Poetry in Baltimore, Spring 2018


Poetry Events in Baltimore This Semester

*for bios, below
3/4 Artivism Day
5pm, Impact Hub
3/8 ART Rising open mic, with featured performer TBA (Brought by Slammageddon Baltimore)
7:30pm, GLCCB, $5
3/29 Jenny Johnson* and francine j. Harris*
7pm, Batza Room in the Athenaeum, Goucher College
4/4 ART Rising open mic, with featured performer TBA (Brought by Slammageddon Baltimore)
7:30pm, GLCCB, $5
4/10 Terrance Hayes*
6pm, Mudd 26, Johns Hopkins University
4/11 Rigoberto Gonzales
5pm, Skylight Room in the Commons, UMBC
4/12 ART Rising open mic, with featured performer TBA (Brought by Slammageddon Baltimore)
7:30pm, GLCCB, $5
4/12 Black Ladies Brunch Collective*
7pm, Batza Room in the Athenaeum, Goucher College
4/19-21 DewMore Baltimore Youth Poetry Festival
4/21 Rudy Francisco,* featured performance
5/10 ART Rising open mic, with featured performer TBA (Brought by Slammageddon Baltimore)
7:30pm, GLCCB, $5

Chris August is a teacher and writer based out of Baltimore. He travels the world performing his work and has authored the collection Loving Instruments (Sargent Press, 2013). His poetry has been featured in Hyperlexia and the anthology From Page to Stage and Back Again. For over ten years, Chris August worked as a special educator in and around Baltimore city. During this time, he spent all of his free moments writing poetry and traveling the country to perform it. Over that time, he became involved in the national slam poetry community, which challenges writers to take their poetic works to the stage, competing with performance-ready versions of their best work. He has represented Baltimore, Washington, DC and Philadelphia at the National Poetry Slam and the Individual World Poetry slam, which he was lucky enough to win in 2011, after which he represented the United States at the Poetry World Cup in Paris, France.

Airea D. Matthews​’s first collection of poems, Simulacra, recipient of the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, has received praise from outlets including The New Yorker and The Washington Post. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Best American Poets 2015, American Poet, and elsewhere. She received the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and was awarded the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in 2016 from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Ms. Matthews is working on her second poetry collection, under/class, which explores poverty. She is an assistant professor at Bryn Mawr College.

Somali-born poet and essayist Ladan Osman​ is the author of The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony, winner of
the Sillerman First Book Prize, and the chapbook Ordinary Heaven. Her next collection Exiles of Eden, a
work of poetry, photos, and experimental text, is forthcoming in 2019. Osman’s writing is a lyric and
exegetic response to problems of race, gender, displacement, and colonialism. Throughout her writing,
Osman is concerned with the question of testimony. Whose testimony is valid? Whose testimony is worth recording? Osman has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem, and Luminarts Foundation, Michener Center for Writers Fellowship, among numerous other nominations. Osman’s writing and photographs have appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Roar, Rumpus, Transition, and Washington Square Review. She is a contributing culture editor for The Blueshift Journal. Osman currently lives in Brooklyn.

Jenny Johnson​ is the author of In Full Velvet, published by Sarabande Books in 2017. Her honors include a 2015 Whiting Award and a 2016-17 Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. She has also received awards and scholarships from the Blue Mountain Center, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia
Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo. Her poems have appeared in The New York Times, New England
Review, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. After earning a
BA/MT in English Education from the University of Virginia, she taught public school for several years in
San Francisco, and she spent ten summers on the staff of the UVA Young Writer’s Workshop. She earned
an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. She is a Contributing Editor at Waxwing Literary Journal. She teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and at the Rainier Writing Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University’s low-residency MFA program.

francine j. harris​ is originally from Detroit, Michigan, where she grew up in one of many neighborhoods
operating in economic limbo in the aftermath of the motor industry collapse. After high school, harris moved to Arizona and attended several community colleges part-time before earning scholarship to attend Arizona State University, where she earned a BA in English. harris spent the next several years working with grassroots organizing projects for community radio, social justice, and queer performing arts, while facilitating poetry workshops for young people and practicing visual art. harris moved back to Detroit in 2002. In 2011, she earned an MFA in Poetry from University of Michigan, where she was awarded a Zell Fellowship. harris is the author of allegiance (2012), a finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Open Book Award; and play dead (2016). Her poetry has appeared in many journals, including McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, Poetry, Meridian, Indiana Review, Callaloo, and Boston Review. A 2008 Cave Canem fellow, she has also won the 2014 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest and was awarded a 2015 NEA fellowship. harris has taught creative writing at University of Michigan and Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, and she is currently writer in residence at Washington University in St. Louis.

Terrance Hayes​ is the author of Lighthead (Penguin 2010), winner of the 2010 National Book Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His other books are Wind In a Box (Penguin 2006), Hip Logic (Penguin 2002), and Muscular Music (Tia Chucha Press, 1999). His honors include a Whiting Writers Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a United States Artists Zell Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship. How To Be Drawn (Penguin 2015), his most recent collection of poems, was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award, the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award, and received the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Poetry. He is the current poetry editor at New York Times Magazine and has two forthcoming manuscripts: American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin (Penguin, 2018), and To Float In The Space Between: Drawings and Essays in Conversation with Etheridge Knight (Wave, 2018).

Rigoberto González​ is the author of 17 books of poetry and prose, most recently Unpeopled Eden, winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Recipient of the Guggenheim, NEA, NYFA, and USA Rolón fellowships, he is currently professor of creative writing at the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark and on the board of trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). His book of criticism Pivotal Voices, Era of Transition: Toward a 21st Century Poetics is forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press Poets on Poetry Series.

Black Ladies Brunch Collective​:
Katy Richey​’s work has appeared in Rattle, Cincinnati Review, RHINO, The Offing and other journals. She
received an honorable mention for the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Poetry Award. She is a Cave Canem fellow and hosts the Sunday Kind of Love reading series open mic at Busboys and Poets in Washington D.C. Tafisha A. Edwards​ ​is the author of THE BLOODLET, winner of Phantom Books’ 2016 Breitling Chapbook Prize. Her work has appeared in The Offing, PHANTOM, Bodega Magazine, The Atlas Review, The Little Patuxent Review, and other print and online publications. She is a Cave Canem Graduate fellow and a graduate of UMD College Park’s Journalism school. Saida Agostini​ ​is a Cave Canem fellow, and lover of Prince. A queer Afro-Guyanese poet and social worker, Saida’s work has been featured in several publications. Anya Creightney​, a Cave Canem fellow, is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico with roots in Kingston and Copenhagen. A poet, editor and coordinator, she is a Programs Specialist at the Poetry & Literature Center in the Library of Congress. Teri Ellen Cross Davis​ is a Cave Canem fellow and has received scholarships to attend the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her first collection HAINT was published in June, 2016 by Gival Press. Poet and journalist celeste doaks​ i​s the author of Cornrows and Cornfields,  (Wrecking Ball Press, UK) March 2015. Cornrows was listed as one of the Ten Best Books of 2015 by Beltway Quarterly Poetry. Her journalism has appeared in the Huffington Post, Village Voice, Time Out New York. Currently, she is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at University of Delaware.

Rudy Francisco’s​ spoken word art is an amalgamation of social critique, introspection, honesty and humor, using personal narratives to discuss the politics of race, class, gender and religion while simultaneously pinpointing and reinforcing the interconnected nature of human existence. He has conducted guest lectures and performances at countless colleges and universities across the nation. Francisco has shared stages with prominent artists such as Gladys Knight, Jordin Sparks, Musiq Soul Child, and Jill Scott. He is also the co-host of the largest poetry venue in San Diego, competes in domestic and international poetry slam competitions and had the honor of being nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Ultimately, Rudy’s goal is to continue to assist others in harnessing their creativity while cultivating his own. Rudy Francisco is the 2009 National Underground Poetry Slam Champion, 2010 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and appeared on TV One’s “Verses and Flow”

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