Janet E. Aalfs, poet, martial artist, teacher, performer, and community activist, is dedicated to nurturing forums for people to express their creativity. She was the poet laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts, from 2003 to 2005. In 2008, Aalfs facilitated a Split This Rock workshop, was a festival poet at the Dodge Poetry Festival in New Jersey, and taught and performed at Goddard’s “Power of the Word.” In 2009 she was part of a teaching/performing artist exchange in Cape Town, South Africa. Her poems have been published widely in journals and anthologies. She has been the director and head instructor since 1982 of Valley Women’s Martial Arts in Easthampton, Massachusetts.
Francis Payne Adler is the author of five books, two books of poetry—The Making of a Matriot and Raising The Tents—and three collaborative poetry-photography books and exhibitions that have shown in the Capitol Buildings in Washington, DC, and in state capitol buildings across the country. Adler is a professor and the founder of the Creative Writing and Social Action Program at California State University Monterey Bay, established in 1996. She is the co-editor, with Diana Garcia and Debra Busman, of Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing.
Malaika King Albrecht’s poems have been or are forthcoming in many literary magazines and anthologies, such as Kakalak: an Anthology of Carolina Poets, Pebble Lack Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Shampoo, New Orleans Review, and The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel-Second Floor. She has taught creative writing to sexual abuse/assault survivors and to addicts and alcoholics in therapy groups. She is also a volunteer poet in local schools. Her manuscript “Never the Same River” was a semifinalist in the Seventh Annual Elixir Press Poetry Awards, and her poem, “Magician Assistant,” won the Poetry Southeast Poetry Contest.
Adriana Sanchez Alexander is a poet and educator from Southern California with a background in designing and implementing community-based writing projects. She founded the ESL Poetry Project in her hometown of Santa Ana and formerly directed the Writers in Communities program at Gemini Ink, a literary arts nonprofit, located in San Antonio, Texas. She is currently pursuing her MFA in poetry at UC Irvine.
Aimee M. Allard is a third-year Ph.D. student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she teaches English and advocates for women’s issues through the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women. She also represents fellow graduate students through the English Graduate Student Association. Ms. Allard’s poetry has appeared in The Mangrove Review, The Rectangle, and elsewhere. Other awards include a 2009 Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to Students from the UNL Teaching Council and the UNL Parents Association and an appointment to serve as the Assistant Faculty Coordinator of the William H. Thompson Scholars Program during the 2009-2010 academic year.
Hossannah Asuncion is a graduate of the Sarah Lawrence writing program. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Calyx, Inc., Ghoti Magazine, Storyscape Journal, Foursquare and Tuesday, and An Art Project. She lives in Brooklyn via Los Angeles via Manila.
Elen Awalom was born in Khartoum, Sudan, to parents from Eritrea, and raised in the South Bronx and Northern Virginia. Elen is an emerging anthropologist, photographer, and writer/poet with an extensive history of work as an activist for peace and social justice. Her work explores themes of spirituality, mysticism, time travel, Afrofuturism, peace, healing, ascension, joy and love. She will complete her first book of poetry in the Spring of 2010, and is currently working on her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at American University.
Naomi Ayala 's book, Wild Animals on the Moon (Curbstone Press, 1997) was selected by the New York City Public Library as a Best Book for the Teen Age. Her newest book of poems, This Side of Early, was released by Curbstone in March 2009. She is included in several anthologies, including Seeds of Fire: Contemporary Poems from the Other USA (Smokestack Books/UK, 2008), The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry (University of Arizona Press, 2007), and Boriquén to Diasporican: Puerto Rican Poetry from Aboriginal Times to the New Millennium (University of Massachusetts Press, 2007). A Native of Puerto Rico, Ayala resides in Washington, DC, where she serves as the Executive Director of the Capitol Letters Writing Center, and teaches at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Her third book of poems is scheduled for release by Bilingual Review Press in 2010.
Kaveh Bassiri has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, where he was the Editor of the graduate literary journal, Lumina. He was a past co-curator of the poetry series, “Reading Between A&B,” and is the current co-curator of "Triptych Readings." He is also the Literary Art Director for Persian Arts Festival, which runs a monthly poetry reading at Bowery Poetry Club. His writing won the 2008 Bellingham Review’s 49th Parallel Award and has received prize or recognition from Baltimore Review, Paterson Literary Review, and Arts & Letters.
Anne Becker is the author of The Transmutation Notebooks: Poems in the Voices of Charles and Emma Darwin and The Good Body. Her writing has appeared in Antioch Review, Southern Poetry Review, Gargoyle Magazine, Washington Review, Washington Jewish Week, and Patuxent Review. Since 2001, she has taught a poetry workshop, "Writing the Body," for those who have experienced life-threatening and chronic illness as patients or caregivers (www.bodywriting.org). For more than 15 years, she was senior producer of Watershed Tapes, recording major American and international poets reading their work. She also produced segments for several series of literary radio programs that were broadcast nationwide. Poet laureate of Takoma Park, Maryland, she is currently co-curating "This Is Our Body," an exhibit of collaborations between poets and visual artists.
Tara Betts teaches at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Tara is a Cave Canem fellow and a graduate of the New England College’s MFA Program. Arc and Hue is her debut poetry collection. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Callaloo, Essence, Gathering Ground, Bum Rush the Page, Ninth Letter, and PMS.
Remica L. Bingham’s first book, Conversion, won the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, was published by Lotus Press, and was shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. She received her MFA from Bennington College and is a Cave Canem fellow. A book of her selected poems, The Seams of Memory, will be translated into Arabic in 2010 in conjunction with Kalima Project. She currently serves as the Writing Competency Coordinator at Norfolk State University.
Bob Blair is a former English Lit major (way former!), who after four years as a TEFL teacher and teacher trainer with the Peace Corps in Thailand, was transformed, via academic chrysalis, into an economist. But in 2008 he returned to his caterpillar heritage by facilitating weekly poetry workshops at Miriam’s Kitchen on Wednesday mornings.
Jody Bolz is an executive editor of Poet Lore, the oldest continuously published poetry magazine in the United States. She is the author of A Lesson in Narrative Time (Gihon Books, 2004). Her poems and essays have appeared widely in literary magazines—The American Scholar, Crab Orchard Review, Indiana Review, Ploughshares, and Southern Poetry Review among them—and in many anthologies. Among her honors are a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the Margaret Bridgman Scholarship in Poetry to Bread Loaf. Ms. Bolz taught for more than twenty years at George Washington University, serving twice as acting director of the creative writing program.
Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of Interpretive Work (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press, 2008), which won the 2009 Audre Lorde Prize. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, Orion, and elsewhere. She is the founder and editor of the grassroots-distributed and guerilla-art-inspired Broadsided Press (www.broadsidepress.org). Bradfield’s second collection, Approaching Ice, will be published this winter by Persea Books. A former Stegner Fellow, she works as a naturalist.
Antoinette Brim teaches at Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock, Arkansas. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Antioch University-Los Angeles and a B.A. in Literature and Language with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Webster University. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and a Harvard University W.E.B. Du Bois Fellow at the National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Institute. She is a recipient of the Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Foundation Scholarship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has appeared in various journals, magazines, and anthologies. Psalm of the Sunflower is her debut poetry collection.
Andrea Carter Brown is the author of a poetry collection, The Disheveled Bed (CavanKerry Press, 2006), and an award-winning chapbook, Brook & Rainbow (Sow’s Ear Press, 2001). Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies and been featured on "Poetry Daily." Award recipient of the Poetry Society of America and the Writer’s Voice, she is completing a book-length narrative poem, September 12, about the events of 9/11 and its aftermath from the perspective of a witness and survivors. A section of this poem won the River Styx International Poetry Prize. She lives in Los Angeles, where she has taught poetry and edited the Emily Dickinson Journal at Pomona College.
Jericho Brown worked as the speechwriter for the Mayor of New Orleans before receiving his Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston. He also holds an MFA from the University of New Orleans and a BA from Dillard University. The recipient of a Bunting Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University and two travel fellowships to Krakow Poetry Seminar in Poland, he has served as poetry editor at the Gulf Coast and assistant poetry editor at Calloloo. Brown’s poems have appeared in several journals and anthologies. He currently teaches creative writing at the University of San Diego.
Sally Brucker, MSW, ATR-BC, is a clinical social worker, art therapist, and visual artist from Takoma Park, Maryland. She has participated in several artist/poet collaborations, one of which resulted in a book, Inspired Results, which she co-edited. In her work as an art therapist, Brucker often elicits poems in response to artwork, and vice-versa. She often incorporates the written word directly on her paintings, prints, and handmade books.
Melisa “Misha” Cahnmann-Taylor has authored two books in education research, a poetry chapbook, and several poems in many journals including APR, Alaska Quarterly, Literary Mama, Mom Egg, and Quarterly West. She won the 2004, 2005, and 2008 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prizes and a Leeway Grant for Poetry. Cahnmann-Taylor is associate Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia. Her forthcoming book about using Theatre of the Oppressed strategies in teacher education, Teachers Act Up!, Will be published by Teachers College Press in 2010.
Lovella Calica is founder and director of the Warrior Writers Project, a creative community for veterans articulating their experiences. She has edited two anthologies of Iraq veterans’ writing/artwork entitled: Move, Shoot and Communicate and Re-Making Sense. Lovella has received two grants from the Leeway Foundation and is a co-founder of the Philipino-American artist collective, Tatlo Mestiz@s.
Richard Cambridge of Massachusetts is widely regarded as one of the finest poets to emerge from the Slam Poetry movement. Winner of the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize, he cofounded "Singing with the Enemy," a troupe of poets, musicians, and performance artists whose show, "!EMBARGO!" evokes the devastating effects of the United States' 40-year economic blockade on the people of Cuba. He is at work upon a fictionalized memoir.
Kristie Cato is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Dr. Cato has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Counseling from Southeastern Louisiana University. She has also earned a Doctorate in Psychology from Southern Californian University. She has been in practice since 1993. Dr. Cato works with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. She often uses the arts as a therapy.
Lorna Dee Cervantes was a pivotal figure throughout the Chicago literary movement. She began publishing the literary journal Mango in the mid-1970s. Recipient of numerous awards, honors, and fellowships, including the Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Writers Award, two NEA Fellowship Grants, two Pushcart Prizes, the American Book Award, Patterson Poetry Prize, the Latino Literature Award, the Balcones Poetry Prize, and Second Place in the International Latino Book Award for the best book of poetry. A philosopher, Cervantes holds an A.B.D. in History of Consciousness from UC Santa Cruz. She was an associate professor of English at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Cathy Lin Che was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1980. Her parents emigrated from Vietnam in 1976 after a one-year stay at a refugee camp in the Philippines. Her father fought in the South Vietnamese Army for twelve years. A teacher, poet, and translator, she is currently attending the graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University. She is recipient of Starworks teaching fellowship. She is currently co-editing a poetry anthology called Children of Warriors: Inheriting War.
Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Ching-In has worked in the Asian-American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, and Boston, and helped organize the third national Asian Pacific American Spoken Word and Poetry Summit in Boston. Her work has been recently published in Tea Party, Fifth Wednesday Journal, OCHO, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Water~Stone Review. Ching-In’s poem film, "We Will Not Be Moved!: A Story of Oakland Chinatown," was screened as part of the 2004 National Queer Arts Festival. Ching-In is a co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Partner Abuse in Activist Communities.
Cheryl Clarke is Director of the Office of Diverse Community Affairs and Lesbian-Gay Concerns. Her books include The Days of Good Looks: The Prose and Poetry of Cheryl Clarke, 1980 to 2005 (2006), the Lambda Literary Award-nominated Experimental Love (1993), Humid Pitch (1989), Living as a Lesbian (1986), and Narratives: Poems in the Tradition of Black Women (1983). Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Black Scholar, Kenyan Review, Belles' Letters, The World in Us: An Anthology of Lesbian and Gay Poetry, and Persistent Desire: A Femme-Bueth Reader.
Ama Codjoe is a freelance artist, writer, and educator. She has roots in Memphis and Accra. Currently, Ama is a lead teaching artist with ACTION Project in the Bronx and a Cave Canem fellow. She has performed work by Rennie Harris, Francine Ott, and Aida Whitaker. In 2009 Ama was awarded a Fund for New Work grant from Harlem Stage and she enjoys dancing to Fela Kuti, Stevie Wonder, and Afro-Puerto Rican bomba. Ama believes that art is a tool for liberation.
Curtis L. Crisler is and Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at IPFW. His book on Aquarius Press is the collection Pulling Scabs. He recently won the 2008 Keyhole Chapbook Award for Spill. His book, Tough Boy Sonatas, was published in 2007. He is a Cave Canem Fellow and has been published in many journals and magazines.
Catherine Crum, clinical social worker, black-belt haikuist, and bike whisperer, is the Deputy Director of Miriam’s Kitchen, a breakfast and social services program for DC’s homeless. At Miriam’s, Catherine has coordinated the weekday-morning “After-Breakfast Program,” which includes creative writing, art therapy, and yoga, for six years. Prior to Miriam’s, Catherine worked at Whitman-Walker Clinic’s Austin Center for Health and Living, where she facilitated writing, art and HIV support groups for nine years.
Heather Davis earned a B.A. in English from Hollins University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. She is the author of The Lost Tribe of Us, which won the 2007 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Cream City Review, Poet Lore, Puerto del Sol, and Sonora Review, among others. She lives in Front Royal, Virginia, with her husband, the poet Jose Padua, and their daughter. She has served on the coordinating committee of Split This Rock Poetry Festival and is a member of DC Poets Against the War.
Mitchell L. H. Douglas is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Indiana University-Purdue Indianapolis. His poetry has appeared in Callaloo, The Ringing Ear, Crab Orchard Review, and Zoland Poetry Volume II, among others. A founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, Cave Canem fellow, and poetry editor for PLUCK, Cooling Board is his debut collection. Before its publication by Red Hen Press, Cooling Board was a runner-up for the 2007 Stan Tom Wick poetry Prize, a semifinalist for the 2007 Blue Lynx prize, and a semifinalist for the 2006 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award.
Lucinda Dugger is the outreach director for the Copyright Alliance in Washington, DC, where she is leading a grassroots movement of creators to speak up about their rights. Lucinda has taught art to all ages and has also exhibited her own paintings in galleries with the United States and abroad. In Takoma Park, Maryland, she participated in a collaborative effort between poets and visual artists called “Inspired Results.” Lucinda holds a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Advertising and Promotions from Western Michigan University.
Jai Dulani is a first-year student in the Integrated Media Arts MFA program at Hunter College. Dulani’s work strives to place issues of war and migration in conversation with class, queerness and generation. Dulani holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in a self-designed major, “Art for Social Change.” An Austin Project Fellow, and a BCAT/Rotunda Gallery Multi-Media Artist-in-Residence, Dulani has been published in SAMAR, and is forthcoming in the anthology Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academics and the Austin Project, University of Texas Press.
Camille T. Dungy is author of What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (Red Hen Press, 2006) and Suck on the Marrow (Red Hen Press, due January 2010). She is editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (UGA, due December 2009) and co-editor of From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great (Persea, April 2009). Dungy is associate professor of Creative Writing at San Francisco State University.
Kelly Norman Ellis is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Chicago State University. She is also the associate director of the MFA in Creative Writing program as CSU. She is a poet whose work has appeared in Sisterfire: Black Womanist Fiction and Poetry, Spirit and Flame, Role Girls, Boomer Girls, Essence Magazine, Obsidian, Calyx, and Cornbread Nation. She is a recipient of a Kentucky foundation for Women writer’s grant and is a Cave Canem fellow and founding member of the Affrilachian Poets. Third World Press published her first collection of poetry, Tougaloo Blues, in 2003.
Thomas Sayers Ellis, poet, photographer, and co-founder of The Dark Room Collective, received his MFA from Brown University. He is the author of The Maverick Room, which won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award, and a recipient of a Mrs. Giles Whiting Writers’ Award. Mr. Ellis is a contributing writer to Waxpoetics and Poets & Writers, and contributes to TSE’s Pick of the Week. He is an Assistant Professor of Writing at Sarah Lawrence College and a faculty member of The Lesley University low-residency MFA Program. Skin, Inc., a new collection, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press, Fall 2010.
Annie Finch is the author of four volumes of poetry and poetry in translation. Her poetic vision has also encompassed libretto and other musical and theater collaborations as well as five anthologies about poetry and two books of poetics. Finch's recent works include Calendars (Tupelo, 2003, shortlisted for the Foreword Poetry Book of the Year Award); a reissue of her early longpoem, The Encyclopedia of Scotland (Salt Press, 2004); and a book of essays on poetry, The Body of Poetry: Essays on Women, Form, and the Poetic Self (University of Michigan Press, 2005). Since 2005 she has served as Director of the Stonecoast graduate creative writing program at the University of Southern Maine. She is the organizer of the literary communities WOM-PO (for women poets) and GREEN-PO (for environmentalist poets).
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 exteriorize a legacy of being the only daughter of now-deceased Holocaust survivors. Yoga taught Yael how to get out of her head inhabit her body; writing, how to expunge voices from out of her head and onto paper. Yael’s poetry and essays have been widely anthologized; she teaches in both the vinyasa and yin yoga styles.
Diana Garcia's book of poetry, When Living was a Labor Camp, won an American Book Award. A founding member of the Border Voices Project in San Diego, her work is published in Touching the Fire: 15 Poets of Today's Latino Renaissance and Pieces of the Heart: New Chicano Fiction. Garcia is an associate professor and co-director of the Creative Writing and Social Action Program at CSU Monterey Bay. She is the co-editor, with Frances Payne Adler and Debra Busman, of Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing.
Xelena González is a poet and journalist who has written for various local and national media outlets, including Voices of Art, VIBE magazine, the San Antonio Current, the San Antonia Express-News, and That’s China. Over the last five years she has led various writing workshops with the Writers in Communities program at Gemini Ink. Also a performance and visual artist, Xelena has worked within Jump-Start Performance Co.’s multidisciplinary Historias y Cuentos program. She is the editor of the arts resources guide, Smart Art by Jump-Start (2009).
Austin Greene is an artist, educator and activist born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Through his work with Dreamyard’s A.C.T.I.O.N. Project, he helps develop young activists by exploring various socio-political issues using the creative arts. He is a member of The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, a community organization focusing on self-empowerment for members of the African Diaspora. He has worked with The Institute Media Project, training young people in the art of documentary making, and has also partnered with GIRLS For Gender Equity to create the documentary Hey Shorty. His art and activism have taken him to Paris, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Venezuela, and Cuba.
Sarah Gridley is the author of two books of poetry: Weather Eye Open (University of California Press, 2005), and Green is the Orator (forthcoming from the University of California Press in 2010). Her poems have appeared in various journals, including Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Jubilant, and New American Poetry. She received a BA in English from Harvard University in 1990, and an MFA in poetry from the University of Montana in 2000. A recent recipient of an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council, she is an Assistant Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
Jeff Gundy has published five books of poems and three of prose, most recently Spoken Among the Trees (poems, Akron, 2007) and Walker in the Fog: on Mennonite Writing (essays, Pandora, 2006), which includes a lengthy essay on Williams Stafford as a pacifist poet. A lifelong Mennonite and registered CO during Vietnam, he has twice presented the C. Henry Smith Peace Lecture and contributed to Teaching Peace: Nonviolence and the Liberal Arts (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003). He has taught for many years at Bluffton (Ohio) University and was the 2008 Fulbright Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Salzburg.
Ellen Hagan is a writer, performer, and educator. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and can be found in pages of Failbetter, La Petite Zine, Check the Rhyme, 42opus, Submerged, and PLUCL. She is a regular contributor to Underwired Magazine and was named a winner of the Next Great Writers Competition at the Carnegie Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Ellen is an Affrilachian poet and has received grants from Kentucky Foundation for Women and the GSA Toyota Alumni Fund. Ellen recently returned from residency in Cuba with a performance piece with her partner David Flores, to be debuted GSA 2009.
Reginald Harris is a recipient of individual Artist Awards for both poetry and fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council. Harris is in charge of IT support and public computer training for the Enoch Pratt Free Library. His first book, 10 TONGUES (Three Conditions Press, 2001) was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and the ForeWord Book of the Year. Contributor to LGBTQ America Today (Greenwood Press 2008; John C Hawley, Editor), his work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies.
Virginia Hartman is a writer whose stories have appeared in The Hudson Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She has taught writing at American University, the George Washington University, and The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She has been leading a Thursday poetry workshop at Miriam’s Kitchen since 2007. For this reason, she really likes Thursdays.
Melanie Henderson, 4th-generation native of Washington, DC, is a graduate of Howard University and an MFA candidate at Lesley in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A visual and literary artist and an alum of Voices Summer Writing Workshops (VONA), her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such publications as Black Arts Quarterly, Drumvoices Revue, Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora, Jubilat, Tuesday; An Art project, and Warpland Journal. She was a Finalist in the 2009 DC Commission of Arts and Humanities Larry Neal Writers’ Competition.
Scott Hightower is the author of three collections of poetry, the most recent of which, Part of the Bargain, won the Hayden Carruth Prize from Copper Canyon Press. Most recently he won the Willis Barnstone Translation Award for his translations of the Spanish-Puerto Rican poet Aurora de Albornoz. A resident of New York City, he teaches at Drew University and at New York University and is a contributing editor to The Journal.
Lita Hooper is a poet and educator living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her work has appeared in several anthologies. She is the author of two chapbooks, Legacy and the Journal of Sojourner Truth, and a critical biography, Art of Work: The Art and work of Haki Madhubuti. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and the founding member of Baobab Poetry Collective. Her work has also been published online and in print journals and magazines. She currently is producing staged readings of The Journal of Sojourner Truth.
Laura Hope-Gill holds an MFA in Poetry from the Warren Wilson MFA Program and is the Director of Ashville WordFest Poetry Festival. She was selected 2008 NC Arts Fellow for her writings on losing her hearing. Through her company, The Healing Seed, she helps people write books and poems. She is co-founder of PART. Laura is in the process of certification as a licensed Applied Poetry Facilitator through the National Federation of Poetry Therapy.
Randall Horton resides in Albany, New York, and is a former recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize. His poetry manuscript, The Definition of Place, was a finalist for the Main Street Rag Book Award and was published in their Editor’s Select Series in 2006. His second book, The Lingua Franca of Ninth Street, was published in September of 2009 with Main Street, as well. He received his undergraduate education at Howard University and The University of The District of Columbia. He has MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in poetry from Chicago State University and Ph.D. in Creative Writing from SUNY Albany.
Zara Houshmand is an Iranian-American writer who lives in Austin, Texas. Her work includes poetry, theatre, virtual reality translation, and editing the "Mind & Life" dialogues between the Dalai Lama and scientists. Her poetry has been published in online and print literary journals. Her most recent book is A Mirror Garden (A. A. Knopf, 2007), a memoir co-authored with Monir Farmanfarmaian.
Shani Jamila's career reflects her commitment to utilizing the power of arts activism to create global social change. As the Director of Justice for D.C. Youth she coordinates the Prison to College Pipeline, a mentorship program designed to support the education and empowerment of incarcerated teens. She also hosts and produces a weekly talk radio show that broadcasts on the Pacifica network (WPFW 89.3FM/ DC), where she seamlessly fuses progressive hip hop & political commentary. Her work and studies have taken her to more than thirty countries, a journey she chronicles in her speeches, essays and poetry on race, gender, culture, and diaspora. Please visit www.shanijamila.com to learn more.
Kim Jensen (www.kimjensen.org) is a writer who has lived in France, California, and the Middle East. Her first book of poems, Bread Alone, was published in October 2009 by Syracuse University Press. Her first novel, The Woman I Left Behind (Curbstone Press, 2006) was a finalist for Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year. In 2001 Kim won the Raymond Carver Prize for Short Fiction, and her writings have appeared in the numerous anthologies and journals. Kim currently serves on the editorial board of the Baltimore Review and is Associate Professor of English at the Community College of Baltimore County.
Fred Joiner is a poet and artist living in Washington DC’s Historic Anacostia. His work has appeared in Callaloo, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora, Mosaic Literary Magazine, Warpland: A Journal of Black Literature and Idea, and in other forthcoming publications. Fred has read his work throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area and Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is curator and host of the American Poetry Museums’s INTERSECTIONS reading series, the Poet-in-Residence at Busboys and Poets Shirlington, and the host of Hillyer Artspace’s HOME poetry series.
Patricia Spears Jones is an award-winning African-American poet, editor, playwright, teacher and former Program Coordinator at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church. Her poetry collections are Femme du Monde and The Weather That Kills and the chapbooks Mythologizing Always and Repuestas!. Her work is anthologized in Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama’s First 100 Days; Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry; Bowery Women: Poems; broken land: Poems of Brooklyn; Poetry After 911; Blood & Tears: Poems for Matthew Shepard; Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology; Sisterfire; and Best American Poetry, 2000. Poems, interviews, reviews, and commentary in www.kwelijournal.com, Downtown Brooklyn, Fifth Wednesday, Barrow Street, Bomb, The Oxford American, The Poetry Project Newsletter, African Voices, Callaloo, Essence, www.tribes.org, among many others. Two plays were commissioned and produced by Mabou Mines: Mother (1994) and Song for New York: What Women Do When Men Sit Knitting (2007). She edited and contributed to Think: Poems for Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Day Hat. Her website is www.psjones.com.
Janine Joseph is a doctoral candidate in Literature & Creative and senior poetry reader for Gulf Coast at the University of Houston. She holds degrees from UC Riverside and the Creative Writing Program at New York University where she was a teaching fellow for the Starworks Foundation. Her work has most recently appeared in Third Coast, Spoon River Poetry Review, Nimrod, Calabash, and the anthology, Breathe: 101 Contemporary Odes. Her work also appears in Episode 2 of "Pinecones: a Podcast of Young Poets." Janine is a recent recipient of a Paul and Daisy Soros Foundation Fellowship for New Americans.
Persis M. Karim is the editor of Let Me Tell you Where I’ve Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora (2006) and the co-editor of A World Between: Poems, Short Stories and Essays by Iranian Americans (1999). Her poetry has appeared in numerous local and national literary journals. She received 2nd prize for Split This Rock Poetry Contest 2008 for her poem, “Ways to Count the Dead.”
John Keene is the author of the award-winning novel Annotations (1995), and of the poetry collection Seismosis (2006), with artwork by Christopher Stackhouse. He has published his fiction, poetry, essays, and translations in wide array of journals, including African-American Review, AGNI, Indiana Review, Kenyon Review, New American Writing, and Ploughshares. His recent honors include a 2005 Whilting Foundation Award in Fiction and Poetry. He teaches courses in fiction and cross-genre writing, African-American and Diasporic literature, aesthetics, and literary translation at Northwestern University, where, in 2006, he received the University’s E. Leroy Hall Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
George Kovach is a graduate student in the MFA poetry program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the founding editor and publisher of Consequences and directs a series of writing workshops for war veterans at the Vet Center in Brockton, Massachusetts. He served in the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division from 1966 to 1970.
Chi Lam is a mom, poet, and painter. Her writing has appeared in Streetlights, Shenandoah, and Callaloo. She is also Co-Founder of Restitched, a small business that recycles unwanted sweaters into knitted bodysuits for babies and toddlers.
Joseph O. Legaspi is the author of Imago, winner of a 2008 Global Filipino Literary Award. Born in the Philippines, he was raised there and in Los Angeles where he immigrated with his family when he was twelve. Currently, he lives in Manhattan and works at Columbia University. A graduate of NYU’s Creative Writing Program, recent works appeared in Callaloo, North American Review, Poets & Writers, New York Theater Review, Crab Orchard Review, Gay & Lesbian Review, and the anthology Language for a New Century. A recipient of a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, he co-founded Kundiman, a nonprofit organization serving Asian-American poets.
Francesco Levato, poet, translator, and new media artist, is the executive director of the Poetry Center of Chicago. He is the author of three books of poetry: Elegy for Dead Languages, forthcoming from Torino Poesia; War Rug, a book-length documentary poem; and Marginal State. His translations of the works of Italian poets are forthcoming from Marick Press in 2010. His work has been published internationally in The Los Angeles Review, Drunken Boat, The Progressive, XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics, Versal, and many other journals and anthologies. His poetry-based video artwork has been exhibited in galleries and featured at film festivals in Germany, Chicago, New York, Italy, and elsewhere.
Robin Coste Lewis received a M.T.S. in Sanskrit and Comparative Religious Literature from Harvard Divinity School. She has taught poetry and creative writing at Wheaton College and at Hampshire College School of Interdisciplinary Arts. Her writing has appeared in Callaloo, The Massachusetts Review, The Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review, and many other journals and anthologies. In December 2009, she was a scholar at the Summer Literary Seminars in Nairobi, Kenya. Born in Compton, she now lives in Berkeley, California.
Ada Limón is originally from Sonoma, California. With a Masters of Fine Arts from the Creative Writing Program at New York University, she has received fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and New York Foundation for the Arts, and won the Chicago Literary Award for Poetry. Her first book, lucky wreck, was the winner of the 2005 Autumn House Poetry Prize. Her second book, this big fake world, was the winner of the 2005 Pearl Poetry Prize. Her mother, Stacia Brady, is an artist in California and painted the covers of the books. She is the Creative Director of Travel + Leisure Magazine and teaches a Master Class for Columbia University. Her third book of poems, Sharks in the Rivers, will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2010. She also sings in a band called Lucky Wreck. She enjoys cake and flowers, rivers, and trees. She is particularly fond of fish.
Lisa Suhair Majaj is a Palestinian-American poet and critic. Her poetry, creative nonfiction, and critical essays have appeared in journals and anthologies across the United States, the Middle East, and Europe. She is the author of Geographies of Light: Poems, forthcoming from Del Sol Press, and two poetry chapbooks. Her scholarly publications include three co-edited volumes of critical essays: Going Global: The Transnational Reception of Third World Women Writers (Garland/Routledge 2000), Etel Adnan: Critical Essays on the Arab-American Writer and Artist (McFarland Publishing 2002), and Intersections: Gender, Nation and Community in Arab Women’s Novels (Syracuse University Press, 2002).
Marie-Elizabeth Mali was born in New York City to Venezuelan-American and Swedish parents and grew up trilingual. She earned her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College in 2009, and her work has appeared in Lumina, Calyx, The Acentos Review, and Tiferet. She serves as co-curator for LouderARTS’ Monday night reading series and cultural organization dedicated to the advancement of Latino/a poetry.
Fred Marchant is the author of four books of poetry, the most recent of which is The Looking House (Graywolf Press, 2009). He is also the editor of Another World Instead: The Early Poetry of William Stafford, 1937-1947. He directs the Creative Writing Program and the Poetry Center at Suffolk University in Boston, and is a longtime teaching affiliate of the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences at UMass-Boston.
Laren McClung received an MFA from New York University in 2009. She’s been the recipient of a Goldwater Hospital Teaching Fellowship, a T&W Collaborative Van Lier Fellowship, and a Veterans Writing Fellowship at NYU, where she led a yearlong workshop in creative writing to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She’s currently co-editing an anthology titled Children of Warriors.
Mark McMorris is a poet and critic whose books include The Blaze of the Poui (2003), a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Prize, and The Black Reeds (1997), winner of the Contemporary Poetry Series Prize from the University of Georgia Press. The Café at Light, a text of lyric dialogue, appeared in 2004 from Roof Books. He has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, writer-in-residence at Brown University, and Roberta C. Holloway Visiting Professor in Poetry at the University of California, Berkeley.
JoEllen McNeal is Co-Founder of the Women’s Resource Center in Front Royal, Virginia. A lifelong love of poetry and literature led to degrees in English and Adult Education. She began writing poetry in 2006 and is currently working on her first collection of poetry. She is a native of Montana and has been at various times a high school English teacher, a Peace Corps volunteer and recruiter, a dance instructor, a fitness consultant, a massage therapist, and a newsletter editor.
Phillip Metres is the author of numerous books, including To See the Earth (Poetry, 2008), Come Together: Imagine Peace (2008), Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront Since 1941 (2007), and Catalogue of Comedic Novelties: Selected Poems of Lev Rubinstein (2004). He has been involved peace and justice movement since the 1980s; he co-founded the Bloomington [Indiana] Coalition for Peace in the 1990s, and has worked with Pax Christi, Committee for Peace in the Middle East, Peace Action, and Tikkun. He teaches literature and creative writing at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Adam Meyer is a novelist and documentary writer/director/producer. He’s the author of The Last Domino, and the forthcoming When She’s Gone. His independent feature film Two Fireflies, which he wrote and directed, is appearing at festivals around the country. Adam has also written and produced dozens of television documentaries for Fox, CBS, the Discovery Channel and the National Geographic Channel. He facilitates a Wednesday afternoon writing workshop at Miriam’s Kitchen.
E. Ethelbert Miller is a board member at The Writer’s Center and editor of Poet Lore. The author of several collections of poems, his last book is How We Sleep on the Nights We Don’t Make Love (Curbstone Press 2004). His memoir, The Fifth Inning (PM Press) was released in 2009. Mr. Miller is the Board Chair for the Institute for Policy Studies, and since 1974 has been the director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University. He is the former Chair of the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, and a former core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington College.
Patricia Monaghan is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Homefront, an exploration of the impact of war on families. She has also written a number of books of nonfiction, mostly focusing on women’s issues and spirituality. Monaghan has won the Pushcart Prize, the Paul Gruchow Award for Nature Writing, and other awards. She is professor of interdisciplinary studies at DePaul University in Chicago and is Senior Fellow at the Black Earth Institute.
Trey Moore is a performance poet of San Antonio. Mr. Moore has performed from Maine to New Mexico. He teaches poetry in the schools of San Antonio, elementary, middle, and juvenile detention centers. His collection, We Forget Our Water, won the Whitebird Chapbook Contest. He recently received a Puffin Foundation Grant for this projection of student poetry on the buildings of San Antonio. He is co-founder of PART. His full-length collection, Some Will Play the Cello, was released in 2009.
Robyne Walker Murphy has been a teaching artist, school-based Site Coordinator for Dream Yard’s in-school partnership and ACTION Project Lead Artist. In summer 2008, she transitioned into the role of Program Director Dream Yard’s Out of School Programs. Robyne holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in African-American Literature from Clark Atlanta University and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Washington’s Professional Actors Training Program. Prior to working at Dream Yard, Robyne was a teaching artist at the Harlem School of the Arts. As an actor, Robyne has worked a numerous theaters around the country.
Vaimoana (Moana) Niumeitolu is a painter poet, actor, activist, educator and the founder of Mahina Movement. Moana was born in Nuku’alofa, Tonga; raised in Hawaii and Utah; and now lives, creates, and loves in Harlem, USA. She has traveled and shared her paintings, poetry, and performances all over the United States and in Fiji, Ireland, Italy, and South Africa. She graduated from NYU with a degree in painting and earned a full scholarship to the Ellen Stokel Graduate Theater Program at Columbia University in Acting. She has worked at the Metropolitan Opera as an actor and performed 13 characters in her one-woman show, “Tonge-in Paint.” She loves that she is growing older. Life has just begun.
Alicia Ostriker has published 12 volumes of poetry, most recently The Book of Seventy, as well as books on women’s poetry and on the Bible. She has twice been a National Book Award Finalist, and has received awards from the Poetry Society of America, the Guggenheim Foundation, The Paterson Prize, the San Francisco Poetry Center, and others. Her Vietnam-era poem sequence, The Mother/Child Papers, has just been reprinted. Ostriker teaches in the Drew University Low-Residency Program in Poetry in Translation.
José Padua’s poetry and fiction have appeared on Salon.com and in Bomb, Exquisite Corpse, Another Chicago Magazine, Unbearables, Crimes of the Beats, Up is Up, but So Is Down: New York’s Downtown Literary Scene, 1974-1992, and many other journals and anthologies. He has read his work at the Lollapalooza Festival, CBGBs, the Knitting Factory, the Public Theater, the Living Theater, the Nuyorican Poets’ Café, the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, the Black Cat Club, the Washington Project for the Arts, and many other venues. He lives in Virginia with his wife, the poet Heather Davis, and their daughter.
Gregory Pardlo is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and a translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has received additional fellowships from The New York Times, the MacDowell Colony, and the Cave Canem Foundation. A finalist for the Essence Magazine Literary Award in poetry, his first book, Totem, won the 2007 APR/Honickman Prize. He is an Assistant Professor of creative writing at George Washington University.
Alison Roh Park is a writer and performer based in New York City. Her work explores complex issues of racial, class, gender and immigrant identities and how those manifest in intimate, blood, and social relationships. She was the 2006-2007 Artist in Residence at the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia, during which time she wrote, produced, and performed “A Magpie Sang on the 7-Train,” her debut one-woman show. Alison has contributed to The NuyorAsian Anthology, The Asian Pacific American Journal, Yellow Medicine Review, and other publications in Philadelphia. She has performed and educated at venues and campuses across the continental United States for the past decade and is currently developing new works in both poetry and fiction.
Soham Patel is a first-year poetry student in the MFA program at the University of Pittsburgh. She has taught writing and literature courses at Pikes Peak Community College, the University of Colorado, and at the Arts College in Gujarat, India. She has also led poetry workshops for at-risk youth and returning war veterans in Colorado’s Pikes Peak Region. Her most recent work can be read in Marginalia, Main Street Rag, and The Cortland Review.
Jennifer M. Pierson After working fifteen years as a Human Rights Advocate for persons with disabilities, and has earned an MFA in Poetry in 1996 from American University. For seven years she taught writing at GW, and also began teaching a poetry workshop for retirees at American. This year she has become Poet in Residence at IONA Senior Service, where she has developed workshops for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. She has published poetry in journals and anthologies, as well as several book length manuscripts. Since 2004 she has been a Red Cross volunteer, greeting the incoming wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan into Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Lynne Procope is a poet and teaching artist from Trinidad and Tobago. She is the co-author of the collaborative poetry book, Burning Down The House (Soft Skull Press, 1998) and her work has appeared in Washington Square and Drumvoices Revue. She has performed her work throughout the United States and beyond, most notably at Jamaica’s Calabash Literary Festival and as a featured writer/performer with Vision Into Art and Lincoln Center. She is co-founder and executive director of louderARTS project.
Kim Roberts is the editor of the anthology Full Moon on K Street Poems About Washington, DC (Plan B Press, 2010) and the author of two books of poems, The Kimnama (Vrzhu Press, 2007) and The Wishbone Galaxy (WWHP, 1994). Her poetry has appeared in journals beginning with every letter in the alphabet and published in every letter in the alphabet and published in every state in this country. The recipient of grants from the DC Commission on the Arts, the Humanities Council of Washington, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, she lives in Washington, DC, where she is the editor of the online journal, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2010.
Judith Roche is the author of three collections of poetry; her latest, Wisdom of the Body, won an American Book Award. She co-edited First Fish, First People: Salmon Tales of the North Pacific Rim, which features the work of first-nations artists from around the Pacific. She has worked in collaboration with visual artists on several public art projects, which are installed in the Seattle area. Literary Arts Director Emeritus for One Reel, an arts-producing company, and teacher of poetry workshops, she was recently Distinguished Northwest Writer in Residence at Seattle University.
Erica F. Rogers is a performing poet and journalist. In the third year of her direct-admit Ph.D. program, she is studying Composition and Rhetoric. Ms. Rogers’ poetry has been performed in the Nebraska Writers’ Collective competitions, and was the Nebraska metro-regional woman champion in 2008. Ms. Rogers appears as a weekly columnist in the Daily Nebraskan, and has won several journalism awards. In 2006 and 2007 she was a primary researcher for a seed-grant project focused on the transitional identities of students as they move from high school to college and worked with Dr. Chris Gallagher. She holds a B.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
John Rosenwald divides his time between Beloit, Wisconsin, where he is a Professor of English; the People’s Republic of China, where he has held three Fulbright grants to teach American poetry and culture; and Farmington, Maine, where he serves as co-editor of Beloit Poetry Journal. He has published numerous magazines and given readings, more than 500 of them, in England, Canada, China, and the United States. Much of his recent work involves collaborative translation of contemporary Chinese poets and organization of exhibitions of Chinese peasant paintings.
Joseph Ross is a poet and teacher in Washington, D.C. His poems have appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetic Voices Without Borders 1 and 2, Come Together-Imagine Peace, Poet Lore, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Drumvoices Revue, and Out of Line. An early member of DC Poets Against the War, he co-edited Cut Loose the Body: An Anthology of Poems on Torture and Fernando Botero’s Abu Ghraib. He writes at www.JosephRoss.net and teaches in the College Writing Program at American University in Washington, DC.
Carly Sachs fell in love with yoga when she had to give a “how to” speech for a 7th-grade class. Since then, yoga has flowed in and out of her life. Carly’s first book of poems, The Steam Sequence, won the 2006 Washington Writers’ Publishing House book prize. She is the editor of The Why and Later, an anthology of poems that women have written about rape and sexual assault (Deep Cleveland Press 2007). Carly received her MFA from The New School and her yoga teacher training at Kripalu Institute. Visit her at thewhyandlater.org to learn more.
The Shakti Brigade, founded and led by master teaching artist Lisa Pegram, is an ensemble of young women ages 13-22 that uses poetry to explore the arts of global cultures as a means of promoting peacemaking. Through self-reflection and social engagement, this program nurtures young women as rising leaders with the ability to build meaningful connections between seemingly unrelated art and the shared human experience. Shakti, from Sanskrit, is defined as “the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power.”
Solmaz Sharif was born in Istanbul and raised in the United States. She completed majors in Sociology and Women of Color Writers at UC Berkeley. While there, she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People. She holds an MFA from New York University’s Creative Writing program, where she taught creative writing and was a Goldwater Fellow. She currently lives in New York City and is working on her first book of poetry.
Lee Sharkey is a poet and the co-editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal, which produced the Split This Rock Chapbook in conjunction with the first Split This Rock Poetry Festival in 2008. Her books include To a Vanished World, a poem sequence in response to Roman Vishniac’s photographs on Eastern European Jewry in the year preceding the Nazi Holocaust, and most recently A Darker, Sweeter String (Off the Grid Press 2008). She lives in rural Maine, where she conducts a writing workshop for adults with metal illness and stands in a weekly peace vigil with Women in Black.
Zaid Shlah resides in Walnut Creek, California. His poetry has appeared in literary magazines, journals and anthologies in both Canada and the U.S. In May of 2005, he was awarded the American Academy of Poets Award. His book of poetry, Taqsim, has been published in Canada and the United States (Fronteac House, 2006). Most recently, his poetry has appeared in Inclined To Speak: An Anthology of Arab American Poetry (University of Arkansas Press, 2008). He teaches English literature and composition at Solano Community College.
Bianca Spriggs is an English Instructor at Bowling Green Technical College. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in History at Transylvania University and a Master’s Degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and World Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is currently pursuing a second Master’s in Folklore at Western Kentucky University. She is the creator and programmer of the Gypsy Slam, featured annually at the Kentucky Women Writers Conference. Bianca is the author of Kaffir Lily. Her current manuscript, Brer Folk, will center around converting folk narratives and rituals.
Pireeni Sundaralingam, born and raised in Sri Lanka, was educated at Oxford and currently lives in San Francisco. She is a PEN USA Rosenthal Fellow and editor of Indivisible, the first anthology of South Asian American poetry (University of Arkansas Press, 2010). Her poetry has appeared in both literary and political journals (such as World Literature Today, Ploughshares, and The Progressive) as well as national newspapers such as The Guardian (UK), university teaching texts including Three Genres, and anthologies such as Amnesty's 101 Poems for Human Rights, and Language for a New Century: Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond.
Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai is a Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based, Chinese Taiwanese American spoken word artist who has performed her poetry at more than 400 venues worldwide including three seasons on "Russell Simmons Presents HBO Def Poetry." Winner of a 2007 New York Foundation for the Arts Urban Artist Initiative Award, she was listed as one of Idealist in NYC's Top 40 New Yorkers Who Make Positive Social Change in 2008 and AngryAsianMan.com’s “30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30” in 2009. She has shared stages with Mos Def, KRS-One, Sonia Sanchez, Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, Amiri Baraka, and many more. (www.yellowgurl.com, FB: Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, Twitter: @yellowgurlpoet)
Dan Vera is the Managing Editor of the gay culture journal, White Crane, and founder of Brookland Area Writers and Artists Group. A writer of poetry for almost twenty years, his first book, The Space Between Our Danger and Delight, was released by Beothuk Books in 2008. His poetry has also been featured in various print and online publications.
Rich Villar’s written work appears in the journals Ocho, MiPOesias, Rattapallax 13, and the inaugural edition of Achiote Seeds. In 2004, he appeared with Team NYC-louderARTS at the National Poetry Slam; in 2005 he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He directs the Acentos Foundation, a Bronx-based reading series and cultural organization dedicated to the advancement of Latino/a poetry.
Ocean Vuong, born in 1988 in Sai Gon, Viet Nam, currently resides in New York City as an undergraduate English major at Brooklyn College. His poems have been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and appear in Word Riot, Kartika Review, Connecticut River Review, SOFTBLOW, North Central Review, and Asian American Poetry, among others. He is also a writer/editor for the Vietnam Literature Project in the aspiration to promote and support the works of Vietnamese authors. www.vietnamlit.org
Frank X. Walker is a graduate of Danville High School and the University of Kentucky, and completed his MFA in Writing at Spalding University in May 2003. He has lectured, conducted workshops, read poetry and exhibited at over 250 national conferences and universities. A founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, he is the editor of Eclipsing a Nappy New Millennium and the author of three poetry collections: Black Box, Dance: The Journey of York (winner of the 35th Annual Lillian Smith Book Award), and Affrilachia, Kentucky, a public Librarian’s choice award nominee.
Adam Wiedewitsch is a teacher, writer, and activist against the war in Iraq. In 2008, he was named Imagine Africa Cultural Programs fellow at the Gorée Institute in Senegal, where he served as the primary development officer for cultural programs. His poems and articles have appeared in New Contrast, Carapace, and Teachers & Writers, and his chapbook, Your Guns May Crash Around I’ll Not Hear, is forthcoming from Moonshine Press. Adam lives in Brooklyn and is a teaching artist for Teachers & Writers Collaborative.
Keith S. Wilson is an Affrilachian poet and a recent graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Arts. Keith is a regular performer and sometimes organizer of The Running Word, an open mic showcase located at the Bean Haus coffee house in Covington. With work having appeared at NKU, and performances and presentations performed at the 12th Annual Dialogue on Racism, Al’s Bar in Lexington, Taza’s coffee house and the Greenwich in Cincinnati, and Reality Tuesday in Northern Kentucky, Keith keeps himself busy. Current work includes a book of poetry detailing the events of the infamous Nat Turner insurrection, a separate book of poetry about his life and heritage as a culturally ambiguous half-black half-white American, numerous short stories, and a full-length novel. Keith also freelances feature articles for a local online magazine.
Laura Madeline Wiseman is the recipient of the 2009 Academy of American Poets Award from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she is completing her dissertation and teaching English. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Feminist Studies, Margie Arts & Letters, MississippiReview.com, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, My Imaginary, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. Other awards include Mari Sandoz Award, the Will Jumper Award, and three Pushcart Prize nominations. Residences include the Herbert Hoover Artist-in-Residency Program. She writes reviews and read for Prairie Schooner. She holds a B.S. in English literature and women’s studies from Iowa State University and an M.A. in women’s studies from the University of Arizona.
Dan Wilcox is the host of the open mic at the Social Justice Center in Albany, New York, on the third Thursday of each month and is a member of the poetry performance group, “3 Guys from Albany.” He has been a featured reader at all the important poetry venues in the Capital District and throughout the Hudson Valley and is an active member of Veterans for Peace. He publishes poetry under the imprint, A.P.D. His own poems have been published in Out of the Catskills, Post Traumatic Press 2007: Poems by Veterans, Chronogram, The Paterson Literary Review, Poetica, and in numerous small press journals and anthologies.
Keith S. Wilson graduated from Northern Kentucky University with an English degree. He served as an editor for the campus newspaper, The Northerner, and as an officer of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society. His real passion, however, is in writing stories and poetry; specifically the opportunities and hindrances his mixed heritage affords him. When not in class, Keith reads at and helps run "The Running Word," a spoken-word event that takes place in Covington, Kentucky. Keith’s works have appeared in the journals NKUExpressed and Appalachian Heritage and his essays in Pentangle. He also has recently won the Danny Miller Award for Appalachian essays.
Sholeh Wolpe is the author of Rooftops of Tehran (Red Hen Press), Sin—Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad (University of Arkansas Press), The Scar Saloon (Red Hen Press), Shame, and a poetry/music CD (Refuge Studios). She is the associate editor of The Norton Anthology of Modern Literature from the Muslim World (Norton, 2010) and the guest editor of Atlanta Review (2010 Iran issue). Her poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in scores of literary journals, periodicals, and anthologies worldwide, and have been translated into several languages. Sholeh was born in Iran and lives in Los Angeles.
The Young Women’s Drumming Empowerment Project strives to create a safe space for young women to build community and to fearlessly express their authentic selves through drumming, spoken word poetry, song, movement, and performance. Founded in 2005 by Kristen Arant, a performing artist and percussionist focusing on West African style drumming, YWDEP is now preparing for its 5th summer, and has grown into an intergenerational community of young women, artists, peer and adult mentors, supportive parents, and receptive audiences.
Kristin Camitta Zimet is the editor of The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review. Her first full-length collection of poems, Take in My Arms the Dark, was published in 1999. Her poems have appeared in a wide range of magazines including Lullwater Review, Runes, and Centennial Review, and in anthologies, readings, and concerts. She lives Winchester, Virginia.