Every member of our staff believes in the love of reading, the art of writing, and the power of the literary arts to transform individual lives and communities.
LAURIE DEAN TORRELL has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit organizations. Under her leadership since 2002, Just Buffalo has pioneered strategic collaboration; developed and implemented strategic, marketing and development plans; retained top talent at the staff and board levels; and secured grants and donations to double the budget and bring expanded literary programming to the community including BABEL. In conjunction with Just Buffalo’s 40th Anniversary (2014-2017), Torrell spearheaded JB40—a campaign to fully establish the new Just Buffalo Writing Center, expand visibility and participation, and ensure Just Buffalo’s work and mission remain vital for years to come.
BARBARA COLE is the Artistic Director of Just Buffalo and a 2011 Fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Cole began her involvement with Just Buffalo as a teaching artist, working closely with students in the Buffalo Public Schools, before joining the organization as Education Director (2008-2012). Born and raised in Philadelphia, she received her M.A. in Creative Writing—Poetry from Temple University before coming to Buffalo to earn her Ph.D. in English from the University at Buffalo. Since 2000, Cole has been writing the ongoing long poem project affectionately known as foxy moron. In addition to her poetic projects, she edited Poets at Play: An Anthology of Modernist Drama with Sarah Bay-Cheng (Susquehanna University Press, 2010).
NOAH FALCK is the author of Exclusions (Tupelo Press, 2020) finalist for the 2020 Believer Book Award for poetry, as well as several chapbooks including You Are In Nearly Every Future (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2017). He co-edited My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry (BlazeVox Books, 2017) and has been anthologized in Poem-A-Day 365 Poems for Every Occasion (Abrams Books, 2015). His work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Literary Review, Ploughshares, & Poets.org. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, where he spent 10 years teaching elementary school, he now lives in Buffalo, New York, where he works as Education Director at Just Buffalo Literary Center and curates the Silo City Reading Series, a multimedia poetry series inside a 130-foot high abandoned grain elevator.
ROBIN LEE JORDAN’s creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry has been published in various journals, including Dream Pop Press, alice blue review, Puerto del Sol, Paper Darts, Peach Mag, and My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry (Blazevox). She received her MFA in Poetry from Oregon State University and is currently working on a mixed-genre collection. She is a founding member of the grassroots community arts project (B)uffalo (A)rt (D)ispensary.
LYNDA G. KASZUBSKI is the shared Executive Assistant for Just Buffalo Literary Center and CEPA Gallery. She brings over 25 years experience in the office environment, having previously co-owned a typesetting service for 15 years before joining Just Buffalo. Ms. Kaszubski has an A.S. in Business Administration from SUNY Empire State College, and is a Notary Public for the State of New York in Erie County.
RICHIE WILLS holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the SUNY College at Buffalo. Before being hired as a staff member, he worked as a Writing Center and BABEL volunteer and as an outreach coordinator for Words on the Street and The Mocha Center. He is also contributing writer for The Galactic Tribe and continues to work as a community organizer. He is a 2020 Oishei Leaders of Color Fellow, currently participating in program designed to support and develop nonprofit leaders of color, with local cohort and national reach. Richie believes in the power of the written word and storytelling to bring people together and break barriers.
When Just Buffalo Literary Center’s founder, Debora Ott, first heard Robert Creeley’s poem “Love Comes Quietly” as a teenager in New York City, it inspired her to come to the University at Buffalo to study with the poet himself. UB’s English Department was legendary, attracting incredible poets and writers to both its faculty and its student body. Born in 1975 out of that intense period of innovation in the literary arts, Just Buffalo created a new niche, inviting writers out of academia and into the heart of the community.
Just Buffalo’s work would not be possible without the dedication of our committed volunteer board of directors.
Hodgson Russ LLP
Hodgson Russ LLP
Thomas F. Hewner
Cole, Sorrentino, Hurley, Hewner, & Gambino, PC
Sandra Block, M.D.
Writer & Physician
Buffalo Medical Group
Paul A. Battaglia
Melissa (Missy) G. Baumgart
R&P Oak Hill, LLC
Mary E. Farallo
VP HR Operations
Director of Human Resources
Say Yes Buffalo
Executive & Leadership Coach
SUNY College at Buffalo