"The Poet and the Poem" Audio Podcasts, Part 2
Webcasts & Podcasts from the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress
Grace Cavalieri's interviews and book reviews have appeared in various journals including The American Poetry Review. Her original "Poet and the Poem" series aired on public radio in 1977. "The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress" is an outgrowth of that show premiering in 1997. Approximately twelve episodes are produced each season, and a number of these are being added to this site. Ms. Cavalieri also has 16 books and chapbooks of poetry and 26 produced plays to her credit. She is twice the recipient of the Allen Ginsberg Award (1993, 2013), and has received the Bordighera Poetry Award, a Paterson Poetry Prize, and a CPB Silver Medal, among other awards. In 2013 she received the Association Writing Program’s “George Garrett Award” for Service to Literature. A recent poetry book, Water on the Sun, is on the Pen American Center's "Best Books" list. (Photo courtesy of Dan Murano.)
Learn more about Grace Cavalieri
Listen to Audio Podcast (58:59 minutes)
W.S. Merwin was appointed the 17th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry on July 1, 2010. Merwin was born in New York City and educated at Princeton University. He has traveled extensively in France, Portugal, and England. He is the author of more than 20 books of poetry. A Mask for Janus, his first book in 1952, was selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. His book Migration: Selected Poems 1951-2001 won the National Book Award for poetry in 2005. He has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, in 1971 for his book The Carrier of Ladders, and in 2009 for The Shadow of Sirius. Merwin has also published more than 20 books of translation, numerous plays, and six books of prose. He lives in Hawaii. Photo courtesy of Matt Valentine.
Listen to Audio Podcast (54:35 minutes)
William Stanley Merwin currently lives and works in Hawaii. Merwin has won several awards, including the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He has also won a Ford Foundation Grant (1964), National Endowment for the Arts Grant (1968), PEN Translation Prize (1969), Guggenheim Fellowship (1973), Tanning Poetry Prize for Career Achievement (1994), and the Lenore Marshall/Nation Poetry Prize (1993). His more than twenty-two volumes of work include A Mask for Janus (1952), The Moving Target (1963), Lice (1967), The Carrier of Ladders (1970; won the Pulitzer Prize), Opening the Hand (1983), Selected Poems (1988), Travels (1993), The River Sound (1999), The Pupil (2002), and Migration (2005). Merwin is also well-known for his translations, among them The Cid (1959) and The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes (1962). W.S. Merwin was a special Bicentennial Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2000.
Born in New York City, the award-winning poet E. Ethelbert Miller received the B.A. from Howard University. He is director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University, a position he has held since 1974. He has published numerous poetry collections, including Whispers, Secrets, and Promises (Black Classic Press, 1998) and First Light: New and Selected Poems (1994).
Listen to Audio Podcast (28:47 minutes)
Sami Miranda is an educator, poet, and visual artist who lives in Washington, DC. His work has been published in Al Pie De la Casa Blanca, Full Moon on K St, the Chiron Review, DC Poets Against the War Anthology, MiPoesias.com and Beltway among others. He has performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Museum of African Art, and the GALA Theatre. Sami curated the Sabor Sunday reading series in Washington, DC, that brought two poets, a trio of musicians, and two visual artists into conversation. He is currently recording a jazz and poetry collaboration with bass player Pepe Gonzalez. He develops and facilitates interactive poetry workshops for youth and adults and holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars.
Listen to Audio Podcast (58:52 minutes)
Daniel Thomas Moran was Poet Laureate of Suffolk County, New York, from 2005 to 2007. He is the author of six collections of poetry, the most recent being Looking for the Uncertain Past (Poetry Salzburg, 2006). He is past Vice-President of The Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, past Literary Correspondent to Long Island Public Radio and a member of PEN American. His collected papers are being archived by Stony Brook University. He holds a Doctorate in Dental Surgery from Howard University. He lives with his wife Karen on Shelter Island in New York.
Listen to Audio Podcast (58:03 minutes)
Yvette Neisser Moreno is a poet and translator whose work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The International Poetry Review, The Potomac Review, Tar River Poetry, and Virginia Quarterly Review. She has translated from Spanish Luis Alberto Ambroggio's Difficult Beauty: Selected Poems. Teri Ellen Cross holds an MFA in poetry from American University. She was a Cave Canem fellow and her poems can be found in many anthologies, including Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam and Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem's First Decade, and online in Beltway Quarterly and Torch.
Listen to Audio Podcast (28:47 minutes)
Barbara Klein Moss is a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. Her collection of stories, Little Edens, was published by W.W. Norton in 2004. Her fiction has appeared in New England Review, The Georgia Review, The Missouri Review, and Southwest Review, and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2001. Her stories have been shortlisted for the O. Henry Prize and The Best American Short Stories 2002 and twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize collections. She has received a 2006 fellowship in creative writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, a 2006 Bread Loaf fellowship, a MacDowell fellowship, two Individual Artist awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, and a 2008 Annie Literary Arts Award from the Anne Arundel County Arts Council. Her novel, The Language of Paradise, will be published by Norton in 2015. She lives in Annapolis, Maryland.
Listen to Audio Podcast (28:47 minutes)
As executive director of The Writer’s Center (Bethesda, MD), one of the largest literary centers in the country, Stewart Moss leads an organization whose mission is to promote the creation, publication, and presentation of literary works. The Writer’s Center offers 300 workshops each year covering nearly every genre of writing, plus over 70 readings and other events. Prior to coming to The Writer’s Center, Stewart worked for more than thirty years as an educator and fundraiser in educational institutions around the country. An avid poet, he has taught literature and creative writing in both the USA and abroad. Scotland, Greece, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, and Nepal are among the countries in which he has lived and worked. Moss was educated at Union College (NY) and Harvard University, where he studied the relationship between culture and religion. He lives in Annapolis, MD.
Listen to Audio Podcast (28:56 minutes)
Jeanne Mozier's newest book is a political novel titled Senate Magic (High Street Press, 2013). She's an award-winning writer of fiction, nonfiction, short stories, and plays, including several books on West Virginia. After a life in academia, and then as a CIA analyst, Mozier has practiced astrology for more than 40 years, analyzing and projecting social and political trends. Her writing comes from working on political campaigns and originating statewide art events. Mozier was a syndicated columnist, TV host, and Arts Commissioner. She has received state, regional, and national awards for her community service and business success as a social entrepreneur. She holds degrees from Cornell and Columbia universities and lives in in Berkeley Springs.
Listen to Audio Podcast (29:29 minutes)
Askia Muhammad is a photojournalist, poet, and radio and television commentator. He is a Senior Correspondent for The Final Call newspaper, and News Director at WPFW-FM, Pacifica Radio, in Washington, D.C. He writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer newspaper, is an occasional producer of Soundprint non-commercial radio documentaries, and has been an occasional commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Muhammad is Editor of National Scene News Bureau, a freelance news agency serving broadcasting, editorial, and photographic clients. A Washington correspondent since 1977, his reports from Capitol Hill, the White House, and diplomatic events date back to the second inauguration of Richard Nixon, spanning the terms of seven presidents.
Listen to Audio Podcast (58:15 minutes)
Philip Nikolayev was born in Moscow, Russia, in 1966 and grew up fully bilingual in Russian and English thanks to his father, a linguist. He started out as a Russian poet, but came to the United States in 1990 to attend Harvard University, and has since been writing primarily in English. Mr. Nikolayev lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife, the poet Katia Kapovich, and their daughter Sophia. His most recent collections of poems are Letters from Aldenderry (Salt Publishing, 2006) and Monkey Time (Verse Press, 2003) winner of the 2001 Verse Prize. He co-edits Fulcrum: an annual of poetry and aesthetics. His poems have also appeared in such journals as The Paris Review, Grand Street, Verse, Stand, Jacket, and many others across the English-speaking world.
Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Fuel (1998) and other books, was a Witter Bynner fellow in 2000, selected by Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. Originally from St. Louis, MO, Nye now lives in San Antonio with her photographer husband and their son. The daughter of a Palestinian father and an American mother, she has also written Hugging the Jukebox (1982), Red Suitcase (1994), a new collection of poems, Come with Me.
Listen to Audio Podcast (45:48 minutes)
Max Ochs was born in 1940 in Queens, New York. He began writing poetry and music as early as 1955, and after his family relocated to Annapolis, Maryland, he went on to become an influential figure in the literary and musical communities of the East Coast. In the 50’s and 60’s, Ochs along with John Fahey, Bukka White, and Robbie Basho became a part of what is now known as the “East Coast Blues Mafia” which popularized the American primitive guitar tradition as part of the foundation Takoma LP recording Contemporary American Guitar. Ochs went on to compose several albums and LPS, including Imaginational Anthem and Hooray for Another Day. Ochs’s poetry was featured in the “Minnesota Review”, “Potomac Review”, and “Annapolis Magazine.” In 2005, Ochs published With Mississippi John Hurt with Arkady Press. Today, Ochs is settled in Severna Park, Maryland where he was inducted into the Community Action Hall of Fame for his years of work with Anne Arundel County’s Conflict Resolution Center.
Listen to Audio Podcast (56:57 minutes)
William Palmer is a professor of English at Alma College in central Michigan. He has published poems and essays in The Christian Science Monitor, Bellingham Review and Chicago Tribune. The second edition of his college textbook Discovering Arguments: An Introduction to Critical Thinking and Writing (co-authored with Dean Memering) was recently published by Prentice Hall.
Listen to Audio Podcast (58:04 minutes)
Michelle Parkerson is the author of Waiting Rooms, a book of poetry, and short fiction. She is a filmmaker who has documented the lives of Audre Lorde (Litany for Survival), Betty Carter (But Then, She’s Betty Carter), and Sweet Honey in the Rock (Gotta Make This Journey: Sweet Honey in the Rock). Michelle has served on the faculties of Temple University's Department of Film & Media Arts, Northwestern University's School of Communications & Speech, Howard University's Department of Radio, Television and Film, and the University of Delaware's Women's Studies Department. She is currently writing a screenplay based on the century-long life of the educator, civil rights activist, and early feminist Anna Julia Cooper.
Terence Winch’s most recent book is a collection of poems called Boy Drinkers (Hanging Loose Press, 2007.) His forthcoming collection is entitled Falling Out of Bed in a Room with No Floor (Hanging Loose, 2011). His work is included in the Oxford Book of American Poetry, four Best American Poetry collections, Poetry 180, and in many journals, including the Paris Review, the American Poetry Review, and New American Writing. His poems have been featured many times on the popular U.S. radio program The Writer’s Almanac, hosted by Garrison Keillor. Also a musician/composer, he released a CD anthology called When New York Was Irish: Songs & Tunes by Terence Winch. Photo courtesy of Star Black.
Linda Pastan is the author of The Last Uncle (Norton, 2002), Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998 (1998), and several other books of poetry. Among her many awards and honors are a Pushcart Prize, a Dylan Thomas Award, and the Di Castagnola Award. She lives in Potomac, Maryland, and from 1991-94 she was Poet Laureate of Maryland. Photo courtesy of Goodman/Van Ripper Photography.
Listen to Audio Podcast (58:16 minutes)
Robert Pinsky was the ninth Poet Laureate of the United States, and the first poet to hold the position for three consecutive terms (1997-2000). Most notable during his tenure was the development of the Favorite Poem Project, a nationwide poetry project that resulted in three poetry anthologies which he co-edited, and videos for public television. Pinsky is the first American poet to serve as a regular contributor to a PBS News Service. He has authored several books of poetry; as well as books of essays and criticism in his fields of interest, poetry and culture. Robert Pinsky was awarded the Saxifrage Prize, the Lenore Marshall Award, the William Carlos Williams Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Award in poetry, the Howard Morton Landon Prize for translation, the Harold Washington Literary Award, and the Oscar Blumenthal Prize, along with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation, and other literary honors.
Listen to Audio Podcast (56:40 minutes)
Stanley Plumly has been honored with the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the Academy of American Poets' Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. His prose publications include a new book of essays, Argument & Song: Sources & Silences in Poetry. His New and Selected Poems, Now That My Father Lies Down Beside Me, received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of English at the University of Maryland.
Poetry of Mindfulness Mediation
Phyllis Culham and Robert Ertman
Listen to Audio Podcast (28:46 minutes)
Phyllis Culham has a Ph.D. in Classics and has taught at a number of universities. She recently retired after more than thirty years in the history department at the U.S. Naval Academy. She has published on women in the Roman world, Roman military history, and Roman Central Europe, the area which is now Slovenia, Serbia, Hungary, Romania, etc. In a few weeks she will give a paper on Roman counterinsurgency in what is now Croatia and Bosnia at a conference on Romans in that region sponsored by the University of Zagreb. At the Naval Academy she taught ancient Roman and Greek history, pre-modern western history, and world history, as well as a course on pre-modern Middle Eastern and Central Asian history and their connections in world history. Material she encountered in teaching that course dovetailed with her two decades of meditative practice. Phyllis most frequently practices Thich Nhat Hanh's Vietnamese Zen and Japanese Soto Zen. She is one of four facilitators of a Mindfulness Practice Group in Annapolis and coordinates most of their programming and practices.
Robert Ertman writes haiku ("and other short poems") as a Zen practice, the practice of living fully in the present moment. As one of the facilitators of the Mindfulness Practice Group, he organized a Street Retreat (after the manner of Bernie Glassman) and led a penniless group panhandling and exploring local soup kitchens and alleys. These experiences deepened his Zen practice and found their way into his haiku and his volunteer work as editor of UU Sangha, the journal of the Unitarian Universalist Buddhist Fellowship. He sometimes leads haiku writing sessions for the MPG. Bob recently retired after thirty years as a lawyer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He's a member of the Haiku Society of America.
Listen to Audio Podcast (56:25 minutes)
Spencer Reece was born in 1963 in Hartford, Connecticut. He is the winner of the 2003 Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize for poetry, selected by former-U.S. poet laureate Louise Gluck and awarded by Middlebury College and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Boulevard, and small magazines in Canada, Australia, and Britain. The Clerk's Tale was fifteen years in the making. Reece is an assistant manager at Brooks Brothers in Palm Beach. He lives in Lantana, Florida.
Listen to Audio Podcast (28:47 minutes)
Maritza Rivera is a Puerto Rican poet and US Army veteran who has lived in Rockville, MD, since 1994. Maritza is the creator of a short form of poetry called Blackjack and her work appears in literary magazines, anthologies, and online publications. She is the author of About You, a collection of poetry “for women and the men they love,” and A Mother’s War, written during her son’s two tours in Iraq to make the intensity of war a reality for everyone. Maritza is a contributor to Poets Responding to SB 1070, participates in the Warrior Poetry Project at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, and serves on the Board of Directors of Split This Rock in Washington, DC.
Listen to Audio Podcast (58:59 minutes)
Kim Roberts is the author of three books of poems, most recently Animal Magnetism, winner of the Pearl Poetry Prize (Pearl Editions, 2011). She is editor of the anthology Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC (Plan B Press, 2010), and the online literary journal Beltway Poetry Quarterly. Roberts is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Humanities Council of Washington, and the DC Commission on the Arts. She has been a writer-in-residence at 13 artist colonies. Photo courtesy of Dan Vera.
Fred Joiner is a poet/artist/curator living in Washington, DC. His work has appeared in Callaloo, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora, Gargoyle, Mosaic Literary Magazine, Warpland: A Journal of Black Literature and Ideas, and other publications. Fred has read his work throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area and in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he is working on a multidisciplinary collaboration and exchange with Northern Irish youth and artists. He is a curator of several reading series in DC, and is a literary editor for Words, Beats and Life and the Tidal Basin Review.
Listen to Audio Podcast (56:36 minutes)
Len Roberts is known for his work in education, helping teachers to use poetry in the classroom. He's published nine books of poetry, including his most recent book, The Silent Singer: New and Selected Poems (U. of Illinois Press, 2001). He has also published three books of translations of the renowned Hungarian poet, Sandor Csoor, the most recent being Before and After the Fall: New Poems by Sandor Csoori (BOA Editions, 2004). His major awards include the Guggenheim, a Lannan Award, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as selection of his book Black Wings for the National Poetry Series.
Listen to Audio Podcast (28:56 minutes)
Bobby C. Rogers was selected as a 2015 Witter Bynner Fellow by U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Wright. He is the author of Paper Anniversary (2010), winner of the 2009 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. He is the recipient of the Greensboro Review Literary Prize in Poetry and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in literary journals such as The Southern Review, Georgia Review and Shenandoah, among others. Rogers is professor of English at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.
Listen to Audio Podcast (58:58 minutes)
Kay Ryan is the 16th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. She has written six books of poetry, plus a limited edition artist’s book, along with a number of essays. Her books are: Dragon Acts to Dragon Ends (1983), Strangely Marked Metal (Copper Beech, 1985), Flamingo Watching (Copper Beech, 1994), Elephant Rocks (Grove Press,1996), Say Uncle (Grove Press, 2000), Believe It or Not! (2002, Jungle Garden Press, edition of 125 copies), and The Niagara River (Grove Press, 2005). Her awards include the Gold Medal for poetry, 2005, from the San Francisco Commonwealth Club; the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from The Poetry Foundation in 2004; a Guggenheim fellowship the same year; a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship as well as the Maurice English Poetry Award in 2001; the Union League Poetry Prize in 2000; and an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award in 1995. She has won four Pushcart Prizes and has been selected four different years for the annual volumes of the Best American Poetry. Since 2006, she has been a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Photo courtesy of Christina Koci Hernandez.
Listen to Audio Podcast (58:01 minutes)
John Rybicki’s latest book is We Bed Down into Water (Northwestern University Press, 2008). He is an associate professor and writer-in-residence at Alma College. He also teaches creative writing to inner-city children in his hometown of Detroit, and through Wings of Hope Hospice, to children who have been through trauma or loss. His work is represented in The Best American Poetry 2008. Rybicki’s poems and stories have appeared in North American Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, the Antioch Review, the Iowa Review, and Michigan Quarterly, as well as in numerous anthologies. His first book of poems, Traveling at High Speeds (New Issues Poetry Press), appeared in 1996, followed by the book Fire Psalm. His collection of poems Yellow-Haired Girl with Spider (March Street Press) was published in 2002. Mr. Rybicki sometimes works in a paint factory in Detroit and at a tire shop in Kalamazoo, when not teaching. He lives in Delton, Michigan with his son, Martel.
Listen to Audio Podcast (28:54 minutes)
Martha Sanchez-Lowery was born in La Paz, Bolivia and lives in Alexandria, Virgina. Her poem "The Dark Earth Call" was set to dance by Jane Franklin Dance Company as part of the program Dancing the Page. Her poetry has appeared in Beltway, Hispanic Culture Review, and Poets Against the War, and appears in the anthologies At the Foot of the White House (Al Pie de La Casa Blanca), Winners: An Anthology, and Cabin Fever Her chapbook Bocanegra was published by Mica Press. She served as poetry editor for Minimus, an annual literary journal, and was Director of the Word Works Washington Prize for many years. She was Executive Producer for the Poetry Alive at IOTA – 20th Anniversary CD released in September 2015 and is in the process of translating the Collected Works of Maria Quiroga Vargas, one of Bolivia’s foremost poets.
Listen to Audio Podcast (58:45 minutes)
Avideh Shashaani is the founder and president of the Fund for the Future of our Children (FFC), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to developing innovative educational and multicultural programs that encourage the healthy integration of body, mind and heart in children and youth and empower them to be agents of peace in local and global environments. She promotes intercultural and interfaith understanding through lectures, workshops and publications. She is the author of two books, Promised Paradise (poetic prose) and Remember Me (poetry). She has translated 10 Persian mystical texts into English. She served as vice president of the Literary Friends of the DC Public Library for five years. She is a former co-director of the International Institute for Rehabilitation in Developing Countries (founded by the UN, UNESCO, UNDP and Rehabilitation International). She is the past board chair of Refugee Women in Development and the founding chair of MOSAICA: The Center for Nonprofit Development and Pluralism. She holds a bachelor's degree in experimental psychology, a master's degree in educational planning and management and a Ph.D. in Sufi studies.
Listen to Audio Podcast (59:02 minutes)
Vivian Shipley won the 2006 Paterson Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement for her seventh book of poetry, Hardboot: Poems New & Old (Southeastern Louisiana University Press, 2005). A Connecticut State University distinguished professor who teaches at Southern Connecticut State University, Shipley is the editor of Connecticut Review. She won the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award for Service to the Literary Community from the Library of Congress Connecticut Center for the Book and the 2005 SCSU Faculty Scholar Award for When There Is No Shore, which also won the 2003 Connecticut Book Award for Poetry and the 2002 Word Press Poetry Prize. Her honors include the Lucille Medwick Prize from PSA, the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize from University of Southern California, the Daniel Varoujan Prize from NEPC, the Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Prize and the Marble Faun Prize from the William Faulkner Society.
Listen to Audio Podcast (48:00 minutes)
Jane Shore has taught at Harvard University, Sarah Lawrence, the University of Hawaii, and, since 1989, George Washington University. Her books include: Eye Level, winner of The Juniper Prize (1977); The Minute Hand, which won the Lamont Prize (1986); Music Minus One, which was a finalist for the 1996 National Critics Book Circle Award; and Happy Family (1999). Her new book of poems, A Yes-or-No Answer, is from Houghton Mifflin & Co. (2008). Jean Nordhaus is author of the book of poems, Innocence (2006), which won the Charles B. Wheeler prize from Ohio State University Press. Her previous book, The Porcelain Apes of Moses Mendelssohn was published by Milkweed Editions in 2002. A selection of poems from that book won the 1997 Edward Stanley Award from Prairie Schooner. Her other books include My Life in Hiding, winner of the Colladay award, and two earlier volumes of poetry, A Bracelet of Lies and A Language of Hands.
Listen to Audio Podcast (55:33 minutes)
Edgar Gabriel Silex is the author of two poetry collections from Curbstone Press, Acts of Love (2004) and Through All The Displacements (1995). Recent work has appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Rattle and The New American Poets: A Breadloaf Anthology. Silex has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Maryland State Arts Council. He is a professor of English at the Maryland Institute and College of Art in Baltimore. He lives in Laurel, Md. with his family.
Listen to Audio Podcast (28:56 minutes)
Sue Silver is a nurse anesthetist, poet, and photographer living in Shepherdstown, WV. Her poetry has been published in The Anthology of Appalachian Writers (Shepherd University; vols. III, IV, and V), First Lights (First Light Publishers), and In Good Company (Four Seasons Books). She has read her work on Shepherdstown University Radio (WSHC), where she has cohosted the "Poetry Monday" program with John Case. Her studies include work with Sotto Voce, Shepherd University, and the Appalachian Masters Programs. She has a deep interest and love of the practice of energy medicine and transformational healing of the whole person and finds poetry to be a major vehicle of that work.
Sonja James is the author of Calling Old Ghosts to Supper (Finishing Line Press, 2013), Children of the Moon (Argonne House Press, 2004), and Baiting the Hook (The Bunny and the Crocodile Press, 1999). Her poems have appeared in FIELD, 32 Poems, Court Green, Beloit Poetry Journal, Gargoyle, The Iowa Review, Verse Daily, The South Carolina Review, and Poet Lore, among others. Among her honors are three Pushcart Prize nominations. In addition, she writes a weekly poetry book review column for the West Virginia newspaper The Journal. She has an M.A. in Literature from Duke University. She has two sons and resides in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
Listen to Audio Podcast (56:00 minutes)
Charles Simic is the 15th Poet Laureate Poetry Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. His first full-length collection of poems, What the Grass Says, was published in 1967. Since then he has published more than sixty books in the U.S. and abroad, twenty titles of his own poetry among them, including That Little Something (Harcourt, 2008); My Noiseless Entourage (2005); Selected Poems: 1963-2003 (2004), for which he received the 2005 International Griffin Poetry Prize; The Voice at 3:00 AM: Selected Late and New Poems (2003); Night Picnic (2001); The Book of Gods and Devils (2000); and Jackstraws (1999), which was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. His other books of poetry include Walking the Black Cat (1996), which was a finalist for the National Book Award; A Wedding in Hell (1994); Hotel Insomnia (1992); The World Doesn't End: Prose Poems (1990), for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; Selected Poems: 1963-1983 (1990); and Unending Blues (1986). Charles Simic has published many books of translations, as well as essays, and has edited numerous anthologies. He is professor emeritus of creative writing and literature at the University of New Hampshire where he taught for 34 years. (Photo of Charles Simic used with permission of Philip Simic.)
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Patricia Smith is the author of six books of poetry, including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the 2014 Rebekah Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress, the 2013 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Phillis Wheatley Award; Savannah was also a finalist for both the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Balcones Prize. Patricia also authored Blood Dazzler, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Teahouse of the Almighty, a National Poetry Series selection. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The New York Times, TriQuarterly, Tin House, The Washington Post, and in both Best American Poetry and Best American Essays. Her contribution to the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir, which she edited, won the Robert L. Fish Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the best debut story of the year and was chosen for Best American Mystery Stories. She is a 2014 Guggenheim fellow, a 2012 fellow at both MacDowell and Yaddo, a two-time Pushcart Prize winner, recipient of a Lannan fellowship, and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition’s history. She is currently working on a biography of Harriet Tubman, a poetry volume combining text and 19th century African-American photos, and a collaborative novel with her husband Bruce DeSilva, the Edgar-Award winning author of the Liam Mulligan crime novels. Patricia is a professor at the College of Staten Island and an instructor in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Eliza Griffiths.)
Listen to Audio Podcast (55:40 minutes)
Rose Solari, Hilary Tham, Karren Alenier, and Kim Roberts are all from Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland. They are each teachers, editors, and prose writers, as well as poets. Rose Solari holds the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize and the Academy of American Poets' University Prize. She's author of a new book Orpheus in the Park; Hilary Tham is a visual artist as well as a writer. Her latest book is The Tao of Mrs. Wei. Hilary's short stories won the Washington Writers Publishing House Award for Fiction; Karren Alenier's latest publication is Looking for Divine Transportation, which won the Towson Prize for Literature. Karren heads The Word Works Press and reading series; and Kim Roberts' collection of poems is The Wishbone Galaxy. Kim is an organizer of community art and cultural centers. She is editor/publisher of Beltway Poetry Quarterly.
Listen to Audio Podcast (59:00 minutes)
Rose Solari is a poet, writer, and teacher. She is the author of two full-length collections of poems, Orpheus in the Park and Difficult Weather, and two chapbooks of poems, Selections from Myths & Elegies and The Stolen World. Rose wrote and performed in the multimedia play Looking for Guenevere. Rose is a longtime faculty member at the Writer's Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and a member of its Board of Directors. Rose's work appears in Initiate: An Oxford Anthology of New Writing, from Oxford University's Kellogg College Creative Writing Program.
James J. Patterson says of the act he co-founded in the 1980s, The Pheromones, “We were one of the first bands on MTV and one of the last on American Bandstand.” Born half Canadian, and a longtime Washington, D.C. resident, Patterson has been a political satirist, comedian, songwriter, sportswriter, dramatist, performer, and publisher. He now shares his life and the perspectives gleaned from it in his new book of creative non-fiction, Bermuda Shorts.
A North Carolina poet, Shelby Stephenson grew up on a small farm near Benson. “My early teachers were the thirty-five foxhounds my father hunted, the trees and streams, fields, the world of my childhood–all that folklore–those are my subjects,” he observed. Stephenson received the Ph.D. degree in 1974 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Photo by Jan G. Hensley.
Listen to Audio Podcast (58:56 minutes)
Silvana Straw is a poet, writer, and performer Her solo performances include Outerspace, Scared of Myself, and Teratophobia. Her collaborations include The Dangerous Border Game and Apocalypse Manana with Guillermo Gomez-Pena. She has performed in venues throughout the U.S., including the Art Institute of Chicago, GALA Hispanic Theater, Galleria de la Raza, the Kennedy Center, Nuyorican Poets Café, and Out North. She has created and produced performance poetry events in Washington, DC at the Black Cat, DCAC, dc space, the Kennedy Center, and The Smithsonian.
Regie Cabico is a spoken word pioneer, having won the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam and taking top prizes in the 1993, 1994, and 1997 National Poetry Slams. Among his other awards is a 2008 Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant Award from the Ford Foundation and a New York Innovative Theater Award for Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. His latest solo play, Unbuckled, was presented at the Asian Arts Initiative. He is a former artist in residence at NYU's Asian Pacific American Studies and artistic director of Sol & Soul, an arts and activist organization in Washington, DC. Photo by Paul Hunt.
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Joseph Stroud is the author of four books of poetry, In the Sleep of Rivers (Capra Press, 1974), Signatures (BOA Editions, 1982), Below Cold Mountain (Copper Canyon Press, 1998) and Country of Light (Copper Canyon Press, 2004). He has also written three chapbooks and limited editions, including Unzen (Tangram Press, 2001), Burning the Years (Tangram, 2002) and Three Odes of Pablo Neruda (Tangram, 2005). His work earned a Pushcart Prize in 2000 and has been featured on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac. He was a finalist for the Northern California Book Critics Award in 2005. In 2006 he was selected by the Poet Laureate of the United States for a Witter Bynner Fellowship in poetry from the Library of Congress. He divides his time between his home in Santa Cruz on the California coast and a cabin in the Sierra Nevada.
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Terese Svoboda has written five books of poetry. The latest, Weapons Grade (University of Arkansas Press), contains poems appearing in TLS, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and Tin House. Her first book, All Aberration (University of Georgia Press, 1985), was an ALA Notable Book nominee. Her second, Laughing Africa (University of Iowa Press, 1990), won the Iowa Prize. Her third, Mere Mortals (University of Georgia Press, 1995), was featured in the New York Times Book Review. Her fourth Treason (Zoo Press, 2002), was a Booksense Pick-of-the-Week and reviewed in the L.A. Times. Svoboda is also the author of four novels and Black Glasses Like Clark Kent, a memoir that won the 2007 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize and was named “Best of Asia 2008” by the Japan Times.
Ann B. Knox is author of two books of poetry, Staying is Nowhere, winner of the SCOP-Writer’s Center Co-Publication Prize in 1996, and Stonecrop, winner of the Washington Writers’ Publishing House Prize. She has also written two recent chapbooks, Reading the Tao at Eighty (Finishing Line Press) and The Dark Edge (Pudding House Press). Individual poems have appeared in literary journals such as Alaska Quarterly, Nimrod, Poetry, and Green Mountains Review. Her collection of short fiction, Late Summer Break (Papier Mache Press), was selected as a Discovery Book by Barnes & Noble. She received an MFA from the Goddard/Warren Wilson MFA Program. For eighteen years she edited the literary journal Antietam Review and taught writing workshops at numerous colleges.
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A native of Pennsylvania, Mary Szybist is an assistant professor of English at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She has also taught at Kenyon College, the University of Iowa, the Tennessee Governor's School for Humanities, the University of Virginia's Young Writers' Workshop, and West High School in Iowa City. She is the author of Granted (Alice James Books, 2003), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Szybist holds degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.
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Sue Ellen Thompson’s fifth book of poetry, They, was published in September 2014. Her work has been included in the Best American Poetry series, read on National Public Radio by Garrison Keillor, and recently won a Pushcart Prize. She taught at Wesleyan University, Middlebury College, Binghamton University, and Central Connecticut State University before moving to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 2006. She now mentors adult poets and teaches workshops at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda and Annapolis. She was awarded the 2010 Maryland Author Prize from the Maryland Library Association.
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Matthew Thorburn's first book, Subject to Change (2004), was selected by Brenda Hillman for the New Issues Poetry Prize. He is the recipient of a 2008 Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, selected by Poet Laureate Charles Simic. His other honors include the Mississippi Review Prize, two Hopwood Awards from the University of Michigan, and the Belfast Poetry Festival's inaugural Festivo Prize. His poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Michigan Quarterly Review and other journals, and he has contributed book reviews to Boston Review, Rattle and Octopus. A graduate of the University of Michigan and the MFA program at The New School, Matthew Thorburn lives in New York City, where he works as the business development writer for an international law firm. He recently completed a new collection of poems, entitled Like Luck.
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Venus Thrash holds an MFA in Creative Writing from American University. She is an adjunct Professor of English at Trinity College in Washington, D.C. She has had poetry published in Gargoyle, Folio, Beltway Quarterly, Torch, and the Arkansas Review, and in the anthologies Gathering Ground and Haunted Voices, Haunting Places: An Anthology of Writers of the Old and New South. She has read at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Schomburg Center for African American Research, and the Library of Congress. She is a Cave Canem and a Soul Mountain Fellow. Photo courtesy of Rachel Eliza Griffiths.
Dai Sil Kim-Gibson was born in North Korea. She is a writer and independent filmmaker. She is a former professor of religion at Mount Holyoke College with a Ph.D in religion. Her film credits include America Becoming; Sa-I-Gu; A Forgotten People: the Sakhalin Koreans; Olivia's Story, Silence Broken: Korean Comfort Women; and Motherland (Cuba Korea USA). Among many awards, she has received a Rockefeller Fellowship for Silence Broken and a production grant from the MacArthur Foundation for Sa-I-Gu. While Ms. Kim-Gibson has written numerous articles, Silence Broken: Korean Comfort Women is her first book.
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Sherill Tippins is the winner of the 2013 Marfield Prize (National Award for Arts Writing) for her book Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York's Legendary Chelsea Hotel. She is the author of February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten and Gypsy Rose Lee Under One Roof in Brooklyn, which received the LAMBDA Literary Award for Biography and was adapted as a musical for the New York Public Theater. Tippins lives in New York City, where she is currently at work on another history of the arts. Photo courtesy of Deborah Lopez.
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Emma Trelles is the author of Tropicalia, winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, and the chapbook Little Spells, a recommended read by the Valparaiso Poetry Review and The Montserrat Review. She received her MFA in creative writing from Florida International University and has been a featured reader at many venues, most recently the Miami Book Fair International, the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, and Busboys and Poets in Washington D.C. A contributor to the Letras Latinas Blog and the Best American Poetry blog, she lives with her husband in South Florida, where she teaches literature and writes about visual art, books, and culture.
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Natasha Trethewey is the Library of Congress’s Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2012-2013. Born in Gulfport, Mississippi, Trethewey received a BA from the University of Georgia, an MA from Hollins College (now Hollins University), and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts. Her first book of poems, Domestic Work (2000), was selected by former Poet Laureate Rita Dove as winner of the inaugural 1999 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was published by Graywolf Press. Her subsequent poetry collections include Bellocq’s Ophelia (Graywolf Press, 2002), Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), and Thrall (Houghton Mifflin, 2012). In 2010, Trethewey published Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (University of Georgia Press), a memoir that details the struggles of her family living in Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Her honors include the Pulitzer Prize and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2012, she was appointed the State Poet Laureate of Mississippi. Photo courtesy of Nancy Crampton.
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David Tucker was chosen by Poet Laureate Donald Hall as a 2007 Witter Bynner Fellow. He has won the 2005 Bakeless Prize for his book, Late for Work, selected by Philip Levine, and published by Houghton Mifflin. He also won the national chapbook contest sponsored by Slapering Hol Press for Days When Nothing Happens, published in 2004; and the 2002 Solo prize for the poem "All This Time." His poems have appeared in over 60 publications. Mr. Tucker has had various newspaper jobs and is currently Deputy Managing Editor for news at the New Jersey Star Ledger. He ran the paper's award winning two-year investigation of racial profiling by the New Jersey State Police and in 2005 was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news.
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David Wagoner is former Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets, and was editor of Poetry Northwest from 1966 until its last issue in 2002. He is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Good Morning and Good Night (University of Illinois Press, 2005); The House of Song (2002); Traveling Light: Collected and New Poems (1999); Walt Whitman Bathing (1996); Through the Forest: New and Selected Poems (1987); First Light (1983); Landfall (1981); and In Broken Country (1979). His Collected Poems, 1956-1976 was nominated for the National Book Award in 1977. Wagoner is also the author of ten novels, including The Escape Artist (1965), which was adapted into a movie by Francis Ford Coppola. He is also the editor of Straw for the Fire: From the Notebooks of Theodore Roethke, 1943-63 (1972). He has received an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, the Sherwood Anderson Award, the Fels Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Eunice Tietjens Memorial and English-Speaking Union prizes from Poetry magazine, and fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Bothell, Washington.
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Martin Walls was chosen as a Witter Bynner Fellow by Poet Laureate Ted Kooser. Also a recipient of a 1998 Joan Leiman Jacobsen "Discovery" award from The Nation, Walls has published two books of poems: Small Human Detail in Care of National Trust (New Issues Press, 2000) and Commonwealth (March Street Press, 2005). He lives in Solvay, N.Y. with his wife Christine Braunberger and son, Alexander. Walls is a magazine editor and also a professional soccer referee.
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Connie Wanek is the author of two books of poems, Bonfire (1997) and Hartley Field (2002). Her work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, The Virginia Quarterly, and many other journals. She was a 2006 Witter Bynner Fellow of the Library of Congress, selected by Ted Kooser. Wanek lives in Duluth, Minnesota, where she works at the public library.
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Thom Ward is Editor/Production Director at BOA Editions, Ltd., an independent publishing house of American poetry, poetry in translation and literary fiction. At BOA, he has edited more than 80 collections of poetry and poetry in translation. His own poetry collections include Tumblekid, Small Boat with Oars of Different Size, Fog in a Suitcase, and Various Orbits. His most recent book, a collection of prose poems, The Matter of the Casket, was published by CustomWords in May, 2007. Ward lives with his wife and children in upstate New York.
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Belle Waring's first collection, Refuge (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1990), won the Associated Writing Programs’ Award for Poetry in 1989, the Washington Prize in 1991, and was cited by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of 1990. Dark Blonde (Sarabande Books, 1997) won the the 1997 Poetry Center Book Award (San Francisco State University) and the First Annual Larry Levis Reading Prize in 1998. She has received fellowships from the NEA, the Washington, D.C. Commission on the Arts, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Waring has a background in both nursing and teaching. She is currently a science writer in federal service.
Walter Cybulski works as a preservation librarian and has taught preservation courses at the University of Maryland and Catholic University. As Henry Hoynes Poetry Fellow at UVA, he studied with Gregory Orr and John Moffitt. Published poems are in America, Propago, Eyecatcher, and Anthology of Magazine Verse & Yearbook of American Poetry (1981). His work has been called poetry as witness, observation, and meditation. Critics call his work a poetry of the ordinary and the miraculous, in which the living and the dead emerge from memory and history to participate in a shared voice.
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Four seventh grade writers from the Washington International Academy in Alexandria, Virginia, voice their craft. The program’s featured writers are Shatha Awad, Noor Mohammed, Zayneb Rachidi, and Zayna Venable. The group poem ending the program is a result of ten writers offering one line of each their poems. The ten writers include eighth graders also practicing the art of poetry.
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Six eighth grade writers from the Washington International Academy in Alexandria, Virginia, voice their craft. The program’s featured writers are Nooran Elmoustafa, Sumaiyah Fatima, Sumayya Gumus, Areebah Jahin, Aamenah Kabbara, and Hana Rahman. The group poem ending the program is a result of ten writers offering one line of each their poems. The ten writers include seventh graders also practicing the art of poetry.
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Rebecca Wee's first book, Uncertain Grace, received the 2000 Hayden Carruth Award for New and Emerging Poets, and was published by Copper Canyon Press. In 2002 Wee received a Witter Bynner Fellowship in poetry from the Library of Congress, awarded by U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. Wee received her MFA in poetry from George Mason University, where she served as an editorial assistant on Carolyn Forche's anthology, Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness. Her poems have been published in The Iowa Review, Ploughshares, The Sonora Review, and other journals. Ms. Wee is an Associate Professor of English at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, and she is working to complete her second collection of poems, Instead.
Joshua Weiner, who received the Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Berkeley, was director of the Writing Program at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and now teaches at Northwestern University. His first book of poetry, The World's Room, was published in the Phoenix Poets Series ©2001 by The University of Chicago Press. He was a 2000 recipient of the Witter Bynner fellowship, selected by Poet Laureate Robert Pinksy.
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David Whyte grew up among the hills and valleys of Yorkshire, England. He holds a degree in Marine Zoology, is the recipient of an Honorary Degree from Neumann College, Pennsylvania and an Associate Fellow of Templeton College at the University of Oxford. His latest work is River Flow: New & Selected Poems 1984-2007. His previous volumes include Songs for Coming Home, Where Many Rivers Meet, Fire in the Earth, The House of Belonging, and Everything is Waiting for You. In addition, he is the author of two bestselling books of prose: The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America and Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity. His third prose book, The Three Marriages: Work, Self & Other, will be published in 2009. David Whyte lives with his family in the Pacific Northwest.
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Katherine J. Williams was Director of the Art Therapy Program at George Washington University for a number of years. She is now Associate Professor Emeritus at that university and is in private practice as an art therapist and clinical psychologist in Washington, DC, and Virginia. Her clinical articles on art therapy have appeared in The American Journal of Art Therapy and Art Therapy. Poems have been published in The Northern Virginia Review, Entelechy International, The Poet’s Cookbook, Poet Lore, plus others. Poems, an essay, and artwork are in Portrait of the Artist as Poet (Magnolia Press, 2006). Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Christina Daub's recent work is included in the anthologies Full Moon on K Street, edited by Kim Roberts, The Poet's Cookbook, edited by Grace Cavalieri, and 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day and The Paradelle, both edited by Billy Collins. She teaches Creative Writing and Poetry in the English Department at George Washington University and has taught in the Maryland and Virginia Poets in the Schools programs as well as to adults for many years at The Writer’s Center. She is the founder of The Plum Review, co-founder of the Plum Writers Retreat, and ran the Plum reading series for several years in DC in the 1990s. She is a recipient of the Margaret Emerson Bailey prize and a Young American Poet’s award. Her work has been translated into Russian and Italian.
Nan Fry is the author of two collections of poetry, Relearning the Dark and Say What I Am Called, a chapbook of translations. Her poems have appeared on posters in the transit systems of Washington, DC; Baltimore, Maryland; and Fort Collins, Colorado as part of the Poetry Society of America’s Poetry in Motion Program. She is the recipient of a work-in-progress grant and an Individual Artist’s Award from the Maryland State Arts Council and an EdPress Award for excellence in educational journalism. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines such as Plainsong, Poet Lore, and The Wallace Stevens Journal; in anthologies such as Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast (W.W. Norton) and The Beastly Bride (Viking); and in textbooks such as The Creative Process (St. Martin’s) and Discovering Literature (Prentice Hall). She teaches at The Writer’s Center, and for over ten years coordinated a benefit poetry series at Westmoreland Church in Bethesda, Maryland.
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Baron Wormser is the author/co-author of twelve full-length books and a poetry chapbook. His titles include The Road Washes Out in Spring: A Poet’s Memoir of Living Off the Grid; Scattered Chapters: New and Selected Poems; and a work of fiction entitled The Poetry Life: Ten Stories. In March 2011 his most recent book of poetry, Impenitent Notes, was published. He is a former poet laureate of Maine who teaches in the Fairfield University MFA Program and directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching. Wormser has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
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On June 12th, 2014, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Charles Wright as the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Charles Wright was born in Pickwick Dam, Tennessee on August 25, 1935. He is the author of 24 poetry collections, two books of essays, and three books of translation. His many honors include the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation, and the International Griffin Poetry Prize, as well as the 2008 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize in Poetry from the Library of Congress. Photo by Holly Wright.
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Monica Youn, is a Witter Bynner Fellow, selected by Charles Simic for 2008. She is an attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law and an adjunct assistant professor of creative writing at Columbia University. She is the author of Barter (2003). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including the Paris Review, Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century, and the Norton Anthology: Language for a New Century. She has earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton, a master's of philosophy from Oxford and a law degree from Yale. She has received the Rhodes Scholarship and the Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry at Stanford University.