September 8, 2017 @ 7pm

Chuck Carlise, David Eye, Martha Rhodes

Chuck_CarliseChuck Carlise is the author of In One Version of the Story (New Issues Press 2016), as well as the chapbooks, A Broken Escalator Still Isn’t the Stairs (winner of the Concrete Wolf Poetry Series 2011) and Casual Insomniac (Bateau, winner of the Boom Chapbook Prize 2011).  His poems and essays appear in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best New Poets in both 2012 and 2014. He is currently a Lecturer in writing, rhetoric, and cultural studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

David_EyeDavid Eye is the author of Seed, released in 2017 from The Word Works, chosen by Eduardo C. Corral. He has been awarded scholarships to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the West Chester Poetry Conference, and was selected as a finalist for the 2015-16 Tennessee Williams Poetry Contest by Yusef Komunyakaa. Before earning an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University, he enjoyed a seventeen-year career in the theatre; before that, he spent four years in the military. This places him in an elite group of writer/professors who have served in both the U.S. Army—and the Broadway tour of Cats.

martha_rhodesMartha Rhodes is the author of five poetry collections, most recently The Thin Wall from University of Pittsburgh Press. Her previous collections include At the Gate (Provincetown Arts press; 1st edition 1999), Perfect Disappearance (New Issues Poetry & Prose; 1st edition 2000), Mother Quite (University of Nebraska Press; First Edition edition 2004), and The Beds (Autumn House, 2012). She teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the director of Four Way Books in NYC.

June 9, 2017 @7pm

Robert Carr, t’ai freedom ford, Rickey Laurentiis, Francisco-Luis White

Bob_CarrRobert Carr is the author of Amaranth (Indolent Books, 2016). Recent work appears in the Bellevue Literary Review, Kettle Blue Review, New Verse News, Radius Literary Magazine, Pretty Owl Poetry, and other publications. His poem “Censor Approaching” appears in the anthology If You Can Hear This: Poems in Protest of an American Inauguration (Sibling Rivalry, 2017). He lives with his husband Stephen in Malden, Massachusetts, and serves as Deputy Director for the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Learn more at

t'ai_freedom_fordt’ai freedom ford is the author of how to get over (Red Hen Press, 2017), winner of the 2015 To the Lighthouse Poetry Prize. She is a New York City high school English teacher and Cave Canem Fellow. Her poetry has appeared in Drunken Boat; Sinister Wisdom; No, Dear; The African American Review; Vinyl; Muzzle; Poetry, and other journals, as well as in several anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket Books, 2015), edited by Kevin Coval, Quraysh Ali Lansana, and Nate Marshall. In 2012 and 2013, she completed two multi-city tours as part of a queer women of color literary salon, The Revival. t’ai lives and loves in Brooklyn, but hangs out digitally at

Rickey_LaurentiisRickey Laurentiis is the author of Boy with Thorn (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015), winner of the 2016 Levis Reading Prize, winner of the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (selected by Terrance Hayes), and a finalist for the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, named one of the top ten debuts of 2015 by Poets & Writers Magazine and one of the 16 best poetry books of 2015 by Buzzfeed, among other distinctions. His poems have appeared in the Boston Review, Feminist Studies, The Kenyon Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, New Republic, The New York Times, and Poetry, as well as in the anthologies Extraordinary Rendition: American Writers Speak of Palestine (Olive Branch Press, 2016), edited by Ru Freeman; Bettering American Poetry 2015 (Bettering Books, 2017), edited by Kenzie Allen, Eunsong Kim, Amy King, and others; and Prospect.3: Notes for Now (Prestel, 2014), edited by Pieter Hugo, Pushpamala N., Claire Arni, and others. Rickey lives and teaches in New York.

Francisco-Luis_WhiteFrancisco-Luis White is the author of Found Them (CreateSpace, 2016). An Afro-Latinx and non-binary writer residing in the District of Columbia, they have a collection of poems forthcoming from Indolent Books. They have been featured in conversation for Winter Tangerine, with work forthcoming in Beltway Poetry Quarterly and Lambda Literary Review.

May 12, 2017 @7pm

Sharon Mesmer, Elaine Sexton, Patricia Spears Jones

Sharon_MesmerSharon Mesmer is the author of Greetings From My Girlie Leisure Place (Bloof Books, 2015), voted “Best of 2015” by Entropy. Previous poetry collections are Annoying Diabetic Bitch (Combo Books, 2008), The Virgin Formica (Hanging Loose Press, 2008), Vertigo Seeks Affinities (Belladonna Books, 2007), and Half Angel, Half Lunch (Hard Press, 1998). Four of her poems appear in Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (second edition, 2013). Her fiction collections are Ma Vie à Yonago (Hachette Littératures, Paris, in French translation, 2005), In Ordinary Time (Hanging Loose Press, 2005) and The Empty Quarter (Hanging Loose Press, 2000). Her essays, reviews and interviews have appeared in the New York Times, Paris Review, American Poetry Review, and the Brooklyn Rail, among other places. She teaches in the undergraduate and graduate programs of New York University and The New School and lives in Brooklyn.

Elaine_SextonElaine Sexton is the author of three books: Sleuth (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2003), Causeway (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2003), and Prospect/Refuge (Sheep Meadow, 2015). Her poems, art reviews, book reviews, and works in visual art have appeared in journals and anthologies, textbooks and websites including American Poetry Review, Art in America, Poetry, O! the Oprah Magazine, and Poetry Daily. An avid book maker and micro-publisher, she has curated many site-specific events with accompanying limited-edition chapbooks, among them Hair and 2 Horatio. She teaches text and image and poetry at Sarah Lawrence College, New York University and in private workshops. Formerly a senior editor at ARTnews, she serves as the visual arts editor for Tupelo Quarterly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

Photo: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Patricia Spears Jones is an African American poet, playwright, anthologist and cultural activist who lives in Brooklyn. She is author of A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems and seven other collections. Her plays, commissioned by Mabou Mines, were presented in New York City. She is a recipient of awards from the NEA, NYFA, the NY Community Trust and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and a Pushcart Prize winner. Arkansas born and raised and resident of New York City for more than four decades, Patricia Spears Jones is the 2017 recipient of The Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers, one the most prestigious awards for American Poets.

April 14, 2016 @7pm

Antoinette Brim,  Annie Christain, Sarah Sarai

A.BRIMAntoinette Brim is the author of These Women You Gave Me (Indolent Books, 2017),  Icarus in Love (Main Street Rag, 2013), and Psalm of the Sunflower (Aquarius Press/Willow Books, 2010). She is a Cave Canem Foundation fellow, a recipient of the Walker Foundation Scholarship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines as well as in the anthologies Villanelles (Everyman’s Library, 2012); Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander (FreedomSeed Press, 2013), Critical Insights: Alice Walker (Salem Press, 2012); 44 on 44: Forty-Four African American Writers on the 44th President of the United States (Third World Press, 2011); Not A Muse: The Inner Lives of Women (Haven Books, 2010); Just Like A Girl: A Manifesta! (GirlChild Press, 2008); and The Whiskey of our Discontent: Gwendolyn Brooks as Conscience and Change Agent (Haymarket Books, 2017). Brim serves as the President of the Board of the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, Conn., and is an Assistant Professor of English at Capital Community College in Hartford, Conn.

annie-christain2Annie Christain is the author of Tall As You Are Tall Between Them (C&R Press, 2016).  Her poems have appeared in Seneca Review, Oxford Poetry, The Chariton Review, and The Lifted Brow, among others. She received the grand prize of the 2013 Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Contest, the 2013 Greg Grummer Poetry Award, the 2015 Oakland School of the Arts Enizagam Poetry Award, and the 2015 Neil Shepard Prize in Poetry.  Additional honors include her being selected for the Shanghai Swatch Art Peace Hotel Artist Residency and the Arctic Circle Autumn Art and Science Expedition Residency. She is an associate professor of composition and ESOL at SUNY Cobleskill.

Sarah SaraiSarah Sarai is the author of Geographies of Soul and Taffeta (Indolent Books, 2016) and The Future Is Happy (BlazeVOX[books], 2009). Her poems are in many journals, including Barrow Street, Boston Review, and The Collagist. She is currently working her way through the novels of Shūsaku Endō and the oral histories of Svetlana Alexievich. When she was 23 years of age she was awarded a dozen donuts at Winchell’s. Sarah lives in Manhattan.

March 10, 2017 @7pm

Jennifer Michael Hecht, Deborah Landau, Candace Williams

JMH_2014-07-15Jennifer Michael Hecht’s most recent poetry book is Who Said (Copper Canyon, 2013). Her first book of poetry, The Next Ancient World (Tupelo Press, 2001), won the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book award; and Publisher’s Weekly called her second, Funny, “One of the most original and entertaining books of the year.” Hecht’s poetry appears in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Times, and is forthcoming in The Kenyon Review. She has a PhD in History from Columbia University and is the author of Doubt: A History (HarperOne, 2003), a history of religious and philosophical doubt, all over the world throughout time; and Stay (Yale, 2013), a history of suicide and the arguments against it. She is now writing “The Wonder Paradox,” on poetry and meaning in today’s world, for Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (Spring 2018). She lives in Brooklyn.

Deborah Landau, Director, Creative Writing Program, Clinical Professor, New York University
Photo credit Sarah Shatz

Deborah Landau is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently The Uses of the Body, a Lannan Literary Selection from Copper Canyon Press which was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, and included on “Best of 2015” lists by The New Yorker, Vogue, BuzzFeed, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Best American Poetry. In 2016 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. She teaches in and directs the Creative Writing Program at NYU.

candace-williams-photoCandace Williams is the author of Spells for Black Wizards, winner of the TAR Chapbook Series and forthcoming from The Atlas Review in 2017. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hyperallergic, Sixth Finch, Bennington Review, Lambda Literary Review, and Copper Nickel, among other journals. She holds a BA from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and earned her MA in Elementary Education from Stanford University. She’s been awarded a Brooklyn Poets Fellowship, Cave Canem scholarships, and a Best of the Net 2016 nomination. You can find her walking her pit bull down Nostrand Ave, watching too many episodes of Murder, She Wrote, and subtweeting the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy (@teacherc).

December 9, 2016 @7pm

A. Balkano, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, and Jason Schneiderman

aaron-balkan_screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-1-31-16-pmA. Balkano is the author of The Book of Dumb, a fiction, and Bring the Gnar, a non-. He lives with his family in the U.S.A.



Photo Credit: Marion Ettlinger

Jason Schneiderman is the author of Primary Source, winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award from Red Hen Press; Striking Surface, winner of the Richard Snyder Prize from Ashland Poetry Press; and Sublimation Point, A Stahlecker Selection from Four Way Books. His poetry and essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry, Poetry London, Grand Street, The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, Story Quarterly, and Tin House, among others. Jason has received fellowships from Yaddo, The Fine Arts Work Center, and The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He was the recipient of the Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America in 2004 and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award in 2011. He is Poetry Editor of the Bellevue Literary Review, and Associate Editor at Painted Bride Quarterly.  Jason Schneiderman is an Associate Professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, part of the City University of New York.

Photo Credit: Marion Ettlinger

Rachel Eliza Griffiths is the author of Lighting the Shadow (Four Way Books 2015), which was a finalist for the 2015 Balcones Poetry Prize and the 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Award in Poetry. Her earlier poetry collections are Miracle Arrhythmia (Willow Books 2010); The Requited Distance (The Sheep Meadow Press 2011); and Mule & Pear (New Issues Poetry & Prose 2011), selected for the 2012 Inaugural Poetry Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Rachel holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. A Cave Canem and Kimbilio Fellow, she is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Cave Canem Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, The Millay Colony, and others. In 2011, Griffiths appeared in the first ever poetry issue in Oprah’s O Magazine. A photographer as well as a poet, her literary and visual work has appeared in Callaloo, Poets & Writers, The New York Times, American Poetry Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, The Writer’s Chronicle, Transition, American Poet, Mosaic, Indiana Review, Ecotone, Puerto Del Sol, Crab Orchard Review, RATTLE, Brilliant Corners, Kweli Journal, PMS: poem memoir story, The Drunken Boat, Salt Hill Journal, THRUSH, Folio, Hambone, Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, and many others.

January 13, 2017 @7pm

Valerie Hsiung, Billy Merrell, Kamilah Aisha Moon

valerie-hsiungValerie Hsiung is the author of efg (exchange following and gene flow): a trilogy (Action Books, forthcoming 2016), incantation inarticulate (O Balthazar Press, 2013), and under your face (O Balthazar Press, 2013). Her writing appears or is forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary, Cosmonauts Avenue, Denver Quarterly, New Delta Review, PEN Poetry Series, Prelude, RealPoetik, and VOLT, among others. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Hsiung spent significant portions of her childhood in Las Vegas, received a BA from Brown University, and is now based out of Brooklyn, New York, where she works as a love detective and matchmaker. She is also an editor for Poor Claudia.

merrell-2016Billy Merrell published his first book of poems, Talking in the Dark, with Scholastic in 2003, at the age of 21. Since then, he has received his MFA in Poetry from Columbia University, co-edited (with David Levithan) the Lambda Literary Award-winning nonfiction anthology The Full Spectrum, and served as web developer for, providing web analysis and content strategy for the Academy of American Poets website. He is a contributor to the New York Times-bestselling children’s series Spirit Animals. Merrell’s newest book, Vanilla, a novel in poems, is forthcoming from Scholastic in Fall of 2017.

moonKamilah Aisha Moon’s work has been featured widely, including Harvard Review, Oxford American, and Prairie Schooner. Her poetry collection, She Has a Name (Four Way Books, 2013), was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry and the Audre Lorde Award from the Publishing Triangle. A Pushcart Prize winner and a 2015 New American Poet presented by the Poetry Society of America, Moon has taught English and Creative Writing for many organizations and institutions, most recently as a Visiting Professor at Rutgers-Newark. Her next poetry collection is forthcoming in 2017 from Four Way Books.

November 11, 2016 @7pm

Tanya Olson, KMA Sullivan, Ocean Vuong

tanya_olsonTanya Olson lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and is a Lecturer in English at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Her first book, Boyishly, was published by YesYes Books in 2013 and was awarded a 2014 American Book Award. She has also won the Discovery/Boston Review prize and was named a Lambda Emerging Writers Fellow by the Lambda Literary Foundation. Her poem “54 Prince” was included in Best American Poetry 2015.

kma_sullivanKMA Sullivan is the author of Necessary Fire, winner of the St Lawrence Book Award (Black Lawrence Press, 2015). Her poems have appeared in Boston Review, Southern Humanities Review, Forklift, Ohio, The Nervous Breakdown, Gertrude, diode, and elsewhere. Recent essays have appeared in The Rumpus, The Good Men Project, and Nailed. She has been awarded residencies in creative nonfiction and poetry at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and Summer Literary Seminars and she is the editor-in-chief of Vinyl Poetry and the publisher at YesYes Books.

ocean_vuongOcean Vuong is the author of Night Sky With Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon Press, 2016), winner of the 2016 Whiting Award. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, Ocean has received honors and awards from Poets House, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, and a Pushcart Prize. His poetry and fiction have been featured in Kenyon Review, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York TimesPoetry, and the American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. His work has been translated into Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Cantonese, French, Italian, Hindi, Spanish, and Ukrainian. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he lives in New York City.

October 14, 2016 @7pm

Thomas Dooley, Lawrence Kaplun, Danniel Schoonebeek, Valerie Hsiung

dooley_headshot_colorThomas Dooley is the author of Trespass (Harper Perennial, 2014), a National Poetry Series selection. His poetry, collaborations and interviews have appeared widely, most notably on NPR, Poets & Writers, Academy of American Poets and “PBS NewsHour.”  Thomas is the Artistic Director of Emotive Fruition, an organization where actors collaborate with poets to bring poetry to life on stage. A member of the creative writing faculty at New York University, Thomas lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY.
lawrence-kaplunLawrence Kaplun is completing his first manuscript of poems. His poems and essays have appeared in the Gay & Lesbian Review, Lambda Literary, Painted Bride Quarterly, Sonora Review, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn.


danniel-schoonebeekDanniel Schoonebeek is the author of American Barricade (YesYes Books, 2014), the travelogue C’est la guerre (Poor Claudia, 2016), and the forthcoming collection of poems Trébuchet, which was a 2015 National Poetry Series selection and will be published by University of Georgia Press in 2016. Recent work appears in The New Yorker, Fence, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere.

valerie-hsiungValerie Hsiung is the author of efg (exchange following and gene flow): a trilogy (Action Books, forthcoming 2016), incantation inarticulate (O Balthazar Press, 2013), and under your face (O Balthazar Press, 2013). Her writing appears or is forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary, Cosmonauts Avenue, Denver Quarterly, New Delta Review, PEN Poetry Series, Prelude, RealPoetik, and VOLT, among others. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Hsiung spent significant portions of her childhood in Las Vegas, received a BA from Brown University, and is now based out of Brooklyn, New York, where she works as a love detective and matchmaker. She is also an editor for Poor Claudia.

September 9, 2016 @7pm

Quraysh Ali Lansana, Julie Marie Wade, Matthew Yeager

Quraysh_Ali_LansanaQuraysh Ali Lansana is a prolific poet, writer, and editor. His most recent books include The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop, co-edited with Kevin Coval and Nate Marshall (Haymarket Books, 2015) and The Walmart Republic, a collaboration with poet Christopher Stewart (Mongrel Empire Press, 2014). Forthcoming titles include: A Gift from Greensboro (Penny Candy Books, 2016); Clara Luper: The Woman Who Rallied the Children, a collaboration with Julie Dill (Oklahoma Hall of Fame Press, 2017); Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writings of Gwendolyn Brooks, co-edited with Sandra Jackson-Opoku (Curbside Splendor, 2017) and The Whiskey of Our Discontent: Gwendolyn Brooks as Conscience and Change Agent, co-edited with Georgia A. Popoff (Haymarket Books, 2017). He is a faculty member of the Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community (with Georgia A. Popoff) was published in March 2011 by Teachers & Writers Collaborative and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee.

Wade.AuthorPhotoJulie Marie Wade latest poetry collection, Six (Red Hen Press, 2016), was selected by C.D. Wright as the winner of the AROHO/To the Lighthouse Poetry Prize. Her earlier books of poetry include When I Was Straight (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2014) and Catechism: A Love Story (Noctuary Press, 2010). Her lyric essay collection, Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures (Colgate University Press, 2010; Bywater Books, 2014), won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir. Julie teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University and reviews regularly for The Rumpus and Lambda Literary Review. She is married to Angie Griffin and lives on Hollywood Beach.

Matthew_YeagerMatthew Yeager is the author of Like That (H_NGM_N Books, 2016). His poems have appeared in Sixthfinch, Gulf Coast, Minnesota Review, Bat City Review, and elsewhere, as well as in The Best American Poetry 2005 and The Best American Poetry 2010. His short film “A Big Ball of Foil in a Small NY Apartment” was an official selection at thirteen film festivals, picking up three awards. Other distinctions include the Barthelme Prize in short prose and two MacDowell fellowships. With John Deming, he is the co-curator of the long running KGB Monday Night Poetry Series.