Janet E. Aalfs, poet laureate of Northampton, MA, 2003-2005, and head instructor/ director, since 1982, of Valley Women's Martial Arts: Institute for Healing and Violence Prevention Strategies (VWMA/ HAVPS - "have peace"), teaches, performs, and works to build community through a weave of poetry and martial arts dance. Her writing has been published in numerous journals and anthologies, and a poem of hers was featured on the Poets Against the War website. Recent books of poems include Reach (Perugia Press) and Red (Thousand Hands Press).
Poet Frances Payne Adler is the founder of the Creative Writing and Social Action Program at California State University Monterey Bay. She is the author of 5 books: two books of poetry, Making of a Matriot (Red Hen, 2003), and Raising the Tents (Calyx, 1993); and three collaborative poetry-photography books and exhibitions shown in the Cannon and Rayburn Buildings in Washington, D.C., and in state capital buildings across the country. Her poems have been published in Poetry International, Progressive, Calyx, and the Congressional Record, among others. Awards include an NEA and California State Senate Award for Artistic and Social Collaboration.
Kazim Ali has worked as a political organizer, lobbyist, and yoga instructor. His books include The Far Mosque, Quinn's Passage, and the forthcoming The Fortieth Day. He has taught writing and literature at various colleges and currently teaches at Oberlin College and in the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA Program. Co-founder of Nightboat Books, his poetry and essays appear widely in such journals as American Poetry Review, Boston Review, jubilat and in Best American Poetry 2007.
Marcus Amaker is a performance poet, graphic artist and musician. He started www.charlestonpoets.com, to bring poets together by listing open mic events and provides a social network for local artists. He has two published books and three self-produced CDs and is the co-founder of Outlaw Poets of Charleston, SC.
Hero Anwar Brzw, Iraqi peace activist, graduated from Civil Engineering at the University of Salahadding, worked with the Directorate of Housing and Public Works in Sulaimanya, and with REACH, an Iraqi NGO that implements peacebuilding and development projects in vulnerable communities. In the United States, Hero participated in the EMU Summer Peacebuilding Institute. She is completing her Master in Arts through the Conflict Transformation Program at Eastern Mennonite University.
Kakahama Askary, a Kurd of Northern Iraq, has devoted his life to work for Justice and Peace. Because of war and unrest, he grew up living in all parts of Iraq. Askary graduated from Al-Azhar University, were he was certified Imam, and obtained degrees in law, political science and international relations from Institute of Arab Researchers and Studies, Cairo, Egypt. Askary’s professional work includes: linguist consultant, Library of Congress and professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion, James Madison University.
Coleman Barks is the author of numerous Rumi translations and has been a student of Sufism since 1977. His work with Rumi was the subject of an hour-long segment in Bill Moyers's Language of Life series on PBS, and he is a featured poet and translator in Bill Moyers's poetry special, "Fooling with Words." The University of Georgia Press will publish a large collection of his own poetry, WINTER SKY: Poems 1968-2008, in the fall of this year. He lives in Athens, Georgia.
Chris Bell is a Lecturer and Advisor in the Department of English and an affiliate faculty member in Cultural Studies and LGBT Studies at Towson University. Bell is the Modern Language Association's Delegate Assembly Representative for the Executive Committee of the Division of Disability Studies. His research and teaching examine the intersections of identity and social justice. He is compiling and editing an anthology examining the intersections of blackness and disability. It is forthcoming from Lit Verlag.
Jen Benka is the author of A Box of Longing With Fifty Drawers (Soft Skull Press, 2005), 1,138, a chapbook with Carol Mirakove (Belladonna Books, 2007), and the comic book series, Manya (Vagabond Press). She co-organized a protest poetry reading during the Republican National Convention in NYC that was attended by more than 1,000 people, and a political poetry broadside project on the streets of NYC during the summer of 2007.
Tamiko Beyer’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals and anthologies, including Calyx, Crab Orchard Review, Gay and Lesbian Review, The Progressive, WSQ (Women’s Studies Quarterly), and Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Work by Asian American Women. In 2005 she was named a Kundiman Fellow. Tamiko leads writing workshops for LGBTQ homeless youth through the New York Writers Coalition; she also works as a freelance writer.
Susan Brennan has organized various political and poetry events. She is a Jivamukti yoga teacher and founder of Acts of Art. Her poems appear in Terra Incognita(translated), Unpleasant Events Schedule, Calabash Journal, Painted Bride Quarterly, Cake Train, MARGIE, Hungers(chapbook-Lunar Offensive Press), Ganargua Review. Her manuscript, Sweet Demons, has been nominated as a finalist for several book awards. She is the producer and host of Radio Poetique, a poem-audio project. She received her MFA in Poetry at NYU. Brooklyn’s her home.
Andrea Carter Brown is the author of poetry collection, The Disheveled Bed (CavanKerry Press, 2006), whose subject is infertility and its aftermath, and an award-winning chapbook, Brook & Rainbow (Sow’s Ear Press, 2000). Her poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, Five Points, The Gettysburg Review, and other journals, and received numerous awards, most recently the River Styx International Poetry Prize for her heroic double sonnet crown, “September 12,” a section from her current manuscript of the same title.
Sarah Browning is director of Split This Rock Poetry Festival and coordinator of DC Poets Against the War. She is the author of Whiskey in the Garden of Eden (The Word Works, 2007) and coeditor of D.C. Poets Against the War: An Anthology (Argonne House Press, 2004). A recipient of an artist fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities and a Creative Communities Initiative grant, Browning hosts the Sunday Kind of Love poetry series at Busboys & Poets.
Marlene Buchanan is a native of Jamaica who uses her skill as a performer for a vehicle for social activism, believing that art issues no commands like those in authority or power; art simply calls out to the human heart (by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda). She has performed in What I Heard About Iraq in 2005 and The Vagina Monologues in 2007. A Nichiren Buddhist, Marlene feels that 'increasing the peace' is part of her mission on this planet.
Winner of the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize, Richard Cambridge curates the Poets’ Theater in Cambridge, and helps run Squawk! a weekly open mic coffeehouse in Harvard Square. He was a member of the Boston Slam team that won the championship in 1992, and in 1997 won the individual Master’s Slam at the National Poetry Slam. In 2003 he received the Cambridge Peace and Justice Award for the contributions of his art and activism.
Grace Cavalieri is the author of several books and produced plays. She is one of the founders of WPFW-FM in Washington DC. Her recent book Water on the Sun was listed on PEN American Center's "Best Books 2006." She’s produced “The Poet and the Poem” from the Library of Congress on public radio, now in its 31st consecutive year. The show aired live weekly for 20 years on WPFW-FM. Among production awards, her play "Quilting the Sun" received the key to the city of Greenville, S.C. in 2007. She is the Book Review Editor for The Montserrat Review, and a poetry columnist for MiPOradio.
John Cavanagh has been Director of Institute for Policy Studies since 1998. In this capacity, he oversees programs, outreach, and organizational development. John has a BA from Dartmouth College and a MA from Princeton University. He worked as an international economist for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (1978-1981) and the World Health Organization (1981-1982). He directed IPS's Global Economy Project from 1983-1997. He is the co-author of 10 books and numerous articles on the global economy.
Emily Chavez. The women leading this workshop are all active in UBUNTU -- a women of color survivor led coalition to end gendered violence based in Durham, NC. We are graduate students and faculty at Duke, NC State, and UNC-Greensboro and meet regularly to write together. We all believe deeply in the power of poetry to help us say the unspeakable as we work to know ourselves and change the world.
Lucille Clifton served as Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1974-1985. She has published 13 volumes of her poetry. Her book, Blessing the Boats: new and selected poems, won the 2000 National Book Award. She has served as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1999. Among her awards are the Lenore Marshal Poetry Prize and the L.A. Times Poetry Award, the Shelley Memorial Prize, Poetry Society of America, a Lannan Achievement Award in Poetry, the Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Artist Award (1999-2002) and The Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.
Corey Cokes, alumnus of UMass Dartmouth (MA in Writing), has the conviction of Nat Turner. Awarded Best Poetry Performance (w/ Amiri Baraka & Everett Hoagland) in Generations of Black Male Voices, also awarded Best Poetry CD by the Cambridge Poetry Awards for Coreyography, which Billboard Magazine called “required listening.” Corey’s been anthologized in Dancing on Water (Cape Cod Community College, 2002), and his work appears in Give Us Your Poor (UMASS Boston, 2008), a film on homelessness. Silver Trumpets is forthcoming.
Tina Darragh is a poet and librarian working in Washington, DC. She has several small press books, the most recent being Dream Rim Instructions from Drogue Press (1999).
Theresa Davis belongs to a family of artists and Black Panther activists, is well known as a teacher and poet, representing Atlanta twice at the National Poetry Slam. She’s performed “The Vagina Monologues” with Jane Fonda and Pearl Cleage.
Ellie Davis is the founder and co-producer of Monday Night Blues, the longest running weekly literary event in Charleston, SC. She has worked for environmental and human rights issues with Amnesty International and the Black Sash Trust. Ellie is a proud granddaughter of Ray Vaughn, an infantryman with the 106th Division at the Battle of the Bulge who later wrote and spoke publicly of his experience as a prisoner of war.
Jeff Davis is author of The Journey from the Center to the Page: Yoga Philosophies & Practices as Muse for Authentic Writing. His writing appears in numerous publications from Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics to Conscious Choice magazine. Trained in two Yoga teacher traditions, he teaches courses that integrate Yoga with writing throughout the U.S., and he teaches in Western Connecticut State's MFA Program. He is deeply involved in local community-building in upstate New York.
Since 1999 Brian De Shazor has brought the Pacifica Radio Archives collection to the attention of archivists, producers, scholars, artists, authors, students and educators In the process he has gained support from the NEA, The GRAMMY Foundation, and The Ford Foundation. De Shazor's award-winning productions, include 'The Quentin Crisp Memorial Recording”, “John Hersey’s Hiroshima”, and “A Passel of Pomp and a Circus of Circumstance: Historic Conventions Coverage from the Pacifica Radio Archives.” He is executive producer of the weekly national radio program 'From the Vault,' highlighting historic sound recordings from the Pacifica Radio Archives.
Cathy Eisenhower is a poet and librarian working in Washington, DC. She has books forthcoming from Edge and Roof.
Julie R. Enszer is a writer and lesbian activist living in Maryland. She has previously been published in So to Speak, Pacific Review, Iris: A Journal About Women, Room of One's Own, Long Shot, and the Harrington Lesbian Literary Quarterly. Read more about her work at www.JulieREnszer.com.
Martín Espada has been called “the Latino poet of his generation” and “the Pablo Neruda of North American authors.” He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. He has published sixteen books in all as a poet, editor and translator. Espada’s eighth book of poems, The Republic of Poetry, was published by Norton in 2006, received the 2007 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
For the last two years, Danielle Feris worked as a full-time community organizer at Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) focused on the Shalom Bayit: Justice for Domestic Workers Campaign. Before JFREJ, Danielle was a national media justice organizer at Democracy Now!, an independent radio and television news program. Danielle grew up in NYC and has worked on electoral, youth, and neighborhood organizing campaigns, and studied sociology focusing on art and social change.
Yael Flusberg started practicing yoga to manage back pain and deal with the challenges of community-based social change work. Around the same time, she began to explore the written word, which helped her exteriorize the legacy of being an only daughter of now-deceased Holocaust survivors. Yoga taught Yael to get out of her head and inhabit her body; writing, to expunge voices from her head and onto paper. A member of Split This Rock’s coordinating committee, Yael’s poetry and essays have been widely anthologized; she teaches in both the vinyasa and yin yoga styles.
Sylvia Forges-Ryan is internationally known for her haiku poems, for which she has won many international prizes, including the Grand Prix Poetry prize from the Atomic Bomb Memorial Committee, Kyoto, Japan. She is coauthor of Take a Deep Breath: The Haiku Way to Inner Peace, published in hardcover by Kodansha International and in paperback by Apocryphile Press. Her haiku will be included in the forthcoming anthology World Poets against War, to be published in Turkey.
Karen G. co-founded Cliterati, leads teams to National Poetry Slam (NPS), hosts at Individual World Poetry Slam and is an organizer for the first Women of the World Poetry Slam in Detroit.
Michael S. Glaser has been at St. Mary’s College for over 35 years. A Maryland State Arts Council Poet-in-the-Schools for more than 20 years, he also serves on the Maryland Humanities Council’s Speaker’s Bureau and the Maryland State Department of Education’s Fine Arts Advisory Panel. Glaser is a recipient of the Homer Dodge Endowed Award and the Columbia Merit Award for service to poetry. His most recent book is Being a Father. Glaser has served as Poet Laureate of Maryland since 2004.
José Gouveia is from Cape Cod, described by Gwendolyn Brooks as "a free-handed and open hearted poet." He hosts the online radio program, "The Poets Corner," out of Provincetown, WOMR-FM, www.womr.org, every Thursday at 12:45EST. José also writes a poetry column for The Barnstable Patriot, and runs the poetry venue The Black Spot Café in Hyannis. Publisher of The Cape Poet and editor of Rubber Side Down, an anthology of Biker Poetry, he holds an MFA from New England College.
Eleanor Graves works with the Education Department of the Freer and Sackler Galleries exploring art and literature in poetry workshops with young adults, kids, and families. Her poems have appeared in some magazines including Phoebe, Practice, and Hayden’s Ferry Review. Eleanor teaches yoga in businesses, non-profits, governments agencies, and schools across Washington DC. The most important thing is, of course, love.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs. The women leading this workshop are all active in UBUNTU -- a women of color survivor led coalition to end gendered violence based in Durham, NC. We are graduate students and faculty at Duke, NC State, and UNC-Greensboro and meet regularly to write together. We all believe deeply in the power of poetry to help us say the unspeakable as we work to know ourselves and change the world.
Matt Hampton studied playwrighting and poetry at the University of Missouri - Columbia. His play, “Burning the Saint,” was only the third by an undergraduate to be performed on the University Main Stage. He is co-founder of Outlaw Poets. Matt is a veteran of the War on Terrorism and the Iraq War.
Clarinda Harriss started doing volunteer work with inmate writers in the late 70's and continues to do so both locally and nationally. For three decades she has directed BrickHouse Books, Inc., Maryland's oldest literary press, which has published several books by prisoners. Longtime faculty adviser of Grub Street (a prize-winning undergraduate literary magazine), she teaches English at Towson University. Her most recenty published poetry collections are Dirty Blue Voice and Air Travel.
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, of Native American and First Nations ancestry, is the author of five books of poetry and nonfiction, including Blood Run; Off-Season City Pipe; Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer; and Dog Road Woman, winner of an American Book Award. Hedge Coke holds The Distinguished Paul W. Reynolds and Clarice Kingston Reynolds Endowed Chair in English in the English Department of the University of Nebraska, Kearney. She is active in international organizations of First Nations’ poetry.
A chapbook of DC native Ailish Hopper's poems, Bird in the Head, was selected by Jean Valentine for the 2005 Center for Book Arts chapbook prize. Recent work has appeared in Poetry, Many Mountains Moving, ReVision, and other journals. The recipient of grants and fellowships from the Baltimore Commission for the Arts and Humanities, Yaddo, and the Vermont Studio Center, Hopper's most recent poetry collection is concerned with whiteness and the crazy-making nature of racial dualism.
Mary Hutchins Harris has been published in print and on-line journals, and has a forthcoming chapbook titled A Tongue Full of Yeses. Her father was the recipient of two Purple Hearts and a medal for Valor in World War II. Her uncle died on Iwo Jima. She writes for those who not only have gone to war but for those have to find a way to live without them.
Natalie E. Illum is a founding board member of mothertongue (www.mothertonguedc.org) and promotes independent artists through 3Word Productions (www.3WordProductions.com). Her previous chapbooks Counterbalance and On Writer's Block and Acrobats are available on Lulu Press. Her writing appears in Growing Up Girl (GirlChild Press), Word Warriors: 35 Leaders of the Spoken Word Revolution (Seal Press), Feminist Studies, and The Women of the Worlds Poetry Anthology. She collaborates with LAVA, an acrobatic troupe in Brooklyn, perfecting her skills at performing poetry upside down.
Elijah Imlay has recently completed a poetry manuscript titled Even Bullets Have Faces, based on his experiences in Viet Nam. He has taught poetry classes through California Poets in the Schools, conducts writing workshops for vets, and has led meditation retreats for over thirty years. His poems are anthologized in Veteran’s of War, Veterans of Peace and Blue Arc West: An Anthology of California Poets. Elijah lives in Ventura, CA, where he works as a therapist with emotionally disturbed teens.
Esther Iverem is a journalist and poet. Her reviews appear on SeeingBlack.com, a web site she founded in 2001 for the dissemination of reviews, news and commentary from a Black perspective. She is a former staff writer for The Washington Post, New York Newsday, The New York Times and is a contributing critic for BET.com and Pacifica Radio. Iverem is the author of two books of poems, Living in Babylon and The Time: Portraits of a Journey Home (Africa World Press).
Jennifer King is the Manuscripts Librarian in the Special Collections department at The George Washington University. One of her major collection development initiatives is to meet local poets and collect their published and unpublished works for inclusion in the Washington Writers Archive. Prior to this appointment, she served for five years as the Archivist for the Community Archives of the Arlington County Virginia Public Library. She holds an MLS from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from Brandeis University.
Gwyn Kirk is part of a vibrant women's network of activists, scholars and writers who oppose militarism and work for everyday security. She has written widely on women’s peace organizing and ecofeminism. She publishes a textbook, Women’s Lives: Multicultural Perspectives (McGraw-Hill), co-edited with Margo Okazawa-Rey. Her current research and writing focuses on stories of cleanup and healing from environmental contamination caused by military operations and war. She holds a Ph.D. in political sociology from the London School of Economics.
Jane Koh believes in the transformative power of writing and tries to work and live in challenge-the-world mode, with mixed results. She currently helps coordinate events for a fund that supports economic justice and immigrants’ rights. She has worked for public art organizations in the past, and continues to focus on writing her own poetry and fiction—in her own time, when she has her own time.
Christi Kramer was born in Northern Idaho and is a graduate of George Mason University’s MFA Creative Writing program. Her poems have appeared in Sojourners; PRACTICE A Journal of Poetry and Art, Beltway Quarterly, Frantic Egg, So To Speak and Best New Poets 2007. The poems she will share in this panel are from her manuscript, Reading The Throne, an ethnography-in-poetry of Iraqi Kurds exiled and living as refugees in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist, a community artist and Associate Professor of English at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Community Performance: An Introduction (Routledge), The Scar of Visibility: Medical Performances and Contemporary Art ((Minnesota), and Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge (Routledge). Her poetry has appeared in the disability culture journals Breath and Shadow and Wordgathering and in performance writing publications. She is working on a collection of essays on disability culture poetry, her first poetry manuscript, and a collaborative poetry collection with Neil Marcus.
Stephen Kuusisto is the author of Only Bread, Only Light, a poetry collection from Copper Canyon Press and of the memoirs Planet of the Blind and Eavesdropping. He holds a dual appointment at the University of Iowa in English where he teaches courses in creative non-fiction and serves as a public humanities scholar in the U of Iowa’s College of Medicine. He is working on a collection of prose poems for Copper Canyon Press entitled Mornings with Borges as well as a collection of political poems on disability.
Francesco Levato is a poet, activist, and new media artist who serves as the executive director of The Poetry Center of Chicago. He is the author of Marginal State (Fractal Edge Press, 2006). His poetry has been published internationally in journals and anthologies, both in print and online, including The Progressive; Versal; Arabesques Review; Citizen 32; Shark Forum; and Out of Line. His poetry-based video artwork has been exhibited in galleries in New York, Chicago, and elsewhere.
Walter Lomax was released from prison in 2006 after serving 39 years following a murder trial, which a current court acknowledged was egregiously unjust. Currently he works with community organizations to help increase public awareness of the need for personal responsibility, community action, and administrative justice. His first book-length collection, Conquering the Cut (BrickHouse Books, Inc., 2008) comprises essays written while he edited The Conqueror, the prisoner's magazine published at the now-defunct Maryland House of Correction.
Sarah Massey is a social change activist who specializes in shifting the mass media conversation to include human rights, workers' rights, and environmentalism. Sarah founded Massey Media in 2005 to build the progressive movement with creative and strategic communications. "Placing progressives in the press" is not only the company motto but a vision of inclusive media. Previously, Sarah served as Media Specialist for the AFL-CIO, Communications Director of the National Employment Law Project, and Communications Director for West Harlem Environmental Action.
Ethelbert Miller is the author of several collections of poetry, most recently How We Sleep On The Nights We Don't Make Love. His memoir, Fathering Words: The Making of An African American Writer, was featured in the DC WE READ program. He is the editor of Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the 21st Century and In Search of Color Everywhere. His awards include the Columbia Merit Award and the O.B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize. Miller is director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University.
John Mingo was raised by his grandparents, he fell into "the system" at a very young age and served at the Maryland House of Correction for Men at Jessup, then Maryland's highest security institution. Mingo is a founder of the Maryland House of Correction Writers' Club and co-author of For Colored Guys who Have Gone Beyond Sucide and Found No Rainbow. In 2007, BrickHouse Books, Inc. published It Takes a Thief, poems which reflect on his experiences in prison.
Patricia Monaghan’s most recent book of poetry, Homefront, explores the lasting impact of war on families. Her other books include both poetry and nonfiction, including a recent book on ecospirituality in Ireland, The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog. Winner of a Pushcart Prize and the Friends of Literature Award for poetry, she is co-founder of the Black Earth Institute, a progressive think-tank for artists working at the intersection of arts, community, social justice and environment.
Martin G. Murray is the founder of the Washington Friends of Walt Whitman, a fellowship of enthusiasts in the nation's capitol. His work on Whitman has been published in Blackwell's A Companion to Walt Whitman, Garland's Walt Whitman: An Enclopedia, The Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, Yale University Library Gazette, Washington History Magazine, and The Classroom Electric: Dickinson, Whitman and American Culture, a web-based learning tool. Murray is an economist by training and profession, and like Whitman before him, is employed by the Federal government.
Danika Myers' poetry has appeared in journals including Practice: New Writing + Art, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Crab Orchard Review. She was a finalist for the 2005 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships and in 2004 won the Editor's Prize for Poetry from Meridian. She holds an MFA in Poetry from George Mason University and currently teaches writing at George Washington University.
Tema Okun. The women leading this workshop are all active in UBUNTU -- a women of color survivor led coalition to end gendered violence based in Durham, NC. We are graduate students and faculty at Duke, NC State, and UNC-Greensboro and meet regularly to write together. We all believe deeply in the power of poetry to help us say the unspeakable as we work to know ourselves and change the world.
Alix Olson’s innumerable appearances include headlining HBO's "Def Poetry Jam." Utne Magazine’s website calls Olson "the spoken word diva everyone's talking about."
Alicia Ostriker has published eleven books of poetry, most recently the volcano sequence and No Heaven, and has been twice a finalist for a National Book Award. As a critic she is the author of the now-classic Stealing the language: The Emergence of Women's Poetry in America, and the recent book Dancing at the Devil's Party: Essays on Poetry, Politics, and the Erotic. Ostriker teaches in the Low-residency Poetry MFA program of New England College.
Frank Panzarella is a New Haven social justice activist. He is the former director of the Connecticut Council on Occupational Safety and Health, and was the president of Machinists’ Local 1990. He is a founding organizer of the May Day Celebration Committee that has celebrated May Day on the New Haven Green since 1987, and the production manager of the Connecticut Folk Festival in New Haven. He is currently a self-employed contractor and a guitarist and singer/songwriter.
Paula Friedland Panzarella is a New Haven resident, performance poet and social justice activist whose poems have appeared in Poems on the Road to Peace, Caduceus; War, Literature & the Arts; Up From the Ruins and her own poetry collection, Living From The Heart. Outcry for Justice: Poetry in the Struggle for Freedom of Sacco and Vanzetti has been performed in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. In August 2007, Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty – Hampden Chapter sponsored the performance.
Lynn Procope is a poet and teaching artist from Trinidad and Tobago. She is a founder of the New York based non-profit, the louderARTS Project Inc. and the experimental performance workshop, synonymUS. She was a member of the New York's 1998 National Poetry Slam Championship winning team. She wrote commissioned works for performance in the 2003 edition of Democrazy. She has been a featured poet/performer at several venues across the US including colleges and universities.
Marcus Raskin is directing Institute for Policy Studies’ Paths for the 21st Century project. This includes producing a multi-volume book examining international organizations and politics, reviewing what we have learned from the 20th century of an emancipatory and liberatory nature to serve as guides for new models of equality and alternatives for the 21st century on questions of peace, economic and social justice, cultural rights, democratic reconstruction, and racial and gender equality. He is also currently serving as a professor at George Washington University.
Kim Roberts edits two online journals, Beltway Poetry Quarterly and Delaware Poetry Review. She is the author of two collections of poetry, The Wishbone Galaxy, and, most recently, The Kimnama, from Vrzhu Press in 2007. She is completing a third collection, Wonder Cabinet, which deals with cancer and the historical treatment and understanding of it and other life-threatening illnesses. Her web site: www.kimroberts.org.
Daniel Lynn Rose is a queer transman from Texas. He currently resides in Brooklyn and is a part-time counselor at Sylvia's Place, where he co-facilitates the Transgender Empowerment Group. He also works with Queers for Economic Justice on their Shelter Organizing Campaign. He is dedicated to building healthy, local queer communities and has been writing with Agent 409 for three years.
Joseph Ross directs the Writing Center at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C. His poems have appeared in several journals including Poetic Voices Without Borders 1 and 2, Sojourners, D.C. Poets Against the War: An Anthology, Café Solo and Hurricane Review. He recently co-edited Cut Loose The Body: An Anthology of Poems on Torture and Fernando Botero's Abu Ghraib. He has upcoming poems appearing in Poet Lore and The Potomac. More of his writing is at JosephRoss.net.
Jimmy Santiago Baca, born in New Mexico of Chicano and Apache descent, was sentenced to five years in a maximum security prison at the age of twenty-one; there he learned to read and write and found his passion for poetry. Baca’s many books include The Importance of a Piece of Paper (Grove/Atlantic), Winter Poems Along the Rio Grande (New Directions), A Place to Stand, Healing Earthquakes, Black Mesa Poems, and Immigrants in Our Own Land. He is the winner of the Pushcart Prize, the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, the National Poetry Award, the International Hispanic Heritage Award, and, for his memoir A Place To Stand, the prestigious International Award.
Shelley Savren conducted poetry writing workshops at R. J. Donovan Maximum Security Men’s Prison (Rock Mountain) near the San Diego border in the late 1980’s and for the past three decades, at juvenile detention centers for both males and females in San Diego and Ventura, California. Her book, The Common Fire, was published by Red Hen Press in 2004. She holds an M.F.A. from Antioch University L.A. and currently lives in Ventura, California where she is a full-time English Professor at Oxnard College.
cory schmanke parrish is the Finance Director at North Star Fund, the community foundation for the collective good in New York City. cory also does bookkeeping for several small social justice organizations, organizes with a group of white allies around gentrification and writes and performs political poems with Agent 409.
Serena Sebring. The women leading this workshop are all active in UBUNTU -- a women of color survivor led coalition to end gendered violence based in Durham, NC. We are graduate students and faculty at Duke, NC State, and UNC-Greensboro and meet regularly to write together. We all believe deeply in the power of poetry to help us say the unspeakable as we work to know ourselves and change the world.
Kriti Sharma. The women leading this workshop are all active in UBUNTU -- a women of color survivor led coalition to end gendered violence based in Durham, NC. We are graduate students and faculty at Duke, NC State, and UNC-Greensboro and meet regularly to write together. We all believe deeply in the power of poetry to help us say the unspeakable as we work to know ourselves and change the world.
Nathaniel Siegel is an artist and poet living in New York City. He recently co-curated with Regie Cabico a new LGBTQ poetry reading series "Come Hear" in SOHO. At this summer's Howl Festival 2007 Nathaniel showed the public "how to use a condom" to prevent HIV/AIDS infection. At the Bowery Poetry Club he created "2,117 days of silence", an historical account of Ronald Reagan's avoidance of the word AIDS. Nathaniel is a supporter of The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church and The Bowery Poetry Club. His first chapbook Tony is forthcoming from Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs of Brooklyn.
Lisa Silverberg Starr is a two-time recipient of the Rhode Island fellowship for poetry. She has published two full-length collections of poetry: Days of Dogs and Driftwood (1993) and This Place Here (2001), and her individual works appear in journals and publications around the country. Starr is the founder of the Block Island Poetry Project. She is an inn keeper on Block Island, where she lives with her family. Ms. Starr is the Poet Laureate of Rhode Island.
Colorado T. Sky was first published in 1969 and writing professionally since 1990. Sky has appeared in dozens of publications in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and South Africa. Among his numerous literary awards, “First Light,” his Vietnam remembrance, was named Best Narrative at the 2001 Cambridge Poetry Awards. A former U.S. Marine, a lifelong biker and one of the original Highway Poets, he holds an A.A. from Cape Cod Community College, a B.A. from Franklin Pierce and an M.A. from Wright State.
Kyes Stevens is a poet and founder/director of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project at Auburn University. Stevens earned her MFA in poetry and MA in Women's History from Sarah Lawrence College and has taught poetry in prisons since 2001. Her poems have appeared in the Blue Collar Review, CrossRoads Southern Journal, and Poetrysoutheast.com among others and she completed residencies at the Lillian E. Smith Center for Creative Arts in 2006, 2007, and forthcoming this year. She lives with her partner in Waverly, Alabama.
Katea Stitt’s production company, Anyanwu Management, offers event, tour and artist management services to individuals, ensembles and organizations. Her clients have included Ntozake Shange, Lester Bowie, Sekou Sundiata, Defunkt, the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, and the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival. She was Coordinator of the Smithsonian Institution's Jazz Oral History Program. Currently, Stitt is Road Manager for Sweet Honey In The Rock and Music and Cultural Affairs Coordinator for WPFW, Pacifica’s Washington affiliate, where she will resume hosting a Jazz and World music program in April.
Davi Walders developed and directs the Vital Signs Writing Project at NIH, funded by the Witter Bynnyer Foundation for Poetry. She has also received a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, a Puffin Foundation Grant, a Maryland State Artist Grant, and a Luce foundation Grant. Her writing has appeared in more than 200 anthologies and journals, has been choreographed and performed in NYC, and has been read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac.
Dennis Ward Stiles graduated from The USAF Academy in 1964 and spent 30 years in the Air Force as a pilot and military diplomat. He has been published widely in distinguished literary journals. Pudding House issued his fifth chapbook, Humdinger, early in 2007.
Marjory Wentworth’s poems have appeared in numerous books and magazines, and she has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize three times. Her book publications include Noticing Eden, 2003 and Despite Gravity, 2007. She teaches poetry in an arts and healing program for cancer patients and their families at Roper Hospital. She is the Poet Laureate of South Carolina. Marjory is the daughter of a US Marine and the daughter-in-law of a World War II pilot. She writes a poetry column for THE CHARLESTON POST AND COURIER.
Maxwell Corydon Wheat, Jr., Freeport, N. Y., is the first Poet Laureate of Nassau County, New York, having been named to that position by acclamation of poets gathered June 24 at Cedarmere, the Long Island home of the 19th Century poet, William Cullen Bryant. With the help of the Nassau County Poet Laureate Committee he has embarked on a program of public outreach to advise people that everybody has the ability to enjoy and write poetry.
Rosemary Winslow has taught writing at The Catholic University of America since 1979. Her book Green Bodies (2007) expresses the complex emotional experience of child abuse. After volunteering in a shelter for homeless women, she edited a collection of their poetry, wrote research articles, and presented on the topic at conferences. Her poems can be found in Beltway, Poet Lore, The Southern Review, and 32 Poems. She received the 2006 First Place Larry Neal Award for Poetry, and other awards.
Laura Madeline Wiseman teaches English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she is working on her dissertation. She earned a B.S. in English Literature and Women’s Studies at Iowa State University and an M.A. in women’s Studies at the University of Arizona. She has volunteered, worked, and taught creative writing in women’s crisis centers for over seven years. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in Blackbird, Pebble Lake Review, Geist, Thirteenth Moon, among other journals and magazines.
Kathi Wolfe is a writer and poet. She writes frequently on disability and LGBT issues. Wolfe writes a poetry column for Scene4 (www.scene4.com) an international, monthly arts magazine. She was a finalist in the 2007 Pudding House Press Chapbook competition. Her chapbook Helen Takes the Stage: The Helen Keller Poems is forthcoming from Pudding House. Wolfe has appeared on the public radio program “The Poet and the Poem,” read at the Library of Congress Poetry at Noon Series and received a Puffin Foundation grant.
The (Kurdish) Iraqi Children’s Writing Group is an informal group. The children are all from Iraq, many are Kurdish refugees living in Harrisonburg, VA. The writing group meets regularly. Children keep journals, write poetry collectively and individually, and respond to each other’s writing and ideas. The writing group explores questions of identity, in a world linguistically, geographically and politically split. The writing group is facilitated by Christi Kramer who believes that the stories we tell are all we are: that in the telling, the listening and the retelling, where we are reminded of our own humanity and reasons for being, we may find a grace for healing and remembrance, which moves to peace.