Board Members

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Em Bowen | Executive Director | 

Em Bowen is a storyteller, a writer, an essayist, a poet and a person who thrives and is always changing (much as we all are, whether we realize it or not). Their work has been published in the Tucson Weekly, The Atlantic, Zocalo, Wild Gender and The Feminist Wire. Em earned their MFA from Goddard College and is the former producer of the Tucson Gender Identity Project.

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Johanna Skibsrud | President |

Johanna Skibsrud is the author of two novels, a collection of short stories, and three collections of poetry, most recently The Description of the World (Wolsak and Wynn 2016). Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, she currently lives in Tucson where she is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arizona.

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Laura Talarsky-Stevens |Treasurer|

Laura Talarsky Stevens is a writer, editor, potter, and teacher based in Tucson, AZ for the last quarter century. She writes fiction, personal essays, and poetry. Her prose poems have been published in Sandscript and she was selected as a two-time fiction finalist of the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards. Laura hails from the Garden State of New Jersey, graduated with an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona, and was a Fulbright scholar in India. She’s thrilled to be serving as the treasurer for the Tucson Poetry Festival since October 2015.

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Jocelyn Valencia | Secretary |

Jocelyn Valencia is a writer, community ambassador, youth advocate and self-love enthusiast. She writes poetry, personal essays, varied articles and curates all the content for her blog – JRECOGNIZE.com. Aside from these creative avenues and her involvement with the Tucson Poetry Festival, she is also the Social Media Manager for Words On The Avenue and is an Event Coordinator for TEDxTucson.

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Neil Antonio Diamente | Active Board Member |

Neil Antonio Diamente is a lover, librarian, educator, father, and musician.  His poems have appeared in Many Mountains Moving, genesis, and After Hours.  He plays with the world music group GSol, which won the RAW Tucson award in 2013 for Best Musical Act.  Recently, he has taken up hang gliding and hopes to fly like an eagle, to the sea, his spirit, finally, free.

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Elizabeth Falcón | Active Board Member |

Elizabeth Falcón is a poet, musician, teacher and technologist with a passion for hybrid form and mixed media. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Arizona in 2011, where she studied with poets Laynie Browne and Steve Orlen. She has had work accepted at places like The Adroit JournalDrunken Boat, and Mid-American Review. Elizabeth also has a passion for teaching. She has taught writing residencies and developed curricula for the University of Arizona Poetry Center, and founded the Poetry Center’s blog, WordPlay. She spent the past five years working in K-12 software, overseeing systems operations and operations staff for PowerSchool Learning. Recently, she has shifted focus back to the classroom and is returning to graduate school to study Waldorf Education.

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Teré Fowler-Chapman |Advisory Board Member|

Teré Fowler-Chapman is a writer, teaching artist, actor, and lecturer who has been attracting audiences since 2012. Her breadth of performances include TEDxStarrPassWomen, 2015 Black Life Matters Conference, the award winning play Octagon, nationwide music festivals, and more. Her work has been archived in the University of Arizona’s audio library VOCA. Her current and forthcoming publications are: Feminist Wire, Transcendence Magazine, Literary Orphans, and the photography book A Beautiful Body. She is the Executive Director for the Tucson Poetry Festival, proud board member of POG, and the brainchild and director of TucsonLit and Words on the Avenue. Her spoken word album, titled Womyn Child, debuted in Fall 2014.

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Isaac Kirkman |Advisory Board Member|

Isaac Kirkman’s writing was forged in the streets and refined at the Tucson branch of The Writers Studio. His writing has appeared in publications such as Waxwing, Huffington Post, and Thuglit. He spends his days in the barrios of Tucson devoted to spirituality and border-related human rights issues. He is a Leo Sun, Scorpio Moon, and Scorpio Rising.img_1987