Paul Tran, Aziza Barnes, Patricia Smith
AZIZA BARNES is blk & alive. Winner of the 2015 Pamet River Prize Aziza’s first full length collection i be but i ain’t, is from YesYes Books 2016. Their chapbook, me Aunt Jemima & the nailgun, was the winner of the inaugural Exploding Pinecone Prize from Button Poetry in 2012. They are a Cave Canem Fellow, co-founder of The Conversation Literary Festival and co-host of the podcast, The Poetry Gods. Their play BLKS has a world premiere at Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago Dec 7th- Jan 21st.
PATRICIA SMITH is the author of eight books of poetry, including Incendiary Art; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler, a National Book Award finalist; and Gotta Go, Gotta Flow, a collaboration ion with award-winning Chicago photographer Michael Abramson. Her other books include the poetry volumes Teahouse of the Almighty, Close to Death, Big Towns Big Talk, Life According to Motown; the children's book Janna and the Kings and the history Africans in America, a companion book to the award-winning PBS series. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The Baffler, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Tin House and in Best American Poetry and Best American Essays. Her contribution to the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir won the Robert L. Fish Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the best debut story of the year and was featured in the anthology Best American Mystery Stories.
She is a Guggenheim fellow, a National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient, a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize, a former fellow at both Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition’s history. Patricia is a professor at the College of Staten Island and in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College, as well as an instructor at the annual VONA residency and in the Vermont College of Fine Arts Post-Graduate Residency Program.