Meet our Staff





executive director, shayne phillips 



Shayne Phillips, sometimes known as our "Swiss Army Knife" currently serves as t-waap's executive director. She is a graduate from the University of Illinois Springfield, where she simultaneously studied business and poetry. she spends her time with us doing our behind-the-scenes administrative work at T-WAAP as executive director and wearer of many hats. she also maintains our marketing department. When she isn't at a t-waap event or typing away on t-waap work, she also serves as the director of the kaneville public library and works at the messenger public library of north aurora. 

artistic director, diana zwinak


Diana Zwinak is the ARTISTIC Director of Teen Writers and Artists Project. She also serves as the Regional Governor for the West Suburban Region of the Louder Than a Bomb Youth Poetry Slam and coordinates "Slammin' the Sun Down" each year, and would love to tell you how you can get involved! She has been writing for more years than she can count, both as a journalist and, lately, as a poet... because those spoken word kids can't have all the fun! 

curriculum director, adam gottlieb


Adam Gottlieb is a poet/emcee, teaching artists, musician, and activist from Chicago. He got into spoken word in high school through the Louder Than A Bomb poetry festival, and was featured in the 2009 Siskel Jacobs documentary by the same name. His mission became bringing poetry into educational settings, and using spoken word as a tool for self expression, community building, youth empowerment, and social justice. A Hampshire College graduate, he studied poetry and critical pedagogy. He currently serves as Teen Writers and Artists' Writer in Residence, regularly running workshops and open mics as part of the West Suburban Wordplay program. 

program director, corey dillard 


Corey Dillard, also known as DiscoVery or our in-house "Batman," has a passion for all things creative, original and strange. A writer for many years with accomplishments in both fiction and poetry, Corey loves nothing more than expressing himself through written or spoken word. He aims to use his talent and energy to engage as many as he can in the beauty of art. When he's putting no fingers to keys, acting a fool on stage, or reciting for his gods, Corey can be found fighting the temptation to chuck a controller through a television while playing video games - a passion that is almost equal to his art. Corey is also the director of Lit Lab 51 and teaches workshops with our writer-in-residence, along with hosting West Suburban Wordplays. When he isn't hosting, teaching, or otherwise creating beautiful things, he can often be found behind a camera, capturing the "behind the scenes".