Advisors and Staff

Board of Advisors

The duties of the Board of Advisors include:

  • Advising the CLA director on the activities, publications, budget, and goals of the Center
  • Increasing the readership of the Centers’ publications and attendance at Center events
  • Enhancing fundraising
  • Developing key alliances with arts and educational groups
  • Advocating the value and importance of creative writing and the genres of contemporary poetry, fiction, children’s literature, and creative nonfiction
  • Facilitating public discussions
  • Volunteering and organizing other volunteers to serve the goals of the CLA

Robert Spahr


Originally from New York, Robert Spahr relocated to the Frostburg area in 2006. Employed as the Assistant to the President for Media Relations at FSU, Robert spends his free time writing fiction and supporting the literary arts in Frostburg. An alumnus of the FSU Creative Writing program, he is a former president of FSU’s 3 a.m. Society and has served on the Board of Advisors at the Center for Literary Arts since 2013. His fiction and poetry have appeared in Bittersweet and Backbone Mountain Review. You can find Robert at many readings and literary events sponsored by the Center in and around Frostburg.

Lea Messman Mandicott

Director, Lewis J. Ort Library

Dr. Lea Messman-Mandicott received a B.A. in History and her Master in Library Science (M.L.S.) degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo. She completed her Ed.D in Educational Leadership from West Virginia University in 2012. Lea began her career as a library faculty member at Clemson University in South Carolina where she held the position of Bibliographic Instruction Coordinator. From there she moved back to her home state of New York, where she accepted a position as Reference and Instruction Librarian at Cornell University. Lea came to FSU from Cornell in 1989 and held the position of Access Services Librarian until 2000 when she was promoted to the position of the Associate Director for Library Technology. In 2013, Lea was hired as the Director of the Library at FSU. She has over thirty years of experience supervising library services and departments in an academic environment.

John Taube

Director, Allegany County Public Library System

John Taube is the Director of the Allegany County Library System. He has been the director since 2000. He lives with his family in Cumberland.

Fred Powell

Proprietor, Main Street Books

Fred Powell is the owner of Main Street Books, which opened in 1989, and is located in downtown Frostburg. He regularly hosts readings and book signings with local, regional and nationally-known authors and illustrators. Main Street Books stocks over 20,000 titles in 45 categories including a vast collection of literary fiction, poetry and children's literature. Powell is a board member of FrostburgFirst, the Main Street redevelopment program for downtown Frostburg, and FSU's United Campus Ministry. Powell is active with the operation of the Frostburg Palace Theatre and is treasurer for The Palace's board of directors. He resides in Frostburg with his family.

Stephanie Marchbank

Allegany County Public Schools

Stephanie Marchbank is a sixteen-year veteran English teacher in the Allegany County Public School System. Throughout her career, she has served as an assessment coordinator and a mentor teacher, as well as a member on the Principal’s Council, School Improvement Team, Emergency Planning Team, public relations committee, and scholarship committee. Stephanie earned her Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership in 2015. She has worked as an adjunct university professor at Frostburg State University and volunteers in her church, the local food bank, and as a PTO member in her daughters’ schools. In addition to her membership on the board of the CLA, she serves on the Board of Trustees for the Allegany County Library System and the Western Maryland Food Bank in Frostburg. She has embraced various opportunities to talk to Maryland state representatives regarding topics in education and is currently serving as a committee member for a doctoral dissertation. Stephanie was named the 2015-2016 State VFW Teacher of the Year and the 2015-2016 Allegany County Teacher of the Year.

Mary Anne Lutz

Professor and Scholar

Mary Anne Lutz holds the B.A. from LaSalle University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Professor of English at Frostburg State University, Dr. Lutz teaches a wide range of classes, including Transatlantic Romantic and Victorian Literature, courses in Women's Studies, and the Capstone course for all English majors. She is the Internship Coordinator for the department of English. Her current research project on Washington Irving places him the in the context of the bustling, culturally diverse Manhattan of the early 19th century.

Meet the Staff

The Frostburg Center for Literary Arts staff is working hard to advocate the literary arts in the greater Frostburg Community. Along with the university's English Department, the Center's staff is coordinating literary events on campus and beyond.

Jennifer Browne


Browne's professional life has been devoted to the teaching of writing and to educational advocacy for underserved populations. She writes poetry and creative nonfiction with a particular focus on nature, the environment, science, and language.

FSU Creative Writers

Brad Barkley

Brad Barkley is the author of the novels Alison's Automotive Repair Manual (St. Martin's) and Money, Love (Norton), which was named one of the best books of 2000 by the Washington Post and the Library Journal. Brad was named one of the "Breakthrough Writers You Need To Know" by Book Magazine. He has published two collections of short stories, Circle View (SMU Press) and Another Perfect Catastrophe (St. Martin's). His short fiction has appeared in nearly thirty magazines, including the Virginia Quarterly Review, which twice awarded him the Emily Balch Prize for Best Fiction. His work was anthologized in New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2002. His first YA novel, Scrambled Eggs At Midnight, co-authored with Heather Hepler, was published in May 2006 by Penguin. His second YA novel, Dream Factory, published in spring 2007, was a Library Guild "Book of the Month, pick" and voted the Texas Institute of Arts and Letters "Best Young Adult Book" for 2007.

Andy Duncan

Andy Duncan is a full-time journalist for 12 years, Andy Duncan, author of Beluthahatchie and Other Stories, has published short fiction since 1996, winning two World Fantasy Awards and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best science fiction story of the year. His nominations for Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson awards total 15. Upcoming are "On 20468 Petercook," at, and a second collection, The Pottawatomie Giant and Other Stories. A 1994 graduate of the Clarion West writers' workshop, he has taught at both Clarion West and Clarion and served as a juror for the Philip K. Dick and Shirley Jackson awards.

Gerry LaFemina

Gerry LaFemina's six full-length collections of poetry include The Parakeets of Brooklyn, which received the 2003 Bordighera Prize and was published in a bilingual edition of English and Italian, Graffiti Heart, which received the Anthony Piccione/MAMMOTH Books prize in poetry, and most recently Vanishing Horizon (2011, Anhinga Press) His other books include two collections of prose poems and Wish List, a book of stories. In 2013 two new books will be released: Notes for the Novice Ventriloquist (prose poems, Mayapple Press) and Clamor (a novel, Cordorus Press). A noted writer, editor, teacher, and literary arts activist LaFemina was nominated for the Michigan Governor's Arts Educator of the Year award in 2000, was a finalist for a Barnes and Noble Writers for Writers Award and was a nominee for the AWP George Garrett award for literary service. In 2012 he received the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Award for Service for his work at the Frostburg Center for Creative Writing.