Artists in Residence
Featured AiRs – Sept 2024
Novelist • Memoirist
Ann Hood is the author of over a dozen novels, including the bestsellers The Knitting Circle, The Obituary Writer, and The Book That Matters Most. Her debut novel, the bestseller Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine, has been in print since 1987. She has also written five memoirs, including Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, which is the story of her five-year-old daughter Grace from a virulent form of strep in 2002. The book was a NYT Editors’ Choice and was named one of the top ten non-fiction books of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly.
Hood has also written The Treasure Chest, a 10-book series for middle readers, and two novels for Young Adults: She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) and Jude Banks, Superhero. She has edited Providence Noir, part of Akashic Books popular Noir series, as well as Knitting Yarns and Knitting Pearls, two anthologies of writers writing about knitting.
Her essays and short stories have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Food and Wine, Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, The Paris Review, and many more.
She has won two Pushcart Prizes, two Best American Food Writing awards, a Best American Travel Writing award, and a Best American Spiritual Writing award,
Hood’s most recent book is her memoir, Fly Girl, which is about her eight years as a TWA flight attendant from the late 70s to the mid-80s, spanning the Golden Age of Flying through deregulation and the beginning of vast system wide changes.
For more, visit www.annhood.us
Naomi Shihab Nye
Palestinian-American writer, editor and educator Naomi Shihab Nye grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas, where she continues to live.
She has been the Young People’s Poet Laureate for the U.S. (Poetry Foundation), poetry editor for the New York Times magazine, and The Texas Observer, and a visiting writer in hundreds of schools and communities all over the world.
Her books include Everything Comes Next, The Tiny Journalist, Voices in the Air, Sitti’s Secrets, Habibi, This Same Sky, & The Tree is Older than You Are: Poems & Paintings from Mexico.
Her volume 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, was a finalist for the National Book Award. The Turtle of Oman and The Turtle of Michigan have both been part of the Little Read program, North Carolina.
Naomi received Lifetime Achievement Awards from The Texas Institute of Letters and the National Book Critics Circle.
Her ever-hopeful approach to human connection and her deep presence of being will be so valued at Essere.
For more, visit
Tracy Wright Corvo
Tracy Wright Corvo is a portrait photographer with a passion for capturing the soul essence of individuals through her lens. With over 20 years of experience in fine art and portrait photography, Tracy is also well known for her branding photography for a wide range or private and commercial clients.
Tracy has a unique ability to reveal the true inner radiance of her subjects. She has won numerous contemporary photography awards and has exhibited her work in both the United States and Europe.
Driven by a lifelong thirst for knowledge and a deep love for art, Tracy is a teacher, a visionary, and an explorer as well as an artist. Her studies in quantum physics and metaphysics, have led her on a profound quest to understand more about herself and the universe. This spiritual journey has deepened her understanding of the power of photography as a sacred tool.
Now focused on Soul Light Portrait photography, Tracy creates multidimensional, soul-opening experiences which inspire free thinkers to embrace their power and unleash their full potential.
Using her intuitive gifts and skills as a portrait artist, she guides individuals on a journey of self-discovery, unveiling their unique gifts and genius. Tracy believes that by embracing one’s true self, individuals can lead joyous and abundant lives while making a positive impact on the world around them.
Tracy’s artistic talent and commitment to empowering others to radiate their unique light, make her a beacon of inspiration in both the realms of photography and soul exploration.
For more, visit www.soullightportraits.com
A highly diversified painter of people, landscapes, animals and still life, Robin Wellner has won numerous national awards and inclusion in shows with American Women Artists, Oil Painters of America, and Richeson 75 Figure and Portrait International Show.
She is an avid plein air painter who explores texture and richness through use of the palette knife in addition to the brush. Her current exploration is in bridging the gap between abstract and realism.
Robin’s fascination with people and using a limited palette, led her to develop the workshop ‘Alla Prima Portraits, Using the Zorn Palette.’ She also teaches Palette Knife painting, and says she loves seeing the lights go on for students when they “get it” in a workshop.
Known for capturing the essence or soul of the person whose portrait she is painting, Robin is genuinely connected with her subject matter. This is evident in her work with Artists for Justice, visible in portraits of people such as Kentanji Brown Jackson, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and Ahmaud Arbery.
Her training began in Fine Arts at the University of Southwest Louisiana and she has since studied with renowned artists such as Dawn Whitelaw, Robert Liberace, Rich Nelson, and Chris Saper.
In addition to painting, Robin has worked in stained glass, graphic design, murals, and faux finishing. We are fortunate to have her at Essere to share her wealth of experience, her advocacy for diverse human expression and her contagious joie-di-vivre!
For more, visit www.robinwellner.com
AUTHOR Nonfiction • Director of Essere
Jennie Lee, Founder and Director of the Essere Residency, is a Nautilus Book Award winning author of three nonfiction books:
- SPARK CHANGE: 108 Provocative Questions for Spiritual Evolution
- TRUE YOGA: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment
- BREATHING LOVE: Meditation in Action
A recognized expert in the fields of meditation, yoga therapy and spiritual self-development, Jennie has coached private clients for over 25 years. She is also a frequent guest on podcasts in the wellness sector and has just completed her fourth nonfiction book.
Her writing has appeared in numerous national magazines and blogs, and she has contributed chapters to the books: Yoga Therapy Across the Cancer Care Continuum; Yoga Therapy Foundations, Tools and Practice; and Love- The Ultimate Answer to the Meaning of Life.
Exploring other forms, Jennie has written feature length screenplays, poetry, and even greeting cards.
Jennie has written themed curriculum and facilitated 15 international retreats, leading groups in daily practices for personal development and wellbeing.
At Essere, she manages the program on-site, guides meditation sessions, mentors nonfiction writers, and is available to participants for personal and professional coaching around their artistic pursuits.
For more, visit www.JennieLeeYogaTherapy.
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