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Who We Are

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Meghan Daum


Meghan Daum founded The Unspeakeasy in 2022. She is the host of The Unspeakable Podcast and the co-host, with Sarah Haider, of the podcast A Special Place In Hell. She is author of six books, most recently The Problem With Everything: My Journey Through The New Culture Wars, a New York Times Notable Book for 2019.  Her collection of original essays, The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, won the 2015 Pen Center USA Award for creative nonfiction. A Los Angeles Times opinion columnist from 2005 to 2016, she has written for numerous magazines, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and Vogue. Meghan is the recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts grant. She has been on the adjunct faculty of the Writing Division at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and also teaches private workshops in personal essay, memoir, and op-ed. 

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Kathleen Sykes

Director of Marketing & Communications

Kathleen is a freelance marketing strategist who specializes in working with event producers and arts organizations. In addition to launching The Unspeakeasy, she has done work for a symphony orchestra, an opera company, Chronicle Books, A Special Place in Hell podcast, and more.

She is an avid seamstress and a history enthusiast. She studied fashion design for two years and owns a dozen historical fashion textbooks just for fun. She loves travel and speaks Spanish fluently. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her corgi, Jeff, and is always open to opportunities to relocate somewhere coastal.

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Caeli Widger

Dean of The Unspeakeasy School of Thought 

Caeli is part writer, part industrialist, with four novels and one small business to her name. In addition to helping launch the Unspeakeasy School of Thought, Caeli is currently finishing her fifth novel while continuing to run and grow her business, Widger Talent.  She's an alum of Wellesley College, earned her MFA from the University of Montana and has been teaching writing workshops since 2005, in settings ranging from University College London to Brooklyn living rooms. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, the New York Times Magazine, as Kindle Singles, on NPR, and lots of other places. Caeli lives near Santa Barbara, CA with her husband, three kids, and an emo mutt with a severe underbite.

Luba Kaplanskaya

Retreat Coordinator

Luba Kaplanskaya is a retreat coordination and marketing professional living in Los Angeles. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz and spent time studying in Baja California, Costa Rica, and Thailand. In her spare time, she lives a very active lifestyle as a regular at the gym while also going on many walks/jogs and playing in pickup soccer games. She is also a ceramics artist and a recurring attendee of standup comedy shows.

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