Welcome KPI 2021 Fellows

Congratulations to the 2021 cohort of Kore Press Institute Fellows! Fellowships last one year and are dedicated to deep learning about activist small press publishing, anti-racist and gender inclusive feminist engagement, storytelling, and intersectional non-profit literary work. KPI is excited to welcome these five amazing young poets, organizers, scholars, and readers to help us build more just and radically connected communities with literature together.

Ari Schill (they/them) 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.

Aisha Al-Amin (she/her/hers) 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.


Annamae Sax (she/they) is a PhD student in Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University, and is currently based in Tucson, Arizona. They received a dual Bachelor’s in Creative Writing (focus in Poetry) and Gender and Women’s Studies (focus in Trans and Sexuality Studies) from the University of Arizona in 2018; and a Master of Arts in Applied Women’s Studies (focus on Cultural Studies) from Claremont Graduate University in 2019. Annamae is state certified crisis intervention counselor and sexual assault advocate in California, servicing her campus, and is a mentor at the Seven C’s Queer Resource Center. They also work at the Honnold Mudd digital library digitizing special collections and creating metadata. Their areas of research focus on the LGBTQIA+ community, anti-racist work, prison abolition, body politics, and disability justice. In their free time they like to hike, travel, write poetry, explore queer fashion, get tattooed, and hang out with their dog Loaf.

Michelle Lee Salnaitis (she/her/hers) has spent the past four years as a cloud, carried by the wind through the beauty of going forth and the liberation of Homecoming. She blurs lines, lines between written, visual, and spiritual practices, as well as the narrative lines that attempt to define one’s identity. Her process-based work has engaged with the psycho-emotional trauma of displacement, loss, memory, gender and neocolonial occupation, ethnic nationalism, and racial melancholia. She views these inheritances not simply as wounds, but intergenerational healing as sites of freedom agency. She is a student of language and more so, a student of silences. It is her desire and longing to communicate the seemingly inexpressible tender blindspots of the human condition. She earned her BA in Visual Arts from the University of Northern Colorado and MFA in Visual Arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts. www.haruharu.space
Abby Johnson (she/her/hers) is a student at Scripps college where she will soon graduate with a dual degree in legal studies and Spanish with a concentration in human rights. While living in Boston and working part-time at an art museum, Abby is excited to begin work on her senior thesis, which will explore asylum testimony as a performance of identity, and the ways in which legal narratives determine which bodies have access to political asylum. She is passionate about the power of storytelling in its many forms, from music and poetry to historic texts and legal arguments. Abby has lived in many places but was ultimately shaped by her upbringing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and can be found running, hiking and camping in her free time.