2016 Festival



The Cave Canem, Poets House & Serenbe Focus fellow is the author of several books including Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out On-line, recommended by Small Press Distribution & About.com Best Poetry Books of 2010. Mahogany L. Browne bridges the gap between lyrical poets and literary emcee. Browne has toured Germany, Amsterdam, England, Canada and recently Australia as 1/3 of the cultural arts exchange project Global Poetics. Her journalism work has been published in magazines Uptown, KING, XXL, The Source, Canada’s The Word and UK’s MOBO. Her poetry has been published in literary journals Pluck, Manhattanville Review, Muzzle, Union Station Mag, Literary Bohemian, Bestiary, Joint & The Feminist Wire. She is the author of several poetry collections including: Smudge (Button Poetry), Redbone (Willow Books) & is a part of the groundbreaking anthology The Break Beat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket). She is an Urban Word NYC Poet-in-Residence (as seen on HBO’s Brave New Voices), founder of Women Writers of Color Reading Room (housed on Pratt Institute) and facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout the country. Browne, NAACP Image Award Nominee, publisher of Penmanship Books, the Nuyorican Poets Café Poetry Program Director and Friday Night Slam curator is currently a 2nd year MFA Candidate for Writing & Activism at Pratt Institute.



Patrick Rosal is the author of three books of poetry: Boneshepherds (2011); My American Kundiman (2006), which received a Poetry/Prose Award from the Association for Asian American Studies; and Uprock Headspin Scramble and Dive(2003), winner of the Members’ Choice Award from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. In 2009, Rosal was awarded a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship to the Philippines. He teaches creative writing at Rutgers University-Camden. His fourth collection, Brooklyn Antediluvian, is forthcoming in 2016.


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Originally from Darfur and raised in Philadelphia, Emtithal (Emi) Mahmoud is one of BBC’s 100 Most Inspirational Women of 2015. A senior at Yale University, a Leonore Annenberg Scholar, and Global Health Fellow, Emi studies Anthropology and Molecular Biology at Yale. She contributes to an international research initiative and hopes to one day use medicine to alleviate structural disparities on maternal and child health in disadvantaged communities the world over. As a child and adolescent, Emi presented poetry to raise awareness to address the genocide in Darfur. In her spare time, she teaches spoken word poetry in order to empower youth. Emi is passionate about poetry, using it to collaborate with various artists, to promote humanitarianism, and to explore the absolute beauty of human expression.



Tanaya Winder is a writer, educator, motivational speaker, and spoken word poet from the Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone, and Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations. She grew up on the Southern Ute Indian reservation and attended college at Stanford University where she earned a BA in English. After college, she pursued her passion of poetry and received her graduate degree a MFA in creative writing from the University of New Mexico. Since then she has co-founded As/Us: A Space for Women of the World. Tanaya guest lectures, teaches creative writing workshops, and speaks at high schools, universities, and communities internationally. You can follow her on Twitter at @tanayawinder.


Ken Babstock’s won the inaugural Latner Writer’s Trust Poetry Prize in 2014 for a body of work in mid-career. His fourth collection, Methodist Hatchet (Anansi, 2011), won The Griffin Prize for Excellence in Poetry and was a finalist for The Trillium Book Award. His previous collections of poetry include, Mean (1999), winner of the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Milton Acorn People’s Poet Award, Days into Flatspin (2001), winner of a K.M. Hunter Award and finalist for the Winterset Prize, and Airstream Land Yacht (2006), finalist for The Griffin Prize for Poetry, The Governor General’s Literary Award, and The Winterset Prize, and winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. His poems have won Gold at the National Magazine Awards, been widely anthologized in Canada, The UK, The US, and Ireland, most recently in The Oxford Anthology of Canadian Literature in English, and translated into Dutch, German, Serbo-Croatian, Czech, and French. All four titles were named Globe and Mail Top 100 Books of the Year. Recent poems have appeared in Best Canadian Poetry 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. A new collection, On Malice, was published in fall 2014 from Coach House Books to critical acclaim. Ken Babstock was born in Newfoundland and now lives in Toronto.


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Ariana Brown is an Afromexicana poet from San Antonio, Texas. She is the recipient of the Andrew Julius Gutow Academy of American Poets Prize and was recently awarded the title of Best Poet at the 2014 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, a national competition in which her team representing UT Austin, took first place. In 2015, she was awarded the title of “Best Poem” for her piece, “Invocation”. Ariana is currently working on her first manuscript and pursuing a degree in African & African Diaspora Studies and Mexican American Studies at UT Austin, where she co-founded Spitshine Poetry Slam in 2011. When she is not onstage, she is probably eating an avocado, listening to the Kumbia Kings, or validating brown girl rage in all its miraculous forms. Her work is published in HuizacheRattleBorderlands: Texas Poetry Review and is forthcoming in ¡Manteca!: An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets from Arte Público Press.