The 30/30 Project: Volunteer Poets

Welcome to the 30/30 Project, an extraordinary challenge and fundraiser for Tupelo Press, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) literary press. Each month, volunteer poets run the equivalent of a “poetry marathon,” writing 30 poems in 30 days, while the rest of us “sponsor” and encourage them every step of the way.

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July 2024 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for July are: Shuchi Agrawal, Moriah Cohen, Rj Ingram, Jessica Rigney, Erin Robertson, Adrienne Rozells, Thomas Thomas, Heather White, and Kelly Willbanks.

Shuchi Agrawal recently moved from London to New York, where she works in tech. She is currently an MFA student Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, and has previously studied Literary Arts with honors at Brown University. Her poems have won the Edwin Honig Memorial Prize, and the Kim Ann Arstark Prize at Brown. Shuchi is currently finishing an original translation of a volume of Bella Akhmadulina’s poems from Russian into English. She has also previously worked as a translator (from English to Hindi) and coordinator at the Moscow Center for Continuous Math Education in Moscow, Russia in 2015, and edited the ReadSquare magazine for a year with other Higher School of Economics students. Shuchi also edited and contributed to The College Hill Independent, and has a few crew credits for independent films.

A 2023 New Jersey Council on the Arts poetry fellow, Moriah Cohen is the author of the chapbook Impossible Bottle (Finishing Line Press). Cohen’s work has been published in Best New Poets, Adroit Journal, Narrative, Gulf Coast, RHINO, and Cider Press Review, among others. Cohen holds a Master of Fine Arts from Rutgers University—Newark and recently completed a practicum with The Good Listening Project, a non-profit that helps to “cultivate resilience and wellbeing in healthcare communities” by writing poems honoring conversations she had with healthcare workers and patients. Cohen lives and teaches at a local high school in New Jersey. You can read more of her poetry at Moriahcohen.com.

RJ Equality Ingram lives next to a cemetery in Portland, Oregon & works as a used bookseller for Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette. RJ received their MFA in creative writing from Saint Mary’s College of California & their BFA from Bowling Green State University. Recent work can be found in Deep Overstock, Miniskirt Magazine, The Citron Review, & Phoebe Journal. RJ’s poetry has also been featured in The Poet Heroic podcast & Talking Earth on KBOO. The Autobiography of Nancy Drew from White Stag Publishing is RJ’s first collection. RJ’s cat Brenda lost a leg posing for thirst traps. Twyla, Brenda’s missing leg, magically reanimated herself & was recently adopted by RJ & their husband Michael. Follow for more updates @RJEquality/@RJ_Equality

Jessica Rigney is a poet and interdisciplinary artist cultivating the landscapes of body memory, time and desire, and the natural world. She is the author of Follow a Field: A Photographic & Poetic Essay (Blurb Books, 2016); Entre Nous (Boar Hog Press, 2017); Something Whole (Finishing Line Press, 2021); and Still Time: A Photographic & Poetic Meditation (Blurb Books, 2023). She is a 2016 and 2018 quarter-finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and a 2022 Pushcart Prize nominee.
Born in 1968, Jessica ran wild through childhood in a small town in northern Illinois, talking to birds and worms, while building tiny monuments to departed creatures. Her artwork plays with words and images as future relics: poetry hand-hammered into steel boxes enshrining watercolors; marriages between words and photographs as embedded artifacts in encaustic pieces; and collaborative letterpress broadsides with hand carved illustrations.
Jessica’s poems have appeared in Cider Press Review, Night Heron Barks, South Broadway Press, Cathexis Northwest Press, among others, as well as Thought For Food: An Anthology Benefiting Denver Food Rescue, Dwell: Poems About Home, and We are the West: A Colorado Anthology. She lives and wanders in Colorado and northern New Mexico, where she writes and photographs and collects feathers and stones. www.jessicarigney.com

Erin Robertson teaches outdoor nature writing classes in Boulder County, Colorado (@bocowildwriters). Her poetry has been published in the North American Review, Cold Mountain Review, Poet Lore, Deep Wild Journal, and elsewhere, and has been performed by Ars Nova Singers and The Crossing Choir. Past honors include being a guest artist hosted by the U.S. Consulate in Kazakhstan, Voices of the Wilderness Artist in Residence at Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, Boulder County Artist in Residence at Caribou Ranch, and awards in the Michael Adams Poetry Prize and Columbine Poets Members’ Contest. She lives in Louisville, Colorado with her remarkable husband, two sons, parakeet, and pup, who teach her about wonder every day.

Thomas A. Thomas was born in Illinois, but after more than 41 years as a resident of Washington he most definitely considers this region home. His newest poetry collection, “My Heart Is Not Asleep” from MoonPath Press is available on Bookshop.org and most online book sources.

At University of Michigan, Thomas A. Thomas, poet/photographer, studied with Donald Hall, Gregory Orr, and Robert Bly. He won Minor and Major Hopwood Awards in Poetry, and his poem “Approaching Here” was choreographed and performed at UM. He has for years been actively engaged in OPN and in the critique group Live Like a Poet, founded by Joanne Clarkson.

His poetry and photographs appear in print and online, most recently in Cirque Journal, Gyroscope Review, Blue Heron Review, Vox Populi Sphere, TheBanyanReview.org & FemAsiaMagazine.com, as well as anthologies in English and Serbian and in translation to Spanish, Serbian, and Bengali.

He was nominated for both Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize.Check out more at his Linktree page: https://linktr.ee/thomasathomas

Heather White is a poet, writer and technology consultant based in North Carolina. Finding inspiration in the mundane and technical, as well as the beauty of the world around her, Heather’s work is grounded in place, especially in the haunts of her youth in upstate New York and Southwestern Vermont. She digs into the past with a scalpel, explores internal processes, and plays with words to find new ways to look at everyday life. Her work has published in the Stephens College Harbinger and Inklings, an anthology of work from the Inkberry workshop.

Kelly Wilbanks is a creative nonfiction writer living in Yakima, Washington with her husband and three precocious daughters. She’s written freelance articles for international publications as well as her own town’s newspaper. Kelly’s passion is to help writers get their words to the world by creating exceptional content-driven newsletters. She also writes poetry and will begin a Master of Arts in Creative and Professional Writing at Central Washington University in the fall.

June 2024 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for June are: Emily Badri, Sarah Borruto, Eliana Du, Shir Kehila, Ashby Logan Hill, Adreinne Rozells, Michael Seward, Kerry Trautman, and Sarah Vande Kamp.

Emily Badri is a poet and artist living outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Her work has appeared in the Anacapa Review. She is a mother, a birder, a naturalist who’s keen on making and writing enough to feel okay.

Sarah Borruto is a poet from New York and the author of the chapbook “Damsel in Dystopia” (Alien Buddha Press, 2022). She has work published in The Luna Collective, Train River Poetry, Suffolk County Poetry Review, Brave Voices Magazine, Long Island Quarterly, and Moral Crema. She bustles around the NYC/Long Island open mic scene featuring at venues such as The Parkside Lounge, Neir’s Tavern, and Jack Jack’s Coffee House.

Eliana is rising undergraduate, attending Princeton University as part of the Class of 2028. She co-founded and is a teacher for the World Wide Writers’ Workshop (wwwritersworkshop.com), supporting teen writers from across the globe with equitable lessons intended to promote a love of creative writing. As a three-year member of her school’s journalism club as well as a staple frequenter of her local library, she enjoys voraciously reading texts of any genre. She drafts her poetry on paper, typically with a pen from her extensive fountain pen collection, as she finds peace in the tactile sensation of pen nib to page. She is working on her first novel.

Shir Kehila is a freelance writer, translator, and editor living on Mount Desert Island, Maine. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction and literary translation from Columbia, where she was on the editorial teams of Columbia Journal and Exchange, a journal for incarcerated writers. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the Atticus Review, The Boiler Journal, The Albion Review, and others, and received support from the Tin House Summer Workshop and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

A. Logan Hill is a poet, writer, artist, and educator currently based in Richmond, Virginia. He graduated with his MFA in Poetry from UMASS Amherst in 2017 where he was in James Tate’s final workshop, earned his B.A. in English from James Madison University in 2012, and spent his formative years as a member of The American Boychoir where he graduated in 2004. When he isn’t teaching, he types poetry for people on demand using a 1953 Royal Quiet Deluxe typewriter.

Currently 30 years old and living in Ridgewood Queens, Michael Seward is a non-binary, Iraqi-Kurdish American multidisciplinary artist who utilizes a variety of media to translate their cultural, social and personal experiences. Through their work in poetry, collage and music, they seek to utilize severe minimalism and deconstructionism to recontextualize aspects of life such as loss, relocation, social dissonance and ancestral trauma. While whittling down language, their staccato pointillist vignettes, jagged marbles of imagery and humanist precipitations of both the existential and the fantastic, Michael is creating with their ancestry and their community at the center. While carving their identity through their practice, what their work is delivering may seem bleak or harrowed, the resolve is always that of perseverance and finding belonging. With no restraint held to express themselves honestly, albeit sometimes brutally, Michael is dedicated to expressing the Kurdish-American experience through their poetry.

Andrea received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has been published in various literary journals.

Ohio born and raised, Kerry is a co-founder of ToledoPoet.com and “Toledo Poetry Museum” page on Facebook, which promote Northwest Ohio poetry events. She is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, and in 2020 her one-act play, “Mass,” was selected to be performed as a staged-reading for the Toledo Repertoire Theater’s “Toledo Voices” competition. She has served as judge/workshop leader for the Northwest region of Ohio’s “Poetry Out Loud” competition annually since 2016. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, as well as several anthologies such as “Delirious: A Poetic Celebration of Prince” (NightBallet Press 2016,) “Nine Lives Later: a Dead Cat Anthology” (Dee Dee Chapman, ed. 2017,) “The Secrets We Keep” (Dandelion Revolution Press 2021,) and “Let Me Say This: A Dolly Parton Poetry Anthology” (Madville Publishing, 2023.) Kerry’s books are “Things That Come in Boxes” (King Craft Press 2012,) “To Have Hoped” (Finishing Line Press 2015,) “Artifacts” (NightBallet Press 2017,) “To be Nonchalantly Alive” (Kelsay Books 2020,) “Marilyn: Self-Portrait, Oil on Canvas” (Gutter Snob Books 2022,) “Unknowable Things” (Roadside Press 2022,) and “Irregulars” (Stanchion Books 2023.) Find her at: https://linktr.ee/OhioKerry.

S M Vande Kamp is a multi-genre writer who works with poetry, creative non-fiction, and experimental forms. They hail from Los Angeles, where they are the host of A SALON, a monthly irl literary salon located in east LA. They are also the, founder and editor of Dear____Zine, and the creator of the “Wait, This is Poetry” project. Their work has been published in Women Journal, Booooooom Magazine, Beacon Quarterly, Trust and Travel’s Journal, Dream Boy Book Club, and more. They explore themes of queerness, spirituality, grief, and memory and are currently working on an 1000 line “choose your own adventure” matrix-poem.

May 2024 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for May are: Colton Babladelis, Caroliena Cabada, Victoria James, Jonna Kihlman, Katie King, Micah Mackert, Jaqueline Henry Molony, and S. Salazar.

April 2024 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for April 2024 are Sarah Chestnut, Marnie Bullock Dresser, Marshall Malin, Jessie McMains, Manthipe Moila, Kalliopi Paleos, Briton Szydloski, and Elizabeth Walton.

March 2024 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for March are: Brianna Bencosme, Jessica de Koninck, Peggy Dobreer, Francesca Preston, Laura Secord, Tashi Wangmo, and Thom Young.

February 2024 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for February 2024 are Randi Clemens, Hannah Fenster, Cammie Fuller, Alani Hicks-Bartlett, Naomi Knight, Christi Krug, Ava Love, Marie Soffy Saint Fort.

January 2024 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for January are: Scott Burnam, Patricia Davis-Muffett, Katherine Korth Dehais, Kristie Frederick-Daugherty, Jenny Drai, Robert Hamilton, M Autumn Newman, and Oswald Perez

December 2023 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for December 2023 are Kate Bowers, Kate Cordes, Jess Ptak, Sullivan Summer, Joni Wallace, Jorrell Watkins, Emily Wolahan,  and Abbie Ardelle Zammit.

November 2023 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for November were: Brigid Cooley, Elizabath Howard, Bridget Kriner, Dennis Mahagan, Anna Priddy, and Linda Sands.

October 2023 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for October are: Bill Abbott, Claudia Arevalo, Zoe Berger, Isaiah Diaz-Mays, Cathy Ferrel, Michelle Frost, Laura Henebry, Alex Moni-Sauri, Erika Sashedri, and Beth Suter.

September 2023 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for September are: Kristine Anderson, Mary Crow, Jaz, Lane Falcon, Caroline Fernandez, Salem Paige, Dallas Outlaw, Otis Rubottom, La-Gaye Sailsman, Jennifer Schomburg Kanke.

August 2023 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for August are: Emily Ahmed, Lucie Chou, Susan Dambroff, Sara Dudo, Ann Huang, Amy Jasek, Jules Lattimer, and Tate Lewis-Caroll.

July 2023 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for June are: Michael Dechane, Sarah Degner Riveros, Andrea Ferrari Kristeller, Jeff Hill, RJ Ingram, Zac Kline, S.A. Leger, Thomas Locicero, and Athira Unni.

June 2023 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for June are: Jane Elias, Alix Jason, Heather Katzoff, Jessica Kinnison, Jessica Letteney, Khaya Osborne, P.F. Potvin, Jenny Stohlman, and Hailey Williams. 

May 2023 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for May are: Josette Akresh-Gonzales, Vincent Basso, Caroliena Cabada, Meredith Davidson, Jessamyn Duckwall, Tracey Knapp, Darwin Michener-Rutledge, Christopher Romaguera.