Wednesday, September 15, 2021

A House of Our Own: A Latinx Literary Column

Photo credit: Detail of Hispanic Heritage Select Photos, by David Valdez via https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/

 

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

—Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

 

There is no singular Latinx experience. To assert such would be to reduce the histories of nations and continents, of imperialism and genocide, of liberation and expression to one set of eyes, one lifetime, one breath.


Every Latinx person lives a Latinx experience, whether or not it resembles that of another. Naturally, though, certain similarities arise among stories written by or about Latinxs, especially where the Latinx diaspora in the United States is concerned. Themes of exile, longing, (un)belonging, and isolation create a common thread through many Latinx stories, while differences in culture, race, and gender bear new iterations of the Latinx identity with each generation.


My story begins in my birthplace, Puerto Rico. Before my first birthday, my family left the island, settling in South Florida where I grew up surrounded by other Latinx kids for whom communicating in Spanish was nothing but natural. The same was true in college in Miami, where students’ conversations were peppered with Spanish phrases and most employees expected you to address them as “usted” instead of “you.” This constant confirmation of my Latinidad molded my self-definition; before all else, I am Boricua, the product of an island inextricable from its language.


Even though I lived away from the rest of my family, frequent visits to my island and confidence in my Spanish assuaged much of the uncertainty I felt around my cultural identity growing up. In the years since leaving South Florida, however, I have noticed gaps in my Spanish vocabulary where there once were none, and this unwelcome discovery has caused me to question myself. Am I Latina enough? It’s a concern I’ve heard echoed by other Latinxs in the diaspora, and one which I hope to ease as this column unfolds.


“A House of Our Own” is a love letter to Latinx literature. With an intersectional collection of writings, I hope to tease out the common narratives that tie each of us to Latinidad. This column will cover writings in different genres written by Latin American authors who either immigrated to the U.S. or are the descendants of those who did. With its limited scope of twelve books, this column is not my attempt to define Latinidad with any degree of certainty. Rather, I hope to piece these authors’ stories into a mosaic to which readers can relate, regardless of their cultural identity. 


Each month, I will post a new book response. The books have all been released or are slated for release in 2021 and 2022. I hope to interview as many of the authors as possible and incorporate their words into my writing. The tentative reading list is as follows:

 


2021

October: Variations on the Body by Maria Ospina

November: Dreaming of You by Melissa Lozada-Oliva

December: Gordo: Stories by Jaime Cortez

2022

January: We Are Owed by Ariana Brown

February: Wild Tongues Can't be Tamed by Saraciea J. Fennell

March: x/ex/exis by Racquel Salas Rivera

April: Andale Prieta by Yasmin Ramirez

May: Muscle Memory by Kyle Carrero Lopez

June: Velorio by Xavier Navarro Aquino

July: Desgraciado: (the collected letters) by Angel Dominguez

August: A Woman of Endurance by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

September: The Kissing Bug by Daisy Hernandez

 

I hope you will take this journey with me, that your own anxieties about identity will be somewhat eased, and that you find some part of yourself reflected in these words.

 

Un abrazo,

Brittany

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Introducing Brittany Torres Rivera and more

                                                  Brittany Torres Rivera

Letras Latinas aspires to create opportunities for Latinx writers to shine—particularly new and emerging voices. But carrying out these gestures wouldn’t be possible without the cooperation of the wider literary community. For example, Richard Blanco reached out recently to introduce me to a former student who’d just completed her degree at Florida International University. She was seeking to work in Latinx letters as an intern somewhere. Perhaps, he thought, Letras Latinas might have a few leads. After a couple of e-mails with Richard's former student, a fruitful, sprawling conversation on ZOOM took place. The result: the idea for a book column—here at Letras Latinas Blog. She had shared with me some samples of creative and critical work she’d produced while at FIU, and I was sold.

 

Brittany Torres Rivera will say more about her column in a couple of weeks or so. But first, I thought to ask her three questions as a way of introducing her to our readers. My thanks to Richard Blanco for making this possible, in more ways than one. —FA

 

 

First of all, thank you so much, Brittany, for agreeing to take a few questions—not only about your poetry, but also writing and literature in general. Let me start by asking if you could briefly share with us the evolution of your passion for books. What was the spark, and how did that spark evolve?  Was the passion for your own writing concurrent, or did that come later? In short, what’s your origin story as a writer?

 

As with most people who enjoy reading, my love of being transported to another world began in my childhood. Each time a book ended I felt a sense of loss. I always wanted more. I felt that same spark with other forms of art, so I would characterize my passion for books as a passion for storytelling. Its evolution, then, took many forms, not all of which were strictly book-related. For example, I grew obsessed with movies to the point where I kept a running list of my favorite characters. These characters were confused or troubled or changing and they all had something to discover. Around the same time, I began looking for ways to come to my own discoveries. I was in middle school when I wrote my first real poem, and after that I would write whenever I felt drawn to an idea, a metaphor, an image. It wasn't until high school, though, that I began to take my hobby more seriously. I would often talk to my English teacher about poetry and music and one day he asked me why I didn't pursue writing in college. At this point I was about sixteen and my plan was to study medicine. It hadn't occurred to me that reading and writing and creativity could be more than something I did for fun. This was a pivotal moment and it marked the beginning of my creative career. 

 

I’ve had the pleasure of reading a sampling not only of your own poetry, but also your writing about poetry—let’s say, as a budding critic. Could you talk a bit about what it’s like writing in these two modes. In other words, could you compare and contrast these two writing practices—as it pertains to your own writing practice?

 

Writing poetry is putting sand together until it makes a castle, and writing about poetry is trying to understand each grain. 

 

When I write poetry, I start with a feeling, a moment, a pile of sand and some water I want to expand on until it feels larger than it used to. Then I find ways to sharpen, add details and devices that accentuate its shape-- the drawbridge, the sconces, the seawater moat that turn a sand house into a sand castle. 

 

When I write about poetry, I often start with a pretty solid idea of what the poems are. Then it's about building a case, finding evidence of the poet's hand in the work that supports my thoughts. The great thing about poetry, though, is that every reader can assemble this evidence toward a different conclusion. I might see a gargoyle where another reader sees a security camera, evidence to support their assertion that it is not a medieval sand castle but instead a present-day sand mansion.

 

In this way, both acts are acts of creation-- making something out of grains of sand and hoping it sticks together.


This brief introduction of you to our readers will serve as an introduction to the book column you’ll be inaugurating soon for Letras Latinas Blog. Could you share with our readers how you arrived at the twelve titles you’ll be reflecting on, and what your hopes are for the column—not only as it pertains to your own development as a literary artist, but also what you hope to convey to our readers?

 

These twelve titles are my best attempt at representing Latinx stories in all their diversity. I looked for books from 2021 and 2022 that represent the variety of experiences that comprise Latinidad regardless of their genre or popularity. The authors are from different cultures, races, generations, and artistic traditions, so the works represent a small taste of all that Latinx art has to offer. 

 

Reading the work of Latinx authors, I have found myself represented again and again, not only because I am Latina but also because I am a person looking for a place in the world, within myself, and among the grains of sand that I want to make into more. My hope is that this column introduces readers to stories they have never known or stories they have needed all their lives. I want to show readers characters they'll add to their lists of obsessions and books they'll be sad to finish.

 

For myself, this will be the first time I take on literary writing on this scale, so I look forward to discovering something new. I plan on applying my knowledge of creative writing as I experiment in this form and I hope readers will be excited and along for the ride.

 

Brittany Torres Rivera is a Puerto Rican writer whose work deals with culture, family, and (un)belonging. She has a BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Florida International University and lives in Orlando, FL


Friday, August 14, 2020

SAVE THE DATE: Tuesday, August 18

 One Poem: A Protest Reading in

Support of Black Lives

  

The founding members of the Poetry Coalition, a network of 25+ poetry organizations from across the United States, are honored to present One Poem: A Protest Reading in Support of Black Lives on Tuesday,August 18 at 8 PM EST via live broadcast. In this nationwide reading curated by the coalition, a poet invited by each founding member organization will share a poem in support of Black lives.

Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, has invited Emma Trelles to perform her poem, “How We Lived.”

 

 

Emma Trelles is the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the author of Tropicalia (University of Notre Dame Press), winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, a finalist for Foreword/Indies poetry book of the year, and a recommended read by The Rumpus. She is currently writing a second book of poems, Courage and the Clock.  Her work has been anthologized in Verse Daily, Best American Poetry, Best of the NetPolitical Punch: Contemporary Poems on the Politics of Identity, and others.  Recent poems appear or are forthcoming in the Poetry Coalition’s "One Poem: A Protest Reading in Support of Black Lives"; the Santa Barbara Literary Journal; the South Florida Poetry Journal; SWWIM;  Zócalo Public Square; the Colorado Review; and  Spillway.  A CantoMundo Fellow and a recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, she lived and worked for many years as an arts journalist in South Florida and now lives with her husband in California, where she teaches at Santa Barbara City College and curates the Mission Poetry

Full Roster of Poets

Prisca Afantchao

Sojourner Ahebee

Kazim Ali

Kimberly Blaeser

Jericho Brown

Meera Dasgupta

Kwame Dawes

Tongo Eisen-Martin

Safia Elhillo

Martín Espada

Sesshu Foster

Kimberly Jae

Raina J. León

Mwatabu S. Okantah

Alberto Ríos

Terisa Siagatonu

Matthew Thompson

Emma Trelles

Nikki Wallschlaeger

Monica Youn

avery r. young

This virtual event is free. Attendees will have the opportunity to contribute funds to support organizations nationwide working against injustice.

 RSVP for One Poem: A Protest Reading in Support of Black Lives

 

About the Poetry Coalition

The Poetry Coalition is a national alliance of more than 25 organization dedicated to working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds. Members are nonprofit organizations whose primary mission is to promote poets and poetry, and/or multi-genre literary organizations that serve poets with disabilities and of specific racial, ethnic, or gender identities, backgrounds, or communities. All members present poets at live events. Each March, members present programming across the country on a theme of social importance. The Poetry Coalition is coordinated by the Academy of American Poets and we are grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its support of this work.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Darrel Alejandro Holnes wins the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize

Darrel Alejandro Holnes

Letras Latinas, the literary initiative of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, is pleased to announce that Darrel Alejandro Holnes as the latest recipient of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. Named after the late Chicano poet from Fresno, the Prize is a collaboration with University of Notre Dame Press and supports the publication of a first book by a Latinx poet residing in the United States. The ninth edition of the Prize was judged by John Murillo, with assistance from screeners Yesenilla Montilla and Roberto Carlos Garcia.

Murillo’s award citation reads:

“Darrel Alejandro Holnes is a poet of promise and vision.  And Stepmotherland is a promising and visionary debut.  In this first collection, Holnes displays an impressive range of both subject and sensibility.  Whether working in more traditional lyric, narrative, and lyric-narrative modes, or experimenting with nonce forms derived from theater, geometry, and even dictionary entry formats, Holnes’ poems exhibit a lively imagination and keen intellect.  At turns erotic, often political, and always vulnerable, Stepmotherland  provides the reader a fresh perspective on the myriad ways in which history—whether personal or national—can, by its very nature, blur the lines between witness and participant, between doer and done to.”

A native of Panama and currently based in New York City, Holnes is a previous recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry. His poems have previously appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, The Caribbean Writer, Callaloo, Best American Experimental Writing, and elsewhere in print and online. Holnes is a Cave Canem and a CantoMundo fellow. His poetry has also earned him scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize from Poetry International, and residencies nationwide including at the MacDowell Arts Colony. He is an Assistant Professor at Medgar Evers College and he teaches at New York University.  Find more at darrelholnes.com  

“It is an honor to be the 9th recipient of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize from Letras Latinas for my book of poems STEPMOTHERLAND. This book is over a decade in the making and it is the product of love and support from my many communities of writers, friends, and family who have supported my development over the years. My thanks to the judge, John Murillo, for selecting my manuscript for this prize from a list of finalists that includes poets I greatly admire, and others whose work I look forward to reading. Thanks to the Prize’s initial screeners, Yesenia Montilla and Roberto Carlos Garcia. And many thanks to the Montoya family and the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame for establishing this prize. It’s exciting for me to join a family of past winners whose work extends the legacy of Andrés Montoya, a poet and an activist whose poetry renowned poet Rigoberto González named as some of “the best to come out of our community.” I hope to represent Montoya's legacy well with STEPMOTHERLAND, a collection of poems about coming of age, coming out, and coming to America.”

Once again, Letras Latinas would like extend its congratulations to the other finalists for the 9th edition of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize:


Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta is an Afro-Latinx associate professor at City University of New York-BCC, where she teaches creative writing and Latinx literature. She was born in Chicago to a Colombian father and Cuban mother, both community leaders in Logan Square. Dr. Acosta edited the Routledge anthology, Latina Outsiders Remaking Latina Identity. Her work is also in Kweli JournalRed FezThe Acentos Review, American Studies JournalVIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Paterson Literary ReviewThe Lauryn Hill ReaderPembroke MagazineMiPoesias, and forthcoming sci-fi anthology, The Latinx Archive. She is a Macondo Fellow and a Geraldine Dodge Foundation Poet. 

JP Infante is a teacher and writer in New York City. His poetry and prose can be found in PEN America Best Debut Short Stories for 2019, Kweli, The Poetry Project, Acentos Review, Post (blank) mag, Rigorous, Dominican Writers, Ritmo Que Late Anthology, Uptown Collective, Manhattan Times, Bronx Free Press, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext Anthology and elsewhere. He’s been awarded the PEN Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, Bernard L. Einbond Memorial Prize, and the Aaron Hochberg Family Award. He also won DTM magazine’s “Latino Identity in the US” essay contest.

Jasminne Mendez is a poet, performer, playwright, educator, and award winning author. Mendez has had poetry and essays published by or forthcoming in The New England Review, The Acentos Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, The Rumpus, and others. She is the author of two mixed genre collections Island of Dreams(Floricanto Press, 2013) which won an International Latino Book Award, and Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays and Poetry(Arte Publico Press, 2018). She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and has received fellowships from Canto Mundo and the Kenyon Review Writer's Workshop among others. She is an MFA graduate of of the Rainier Writer's Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University, and a University of Houston alumni. 

Caridad Moro-Gronlier is the editor of Grabbed: Writers Respond to Sexual Assault forthcoming from Beacon Press in 2020 and an Associate Editor for SWWIM Every Day. She is the author of Visionware (Finishing Line Press). Recent work can be found at The Best American Poetry Blog, Rhino, Go Magazine, Fantastical Florida and others. She is the recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, a Florida Artist Fellowship and nominee for two Pushcart Prizes, The Best of the Net and a Lambda Literary Award. She teaches Dual Enrollment for Florida International University and is an English Professor for Miami Dade College. She resides in Miami, FL with her wife and son.

Martin Hill Ortiz, a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a professor of Pharmacology at the Ponce Health Sciences University in Puerto Rico where he lives with his wife and son. A score of his short stories have appeared in print, anthologies and online journals. His sixty-page poem, Two Mistakes, won the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid poetry award. He has authored four mystery thrillers, including Never Kill A Friend from Ransom Note Press. Along with his scientific background, he has worked in theater, having run a comedy troupe in South Florida.

 *

Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), strives to enhance the visibility, appreciation and study of Latinx literature both on and off the campus of the University of Notre Dame—with an emphasis on programs that support newer voices, foster a sense of community among writers, and place Latinx writers in community spaces.

Monday, March 30, 2020

We have our Andrés Montoya finalists!



For the 9th edition of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, Letras Latinas counted on the critical eye of two preliminary screeners. They were Yesenia Montilla and Roberto Carlos Garcia. For the first time we have decided to pause, and celebrate the finalists that Montilla  and Garcia have selected, and whose manuscripts are currently being reviewed by final judge John Murillo.

Our finalists are:



Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta is an Afro-Latinx associate professor at City University of New York-BCC, where she teaches creative writing and Latinx literature. She was born in Chicago to a Colombian father and Cuban mother, both community leaders in Logan Square. Dr. Acosta edited the Routledge anthology, Latina Outsiders Remaking Latina Identity. Her work is also in Kweli JournalRed FezThe Acentos Review, American Studies JournalVIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Paterson Literary ReviewThe Lauryn Hill ReaderPembroke MagazineMiPoesias, and forthcoming sci-fi anthology, The Latinx Archive. She is a Macondo Fellow and a Geraldine Dodge Foundation Poet. 


Darrel Alejandro Holnes is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry. His poems have previously appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, The Caribbean Writer, Callaloo, Best American Experimental Writing, and elsewhere in print and online. Holnes is a Cave Canem and a Canto Mundo fellow. His poetry has also earned him scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize from Poetry International, and residencies nationwide including at the MacDowell Arts Colony. He is an Assistant Professor at Medgar Evers College and he teaches at New York University.  Find more at darrelholnes.com  


JP Infante is a teacher and writer in New York City. His poetry and prose can be found in PEN America Best Debut Short Stories for 2019, Kweli, The Poetry Project, Acentos Review, Post (blank) mag, Rigorous, Dominican Writers, Ritmo Que Late Anthology, Uptown Collective, Manhattan Times, Bronx Free Press, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext Anthology and elsewhere. He’s been awarded the PEN Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, Bernard L. Einbond Memorial Prize, and the Aaron Hochberg Family Award. He also won DTM magazine’s “Latino Identity in the US” essay contest.


Jasminne Mendez is a poet, performer, playwright, educator, and award winning author. Mendez has had poetry and essays published by or forthcoming in The New England Review, The Acentos Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, The Rumpus, and others. She is the author of two mixed genre collections Island of Dreams(Floricanto Press, 2013) which won an International Latino Book Award, and Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays and Poetry(Arte Publico Press, 2018). She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and has received fellowships from Canto Mundo and the Kenyon Review Writer's Workshop among others. She is an MFA graduate of of the Rainier Writer's Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University, and a University of Houston alumni. 

 
Caridad Moro-Gronlier is the editor of Grabbed: Writers Respond to Sexual Assault forthcoming from Beacon Press in 2020 and an Associate Editor for SWWIM Every Day. She is the author of Visionware (Finishing Line Press). Recent work can be found at The Best American Poetry Blog, Rhino, Go Magazine, Fantastical Florida and others. She is the recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, a Florida Artist Fellowship and nominee for two Pushcart Prizes, The Best of the Net and a Lambda Literary Award. She teaches Dual Enrollment for Florida International University and is an English Professor for Miami Dade College. She resides in Miami, FL with her wife and son.

 
Martin Hill Ortiz, a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a professor of Pharmacology at the Ponce Health Sciences University in Puerto Rico where he lives with his wife and son. A score of his short stories have appeared in print, anthologies and online journals. His sixty-page poem, Two Mistakes, won the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid poetry award. He has authored four mystery thrillers, including Never Kill A Friend from Ransom Note Press. Along with his scientific background, he has worked in theater, having run a comedy troupe in South Florida.



Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Poetry Coalition is proud to present:




Tonight, we were slated to gather at Busboys and Poets on 450 K Street in Washington, D.C. to hear the poetry of Teri Ellen Cross Davis and Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes. Slated to join Letras Latinas as a co-presenter was Split This Rock: this was meant to be a “Pre-Festival” event on the eve of their 2020 Festival. This was meant to be Letras Latinas’ contribution to the Poetry Coalition’s 2020 March program:

I am deliberate
and afraid
of nothing

Poetry and Protest

COVID-19 changed all of that.

In a spirit of nimbleness and resourcefulness, our two poets rose to the occasion and accepted our invitation to produce the two videos below for your viewing and listening pleasure.

Enjoy them.

Please share them…from wherever you are sheltering in place:







This Poetry Coalition Program
is supported by
the Academy of American Poets
with funds from
the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

heidi andrea restrepo rhodes is a queer, second-generation Colombian/Latinx immigrant, poet, artist, scholar, and activist. She is the author of the poetry collection The Inheritance of Haunting (University of Notre Dame Press, 2019), which won the 2018 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. Her book was recently profiled in Poets & Writers annual Debut Poets feature. Her creative work has been published, exhibited, and performed in As/Us, Pank, Raspa, Word Riot, Feminist Studies, Huizache, the National Queer Arts Festival, The Sick Collective, the Bureau of General Services-Queer Division, SomArts, and Galería de la Raza, among other places. She was a semi-finalist for the 2017 92-Y/Unterburg Poetry Center Discovery Contest. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Political Theory at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Born in Arizona and raised in California, she currently lives in Brooklyn. She can be found on Instagram at: @vessels.we.are

Teri Ellen Cross Davis is the author of Haint, (Gival Press, 2016) winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry.  Her second book, A More Perfect Union, won the 2019 Charles B. Wheeler Prize, awarded by The Journal, and is forthcoming. She is a Cave Canem fellow and a member of the Black Ladies Brunch Collective. She has received fellowships to attend  the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Hedgebrook, Community of  Writers Poetry Workshop, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is the recipient of a Meret grant from the Freya Project and a 2019 Sustainable Arts Grant. Her work can be read in: Academy of American Poets, Auburn Love’s Executive Order, Avenue, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Figure 1Gargoyle, Harvard Review, Kestrel, Little Patuxent Review, Natural Bridge, North American Review, MiPOesias, Mom Egg Review, Pacifica Literary Review, PANK, Poet Lore, Poetry Ireland Review, and Tin House. She is the 2019-2020 HoCoPoLitSo Writer-in-Residence for Howard County, Maryland, adjunct professor at George Washington University, and the Poetry Coordinator for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C.  She lives in Maryland with her husband, poet Hayes Davis and their two children.


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Letras Latinas partners with Split This Rock...




This "event" was originally slated to take place on the evening of Wednesday, March 25th at Busboys and Poets at 450 K Street in Washington, D.C. Instead, Letras Latinas has commissioned our two distinguished poets to put together a DIY video of themselves reading their poetry. They will each post their video on the web sometime during the last week of March. To be sure, this is an experiment of sorts--an effort at creativity and resourcefullness; call it a gesture of resilence in these unprecedented times. Our hope, of course, is that each of these videos will take on a life of its own, complementing each other. We'd love to get a sense how many people these videos will reach. So, it goes without saying that we would welcome your feedback.


HEIDI ANDREA RESTREPO RHODES is a queer, second-generation Colombian/Latinx immigrant, poet, artist, scholar, and activist. She is the author of the poetry collection The Inheritance of Haunting (University of Notre Dame Press, 2019), which won the 2018 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. Her book was recently profiled in Poets & Writers annual Debut Poets feature. Her creative work has been published, exhibited, and performed in As/Us, Pank, Raspa, Word Riot, Feminist Studies, Huizache, the National Queer Arts Festival, The Sick Collective, the Bureau of General Services-Queer Division, SomArts, and Galería de la Raza, among other places. She was a semi-finalist for the 2017 92-Y/Unterburg Poetry Center Discovery Contest. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Political Theory at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Born in Arizona and raised in California, she currently lives in Brooklyn. She can be found on Instagram at: @vessels.we.are

TERI ELLEN CROSS DAVIS is the author of Haint, (Gival Press, 2016) winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. Her second book, A More Perfect Union, won the 2019 Charles B. Wheeler Prize, awarded by The Journal, and is forthcoming. She is a Cave Canem fellow and a member of the Black Ladies Brunch Collective. She has received fellowships to attend the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Hedgebrook, Community of Writers Poetry Workshop, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is the recipient of a Meret grant from the Freya Project and a 2019 Sustainable Arts Grant. Her work can be read in: Academy of American Poets, Auburn Love’s Executive Order, Avenue, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Figure 1, Gargoyle, Harvard Review, Kestrel, Little Patuxent Review, Natural Bridge, North American Review, MiPOesias, Mom Egg Review, Pacifica Literary Review, PANK, Poet Lore, Poetry Ireland Review, and Tin House. She is the 2019-2020 HoCoPoLitSo Writer-in-Residence for Howard County, Maryland, adjunct professor at George Washington University, and the Poetry Coordinator for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. She lives in Maryland with her husband, poet Hayes Davis and their two children.