Our Team


Amanda Deutch

Executive Director and Founder

Poet and educator, Amanda Deutch was born and raised in New York City.  Her mother, uncle, and grandparents lived at 2999 West 29th Street in Coney Island from the 1930's to the late 1950's. Deutch's poetry has been published in Barrow Street, Denver Quarterly, Manhattanville Review, The New York Times, and The Rumpus. Deutch is the author of several chapbooks, including: Surf Avenue and 29th Street, Coney Island (Least Weasel Press, 2018); Pull Yourself Together (Dancing Girl Press, 2015) and Fit to Print, an anthology with artists, Barbara Henry and Rosaire Appel (Harismus Press, 2015). 

As an educator with over 15 years of experience, and as Executive Director of Parachute Literary Arts, Deutch has utilized poetry as a catalyst for community engagement and youth empowerment with populations ranging in age from 2 to 92. Deutch has been the recipient of awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), the Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn Community Foundation, and Footpaths to Creativity. She believes deeply in the necessity of creativity and self-expression as a tool for empowerment, reflection, and change. She lives in her native New York, where she works as a library specialist for children throughout the five boroughs and is the Executive Director of Parachute Literary Arts in Coney Island.


                                       Susan Brennan

Susan Brennan reading in a car on Deno's Wonder Wheel during Parachute's event Poem-a-Rama

Susan Brennan reading in a car on Deno's Wonder Wheel during Parachute's event Poem-a-Rama

Programming Associate

Susan Brennan's poems appear in various publications. Her chapbook, numinous, is published by Finishing Line Press. Drunken Oasis, her full length book of poems, is published by Rattapallax Press.  She co-wrote Vegas – Based on a True Story which premiered in competition at the 2008 Venice and 2009 Tribeca Film Festivals, and wrote the script for the award winning, million-plus hits web series, Verse, a poetry murder mystery.  As first place winner of the Tribeca/Amex My Movie Pitch Contest, her story was used for the short film, Doggy Bags, created by Edward Burns, premiered in the Tribeca Film Festival.  She has staged several of her poems with aerialists at Circus Warehouse,  and the Puppets & Poets Festival.  She received her MFA in Poetry at NYU, is a yoga teacher and lives in Brooklyn.







Amber Atiya

  •  2014-2015 Poetry Workshop Leader
    YWCA Teen Empowerment Program

Born and raised in Flatbush, Brooklyn, Amber Atiya is the author of the chapbook the fierce bums of doo-wop (Argos Books, 2014). Her work has appeared in Apogee Journal, Black Renaissance Noire, Boston Review, Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, and elsewhere. A 2012 Poets House Fellow, she is a member of a women's writing group that will be celebrating 15 years this spring.


Lynn Melnick

  • Spring 2014 Poetry Workshop Leader
    NYCHA Carey Gardens Teen Lounge

Lynn Melnick is the author of If I Should Say I Have Hope (YesYes Books, 2012) and the co-editor, with Brett Fletcher Lauer, ofPlease Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation (Viking, 2015). Her poetry has appeared in The New Republic,The Paris ReviewA Public Space, and elsewhere. Her fiction has appeared in Opium and Forklift, Ohio and she has written essays and book reviews for Boston ReviewColdfrontLA Review of Books, andPoetry Daily, among others.


Patricia Spears Jones

  • 2012 Festival Poetry Workshop Leader

  • 2009 Festival Poetry Workshop Leader


Arkansas born and raised; resident of New York City for more than three decades, Patricia Spears Jones was named by Essence.com as one of its “40 Poets They Love” in 2010. She  is author of the poetry collections: Painkiller and Femme du Monde from Tia Chucha Press and The Weather That Kills from Coffee House Press and four chapbooks, the most recent Living in the Love Economy. Her fourth collection: A Lucent Fire is forthcoming, Fall 2015 from White Pine Press. Her work is widely anthologized.



Previous Festival Staff


Becca Klaver

Parachute 2012 Engagement Coordinator

Jenna Leigh Evans

Parachute 2009 Festival Associate Director