An Introduction to Poets House
Hard Hat Reading: Kwame Dawes
Kwame Dawes—prolific poet, editor, and critic—reads “Acceptance” by his mentor (and father) Neville Dawes, plus his own poem “Sturge Town Redux.”
Kwame Dawes is the author of numerous books of poetry and other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. His most recent collection UnHistory, was co-written with John Kinsella (Peepal Tree Press, UK 2022). Dawes is a George W. Holmes University Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner. He teaches in the Pacific MFA Program and is the Series Editor of the African Poetry Book Series, Director of the African Poetry Book Fund, and Artistic Director of the Calabash International Literary Festival. He is a Chancellor for the Academy of American Poets and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Kwame Dawes is the winner of the prestigious Windham/Campbell Award for Poetry and was a finalist for the 2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Dawes was awarded the Order of Distinction Commander class by the Government of Jamaica, in 2022.
Hard Hat Reading: Josephine Ishmon
Writer and teaching artist Josephine Ishmon reads “Disbelief” by the late Kamilah Aisha Moon, then “Failing and Flying” by the late Jack Gilbert.
Josephine Ishmon is a writer and educator. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School and has lead workshops in New York City Public Schools and NYS Women’s Correctional Facilities. Her writing has been published in the Boston Review and has garnered fellowships from the Norman Mailer Writer’s Colony as well as the Mellon Foundation.
Hard Hat Reading: Tacey M. Atsitty
Poet and workshop leader Tacey M. Atsitty reads a sonnet by Nicholas Friedman and new work from her forthcoming collection, (At) Wrist. Click here to check out Tacey’s 4-Week workshop starting Oct 31: Remembering Emblem Poetry!
Tacey M. Atsitty, Diné (Navajo), is Tsénahabiłnii (Sleep Rock People) and born of Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle People). She was born in Logan, UT, grew up in Kirtland, NM but is originally from Cove, AZ. She holds bachelor’s degrees from Brigham Young University and the Institute of American Indian Arts, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University.
Atsitty is a recipient of the Brittingham Prize for Poetry and other awards. She holds bachelor’s degrees from Brigham Young University and the Institute of American Indian Arts, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University. Her work has appeared in, or is forthcoming from: POETRY, EPOCH, Kenyon Review Online, Prairie Schooner, When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry, and other publications. Her first book is Rain Scald (University of New Mexico Press, 2018), and her second book (At) Wrist is forthcoming from University of Wisconsin Press in Fall 2023.
She is the director of the Navajo Film Festival, a member of Advisory Council for BYU’s Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, a board member for Lightscatter Press, and founding member of the Intermountain All-Women Hoop Dance Competition. She is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Florida State University in Tallahassee, where she lives with her husband. Photo by Mandi White. Learn more about Tacey here: https://taceymatsitty.com/
Hard Hat Reading: David M. Perkins
Poet David M. Perkins reads “Mozart and Salieri” from John Heath-Stubbs: Collected Poems, then his own poem “Making Faces” from In from Forever (Ice Cube Press).
David M. Perkins is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently, In From Forever; and previously, Post-Modern Blues, and I May or May Not Love You, all from Ice Cube Press. An amateur Tchaikovsky scholar, his poems, articles, book reviews, and essays have appeared in: Christopher Street Magazine, Penthouse, Broad Street Review, High Plains Literary Review, Chariton Review, The Bloomsbury Review, and for The Wordsworth Trust (UK), among others.
Hard Hat Reading: Desirée Alvarez
Poet and artist Desirée Alvarez reads “Dear Frida” by Alice Paalen Rahon (translated by Mary Ann Caws), and her own poem “Diary of the Ghost of a Mestiza,” from Raft of Flame.
Desirée Alvarez is a New York City born poet and painter. Among her awards are fellowships from: Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, American Academy of Arts and Letters, and European Capital of Culture. Her second book, Raft of Flame, 2020, received the Lake Merritt Poetry Prize from Omnidawn. Devil’s Paintbrush, her first book, received the May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize.
Her poetry is anthologized in Other Musics: New Latina Poets (University of Oklahoma Press), Stronger Than Fear: Poems of Empowerment, Compassion, and Social Justice (Cave Moon Press), and What Nature (Boston Review). Her poems are published in Poetry, Lit Hub, Massachusetts Review, Fence, The Iowa Review, and Ecotone. Alvarez exhibits her paintings in galleries and museums widely and teaches at CUNY and The Juilliard School.
Bonus video: Desirée Alvarez reads “Dear Frida” by Alice Paalen Rahon in the original French
Hard Hat Reading: Lory Bedikian
Poet and educator Lory Bedikian reads “cutting greens” by Lucille Clifton, and her own poem “Ode to Their Leaving,” from her forthcoming book Jagadakeer: Apology to the Body.
Lory Bedikian‘s collection The Book of Lamenting won the Philip Levine Prize and her forthcoming book Jagadakeer: Apology to the Body won the 2023 Prairie Schooner Raz-Shumaker Book Prize. Several of Bedikian’s poems received the First Prize Award in the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry as part of the 2022 Nimrod Literary Awards. Her work is published in Miramar, Tin House, The Los Angeles Review, Northwest Review, BOULEVARD, The Adroit Journal, Literary Matters, Orion, wildness, and was featured on Pádraig Ó Tuama’s Poetry Unbound podcast. Her poem “The Mechanic,” is included in the anthology Border Lines: Poems of Migration, KNOPF, 2020. Bedikian’s manuscript-in-progress received a 2021 grant from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. New work is forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Guesthouse and Massachusetts Review’s “Revisiting WOMAN: An Issue, 50 Years Later.” Bedikian earned an MFA from the University of Oregon. She teaches poetry workshops in Los Angeles.
Hard Hat Reading: Julia Guez
Poet and translator Julia Guez reads two poems by her mentor Lucie Brock-Broido, plus two poems of her own written in conversation with Lucie’s work.
Julia Guez is a writer and translator based in the city of Houston. The Certain Body is her second collection of poetry, written while she was recovering from COVID in the spring of 2020. For her first book of poetry, In an Invisible Glass Case Which Is Also a Frame, and for her co-translation of Luis Chaves’s Equestrian Monuments, Guez has been awarded the Discovery/Boston Review Prize, a Fulbright Fellowship and The John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize in Translation, as well as a translation fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. For the last decade, Guez has taught creative writing at NYU and Rutgers. https://juliaguez.net/
Hard Hat Reading: Michael Broder
Michael Broder—poet and founder of Indolent Books—reads “The 17-Year-Old & the Gay Bar” by Danez Smith, plus “The Tony Suite” from his own book This Life Now.
Michael Broder is the author of Drug and Disease Free (Indolent Books, 2016) and This Life Now (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2014), a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. His work has been published in Columbia Poetry Review, The American Poetry Review, The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and numerous others. He holds a BA from Columbia University, an MFA from New York University, and a PhD in classics from The Graduate Center, CUNY. Learn more about Michael Broder here.
Hard Hat Reading: Joseph Stanton
Poet and art history professor Joseph Stanton reads “Rain at Night” from Rain in the Trees by W.S. Merwin, then his own poem “The Last Kauaʻi ʻōʻō” from Prevailing Winds.
Check out Joseph’s Sep 30 Workshop, Nature Poetry!
Joseph Stanton’s eight books of poems are Lifelines: Poems for Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper (2023), Prevailing Winds (2022), Moving Pictures (2019), Things Seen (2016), A Field Guide to the Wildlife of Suburban Oahu (2006), Cardinal Points (2002), Imaginary Museum: Poems on Art (1999), and What the Kite Thinks: A Linked Poem. For his poetry, Stanton has received a Tony Quagliano International Poetry Award and an Ekphrasis prize.
Hard Hat Reading: Daemond Arrindell
Writer and teaching artist Daemond Arrindell reads Evie Shockley’s “quiet as it’s kept,” plus his own poem “Juneteenth,” from a manuscript in process.
Daemond Arrindell is a multi-genre writer, film maker, educator, performer, and equity consultant. He has been a faculty member of TAT Lab, the Washington State Teaching Artist Training Lab; Freehold Theatre, leading poetry & theatre residencies at Monroe Correctional Complex since 2006; Adjunct faculty at Seattle University; Senior Writer-In-Residence through Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools Program; and Poet-In-Residence for Skagit River Poetry Foundation.