Administrative Staff

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Suma Karaman Rosen

Executive Director

Dynamic classroom teacher turned nonprofit leader, Suma’s experience in corporate, nonprofit and educational settings has brought depth to her leadership of InsideOut since 2017. Suma is inspired by the resilient and empowered InsideOut students, and brings this passion to all corners of our work, from managing finances and fundraising, to amplifying students’ voices far and wide.

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Lia Greenwell

Operations Coordinator

Lia brings masterful organization to her work as Operations Coordinator, where she focuses on capacity building, marketing, and office-wide systems. Serving as the hub where program and administration meet, Lia is equally skilled in supporting the InsideOut team and providing high quality customer service to external stakeholders. A poet and essayist, her writing has appeared in the Kenyon Review, the Missouri Review, and elsewhere.

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John Randolph

Development Associate

With a deep commitment for finding the perfect intersection between donor passion and organizational need, John coordinates InsideOut’s individual and corporate giving, as well as fundraising campaigns. John previously served as a Campaign Manager at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields and a Vista Volunteer with Hunger Solutions Minnesota. He experienced the transformational power of writing as a teen and is thrilled to support InsideOut in sharing that power with students throughout Metro Detroit.

Program Staff

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Alise Alousi

Director of School & Community Partnerships

Alise has grown with InsideOut from the ground up. As a former Writer-in-Residence at Cody and Cass Tech High Schools, Alise learned first-hand how to cultivate and empower student voice. She brings this on-the-ground knowledge and many years of non-profit youth program experience to her work as Program Director, which she held from 2009-2019, and in her new role as Director of School & Community Partnerships. Alise is a talented poet whose work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and is a recipient of a Knight Arts Challenge Detroit award.

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Michelle Bolofer

Program Director

A native Detroiter, experienced educator, and lifelong Diversity and Inclusion advocate, Michelle is dedicated to closing the opportunity gap for students and communities. As a classroom teacher, corporate educational consultant, and start-up nonprofit director, she has worked to improve educational equity and expand access to resources. With her passion for youth development and community empowerment, Michelle leads the InsideOut program and directs our program vision.

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Shawntai Brown

School Programs Manager

With a passion for literacy and pedagogy, Shawntai works with Writers-in-Residence and classroom teachers to cultivate impactful and meaningful learning. In addition to attending InsideOut programs as a student and working in the classroom as a Writer-in-Residence,  Shawntai has a Master of Arts in Literacy Learning and has worked as an educator with students of all ages as well as adults. A Kresge Artist Fellow, Shawntai is a playwright with the Extra Mile Playwrights and poet whose work has appeared in Kaleidoscope, Cactus Heart, and Synaesthesia Magazine.

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Reynaldo George Hinojosa Jr.

Lead Teaching Artist Fellow

Reynaldo is a Tejano born writer and musician whose teaching focuses on community building and identity. Working with InsideOut has afforded Reynaldo the opportunity to put into practice his love of teaching and building new and unique worlds with youth. Reynaldo’s poetry and fiction focuses on identity, generational trauma, colonialism, and constructing worlds beyond Capitalism. You can find some of his work published in runner magazine Detroit, Wayne Literary Review, and Kind Writer’s Literary Magazine.

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Suzanne Honda

Lead Teaching Artist Fellow

A lifelong resident of Metro Detroit, Suzanne brings her natural, childlike wonder for the world into her classrooms, where students are encouraged to discover their own voices, passions, and power through the intentional communities they create together. Suzanne’s many years of experience in early childhood education influence her unique approach to community building, which emphasizes a mix of shared discussion, individual reflection, and play (no matter how old her students are). Suzanne is the author of the poetry chapbook When We Were Birds; other work has appeared in SWWIM Every Day, Soundings East and more.

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Peter Markus

Senior Writer

Pete found his calling as a Writer-in-Residence with InsideOut and has been with the organization since it was founded 1995. In addition to inspiring students in the classroom, Pete partners with schools to create programs that fit their needs. Pete has published widely about the transformative power of writing, co-editing To Light a Fire: 20 Years with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project, and most recently a memoir, Inside My Pencil: Teaching Poetry in the Detroit Public Schools. A Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellow, Pete is the author of the novel Bob, or Man on Boat as well as five other books of short fiction.

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Jassmine Parks

Lead Teaching Artist Fellow

A dedicated educator who excels at creating safe spaces for youth, Jassmine joined InsideOut as Leading Teaching Artist after serving in teaching roles across our programs. Jassmine believes in the power of language to reflect on past experiences, build agency, and create a future in which we exist as our best selves. A Kresge Artist Fellow and Detroit slam poetry champion who has performed internationally, Jassmine’s work has been published through SlamFind, All Def Poetry and Wusgood? Magazine.

Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders
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Justin Rogers

Citywide Poets Manager

Justin’s journey with InsideOut began first as a student at Cody High School where a Writer-in-Residence encouraged his writing and recruited him to join Citywide Poets. Since then, Justin has performed for international audiences and published his writing widely. Justin now coordinates our Citywide Poets program, elevating youth voice through weekly sessions around the city, guest writer workshops, performances, and open mic opportunities for youth.

Writers-In-Residence

Joumana Altallal

Writer-In-Residence

Joumana Altallal was born in Baghdad to Iraqi and Lebanese parents and is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia.

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Jeffrey Amato

Writer-In-Residence

Former professional wrestler turned writer; Jeffrey Amato is a California-born fiction and creative non-fiction writer.

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Tamar Ashdot

Writer-In-Residence

Tamar Ashdot is a Brooklyn born poet, photographer, and vocalist who is currently pursuing her MFA in Poetry.

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Ayah Assaf

Writer-In-Residence

Ayah has plenty of first hand experience teaching in schools, and takes pride in establishing an ongoing creative writing club at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

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Brittany Barron

Writer-In-Residence

Brittany is a poet and youth development leader in metro Detroit. She holds a BA from Oakland University and an MFA from the University of Tampa.

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Poetry Program

Cat Batsios

Writer-In-Residence

Catharine Batsios is from Flint, and currently stays in Detroit. She writes poems about the cities that build her.

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Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders

Christiana Castillo

Writer-In-Residence

Christiana Castillo is an educator, activist, urban gardener and writer.

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Kayla Chenault

Writer-In-Residence

Kayla Chenault is a Michigan native with an MA in Creative Writing and is the author of the novella These Bones.

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Rukiya Colvin

Writer-In-Residence

Rukiya is a native Detroiter who’s an organizer, writer, urban gardener, lifelong learner, and mom.

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Isis Damil

Writer-In-Residence

Detroit bred artist, singer, songwriter and actress; Isis Damil has experience in creative, non-profit and corporate settings.

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Tarik Dobbs

Writer-In-Residence

Tarik Dobbs is an Arab American, queer writer born in Dearborn, Michigan. Dobbs’s poems appear in American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, & The Poetry Review.

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Bayan Founas

Writer-In-Residence

Bayan Founas is an educator and artist currently studying at the University of Michigan to receive a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy.

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Cal Freeman

Writer-In-Residence

Cal Freeman is the author of the book Fight Songs.

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Brie Garbin

Writer-In-Residence

Brie Garbin is a queer, Michigan-born writer. She is about to finish her final year at Wayne State University with a degree in English and creative writing.

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Jaelah Glenn

Writer-In-Residence

Jaelah Glenn is a Detroit-based poet, activist, and songwriter who has been creating art for the past 4 years. 

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Alana Gracey

Writer-In-Residence

Alana Gracey has worked with vulnerable populations since 2004, dealing with issues of homelessness, intimate partner violence, and human sex trafficking.

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Inside Out Poetry Program Poet Leaders

Justin Groppuso-Cook

Writer-In-Residence

Justin Groppuso-Cook is a poet, musician, and Metro Detroit native.

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Rose Gorman

Writer-In-Residence

Rose is the Resident Fellow for the Tuxedo Project literary center, and a member of the the 808 Writers Collective, a residency for queer writers of color.

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Shayla Harris

Shayla Harris

Writer-In-Residence

Shayla Harris is a recent graduate of Eastern Michigan University where she studied Creative Writing, and Arts and Entertainment Management.

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Elia Hohauser-Thatcher

Writer-In-Residence

Elia Hohauser-Thatcher is the author of The Prophet’s Toothbrush, a chapbook of poetry published by Finishing Line Press in 2021.

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Kyle Hunt

Writer-In-Residence

Kyle Hunt is a poet, painter and photographer from West Texas and Middle Tennessee.

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Darralynn Hutson

Writer-In-Residence

Darralynn has been a journalist and editor for more than 20+ years contributing to publications as diverse as Vogue Italia to The Detroit Free Press.

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Liana Imam

Writer-In-Residence

Liana Imam is a Michigan-born writer and educator, and holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Montana.

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Jonathan Jerome

Writer-In-Residence

Jonathan Jerome is a New York City native of Caribbean descent and Detroit transplant. An artist, old school music junkie, and adamant youth advocate.

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Nathan John

Writer-In-Residence

Nathan Kweku John is a second-year MFA poet at the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. He is of Gambian, Ghanaian, and Sierra Leonean descent.

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Mahogany Jones

Mahogany Jones

Writer-In-Residence

Mahogany Jones is a lyrical force, hailed internationally for her work, as a recording and performance artist, arts educator, and US musical ambassador who’s served 18 countries to date.

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Mary Kamal Gagnon

Writer-In-Residence

Mary Kamal Gagnon (b. 1986 Detroit, MI) is a Lebanese multidisciplinary artist, curator, and author.

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Saba Keramati

Writer-In-Residence

Saba Keramati is a poet and educator from California. She is the poetry editor at Sundog Lit.

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Felicia Krol

Writer-In-Residence

Felicia Krol is a writer and educator from Southeast Michigan. She holds a BA in creative writing from Oakland University, and an MFA from Pacific University in Oregon.

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