DC Poets Against the War creates a platform for poets to speak out for peace and social justice and provides broad audiences with the solace and challenge of poetry. Active since the first day of poetry against the war in Iraq, February 12, 2003, the group has published two anthologies and has given readings and hosted open mics throughout the Washington metropolitan area – in bookstores, churches, community centers, cafes, libraries, schools, night clubs, on street corners and the National Mall, at fundraisers and during demonstrations. The group’s diverse poets include some who work in the academy, some who work in the community, well-known poets, and poets just starting out.
For more than four decades, The Institute for Policy Studies has transformed ideas into action for peace, justice, and the environment. The Institute has strengthened and linked social movements through articulation of root principles and fundamental rights, research and analysis on current events and issues, and connections to policymakers, academics, and activists at all levels. As a multi-issue think tank that has worked with the movements that shaped the late 20th Century, from Civil Rights onwards, IPS offers a cross-cutting analysis with a historical perspective.
Sol & Soul is a Washington, D.C.-based grassroots arts organization that promotes, supports, and presents established and emerging artists whose work addresses social issues and furthers the cause of social justice. We have become known for the artistic quality and social and political relevance of our work, for consistently nurturing young and emerging young artists, and for bringing people together across lines of race, class, and ethnicity. Sol & Soul helps people in communities, jails, schools, hospices, and youth and community centers use artistic expression – from poetry, spoken word, and performance to mural art and break dancing – as a tool for discovering their own artistic voices and telling their stories through art. We have for many years developed and/or presented programs featuring poets, performance artists, musicians, and theatre artists at traditional and nontraditional venues throughout the city of Washington, DC.
Named for poet Langston Hughes, who was “discovered” while working as a busboy in Washington, D.C., Busboys and Poets is a restaurant and performance space that places poetry and its prophetic social role at the center of its mission. Poetry is featured in the performance space, the Langston Room, at least six times per month and featured poets and audiences are among the most engaged and diverse in the city.
Sarah Browning/Festival Director - Browning is coeditor of D.C. Poets Against the War: An Anthology and coordinates the group of the same name. Her first book of poems, Whiskey in the Garden of Eden, was published by The Word Works in 2007. She is the recipient of an individual artist fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities and the People Before Profits Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Shenandoah, The Seattle Review, and Sycamore Review. Browning was previously Associate Director of The Fund for Women Artists, building public support for women artists, and Founding Director of Amherst Writers & Artists Institute, providing creative writing workshops for low-income women and youth. She is Administrator of the National Award for Arts Writing at The Arts Club of Washington.
Melissa Tuckey/Assistant Festival Director – Tuckey is a graduate of George Mason University's MFA program. Her chapbook Rope as Witness is published by Pudding House Press. She's recipient of Artist Fellowship Awards from the Ohio Arts Council and DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Her poems have been published in Beloit Poetry Journal, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Painted Bride Quarterly, Southeast Review, Verse Daily, and others. Essays and interviews have been published in Foreign Policy Review and Ace Magazine. Tuckey has a background in nonprofit fundraising and development. She is Events Coordinator for DC Poets Against the War and she teaches in the Professional Writing Program at University of Maryland.
Regie Cabico/Artistic Director, Sol & Soul - Cabico is a poet, playwright, and spoken word performer. He took top prizes at the 1993, 1994, and 1997 National Poetry Slams. His work appears in over 30 anthologies and he co-edited Poetry Nation: A North American Anthology of Fusion Poetry. He received a NYFA Artist Fellowship for Poetry in 1997, NYFAs in 2003 for Poetry and Performance Art, and two Brooklyn Arts Council Poetry Awards. Cabico has been a teacher for Urban Word and developed a poetry and performance program for teens with psychiatric illness at Bellevue Hospital. He received the 2006 Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers in recognition of his work with diverse communities.
Yael Flusberg/Co-Founder, Acting Executive Director, Sol & Soul - Yael Flusberg grew up in a working class, multiethnic neighborhood in New York City to parents who had fled persecution and genocide in their countries of birth, and who both died when Yael was a teenager. Yael turned to writing in her late 20s as a way to understand and transcend these early experiences. Her memoir essays, poetry and reviews have been widely anthologized in venues such as America! What’s My Name, DC Poets Against the War: An Anthology, Gargoyle, Lilith, Open Sea: Poets for the Tsunami Victims, the Potomac Review, Sojourners, and Travelers’ Tales, among others. Yael teaches yoga in the vinyasa and yin traditions, and is a trusted advisor and coach to social change organizations and leaders through her consulting business, Y Elements: Practices for Transformation.
Winona Addison has taught poetry and intergenerational writing to inner city youth and immigrant women in Oakland and the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, California, and has performed spoken word at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. With her husband, a visual artist, she co-facilitated community workshops that encouraged children and immigrant women to use their experiences as catalysts for verbal and written expression. Two calendars of her late husband’s work, published by Tidemark Press, Ltd., have featured her poetry. Her poems also appear in Voices Of Our Own, an anthology of oral histories and poetry of mothers, daughters, and elders of the Tenderloin District. She is working on a project entitled HAIR MEMOIRS, PERSPECTIVES and UNSPOKEN TRUTHS: from black girlhood to Black Womanhood, a traveling art exhibit that focuses on African American females and their hair.
Born to a Spanish father and Irish mother, Carmen Calatayud is a poet, writer and editor. Her poetry has appeared in journals, publications and anthologies, including Mondo Barbie, published by St. Martin’s Press. Active in D.C. Poets Against the War, Calatayud was a finalist for the 2004 Rita Dove Poetry Award, and in 2003, she won Second Prize in the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities’ Larry Neal Poetry Competition.
Heather Davis’ first book of poems, The Lost Tribe of Us, won the 2007 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. She has published poems in journals such as Cream City Review, Puerto del Sol, Poet Lore, Sonora Review, So to Speak, and many others. She is a winner of the 2007 Moving Words Poetry Prize—her poem "Folk Art" appeared on buses in Arlington, VA. She runs a women's writing group in Rosslyn, VA, and serves as a Communications Manager for an international development organization. Her blog: http://inredlight.blogspot.com.
Esther Iverem is a journalist, author and poet. Her reviews regularly 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. Active in D.C. Poets Against theWwar, Iverem is the author of two books of poems, Living in Babylon and The Time: Portraits of a Journey Home, both from Africa World Press.
Jaime Lee Jarvis is a technical writer and editor by profession and a poet at heart, now serving as the volunteer coordinator for Split This Rock. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan and has since worked on both public health and legal reform projects in Zambia, Guyana, and Bosnia. She is currently an information management specialist with an international development contractor in Washington, DC. Her blog is http://dormantpoet.blogspot.com.
Sarah Massey is a nonfiction writer and an activist with over a decade of experience placing progressives in the press. Her clients have included the AFL-CIO, ACORN, The Fund for Women Artists, and American Rights at Work. Her work has resulted in major stories and profiles in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Air America.
Tanya Snyder is the director of Voices on the Border, an organization that builds solidarity between communities in the United States and in El Salvador to promote sustainable and equitable development in El Salvador. She has written extensively on social and economic issues in the Americas. She is a poet and community activist.
Rosemary Winslow lives in downtown D.C. and teaches at Catholic University. Her first book of poems, Green Bodies, is forthcoming from the Word Works in 2007. Her poems have appeared in Poet Lore, The Southern Review, Crux, 32 Poems. She has received two Larry Neal Awards for Poetry, and writers' fellowships from the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and The Vermont Studio Center.
Kathi Wolfe is a writer and poet in Falls Church, VA. Her freelance journalism and commentary have appeared in The Washington Post, The Washington Blade, Utne Reader, and many other publications. Her poetry has appeared in Gargoyle, Ragged Edge Magazine, Harrington Lesbian Fiction Quarterly, Kaleidoscope, Disability Studies Quarterly, The Potomac Review, and others. In 2004, Moon Pie Press, a fine-letter press, published a limited edition chapbook, Surrealism Before 10 a.m. Wolfe writes a regular poetry column for Scene4, the online magazine, and is at work on a book of poems about Helen Keller.
Naomi Ayala is a teacher, education consultant, freelance writer and translator. Her first book of poetry, Wild Animals on the Moon (Curbstone Press, 1997), was selected by the New York Public Library as a Book for the Teen Age. Her second book, This Side of Early, is forthcoming from Curbstone. Ayala’s poetry has appeared in such journals as Callaloo, The Village Voice, The Caribbean Writer, and The Massachusetts Review. She has received two artist fellowships from the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities.
Teri Ellen Cross Davis graduated with a MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry from American University. She is a Cave Canem fellow. She has had poems published in many anthologies including Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam and Cave Canem: Gathering Ground and online at Beltway Poetry Quarterly. She is the Poetry and Lectures Coordinator at the Folger Shakespeare Library and was formerly a producer with WAMU’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show.
Ram Devineni is the publisher of Rattapallax Press and a filmmaker whose films have shown at the Cairo International Film Festival, San Jose Film Festival, and the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, among others. He organized the Dialogue Among Civilizations Through Poetry with the United Nations. Devineni studied political theory and campaign management at the Eagleton Institute for Politics at Rutgers University. He has organized several state and federal elections.
Kathy Engel is a poet, a communications/strategic planning consultant, and a producer for social justice, peace and human rights organizations. For 25 years she has been a full-time advocate/organizer/consultant/producer/writer engaged in building social justice organizations and campaigns. In 1983 she founded the women's human rights organization MADRE and was the executive director for five years. Before that she worked at the Academy of American Poets, New York Mobilization for Survival and was the executive director of the Fund For Open Information and Accountability. Her books include Ruth's Skirts (IKON, February 2007), a collection of poems and prose pieces; and We Begin Here: Poems for Palestine and Lebanon (Interlink Books, March 2007), which she coedited with Kamal Boullata.
E. Ethelbert Miller is the author of several collections of poetry, most recently How We Sleep On The Nights We Don't Make Love (Curbstone Press, 2004). His memoir, Fathering Words: The Making of An African American Writer (St. Martin's Press, 2000), was featured in the DC WE READ program. He is the editor of several anthologies, including Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the 21st Century (Black Classic Press, 2002) and In Search of Color Everywhere (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1995). Miller is director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University.
Kim Roberts is the author of two books of poems, The Kimnama (Vrzhu Press, 2007) and The Wishbone Galaxy (WWPH, 1994). She is the editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly (http://www.beltwaypoetry.com) and co-editor of Delaware Poetry Review (http://www.depoetry.com). She has done extensive research on the literary history of Washington, DC, publishing articles and tours on Walt Whitman, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes, among others. Kim is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the DC Commission on the Arts, and the Humanities Council of Washington. She has been awarded writer's residencies from eleven artist colonies. Her website: http://www.kimroberts.org.
Anas (“Andy”) Shallal is an Iraqi American artist, activist and businessman, owner of Busboys and Poets. He is a Foreign Policy in Focus Analyst, board member of the Institute for Policy Studies, and a spokesperson for Education for Peace in Iraq Center. He is the co-founder of The Peace Café, which promotes Arab and Jewish dialogue and improved understanding. He is the recipient of the Fairfax County Human Rights Award; the Jefferson Medal, the highest honor for volunteerism in the United States; and the United Nations Human Rights Community Award.