Our team student leaders is agile with a wide range of cross-disciplinary skills and experience. They are passionate creatives and literary art practitioners who are steadfast about growing the collective and championing its members.

Felipe De La Rosa


Felipe is working on his MFA in Creative Writing at San José State University. His primary genre is poetry. He is a writing associate at California State University, Dominguez Hills where he’s involved with course curriculum, and teaching, and mentoring students. Southern California is home for Felipe and it’s from there that he finds much of his poetic inspiration.


Leah Tyus


Leah, a CAL Berkeley alumna, is now earning her MFA in Creative Writing at San José State University. While she primarily works as a graduate assistant with the Center for Literary Arts and a creative content fellow with Torch Literary Arts, she also maintains a few freelance engagements with noted clients like Grammarly. Leah is in Southern California where she and the fiction she writes take inspiration from the many sun filled landscapes and interesting people living there.


Okunyi Chol


Okunyi, a Gonzaga University alumna, studied Creative Writing while minoring in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies. While she is now at San José State University working on her MLIS, she continues to nurture her development as a literary artist. Okunyi says she can imagine teaching creative writing to public library users, work that would not only incorporate her many talents but feed her soul.


Keenan Norris

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Norris is a novelist and essayist:
He holds a MFA from Mills College and a PhD from the University of California, Riverside. He was a 2017 Marin Headlands Artist-in-Residence and garnered a Public Voices fellowship (2020), a Callaloo fellowship (2016) and two Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellowships (2017, 2015).
Dr. Norris teaches at San José State University and serves as a guest editor for the Oxford African-American Studies Center.


Carmen Kennedy

Managing Editor

Carmen is an author and alumna of both San José State University where she earned a MFA in Creative Writing, and the University of San Francisco where she earned a BFA in Art. Both disciplines have complemented one another in her career and in founding the DPWC. Both have helped her building out the organization’s infrastructure where literary artists of color and their activist work is supported. You can follow her @carmennedy.