Nine Poets for National Poetry Month at Artisan Gallery 218

Join eight nationally renowed Iowa poets for a celebration of National Poetry Month! The author's books will be for sale.

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.

Paul Brooke is a Professor of English at Grand View University, where he teaches Advanced Creative Writing, Creative Photography, Introduction to Creative Writing, Interpretation of Literature, Contemporary Literature, Environmental Literature, Major Authors, and Literary Theory. His full-length collection, Light and Matter: Photographs and Poems of Iowa, was published by Campbell & Lewis Publishers in 2008. Meditations on Egrets: Photographs and Poems of Sanibel Island was published 2010 and Sirens and Seriemas: Photographs and Poems of the Amazon and Brazil was published in 2015.

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.

Jennifer L. Knox is the author of four books of poems. Her work has appeared four times in The Best American Poetry series as well as in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and American Poetry Review. "The Los Angeles Book Review" said of her most recent book, Days of Shame & Failure, "This panopoly of twenty-first century American human experience leaves the reader a different person." She is the curator of the Iowa Bird of Mouth project and teaches at Iowa State University.

Amy Letter is a writer and artist whose work has appeared in journals including Quarterly West, Puerto del Sol, and PANK, as well as gallery spaces like the Jaffe Center for Book Arts and the 18 Rabbit Gallery. Recent publications include “Sound Space,” in Louisiana Literature, and “The Lighted Globes” in the GIGANTIC anthology of science flash fiction; as well as a chapter on the digital-creative classroom in Creative Writing in the Digital Age. She presented in the 2014 AWP panel Brave New Media, is an alumna of the 2013 in(ter)ventions literary program at the Banff Centre, and was Artist-in-Residence at the Media Archaeology Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder, November 2014. Amy Letter is the Digital / Electronic / New Media Literature editor at The Rumpus. She earned her MFA in creative writing at the University of Arkansas and teaches Fiction and New Media at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. More at

Kyle McCord is the author of six books of poetry including Magpies in the Valley of Oleanders (Trio House Press 2016) and Gentle, World, Gentler (Forthcoming from Ampersand 2017). His third book was selected as one of five books of the year by the Poetry Foundation blog. He has work featured in AGNI, Blackbird, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Michigan Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly and elsewhere. He holds a degree for an MFA from University of Massachusetts-Amherst and an Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. He teaches in Des Moines, Iowa.

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.

Hai-Dang Phan is a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Creative Writing. His poems have been published in The New Yorker, Poetry, Best American Poetry 2016, jubilat, Prelude, New England Review, and elsewhere. His work has received support from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the American Literary Translators Association, and Grinnell College, where he is currently an assistant professor of English. The author of the chapbook Small Wars (Convulsive Editions, 2016), he is at work on his first collection of poetry.

Brian Spears is the Poetry Editor of The Rumpus, as well as a published poet. His first book, A Witness in Exile, is available from Louisiana Literature Press. He currently lives in Des Moines, where he teaches Creative Writing and Multicultural Literature at Drake University.