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Fall Literary Festival Logo

8th Annual
Fall Literary Festival

October 17-19, 2024 Live in

Youngstown, Oh!


Hanif Abdurraqib

Ama Codjoe

Rachel Swearingen

with Philip Metres

“I've made so many connections with writers that started with Lit Youngstown's Lit Festival, in particular.”

2024 Schedule

October 17 Gathering In 
7:00 - 9:00 pm

McDonough Museum of Art

Warm welcome, Fall Literary Festival attendees and presenters! Pick up your festival packet, enjoy a performance by the Tongue-in-Groove Band and poets, and open mic, and the start of a great conference. Free and open to the public.


The Tongue-in-Groove Band of Cleveland features Al Moses on guitar, Nick Marino on bass, Michelle Clark on Percussion, Nancy Redd-McNiece on flute and vocals, Ray McNiece on rhythm guitar and vocals, with poets Michael Loderstedt, Diana Lueptow and Raja Belle Freeman.

After the opening, the band will accompany open mic readers.


Tongue in Groove playing music

October 18

Welcome! Pre-registered attendees only (no walk-ins, please).

For registration and information click here.


Friday 8:30am-9:00am

Presenter book drop off, registration 

Friday 9:00am

Welcome & announcements, Director Karen Schubert 

McDonough Museum of Art lower level

Friday 9:00am-4:00pm

Bookfair open

Friday Session 1 9:15am-10:30am

Creative Reading

Richard Klin, Mandy Shunnarah, Robert Walicki, Connor Watkins-Xu


Richard Klin: Speak, Memory: Rendering a Place and Time into Fiction

How does one re-create a time and place in fiction? How much is real and how much is not?

Mandy Shunnarah: Reading a suite of Palestinian poems

A poetry reading by Mandy Shunnarah, a Palestinian writer. Poem topics will span Palestine, nature, current events, family, and more.

Robert Walicki: Poetry of the Working Class

Poetry Reading from the voice of blue collar working class poetry inspired from the traditions of Whitman and Levine. This is poetry for the people.

Connor Watkins-Xu will will read from his manuscript Missing You, which covers topics of mental illness, familial trauma, faith, longing, and reconciling his relationship with the South.

Jewish Poets' Responses to Israel-Hamas War

Valerie Bacharach, Charlene Fix, Philip Terman & Arlene Weiner

Facilitator Jonie McIntire

The Israel-Hamas war: a horrifying tragedy. Jews are commanded to heal the world. The theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel claimed “that one cannot remain uninvolved in political action.” As Jewish poets, how do we respond to the conflict and reflect Tikkun Olam in light of the seemingly endless Jewish-Palestinian conflict?

Reading the Natural World

Bob Craven, Abigail Macher & Zoe Rowland

Emerging Fauna: Animals Across Genres

Shanhuan Manton, Kailyn McCord, AJ Strosahl & Maria Williams


Reading the Natural World

Undergraduate creative writers of Westminster College, along with their writing workshop instructor, share their nature and environmental writings in various genres.

Emerging Fauna: Animals Across Genres

Animals pervade literature as voyeurs, witnesses, harbingers, foils, best friends and more. During lockdown, they emerged from wilderness, coming to light. People were astonished. This panel discusses interspecies relations and animals across genres in contemporary literature, exploring how to ethically summon them and their power into our work.


From Beginning to Award-Winning: Creating a Community Magazine

Andrea Iglar


From Beginning to Award-Winning: Creating a Community Magazine

Journalism is creative, too! Learn how an English graduate created and launched an award-winning community magazine, developed an innovative funding program and garnered 17 regional, national and international awards in nine years. You'll have opportunities to ask questions about starting your own publication and producing your own creative journalism.

American Sentences: An Exercise in the Concise

El Bentivegna


Allen Ginsberg, inspired by the Japanese haiku, conceived the idea of the "American sentence": a seventeen-syllable sentence capturing a single moment or concept. In this workshop we will study some American Sentences from Ginsberg and others, as well as generate some of our own.

The Eintou: Pearls of Resistance

Leslie McIntosh


Black poetic forms carve beauty from resistance. This workshop will explain a very little-known poetic form born from the image of a pearl. In this hour-long session, we will dive into jagged, sharp questions to plume our lived experiences, and craft tiny, beautiful, dangerous poems.

Friday Session 2 10:45am-noon

Creative Reading

Jen Knox, Marjorie Maddox, Shoma Webster, Scott Woods


Jen Knox will read from Chaos Magic (Kallisto Gaia Press, 2024).


Poems that Teach: A Creative Reading

Interested in teaching subject matter through poetry? Marjorie Maddox will read from and discuss 3 books inspired by teaching at the university, elementary, and secondary levels. The selected poems will respond to literature and teaching, will include a lighthearted series on spelling mnemonics/grammar, and will playfully define poetic terms.


Shoma Webster: Lost Voices: Hidden in America, is a collection of poems, which explores themes of identity and belonging from the perspective of a child immigrating to the United States. The poems highlight the complexities and consequences of forced assimilation and its impact on one’s sense of self.

Speaking in Tongues: Poet Scott Woods

A reading of original poems, both published and from a forthcoming collection.



Rachel Swearingen


Light Enters the Grove: Exploring Cuyahoga Valley National Park Through Poetry

Carrie George, Jason Harris & Charles Malone

Poetry as a Tool for Environmental Advocacy

Jeremy Jusek, Ray McNiece, Susann Moeller & Rikki Santer


Light Enters the Grove: Exploring Cuyahoga Valley National Park Through Poetry

Join us in celebrating the launch of this new anthology. Editors and contributors read poems from the collection and discuss the process and importance poetic inventories and literary field guides.

Poetry as a Tool for Environmental Advocacy

Contributing poets to the new Anthology Open Earth III (February 2024) will discuss different approaches to eco-poetics and their translation into poems. Via examples by the poet panelists, we will distinguish nature poetry from ecological poetry, consider “intent” and conclude with the communal input on the four main characteristics that identify eco poetry.

The Art of the Author Interview: Prepare to Be the Interviewer or the Interviewee

Jody DiPerna

Facilitator Rod Martinez

If you are an author, you will likely being doing interviews to promote your work. Many writers are called upon to interview other writers. What are good questions to ask? What makes a good interview? What are the best approaches for an author who is being interviewed?


“I felt a Funeral, in my Brain”: Writing Migraine

Therese Gleason, Maria Picone, & Sarah M. Sala

Lines of the Body: Disability Poetics

Jim Ferris & Katie Hartsock


“I felt a Funeral, in my Brain”: Writing Migraine

In the throes of a severe migraine, language is elusive. Yet, as Emily Dickinson noted, “After great pain, a formal feeling comes –.” Three poets with chronic migraine share their hybrid, visual, and formally experimental work about living with this neurological disease and its attendant ‘aura’ of (gendered) misconceptions.


Lines of the Body: Disability Poetics

How can the limits of a body, and bodies with limits, create possibility for poetic expression? How might a poem’s form echo distinct physicalities, for its author and its readers? We will discuss central elements of disability poetics, closely read some poems, and give audience members a writing prompt.

Beyond Caricature: Persona Poetry as Communal Act

Sara Moore Wagner & Sarah Ann Winn


In this workshop, Sara Moore Wagner and Sarah Ann Winn will discuss the art and ethics of persona poetry. Using examples from their own recent manuscripts which focus on women from history, pop culture, and fiction, they will offer a craft discussion followed by generative persona-based prompts.



Friday Session 3 1:15pm-2:30pm


Writing Ekphrasis

Ama Codjoe


Real Talk: Intergenerational Dialogue in Literature

Lyndsey Ellis

Picking the Lock: Exploring Diaries and How they Inform Creative Practice

Nora Hickey

Facilitator Mandy Shunnarah

Real Talk: Intergenerational Dialogue in Literature

Each generation has its own slang, attitudes and belief systems stemming from values specific to our age groups. Exploring these differences helps us understand ourselves and each other as our life experiences intersect. Learn how we, as writers, can capture nuances in the conversations of cross-generational settings in our stories.

Picking the Lock: Exploring Diaries and How they Inform Creative Practice

The diaries of Frida Kahlo and Sylvia Plath give us a glimpse into their creative minds--or do they? This panel explores the diary form through looking at examples with an eye to audience, ethics, and more. And, we will also consider what the chronological and introspective genre offers creators themselves.


In Celebration of Broadstone Books

Valerie Bacharach, Philip Brady, Charlene Fix, David Swerdlow & Philip Terman


Broadstone Books of Frankfort, KY has been doing a fabulous job publishing poetry since 2003, with many of its writers based in Ohio and Pennsylvania. This reading highlights Broadstone's commitment, enthusiasm, and personal touch with a poetry reading featuring 5 of its authors.


Constructing the Dead: The Poetics of Learned Inheritance

Jessica Cuello, Ellen Kombiyil, Philip Metres & Jane Springer

The Body Politic

Molly Fuller, Nicole Robinson & Kelley Shinn


Constructing the Dead: The Poetics of Learned Inheritance

How do past generations manifest in our present lives? What can we discover from the joys and the harm of our ancestors’ lived experience? In this panel poets will discuss poems that cross boundaries of time, to look at taboos and silences passed down through matrilineal lineage and grapple with domestic violence, poverty, the repression of female experience and voice. The panel will draw on cultural inheritances from the American South, Lebanon, France, and the American working poor to center poetry as a vehicle for palimpsest and the challenges of memory, accuracy, and combining fragments to reassemble “truth.”

Using the Restrictions of Form to Release Creativity

Cathy Barber


This generative workshop will cover at least two poetic forms: abecedarian and golden shovel. We will learn to use form as a way to spark the imagination and to take our poems in surprising directions.

How to Write a Rock-Solid Query Letter

Ann Howley

There is Life Outside of the Big Five; Publishing With Small & Academic Presses

Joe Ann Hart

Facilitator Marie Vibbert

How to Write a Rock-Solid Query Letter

A good query letter is a writer’s secret weapon to attract interest from agents, editors, and publishers. Who needs to write a query letter? What information should it contain? In this workshop, writers will review samples of successful query letters, discuss querying etiquette, and brainstorm their own projects and ideas.

There is Life Outside of the Big Five; Publishing With Small & Academic Presses

Agents often stop shopping a manuscript once it’s been passed over by the Big Five, but that doesn’t mean it’s over for that book or your writing life. Author JoeAnn Hart will share her experience with presses of all sizes and share how you can find the right press too.

Stronger When We Touch: Writing Together/Cathy Cultice Lentes & Wendy McVicker

Cathy Cultice Lentes & Wendy McVicker

Facilitator Bonnie Proudfoot

In this workshop, we will offer examples of poetry of connection in which two writers or more work together to create something larger than what each could accomplish singly. Participants will explore ways of writing collaboratively to push beyond the boundaries of traditional forms and expand their own creative practice.


Friday Session 4 2:45pm-4:00pm

Tour of the Butler Institute of American Art


Termed “America’s Museum,” the Butler Institute is devoted to celebrating America’s visual arts heritage. Founded in 1919, the Butler is one of the earliest museums dedicated exclusively to collecting, exhibiting, and preserving the art of America’s past, present, and future. The Butler’s collection is one of America’s treasures and is known and admired throughout the world.

Meditate, Move, and Create

Christina Rau


On a chair or on a mat, you can join in for a session of meditation, yoga, and writing. Breathe and move to settle your thoughts and find some inspiration. Then pick up a pen and write. Open to all levels, including first-time writers, meditators, and yoga practitioners. Simply listening is also an option. Participants need a notebook and pen and may use a yoga mat if they are practicing on the floor.

** Any physical activity involves a risk of injury. Participants in any physical activity should always have medical clearance.

Writing in the Slipstream between Literary Genres

Sarah Carson, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Cynthia Marie Hoffman & Jennifer Sutherland


This panel will engage work that crosses or swims in the slipstream between literary genres. The participants have all written prose poems or prose work that also merges into essay and memoir. Participants will perform, then open a dialogue on the process of writing work that challenges formal boundaries between poetry and prose.

The Pamela Papers: The Musical by Nancy McCabe

Performed by Kim Chinquee, Damian Dressick, Lisa Ferranti, Christina Fisaneck, Sarah Freligh, Lori Jakiela, Nancy McCabe, Barbara Sabol, Mary Slechta & Karen Weyant


A performance of an excerpt of Nancy McCabe’s short comic novel The Pamela Papers: A Mostly E-pistolary Story of Academic Pandemic Pandemonium (Outpost 19), followed by discussion about the tradition of workplace satire and the value of collaborative work.

In Conversation: Ama Codjoe & Hanif Abdurraqib


Creative Reading

Casey Bell & Stacy Gnall, Lee Ann Roripaugh


Trusty as the Stars: A Reading by Casey Bell & Stacy Gnall

Stacy Gnall will read from a section of her third book project Little Fury (2022), that uses the concept of nonexistent constellations as a framing device. Casey Bell will share excerpts from A Constellation of Holy Moments, a section of her novel-in-progress that consists of vignettes recalling pivotal, life-determining experiences from the lives of the two protagonists.

Lee Ann Roripaugh: A Reading from Reveal Codes (Short Stories, Moon City Press, 2023- 2022 Moon City Press Short Fiction Award Winner)

Reveal Codes is a collection of short stories mapping how people, and other animals, read and misread, communicate and miscommunicate, mask and unmask with and around one another. In the abandonware word processing program, WordPerfect, “reveal codes” is the command revealing the coding behind the face of a document.



Form and Froth: The Practice and Publishing of Literary Translation

Lee Harlin Bahan & Daniel Bourne

Do You Even Write, Bruh?: Literary Sports Writing

Mandy Shunnarah


Form and Froth: The Practice and Publishing of Literary Translation

Translators Daniel Bourne (from Polish) and Lee Harlin Bahan (from Italian) plan to explore a number of translation complexities, including retaining as well as rediscovering the original poem, political/cultural pressures, and translating not just across language borders but also through time. The panel will also address more practical matters, ranging from copyright issues to finding publishers interested in global writing.

Do You Even Write, Bruh?: Literary Sports Writing

From roller skating to powerlifting and soccer to trail running, sports capture the imagination of spectators and participants. But often sports are excluded from literary writing. Capture sights, sounds, smells, and feelings of physical movement for creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.

Constructing a "Peoples' MFA"

Richard Hague & Dick Westheimer

Late to the Table: The pleasures and challenges of “emerging” as a poet in your 40s and beyond

Therese Gleason, Jean Harper & Elizabeth Sylvia


Constructing a "Peoples' MFA"

Two friends, zero fine arts degrees, one a poet writing and widely published for fifty years, one just beginning his poetry journey, convene a “people’s academy” with several others to explore poems, poetics, and now and then their own poems every week for three years. Poems appear.

Late to the Table: The pleasures and challenges of “emerging” as a poet in your 40s and beyond

Presenters will share stories of coming to poetry later in life, discuss the challenges and joys of balancing a creative practice with other life responsibilities, reflect on their experiences in publishing, and offer suggestions for building and maintaining community and hope in an environment that often seems to prioritize youth.

Friday 4:15

The Craig Paulenich Endowed Lecture on Literary Community

Philip Metres


Friday 7:00 St. John's Episcopal Church

Free and Open to the Public

Keynote Reading by Hanif Abdurraqib


ASL Interpretation by Meagan Albani

Hanif Abdurraqib reads from his new highly acclaimed book There's Always This Year: on Basketball and Ascension


October 21

Welcome! Pre-registered attendees only (no walk-ins, please).

Saturday 9:00am

Welcome & announcements, Director Karen Schubert

Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm

Bookfair open


Saturday Session 1 9:15am-10:30am

Writing The Ekphrastic

Bonnie Jill Emanuel


When we engage with art created by someone else, the psyche is freer to roam into difficult territory. In this workshop, participants will explore famous paintings and try their hand at a poetic response, digging deep in a safe space to discover what is called forth from within.


Social Justice Poetry Workshop

Debbie Allen & Patricia Thrushart


The PARH USA Social Justice Poetry Workshop includes descriptions and definitions of social justice poetry, an exploration of the two primary perspectives from which poets enter social justice writing, effects of social justice poems, and a set of activities that can be used to generate a well-thought-out social justice poem.


Persona, Erasure, Epistle: Summoning Ancestors Through Poetic Forms
Therese Gleason, Jean Harper, Carolyn Oliver & Elizabeth Sylvia

Facilitator  Ellen Kombiyil

Beginning with memory, family history or a feeling of artistic sympathy, write poems through and to family or chosen ancestors. Program organizers will share their own work reclaiming historical voices and inspiring model poems before working with participants to generate new work in these exciting forms.


Writing Alone, with Friends: The Role of Supportive Community when Writing about Difficult Topics

Jen Ashburn, Valerie Bacharach, Daniela Buccilli, Elisabeth Crago & Laurel Szymkowiak



The gift of one another’s presence in the solitary pursuit of writing can inspire, validate, and encourage, especially when addressing tough topics such as grief, loss, and difficult family relationships. Five writers share how they’ve supported each other in this endeavor and offer practical tips for writing the hard truths.


Creative Reading

David Cazden, Jim Ferris, Paula J. Lambert, Mary Slechta


25 Years Of Poetry: David Cazden will read from two books and a manuscript.

Jim Ferris: Humans see faces all kinds of places—the man in the moon for example. We also tend to take many things at face value, like disability and race. Face Value is a poetry performance exploring one family’s history, racial and disability identity, and the lattice of assumptions making up cultural identification.

As If This Did Not Happen Every Day moves forward from the mostly-bird-oriented poems of Paula J. Lambert, focusing now on fish, whales, turtles, snakes, and so on, to tell a story largely of the feminine. Often victimized, in all kinds of ways—overwhelmed, hunted, and displaced—salvation, if it is to be had, is not in mimicking the patriarchal, searching for some kind of dominance. Grace lies within the larger, divine concept of a collective feminine.

Mary McLaughlin Slechta brings magical realism and U.S. history to bear on the community of Mulberry Street— an African-American neighborhood with a disputed past. Variously featuring the area’s residents, Mulberry Street Stories uphold the perseverance of hope despite intergenerational trauma and demonstrate the interconnection of human lives throughout time.

How Black Women Writers are Creating a Table for Themselves

Janay Hardan, Nicki Jay, Lorraine Rice & Jaha Zainabu



How Black Women Writers are Creating a Table for Themselves is a theme we feel will engage and enlighten an audience of writers This subject resonated with us in the way it encompasses our work, creativity, and vast range of writing experience. It is how our art is informed and expressed through womanhood, culture, social class, and outside factors of marginalization.

Saturday Session 2 10:45am-noon

The Feng Shui of Flash: How to Fit Big Stories in Very Small Spaces

Kim Chinquee, Tommy Dean, Damian Dressick & Sarah Freligh


Four experienced writers of very short stories will discuss how they maximize story using a minimum of words. They’ll share their own work and the work of others with an eye toward aspects of craft such as plot and structure, character development, setting, point of view and the poetry of prose. Open to writers of all genres!


Creative Reading

Lori Jakiela, Rebecca Ruark, Rikki Santer, Kelley Shinn

Facilitator Susan McKenzie

Lori Jakiela: A reading from They Write Your Name on a Grain of Rice: On Cancer, Love, and Living Even So (Atticus Books, Fall 2023), with a discussion about how to find humor in trauma, the fragmented/braided essay form, and how waiting for a diagnosis about a disease that may kill you can lead to an examination of the luminous tiny moments that make up a life.

Rebecca Moon Ruark is a writer and fledgling poet interested in the exploration of place, specifically the Rust Belt. Blogging as Rust Belt Girl, Rebecca connects with readers and writers in the region and beyond. Her creative reading will feature writing from her blog and the resulting, "finished" piece.

2023 Ohio Poet of the Year, Rikki Santer will read from her award-winning poetry collection, Resurrection Letter: Leonora, Her Tarot, and Me, a rich homage to the vision and joy of surrealist painter, Leonora Carrington, which will be accompanied by a powerpoint presentation featuring images of Carrington along with her artwork.

On Air: WPSU’s 2023-2024 season of Poetry Moment

David Bauman, Jason Irwin, Dawn Leas, Marjorie Maddox, Ron Mohring, John Repp, Barbara Sabol, Judith Sornberger, Anne Dyer Stuart, David Swerdlow, Camille-Yvette Welsch & Gabe Welsch


Come listen as we travel through the months with Poetry Moment, WPSU’s weekly radio program. This 60-minute session will include in-person readings by 11 of the Pennsylvania poets showcased during the 2023-2024 season, alongside brief commentary by radio host Marjorie Maddox. Preparation, process, and community response also will be discussed.


Writing the Unsayable

Molly Fuller, Angie Mazakis & Robert Miltner

Writing Naked: Vulnerability and Power in Confessional Poetry

Connor Watkins-Xu

Addressing the Inner Critic

Jen Knox



Writing the Unsayable

Craft pieces that speak to contemporary issues that feel “unsayable” (climate catastrophe, displacement, violence), yet need to be said. Moderators will focus on human and planetary bodies, on human perception and imagination, and documentary eco-poetics.  

Writing Naked: Vulnerability and Power in Confessional Poetry

Despite writers often coming to the craft because they have difficult stories to tell, there's still a stigma surrounding being too emotional, sentimental, or direct in our work. This panel explores the power of vulnerability and risk in confessional poetry, seeking to destigmatize poetry that may be labeled "too personal."

Addressing the Inner Critic

As a group, we will explore the concept of the inner critic and use it as a tool, rather than a barrier, to move forward with our writing. By redefining our relationship with the inner critic, we can find more authenticity and joy in the writing process.


Let's Dig In: Revision Strategies for Poetry that Sings

Georgia Popoff


So many feel revision is a necessary task rather than the place where a writer truly displays their craft. We will break down the revision process to a series of tried-&-true steps that not only take poems to higher reaches but make revision joyous work rather than drudgery.

A Haunted Landscape: Interrogating Northern Appalachia Horror

Michael Dittman

Rebecca Harding Davis and the Northern Appalachian Roots of Literary Realism

Christina Fisanick



A Haunted Landscape: Interrogating Northern Appalachia Horror

The presentation examines Northern Appalachia horror literature, blending eerie landscapes, folklore, and socio-economic themes with supernatural horror. Northern Appalachia harbors a rich cultural heritage reflected in ghost stories and legends. This literature reflects societal anxieties, cultural tensions, and environmental concerns unique to the region, fostering appreciation for Appalachian literary heritage.

Rebecca Harding Davis and the Northern Appalachian Roots of Literary Realism

In 1861 Rebecca Harding Davis’ novella, Life in the Iron Mills, punched the country in the emotional gut with its gritty tale of hardship and woe at the beginning of America’s industrial revolution. Despite her work being rediscovered in the 1970s, Harding Davis is often excluded or diminished in the conversation about American literary realism. Reclaiming her rightful place in that canon expands our understanding of the movement and makes way for connections between her work and the many northern Appalachian literary realists who follow.


​Saturday Session 3 1:00pm-2:15pm


Teaching "Dark Academia": the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Laura Evers & Adrienne Raphel

The Poetics of Play

Amie Souza Reilly

Creating Hybrid Spaces on the Page & in the Classroom

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach


Teaching "Dark Academia": the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Incorporate the subculture "dark academia" into the classroom: from reviewing Donna Tartt's foundational novel The Secret History to wrestling with dark academia's more sexist and racist origins, participants will be encouraged to critically reflect on their own pedagogical relationship with academia, intellectualism, and the pursuit of knowledge.

The Poetics of Play

The creative writing classroom should be a place of fearless curiosity. By incorporating play into our creative writing classrooms, we can (re)kindle inquisitiveness while encouraging creative risk-taking. In this panel, we will discuss the writing process as it relates to play and put this theory into practice.

Creating Hybrid Spaces on the Page & in the Classroom

A professor and her undergraduate students discuss the way the lyric impulse has helped them create a hybrid space on the page and in the classroom by sharing their creative work, approaches to craft across poetry and creative nonfiction.


In Conversation

Rachel Swearingen & Rebecca Ruark


In the Tempered Dark: Contemporary Poets Transcending Elegy

Ruth Awad, George David Clark, Lisa Fay Coutley, Jessica Cuello, Oliver de la Paz, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Ariel Francisco, Didi Jackson & Leslie McIntosh

Facilitator Marjorie Maddox

Ten contributing poets from the recently released grief anthology, In the Tempered Dark, will each read from their included poems and discuss their poems’ accompanying microessays (exploring the relationship between their unique content and form). The anthology features a wide range of living poets, types of grief, poems, and micros.

Writing for Middle Grade: Insights from 2024 Debuts

Rosalyn Ransaw & Joan Reardon

Capturing Middle Grade Voice

Rod Martinez


Writing for Middle Grade: Insights from 2024 Debuts

These middle grade authors debuting with Big Five publishers in 2024 will discuss their publishing journeys, writing for middle grade, etc.

Capturing Middle Grade Voice

Capturing the voice of a young protagonist isn't as hard as we make it. Rod Martinez's choice to work in middle grade stems from being that parent who hung with kids a lot--naturally grasping the middle grade voice was inevitable. In his presentation Rod will walk you back in time to your childhood and pull out the voice you need to write a convincing young hero, heroine or antagonist.

Publish or Perish

Tobias Carroll

Writing Career: A Practical Toolkit

Maria Picone


Publish or Perish

What are literary journal editors and readers looking for? Tobias Carroll, managing editor of the literary website Vol. 1 Brooklyn, will offer a guide to what makes a memorable story, what not to send editors, and the best practices when sending your work in for consideration. Learn tips and tools for making a good first impression.

Writing Career: A Practical Toolkit

How do we support our creative writing? This workshop demystifies the toolkit writers need to apply for opportunities like publication, residencies, workshops, and grants. We’ll craft an artist statement and bio and discuss our online presence. Come with questions; leave with inspiration to put yourself out there in the world!

Community College Stakeholders' Caucus

Facilitator Ralph Pennel

Saturday Session 4 2:30pm-3:45pm

Small Press Editors' Panel

Sara Moore Wagner


The managing poetry editor of Driftwood Press and other editors on what small presses are looking for, how the publishing process works, and considerations of the contemporary small press landscape.


Creative Reading

Kim Chinquee, Darren Demaree, Sarah Freligh, Charles Kell


Kim Chinquee reads from the forthcoming novella in flash fictions, I THOUGHT OF ENGLAND, and other selected flash fictions.

Darren Demaree reads from his 21st collection, in defense of the goat that continues to wander towards the certain doom of the cliff.

Sarah Freligh reads very short fiction.

In Charles Kell's two full-length collections, Cage of Lit Glass (chosen by Kimiko Hahn for the 2018 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize) and Ishmael Mask (Autumn House Press 2023), engagement with the Midwest plays a critical role in constructing an ekphrastic and intertextual poetics that deals with substance abuse and incarceration.



Hanif Abdurraqib

Facilitator Maria Picone

Engaging Reluctant Readers: A Roundtable Discussion of Strategies and Pedagogy

Katie Passerotti


In this roundtable discussion, we’ll exchange ideas and explore strategies to help resistant readers find joy in reading, whether it's through offering a variety of books or finding meaningful ways for students to interact with and relate to the text. The focus will be on 8-12 grade students.

The Poems Already in Your Pockets

Katie Hartsock & T Hetzel


How can image and text echo each other? In this workshop, participants will work with images they already have—from photos in their phones to random materials in their bags—to create first drafts constellating language and art. We’ll explore ekphrasis, juxtaposition, and guiding your readers outside frames and lines.

Community College Student Literary Magazine Editors' Panel

Facilitator Ralph Pennel

Saturday Session 5   4:00pm-5:15pm

Tiny Day: Finding Awe

Nancy Krygowski & Jane McCafferty

Facilitator Jen Ashburn

How can writers focus on creative work while the world crumbles? One solution is Tiny Day, a miniature newspaper reporting on what often goes overlooked. In this workshop, we’ll talk about how writing for TDY aids our creative work and keeps us sane. Come learn to write a tiny news story, then submit it!

Odes to Where We Live

Ellen Austin-Li, Sandra Rivers Gill, Marjorie Maddox, Jessica Manack, Betsy Mars, Jonie McIntire, Wendy McVicker, Bonnie Proudfoot, Barbara Sabol & Shei Sanchez


This reading looks at place and how it is braided into the personal voice, how it becomes a part of the larger tapestry of culture and identity. The reading features poets whose work has appeared in the poetry journal Sheila-Na-Gig.

Containing Multitudes: Working with Large Casts of Characters

Holly M. Wendt

Three Sentences to Unlock Your Plot

Marie Vibbert

Plot and Structure: Two Sides of Coin

Joline ScottRoller


Containing Multitudes will guide participants through several mechanisms for creating and developing memorable characters for a large cast. Then we’ll use provided shells and resources to kickstart the process of character-building in a way that allows us to keep track of those characters in a writer-friendly and efficient way.

In Three Sentences to Unlock Your Plot, participants will use quick exercises to help identify the shape of a story's plot.

Even though writers tend to use the terms interchangeably, plot and structure are actually two different craft elements. This workshop focuses on working with the difference through story-dissection and in-class exercises.

From Pen to Pixel: Unveiling the Significance of Queries, Author Branding and Websites in Today's Literary Landscape

Emily Rusu


Uncover the art of author branding. Explore the role of websites as the canvas for showcasing your literary identity—whether querying, self-published, or with a book deal. Delve into the nuanced steps of crafting a compelling online presence, vital for marketing books and establishing your unique authorial persona. Emily Rusu shares insights on navigating the landscape and securing representation with InkWell Management, a top-tier New York literary agency.

Creative Reading

Daniel Bourne, Lisa Dordal, Charlene Fix, Philip Terman



Poems, like politics, can be local and global, personal and political. We see this interaction at work in these ruminations on place and the environment—our connections and disconnections to it—in Daniel Bourne’s collection of poetry, Talking Back to the Exterminator, published this Summer by Regal House.

Lisa Dordal: Against the backdrop of personal griefs—a mother’s alcoholism and eventual death; a father’s deepening dementia—the speaker in Water Lessons scrutinizes the patriarchal underpinnings of the world she grew up in as well as her complicity in systemic racism as a white girl growing up in the 70s.

Charlene Fix: Jewgirl's poems address the complex political and emotional legacy of coming of age as a Jew in American culture. The poems sing of family, history, and moral crisis in Palestinian suffering. Seared by numbers tattooed on survivors, inspired by social justice activism since WWII, the poems assert the imperative of never again for anyone.

Philip Terman: Before the Israel/Gaza War, I co-translated a poem by the Palestinian poet Nasser Rabah, who lives (?) in a refugee camp in Gaza. In December, on messenger, I inquired if we could translate poems he posted. The poems are extremely powerful. During this horrific time, Nasser and I continued our FB correspondence until Jan. 2, after which Nasser has not been heard from. The work is a hybrid essay focused on our correspondence, including poems, segments from my two trips to Israel, and our FB conversations-- two humans from opposite "political" sides (Palestinian, Jewish) deeply connecting through poetry.


Writing About Motherhood: A Poetry Workshop

Erin Hoover


Mythic and symbolic mothers have long inspired poetry, but what if we considered motherhood as a space for linguistic innovation? Inspired by poems by Olena Kalytiak Davis, Ananda Lima, and Tracy K. Smith, we’ll write into the mothering experience with attention to imagery, the speaker, and other craft elements.


7:00 Tyler History Center, free and open to the public

Reading by Ama Codjoe & Rachel Swearingen


ASL Interpretation by Meagan Albani

End the conference on a high note, as Ama Codjoe reads from her poetry collection Bluest Nude, and Rachel Swearingen  reads from her story collection How to Walk on Water and Other Stories.

2024 Presenters

Debbie Allen is a cofounder of Poets Against Racism & Hate USA. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has performed internationally, and her poetry has appeared in various journals and collections. She practices her craft where Wahzhazhe, Kaskaskahamwa, and Erielhonan lived. Much of Debbie’s poetry tends toward response to injustices.

Jen Ashburn is the author of the poetry collection The Light on the Wall and the recipient of the 2023 Lori White Nonfiction Fellowship. Her work has appeared in numerous venues, including The Fiddlehead and The Writer’s Almanac. She holds an MFA from Chatham University and lives in Pittsburgh.

Ellen Austin-Li’s poetry appears in Artemis, Thimble Literary, The Maine Review, Salamander, SWWIM, & many other places. Finishing Line Press published her chapbooks Firefly and Lockdown: Scenes From Early in the Pandemic. Ellen holds an MFA in Poetry from the Solstice Program. She lives in Cincinnati and hosts Poetry Night at Sitwell’s.

Ruth Awad is a Lebanese-American poet, 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellow, and the author of Outside the Joy and Set to Music a Wildfire. Her work appears in The Atlantic, Poetry, Poem-a-Day, AGNI, The Believer, New Republic, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere.  

Valerie Bacharach’s book Last Glimpse will be published by Broadstone Books. Her chapbook After/Life will be published by Finishing Line Press. Her poem "Birthday Portrait, Son" was selected for inclusion in 2023 Best Small Fictions. She has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes.

Lee Harlin Bahan has authored three collections of translations of Petrarch’s lyric poetry. A Year of Mourning was a special honoree for the 2016 Able Muse Book Award. Finishing Line Press published To Wrestle with the Angel in 2018. The forthcoming Advent and Lent also will bear the Able Muse Press imprint.


Cathy Barber’s poetry has been published in Slant, SLAB, The Hopper and has been anthologized many times. She is a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program and makes her home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, where she serves on the board of Literary Cleveland. She is the author of Aardvarks, Bloodhounds, Catfish, Dingoes (Dancing Girl Press, 2018) and Once: A Golden Shovel Collection (Kelsay Books, 2023).

David J. Bauman is the author of three chapbooks, including a collaboration with his son Micah James Bauman called Mapping the Valley (Seven Kitchens Press, 2021). David has poems in New Ohio Review, Crab Creek Review, and the MacGuffin.

Casey Bell's debut short story collection Little Fury is out with Metatron Press. She has an MFA from the University of Nevada, Reno. Her fiction appears in Sequestrum, Cream City Review, New South, The Boiler, Reed Magazine, The New Limestone Review and Timber. Casey is the co-director of Girls Rock Reno, a music camp for self-identified girls, trans and gender-expansive youth. Originally from Philadelphia, she teaches English at the University of Nevada, Reno and is the drummer and singer of the band Fine Motor.

El Bentivegna (they/them) is a candidate for the NEOMFA through Cleveland State University, and was a finalist for the 2023 Literary Cleveland Breakthrough Writing Residency. Their work has appeared in Slant, Enby Life, and Sunday Mornings at the River. El lives in Cleveland with their husband and five cats.

Daniel Bourne’s latest books include his third collection of poetry, Talking Back to the Exterminator (Regal House) and a collection of translations of Polish poet Bronislaw Maj, Extinction of the Holy City (Free Verse Editions.) He has lived in Poland several times, including on a Fulbright fellowship in 1985-1987.

Philip Brady’s newest book is The Elsewhere: Poems & Poetics (Broadstone, 2021). He is the author of two essay collections, Phantom Signs and By Heart from the University of Tennessee Press; a book-length poem, To Banquet with the Ethiopians, a memoir, To Prove My Blood, and three previous books of poetry. He is Executive Director of Etruscan Press.

Daniela Buccilli (Carlow, ‘19) has been published in Paterson Literary Review, Cimarron Review, and Northern Appalachia Review. Her chapbook is What it Takes to Carry, and her co-edited anthology is Show Us Your Papers (both from Main Street Rag). She teaches high school and serves as her union’s secretary.

Tobias Carroll is the author of five books, most recently the novel In the Sight. He is the managing editor of Vol. 1 Brooklyn and writes a monthly column for Words Without Borders.

Sarah Carson is the author of several poetry collections, including How to Baptize a Child in Flint, Michigan (2022), winner of the 2021 Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award from Persea Books. She is currently at work on a memoir about single motherhood, work and the rules that govern the universe.

David Cazden is former Poetry Editor of Miller's Pond Magazine, with poems published in The New Republic, Passages North, Verse Daily, Rattle, Crab Creek Review, The Connecticut Review and elsewhere. He was a finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry from Nimrod International.

Kim Chinquee is the author of eight books, most recently her novel PIPETTE. She's the recipient of three Pushcart Prizes, associate editor of MIDWEST REVIEW, senior editor of NEW WORLD WRITING QUARTERLY, chief editor of ELJ (ELM LEAVES JOURNAL), and she co-directs the writing major at SUNY-Buffalo State University.

George David Clark is the author Reveille (Arkansas) and Newly Not Eternal (LSU) and his recent poems appear in Agni, The Believer, Georgia Review, Southern Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. Editor of 32 Poems and an associate professor at Washington & Jefferson College, he lives in Canonsburg, PA.

Lisa Fay Coutley is the author of HOST, tether, Errata, In the Carnival of Breathing, and Small Girl. She is editor of the anthology In the Tempered Dark. She's received an NEA fellowship and is Associate Professor of Poetry & CNF in the Writer's Workshop at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Pittsburgh writer Elisabeth Crago’s (Carlow ’17) work appears in Voices from the Attic, vols 21, 22 and 24, Eye to the Telescope, Shot Glass Journal, Dreamer’s Creative Writing, and One Art Poetry.

Bob Craven is a poet, musician, and educator from Western Pennsylvania. He studied at Duquesne University (M.A.) and the University of Oregon (Ph.D.) and serves as Assistant Professor of English at Westminster College (New Wilmington, Pennsylvania).

Jessica Cuello’s most recent book is Yours, Creature (JackLeg Press, 2023). Her book Liar, selected by Dorianne Laux for The 2020 Barrow Street Book Prize, was honored with The Eugene Nassar Prize and The CNY Book Award. Cuello is poetry editor at Tahoma Literary Review and teaches French in Central New York.

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently 40 Weeks (YesYes Books, 2023). Her work has appeared in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, and Ploughshares. Awards include Hunger Mountain's Poetry Prize and Michigan Quarterly Review's Nonfiction Prize. She is Assistant Professor of English at Denison University.

Oliver de la Paz is the author and editor of seven collections, most recently The Diaspora Sonnets (Liveright Press, 2023). His work has received numerous awards, including an NEA fellowship and several Pushcart Prizes. He teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the Low-Res MFA at PLU.

Tommy Dean is the author of two flash fiction chapbooks and a full flash collection, Hollows (Alternating Current Press 2022). He is the Editor of Fractured Lit and Uncharted Magazine. His writing can be found in Best Microfiction 2019, 2020, 2023, Best Small Fictions 2019 and 2022, Harpur Palate, and elsewhere.,  @TommyDeanWriter.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of twenty-one poetry collections, most recently in defense of the goat as it continues to wander towards the certain doom of the cliff, (April Gloaming, 2024). He is the recipient of a Greater Columbus Arts Council Grant, an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press, and the Nancy Drew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Best of the Net Anthology and the Managing Editor of Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently working in the Columbus Metropolitan Library system.

Jody DiPerna is an award-winning journalist. For more than a decade, she has covered books and writing with a specific focus on the Pittsburgh region, the Rust Belt and Northern Appalachia. She is one of the founders of the Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism and is an editor at Reckon Review.

Michael Dittman is a professor of English living and writing near Pittsburgh, surrounded by the palimpsest of the Appalachian Rust Belt. His most recent novel is Who Holds the Devil. He is also the author of Jack Kerouac: A Biography; Masterpieces of the Beat Generation; and Small Brutal Incidents.

Lisa Dordal teaches poetry at Vanderbilt University and is the author of Mosaic of the Dark, a finalist for the 2019 Audre Lorde Award; Water Lessons, which was listed by Lambda Literary as one of their most anticipated books for 2022; and Next Time You Come Home (2023).

Sean Thomas Dougherty’s twenty books include Death Prefers the Minor Keys (2023 BOA Editions) and The Dead Are Everywhere Telling Us Things, winner of the 2021 Jacar Press Full Length book contest. He works as a Medtech and caregiver for folks with traumatic brain injuries.

Damian Dressick is the author of the novel 40 Patchtown (Bottom Dog Press: Appalachian Writing Series, 2020) and the short story collection Fables of the Deconstruction (CLASH Books 2021). His creative work has appeared in W.W. Norton’s New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, Cutbank, Post Road, New Orleans Review and Smokelong Quarterly. A Blue Mountain Residency Fellow, he is the winner of the Harriette Arnow Award and the Jesse Stuart Prize.

Lyndsey Ellis is a writer, teaching artist and community organizer who is passionate about exploring regional history and intergenerational experiences. Her work appears in Kweli Journal, Narratively, Shondaland, Catapult, The Rumpus, Literary Hub, Electric Literature and several anthologies. Her debut novel, Bone Broth (Hidden Timber Books), was published in 2021.

Bonnie Jill Emanuel is the author of GLITTER CITY, which released in early 2024. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, Mid-American Review, and other fine publications. Born in Detroit, she now lives in New York.

Laura Evers (she/her) is an instructor and PhD candidate in English and American Literature living in the Midwest. She serves as an Associate Editor for RHINO, a poetry journal based in Chicago. She has received support from the Indiana University Writers' Conference. Her most recent work can be found in The Georgia Review, and she is a proud member of Literary Cleveland.

Jim Ferris is author of Slouching Towards Guantanamo, Facts of Life, and The Hospital Poems. Past president of Society for Disability Studies and Disabled & D/deaf Writers Caucus, Ferris was Poet Laureate of Lucas County, Ohio 2015-2019. He holds the Ability Center Endowed Chair in Disability Studies at UToledo.

Christina Fisanick is the author or editor of more than 30 books, including the memoir, The Optimistic Food Addict (MSI, 2016), and Digital Storytelling as Public History (Routledge, 2020), co-written with Robert Stakeley. Her poetry, essays, and articles have appeared in Still: The Journal, the Journal of Appalachian Studies, the North Meridian Review and others. She is president of the Writers Association of Northern Appalachia (WANA) and a professor of English, and is passionate about the history of her hometown, Wheeling, WV.

Charlene Fix writes poems: Jewgirl (Broadstone 2023), Taking a Walk in My Animal Hat (Bottom Dog 2018), Frankenstein’s Flowers (CW 2014), and Flowering Bruno (XOXOX 2006), also prose: Harpo Marx as Trickster (McFarland 2013). She is Emeritus Professor of Columbus College of Art and Design and Hospital Poets co-coordinator at OSU. Charlene has three kids, two grandchildren.

Ariel Francisco is the author of the forthcoming All the Places We Love Have Been Left in Ruins (Burrow Press, 2024) and translator of Haitian-Dominican poet Jacques Viau Renaud’s Poet of One Island (Get Fresh Books, 2024). He is Assistant Professor of Poetry and Hispanic Studies at Louisiana State University.

Raja Belle Freeman is a performance poet and visual artist. She is a teaching artist with Lake Erie Ink, and a member of the board of directors of South Euclid’s community development corporation One South Euclid. She graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in Creative Writing and Black Studies. Recently she completed an artist residency with Akron Soul Train for which she created a gallery experience that incorporated her visual art and poetry.

Sarah Freligh is the author of five books, including Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis, and the recently-published A Brief Natural History of Women from Harbor Editions. Recent work has appeared in anthologies New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction (Norton 2018) and Best Microfiction (2019-22). Among her awards are poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Saltonstall Foundation

Molly Fuller is the author of the full-length collections For Girls Forged by Lightning: Prose & Other Poems (All Nations Press) and Always a Body (Cornerstone Press), as well as two chapbooks. She is the winner of the Gris-Gris Literary Journal Summer Poetry Contest. Her work has appeared in Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence, New Poetry from the Midwest, 100 Word Story, and Bellingham Review. Fuller is the recipient of Artist Residencies from Wassaic Project and Vermont Studio Center.

Carrie George is a poet and teacher living in Akron, Ohio. She received her MFA from Kent State University and the Northeast Ohio MFA program. She is the manager at Elizabeth’s Bookshop & Writing Centre. Her work has appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, The Florida Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Indianapolis Review, and elsewhere.

Sandra Rivers-Gill is a teaching artist, mentor and an award-winning poet featured in numerous journals and anthologies. Her writing is often influenced by family, culture, and social injustice. Her debut chapbook As We Cover Ourselves With Light was published by Sheila-Na-Gig Editions (2023).

Therese Gleason is author of three chapbooks: Hemicrania (Chestnut Review, 2024); Matrilineal (Finishing Line, 2021; Honorable Mention Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize, New England Poetry Club); and Libation (co-winner, South Carolina Poetry Initiative Competition, 2006). Her writing appears in 32 Poems, Indiana Review, New Ohio Review, Rattle, and elsewhere.

Stacy Gnall is author of poetry collections Dogged (winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry from The University of Massachusetts Press, 2022) and Heart First into the Forest (Alice James Books, 2011). Her work has appeared in Pleiades, Massachusetts Review, Bennington Review, and New American Writing. Gnall holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Southern California, and is a graduate of the University of Alabama’s MFA program in Creative Writing and Sarah Lawrence College. Originally from Cleveland, she is Poet-in-Residence at the University of Detroit Mercy.


Steubenville, Ohio, native Richard Hague’s work has appeared in Poetry, Smartish Pace, Appalachian Journal, Northern Appalachian Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Nowhere Magazine, Hiram Poetry Review, Nimrod, Mid-American Review, Ohio Magazine, and Creative Nonfiction, among others. He is author or editor of 23 volumes of prose and poetry.

Janay Harden, LCSW affectionately known as “The Story-Telling Therapist” is a millennial mental health therapist and author. She is the CEO of Restoring Your Destiny Counseling & Consulting, a mental health agency in New Jersey. Harden’s written and published five novels centered around melanin-rich characters navigating love, friendship, and family.

Jean Harper lives and teaches in the Midwest. Her work has appeared in The Florida Review, North American Review, Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Indiana Arts Commission, and residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Jason Harris is a Black American writer, editor, and teaching artist. He currently serves as editor-in-chief for Gordon Square Review. He has received fellowships from The Watering Hole and Twelve Literary Arts.

JoeAnn Hart is the author of the novel ARROYO CIRCLE, published by Green Writers Press in October 2024. Her other books include the prize-winning fiction collection HIGHWIRE ACT & OTHER TALES OF SURVIVAL, the true crime memoir, STAMFORD ’76 as well as the novels, FLOAT and ADDLED.

Katie Hartsock's second poetry collection Wolf Trees was listed as one of Kirkus Review's Best Indie Books of 2023. Her work has recently appeared in Threepenny Review, Oxford Poetry, Plume, Tupelo Quarterly, Image, and elsewhere. She teaches at Oakland University in Michigan.

T Hetzel is a poet, photobook and zine maker, and host of WCBN FM Ann Arbor’s Living Writers. She is a teaching professor at the University of Michigan, where she received her MFA in poetry.

Nora Hickey lives in Springfield, Ohio, where she is a librarian at Ridgewood School. She writes about comics with her colleague Amaris Ketcham at Autobiographix on Substack. Her poetry and nonfiction also appear in Guernica, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, Hyperallergic, and elsewhere.

Cynthia Marie Hoffman is the author of the OCD memoir in prose poems Exploding Head (Persea Books, 2024), as well as three previous collections of poetry: Call Me When You Want to Talk about the Tombstones (Persea Books, 2018), Paper Doll Fetus (Persea Books, 2014), and Sightseer (Persea Books, 2011). She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Erin Hoover is the author of two poetry collections, Barnburner (Elixir, 2018) and No Spare People (Black Lawrence, 2023). An assistant professor of English at Tennessee Tech University, Hoover also hosts Sawmill Poetry, an in-person monthly reading series.

Ann K. Howley's debut young adult novel, The Memory of Cotton, was a 2023 Next Generation Indie Book Award winner. She is also the author of the TAZ Award-winning memoir, Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad. She writes for Pittsburgh Parent Magazine and is an adjunct writing instructor.

Andrea Iglar is founder and executive editor of South Fayette Connect, the award-winning quarterly magazine of South Fayette Township near Pittsburgh. An honors graduate of Kent State University, Iglar holds bachelor’s degrees in English and psychology. She serves on the board of the National Association of Government Communicators.

Jason Irwin is the author of three poetry collections, most recently The History of Our Vagrancies (Main Street Rag, 2020). He was a 2022 Zoeglossia Fellow and took part of the Poetry Foundation’s Disability Poetics Project. He grew up in Dunkirk, New York and now lives in Pittsburgh.


Didi Jackson is the author of Moon Jar and the forthcoming collection My Infinity. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, Oxford American, Best American Poetry, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-day, and on The Slow Down with Tracy K. Smith. She teaches at Vanderbilt University.


Lori Jakiela is the author of seven books, including the memoir BELIEF IS ITS OWN KIND OF TRUTH, MAYBE (Atticus Books/Autumn House), which received the Saroyan Prize for International Writing from Stanford University. Her latest book, THEY WRITE YOUR NAME ON A GRAIN OF RICE: ON CANCER, LOVE, AND LIVING EVEN SO, was published by Atticus in 2023.

Nicki Johnson is a poet, fantasy writer, copy editor, story editor, proofreader, and writing consultant. Her sixth literary opus, The Marassa: Book I of the Birth*Life*Death Series, won the 2022 Lee & Low Books’ New Visions Award, and is set for publication in spring 2026. She lives in Los Angeles.

Jeremy Jusek teaches technical and creative writing, internet marketing, and copywriting. As Poet Laureate of Parma and founder of the Flamingo Writers, he hosts Ohio Poetry Asscoation’s podcast Poetry Spotlight. Widely published, he focuses on social justice issues and poetry as a community outreach tool.

Charles Kell is the author of Ishmael Mask, (Autumn House Press, 2023.) His first collection, Cage of Lit Glass, (Autumn House Press, 2019) was chosen by Kimiko Hahn for the 2018 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize.

Richard Klin is the author of the novel PETROLEUM TRANSFER ENGINEER (2018, Underground Voices). His work has been published in THE MILLIONS, the ATLANTIC, the BROOKLYN RAIL, CULTURAL DAILY, and many others.

Jen Knox is the founder of Unleash Creatives, a holistic arts organization. Her debut novel, We Arrive Uninvited, is the Prose Award winner from Steel Toe Books, and her second novel, Chaos Magic, is forthcoming from Kallisto Gaia Press. Jen's shorter work appears in McSweeney's Internet Quarterly, The Saturday Evening Post, Prose Online, Chicago Review, and Chicago Tribune, among others. She won the 2023 CutBank Montana Prize in Nonfiction, and the San Miguel Writers’ Conference 2023 Writing Contest. Jen recently received an Ohio Arts Council grant to complete a collection of essays about work.


Ellen Kombiyil is the author of Histories of the Future Perfect (2015), and a micro chapbook Avalanche Tunnel (2016) and Love as Invasive Species, Cornerstone Press (2024). A 2022 BRIO Award winner from the Bronx Council on the Arts, she teaches creative writing and composition at Hunter College.

Nancy Krygowski is Tiny Day's Pittsburgh Bureau Chief and staff meteorologist/poet. She is the author of two books of poetry. When she's not working on Tiny Day, she's teaching poetry at Carlow University's Madwomen in the Attic writing program and serving as a co-editor of The Pitt Poetry Series.


Paula J. Lambert’s fourth full-length poetry collection As If This Did Not Happen Every Day is from Sheila-Na-Gig Editions. She has authored five chapbooks, including Uncertainty (The Only Hope We Have), from Bottlecap Press. Lambert is a visual artist, small-press publisher, and literary translator. Her work has been recognized by PEN America and supported by the Ohio Arts Council, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband Michael Perkins, a philosopher and technologist.


Dawn Leas has published A Person Worth Knowing (Foothills), Take Something When You Go (Winter Goose), and I Know When to Keep Quiet, (FLP) with poetry in Literary Mama, The Pedestal Magazine, SWWIM, and elsewhere. She’s a writer, writing coach, editor, and arts educator who lives in northeastern Pennsylvania.


Cathy Cultice Lentes recently retired from teaching and working with students with disabilities. She is a poet who also writes creative nonfiction and works for children. She received her MFA in Writing for Young People from the Solstice Program in 2013. Her chapbook Getting the Mail was published in 2016.


Michael Loderstedt is a visual artist, writer, urban farmer, sailor, birder, activist, citizen, husband & father, and a decent cook.

Diana Lueptow has received the Wick Chapbook Prize and two Individual Excellence grants from the Ohio Arts Council. She holds an MA and MFA and studied literature and writing at Miami University, The University of Akron, and the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She has always lived in the Great Lakes Midwest.

Abigail Macher is, in the purest sense, lost. She looks to be no one and unknown, yet a voice of dramatic empathy—to be familiar in feeling, yet never easily defined, as Franz Kafka once wrote. She hopes to remain as she is and who she always will be.


Commonwealth University professor Marjorie Maddox has published 16 poetry collections, What She Was Saying (stories), and 4 children’s books. Assistant editor of Presence, she was the 2023-2024 host of WPSU’s Poetry Moment. With Jerry Wemple, she co-edited Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania and the forthcoming Keystone (PSU Press).

Charles Malone works with writers in the community around Kent, Ohio. His poetry collections include After an Eclipse of Moths (Moonstone) Working Hypothesis (Finishing Line Press) and Questions About Circulation (Driftwood Press). He edited the collection A Poetic Inventory of Rocky Mountain National Park with Wolverine Farm Publishing. Charles works at the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State.

Jessica Manack has published widely in journals including Still: The Journal and SWWIM. The recipient of a 2022 Curious Creators Grant, her work's been nominated for The Best Small Fictions and the Pushcart Prize. As winner of the First Chapbook Contest, her collection GASTROMYTHOLOGY is forthcoming from Sheila-Na-Gig Editions.

Shanhuan Manton is a genderqueer Chinese-American filmmaker and writer focused on composting extractive methods of storytelling into regenerative rituals, and making the possibilities of speculative worlds real through collaborative storytelling. They are currently developing several projects centering the more-than-human world, creating contemporary mythologies for navigating the crises of our times.

Betsy Mars is a prize-winning poet, photographer, and assistant editor at Gyroscope Review. She has published two books, Alinea, and In the Muddle of the Night, co-written with Alan Walowitz. In addition, she collaborates with San Diego artist Judith Christensen, most recently on an installation entitled “Mapping Our Future Selves.”

Attracted to words at an early age, Rod Martinez’s first book was created in grade school; his teacher used it to encourage creativity in her students. His high school English teacher told him to try short story writing, he listened, and the rest – as they say, is history.

Angie Mazakis is a Palestinian-American poet and essayist. Her book I Was Waiting to See What You Would Do First was chosen by Billy Collins as a finalist for The Miller Williams Prize, University of Arkansas Press, and named one of the Best Books of 2020 by The Boston Globe.

Annika McCabe is a 22-year-old writer from Youngstown, Ohio. Her work often tackles trauma through the feminine lens with heavy influences from the horror genre. She aims to recontextualize horror narratives as serious literature. She graduated in May of 2024 from Westminster College with her Bachelor’s in English.

Nancy McCabe is the author of nine books, most recently the comic novel The Pamela Papers: A Mostly E-pistolary Story of Academic Pandemic Pandemonium (Outpost 19 2024) and the YA novel Vaulting through Time (CamCat 2023). Her middle grade novel Fires Burning Underground is forthcoming in 2025 from Regal House. She is a Pushcart Prize recipient and has received a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Artists Fellowship.

Jane McCafferty is the author of two novels, two collections of short stories, and, most recently, a book of poetry, The Sea Lion Who Saved the Boy Who Jumped from the Golden Gate. She is a frequent contributor to Tiny Day and a professor of creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University.

Kailyn McCord writes in Fort Bragg, California, and teaches writing at Mendocino Community College. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Literary Hub, The Believer, and The Cincinnati Review, among others. She holds an MFA in fiction from the University of New Orleans, where she was the editor of Bayou Magazine.

Jonie McIntire, Poet Laureate of Lucas County, Ohio, has authored three chapbooks, including Semidomesticated, (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, 2022) winner of Red Flag Poetry’s 2020 chapbook contest. McIntire is the poetry editor at Of Rust and Glass and Membership Chair at Ohio Poetry Association. She hosts Uncloistered Poetry from Toledo.

Leslie McIntosh is a black, mostly cis, mostly male, male attracted, autistic poet and fictionist. His writing has received support from Bread Loaf, Callalloo, Millay Arts, Zoeglossia, et al. They are Assistant Poetry Editor at Newfound and live on the stolen land of the Munsee Lenape, currently known as Jersey City, New Jersey.

Ray McNiece has authored many books of poems, monologues and CDs, collaborated with poets and musicians abroad and as Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights, won the Arkansas Grand Slam Award, the Hart Crane Award, and the Cleveland Arts Prize Lifetime Achievement Award.

Wendy McVicker served as poet laureate of Athens, Ohio, from 2020 through 2022. Her most recent book is a collaborative collection with poet Cathy Cultice Lentes, Stronger When We Touch (The Orchard Street Press, 2023). Her chapbook is Alone in the Burning, Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, 2024.

Philip Metres has written numerous books, including Fugitive/Refuge (Copper Canyon 2024). Winner of Guggenheim, Lannan, and NEA fellowships, he is professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University, and core faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA.

Robert Miltner is the author of And Your Bird Can Sing, a collection of short stories:, Ohio Apertures: A Lyric Memoir, and his books of prose poetry include: Against the Simple, Hotel Utopia, Eurydice Rising, Orpheus & Echo, Horse Skull Moon, and Cicatrix Vortex Codex (forthcoming in 2025).

Susann Moeller, Acting President of OPA, is an award winning bi-lingual poet, and editor of the eco-poetry anthologies, Open Earth I, II and III and founder of the salon EPOC and EOW, a poetry performance group.

Ron Mohring's recent books are Relative Hearts (Lily Poetry Review, 2023) and The Boy Who Reads in the Trees (The Word Works, 2024). In 2007 he founded Seven Kitchens Press, which has published over 200 poetry chapbooks. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with his husband and two cats.

Carolyn Oliver is the author of Inside the Storm I Want to Touch the Tremble (Agha Shahid Ali Prize for Poetry), The Alcestis Machine, and three chapbooks. Her awards include the Goldstein Prize from Michigan Quarterly Review, the E. E. Cummings Prize from the NEPC, and the Frank O’Hara Prize from The Worcester Review.


Katie Passerotti (she/her) is an educator by trade, an author by choice, and the founder of The Scribbler’s Den. Her fantasy stories feature fierce girls discovering their truest selves and the found family that welcomes them. When Katie’s not writing she’s exploring the forest with her Irish Wolfhound, Bellamy.

Maria S. Picone is a queer Korean American adoptee with three forthcoming chapbooks: Anti Asian Bias, Adoptee Song (Game Over Books), This Tenuous Atmosphere (Conium). She is the recipient of Salamander’s Louisa Solano Memorial Emerging Poet Prize and SC Arts’ Emerging Artist Grant. She is Chestnut Review’s managing editor., @mspicone

Georgia A. Popoff is program coordinator and faculty of the YMCA of CNY’s Writers Voice, an editor/book coach, and Poet Laureate of Onondaga County, New York (2022-2024). The Under Discussion series editor for the University of Michigan Press, her fifth collection is Living with Haints (Tiger Bark Press, 2024).

Bonnie Proudfoot resides in Athens, Ohio. Her novel, Goshen Road (2020) received WCONA’s Book of the Year and was long-listed for the 2021 PEN/ Hemingway. Her 2022 poetry chapbook Household Gods is found on Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, with a forthcoming book of short stories, Camp Probable.


Adrienne Raphel is the author of Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can't Live Without Them, Our Dark Academia, and What Was It For. She teaches at CUNY Baruch and serves as a mentor with the Periplus Collective.


Rosalyn Ransaw is a middle-grade author who writes mysteries with twisty plots and diverse main characters. She has a B.A. from Columbia University in Political Science and currently lives in Columbus, Ohio. When not writing, you can find her working at her day job as a Marketing Manager, scrolling on social media, or brainstorming her next book idea! SMOKE & MIRRORS (Abrams, Spring '25) is her first book.


Christina M. Rau, a 200-hour Certified Yoga Instructor and Level 1 Reiki Practitioner, has practiced and taught yoga for decades. She is also an award-winning poet who currently serves as Oceanside Library’s Poet in Residence and was named WWBA’s Long Island Poet of the Year in 2020. Her collections include How We Make Amends, What We Do To Make Us Whole, and the Elgin-Award winning Liberating The Astronauts. When she’s not writing or teaching yoga, she’s usually watching the Game Show Network.

Joan Reardon is an author and attorney from Youngstown, Ohio. Joan holds a BA in history from The Ohio State University and earned her law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Her love for Midwestern history and folklore inspired her debut novel The Grimsbane Family Witch Hunters. When she’s not writing, Joan enjoys going on adventures with her wonderful husband, Ben, and spending time with her incredibly large, incredibly loving family.

John Repp is a poet, fiction writer, folk photographer, and digital collagist living in Erie, Pennsylvania. Seven Kitchens Press will soon publish Star Shine in the Pines, his twelfth chapbook of poetry.

Lorraine Rice is a writer and educator based in Philadelphia. Her writing has appeared in Witness, swamp pink, midnight & indigo, Scoundrel Time, and elsewhere. She is a Kimbilio fellow and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work explores identity and agency by way of interrogating history.


Nicole Robinson is author of the poetry collection Without a Field Guide (Unbound Edition Press). Her poems have appeared in Columbia Journal, The Fourth River, Grist, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a 2024 Individual Excellence Award in poetry from the Ohio Arts Council and serves as the narrative medicine coordinator at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Lee Ann Roripaugh (she/they) is a biracial Nisei and the author of five volumes of poetry, most recently tsunami vs. the fukushima 50 (Milkweed Editions, 2019). Her collection of fiction, Reveal Codes (Moon City Press, 2023) was selected as winner of the Moon City Press Short Fiction Award.

Zoe Rowland is an undergraduate Biology student at Westminster College. She has always had a passion for writing, and has been fortunate enough to cultivate her writing craft while exploring her biological interests.

Rebecca Moon Ruark is an Ohio native with an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her fiction has appeared in CutBank, Sou'wester, Great Lakes Review, and elsewhere and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She blogs as Rust Belt Girl.

Emily Rae Rusu is an adult speculative thriller fiction writer, represented by Maria Whelan of InkWell Management. Her novel, TTYL, is currently on submission to publishers. She owns Jet Creative, a Youngstown marketing firm, along with The Writer’s Website, crafting websites and branding for authors.

Barbara Sabol’s sixth collection is WATERMARK (Alternating Current Press, 2023.) She is the associate editor of Sheila-Na-Gig Online. Barbara’s honors include an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She conducts poetry workshops through Literary Cleveland. Barbara is a retired speech pathologist who lives in Akron.


Sarah M. Sala is the author of Devil’s Lake (Tolsun 2020), which was named a Distinguished Favorite for the Independent Press Awards. She is the founding director of Office Hours Poetry Workshop, and a writing professor at New York University. Her work inhabits the intersections of chronic illness and creativity.


Shei Sanchez’s work can be found in many places, including Hawai’i Pacific Review, Women of Appalachia Project’s Women Speak, Still: The Journal, and One by Jacar Press. A Best of the Net nominee, Shei can be found herding goats and writing in the woods at her farm in Appalachian Ohio.


Rikki Santer’s poetry has been published widely and has received many honors including a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities; in 2023 she was named Ohio Poet of the Year. She is vice-president of the Ohio Poetry Association and a member of the teaching artist roster of the Ohio Arts Council.

J.L. Scott is a rural Ohio writer of short science-fiction and fantasy as well as contemporary stories. She has 15 years of experience in teaching writing and holds a BA, MA and MFA in Fiction. She is a Team Leader for Pen Parentis, fiction editor at Mom Egg Review, and a judge for the Ohio Writer's Guild anthology.

Kelley Shinn is an Akron native who has lived for the last decade and some in Ocracoke, North Carolina, a remote island village twenty-six miles from the coast. The Wounds that Bind Us, published by WVU Press in 2023, is her first book. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Fourth Genre, Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, and elsewhere.

Mandy Shunnarah is an Alabama-born Appalachian and Palestinian writer who calls Columbus, Ohio, home. Their work has been published in The New York Times, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, and others. They have received an Individual Excellence Award for poetry from the Ohio Arts Council and a poetry residency from SAFTA.

Mary McLaughlin Slechta is the 2021 recipient of the Kimbilio National Fiction Prize for Mulberry Street Stories (Four Way Books, September 2023). A Kimbilio fellow and editor for great weather for MEDIA, she lives in Syracuse, New York, with family.

Judith Sornberger’s most recent poetry collection is The Book of Muses (Finishing Line Press). She’s the author of four full-length poetry collections—I Call to You from Time (Wipf & Stock), Angel Chimes: Poems of Advent and Christmas (Shanti Arts), Practicing the World (Shanti Arts), and Open Heart (Calyx Books)—and five other chapbooks. Her memoir is from Shanti Arts.


Amie Souza Reilly is the Writer-in-Residence at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut where she teaches in the undergraduate writing program. Her work can be found in Wigleaf, The Chestnut Review, Catapult, SmokeLong and elsewhere. Her book Human/Animal: A Bestiary in Essays is forthcoming from Wilfred Laurier University Press.

Jane Springer is the author of three poetry collections: Dear Blackbird, Murder Ballad, and Moth. Her work’s been featured in The Best American and Pushcart anthologies; she’s received fellowships from the NEA, MacDowell, and the Whiting Foundation. She lives in central New York, where she teaches Literature and Creative Writing.


AJ Strosahl is a writer in Oakland, California. Her work can be found in The Gettysburg Review, CRAFT, Ruminate, Cleaver Magazine, and other outlets, and her work has received recent support from the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology and Jentel. She is at work on her first novel.

Anne Dyer Stuart’s publications include Pleiades, North American Review, AGNI, Cherry Tree, American Journal of Poetry, and Raleigh Review. Her poetry chapbook What Girls Learn was published by Finishing Line Press in 2021. She teaches at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

Jennifer A Sutherland is a poet and essayist in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the author of Bullet Points: A Lyric (River River Books) and her work has appeared or will soon appear in Birmingham Poetry Review, EPOCH, Hopkins Review, Denver Quarterly, Best New Poets, Cagibi and elsewhere.

David Swerdlow is the author of three collections of poetry, including Nightstand (Broadstone Books, 2023). His work has appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Iowa Review, and many other distinguished publications. He teaches literature and creative writing at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.

Elizabeth Sylvia’s first book, None But Witches (2022), won the 2021 3 Mile Harbor Press Book Award. Recipient of the 2023 riverSedge Poetry Prize, she has received fellowships from the West Chester Poetry Festival and the Longleaf Writers Conference.

Laurel Szymkowiak is a poet from Western Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in Cagibi Literary Journal, Gyroscope Review, Pedestal Magazine, and other publications. Her chapbook What Choir of Reality Will Sing Today? received Honorable Mention in the Cutbank Chapbook contest, 2021. 

Philip Terman’s books include This Crazy Devotion, Our Portion: New and Selected Poems, The Whole Mishpocha and My Blossoming Everything. He co-curates the Jewish Poetry Reading Series, sponsored by the JCC Buffalo and directs The Bridge Literary Arts Center in Western Pennsylvania.


Patricia Thrushart’s books of poetry include Inspired by Their Voices: Poems from Underground Railroad Testimonies and Goddesses I Have Known. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and collections, including the anthology I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing. Patricia is a cofounder of Poets Against Racism & Hate USA.

Hugo and Nebula Award nominee Marie Vibbert has over 90 science fiction short stories in top magazines like Vice, Nature, and Amazing Stories. Her debut novel was long-listed by the British Science Fiction Award. By day she is a computer programmer in Cleveland.

Sara Moore Wagner is the author of three prize-winning full-length books of poetry, Lady Wing Shot, (Blue Lynx Prize 2024), Swan Wife (Cider Press Review Editors Prize, 2022), and Hillbilly Madonna (Driftwood Press, 2022). She is managing poetry editor of Driftwood Press.

Robert Walicki's poetry and fiction has appeared and is forthcoming in a number of journals including Vox Populi, Chiron Review, and Flash Fiction Magazine. A Best of the Net and two time Pushcart nominee, he has published two chapbooks including The Almost Sound of Snow Falling (Night Ballet Press, 2015), nominated to the 2016 New York Showcase of Books at The Poet's House in New York. His second full length collection, Fountain, was recently released from Main Street Rag Press.

Connor Watkins-Xu holds an MFA from the University of Maryland and a BA from Baylor University. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, North American Review, Gargoyle, Hawai'i Pacific Review, and elsewhere. His manuscript was named a semifinalist for the 2023 Berkshire Prize. Originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, he lives in Seattle.

Shoma Webster is a writer whose work explores cultural identity and marginalization. Her poem"Dark Bodies”was published in the Anthology Women Under Scrutiny. Shoma draws from her immigrant background and experiences traveling across six continents to inform her work.

Arlene Weiner is active in community poetry groups in Pittsburgh. Ragged Sky Press has published three collections of her poetry: Escape Velocity (2006), City Bird (2016), and More (2022). Arlene was awarded a MacDowell fellowship. She also writes plays.


Camille-Yvette Welsch is a Teaching Professor of English at the Pennsylvania State University. Long a part of Pennsylvania public schools, she attended West Chester University and The Pennsylvania State University for her BA and MFA respectively. She is the author of FULL and The Four Ugliest Children in Christendom.


Gabriel Welsch is the author of a collection of short stories, Groundscratchers, and four collections of poems, the latest of which is The Four Horsepersons of a Disappointing Apocalypse. He lives in Pittsburgh and works as a vice president for marketing and communications at Duquesne University.  


Holly M. Wendt is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lebanon Valley College and the author of Heading North (Braddock Avenue Books, 2023). She is a former Peter Taylor Fellow for the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and her writing has appeared in Passages North, Shenandoah, Barrelhouse, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.

Dick Westheimer lives in rural southwest Ohio. He is winner of the 2023 Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, a Rattle Poetry Prize finalist, and a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are upcoming in Whale Road Review, Rattle, Innisfree, Abandon Journal, Stone Poetry Quarterly, & Minyan.


Maria Williams is the author of White Doe, winner of the Verse Daily Prize (2023), and A Love Letter To Say There Is No Love (2011). She has received support from Jentel and PEN America, among others. Her work appears in numerous journals, including Bellevue Literary Review, Pank, and Quarterly West.


Sarah Ann Winn’s collection Alma Almanac was selected by Elaine Equi as winner of the 2017 Barrow Street Book Prize. She’s the author of five chapbooks, most recently, Ever After the End Matter (Porkbelly, 2019). Find her at Poet Camp, an online community she founded in 2015.


Scott Woods is an Emmy award-winning writer in Columbus, Ohio. The author of We Over Here Now and Urban Contemporary History Month, in 2006 he became the first poet to complete a 24-hour solo poetry reading; a feat he bested seven more times without repeating a single poem.

Jaha Zainabu is a Los Angeles and Atlanta-based Poetess and visual artist, the author of four collections of poetry, and artist-in-residence for WomanPreach, Inc. She has been a member of The Anansi Writers Workshop at LA’s World Stage since 1992, and is  Poetry instructor for The Girl Blue Project, Say Word, and Community Literature Initiative.

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