The 15th Annual Sarah Lawrence College Poetry Festival



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April 20 - 22, 2018

Since 2003, the Sarah Lawrence College Poetry Festival has presented emerging and established poets from across the country alongside current Sarah Lawrence undergraduate and graduate student readers. Our mission is to bring a wide array of contemporary poetic voices to campus and to celebrate the art form. The weekend includes craft talks, panels, book signings, receptions, open mics, and more. All events are free and open to the public.

The Festival was founded by students and continues as a student-run endeavor, thanks to those who volunteer each year to plan every aspect of the weekend.

Past Readers (2017)

J. Mae Barizo

J. Mae BarizoJ. Mae Barizo is the author of The Cumulus Effect (Four Way Books, 2015). A prize-winning poet, critic, and performer, recent work appears in AGNI, Bookforum, Boston Review, Hyperallergic, and Los Angeles Review of Books. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from Bennington College, the New School, the Jerome Foundation, and Poets House. Recent collaborative work includes projects with artists such as Salman Rushdie, Mark Morris, and the American String Quartet. She lives in New York City.

Joshua Bennett

Joshua BennettDr. Joshua Bennett is the author of The Sobbing School (Penguin, 2016). He holds a PhD in English from Princeton University and an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Warwick, where he was a Marshall Scholar. In 2010, Dr. Bennett delivered the Commencement Address at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated with the distinctions of Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. Winner of the 2015 National Poetry Series, Dr. Bennett has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Cave Canem, and the Ford Foundation. His writing has been published or is forthcoming in Boston Review, The New York Times, Poetry, and elsewhere. He is currently a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University.

Lucie Brock-Broido

Lucie Brock-BroidoLucie Brock-Broido has published four volumes of poetry, all with Alfred A. Knopf: A Hunger (1988), The Master Letters (1994), Trouble in Mind (1995), and her most recent collection, Stay, Illusion (2013). 
Stay, Illusion was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Kingsley Tufts Award in Poetry, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is also the editor of Letters to a Stranger, the collected poems of Thomas James (Graywolf Press, 2008). In 2010, Carcanet brought out her selected poems, Soul Keeping Company, in the UK.

Brock-Broido has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Awards, the Witter-Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, and the Massachusetts Book Award. She’s been the recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award from Harvard University, and the Presidential Teaching Award from Columbia University. She is Director of Poetry in the School of the Arts at Columbia and lives in New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Aracelis Girmay

Photo: Sheila GriffinAracelis Girmay is the author of the poetry collections Teeth, Kingdom Animalia, and The Black Maria. Her poems and essays have recently been published in Spoon River Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Granta, Poetry, and Prairie Schoooner.

Jeffrey Harrison

Photo: Ale VulcanoJeffrey Harrison is the author of five books of poetry, including The Singing Underneath, a National Poetry Series selection; Feeding the Fire, winner of the Sheila Motton Award from the New England Poetry Club; Incomplete Knowledge, runner-up for the Poets’ Prize in 2008; and, in 2014, Into Daylight, winner of the Dorset Prize from Tupelo Press and a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award in 2015. In addition, a selected poems, The Names of Things, was published in 2006 by The Waywiser Press in the UK. His honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA, and his poems have appeared widely in magazines and journals, as well as in Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Poets of the New Century, The Twentieth Century in Poetry, and other anthologies. He lives in Massachusetts.

Rachel McKibbens

Rachel McKibbensRachel McKibbens is a two-time New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellow and author of three full-length books of poetry, Pink Elephant, Into The Dark & Emptying Field, and blud. McKibbens founded The Pink Door Women’s Writing Retreat, an annual writing retreat in the US open exclusively to women of color. McKibbens is a member of Latinas Unidas and co-curates the critically acclaimed reading series Poetry & Pie Night in upstate New York.

Erika Meitner

Erika MeitnerErika Meitner is the author of four books of poems, including Copia (BOA Editions, 2014), Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls (Anhinga Press, 2011), and National Poetry Series winner Ideal Cities (Harper Perennial, 2010). In 2015, she was the US-UK Distinguished Fulbright Scholar in Creative Writing at Queen's University Belfast. Her poems have appeared most recently in Tin House, The New York Times Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, Oxford American, and Ploughshares. She is currently an associate professor of English and the director of the MFA program in creative writing at Virginia Tech.

sam sax

sam saxsam sax is the author of Madness (Penguin, 2017) winner of The National Poetry Series selected by Terrance Hayes. His second book, Bury It, will be out on Wesleyan University Press in 2018. He’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary, and The Michener Center where he served as the editor-in-chief of Bat City Review. He’s the two-time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion and author of four chapbooks. Winner of the 2016 Iowa Review Award, his poems are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, Poetry Magazine, and other journals.

Robin Beth Schaer

Robin Beth SchaerRobin Beth Schaer is the author of the poetry collection Shipbreaking (Anhinga, 2015). Her writing has appeared in Tin House, Paris Review, and Guernica, among others. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell, Djerassi, Saltonstall, Vermont Studio Center, and VCCA. She has taught writing in New York, New Jersey, and Ohio, and she worked as a deckhand aboard the Tall Ship Bounty, a 180-foot ship lost in Hurricane Sandy.

Brenda Shaughnessy

Brenda ShaughnessyBrenda Shaughnessy is the author of four poetry collections, most recently So Much Synth (Copper Canyon Press, 2016) and Our Andromeda (2012), which was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award, The International Griffin Prize, and the PEN Open Book Award. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Harper's, The New York Times, The New Yorker, O Magazine, Paris Review, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. Recent collaborative projects include writing a libretto for a Mass commissioned by Trinity Church Wall Street for composer Paola Prestini, and a poem-essay for the exhibition catalog for Toba Khedoori’s solo retrospective show at LACMA. A 2013 Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, she is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Rutgers University-Newark. She lives in Verona, NJ with her family.

Ocean Vuong

Ocean VuongPoet and essayist Ocean Vuong is the author of Night Sky with Exit Wounds, winner of the 2016 Whiting Award. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, he has received honors from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and the Pushcart Prize. Vuong’s writings have been featured in The Atlantic, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Poetry, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Selected by Foreign Policy as one of its 2016 Leading Global Thinkers, alongside Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Ban Ki-Moon, and Warsan Shire, Ocean has also been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, PBS NewsHour, and The New Yorker, as well as fashion features at The Last Magazine, Fantastic Man, and BON Magazine Sweden.

Monica Youn

Photo: Eldridge MorrisseyAuthor of Blackacre (Graywolf Press, 2016), which was longlisted for the National Book Award, Ignatz (Four Way Books, 2010), which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Barter (Graywolf Press, 2003). Youn received her AB from Princeton, where she completed the Certificate Program in Creative Writing. She was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University, where she took a master’s degree in English literature. After Oxford, she attended Yale Law School, and practiced law for over a decade, testifying before Congress on multiple occasions, appearing as an expert commentator on PBS and MSNBC, and publishing political commentary in Slate and The New York Times, among other publications. Her poems have been widely published in journals and anthologies, including The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and The Best American Poetry. She has been awarded the Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and the Witter Bynner Fellowship of the Library of Congress and has taught poetry at Bennington College, Columbia University, and Pratt Institute, and currently teaches at Princeton University and in the MFA for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Matthew Zapruder

Photo: B.A. Van SiseMatthew Zapruder is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Come On All You Ghosts, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Sun Bear, 2014. Why Poetry, a book of prose, is forthcoming from Ecco Press in summer 2017. An Associate Professor in the MFA in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College of California, he is also editor-at-large at Wave Books. He lives in Oakland, CA.

Rachel Zucker

Rachel ZuckerRachel Zucker is the author of nine books, most recently MOTHERs and The Pedestrians. She teaches poetry and NYU. and is the host of the podcast Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People).

Past Readers (Prior to 2017)

Past readers include:

  • Kim Addonizio
  • Kazim Ali
  • David Baker
  • Catherine Barnett
  • Ellen Bass
  • Caroline Bergvall
  • Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge
  • Mark Bibbins
  • Frank Bidart
  • Christian Bok
  • Ed Bok Lee
  • Laure-Anne Bosselaar
  • Lucie Brock-Broido
  • Joel Brouwer
  • Jericho Brown
  • Kurt Brown
  • Ellen Bryant Voigt
  • Tina Chang
  • Justin Chin
  • Heather Christle
  • Henri Cole
  • Brendan Constantine
  • Mark Conway
  • Matt Cook
  • Eduardo Corral
  • Victor Hernandez Cruz
  • Cynthia Cruz
  • Olena Kalytiak Davis
  • Monica de la Torre
  • Matthew Dickman
  • Michael Dickman
  • Stephen Dobyns
  • Timothy Donnelly
  • Mark Doty
  • Sean Thomas Dougherty
  • Rita Dove
  • Stephen Dunn
  • Cornelius Eady
  • Russell Edson
  • Thomas Sayers Ellis
  • Lynn Emanuel
  • Shira Erlichman
  • Tarfia Faizullah
  • Monica Ferrell
  • Farrah Field
  • Nikky Finney
  • Nick Flynn
  • Sage Francis
  • Vievee Francis
  • Sarah Gambito
  • Suzanne Gardinier
  • Alan Gilbert
  • Rigoberto Gonzalez
  • Regan Good
  • Johanes Gorranson
  • Jorie Graham
  • Linda Gregg
  • Rachel Eliza Griffiths
  • Paul Guest
  • Marilyn Hacker
  • Kimiko Hahn
  • Matthea Harvey
  • Terrance Hayes
  • Bob Hicok
  • Brenda Hillman
  • Edward Hirsch
  • Tony Hoagland
  • James Hoch
  • Cathy Park Hong
  • Marie Howe
  • Susan Howe
  • Gary Jackson
  • Major Jackson
  • Kate Knapp Johnson
  • Ilya Kaminsky
  • Douglas Kearney
  • Galway Kinnell
  • Michael Klein
  • Jennifer Knox
  • Yusef Komunyakaa
  • Suji Kwock Kim
  • Joan Larkin
  • Dorothea Lasky
  • Rickey Laurentiis
  • Dorianne Laux
  • Li-Young Lee
  • Paul Legault
  • Alex Lemon
  • Ben Lerner
  • Phillip Levine
  • Robin Coste Lewis
  • Thomas Lux
  • Sarah Manguso
  • Maurice Manning
  • Charles Martin
  • Dawn Lundy Martin
  • David Tomas Martinez
  • Cate Marvin
  • Jamaal May
  • Bernadette Mayer
  • Jeffrey McDaniel
  • Rachel McKibbens
  • Joyelle McSweeney
  • Sarah Messer
  • Joseph Millar
  • Anais Mitchell
  • K. Silem Mohammad
  • Aja Monet
  • Valzhyna Mort
  • Paul Muldoon
  • Eileen Myles
  • Maria Negroni
  • Hoa Nguyen
  • Dennis Nurkse
  • Sharon Olds
  • Ron Padgett
  • Carl Phillips
  • Kevin Pilkington
  • Vanessa Place
  • Marie Ponsot
  • D.A. Powell
  • Lynne Procope
  • Khadijah Queen
  • Claudia Rankine
  • Matt Rasmussen
  • Skirkanth Reddy
  • Victoria Redel
  • Martha Rhodes
  • Matthew Rohrer
  • Patrick Rosal
  • Mary Ruefle
  • Tomaz Salamun
  • Sonia Sanchez
  • Jon Sands
  • Thomas Sayers Ellis
  • Zachary Schomburg
  • Tim Seibles
  • Vijay Seshadri
  • Brenda Shaughnessy
  • Evie Shockley
  • Richard Siken
  • Tom Sleigh
  • Patricia Smith
  • Tracy K. Smith
  • Gerald Stern
  • Mary Stone Dockery
  • Mark Strand
  • Mathias Svalina
  • Larissa Szporluk
  • James Tate
  • Edwin Torres
  • Jean Valentine
  • G.C. Waldrep
  • John Whitworth
  • Dara Wier
  • Joshua Marie Wilkinson
  • C.K. Williams
  • Eleanor Wilner
  • Rebecca Wolff
  • Mark Wunderlich
  • Mark Yakich
  • Monica Youn