30/30 Project: Contributor Bios

September 2020 30/30 Poets:

Louise Akers

Louise Akers is a poet living in Queens, NY. They earned their MFA from Brown University in May of 2018, and received the Keith and Rosemarie Waldrop Prize for Innovative Writing in 2017 and the Confrontation Poetry Prize in 2019. Louise’s work can be found in the Berkeley Poetry Review, MIDTERM, Bat City Review, Fugue Journal, Confrontation Magazine, bæst, and elsewhere.

Kris Bigalk

Kris Bigalk (pronounced BEE-yahk) is a writer and professor based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her second collection of poetry, Enough, was released in the fall of 2019 from NYQ Books; her first collection, Repeat the Flesh in Numbers, was released in 2012 from NYQ Books. Bigalk has published poetry in many literary magazines and anthologies, and also regularly publishes creative nonfiction and reviews. She has won two Minnesota State Arts Board Individual Artist grants in poetry. Kris founded and now directs the groundbreaking AFA in Creative Writing program at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota. She was awarded a campus nomination for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees Excellence in Teaching award for her work with that program. She now serves as the Midwest Council Chair and Secretary of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Board of Trustees and serves on the board of Rain Taxi Review of Books.

Lucia Galloway

Lucia Galloway is the author of poetry collections Some Words for Meanwhile (2019) and Venus and Otther Losses (2010).  Her two chapbooks are Playing Outside (2005) and The Garlic Peelers (2015), winner of the 2014 QuillsEdge Press “On the Edge” Competition.  Her poems have received Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations and won top honors in the Rhyme Zone poem competition.

Other honors include prizes from Artists Embassy International  and The Bread Loaf School of English, as well as Honorable Mention from Mid-American Review’s Fineline Competion, the Able Muse Book Award, and the McGuffin National Poet Hunt.

Lucia has her MFA in Poetry from Antioch University Los Angeles and an M.A. in English Literature from UC Berkley. Recent work appears in Nimrod, Mid-American Review, Tar River Poetry, New Verse News, The Sow’s Ear, and Moria.

She lives in Claremont, California, where she co-hosts the esteemed reading series, Fourth Sundays, Poetry at the Claremont Library.

DJ Hill

DJ Hill is a poet and mixed media artist. Her work has appeared in Maple Grove, Route 66, Southwest Metro, St. Croix Valley, St. Louis Park, and White Bear Lake Magazines; The Atrium, Daily Sentinel, Red Bird Chapbooks Weekly Read, and The Rumpus; the anthologies A View from Here: Poetry to Help You Soar, Worcestershire Poet Laureate Remembrance Anthology, and JOMP21’s Dear Mr. President. Her poem “Harry” appears in the first edition of Gone Dogs.

Her collage and mixed media art have been included in exhibits at the R2 Gallery, Red Brick Center for the Arts, and Loveland Museum where it was awarded the ‘Spirit of the Suffragists’ prize at Women and the Vote: A Centennial Celebration.

Homespun Mercies, her first collection of poetry, won the IBPA Benjamin Franklin and CIPA EVVY Awards, was a silver medalist in the Nautilus and IPBA Book Awards, and a finalist in the 2019 International Book Awards. DJ lives and creates in Colorado.

Raki Kopernik

Raki is a queer, Jewish fiction and poetry writer. She is the author of The Things You Left (Unsolicited Press 2020), The Memory House (The Muriel Press 2019) a finalist for both the Red Hen Press Nonfiction Award and the 2020 Minnesota Book Award, and The Other Body (Dancing Girl Press 2017). Her work has appeared in numerous publications and has been nominated for several other awards, including the Pushcart Prize for fiction. She lives in Minneapolis. You can find her here: https://rakikopernik.wixsite.com/mysite and follow on Instagram @rakikopernik

Michelle Lesifko-Bremer

Michelle Lesifko-Bremer is entering her third year as an MFA candidate in Poetry at the University of Florida. She completed her BA in Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to writing poetry, Michelle enjoys teaching poetry workshops, composition courses, and professional communication at UF. In recent summers, she has also taught reading classes to kids with the Institute of Reading Development. She co-founded a nano-theatre company called Birch Swinger Ensemble with her husband, Jeremy, with whom she also performs improv comedy.

Kindra McDonald

Kindra McDonald is the author of the books Fossils and In the Meat Years, (both in 2019) and the chapbooks Elements and Briars (2016) and Concealed Weapons, (2015). She received her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She is an Adjunct Professor of Writing and teaches poetry at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, VA. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for Bettering American Poetry. She lives in the city of mermaids with her husband and cats where she bakes, hikes, and changes hobbies monthly.

Doug Van Gundy

Doug Van Gundy directs the low-residency MFA program at West Virginia Wesleyan College. His poems, essays and reviews have appeared in many national and international publications, including Poetry, The Guardian, and The Oxford American. He is co-editor of the anthology Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Contemporary Writing from West Virginia and author of a collection of poems, A Life Above Water, published by Red Hen Press.

Doug is also a master traditional fiddler, and plays fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and harmonica in the old-time string duo, Born Old.

Liza Wolff-Francis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee and continues on the organizing committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and on the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam team. Her writing has been widely anthologized and her work has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Evening Street Review, SLAB (2021), Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, We’Moon, Earth’s Daughters, Poetry Pacific, Edge. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (Swimming with Elephant Publications, 2015) and she blogs to support mental health through writing at Writeyourbutterfly.com.

August 2020 30/30 Poets:

Daisy Bassen

Daisy Bassen is a poet and practicing physician who graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University’s Creative Writing Program and completed her medical training at The University of Rochester and Brown. Her work has been published in Oberon, The Delmarva Review, The Sow’s Ear, and [PANK] as well as multiple other journals. She was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry and the winner of the So to Speak 2019 Poetry Contest and the 2019 ILDS White Mice Contest. She was doubly nominated for the 2019 Best of the Net Anthology and for a 2019 Pushcart Prize. She lives in Rhode Island with her family.  

Caitlin Buxbaum

Caitlin M.S. Buxbaum is a poet, teacher and “former” journalist born and raised in Alaska. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary English from University of Alaska Anchorage and a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese Studies and English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Gustavus Adolphus College. In her three years as a reporter, she wrote more than 600 stories for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman newspaper. After that, she taught or substitute taught a variety of subjects at every grade level in 19 different schools, and ESL online through VIPKid. In 2019 she founded Red Sweater Press, and she has published seven books of her own poetry and photography under that imprint. She has had work featured in Alaska Women Speak, Firethorne, Literary Juice and most recently in Rattle’s online “open mic” for their Poets Respond series. She currently serves as the vice president of the Alaska Writers Guild Mat-Su chapter. 

Taiyon Coleman

Taiyon J Coleman is a poet, essayist, and educator.

She is a Cave Canem and VONA fellow, and her writing has appeared in Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam; Riding Shotgun: Women Writing about Their Mothers; The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South edited by Nikky Finney; Blues Vision; How Dare We! Write: A Multicultural Creative Writing Discourse; and What God Is Honored Here: Writing on Miscarriage and Infant Loss by and for Native Women and Women of Color. Taiyon’s critical essay, “Disparate Impacts: Living Just Enough for the City,” appears in the 2016 anthology, A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, edited by Sun Yung Shin. “Mapping Our Potential: a Poem as a Spatial and Temporal Mapping of Human Experience” is her TEDx talk. Her article, “The Risky Business of Engaging Racial Equity in Writing Instruction: A Tragedy in Five Acts,” published in TETYC was awarded the 2017 Mark Reynolds Best Article Award, and her essay “Poems as Maps: An Introduction,” appears in the August 2017 issue of Places Journal. Her articles, “Making the Invisible Visible: A Project at the U Maps Minneapolis’s History with Racial Housing Covenants” and “Sometimes I Feel like Harriet Tubman (fall 2018),” appear in Minnesota Alumni Magazine. Her book, Working toward Racial Equity in First-Year Composition, from the Routledge Research in Higher Education Series was published in 2019.

Taiyon has writing forthcoming in Civility, Free Speech and Academic Freedom in Higher Education: Faculty on the Margins (Routledge); What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be?: Ethics for the Long Game (University of Chicago Press); and the journal Minding Nature.

Taiyon is a 2017 recipient of a McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowship in Creative Prose, and she is one of twelve Minnesota emerging Children’s Writers of Color selected as a recipient of the 2018-2019 Mirrors and Windows Fellowship funded by the Loft Literary Center and the Jerome Foundation. Taiyon is Associate Professor of English and Women’s Studies at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Mary Crockett Hill

Mary Crockett Hill is the author of A Theory of Everything, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye for the Autumn House Prize, and If You Return Home with Food, winner of the Bluestem Poetry Award. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, Boston Review, Poetry Daily, and Best of the Net. In her other life as Mary Crockett, she writes fiction for children–most recently How She Died, How I Lived, from Little Brown Books for Young Readers. Mary teaches creative writing at Roanoke College and edits Roanoke Review.

Cole Depuy

Cole Depuy’s poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in The Penn Review, Ilanot Review, The Maynard, The Paterson Literary Review, and elsewhere. He is a Ph.D. student at SUNY Binghamton, winner of the Negative Capability Press Spring 2020 Poetry Contest, and recipient of the Provost’s Doctoral Summer Fellowship. 

William Erickson

William Erickson is a poet, memoirist, philosopher, reader. His memoirs have been published in LandEscapes Journal, The Phoenix, and Sun Magazine. He was the 2017 First Prize recipient of the Pacific Western Region CCHA Creative Nonfiction Award. William’s poetry is momentary and surreal, leaning in both to a nostalgia for times more innocent and the cynical, ironic world we find ourselves in today. It is natural and uncommon, dark blue, sometimes odd.

Daniel Fitzpatrick 

Daniel Fitzpatrick grew up in New Orleans, LA, studied Philosophy at the University of Dallas, and now lives in Hot Springs, AR, with his wife and two children. His first novel, Only the Lover Sings (En Route Books), was released earlier in 2020, and his new verse translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy is forthcoming. His poems have appeared in various journals

Lee Parpart

Lee Parpart worked as a journalist and film academic before returning to poetry and short fiction in 2015, and simultaneously becoming a full-time editor. Her essays, journalism, poetry, and short fiction have appeared in POVC17 secondsperiodicities: a journal of poetry and poeticsSilver Birch PressVernalGendering the NationNorth of Everything; Masculinity: Bodies, Movies, Cultures; Athena’s Daughters; The Gendered Screen; Short Film Studies; Canadian Journal of Film Studies; The Nancy Drew Anthology and The Globe and Mail, among other publications. She won an emerging writer prize for short fiction in 2016 through Open Book: Ontario, received an honourable mention in Negative Capability Press’s Spring 2020 poetry contest, and won ARC Poetry Magazine’s first Award of Awesomeness in May, 2020. Lee lives in Toronto, where she edits poetry and fiction for Iguana Books.