Hosted by José Olivarez, Willie Perdomo will be joined in celebration by Ashley August, Cortney Lamar Charleston, Gabriel Cortez, María Fernanda, Roberto Garlos Garcia, Jasminne Mendez, Anacaona Rocio Milagro, Yesenia Montilla, Janel Pineda, Joseph Rios, and Vincent Toro.
Willie Perdomo is the author of The Crazy Bunch and The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon, and Where a Nickel Costs of Dime. Winner of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly Award for Poetry, the New York City Book Award in Poetry, and the PEN Open Book Award, Perdomo was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Poetry Society of America Norma Farber First Book Award. He is co-editor of the anthology, LatiNext, and his work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poetry, Washington Post, The Best American Poetry 2019, and African Voices.
José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. His debut book of poems, Citizen Illegal, was a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Award and a winner of the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize. It was named a top book of 2018 by The Adroit Journal, NPR, and the New York Public Library. Along with Felicia Chavez and Willie Perdomo, he co-edited the poetry anthology, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext. https://joseolivarez.com/
Ashley August is an afro-latina, actress, author, playwright, activist, teaching artist, touring spoken word artist, 3rd ranked woman poet in the world, hip-hop junkie, ASTEP at Juilliard fellow, NYC's 2013 Youth Poet Laureate and recently named one of The New York Times 30 Under 30 Most Influential people. http://www.ashleyaugust.com/
Cortney Lamar Charleston has received a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation as well as fellowships from Cave Canem, The Conversation Literary Festival and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. His second full-length collection, Doppelgangbanger, was released in February 2021 by Haymarket Books. https://www.cortneylamarcharleston.com/
Gabriel Cortez is a biracial poet, educator, and organizer of Panamanian descent. He is a VONA fellow, NALAC grant recipient, and winner of the Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize. Gabriel is a member of the Ghostlines artist collective and co-founder of The Root Slam, an award-winning poetry venue dedicated to inclusivity, justice, and artistic growth, as well as Write Home, a project working to challenge public perceptions of houselessness and shift critical resources to houseless Bay Area youth through spoken word poetry. https://gabrielmcortez.com/
María Fernanda is a poet living in Arizona. Her work “invokes sea crossings with [...] the breaking and making of family,” as described by OkayAfrica. Her poems and translations appear in The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext, The Wide Shore, The Acentos Review, and more. She serves as the Black Artists and Designers Association’s Secondary Advisor. https://www.mariafernandapoet.com/
Poet, storyteller, and essayist Roberto Carlos Garcia is a self-described “sancocho […] of provisions from the Harlem Renaissance, the Spanish Poets of 1929, the Black Arts Movement, the Nuyorican School, and the Modernists.” Roberto's third collection, [Elegies], is published by Flower Song Press and his second poetry collection, black / Maybe: An Afro Lyric, is available from Willow Books. Roberto’s first collection, Melancolía, is available from Červená Barva Press. https://www.robertocarlosgarcia.com/
Jasminne Mendez is a Dominican-American poet, playwright, award winning author and podcast host. She is the author of two poetry/prose collections Island of Dreams, Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays and Poetry. Her first full poetry collection, Machete, was a finalist for the Noemi Press Book Award for Poetry and is forthcoming as part of their Akrilica Series in 2022. Her YA memoir A Bucket of Dirty Water: Memories of My Girlhood and her debut picture book Josefina’s Habichuelas will be released in fall 2021. Her work is included in the forthcoming YA Latinx Anthology Wild Tongues Can't be Tamed, edited by Saraciea Fennell, and in The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext. She is an MFA graduate of the Creative Writing program at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. http://www.jasminnemendez.com/
Anacaona Rocio Milagro was born and raised in Washington Heights, New York City. Her father is from the Dominican Republic and her mother is from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. She is a divisional administrator at Columbia University Medical Center in New York and lives in Washington Heights with her two children.
Yesenia Montilla is an Afro-Latina poet & a daughter of immigrants. Her poetry has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, as well as the literary journals The Gulf Coast, Prairie Schooner, Pittsburgh Poetry Review & others. She received her MFA from Drew University in Poetry and Poetry in Translation & is a 2014 CantoMundo Fellow & a 2020 NYFA Fellow. Her first collection The Pink Box was Longlisted for a PEN award in 2016. Her second collection Muse Found in a Colonized Body is forthcoming in 2022 from Four Way Books. She lives in Harlem NY. https://www.yeseniamontilla.com/
Janel Pineda is a Los Angeles born Salvadoran poet and educator. She has performed her poetry internationally in both English and Spanish, and been published in LitHub, PANK, The BreakBeat Poets, Vol. 4: LatiNext, and The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the U.S. among others. As a Marshall Scholar, she holds an MA in Creative Writing and Education from Goldsmiths, University of London. Janel’s debut poetry chapbook, Lineage of Rain, is out now from Haymarket Books. https://www.janelpineda.com/
Joseph Rios is the author of Shadowboxing: Poems and Impersonations. He is from Fresno's San Joaquin Valley. He's been a gardener, a janitor, a packing house supervisor, and a handyman. He is a recipient of scholarships from the Community of Writers Workshop at Squaw Valley and CantoMundo. He is a VONA alumnus and a Macondo Fellow. In 2015, he received the John K. Walsh residency fellowship from the University of Notre Dame. In 2016, his debut poetry collection was chosen by Claudia Rankine as a finalist for Omnidawn's first book prize. He was named one of the notable Debut Poets by Poets & Writers Magazine for 2017 and was a finalist for a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent fellowship. He is a graduate of Fresno City College and the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Los Angeles.
Vincent Toro is the author of Stereo.Island.Mosaic, which was awarded the Sawtooth Poetry Prize by Ahsahta Press and the Norma Farber First Book Award by the Poetry Society of America. He earned an MFA in poetry from Rutgers and is a contributing editor for Kweli Literary Journal. Toro is the recipient of a Poet’s House Emerging Poets Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, the Caribbean Writer’s Cecile De Jongh Poetry Prize, and the Metlife Nuestras Voces Playwriting Award. His poems have been published in the Buenos Aires Review, Codex, Rattle, Cortland Review, Vinyl, Hawai’I Review, Washington Square Review, Paterson Review, and Best American Experimental Writing 2015. Toro teaches at Bronx Community College and is a writing liaison at The Cooper Union Saturday Program, as well as a poet in the schools for the Dreamyard Project and the Dodge Poetry Foundation.