Southern California Poetry Festival
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Will Alexander was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1948. He received a BA from the University of California–Los Angeles in 1972. Alexander published his first poetry collection, Vertical Rainbow Climber (Jazz Press), in 1987. He went on to publish numerous books of poetry, including Kaleidoscopic Omniscience (Skylight Press, 2013), The Sri Lankan Loxodrome (New Directions, 2009), and Asia & Haiti (Sun & Moon Press, 2000). In 2016, Alexander received the Jackson Poetry Prize awarded by Poets & Writers; the judges’ citation notes, “It is tempting to label Alexander a surrealist or experimentalist, but he is truly a singular voice. Ultimately, his poetry is rooted in a belief in the transformative powers of language.” Also known for his essays and nonfiction, he is the author of Singing in Magnetic Hoofbeat: Essays, Prose Texts, Interviews, and a Lecture 1991–2007 (Essay Press, 2013), winner of an American Book Award. Alexander is the recipient of a California Arts Council Fellowship, a PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and a Whiting Fellowship, among many others. He has taught at several universities, including the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and the University of California–San Diego. He lives in California.

Justin Desmangles is chairman of the Before Columbus Foundation, administrator of the American Book Award, and host of the radio broadcast New Day Jazz, now in its fifteenth year. A member of the board of directors of the Oakland Book Festival, Mr. Desmangles is also a program producer at the African-American Center of the San Francisco Public Library.

Janice Lee is the author of KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), and The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). She writes about the filmic long take, slowness, interspecies communication, the apocalypse, and asks the question, how do we hold space open while maintaining intimacy? She is Founder & Executive Editor of Entropy, Co-Publisher at Civil Coping Mechanisms, Contributing Editor at Fanzine, and Co-Founder of The Accomplices LLC. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon where she is an Assistant Professor of Fiction at Portland State University. She can be found online at 

Anne Waldman is an active member of the Outrider experimental poetry movement, and has been connected to the Beat movement and the second generation of the New York School. Her publications include Fast Speaking Woman (1975), Marriage: A Sentence (2000), the multi-volume Iovis project (1992, 1993, 1997), and Voice’s Daughter of a Heart Yet to Be Born (2016). Her honors include grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has had residencies at the Civitella Ranieri Center, the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, and Rockefeller Center’s Bellagio Center, and has received the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award. She has twice won the International Poetry Championship Bout in Taos, New Mexico. She was “poet in residence” with Bob Dylan’s famed concert tour, the Rolling Thunder Revue, in 1975–76. Waldman has also edited several anthologies, including The Beat Book (1996). She co-founded the Poetry Is News collective with writer/scholar Ammiel Alcalay in 2002.

Kimiko Hahn, author of nine books, finds that disparate sources have given way to her work—whether black lung disease in Volatile, Flaubert’s sex-tour in The Unbearable Heart, exhumation in The Artist's Daughter, or classical Japanese forms in The Narrow Road to the Interior. Rarified fields of science prompted her latest collections Toxic Flora and Brain Fever. A passionate advocate of chapbooks, her own most recent is Brood. Honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, PEN/Voelcker Award, Shelley Memorial Prize. Hahn is a distinguished professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation at Queens College, City University of New York. 

Poet, teacher, and community activist Sesshu Foster grew up in in East Los Angeles. He earned his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of the poetry collections City Terrace Field Manual (Kaya Press, 1996), American Loneliness: Selected Poems (2006),  World Ball Notebook (2009), which won an American Book Award and an Asian American Literary Award for Poetry, and City of the Future (2018). Foster is the author of the novel of speculative fiction Atomik Aztex (2005), which won the Believer Book Award and imagines an America free of European colonizers. Foster’s work has been published in The Oxford Anthology of Modern American Poetry (2000), Language for a New Century: Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond (2008), and State of the Union: 50 Political Poems (2008). He co-edited the anthology Invocation L.A.: Urban Multicultural Poetry (1989). Foster has taught in East LA for 25 years as well as at the University of Iowa, the California Institute for the Arts, Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Pomona University, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. He lives in Los Angeles.

Kenji C. Liu is author of Monsters I Have Been (Alice James Books, 2019) and Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize (Inlandia Institute). His poetry is in numerous journals, anthologies, magazines, and two chapbooks, Craters: A Field Guide (2017) and You Left Without Your Shoes (2009). He is a Kundiman fellow and an alumnus of VONA/Voices, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the Community of Writers.

Vickie Vértiz's first full collection of poetry, Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut, was published in the Camino del Sol Series by The University of Arizona Press in September of 2017, and honored with a PEN America Literary Award in poetry in 2018. Her writing is featured in the New York Times magazine, Spiral Orb, Huizache, Nepantla, Omniverse, the Los Angeles Review of Books, KCET Departures, and the anthologies: Open the Door (from McSweeney’s and the Poetry Foundation), and The Coiled Serpent (from Tia Chucha Press), among many others. She lives in Los Angeles.

Kim (Freilich) Dower has published three collections of poetry, all from Red Hen Press: Air Kissing on Mars (2010), which was on the Poetry Foundation’s Contemporary Best Sellers list and described by the Los Angeles Times as “sensual and evocative . . . seamlessly combining humor and heartache”; Slice of Moon (2013), called “unexpected and sublime” by O magazine; and Last Train to the Missing Planet (2016), “full of worldly, humorous insights into life as it is,” according to Janet Fitch. Kim’s work has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and has been featured in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem A Day, Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac, and Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, as well as in Ploughshares, Barrow Street, Rattle, and Eclipse. Her poems are included in several anthologies, including Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Beyond Baroque Books/Pacific Coast Poetry Series, 2015) and Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles (Tia Chucha Press). She teaches poetry in the BA program of Antioch University. Kim was City Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, California from October 2016 to October 2018. 

Eloise Klein Healy, the author of eight books of poetry including A Wild Surmise, was appointed the first poet laureate of The City of Los Angeles in 2012. Awarded the Publishing Triangle Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, she also had artist residencies at The MacDowell Colony and Dorland Mountain Colony. She has received grants from the California Arts Council, the CSUN Merit Award Program, and a COLA Fellowship from the City of Los Angeles. She directed the Women’s Studies program at CSU Northridge and taught in the Feminist Studio Workshop at The Woman’s Building in Los Angeles. She was the founding Chair of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her imprint with Red Hen Press, Arktoi Books, specializes in publishing high quality literary work by lesbian authors.

Edoardo Ponti is a film director who divides his time between California and Italy. The son of Sophia Loren and producer Carlo Ponti, Edoardo has made a name for himself in the industry with numerous award-winning shorts and feature films, as well as plays and an opera. Edoardo Ponti graduated from the University of Southern California in 1994 with a BA in creative writing. He went on to earn an MFA in film directing and production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in 1997. Edoardo is married to the actress Sasha Alexander, with whom he has two wonderful children. Letters From a Young Father is his first book of poetry.​

Frank Johnson is a poet, essayist, and visual artist born and raised in East Las Vegas. His work draws primarily from the literary traditions of hip-hop and the dopest facets of its culture. Frank is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he is working on his debut book of poems and artwork. His work has been featured in the Las Vegas Film Festival, The Believer, Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Rumpus.

Joseph Rios is the author of Shadowboxing: Poems and Impersonations (Omnidawn), winner of the Before Columbus American Book Award. He is from Fresno's San Joaquin Valley. He's been a gardener, a janitor, a packing house supervisor, and a handyman. He was named one of the "10 Poets Who Will Change the World" by Poets & Writers Magazine for 2017 and was a finalist for a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent fellowship. He is a recipient of scholarships from the Community of Writers Workshop at Squaw Valley and CantoMundo. He is a VONA alumnus and a Macondo Fellow. In 2015, he received the John K. Walsh residency fellowship from the University of Notre Dame. In 2016, his debut poetry collection was chosen by Claudia Rankine as a finalist for Omnidawn's first book prize. You can find recent and forthcoming poems in The Nation, The San Francisco Chronicle, Huizache, and elsewhere. He is a graduate of Fresno City College and the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Los Angeles. 

Brittany Ambree Williams aka B.A. Williams is a queer writer and performer from East Long Beach, CA. Her poetry and prose focus on all things "other" with a heavy emphasis on Blackness, womanhood, and queerness.

Laurel Ann Bogen is the author of 11 books of poetry and short fiction including Washing a Language,Fission,The Last Girl in the Land of the Butterflies,The Burning, Do Iguanas Dance, Under the Moonlight? and Rag Tag We Kiss. Her latest book, Psychosis in the Produce Department: New and Selected Poems 1975-2015, is published by Red Hen Press. From 1996 until 2002 she was literary curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where she coordinated the Writers in Focus poetry series and co-authored a grant sponsored by Poets & Writers, linking the museum’s education department with Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center to create a writers-in-residence program. She has been an instructor of poetry and performance for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program since 1990 and received the Outstanding Instructor of the Year in Creative Writing in 2008. Selected “Best Female Poet/Performer” by the L.A. Weekly in their Best of L.A. issue she is well-known for her lively readings and is a founding member of the acclaimed poetry performance troupe, Nearly Fatal Women.

Jack Skelley is a frequently published writer and editor who extends carefully honed communications skills to expert marketing. Skelley and team are the best real-estate publicists in Los Angeles, offering special expertise in what they call Urbanology: development, urban design, luxury brands and architecture. Skelley has over 25 years of writing and editing experience (from Harper’s magazine to Los Angeles Times). The former Executive Editor and Associate Publisher of Los Angeles Downtown News, he is a blogger for Huffington Post and a contributing editor for Modern Luxury publications. Skelley also writes for Form magazine, The Architect's Newspaper, California Homes and many others. As a copywriter, he crafts highly effective branding, concepts, web copy, ads and brochures for clients local and global.

S.A. Griffin is a Los Angeles-based poet, DJ for and co-editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. He received the Firecracker Award as best in alternative press, and was named Best Performance Poet by Wanda Coleman for the LA Weekly in 1989. Griffin has traveled extensively throughout the Western United States and Canada with Los Angeles-based poetry/performance ensemble the Carma Bums. Widely published and anthologized as a poet, he has also written for the LA Weekly and is a contributing writer for The Underground Guide to Los Angeles, which remained on The Los Angeles Times' bestsellers list for nine weeks.

Suzanne Lummis’ poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, Antioch Review, Ploughshares, New Ohio Review, Plume, The American Journal of Poetry and The New Yorker. Her most recent collection, Open 24 Hours, won the Blue Poetry Prize and was published by Lynx House Press in 2014. Previous full-length collections include In Danger (Roundhouse Press/Heyday Books) and Idiosyncrasies (Illuminati). Suzanne edited Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Pacific Coast Poetry Series/Beyond Baroque Books), noted in The Los Angeles Times as one of The Ten Best Books of 2015. She is the recipient of Beyond Baroque’s fifth George Drury Smith Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Award. An influential teacher in Los Angeles, she leads private workshops and has taught for many years through the UCLA Extension Writers’ program where she evolved courses in poetic craft, the persona poem, and the poem noir (“Poetry Goes to the Movies”). In the 70s, during CSU Fresno’s now legendary era, Suzanne studied with Philip Levine, Peter Everwine and Charles Hanzlicek, and received an MA in English with a Creative Writing focus.

Bill Mohr is an associate professor at California State University, Long Beach, where he teaches 20th-century American literature and creative writing. In addition to several collections of poetry, he is the author of a literary history of Los Angeles poetry, Holdouts: The Los Angeles Poetry Renaissance 1948-1992 (University of Iowa Press, 2011). He is currently co-editing an anthology of San Francisco and Los Angeles poets, Cross-Strokes, with Neeli Cherkovski.

Dennis Phillips is the author of over a dozen books of poetry, most recently Measures (2013) and Navigation: Selected Poems, 1985–2010. His work, both poetry and commentary, regularly appears in various national and local poetry journals. He edited and wrote the introduction for a book on the early essays of James Joyce, Joyce on Ibsen (2008). Phillips is also the author of the novel, Hope (2007). Phillips is a professor in the department of Humanities and Sciences at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he has been teaching literature and writing since 1979. Additionally, he is on the faculty of the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College of Art and Design.

Pam Ward is a UCLA graduate and recipient of a California Arts Council Fellow in Literature and New Letters Literary Award. Ward operates her own graphic design studio, Ward Graphics as well as runs her own publishing house, Short Dress Press. As an artist-in-resident for the City of Los Angeles and the City of Manhattan Beach, Pam also served as a board member for Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Foundation and has worked for many community arts and social/health organizations, including Black Women for Wellness, Summit on Gang Violence and Art Center College of Design. Her multimedia poetic show, “I Didn’t Survive Slavery For This” was featured at The World Stage, The Leimert Park Theatre Festival and pick of the week at Beyond Baroque. Ward completed a poetry collection entitled, Between Good Men & No Man at All, and her fourth novel, I’ll Get You My Pretty, a 1940s true account of a black actress who dated the Black Dahlia murderer.

​Victoria Chang’s latest book of poems, OBIT, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2020. Her previous, Barbie Chang, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2017. The Boss (McSweeney's) won a PEN Center USA Literary Award and a California Book Award. Other books are Salvinia Molesta and Circle. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship, the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award, and a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches within Antioch’s MFA Program. You can find her at

​Morgan Parker is the author of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé and Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night. In 2019, Tin House will publish her third collection of poems, Magical Negro, and her young adult novel, Who Put This Song On?, will be published by Delacorte Press. Her debut book of nonfiction will be released in 2020 by OneWorld. Parker is the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a Pushcart Prize, and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. She is the creator and host of Reparations, Live! at the Ace Hotel. With Tommy Pico, she co-curates the Poets with Attitude (PWA) reading series, and with Angel Nafis, she is The Other Black Girl Collective. She lives in Los Angeles.

Vanessa Angélica Villarreal was born in the Rio Grande Valley borderlands to formerly undocumented Mexican immigrants. She is the author of the collection Beast Meridian (Noemi Press, Akrilica Series, 2017), winner of the John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters, and featured as a best-of book at The Los Angeles Times, NBC News, BOMB, Literary Hub, Bustle, and Entropy. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, The Boston Review, The Academy of American Poets, BuzzFeed, Epiphany, PBS Newshour and elsewhere. She is a CantoMundo Fellow, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she is raising her son with the help of a loyal dog.

Peter J. Harris, winner of the City of LA’s 2017-18 COLA Fellowship, is the author of Bless the Ashes (Tia Chucha Press), winner of the 2015 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award; and The Black Man of HappinessIn Pursuit of My 'Unalienable Right', a book of personal essays, winner of a 2015 American Book Award. Since the 1970s, Harris has published his work in a wide variety of publications, most recently in Voices from Leimert Park, Redux, edited by Shonda Buchanan; Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, edited by Suzanne Lummis; Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology, edited by Thelma T. Reyna, Poet Laureate of Altadena; and Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts in Los Angeles, edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Daniel A. Olivas, and Ruben J. Rodriguez. Since 1992, he's been a member of the Anansi Writers Workshop at the World Stage, in LA's Leimert Park.

Jeffrey Schultz is the author of two National Poetry Series Selections: Civil Twilight (Ecco, 2017), and What Ridiculous Things We Could Ask of Each Other (Georgia, 2014). His poems have appeared in Poetry, TriQuarterly, and Boston Review, and on Poetry Daily, PBS NewHour's Art Beat, and the Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day. He’s received the “Discovery”/Boston Review Prize and a Ruth Lily Fellowship. A Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Pepperdine University, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife and a seemingly ever-increasing number of rescue animals.

​Nicelle Davis is a California poet, collaborator, and performance artist who walks the desert with her son J.J. in search of owl pellets and rattlesnake skins. Her poetry collections include The Walled Wife (Red Hen Press, 2016), In the Circus of You (Rose Metal Press, 2015), Becoming Judas (Red Hen Press, 2013), and Circe (Lowbrow Press, 2011). Her poetry film collaborations with Cheryl Gross have been shown across the world. She has taught poetry at Youth for Positive Change, an organization that promotes success for youth in secondary schools, MHA, Volunteers of America in their Homeless Youth Center, and with Red Hen’s WITS program. She is the creator of The Poetry Circus and collaborator on the Nevermore Poetry Festival.

Nan Cohen received a BA from Yale University and an MA and CPhil in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of Unfinished City (Gunpowder Press, 2017) and Rope Bridge (Cherry Grove Collections, 2005). Cohen has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and Stanford University, among others. She currently directs the poetry program at the Napa Valley Writers Conference and lives in Los Angeles, California.

​David Starkey has published seven full-length collections of poetry, most recently It Must Be Like the World (Pecan Grove, 2011), Circus Maximus (Biblioasis, 2013) and Like a Soprano (Serving House, 2014). In addition, over the past thirty years he has published more than 500 poems in literary journals such as American Scholar, Antioch Review, Barrow Street, Georgia Review, Poet Lore, Southern Review, Southern Humanities Review, and Southern Poetry Review. His textbook, Creative Writing: Four Genres in Brief (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2017), is in its third edition.

Chryss Yost is co-editor of Gunpowder Press and founding editor of the Shoreline Voices Project. She served as Santa Barbara's Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015. Her first full-length collection of poems, Mouth & Fruit, was published in 2014. She has edited several poetry anthologies, including California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Heyday) with Dana Gioia and Jack Hicks. She also teaches at the Santa Barbara Music & Arts Conservatory.

F. Douglas Brown is the author of ICON (Writ Large Press, 2018), and Zero to Three (University of Georgia, 2014), winner of the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, selected by Tracy K. Smith. He also co-authored the chapbook Begotten (URB Books, 2016) with poet Geffrey Davis. An educator for over 20 years, Brown currently teaches at Loyola High School of Los Angeles, an all-boys, Jesuit school.

Poet, memoirist, scholar, and human rights activist Alicia Partnoy is the author, translator, or editor of eleven books. She is better known for The Little School: Tales of Disappearance and Survival, which was evidence in the trial against the genocide perpetrators that terrorized Argentina in the 70’s, and has been recently published in French and Bengali. Partnoy’s poetry collection, Flowering Fires/Fuegos Florales, translated by Gail Wronsky, received the First Settlement House American Poetry Prize. A professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Partnoy presides over Proyecto VOS-Voices of Survivors.

Nancy Lynée Woo is a 2015 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow, a co-founder of the Long Beach Literary Arts Center, and the author of two chapbooks, Bearing the Juice of It All (Finishing Line Press, 2016) and Rampant (Sadie Girl Press, 2014). She teaches poetry workshops in Long Beach called Surprise the Line, hosts two poetry reading series, Poetry on the Rocks and Off the Page: The Story Behind the Stanzas, and works as a freelance writer, editor and event planner. Find her online at and support her work at

​Marvin Artis is a lawyer and poet currently living in New York City. He was born in Suffolk, Virginia. He graduated from the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School. He'd never published any of his poetry until four poems and an interview with him appeared in Rattle #62. 

Nancy Miller Gomez is author of the Rattle Chapbook Series Selection Punishment (2018). She grew up in Kansas but currently lives in Santa Cruz, California. Her work has appeared in River Styx, Rattle, Bellingham Review, Nimrod, and elsewhere. She has a Masters in Fine Arts in Writing from Pacific University. She has worked as a stable hand, an attorney, and a TV producer, and volunteers as the director of the Santa Cruz Poetry Project, an organization that provides poetry and writing workshops to incarcerated men and women.  

Dave Harris is a poet and playwright from West Philly. His poem "Turbulence" won the 2018 Rattle Poetry Prize. He is a Cave Canem Fellow, a Callaloo Fellow, and has had his essays and poetry featured in Huffington Post, Upworthy, Button Poetry, BOAAT Press, Rattle, Muzzle, Up The Staircase Quarterly (nominated “Best of the Net”) and Winter Tangerine among others. His plays have been featured across the country, and he is a two-time finalist for the O’Neill Theater Conference, and a semi-finalist for The Relentless Award from The American Playwriting Foundation. Dave currently lives in San Diego where he is working towards his MFA in Playwriting.  

​Taylor Mali is one of the most well-known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement and one of the original poets to appear on the HBO series “Def Poetry Jam.” A four-time National Poetry Slam champion, he is the author of four collections of poetry and a chapbook, The Whetting Stone, which won the 2017 Rattle Chapbook Prize. He is the author of the acclaimed nonfiction book, What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World. He is the author of three books of poetry, Bouquet of Red Flags (Write Bloody Books, 2014), The Last Time As We Are (Write Bloody Books, 2009), and What Learning Leaves (Hanover, 2002); and four CDs of spoken word. He lives in Brooklyn where he curates the Page Meets Stage reading series at the Bowery Poetry Club.

​Ryka Aoki is the author of Seasonal VelocitiesHe Mele a Hilo (A Hilo Song), and Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul. She has been honored by the California State Senate for her "extraordinary commitment to free speech and artistic expression, as well as the visibility and well-being of Transgender people." Ryka was the inaugural performer for the first ever Transgender Stage at San Francisco Pride, and has performed in venues including the San Francisco Pride Main Stage, the Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival, the National Queer Arts Festival, and Ladyfest South. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. She is a professor of English at Santa Monica College. For her work with youth, Ryka was named an Outstanding Volunteer by the LGBT Center’s Children, Youth and Family Services. (It’s her favorite award ever.)

Charles Jensen is the author of six chapbooks of poems, including the recent Story Problems and Breakup/Breakdown, and The First Risk, which was a finalist for the 2010 Lambda Literary Award. A second collection, Nanopedia, is forthcoming in 2018 from Tinderbox Editions. His previous chapbooks include Living Things, which won the 2006 Frank O’Hara Chapbook Award, and The Strange Case of Maribel Dixon (New Michigan Press, 2007). His poem “Tucson” received the 2018 Zócalo Poetry Prize. A past recipient of an Artist’s Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, his poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Bloom, Columbia Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, Field, The Journal, New England Review, and Prairie Schooner. He is the founding editor of the online poetry magazine LOCUSPOINT, which explores creative work on a city-by-city basis. He lives in Los Angeles.  

Tommy “Teebs” Pico is author of the books IRL, Nature Poem, Junk, Feed (forthcoming 2019 form Tin House Books), and myriad keen tweets including “sittin on the cock of gay.” Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Brooklyn where he co-curates the reading series Poets with Attitude, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub. His Myers-Briggs is IDGAF.

Margaret Rhee is a poet, artist, and scholar. She is the author of chapbooks Yellow (Tinfish Press, 2011), and Radio Heart; or, How Robots Fall Out of Love (Finishing Line Press, 2015), a finalist for the 2017 Elgin Award, Science Fiction Poetry Association. Her first full-length poetry collection Love, Robot was published by The Operating System in November 2017. Her new media art project The Kimchi Poetry Machine was selected for the Electronic Literature Collection Volume 3. Literary fellowships include Kundiman, Hedgebrook, and the Kathy Acker Fellowship. Currently, she is completing her first monograph, How We Became Human: Race, Robots, and the Asian American Body, and a full-length collection of essays on radicalization. She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in ethnic and new media studies. Currently, she is a Visiting Scholar at the NYU A/P/A Institute, and a Visiting Assistant Professor at SUNY Buffalo in the Department of Media Study.

Brendan Constantine's work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly, Best American Poetry, and Poem-a-Day, among other journals. His most recent collection is Dementia, My Darling (2016 Red Hen Press). New work is forthcoming in Tin House and Reservoir. He has received grants and commissions from the Getty Museum, James Irvine Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He currently teaches poetry at the Windward School and offers classes to hospitals, foster homes, veterans, and the elderly.

Dana Gioia is Poet Laureate of California. An internationally recognized poet and critic, he is the author of five collections of poetry, including Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award, and 99 Poems: New & Selected (2016), which won the Poets’ Prize. His critical collections include Can Poetry Matter? (1992), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. He has written three opera libretti and edited twenty literary anthologies. He served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2009. He has been awarded 11 honorary doctorates. He is the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California where he teaches each fall semester. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Sonoma County, California. His statewide tour as poet laureate became the subject of the BBC Radio 3 documentary, “Every County in the State of California.”

Mandy Kahn is the author of two poetry collections, Glenn Gould’s Chair and Math, Heaven, Time. She frequently collaborates with composers to create new works that combine poetry and classical music and was a librettist for Yuval Sharon’s acclaimed opera Hopscotch. Her poetry appears in the Best American Poetry 2018 from Scribner/Simon & Schuster and was featured in former Poet Laureaute Ted Kooser’s newspaper column American Life in Poetry. Kahn is coauthor, with Aaron Rose, of the nonfiction book Collage Culture, which was also released as a record with a score by No Age. She’s given readings at Cambridge University, London Review Bookshop and Shoreditch House in England, at Motto in Berlin, at Colette in Paris, at Printed Matter in New York, at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, and at many venues in Southern California, including the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Skylight Books and Art Center College of Design. Kahn has been interviewed by BBC Radio, Flaunt and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among many others. She lives in Los Angeles.

Ilya Kaminsky was born in the former Soviet Union city of Odessa. He lost most of his hearing at the age of four after a doctor misdiagnosed mumps as a cold, and his family was granted political asylum by the United States in 1993, settling in Rochester, New York. After his father’s death in 1994, Kaminsky began to write poems in English. He explained in an interview with the Adirondack Review, “I chose English because no one in my family or friends knew it—no one I spoke to could read what I wrote. I myself did not know the language. It was a parallel reality, an insanely beautiful freedom. It still is.” Kaminsky is the author of Dancing in Odessa (2004), which won the Tupelo Press Dorset Prize, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, and ForeWord Magazine’s Best Poetry Book of the Year award, and has been translated into French and Romanian. Traveling Musicians (2007) is a selection of his poems originally written in Russian. His most recent collection is Deaf Republic (2019). Kaminsky’s honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Milton Center’s Award for Excellence in Writing, the Florence Kahn Memorial Award, Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize as well as their Ruth Lilly Fellowship, Philips Exeter Academy’s George Bennett Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation fellowship.

Nate Klug is the author of Rude Woods, a modern translation of Virgil’s Eclogues, and Anyone, a book of poems. He works as a Congregationalist minister and lives in California.

​Jessica Piazza is the author of three poetry collections: Interrobang (Red Hen Press, 2013), the chapbook This is not a sky (Black Lawrence Press, 2014) and Obliterations (with Heather Aimee O'Neill, forthcoming from Red Hen Press). Interrobang won the 2011 To the Lighthouse Prize from A Room of Her Own Foundation and the 2013 Balcones Prize from the Balcones Poetry Center in Austin, TX. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jessica now lives in Los Angeles where she teaches Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Southern California and poetry in the online MFA program at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, as well as moderating book clubs for Literary Affairs, a full service book club and literary event company in Beverly Hills. When she isn't teaching, writing or facilitating book clubs in Los Angeles, she curates the site Poetry Has Value, where conversations about poetry, money and worth abound.

Aaron Poochigian earned a PhD in Classics from the University of Minnesota and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University. His first book of poetry, The Cosmic Purr (Able Muse Press), was published in 2012 and, winner of the 2016 Able Muse Poetry Prize, his second book Manhattanite came out in December of 2017. His thriller in verse, Mr. Either/Or, was released by Etruscan Press in Fall of 2017. His work has appeared in such anthologies and journals as Best American Poetry, POETRY and The Times Literary Supplement.