Gwenn A. Nusbaum / WWBA “Poets To Come” Award

WWBA Panelists

Gwenn A. Nusbaum is a WWBA Trustee, founder and contributor to the Gwenn A. Nusbaum / WWBA Poets to Come Scholarship. She is a published poet, and a non-voting panelist. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Hofstra University with a minor in English, and Master of Social Work from New York University, along with multiple other post-graduate certifications.

Drawn to writing early in life, Gwenn has participated in numerous educational forums on the art and craft of writing poetry, as well as engaged in a 20-year mentorship with the late Belgian-born poet, memoirist, and librettist, Colette Inez. Receiving a Pushcart Nomination as well as Honorary Mention for her poetry, Gwenn’s poems have appeared in several journals including Brief Wilderness, Confrontation, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Edison Literary Review, Louisville Review, Plainsongs, Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Rattle, Schuylkill Valley Journal, The Penman Review, Upstate Medical, Verse-Virtual and Voices de la Luna. She is the author of NORMAL WAR, a poetry chapbook. 

A licensed clinical social worker and psychoanalyst, Gwenn has maintained a private psychotherapy practice in the East Village of Manhattan for over 35 years. After forming a group for women survivors of childhood sexual traumas in 1990 which she led until 2017, she developed a specialty in working with those who had suffered from traumatic experiences, resulting in teaching, consulting, and writing on subjects pertinent to this. Gwenn’s articles have been published in professional journals. She has also presented her work at psychotherapy conferences locally and internationally.

Throughout her practice, Gwenn has worked with writers, painters, performers, and designers. An Amherst Writers and Artists Certified Workshop Leader, she has led writing workshops for vets. She has expanded her practice to incorporate WordPaintsm Coaching and Consulting for creators.


Robert Savino (born April 24, 1948, Jamaica, NY) is a native Long Island poet, Suffolk County Poet Laureate 2015-2017, Board Member at the Walt Whitman Birthplace and at the Long Island Poetry & Literature Repository Center. He is the winner of the 2008 Oberon Poetry Prize, Association of Italian American Educators - Cristoforo Colombo Award for Literary Leadership (2019), and Town of Islip Italian American Heritage Award for Visual & Performing Arts - in Literature (2019). Robert was first inspired by Blake and Whitman in the sixties when everything became not as ordinary as it appeared and he began a life sentence in a metaphoric mind.

His poetry has been widely published in journals, anthologies and online, including The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Long Island Quarterly, Mobius, Negative Capability, The North American Review and Sport Literate; and his poems have been written for art and music. One of the poems, “October’s Opal,” was composed by Yung Shen Hsaio as a four-instrument musical ensemble piece and presented at the 2017 International Rostrum of Composers and Conservatorio Vincenzo Bellini, Palermo, Italy.

Robert is co-editor of two bilingual collections of Italian Americans Poets, No Distance Between Us - Italian American Poets of Long Island and No Distance Between Us – The Next Collection - Italian American Poets of New York State. His books include fireballs of an illuminated scarecrow, Inside a Turtle Shell and I’m Not the Only One Here. No Distance Between Us (Nessuna Distanza Tra Noi) is scheduled to become a trilogy of Italian American poetry in a cultural tribute to Dante Aligheri. Inside a Turtle Shell, a diverse journey of paths crossed, lost and found, was selected as the second collection in the three-volume Turtle Island Series (Allbook Books).

Robert lives in West Islip, NY, with his wife and enjoys the role of poetry mentor.


Cynthia Shor became the Executive Director of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association (WWBA) in April 2006. Prior to this, Ms. Shor was a WWBA Board Member for three years, she was associated with the Association for more than a decade prior to that as a poetry teacher, program committee member and head judge for the organization’s annual poetry contest, which receives more than 2,500 entries each year. A published poet, Ms. Shor was a Poet in Residence at New York City’s Teachers & Writers Collaborative from 1985-1995, and taught poetry writing in over 40 elementary and high schools throughout the NYC and Long Island region.

In her role as WWBA Executive Director, Ms. Shor is responsible for the day-to-day management of all Association activities including the Education, Literary and Historic Programming. She supervises the Museum Studies Internship programs for approximately 15 college students per year. Ms. Shor was responsible for the 2014 designation of the Whitman Birthplace as a “Literary Landmark” by United for Libraries for their Literary Landmarks Register. Shor has facilitated the acquisition of two major Whitman book collections which has enlarged the Association’s Whitman library to become the second largest private Whitman collection, second to the Library of Congress.

Ms. Shor received a B. A. in English from New York University and an M. A. in Literature from American University, Washington, DC. She studied in the NYU English Education Doctoral Program from 1994-2000 and achieved PhD Candidacy in 2001. She was an NYU Teaching Fellow from 1995-1997 and was a recipient of the NYU Steinhardt School of Education “Teaching Excellence Award” in 2005-2006. She is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the educational honor society. During her first year at NYU, she studied at Oxford, and then she taught graduate and undergraduate courses in English Education at the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University from 1995 – 2007. She also taught memoir, poetry writing and literature courses in the Great Neck Adult Education Program from 1995-2007, and her course, “The Interpretation of Literature” was selected as the “David Rauch Memorial Seminar” award for 2005 by the Great Neck Education Program.

She is an active Alumna of NYU and is currently Vice-President Emeritus of the NYU College of Arts & Science Alumni Association. She has done volunteer literacy tutoring, and as a writing coach she has facilitated the writing process and publication of articles, memoirs, and books for her clients. Ms. Shor resides in Glen Cove, Long Island with her husband, David Church, PhD.

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