S4:E35 John Sibley Williams with Dion O’Reilly

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John Sibley Williams is the author of Scale Model of a Country at Dawn (Cider Press Review Book Award, 2021), The Drowning House (Elixir Press Poetry Award, 2021),  As One Fire Consumes Another (Orison Poetry Prize, 2019), Skin Memory (Backwaters Prize, University of Nebraska Press, 2019), Summon (JuxtaProse Chapbook Prize, 2019),  Disinheritance, and Controlled Hallucinations. His book Sky Burial: New & Selected Poems is forthcoming in translated form by the Portuguese press do lado esquerdo. He has also served as editor of two Northwest poetry anthologies, Alive at the Center (Ooligan Press, 2013) and Motionless from the Iron Bridge (barebones books, 2013).

A twenty-eight-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Laux/Millar Prize, Wabash Prize, Philip Booth Award, Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Phyllis Smart-Young Prize, The 46er Prize, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Vallum Award for Poetry. Previous publishing credits include: Best American PoetryYale Review, Midwest QuarterlySouthern Review, Colorado Review, Sycamore ReviewPrairie SchoonerMassachusetts ReviewPoet LoreSaranac ReviewAtlanta ReviewTriQuarterlyColumbia Poetry ReviewMid-American ReviewPoetry Northwest, Third Coast, and various anthologies.

S4:E34 Javier Zamora with Julia Chiapella

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Javier Zamora was born in La Herradura, El Salvador in 1990. When he was a year old, his father fled El Salvador due to the US-funded Salvadoran Civil War (1980-1992). His mother followed her husband’s footsteps in 1995 when Javier was about to turn five. Zamora was left at the care of his grandparents who helped raise him until he migrated to the US when he was nine. His first poetry collection, Unaccompanied (Copper Canyon Press, September 2017), explores some of these themes.

In his debut New York Times bestselling memoir, SOLITO (Hogarth, September 2022), Javier retells his nine-week odyssey across Guatemala, Mexico, and eventually through the Sonoran Desert. He travelled unaccompanied by boat, bus, and foot. After a coyote abandoned his group in Oaxaca, Javier managed to make it to Arizona with the aid of other migrants.

Zamora was a 2018-2019 Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University and holds fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University (Olive B. O’Connor), MacDowell, Macondo, the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation (Ruth Lilly)Stanford University (Stegner), and Yaddo. He is the recipient of a 2017 Lannan Literary Fellowshipthe 2017 Narrative Prize, and the 2016 Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award for his work in the Undocupoets Campaign.

S4:E33 David Baker with Julie Murphy

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Join Julie Murphy as she talks with renowned poet David Baker about his new book Whale Fall.  We read Stanley Plumly’s In Passing and talk about the how poems are one of the most connective things we have as humans, how a lyric moment opens from the pastoral to the sublime in the midst of a story, and about the solace of poetry.  Known from his early days as a nature poet, Baker’s work has evolved into Ecopoetry where nature becomes the whole subject field of the poem from his back yard in the midwest to the glaciers in Iceland to the depths of the ocean.

S4:E32 Matt Sedillo with Victoria Bañales

In this episode, Matt Sedillo takes on the Western canon, discussing how many of the literary greats, such as Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg, disparaged Mexico/Mexicans. In his poems, Matt reclaims Chicanx/Latinx/Indigenous literary traditions and histories.

Matt Sedillo has been described by critics as the “best political poet in America” as well as “the poet laureate of the struggle.” Sedillo was the recipient of the 2017 Joe Hill Labor Poetry award, a panelist at the 2020 Texas book festival, and a participant in the 2011 San Francisco International Poetry Festival, and the 2022 Elba Poetry Festival. Sedillo has appeared on CSPAN and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Axios, and the Associated Press, among other publications. Sedillo has spoken at Casa de las Americas in Havana, Cuba, at numerous conferences and forums, such as the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education, the National Association of Chicana/Chicano Studies, the Left Forum, the US Social Forum, and at over a hundred universities and colleges, including the University of Cambridge, among many others. Matt Sedillo is the author of Mowing Leaves of Grass (FlowerSong Press, 2019) and City on the Second Floor (FlowerSong Press, 2022). Sedillo is the current literary director of The Mexican Cultural Institute of Los Angeles.

Matt Sedillo’s website

‘THE POET LAUREATE OF THE STRUGGLE’: WHY MATT SEDILLO IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE BEST POLITICAL POETS IN AMERICA

PROLETARIAN POETRY RETURNS: A REVIEW OF MATT SEDILLO’S ‘CITY ON THE SECOND FLOOR’

I, Like You, Am Made of Stars: Matt Sedillo’s Mowing Leaves of Grass

S4:E29 Farnaz Fatemi hosted by Julie Murphy


Listen to this episode with Farnaz Fatemi, hosted by Julie Murphy, by clicking here.

Farnaz Fatemi, an Iranian American poet and member of the Hive, reads from her debut book, Sister Tongue, that won the 2021 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize (selected by Tracy K. Smith). Julie Murphy and Farnaz Fatemi discuss longing, language, loss, identity and sisterhood as they weave through the remarkable poems in this collection. 

Farnaz’s poetry and prose appear in Poets.org (Poem-a-Day), Pedestal Magazine, Grist Journal, Catamaran Literary Reader, Crab Orchard Review, SWWIM DailyTahoma Literary Review,Tupelo Quarterly, phren-z.organd several anthologies (including, most recently, Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran and its DiasporaMy Shadow Is My Skin: Voices of the Iranian Diaspora and The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 3: Halal If You Hear Me). She was awarded the Nion McEvoy and Leslie Berriman Fellowship by Djerassi and has been honored by the International Literary Awards (Center for Women  Writers), Poets on the Verge (Litquake SF), Best of the Net Nonfiction, and Pushcart. She is a member of the Community of Writers. Farnaz taught Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, from 1997-2018.

Listen to or read Farnaz’s poem Farnaz, selected for a Poem-a-day in March 2022 by guest editor Brenda Shaughnessy.

S4:E28 Gregory Orr Hosted by Dion O’Reilly

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Gregory Orr reads from his new book Last Love Poem I will Ever Write. Dion O’Reilly and Gregory Orr discuss the “threshold,” the boundary between the tolerable and intolerable and how poetry crafts disorder, revealing tools to survive or, even better, to discover the Beloved. We discuss the lyric poem, the villanelle, and how moments of bliss and pain turn us into poets and lovers of poetry, bringing deeper meaning to our lives. Greg has a new book, Selected Books of the Beloved, that came out in August 2022.

S4:E27 Naomi Helena Quiñonez with Victoria Bañales

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Celebrated Chicana poet Naomi Helena Quinoñez reads and discusses poems that thematize divine feminine power, women’s spirituality, racial oppression, social justice, and more.   

Naomi Helena Quiñonez is a poet, educator and activist, and author of three collections of poetry, Exiled Moon, The Smoking Mirror, and Hummingbird Dream/Sueño de Colibri. Quiñonez edited several critical and literary publications including Invocation L.A: Urban Multicultural Poetry Anthology, which won the American Book Award, Decolonial Voices, and Caminos Magazine. She holds a Ph.D. in American History and contributes to the scholarship of Latino/as and women of color. Quiñonez has been featured throughout the country, including the Los Angeles Writers Festival, the Nuyrican Café, the De Young Museum, and the Miami Book Festival. She has shared the mic with Quincy Troupe, Octavia Butler, Luis Rodriguez, and Ana Castillo. Her work has appeared in the Colorado Review, Infinite Divisions, Voices of our Ancestors, and Maestrapeace. Recently Quiñonez received the Teyolia Community Award from the San Francisco International Flor Y Canto Festival.  She’s also an honoree of the San Francisco Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a recipient of the Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award in poetry, a Rockefeller Fellowship, the American Book Award, and a California Arts Grant. She is featured in Notable Hispanic Women and the Dictionary of Literary Biography. She currently lives in Oakland.

For more information about the author’s books or to purchase copies, contact Naomi Helena Quiñonez at naomiquinonez@yahoo.com