MFA in Creative Writing
BA in English (Honors), magna cum laude
Phi Beta Kappa
Leni has a wealth of teaching experience at the high school and college levels. At Columbia University, she taught Beginning Fiction to undergraduates. She was also an adjunct instructor for several years at Hunter College, where her courses ranged from first-year composition (“Writing New York”) to advanced-level poetry workshops. In Eugene Lang College’s First-Year Writing Program, Leni taught composition and literature (including a course called “Ghosts in American Fiction”). While a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she was an instructor of fiction, poetry, and prose composition.
Leni has also taught several short courses in creative writing, including a master class for high school students at the Walnut Hill Summer Writing Program (Natick, MA) and a visiting-writer residency at the Vermont Studio Center. She has served several times as a writer-in-residence at the annual Juniper Summer Writing Institute in Amherst, Massachusetts. Most recently she has worked with adult writers in fiction workshops in the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina Asheville.
As an undergraduate at Brown University, Leni served as a peer tutor in the renowned Rose Writing Fellows Program. Her training included rigorous study of writing pedagogy and tutoring techniques. After her promotion to Head Fellow, she supervised other tutors in their work. Leni’s education as a teacher continued at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she studied with Peter Elbow, a leading scholar of writing pedagogy.
Leni is the author of Farewell Navigator: Stories (2008), which was hailed by Publishers Weekly as “a powerful, irresistible collection” and received rave reviews in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Observer, L.A. Weekly, and many other periodicals. Leni has also published numerous short stories and essays in journals such as Quarterly West, Open City, Salt Hill, New Orleans Review, Gigantic, New York Tyrant, and Keyhole. She is currently at work on a full-length animated film, in collaboration with the artist Luca Dipierro, and her second novel will be published in 2012.
Leni’s writing awards include the AWP Intro Journals Award for Short Fiction, two Pushcart Prize nominations, and a Fellowship in Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has received fellowships from a number of artists’ colonies and residencies, including Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Hedgebrook. Leni was profiled in the “Debut Fiction” issue of Poets & Writers magazine.
Leni is an expert instructor of academic writing skills at all levels. She also loves to work with students on short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Her rate is $250 per hour.