TC Tolbert (she/her/hers, he/him/his) identifies as a trans and genderqueer feminist, collaborator, mover, and poet but really s/he’s just a human in love with humans doing human things. The author of Gephyromania(Ahsahta Press, 2014) and 4 chapbooks, TC is also co-editor (along with Trace Peterson) of Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2013). S/he is a certified Wilderness EMT and spends his summers leading wilderness trips for Outward Bound. TC is Poet Laureate of Tucson, Arizona, where s/he lives.
Monica Ong (she/her/hers) is a visual artist and poet whose hybrid image-poems juxtapose diagram and diary, bearing witness to silenced histories of the body. She completed her MFA in Digital Media at the Rhode Island School of Design and is also a Kundiman poetry fellow.
Her work has been published in several journals including the Lantern Review,Drunken Boat,Glassworks Magazine, Loaded Bicycle, Tidal Basin Review, and the Seneca Review. She has also been exhibiting artwork for over a decade nationally and internationally.
Ms. Ong’s debut collection, Silent Anatomies, was selected by poet Joy Harjo as winner of the Kore Press First Book Award. Of the collection, Ms. Harjo noted: “This is one of the most unique poetry collections. It’s a kind of graphic poetry book, but that’s not exactly it either. Poetry unfurls within, outside and through images. They establish stark bridges between ancestor and descendant time and presence. This collection is highly experimental and exciting.”
Farid Matuk (he/him/his) is the author of the poetry collections This Isa Nice Neighborhood and The Real Horse. His chapbooks include My Daughter La Chola and From Don’t Call It Reginald Denny. Matuk serves as an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Arizona and on the editorial team at Fence.
Denise Uyehara (she/her/hers) is an award-winning, interdisciplinary performance artist, writer and playwright whose work has been presented across the U.S. and in London, Vancouver, Helsinki and Tokyo. For over two decades she has investigated what marks us in our migration across borders of identity through interdisciplinary performance. Uyehara’s work has been hailed as “powerful…intimate and elegiac” by the Los Angeles Times. She is a recent recipient of the MAP Fund, the National Performance Network Creation Fund and a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council (see complete listing below). A founding member of the Sacred Naked Nature Girls, she conducts workshops for artists and a wide range of communities—LGBTQ, women, people of color—and is a frequent lecturer at colleges and universities. Her book Maps of City & Body: Shedding Light on the Performance and Process of Denise Uyehara (Kaya Press, 2004) documents her process.
Elizabeth Burden (she/her/hers) is a multidisciplinary artist whose works use drawing, painting, sculpture, video, coding, mapping, and other processes to interpret and reinterpret personal, community, and societal narratives about identity, memory, belonging, (dis)placement, (in)visibility, erasure, and the unspeakable. The common thread that runs through all her work is to look at old realities anew, to confront those realities, reflect upon them, shape them, and transform them. Whether through studio practice or community-engaged processes, she believes we can all be creative catalysts for change.
Her process begins with reading, research, and writing. Often, a work begins with a word of a phrase that prompts and image, or an emotional reaction that defies words. She then moves to collecting journalistic and archival photos as references, a nod to her continuing relationship with her first profession. Last comes experimentation in the studio, in which she (re)solves questions relating the philosophical (why), technical (how, which mediums), relational, spatial, temporal, and practical aspects of the works-in-progress.
Ms. Burden holds bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Studio Art, and a master’s degree in Geographic Information Science.
Shefali Milczarek-Desai (she/her/hers), an Arizonan since age 3, is a writer who has taken scenic detours into lawyering and mothering. Shefali’s writing has appeared in This Bridge We Call Home, Edible Baja Arizona, Sojourner, Inland Shores, The UCLA Women’s Law Journal, and The Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law. She also writes a bi-monthly column on food and parenting for The Food Conspiracy Co-op’s Community News. Amidst the chaos of raising two, young, energetic boys, Shefali sometimes daydreams about her perfect day, which would include a hike in the Chiricahua mountains followed by cooking in a kitchen free of children and recipes, and after enjoying a meal with her family, curling up with a good science fiction novel.
Joy Harjo, recently named Poet Laureate of the United States, was the judge of Kore Press’ 2014 First Book Award, and chose Monica Ong’s Silent Anatomies as the winning poetry manuscript. Find Ong’s book here.
Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a member of the Mvskoke Nation. Her seven books of poetry, which includes such well-known titles as How We Became Human- New and Selected Poems, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, and She Had Some Horses have garnered many awards. These include the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas; and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. For A Girl Becoming, a young adult/coming of age book, was released in 2009 and is Harjo’s most recent publication.
Tracie Morris (she/her/hers) was the judge of Kore Press’ 2015 First Book Award, and chose Zayne Turner’s Body Burden as the winning poetry manuscript. Turner’s book will be available in 2017.
Morris is a poet who has worked extensively as a page-based writer, sound poet, critic, scholar, bandleader, actor and multimedia performer. Her sound installations have been presented at the Whitney Biennial, MoMA, Ronald Feldman Gallery, The Silent Barn, The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, The Drawing Center, The Gramsci Monument with Thomas Hirshhorn for the DIA Foundation and other galleries and museums. Tracie presents her work extensively as a poet, performer and scholar around the globe and has presented, performed and researched in almost 30 countries and 37 US States. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Hunter College, has studied classical British acting technique extensively at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and holds a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University. Tracie is Professor and Coordinator of Performance Studies at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York.