Truth Thomas is a singer-songwriter and poet born in Knoxville, Tennessee and raised in Washington, DC. He is the founder of Cherry Castle Publishing and studied creative writing at Howard University under Dr. Tony Medina. Thomas earned his MFA in poetry at New England College. His collections include: Party of Black, A Day of Presence, Bottle of Life, My TV is Not the Boss of Me (a children's book, illustrated by Cory Thomas) andSpeak Water, winner of the 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry. A former writer-in-residence for the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo), his poems have appeared in over 100 publications, includingThe 100 Best African American Poems (edited by Nikki Giovanni). Thomas has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Brian Gilmore is a poet, writer, public interest attorney, and columnist with the Progressive Media Project. He is a Cave Canem Fellow (1997), Kimbilio Fellow (2014), Literature Fellow for the D.C. Commission on Arts and Humanities (1997), Pushcart Prize nominee (2007), and winner of the Maryland State Arts Council's Individual Artist Award (2001 and 2003). Gilmore has been a contributing writer for Ebony-Jet.com, and JazzTimes Magazine. He is the author of two collections of poetry: elvis presley is alive and well and living in harlem, and Jungle Nights and Soda Fountain Rags: Poem for Duke Ellington. His poems and writings are widely published and have appeared in The Progressive, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and many other publications. He teaches law at the Michigan State University College of Law, where he lectures and writes on contemporary issues relating to housing and economic inequality, dividing his time between Michigan and his beloved birthplace, Washington, D.C.
Curtis L. Crisler is an Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). He has three books: Pulling Scabs (nominated for a Pushcart), Tough Boy Sonatas, and Dreamist. His collection entitled Spill won the 2008 Keyhole Chapbook Award. He edited the nonfiction book, Leaving Me Behind: Writing a new me. He is the a Cave Canem fellow, the recipient of many awards, and has been published in a variety of magazines, journals, and anthologies.
Michelle M. Tokarczyk was born in the Bronx, New York City and lived there until she was nine years old, when her family moved to the more suburban Queens. She attended Herbert Lehman College — back in the Bronx — and received her doctorate in English from SUNY Stony Brook. She has been active in the Working-Class Studies Association and is known for her critical work as well as her poetry. Tokarczyk is a professor of English at Goucher College. An avowed city dweller, she divides her time between Baltimore and New York.
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