Afaa Micheal WeaverPicture2

(Michael S. Weaver) is the author of twelve books of poetry, most recently The Government of Nature (U Pitt 2013).  He has received NEA and Pew fellowships in poetry, as well as the May Sarton Award, a Fulbright appointment to teach in Taiwan, and two Pushcart prizes.  In 1993, he received the PDI Award in playwriting from ETA Creative Arts Foundation in Chicago.  His new play is GRIP.  A veteran of fifteen years as a factory worker in his native Baltimore, Afaa did his graduate work in Creative Writing at Brown University (1985-87), where he was admitted with a university fellowship. He has intermediate level fluency in Mandarin and has translated works by some contemporary Chinese poets.  In 2005 he received the Gold Friendship Medal from the Chinese Writers’ Association in Beijing.  Afaa lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Gerald Sternimage14

Gerald was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1925 and was educated at the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University.  He is the author of 15 books of poetry, including, most recently, Save the Last Dance  (Norton, 2008) and Everything is Burning (Norton, 2005), as well as This Time:  New and Selected Poems, which won the 1998 National Book Award.  Early Collected:  Poems from 1965-1992 was published by W. W.  Norton in the spring of 2010, and the paperback of his personal essays titled What I Can’t Bear Losing, was published in the fall of 2009 by Trinity University Press. Stern has a memoir from Trinity University Press, Stealing History, due in 2012, along with a new book of poems from W. W. Norton, In Beauty Bright.  He was awarded the 2005 Wallace Stevens Award by the Academy of American Poets and is currently a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.  He is retired from the University of Iowa Writers’ WorkshopIn 2012, Gerald Stern was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Shara McCallum


Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Shara McCallum is the author of four books: The Face of Water: New and Selected Poems (Peepal Tree Press, UK, 2011), This Strange Land (Alice James Books, 2011), Song of Thieves (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003), and The Water Between Us (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999), winner of the 1998 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize for Poetry. Her poems have been translated into Spanish and Romanian. Her personal essays have been published in The Antioch Review, Creative Nonfiction, and Witness. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a 2011 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, individual artist grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, and an Academy of American Poets Prize. This Strange Land was a finalist for the 2012 OCM Bocas Prize. Since 2003, she has served as director of the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University, where she also teaches creative writing and literature. (Visiting faculty, Spring 2014)

Anne Marie Macariimage9

Anne Marie’s third book, She Heads Into The Wilderness, was published in 2008 by Autumn House Press. In 2000 she won the APR/Honickman first book prize for Ivory Cradle, chosen by Robert Creeley. She is also the author of Gloryland, published by Alice James Books. In 2005 Macari won the James Dickey Prize from Five Points Magazine, and her poems have appeared in numerous other magazines such as: The Iowa Review, The American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, and Field

Gary Short


An itinerant poet at heart, Gary Short has surveyed the universe of Guatemala, Albania, Mexico and, most recently, Tasmania. Throughout all of these journeys, he has returned to the landscape that claims him: The Comstock, a mining area in Nevada. He thinks of this last place and Guatemala as his twin homes, his private domain that both welcome the itinerant one on his terms.

Judith Vollmer

image6Judith’s fifth book of poetry, The Water Books, was published by Autumn House Press in 2012. Her previous collection, Reactor (University of Wisconsin Press 2004), was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and featured in the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Her other books include The Door Open to the Fire, awarded The Cleveland State Poetry Prize in 1997 and finalist honors for the Paterson Prize; Black Butterfly (limited edition), awarded the Center for Book Arts chapbook prize in 1997; essay on Baudelaire, “The Stroll and Preparation for Departure” is included in the Cambridge Companion to Baudelaire (Cambridge University Press 2006).

Sean Nevin

Sean is the author of Oblivio Gate (SouthSean Nevin Head Shot June 2013ern Illinois University Press) and A House That Falls (Slapering Hol Press). His honors include a Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize for Poetry, the Alsop Review Poetry Prize, the Katherine C. Turner Academy of American Poets University Prize, and two fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals including The Gettysburg Review, North American Review, and JAMA, and anthologies including Family Matters: Poems of Our Families (Bottom Dog Press), Beyond Forgetting: Prose and Poetry about Alzheimer’s (Kent State University Press) and the anthology from the Academy of American Poets, New Voices: University and College Prizes 1998-2008. His poetry and interviews have recently been featured on NPR’s nationally syndicated shows ‘The Story with Dick Gordon’ and ‘Speaking of Faith’ with Krista Tippett. He directs the MFA Program in Poetry and Poetry in Translation at Drew University.

Joan LarkinJoanLarkin

Joan received the 2011 Shelley Memorial Award as well as the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, awarded annually for distinguished poetic achievement by an American poet. Larkin’s My Body: New and Selected Poems (Hanging Loose Press), received the Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award. Her other books include Housework, A Long Sound, Sor Juana’s Love Poems (translated with Jaime Manrique), Cold River, recipient of a Lambda Award, and the chapbook Lakes Tipped With Small Claws (Argos Books 2013). She edited the ground-breaking anthologies Amazon Poetry and Lesbian Poetry with Elly Bulkin and Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Our Time with Carl Morse, served as poetry editor for the first three years of the queer literary journal, Bloom.

Geoffrey Brock


Geoffrey is an award winning poet and poet translator. Born in Atlanta, he received an MFA from the University of Florida and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Brock’s poetry has been featured in several anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2007. His first collection of poetry,Weighing Light (2005), won the New Criterion Poetry Prize.

Ellen Doré Watsonwatson

Ellen’s most recent volume of poems is Dogged Hearts (Tupelo Press, 2010). Her other books include This Sharpening, also from Tupelo, and two from Alice James, We Live in Bodies and Ladder Music, winner of the New England/New York award. Broken Railings was awarded the Green Lake Chapbook Award from Owl Creek Press. Individual poems have appeared widely in literary journals, including The American Poetry Review, Tin House, and The New Yorker.  Among her honors are a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artists Grant, a Rona Jaffe Writers Award, fellowships to Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, the Zoland Poetry Fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center, and a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship.  She has translated a dozen books from the Brazilian Portuguese, including The Alphabet in the Park: Selected Poems of Adélia Prado (Wesleyan University Press). Watson has also co-translated contemporary Arabic language poetry with Saadi Simawe, and a second book of Prado translations is due from Tupelo in 2012.

Alicia Ostriker


Alicia has published twelve volumes of poetry, most recently The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems, 1979-2011 and The Book of Seventy (for which she received the 2009 Jewish National Book Award), The Volcano Sequence and No Heaven. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, Paris Review, Yale Review, Ontario Review, The Nation, and many other journals and anthologies. Twice a National Book Award finalist, she has also received awards from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the Poetry Society of America, the San Francisco Poetry Center, and the Paterson Poetry Center. As a critic, she is the author of Stealing the Language: The Emergence of Women’s Poetry in America, and other books on poetry and on the bible. Her newest prose work is For the Love of God: the Bible as an Open Book.

Jean ValentineJeanValentine

Jean was the State Poet of New York from 2008-2010. She won the Yale Younger Poets Award for her first book, Dream Barker, in 1965. Her eleventh book of poetry is Break the Glass from Copper Canyon Press. Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965-2003 was the winner of the 2004 National Book Award for Poetry. She was awarded the Wallace Stevens Award by the Academy of American Poets in 2010, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2011.