The 30/30 Project: November 2022 & October 2022 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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January 2023 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for January 2023 are Miriam Calleja, Carly Chandler, Katharine Cristiani, Jody Drinkwater, Carmen Fong, Donna Griggs, Chasity Gunn, KS Hernandez, Amanda Karch, Johanna Lee, and Sharanya Sharma.

If you’d like to volunteer for a 30/30 Project month, please fill out our application here and warm up your pen!

Miriam Calleja is a Maltese bilingual poet and wordsmith. She has three poetry collections – Pomegranate Heart, Inside, and Stranger Intimacy, and a collaboration titled Luftmeer. Her work appears in anthologies by Sentinel Quarterly, Indigo Dreams Publishing, and The Gloucestershire Poetry Society, and is forthcoming in Modern Poetry in Translation. She has presented her work at literary festivals in Malta, Romania, Italy, and Germany. Her poetry has been translated/published in several languages.
Miriam spends her time facilitating creative writing workshops and also writes for a living. Miriam believes that poetry and prose are tools for storytelling that encourage unity, connection, and understanding. She has great faith in collaboration as a key to communication. Read more on miriamcalleja.com

Carly Chandler (she/they) is a queer experimental author of horror, fiction, and poetry. Their work appears in Words and Whispers Magazine, Toil and Trouble Magazine, and is forthcoming in Ilinix Magazine and Dollar Store Magazine, and elsewhere. They are a graduate student at Northwestern State University of Louisiana, where they are working on their creative thesis, “Southern Marimba: A Novel”.

Katharine Cristiani is a mother, union organizer and Pushcart nominated poet who calls Philadelphia home. Her chapbook, Preserving the Unraveled, is forthcoming (Finishing Line Press). Her work appears in San Pedro Review, Willows Wept Review, Full House Literary Magazine, South Shore Review and elsewhere. Katharine is a labor leader devoted to reshaping our world to one that values love and life over profit. She builds campfires in any weather with love and prowess.

Jodi Drinkwater uprooted from her verdant home in Kansas to move to the high deserts of Santa Fe, New Mexico to surround herself with art. She holds a MFA from Wichita State University and has studied screenwriting and gallery management. Her poems have been published in South Dakota Review, Project for A New Mythology, Mikrokosmos, East/Westerly Review, and others. Her short plays have been performed in venues throughout Santa Fe, and her paintings have been published in various journals and shown and sold in galleries. She is currently working on a collection of poems entitled, Excavations of Sleep, drawn from her intensely vivid dream world.

Carmen Fong (she/her/they) is a Chinese-American writer, artist, and colorectal surgeon who recently moved from New York City to Atlanta, GA, with her wife and two cats. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied creative writing under William Kelley. She was a Stony Brook Children’s Literature Fellow and writes poetry, young adult, and adult fiction. She has been published online in The Apothecary, Resistance Poetry, Without Borders, The Bookends Review, Inspiration in Isolation, and won a Shtorytime! short story award. During the pandemic, she was deployed to emergency rooms in the New York City area to help with the COVID response. She also blogs about healthcare and surgery and is working on a book of non-fiction. Find her on Medium, Substack, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Donna Lynne Griggs is an author and poet currently living in St. Louis, MO. She received her MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics from the University of Washington, Bothell and her BA in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Having been born in Solvang, California and spending most of her adult life in Seattle, WA, Donna has allowed her time spent on the West Coast to soak deeply into her poetry and short stories. A lesbian of a certain age, Donna advocates strongly for a compassionate pen, creative mindfulness, and diverse representation in the literary world. When not obsessing about writing, Donna enjoys reading, eating too much chocolate, and adventuring with her wife, Monica.

Chasity Gunn is a 2021 Academy of American Poet Laureate Fellows and a 2022 Wild Seeds Fellow. She served as the inaugural Poet Laureate for the city of Elgin from 2019-2021. Currently, she is a Poet-in-Residence with the Chicago Poetry Center. Gunn is an alumna of Voices of Our Nations Art Foundation and the Anaphora Arts Writing Residency. She is the author of How to Create World. Her work has been published in Bitterzoet Magazine, BRAVO and Electric Moon. Her spoken word has been featured in the Bedlam Theatre’s 10X10 Fest and the Elgin Fringe Festival. She is an English professor at Elgin Community College.

KS Hernandez is an emerging poet and unpublished writer of fiction, essays, and short memoirs. Dabbles in multiple genres to quench her thirst for exploring her own voice. Wild Seeds Poetry Fellow with The Center for Black Literature at Medger Evers College, Published in multiple Medium.com publications including The Memoirist, Illumination, Cultured, and Writers and Editors of Color. She’s also the current Editor In Chief of The Bazaar of the Bizarre poetry publication on Medium, founded by the late MDS Hall.

Amanda Karch writes poetry ranging from love to feminism, hoping to inspire and empower. She self-published her first collection, Her Favorite Color Was Sunshine Yellow (2020), selling almost 200 copies in its first year. Her work has also been published or is forthcoming with Paddler Press, Topical Poetry, Querencia Press, Pile Press, and Moonstone Press. You can find her on Instagram/Twitter @akkwriting.

Joanna Lee is the author of the chapbook Dissections (2017), a co-editor of the anthology Lingering in the Margins (2019), and founder of the Richmond, Virginia community River City Poets. Her work has been published in Rattle, Fourth River, Parhelion and elsewhere, and has been nominated for both a Pushcart and multiple Best of the Net prizes. Having earned her MD from the Medical College of Virginia and a Master’s in neuroscience from William & Mary, she currently co-owns (with her husband, John) RVA coffeeshop and all-day breakfast joint Café Zata. They live in Richmond’s Northside with kitten Karma.

Sharanya Sharma is a writer and educator from Washington, D.C. with an MFA in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in AGNI, SWWIM Every Day, Tupelo Quarterly, and Black Warrior Review, among others. You can find more of her writing at www.sharanyawrites.com.

December 2022 30/30 Project Participants

The volunteer poets for December 2022 were Colton Babladelis, Angela M. Layne, Catania, Larson, Kimberly McAfee, Sam Niven, Dallas Outlaw, LaDonna Witmer, and Stacey Yu.

Colton Babladelis is a writer, gardener, animal lover, and nature enthusiast. He is the author of two books of poetry, “Grains of Sand” (Winter Goose Publishing 2016) and “Gifts and Other Small Things” (Winter Goose Publishing 2022), and the forthcoming “Softly, Where Lightning Strikes” (Winter Goose Publishing 2023). He grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he spent his childhood exploring the forests, rivers, ponds, and lakes around his home. Colton holds an MBA and a Master’s of environmental Science from the University of Michigan. He resides in southeastern Michigan with his wife, two yellow dogs, and small black cat.

Angela M. Layne is an author, poet, novelist, blogger, motivational speaker, spoken word performer, visual artist, advocate/activist, wife, and mother. She’s the owner of 2nd Avenue Press, and the author of Memory Chose a Woman’s Body (unbound CONTENT, 2014). Her forthcoming book, Love is the Dying Dog will be published in early 2023. Angela is a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee, nominee for the 2015 Virginia Library Literary Award (poetry), and has been featured in a multitude of venues, including The KGB Club in Manhattan and Busboys and Poets. Her publications include The Whiskey Rye Review, Silver Birch Press, Deep Water Literary Journal, Whurk, Vox Poetica, the Plath Poetry Project, Premiere Generation Ink, City Lit Rag, The Word Ocean, Worst Week Ever, Our Stories Untold, Gutsy Living, and several anthology publications. Angela works full-time as the Marketing Specialist for James Madison University’s English Department. 

Catania Larson is an emerging poet currently living in Downingtown, PA, though she has lived all over the US including Arizona, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Utah, and Hawai’i. She loves coffee, flowers, and her dog Clyde Miller.

Kimberly McAfee is a writer and poet residing in the US. She has authored/co-authored works in a variety of formats, such as websites, e-magazines, anthologies, and even a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Ms. McAfee has also self-published three chapbooks available on Amazon. She is currently working on her first full-length poetry collection. You can find more of her poetry on her Instagram page @writerpoetkim.

Sam Niven is an MFA student at Johns Hopkins University and currently lives in Baltimore with their partner, two cats, and thirty-nine houseplants. Sam hates baths, loves the notion of whales, and enjoys cool rocks.

Dallas (Amber) Outlaw is a registered behavioral technician based in Las Vegas, NV. She began her college career at Tuskegee University, although ultimately completing her Bachelor’s of English degree at Nevada State College. She has a niche for micropoems focused on life’s many experiences, conversations, and encounters. Dallas implores readers to engage in the nuances of the imagery and openness of the poetry she produces to get an understanding of her as a writer, but also life in its many variations.

LaDonna Witmer can only make sense of the world if you spell it out for her. If she has a word for it. All of life is a quest for the perfect sentence. For years she’s been a journalist and copywriter, always telling other people’s stories. Now that those midlife years have arrived, she’s telling stories of her own. Originally hailing from a small cornfield town in the midwest, LaDonna spent 20 years soaking up the fog in San Francisco before leaving the US for a new life in Portugal, where she lives in the shadow of a 10th century castle and searches for words for her memoir.

Stacey Yu pays rent in San Francisco, though she spends most of her time elsewhere (London, New York, Oxford, to name a few). She reviews books online and invents names for corporations to afford this. She once memorized 400 digits of pi, for which she won an apple pie.