2013 Guest Authors

Scott Beal
Scott Beal’s poems have appeared recently in Muzzle, Union Station, Poemeleon, and museum of americana. His poem “Things to Think About” won a Pushcart Prize in 2013. He serves as a writer-in-the-schools for Dzanc Books in Ann Arbor and teaches in the Sweetland Center for Writing at the University of Michigan, from which he earned his MFA in 1996. He co-authored Jangle the Threads with Rachel McKibbens and Aracelis Girmay (Red Beard Press, 2010) and Underneath: The Archaeological Approach to Creative Writing with Jeff Kass (Red Beard Press, 2011). His manuscript Wait ‘Til You Have Real Problems was a 2012 finalist for the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize from Pleiades Press and the ABZ Poetry Prize from ABZ Press.

Kevin Coval
Kevin Coval is the author of four full-length poetry collections including the American Library Association Book-of-the-Year finalist Slingshots: A Hip-Hop Poetica, Everyday People and  L-vis Lives! Racemusic Poems, described as a “stunning, and very personal, piece of literary work that should be required reading in every high school in America” by Impose magazine. His most recent work is Schtick: Jewish Assimilation and Its Discontents, new from Haymarket Books in April 2013.

In his early twenties, Coval founded “Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival,” now one of the largest youth gatherings on the planet, recently the subject of an award-winning documentary of the same name. Coval currently serves as Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors, the non-profit home of Louder Than a Bomb, and numerous other youth writing and hip hop programs. He is a native of Chicago and teaches at the School of the Art Institute and is a frequent contributor to WBEZ: Chicago Public Radio. Coval can be reached at kc@kevincoval.com. New poems and event notices can be found at via @kevincoval on twitter, www.newschoolpoetics.com and www.facebook.com/kevincoval.

Bruce DeSilva
Bruce_DeSilvaBruce DeSilva is the author of the hard-boiled Mulligan crime novels. The first, Rogue Island, won the Edgar and Macavity awards and was a finalist for the Anthony, Barry, and Shamus awards. The second, Cliff Walk, was published to rave notices including starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist. The third, Providence Rag, will be released next March. Previously he worked as a journalist for 40 years, most recently as a senior editor and writing coach for The Associated Press. Stories he edited won virtually every major journalism prize including The Polk (twice), The Livingston (twice), the ASNE and the Batten Medal. He also edited two Pulitzer finalists and helped edit a Pulitzer winner. He reviews books for the AP and is a master’s thesis adviser at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Shira Erlichman
shira_e_rootsShira Erlichman is a nationally acclaimed poet, musician, and artist. A Pushcart Prize nominee who has toured the country with some of the nation’s leading performers and writers, her prolific and unique style has brought her acclaim as “one of the most original and compelling voices in performance poetry.” Her poetry has been featured in NARAL’s National Pro-Choice campaign Free.Will.Power, as well as set to motion by the dancers of the Sound Dance Company. Her award-winning music has appeared in multiple independent films, NPR and national TV. She has shared stages with Ani Difranco, TuNe-YaRds, Coco Rosie, and Mirah. She has been independently recording and releasing her records for over 10 years. Born in Israel, raised in Massachusetts, she now lives in Brooklyn, NY in an indoor treehouse. www.shirae.com

Merrie Haskell
merrie_haskellMerrie Haskell grew up half in North Carolina, half in Michigan. She wrote her first story at age seven, and she walked dogs after school to save for her first typewriter. She attended the University of Michigan, where she graduated from the Residential College with a degree in biological anthropology. She works in a library with over 7.5 million volumes. Her first book, the Middle Grade historical fantasy The Princess Curse, was a Junior Library Guild selection. Her second book is Handbook for Dragon Slayers.  Her short fiction appears in NatureAsimov’s, and various anthologies. Merrie lives in Saline, Michigan.


Jeff Kass
jeff_kassJeff Kass teachers Creative Writing and English Literature at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor MI and is the Literary Arts Director at Ann Arbor’s Teen Center The Neutral Zone. He is the author of the award-winning poetry chapbook Invisible Staircase; the award-winning essay chapbook From the Front of the Room; the one-man performance poetry show Wrestle the Great Fear; co-author of the teaching guidebook Underneath: The Archaeological Approach to Teaching Creative Writing; and author of the short story collection Knuckleheads, which was awarded Independent Publisher’s Gold Medal as Best Short Fiction Collection of 2011.


jessica Care moore
Jessica_Care_Moorejessica Care moore is an internationally renowned poet/ publisher/ activist/ rock star/ playwright and actor. She is a five-time Showtime at the Apollo winner; has featured on hip-hop mega-star, Nas’ “Nastradamus” album and was a returning star of Russell Simmon’s HBO Series, Def Poetry Jam.

After her legendary win on the Apollo stage, jessica Care moore was approached by several book publishing companies, but in 1997, she paved her own path and launched a publishing company of her own – Moore Black Press. Which has released her first book; “The Words Don’t Fit In My Mouth,” and several thousand copies. A few years later, she followed up with her second collection of poetry and essays, “The Alphabet Verses The Ghetto.”

Moore Black Press proudly published famed poets, Saul Williams and Shariff Simmons; Def Poetry Jam’s co-founder, Danny Simmons, NBA basket-ball player, Etan Thomas, activist and poet, Ras Baraka and former Essence Magazine editor and author, Asha Bandele.

Angel Nafis
AngelAngel Nafis is an Ann Arbor, Michigan native and Cave Canem Fellow. Her work has appeared in FOUND Magazine’s Requiem for a Paper BagDecibelsThe Rattling WallUnion Station MagazineGirlSpeak WebzineThe Bear River ReviewMUZZLE Magazine, and Mosaic Magazine. In 2011 she represented the LouderArts poetry project at both the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the National Poetry Slam. She is an Urban Word NYC Mentor and the founder, curator, and host of the quarterly Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon reading series. She is the author of BlackGirl Mansion. She lives in Brooklyn.

Patricia Smith
PatriciaSmithNational Book Award finalist Patricia Smith is an accomplished and sought-after instructor of poetry, performance and creative writing, Smith appears often at creative conferences and residencies, customizes workshops for all age groups and is available for intensive individual instruction. She is a Cave Canem faculty member, a professor of English at CUNY/College of Staten Island and a faculty member of the Sierra Nevada MFA program.