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The New Voices Festival brings writers at the beginning stages of burgeoning literary careers to share fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction, and screenwriting with the students and faculty at Ithaca College, and the large and diverse literary community in the city of Ithaca. As the heart of its mission, New Voices aims to involve undergraduate students at every level of planning and implementation, enlisting students as hosts for the college, and writers in their own right. It is a collaborative effort of the Writing and English Departments at Ithaca College, with invaluable support from the schools of Humanities and Sciences, Theater, and the Park School of Communications. 

Co-Director: Eleanor Henderson, Assistant Professor, Writing Department

Eleanor Henderson was born in Greece, grew up in Florida, and attended Middlebury College and the University of Virginia, where she received her MFA in 2005. Her fiction has appeared in Agni, North American Review, Ninth Letter, Columbia, and Salon, among other publications. Her story “The Farms” was nominated for a Pushcart and selected by Alice Sebold for The Best American Short Stories 2009. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, All Things Considered, Poets & Writers (where she was a contributing editor), and The Virginia Quarterly Review (where she was the chair of the fiction board). From 2006 to 2010 she taught at James Madison University in Virginia. Now an assistant professor at Ithaca College, she lives in Ithaca, New York, with her husband, Aaron, and sons Nico and Henry. Ten Thousand Saints is her first novel. See her website at​

Co-Director: Chris Holmes, Assistant Professor, English Department

Chris received his M.A. from the Bread Loaf School of English, and his PhD from Brown University. He joined the English Department at Ithaca College in 2011, and teaches introductions to postcolonial and contemporary literatures, as well as upper division courses on the South African novel, literary theory, and global Modernisms. He has published articles on the novels of Michael Ondaatje, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ivan Vladislavic, and Zadie Smith.

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2019 Interim Co-Director: Jennifer Tennant, Associate Professor, Economics Department

Jen Tennant is an associate professor of Economics at Ithaca College. A health economist by training, her research focuses on disability and mental health policy. She has written a number of articles on health economics and disability policy and has recently started writing creative nonfiction.  An image text essay, created with the photographer Nura Qureshi, was published in July 2018 in A VELVET GIANT. She has essays forthcoming in Pleiades and The Smart Set.

Director for Visiting Playwright: Claire Gleitman, Professor, English Department


Professor Claire Gleitman is the resident director for the playwright series of the New Voices Literary Festival. Professor Gleitman’s research interests focus primarily on the modern drama and more specifically on modern and contemporary Irish drama. She has published articles on Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, Frank McGuinness, and Sebastian Barry. In addition, her original two-act play, Speech Acts, was produced by Theater Catalyst in the spring of 2004, under the direction of Carol Laratonda. She is a founding member of the On The Verge play-reading series, whose players act in the New Voices productions.

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Intern Assistant Director: Margaret McKinnis, Student

Margaret McKinnis is a Writing major with Honors and English minors at Ithaca College. She is a nonfiction editor for the campus literary magazine, Stillwater, and has worked for the Ithaca Writers Institute. She was also a writing intern at Ithaca's Community Arts Partnership.The New Voices Festival has been one of Margaret's favorite events at IC, and after participating as a guide in the 2018 Festival, she couldn't wait to get more involved with New Voices as the intern.

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