Denise Altobello, Director of NOLA Travel Writers.
Daughter of a butcher and a restaurant maven, granddaughter of a German gravedigger and a one-armed Cajun barbeque chef, Denise hails originally from the now famous Ninth Ward of New Orleans, just downriver from the French Quarter. Growing up, she played hide and seek in the cities of the dead, learned to decipher the voodoo markings adorning the above-ground graves and honed her skills in palm reading, po-boy making and fire baton twirling. In recent years, her travels have taken her from the hills of Guanajuato, Mexico to the pubs of Ireland's County Cork and to a hobbit-like trullo in Italy's Alberobello. But her most interesting travel adventures included laboring as an itinerant goat milker and cooking paella in the back of a steamy truck in Provence.
Co-Director of NOLA T(w)een Travel Writing Workshops as well as a veteran of Writers’ Workshop International, Denise’s most recent work can be found in Venturing in Ireland: Quest for the Modern Celtic Soul, The Irish Character, and Venturing in Italy: Puglia, the Land between Two Seas. When she is not cooking, writing, traveling or gardening, she teaches English with Jenny Velasquez at Trinity Episcopal School in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans.
Director of NOLA Travel Writers.
Jenny moved to New Orleans in 1992 to pursue a journalism degree from Loyola University. Upon graduation, she worked the obit desk at the Times-Picayune before spending a year and a half at the copy desk. Tired of late night wrangles over the use of the apostrophe, she moved to New York City and earned her master's in history. She explored the night life of the city and wrestled with rats in her squalid (yet-excellently-located) Bronx apartment. She traveled, too, to Spain, and to Ireland, where she spent the summer with her young brother, walking the streets by the River Liffey and living in a small flat above the Jameson distillery. She went to Croatia and Bosnia and published accounts of the lives of the people who had lived through three years of devastating warfare.
In the end, though, New Orleans called her back.... the warmth of the city and the people themselves, just couldn't be replicated anywhere else. Return, she did, and settled into a quiet life of teaching and writing. Now, her life has been turned upside down by her two young sons, Reilly (6), and Eamon (4). She and Denise completely integrated their English and history courses nearly seven years ago and have been writing, editing, teaching and directing together ever since.