Current Visiting Poets

David Bottoms

David Bottoms' first book, Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump, was chosen by Robert Penn Warren as winner of the 1979 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets.  His poems have appeared widely in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper's, Poetry, and The Paris Review, as well as in sixty anthologies and textbooks.  He is the author of seven other books of poetry, two novels, and a book of essays and interviews.  His most recent book of poems, We Almost Disappear, was released in the fall of 2011.  Among his other awards are the Frederick Bock Prize and the Levinson Prize, both from Poetry magazine, an Ingram Merrill Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.  He has given readings at over 250 colleges and universities across the country, as well as the Guggenheim Museum, the Library of Congress, and the American Academy in Rome.  He has served as the Richard Hugo Poet-in-Residence at the University of Montana, the Ferrol Sams Distinguished Writer at Mercer University, and the Chaffee Visiting Poet-in-Residence at Johns Hopkins University.  He lives with his wife and daughter in Atlanta, where he holds the Amos Distinguished Chair in English Letters at Georgia State University.  A book of essays on his work, David Bottoms: Critical Essays and Interviews edited by William Walsh, was published in 2010.  He is the recipient of a 2011 Governor’s Award in the Humanities, sponsored by the Georgia Humanities Council, and he served for twelve years as Poet Laureate of Georgia.  A new book of poems, Otherworld, Underworld, Prayer Porch, will be released by Copper Canyon Press in the spring of 2018.

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.

Juan Felipe Hererra

Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States (2015-2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012-2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage; Senegal Taxi; Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include: SkateFate, Calling The Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical for young audiences in New York City; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. His book Jabberwalking, a children’s book focused on turning your wonder at the world around you into weird, wild, incandescent poetry, is forthcoming in 2018. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.

Rosa Lane

Rosa Lane, PhD, MFA, AIA, is author of three poetry collections: Chouteau's Chalk, winner of the 2017 Georgia Poetry Prize, forthcoming February 2019 from the University of Georgia Press; Tiller North (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2016), winner of a 2017 National Indie Excellence Award and 2017 Maine Literary Award for Short Works, 5-poem excerpt; and a chapbook, Roots and Reckonings (Granite Press, East). Lane earned her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied with Jean Valentine, Jane Cooper, Grace Paley, and Tom Lux. She is a native of a fishing village in coastal Maine.

 

Lane's work most recently won first place for the 2018 William Matthews Poetry Prize and was named finalist for the 2018 Edna St. Vincent Millay Poetry Prize, 2017 Kay Murphy Poetry Prize, 2017 Joy Harjo Poetry Award, and 2017 Philip Booth Poetry Prize. Lane's poetry has also won first place for The 38th New Millennium Awards for Poetry and first place winner of The Briar Cliff Review 18th Annual Poetry Contest.

David Thomas Martinez

David Tomas Martinez's debut collection of poetry, Hustle, was released in 2014 by Sarabande Books. Martinez is a Pushcart winner, CantoMundo fellow, a Breadloaf Stanley P. Young Fellow, and NEA fellow. Post Traumatic Hood Disorder, a second collection, was released by Sarabande Books in 2018. Martinez lives in Brooklyn.

H. Bruce McEver

Tech BIE, Harvard MBA, exchange student at the Technische Hochschule in Hannover, Germany, and a Lieutenant, USN, on the staff of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, H. Bruce McEver founded Berkshire Capital Corporation in l983, pioneering the concept of providing independent merger, acquisition, and strategic advisory services for investment managers and securities firms. Bruce came to BCC from Paine Webber Group, Inc., where he served as Assistant to the Chairman after Paine Webber acquired Blyth Eastman Dillon, Inc., where he was Vice President for mergers and acquisitions. McEver began his career as a venture capital analyst at Bessemer Securities, Inc., and prior to that was Assistant Vice President, Corporate Finance, at Chemical Bank. A member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, Bruce is a dedicated conservationist, a passion he demonstrates firsthand in preservation efforts on behalf of natural woodlands, beginning at home on his own 'Utopia Farm' in Salisbury Connecticut. "While industrious and ambitious, a corporate man, he is a great listener, an introspective, quiet, gentle soul--qualities that rarely exist side by side in one person," says longtime friend Jean Robertson, wife of Bruce's Tech roommate, John Robertson.

Bruce started writing in workshops in New York City with Hugh Seidman, Pearl London, Katha Pollitt, Brooks Haxton, David Lehman, and J.D. McClatchy. He has taken writing seminars at Sarah Lawrence College with Thomas Lux and Kevin Pilkington and, most recently, was a summer residency student at the M.F.A. Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, where he worked with Stephen Dobyns. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Westview, The Berkshire Review, The Cortland Review, The Connecticut River Review, The Chattahoochee Review, and The Atlanta Review . He works in New York City and lives in Salisbury, Connecticut on Utopia Farm.

Kamilah Aisha Moon

Kamilah Aisha Moon is a Pushcart Prize winner, CLMP Firecracker Award and Lambda Award finalist, and a 2015 New American Poet who has received fellowships to Vermont Studio Center, Rose O'Neill Literary House, Hedgebrook, and Cave Canem. The author of Starshine & Clay (2017) and She Has a Name (2013), both published by Four Way Books, her work has been featured widely, including the Harvard Review, Poem A Day, Prairie Schooner, Oxford American and elsewhere. Moon holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is an Assistant Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

Valzhyna Mort

Valzhyna Mort is the author of Factory of Tears and Collected Body. Her poetry collections have also been published in Belarus, Germany, and Sweden. She has received the Lannan Foundation Fellowship, the Bess Hokins Prize from Poetry, the Amy Clampitt Fellowship, and the Burda Prize for Eastern European authors. Born in Minsk, Belarus, she teaches at Cornell University.

Chelsea Rathburn

Chelsea Rathburn is the author of Still Life with Mother and Knife, forthcoming from Louisiana State University Press in February 2019. Her two previous poetry collections are A Raft of Grief and The Shifting Line.  Her poems have appeared in PoetryThe Atlantic Monthly, The Missouri Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, and Ploughshares, among other journals. In 2009, she received a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. A native of Miami, Florida, Chelsea now lives in the North Georgia mountains, where she directs the creative writing program at Young Harris College.

Phillippa Yaa de Vlliers

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers writes, performs and teaches Creative Writing at Wits University, Johannesburg. Her poetry collections are Taller than buildings (2006) and The everyday wife (2010, winner of the South African Literary Prize in 2011), and ice- cream headache in my bone (August 2017). Her short story Keeping Everything the Same was longlisted for the Pen/Studinski Prize in 2007, and her story The day that Jesus dropped the ball won the 2007 Het Beschrijf/National Arts Festival Prize at the Grahamstown Festival. She co-edited No Serenity Here, an anthology of African poetry translated into Mandarin. (2010). Her semi-autobiographical one-woman show Original Skin has toured South Africa and performed in Germany.

She has read and performed at poetry festivals in Germany, Denmark, UK, Cuba, Sweden, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Ghana. Her work is translated into French, Dutch, Flemish, Burmese, Mandarin, Italian, German and Spanish. She serves on the editorial board of the African Poetry Book Fund and in the South African Poetry Project’s Indigenous Knowledge Research.