The Des Moines event will be held at Beaverdale Books located at 2629 Beaver Ave. from 1-4 p.m. on January 15, 2016. Writers will read from a selection of diverse writers’ voices that speak to the ideals of Democracy, compassion, and free expression. The event is free, and the public is encouraged to attend. Readers and speakers include:
Ned Balbo is the recipient of a 2017 Literature in Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His third book, The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems (Story Line Press), received the Donald Justice Prize and the Poets' Prize. His newest book is Upcycling Paumanok (Measure Press) & you can find new poems at New Criterion, First Things, Ecotone, and elsewhere. He teaches in ISU's MFA program in creative writing & environment.
Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs is a member of the Des Moines Catholic Worker community and works at Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. His first book, Score for a burning bridge, was recently published by Upper Rubber Boot Books (Floodgate Poetry Series, Vol. 2)
Evan Burger is an organizer and writer based in Slater. In addition to organizing with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and the Democratic Socialists of America, he's written for publications including Jacobin, The Iowa Informer, and the Journal of Critical Theory and Praxis.
Ryan Collins lives in Rock Island and couldn't make it, but you should know him anyway because he's the author of A New American Field Guide & Song Book (H_NGM_N Books, 2015). His poems have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine; Asymptote; DIAGRAM; Forklift, Ohio; Handsome; Ninth Letter; PEN Poetry Series, and other places. He hosts the SPECTRA Poetry Reading Series in Rock Island, IL.
Jim Danger Coppoc makes his living through a murky-but-evolving mix of poetry, pedagogy, parenting and music. Not necessarily in that order. Favorite current gigs include singing in Disappearing Songs Project, running sound for local burlesque shows, and teaching American Indian Studies at ISU.
Heather Derr-Smith is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has three books of poetry, Each End of the World (Main Street Rag Press, 2005), The Bride Minaret (University of Akron Press, 2008) and Tongue Screw (Spark Wheel Press, 2016). Her fourth book, Thrust, just won the Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor's Choice Prize and will be published with Persea Books in Fall 2017.
John Domini has three novels and three books of stories, the latest MOVIEOLA!, on Dzanc. He also writes essays and criticism, with work in Washington Post and elsewhere. He has taught at Harvard and elsewhere.
Marc Dickinson's work has appeared in the Shenandoah, North American Review, Greensboro Review as well as other journals. He currently teaches at Des Moines Area Community College and organizes the Celebration of Literary Arts, an annual reading series featuring both national and local writers.
Maddie Johnson is a senior at Theodore Roosevelt High School (Des Moines) and a member of Movement 515, an urban arts community where, twice a week, students and mentors come together to create spoken word poetry. Attempting to slow down the world and investigate themselves, they work toward becoming change agents, shedding light on the impact human emotion and connection brings to the global community.
Jalesha Johnson is a senior at East High School (Des Moines) and also a member of Movement 515.
Meg Johnson is the author of the poetry collections, Inappropriate Sleepover, published by The National Poetry Review Press, and The Crimes of Clara Turlington, published by Vine Leaves Press. Her nonfiction has appeared in BUST, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project, and Bustle. She is the editor of Dressing Room Poetry Journal and received her MFA in creative writing from the NEOMFA Program.
Matty Layne is a MFA Candidate in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University where he teaches social justice rhetorics & serves as the Poetry Editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment. His queer little ditties have appeared in Rust + Moth, The New Verse News, Flyway, HIV Here & Now, & elsewhere.
Yasmina Madden has published short stories, flash fiction, and nonfiction in The Masters Review: New Voices, The Idaho Review, Word Riot, Fiction Southeast, Hobart, Carve, and other journals. She teaches writing and literature at Drake University.
Ebonesiah Morrow is an experimental writer who describes herself as a poet who loves to tell stories. With her literature, she strives to be a voice for those who are devoiced by society. During her years at ISU, her goal is to break the boundaries of the traditional novel, developing experimental works that highlight a variety of writing forms.
Akwi Nji is a spoken word artist and Founder/Executive Director of The Hook, an 2016 Artist Fellow through the Iowa Arts Council; producer of The NewBo PoJam with SPT Theatre, the largest performance poetry and storytelling event in the Creative Corridor; producer of The Hook's Drop the Mic, ArtLOUD!, #WeAre, and The Living Room Series; and was recently named one of the Corridor Business Journal's Forty Under 40.
Steve Rose, a recently retired Simpson College professor, has been published in numerous publications including The Midwestern Review The Journal of Medical Literature, Dime Bag of Poetry, and has placed five times in the Lyrical Iowa’s “adult general” category. He published a book of poetry entitled Hard Papas in 2014, is currently working on a historical novel about school marms in 19th century Iowa.
Jane Satterfield's fourth book, Apocalypse Mix, was selected by David St. John for the 2017 Autumn House Poetry Prize and is now available. She is the recipient of awards in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bellingham Review, Ledbury Poetry Festival, and more; she is the co-editor of Borderlands & Crossroads: Writing the Motherland, a multi genre anthology on Canada's Demeter Press, and the author of Daughters of Empire: a memoir of a year in Britain and beyond, also on Demeter. She teaches at Loyola University Maryland, in Baltimore.
Brian Spears is the author of A Witness in Exile and is Poetry Editor of The Rumpus.
Elizabeth Blue wrote the book Whale in the Woods and most recently has been collaborating on a poetry & art divination project with the artist Aleta Lanier called Protovisions. Among other things, she is the mother of Finnegan, dog-mom of Abe the dog, and preschool teacher at Prairie Flower Children's Center in Ames.