeAmerica Fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the Bergeron Fellow at the American School in London, and has received an artist grant-in-aid award from the St. Botolph's Foundation. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, POETRY, The New Republic, Slate, The Southern Review, TriQuarterly, Zócalo Public Square and other magazines.Take a look at our past faculty & lecturers at Past Faculty & Lecturers.
“I came a wishful but reluctant writer -- I leave with more ambition, confidence and joy. Thanks.” (Andrea)