Featured Poets

Erica DawsonErica Dawson 

Erica Dawson is the author of two collections of poetry: The Small Blades Hurt (Measure Press, 2014) and Big-Eyed Afraid (Waywiser Press, 2007). Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Birmingham Poetry Review, Blackbird, Literary Imagination, Unsplendid, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other journals. Her poems have been featured in several anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2008, 2012, and 2015, American Society: What Poets See; Living in Storms: Contemporary Poetry and the Moods of Manic-Depression; and The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets. She writes a bi-weekly column, Dark and Sinful, for Creative Loafing Tampa. Born and raised in Maryland, Erica holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University, an  MFA from Ohio State University, and a PhD from University of Cincinnati.  She’s taught workshops and seminars at the Florida Arts Coalition’s Other Words Conference, St. Leo University’s Sandhill Writers Retreat, and the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon.  Erica is the Director of The University of Tampa’s Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing, and, at UT, an associate professor of English and Writing.  

Aimee Nezhukumatathil - photo credit Martin BentsenAimee Nezhukumatathil

Aimee Nezhukumatathil was born in Chicago to a Filipina mother and a father from South India. She attended The Ohio State University where she received her B.A. in English and her M.F.A. in poetry and creative non-fiction and was then awarded the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing at UW-Madison. Currently a Professor in The University of Mississippi's MFA program in creative writing, she has also served as the John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at The University of Mississippi, and as Professor of English at State University of New York-Fredonia, where she taught creative writing and environmental literature. She is the author of the forthcoming book of illustrated nature essays, World of Wonder (Milkweed, 2018), and three poetry collections: Lucky Fish (2011); At the Drive-In Volcano (2007), winner of the Balcones Prize; and Miracle Fruit (2003), winner of the Tupelo Press Prize, ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award, the Global Filipino Award and a finalist for The Glasgow Prize and the Asian American Literary Award. Her most recent chapbook is Lace & Pyrite (2014), a collaboration of nature poems with the poet Ross Gay. Other awards include a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pushcart Prize, the Angoff Award from The Literary Review, the Boatwright Prize from Shenandoah, The Richard Hugo Prize from Poetry Northwest, an Associated Writing Programs Intro Award in creative non-fiction, and fellowships to the MacDowell Arts Colony. She is the poetry editor of Orion magazine and her poems have appeared in the Best American Poetry series, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, and Tin House

Ravi Shankar - photo credit Eric K. JohnsonRavi Shankar 

Ravi Shankar is founding editor of Drunken Boat, one of the world’s oldest electronic journals of the arts and teaches for the New York Writers Workshop and at City University of Hong Kong. He has published or edited ten books and chapbooks of poetry, including most recently with Priya Sarukkai Chabria The Autobiography of a Goddess, translations of the 9th century Tamil poet/saint Andal, and What Else Could it Be, which includes collaborations with over two dozen contemporary artists and poets, including Rodger Kamenetz, Mong Lan, Eileen Myles, Quintan Ana Wikswo, Brian Turner and many others. Along with Tina Chang and Nathalie Handal, he edited W.W. Norton’s Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from Asia, the Middle East & Beyond, called “a beautiful achievement for world literature” by Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer. He has won a Pushcart Prize and a Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner, been featured in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Caravan, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, appeared as a commentator on the BBC, the PBS Newshour and NPR, received fellowships from the Blue Mountain Center, the MacDowell Colony, the Corporation of Yaddo, and most recently the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts, and has performed his work around the world.