Readers 2021- 2022
Kenyatta Rogers is a Cave Canem Fellow and has been awarded scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. He has also been nominated multiple times for both Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes. His work has been previously published in Jubilat, Vinyl, Bat City Review, the Volta, PANK, and MAKE Magazine, among others. Kenyatta is a lead teacher for the Poetry Foundations Teacher Institute and Chautauqua Institution’s Young Writer Institute. He is a cohost of the Sunday Reading Series with Simone Muench and serves on the creative writing faculty at the Chicago High School for the Arts.
Hadara Bar-Nadav is an NEA fellow and author of several award-winning books of poetry, among them The New Nudity, Lullaby (with Exit Sign), The Frame Called Ruin, and A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight, as well as the chapbooks Fountain and Furnace and Show Me Yours. She is also co-author of the best-selling textbook Writing Poems, 8th ed. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Poetry, and Tin House. She is Professor of English and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Daniel Suárez is a first generation Cuban American born and raised in Chicago, IL. He holds an MA in English, and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. His poem can be found in the Columbia Poetry Review, RHINO, Eleven Eleven, 5x5, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Third Coast, [PANK] LATINX/Latinidad Folio, and other journals.
Beth McDermott is the author of How to Leave a Farmhouse, a chapbook published by Porkbelly Press. Her work has been published in journals such as Tupelo Quarterly, Terrain.org,
DIAGRAM, Southern Humanities Review, Kenyon Review Online, The Trumpeter, After the Art, American Book Review, and Kudzu House Quarterly, where she was also Poetry Editor. She’s an Assistant Professor of English at the University of St. Francis and coordinator of the St. Francis Writers’ Conference, for which she received an Illinois Speaks Micro-Grant in 2017.
Mike Puican’s debut book of poetry, Central Air, was released by Northwestern Press last August. He’s had poems in Poetry, Michigan Quarterly Review, and New England Review among others. He was a member of the Chicago Slam Team and has been a long-time board member for the Guild Literary Complex. He has taught poetry to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals at the Federal Metropolitan Correctional Center and St. Leonard’s House in Chicago.
Ignatius Valentine Aloysius earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University. Born and raised in India, he is a naturalized U.S. citizen and lives in Evanston with his wife. Ignatius is a lecturer, designer, and musician. He is the author of the novel Fishhead. Republic of Want.(Tortoise Books, 2020) and his writing has appeared in several venues. He is a 2020 juror for the National Scholastic Writing Awards (NYC), and serves on the curatorial board at Ragdale, an artist residency in Lake Forest, Illinois. He is also co-curator of Sunday Salon Chicago, a bi-monthly reading series in Chicago.
Ignatius V Aloysius
Molia Dumbleton’s debut collection of fiction was a finalist for the 2018 Iowa Short Fiction Award. Individual stories from that collection have been awarded the Sean O’Faolain International Story Prize, the Columbia Journal Winter Fiction Prize, and other honors, and can be read in New England Review, Kenyon Review, Cincinnati Review, Witness, SmokeLong Quarterly, the Bath and Bridport Prize Anthologies, and elsewhere. She writes, edits, and teaches for various universities and arts organizations around the city.
CM Burroughs is Associate Professor of Poetry at Columbia College Chicago. She is the author of two collections: THE VITAL SYSTEM (Tupelo Press, 2012) and MASTER SUFFERING (Tupelo Press, 2020.) Burroughs has been awarded fellowships and grants from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Cave Canem Foundation. She has received commissions from the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Warhol Museum to create poetry in response to art installations. Burroughs' poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies including Poetry magazine, Callaloo, jubilat, Ploughshares, VOLT, Best American Experimental Writing Anthology, and The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks.
Becca Klaver is a writer, teacher, editor, scholar, and literary collaboration conjurer. She is the author of the poetry collections LA Liminal (Kore Press, 2010), Empire Wasted (Bloof Books, 2016), and Ready for the World (Black Lawrence Press, 2020), as well as several chapbooks. Midwinter Constellation, a book cowritten with 31 other poets in homage to Bernadette Mayer’s Midwinter Day, will be published in 2022. As an editor, she cofounded Switchback Books; is currently coediting the anthology Electric Gurlesque; and has created pop-up journals such as Women Poets Wearing Sweatpants and Across the Social Distances. She lives in Chicago.
Faisal Mohyuddin is the author of The Displaced Children of Displaced Children and the chapbook The Riddle of Longing. Recently, his work has been featured and published in Poetry, Poet Lore, and The Aleph Review, and on the Poetry Unbound podcast and the YouTube series Ours Poetica. He teaches at Highland Park High School in suburban Chicago and at the School of Professional Studies at Northwestern University, and serves as an educator advisor to the global not-for-profit Narrative 4
Ananda Lima’s poetry collection Mother/land (Black Lawrence Press) is the winner of the Hudson Prize. She is also the author of two poetry chapbooks (Amblyopia, Bull City Press, and Translation, Paper Nautilus), a fiction chapbook (Tropicália, Newfound, winner of the Newfound Prose Prize), and a poetry and photography chapbook (Vigil, Get Fresh Books). Her work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Poets.org, Kenyon Review Online, Gulf Coast, Pleiades, Poet Lore, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. She has an MA in Linguistics from UCLA and an MFA in Creative Writing in Fiction from Rutgers University, Newark.
Aviya Kushner is the author of WOLF LAMB BOMB (Orison Books, 2021), which has been shortlisted for the Chicago Review of Books Award in Poetry, and The Grammar of God: A Journey into the Words and Worlds of the Bible (Spiegel & Grau / Penguin Random House, 2015), which was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist, a Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Finalist, and one of Publishers' Weekly’s Top 10 Religion Stories of the year. She is The Forward’s language columnist and an associate professor at Columbia College Chicago, where she currently directs the MFA program in Creative Writing.
Jameka Williams holds a MFA in poetry from Northwestern University. Her poetry has been published in Prelude Magazine, Gigantic Sequins, Muzzle Magazine, Yemassee Journal, Tupelo Quarterly, Jet Fuel Review, and Oyez Review, to name a few. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has performed her poetry at AWP in 2016 and POETRY Magazine's Open Door Reading Series in 2021. She is a Best New Poets 2020 finalist, published annually by the University of Virginia, and is featured in New American Press’ Best Poetry of the Midwest 2019-2020. Jameka is at work on her first book. She is a 2021-2022 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellow.
Barrie Jean Borich is author of Apocalypse, Darling which PopMatters said “… soars and seems to live as a new form altogether. It's poetry, a meditation on life as ‘the other,’ creative non-fiction, and abstract art.” Her memoir Body Geographic won a Lambda Literary Award and her book-length essay, My Lesbian Husband won the Stonewall Book Award. Borich is a professor at DePaul University in Chicago where she directs the interdisciplinary LGBTQ Studies minor and edits Slag Glass City, a journal of the urban essay arts.
Barrie Jean Borich
Nathan Hoks is the author of Reveilles, The Narrow Circle, and Nests in Air. He has also published several chapbooks, including a translation of Vicente Huidobro’s Arctic Poems and Moony Days of Being, which won the 2017 Tomaž Šalamun Prize. He teaches in the Program in Creative Writing at the University of Chicago, and in the MFA Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
J K Chukwu is a writer and visual artist from the Midwest. Her debut novel, The Unfortunates, will published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in August 2022. She holds an MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University. She was a 2019 Lambda Fellow, and her work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, DIAGRAM, and TAYO.
J K Chukwu
Zackary Sholem Berger is a poet, translator and short-story writer working in and among Yiddish, English and Hebrew. His work has appeared in POETRY, Words Without Borders, BODY, and elsewhere. His translation of the Yiddish prose poetry of Avrom Sutzkever was published in 2020. By day he is a mild-mannered physician living in Baltimore, and can be found on Twitter at @DrZackaryBerger.
Zackary S Berger
Dr. Rita Mookerjee is the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Postdoctoral Fellow at DePaul University. She holds a PhD in Literature from Florida State University. In 2020, she was a Fulbright fellow in Kingston, Jamaica. Her poetry is featured in Juked, Hobart Pulp, New Orleans Review, the Offing, and the Baltimore Review. She is the co-founder of Honey Literary and the Assistant Poetry Editor at Split Lip Magazine.
Hannah Gamble is a poet, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, and director. Her first book of poems Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, won the National Poetry Series in 2011. In 2014, she received the Ruth Lilly/ Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg fellowship from the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. She is the writer and director of “Rad Program” (a short play about the midwest’s first community college to offer an associate’s degree in not getting raped) and is currently working on a web series called Choose Me: An Abortion Story.
Keli Stewart is founder of Front Porch Arts Center. Keli has received artists fellowships from Hedgebrook, where she was awarded the Adrienne Reiner Hochstadt Award, and the Augusta Savage Gallery’s Arts International Residency. An alum of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation and Callaloo Summer Writing Workshops, Keli’s writing was selected 1st place in the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award. She received her BA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College in 2002, and her MFA in Poetry from Chicago State University. She was selected as a 2021-2022 School of the Art Institute Nichols Tower Artist-in-Residence. Her poetry collection Small Altars was published by Bronzeville Books in 2021.
Ruben Quesada is a poet, translator, and editor. This fall his anthology Latinx Poetics: Essays on the Art of Poetry will be published by University of New Mexico Press. He is author of Revelations and Next Extinct Mammal. His writing appears in Harvard Review, Best American Poetry, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. He has served as an editor and coordinator for The Rumpus, Kenyon Review. AGNI, Pleiades, Publishing Triangle Awards, and PEN America Literary Awards. He hosts a monthly broadcast called the Mercy Street Readings and serves on the board of Foglifter Press and the National Book Critics Circle.
Ames Hawkins is a transgenre writer and author of the award-winning work of literary nonfiction, These are Love(d) Letters. Named as one of Chicago’s Guild Literary Complex’s 30 Writer to Watch, their work appears in many edited volumes, and they have published across a range of scholarly and literary publications such as Pre/Text, Constellations, Palaver Journal, The Feminist Wire, The Rumpus, and Water~Stone Review. Hawkins has been an invited curator at the Museum of Contemporary Photography and has exhibited work at the University of Buffalo. A Professor of English and Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago, they co-hosted and co-produced the podcast Masters of Text.
Sarah A. Rae’s publications include her chapbook, Someplace Else (dancing girl press, 2020), and poems in On A Wednesday Night (University of New Orleans Press, 2019.) Other work, including her translations of poems by the Mexican poet Guadalupe Ángela, may be found in Ezra, Burlesque Press, fieralingue, Solamente en San Miguel, Revista Blanco Y Negro, and elsewhere. A native of Champaign, Illinois, she has worked as a high school educator in the Chicago area, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans.
Sarah A. Rae
James Shea is the author of two poetry collections, The Lost Novel and Star in the Eye, both from Fence Books. Recipient of grants from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, Hong Kong Arts Development Council, and National Endowment for the Arts, he is the director of the Creative and Professional Writing Program at Hong Kong Baptist University.
Diego Báez is a writer, educator, and abolitionist. He is the recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo, the Surge Institute, and the Poetry Foundation's Incubator for Community-Engaged Poets. He serves as a Director of the Board for the National Book Critics Circle, the International David Foster Wallace Society, and Families Together Cooperative Nursery School. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Freeman's, The Rumpus, and The Georgia Review. He lives in Chicago and teaches at the City Colleges.
Amanda Moore’s debut collection of poetry, Requeening (Ecco 2021), was selected for the National Poetry Series by Ocean Vuong. Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies including Best New Poets, ZZYZVA, LitHub, and Mamas and Papas: On the Sublime and Heartbreaking Art of Parenting, and her essays have appeared in Catapult, The Baltimore Review, and Hippocampus Magazine. Poetry editor for Women's Voices for Change and a reader at VIDA Lit and Bull City Press's INCH, Amanda is a high school English teacher in San Francisco, where she lives with her husband and daughter.
Nandi Comer is the author of American Family: A Syndrome (Finishing Line Press) and Tapping Out (Northwestern University Press), which was awarded the 2020 Society of Midland Authors Award and the 2020 Julie Suk Award. She received an MA in African and African Diaspora Literature and an MFA in poetry from Indiana University. She is a Cave Canem Fellow, a Callaloo Fellow, and a Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellow. Her poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Green Mountains Review, The Offing and Southern Indiana Review.
A Cave Canem alumnus, Tommye Blount is the author of Fantasia for the Man in Blue (Four Way Books, 2020) and What Are We Not For (Bull City Press, 2016). A graduate from Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers, he has been the recipient of scholarships and fellowships from Kresge Arts in Detroit and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His work has been featured in Poetry, Magma, New England Review, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Ecotone, Ninth Letter and elsewhere. Born and raised in Detroit, Tommye now lives in Novi.
Dorothy Tse is a Hong Kong fiction writer whose books include Owlish and So Black. Tse has received the Hong Kong Book Prize, Unitas New Fiction Writers’ Award (Taiwan), and the Hong Kong Award for Creative Writing in Chinese. She has been a resident at Art Omi, the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, and the Vermont Studio Center.
Sophie Lucido Johnson is a Chicago-based cartoonist and author. She is a contributor to The New Yorker Magazine, and has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, Guernica, The Believer, and other places. Her most recent book is "Dear Sophie, Love Sophie: A Graphic Memoir In Diary Entries, Letters, and Lists" (Harper Collins).
Sophie Lucido Johnson
Erin Adair-Hodges is the winner of the 2016 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize for Let's All Die Happy and author of the collection Every Form of Ruin (Pitt, 2023). She is the recipient of the Sewanee Review's Allen Tate Award and The Georgia Review's Loraine Williams Poetry Prize. A former professor and editor of Pleiades, Erin is now an acquisitions editor for Lake Union Publishing. Born and raised in New Mexico, she lives in Kansas City, MO.
Dorothy Chan (she/they) is the author of BABE (Diode Editions 2021), Revenge of the Asian Woman (Diode Editions, 2019), Attack of the Fifty-Foot Centerfold (Spork Press, 2018), and the chapbook Chinatown Sonnets (New Delta Review, 2017). They were a 2020 and 2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship finalist, a 2020 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Bisexual Poetry for Revenge of the Asian Woman, and a 2019 recipient of the Philip Freund Prize in Creative Writing from Cornell University. Chan is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Editor Emeritus of Hobart, Book Reviews Co-Editor of Pleiades, and Co-Founder and Editor in Chief of Honey Literary
Daniel Story earned his BA from DePauw University and his MFA from Penn State, and he now works in biomedical research fundraising for the University of Chicago. His writing has appeared in Ninth Letter, Boxcar, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. He was once, for poetic reasons, granted temporary military clearance.
VIOLA LEE graduated from NYU with an MFA in Poetry. Her book Lightening after the Echo was published by Another New Calligraphy. She has published poems in literary journals throughout the US, and recently published in Crazyhorse, Bellevue Literary Review, Literary Mama, Hong Kong Review, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, After Hours and Another Chicago Magazine. She has poems forthcoming in Barrow Street, Lotus Magazine, New Plains Review, and North Dakota Quarterly. She lives in Chicago with her husband, son and daughter. She teaches 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders at Near North Montessori School.
Kristiana Rae Colón
Kristiana Rae Colón is a poet, playwright, actor, educator, producer, curator, creator of #BlackSexMatters, co-founder of the #LetUsBreathe Collective, the inaugural Sam Roberson Fellow at Congo Square Theater, and writer on seasons 4 and 5 of The Chi. She is also an alum of the Goodman Theatre's Playwrights Unit where she developed her play florissant & canfield, which debuted at University of Illinois-Chicago in February 2018. She is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and one half of the brother/sister hip-hop duo April Fools. She appeared on the fifth season of HBO's Def Poetry Jam.
Tara Betts is the author of the poetry collections Break the Habit, Arc & Hue, and Refuse to Disappear. In addition to her work as a teaching artist and mentor for young poets, she has taught at several universities, including Rutgers University and University of Illinois-Chicago. Recently, she taught poetry workshops for three years at Stateville Prison via Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project. Tara is Poetry Editor at The Langston Hughes Review. Dr. Betts is also in the process of establishing the nonprofit organization The Whirlwind Learning Center on Chicago’s South Side.