Mahogany L. Browne is the author of several books including #Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out Online, recommended by Small Press Distribution & About.com as one of the Best Poetry Books of 2010. She has released five LPs of her poetry and toured Germany, Amsterdam, England, Canada and recently Australia as 1/3 of the cultural arts exchange project Global Poetics. She is anticipating the release of several poetry collections in 2015: Smudge (Button Poetry), Redbone (Willow Books) and the anthology The Break Beat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket). An Urban Word NYC mentor, Brown is the publisher of Penmanship Books as well as Poetry Program Director and Friday Night Slam curator for the Nuyorican Poets Café.
Yesenia Montilla is a New York City poet with Afro-Caribbean roots & a 2014 CantoMundo Fellow. Her poetry has appeared in the chapbook For The Crowns Of Your Head, as well as the literary journals: 5 AM, Adanna, Wideshore and others. She received her MFA from Drew University in Poetry and Poetry in Translation. Her first collection of poetry, The Pink Box, was published by Willow Books in Fall 2015.
Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet and visual artist. She is the recipient of fellowships including Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Vermont Studio Center, Millay Colony, and the Cave Canem Foundation. Her visual and literary work has appeared widely. Griffiths is the creator and director of P.O.P (Poets on Poetry), a video series of contemporary poets featured by the Academy of American Poets. Her third collection of poetry, Mule & Pear (New Issues Poetry & Prose), was selected for the 2012 Inaugural Poetry Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and her fourth book, Lighting the Shadow, was published by Four Way Books in 2015. Griffiths teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn.
Rickey Laurentiis was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the author of Boy with Thorn, selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) and named one of the Top 16 Best Poetry Books by Buzzfeed. The recipient of 2013 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2012 Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, his other honors include fellowships or scholarships from the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Cave Canem Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, as well as the Alonzo Davis Fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship from Washington University in St Louis, where he received his MFA in Writing. Named one of the top ten debut poets of 2015 by Poets & Writers Magazine and one of 31 contemporary poets to read by Buzzfeed, his poems have appeared in several journals, including Boston Review, Callaloo, Feminist Studies, Fence, Indiana Review, jubilat, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The New York Times, Oxford American and Poetry; they have been commissioned by the international art biennial, Prospect New Orleans, and have been critcally written about by the Poetry International Foundation. A resident of Brooklyn, NY, he currently teaches at Columbia University.