Writing Workshop



Dr. Baer, the Poetry Editor at Crisis, is the author of fifteen books including "Borges" and Other Sonnets; American Film Classics; The Conservative Poets; The Heretic; Luís de Camões: Selected Sonnets; and Elia Kazan: Interviews.  A current Guggenheim fellow, he’s previously received an N.E.A. Fellowship, a Fulbright (Portugal), the T.S. Eliot Award, and the Jack Nicholson Screenwriting Award.  His plays have been produced or read at several dozen American theaters, including, most recently, Chicago Dramatists and E.A.T (New York City).  The Director of the Southwell Institute, he also directs the Richard Wilbur Poetry Series and the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize.  He is currently at work on a Christmas musical, Silent Night, and a musical adaptation of Eleanor H. Porter’s Pollyanna.


Dr. Russell is President of the SS Peter and Paul Education Foundation, dedicated to founding a new orthodox Catholic college in southeastern Michigan.  Formerly a Professor of Literature at Ave Maria College, the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and Wake Forest University, he has authored the audio series: The Catholic Shakespeare, which explores the plays’ moral, biblical and encoded Catholic themes.  His past involvement in over forty productions in both professional and community theater has also shaped his dramatic concepts.  A graduate of Princeton and South Carolina (M.A.), he completed his graduate work at Louisiana State University.  He was the Associate Editor of The Formalist from 1990-2004, and his writings have been published in The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Southern Review, South Central Review, POMPA, Renascence, and other journals.


Dr. Varholy is the Director of Corpus Christi Watershed, a Catholic multi-media apostolate in Texas dedicated to the arts, culture, and religion.  A graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, he received his Doctorate in Literature from Oxford University (Magdalen College), doing his dissertation on W.H. Auden.  He has studied at the Angelicum in Rome, and he has taught at Providence College, Mitchell College, and Our Lady of Corpus Christi, where he recently taught a class in the theater arts.  In his youth, he studied acting at the Eugene O’Neil Theater in Connecticut, and he has performed in numerous plays and musicals over the years.  Currently, his work at Corpus Christi Watershed has focused on documentary film production and other film projects.




Kevin O’Brien is the Founding Director of Theater of the Word in St. Louis, Missouri.  This new Catholic theater company has been established with the assistance of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke and Fr. Joseph Fessio’s Ignatius Press.  First trained as an actor at the Academy for the Performing Arts in St. Louis, Kevin O’Brien is a graduate of Webster University and the Founding Director of Upstage Productions, which has produced interactive murder mysteries across the country.  He is also the author of a number of various Christian dramas and comedies, including King David, The Journey of St. Paul, and Making Room: The Story of the Innkeeper’s Wife.  He performs regularly on Catholic Radio, and he’s currently involved in a ten-part series on Catholic drama for EWTN.