The Emrys Foundation Board of Directors


2018 - 2019

President: Arthur McMaster

Vice President: Carol Young Gallagher

Secretary: Jerry Salley

Treasurer: Kylie Felker

Past President: Vera Gómez

Michael Crowley is a native of Charleston. Michael and his wife, Elizabeth, have lived in Greenville for over thirty years. While practicing medicine he served several terms as a Medical Staff officer for the Greenville Health System and a board member and board chairman of Camperdown Academy. After retiring, he joined the volunteer faculty of USC School of Medicine Greenville. With retirement he started writing poetry and short stories. Emrys has provided a conduit to a community of writers who provide both criticism and inspiration.

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Kylie Kotowski Felker is the Chief Operating Officer for Foster Victor Wealth Advisors where she focuses on providing progressive solutions for the growing financial services firm. Kylie grew up in Cleveland, Ohio before moving to Greenville to attend Furman University. Kylie met and married her husband Justin in Greenville, and the couple is proud to call the city home. When she isn’t out and about enjoying vibrant Main Street, Kylie enjoys eating, reading and giving back to the community.



Carol Young Gallagher is a longtime Emrys member, Board member and past president of the Board.  She grew up in Anderson, attended Agnes Scott College, where she majored in English and received her Masters degree in Education at Wheelock College in Boston, MA. She worked at the Children’s Program at Marshall I. Pickens Hospital for eighteen years, retiring as Director of that program, when her son was born.  Also trained in Family Mediation and teaching Peer Mediation, she continued to consult part-time after she retired from the hospital system. Carol spent two years making pottery between receiving her Masters degree and moving to Greenville and holds onto the possibility that she will return to that hobby in the future.  A longtime attendee of Sue Inman’s writing workshops, she enjoys writing.  For the last four years she has devoted time to The Writers Block Project with Anna Katherine Freeland, facilitating creative writing workshops at Perry Correctional Institution, where they published a book, and more recently at Leath. She is married to Brooks Gallagher and, In addition to their son, they have two other adult children and five grandchildren.

Vera Gómez is a firm believer in the power of words. She is a workshop facilitator, performance poet, and a teaching poet through Greenville's SmartArts' program. Vera is also a founding member of the first Greenville Poetry Slam team that won Southeast Regionals in 1998 and competed as the first, all-woman team at Nationals in 1997 and 1998.

Her collection of poems, Barrio Voices, was published by Stepping Stone Press in 2008. Her poetry has appeared in Yemassee; KaKaLak: Anthology of Carolina Poets; Millennial Sampler/South Carolina Poetry Anthology; Ties That Bind and Quintet. An upcoming essay will be released in October of 2015 in State of the Heart: Carolina Writers on the Places They Love, Volume II. Her website is


Local legend John Jeter is the author of three books, a musical and a play — and has worked as a copy editor and assistant city editor at two major metropolitan daily newspapers. He writes for various magazines and marketing companies and is currently a contract stringer for The New York Times.

John earned his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He teaches at Converse College and is proud to report one of his students just got her first byline in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal! Oh, and … John appeared, once, on the Oprah Show.

Arthur McMaster has two published poetry chapbooks. His poems have appeared in Poetry East, Rattle, Southwest Review, North American Review, the Dos Passos Review, and Subtropics, among several others. He has one Pushcart nomination. Arthur is an editor for Poets’ Quarterly, where he has recently interviewed Mark Jarman and Jane Hirschfield, among others. He holds academic degrees from Indiana University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Florida (MFA). Arthur has taught creative writing (poetry and fiction) and American literature at USC Upstate and at Converse College. He also teaches in the OLLI program, at Furman. His memoir, Need to Know, is subtitled: Journey of an American Intelligence Officer from to College Professor and Poet.  His website is:


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Jerry Salley An Asheville, N.C., native and Furman University alumnus, Jerry came back to Greenville after falling in love with the town -- and a hometown girl. His writing and editing career, and his lifelong love of the written word wherever it appears, have taken him through several specialties and industries, most recently as managing editor for the Greenville Journal and Upstate Business Journal. He and his wife, Josephine, and their bemused dogs live in downtown Greenville.

                                                                                                                                                                      Saana Tykkä, originally from Finland, and having first tried Austria, England, Scotland and Belgium, now lives in Greenville, South Carolina. She shares her life with her husband and their Dachshund. When not reading, writing or exercising, she speculates on the plot of the new Star Wars movie. She is also an experienced stakeholder engagement, education and sustainability professional.

She speaks English, Finnish and Spanish.

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Art Young joined the Emrys Board in 2018. He retired from Clemson University in 2009 as Robert S. Campbell Chair and Professor of English Emeritus at Clemson University. He founded and coordinated (1990-2009) Clemson’s award-winning writing across-the-curriculum program (WAC), a university-wide initiative to improve the communication abilities of all Clemson students. In 2000, Governor Jim Hodges presented him with The Order of the Palmetto in recognition for TIME/Princeton Review selecting Clemson as the Best Public College in the nation on the strength of the WAC program. He has published extensively on Writing Across the Curriculum and in other areas connected to the theory and teaching of writing. At Clemson, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Technical Writing and Composition Theory, and in British Romantic and Victorian Literature. He and his wife and professional partner, Donna Reiss, live in Greenville and are avid supporters of the arts. They volunteer at Metropolitan Arts Council, Greenville Center for Creative Arts, and the Warehouse Theatre, among other venues.