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Headline Readers, Friday April 12

7 PM - 8:30 PM, Courtyard Reading Room, Dimond Library
Diannely Antigua

Diannely Antigua

Poet Laurate of Portsmouth

Diannely Antigua is a Dominican American poet and educator, born and raised in Massachusetts. Her debut collection Ugly Music (YesYes Books, 2019) was the winner of the Pamet River Prize and a 2020 Whiting Award. Her second poetry collection is forthcoming with Copper Canyon Press in 2024.

Diannely received her B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts Lowell where she won the Jack Kerouac Creative Writing Scholarship; and received her MFA at NYU where she was awarded a Global Research Initiative Fellowship to Florence, Italy. She is the recipient of additional fellowships from CantoMundo, Community of Writers, Fine Arts Work Center Summer Program, and was a finalist for the 2021 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and chosen for the Best of the Net Anthology.

Her poems can be found in Poem-a-Day, Poetry Magazine, The American Poetry Review, Washington Square Review, The Adroit Journal, and elsewhere. She hosts the podcast Bread & Poetry and is currently the Poet Laureate of Portsmouth, NH, the youngest and first person of color to receive that title.

Check out our Headliner Spotlight for Diannely Antigua!

Mckendy Fils-Aime

Mckendy Fils-Aimé is a Haitian-American poet and educator. He is a nine-time veteran and perennial semi-finalist of the National Poetry Slam, where has represented venues from Boston, MA, Worcester, MA, and Manchester, NH. Mckendy is a former artist in residence for MassLEAP as well as the Art Alliance of Northern New Hampshire. He is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow whose work has appeared in The Shore, Boxcar Poetry Review, The Journal, Callaloo, Acentos Review, and elsewhere.

Check out our Headliner Spotlight for Mckendy Fils-Aime!

Nathan McClain

Nathan McClain (he/him) is the author of two collections of poetry: Previously Owned (Four Way Books, 2022), longlisted for the Massachusetts Book Award, and Scale (Four Way Books, 2017). He is a recipient of fellowships from The Frost Place, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and is a Cave Canem fellow. He earned an MFA from Warren Wilson College. His poems and prose have appeared in The Hopkins Review, Plume Poetry 10, Guesthouse, Poetry Northwest, and Zócalo Public Square, among others. He teaches at Hampshire College and serves as poetry editor of the Massachusetts Review.

Check out our Headliner Spotlight for Nathan McClain!

The 2024 New Hampshire Teen Poetry Prize Winners

Clockwise from upper left: Leonardo Chung, Pearl Hoekstra-Toste, and Pranavi Vedula

Leonardo Chung is a writer from Illinois who has had his works published or is set to be featured in Chautauqua Journal, Superstition Review, Full House Literary, Hyacinth Review, Sheepshead Review, and many others. He takes inspiration from distinguished poets such as Langston Hughes, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Louise Glück.

Pearl Hoekstra-Toste is a junior at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, NH. She loves poetry, music, and theatre. After high school she wants to be an astrophysicist.

Pranavi Vedula hails from Brentwood, NH and is a junior at Phillips Exeter Academy. An aspiring linguist and novelist, she can be found exploring the beauty of language, jotting down poems, or watching French crime flicks.

MainStage Readers, Saturday April 13

10 AM - 5 PM, Hamilton Smith Hall

Quintin Collins

Quintin Collins (he/him) is a writer, assistant director of the Solstice Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program, and a poetry editor for Salamander. His work appears in many print and online publications, such as Sidereal Magazine, Superstition Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Solstice Literary Magazine, and others. Winner of a Pushcart Prize and the 2019 Atlantis Award from the Poet's Billow, Quintin's publishing accolades include multiple Best of the Net Nominations, and he was a finalist for the 2020 Redivider Beacon Street Prize.

Quintin's first full-length collection of poems, The Dandelion Speaks of Survival, which was a finalist for the 2020 Alice James Award and the 2021 Sheila Margaret Motton Book Prize, is available from Cherry Castle Publishing. His second collection of poems, Claim Tickets for Stolen People, selected by Marcus Jackson as winner of The Journal's 2020 Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize and Honor Book for the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s 2023 Best Poetry Literary Award, is available from Ohio State University Press/Mad Creek Books.

Gregory Glenn

Gregory Glenn is a writer and performer based in Massachusetts. His work can be found in Soundings East, Drunk Monkeys, Poetry Soup, Molecule Tiny Lit, Hard Work of Hope, and he is one of five poets featured in the anthology 9x5 (2022, Only Human Press). He has most recently featured on WGBH’s Outspoken Saturdays, Mass Poetry’s U35, Night Light Poetry, Speak Up!, and Performance Anxiety. He has been or will be a guest on the podcasts, Poems and Whiskey, and Wrestling with Poetry. Hyperfixations include: Springtime, theme parks, pro wrestling, cats, consumerism, and world peace.

Jill McDonough

Jill McDonough’s books of poems include Habeas Corpus (Salt, 2008), Where You Live (Salt, 2012),  Reaper (Alice James, 2017). and Here All Night (Alice James, 2019). The recipient of three Pushcart prizes and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center, the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and Stanford’s Stegner program, she taught incarcerated college students through Boston University’s Prison Education Program for thirteen years. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Slate, The Nation, The Threepenny Review, and Best American Poetry. She teaches in the MFA program at UMass-Boston and offers College Reading and Writing in Boston jails. Her sixth poetry collection, American Treasure, is forthcoming from Alice James Books.

Meghan Miraglia

Meghan Miraglia is a poet, editor, essayist and educator. She’s a Gen-Z Pisces Sun, a Libra Moon, and Sagittarius Rising (which probably explains why she’s so dramatic). When she’s not consuming entire cases of Diet Coke and rewatching Little Women (2019) for the billionth time, you can find her in the woods, feeding birds and looking for really crunchy leaves (and if she’s not in the woods, check the nearest bookstore). Her poetry appears in The Santa Clara Review, The Broadkill Review, and others.

Amanda Shea

Amanda Shea is a renowned spoken word and multidisciplinary artist, educator, performer, artivist, publicist, and mother. She's hosted BAMSFest and countless poetry events; she facilitates youth workshops for spoken word poetry, visual arts, and public speaking; she is a publicist for hip hop artist Brandie Blaze; she has managed and supported countless other artists in Boston. In 2021, she was named among WBUR The ARTery's 25 artists of color transforming the cultural landscape. Shea co-founded and curated six iterations of Activating ARTivism, a community festival to amplify POC through art, activism, and resistance. This event has featured artists from Boston, Brockton, Chicago, Virginia, D.C., and more. Importantly, it has raised awareness and provided support for local nonprofits like Mission Safe, The New England Innocence Project, Trans Resistance MA, The Simple Good (Chicago), and the LDB Peace Institute. In December 2022, Shea won the inaugural category for Spoken Word Artist of the Year at the Boston Music Awards. Shea was featured in January on GBH News for the “Embrace; Boston” unveiling ceremony. Shea is the curator of GBH's “Outspoken Saturdays” a platform for poets across New England, where 8 poets perform each month while recording live at the Copley Library, NewsCafe. Shea was a featured artist for 2022 Thought Artist for SOLSTICE: Reflections on Winter Light at Mount Auburn Cemetery. Her work can be found in the Museum of Fine Arts, The Boston Globe, TEDX, TEDXRoxbury, Netflix, Prime Video, BBC News, and much more. Shea will be releasing her first EP, titled “GOD, Again in November 2023. Shea will release her first book, “Pieces of Shea” in the Winter of 2024. Amanda's work examines her personal life experiences, social justice issues, and healing through trauma utilizing art as the tool.

Tom Snarsky

Tom Snarsky is a math teacher who writes poems. He is a former Robert Noyce Teaching Fellow at Tufts University and a Senior Fellow at the Knowles Teacher Initiative. He is the author of two books forthcoming from Broken Sleep in 2022: Speaking Roles, a collection of poetry interviews, and Complete Sentences, a pamphlet of poems about teaching. He is also the author of the chapbook Threshold, published in 2018 by Another New Calligraphy. In addition to his work in print, several of Tom's chapbooks and pamphlets can be found online as free.pdfs: Number Among (Epigraph), WEAKEN (The Argotist Online), 21 small poems (Binbag Press), minimal sonnets with Jo Ianni (Ghost City Press), the pamphlet Two Songs (Fathomsun Press), the self-published Two Notebook Poems, and With Sorrow as My Window and Forgiveness as My Shield, one of the winners of the Boston Uncommon Chapbook Contest at Boston Accent Lit. Along with Kristin Garth he is the co-organizer of Performance Anxiety, a monthly online poetry reading series. He teaches at Lightridge High School in Aldie, Virginia and lives in Bluemont with his wife Kristi.

A Tribute to American Journalist James Foley, Saturday April 13

4 PM - 5:30 PM, Courtyard Reading Room, Dimond Library

Daniel Brock Johnson

Daniel Brock Johnson is the author of Shadow Act: an Elegy for Journalist James Foley, out from McSweeney’s in August 2023. Previously, Johnson published How to Catch a Falling Knife with Alice James Books. In 2019, the City of Boston commissioned Johnson to draft lines of poetry for the twin memorials commemorating the Boston Marathon bombings. Johnson’s poetry has been featured in outlets such as National Public Radio, PBS News Hour, The Washington Post, and in a variety of publications including Best American Poetry, Tin House, and I Have My Own Song for It: Modern Poems of Ohio. Johnson has received awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Poetry Center of Chicago, Foreword Book Awards, and elsewhere. For nearly a decade, Johnson served as the founding executive director of 826 Boston. Currently, he works as the executive director of Mass Poetry. Learn more about his work at danielbrockjohnson.com.

Daniel Brock Johnson's work and relationship with James Foley is our Headliner Spotlight for Diane Foley. 

Diane Foley

Diane Foley founded the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation to advocate for freedom for innocent Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad and for journalist safety. Foley has raised awareness about international hostage taking through her government advocacy, the documentary, Jim: the James Foley Story, and opinion pieces in The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, Dr. John W. Foley, and is the mother of four other children and seven grandchildren. Diane received her undergraduate and Masters in Nursing from UNH.

Check out our Headliner Spotlight for Diane Foley!

Dr. Ebele Okpokwasili-Johnson

Dr. Ebele Okpokwasili-Johnson, a soprano for the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, is also a Child & Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrist and Medical Director of the Behavioral Health Department at Boston’s South End Community Health Center. An alumna of the Freehold Regional Performing Arts Center in Howell High School, Ebele attended Columbia University for college where she appeared in a number of plays and wrote and directed an original play titled “The Quest.” Ebele later attended the University of Illinois, where she earned her Medical Degree and Master’s of Public Health. Ebele currently studies voice with Robert Honeysucker and has performed for eight years with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus including a U.S. premiere of James MacMillan’s “St. John Passion” with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She credits James Foley for introducing her to her husband Daniel and misses James dearly. Ebele lives in the Boston area with Daniel and their two children.

Special Performance: Adobo-Fish-Sauce, Saturday April 13

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM, location TBA


A Puerto Rican and a Cambodian walk into a kitchen. The kitchen is your heart. The food is made with food. The food is sometimes poems. Either way you are fed. 

Adobo-Fish-Sauce is an active choice to celebrate in the face of bitterness. It is responding to “Go back to where you come from!” by bringing where they are from right to you. The duo fuses spoken word, cooking, intentionality, vulnerability, and joy to create a one of a kind experience that can’t be found in any kitchen or open mic.

Headline Readers, Saturday April 13

7 PM - 8:30 PM, Courtyard Reading Room, Dimond Library

Kweku Abimbola

2024 Nossrat Yassini Poetry Prize Winner

Born in the Gambia, Kweku Abimbola earned his MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. He is of Gambian, Ghanaian, Sierra Leonean, and Nigerian descent.

Abimbola’s first full-length poetry collection, Saltwater Demands a Psalm, was published by Graywolf Press in April of 2023. The début collection received the First Book Award from the Academy of American Poets in 2022. Abimbola is a finalist for the 2021 Brunel International African Poetry Prize and the second-place winner of the Furious Flower 2020 poetry contest. He has work published and forthcoming in Shade Literary Arts, 20.35 Africa, The Common, Obsidian, SUNU Journal, and elsewhere.

Abimbola’s writing primarily investigates colonization, Black mourning, Black boyhood, gender politics, and the spiritual consequences of climate change in West Africa. 

He lives in Detroit and works as a teaching artist for the literary nonprofit Inside Out Literary Arts, where he holds workshops in poetry and creative writing for middle school students in Detroit Public Schools. He also lectures in English and Creative Writing at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Camille Dungy

Camille Dungy

Winner of the American Book Award

Camille T. Dungy is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017), winner of the Colorado Book Award. She is also the author of the essay collections Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden (Simon & Schuster, 2023) and Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood and History (W.W. Norton, 2017), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Dungy has also edited anthologies including Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry and From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great. A 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, her honors include NEA Fellowships in poetry (2003) and prose (2018), an American Book Award, two NAACP Image Award nominations, and two Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominations. Dungy’s poems have been published in Best American PoetryThe 100 Best African American Poems, the Pushcart AnthologyBest American Travel Writing, and over thirty other anthologies. She is University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University.

Check out our Headliner Spotlight for Camille Dungy!

Kevin McLellan

2024 Granite State Poetry Prize Winner

Kevin McLellan is the author of: in other words you (2022 Hilary Tham Capital Collection winner selected by Timothy Liu); Ornitheology (Massachusetts Book Awards recipient); Tributary; and Round Trip. Kevin's book objects, Hemispheres and box, reside in special collections including the Blue Star Collection at Harvard University. Kevin's video Dick won Best Short Form Short at the LGBTQ Los Angeles Film Festival and it also appeared at the Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival, Berlin Short Film Festival, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and others.

New Hampshire Poet Laureate

Alexandria Peary

New Hampshire Poet Laureate

Alexandria Peary was appointed by the Executive Council as New Hampshire Poet Laureate on October 23 2019, to serve until March 2024. The state's poet laureate serves as an ambassador for all poets in New Hampshire and works to heighten the visibility and value of poetry in the state.

Alexandria holds an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, a second MFA in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a PhD in English/Composition from the University of New Hampshire.

Alexandria is the author of nine books, including five books of poetry and two books on the teaching of writing: Fall Foliage Called Bathers & Dancers (2008); Lid to the Shadow (2011); Control Bird Alt Delete (2014); Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century, with Tom C. Hunley (2015); Prolific Moment: Theory and Practice of Mindfulness for Writing (2018); The Water Draft (2019); COVID Spring: Granite State Pandemic Poems (2020);  COVID Spring: More Granite State Pandemic Poems (2021); and Battle of Silicon Valley at Daybreak (2022). Her poetry has appeared in the Yale Review, Gettysburg Review, New American Writing, Painted Bride Quarterly, Barrow Street, Denver Quarterly, New England Review, Bombay Gin, and the North American Review

Headline Readers, Sunday April 14

12 PM - 1:30 PM, Courtyard Reading Room, Dimond Library

Bianca Stone

Bianca Stone is the author of the poetry collections What is Otherwise Infinite (Tin House, 2022) winner of the 2022 Vermont Book Award; The Möbius Strip Club of Grief (Tin House, 2018), Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Octopus Books and Tin House, 2014) and collaborated with Anne Carson on the illuminated edition of Antigonick. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, and elsewhere. She teaches classes on poetry and poetic study at the Ruth Stone House, where she is host of Ode & Psyche Podcast, exploring poetry, mytho-poetics and consciousness.

Myles Taylor

Myles Taylor is a transmasculine poet, organizer, award-winning poetry slam competitor, food service worker, Emerson College alum, Capricorn-Aquarius cusp, and glitter enthusiast. They are currently the producer of the Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge.Their first full-length collection, Masculinity Parable, is now out with Game Over Books.

The 2024 Wildcats Poetry Prize Winners

Clockwise from upper left: Dan Harrison, Caleb Jagoda, Virginia Schoff, and Julia Roch

Dan Harrison loves books, mountains, and music. He writes poetry and fiction, and his work has been published in a handful of places.

Caleb Jagoda is a poet and journalist currently enrolled in UNH's MFA program. He was assistant editor at New Hampshire Magazine, has reported for America’s Test Kitchen’s Proof podcast, Down East Magazine, and Beer & Weed Magazine, and has published poetry in Polaris Literary Magazine and Write on the DOT. When he's not holding court at a dimly lit watering hole or embracing his youth, you can find him out on the town, digging the scene.

Virginia Schoff is a Portsmouth, New Hampshire native studying political science. She loves spending time with her dog, Culai Dubh, reading fantasy novels, and following the Premier League.

Julia Roch is in her final year of the MFA Poetry program at UNH. In her writing, Julia draws inspiration from the places she's lived, including New Hampshire, New York, and The Netherlands. Her work has appeared in Cutthroat, a Journal of the Arts; Mantis; Oberon; and others.