Copper Canyon Poets -Year 1 (2015-2016)
Chris Abani is a professor at the University of California, Riverside and the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize and a Guggenheim Award.
James Arthur’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry, Ploughshares, Best New Poets 2010, and Best Canadian Poetry 2008. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1974 and grew up in Toronto, Canada. He received a B.A. from Trinity College, University of Toronto in 1997, an MA from the University of New Brunswick in 2001, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. He is married to the fiction writer Shannon Robinson.
Erin Belieu was born and raised in Nebraska and educated at the University of Nebraska, Ohio State University, and Boston University. She is the author of Infanta, winner of the National Poetry Series in 1994, One Above & One Below, winner of the Midlands Poetry Prize and Ohioana Poetry Award, and Black Box, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist, all of which were published by Copper Canyon. Her poems have appeared in places such as Best American Poetry, The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, AGNI, Tin House, Yale Review, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. Belieu co-founded VIDA: Women in Literary Arts with poet Cate Marvin. She currently directs the Creative Writing Program at Florida State University and is the Artistic Director at Port Townsend Writers’ Conference.
Mark Bibbins is the author of Sky Lounge, which received a Lambda Literary Award, and They Don’t Kill You Because They’re Hungry, They Kill You Because They’re Full. He teaches in the graduate writing programs at Columbia University and The New School, where he co-founded LIT magazine. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, Boston Review, Tin House, The Best American Poetry, and Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century. He was a 2005 New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellow.
Sherwin Bitsui is originally from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He is Diné of the Tódích’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tlizílaaní (Many Goats Clan). He holds an AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing Program and a BA from University of Arizona in Tucson. His recent honors include a 2011 Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship and a 2011 Native Arts & Culture Foundation Arts Fellowship. He is also the recipient of 2010 PEN Open Book Award, an American Book Award and a Whiting Writers Award. Bitsui has published his poems in Narrative, Black Renaissance Noir, American Poet, The Iowa Review, LIT, and elsewhere.
Kwame Dawes was born in Ghana in 1962 and moved with his family to Jamaica at the age of ten. His first book of poetry Progeny of Air ( Peepal Tree, 1994) won the Forward Poetry Prize for best first collection in the UK. The author of fifteen subsequent collections, Dawes has also published two novels, four anthologies, numerous essays, and seen over fifteen of his plays produced. Dawes actively maintains his Jamaican roots. In 2009 he was awarded an Emmy for his Pulitzer Center funded interactive website, LiveHopeLove.com entitled “Hope: Living and Loving with AIDS in Jamaica”. At the University of South Carolina he was the Distinguished Poet in Residence, Founder and executive Director of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative, and director of the University of South Carolina Arts Institute. Since 2011 he has taught at the University of Nebraska as a Chancellor’s Professor of English as well as the Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner. He is a Cave Canem faculty member and teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University.
Natalie Diaz, a member of the Mojave and Pima Indian tribes, attended Old Dominion University on a full athletic scholarship. After playing professional basketball in Austria, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey she returned to ODU for an MFA in writing. Her publications include Prairie Schooner, Iowa Review, Crab Orchard Review, among others. Her work was selected by Natasha Trethewey for Best New Poets and she has received the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. She lives in Surprise, Arizona.
Winner of the 2010 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets for his second collection Flies (Copper Canyon, 2011), Michael Dickman was born and raised in the Lents district of Portland, Oregon. His poems are regularly published in The New Yorker, and his work has appeared in many magazines and journals, including The American Poetry Review, Field, Tin House, and Narrative magazine. His first book,The End of the West, was published by Copper Canyon in 2009, and after publication he and his twin brother Matthew, also a poet, were profiled in The New Yorker and Poets & Writers. Dickman is currently serving as a Lecturer at Princeton University.
Kerry James Evans served six years in the Army National Guard as a Combat Engineer, including one-year active duty at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, during Operation Noble Eagle. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and will receive his PhD in English-Creative Writing from Florida State University. His poems have been published inAgni, Beloit Poetry Journal, Narrative, New England Review, North American Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner and many others. His first book Bangalore, was a finalist for the National Poetry Series, a Runner-up for Boa’s A. Poulin Jr. Prize, and a finalist for numerous other prizes. He is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, and a Kingsbury Fellowship at Florida State University. He lives with his wife in Tallahassee, Florida.
Laura Kasischke is the author of eight collections of poetry and seven novels. Her work has received many honors, including the Pushcart Prize, the Juniper Poetry Prize, and the Rilke Poetry Prize. Her most recent book of poems, Space in Chains, won the National Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in Chelsea, Michigan, with her son and teaches at the University of Michigan MFA program in Ann Arbor.
Sarah Lindsay was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; she graduated from St. Olaf College with a BA and a Paracollege major in English and Creative Writing, and also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She has published two chapbooks, Bodies of Water and Insomniac’s Lullaby, and two books in the Grove Press Poetry Series: Primate Behavior, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Mount Clutter. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review, Parnassus, The Yale Review, and other magazines. She is also a recipient of the J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize. She has recently been nominated for the 2010 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry.
Valzhyna Mort was born in Minsk, Belarus. Her first book of poetry, I’m as Thin as Your Eyelashes, was published in Belarus (2005). Factory of Tears (Copper Canyon Press, 2008) is her second book and was co-translated by Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright. It is the first Belarusian-English poetry book ever published in the United States and has been translated into German, Swedish, and Russian. Her English translations of Eastern-European poets are included in New European Poets (Graywolf Press, 2008). Her most recently published book is Collected Body (Copper Canyon Press, 2011). Mort currently teaches at the University of Baltimore and has the distinction of being the youngest person to ever be on the cover of Poets & Writers.
Lisa Olstein is the author of Radio Crackling, Radio Gone, Lost Alphabet, and Little Stranger. An album of songs based on her writing , Cold Satellite, was released by singer-songwriter Jeffrey Foucault in 2010. Olstein is the recipient of fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Centrum. A contributing editor of jubilat, she co-founded and for ten years co-directed the Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts & Action at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She teaches in the New Writers Project, the MFA program based in the Department of English at UT Austin.
Roger Reeves’ poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Gulf Coast, and Tin House, among others. He has a BA in English from Morehouse College, an MA in English from Texas A&M University, and an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, Reeves earned a PhD from the University of Texas and is currently an assistant professor of poetry at the University of Illinois, Chicago. King Me is his debut collection.
Brenda Shaughnessy was born in Okinawa, Japan and grew up in Southern California. She is the author of Our Andromeda (Copper Canyon Press, 2012), Human Dark with Sugar (Copper Canyon Press, 2008), winner of the James Laughlin Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Interior with Sudden Joy (FSG, 1999). Shaughnessy’s poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Harper’s, The Nation, The Rumpus, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University, Newark, and lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son and daughter.
C.D. Wright has published more than fifteen collections of poetry and prose. One With Others was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award and the Leonore Marshal Prize. Reviewing Rising, Falling, Hovering (Copper Canyon, 2008),The New York Times noted: “C.D. Wright belongs to a school of exactly one.” Her collaboration with photographer Deborah Luster, One Big Self, focused on Louisiana prisoners, was honored with a Lange-Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies. She also received awards from the Lannan Foundation and Foundation for Contemporary Arts. In 2004 she was named a MacArthur Fellow; in 2005, she was the recipient of the Robert Creeley Award. Wright is from the Arkansas Ozarks. In the mid-nineties, with a fellowship from the Wallace Foundation, she curated “a walk-in book of Arkansas,” a touring exhibition. She developed two state literary maps, one of Arkansas, her native state and one of Rhode Island. Wright is on the faculty at Brown University, and lives outside of Providence, Rhode Island.
Dean Young has published fourteen books of poetry, including finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and Griffin Award. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA, as well as an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the William Livingston Chair of Poetry at the University of Texas, Austin.
Matthew Zapruder is the author of four collections of poetry, American Linden, The Pajamaist, Come On All You Ghosts, and Sun Bear. The Pajamaist was selected as the winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and was chosen by Library Journal as one of the top ten poetry volumes of 2006. Come On All You Ghosts was a New York Times Notable Book of the year, and was also selected as the 2010 Booklist Editors’ Choice for poetry, as well as the Northern California Independent Booksellers poetry book of the year. Zapruder has been a Lannan Literary Fellow in Marfa, Texas, and a recipient of a May Sarton Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The recipient of a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, Zapruder lives in San Francisco, where he is an editor at Wave Books.