Johnny Turtle, Director of Operations
Johnny Turtle (Tree Turtle), known simply as Turtle, is the Director of Operations for the Kratz Center for Creative Writing at Goucher College where Turtle teaches the gateway, introductory creative writing courses in poetry and fiction within the English Department. A longtime administrator for the arts and social justice, Turtle served as the Curatorial Assistant to the late Guy C. McElroy; the Executive Program Assistant to the Managing Editor (Jessica L. Andrews) at Washington DC’s Shakespeare Theatre Company; the Dramaturgical Assistant to Jennie Knapp at the Shakespeare Theatre Company; a Project Supervisor on data collection for arts and public policy for Temple University’s Institute for Survey Research; the Program Manager for Eva Gholson’s Sybil Dance Company; and the personal assistant, editor, or communications consultant to such entertainers as Nell Carter and Raymond St. Jacques. Turtle has worked as a peace and justice facilitator and a conflict mediator for organizations like the Urban League, SMYAL and Public Allies. In addition to teaching at Goucher, Turtle has taught at the University of Baltimore, Oberlin College, the University of Illinois, the Ohio State University, Temple University, Baltimore City Community College, Baltimore City Public Schools, and many other institutions. Turtle’s Pushcart Prize-wining poems, fiction, and essays appear in journals like the James White Review, Press Board Press, Fence Magazine, Capitol Black Arts Bulletin, the Washington Review, and Ploughshares. From the ages of 5-35, Turtle was a commercial entertainer with an array of professional performances in musical theatre, magic, puppetry, contemporary acting, postmodern dance, and clowning for stages, nightclubs, music videos, and children’s television. Turtle was also a choreographer with showings at the Dance Place, the DCAC, the Maryland Arts Place, TAPS in OH, and other venues. From 1990 to 2010, Turtle worked as a staff reporter on performing arts and urban affairs for the Baltimore Alternative, the Baltimore City Paper, and the Philadelphia City Paper; and a freelance reporter for Dance Magazine, Radar Magazine, Unspoken Magazine, Columbus Alive, and many other publications. Turtle is also graphic designer, bookmaker, and a former member of the Editorial Freelancers Association. Eight editions of Turtle’s couture book art were published by Widows Nails Press, a project founded in 1978 by the late Marcel Christian Labeija of the Nuyorican Poets Café. For more information visit www.treeturtle.com.
Eleanor Kratz Denoon (1915 - 2010)
The founding donor of the Kratz Center for Creative Writing was Eleanor Kratz Denoon, class of 1936. She was a tireless champion of literature, a lifelong advocate for peace, and a beloved alumna of Goucher College.