Blas Falconer (’12, ’16): is the author of four poetry collections, including Rara Avis (forthcoming 2024), and a co-editor of two essay collections, The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity and Mentor and Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets. His poems have been featured by Poetry, Harvard Review, and The New York Times, and his awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and Poets and Writers. He is the editor-in-chief for Poetry International Online and teaches in the MFA program at San Diego State University. www.blasfalconer.com
Brenda Hillman’s latest collection from Wesleyan University Press is In a Few Minutes Before Later, published in 2022. A recent recipient of the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement, Hillman has edited and co-translated many books by others, including At Your Feet by Brazilian poet Ana Cristina Cesar. A former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Hillman lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is Professor Emerita at Saint Mary’s College of California and directs the Poetry Week at Community of Writers. http://blueflowerarts.com/artist/brenda-hillman/
Photo credit: University of Arizona Poetry Center
Major Jackson is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Razzle Dazzle: New & Selected Poems, and a collection of essays, A Beat Beyond: The Selected Prose of Major Jackson edited by Amor Kohli. A recipient of fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, John S. Guggenheim Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts, he has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, Orion Magazine, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and Poetry London. Major Jackson is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. He is host of the acclaimed podcast The Slowdown and serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review. www.majorjackson.com.
Photo credit: Erin Patrice O’Brien
Patricia Spears Jones is a poet, educator, cultural activist, anthologist, and recipient of 2017 Jackson Poetry Prize. She is the author of The Beloved Community, A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems, and three other full-length collections and five chapbooks. In 2023, she was appointed New York State Poet (2023-2025) and received the Walt Whitman Citation. She co-edited the anthology, Ordinary Women: An Anthology of New York City Women (1978) and THINK: Poems for Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Day Hat (2009). Her poems are most notably anthologized in Best American Poetry, 2023; Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin; and African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song. She has received awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Art, Goethe Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Brynn Saito’s third book of poems, Under a Future Sky, was published in 2023 by Red Hen Press. A California Arts Council Individual Artist Fellow, Brynn is the recipient of the Benjamin Saltman Award and a nominee for the Northern California Book Award. Her poems have appeared in The New York Times and American Poetry Review. Brynn teaches in the MFA program at Fresno State and is co-editing an anthology of poetry written by descendants of the Japanese American / Nikkei incarceration, forthcoming from Haymarket Books.
Matthew Zapruder is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Father’s Day, as well as Why Poetry, and Story of a Poem. His poetry has been adapted and performed by Composer Gabriel Kahane and Brooklyn Rider, and was the libretto for Vespers for a New Dark Age, a piece by composer Missy Mazzoli commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the 2014 Ecstatic Music Festival. In 2000, he co-founded Verse Press, and is now editor at large at Wave Books, where he edits contemporary poetry, prose, and translations. From 2016-2017 he held the annually rotating position of Editor of the Poetry Column for the New York Times Magazine, and he was the Editor of Best American Poetry 2022. He lives in Northern California, and teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College of California. His forthcoming collection of poetry, I Love Hearing Your Dreams, will be published by Scribner in early 2025. http://matthewzapruder.com/