Aisha Al-Amin Monet (she/her/hers), Development, is a full-time student, non-profit professional, and poet. She has spent the past five years working with Black and brown youth and their communities as a facilitator, program coordinator, and fundraiser. She is currently majoring in History because she believes that lasting social change is only possible through having a deep understanding of the movements that came before us. She hopes to continue her career in non-profit youth work and support other Black and brown girls in living their most liberated lives.
Ari Schill (they/them) Newsletter Editor / Interviewer, is a Black, queer & gender expansive, multi-genre writer & facilitator who lives in Portland, OR. They use poetry, creative nonfiction and fiction to highlight themes including race, family and adoption, drawing on the intersectionality of gender and Blackness because they are inextricably connected. Ari believes in the importance of advocacy, education and community support; strives to amplify the voices and stories of Black queer and transgender people; and are committed to cultivating meaningful connections with like-minded creatives. Inspired by writers and activists like Audre Lorde, Octavia Butler, Barbara & Beverly Smith and Demita Frazier, they value bringing a Black queer feminist lens to their writing and daily life. Ari has a degree in Psychology and Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University, and loves socializing, dancing, going to the beach, writing, and reading fiction and Sci-fi in their spare time.
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.
Dulce Botello, Board Secretary (she/her/hers) was born in Mexico City, and when she was ten she immigrated to the United States. She has lived in California, in Yuma and Tucson, Arizona. Dulce is a Master’s student at NYU in publishing. She has had a lifelong love of reading and is currently trying to find a way to use that passion to empower women through literature and writing, and, help give those without a voice a platform to express their grievances, their ideas, hopes, and dreams. Dulce can usually be found behind a book, but some of her free time is also spent trying new recipes, usually some kind of dessert.
Dr. Stephanie Troutman Robbins (she/her/hers) is a Black feminist scholar, first-generation college student, tenured Associate Professor of Emerging Literacies in the Rhetoric, Composition and Teaching of English program in the English Department at the University of Arizona. She received a dual PhD in Curriculum & Instruction and Women’s Studies from the Pennsylvania State University in 2011 and is a former high school and middle grades public school teacher. Stephanie is a scholar-activist who has been widely recognized for her mentorship, student advocacy, and social justice leadership.
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.
Em Bowen (he/him/his, they/them/theirs) is the former Executive Director of the Tucson Poetry Festival, a PhD student at the College of Education at the University of Arizona, a bilingual Waldorf educator, a storyteller, a writer, an essayist, a poet and a person who thrives and is always changing (much as we all are, whether we realize it or not). Their work has been published in the Tucson Weekly, The Atlantic, Zocalo, Wild Gender, The Feminist Wire, and most recently live on the stand-up comic stages of Tucson. Em earned their MFA from Goddard College and is the former producer of the Tucson Gender Identity Project.
Estella Gonzalez (she/her/hers) was born and raised in East Los Angeles which inspires her writing. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in Puerto del Sol and Huizache and have been anthologized in Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature by Bilingual Press and Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse by Lost Horse Press. She received a “Special Mention” in The Pushcart Prize XXXVIII: Best of the Small Presses 2014 Edition and was selected a “Reading Notable” for The Best American Non-Required Reading 2011. Her short story “Matadora” is forthcoming in Southwestern American Literature.
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.
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.
Lisa Bowden (she/her/hers), Publisher and Executive Director of Kore Press, is the editor of Autumnal: A Collection of Elegies, co-editor of Powder: Writing by Women in Ranks, from Vietnam to Iraq, and co-adapter and director of Coming in Hot (a play based on Powder). She has developed Kore’s 26-year long list of authors and award winning programming as a literary activist, artist, and feminist culture worker. She is a recipient of the Maryann Campau Fellowship for poetry from the University of Arizona Poetry Center and a Woman on the Move Award from the YWCA. A poet who works with an improvisational ensemble of dancers, writers, and musicians called Movement Salon, Lisa has studied English and Philosophy at the University of Arizona and in London. She lives in Tucson with her partner Eve and daughter Djuna. Her poetry can be found at backroomlive.wordpress.com, spiralorb.net, and thedrunkenboat.com.
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.”
Rylee Carrillo-Waggoner (they/them/theirs) is a recent graduate from Columbia University, where they received departmental honors for their senior thesis and overall work as a comparative literature major. They are passionate about circulating underrepresented narratives across all genres and art forms as a form of community empowerment and as a way to foster senses of belonging. This transfers over into their work as a theatre-maker, where they seek to bring new Latinx stories to the stage, and as the founder of the zine Nuestrx. Areas of interest include postcolonialism, nationalism, global feminism, marxism, gender, trauma, literary circulation, Latinx literature, Chicanx theatre, and Arab literature and poetry.
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.
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.
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.
Ann Dernier (she/her/hers), Editor, currently on sabbatical. Ann served Kore in various and significant ways since 2004, from volunteer manuscript reader, to Grrls Literary Activism leader, to editorial midwife. She is the editor of The Best of Kore Press, 2012 Poetry, was director of the Tucson Writers’ Project at the Tucson Public Library, and a juried artist on the Arizona Commission on the Arts Teaching Artist Roster. She received a B.A. from the University of Arizona and an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her collection, In The Fury (Grey Book Press, 2015), was a finalist for the 2013 Robert Dana Anhinga Prize for Poetry and a semi-finalist for the 2013 Crab Orchard Series for Poetry First Book Award. She is currently working on her second book.