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  • 2004 Festival, Poets & Bios

    The 2004 Festival + The 2004 Poets + 2004 Audio Archive

    Saturday June 5 & Sunday June 6 2004

    Carrboro Century Center, Carrboro, North Carolina

    The 2004 Carrboro Poetry Festival featured readings from 40 poets during the two day event Saturday June 5 and Sunday June 6.

    Renowned North Carolina poets Carl Martin, Gerald Barrax, Jaki Shelton Green, Jeffrey Beam, John Balaban, Lou Lipsitz, and shirlette ammons read their poetry along with some of America's best younger poets--Brian Henry (editor of Verse and founder of Verse Press), Linh Dinh (anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000 and the editor and co-translator of Night Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam), K. Silem Mohammad (author of Hovercraft and Deer Head Nation), and Lee Ann Brown (Charlotte native and winner of the New American Poetry Prize).

    Many of the participating poets are underrepresented in the local poetic milieu. While some of the poets may be unknown to many, their work deserves broader attention, and at the time of the festival there was no better town than Carrboro to give it.

    Poetry represented in the event was not be limited to any particular aesthetic or world-view: the readers were young, old, academic, independent, political, philosophical, and so on. The poetry ranged from Language Poetry to School of Quietude to elliptical to New Formalism to post-Language and Avant and Slam and everything in between and around it. Poetry regularly escapes artificial boundaries and categorizations--exactly what the organizer of the festival hoped to demonstrate. The foremost goal of the festival, however, was simply to bring poets together while bringing people to their poetry.

    The festival was held Saturday June 5 and Sunday June 6 at the Carrboro Century Center in the heart of charming downtown Carrboro.

    Admission was free and open to the general public.

    Andrea Selch + Brian Blanchfield + Brian Henry + Carl Martin

    Chris Vitiello + Chris Murray + Clayton Couch + Daniel Wideman + David Manning

    Doug Stuber + E.V. Noechel + Gerald Barrax + Hassen + Heidi Peppermint

    Jaki Shelton Green + Jay Bryan + Jeffery Beam + John Balaban + Joseph Donahue

    Judy Hogan + K. Silem Mohammad + Ken Rumble + Lee Ann Brown + Linh Dinh

    Lou Lipsitz + Mark DuCharme + Michael Ivey + Mitchell Lyman + Murat Nemet-Nejat

    olufunke moses + Patrick Herron + Paul Jones + Randall Williams + Ravi Shankar

    Renee Alexander + shirlette ammons + Standard Schaefer + Steve Katz + Tony Tost

    About the Organizer of the Carrboro Poetry Festival

    Andrea Selch
    Andrea Selch joined the board of Carolina Wren Press after the publication of her chapbook, Succory, in 2000. She taught creative writing at Duke University from 1999 until 2003. Her poems have been published in such journals as: The MacGuffin, Oyster Boy Review, The Asheville Poetry Review, Luna and Prairie Schooner. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Startling, will be published by Turning Point Press in October 2004. She lives in Hillsborough with her partner and their two children.

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    Brian Blanchfield
    Brian Blanchfield is the author of Not Even Then, a book of poems published by University of California Press. Born in Winston-Salem in 1973, he grew up in Charlotte and Paris, Tennessee. Now in New York he teaches creative writing and literature at Pratt Institute of Art. His poems have appeared in anthologies and magazines big and small, and he writes reviews and essays for Talisman and American Book Review. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and sometimes Tucson.

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    Brian Henry
    Brian Henry grew up near Richmond, Virginia, and graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He has published three books of poetry--Astronaut, American Incident, and most recently Graft. His edited collection, On James Tate, just appeared from the University of Michigan Press. He is an editor of Verse, and he founded Verse Press in 2000 with Matthew Zapruder. He currently lives in Athens, Georgia.

    Brian's home page
    Two poems (reading between a and b)

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    Carl Martin
    Carl Martin is a graduate of Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa. He has published two books of poetry: Go Your Stations, Girl (Arion Press, San Francisco) and Genii Over Salzburg (Dalkey Archive Press, Univ. of Illinois). He is at work on a third collection titled Rogue Hemlocks. Mr. Martin is a MacDowell Fellow and has been published in various literary magazines including American Poetry Review, the Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, and Combo. He was born in Winston-Salem, NC where he currently resides.

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    Chris Vitiello
    Chris Vitiello's Nouns Swarm A Verb was published by Xurban in 1999. He lives in Durham, NC and is an agent of the Delay.

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    Chris Murray
    Chris Murray grew up in Rochester, New York. She left there to live and work at Grand Canyon, Arizona, which became home for ten years. She’s also lived in Napa, California, and in Flagstaff , Sedona, and The Navajo Nation, AZ. She currently resides in Arlington, Texas. She attended college at University of Rochester, Northern Arizona University, and University of Texas, Arlington, and has won several college prizes for her poetry, including an Academy of American Poet’s Prize at University of Rochester. She currently teaches rhetoric, American literature, and creative writing at the University of Texas, Arlington, where she is also the Director of the Writing Center.

    At UTA, Chris produces a poetry reading series called Poetry_Heat, featuring contemporary experimental poets. She is also on the editorial committee for Znine, the UTA English Department’s online literary journal, which can be found at

    Additionally, Chris maintains a pastiche of experimental poetry, poetics, and international translations, on her weblog, * chris murray’s texfiles,*, where each week she runs a popular special feature, Texfiles Poet of the Week, highlighting the work of a contemporary experimentalist poet, and including audio files of the poets reading from their work. Featured poets at her texfiles site include Eileen Tabios, Kent Johnson, Brian Clements, Dale Smith, Hoa Nguyen, Patrick Herron, Stephen Vincent, Sawako Nakayasu, Mark Weiss, Hannah Craig, Michael Helsem, Wendy Taylor Carlisle, Anny Ballardini, and Jill Jones.

    Some of Chris Murray’s poetry can be found at these journals: Shampoo Poetry, can we have our ball back?, xStream, Eclectica, Yale Angler’s Journal, Znine, Sidereality, and Black Spring Online. Her latest series of collage poems, Found, is about "things" and "ideas" (William Carlos Williams: "No ideas but in things...") discovered during her daily walks in Arlington, Texas.

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    Clayton Couch
    Clayton A. Couch was born in Chicago in 1971, grew up in Raleigh, and currently lives in Columbia, SC, where he eats, breathes, dreams, and sometimes regurgitates poetry. His wife, Lauren, an epidemiology nurse, has confirmed that his condition, which affects the upper respiratory system, corpus callosum, and stomach, does not represent an imminent threat to the health and well-being of the general public, since independent researchers have determined that the pathogen flourishes naturally, and quite harmlessly, in the intestinal tracts of most healthy human beings.

    His recent poems have appeared, or are due to appear, in such places as Big Bridge, can we have our ball back?, 5_Trope, hutt, Lost and Found Times, moria, muse apprentice guild, nth Position, The Pedestal, Pierian Springs, Shampoo, Say..., Tin Lustre Mobile, Unpleasant Event Schedule, VeRT, Word For/Word, xStream, and Znine, and he's the creator and managing editor of sidereality, a quarterly online poetry journal. His first and second manuscripts, completed in 2003, currently crowd the mailboxes of unsuspecting publishers.

    Clayton is also a Library Specialist at Midlands Technical College, where he manages an unmanageable periodicals collection at two campus locations. He will finish his Master of Library and Information Science degree at the University of South Carolina in August 2004.

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    Daniel Wideman
    Daniel J. Wideman's first volume of poetry, Three Rivers, will be published by Big Drum Press in October, 2004. He is co-editor of Soulfires: Young Black Men on Love and Violence (Penguin, 1996) and author of the play, Going to Meet the Light (Rites and Reason Theatre, Providence, 1994). Mr. Wideman gathered splinters as a backup point guard at Brown University, and has also studied both in England at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies and at Northwestern University. He has served as writer-in-residence at the DuBois Pan-African Cultural Centre in Accra, Ghana, and at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His poetry and prose has appeared recently in the journal Callaloo and in the anthologies Giant Steps: The New Generation of African-American Writers, Step Into A World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature, Outside the Law: Narratives of Justice in America, and Black Texts and Textuality. He lives with his daughter, Qasima, in North Carolina, where he is currently working on a second volume of poetry and a novel.

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    David Manning
    David T. Manning, a California native, has won a number of awards from the North Carolina Poetry Society, including its Poet Laureate Award in 1996 and again in 1998. He is the current leader of The Friday Noon Poets of Chapel Hill. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his poems have appeared in Asheville Poetry Review, Free Lunch, Southern Poetry Review, The Christian Century, Main Street Rag, Pembroke Magazine, Rattle, New Orleans Review and other journals. His most recent poetry chapbook, Out After Dark, was published by Pudding House in 2003.

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    Doug Stuber
    Doug Stuber was born in Rochester NY, has lived in six states on the east coast, and spent a year in New Zealand. Rants and Raves is due from Katherine James Books in 2004, it follows Sex, Religion Politics, (1999) and numerous anthology and magazine publications that started way back in 1976. He is an abstract expressionist painter, plays bass in The Georgia O'Keefe's, and has been barred from flying for speaking the truth about George Bush at RDU airport. He's fat, but swims a half mile to one mile per day to try to slim down, as fat folks are often mistrusted, scare people and accused of being lazy for no reason.

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    E.V. Noechel
    E.V. Noechel lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she runs a rodent rescue organization. When not writing or doing the aforementioned, she enjoys watching Passions, writing her congresspeople, and rating bowling alleys on their gothic charm for Her work has been featured in Sojourn, Center, Open Minds Quarterly, and many more. Her first book of poetry, Museum Mundane, has recently been released by Argonne House Press of D.C and was nominated for the 2003 Pushcart Prize. A second book of poetry, Murder of Crows, soon followed, released by the same press. She has completed residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Headlands Center for the Arts, and I-Park, and has received grants from the North Carolina Arts Council, the United Arts Council, and The Culture and Animals Foundation.

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    Gerald Barrax
    Gerald (Jerry) Barrax is Emeritus Professor of English and Creative Writing and Poet in Residence at North Carolina State University, having retired in 1997 after 27 years of teaching there. He is the author of five volumes of poetry, most recently From a Person Sitting in Darkness: New and Selected Poems (LSU, 1998), and his work has appeared in more than 30 anthologies.

    He was the year 2000 honoree of the North Carolina Writers Conference; he received a 1993 Raleigh Medal of Arts; a 1991 Indies Arts Award; and 1991 Sam Ragan Award for Contributions to the Fine Arts in North Carolina.

    He is twice-married, has five children, four grandchildren and lives in Raleigh with his wife, Joan.

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    Hassen writes poetry & fiction in the Philadelphia area. Poems have appeared in Skanky Possum, Nedge, 100 Days, and in the upcoming issue of Frequency audio magazine.

    The Philly Sound

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    Heidi Peppermint
    Heidi Peppermint was born in Dade county, Florida in 1971 and was raised on the Florida Gulf Coast and in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains. Her first collection of poems, Guess Can Gallop, has been selected by Brenda Hillman as a winner of the 2002 New Issues Poetry Prize. A founding and acting editor of the literary magazine Parakeet, Peppermint has served as an assistant editor on Salt Hill and Verse, and worked as an editorial assistant at The Georgia Review. Her poems have appeared or will soon appear in Best American Poetry, Castagraf, Denver Quarterly, HOW2, La Petite Zine, LIT, 3rd bed, Slope, Unpleasant Event Schedule and elsewhere; and her reviews have been published in Denver Quarterly, Electronic Poetry Review, The Georgia Review, Salt Hill and Verse. She teaches poetry and composition as a part-time faculty member at Syracuse University.

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    Jaki Shelton Green
    Jaki Shelton Green, winner of the 2003 North Carolina Award in Literature is the author of singing a tree into dance (2004) Conjure Blues (1996) Blue Opal..a play (1983) and Dead on Arrival (1983, 1996). Her poetry has appeared in publications such as Poets for Peace, The Crucible, The African-American Review, Obsidian, Ms., Essence, and Attache' (US Airways).

    She has taught creative writing and performed her poetry throughout the United States, the Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Brazil, and Europe.

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    Jay Bryan
    Jay Bryan lives outside Carrboro, North Carolina, with his wife, two horses, three ducks and assorted other animals. Occasionally, their five children come to visit. He is an attorney, mediator and guardian ad litem specializing in family and juvenile law. For eight years he has organized the poetry reading at the annual Carrboro Day, a celebration of local residents' gifts and talents, and he has self-published a book of poems entitled, Haiku for Carroll.

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    Jeffery Beam
    Jeffery Beam is the author of seventeen works of poetry including Midwinter Fires (French Broad), Visions Of Dame Kind (The Jargon Society), Submergences (Off the Cuff Books), An Elizabethan Bestiary: Retold (Horse & Buggy Press), and a spoken word audio collection, What We Have Lost: New & Selected Poems 1977 - 2001. His The Beautiful Tendons: Uncollected Queer Poems, 1977 - 2001 is forthcoming (Off the Cuff Books). Beam is currently at work on a number of projects including an opera libretto, a poem sequence, and a handful of illustrated children’s book projects including the forthcoming Lullaby of the Farm. His lyrical, metaphysical work is known for its efforts to fuse the physical and spiritual worlds and create a conversation between the natural world, the body, and the spirit.

    Beam appeared in 2002 at Carnegie Hall to read his "Life of the Bee" poems for the premiere performance of Lee Hoiby's Life of the Bee song-cycle (available on Shauna Holiman’s CD, New Growth: Shauna Holiman and Friends – New Songs and Spoken Poems from Albany Records).

    Beam's works have received numerous awards and grants including three American Library Association Notable Book and Gay / Lesbian Non-fiction Award nominations, a Pushcart nomination, an IPPY Ten Best Books Award, an Audie Award, an Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham NC Arts Council, and a grant from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.

    Born and raised in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Jeffery Beam now lives in Hillsborough, NC with his partner of 24 years, Stanley Finch. He serves as the poetry editor for Oyster Boy Review and works as the Assistant to the Biology Librarian in the Botany Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Jeffery's Website
    Some poems

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    John Balaban
    John Balaban is the author of eleven books of poetry and prose, including four volumes which together have won The Academy of American Poets' Lamont prize, a National Poetry Series Selection, and two nominations for the National Book Award. His Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New and Selected Poems won the 1998 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. He is the 2001-2004 National Artist for the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. In 2003, he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

    In addition to writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, he is a translator of Vietnamese poetry, and a past president of the American Literary Translators Association.

    His books on Vietnam include Ca Dao Vietnam: Vietnamese Folk Poetry, Vietnam: The Land We Never Knew (with the photographer, Geoffrey Clifford), Remembering Heaven's Face, a memoir, and Vietnam: A Traveler's Literary Companion (co-edited with Nguyen Qui Duc), as well as his acclaimed Spring Essence: The Poetry of Ho Xuan Huong.

    Balaban is Poet-in-Residence and Professor of English at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

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    Joseph Donahue
    Joseph Donahue is the author of three full length collections of poetry, Before Creation, World Well Broken, and most recently, Incidental Eclipse. He has also published two poem sequences in chapbooks, Monitions of the Approach, and Terra Lucida. Carolina Wren Press will publish Terra Lucida XXI-XL in the fall of 2004. In addition, Donahue has co-edited the anthology Primary Trouble, and the collection of essays on contemporary American poetry, The World In Space and Time. He has lived in New York City and Seattle, and currently lives in Durham, North Carolina.

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    Judy Hogan
    Judy Hogan, founding editor of Carolina Wren Press (1976-91), has published five poetry books and two prose works, Watering the Roots in a Democracy and The PMZ Poor Woman's Cookbook. 25 years of her extensive diaries are in the Special Collections at the Duke University Library. Judy is a writing teacher, freelance editor, and writing consultant. She lives in Moncure, N.C., near the Haw River and Jordan Lake Dam.

    Judy's home page

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    K. Silem Mohammad
    K. Silem Mohammad was born in Modesto, California in 1962. He has taught literature at the University of California Santa Cruz for the past five years, and starting in fall 2004, he will be Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Writing at Southern Oregon University in Ashland.

    Mohammad's books include Deer Head Nation (Tougher Disguises, 2003) and A Thousand Devils (Combo Books, 2004). His poetry and poetics blog {lime tree} can be accessed at

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    Ken Rumble
    Ken Rumble grew up in Washington, DC, and has spent the last four years living in North Carolina. He is the director of the Desert City Poetry Series. His poems and book reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Drunken Boat, 5AM, Word For Word, Moria, Pennsylvania English, Sugar Mule, Gumball Poetry, can we have our ball back?, Cross Connect, Electronic Poetry Review, VeRT, and Rain Taxi Review of Books. His manuscript The Leaf Collector was a finalist in the 2003 Randall Jarrell Chapbook Competition. He likes to lift weights, garden, and fly kites.

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    Lee Ann Brown
    Lee Ann Brown, a poet, filmmaker, and performer and is Assistant Professor of English at St. John’s University in New York City. She has published two books of poetry, The Sleep That Changed Everything (Wesleyan, 2003) and Polyverse (Sun & Moon,1999). Her poetry has also been included in countless anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 2001, and in pamphlets, broadsides and chapbooks as well as being translated into French, Swedish, Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian. Recent journal publications include The Chicago Review, Verse, The Baffler, and Five Fingers Review.

    Born in Saitama-ken, Japan, where her father was teaching, Brown grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and moved on to earn her B.A. and M.F.A. at Brown University, where she also served as a graduate instructor of poetry and conceptual math. She lives in New York City with her husband, the actor and director, Tony Torn and their daughter, Miranda Lee Reality Torn.

    She has held numerous residencies and guest lectureships, including The MacDowell Colony, Djerassisi Artists Residency, The Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Yaddo, and the Atelier Cosmopolite, Fondation Royaumont, Asnières-sur-Oise, France. She has been visiting poet and professor at many institutions in past years, including Naropa University, Lesley University, The New School, Bard College and Barnard College. She has performed her poetry in many venues including Avery Fisher Hall, at The University of Cambridge, at the International Center for Poetry in Marseille, and last year in North Carolina at the Desert City Poetry Series in Winston-Salem, and at Black Mountain College’s Under the Influence Conference in Asheville.

    Honors and awards include the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship for 2004-2005. The New American Poetry Prize, Rose Low Rome Memorial Prize in Poetry, and a fellowship form The New York Foundation for the Arts.

    She is Editor of Tender Buttons Press, a site for innovative and experimental poetry by women, as well as having a curated reading series through the Segue Foundation, and the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church.

    She is currently researching and writing a book of investigative poem-essays on North Carolina.

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    Linh Dinh
    Linh Dinh is the author of two collections of stories, Fake House (Seven Stories Press 2000) and Blood and Soap (Seven Stories Press 2004), and a book of poems, All Around What Empties Out (Tinfish 2003). His work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000 (Scribner 2000), Best American Poetry 2004 (Scribner 2004) and Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present (Scribner 2003), among other places.

    Interview with Linh

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    Lou Lipsitz
    Lou Lipsitz writes, "I am a poet and psychotherapist and have lived in Chapel Hill since 1964. I've published three books of poems. The most recent is Seeking the Hook (l997). I also wrote a play of local interest, focusing on the trials of Junius Scales who lived in Carrboro and was indicted as a Communist party leader in the 1950s. Interested readers can find out more about my poetry and other writing, including reviews at I grew up in Brooklyn and received graduate training in political science. I taught at UNC-Chapel Hill, but retired to begin my new career as a therapist. I also have a strong interest in 'men's issues' and am currently serving on the leadership council of the Raleigh Men's Center."

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    Mark DuCharme
    Mark DuCharme is the author of Cosmopolitan Tremble (Pavement Saw Press, 2002), which Anselm Hollo has called "a Civilized Orgy of Cognitive Dissonance," and which Lisa Jarnot has compared to "an awesome city of words sometimes tender, sometimes tough, always wonderful to wander through. His second poetry collection, Infinity Subsections, is due in June from Meeting Eyes Bindery, an imprint of Spuyten Duyvil. He has twice been selected for The Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative American Poetry from Sun & Moon Press, and his poetry and essays on poetics have appeared in numerous journals, recently including Bird Dog, canwehaveourballback, Cipher, Fulcrum, LA Review, New Review of Literature, Pom2, Shampoo, -VeRT, Word For/Word, 88: A Journal of Contemporary American Poetry, and 26: A journal of poetry and poetics. He lives and works in Boulder, Colorado.

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    Michael Ivey
    Michael Ivey writes, "Where to start? I remember Shirley Temple and Boris Korloff in first runs. I grew up, basically dumb, east Alabama and never recovered. Also, I never read a poem unless forced to until I was on Medicare. Now I'm hooked. Writing poems keeps me off the streets and out of malls. I slum around a lot with the Friday Nooners. Also do scut work for the NC Poetry Society when asked. Basically I'm lazy, but I write lovely stuff, real cool stuff. Just ask me. I'll tell you the truth."

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    Mitchell Lyman
    Mitchell Lyman was born 1918 in Northern Virginia and has lived in Florida, California, Maryland, and in Chapel Hill North Carolina since 1968. She is a member of the NC Poetry Society, NC Poetry Council, and Friday Noon Poets. Lyman has lead a class for senior citizens, "Exploring Poetry," and has published 2 books of poems, Kaleidoscope and Sundries.

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    Murat Nemet-Nejat
    A poet, translator from Turkish poetry and essay writer, Murat Nemet-Nejat lives in Hoboken, NJ, across the river from New York City. His most recent work includes Eda: An Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry (Talisman Books, out by May 12), A Peripheral space of Photography (Green Integer, 2003), Steps (Mirage, 2003), and A 13th Century Dream (CipherJournal).

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    olufunke moses
    olufunke moses has been writing herself into becoming for some 32 years now. She enjoys composing, being composed and those moments of extreme clarity when a story comes out feet first and a poem comes out finished. In her daytime hours, olufunke is the arts editor for the Independent Weekly. As a writer, she has been published in several local and national publications including The Independent Weekly, sauti mpya, The Source, The Shield, Creative Loafing and Style Magazine. After hours, olufunke can be found behind a computer screen, science fiction novel or hot stove. When she is not involved in the everyday tasks of life and labor, she also enjoys dancing, foreign films and flirting. olufunke hopes to soon have plenty of time to actually sit down and finish, "that novel i'm writing."

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    Paul Jones
    A life long resident of Nawth Cackalacky, Paul Jones has published widely as well as locally. Jones was the 1990 winner of the North Carolina Writers Network Poetry Chapbook prize for "What the Welsh and Chinese Have in Common." He is the creator and editor of the Internet Poetry Archive ( and a contributing editor to the Heath Anthology of American Literature. For about 8 years in the 1980s, he ran a poetry reading series in Carroboro which featured local, regional, national and international poets. Jones' most recently published poem was "Dividing Waters, 1954" in the Raleigh News and Observer but found on a South African site.

    What the Welsh and the Chinese Have in Common
    Partial list of publications

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    Randall Williams
    Randall Williams is a Durham-based poet and reporter whose creative nonfiction has appeared in The Independent, Salon and McSweeney's. He teaches creative writing at Duke Young Writers' Camp and has performed at the Bickett Gallery and Manbites Dog Theater. He is currently finishing his first book of poems, Surface Works.

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    Ravi Shankar
    Ravi Shankar is from Northern Virginia and South India, and currently resides in Chester, Connecticut. He is the poet-in-residence at Central Connecticut State University and the founding editor of the online journal of the arts, Drunken Boat. His first book, Instrumentality, is due out in Summer 2004 from Word Press. His work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in such places as The Paris Review, Poets &Writers, Time Out New York, Gulf Coast, The Massachusetts Review, Descant, LIT, Crowd, The Cortland Review, Catamaran, The Indiana Review, Western Humanities Review, The Iowa Review and the AWP Writer's Chronicle, among other publications. He has read at such venues as The National Arts Club, Columbia University, KGB, and the Cornelia Street Cafe, has held residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Ragdale, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts, reviews poetry for the Contemporary Poetry Review and is currently editing an anthology of South Asian, East Asian, and Middle Eastern poetry. You can read some of his poems in The Cortland Review, Second Avenue, and Word for Word, reviews at The Iowa Review, Smartish Pace, Time Out New York, Poets & Writers, an anthology of Asian-American writing he helped co-edit in Big City Lit, and an interview with him in Jacket magazine. He does not play the sitar.

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    Renee Alexander
    Born and raised in Charlotte, NC, Renee Jacqueline Alexander received a BA in English literature and an MA in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she founded and edited sauti mpya, the first African American literary magazine to be published at the University. A Fulbright Scholar who recently completed ten months of ethnographic research in Portobelo, Panama, Alexander currently resides in Chicago where she is a PhD candidate in the department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. She has conducted poetry readings and/ or workshops at the University of Panama, Panama City, Panama; Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia; and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She will serve as final judge in the annual Independent Weekly poetry competition in mid-April and will lead a poetry workshop in association with the Taller Portobelo Art Colony in Portobelo, Panama this May. (photo credit: York Wilson)

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    shirlette ammons
    shirlette ammons is a poet/musician. She is the 2003 recipient of the Kathryn H. Wallace Award for Artist in Community Service. Her first collection of poetry entitled, Stumphole Aunthology of Bakwoods Blood (Big Drum Press, Chapel Hill, NC) was published in September 2002. The work has received accolades from poet Nikki Giovanni who considers ammons’ work “truly part of the oral tradition,” and Black, White & Jewish author, Rebecca Walker (“one of the most gifted young writers I have had the pleasure of reading.”). shirlette is also bassist and lead vocalist for Raleigh-based bands mosadi music and stumP. stumP (with Merritt Partridge and Marshall Eure) is the 2003 recipient of the Emerging Artists Grant for songwriting presented by the United Arts Council. shirlette resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.

    Mosadi Music

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    Standard Schaefer
    Standard Schaefer is a free-lance journalist and the non-fiction editor of The New Review of Literature. His first book of poetry Nova was published as part of the National Poetry Series for 1999. His second book Water and Power is forthcoming from Agentcourt Press in late 2004. He lives in San Francisco and occasionally teaches in the Graduate Writing program at Otis College of Art in Los Angeles .

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    Steve Katz
    Steve Katz was born in Albuquerque, raised in Boston, and lived in England, Michigan, Rhode Island, New York, and for the last 17 years, Raleigh. He is Associate Professor of English at North Carolina State University, where he teaches--and joins--poetry writing and scientific communication. Steve writes, "At the beginning of the 21st century, a poet is not a figure writing with a pen in an attic garret, but with a laptop on a distant star." He has poems published by the American Medical Association’s Archives of Family Medicine, Asimov's Science Fiction, CCC, Southern Poetry Review, Pembroke Magazine European Judaism (London), Mars Hill Review, Obsidian: Black Literature in Review, Raleigh's The News and Observer, Free Verse, Star*Line: the Newsletter of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, Postmodern Culture, Voices, Journal of the American Academy of Psychotherapy, Continental Drift, The Greenfield Review, Northeast Journal, Bitterroot, Outpost, and many other journals. He has published three scholarly books (Southern Illinois University Press 1996; St. Martin's Press 1998; A.B. Longman 2003). His poem, "In the Beginning," cut from Postmodern Culture and pasted without his name into an email in the mid 1990s, has since appeared anonymously on hundreds of websites all over the world, including in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Sweden, Germany, Hungary, Singapore, India, and even has been translated into Russian (these are just some of the ones he knows about). It most recently appeared credited with some of his other poems on a website in Islamabad, Pakistan, on which American poets are explicitly banned.

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    Tony Tost
    Tony Tost is the author of Invisible Bride (LSU Press, 2004) and one of the editors of Octopus. He lives in Chapel Hill and works at the Open Eye Cafe in Carrboro.

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    About the Organizer

    Patrick Herron
    Patrick Herron, Carrboro Poet Laureate and organizer of the Carrboro Poetry Festival, recently completed work on his fifth book manuscript, How To Make Poems Like Me. Poet and Pew Fellow Ron Silliman recently wrote that Patrick's first manuscript, Be Somebody, "is difficult in the way the very best books are," adding that "it is one of the great rumors of contemporary poetry."

    Patrick is the author of the chapbook, Man Eating Rice. Over eighty of his poems and essays have recently appeared in journals such as Exquisite Corpse, JacketFulcrum, in the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, and in the anthology 100 Days (Barque Press). Patrick was also a judge of The Independent Weekly's 2004 Poetry Contest.

    Born in 1971, Patrick is a longtime resident of North Carolina and a native Philadelphian. He is currently a graduate student at UNC and research assistant at When Patrick pretends to have free time he works on his ongoing web art project,, a site that has been featured in the electronic collection of the New Museum of Contemporary Art and in university hypertext and design curricula around the globe.

    Links to Patrick's work
    Seven poems (A Chide's Alphabet #2)

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