Poet Biographies

Dan La Botz is a writer, teacher, and activist who lives in Brooklyn. He is the author of ten books on labor, social movements, and politics in the United States, Mexico, Indonesia, and Nicaragua.

Pam McAllister is a New York City poet, musician, and feminist author who blogs at http://activistswithattitude.com.

Steve Bloom is a New York City poet and activist, a member of the board of the Southern Anti-Racism Network who is also active in the Green Party, the Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz, and on ecological issues. You can find his poems on-line and in various print journals. You are invited to visit his website at www.stevebloompoetry.net.

Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania- Mel box Carter, Also known as Blak Rapp M.A.D.U.S.A., emerges from those humble streets to take the conscious music movement by storm. Through spoken word and melodic lyricism this rapper, poet, activist and historian paints a vivid picture of her culture via social and political justice interwoven with spiritual inspiration. With a degree in Africana Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, Madusa, whose name is an acronym for Making A Difference Using Skills and Activism, uses her vast knowledge and experiences to relate to the masses. Madusa came of age in the Third Ward, A.K.A.”The Trey” area of Houston, Texas,which along with being one of the country’s most dangerous communities has produced music & entertainment icons Debbie Allen,The Ghetto Boys and Beyonce Knowles.It was there Madusa discovered her lyrical talent and subsequently recorded her first critically aclaimed single “It’s On” in 2007, with Trickle Down Entertainment ,a politically conscious independent record label.From poetry slams, freestyle battles and talent shows nationwide,she has displayed her colorful perspective and unique lyrical ability. Her outstanding reputation,along with her work with numerous community outreach organizations, such as Community Empowerment, New Voices Pittsburgh, and Scientific Soul Sessions,has made her a very sought after champion of the people.

Chandramohan S is an English poet based in India from a Dalit community. His work has been profiled in New Asia Writing, Mascara Literary Review, and About place journal, Counter-Punch poetry, Thump Print magazine, The Sentinel, Green Left Weekly, Chronogram, Commonline, and others.

Called “the Latino poet of his generation,” Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. He has published more than fifteen books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His latest collection of poems, The Trouble Ball (Norton, 2011), is the recipient of the Milt Kessler Award, a Massachusetts Book Award and an International Latino Book Award. The Republic of Poetry (Norton, 2006) received the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A previous book of poems, Imagine the Angels of Bread (Norton, 1996), won an American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Other poetry collections include A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (Norton, 2000), City of Coughing and Dead Radiators (Norton, 1993), and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (Curbstone, 1990).  He has received other recognition such as the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Robert Creeley Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. His work has been widely translated; collections of poems have been published in Spain, Puerto Rico and Chile. His book of essays, Zapata’s Disciple (South End Press, 1998), has been banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona. A graduate of Northeastern University Law School and a former tenant lawyer, Espada is currently a professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. You can visit his website at http://www.martinespada.net/.

Robert Gibbons is a poet living in New York City. He is originally from Belle Glade, Florida and has been in the city since 2007 in search of his muse- Langston Hughes. He is published in Brooklyn Poets Anthology; Paragram; Promethean; Turtle Island Quarterly; Deep Water Literary; Killer Whale; and Suisun Valley. He is presently pursuing a MFA in Poetry at the City University of New York. His first collection, “Close to the Tree” was published in 2012 by Three Rooms Press. Information about the book can be found at www.threeroomspress.com.

Randall Horton is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award and most recently a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature. Randall is a Cave Canem Fellow, a member of the Affrilachian Poets and a member of The Symphony: The House that Etheridge Built. Randall is Assistant Professor of English at the University of New Haven. Triquarterly/Northwestern University Press in the publisher of his latest poetry collection Pitch Dark Anarchy. Hook: A Memoir will be published by Augury Books.

Gary Johnston has taught creative writing, read and performed his work widely in the New York City metropolitan area. He has recently completed two collections of poetry entitled: “Something in the Blood” and “The Border of the Other America.” He is also co-founder and Literary Editor of Blind Beggar Press Inc.

Dierdre Payne is a retired native Mississippian who has moved back, but is still having adjustment issues. Says, “Mississippi is not for the faint of heart or spirit.”

Lauren Schmidt is the author of three collections of poetry: Two Black Eyes and a Patch of Hair Missing; The Voodoo Doll Parade, selected for the Main Street Rag Author’s Choice Chapbook Series; and Psalms of The Dining Room, a sequence of poems about her volunteer experience at a soup kitchen in Eugene, Oregon. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as North American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Rattle, Nimrod, Painted Bride Quarterly, PANK, New York Quarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, The Progressive, and others. Her awards include the So to Speak Poetry Prize, the Neil Postman Prize for Metaphor, The Janet B. McCabe Prize for Poetry, and the Bellevue Literary Review’s Vilcek Prize for Poetry. Schmidt is an Instructor of Developmental English at Passaic County Community College where she founded a social justice-oriented poetry club and serves as a Poet-in-the-Schools for Paterson Public Schools.