Looking Back and Looking Forward: Our Changing Worlds

ROOM’s 2nd Annual Gala held on July 14, 2022 was a fifth-year retrospective of the personal, cultural, and psychoanalytic community archive we are building together!

The evening featured these ROOM writers, poets and artists.

Sayed Jafar Ahmadi
Daisy Bassen
Marcia Black
Joseph Cancelmo
Karim Dajani
Deborah Dancy
Enrique Enriquez
D. Dina Friedman
Joanna Goodman
Gjertrud Hals
Adrienne Harris
Susan Kassouf
Nancy Kuhl
Eugene Mahon
Diana Schmertz
Betty Teng
Jose Vivenes


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Learn more about the Gala 2022 authors:

  • Sayed Jafar Ahmadi, PhD, was a psychologist and a faculty member at Shaheed Rabbani Education University in Kabul, one of the thirty-nine campuses of Afghanistan’s public university system and formerly its premier education university serving a female majority. He directed the school’s Model Counseling Center and worked with students on projects with the Ministry of Education and UNICEF to provide psychosocial support to schools that had come under violent attack. He worked on weekends with Hazara girls’ schools and youth organizations and publishes extensively. The very day his essay was published in ROOM 10.21, he and his family were able to escape Afghanistan. He is now on faculty at Bard College.
  • Daisy Bassen is a poet and practicing psychiatrist who graduated from Princeton University’s creative writing program and completed her medical training at the University of Rochester and Brown. Her work has been published in Salamander, McSweeney’s, Smartish Pace, and [PANK] as well as multiple other journals. She was the winner of the So to Speak 2019 Poetry Contest, the 2019 ILDS White Mice Contest, the 2020 Beullah Rose Poetry Prize, and the 2022 Erskine J Poetry Prize. She was doubly nominated for the 2019 and 2021 Best of the Net anthology and for a 2019 and 2020 Pushcart Prize. She lives in Rhode Island with her family.
  • Marcia Black, PhD, is a counseling psychologist who has worked in community mental health, hospice, schools, prisons, public art spaces, and private practice for over 35 years. Psychoanalytic, spiritual, and social justice perspectives interweave throughout her clinical, teaching, political activism, and personal life. She has gained analytic training at the Object Relations Institute in NYC, and been certified as a Spiritual Director in the Jewish tradition. Working at the interface of the clinical and political through a focus on domestic violence has been a continuous focus. She thinks of her work as providing accompaniment to those whose very lives testify to walking the razor-edge between life and death, courage and terror,  intense love and searing pain. Her work reflects her deep commitment to opening non-gendered maternal space so voices of those disenfranchised by white supremacy can be lifted up and amplified.  
  • Joseph A. Cancelmo, PsyD, FIPA, is former president, training and supervising analyst and faculty of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR), a Fellow of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), and former Co-Director of the Gould Center for Psychoanalytic Organizational Study and Consultation. He is co-author of Child Care for Love or MoneyA guide to Navigating the Parent-Caregiver Relationship(Jason Aronson), co-editor of Warmed by the Fires: The Selected Papers of Allan Frosch (IPBooks), author of a forthcoming novel, Won’t Forget the Motor City (Heliotrope Books, 2023), and has published articles on application of Winnicott’s and Bion’s ideas to clinical process. He maintains a private practice in New York City with adolescents, adults, couples, and psychoanalytic consultation to executives and organizations.
  • Karim G. Dajani, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice with a specialization in treating bicultural individuals. His research and writing include publications on psychological resilience and culture. He focuses on the role culture plays in determining an individual’s role within a collective and on the experience of cultural dislocation. (Karim Dajani has published in ROOM frequently and is one of our Soliciting Editors/Acquisition Liaisons.)
  • D. Dina Friedman has published widely in literary journals and received two Pushcart Prize nominations for poetry and fiction. She is the author of one book of poetry, Wolf in the Suitcase (Finishing Line Press), and two young adult novels, Escaping into the Night (Simon & Schuster BYR) and Playing Dad’s Song (Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR). She has an MFA from Lesley University and teaches at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
  • Adrienne Harris, PhD, is faculty and supervisor at New York University’s postdoctoral program in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis and at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. She is an editor at Psychoanalytic Dialogues and Studies in Gender and Sexuality. In 2009, she, Lewis Aron, and Jeremy Safron established the Sandor Ferenczi Center at the New School University. Along with Lewis Aron, Eyal Rozmarin, and Steven Kuchuck, she co-edited the book series Relational Perspectives in Psychoanalysis. She is an editor of the International Psychoanalytical Association’s e-journal Psychoanalysis.today. (Adrienne Harris is one of ROOM’s Soliciting Editors/Acquisition Liaisons.)
  • Susan Kassouf, PhD, is a licensed psychoanalyst and a candidate at the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis (NPAP). She has written and presented about climate change and psychoanalysis, founded the Steps on Sustainability Committee at NPAP, and participates in several study groups grappling with environmental degradation from an analytic perspective. She has also translated works by and about Erich Fromm. (Susan Kassouf is one of ROOM’s Soliciting Editors/Acquisition Liaisons.)
  • Nancy Kuhl’s fourth book of poetry, On Hysteria, was published this month by Shearsman Books and can now be ordered from independent booksellers and Amazon.com. She was a research fellow at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis from 2010–2019. She is co-editor of Phylum Press, a small poetry publisher, and Curator of Poetry for the Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
  • Eugene Mahon, MD, is a training and supervising psychoanalyst at Columbia Psychoanalytic Center for Training and Research. He has published three books—A Psychoanalytic Odyssey, Rensal the Redbit, and Boneshop of the Heart—and numerous articles on psychoanalysis. He practices in New York City. (Eugene Mahon was ROOM’s first poetry editor and has published in ROOM many times.)
  • Betty P. Teng, LCSW, MFA is a psychoanalyst and trauma therapist who has worked with survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and childhood molestation at Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Victims Services Program in Manhattan. She is co-founder and co-host of the psycho-political podcast, Mind of State, which emerged from her collaborations as a co-author of the New York Times bestseller, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump. Betty has spoken and written on trauma and its social, political and psychological impacts for various conferences and media outlets, including Slate and Vox. She teaches at the Manhattan Institute for Psychoanalysis and is a contributing essayist in Adam Phillips’ recent book, The Cure for Psychoanalysis. Betty currently sees patients remotely in her Brooklyn-based private practice.