Your Mentors


The Two Trees Writers Collaborative is part sanctuary, part “sacred grove in the heart.” We believe in alchemy and transformation, which is to say that our goal is to help you tap into your inner voice, sometimes in unorthodox ways, and then to turn your inspiration into art. Our mentorship and guidance is rooted in following three beliefs:

  • Every writer‘s path is unique.
  • Your individual process must be nourished and respected.
  • A writer needs both solitude and community.

Our Two Trees Mentors share an intuitive approach to writing.  We believe a writer’s connection to their knowing can be found through association, divination, nature, and the body.   Two Trees is a community where novices can find a variety of paths to explore newly-discovered material and where seasoned writers can choose from a menu of options to further develop their voices and work. We are also experienced MFA teachers, and award-winning writers. You can work with us together in workshops or individually.  Find out more about us below.


Elena Georgiou

Elena is the award-winning author of two poetry collections and a short story collection, as well as the editor of a poetry anthology. She writes about outsider experiences and what it might mean to belong. Her work also explores the unexpected places of lightness and darkness that highlight our humanity. Elena has taught in an MFAW program for 18 years, and she also has extensive experience as a retreat and workshop facilitator.  Her approach is about customizing the experience to suit each writer’s process, with an emphasis on increasing confidence, cultivating a positive relationship between vision and revision, and writing into the mystery of the work.

Elena leads writing workshops and intensives, and is available for coaching and manuscript consultations.

Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

Reiko is the award-winning author of two novels and a memoir.  She writes about family, motherhood, race, war, trauma, and is keenly interested in history and secrets and how they affect the ultimate story: The one we tell ourselves so we can know who we are.  She has taught in retreat settings and an MFA in Creative Writing program for over 16 years.  Her approach combines intuition and logic; planning and divination; impulse and revision.

Reiko leads writing workshops and intensives, and is available for coaching and manuscript consultations. She also does tarot readings for books and writers.


Bhanu Kapil

Bhanu is the author of six full-length collections which move between poetry and prose. In 2020, she won the Windham-Campbell Prize for Poetry, as well as a Chomondeley Award. Her work explores themes of belonging and unbelonging through fables of human-animal experience, and the textures/sensations produced when genre collapses or sheds off. Is it possible to make new work from this detritus, or from the stories we told each other as were falling asleep?  Bhanu has taught creative writing in university settings for twenty years, but also in retreat settings, museums, at human rights’ conferences, and on riverbanks.  She works with writers of all genres and at all stages of their process, to make writing feel possible again. 

Bhanu offers workshops that combine meditation practice and experimental prompts. She also offers a one hour palmistry session: a close study of images and lines that invites questions about writing but also, the life in which the writing is being made.


Sherri L. Smith

Sherri is the award-winning author of eight young adult and middle grade novels as well as nonfiction for younger readers.  She writes about identity, family, history, and what it means to be human on this swiftly tilting planet.  Sherri has taught in MFA and university extension programs, creative writing conferences and private writing schools for thirteen years.  She is deeply interested in the liminal space between the imaginal and the “real” world.  She’s also a story structure nut.  Her approach is to understand the bones of a story, and to tap into its mythic marrow. 

Sherri offers intensives.