Note: Bios are listed in order of festival appearance.
Poet and fiction writer, Teresa Y. Roberson, has spent many a sleepless night tossing, turning and gnashing teeth during her years as an international math and science teacher. Until one faithful night, she realized the problem wasn’t her anxieties, but the muse encouraging her to write down those powerful thoughts, flowing through her mind. In her Spoken Word for Insomniacs workshop, Roberson will guide you through writing exercises to transform agitating thoughts into compelling spoken word—so you too can sleep better, even in a Peruvian international airport
Wade Martin is an Austin poet who enjoys the sound of Focaccia bread but not the taste, who believes the titles of movies are a lasting reflection of their greatness, and who has been published in several local journals, including Di-Verse-City, Texas Poetry Calendar, and The Enigmatist.
Fatima Hirsi is a poet from Miami, Florida. She lives in Arlington, Texas, teaching children poetry for the Writer’s Garret and building displays made of other people’s words in a bookstore. She almost has a degree in anthropology. Her work has appeared in Vagabonds and the anthology of the Austin International Poetry Festival, where in 2014 she was a Special Guest Poet. She likes the color purple.
Cheney Crow earned a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, worked in Spain,England and France as a musician, sculptor and translator (among other things) for many years. Single motherhood and an injury forced a new focus, which became a PhD in Applied Linguistics and many years of teaching language and linguistics (at UT Austin) for a regular salary. Poetry, her lifetime companion, emerged as her primary goal and she left UT and completed an MFA in creative writing (poetry) at Warren Wilson College. Cheney’s poems will appear this fall in The Cortland Review (Issue 65), Terminus, and HeART (Human Equity Through Art). Music, language, art and travel (not necessarily in that order) are her pursuits.
Festival Director, Workshop Leader
In addition to running the festival, Allyson serves as the vice president of Austin Poetry Society. She is the author of the chapbook We’re Smaller Than We Think We Are (Finishing Line Press) and co-creator of Choice: Texas. In her spare time, she is pursuing a black belt in Kung Fu.
Dos Gatos Press, Workshop Leader
Scott Wiggerman and David Meischen founded Dos Gatos Press in 2004. We have published the Texas Poetry Calendar annually since 2006, when we took over its publication from Flying Cow Productions. In 2008, we released our first trade publication, Big Land, Big Sky, Big Hair: Best of the Texas Poetry Calendar. Since then we have published collections by two Texas poets—Redefining Beauty, now in its third printing, by 2010 Texas Poet Laureate Karla K. Morton, and Letting Myself In by Anne McCrady. In 2011, we published Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry, following up in 2014 with Wingbeats II, our most ambitious project to date. In April 2013, we released Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga, the first book in a series titled Poetry of the American Southwest. A nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation organized for literary and educational purposes, Dos Gatos Press seeks to make poetry more widely available to the reading public and to support writers of poetry—especially in Texas and the Southwest.
Featured Reader, Workshop Leader
Born in Mexico City and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Natalia is the author of Lavando La Dirty Laundry, (January, 2014, Mongrel Empire Press). She is an Associate Professor of English at Northwest Vista College and a member of the Macondo Foundation. Natalia completed her Master’s degree in English at The University of Texas, and her MFA from The University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her poems have won the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Award, the Wendy Barker Creative Writing Award, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, and the San Antonio Artist Foundation Literary Prize. Her poems have appeared in several literary journals including Bordersenses, Borderlands, Texas Poetry Review, Sugar House Review, burntdistrict, andVoices de la Luna. She has been featured in Sliver of Stone Magazine and the Harriet blog at the Poetry Foundation. She also has been anthologized as a fiction, and non-fiction writer, with fiction appearing in Curbstone Press’ Mirrors Beneath the Earth, and essays in Shifting Balance Sheets: Women’s Stories of Naturalized Citizens and Complex Allegiances: Constellations of Immigration. She is finishing her first novel, La Cruzada, a testimony of an teenage mother who leaves her child and her home in Mexico to work in the United States in an arrangement meant to last two years. Having experienced a bi-national childhood, she hopes to raise understanding between people on both sides of the Mexican-American border. She lives with her husband and son just outside of San Antonio. More at nataliatrevino.com
Denise Hudson is a cavedwelling songwriter who came from another planet and writes about it in her blog when she is not providing too much information about dental hygiene and lobbing random poems in there too. Earlier in life, Denise worked as an accompanist and also wrote pieces for piano, solo instrumentals, and for chamber music. She studied music at the University of Texas, primarily considering herself a pianist and more importantly fancying herself to be an academic, but later decided to branch out and write songs which featured her unreleased poetry in lyrical form. Impressed with the presentation of folk singers, Denise crafted a songwriting style from acoustic guitar, simple blues-styled vocals, and the tears at the bottom of empty tip jars. Her style still evokes haunting space and lonely venues of her anonymous beginnings. While performing live, Denise played or worked with several groups including Anchorheads, 23/7, John McDonough, Anagen (providing piano/keyboards for their debut album); as well as participating in soundtrack projects, voice work, and some local drum and dance projects for small theater companies. She participates actively in song contest communities, and one of her collaborations from these (with Billy and the Psychotics, of Song Fight! – ‘A Conversation’) was featured on the Texas Honey’s compilation album with other local female musicians of merit. One of her “side characters” is currently in further development as part of a sketch comedy written in partnership with local writer Allyson Whipple and is about loose women who have no boundaries and like to drink.She has lived in Austin for over thirty years, and has been playing music for about that long as well.
Kelsey Erin Shipman and Funk Riot
Kelsey Erin Shipman & Funk Riot are a Jazz/Funk Spoken Word Trio. The group performs an eclectic mix of jazz, funk, and spoken word unlike anything you have every heard before. Deeply personal, racy lyrics heighten an already decidedly urban sound and bring to life the dark underworld of love and loss.
Full bio coming soon!