RR: NY Writers Workshop

December 07, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) which Split This Rock named a Spectacular Book of 2015 and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye Publishing). She served as Poetry Editor of African Voices from 2013 to 2017. Her work has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies including North American Review, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Black Renaissance Noire, Crab Orchard Review, BOMB, Paris/Atlantic, Mom Egg, The Golden Shovel (The University of Arkansas Press), The BreakBeat Poets (Haymarket Books), and Listen Up! (One World Ballantine). Tallie was featured on The Missouri Review Soundbooth as the runner-up in their 2014 audio poetry contest. Her work is the subject of a short film “I Leave My Colors Everywhere.” She was awarded a 2010 Queens Council on the Arts grant for her research on herbalists of the African Diaspora. She has taught creative writing and English in Namibia, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom and across the United States. She also taught literature and composition at York College and Medgar Evers College in New York City. Long interested in combining poetry with music and images she has co-directed a number of cine poems and collaborated on a project called The Quiet Onez with Ahi Baraka. Tallie has also worked with photographer Dominique Sindayiganza on a project called “Strut Too” that deals with the body and self-acceptance.  Her first children’s book Layla’s Book of Happiness will be published this year by Enchanted Lion Books. Her book of poetry Strut will be published in 2018 by Agape Editions. Tallie earned an MFA from Mills College. 

Haleh Liza Gafori is a poet, vocalist, and translator.  She is inspired most by the mystical poetry of her Persian heritage, by the lush jungles of the Amazon where she once roamed, by Brooklyn, by the Hudson, by Dillard, Oliver, and Baldwin, and walks through forests. Haleh Liza has toured with past projects Haale and The Mast through the US and Europe playing venues such as the David Byrne-curated series at Carnegie Hall, the Bonnaroo Festival, UNC Chapel Hill, Celebrate Brooklyn the Mimi Fest, and the World Music Fest in Chicago. With longtime collaborator Matt Kilmer, she has shared the stage with such artists as Reggie Watts, Hugh Masekela, Salif Keita, Teebs, Odetta, and Blonde Redhead. Haleh is currently completing a series of poems and songs dedicated to the river she grew up on and is continuing her work on a translation project of Rumi poems. Her poems have been published by Columbia University Press and Rattapallax Press.  She has recited her poems and translations at various venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Fetzer Institute’s Gathering on Love and Forgiveness, Verses of Hope hosted by Brainpickings, and the Taos Poetry Festival.  She has led workshops in which she explores Rumi’s poetry and mystical themes that run through his work at Dartmouth University, University of Cincinnati, MCLA, and the Wanderlust festival. Haleh received her BS in Biology from Stanford U and her MFA from CCNY in Poetry, where she completed a thesis of original poems and translations of the Iranian poet Sohrab Sepehri. Haleh lives in Brooklyn.

Terence Degnan is a poet and spoken word artist. His work is published in various literary magazines including The Other Herald, The Front Weekly, and the OWS Poetry Anthology. His two spoken word albums, 2008′s BC & 2010’s Calling Shotgun were produced in Pittsburgh, PA, and Raleigh, NC, respectively. The Small Plot Beside the Ventriloquist’s Grave is Degnan’s first published collection of poetry. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.

Celebrated for her dynamic presence on stage and on the page, Queens, NYC native Audrey Dimola is a poet, performer, curator, connector, and lifelong artist. She is also Director of Public Programs at her beloved Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. Audrey is the author of two poetry & prose collections, “Decisions We Make While We Dream” (2012) and “TRAVERSALS” (2014), and is creator of the Compass Project, a guerrilla poetry sticker initiative that has traveled across the globe spreading positivity. A crusader for culture in her hometown borough since her college years, Audrey has been widely recognized for her work in its artistic/literary communities by presenting a unique circuit of events and creative opportunities marked by a wondrous spirit of empowerment and exploration. She has been featured on NY1 TV, Queens Public TV, and in many local publications/media, has curated shows for LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, the Historic House Trust, and Queens Museum, and performed at venues around NYC including Queens Council on the Arts, Bowery Poetry Club, Brooklyn Museum, Flushing Town Hall, Dixon Place, and the NYC Poetry Festival. She can usually be found: writing on everything, riding her bike, climbing trees, pushing the edges of reality… And of course, stoking the flames. audreydimola.com

Jen Fitzgerald (host) is a poet, essayist, photographer, and a native New Yorker who received her MFA in Poetry at Lesley University and her BA in Writing at The College of Staten Island (CUNY). She is a community activist, organizer, and freelance writer/editor/content creator. She is the host of New Book in Poetry Podcast as part of the New Books Network, a member of New York Writers Workshop, and was a Break Loaf 2014 Conference participant. She teaches and has taught creative writing workshops she developed to mine personal narrative, interrogate synaptic leaps in our writing, and work in hybrid forms to nurture “voice,” for LitReactor, Split This Rock, New York Writers Workshop, and the New York Public Library. Her first collection of poetry, The Art of Work, was published by Noemi Press in September of 2016. Her essays, poetry, and photography have appeared in such outlets as PBS Newshour, Boston Review, Tin House, Salon, PEN Anthology, Colorado Review, Harriet: The Poetry Foundation Blog, among others. She’s returned to Shaolin after a two-and-a-half year stint in South County Anne Arundel, Maryland (Blue Crab and Old Bay All Day) and is at work on a few exciting projects and collaborations.

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