Current Visiting Poets

Elizabeth Acevedo

Poet, novelist, and National Poetry Slam Champion, Elizabeth Acevedo was born and raised in New York City, the only daughter of Dominican immigrants. Her poetry is infused with Dominican bolero and her beloved city’s tough grit. She is the author of Clap When You Land (Quill Tree Books, 2020); With the Fire On High (Harper, 2019); The New York Times-best selling and award-winning novel, The Poet X (HarperCollins, 2018), winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Young Adult Fiction, the 2019 Michael L. Printz Award, and the Carnegie Medal; and the poetry chapbook Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes Books, 2016), a collection of folkloric poems centered on the historical, mythological, gendered and geographic experiences of a first generation American woman. From the border in the Dominican Republic, to the bustling streets of New York City, Acevedo considers how some bodies must walk through the world as beastly beings. How these forgotten myths are both blessing and birthright.

Acevedo is the winner the Horn Book Prize for Fiction and Poetry for The Poet X. The Horn Book Magazine review of the novel calls Acevedo’s debut verse novel “an arresting portrait of a young poet coming into her own.” They write:

Fifteen-year-old Xiomara, whose name means “one who is ready for war,” has been fighting her whole life.… In nearly every poem, there is at least one universal truth about adolescence, family, gender, race, religion, or sexuality that will have readers either nodding in grateful acknowledgment or blinking away tears. ‘It almost feels like / the more I bruise the page / the quicker something inside me heals.’

In another review, Justina Ireland observes:

This book crackles with energy and snaps with authenticity and voice. Every poem in this stunningly addictive and deliciously rhythmic verse novel begs to be read aloud. Xiomara is a protagonist who readers will cheer for at every turn. As X might say, Acevedo’s got bars. Don’t pass this one by.

Acevedo’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in Poetry, Puerto Del Sol, Callaloo, Poet Lore, The Notre Dame Review, and others. Acevedo is a Cave Canem Fellow, Cantomundo Fellow, and participant of the Callaloo Writer’s Workshop. She’s given TED Talks and has been a featured reader nationally and internationally, including appearance at renowned venues such as The Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts, South Africa’s State Theatre, The Bozar in Brussels, the National Library of Kosovo and many others. Acevedo holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. She resides in Washington, DC with her husband.

Poet's Website

Chen Chen

Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), which won the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize, the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, and the GLCA New Writers Award. His most recent collection Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency is forthcoming from BOA Editions in 2022.

Longlisted for the National Book Award, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and was named one of the best of 2017 by The Brooklyn Rail, Entropy, Library Journal, and others. About the collection, Stephanie Burt says,

As Chen’s younger self had to escape from constricting familial expectations (become a lawyer, marry a woman, buy a house), the adult writer has to escape from the constrictions of autobiography, into hyperbole, stand-up comedy, fairy tale, twisted pastoral. It’s easy to imagine a young reader seeing himself here as he had not seen himself in poems before.

He is also the author of two chapbooks, Set the Garden on Fire (Porkbelly Press, 2015) and Kissing the Sphinx (Two of Cups Press, 2016).

In an interview with NPR, Chen explained,

"I felt like I couldn’t be Chinese and American and gay all at the same time. I felt like the world I was in was telling me that these had to be very separate things." As someone who was struggling with his sexuality and thinking about identity— with immigrant parents and wondering how to come out, “Poems were a way for those different experiences to come together, for them to be in the same room.”

His work has appeared in many publications, including Poetry, Tin House, Poem-a-Day, The Best American Poetry, Bettering American Poetry, and The Best American Non-required Reading. Recently, his work has been translated into French, Greek, Spanish, and Russian. Poets & Writers Magazine featured him in their Inspiration Issue as one of “Ten Poets Who Will Change the World.” He has received fellowships from Kundiman, Lambda Literary, and the Saltonstall Foundation.

Chen earned his MFA from Syracuse University and is pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing as an off-site Texas Tech University student. He lives in frequently snowy Rochester, NY with his partner, Jeff Gilbert and their pug dog, Mr. Rupert Giles.

 

Kristina Marie Darling

Kristina Marie Darling is the author of thirty-six books, which include Look to Your Left: A Feminist Poetics of Spectacle, which is forthcoming from the Akron Series in Contemporary Poetics at the University of Akron Press; Stylistic Innovation, Conscious Experience, and the Self in Modernist Women’s Poetry, forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group; Daylight Has Already Come: Selected Poems 2014 - 2020, which will be published by Black Lawrence Press; Silence in Contemporary Poetry, which will be published in hardcover by Clemson University Press in the United States and Liverpool University Press in the United Kingdom; Silent Refusal: Essays on Contemporary Feminist Poetry, forthcoming from Black Ocean; Angel of the North, which is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry; and X Marks the Dress: A Registry (co-written with Carol Guess), which will be launched by Persea Books in the United States. Penguin Random House Canada will also publish a Canadian edition.

Her work has been recognized with three residencies at Yaddo, where she has held the Martha Walsh Pulver Residency for a Poet and the Howard Moss Residency in Poetry; a Fundación Valparaíso fellowship to live and work in Spain; a Hawthornden Castle Fellowship, funded by the Heinz Foundation; an artist-in-residence position at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris; six residencies at the American Academy in Rome; two grants from the Whiting Foundation; a Faber Residency in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, which she received on two separate occasions; an artist-in-residence position with the Andorran Ministry of Culture; and the Dan Liberthson Prize from the Academy of American Poets, which she received on three separate occasions; among many other awards and honors. Dr. Darling serves as Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press & Tupelo Quarterly. Born and raised in the American Midwest, she now divides her time between the United States, Europe, and abroad.

Dr. Darling holds a doctorate from the Poetics Program at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo, as well as an M.F.A. from New York University.

Poet's Website

Ming Di

Ming Di is a Chinese poet based in the US with six books of poetry in Chinese and four in collaborative translation. Her poetry has been translated into several languages: River Merchant’s Wife (Marick Press, 2012), Luna fracturada (Valparaíso/Spain, 2014), Histoire de famille (Transignum/France, 2015), Livre de sept vies (Recours au Poème éditeurs/France, 2015), and Distracción (forthcoming in Costa Rica).

She has translated many poets from English to Chinese including Marianne Moore, Anne Carson, and Dancing in Odessa—Poems and Essays by Ilya Kaminsky (Shanghai Arts and Literature Publishing House, 2013). She edited and co-translated New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry (Tupelo Press, 2013). She selected and translated with Neil Aitken The Book of Cranes (Vagabond Press, 2015) and with Jennifer Stern Empty Chairs – Poems by Liu Xia (Graywolf Press, 2015), which was a finalist for the Best Translated Book Award in 2016.

Ming Di co-founded Poetry East West journal and serves as the China editor for Poetry International Rotterdam. She has received translation fellowships from the Henry Luce Foundation and a translation award (with Jennifer Stern) from the Poetry Foundation. She attended Boston College and Boston University and taught Chinese at BU before moving to California.

Carolina Ebeid

Carolina Ebeid was born in West New York, NJ and grew up in a Cuban and Palestinian family. She is the author of 'You Ask Me to Talk About the Interior' (Noemi Press, Akrilica Series) which was selected as one of ten best debuts of 2016 by Poets & Writers. Dr. Ebeid's work has been supported by fellowships from CantoMundo, the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University, the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a residency fellowship from the Lannan Foundation.

Carolina is on faculty at the Mile-High MFA at Regis University, the bilingual MFA at the University of Texas El Paso, and Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop in Denver. She currently edits poetry at The Rumpus, as well as the multimedia zine Visible Binary. She holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers and a PhD from the University of Denver.

Poet's Website

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

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.

 

Erika Meitner

Erika Meitner is the winner of the 2018 National Jewish Book Award for Poetry and author of five books of poems: Holy Moly Carry Me (BOA Editions, 2018); Copia (BOA Editions, 2014); Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls (Anhinga Press, 2011); Ideal Cities (Harper Perrenial, 2010), which was a 2009 National Poetry series winner; and Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore (Anhinga Press, 2003). Her sixth full-length poetry collection, Useful Junk is forthcoming from BOA Editions in 2022.

Meitner's poetry and prose have been widely anthologized. Born and raised in Queens and Long Island, NY, she is a first-generation American: her father is from Israel; her mother was born in a refugee camp in Germany, which is where her maternal grandparents settled after surviving the Holocaust. Meitner is currently a professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she directs the MFA and undergraduate programs in Creative Writing.

Poet's Website

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

Afaa Michael Weaver

Afaa Michael Weaver is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, where in 1951, he was born to working class parents from Virginia. His parents moved to Baltimore during WWII. His father became a steelworker, and his mother a part-time beautician. After two years at the University of Maryland, Afaa spent fifteen years as a factory worker, a time that was his literary apprenticeship, as he began writing and publishing as a poet. In early 1985, he received an NEA fellowship for poetry and left factory life. His first book, Water Song, was also published that spring.

Afaa has taught at New York University, City University of New York, Seton Hall Law School, Rutgers University, and is retiring from Simmons College, where he held the Alumnae Endowed Chair for twenty years. He is currently a member of the core faculty in Drew University's MFA in Poetry and Translation. To date, he has published fifteen collections of poetry and had two professional theater productions.

His project remains that of articulating inner and outer structures of working class culture. In Water Song, he took on the immediate subject of his positioning as a worker poet in Industrial America. He has gradually sculpted geodesic connections between the network of seeming polarities in his life through the frame of his engagement with Chinese culture. Beginning in his twenties as a practitioner of the art of Taijiquan and a student of the Daoist philosophies and spiritual practices embedded in the art, he has worked at these assemblages, at times blending history, music and visual art. In Timber and Prayer, the writing partly involves ekphrastic poems about the work of Jacob Lawrence, while other poems respond to the work of Duke Ellington and other jazz musicians. Stations in a Dream is devoted entirely to the work of Marc Chagall.

As a Fulbright scholar, Afaa has taught in Taiwan, and at the age of fifty, he began studying Mandarin formally. The recipient of four Pushcart prizes, and a Kingsley Tufts Award, His newest book, Spirit Boxing, revisits his time as a worker poet in Baltimore with a renewed application of the frame of his Chinese spiritualism applied to his quest to bring a realization of wholeness to his life and his rootedness in America’s working class sensibilities.

Eleanor Wilner

Eleanor Wilner is the author of Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems (Princeton University Press, 2019), which includes poems from her previous seven books of poetry, most recently Tourist in Hell (U. of Chicago) and The Girl with Bees in Her Hair (Copper Canyon). She received the 2019 Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime achievement from the Poetry Society of America; other awards include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship; the Juniper Prize, and three Pushcart prizes. She has taught at many colleges and universities, and perennially for the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She is a lifelong activist for civil rights and peace.

Zhou Xiaojing

Zhou Xiaojing is Professor of English and Laurence Meredith Professor in the Humanities at the University of the Pacific. She is the author of Migrant Ecologies: Zheng Xiaoqiong’s Women Migrant Workers, a collection of eco-critical essays and translations of Zheng Xiaoqiong’s poems. Her other translations of Zheng’s poems appeared in Chinese Literature Today, World Literature Today, Verge: Studies in Global Asias, International Poetry Exchanges, The Animated Reader: Poetry of Surround Audience, and Poetry International Festival Rotterdam.

Faculty webpage at University of the Pacific

Zheng Xiaoqiong

Born in 1980 in rural Nanchong, Sichuan Province, Zheng Xiaoqiong left her hometown for Dongguan, Guangdong Province in 2001 after working as a nurse in a local hospital, and became a migrant worker for seven years. It was in the factory that she started writing poems. She has published a dozen critical acclaimed poetry collections, which won prestigious literary awards. Her poetry has been translated into many foreign languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Malay, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. She has been invited to give readings at poetry festivals in Australia, Germany, France, Japan, Russia, Singapore, and the Netherlands. Some of her poems were performed on the stage in Germany and the United States. Currently she is the Deputy Director of the literary magazine Works in Guangzhou.

 


铁鸟 / Iron Bird

 

Time is like a grey iron bird fluttering against the window,
Moonlight treading on distant memories saunters into my room.
Mysterious reticent frost scatters, white seeds covering the ground
Have grown into tranquil trees, standing in the North,
Their leaves falling. I am in the South, looking into the distance, those happy times
Restored in dreams. The iron bird disappears into silence.
Those made-up faces flash past in-between the trees in the North,
Those imaginary loves of mine, each resembles
A grey iron bird, flapping its wings.

 

--Zheng Xiaoqiong (translation: Zhou Xiaojing)

(from Collected Poems by Zheng Xiaoqiong, Huacheng chuben she, 2008, 30.)