On “at the department of social services”

“This poet casually explodes Ezra Pound’s well-known poem. The core ‘observe and report’ perspective may be inspired by Pound’s imagist poetics, but this poet infuses the imagery with empathy, immediacy, and color. The final breaking bough resonates powerfully as metaphor and image.”

                                                                              -Terrance Hayes 

Celeste Schantz was chosen as a 2021 Emerging Writer fellow finalist for Lighthouse Lit Fest, to study creative nonfiction with essayist Leslie Jamison. In 2020 her micro-essay “Strata” was selected out of 600 for publication on PBS’s Next Avenue. In 2019 Celeste was awarded a full scholarship from the Katherine Bakeless Nason Endowment and studied nature writing with Helen Macdonald at the Bread Loaf Environmental Writing Conference. She was a finalist in Fugue journal’s 2018 annual prose writing contest. Her essay “Lake Under the Sea” appears in Fugue

Also a poet, Celeste was the runner-up for the 2018 Stephen Dunn Prize in Poetry, judged by Terrance Hayes. She has studied with the writers Marge Piercy and Kim Addonizio.

She is the founder and editor of the literary magazine Mason Street Review, which placed in the 2021 finals of The Best of the Net, was featured in Book Riot, has joined CLMP, and features former US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, the writer David Baldacci, and others. A highlight of her literary life was interviewing the Guadeloupean author Maryse Condé (who recently won the €200,000 prix Mondial Cino Del Duca, for I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem); T.S. Eliot Four Quartets poet Dante Micheaux, in conversation with Alison Meyers (Writers and Books/Cave Canem); and Ron Charles of The Washington Post.

Celeste lives with her teenage son in Rochester, where she supports his differently abled schooling and inclusion programs and champions autism rights. A former English instructor for 29 years, she now runs a virtual book club, teaches creative writing workshops, reads science fiction, and hikes.




“Strata”  Micro Essay and podcast. PBS’s Next Avenue: Telling Our Stories.

The 2019 Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference: full scholarship from the Katharine Bakeless Nason Endowment. Special interest in other possible pastorals and reexamining possible bias in our view of landscape. 

Finalist, Creative NonfictionFugue Literary Journal 2018 Writing Contest: Carmen Maria Machado, Judge. Summer 2018.


Runner-up- The Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize. Terrance Hayes, Judge.  Summer 2018.

Semi-finalist- The Marble Faun Prize for Poetry (William Faulkner/William Wisdom Competition) Carolyn Embree, Judge. Fall 2017.

Scholarship- The Bishop Butler Society LTD. Tuition for Kim Addonizio juried class 2016.

Pushcart Prize NomineeOne Throne Magazine  Fall 2014

Finalist -Poetry International/ Poetry Ireland Poetry Contest. 2013

Finalist- The Cultural Center of Cape Cod Poetry Contest. Naomi Shihab Nye, Judge.


Teaching, Facilitating, Moderating

  • Spring Into Poetry: Remote Zoom poetry workshop for Senior Citizens (with a grant from Poets and Writers.)
  • Nature Writing Near Home in a Time of Social Distancing: a reading and creative writing workshop on the Zoom platform (through Writers and Books.)
  • Fall Into Poetry: a generative workshop for Senior Citizens, Valley Manor Senior Life, Rochester NY (with a grant from Poets and Writers.)
  • Stranger Things: Intro to Speculative Flash Fiction, Writers and Books, Rochester, NY
  • Place and Story: a reading and discussion group (with a grant from Humanities NY) Spring 2019 Newark Public Library.  Examining nature writing texts and workshopping participant’s original nature writing.
  • Our World Remade: The Life, Letters and Literature of World War One: a reading and discussion group (with a grant from Humanities NY.)  Examining the rich array of literature from the time of The Great War.
  • Spoken Word Poetry featuring award-winning artists from the Greater Rochester area (with a grant from Poets and Writers) Summer 2018.
  • Blackout Poetry, Groveland Correctional Facility, Sonyea, NY. 2018.

Wrote and obtained the three grants, designed the curriculum, provided all materials, moderated the sessions, invited special guests, produced social media and advertising and completed all administrative work.


A Database of Exhumed Objects to Identify Those who Perished, Mason Street Winter Issue 2021.

Writers Resist. (2018) Running Wild Press. Ed. Kit Bacon-Gressitt, Sara Marchant. “New Madonna.”  

Waves Anthology featuring Maxine Hong Kingston. (forthcoming 2019)  A Room of Her Own Foundation, Ed. Diane Gilliam.  The Disappointed Women.

Alongside we Travel: Contemporary poets on Autism (forthcoming April 2019) NYQ Books. Ed. Sean Thomas Dougherty. “The Observation Room,” “Untitled Haiku,” “Just Work.”

Selected Publications In Journals

Fugue Literary Journal (Spring 2019) “Lake under the Sea.”

Solstice Literary Magazine (The Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize Contest Winners Issue, Summer 2018) “at the department of social services,” “The Woman on Court Street Bridge.” Ed. Lee Hope, Iain Haley Pollock.

Walls. (2017) Beatlick Press “A Database of Exhumed Objects to Identify Those Who Perished” Ed. John Roche

Writers Resist Issue 14:2 (March 2017) Ed. Kit-Bacon Gressitt “New Madonna.” 

Enough: An anthology of poems about addiction and related emotional struggles. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence/Rochester Area (2017) “Psalm of my Son.” Ed. Thomas Paul.

Stone Canoe # 11 (2017) “Montana.” Ed. Phil Memmer, Georgia Popoff  

Silver Blade Magazine issue 31 (Summer 2016) “In the Museum of Lost Sounds,” “et in arcadia ego” Ed. John Mannone. 

Mud Season Review The Burlington Writer’s Workshop, Vol.  1 (2015) “MIA,” “Storyteller.” Ed . Lauren Bender.

One Throne Magazine Issue 3 Fall (2014) “Black Box” (Pushcart Prize nominee) Ed. George Filipovic  

Eye to the Telescope Issue 14 October (2014) The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association “I-nan 17” Ed John Mannone. 

Other Selected Publications (Essays, Reviews, Interviews)

Editor, Mason Street Review

Mason Street Review is featured in Book Riot!

Interview with Celeste Helene Schantz for Geosi Reads 

Interview with Celeste Helene Schantz for WAYO 104.3 FM

Interviews by Celeste with other poets/authors


Interview with Maryse Condé, winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize

Interview with Ron Charles (Editor of Book World for The Washington Post and Moderator of ‘Life of a Poet’ Conversation Series for The Library of Congress) for my online book club, The Wonderlings:

Interview with Cornelius Eady (poet) for my online book club, The Wonderlings

Interview with poet Chen Chen (Longlisted for the National Book Award) for my online book club, The Wonderlings:

Interview with Kim Addonizio (poet) for my website, The Thornfield Review:

Interview with Marge Piercy (poet/author) for my website The Thornfield Review:


M.S. Ed, English. June 1987.  Graduate Program, The University of Rochester, Rochester NY. I hold a Master’s in English Education and tutored students from many countries for 29 years. 

Bachelor of Arts, English. May, 1983. St. Michael’s College, The University of Toronto, Canada.


The 2019 Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference, Middlebury, VT, Nonfiction Creative Nonfiction workshop with Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk)

The 25th Poem, Sarah Freligh, Writers and Books, Rochester, NY

“The Art of Telling” workshop with National Book Award longlist poet Chen Chen, Writers & Books Rochester, NY June 2018

Juried/advanced six week workshop with poet Kim Addonizio, July/August 2016

Two Juried week-long workshops with poet/author Marge Piercy, Wellfleet, Cape Cod , 2014 and  2016.