2019 Spotlight Readers
Tiana Clark is the author of the debut poetry collection, I Can't Talk About the Trees Without the Blood (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018), winner of the 2017 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, and Equilibrium (Bull City Press, 2016), selected by Afaa Michael Weaver for the 2016 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. Clark is a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow and a recipient of a 2019 Pushcart Prize, as well as a winner of the 2017 Furious Flower's Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize and 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize. She was the 2017-2018 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. Clark is the recipient of scholarships and fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Sewanee Writers' Conference, and Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University (M.F.A) and Tennessee State University (B.A.) where she studied Africana and Women's studies. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, Callaloo, Kenyon Review, VQR, BuzzFeed News, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Oxford American, Best New Poets 2015, and elsewhere.
Sean Thomas Dougherty was born in New York City and grew up in Brooklyn, Ohio, and New Hampshire. Dorianne Laux has called him "the gypsy punk heart of American poetry." He is the author or editor of 17 books including the forthcoming All My People are Elegies and Alongside We Travel: Contemporary Poets on Autism both from NYQ Books, as well as The Second O of Sorrow and All You Ask for is Longing: Poems 1994-2014 both published by BOA Editions. His awards include the Twin Cities College Association Poet in Residence; a US Fulbright Lectureship to the Balkans; two Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowships in Poetry; and an appearance in Best American Poetry. He works as a care giver and Med Tech and lives with the poet Lisa M. Dougherty and their two daughters along Lake Erie. More info on Sean can be found at seanthomasdoughertypoet.com.
Richie Hofmann is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and the Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and his poems appear in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The New York Times Style Magazine, and other magazines. His debut collection, Second Empire (Alice James Books, 2015), won the Beatrice Hawley Award. He is currently a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University.
Adrian Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a graduate of Indiana University and the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is the author of The Devil's Garden (Alice James Books, 2003) which won the New York / New England Award and Mixology (Penguin, 2009), a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series. Mixology was also a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature. His third collection, The Big Smoke (Penguin, 2013), focuses on Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion of the world. The Big Smoke was awarded the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was also a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and 2014 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His most recent book, Map to the Stars, was published by Penguin in 2017. Among Matejka's other honors are the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, the Julia Peterkin Award, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Bellagio Center, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and a Simon Fellowship from United States Artists. He teaches at Indiana University in Bloomington and is Poet Laureate of Indiana.