Photo by John Consoli.
Photo by John Consoli.

Marlena Chertock is a digital storyteller and poet.

Marlena is the Communications Specialist, Water at World Resources Institute. She leads communications for the Water Program, crafts narratives and communication strategies for publications, edits blogs, manages the program’s newsletter and social media, and facilitates events.

Marlena is the Co-Chair of OutWrite, Washington, D.C.’s annual LGBTQ literary festival. Along with local poet Malik Thompson, she cultivates inclusive literary programming that reflects and uplifts LGBTQ+ communities, manages coordinators and volunteers, and oversees the publication of the festival’s journal. She also serves on the board of Split This Rock, a national network of socially engaged poets.

A 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee, Marlena has two books of poetry, Crumb-sized: Poems (Unnamed Press) and On that one-way trip to Mars (Bottlecap Press). She writes about chronic pain, disability, sexuality, and science fiction and regularly moderates panels at literary conferences, facilitates writing workshops, and performs poetry at open mics and reading series.

Marlena also writes articles for Electrical Contractor Magazine on topics such as the power crisis in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and how to ensure safe construction sites during COVID-19. Her poetry and prose has appeared in Breath & Shadow, The Deaf Poets Society, Paper Darts, Rogue Agent, Wordgathering, and more. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Marketplace, Electrical Contractor Magazine, News21, WTOP, and more.

She is always open for collaborating, meeting writers of all sorts, and geeking out over space and books.