Welcome to the 2nd Annual St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival 2016

St. Louis is America’s throbbing heartland of poetry. We have a rich poetry tradition, with a history of producing such influential word masters as Sara Teasdale, T.S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, Tennessee Williams, William Burroughs and Maya Angelou. Area universities, with award winning poets such as Howard Nemerov, Donald Finkel, Gerald Early, David Clewell, Mary Jo Bhang, Carl Phillips and Howard Schwartz have nurtured local and national poets for decades. But the real explosion of poetry in the St. Louis area has occurred in our streets and communities. This flowering goes back to the sixties and seventies with the activities of the Black Artists Group (BAG) and River Styx, and bolstered in the following decades by groups like The Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club, the St. Louis Poetry Center, Legacy Café & Books, The Soulard Culture Squad, Washington University’s International Writers Center, Chance Operations, KDHX radio, and others. Youthful poets are being developed by the 7th Grade Poetry Foundation, Urb Arts, and River Styx’s Hungry Young Poets series. Today, poetry events occur all over the city—in bars, galleries, places of worship, libraries, schools, and senior and community centers. On any given day or night you can hear a published poet, a spoken word artist, a youth poet, a senior poet, or a fledgling poet share their word.

 

As St. Louis’s first Poet Laureate it is an honor to represent such a poetic place with its rich tradition and many poetry communities. The first St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival grew out of my efforts to unite those communities by bringing poetry presenters together to form a Unity Community team that would produce a series of readings to celebrate the richness and diversity of poets and poetries in our region. And, projecting the theme of Unity Community, the series would aspire to be a collective voice and model, spreading the word about the need for honest dialogue and unity in St. Louis and surroundings. The presenters embraced the Unity Community idea and began collaborating and producing readings.. And once these presenters started talking with one another, other ideas sprung up. The first St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival is a result.

 

The power and powers of poetry are on display with five days of panel discussions, readings, and workshops--and Shakespeare in the Street! A tasty buffet to sample, or to approach with the attitude of all you can eat. So I invite you to satisfy your taste buds, and stimulate and expand your consciousness while you’re at it. Poetry unites people.

 

Michael Castro

First Poet Laureate of St. Louis

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13:

ST. LOUIS BRICK CITY POETRY FESTIVAL KICKOFF

"Crossing the Divide"- Anthology Reading

Location: The Stage @ KDHX, 3524 Washington Ave., St. Louis, MO 63103

• Time:  6pm--10pm

• Hosts: Pacia Anderson and Jim Goodman

• The 4th Annual Shakespeare in the Streets

 

Event Description:

On Opening Night, the St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival is honored to introduce the social justice anthology "Crossing the Divide," a collection of works written by St. Louis poets. The evening will feature a reading by anthology contributors and Los Angeles-based poet and publisher Mark Lipman of Vagabond Books. The night will also include a collaborative poetic invocation produced by A Call to Conscience, as well as performances byThe Eugene B. Redmond's Writer's Club, and the Verbquake youth poetry slam team, who's contributions will welcome, honor, and uplift those who have come before, as well as pay tribute to our courageous city as it stands today!

 

"Reception will be held from 6-7pm. Copies of the "Crossing the Divide' anthology will be available for purchase, as well as publications and other work by featured anthology readers.*

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14:

THE INAUGURAL YOUTH POET LAUREATE OF ST. LOUIS AWARDS

Location: UrbArts, 2600 N. 14th Street, St. Louis, MO 63106

Time: 7pm--9pm

Hosts: MK Stallings

 

Event Description:

The Youth Poet Laureate Program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, diversity and inclusion, and education across Greater St. Louis. Along with winning the prestigious title of St. Louis Youth Poet Laureate, the winning poet will also win a book deal from Penmanship Books to publish their first collection of poems, as well as a library tour.

 

During this event, we will announce the winner of the inaugural St. Louis Youth Poet Laureate and introduce the ten applicants that will serve as Youth Poetry Ambassadors. Attendees will not only have the opportunity to witness this historic St. louis milestone, but will be treated to the first public readings by these dynamic youth who will are working to deepen the roots and grow the legacy of our St. Louispoetic heritage!

 

The St. Louis Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of Urban Word NYC and Urb Arts, with support from the St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival, The Gateway Writing Project, Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis, Penmanship Books, The Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, and Cave Canem.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15:

BRICK CITY POETRY FESTIVAL WRITING WORKSHOP

Location: 14th Street Artist Community, 2701 N. 14th Street, St. Louis, MO 63106

Time: 11:30am-1pm

Hosts: Jane Ellen Ibur

Workshop Description:

 

Get ready for lost of fun, and hard work. In this workshop, poets will go on a journey from writing in teams, using poetry as a community building exercise on a particular topic. Then, the second half of the workshop, poets will write in a formal style to a prompt, and write in a formal style from a perspective not our own. Come open! Please bring  I'll pen and paper.

 

The St. Louis Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of Urban Word NYC and Urb Arts, with support from the St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival, The Gateway Writing Project, Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis, Penmanship Books, The Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, and Cave Canem.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15:

WARRIOR POET INDUCTION CEREMONY

Location: 14th Street Artist Community, 2701 N. 14th Street, St. Louis, MO 63106

Time: 2:00pm-4pm

Hosts: Kevin McCameron

 

Event Description:

 

The Warrior Poets Ceremony celebrates those fierce word warriors who reside in the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area and have contributed greatly to the literary arts of this region. Join us as well celebrate the latest inductees at this special event. Current Warrior Poets include Dr. Michael Castro, Shirley Bradley LeFlore, Dr. Eugene B. Redmond, Uncle Bill, Jane Ellen Ibur, David A.N. Jackson among others.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15:

DYNAMIC WOMEN, FEATURING POET AND PLAYWRIGHT, SHIRLEY LEFLORE, MISSOURI POET LAUREATE, ALIKI BARNSTONE, AND POET, CHEERAZ GORMON

Featuring Poet and Playwright, Shirley LeFlore

Location: project + gallery, 4733 McPherson Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108

Time: 8:00pm-10pm

Hosts: Adrienne Davis

 

Event Description:

 

Dynamic Women honors the life and work of poet, author and educator Dr. Shirley Bradley-LeFlore. The event will include special guest, Missouri Poet Laureate Aliki Barnstone, and will feature St. Louis-based poet and author Cheeraz Gormon. As an original member of the famed Black Arts Group (BAG), LeFlore is a Warrior Poet, oral performer, and accomplished playwright who's talent has broken the boundaries of traditional poetic norms; fusing the likes of music and dance in her artistic practice. LeFlore has collaborated with some of the most celebrated names in the literary and performing arts, and has, over the course of five decades, inspired artists of all ages, genres, and ethnicities. The St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival is honored to pay tribute to this titan of the St. Louis Poetry community in the city to which she has dedicated near-lifetime of service.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16:

KEYNOTE ADDRESS FEATURING, UNITED STATES POET LAUREATE JUAN FELIPE HERRERA

Location: St. Louis Public Library (Central Branch), 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO, 63103

Time: 2:00pm-4pm

Reception: 5:00pm-7pm, Schlafly Tap Room, 2100 Locust Street, St. Louis, MO 63103

Hosts: Linda Smith

 

Event Description:

 

The 2nd Annual St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival is proud to present the United States Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera.

 

Mr. Herrera will share his journey coming from a family of migrant workers to the nation’s first Latino United States Poet Laureate.  Inspired by the activist spirit of his mother, he has spent his life” crossing borders, erasing boundaries and expanding the American chorus.”  His latest book, Notes on the Assemblage, published in 2015, Herrera appeals to Americans and artists. His forceful poetry speaks directly and powerfully, like the address of a leader rousing his battalions to action…forcing us to confront society and its paradoxes.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 17th:

RIVER STYX AT CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM SERIES

Location: St. Louis Contemporary Art Museum (CAM), 3750 Washington Ave., St. Louis, MO 631108

Time: 7:30pm-9pm

Admission: $5, Students and Seniors $4

Hosts: Steve Schroeder & Kim Lozano

Event Description:

 

Since 1975, River Styx literary magazine has hosted monthly readings by National Book Award winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, and established as well as up-and-coming authors on the national and local scene. Come and enjoy the best in contemporary literature along asRiver Styx’s beloved reading series continues its 42nd season by partnering with the St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival to bring you three readers—Sandra Beasley, Justin Phillip Reed, and Jon Tribble—on October 17th at 7:30 p.m. at the Contemporary Art Museum. Cash bar will be available. Admission is $5 for the general public and $4 for students and seniors.

Featured Poets

Alex Balogh

Aliki Barnstone

Alison Rollins

Alex Balogh is the author of the novel Accidental Destination, set in 1970s’ countercultural Oregon, as well as the poetry collection And Yet. Both are published by Cool Way Press. He currently teaches creative writing at Lindenwood University.

Aliki Barnstone was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1956, and grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. She is the daughter of Willis Barnstone, a writer, and Elli Tzalopoulou-Barnstone, an artist. Until the mid-70s, Aliki spent summers in Brandon, Vermont with her parents and her brothers, Robert and Tony. The Barnstones lived near Ruth Stone, and her three daughters, Marcia, Phoebe, and Abigail. The families often gathered at Ruth’s home in Goshen and sat around her fireplace for delicious spaghetti dinners and the poetry game.

Born and raised in St. Louis city, currently works as a Youth Specialist with the St. Louis County Library system.  Alison holds a BS in Psychology from Howard University where she studied poetry under Professor Tony Medina. She is a founding member of the St. Louis City Reading Series “South Grand Lost Poets.” Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Vinyl, Poetry Magazine and elsewhere.

Allison Creighton

Anna Lum

Carole Cohen

Allison Creighton holds an MFA from the University of Missouri-St. Louis where she received the MFA Prize in Poetry for 2002. In 2010, she received first prize in the Wednesday Club of St. Louis Original Poetry contest. Her work has been published in Potomac Review, The Mochila Review, Natural Bridge, and two anthologies; and her critical essay, “Reconciling God, Revisioning Prayer, and Reaching into the Spaces Between in Selected Works by Alicia Ostriker, Marcia Falk, and Rachel Blau DuPlessis,” will appear in the book, Imagining the Jewish God, forthcoming from Lexington Books. Her first book of poetry, Drawing Down the Moon, was published by Turning Point in 2015. Allison teaches technical writing at Washington University in St Louis and serves as a contributing editor for River Styx.

Anna Lum teaches Tai Chi (since 1973).  She evolved from computer programming to poetry/design. The Urge to Play God, published by MoonShadow Press led to performing her poetry nationally and internationally.  Volunteering excessively on numerous arts boards she was named St. Louis Woman of Achievement in cultural awareness in 2002.

Carole Cohen graduated from UMSL with a BA in English, and was former poetry editor for Boulevard literary magazine.  Her poems have appeared in many magazines, among which are Cape Rock, Madison Review, Ascent, Sou’wester, Margie and Spoon River Poetry Review.  She has also had her Door poem series featured at the Mary Tomas Gallery in Dallas, where artists interpreted her poems in mixed media.  Her work has also appeared in several anthologies.  She has published two books, Restless Beauty and The World Arranged.

Carter Revard

Cheeraz Gormon

Chris "The Enigmatic" Ware

Carter Revard, Osage on his father’s side, was born in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and grew up in the Buck Creek Valley community on the Osage reservation. After graduating from the one-room school in Buck Creek, he went on to College-High School in Bartlesville, where he won a radio quiz scholarship to the University of Tulsa. In 1952 he won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University and was given his Osage name by his grandmother, Mrs. Josephine Jump, and the tribal elders. He took a B.A. in English at Oxford, then a Ph.D. in English from Yale University, then from 1956 through 1996 taught at Amherst College and at Washington University, St. Louis, publishing in scholarly journals and volumes on medieval manuscript and literary studies, linguistics and computers, and American Indian literature and culture. His poems and autobiographical essays include Ponca War Dancers (1980), An Eagle Nation (1994), Cowboys and Indians, Christmas Shopping (1992), Family Matters, Tribal Affairs (1998), Winning the Dust Bowl (2001), How the Songs Come Down (2005), and From the Extinct Volcano, a Bird of Paradise (2012).

Cheeraz Gormon is a, North St. Louis native, life-long activist, internationally touring spoken word artist and published poet, documentary photographer turned award-winning advertising copywriter. Cheeraz’s first published book of poetry, “In The Midst of Loving,” a collection compiled and edited down over 14-years was released in March of 2015. She is founder of Alchemy 7 Publishing and Night Writers STL, a writer’s workshop and reading series.

Chris “The Enigmatic” Ware is a poet, a vocalist, an actor and a musician. This self taught guitarist and trombonist was born and raised in the City of St. Louis. Joining the Marine Corps in 2006, he returns home to a new mission: to uplift and empower those in his community to see the brighter side in life. Chris Ware has traveled the country delivering his gifts to any and all that would hear him. He is the 2013 Moorish Festival Poetry Slam Champion (St. Louis), the 2014 Urb Poetry Slam Champion (St. Louis), the 2014 Winter Soul-Spit Grandslam Champion (Louisville, KY) and the 2014 Write or Die Slam Champion (Lexington, KY). In 2014, as a member of the Urb Poetry Slam Team, he contributed to his team receiving a top 6 ranking at the National Poetry Slam in Oakland, CA. Recently, he’s appeared in Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ production of A World Begun, Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s As You Like It and The St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre’s presentation of The Colored Museum.

Chris Devcich

Darlene Roy

David A. N. Jackson

Chris Devcich is a musician, songwriter, emcee, poet, DJ, producer, filmmaker and activist, to name a few hats he wears. He is a Hip Hop artist who performs under the alias Guido Corleone and a member of the Venice, Los Angeles-based Hip Hop crew the Luminaries. Perhaps more than anything – he is trying to be a helper. His Mother was born and raised in the St. Louis area, growing up in the town of Kirkwood, MO, which has brought him to St. Louis many times throughout his life. Having traveled and toured across the country and various parts of the world, alongside artists ranging from the likes of Dead Prez to the Dead Kennedys. Devcich loves rocking shows, connecting with people from all over and learning from their Culture. In embracing his own humanness, and channeling it through his art, he is finding a way to see all things – and all life – as relative. He shines a light into his own darkness to reveal The Truth, standing with The People in Love and Solidarity.

Darlene Roy, an East St. Louis, IL native, is co-founder / president of the Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club, associate editor of DrumVoices Revue, and has performed on radio, television, and at conferences throughout the United States. Her poetry has appeared in Ain’t But a Place: An Anthology of St. Louis Writers, Eyeball, St. Louis Muse, and Literati Chicago; on Metro Link buses and trains; in a chapbook, Soon One Morning and other Poems; and in her first full-length volume, Afrosynthesis: A Feast of Poetry & Folklore. An alumnus of East St. Louis Lincoln High School, she is a retired social services administrator.

David A.N. Jackson is a poet, musician, and crafts artist living in St. Louis. He was a core member of the Warrior Poets ensemble, and often appears accompanying other poets with his eclectic assemblage of percussion and other instruments and objects.

Deborah Mashibini-Prior

Dorothy "Dottie" Payne

Dr. Eugene B. Redmond

Deborah Mashibini-Prior currently lives, writes and teaches English Composition as an adjunct instructor from her home in Enfield, New Hampshire, although St. Louis has always felt like her creative home.  There, she was an active member of the St. Louis poetry community in the early 1980’s, and then again from 2006 – 2013.  Her work has been published in online and print journals and anthologies, including the 2016 anthology What Does It Mean to be White in America, HEArtOnline, Postcard Poems & Prose, The Harwood Anthology, American Society: What Poets See, Untamed Ink, DrumVoices Revue, the St. Louis Black Pages and No Vacancy: A Voice for Those Without One.

Dorothy “Dottie” Payne is a poet/artist /culture critic/ international educator who has performed her poetry and organized poetry events in Jamaica, the West Indies, and San Francisco and St. Louis.  She participated in an International Poetry Festival in Havana, Cuba in the summer of 2015.  She has run the Art Internationale Gallery and Art Lounge in San Francisco, and served as the artistic director of the Warrior Poets in St. Louis. Her essays have appeared in the St. Louis American, Jakarta Java Kini, Left Curve and Rain Taxi. She has published poems in magazines and anthologies and recently published her first book, Birthmarks. She is member of the internationally acclaimed Revolutionary Poets Brigade.

Eugene B. Redmond is a poet, educator, scholar and arts activist. He is the longest serving Poet Laureate in the United States, serving East St. Louis since 1977. His books include Drum Voices, a seminal study of modern African American poetry; Eye in the Ceiling: Selected Poems, recipient of the American Book Award, and Arkansippi Memwars: Poems, Prose, and Chants 1962-2012.  Redmond is the inspiration and guiding light for the Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club, celebrating its thirtieth year of mentoring writers and producing culturally enriching programming.

DuEwa Frazier

Dwight Bitikofer

Elva Maxine Beach

DuEwa Frazier is an award nominated poet, writer, author, speaker, and educator from St. Louis.  She is the editor of the NAACP Image Award nominated Check the Rhyme Anthology, and is the author of several volumes of poetry, including Goddess Under the Bridge: Poems.  Her poetry and essays have featured online, in literary journals, and magazines. She earned the MFA degree in Creative Writing at The New School in New York.

Dwight Bitikofer is an active member of the St. Louis poetry community. He is a St. Louis Poetry Center board member and president-elect.  His poems have appeared in Natural Bridge, Flood Stage, Untamed Ink and St. Louis Reflections.  A Bitikofer poem won first place in the 2013 James H. Nash Members Contest for St. Louis Poetry Center. Bitikofer performs “po-jazz” with spiritual jazz maestro Raven Wolf C. Felton Jennings II. Bitikofer lives and works in the St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves.

Elva Maxine Beach, author of Neurotica, (2008, New Belleville Press, Austin, TX), teaches creative writing and literature at St. Louis Community College-Meramec. She is currently obsessed with crafting a series of flash memoirs set in her Kansas City junior high and high school in the late 1970s when “Sex, Drugs, and Rock n Roll” ruled, and kids like her had no rules.  Several of her prose flashbacks were recently published in Toad Suck Review and The Low Valley Review.

Fatemeh Keshavarz

Gregory S. Carr

Hari Sky Campbell

Fatemeh Keshavarz, who formerly taught at Washington University in St. Louis holds the Roshan Chair in Persian Studies and directs the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at University of Maryland, College Park. She is a published poet and author of six monographs including Reading Mystical Lyric: the Case of Jalal al-Din Rumi and Recite in the Name of the Red Rose: Poetic Sacred Making in Twentieth Century Iran (winners, Choice Magazine Award). Her book Jasmines and Stars: Reading more than Lolita in Tehran was described by ALA Booklist as an excellent counterpoint to Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran. Recently, Edinburgh University Press published her book Lyrics of Life: Sa’di on Love, Cosmopolitanism, and Care of the Self (2015). The show “Speaking of Faith” featuring her in the hour-long episode “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi,” received the 2008 Peabody Award.  In 2013, Keshavarz was named poet of the month by NPR’s Grace Cavalieri, host of Poetry and the Poet.

Gregory S. Carr is a published playwright, essayist and poet. His play, Sandtown, was published as a part of the Catholic University of America’s anthology Sacred Acts. Several of his plays have been produced in Los Angeles, New York, Cleveland, and Dallas. Two of his award-winning plays, Johnnie Taylor is Gone and A Colored Funeral received four-week runs at the historic Karamu House in Cleveland. His essay, “Top Brass: Theatricality, Themes, and Theology” in James Weldon Johnson’s God’s Trombones” was published in Theatre Symposium, 21: Ritual, Religion, and Theatre by the Alabama Press. Gregory has written several volumes of poetry including: In Praise of Black Women, All My Ancestors, Rhetoric, and Notes from an Urban Theater of War. Gregory is an instructor of Speech and Theatre at Harris-Stowe State University in the Department of Humanities.

Hari Sky Campbell was a frequent winner in the early poetry slams in St. Louis. He was instrumental in bringing the national slam tournament here in 2004. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2006, and received first prize in the Spoken Word category by St. Louis Area Jobs With Justice program. His work has been featured at the Missouri History Museum, and he was featured as Writer Laureate by the St. Louis Black Pages. Hari has given workshops in a variety of educational contexts. Hari’s book, Shawmul’s House came out in 2000.

Howard Schwartz

Jacqui Germain

James Stone Goodman

Howard Schwartz, a three-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award, is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is the editor of four important collections of Jewish folklore: Elijah’s Violin, Miriam’s Tambourine, Lilith’s Cave and Gabriel’s Palace. He is also the author of Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism, which won the National Jewish Book Award in 2005. His book, Leaves from the Garden of Eden: One Hundred Classic Jewish Tales, was published by Oxford University Press in 2008. He has published five books of poems. The most recent is The Library of Dreams, published in 2013.

Jacqui Germain is a freelance writer, essayist, Callaloo Fellow and Pushcart Prize nominated poet living in St. Louis, Missouri. She’s the author of “When the Ghosts Come Ashore,” published through Button Poetry and Exploding Pinecone Press. Her writing focuses on historical and contemporary iterations of black, brown and indigenous resistance, which she believes is deeply urgent work that both exists on the page and extends beyond it.

James Stone Goodman is a writer and a musician, playing guitar, oud, percussion and other instruments of the eastern Mediterranean. He has published many stories of fiction and poetry. In his day job he serves as rabbi to Congregation Neve Shalom and the Central Reform Congregation, in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to rabbinical training, he has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis He performs with several musical groups, all of which specialize in original materials based on traditional themes, integrating story and music in a performance art form.  Rabbi Goodman’s special field of expertise is the Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, on which he writes and lectures widely.

 

Jana Thomas

Jane Ellen Ibur

Jason Vasser

Jana Thomas is a native Californian who moved to St. Louis, Missouri to attend Webster University, where she earned her Bachelor’s in English.  At Webster she became an informal poet in residence, often invited by the administration to share her work at university events.  Jana attributes the unearthing of her love for writing to her college-prep high school teachers, who she recalls would grade her work harshly and push her to “dig deeper and attend more to [her] craft.”  Jana, who is also an accomplished dancer and choreographer, embraces all forms of writing, whether a stylistic form of poetry or a business proposal, as opportunities to hone her talents.  She continues to write poetry, plays, and whatever form of writing tickles her fancy.  For her, writing is a spiritual medium, one that has the power to inspire and to heal.

Jane Ellen Ibur is the author of Both Wings Flappin’, Still Not Flyin’ published by PenUltimate Press.  Her award winning poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.  She has garnered much recognition as an Arts Educator with over 35 years experience teaching writing in public schools, jails, museums, residential schools, social service agencies, with veterans, homeless men, the young and old.  Lead Faculty for the Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute, she is one of its founders.  For 19 years she co-hosted and co-produced Literature for the Halibut on community radio.  Her new book, The Little Mrs./Misses, is forthcoming from PenUltimate Press.

Jason Vasser is a poet and arts administrator that lives and writes in St. Louis Missouri, where he earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. His work has appeared in numerous online and print anthologies and notably in UMSL Magazine’s “Voices of Ferguson” issue and in the St. Post-Dispatch’s article by Jane Henderson “Poetry can be an early form of artistic response to trauma.” Most recently, Jason’s poem “Cadillacs in Space?” was published in Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of The Black Imagination art and design exhibition at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York. Engaged in social issues and active in the community with local chapters of his fraternity The Unity Community and other organizations, Jason uses his poetry to help bring about positive change.

Jeff Friedman

Jennifer Fandel

John Samuel Tieman

Jeff Friedman has published six poetry collections, five with Carnegie Mellon University Press, including Pretenders (2014),Working in Flour (2011) and Black Threads (2008). His poems, mini stories and translations have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, New England Review, The Antioch Review, Poetry International, Hotel Amerika, Flash Fiction Funny, Plume, Agni Online, The New Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish Poets, Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Smokelong Quarterly, The Vestal Review, and The New Republic and numerous other literary magazines.  Dzvinia Orlowsky’s and his translation of Memorials by Polish Poet Mieczslaw Jastrun was published by Lavender Ink/Dialogos in August 2014. Friedman and Orlowsky were awarded an NEA Literature Translation Fellowship for 2016.

Jennifer Fandel is a poet, teacher, author of children’s/young adult nonfiction, and book publishing professional. Her poetry has appeared national and regional journals, as well as the recent anthologies Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace and Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland. In 2014, she was a writer-in-residence at the Homestead National Monument (part of the National Park Service) in Nebraska and has taught poetry in the community to children and adults. She is currently teaching poetry writing at the women’s correctional facility in Vandalia, MO, through Prison Performing Arts.

John Samuel Tieman’s award winning chapbook, A Concise Biography Of Original Sin, is published by Bk Mk Press of the University Of Missouri at Kansas City. Another chapbook, Morning Prayers, is published by “The Pittsburgh Quarterly Online.” His poetry has appeared in The Americas Review, The Caribbean Quarterly, The Iowa Review, Rattle, River Styx and many other venues. His work has been translated into French, Japanese, Arabic, Serbo-Croatian and Spanish. Tieman is also a widely published essayist.

Jon Tribble

Juan Felipe Herrera

Julia Gordon-Bramer

Jon Tribble lives, writes, teaches, and edits in Carbondale, Illinois, where he serves as managing editor of Crab Orchard Review and series editor of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry. He is the author of two books of poems: Natural State, published in 2016 by Glass Lyre Press, and And There Is Many a Good Thing, forthcoming in 2017 from Salmon Poetry. He is a 2016 winner in the Nazim Hikmet International Poetry Competition. His poems have appeared in Atticus Review, Connotation Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry Daily, South Dakota Review, and in anthologies such as the Jazz Poetry Anthology and Sweet Jesus: Poems About the Ultimate Icon. He has received fellowships and awards from the Illinois Arts Council.

Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States (2015-2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012-2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage; Senegal Taxi; Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include: SkateFate, Calling The Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical for young audiences in New York City; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.

Julia Gordon-Bramer is a creative writing professor at Lindenwood University, and author of Fixed Stars Govern a Life: Decoding Sylvia Plath (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2014). In 2013, The Riverfront Times named her St. Louis’ “Best Local Poet.” Julia has presented on her Plath work at universities and conferences twice in England and around America. She has appeared on MTV, Nickelodeon, and many local and regional television, radio, and cable programs.

Justin Phillip Reed

Kiara Lynn Smith

Kim Lozano

Born and raised in Florence, South Carolina, Justin Phillip Reed is a Cave Canem fellow and the author of A History of Flamboyance (YesYes Books, 2016). His first full-length book of poetry, Indecency, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press in 2018. His work appears—or soon will—in African American Review, Best American Essays, Callaloo, The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, Obsidian, PEN Poetry Series, and elsewhere. A three-time high school expellee and an ex-college dropout, he received his BA in creative writing at Tusculum College and his MFA in poetry at Washington University in St. Louis.

Kiara Lynn Smith is a visual and literary artist. She has used her talents for creative activism as well as to educate and liberate the psyche of people of African descent. She has a BA in English and Visual Art from Culver-Stockton College and is the author and illustrator of three books. Smith is developing her career in the field of library science.

Kim Lozano teaches creative writing for Oasis, a lifelong learning organization for adults 50 and older. She serves as an editor at River Styx and co-directs the River Styx at the Tavern reading series. Her essays, poetry, and short fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Poetry Daily, The Iowa Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Journal, Midwestern Gothic, Denver Quarterly, Valparaiso Poetry Review, New Poetry from the Midwest, and elsewhere.

Kirk Lawless

Kristin Maria Sharp

Mali Newman

Kirk Lawless is a native son of St Louis, Missouri, growing up in the shadow of the Grand Water Tower. He spent twenty-eight years making his community a safer place to live. He still resides in the area with his family, his dogs, cats, and his horse. A writer of poetry, prose, fiction and non-fiction, his other interests include music, painting, trout fishing, and blacksmithing, He is a complex Missouri cowboy, warrior poet, defender of the weak, and man of peace.

Kristin Maria Sharp is a poet, writer, MSW, activist and producer from Saint Louis traveling as a digital nomad and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Kristin studied under the Welsh-American poet and scholar Jon Dressel, has performed nationally and internationally and her poetry has appeared in publications and multiple anthologies.

Mali Newman, the pen name of Charlois Lumpkin, has been a member of the Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club for over seventeen years and is a retiree from the Missouri Department of Social Services after forty-one years. She has performed as a member of the Club’s Soular Systems Ensemble and her literary work has been featured in volumes of DrumVoices Revue, Break Word with the World, and The Hoot and Holler of the Owls,” an anthology published by the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation. She is also the 2010/2011 E. Desmond Lee Playwright Competition winner in the 10-Minute Play category.

Maria T. Balogh

Mark Lipman

Matthew Freeman

María T. Balogh is a bilingual, bicultural poet, fiction writer, dancer, doodler & educator originally from South America. She teaches creative writing in Spanish & South American literature, specializing in magical realism & Gabriel García Márquez at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. She also dances & reads poetry with Grupo Atlántico associated with the Missouri Folk Arts Program that helps promote the Hispanic Caribbean culture in Missouri. She has published two collections of poetry, Bailar Caribeño, in Spanish, and Cumbia Soul.

Mark Lipman, founder of VAGABOND; recipient of the 2015 Joe Hill Labor Poetry Award; winner of the 2016 International Latino Book Awards; a writer, poet, multi-media artist and activist, is the author of six books, most recently, Poetry for the Masses; and Global Economic Amnesty.  Co-founder of the Berkeley Stop the War Coalition (USA), Agir Contre la Guerre (France) and Occupy Los Angeles, he has been an outspoken critic of war and occupation since 2001. Mark uses poetry to connect communities to the greater social issues that affect all of our lives, while building consciousness through the spoken word.  Currently, he is a member of POWER (People Organized for Westside Renewal), the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World); Occupy Venice, the Revolutionary Poets Brigade and 100 Thousand Poets for Change. www.vagabondbooks.net

Matthew Freeman discovered he was a poet when as a teenager he was ruined with love. He went on to have five books of poems published, most recently Everything I Love Restored and Other Poems, by Coffeetown Press. He holds an MFA from the University of Missouri-St Louis, where he was given the graduate poetry prize.

Mazaré Rogers

Michael Castro

Mrs. Jaye P. Willis

Mazaré Rogers is a spoken word poet hailing from Durham, NC who describes herself as raw honey, “a teaspoon of brutal truth fresh from the comb – bold and thick with sweet.” Mazaré received her writing training from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where she studied English and Creative Writing. As an educator and conference speaker, she delights in leading workshops that help writers identify their unique literary voice and cultivate their technical writing skills. To that end, Mazaré co-founded Poets’ Ink, the poetry writing group at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO where she earned her Master of Divinity (2016). This performance poet currently serves as Editor for the St. Louis Poetry Center. Raw Honey is her recently released spoken word album which features poetry about faith, the African-American experience, her love for words, and more.

Michael Castro is a poet, translator, arts activist and educator. Castro is co-founder of the literary organization and magazine River Styx and hosted the Poetry Beat radio show for fifteen years. He has been named one of St. Louis’s top fifty writers by the Missouri History Museum, has received the Guardian Angel of St. Louis Poetry Award from River Styx, and been named a Warrior Poet by Word in Motion, all for lifetime achievement. The St. Louis Post Dispatch has called him “a legend in St. Louis Poetry.” In 2015 he was named the first Poet Laureate of St. Louis.

Mrs. Jaye P. Willis is a certified IT Project Manager. She has been employed with the Internal Revenue Service for 29 years and is currently a senior IT Project Manager. She received her B.S. degree in Advanced Technical Studies from SIU Carbondale in 1987, and her Masters Certificate in I.T. Project Management from George Washington University in Washington, DC in 2007. Mrs. Willis is also an avid poet and a member of the Eugene B. Redmond Writer’s Club in East St. Louis, IL. She received Assistant Editor credit for Volume 17 of DrumVoices Revue. She is a spoken word artist and has performed in the presence of the late Amiri Baraka and Dr. Maya Angelou, as well as living legends Nikki Giovanni, Haki R. Madhubuti, Dr. Eugene Redmond (poet laureate of East St. Louis, IL) and Michael Castro (poet laureate of St. Louis, MO).

Nancy Powers Pritchard

Pacia Elaine Anderson

Philip Gounis

Nancy Powers Pritchard’s poems have appeared in Mankato Poetry Review, PMS  (PoemMemoirStory), Small Spiral Notebook, Melic Review, Main Channel Voices, Poetry Southeast, Fugue, Re)verb, New Harvest: Jewish Writing in St. Louis, Natural Bridge, The Poetic Bond and others. She received her MFA at University of Missouri-St. Louis, and was runner-up in the 2005 graduate poetry contest and is a two-time winner of The Wednesday Club Poetry Contest. A life-long St. Louisan, she teaches poetry to middle school students in the St. Louis Public Schools for Springboard to Learning. She is an avid practitioner of the Russian Kettlebell Challenge, loves travel and single malt scotch.

Pacia Elaine Anderson is a published writer and spoken-word artist who has been performing for more than two decades. She received an AA in Journalism from Southwestern Illinois College and is completing her B.S. in Education at Harris-Stowe State University in Saint Louis, MO. Pacia teaches spoken-word and poetry writing courses at Most Holy Trinity Catholic School in north St. Louis, and mural art classes at Roosevelt High School. She is a founding member of Cherokee Street Reach, an arts-based youth initiative that facilitates visual and performance art programming in St. Louis schools and neighborhoods. During the St. Louis-based 2015 Verbquake teen poetry competition, Pacia served as slam team coach for finalists McCluer High School. Additionally, Pacia is a 2014 Graduate of the Regional Arts Commission’s Community Arts Training Institute and a member of the Yeyo Arts Collective. Since 2015 she has served as an Assistant Curator with the Poet Laureate developing the Unity Community series and other events. Pacia’s style is fuses rhyme, philosophy, wit, and social commentary in a unique & intoxicating brew.

Pacia Elaine Anderson is a published writer and spoken-word artist who has been performing for more than two decades. She received an AA in Journalism from Southwestern Illinois College and is completing her B.S. in Education at Harris-Stowe State University in Saint Louis, MO. Pacia teaches spoken-word and poetry writing courses at Most Holy Trinity Catholic School in north St. Louis, and mural art classes at Roosevelt High School. She is a founding member of Cherokee Street Reach, an arts-based youth initiative that facilitates visual and performance art programming in St. Louis schools and neighborhoods. During the St. Louis-based 2015 Verbquake teen poetry competition, Pacia served as slam team coach for finalists McCluer High School. Additionally, Pacia is a 2014 Graduate of the Regional Arts Commission’s Community Arts Training Institute and a member of the Yeyo Arts Collective. Since 2015 she has served as an Assistant Curator with the Poet Laureate developing the Unity Community series and other events. Pacia’s style is fuses rhyme, philosophy, wit, and social commentary in a unique & intoxicating brew.

Roscoe Crenshaw

Ruth-Miriam Garnett

Salena Burch

Roscoe Crenshaw is a Drumvoices Revue assistant editor, poet, photojournalist, cartoonist, emcee and teacher. His photos, poems, liner notes and/or articles have appeared in/on various local, regional and national publications and CDs.

Ruth-Miriam Garnett is a poet, author, and essayist.  Her published works include A Move Further South, poems (Third World Press 1987), Laelia, a novel (Simon & Schuster 2004) and Concerning Violence, New & Selected Poems (Onegin 2010).  Her novel Chloe’s Grief will be published in 2016 by Onegin Press.

Salena Burch is a writer, artist and poet. Her work is a testament to the power of truth in text. She writes of truth, of self, of womankind and its inevitable becomings. Her work has been featured on For Harriett and she has competed as a semifinalist in the National Poetry Slam and is a top 30 finisher at the Woman of the World Poetry Slam competition.

Sandra Beasley

Sean Arnold

Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi

Sandra Beasley is the author of Count the Waves (W.W. Norton, 2015) and Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life (Broadway Books, 2012), a memoir and cultural history of food allergies. Beasley’s second collection, I Was the Jukebox (W.W. Norton, 2010), received the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Her essays and articles have been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Creative Nonfiction, Oxford American, and elsewhere. Honors for her work include a 2015 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts; distinguished writer residencies at Cornell College, Lenoir-Rhyne University, and the University of Mississippi; two DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowships; and the Maureen Egen Exchange Award from Poets & Writers. Beasley lives in Washington, D.C., and teaches poetry and nonfiction with the University of Tampa low-residency MFA program.

Sean Arnold is a mental health professional, brunch dishwasher and reading series host living in St. Louis, Missouri.  After knocking around the local spoken word scene with vigor and dropping out of school to live an odd and varied life, he recently completed his B.A. in creative writing from Webster University.  He was the poetry editor of their literary journal The Green Fuse, and also host of the St. Louis scene staple reading series Summer Sunday Spoken Word.  Furthermore, he is the author of four chapbooks based around soliloquies to freight yards and containing multiform romanticisms regarding reading Joyce from a squatted house.

Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi has written Poem to Follow, a novel in verse, and has a collection of poems, Fall Tenderly, forthcoming. A survivor of brain surgery, she teaches creative writing to maximum security prisoners and people with special needs. Her poetry and prose has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including ones in the U.S., Great Britain, Ireland, Wales, and India.

Shirley Bradley-LeFlore

Susan "Spit-Fire" Lively

Suzanne Rhodenbough

Shirley Bradley LeFlore is a published and oral poet/performing artist.  She was formerly an adjunct professor of women and ethnic literature at the University of Missouri, St. Louis.  She is a retired adjunct professor at Lindenwood University, who taught in the creative writing cluster.  LeFlore also taught at such institutions as Harris-Stowe State College and Montclair State University in New Jersey.  Throughout her career, she served as an artist-in-residence at various colleges and universities all over the country.  LeFlore has been referred to as poet/professor extraordinaire, having received grants from the Missouri Arts Council and CDCA for state touring to write projects that were artistically driven, but that also centered on key social issues.

Susan “Spit-Fire” Lively is an award-winning poet; writer, spoken word artist, producer, photographer, educator, and activist. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in Head to Hand, The Pen, Chance Operations, The East St. Louis Monitor, DrumVoices Revue, No Vacancy, SIUE News, Static Movement, and Postcard Shorts.  Lively produces the shows First Bloom, Women for Peace, and 100 Thousand Poets & Musicians for Change – St. Louis. In 2016 Susan became an Officer of Urb Arts’ Executive Board.

Suzanne Rhodenbough is the author of The Whole Shebang (WordTech, 2010), Lick of Sense (Helicon Nine, 2001, winner of the Marianne Moore Poetry Prize) and four chapbooks.  She has worked for the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity (the “War on Poverty”) and the United Mine Workers health Fund and other non-profit programs, and has been an organizer in St. Louis and elsewhere, on issues relating to schools, crime, voter registration, code enforcement, zoning, redistricting, traffic, and Democratic campaigns. Her essay, The Neighborhood That Came True, was published in American Literary Review’s special issue on the revival of the American essay.

 

Taylored Poet

Vynetta Anne Morrow

Taylored Poet is a spoken word artist, poet and activist. Her first critically acclaimed book Crazed Sanity was released in 2011. Her second book, A Poetic Divide was released April, 2016. She is the founder and Creative Director of Think Write Inc., a creative writing program based in St. Louis that helps young people become published authors and illustrators.

Vynetta Anne Morrow is a poet, teaching artist, and community engagement specialist based in St. Louis, Missouri. She is the creater of Vy’s Voice Social, a technique for lending lenses and listening.  Vynetta’s work focuses on with particular attention on civil rights and social justice in St. Louis.  A Regional Arts Commission Community Arts Training Institute (CAT) graduate, and Vynetta Anne Morrow received Regional Arts Commission Artist Support Grant to attend Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute 2014.

St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival