Mar 05 2020


9:00 pm - 11:00 pm

AWP Off-Site Event: Eight Poets/Eight Presses

Eight Poets:
Sara Borjas is a Chicanx pocha and a Fresno poet. Her debut collection of poetry, Heart Like a Window, Mouth Like a Cliff, was published by Noemi Press in March 2019 as part of the Akrilica series. She was recently featured as one of Poets & Writers 2019 Debut Poets.
Sara earned a B.A. in English Literature from Fresno State and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Writing for Performative Arts from the University of California, Riverside. She is currently a lecturer in the Department of Creative Writing at UC Riverside. Her poetry can be found in The Rumpus, The Academy of American Poets Poem a Day Series, TinderBox, The Offing, Entropy, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Cultural Weekly, The Acentos Review, and Luna Luna, amongst others.
Cortney Lamar Charleston is originally from the Chicago suburbs. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a BS in Economics from the Wharton School and BA in Urban Studies from the College of Arts & Sciences. While attending Penn, he was most interested in the business as a political entity, the relationship between the public and private sectors and the physical and sociological construction of cities. It was during his college that he began writing and performing poetry as a member of The Excelano Project.

Charleston’s academic background, coupled with his upbringing spent bouncing between Chicago’s South Side and its South and West suburbs immediately influence his written work. Charleston’s poems paint themselves against the backgrounds of past and present; they grapple with race, masculinity, class, family, faith and how identity is, functionally, a transition zone between all of these competing markers.

Megan Fernandes is a writer living in New York City. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, Chicago Review, Boston Review, Rattle, Pank, The Common, Guernica, the Academy of American Poets, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others. She is the author of The Kingdom and After (Tightrope Books 2015). Her second book of poetry, Good Boys, was a finalist for the Kundiman Book Prize (2018), the Saturnalia Book Prize (2018), and is forthcoming with Tin House Books in February 2020.
Fernandes is an Assistant Professor of English at Lafayette College and teaches courses on poetry, creative nonfiction, and critical theory. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MFA in poetry from Boston University.
Taylor Johnson is proud of being from Washington, DC. They’ve received fellowships and scholarships from CALLALOO, Cave Canem, Lambda Literary, VONA, Tin House, the Vermont Studio Center, Yaddo, the Conversation Literary Festival, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference, among others. In 2017, Taylor received the Larry Neal Writers’ Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Their poems appear in The Baffler, Indiana Review, Scalawag, and the Paris Review, among other journals and literary magazines. Their first book, Inheritance, will be published in November 2020 with Alice James Books. Taylor lives in southern Louisiana where they listen.
Edgar Kunz is the author of Tap Out (Mariner Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), a New York Times New & Noteworthy book. Originally from New England, Edgar lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where he teaches at Goucher College and in the low-residency Newport MFA. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University’s MFA program and has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. He is working on a book of poems about love and late-stage capitalism.

Camille Rankine is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Incorrect Merciful Impulses, was published in 2016 by Copper Canyon Press. She is also the author of the chapbook Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America’s 2010 New York Chapbook Fellowship. The recipient of a 2010 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, she was featured as an emerging poet in the April 2011 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine and as one of Brooklyn Magazine’s top 100 cultural influencers of 2017. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including The Baffler, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Narrative, Octopus Magazine, A Public Space, The New York Times and Tin House. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and The MacDowell Colony and was named an Honorary Cave Canem fellow in 2012. A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University’s School of the Arts, she chairs the Board of Trustees of The Poetry Project and co-chairs the Brooklyn Book Festival Poetry Committee. She is a visiting professor of creative writing at The New School and lives in New York City.
Sam Ross’s poems have appeared in Tin House, New Republic, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Guernica, and other journals. He has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and Columbia University, where he earned his M.F.A.

His book Company was selected by Carl Phillips for Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry and is now available.
Raena Shirali is an Indian American poet and author of GILT (YesYes Books, 2017; winner of the 2018 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award), an experimental collection grappling with standards created by an invisible system and enforced by family, relationships, and violations of women’s rights in a reckoning of intersectional identity. Born in Houston, TX, & raised in Charleston, SC, Raena earned her MFA from The Ohio State University. Her ongoing research and writing engage with witch-hunting practices in India, engaging with and questioning the work of persona therein.
Raena is an Assistant Professor of English at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, where she recently co-organized We (Too) Are Philly, an all-POC summer poetry festival. She also serves as Poetry Editor for Muzzle Magazine & dapples in photography. She has performed at such venues as the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center in NYC, Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab, Slam Free or Die, College of Charleston, & many more.

Eight Presses:
Alice James Books
Copper Canyon Press
Four Way Books
Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Tin House Books
Noemi Press
Saturnalia Books
YesYes Books.

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