Current Visiting Poets

Rosebud Ben-Oni

Born to a Mexican mother and Jewish father, Rosebud Ben-Oni is the winner of 2019 Alice James Award for If This Is the Age We End Discovery, which received a Starred Review in Booklist and was a Finalist for the 2021 National Jewish Book Award in Poetry. She is also the author of turn around, BRXGHT XYXS (Get Fresh Books, 2019) and her chapbook 20 Atomic Sonnets, which appears online in Black Warrior Review (2020) as part of a larger future project called The Atomic Sonnets started in honor of the Periodic Table’s 150th Birthday.

She is a recipient of a 2021 City Arts Corps grant, a 2021 Queens Arts Fund grant from the Queens Council for the Arts, a 2014 NYFA Fellowship in Poetry and a 2013 CantoMundo Fellow. Her poem 'Dancing with Kiko on the Moon' was recently featured in Tracy K. Smith’s The Slowdown. In 2017, her poem 'Poet Wrestling with Angels in the Dark' was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in NYC, and published by The Kenyon Review Online. She lives in New York City where she teaches poetry workshops at Catapult, The Speakeasy Project and UCLA Writers’ Program online. She writes weekly for The Kenyon Review blog.

In May 2022, Paramount commissioned her video essay 'My Judaism is a Wild Unplace' for a campaign for Jewish Heritage Month, which appears on Paramount Network, MTV Networks, The Smithsonian Channel, VH1 and many others.

Rosebud's Website


Poet Wrestling with Angels in the Dark

    Commissioned by the National September 11th Memorial & Museum

& their hearts are shards of stained glass
& their eyes bottle-green & incanting
the whole of this city & the whole of the city i have seen

        in the humidity
                sobering           the great rose window of st. john the divine
                        -ly unfinished              of the city

                                                                                        the whole of the city

        where one cold february in the bronx it was snowing
        & soren & i wrote love poems for garden-goers
        in the conservatory among succulents & palm trees
        & carnivorous plants behind glass whose green hearts dance

                                        in supper clubs of brighton beach
                                        another time the whole of city
                                        in winter stole & long-gloved
                                        the fearless girl of bowling green

                lays her weary head heavy
                in the chapel of temple emanu-el
                where the stained glass speaks
                of a sprawling city dreamed

        but never finished, the whole of this city

                & darelo & i take the second avenue subway
                & still don’t quite believe its existence,
                though third rail, live wire, heartbeat.

                        & 7 train love brings me home, though signal malfunction,
                        though delays, though local turns express midway & doors

                                                                don’t always open
                                                                        without the whole of the city
                                                                                filling us all to the brim.

& i have ridden my beloved 7 carrying post-heartbreak
        jerusalem, when more than once i was broken glass
                shattering in the midharov
                        empty on sabbath morning.

& in these shards are the stained-glass angels
        i have wrestled in the dark,
                wrapped around their soda-lime
                        limbs like potter’s wheel.

& only in my beloved’s arms do each day i awaken
        in the whole of the city
                as lasting & green
                        as the kind of fragment
                                you plant & let broken-be 


 

Marilyn Chin

Marilyn Chin was born in Hong Kong. She is the author of five poetry collections, including A Portrait of the Self as Nation (W.W. Norton, 2018), Hard Love Province (W.W. Norton, 2014), Rhapsody in Plain Yellow, and Dwarf Bamboo; and a novel, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen (W.W. Norton, 2009). In addition to writing poetry and fiction, she has translated poems by the modern Chinese poet Ai Qing and co-translated poems by the Japanese poet Gozo Yoshimasu.

Chin has won numerous honors, including the 2020 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the 2019 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, a United Artist Foundation Fellowship, the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship at Harvard, the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship at Bellagio, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, two NEA fellowships, the Stegner Fellowship, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, five Pushcart Prizes, and a Fulbright Fellowship to Taiwan. Presently, she serves as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and lives in San Diego.

Poet's Website


Get Rid of the X

My shadow followed me to San Diego
    silently, she never complained.
No green card, no identity pass,
    she is wedded to my fate.

The moon is a drunk and anorectic,
    constantly reeling, changing weight.
My shadow dances grotesquely,
    resentful she can't leave me.

The moon mourns his unwritten novels,
    cries naked into the trees and fades.
Tomorrow, he'll return to beat me
    blue—again, again and again.

Goodbye Moon, goodbye Shadow.
    My husband, my lover, I'm late.
The sun will plunge through the window.
    I must make my leap of faith.

(from Rhapsody in Plain Yellow)


 

Carolyn Forché

Carolyn Forché’s first volume, Gathering the Tribes, winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, was followed by The Country Between Us, The Angel of History, and Blue Hour. She is also the author of the memoir What You Have Heard Is True (Penguin Random House, 2019), a devastating, lyrical, and visionary memoir about a young woman’s brave choice to engage with horror in order to help others. She has translated Mahmoud Darwish, Claribel Alegria, and Robert Desnos. Her famed international anthology, Against Forgetting, has been praised by Nelson Mandela as “itself a blow against tyranny, against prejudice, against injustice,” and is followed by the 2014 anthology The Poetry of Witness. In 1998 in Stockholm, she received the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture Award for her human rights advocacy and the preservation of memory and culture.


The Colonel

WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD is true. I was in his house. His wife carried
a tray of coffee and sugar. His daughter filed her nails, his son went
out for the night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the
cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on its black cord over
the house. On the television was a cop show. It was in English.
Broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to
scoop the kneecaps from a man's legs or cut his hands to lace. On
the windows there were gratings like those in liquor stores. We had
dinner, rack of lamb, good wine, a gold bell was on the table for
calling the maid. The maid brought green mangoes, salt, a type of
bread. I was asked how I enjoyed the country. There was a brief
commercial in Spanish. His wife took everything away. There was
some talk then of how difficult it had become to govern. The parrot
said hello on the terrace. The colonel told it to shut up, and pushed
himself from the table. My friend said to me with his eyes: say
nothing. The colonel returned with a sack used to bring groceries
home. He spilled many human ears on the table. They were like
dried peach halves. There is no other way to say this. He took one
of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a water
glass. It came alive there. I am tired of fooling around he said. As
for the rights of anyone, tell your people they can go fuck them-
selves. He swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held the last
of his wine in the air. Something for your poetry, no? he said. Some
of the ears on the floor caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the
ears on the floor were pressed to the ground.
                                                                                              May 1978

(from The Country Between Us)


 

Rachel Galvin

Rachel Galvin is a poet, translator, and scholar. Her newest book of poems, Uterotopia, is forthcoming from Persea Books in Fall 2022. Galvin is the author of Elevated Threat Level, a finalist for the National Poetry Series, and Pulleys & Locomotion. She is the translator of Raymond Queneau’s Hitting the Streets, winner of the Scott Moncrieff Translation Prize, and co-translator of Oliverio Girondo’s Decals: Complete Early Poetry, a finalist for the National Translation Award. Her current translation project is supported by a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

Galvin's work appears in journals and anthologies including Best American Experimental Writing 2020, Best American Poetry 2020, Bennington Review, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Fence, Gulf Coast, McSweeney’s, The Nation, The New Yorker, and Ploughshares. She is a co-founder of Outranspo, a creative translation collective (outranspo.com), and is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago, where she also teaches in the Creative Writing Program and is the faculty lead for Translation Studies.

Rachel's U.Chicago Faculty Website

 


In My Sights, Sister

My eyes are polished smooth by sight, they clot like crystals in storm glass,
like my sister brewing beakers of toxin. If we had seen
what had been done, what the helicopter pilot did in our name,

what the special ops team did in our name, what they did
with their hands in our name. What if it were my sister,
what if it were her, what? If we had seen with our own smooth eyes.

Mark the diacritical, my lovely: we’re all wearing our knee-high boots,
every last one of us, we live in a booted nation. A nation girded and gunning.
This moment, this is precisely all, watching takes work, sight takes hours,

takes my eyeglasses, every last one of them, as if they were yours. You can see
there’s a sigh in our sight. What if it were my sister? What if it were,
what. What we saw ground into our eyes with the photos,

with the newspaper reports. What would I say, what can I say if,
what would I say if it were my sister, my own? With my own
beakers of toxin, my own boots, my own hands in my own name


 

 

Ishion Hutchinson

Ishion Hutchinson was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica. He is the author of two poetry collections: Far District (Peepal Tree Press, 2010) and House of Lords and Commons (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2017). He is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize, the Whiting Writers Award, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, the Windham-Campbell Prize for Poetry and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, among others. He is a contributing editor to the literary journals The Common and Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art and teaches in the graduate writing program at Cornell University.

Poet's Website


Homage: Vallejo


Brailed up from birth, these obdurate, obituary corners
of second life the hospital light ravened solstice

blessed with a caesarean and now we have a republic,
the bread under arm, water-bearer of the sea: Cetus, Christ.

After the blackbird I put on my herringbone jacket,
the feather hummed gargoyles bearing down buildings,

rain scowled down, Vallejo and Vallejo as I hurried
up Eager Street; Thursday, I remember the white stone

in the flask and wild asterisks hissing; Thursdays, falling
at noon, at Cathedral Street, blackbirds falling quietly at Biddle Street.

(from Poetry Magazine)


 

Kenneth Knoespel

Kenneth J. Knoespel's poetry and translations have appeared in poetry journals and books published in the United States and Sweden. He has taught poetry and poetics at the University of Uppsala, the University of Chicago, and the University of Paris 8, Vincennes-St. Denis. Together with A. A. Knoespel, he translated Murder at the Savoy by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö published by Pantheon. His adaptation of Brecht’s play, How Much is Your Iron? (with Robert Wolf) was produced by the San Quentin Drama Workshop in Chicago. He has helped curate exhibitions in Paris and Atlanta. For his work in Sweden, he received an Honorary Doctor’s Degree from the University of Umeå in 2014. Knoespel is McEver Professor of Engineering and the Liberal Arts Emeritus at Georgia Tech.

Ken Knoespel's Georgia Tech Webpage

Dana Levin

Dana Levin’s most recent collection of poetry is Now Do You Know Where You Are (Copper Canyon, 2022), a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Publisher’s Weekly, in a starred review, praised the book as “luminous.” Her other books include Banana Palace (Copper Canyon Press, 2016), Sky Burial (Copper Canyon, 2011), which the New Yorker called “utterly her own and utterly riveting.” and Wedding Day (Copper Canyon, 2005). Her first book, In the Surgical Theatre, was chosen by Louise Glück for the 1999 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize and went on to receive numerous honors, including the 2003 PEN/Osterweil Award.

Levin’s poetry and essays have appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Best American Poetry 2015, The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Boston Review, The American Poetry Review, Poetry, and The Paris Review. Her fellowships and awards include those from the National Endowment for the Arts, PEN, the Witter Bynner Foundation and the Library of Congress, as well as the Rona Jaffe, Whiting and Guggenheim Foundations.

A teacher of poetry for over twenty years, Levin has served as the Russo Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at the University of New Mexico (2009–2011), as well as Faculty and Chair of the Creative Writing and Literature Department at College of Santa Fe (1998–2009) and Santa Fe University of Art and Design (2011–2015). She currently serves as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Maryville University in St. Louis.

Poet's Website


How to Hold the Heavy Weight of Now

She said, “You just made this gesture with your
body–” and opened her arms as if she could
barely fit them around an enormous ball—

“Make that shape again,” she said, and so I did.
“Now let it change,” she said, and I did—

slowly closing the space between my arms,
fingertips converging until they touched—

I watched my hands turn together, align pinkie-
side to pinkie-side, I watched

my palms open, pushing gently forward, leading
my body forward, I watched them

let a bird go, I watched my hands
                  make

                  an offering—

(from The American Poetry Review)


 

H. Bruce McEver

H. Bruce McEver started writing in workshops in New York City with Hugh Seidman, Pearl London, Katha Pollitt, Brooks Haxton, David Lehman, and J.D. McClatchy. His most recent full-length poetry collections include Like Lesser Gods (C&R Press, 2017), and Scaring Up the Morning (C&R Press, 2013). His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Westview, The Berkshire Review, The Cortland Review, The Connecticut River Review, The Chattahoochee Review, and The Atlanta Review. Bruce is on the board of The Poet’s House in New York.

Bruce received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an M.T.S. (Religion and Literature) from Harvard Divinity School. An investment banker and the Chairman of Berkshire Capital Securities LLC, a firm he founded in 1983.  Bruce is also a Georgia Tech BIE alumnus, and was a Lieutenant, USN, on the staff of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, He founded Berkshire Capital Corporation in l983. A member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, Bruce is a dedicated conservationist. He works in New York City and lives in Salisbury, Connecticut on Utopia Farm.

 

Alicia Ostriker

Alicia Ostriker has published seventeen volumes of poetry, including The Volcano and After; Waiting for the Light; The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog; The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems 1979-2011; No Heaven; The Volcano Sequence; and The Imaginary Lover, winner of the William Carlos Williams Award. She was twice a National Book Award Finalist, for The Little Space (1998) and The Crack in Everything (1996), and twice a National Jewish Book Award winner.

Described by The Progressive as "America's most fiercely honest poet," Ostriker's honors include awards and fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the Poetry Society of America, and the San Francisco State Poetry Center. In 2015, she was elected Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and in 2018, was named the New York State Poet Laureate.

Ostriker's poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, Paris Review, Yale Review, Ontario Review, The Nation, The New Republic, Best American Poetry, the Pushcart Anthology, and many other journals and anthologies, and has been translated into numerous languages including Hebrew and Arabic. Her critical work includes the now-classic Stealing the Language: the Emergence of Women’s Poetry in America, and other books on American poetry and on the Bible.

Ostriker has taught in the low-residency Poetry MFA program of Drew University and New England College. She lives in Princeton, NJ, is professor emerita of English at Rutgers University.


Years,

                    —for J.P.O.

I have wished you dead and myself dead,
How could it be otherwise.
I have broken into you like a burglar
And you've set your dogs on me.
You have been a hurricane to me
And a pile of broken sticks
A child could kick.
I have climbed you like a monument, gasping,
For the exercise and the view,
And leaned over the railing at the top–
Strong and warm, that summer wind.


 

 

JC Reilly

JC Reilly writes across genres to keep things interesting, and has never met a hybrid piece she didn't love.  What Magick May Not Alter, her Southern Gothic novel-in-verse,  was published by Madville Publishing in 2020. She is also the author of the chapbook La Petite Mort, and a contributing author in a book of occasional verse, On Occasion:  Four Poets, One Year.  She serves as the Managing Editor of Atlanta Review and teaches creative writing at Georgia Tech.  When she's not writing, she crochets, plays tennis, or practices Italian.  Follow her on Twitter @Aishatonu, or follow her cats on Instagram @jc.reilly

Poet's Website

Alberto Ríos

Alberto Ríos is the author of thirteen full-length collections of poetry, including Not Go Away is My Name (2020), The Dangerous Shirt (2009), The Theater of Night (2006), Five Indiscretions (1985), and Whispering to Fool the Wind (1982). He has also published three collections of short stories, and a memoir.

The son of a Mexican father from Tapachula, Chiapas, and an English mother from Warrington, Lancashire, Ríos was raised on the American side of the city of Nogales, Arizona, on the Mexican border. He is the recipient of the Arizona Governors Arts Award, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Walt Whitman Award, the Western States Book Award for Fiction, and six Pushcart prizes.

Ríos's poems have been published in 250 other national and international literary anthologies. He served as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2014 - 2020. In 2013, he was named Arizona's first Poet Laureate. his work is regularly taught and translated, and has been adapted to dance and both classical and popular music. He resides in Chandler, Arizona.


Nikita

Under a heavy wire milk case,
A piece of concrete foundation
On top, in summer, in her backyard,
Mrs. Russo keeps the cat Nikita safe
From birds, from dogs, from eating
Johnson grass, which he throws up.
Nikita waits for ants to wander in
And for the sun to leave.
Instead, she comes to keep him
Company, saying You look fat
And that her son died,
Remember I told you?
Walking thin in his uniform
On a road.


 

Ocean Vuong

Ocean Vuong is the author of The New York Times bestselling poetry collection, Time is a Mother (Penguin Press 2022), and The New York Times bestselling novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press 2019), which has been translated into 37 languages. A recipient of a 2019 MacArthur "Genius" Grant, he is also the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, a New York Times Top 10 Book of 2016, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, his honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and the Pushcart Prize.

Vuong's writings have been featured in The Atlantic, Granta, Harpers, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Village Voice, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as a 2016 100 Leading Global Thinker, Ocean was also named by BuzzFeed Books as one of “32 Essential Asian American Writers” and has been profiled on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” PBS NewsHour, Teen Vogue, Interview, Poets & Writers, and The New Yorker.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam and raised in Hartford, Connecticut in a working class family of nail salon and factory laborers, he was educated at nearby Manchester Community College before transferring to Pace University to study International Marketing. Without completing his first term, he dropped out of Business school and enrolled at Brooklyn College, where he graduated with a BA in Nineteenth Century American Literature. He subsequently received his MFA in Poetry from NYU.

He currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts and serves as a tenured Professor in the Creative Writing MFA Program at NYU.

Poet's Website


Toy Boat

        for Tamir Rice

yellow plastic
black sea

eye-shaped shard
on a darkened map

no shores now
to arrive — or
depart
no wind but
this waiting which
moves you

as if  the seconds
could be entered
& never left

toy boat — oarless
each wave
a green lamp
outlasted

toy boat
toy leaf  dropped
from a toy tree
waiting

waiting
as if the sp-
arrows
thinning above you
are not
already pierced
by their own names

(from Poetry, April 2016)