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.