Sunday, June 16, 2:00 pm: Leon/Mattraw/Wickens – Poets
Poets Raina Leon, Alexandra Mattraw, and Jessica Wickens will be reading from their recently published books.
Dr. Raina J. Leon, Cave Canem graduate fellow (2006) and member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective, has been published in several journals and anthologies. Her first collection of poetry, Canticle of Idols, was a finalist for both the Cave Canem First Book Poetry Prize (2005) and the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize (2006) and is now available through Wordtech Communications. Her second manuscript, Boogeyman Dawn, was a finalist for the Naomi Long Madgett Prize (2010) and will be published by Salmon Poetry in 2013. She has received fellowships and residencies with Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Montana Artists Refuge, the Macdowell Colony, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Annamaghkerrig, Ireland and Ragdale. She headed the High School Literacy Project at the University of North Carolina where she recently received her doctorate in education and is currently an assistant professor of education in the Kalmanovitz School of Education at St. Mary’s College of California. Raina received her BA in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University, MA in Teaching of English from Teachers College Columbia University and PhD in Education under the Culture, Curriculum and Change strand at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Her research interests include high school engagement and the teaching of poetry, critical literacy in the high school classroom, facilitating freshmen transitions and educational technology usage among high school educators. She also is a founding editor of The Acentos Review, an online quarterly, international journal devoted to the promotion and publication of Latino and Latina arts.
Alexandra Mattraw is a third generation Northern Californian. A former resident of Vermont Studio Center, she received her MFA in poetry from University of San Francisco. Alexandra’s two new chapbooks, in the way of harbors and these threads a sound, are forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press and Beard of Bees this spring. Her recent chapbook, Projection, is available from Achiote Press. Alexandra’s poems and reviews have appeared in American Letters and Commentary, Denver Quarterly, alice blue, Seneca Review, Word For/Word, Cultural Society, Shampoo, Verse, VOLT, and elsewhere. Her work has also been featured in several art shows and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her manuscript, honest as any treeless place, has been named a finalist in three separate competitions through Nightboat Books, 1913 Press, and the May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize. Alexandra earned her BA in English from UCLA and her MA in Humanities from University of Chicago. She lives with her husband in Oakland, where they run a writing and art reading and lecture series called Lone Glen.
Jessica Wickens is a founding editor of Monday Night. She graduated from the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts in 2007. Follow her on Twitter: @BnjmnR. Together with Kelsey Street Press and Della Watson, Wickens founded the Bay Area Correspondence School, a mail-art project exploring experimental writing through online and offline communications. Also with Watson, Wickens is coauthor of the poetry collection Everything Reused in the Sea: The Crow & Benjamin Letters, out now through Mission Cleaners Books.
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