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.

Teal rectangle button that reads: "DONATE." If you click here, you'll be redirected to donate to a 30/30 fundraising campaign.

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.

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

Sarah Crowley Chestnut lives and works at L’Abri Fellowship in Southborough, Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She keeps a small vegetable garden, a sourdough starter and a messy desk. Sarah’s poetry and creative non-fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Every Moment Holy (vol. 3), CRUX, Red Rock Literary Journal, LETTERS, The Rabbit Room, The Anglican Theological Review, and elsewhere. Sarah has a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Regent College and was the 2009 recipient of the Luci Shaw Prize for Creative Writing. Sarah is an alumna of the Tupelo Press Manuscript Conference (2020).

Marnie Bullock Dresser grew up in rural Southern Illinois, the part of the state where things go from flat, flat, flat to driftless crags and half-mountains (also the part where, if you’re driving south, you think, “How long IS this state?”) For the last 30+ years, she’s lived in small-town Wisconsin, and the only time she misses Southern Illinois is late February, when it’s still cold and snowy up north but Easter flowers are blooming down south.

Marnie has published poetry in Prairie Schooner, The Antioch Review, Bellingham Review, The San Diego Review, the Whale Road Review, and others. She’s also published fiction and creative nonfiction, and her plays have had performances and public readings.

She taught in the University of Wisconsin System forever until they closed her sweet little campus on the banks of Brush Creek. She’s now semi-retired, spending a lot of time working as a caregiver for her mother.

A recent exercise in a class on Mindfulness & Aging suggested coming up with an epitaph and Marnie has tentatively settled on, “I’d rather be funny than right.”

Marshall Malin grew up in New York City and attended Eugene Lang the New School for Liberal Arts where he graduated with a BA in Literary Studies with concentrations in Poetry as Creative Writing and in Literature. Michael translated Andres Neuman’s book of poetry Mistica Abajo from Spanish as his thesis for Poetry, and for his thesis for Literature, he did a deep study of prosody in blank verse as a use of character variation. He has worked several jobs that have had nothing to do with poetry, but constantly written, read, and studied poetry. After living in New York City for so long, Michael decided to move to Argentina, a country he has visited for over a decade. He now works for a small publishing company in Córdoba, Argentina that publishes poetry by contemporary poets.

Jessie Lynn McMains is a poet, writer, spoken word performer, zine maker, and artist, amongst other things. She is the author of several books and chapbooks, most recently Wisconsin Death Trip (Bone & Ink Press, 2020) and Left of the Dial (Scumbag Press, 2022). She was the 2016-17 Racine Poet Laureate, and the July-December 2021 Racine Writer-in-Residence. She won the 2019 Hal Prize for Poetry, and her poem “[Santa Muerte, I ask you to remember…]” received an Editor’s Choice commendation in the 2023 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards. When she’s not creating, you can find her wandering her neighborhood, haunting the stacks of the library, or playing music with her husband and kids.

Manthipe Moila is a poet from Johannesburg, South Africa. She holds a BA Hons. in English Literature from Rhodes University. She has been published in New Contrast, Stirring, Kalahari Review and Tupelo Quarterly. Her upcoming publications will appear in, Agbowó and Thimble. She is currently based in Seoul, South Korea.

Having taught English in Saudi Arabia and France as well as the wilds of Western New York, Kalliopy Paleos now lives in New Jersey, where she teaches French, watches birds from the window and takes her very spoiled dog for long walks. Her publications include poetry and prose in Mediterranean Poetry and The Ekphrastic Review.

Briton Szydloski is an 18 year old poet/photographer/performer from Missouri. Self-taught, he has published one book titled “Ghost Stories” that is a 102 poem collection that he coins a “adolescent autobiography. He currently resides in Springfield, Missouri, where he’s finishing his next manuscript. His future plans include moving to New York City to explore art from a different corner of the globe.

Through the 30/30 program, he hopes to find a through line in his poetry and artistic motivation. He plans to incorporate these poems into future collections and hopefully find inspiration for further writing endeavors as well.

Elizabeth Walton received the 2023 Macquarie University Award for Academic Excellence in her Masters of Creative Writing and is now completing a Masters of Research and PhD in Creative Writing. Elizabeth Walton completed the Masters of Creative Writing with an award for academic excellence and is now completing a Masters of Research. Recent works: Brushstrokes IV, Ros Spencer WA Poetry Anthology, Meniscus and Overland. In 2022 Elizabeth received the Anne Edgeworth fellowship and was second place in the AAWP and Woollahra Digital Literary awards. In November 2023, Elizabeth was a guest speaker at the masterclass colloquium on ‘Stuckness’ as Creative Process: On Writing and Not Writing Poetry with Prose Poet and Professor of Creative Writing Paul ‘Oz’ Hardwick, Leeds University, Marcelle Freiman, Willo Drummond and Michelle Hamadache.

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.

Brianna Bencosme Bidó is a Dominican-American poet and educator based in Danbury, Connecticut, where she is earning her MFA in Creative Writing at Western Connecticut State University. She is the recipient of her program’s WCSU/AWP Intro Journals Poetry Award. Poems from her first manuscript, ‘Pit Poems: The Pit’, ‘Pit Poems: Iris City’, and ‘Doña’, were selected by Lupe Mendez and Raina J. Leon to appear in The Acentos Review.

A long-time resident of Montclair, N.J, Jessica de Koninck is the author of the full-length collection, Cutting Room (Terrapin Books) and the chapbook, Repairs (Finishing Line Press). A winner of the 2023 Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Contest, her work has been featured on the Writer’s Almanac and Verse Daily. Jessica’s poems, reviews and articles appear in numerous publications. A retired attorney, former member of the Montclair Township Council and former President of the Montclair Board of Education, Jessica holds an M.F.A. from Stonecoast, University of Southern Maine, a B.A. from Brandeis University and a J.D. from Boston University. Jessica co-edits ALTE, a multi-platform publication, Additionally, she teaches in the M.P.A. program at Saint Peter’s University, Jersey City, N.J. For more go to

Peggy Dobreer is a former dancer, poet and facilitator of Slow Lightning Lit. She has two collections with Moon Tide Press, “In the Lake of Your Bones” and “Drop and Dazzle,” and one chapbook, “Forbidden Plums, Poems in Quarantine” with Glass Lyre Press. She is editor of VOL I and VOL II, Slow Lightning Anthologies; Impractical Poetry and Astonished Poetry. Find her at “This morning during our open studio week’s introductions, Jamie O’Halloran reminded us that she joined our circle while doing her 30/30 with Tupelo Press. Then I opened my social media and saw this application. I was compelled.”

Francesca Preston is a writer and visual artist from California. She is the author of the poetry chapbook If There Are Horns, and a mini-chapbook of ghostly interviews, This Was Like I Said All Gone. Her poetry and reviews have been published by Fence, RHINO, Ambidextrous Press, Feral: A Journal of Literature and Art, The Inflectionist Review, Naoko Fujimoto’s Working on Gallery, and other places. Francesca graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College, and then dropped out of two poetics graduate programs. Her travels and studies in India, Mexico, and Africa eventually led her back to the ghost town of her own ancestors, in the Sierra foothills.

Laura Secord is a poet, writer and teaching artist. She has worked as a printer, union organizer, health care activist, teacher, sex-educator and nurse practitioner in community health and HIV care. Her verse novel, AN ART, A CRAFT, A MYSTERY was chosen as a Best Book of 2022 by Kirkus Review. Her poems appear in Poetry, Hobo Camp Review, Shift, Simple Machines, Cahoodleloodling, Finishing Line Press, Burning House Press, Voices of Resistance, PoemMemoirStory, The Southern Women’s Review, and The Birmingham Weekly. She serves as the Director of Community Engagement for The Magic City Poetry Festival and has a lifetime commitment to the lost or unvoiced stories from vulnerable communities.

Tashi Wangmo is a poet and freelance writer based in Thailand. She holds a BA in English (Writing Studies) from the University of South Florida. She taught for two years at a residential school in Bhutan. Currently, she is waiting to hear from a few MFA graduate programs.

Thom Young is a caregiver and artist living in Kansas City, Missouri. Their first book, the autobiographical long poem BESPOKE, was published by Saint Andrews University Press in 2019. Interior designer, safety officer, contributing editor, guidance counselor: these are only some of the roles that inform their practice, alongside the social concerns of queer life, disability, and capital as they bear down on them. They also have cats and a dog. Their poetry fixates on day to day aspects of life, and the ways we perceive such happenings, in their work, which typically takes the form of serial work examining themes and characters in longer forms. They are especially taken with allusions and found text/dialogue. Outside of poetry, their interviews and essays have appeared in Cold Mountain Review and elsewhere. Poetry can be found in Wussy, West Trade Review, Mantis, American Chordata, was recently featured in the juried exhibit “Ars Poetica” at Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, and other journals.

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.

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

 Randi Clemens is a poet, editor, and educator who lives in Michigan. She received her BA in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her MFA in poetry from Northern Michigan University.
She has worked as an editor for Ninth Letter and served as the Managing Editor of Passages North. Currently, she works for Northern Michigan University’s English department and is an Associate Editor for Lammergeier Magazine.

Her poetry has been published in various online journals and has been nominated for Best of the Net. Her debut chapbook, Conjuring a Ghost & Other Ways to Ruin Your Teeth, won second prize in the International 3 Day Poetry Chapbook Contest and was published in 2022 with Harvard Square Press.

She hopes that by participating in the 30/30 Project she will establish a routine and habit for writing that she longs for. Plus, she turns 30 years old in February 2024, making it the perfect month for this goal and the 30/30 Project.

Hannah Fenster is a writer and movement artist based in Baltimore, MD, where she is the Events Manager at The Ivy Bookshop. Her poetry and essays appear in, or are forthcoming from, Lumina, The Shallow Ends, Entropy, The Lacanian Review, The Urban Activist, and elsewhere. She is a 2022 graduate of the Brooklyn Poets Mentorship Program and a performer with the DIY immersive theatre collective Submersive Productions.

Cammie is a poet, writer, and owner of an indie bookstore, The Open Book in Warrenton, Virginia. Having written since a young age, poetry is the lens through which Cammie views the world. When she isn’t writing, she is busy building a community of writers through her bookstore. She leads a group called “The Book Club for Writers” where people come together to discuss the craft and the business of writing while building an in-person community of writers in her small town. Her personal mission is the same as her shops, “everyone deserves to find themselves, their story, on the shelves. If you can’t then perhaps you should write that story yourself?” Applying this to fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, Cammie’s life reflects her deepest desire, to connect and heal the world through stories.

Alani Rosa Hicks-Bartlett is a writer and translator who lives on the East Coast, where she finds herself increasingly in a nudiustertian mode. In addition to academic criticism, her recent creative work has appeared in cagibi, carte blanche, ANMLY, The Antonym, The Stillwater Review, IthacaLit, Broad River Review, La Piccioletta Barca, The Fourth River, and Mantis: A Journal of Poetry, Criticism, and Translation, among others. She is currently working a collection of villanelles as well as a series of translations from French, Portuguese, and Italian, and a full-length translation of a Medieval French romance.

Naomi is an alchemist skilled in transforming life lessons into gold, constantly striving for mastery in the art of a kintsugi.

As a professional, Naomi has worked at the highest levels of government, corporate and global enterprises, having been instrumental in solving some of the world’s most wicked problems. A born strategist, Naomi has the innate ability to combine disruptive creativity, collaboration and agility to energise organisations from the inside out – starting with their leaders.

Naomi is happiest curled with a good book and a cup of tea. However, Naomi loves concocting her linguistic alchemy, seeking to kintsugi her own and the experiences of others. Through the brokenness around her, Naomi aims to reveal life’s transformative gold so we all grow in kindness, respect and love.

As a woman living with degenerative illnesses and disabilities (including Multiple Sclerosis and severe Chronic Kidney Disease), Naomi has brushed up close and personal with the Grim Reaper on many occasions. Her complex family history has provided her with a deep intergenerational understanding of poverty, deprivation and discrimination, as well as the cost of war and military service.

A StepWitch to two beautiful and brave souls, Naomi is also a proud parent of multiple fur babies and rainbow souls.

Naomi lives to enjoy glitter in her teacup, sashaying in the light of a disco ball whilst blowing bubbles and twirling sparklers: a timeless unicorn.

Christi Krug writes on and off the trail, hiking fifteen hundred miles a year throughout the Pacific Northwest. Her poems have most recently appeared in the Alchemy and Miracles Anthology, and she has twice previously served as a Tupelo Press 30/30 poet. A Pushcart nominee for poetry, she also writes hybrid, flash fiction, speculative fiction, and memoir, which have appeared in 2023 in Kerning, The Good Life Review, The Saturday Evening Post, Backchannels, and elsewhere. Christi was awarded a Centrum Emerging Writer residency in 2022 and a creative residency for North Cascades Environmental Learning Center in 2019. She is a writing coach, yoga teacher, retreat leader, and an instructor for both Lane Community and Clark Colleges.

Ava M. Hu is an artist and poet who lives in Clearwater, Florida. Most notably, Ava received the Amy Award from Poets & Writers and Jane Hirshfield picked her poem, Varanasi, as first place for The America’s Review Poetry contest. She attended Bennington College, Sarah Lawrence College, and The New School. She designs clothing for her line called avalove, one poem, one metaphor at a time. This will be Ava’s 8th year writing February with Tupelo Press. Sundays, Ava will be working with Soleil Piverger, a young artist from Saint Ann’s School, Brooklyn, NYC who was recently awarded with Scholastic Gold Medal for the Arts.

Soffy is a Haitian-American romance poetry writer residing in South Florida. She is a graduate student at SNHU. Her pen name is QC

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.