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Kalamu ya Salaam is a poet, writer, filmmaker, and activist and the author of numerous books and pamphlets. His publications include New Orleans Griot—The Tom Dent Reader, which was the 2020 One Book One New Orleans selection, Be About Beauty – Selected Essays, which won the 2019 Oakland PEN Josephine Miles Award, and Cosmic Deputy – Poetry and Context 1968 – 2019.

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Megan Burns is the publisher at Trembling Pillow Press ( She also hosts the Blood Jet Poetry Reading Series in New Orleans and is the co-founder of the New Orleans Poetry Festival ( She has been most recently published in Jacket Magazine, Callaloo, New Laurel Review, Dream Pop, and Diagram. Her poetry and prose reviews have been published in Tarpaulin Sky, Gently Read Lit, Big Bridge, and Rain Taxi. She has four books, Memorial + Sight Lines (2008), Sound and Basin (2013), Commitment (2015), and Basic Programming (2018), published by Lavender Ink. She has two recent chapbooks: Dollbaby (Horseless Press, 2013) and i always wanted to start over (Nous-Zot Press, 2014). Horse Less Press released her Twin Peaks chap, Sleepwalk With Me, in 2016. 

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Chuck Perkins is an American spoken word poetoratornarrator, and activist who infuses the rhythms and vernacular from the Crescent City into his musical spoken word pieces. The New Orleans Times-Picayune says that he "recites poetry like a prize fighter...always going for a knock out." He has performed internationally at London's prestigious South Bank Centre with Amiri Baraka, as well as in Paris, Toulouse, Manchester, Liverpool, Cambridge, and Amsterdam.

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Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, her first poetry chapbook, Objects in Vases (Anchor & Plume Press, 2016) won the 2016 Award for Poetry Book of the Year from ASPS. Her debut fiction collection, Every Mask I Tried On, won the Brighthorse Prize and was published in May 2018. She is Poetry Editor for Pidgeonholes. Alina serves as President of Alabama State Poetry Society, Publicity Chairperson and Board Member for the Alabama Writer's Conclave, and proud board member of Magic City Poetry Festival. Her poetry collection, Defect/or, was a finalist for 2015 Robert Dana Poetry Award. She serves as Co-Organizer and Founder of 100,000 Poets for Change Birmingham, as well as the organizer for Tuscaloosa Writer’s Resist event in 2016. Alina serves on executive boards for local environmental organizations. Her poetry collection, Defect/or, was a finalist for 2015 Robert Dana Poetry Award .

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Chris Staudinger is a writer, writing instructor, and drag performer from New Orleans. He works for ANTIGRAVITY, 

The Paper Boat Project, and The Flaming Flagettes.

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Lauren Goodwin Slaughter is recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from Sewanee Writers' Conference, and author of the poetry collection, a lesson in smallness (National Poetry Review Press), which was a finalist for the Rousseau Prize for Literature and the Eric Hoffer Award in poetry.

She wrote the libretto for Already Root, a feminist retelling of the Eurydice and Orpheus myth, composed by Maxwell Dulaney and performed by the New York-based Talea Ensemble in spring of 2018. Current in-progress projects include a second book of poems, The Mother Burlesque, as well as a collection of short stories. Her fiction and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in BULL; Men’s Fiction, Pleiades, 32 Poems, ONE, Drunken Boat, Five Chapters, Kenyon Review Online, Carolina Quarterly, Blackbird, Raleigh Review, Crab Orchard Review, Juked, and many other places. She is an assistant professor of English at The University of Alabama at Birmingham where she is Editor-in-Chief of, NELLE, a literary journal that publishes writing by women.

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Catherine Lindsey, winner of the poetry-writing contest on the effect of climate change that we helped organize at NOCCA, together with the teachers of the Creative Writing program, Anya Groner and Andy Young. Catherine's poem, "Beneath an Unravelled Sky" will be set to music by our commissioned composer Tucker Fuller.

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Geoff Munsterman hails from Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. His father was a carpenter for Bill Ward and his mother worked for Pan American Life Insurance. His brother is a towboat captain for Turn Services, LLC in Reserve, LA.

Geoff’s work has been published in The Double Dealer, story|south, Steel Toe Review, Margie, The Levee Review, The Raging Pelican, Poets for Living Waters, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Spillway Review, The New Laurel Review, and Solid Quarter.

His debut collection, Because the Stars Shine Through It, came out Fall 2013 from Lavender Ink in New Orleans. Poet John Kinsella says of the collection: “In Because the Stars Shine Through It, we have an original. Geoff Munsterman has lived and written his way, but always with the shadows, ghosts and energy of the place he comes from. In painting what can be a harsh truth, a strangely beautiful honesty emerges in which the coast, the river, the distance to Baton Rouge and back, and the horror of oil, meld with characters who live in their positives and negatives. Munsterman’s complex picture of place is painted with precision and clarity.”

He can often be found at Faulkner House Books recommending Tom Franklin novels to customers or hard at work writing his follow-up poems in the Bywater coffee shop and art gallery Flora’s.

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