Meet the Team
M. L. Liebler is an internationally known & widely published Detroit poet, university professor, literary arts activist and arts organizer. He’s the author of 13 books and chapbooks, including the award winning Wide Awake in Someone Else's Dream (Wayne State University Press 2008) which features poems written in and about Russia, Israel, Germany, Alaska and Detroit and won both the Paterson Poetry Prize for Literary Excellence and the 2009 American Indie Book Award. In 2005, he was named St. Clair Shores’ (his hometown) first Poet Laureate. Liebler has read and performed his work in Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, Russia, China, France, UK, Macao, Italy, Germany, Spain, Finland and most of the 50 States. Since 1980, he has taught English, Creative Writing, American Studies, Labor Studies and World Literature at Wayne State University. He’s the founding director of both the National Writer's Voice Project in Detroit and Springfed Arts. He was selected as Best Detroit Poet by the Detroit Free Press & Detroit's Metro Times and is the nation's first ever Artist in Residence for a public library at the Chelsea District Library (2008-2009). In 2010, he received the Poets & Writers: Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award with Maxine Hong Kingston & Junot Diaz. His groundbreaking anthology Working Words: Punching the Clock & Kicking Out the Jams (Coffee House Press, 2011) won a 2011 Library of Michigan Notable Book Award. In 2016, he released a new collection of poems entitled I Want to Be Once (Wayne State University Press/Made in Michigan Series), Heaven Was Detroit: An Anthology of Detroit Music Essays from Jazz to Hiphop (Editor) and Bob Seger's House: An Anthology of Michigan Short Stories (Co-Editor with Mike Delp). Both I Want to Be Once and Heaven Was Detroit won 2017 Library of Michigan Notable Book Awards. Forthcoming recordings & vinyl include Poetry Score: M. L. Liebler & Al Kooper & Howlin at the Moon by M. L. Liebler & The Coyote Monk Poetry Band. (photo credit: Jessica Trevino)
The DWGuild Board
M. L. Liebler
Diane Maxine Lockett is a #1 Best-Selling Author of Mission Unstoppable: Extraordinary Stories of Failure’s Blessings (with co-authors George Fraser and Les Brown). She’s an award-winning educator, consultant, speaker, coach, performance poet, herbalist and Certified Natural Health Professional. A native New Yorker, she graduated with honors from the City University of New York and was nominated for Best Student Teacher of the Year. Professor Lockett has presented workshops at the Virginia Beach Reading Council and for Detroit Public Schools. She has developed special professional training programs and taught for twenty-two years at the City University of New York and Davenport University in Michigan. Prior to her retirement from teaching in the Detroit Public Schools, she received the Golden Apple Award of Merit for Outstanding Teacher of the Year (MetroParent Magazine). In addition, she won a Distinguished Works Award in the 12th Annual Paul Laurence Dunbar Poetry Contest for her poem, “Black Man, You Can.” A vocalist and performing artist, she makes poetry and storytelling come alive! Her poetic expertise has been commissioned for radio commercials and jingles. She’s a featured performer on “A Poetic Showcase”, the Detroit Writers’ Guild CD, (with Naomi Long Madgett, M.L. Liebler, Herb Metoyer and Melba Boyd). Also known as, “The Food Poetess,” several of her delectable poems have been featured in Food for the Spirit (A Black History Cookbook) by the Detroit Black Writer’s Guild. Her contributions to multicultural diversity in children’s literature include collaboration on the 2001 InsideOut Writing Project’s Expressions (Ruddiman Middle School), A Mouse in Our House and The Adventures of GB, A Gingerbread Boy (with musical soundtracks, activity books and games). In November 2016, she delivered the National Anthem in the swearing-in ceremony of New Americans (Southfield, Michigan), sponsored by the Dept. of Immigration & Naturalization and the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit. She’s been featured in national venues, including the Michigan State Fair, museums, nursing homes, camps, schools, colleges/universities and corporate functions.
Metro Detroit Freelance Writer Jenifer DeBellis is Pink Panther Magazine’s executive editor and director/treasurer of the Detroit Writers' Guild. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Solstice of Pine Manor College. A former writer-in-residence for the Meadow Brook Writing Project, she facilitates workshops for Oakland University’s MBWP Writing Camps and presents at their Side by Side Symposium for K through post-secondary educators. JDB teaches writing and literature for Saginaw Valley State University and Macomb Community College. When she's not editing or writing for others, she sneaks in time for her own craft, which appears in the Aurorean, AWP's Festival Writer, the Good Men Project, Literary Orphans, Sliver of Stone, Solstice Literary Magazine, and other fine journals. Her poem, "Say You Walk Away," was nominated by Golden Walkman Magazine for a 2018 Pushcart Prize. To follow her "Tips for Writers" or read some of her published work, visit jeniferdebellis.com.
Rev. Michael C. Jones
Community Outreach Dir.
Rev. Michael C. Jones, the Dancing Poet, has spent his creative career performing collage dancing—his unique style that blends choreographed dance sequences with poetry—throughout Detroit and Southeast Michigan, as well as in Asia, Canada, the Philippines, Italy, France, and Spain. He is author of four poetry books and is an active Detroit poet. He has also worn many hats in the literary community such as Poetry Contest Judge, Poetry Event Facilitator for Christ the King Catholic Church Valentine’s Day Poetry Reading and the Detroit Association of Women, and Featured Poet, receiving recognition for his contributions from the International Society of Poets Symposium in Washington, D.C. For more information on how Mr. Jones is available for entertaining, publishing process assistance, and counseling children on poetry writing and educational career day events, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hermes Metoyer, III
Hermes Metoyer III is DWGuild’s general network technician. He is an eclectic hardware and software technician with some 35 years experience. He began developing his skills serving in the US Navy as a communications/radar electronics repair tech, where he maintained and repaired advanced naval equipment. Metoyer has a personal passion for music, songwriting, and water color art. He proudly acknowledges the influence of his father, “Herbert Metoyer Jr.,” an accomplished author, songwriter, musician, and vested supporter of the Detroit.Writers’ Guild. Metoyer also enjoys playing and performing solo guitar compositions—some music videos can be viewed on Youtube.com listed under Herb Metoyer or Hermes Metoyer.