Poetry Jury 2011
E. Tracy Grinnell is the author of Helen: A Fugue (Belladonna Elder Series #1, 2008), Some Clear Souvenir (O Books, 2006), and Music or Forgetting (O Books, 2001), as well as the limited edition chapbooks Mirrorly, A Window (flynpyntar, 2009), Leukadia (Trafficker Press, 2008), Hell and Lower Evil (Lyre Lyre Pants on Fire, 2008), Humoresque (Blood Pudding/Dusie #3, 2008), Quadriga, a collaboration with Paul Foster Johnson (gong chapbooks, 2006), Of the Frame (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2004), and Harmonics(Melodeon Poetry Systems, 2000). She is the founding editor of Litmus Press and Aufgabe, and she lives in Brooklyn.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, the late poet Akilah Oliver grew up in Los Angeles. As a child, she traveled around the country and throughout Mexico with her father and sisters in a motor home, visiting Acapulco, Vera Cruz, Mexico City, Baja, and Tijuana, as well most of the continental United States. She attended the University of California-Berkeley where her love of performance and poetry first took shape, performing with jazz musicians around Berkeley and Oakland.
Her son Oluchi McDonald was born in 1982 and, to continue her undergraduate studies, Oliver transferred from UC-Berkeley to New College of California where she received her bachelor’s degree the following year. She attended graduate school in New York and moved to Los Angeles where she was involved in the then emergent multicultural arts movement there. She was artist-in-residence at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center where she taught poetry and multicultural performance arts workshops while also teaching public school. During this time in Los Angeles she co-founded the avant-garde feminist performance group The Sacred Naked Nature Girls whose work has been the subject of critical work by Coco Fusco, Meiling Cheng and others. In 1993 she moved to Colorado and taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Naropa University for many years.
Her most recent chapbooks are The Putterer’s Notebook (Belladonna Press, 2006), a(A)ugust (Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs, 2007) and An Arriving Guard of Angels, Thusly Coming to Greet (Farfalla Press, 2004). She is also the author of the she said dialogues: flesh memory (Smokeproof/ Erudite Fangs, 1999), which received the PEN Beyond Margins Award. Her performance with collaborator Anne Waldman can be heard on the new CD, Matching Half.
The recipient of grants from the California Arts Council, The Flintridge Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation, Oliver was curator for the Poetry Project’s Monday Night Reading Series, Distinguished Author at Long Island University, and was on the faculty of the Summer Writing Program at Naropa University. She lived and taught in Brooklyn. Her most recent book was just published by Coffee House Press (2009), A Toast in the House of Friends.
A bilingual Nuyorican poet, Edwin Torres was born in the Bronx and is a longtime resident of New York City. He is a highly acclaimed performance poet, and his exuberant live shows combine physical improvisation and theater. He is also the author of the collections Fractured Humorous (1999) and In the Function of External Circumstances (2010); the chapbook Lung Poetry(1994), with photographs by Luigi Cazzaniga; and the self-published chapbooks I Hear Things People Haven’t Really Said(1992) and SandHomméNomadNo (1997). His recordings include Oceano Rise, Novo, and Holy Kid.
Torres has collaborated with artists in a variety of media. As a member of Real Live Poetry (formerly Nuyorican Poets Café Live) from 1993 to 1999, he led workshops and performed in the United States and abroad. He also created a performance group called Poets Neurotica, and in an interview with Wanda Phipps explained the origins and tenets of his movement, which he called “i.e. (interactive eclecticism).”
Torres has received fellowships from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art and the New York State Foundation for the Arts, and he has won the Nuyorican Poets Café Fresh Prize for Poetry. His CD Holy Kid was included in the Whitney Museum’s exhibit The American Century Pt. II. He has been co-editor of the journal Rattapallax and has been writer-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Fiction/Non-Fiction Jury 2011
Donald Breckenridge is the Fiction Editor of The Brooklyn Rail, Editor of The Brooklyn Rail Fiction Anthology (Hanging Loose Press, 2006) and co-editor of the Intranslation web site. In addition, he is the author of more than a dozen plays as well as the novella Rockaway Wherein (Red Dust, 1998), and the novel 6/2/95 (Spuyten Duyvil, 2002). His novel This Young Girl Passingis forthcoming from Autonomedia and his novel You Are Here is out now on Starcherone Books.
Tisa Bryant is the author of Unexplained Presence (Leon Works, 2007), a collection of hybrid essays on black presences in film, literature and visual art. She is co-editor of the cross-referenced journal of narrative and storytelling possibility, The Encyclopedia Project, which produced Encyclopedia Vol. 2 F-K, in 2010. She is also co-editor of War Diaries, an anthology on black gay men’s desire and survival, published in 2010 by AIDS Project Los Angeles. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in the journals 1913, Animal Shelter, Mandorla, Mixed Blood, in the ‘zine, Universal Remote: Meditations on the Absence of Michael Jackson, and the solo exhibits of visual artists Jaime Cortez, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, and filmmaker/installation artist Cauleen Smith. She teaches prose, hybrid forms and innovative ethnic literature at the California Institute of the Arts.
Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich received her JD from Harvard Law School in 2005 and her MFA from Emerson College in 2009. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fourth Genre, Bellingham Review, Minnetonka Review, and Connecticut Review, among other publications. In 2009 she won the Bellingham Review/Annie Dillard Award in Creative Nonfiction and was a finalist for the Arts & Letters Susan Atefat Prize and the Gulf Coast Barthelme Prize. She was the 2010 Alice Hayes Fellow at the Ragdale Foundation, an arts colony in Illinois.
In addition to her creative work, she writes academically on the cultural implications of the death penalty, and has presented papers at the annual conferences of the Law & Society Association and the Association for the Study of Law, Culture & the Humanities. She is writing a memoir about her experience with a Louisiana death penalty case. Adapted excerpts from the memoir are forthcoming from Fourth Genre and Bellingham Review.
Ira Sher has two novels: Singer (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009) and Gentlemen of Space (Free Press, 2003). His short stories have appeared in venues including Chicago Review, The Gettysburg Review and This American Life, and have been included in several anthologies. He lives in Athens, NY.
Kate Zambreno’s novel O Fallen Angel was published by Chiasmus Press in April. A novel, Green Girl, will be published by Emergency Press in Fall 2011, and a collection of essays centering around the women of modernism will be published by Semiotext(e)’s Active Agents series in Spring 2012. She is a prose editor at Nightboat Books and a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative.
Visual Arts Jury 2011
Kenji Fujita has had One-Person exhibitions at Incident Report, Hudson, NY; Galerie Jean Bernier, Athens; Cable Gallery, New York; Luhring Augustine, New York; Rosenberg Gallery at Hofstra University, Hemptead, NY; Schmidt/Markow Gallery, St. Louis; Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles. His Group shows include exhibitions at A+D Gallery, Columbia College, Chicago; Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH; Venice Biennale; Luhring Augustine Hetzler, Santa Monica, CA; Jablonka Galerie, Cologne; Jack Tilton Gallery, New York; Henry Street Settlement, New York.
Fujita is a recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (Visual Art), National Endowment for the Arts (Sculpture, Works on Paper), New York Foundation for the Arts (Sculpture) and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Since 1995, he has been on the faculty of the M.F.A. Program, School of Visual Arts at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. He lives in Staatsburg, NY.
Alan Gilbert is the author of a book of essays and articles entitled Another Future: Poetry and Art in a Postmodern Twilight (Wesleyan University Press, 2006), as well as the book of poems, Late in the Antenna Fields (Futurepoem, 2011). His writings on art and literature have appeared in a variety of publications, including Aperture, Artforum, Bookforum, The Believer, Modern Painters, and the Village Voice; his poems have appeared in BOMB, Boston Review, Chicago Review, Denver Quarterly, and The Nation, among other places. He has also contributed catalogue essays and entries for a number of biennials, group shows, and solo exhibitions. He is the recipient of a 2009 NYFA Fellowship in Poetry and a 2006 Creative Capital Foundation Award for Innovative Literature. He lives in Brooklyn.
Catherine Krudy has recently been named Director of Printed Matter, the non-profit dedicated to artists’ publications based in Chelsea. She has been with the organization for the past four years and has been involved in both daily activities and special projects, such as The 2009 NY Art Book Fair and Printed Matter: Learn to Read Art, currently on view at MUSAC in León, Spain. Prior to joining Printed Matter, Catherine gained experience in both commercial and non-profit environments at Zach Feuer Gallery, The Whitney Museum, and White Columns, among others. She completed her undergraduate degree in Art History and Studio Art at Columbia University in 2004.
Bernadine Mellis’ short films include Born, The Golden Pheasant, and Farm-In-The-City, a collaboration with EE Miller. Bernadine’s father’s role as lead attorney in Earth First! activist Judi Bari’s civil case against the FBI prompted her to make The Forest For The Trees, her first documentary. Bernadine also directed The Odyssey, a collaborative adaptation of Homer’s 24-chapter epic, made up of 24 shorts by 24 different mostly queer/trans/lady filmmakers. She is currently in production on a documentary about children of the New Left tentatively called Struggle Baby. Bernadine teaches film and video in the Five Colleges. Her films can be found on www.redbirdfilms.com.
Playwriting Jury 2011
Morgan Von Prelle Pecelli is a curator, producer, anthropologist and performing artist who has been working in New York City’s contemporary performance sector since 1999. She is currently the Director of Development for Performance Space 122, now celebrating its 30th year (ps122.org). She has also served for two years (10 & 09) as a Prelude co-curator (preludenyc.org) and before that for a year as the 08 Dramaturg. She was Artistic and Development Director for Emerging Artists at 3LD Art & Technology Center from 2007-2008. She is on the Board of Directors of the Ontological-Hysteric Theater where she was the Managing and Programming Director from 2004-2006. In 2005, she started the Ontological-Hysteric Incubator, through which she curated and produced festivals and residencies in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Since 2002, she has also operated as The Lost Notebook, an entity dedicated to advocating on behalf of and supporting artists working in the contemporary sector (lostnotebook.org). She has worked as a performer, butoh dancer, dramaturg, production manager and designer in New York City and internationally. She is also completing her PhD in Anthropology at Columbia University.
Ranbir Sidhu is a 2008 recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction and winner of the Pushcart Prize. His stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Fence, The Georgia Review, The Alaska Quarterly Review, Zyzzyva, Hot Metal Bridge, The Missouri Review, and Other Voices. He is the author of the full-length plays CONQUISTADORS, TRUE EASTS, and SANGEET. His work for theater has been supported and developed by MCC Theater, LaMama, Disha, The Matrix Theater, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Swingspace Program, the September 11th Fund, and CUNY’s Prelude Festival. He is a member of the MCC Theater Playwrights Coalition and the Dramatists Guild. He has been awarded residencies by the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Florida, and Villa Montalvo Center for the Arts, California, and was the 2006-07 writer-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and a 2007 Fellow at The Edward F. Albee Foundation in Montauk, NY. Most recently, he was awarded a 2010/11 new theater commission from the New York State Council on the Arts for a play on the Partition of India and Pakistan. He is, occasionally, Secretary of the Edward F. Albee Foundation and Assistant to Mr Albee. Ranbir’s heritage is Indian. He grew up in London and California, and has lived and worked in France, Sri Lanka, Israel, and Egypt. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Composing Jury 2011
Composer Laura Andel was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After living and working in her native Buenos Aires, and for several years in Boston, Ms. Andel moved to New York City in 2000, where she currently resides. She has performed her music in New York, Boston, Berlin, Caracas, Buenos Aires, and other cities. One of Andel’s passions is the sound generated by large ensembles comprised of unusual combinations of instruments. For this purpose, she creates her own ensembles to perform her instrument-specific compositions. Ms. Andel’s recent music commissions include a commission by The Kitchen, a commission by the Festival of New Trumpet Music with funds from the Greenwall Foundation, and a Bronx River Art Center commission with funds from the New York State Music Fund/Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Two new commissions will be premiered on October 17, 2009 at Brecht Forum in New York City.
Laura Andel has been a composer in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center, MacDowell Colony, Sacatar Foundation, Yaddo Artist Colony, Valparaiso Foundation, Blue Mountain Center, and Ucross Foundation. Ms. Andel has also received several grants and awards for her work, among some of them are the Aaron Copland Fund Awards Recording Grant, a Music Composition Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, grants from the Senate for Culture of the City of Berlin, and the BMI Foundation-Jerry Harrington Jazz Composers Award. Her recordings include SomnambulisT and In::Tension:.. Ms. Andel’s extended works Doble Mano and Apsides are currently in the process of being published.
Serena Jost is a Swiss-American singer-songwriter and cellist. Her debut CD, Closer Than Far, was produced by Brad Albetta (Martha Wainwright, Teddy Thompson) and released to a sold-out house at Joe’s Pub. She is currently in the studio recording her new album, A Bird Will Sing, with Producer Anton Fier (Golden Palaminos).
Time Out NY lauded Serena’s premiere album and noted: “Jost writes gently eccentric songs and sings them in an elegant alto, often accompanying herself on cello, but it isn’t quite right to call her a singer-songwriter. The term art song—normally tied to 19th-century concert music—usefully characterizes Jost’s carefully arranged pieces and succinct lyrics, neither quite rock nor folk…” Serena’s music has been compared to 70s English folk artists like Sandy Denny and Fairport Convention—and also to the Canadian artist Jane Siberry—but is still entirely her own, “seamlessly merging classical and pop melodies” (Lucidculture).
Serena has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe and performed at seminal NYC venues such as Joe’s Pub, The Living Room, Barbès, Tonic, PS122, PS1, St. Mark’s Church and The Kitchen. She has also composed live performance accompaniment for numerous dancers, including Douglas Dunn and Kathryn Sanders (Wally Cardona), and poets Anne Waldman and Eleni Sikelianos, and produced a collaborative CD with poet Dan Machlin (Immanent Audio). She is an original member of Rasputina, the well-corseted cello group, and is one-half of the DJ Duo scratch ‘n sniff.
The National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts have awarded grants to Ted Piltzecker in both performance and composition. His works have been aired on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s “Arts National” and performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Ensemble at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
Ted has held faculty positions at the University of Michigan, William Paterson University and the Manhattan School of Music. He is an associate professor at the Purchase Conservatory of Music, State University of New York, and chair of the Studio Composition Department. Details about his work, as well as photos, audio and video, may be found on his website—TedVibes.Com.
Ted appears as a featured soloist in percussion and jazz festivals around the world (Hannover’s Deutsches Percussion Symposium, London’s Percussive Arts Society UK, Brazil’s Ritmos da Terra, New Mexico Jazz Festival, the Primer Festival Percusión Patagonia, Argentina, the IX Festival International de Percusión in Puerto Rico, Arkansas Jazz Festival, the 1st Encontro Internacional de Percussåo in Tatui, Brazil, and the Festival Internacional de Percusiones in Monterrey, Mexico, Gibsons, BC Jazz Festival, Nürnberg Jazz Circus). His appearances with orchestras have variously spotlighted Ted as a performer, composer, and conductor and include the Tucson Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and the Regina Symphony. European engagements as a jazz headliner include the esteemed UMO Jazz Orchestra in Helsinki (guest soloist/composer) and several tours of German clubs and concert halls. 2008 concerts in Tokyo, Japan include appearances with pianist Jonathan Katz, bassist Daiki Yasukagawi, and with the percussion duo Chris and Shoko. His diverse performing interests have integrated tours with the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble, appearances at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York with organist Dorothy Papadakos, and chamber music concerts with classical cellist, Yehuda Hanani, bandoneónist Hector Del Curto, and gadulka (Bulgarian violin) artist Nikolay Kolev. Ted is a graduate of the Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music.