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SIR 2019 Fall


Chie Yoshii was born in Kochi, Japan. She moved to the United States to complete her BFA at Massachusetts College of Art in 2000 and studied with realist painter Adrian Gottlieb from 2002 to 2008. Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries worldwide, including Dorothy Circus Gallery in Italy, Urban Nation in Germany, Gallery Bern Art in Japan, Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, Haven Gallery in New York, and William Baczek Fine Arts in Massachusetts. Yoshii currently lives and works in Los Angeles.


"Honey" — Allison Adair’s debut collection, The Clearing, was selected by Henri Cole for the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize and is forthcoming in 2020 from Milkweed. Her work appears in Best American Poetry, Image, Kenyon Review Online, North American Review, and ZYZZYVA; and has been honored with the Pushcart Prize (2019), The Florida ReviewEditors’ Award, the Orlando Prize, and first place in Mid-American Review’s Fineline Competition. Originally from central Pennsylvania, Adair now lives in Boston, where she teaches at Boston College and GrubStreet.

"An Accommodation" — Sandra Beasley is the author of three poetry collections—Count the WavesI Was the Jukebox, and Theories of Falling—as well as Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a disability memoir and cultural history of food allergies. She served as the editor for Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance. Honors for her work include the 2019 Munster Literature Centre’s John Montague International Poetry Fellowship, a 2015 NEA fellowship, and four DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities fellowships. Beasley lives in Washington, D.C., and teaches with the University of Tampa low-residency MFA program.

"God Letter" — CM Burroughs is associate professor of poetry at Columbia College Chicago. She has been awarded fellowships and grants from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Cave Canem Foundation. She has received commissions from the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Warhol Museum to create poetry in response to art installations. Her first book is The Vital System from Tupelo Press, and her poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies including Poetry, Callaloo, jubilatPloughshares, and Best American Experimental Writing 2015. Burroughs earned her MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. Her second book, Master Suffering, will be published by Tupelo Press in 2021.

Nicole Callihan is the author of Translucence, co-written with Samar Abdel Jaber; Downtown; The Deeply Flawed Human; and SuperLoop. The assistant director and a senior language lecturer at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, Callihan frequently collaborates with artists and actors throughout New York City.

A finalist for the 2019 National Poetry Series, Kyle Churney’s poetry has appeared in Salt Hill, The Journal, Memorious, and other publications, and his essays are published in the Chicago Tribune. He is a recipient of a Literary Award from the Illinois Arts Council and a fellowship from the MacDowell Colony. A native of rural Illinois, Churney lives in Chicago, where he teaches developmental writing at a community college.

"Marigolds of Fire" — Ama Codjoe is the author of Blood of the Air, winner of the eighth annual Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize, forthcoming from Northwestern University Press in April 2020. She has been awarded support from Cave Canem, Jerome, Robert Rauschenberg, and Saltonstall foundations, as well as from Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Crosstown Arts, Hedgebrook, and the MacDowell Colony. Her recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Common, The Massachusetts Review, The Adroit Journal, and elsewhere. Codjoe is the recipient of a 2017 Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, The Georgia Review’s 2018 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, a 2019 DISQUIET Literary Prize, and a 2019 NEA Literature Fellowship.

Rebecca Foust’s third book, Paradise Drive, won the 2015 Press 53 Poetry Award. A new chapbook is forthcoming from Swan Scythe Press, and recent poems are in Blackbird, Ecotone, The Hudson Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Southern Review, and Southwest Review. Recognitions include the Cavafy Prize, the James Hearst Poetry Prize and fellowships from Hedgebrook, MacDowell, Sewanee, and The Frost Place. Foust is the current Marin County Poet Laureate, the poetry editor for Women’s Voice for Change, and an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine.

Madelyn Garner’s recent writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Best American Poetry 2015, The Pinch, The Florida Review, The Western Humanities Review, Water~Stone Review, and the anthology Beyond Forgetting, Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease. She is the co-editor of the poetry anthology Collecting Life: Poets on Objects Known and Imagined. Her debut poetry manuscript, Hum of Our Blood, winner of Tupelo Press/3: A Taos Press July Open Reading, was published in 2017.

"Buying Back-to-School Supplies" — Matthew Guenette is the author of three poetry collections, including Vasectomania and American Busboy, both from the University of Akron Press. His first book, Sudden Anthem, winner of the American Poetry Journal Book Prize, is published by Dream Horse Press. Guenette works at a technical college in Madison, Wisconsin, where he lives with his wife, their two children, and a twenty-pound cat named Butternut.

Yalie Kamara is a Sierra Leonean-American writer and an Oakland native. She’s the author of A Brief Biography of My Name (Akashic Books/APBF, 2018), which was included in New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Tano), and When The Living Sing(Ledge Mule Press, 2017). She received an MFA in poetry from Indiana University, Bloomington and is currently a doctoral student in creative writing and English literature at the University of Cincinnati. 

Tara McDaniel is a poetry teacher residing in the arts district of Minneapolis. Her poetry is forthcoming in Cutthroat and RHINO Poetry, and has been featured in Crab Orchard Review, Cimarron Review, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere. Her poetics and prose have been featured in William Paterson University’s Contemporary Writing Blog and The Loft Literary Center’s Writer’s Block Blog. McDaniel is a graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars and is currently a Loft Mentor Series Fellow in Poetry and Prose.

"Professor Marva Stewart’s Funeral Service at Gilbert-Lambuth Chapel, Paine CollegeKamilah Aisha Moon is the author of Starshine & Clay, a CLMP Firecracker Award finalist featured on NPR’s All Things Considered as a collection that captures America in poetry, and She Has a Name, a finalist for both the Audre Lorde and Lambda Literary Awards. Moon’s work has been published widely, including in Best American Poetry, Harvard Review, Poem-A-Day, PBS NewshourBuzzfeed, and elsewhere. A Pushcart Prize winner and 2015 New American Poet who has received fellowships to MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center, and Hedgebrook, she holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is an assistant professor of creative writing at Agnes Scott College.

Natasha Sajé is the author of three books of poems, including, most recently, Vivarium; a book of literary criticism, Windows and Doors: A Poet Reads Literary Theory; and a book of personal essays, Terroir: Essays on Otherness, forthcoming from Trinity UP in 2020. Sajé teaches at Westminster College in Salt Lake and in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing program.

Natalie Shapero is the author of the poetry collections No Object and Hard Child. She teaches at Tufts University.

"Gather" — Originally from Georgia, Jess Smith is currently pursuing a PhD in English and creative writing at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, where she co-founded and curates the LHUCA Literary Series. Her work can be found in Prairie Schooner, Waxwing, 32 Poems, The Rumpus, and other journals. Smith received her MFA in poetry from The New School and is the recipient of scholarships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Vermont Studio Center.

Analicia Sotelo is the author of Virgin, the inaugural winner of the Jake Adam York Prize, selected by Ross Gay for Milkweed Editions (2018). She is also the author of the chapbook Nonstop Godhead, selected by Rigoberto González for a 2016 Poetry Society of America National Chapbook Fellowship. Her poem “I’m Trying to Write a Poem About a Virgin and It’s Awful” was selected for Best New Poets 2015 by Tracy K. Smith. Poems have also appeared in The New YorkerBoston Review, FIELD, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and The Antioch Review. Sotelo is the recipient of the 2016 DISQUIET International Literary Prize, a CantoMundo fellowship, and scholarships from the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley and the Image Text Ithaca Symposium.

John Sibley Williams is the author of As One Fire Consumes Another (Orison Poetry Prize, 2019), Skin Memory (Backwaters Prize, 2019), Disinheritance, and Controlled Hallucinations. He is the winner of numerous awards, including the Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Phyllis Smart-Young Prize, The 46er Prize, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Laux/Millar Prize. Williams serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a literary agent. Previous publishing credits include The Yale Review, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, TriQuarterly, Mid-American ReviewThird Coast, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Yolanda Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afro and the co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song. A Pew and Cave Canem Fellow, she has been a Writer in Residence at Hedgebrook and Aspen Words. Wisher taught high school English for a decade, served as Director of Art Education for Philadelphia Mural Arts, and founded and directed the Germantown Poetry and Outbound Poetry Festivals. She performs a unique blend of poetry and song with her band The Afroeaters, and has led workshops and curated events in partnership with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the U.S. Department of Arts & Culture. Wisher is currently the Curator of Spoken Word at Philadelphia Contemporary and is part of the first cohort of artists with studios at the Cherry Street Pier on the Delaware River Waterfront.


Jordan Jacks is a writer from Texas. His fiction has appeared in The Yale Review, The Iowa Review, Story, and elsewhere. He lives in Cleveland, where he is finishing a novel and a collection of stories.

April Sopkin lives in Richmond, Virginia. Her work appears in Carve Magazine, The Southampton Review, failbetter, SAND Journal, and elsewhere. Her prose has won the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest (2019) and the Frank McCourt Memoir Prize (2018), and been supported by fellowships and artist residencies from the Tin House Summer Workshop, Hypatia-in-the-Woods, Jentel, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Alexander Weinstein is the author of the short story collections Universal Love (forthcoming 2020) and Children of the New World, which was chosen as a notable book of the year by The New York Times, NPR, Google, and Electric Literature. His fiction and interviews have appeared in Rolling Stone, World Literature Today, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, and Best American Experimental Writing. Weinstein is the director of The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, and an associate professor of creative writing at Siena Heights University. 


Elizabeth de Souza’s work focuses on the arts emerging from the African Diaspora. She is particularly interested in the mysterious link between artistic genius and mental health. de Souza is a 2020 Barbara Smith Writer-in-Residence at Twelve Literary Arts and a 2019 MacDowell Fellow. In the past year, she was a finalist for the Creative Capital Award, the Oxford American Jeff Baskin Writers Fellowship, and the Mary C. Mohr Nonfiction Award. Her first book, Sleeping in the Fire: The Black Artist in America, is forthcoming. Find her @paintwithlite.

Philip Metres is the author of The Sound of Listening, Pictures at an ExhibitionSand Opera, I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky, A Concordance of Leaves, To See the Earth, and others. His work has garnered a Lannan fellowship, two NEAs, six Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Hunt Prize for Excellence in Journalism, the Beatrice Hawley Award, two Arab American Book Awards, the Watson Fellowship, the Creative Workforce Fellowship, the Cleveland Arts Prize, and a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant. Metres is professor of English at John Carroll University in Cleveland.