Artistic Director and Founder
Born and raised in New York City, Amanda Deutch is a poet, artist and educator. Deutch's mother, uncle and grandmother lived in Coney Island up the block from the Half Moon Hotel. Deutch is the author of four poetry chapbooks, most recently: Pull Yourself Together (Dancing Girl Press, 2015) and Fit to Print (Harismus Press) a collaboration with Barbara Henry and Rosaire Appel. Her poetry has been widely published in journals including The New York Times, The Rumpus, Manhattanville Review, Revolver, Ping Pong, Denver Quarterly, and Barrow Street. Essays have been published in Delirious Hem and Poets & Writers. As a teaching artist with over 15 years of experience, as well as Director and Founder of Parachute Literary Arts, Deutch has utilized poetry as a catalyst for community engagement and youth empowerment with populations ranging from 8 to 88. Deutch has been the recipient of awards from New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), Brooklyn Community Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council and Footpaths to Creativity. She believes deeply in the necessity of creativity and self-expression as a tool for empowerment, reflection and change.
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.
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.
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 Review, A Public Space, and elsewhere. Her fiction has appeared in Opium and Forklift, Ohio and she has written essays and book reviews for Boston Review, Coldfront, LA 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
Parachute 2012 Engagement Coordinator
Jenna Leigh Evans
Parachute 2009 Festival Associate Director