Instructors

Paul Kingsnorth

Paul Kingsnorth has written ten books in various styles and forms, and they all tell the same story, however hard he tries to tell another. It’s the story of the brokenness of modern humanity: specifically, of the severing of the link between people and place, between the humans and the wild and between the sacred and the profane; about the results of that severance and how, maybe, we can begin to correct it. His most strongly-held belief is this: that our modern crisis is not economic, political, scientific or technological, and that no ‘answers’ to it will be found in those spheres. He believes that we are living through a deep spiritual crisis; perhaps even a spiritual war. His interest these days is what this means.

Nicholas Kotar

Nicholas Kotar writes epic fantasy inspired by Russian fairy tales. As he has been doing research for his novels, he has found a lot of edifying and interesting articles in Russian about Russian history, culture, fairy tales, and traditions. None of them are available in English. What astounded him was how applicable so much of it was to our own day. The stories he found illuminate a lost past where Orthodoxy, history, and culture were all one and the same. In our own time of inner and outer fracturing, these people, events, and stories inspire us to think, act, and live differently–more in tune with our age-old faith, and less pandering to the demands of the fickle world. Plus, a lot of the stories are just plain fun and entertaining.

Jonathan Pageau

Jonathan Pageau is a professional artist, writer and public speaker, giving workshops and conferences all around North America. He teaches carving, speaks on art, but mostly explores the symbolic structures that underlie our experience of the world. Through his YouTube channel and podcast, The Symbolic World, he also furthers the conversation on symbolism, meaning and patterns in everything from movies to icons to social trends. Articles on The Symbolic World are contributed by several writers engaged with him in the exploration of symbolism across all fields.

Katherine Bolger Hyde

Katherine Bolger Hyde has spent her life surrounded by books, as a reader, editor, and writer. Her love of classic literature is reflected in her degree in Russian Literature from Reed College. She has worked for a number of years as senior editor for Ancient Faith Publishing, where she enjoys mentoring promising writers. She has published a number of adult novels and children’s books in both the secular and Orthodox markets. What they all have in common is the theme of the redemption of broken lives through the power of grace. ​As an instructor, Katherine focuses on helping students improve their craft in whatever type of writing they choose to pursue.

Nicole Roccas

Nicole Roccas is a writer, podcaster, and communications professional at the intersection between faith and the “tough stuff” in life like mortality, time, infertility, doubt, and grief. She grew up in Wisconsin, did her graduate work in Cincinnati, and lived in Germany for a few years before settling down in Toronto in 2013. Along the way, she converted to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, received her PhD, and began writing and podcasting. But beneath the veneer, life isn’t always easy. From a young age, she has been fascinated and haunted by the deep, answerless questions of existence: Why do we die? What is eternity? What is the purpose of suffering? In her writing, podcasting, and speaking, she seeks to bridge the hope and meaning of faith with the reality of suffering and grief. 

Samira Kawash

Samira Kawash holds a PhD in literary studies from Duke University and is a professor emerita at Rutgers University. 

She is the author of Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure and Dislocating the Color Line, as well as the founder of the website Candyprofessor.com. She is a regular contributor to First Things, and her essays have also appeared in The AtlanticCompact Magazine, and beyond. Kawash lives in Brooklyn.

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