March 28: Gery, Sullivan, Taransky

Michelle Taransky's first book, Barn Burned, Then, was selected by Marjorie Welish for the 2008 Omnidawn Poetry Prize and will be published in September 2009. Taransky works at Kelly Writers House and, with Emily Pettit, coordinates the Whenever We Feel Like It Reading Series.

John Gery is a poet and critic of modern and contemporary poetry. His books include Charlemagne: A Song of Gestures, The Enemies of Leisure, American Ghost: Selected Poems (English-Serbian, translated by Biljana Obradovic), Davenport’s Version, A Gallery of Ghosts, and Nuclear Annihilation and Contemporary American Poetry: Ways of Nothingness. His poetry, criticism, and reviews have appeared throughout the U.S. and Europe, including in Callaloo, New Orleans Review, Paideuma, Paris Review, and West Branch. He has done collaborative translations of works from Serbian, Armenian, Chinese, and French, and his own work has been translated into Serbian, Italian, Chinese, Romanian, Bengali, and Farsi. A Research Professor of English at the University of New Orleans, he also directs the Ezra Pound Center for Literature, Brunnenburg, Italy. He lives in New Orleans with his wife, poet Biljana Obradovic, and their son Petar.

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan is from Harlem, New York. Her fiction has appeared and/or is forthcoming in the anthologies, Baby Remember My Name and X-24 Unclassified, as well as in the literary journals Crab Orchard Review, BLOOM, Philadelphia Stories online, Lumina, Amistad, Baobab South African Journal and others. She has received honors and awards from The Boston Fiction Festival, New World Theater, the NAACP, and other organizations. She received the 2008 Charles Johnson Student Fiction Award for her short story, “A Strange People,” and her full-length play, “Two Rings” was a finalist for the 2009 Downtown Urban Theatre Festival in New York City. She is currently working on a Ph.D. in English at the University of Pennsylvania.


March 14: Featherston, Russell, Van Winckel

Dan Featherston is a scholar of modern and contemporary American literature and a poet whose books include The Clock Maker’s Memoir (Cuneiform Press, 2007), United States (Factory School, 2005), Into the Earth (Quarry Press, 2005) and The Radiant World (BlazeVox), which will be published later this year. He is currently a visiting assistant professor in the First-Year Writing Program at Temple University. He lives in Philadelphia with Rachel McCrystal and their dog Fredo. You can read some of Dan Featherston's work in Milk Magazine and on his blog.

Jacob Russell lives in South Philly. He loves dogs, playing chess & barroom pool. He wrote his first poem in second grade and spent the next 40 years thinking about it--it was a traumatic experience. At age 48, he quit procrastinating and got to work. He has written 47 volumes, 5,675 pages of journal entries; published short stories and poetry in various lit mags while collecting 1,594 rejection slips; took 8 years to write his first novel; second one is still W.I.P. He keeps a lit blog, Jacob Russell's Barking Dog, and has not given up hope that someone will publish his novels before he dies.

Nance Van Winckel's fifth collection of poems, No Starling, is recently out from U. of Washington Press. She is the recipient of two NEA Poetry Fellowships and awards from the Poetry Society of America, Poetry, and Prairie Schooner. New poems appear in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Poetry Northwest, Crazyhorse, Field, and Gettysburg Review. She is also the author of three collections of short fiction, most recently Curtain Creek Farm from Persea Books/Norton. She teaches in the MFA Programs at Eastern Washington University and Vermont College and is currently the Stadler Poet in Residence at Bucknell.