The 2018 Poetry Contest finalists read in the company of two of the contest's judges.
Born in India and raised in Dubai, Poetry Contest winner Kanak (pronounced Kuh-nuck) Gupta is currently trying her luck in Baltimore, as a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University. She likes reading, writing, and living stories and poetry.
Runner-up Nancy Kang has taught literature at the University of Baltimore since 2012. Her work has appeared in such venues as Canadian Literature, ARIEL, Ricepaper Magazine, Route 2, Ploughshares, and Stone Canoe. Other publications appear in Women's Studies, African American Review, Callaloo, MELUS Journal, Latino Studies, and LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory. Kang is co-author, with Silvio Torres-Saillant, of The Once and Future Muse: The Poetry and Poetics of Rhina P. Espaillat (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018).
Runner-up Rachel E. Hicks’s poetry has appeared in Saint Katherine Review, Welter, Off the Coast, Gulf Stream Magazine, and other journals. She also writes essays and fiction, and works as a freelance copy editor. An associate editor at Del Sol Press, she also served as the 2018 Poetry Out Loud Regional Coordinator for the Maryland State Arts Council. After living in eight countries -- most recently China -- she now resides in Baltimore. Her career has included teaching (high school English and homeschool) and volunteering with an international relief and development agency. Find her online at rachelehicks.com.
Steven Leyva, Little Patuxent Review editor, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and raised in Houston, Texas. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 2 Bridges Review, Fledgling Rag, The Light Ekphrastic, Cobalt Review, and Prairie Schooner. He is a Cave Canem fellow, the winner of the 2012 Cobalt Review Poetry Prize, and author of the chapbook Low Parish. Steven holds an MFA from the University of Baltimore, where he is an assistant professor in the School of Communication Design.
Chelsea Lemon Fetzer, a Little Patuxent Review Poetry Reader, holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA in Fiction from Syracuse University. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in journals such as Callaloo, Tin House, Mississippi Review, and The Minnesota Review. A selection of her poetry received the honor of finalist for the 2015 Venture Award and her debut pamphlet (chapbook) is in the works. Her nonfiction essay “Speck” was published in The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives About Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century, an anthology published by 2Leaf Press in 2017. Committed to bringing the literary arts to communities of all means, Fetzer has led writing workshops through The Create Collective, PEN American Center's "Readers & Writers" Program, the Black Writers Conference at Medgar Evers College, the New York Writers Coalition, The University of Baltimore, and independently. Fetzer currently lives in Baltimore where she is mothering, working on her first novel, and serving on the board of CityLit Project.
Watch a video of Kanak Gupta reading her winning poem, "Death in Dubai."
Read "Yellow Woman" by Nancy Kang.
Read "Chengdu Pastoral" by Rachel E. Hicks.
Read "'I know you're never gonna wake up'" and "Supremacy" by Steven Leyva.
Read "flare" by Chelsea Lemon Fetzer.
Tuesday, August 21 at 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Maryland State Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped (LBPH)
415 Park Ave, Baltimore, MD