Meet the fine folks who keep Lighthouse bright.
Michael J. Henry, Executive Director
Michael Henry is co-founder of Lighthouse Writers Workshop with program director Andrea Dupree. In 1997, they came up with the idea of running their own creative writing workshops under the name “Lighthouse” while looking at an Edward Hopper painting, “Lighthouse at Two Lights.” Since then, he’s taught poetry and memoir writing workshops for Lighthouse and served as chief schlepper, facilities manager, financial controller, data entry clerk, and chief technology officer. When Lighthouse officially became a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 2004, Michael was named Executive Director.
Over the years, Michael has worked as a water meter reader, board of elections paper-clip counter, college dining hall dishwasher, pizza delivery guy, paper boy, UPS truck loader, accounts payable clerk, painter’s helper, high school girls' cross country coach, and ski instructor. As for his writing, his nonfiction and poetry have appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines such as Threepenny Review, Pleiades, Copper Nickel, Rio Grande Review, Georgetown Review, Mountain Gazette, and 5280 Magazine. He's also published two books of poetry, No Stranger Than My Own, and Intersection, a chapbook, and has a third forthcoming, entitled Active Gods.
Andrea Dupree, Program Director
Andrea Dupree has worked for Lighthouse Writers Workshop from the beginning and gets her thrills finding new programs that bring literary excellence to the Lighthouse community. She works with the award-winning faculty, evaluates the existing programs, and dreams big for the future of Lighthouse. She feels lucky to get to enter the Lighthouse coccoon, where everyone's at least heard of the latest book by (x), picked up on that funny allusion by (y), and feels better with a book (by z?) cracked open on their nightstand. She teaches fiction workshops (see her writing bio here) and has had short fiction published in Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, Colorado Review, The Normal School, and elsewhere. She's been honored to receive two MacDowell fellowships for her fiction. When not writing, reading or procrastinating, she enjoys hiking, running, and hanging out with her family, including her daughters and Gallivant, the rescue dog who would love to haunt the Lighthouse hallways, but our current lease prohibits it.
Laurie Wagner, Director of Development
Laurie joined the Lighthouse staff in 2010 to broaden support for Lighthouse programs and to grow awareness of the personal and community value of the transformative power of writing. Laurie has been working with Denver nonprofits since 2002, helping them develop the resources to accomplish their missions in our community.
Kim O'Connor, Young Writers Program Director
Kim is a North Carolina native who moved to Denver in 2009 and found Lighthouse soon after. After instructing in the youth program for several years, Kim joined the Lighthouse staff as Youth Program Manager in April 2013. Before heading west, Kim received an MFA from the University of Maryland; before that, she was a high school English teacher. She was Lighthouse's 2013 Alice Maxine Bowie Fellow, and her poetry has been published in Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Inch, Literary Mama, Mountain Gazette, storySouth, Tar River Poetry, THRUSH Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Though she still has to read the instructive haiku every time she opens the front door, Kim is thrilled to work at Lighthouse. She also loves yoga, writing, and making art projects with her daughter, though she's learned through experience not to do all three of those at the same time.
Dan Manzanares, Creative Curator
Dan loves collaborating with Denver- and Colorado-based individuals and organizations. With "Friday 500," Lighthouse's most well-attended member program, he has led writing workshops at the Clyfford Still Museum, Wonderbound, Leon Gallery, and Arts Brookfield. Through Write Denver, Lighthouse's city-of-letters project, Dan has formed partnerships with the Denver VOICE, the American Museum of Western Art, Doors Open Denver, Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Denver Public Library Central Branch, History Colorado, and RedLine among others. Dan recently won a Mayor's Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture in the category of IMAGINE 2020. Check out his video here. In 2013, he received a Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts Residency, which he used to work on his novel.
Laura Miller, Program Coordinator
Laura holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Arizona where she served as co-editor-in-chief of Sonora Review and managing editor of Fairy Tale Review. She continues to volunteer as a reader for Fairy Tale Review and has contributed essays to Bustle, Lit Hub, Electric Literature, CutBank online, and elsewhere. Her fiction appears or is forthcoming in Mid-American Review, Denver Quarterly, Passages North, Shirley, Entropy, Psychopomp, Cosmonauts Avenue, Necessary Fiction, and Spork Press, among other places. She’s currently at work on a novel. If you have any Lighthouse-related questions (workshops, scheduling, events, etc.), or you’d just like to chat about the literary arts, give her a call or shoot her an email at laura (at) lighthousewriters (dot) org.
Roxanne Banks-Malia, Young Writers Program Outreach Coordinator
Roxanne Banks Malia (pronounced mail-ya, as in “mail ya a letter”) taught English & Creative Writing at both high school and college levels, served as the Literacy Program Coordinator at a local public high school, and worked as a stay-at-home mom before joining Lighthouse in 2015. She holds degrees from St. Olaf College, the University of Colorado, and an MFA in Poetry from Lesley University’s Low Residency MFA program. Her writing has appeared in Copper Nickel, Connotations, Coldfront, and as a Mental Floss T-shirt slogan. A Denver native, she excels at evading I-70 left lane traffic; she is also particularly proud of her parallel parking. When not teaching and writing, Roxanne spends time with her husband, son, and daughter in the garden or racing them down the slopes.
Genna Kohlhardt, Program Coordinator
Genna Kohlhardt grew up in Colorado and left in 2009 to get her MFA in Poetry from Boise State University. After graduating, she lived in Washington, DC for two years until she could no longer resist Colorado’s charms and moved back to her home state. She is the founder and editor of Goodmorning Menagerie, a chapbook press for poetry and translation and has her own work in Fact-Simile, H_NGM_N, and Strange Machine. She has worked in literary nonprofits and taught creative writing to children since 2010. If she is not doing something in the literary world, you can probably find her either cooking or eating.
Corey Dahl, Communications Coordinator
Corey likes to write things—emails, social media posts, press releases—for Lighthouse and then go home and write more things—short stories, mostly—for herself. Her interests include dogs, falafel, yelling the answers to Jeopardy questions, full-body dancing, and more. A member of the Lighthouse Book Project, she is working on a short story collection about weird people.
Manuel Aragon, Operations Manager
A graduate of NYU’s Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at Tisch, Manuel has spent most of his working career at nonprofits, in a variety of roles. If you’d like to know exactly what “Operations” means, feel free to shoot him an email at manuel (at) lighthousewriters (dot) org. He promises to read it and reply.