Poetry Jury 2013
Mairéad Byrne emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1994, for poetry. On the plane over, she read about the Internet for the first time. Diversity of poetic cultures, and connectivity, have defined her life ever since. She earned a MA in American Poetry (1996), and a PhD in Theory & Cultural Studies (2001) from Purdue University—home of the first Computer Science Department in the US! Her poetry collections include The Best of (What’s Left of) Heaven (Publishing Genius 2010), Talk Poetry (Miami University Press 2007), SOS Poetry (/ubu Editions 2007), and Nelson & The Huruburu Bird (Wild Honey 2003). She has taught at Purdue University, Ithaca College, the University of Mississippi, and Marshall County Correctional Facility in Holly Springs. Since coming to RISD in 2002, she has designed and taught courses in Sound Poetry, Visual Poetry, Contemporary Poetry, Metaphor, the Irish Comic Tradition, Writing as Art + Design, and poetry workshops at three levels.
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.
Paolo Javier is the 2010-13 Queens Borough Poet Laureate. He is the author of Megton Gasgan Krakooom (Cy Gist Press, forthcoming, 2010), The Feeling Is Actual (creature press, 2010), LMFAO (OMG!, 2008), Goldfish Kisses (Sona Books, 2007), 60 lv bo(e)mbs (O Books, 2005), and the time at the end of this writing (Ahadada, 2004), which received a Small Press Traffic Book of the Year Award. A Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Writer-in-Residence, Javier has also served as a Visiting Associate Professor in Poetry at the University of Miami. His interdisciplinary works of poetry, sound, comics, and film were recently performed at the BABEL Exhibit at Space 37, Performance Space 122, and the Page Turner Festival at Powerhouse Books. Javier publishes 2nd Avenue Poetry, a tiny press of innovative language art, and lives with his wife in Queens.
Brendan Lorber is a poet, essayist and editor. 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 (<a “http:=”” www.acculorber.com”=”” style=”color: rgb(51, 102, 153); text-decoration: none;”>www.acculorber.com) which is not about the weather. Ruin & Desire: Radical 21st Century Poetics & The Secret Path Of Ecstasy Within Despair, his book of essays, is forthcoming from Spout Press. Unfixed Elegy and Other Poems, a poetry chapbook, is forthcoming from Buttered Lamb. Previous chapbooks include Gold Star (Battle Hill Press, 2010), Dash (Situations Press, 2003), Book of the New Now (collaboration with Tracey McTague, The Gift, 2002),Dictionary of Useful Phrases (collaboration with Jen Robinson, The Gift, 2000), Your Secret(Fauxpress, 2000), The Address Book (Owl Press, 1999). Recent anthologies include,Outside Voices Anthology of Younger Poets (Outside Voices Press, Smith, Jessica, Ed, 2008), Evidence of the Paranormal (Owl Press, DeSilver, Albert, Ed., 2003), The Self Help Unbearables Anthology (Kolm, Ron, Ed., 2002), The Portable Boog Reader (Kirchenbaum, David, Ed., Boog Literature, 2001), Mentor (in Slovenian translation, Pintar, Boris, Ed. 2000). He has also taught workshops at the St. Marks Poetry Project and was editor of The Poetry Project Newsletter. He has performed his work on such platforms as NPR, PBS, the Segue Series, The New York City Fringe Festival, The National Arts Club, The Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, The St. Mark’s Poetry Project and Teachers & Writers. He has appeared as a visiting poet at Emory University, University of Wisconsin, Connecticut College and elsewhere. He taught at Brooklyn College where he also received his MFA, studying with Lou Asekoff and Allen Ginsburg. He also hosts two interview shows: The House on Battle Hill, an online talk show featuring interviews with writers, musicians and other artists, andSecret Laboratory, a series in which poets are questioned at length about one individual poem. He is the recipient of numerous grants from the New York State State Council on the Arts. He lives atop the tallest hill in Brooklyn across the street from a 500-acre necropolis.
Fiction Jury 2013
Maud Casey’s books include the novel, Genealogy (HarperCollins, 2006), a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice book; The Shape of Things to Come (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2001), aNew York Times Notable Book of the Year; and the short story collection Drastic (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2002). She has also had work in the anthology Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression(William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2001), and Out of Her Mind: Women Writers on Madness (The Modern Library, 2003), which includes writing by Sylvia Plath, Dorothea Dix, and Janet Frame.
She has received residencies to the Fundacion Valparaiso, Ledig House, Hawthornden International Writers Retreat, The MacDowell Colony, and Château de Lavigny. She has also received a University of Maryland Creative and Performing Arts Award, a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship, and the Calvino Prize.
Amanda Davidson writes, teaches, and makes performances. Her work has appeared in Encyclopedia Vol. F-K, Baby, Remember My Name: An Anthology of New Queer GIrl Writing, Instant City and elsewhere. Through fellowships at the MacDowell Colony and Art Farm Nebraska, she recently completed The Writings: A Novel, her first book-length manuscript, and is currently working on a collection of short stories. Recent short plays include Flesh Tableaux at the &Now Festival of New Writing and The Empty Chair Technique at Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Learn more atpartedinthemiddle.wordpress.com.
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.
John Keene is the author of the award-winning novel Annotations(New Directions, 1995), and of the poetry collection Seismosis (1913 Press, 2006), a collaboration with artist Christopher Stackhouse. His introduction to the first English translation of Brazilian writer Hilda Hilst’s novel The Obscene Madame D is forthcoming in Fall 2012 from Nightboat Books.
His honors include an array of fellowships, including a 2003 New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, a 2005 Whiting Foundation Award in Fiction and Poetry and a 2008 Fellowship for Distinguished First Collection from the inaugural Pan-African Literary Forum.
A longtime member of the Dark Room Writers Collective of Cambridge and Boston, and a Graduate Fellow of Cave Canem, he has taught at Brown University; Northwestern University, where he served as Director of the undergraduate Creative Writing Program and Acting Co-Director of the Masters in Creative Writing Program; and other institutions. He is currently on faculty at Rutgers University.
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, Fence, The Gettysburg Review and This American Life, and have been frequently anthologized. He lives in Athens, NY.
Christopher Sorrentino is the author of five books, includingTrance, a National Book Award Finalist for fiction, and the recently published Death Wish. His writing has appeared in A Public Space, BOMB, BookForum, Conjunctions, Esquire, Fence, Granta, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, The New York Times, Open City, Playboy, Tin House, and many other publications. Sorrentino has taught at the New School, Columbia University, the 92nd Street Y, and elsewhere. Most recently, he was at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he was Writer-in-Residence.
Non-Fiction Jury 2013
Abeer Hoque was born in Nigeria to Bangladeshi parents, and moved to America when she was in high school. She has BS and MA degrees from the Wharton School of Business, and an MFA in Writing (nonfiction and poetry) from the University of San Francisco. Her first book, a memoir calledOlive Witch, won the 2005 Tanenbaum Award in Creative Nonfiction. Her second is a novel in stories called The Lovers and the Leavers and was funded by a 2007 Fulbright Scholarship for fiction and photography in Bangladesh and India. She is currently working on her third book, Memory Alone, a novel about memory loss and identity.
Her writing and photography has been published in ZYZZYVA, Nerve.com, SomaLit, Farafina (Nigeria), 580 Split, Swink, DesiLit, Ego Mag, Outlook Traveller (India), the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Switchback, Femina India, XConnect, SNReview, the Daily Star(Bangladesh), Drunken Boat, Farallon Review, and KQED Writers Block, among others. Other accomplishments include a 2002 merit scholarship for the SLS residency in St. Petersburg, Russia, a 2009 fellowship in creative nonfiction at Saltonstall Arts Colony, and a highly commended win in the 2009 Commonwealth Broadcasting Association’s Short Story Contest. She has held two solo photography exhibitions in Dhaka, Bangladesh. See more atolivewitch.com.
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, and Boston Review, and her honors include the Berlin Prize, the Whiting Award for Excellence in Teaching, an Academy of American Poets prize, and fellowships from Saltonstall, The Millay Colony, and Bread Loaf. She teaches political science at the City University of New York, and she’s written two books on education policy and grassroots activism. She co-founded the Burmese Refugee Project in Thailand in 2001 and received her Ph.D. from MIT.
Visual Arts Jury 2013
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.
Mira Schor is a New York-based artist, writer, editor, and educator, known for her contributions to the critical discourse on the status of painting in contemporary art and culture as well as to feminist art history and criticism. A focus of her visual work has been the representation of language in drawing and painting. Schor is the co-editor, with Susan Bee, of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists’ Writings, Theory, and Criticism, published by Duke University Press in 2000. She is also the author of two books of writings on art, politics and culture, Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture and A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life. She has had recent solo exhibitions at Marvelli Gallery and Momenta Art in New York, and CB1 Gallery in Los Angeles, and her work has been exhibited at the Jewish Museum in New York, the Santa Monica Museum, the Armand Hammer Museum, and the Neuberger Museum, among others. In addition to numerous awards in painting and criticism, Schor was awarded a 2009 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant to develop A Year of Positive Thinking, a blog on contemporary art.
Barry Schwabsky is art critic for The Nation and co-editor of international reviews for Artforum. He is the author of The Widening Circle: Consequences of Modernism in Contemporary Art (Cambridge University Press, 1997) and has contributed to books and monographs on many artists including Henri Matisse, Alighiero Boetti, and Gillian Wearing as well as to the internationally renowned Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting (Phaidon Press, 2002) and its recent sequel,Vitamin P2 (Phaidon Press, 2011). His most recent publications of poetry are Book Left Open in the Rain (Black Square Editions/The Brooklyn Rail, 2009) and 12 Abandoned Poems (Kilmog Press, 2010).
Austin Thomas received her MA in Studio Art from New York University and her BA in Psychology from The University of Colorado. She has had solo exhibitions at Robert Lehman Art Center (Brooks School, North Andover, MA, 2013), Heiner Contemporary (Washington, DC, 2012), Storefront (Brooklyn, NY, 2010) and William Busta Gallery(Cleveland, OH, 2010), among others. Thomas is a recipient of a Smack Mellon Artist Studio Program, an LMCC studio residency, and Public Arts Fund Commission. Her work has been featured at The Drawing Center, Murray Guy, The Sculpture Center, Debs & Co., Sara Meltzer Gallery, Art in General (all in NYC), and at the Corcoran Biennial, Washington, DC.
Playwriting Jury 2013
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.
Jason Gray Platt’s work has been produced and developed around the country by American Repertory Theater, Round House Theater, Red Bull Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Abingdon Theatre Company, Columbia University, The Inkwell, The Inconvenience, and Samuel French. At Vassar he was awarded the Marilyn Swartz Seven award for best play in 2005, and the Molly Thacher Kazan Memorial Prize for distinction in the theater arts in 2006. He was also the runner-up for the 2007 Princess Grace Award in playwriting and a finalist for the 2009 and 2010 O’Neill Conference. Originally from Arizona, Jason now lives in Brooklyn and works for The Wooster Group. BA: Vassar, MFA: Columbia.
Composing Jury 2013
In 1997 John Colpitts founded the experimental rock band Oneida in Brooklyn, NY. Since the founding of the band, Oneida has released upwards of 20 recordings and has toured North America and Europe extensively. In 2007 Colpitts began working closely with the Japanese group The Boredoms and has traveled throughout the US, Japan and the UK to perform their composition Boadrum. In 2010 he recorded his first solo album and founded the drum ensemble Man Forever which combines carefully tuned drum kits with aggressive and powerful ensemble playing. He has also recorded and performed with Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, White Hills, Soldiers of Fortune, Jah Division, People of the North and many other experimental ensembles. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
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.