Phoenix Poets Literary Festival: Phoenix Poet Relaunch

April 13, 2023 4:00PM
Experimental Station, 6100 S Blackstone Ave
Participant Photos

Phoenix Poet Relaunch: A Roundtable

Readings and roundtable conversation with Rosa Alcalá, Douglas Kearney, Katie Peterson, Srikanth (Chicu) Reddy, Alan Thomas. 


Rosa Alcalá is a poet and translator originally from Paterson, NJ. According to the New York Times, her most recent book of poems, MyOTHER TONGUE, captures “the messy emotions and miscommunications that move between languages” and is a reminder of “how little precedent there is for honest writing [about mothers and daughters], compared with the epic traditions of fathers and sons.” Her poems and translations have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Harper’sThe NationPoetry, Best American Poetry, and American Poets in the 21st Century: Poetics of Social Engagement. She is the recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant to Artists and a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship. The translator of several books by Latin American poets, her book Spit Temple: The Selected Performances of Cecilia Vicuña was runner-up for a PEN Translation Award. She is also the editor and co-translator of New & Selected Poems of Cecilia Vicuña. The DeWetter Endowed Chair in Poetry at the University of Texas at El Paso, she has taught in the Department of Creative Writing and Bilingual MFA Program for nearly 20 years. Her fourth book of poems, YOU, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press.

Douglas Kearney has published seven collections, including Optic Subwoof (2022), the 2022 Griffin Poetry Prize-winning Sho (2021), Buck Studies (2016), winner of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, and California Book Award silver medalist (Poetry). M. NourbeSe Philip calls Kearney’s collection of libretti, Someone Took They Tongues (2016), “a seismic, polyphonic mash-up.” Kearney’s Mess and Mess and (2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” WIRE magazine calls Fodder (2021), a live album featuring Kearney and frequent collaborator, Val-Inc., “Brilliant.” Kearney is the 2021 recipient of OPERA America’s Campbell Opera Librettist Prize, created and generously funded by librettist/lyricist Mark Campbell. His operas include Sucktion, Mordake, Crescent City, Sweet Land (the Music Critics of North America’s Best Opera of 2021), and Comet / Poppea commissioned by AMOC (American Modern Opera Company). He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly Award for Poetry, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Altadena, CA, Kearney teaches Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities and lives in St. Paul with his family.

Katie Peterson is the author of five published collections of poetry, including  Life in a Field, winner of the Omnidawn Open Books Prize, and A Piece of Good News, nominated for the 2020 Northern California Book Award and named one of the top ten books of 2019 by the New York Times. Her  work has been translated into French, Korean, and Portuguese; a selected poems in French, translated by Aude Pivin, is forthcoming from Cheyne Editeur. Peterson has received fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her work has been published in The Atlantic, the Harvard Review, and the New York Review of Books. She directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of California at Davis where she is Professor of English and a Chancellor's Fellow. She is a Trustee of Deep Springs College and a Senior Fellow at the Berkeley Institute in Berkeley, California. Peterson's sixth book of poetry, Fog and Smoke, is forthcoming from FSG in Winter 2024. 

Srikanth Reddy is the author of Underworld Lit (Wave Books, 2020), Voyager—named one of the best books of poetry in 2011 by The New YorkerThe Believer, and NPR—and Facts for Visitors, which won the 2005 Asian American Literary Award. He has written on poetry for The New York Times and The New Republic, and his book of literary criticism, Changing Subjects: Digressions in Modern American Poetry, was published by Oxford University Press in 2012. The NEA, the Creative Capital Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation have awarded him grants and fellowships, and in Fall 2015, he delivered the Bagley Wright Lectures in Poetry. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the doctoral program in English at Harvard University, he is currently an Associate Professor of English at the University of Chicago.

Alan Thomas is the Editorial Director for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago Press and a photographer specializing in urban landscape. As a publisher, Thomas acquires and develops books in literary and cultural criticism and related fields. As a photographer, he has work in the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s Midwest Photographer’s Project and the Catherine Edelman Gallery’s Chicago Project. In 2012, his one-person show at the Seagull Foundation for the Arts, Calcutta, surveyed photographs made over two decades in Chicago, Tokyo, and Calcutta. Thomas studied literature and photography as an undergraduate at Princeton University and holds an M.Phil. in English Studies from Oxford University.