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) and Snowmen Losing Weight (BatCat Press, 2012), and 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 Boston Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, & Poets.org. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, 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 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.
The executive assistant for Just Buffalo Literary Center, CEPA Gallery, and Big Orbit Gallery, Lynda G. Kaszubski has over 25 years experience in the office environment, having previously co-owned a typesetting service for 15 years before joining Just Buffalo Literary Center. She is currently in a shared position with all three non-profit organizations as part of what is believed to be the nation’s first true administrative collaboration in the arts. 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.
KEVIN THURSTON returned home to Buffalo and Just Buffalo Literary Center. Years ago he curated the Small Press Poetry Series through Just Buffalo and co-founded, along with Chris Fritton, the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair. Currently, he and Artistic Director Barbara Cole co-curate the STUDIO series. He brings a unique combination of Public Relations experience as well as experience with the organization to his role.
LINDA A. FISCHER is the founder and Managing Member of Accounting Advantage LLC for over 20 years. Her credentials include RTRP, registered tax return preparer, as designated by the IRS and has completed the IRS Annual Filing Season Program since its’ inception in 2015, which is overseen by the IRS Preparer Office. She is and has been a member in good standing in the National Society of Accountants since 1997. Her previous accounting experience includes Ingram Software and the Finance Director for the YWCA of Buffalo.
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.