Poetry - Spring/ Summer 2005Joy Harjo, a member of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation in Oklahoma, is an internationally known poet, performer, writer and musician. She has published seven books of acclaimed poetry, including such well known titles as She Had Some Horses, In Mad Love and War, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky and her most recent How We Became Human, New and Selected Poems from W.W. Norton. In Harjo's first music CD, Letter from the End of the 20th Century she is featured as poet and saxophone player. Her recently released second CD of original songs, Native Joy for Real crosses over many genres and has been praised for its daring brilliance. She has won numerous awards for her poetry and writing, including the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award, Oklahoma Book Awards; the 2000 Western Literature Association Distinguished Achievement Award,: 1998 Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award: the 1997 New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas; the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her most recent award was the Eagle Spirit Achievement Award for overall contributions in the arts, awarded by the American Indian Film Festival. Harjo has performed internationally, from the Riddu Riddu Festival held north of Arctic Circle in Norway to Madras, India to the Ford Theater in Los Angeles. She is currently the Joseph M. Russo endowed professor at UNM in creative writing where she will be in residence every fall. When not teaching and performing she lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. For complete information, visit her website www.joyharjo.com.
Tony Barnstone is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and English at Whittier College, and has published his poetry, fiction, essays and translations in dozens of major American journals. His books include Impure: Poems by Tony Barnstone; The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry; Out of the Howling Storm: The New Chinese Poetry; Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei; The Art of Writing: Teachings of the Chinese Masters; and the textbooks Literatures of Asia, Africa and Latin America, Literatures of Asia, and Literatures of the Middle East. His forthcoming books are Sad Jazz: Sonnets (Sheep Meadow Press, Fall 2005) and a number of textbooks for Prentice Hall Publishers, including The Pleasures of Poetry: An Introduction, World Literature (two volumes), and Modern Poetry: An Anthology with Contexts, among others. He is currently working on two new books of poems and a critical book titled The Poetics of the Machine Age: William Carlos Williams and Technological Modernism. Born in Middletown, Connecticut, and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, Barnstone lived for years in Greece, Spain, Kenya and China before taking his Masters in English and Creative Writing and Ph.D. in English Literature at UC Berkeley.
Mairéad Byrne immigrated to the United States from Ireland in 1994 for reasons of poetry. Her collection NELSON & THE HURUBURU BIRD was published in 2003 by Wild Honey Press. Recent and upcoming publications include two chapbooks, AN EDUCATED HEART (Palm Press 2005) and VIVAS (Wild Honey Press 2005), and poems in 5 AM, CONDUIT, DENVER QUARTERLY, and VOLT. She is the author of two plays, two books of interviews with Irish artists, a short book on James Joyce, and a lot of journalism in Ireland and the United States. She earned a PhD in Theory & Cultural Studies from Purdue University in 2001 and lives with her two daughters in Providence, Rhode Island, where she teaches poetry at Rhode Island School of Design.
Ann Fisher-Wirth teaches poetry workshops and seminars, and courses in environmental literature, at the University of Mississippi. She also teaches yoga. She has been a senior Fulbright lecturer at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and has held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at Uppsala University, Sweden. Her academic publications include a book, William Carlos Williams and Autobiography: The Woods of His Own Nature, and numerous articles on American writers. Ann is the author of Blue Window (Archer Books, 2003) and The Trinket Poems, which was runner-up in the 2003 Quentin R. Howard Poetry Chapbook Competition and is published by Wind. A new book of poems, Five Terraces, will appear from Wind Publications in September 2005. She won a 2003 Malahat Review Long Poem Prize for "Olaus Magnus, Carta Marina," the first section of a book-length poem "Carta Marina." She also won the 2004 Rita Dove Poetry Award from the Salem College Center for Women Writers for a poem called "Rain"; a poem called "October" was a Finalist in the same contest. In 2004 she received the Poetry Award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and a Poetry Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission. Her chapbook, "Walking Wu Wei's Scroll Le Grand Fleuve perte de vue," received Honorable Mention in the 2005 Center for Book Arts contest. She has been featured online in Poetry Magazine, Forpoetry, Gloria Mundi, and Verse Daily and was awarded residencies at The Mesa Refuge and Djerassi, both in California.
Naomi Guttman was born and raised in Montreal, Canada where her book, Reasons for Winter, (Brick Books, 1991), won the A.M. Klein Award for Poetry and was short listed for The League of Canadian Poets' Pat Lowther Memorial Award. She has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts (2000) and the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts (2002) as well as an Artist's Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts (2001). Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Southern Poetry Review, Connecticut Review, The Marlboro Review, The Malahat Review, The Emily Dickinson Awards Anthology, Rattapallax, River Styx, and Sad Little Breathings & Other Acts of Ventriloquism, edited by Heather McHugh (PublishingOnline, 2001). She teaches English and creative writing at Hamilton College in central New York.
Victoria Edwards Tester has taught English in Peru, worked as a journalist in Egypt and as a photographer at the Mexico-U.S. border. She studied literature, creative writing and art history at the University of Houston, where she was a fervent activist against the Gulf War, and was also a border rights activist who collected and translated border crossing stories. She abandoned her doctoral studies in 1994 to live a more reclusive life in the mountains of New Mexico. Her book Miracles of Sainted Earth (University of New Mexico Press) won the 2003 WILLA Literary Award in Poetry, an award given to those books that, in the spirit of Willa Cather, best portray the lives of women in the Southwest. She is also the author of a memoir Dying in the City of Flowers (Five Star Press), which recounts her harrowing search for her young child in Peru. Now she has recently written, at the request of a Hollywood director, a screenplay whose haunting story is set at the Mexico-U.S. border. At present she is grateful to be at work finishing two long projects: a book of stories told in the voices of fifteen women of historical New Mexico, and a film about the Irish Famine, which will be translated into Irish Gaelic. She sometimes teaches creative writing, independently, or through the Extended University Program at Western New Mexico University.
Kimberly Kobyl Williams teaches English at San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico. She was recently awarded the San Juan College Foundation Distinguished Chair in Literacy, which has allowed her to begin an exciting three-year poetry project bringing writers and writing workshops to the Four Corners region. In 2002, she received an NEH grant to travel through Central America and Mexico writing poetry and studying the relationship between writing and place. In 1996, she fled to Ecuador, escaping a Ph.D. program in literature. There, her love affair with Latin America blossomed. In the middle 1990s she studied with Robert Wallace and was selected the Case Reserve Review poetry prize-winner in 1995. Wayne State University Press encouraged her nascent attempts with poetry in 1988 with the publication of Pale Bones and Light, a chapbook of poetry. Kimberly’s passion for traveling and writing has spread to her students; this summer they traveled through Central Europe together for a course on writing and place. She has also traveled with students to Nicaragua for a service learning project in the Jalapa Valley. October 2005 will find her in Puebla, Mexico presenting a portion of her current writing project, translating poems by Guatemalan poet Maya Cu.