Tag Archives: GWP interns

Welcome GWP’s Summer 2023 Interns!


Livia Cohen (Summer Fellowship) is a student at Middlebury College where she is majoring in History and Religion. Her favorite go-to book genre is memoirs (especially when written by rock stars). Raised in Atlanta, she loves the heat but has been enjoying the change of pace in Vermont where she can snowboard, rock climb, and mountain bike in her free time.

Lindsey Gallagher (they/them) (Summer Fellowship) is a non-binary nonfiction writer from Shelter Island, New York. They are currently pursuing their MFA at Northern Arizona University. They serve as the Editor-in-Chief of Thin Air Magazine and teach English Composition. Their work can be found in The Oval and The Palhouse Review. Outside of writing, they enjoy running and outdoor adventures of many sorts.

Marissa Graf (Summer Fellowship) works in college admissions and does freelance editorial work in Austin, Texas. She is thrilled to join the Green Writers Press team! She graduated from Austin College, a small liberal arts school, with a double major in English and Spanish and a minor in Art. Marissa is naturally drawn to fiction, especially mystery, and romance, but is excited to work with children’s and young adult books. You can often find her hiking, traveling, spending time outdoors, fostering puppies, and, of course, reading. Marissa hopes to open a bookshop someday and maybe even write a children’s book of her own.

Paul Hargitt (Summer Fellowship) is a recent graduate from Wabash College, where he majored in Philosophy. He became interested in the publishing industry after a conversation with his career advisor, who suggested that he should consider looking into the publishing industry if he enjoys reading and writing. In his free time, Paul enjoys taking walks with his dog, spending time with friends, and exploring new places.

Haley Smith Hutchinson is a senior at Middlebury College in Vermont where she studies Creative Writing and Psychology. Originally from the Mendocino Coast in California, she has learned how community can be cultivated through connection to local ecologies. Haley is particularly interested in telling stories of place through the unique ways individuals and organisms experience places physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. Haley enjoys exploring new and familiar environments while hiking, running, swimming, and writing poetry.

Ana Kusserow-Lair is a recent graduate of Colgate University where she was a Benton Scholar, majoring in English Literature and Creative Writing with a minor in Art History. She was born and raised in Underhill, Vermont, and spends as much time as she can there. She has been riding horses since she was 6 years old and is an avid cross-country eventer and loves working in horse barns.  She has also traveled the world with her family, from South Sudan to India. In her spare time, you can find her listening to an Audiobook or podcast, riding, mucking stalls, traveling and hanging out with her family on their back porch, looking at Mt. Mansfield and hoping a thunderstorm will pass through.

Tess Redman is a rising senior at Duke University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Creative Writing and Spanish Studies. Her favorite literary genres are suspense/thriller and fantasy, specifically magical realism. Her (probably too many) hobbies include prose writing, playwriting, singing, dancing, and listening to fiction podcasts.

Avantika Singh is a rising senior at Edgemont Junior-Senior High School. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys watching video essays, being a Formula 1 fan, and eating good food.

Ella Spungenis a senior at Brown University studying English and Science, Technology, and Society, with a focus in the environmental humanities. She also edits and writes for The College Hill Independent. She loves finding new spots around town, whether Providence or her hometown of Brooklyn, to read and/or identify plants.

Olivia White is a Vermonter and Junior studying Graphic Design at Tufts University. She enjoys wandering in the quiet landscape of her hometown (Hartland, VT) as well as drawing and writing poetry. Her graphics and layout work for her campus’s student publications and her minor in Environmental Studies have led her to Green Writers Press. Olivia is very excited to learn a lot and to assist the GWP with book typography and design projects this Summer!

Urban Gardening Blog: Backyard Bounty

Hello, Jessica here! I am one of the interns for Green Writers Press this summer, and I bring to you all my family’s small farm in our backyard in Brooklyn, New York.

Our cat, called Sour Veggies, amongst the squash vines and spinach.

As a student of environmentalism and as a city-dweller, urban farming is a phrase I am very familiar with. At times though, I have found that the urban farming conversation presented in New York is often lost in the larger folds of “green” living trends: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, farmer’s markets, co-ops, heirloom tomatoes, and such. People are more likely to depend on markets to provide them local, fresh foods, than to plant and grow produce themselves, this being because of a lack of time and space, motivation, and of knowledge and/or experience.

If you look up “New York urban farming” on a search engine (Yahoo and Google for me) today, there is only a handful of fresh results. There are about two media posts written about community urban agriculture in New York for 2017 and they are mostly lists that account the projects going on. (See the bottom of this post for some of these links.) It seems to be a quiet but promising start, with indoor and hydroponic projects going on, and even aquaponic farms that grow plants in a closed system with fish, using the fish poop as plant fertilizer and the plants as water filterers.

A community urban farming project can only be successful if there is solid support and demand from the community. Not only would it need a community to give it material resources, but also people willing to put in the effort to grow and manage produce. Take America’s victory gardens of World War II or even Cuba’s urban agriculture conversion in the 1990s as examples of large scale urban growing projects. Though both those scenarios were formed in times of dire need, they act as models of potential community based pathways; nothing, really, is stopping us from creating our own local, fresh produce or of demanding that there be public space provided for it.

But enough about big projects, let’s return to my family’s backyard. By showing how my family manages a no-frills kind of backyard farm, I want to contribute to the demystification of the difficulty of growing food, something not just urban dwellers, but anyone who relies on outside food resources seems to be under.  We are very fortunate to have this plot of land and though this is not an example of growing produce in extreme urban spaces without access to land, I hope our narrative will add to the slow but steadily growing landscape of New York urban farming and expose people to how it is nourishing our life at home.

My family farms on a six by three yard plot of upraised soil, and have built a nine foot tall overhanging trellis for the squash. This trellis spans the length of our backyard overhead and come July, the squash vines completely cover the trellis to create a sort of shadow-speckled retreat underneath. The vines will leave the soil, climbing the tied up poles and nets to bask in the sunlight, and the squash, as they ripen, will dangle underneath the trellis like green chandeliers. This kind of farming that allows plants to transcend the ground is called vertical farming. Vertical farming is an efficient kind of farming for small plots of land: above, vines can grow and below, on the open, but shaded soil herbs and other shade-tolerant plants can grow. Vertical farming is becoming a practical alternative in cramped urban spaces like New York City, where many projects are using vertically stacked layers to grow herbs and vegetables indoors.

Our backyard farm. Note the overhanging trellis built for the vines.

For my parents, who both grew up farming rice patties in southern China, growing their own produce is not simply an optional green alternative; it is inseparable from their way of living. It is a source of pride for them that they can provide for the home in another way besides having full time jobs.

Young cucumbers climbing on the vine. @urbanveggies6x3

We grow cucumbers, winter melon, bitter gourd, spinach, ginger, yam leaves, tomatoes, and other vegetables. What growing a small farm has taught us is that there is always more than enough, and our bounty is shared amongst family and friends. Nothing is sold for commercial purposes and my family uses only one kind of insecticide, a slug and snail killer, in our practice.

Links on New York urban farming:






Follow us on Instagram @urbanveggies6x3 to see how our kind of urban farming can be done, and follow us @greenwriterspress to see how an environmentally conscious publishing house works.

Jessica is a student at Bennington College and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family.