Michael 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.” When Lighthouse officially became a 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, UPS truck loader, accounts payable clerk, painter’s helper, high school girls' cross country coach, and ski instructor. He received a BA in English Literature from the University of Rochester, and an MFA from Emerson College.

As for his writing, his nonfiction and poetry have appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines such as Elevation Outdoors, Ekphrastic Review, Hippocampus, Threepenny Review, Pleiades, Copper Nickel, Rio Grande Review, Georgetown Review, Mountain Gazette, The Writer, and 5280 Magazine. He's also published two books of poetry, No Stranger Than My Own and Active Gods, and a chapbook, Intersection. In 2017 he was awarded a prestigious Livingston Fellowship from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, and in 2018 he received the Judy Anderson Founders Award from PlatteForum.

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 cocoon, 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 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.

Jordyn Wolking, Director of Development

Jordyn Wolking joined Lighthouse as the Director of Development in 2020. Prior to that, she worked in fundraising for nonprofit organizations throughout New York City. She earned her bachelor's at Northwestern University and a masters in Fundraising and Grantmaking from NYU. In her free time, you can find Jordyn posting book reviews on Instagram, canning jams and pickling anything that can be pickled, and playing fetch with her cat, Frankie. 

Kim O'Connor, Young Writers Program Co-Director

Kim O’Connor 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.

William Haywood Henderson, Book Project Director

William Haywood Henderson earned a BA in English from the University of California at Berkeley, an MA in creative writing from Brown University, and attended Stanford University as a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Creative Writing. He is the author of three novels: NativeThe Rest of the Earth, and Augusta Locke. He has taught creative writing at Brown, Harvard, the University of Denver, the University of Colorado at Denver, and Ashland University. At Lighthouse, he directs the Book Project and teaches the Advanced Novel Workshop and the Novel Bootcamp.

Roxanne Banks Malia, Young Writers Program Co-Director

Roxanne Banks Malia taught English and creative writing at high schools and colleges, served as the literacy program coordinator at a local public high school, and was 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, CutBank, Coldfront, and as a Mental Floss t-shirt slogan.

Manuel Aragon, Community Engagement 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. He is currently working on a short story collection, Norteñas. Norteñas is a collection of speculative fiction short stories centered in the Northside, a Mexican and Mexican- American centered part of Denver, and the people, ghosts, and demons that live there. His work has appeared in ANMLY. His short story, "A Violent Noise," is nominated for the 2020 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers.

Genna Kohlhardt, Assistant Director of Adult Programs

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, D.C., 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.

Torin Jensen, Program and Content Coordinator

Torin Jensen is a poet and translator. He holds an MFA from Boise State University, and he's taught creative writing for BSU, the DC Public Library, The Cabin Literary Center, and Lighthouse. His poems, translations, and criticism have appeared in numerous journals including The VoltaAsymptote, Poetry Northwest, Entropy MagCircumference, and MAKE Magazine, and he's the author of Phase-sponge [ ] the keep (Solar Luxuriance, 2014). He edits Goodmorning Menagerie, a chapbook press for experimental poetry and translation.

Paul Suazo, Operations Manager

Paul Suazo is a Pueblo, Colorado native who's spent the majority of his working life in the nonprofit world, where he’s focused on building organizational capacity, helping people and organizations to fulfill their aspirations. At Lighthouse, he uses his extensive management skills--he's a certified IPMA project manager--and his finance and accounting know-how to ensure everything runs smoothly. After spending most of his thirties in Europe, where he got his MA in Linguistics from University College London, the mountains pulled him back home. When he isn’t hiking or camping, he can be found dreaming of his next sojourn on quiet Denver mornings.

Rachel Weaver, Satellite Program Manager

Rachel Weaver is the author of the novel Point of Direction, which Oprah Magazine named a Top Ten Book to Pick Up Now. Point of Direction was chosen by the American Booksellers Association as a Top Ten Debut for Spring 2014, by IndieBound as an Indie Next List Pick, by Yoga Journal as one of their top five suggested summer reads and won the 2015 Willa Cather Award for Fiction. Prior to earning her MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University, Rachel worked for the Forest Service in Alaska studying bears, raptors, and songbirds. She is on faculty at Regis University’s low-residency MFA program and was awarded the 2017 Beacon Award for Teaching Excellence at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Her work has appeared in The Sun, Gettysburg Review, Blue Mesa Review, Alaska Women Speak and Fly Fishing New England.

Therese Marie Gardner, Assistant Program and Communication Coordinator

A recent graduate of University of Colorado Boulder with a B.A. in Communication and minor in Women & Gender Studies, Therese values creativity and exploration through equitable collaboration. Previously, she was the Director of Programming for TEDxCU and the Collegiate Fellows Coordinator for Denver Film Festival. Her experience with non-profit organizations has led her to work as the Director of Content Strategy of Transformative Teach, developing content to amplify and advocate for educational equity and racial justice. Therese is delighted to be a part of the Lighthouse Community to help others tell their stories and elevate the power of the written word. As an Enneagram Type 7, Therese enjoys the brighter side of life by spending quality time with her cousins swimming at Alcova Lake, arranging flowers, writing poetry, exploring cities, and dancing endlessly to Whitney Houston’s, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”

Natalie Gonzalez, Administrative Associate

Natalie Gonzalez is a Colorado native with a love for the arts and impactful community service. In May 2020, she received a BA in Political Science with a Minor in Education and a Writing Certificate from the University of Colorado Boulder and joined the Lighthouse team shortly after. During her time as an undergraduate, she held the positions of Service Chair, Fellowship Chair, and Vice President for the co-ed service organization Alpha Phi Omega. Her non-profit experience includes an internship with the Colorado Education Initiative and a work study position in the Prevention Department at Boulder County AIDS Project. In her free time, Natalie enjoys running, hiking, and witnessing the confused looks of people who drive by while she performs Broadway musicals in her car.