Poetry Jury 2014
Maria Damon has published extensively on poetry subcultures, “outsider” poetries, and the poetry andpoetics of ethnic, racial and sexual minorities in the twentieth-century US. She is the author of scholarly books, including Post-literary ‘America’: From Bagel Shop Jazz to Micropoetries(University of Iowa Press, 2011); Poetry and Cultural Studies: A Reader, which she co-authored with Ira Livingston (Illinois University Press, 2009); and The Dark End of the Street: Margins in American Vanguard Poetry (University of Minnesota Press, 1993). Her poetic work includes Literature Nation, the first book-length hypertext poem on the Internet (Potes & Poets Press, 2003), which she co-authored with frequent collaborator mIEKAL aND in 1998. She is also a widely exhibiting text/textile artist. Ms. Damon is Chair of Humanities and Media Studies at Pratt University. She received a Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University and a B.A. degree from Hampshire College in Humanities and Arts. She currently resides in Brooklyn.
Betsy Fagin is the author of Poverty Rush (Three Sad Tigers, 2011), the science seemed so solid (dusie kollektiv, 2011),Belief Opportunity (Big Game Books Tinyside, 2008), Rosemary Stretch (dusie e/chap, 2006) and For every solution there is a problem (Open 24 Hours, 2003). She received a B.A. in literature from Vassar College and a M.F.A. from Brooklyn College. During 2012-13, she is a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Writer-in-Residence. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet and visual artist. She is the author of Miracle Arrhythmia (Willow Books), The Requited Distance (Sheep Meadow Press), and Mule & Pear (New Issues Poetry & Prose), which was selected for the 2012 Inaugural Poetry Award by the Black Caucus American Library Association. Her forthcoming collection, Lighting the Shadow, will be published by Four Way Books in 2015. Griffiths is the recipient of numerous fellowships including Millay Colony, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem Foundation, and Vermont Studio Center. Her visual and literary work has appeared in American Poetry Review, The Writer’s Chronicle, Poets & Writers, and many others. She is at work on an extensive video project,P.O.P (Poets on Poetry), an intimate series of interviews, which gather more than 50 contemporary poets together in conversation to discuss poetry and individual practices as poets. Currently, Griffiths teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn.
Brendan Lorber is a poet, essayist and editor. He’s the author, most recently, of Ruin & Desire: The Poetics of Insurrection (Spout Press, 2014) and Unfixed Elegy and Other Poems (Buttered Lamb Press, 2014). Since 1995 he has published and edited Lungfull! Magazine, an annual anthology which prints the rough drafts of contributor’s work in addition to the final version, in order to reveal the creative process. He curates the Zinc Reading Series and produces the Acculorber Weather Forecast (www.acculorber.com) which is not about the weather. He lives atop the tallest hill in Brooklyn across the street from a 500-acre necropolis. The name of the tiny photo accompanying this bio is “This isn’t what I meant when I ordered a double.”
Fiction Jury 2014
The only writer ever to have received the American Library Association Stonewall Award for Fiction twice, Ellis Avery is the author of two novels and a memoir. Her novels, The Last Nude (Riverhead 2012) andThe Teahouse Fire (Riverhead 2007) have also received Lambda, Ohioana, and Golden Crown awards, and her work has been translated into six languages. She teaches writing at Columbia University and out of her home in Manhattan’s West Village.
Amina Cain is the author of the short story collections Creature(Dorothy, a publishing project, 2013) and I Go To Some Hollow (Les Figues Press, 2009). Work has appeared or is forthcoming in BOMB, N+1, Denver Quarterly, Two Serious Ladies, and other places. She has curated the literary/video/performance festivals Both Sides and The Center at the MAK Center/Schindler House in West Hollywood (with Teresa Carmody) and When Does It or You Begin? Memory as Innovation at Links Hall in Chicago (with Jennifer Karmin). She lives in Los Angeles.
Sheba Karim writes fiction for young adults and adults. She was born and raised in Catskill, NY, where she never saw Rip Van Winkle but frequently crossed the bridge that bore his name. She is a graduate of New York University School of Law and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her young adult novel, Skunk Girl, was published in the United States, Denmark, India, Italy and Sweden. She is the editor of Alchemy: The Tranquebar Book of Erotic Short Stories 2, a literary erotica anthology released in November 2012 by Tranquebar Press, India. She was awarded a 2009-2010 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar grant to conduct research for her current work-in-progress, a historical fiction novel set in 13th century India, and has been awarded residences at Hedgebrook, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Ledig House and Millay Colony for the Arts.
Tim Kinsella’s novel Let Go and Go On and On will be released this spring by Curbside Splendor Press. His first novel, The Karaoke Singer’s Guide to Self-Defense (Featherproof Books 2011) was named among the Best Chicago Books of 2011 by CBS Chicago, praised by Lit Stack and Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and listed on Flavorpill’s Most Exciting New Books.
Since forming in 1996, his band Joan of Arc has released more than two-dozen records, all of them connected, but each utilizing different strategies and means. They continue to tour internationally on a regular basis, often performing in unique spaces including museums, galleries, film festivals, and recently in London, even at a philosophy conference.
Douglas A. Martin is the author of most recently of a novel, Once You Go Back. His other books include: Branwell, a novel of the Brontë brother; Outline of My Lover (named an International Book of the Year in The Times Literary Supplement); They Change the Subject, a book of stories; and In the Time of Assignments, poetry. His work has been translated into Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese. Raised in Georgia, he now lives in Brooklyn and Callicoon, NY.
Selah Saterstrom is the author of the novels The Pink Institution, The Meat and Spirit Plan and the forthcoming, Slab, all published by Coffee House Press. She is also the author of Tiger Goes to the Dogs, a limited edition letterpress project published by Nor By Press. She teaches, lectures, and publishes widely and is the Director of Creative Writing at the University of Denver.
Max Winter is a poet and critic, and the managing editor of the IndieWire blog Press Play. He has published reviews in The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out New York, Bookforum, and other publications. His first book of poems, The Pictures, was published by Tarpaulin Sky Press. He co-edits the press Solid Objects, and he is a Poetry Editor of Fence.
Non-Fiction Jury 2014
Celina Su was born in São Paulo and lives in Brooklyn. She is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York. Her writing has appeared in both academic and literary journals, including n+1, Aufgabe, Critical Policy Studies, andBoston Review, and her honors include the Berlin Prize, the Whiting Award for Excellence in Teaching, an Academy of American Poets prize, and fellowships from Ucross, the Millay Colony, and Bread Loaf. She is the author of three books on social policy and civil society. Most recently, some of her poems were collected in a chaplet (with Ariana Reines) from Belladonna*, and her first piece of fiction—based on oral histories with residents in New York City’s three Chinatowns—appeared in CultureS/rike. She co-founded the Burmese Refugee Project in Thailand in 2001 and received her Ph.D. in Urban Studies from MIT.
Catherine Taylor is the author of Apart (Ugly Duckling Presse), a mixed-genre memoir and political history that combines prose, poetry, cultural theory, and found texts from South African archives. Her first book, Giving Birth: A Journey Into the World of Mothers and Midwives(Penguin Putnam), won the Lamaze International Birth Advocate Award. Taylor is a Founding Editor of Essay Press, an independent press dedicated to publishing innovative essays in book form. She received her Ph.D. from Duke University and teaches at Ithaca College.
Visual Arts Jury 2014
Beth Dary is originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and currently lives and works in New York City. Dary holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University and a Master of Fine Arts from Memphis College of Art. She has participated in several artist residency programs including Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Gulf Coast Residency. Her work has been curated into exhibits at Prospect.1.5 in New Orleans, the Housatonic Museum of Art, Islip Art Museum, and the ISE Cultural Foundation in New York. Dary has received grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Manhattan Community Arts Fund and she has been commissioned by the Battery Park City Authority in Manhattan to create a public art installation. Her work is included in several private, corporate and museum collections including the Edelman Corporation and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Carl Ferrero is an artist living and working in Brooklyn. His work has been exhibited at Artists Space, Feature Inc., Vox Populi, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, the Elizabeth Foundation Gallery, Exile Berlin, Artenova in Italy, and at many other venues across the US and Europe. Ferrero has been awarded fellowships from the Millay Colony, the AIM program, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. You can find his artwork inDrawings On Writing, published by J&L Books, and in The Underminer, written by Mike Albo. He received his MFA from Brooklyn College in 2006.
Christopher Stackhouse is a writer, artist, curator and teacher. He is author of a chapbook Slip (Corollary press); co-author of image/text collaboration, Seismosis (1913 press), which features his drawings with text by writer/translator John Keene; and most recently, a volume of poems, Plural (Counterpath press). His poems, essays, interviews, exhibition and book reviews have been published in several literary journals and arts periodicals includingEOAGH, Octopus, Aufgabe, Hambone, The Volta, Reverie: Midwest African American Literature, Der Pfeil (Hamburg, Germany),American Poet—The Journal of The Academy of American Poets, The Poetry Project Newsletter, A Best of Fence: The First Nine Years Volume 1 Poetry & Non-Fiction, Make: A Literary Magazine, Modern Painters, Art in America, and The Brooklyn Rail. Recent essays published in artist Kara Walker’s new monograph Dust Jackets for The Niggerati (Gregory R.Miller & Co.), and, in the catalogue for survey exhibition of painter Cullen Washington Jr. at Boston University, “Land Before Words” curated by Lynne Cooney, opened January 2014.
Stackhouse is contributing editor atFENCE, BOMB, and VANITAS magazines. With artists Jomar Statkun and Jared Friedman, Stackhouse is a founding member of the roving artists in residence project This Red Door, which completed its third iteration in the Prenzlauer Berg section of Berlin, Germany summer 2013, and is now in residence at Kunsthalle Galapagos/Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, New York (see www.thisreddoor.com.) His recent academic appointments include Visiting Faculty at Naropa University Summer Writing Program; Visiting Critic at the Leroy E. Hoffberger School of Painting & Senior Thesis Faculty, 2D concentration, at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Spring 2014, Stackhouse is a visiting artist/writer at Ohio State University, during which he will present a lecture at the Wexner Center for Arts on art, writing, and practical aspects of concerted involvement between artists and the general public.
Pocket Utopia, which is the brain child of artist Austin Thomas, opened on Flushing Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn in the Summer 2007 and continued for two years as a place for experimentation and a space that put the artist first. (excerpt from hyperallergic.com)
She conceived of Pocket Utopia not as a commercial gallery, but rather as an extension of her own social sculpture. She had spent several years building large-scale “perches,” (hybrid sculptural/architectural objects around which events are created), driving cross-country in a vintage 1973 El Camino and assembling portable social spaces of constructed tables, chairs, and other sanctuaries as she went. Thomas wanted to push her projects beyond what had become increasingly comfortable terrain.
She saw Pocket Utopia as a transitional, two-year experiment, and in one sense it was: Thomas closed the space in July 2009, as originally planned.
In 2010 working collaboratively with Jason Andrew—co-founder of STOREFRONT Gallery and director of the nonprofit arts organization Norte Maar—Thomas helped organized Camp Pocket U, a multi-generational, multi-disciplinary camp fashioned after Black Mountain college. Now in a studio space at the Elizabeth Foundation, Thomas has a daily drawing practice and has just entered the final design and engineering stage for a PERCENT FOR ART permanent “perch,” for a new city park in Brooklyn. Nine months ago, Thomas reopened Pocket Utopia on the lower east side in collaboration with C.G. Boerner, a gallery located on the upper east side and in Dusseldorf specializing in Old Masters.
Austin Thomas creates works collaboratively exploring, alternatively, personal narratives and public actions: sketchbook diaries, beer brewing and bingo games exploring the everyday experiences as well as hybrid sculptural/architectural objects created to facilitate thought and discussion (desks for drawing, benches for conversation). Thomas is currently working on a permanent artwork called Plaza Perch for Humboldt Plaza, a new plaza that the Department of Transportation is building adjacent to the Moore Street Market in East Williamsburg.
Playwriting Jury 2014
Wanda Phipps is a writer/performer living in NYC, the author ofField of Wanting: Poems of Desire (BlazeVOX[books]), Wake-Up Calls: 66 Morning Poems (Soft Skull Press), Your Last Illusion or Break Up Sonnets (Situations), Silent Pictures Recognize the World and Rose Window or Prosettes (Dusie Press), Lunch Poems (Boog Literature), the Faux Press issued e-chapbookAfter the Mishap and CD-Rom Zither Mood. Her poetry has been published over 100 times in a variety of publications, including the anthologies Verses that Hurt: Pleasure and Pain From the Poemfone Poets (St. Martin’s Press) and The Boog Reader (Boog Lit). Her poetry has been translated into Ukrainian, Hungarian, Arabic, Bangla and Galician. She has received awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Meet the Composer/International Creative Collaborations Program, Agni Journal, the National Theater Translation Fund, and the New York State Council on the Arts. As a founding member of Yara Arts Group she has collaborated on numerous theatrical productions presented in Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Siberia, as well as in New York City at La MaMa, E.T.C. and co-authored several books with the artistic director including Shanar: Dedication Ritual of a Buryat Shaman in Siberia(Parabola Books) and the bilingual anthology In a Different Light. She’s also curated several reading and performance series at the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church as well as other NYC venues and written about the arts for Time Out New York, Paper Magazine, and About.com.
Jen Silverman was raised in Asia, Europe, and Scandinavia and the US. Her work has been produced off-Broadway by the Playwrights Realm (CRANE STORY), off-off Broadway by Clubbed Thumb (PHOEBE IN WINTER), regionally at Cleveland Public Theatre (AKARUI), and commissioned and produced by the Gallatin School/NYU (BONES AT THE GATE).
She is an affiliated artist and recipient of the 2013 Audrey Residency with New Georges, a Workspace residency with the LMCC, an NYFA Playwriting Grant, and is an affiliated artist with The Playwrights Realm, The Lark, and a member of Youngblood at EST. She is a two-time MacDowell Fellow and has developed work with Playwrights Horizons, InterAct Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, NY Stage & Film/ Powerhouse, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. She has also held residencies at Hedgebrook, New Harmony Project, and the Millay Colony.
In 2011 she was invited to be a US Delegate for a China/America Writers Exchange in Beijing. She is under commission by The National New Plays Network with InterAct Theatre and Ars Nova. Her play STILL won the Jane Chambers Award and the 2013 Yale Drama Series Award, and received a reading at Lincoln Center. BA: Brown. MFA: Iowa Playwrights Workshop. She currently holds a Lila Acheson Wallace fellowship at Juilliard. More information: www.jensilverman.com
Composing Jury 2014
Brooklyn, New York native and composer Anthony Gatto has developed collaborative works and concert music with many artists and ensembles across the US, Europe and Asia—including works for film, theater, dance, and opera. Studying with Ornette Coleman was formative in questioning musical possibilities; he later completed a doctorate at the Yale School of Music. Among his honors and awards are: a Fulbright Fellowship to Berlin, Germany; fellowships from the Bush, McKnight, Jerome, and Mid-Atlantic Creative Artists, and NY Foundation for the Arts. Recent commissions include WISE BLOOD, an opera based on the novel by Flannery O’Connor, to premiere at The Soap Factory Arts Exhibition Space in Minneapolis, MN in May 2015; “el fin fa tutto,” commissioned by string octet Hutchins East Consort, premiered at The Tank, NY (2012), “Plastic Facts” for New Thread Saxophone Quartet, premiered at the 35th International Saxophone Symposium (2012) and “Portrait of Eva Hesse (palindrone)” performed on the 2011 Bang on a Can Festival by 16 percussionists. Anthony is an Assistant Professor of Music at City University of New York (CUNY).
Qian Li is a transmasculine, 1.5-generation Chinese immigrant, experimental composer, and agent of transformation. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 2005, he worked in environmental restoration and consulting before turning to LGBTQ community building and advocacy. This year he apprenticed in Indonesia for Balinese gamelan performance, tuning, and construction and now owns a small CD business. His most recent piece is for choir and piano quartet and calls on the performers to explore alternatives to their experiences of travel, yearning, bodies, and death through improvised drama nested in the through-composed score. His works have been performed in San Francisco, Eugene, Philadelphia, New York, and Swarthmore.