Open the Door: Essayists and Contributors
Jimmy Santiago Baca has two recent books of poetry: The Lucia Poems and The Esai Poems (both from Sherman Asher Publishing).
Eric Baus is the author of three books of poetry: Sacred Text (The Center for Literary Publishing/Colorado State University), winner of the Colorado Prize; Tuned Droves (Octopus Books); and The To Sound, winner of the Verse Prize (Wave Books). He has taught poetry to elementary school students and at several universities. He currently lives in Denver and edits Marcel Press with Andrea Rexilius.
Terry Blackhawk serves on the board of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and is a founding board member of the Writers in the Schools (WITS) Alliance. Her poetry collections include Body & Field (Michigan State University), Escape Artist (BkMk Press), and The Dropped Hand (Marick). Her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including Marlboro Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Florida Review, Borderlands, and Nimrod. She has received widespread recognition for her teaching, including a Creative Writing Educator of the Year award from the Michigan Youth Arts Festival (2008), a Humanities Award from the Wayne County Arts, History, and Humanities Council (2008), and the 2007 Detroit Bookwoman of the Year award from the Women’s National Book Association.
Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of two collections of poetry: Approaching Ice (Persea) and Interpretative Work (Arktoi Books). Her poems have appeared in The Atlantic, Orion, the Believer, and Poetry, and she has won the Audre Lorde Prize, a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, and a scholarship to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, among other honors. The founder and editor in chief of Broadsided Press, she lives on Cape Cod and works as a teacher and naturalist.
Stephen Burt is a professor of English at Harvard. He writes about poetry regularly for the Believer, Nation, London Review of Books, Rain Taxi,and other journals in Great Britain and the United States. His books include The Art of the Sonnet, with David Mikics (Harvard University Press), Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry (Graywolf Press), and The Forms of Youth: Twentieth-Century Poetry and Adolescence (Columbia University Press). Graywolf Press will publish his next book of poems, Belmont, in 2013.
Michael Cirelli is the author of Everyone Loves the Situation (Penmanship), Vacations on the Black Star Line (Hanging Loose), and Lobster with Ol’ Dirty Bastard (Hanging Loose). He is a Pushcart Prize winner, and his work has appeared in Best American Poetry, World Literature Today,and King Magazine, among other publications. He is the executive director of Urban Word NYC and has written two poetry curricula books, Poetry Jam (Recorded Books) and Hip-Hop Poetry & the Classics (Milk Mug). He teaches courses on hip-hop and the teaching of English at New York University, Michigan State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has also appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and Brave New Voices.
Jack Collom was born in Chicago and as a young man joined the US Air Force. He was posted in Libya and Germany before returning to the United States. He then earned a BA in forestry and English and an MA in English literature from the University of Colorado. Collom started publishing his poetry in the 1960s. His more recent publications are Entering the City (Backwaters Press), Dog Sonnets (Jensen/Daniels), the 500-plus-page collection Red Car Goes By (Tuumba Press), and Situations, Sings with Lyn Hejinian(Adventures in Poetry).
CAConrad is the author of A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New (Soma)tics (Wave Books), The Book of Frank (Wave Books), Advanced Elvis Course (Soft Skull), Deviant Propulsion (Soft Skull), and a collaboration with poet Frank Sherlock titled The City Real & Imagined (Factory School). A 2011 Pew Fellow and a 2012 Ucross Fellow, he edits the online video poetry journals JUPITER 88 and Paranormal Poetics.
Emilie Coulson is the director of education at 826 Valencia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students’ creative and expository writing skills. She has taught poetry workshops to writers of all ages and published poetry in various forums and publications. She is the coauthor of a new musical, Victory Farm, originally produced by the American Folklore Theatre in her hometown of Fish Creek, Wisconsin.
Kevin Coval is artistic director of Young Chicago Authors and cofounder of its teen poetry festival, Louder Than A Bomb. He is the author of Slingshots (A Hip-Hop Poetica), which was a finalist for the American Library Association Book of the Year, and Everyday People (both by EM Press). He has performed in seven countries on four continents and was featured on four seasons of Russell Simmons’s HBO Def Poetry Jam. Coval writes for the Huffington Post and can be heard regularly on National Public Radio in Chicago. Haymarket Books published his most recent collection, L-vis Lives.
Christina Davis is the author of An Ethic (Nightboat Books) and Forth a Raven (Alice James Books). Her poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, jubilat, Pleiades, the Paris Review, and other publications. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Oxford University, she is a recipient of a Witter Bynner Award from the Library of Congress (selected by Kay Ryan) and currently serves as curator of the Woodberry Poetry Room, Harvard University.
Jordan Davis writes about poetry for the Constant Critic, and his essays and reviews have also appeared in Slate, Nation, and the Times Literary Supplement.
Michael Dickman was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of The End of the West and Flies, and the coauthor, with his brother Matthew Dickman, of 50 American Plays, all published by Copper Canyon Press. He lives and works in Princeton, New Jersey.
Alex Dimitrov’s first book of poems, Begging for It, is just out from Four Way Books. Dimitrov is the recipient of the Stanley Kunitz Prize for younger poets from the American Poetry Review and the founder of Wilde Boys, a queer poetry salon in New York City. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming from the Kenyon Review, Yale Review, Slate, Tin House, and the Boston Review.
Dave Eggers is the founder and editor of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house based in San Francisco, and a cofounder of 826 National, a network of nonprofit writing and tutoring centers for youth located in eight cities around the United States. He is the author of, among other books, What Is the What, The Wild Things,and A Hologram for the King, all published by McSweeney’s. He lives in Northern California.
Andrew Ek is a writer, a teacher, and an architectural engineering student. He is currently curriculum director and board president of the Nebraska Writers Collective, which sends writers into schools to teach workshops and literary performance. He also hosts the Encyclopedia Show: Omaha, a monthly literary variety show.
Martin Jude Farawell directs the Dodge Poetry Program, which includes the biennial Dodge Poetry Festival, Dodge Poets in the Schools, and the Dodge Poetry Archive, currently being developed to make audio and video recordings from past Dodge Festivals available on the web. He taught creative writing, literature, and composition at the secondary and undergraduate levels for ten years. A graduate of the New York University Creative Writing Program, Farawell is the author of a chapbook, Genesis: A Sequence of Poems. His work has appeared in the Cortland Review, Poetry East, Southern Review, and other journals and anthologies. His plays have been performed off-off-Broadway and by regional, college, community, and international theaters, most recently by the Neo Ensemble Theatre in Los Angeles.
Katie Ford is the author of Deposition and Colosseum (both by Graywolf Press). She is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship in Poetry and a Larry Levis Reading Award. Publishers Weekly named Colosseum a Best Book of 2008, and the Virginia Quarterly Review included it on the Top Ten Books of Poetry of 2008 list. Ford teaches at Franklin & Marshall College and lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.
Terri Glass served as program director for California Poets in the Schools from 2008 to 2011 and recently returned to school to study nonfiction in the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing. She has been teaching poetry writing to both children and adults in the Bay Area for more than twenty years via workshops in schools, colleges, hospitals, and wildlife and senior centers. She is the author of two books of poetry, Unveiling the Mystical Light (Fisher-Dizick Publishing) and The Song of Yes, and a poetry guide for classroom teachers, Language of the Awakened Heart.
Susan Grigsby is a freelance writer and teaching artist for institutions that include the St. Louis Poetry Center, Interchange, COCA, and the Center for the Art of Translation’s Poetry Inside Out program. She has a master of arts in teaching, specializing in the integration of creative writing across the curriculum. Her poetry has been published in various journals, including Quarterly West, Sycamore Review, and Sou’wester. Her books for children include In the Garden with Dr. Carver and First Peas to the Table.
Matthea Harvey is the author of Sad Little Breathing Machine (Graywolf Press) and Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form (Alice James Books). Her third book of poems, Modern Life (Graywolf Press) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book. Her first children’s book, The Little General and the Giant Snowflake, illustrated by Elizabeth Zechel, was published by Tin House Books in 2009. An illustrated erasure, titled Of Lamb, with images by Amy Jean Porter, was published by McSweeney’s a year later. Harvey is a contributing editor to jubilat, Meatpaper and BOMB. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence and lives in Brooklyn.
Mimi Herman established Poetry Out Loud in North Carolina in 2005 and was the North Carolina Poetry Out Loud coordinator from 2005 to 2011. She is the United Arts Council Arts Integration Institute director, a Teaching Artist Journal associate editor, and a teacher. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College and has worked as an educational consultant since 1990, engaging more than twenty-five thousand students, teachers, and artists.
Bob Holman has taught at the New School, Columbia University, New York University, and Naropa, as well as the Stony Brook Writing Program at the Turkana Basin Institute (Kenya). He has taught in Banff, Gambia, Costa Rica, Medellin, Vilnius, London, Durban, Kathmandu, Dubai, Budapest, Addis Ababa, and elsewhere. After working at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project and starting the slam at the Nuyorican Poets Café, he founded the Bowery Poetry Club, where he is currently artistic director. He is devoted to using poetry as an activist tool to create awareness about the endangered language crisis and is a co-director of the Endangered Language Alliance. He created a TV series on this subject with Ram Devineni and Beatriz Seigner that aired on Link TV. Holman is the host of Word Up! Languages in Danger!, produced by David Grubin for PBS.
Ilya Kaminsky is the director of the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute at the Poetry Foundation. He is the author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press) and coeditor of The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry.
James Kass is a writer, an educator, and a producer. He is the founder and executive director of Youth Speaks and is widely credited with helping launch the youth spoken-word movement, working with tens of thousands of young people from across the country and helping to launch more than fifty programs nationwide to help kids find, develop, and publicly present their voices. Kass has received several awards for his writing, his work in the nonprofit sector, and his work as an educator. He recently curated the poetry for the first White House Poetry Jam, performing in front of the First Family, and was invited to be one of the first thirty-five people to meet the Obama administration’s arts action team. He served on the steering committee for the Oakland International Hip Hop Museum (On Up), chaired the Community Engagement Advisory Board for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and was an advisory board member for slambush.net, 826 Valencia, and the New York City Hip-Hop Theater Festival.
Jeff Kass teaches creative writing and English literature at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and at Eastern Michigan University. In addition, he is the literary arts director at the Ann Arbor Teen Center, the Neutral Zone. He is the author of the poetry chapbook Invisible Staircase, the essay chapbook From the Front of the Room, and the one-man performance poetry show Wrestle the Great Fear. He is also the author of the teaching guidebook Underneath: The Archaeological Approach to Teaching Creative Writing and the short-story collection Knuckleheads (Dzanc Books).
Kenneth Koch (1925-2002) was an American poet, playwright, and professor at Columbia University for almost forty years. He credits his work through the Teachers & Writers Collaborative for his popular books on teaching poetry to children, Wishes, Lies, and Dreams: Teaching Children to Write Poetry (1970) and Rose, Where Did You Get That Red (1973). He is the author of more than thirty volumes of poetry and plays.
Yusef Komunyakaa teaches at New York University. His thirteen books of poetry include Taboo (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), Dien Cai Dau (Wesleyan University Press), Neon Vernacular (Wesleyan University Press), for which he received the Pulitzer Prize, Warhorses (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), and most recently The Chameleon Couch (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux). His plays, performance art, and libretti have been performed internationally and include Saturnalia, Testimony, and Gilgamesh.
Deborah Landau is the author of The Last Usable Hour (Copper Canyon Press), a Lannan Literary Selection, and Orchidelirium (Anhinga Press), which won the Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry. She is a clinical professor in and director of the New York University Creative Writing Program.
Quraysh Ali Lansana is the author of five books of poetry, including They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems (Third World) and a children’s book titled The Big World (Addison-Wesley). He has edited eight anthologies, including Dream of a Word: The Tia Chucha Press Poetry Anthology (Tia Chucha). Lansana is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Chicago State University, where he served as director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing from 2002 to 2011. A former faculty member in the Drama Division of the Juilliard School, he earned an MFA in creative writing at New York University, where he was a departmental fellow. Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community (with Georgia A. Popoff) was published in 2011 by Teachers & Writers Collaborative and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee. His third book of poetry, mystic turf, was released in 2012 by Willow Books.
Dorthea Lasky is the author of three poetry collections, AWE, Black Life, and Thunderbird, all from Wave Books. She is also the author of nine chapbooks, including Matter: A Picturebook (Argos Books), The Blue Teratorn (YesYes Books), and Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse). Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, New Yorker, Boston Review, and the American Poetry Review, among other periodicals. Lasky is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA program for Poets and Writers, holds a doctorate in creativity and education from the University of Pennsylvania, and attended Harvard and Washington University. Born in St. Louis, she currently lives in New York City.
Harriet Levin is the author of The Christmas Show (Beacon Press) and Girl in Cap and Gown (Mammoth Books). She won the Barnard Women Poets Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and a PEW Fellowship in the Arts Discipline Award. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in the Kenyon Review, the Iowa Review, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, and Prairie Schooner. A former New York state poet-in-the-schools, she teaches at Drexel University and codirects the program in writing and publishing.
Rebecca Lindenberg is the author of Love, an Index (McSweeney’s). Her poems, essays, and criticism have appeared in the Believer, Poetry, Iowa Review, Smartish Pace, 32 Poems, Diagram, Conjunctions, Mid-American Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere. She is the grateful recipient of a 2012 MacDowell Arts Colony residency, a 2011 NEA grant, and a 2009-2010 Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center fellowship. She lives and writes in northern Utah.
Phillip Lopate’s most recent book of poetry, At the End of the Day (Marsh Hawk Press, 2010) brings together the majority of his poems, written over the course of his lifetime. Among his many awards are grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Public Library, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For many years, Lopate worked as a writer-in-the-schools, and his memoir Being With Children (Poseidon, 1989) was a product of his association with the Teachers & Writers Collaborative.
Dominic Luxford is the editor of The McSweeney’s Book of Poets Picking Poets, the poetry editor of the Believer, and a founding editor of the McSweeney’s Poetry Series. His writing has appeared in the Emily Dickinson Journal, Economist, the Believer, and McSweeney’s. For several years, Luxford was an elementary school tutor for the H.E.A.R.T. (Help Encourage a Reader Today) Program in Portland, Oregon. He now lives in San Francisco.
Matt Mason has won two Nebraska Book Awards and has organized and run poetry programming with the US Department of State in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Minsk, Belarus. He has been on five teams at the National Poetry Slam, edits the Poetry Menu, a listing of every Nebraska poetry event, and founded Morpo Press in 1997. The Backwaters Press released his first full-length collection, Things We Don’t Know We Don’t Know, in 2006. He also has nine poetry chapbooks published and in executive director of the nonprofit Nebraska Writers Collective. He runs the monthly Omaha Healing Arts Poetry Slam as well as several reading series.
Anthony McCann is the author of the poetry collection I Heart Your Fate, Moongarden (both by Wave Books), and Father of Noise (Fence Books). In addition to teaching courses for the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts, he works with the Cal Arts Community Arts Partnership (CAP). For CAP, he designs and teaches an intensive writing course in a free summer arts program for high school students.
Michael McGriff was born and raised in Coos Bay, Oregon. His books include Dismantling the Hills (University of Pittsburgh Press), To Build My Shadow a Fire: The Poetry and Translations of David Wevill (Truman State University Press), and Home Burial (Copper Canyon Press). He co-translated Tomas Tranströmer’s The Sorrow Gondola, and his poetry, translations, and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including the American Poetry Review, Bookforum, Slate, Narrative, the Believer, and the Wall Street Journal. He was received a Lannan Literary Fellowship. He is the founding editor of Tavern Books, a publishing house devoted to poetry in translation and the revival of out-of-print books.
Megan McNamer, executive director of the Missoula Writing Collaborative, studied music at the University of Montana and ethnomusicology at the University of Washington. In addition to her literary pursuits, she teaches occasional courses in world music and plays Balinese gamelan. Her essays have appeared in Sports Illustrated, Salon, and the Sun, among other publications. She has been a finalist in fiction writing contests sponsored by Glimmer Train Press and New Millennium Writings.
Pamela Michael is a writer, activist, and radio producer. She has spent decades working to integrate environmental and arts education into the lives of children and their communities. Cofounder, with Robert Hass, of the much-honored River of Words program, her Watershed Explorer Curriculum has been used to train thousands of teachers, youth leaders, and other educators to connect kids to their watersheds and their imaginations, inspiring them to create art and poetry. She has served as the organization’s executive director since its founding in 1995 and was recently named director of the Center for Environmental Literacy at Saint Mary’s College of California. Michael has taught writing and poetry to both children and adults throughout the United States and abroad.
Valzhyna Mort was born in Minsk, Belarus, and moved to the United States in 2005. She is the author of Factory of Tears and Collected Body (both published by Copper Canyon Press). In Slovenia she received the Crystal Vilenica poetry award, and in Germany the Hubert Burda Prize for young Eastern European poets. She won a Lannan Literary Fellowship in 2009 and the Bess Hokin Prize from the Poetry Foundation in 2010.
Eileen Myles, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and educated in Catholic schools, graduated from the University of Massachusetts (Boston) in 1971 and moved to New York City in 1974 to be a poet. Snowflake/different streets, a double volume of poems, came out in 2012 from Wave Books. John Ashbery described Myles’s Inferno (A Poet’s Novel) (OR Books), which details a female writer’s coming of age, as “zingingly funny and melancholy.” Allison Bechdel called Inferno “this shimmering document.” Myles’s more than twenty books include Sorry, Tree (Wave Books), Cool for You (Soft Skull), Skies (Black Sparrow), Not Me (Semiotexte), and Chelsea Girls (Black Sparrow). The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art (Semiotexte) received a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant in 2007. In 2010, Myles received the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America for her poetry. She has taught at Columbia University, and she writes about books, art, and culture for a wide variety of publications, including Artforum, Bookforum, and Parkett.
Jesse Nathan is the author of a chapbook of poems, Dinner. His writing has appeared in the Oxford American, the Nation, jubilat, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He is a founding editor of the McSweeney’s Poetry Series, and he served as managing editor of the Best American Nonrequired Reading from 2009 to 2011. Nathan was born in Berkeley, grew up on a farm in Kansas, and presently lives in Menlo Park, California, where he is working on a PhD in English literature at Stanford.
Travis Nichols is the author of two poetry collections, Iowa (Letter Machine Editions) and See Me Improving (Copper Canyon Press), as well as two novels, Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder and the forthcoming The More You Ignore Me (both from Coffee House Press). He is a media officer at Greenpeace USA and lives in Washington, DC.
Patrick Oliver is founder and program manager of Say It Loud! and creator and host of Literary Nation Talk Radio, a live weekly broadcast. He is the publisher and editor of Essence magazine’s bestselling anthology Turn the Page and You Don’t Stop: Sharing Successful Chapters in Our Lives with Youth. As a literary consultant, Oliver has organized and facilitated programs, panels, and workshops for individuals, educational institutions, businesses, and organizations throughout the United States. He currently lives in Los Angeles.
Adam O’Riordan was born in Manchester, England, in 1982. He was educated at Oxford University and the University of London. In 2008 he became the youngest poet-in-residence at the Wordsworth Trust, the “Centre for British Romanticism.” His collection In the Flesh (Chatto & Windus) won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2011.
Liam O’Rourke has been an English teacher at Pierrepont School in Westport, Connecticut, since 2003.
Meghan O’Rourke is the author of The Long Goodbye (Riverhead Books), a memoir about the loss of her mother, and of the poetry collections Once and Halflife (both from W.W. Norton). She has taught at New York University, Princeton, and the New School.
Ron Padgett is the author of more than 14 books, including his most recent collection of poems How Long (Coffee House Press). His awards include a Fulbright Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Shelley Memorial Award. From 1978-1980 he served as director of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project and then served as publications director of Teachers & Writers Collaborative for twenty years. In 2008 he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
Georgia A. Popoff is a community poet, an educator, and managing editor of the Comstock Review. She provides professional development training for schools and community-based organizations and presents on these topics at conferences both nationally and abroad. Her first collection of poems Coaxing Nectar from Longing (Hale Mary); her second, The Doom Weaver, was released by Main Street Rag. Teachers & Writers Collaborative published Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy, & Social Justice in Classroom & Community, coauthored with Quraysh Ali Lansana. In the mid-1990s, Popoff competed in the National Poetry Slam. She has also served as central New York State program director for Partners for Arts Education and as a board member of the Association of Teaching Artists. She currently teaches at the Downtown Writer’s Center in Syracuse, New York.
Robin Reagler is the executive director of Writers in the Schools (WITS) in Houston, Texas. She also leads the WITS Alliance, an international group of more than twenty similar literary education programs in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Her poems and essays have been published in a variety of books and journals. Her chapbook, Dear Red Airplane, was published by Seven Kitchens in 2011.
Theodore Roethke (1908-1963) took ten years to write his first book, Open House (Knopf), which was critically acclaimed upon its publication. He won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1954 for The Waking (Doubleday), and he won the National Book Award for poetry twice, in 1959 for Words for the Wind (Indiana University Press) and posthumously in 1965 for The Far Field (Doubleday).
Bertha Rogers’s most recent poetry collection, Heart Turned Back, was published by Salmon, in Ireland, in 2010. Her translation of the Anglo-Saxon riddle poems, Uncommon Creatures, Singing Things, is forthcoming from Birch Brook Press. With her husband, Ernest M. Fishman, she founded and directs Bright Hill Press and Literacy Center in Treadwell, New York.
Laura Solomon was born in 1976 in Birmingham, Alabama. Her books include Bivouac (Slope Editions), Blue and Red Things (Ugly Duckling Presse), and The Hermit (Ugly Duckling Presse). Other publications include a chapbook, Letters by Which Sisters Will Know Brothers (Katalanché Press) and Haiku des Pierres/Haiku of Stones by Jacques Poullaoueq, a translation from the French with Sika Fakambi (Editions Apogée). Her poetry has been included in the anthology Poets on Painters (Wichita State Press), has appeared in magazines across North America and Europe, and has been translated into ten languages.
William Stafford (1914-1993) was appointed the twentieth poet laureate in 1970. His first major collection of poetry, Traveling Through the Dark (Harper & Row), was published when he was forty-eight years old. It won the 1963 National Book Award for poetry.
Amy Swauger has been director of the Teachers & Writers Collaborative, a literary arts education organization in New York City, since 2005. Swauger was previously executive director of National Academy of Education and of Washington Independent Writers. Prior to that, she held a number of positions with the American Association of University Women (AAUW), including director of the association and of the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund. She has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including the DC Rape Crisis Center and CFRE International, and she is an adviser to the Schimel Lode, a family foundation in Washington, DC. Swauger earned a degree in journalism and political science from American University.
Jim Trelease is an educator and author who promotes reading aloud to children as a way to instill in them a love of literature. He is the author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, which has sold over a million copies all over the world.
Vickie Vértiz was born to and raised by Mexican parents in southeast Los Angeles. Arising from her work as a student, an activist, and a cultural worker in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, her writing explores the intersections of gender, identity, and Latino subcultures. Her writing has been widely anthologized and can be found in In Your Ear and La Lunada: An Anthology of Spoken-Word Poetry Celebrating Sixty Full Moons and Community Ritual at Galería de la Raza. She is currently the cocurator for the reading series “Cruzando Fronteras: Contemporary Poetry in Spanish in San Francisco.” Vértiz has a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Texas, Austin.
Karen Volkman teaches in the MFA writing program at the University of Montana in Missoula. Her latest book of poetry is Nomina (BOA Editions). Her first book, Crash’s Law (W.W. Norton), was a National Poetry Series selection. Her second book, Spar (University of Iowa Press), won the James Laughlin Award and the Iowa Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Society of America, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Akademie Schloss Solitude.
Dara Wier teaches poetry workshops and form and theory seminars in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her newest work, You Good Thing (Wave Books), is a book of grief-fueled sonnets cast as spells to bring back the dead, a fool’s quintessential inevitable errand. Her most recent books, both from Wave Books, are Selected Poems and Reverse Rapture, a book-length quasi-narrative recording of the adventures in words of a band of comrades, brothers and sisters, out in a lost world, protecting one another. Along with Emily Pettit and Guy Pettit, Wier publishes books, chapbooks, broadsides, and comics via Factory Hollow Press, the publishing aspect of Flying Object, a nonprofit arts collective in Hadley, Massachusetts, founded and directed by Guy Pettit.
Matthew Zapruder’s most recent poetry book is Come on All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon Press). He lives in San Francisco.