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Lara Mimosa Montes, Emily Skillings, Angel Nafis, Vincent Toro and Damian Rogers


Lara Mimosa Montes (also known as Lara Rossana Rodriguez) is a writer based in New York and Minneapolis. Her writing has appeared in Fence, Triple Canopy, BOMB, Poor Claudia, and elsewhere. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate in English at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She also teaches feminist and queer theory at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Her research interests focus on contemporary American poetry, art, and performance as they intersect with discourses of race, gender, and sexuality. Her first book, The Somnambulist, is forthcoming from Horse Less Press. She was born in the Bronx.

Emily Skillings is a dancer poet poet dancer. She’s the author of Backchannel (Poor Claudia, 2014). Her work has appeared recently in No Dear, The The Poetry, Bone Bouquet, Lingerpost, Stonecutter, La Fovea, and Maggy. Skillings dances for the A.O. Movement Collective and The Commons Choir (Daria Faïn and Robert Kocik) and presents her own choreography in New York. She lives in Brooklyn, where she is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist poetry collective and event series. She recently co-curated the exhibit John Ashbery Collects: Poet Among Things with Adam Fitzgerald at Loretta Howard Gallery.


Photo credit Niqui Carter

Angel Nafis is a Cave Canem Fellow.  Her work has appeared in The Rattling Wall, Union Station Magazine, MUZZLE Magazine, Mosaic Magazine and Poetry Magazine. She has represented the LouderArts Poetry Project at both the National Poetry Slam and the Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2011. She is an Urban Word NYC Mentor and the founder, curator, and host of the quarterly Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon reading series. She is the author of BlackGirl Mansion (Red Beard Press/ New School Poetics, 2012) Facilitating writing workshops and reading poems across the United States and Canada, she lives in Brooklyn. 

Photo credit: David Flores

Photo credit: David Flores

Vincent Toro has an MFA in poetry from Rutgers University. He is winner of the 2015 Sawtooth Poetry Prize and is recipient of both a Poet’s House Emerging Poets Fellowship and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. His poems have been published in Kweli, The Buenos Aires Review, Codex, The Acentos Review, The Journal, The Ostrich Review, Matter, The Cortland Review, and has been anthologized in CHORUS and The Waiting Room Reader 2. Vincent is an artist in the schools for Dreamyard and The Dodge Poetry Foundation, and he teaches at Bronx Community College. His collection, “Stereo.Island.Mosaic.” is forthcoming in January 2016 from Ahsahta Press.

Originally from the Detroit area, Damian Rogers is based in Toronto, where she works as the poetry editor at House of Anansi Press andThe Walrus magazine. Her first book of poems, Paper Radio, was nominated for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her most recent collection is Dear Leader (Coach House Books), which came out in April 2015. She is the founding creative director of Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie, a national recitation contest for Canadian high-school students, and the co-host and literary curator for the performance series Jason Collett's Basement Revue.