Ruben Quesada reads and discusses with host Lisa Grove three poem from his collection Next Extinct Mammal (Greenhouse Review Press, 2011). A native of Los Angeles and a first-generation Costa Rican American, Quesada is founder and publisher of Codex Journal, poetry editor for The Cossack Review, Cobalt Review, and Luna Luna Magazine. He has been a fellow and writer-in-residence at Red Lodge Clay Center, Lambda Literary Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, Napa Valley Writers' Conference, Vermont Studio Center, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Santa Fe Art Institute, and Canto Mundo.
Kim Dower reads and discusses with host Lisa Grove three poem from her third collection, Last Train to the Missing Planet (Red Hen Press, 2016). Her first collection, Air Kissing on Mars, (Red Hen Press, 2010) was on the Poetry Foundation's Contemporary Best Sellers list. Her work has been featured in Garrison Keillor's "The Writer's Almanac" and Ted Kooser's "American Life in Poetry," as well as in Ploughshares, Barrow Street, Rattle, and Eclipse. Her poems are included in the anthologies, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, (Beyond Baroque Books, 2015) and Coiled Serpent: Poets arising from the cultural quakes and shifts of Los Angeles (Tia Chucha Press, 2016).
Mahtem Shiferraw is a poet and visual artist who grew up in Ethiopia and Eritrea and now lives in Southern California. Winner of the 2015 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, she is the author of a full collection, FUCHSIA (Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2016), and a chapbook, Behind Walls & Glass (Finishing Line Press, 2016). She is founder and executive editor of black lioness press & studio, promoting the literary and artistic work of people of color. Her work has appeared in numerous journals including The 2River View, Cactus Heart Press, Luna Luna Magazine, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and The Bitter Oleander Press. Shiferraw holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Piotr Florczyk is the author of the collection East & West (Lost Horse Press, 2016), the chapbook Barefoot (Eyewear Publishing, 2015), and Los Angeles Sketchbook (Spuyten Duyvil Publishing, 2015), a collection of personal essays. Born in Kraków, Poland, and now living and teaching in Los Angeles, he has translated six volumes by prominent Polish poets. His poems, translations, essays and reviews have appeared in many journals, including The American Scholar, Boston Review, The New Yorker, Los Angeles Review of Books, Poetry International, Slate, The Southern Review, and the London Times Literary Supplement. Florczyk is one of the founders of Calypso Editions, a cooperative press, and is translation editor of The Los Angeles Review.
Zachary Asher Greenberg, author of the chapbook Scarlight (Ravenna Press, 2014), has had poems published in The Columbia Review, CutBank, The Greensboro Review, Juked Magazine, Sleet Magazine and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vanderbilt University, where he was co-founding editor of the online literary arts and music journal Nashville Review. He has facilitated creative writing workshops for cancer patients and survivors and led poetry writing and meditation workshops. A native Californian, he currently teaches Language Arts at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles.
Chen Chen's collection, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions Ltd., 2017) was selected by Jericho Brown for the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. Other recent honors include New Delta Review's Matt Clark Editors' Choice Award in Poetry, Syracuse University's Joyce Carol Oates Award for Best Group of Poems (selected by Ishion Hutchinson), and Texas Tech Univ.'s Warren S. Walker Award for Best Critical Writing in a Graduate English Course. He has authored two chapbooks, Kissing the Sphinx (Two of Cups Press, 2016) and Set the Garden on Fire (Porkbelly Press, 2015). His work has appeared in Poetry and The Best American Poetry, among other places. He is pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Texas Tech Univ., where he is Managing Editor for Iron Horse. He is also the Prose and Social Media Editor of Gabby Journal.
Safiya Sinclair's first full-length collection, Cannibal (Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2016), won the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and a 2016 Whiting Writers' Award. It was one of BuzzFeed's Best Poetry Books of 2016, one of The New Yorker's "Books We Loved in 2016," and a Publishers Weekly "Most Anticipated Book of Fall 2016." Born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Sinclair is currently a PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Poetry magazine, The Kenyon Review, The Nation, New England Review, Boston Review, TriQuarterly, and the Iowa Review. In 2015, she won the Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest. She has been awarded fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Amy Clampitt Residency Award, an Academy of American Poets Prize, the Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner, and a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.
Angela Peñaredondo is the author of All Things Lose Thousands of Times (Inlandia Institute, 2016), winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize and the chapbook, Maroon (Jamii Publications). Born in Iloilo City, Philippines, she/siya is a Pilipinx/Pin@y poet and artist now living in Southern California, sometimes identifying as "a usual ghost, comet or part-time animal." Her work has appeared in The Margins, Drunken Boat, Four Way Review, Cream City Review, Southern Humanities Review among other journals. Peñaredondo is a VONA/Voices of our Nations Art fellow, a recipient of a University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Grant, Gluck Program of the Arts Fellowship, Naropa University's Zora Neal Hurston Award, Squaw Valley Writers Fellowship and Fishtrap Fellowship.
For Erin Rodoni, 2017 was a big year. Her poem "Caesura" won the $20,000 Montreal International Poetry Prize, judged by Michael Harris, while her collection, Body, in Good Light, was published by Sixteen Rivers Press in April and her collection, A Landscape for Loss, was released by NFSPS Press in May, having won the National Federation of State Poetry Societies 2016 Stevens Manuscript Award, judged by Tony Barnstone. Rodoni's work has appeared in Colorado Review, Cimarron Review, Drunken Boat, Verse Daily, and Spoon River Poetry Review, among others. Her poetry was included in the Best New Poets 2014 anthology and received awards from the Assoc. of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) and Ninth Letter. She holds a BA from UC Berkeley and an MFA from San Diego State. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two young daughters.
Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and the first undocumented student to graduate from the Univ. of Michigan's Creative Writing MFA program. His collection, Cenzontle (BOA editions, 2018), won the 2017 A. Poulin, Jr. prize. His chapbook, DULCE, was chosen by Chris Abani as the winner of the Drinking Gourd Poetry Prize. His memoir, Children of the Land, is forthcoming from Harper Collins. Castillo is a cofounder of the Undocupoets campaign which successfully eliminated citizenship requirements from all major first poetry book prizes in the country and was recognized with the Barnes and Noble "Writers for Writers" award. He has translated the work of Argentinian modernist poet, Jacobo Fijman and co-translated Mexican poet Marcelo Uribe with the late C.D. Wright. His work has appeared on the PBS NewsHour, in New England Review, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Southern Humanities Review, and BuzzFeed, among other publications. He lectures at Cal. State Univ., Sacramento, and teaches summers at The Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.