Cast of Characters / Writers Room

Algorhythm

Algorhythm
10x10 Poetry

Algorhythm is a poet, hip hop artist, and rapper from Albany, NY. He was on the 2012 Nitty Gritty Slam team that went to the National Poetry Slam, representing Albany for the very first time.

Curtis Asch

Curtis Asch
WXW Winter Invitational

 

Nakeida Bethel-Smith

Nakeida Bethel-Smith
10x10 Poetry

Lady Nakeida - “I’m a woman of many shoes, you never know which pair I’m wearing, but know I’ll wear them well and confidently!”

Seth Brown
WXW Winter Invitational

Seth Brown

Seth Brown has performed slam poetry, nerdcore rap, improv comedy (with RBIT), and stand-up comedy all over the Berkshires and beyond. He is a freelance writer whose weekly humor column "The Pun Also Rises" runs in the North Adams Transcript. He is the author of five books, including "From God To Verse", a line-by-line translation of the Torah into rhyming couplets. He should be working on his sixth book, but mostly he would rather play games and eat tasty food with friends. His website is RisingPun.com.

James Burden

James Burden
Hot Envelope Host

James Burden both professionally and as a hobby is very interested in words. He likes to see them performed and spoken well. He is also very interested in how they get written well . . . and by who. James loves to play rousing verbal competitions and see his opponents weep in their defeat and hear the lamentations’ of their spouses. In his daily life James uses words to praise and build relationships. At other times he uses words to do the opposite (you know who you are).

Jill Crammond

Jill Crammond
10x10 Poetry

Jill Crammond is a poet/artist/mother, funding her passion for poetry by teaching college writing and children's art classes. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in B: An Anthology of Barbie Poems (Kind of a Hurricane Press), Wordland 2, Paper Crow, Wordland 2: Hi Honey, I'm Home (theEXAGGERATEDpress), burntdisrict, Fire on Her Tongue e-book Anthology of Women Poets (Two Sylvias Press), Classifieds: An Anthology of Prose Poems, Crab Creek Review, and others.

Elizag
WXW Winter Invitational

Elizag

Elizag was a member of the first-ever team Albany sent to The National Poetry Slam. She performed poems recently at the Individual World Poetry Slam in Arkansas, NYC’s Urbana Slam, and the WordxWord festival (where she placed 2nd and was part of the silver medal team that represented Pittsfield at the Poetry Olympics). Her main themes are (re)claiming her voice/center/light (which sometimes involves confronting the forces that try to take or distort those); calling out the injustice and ignorance attacking the people she loves (and love itself); and opening to nature and grace. Her nonfiction book Walk with Us, Triplet Boys, their Teen Parents and Two White Women who Tagged Along (under Elizabeth K Gordon) won an Indie Award for multicultural nonfiction. She has a collection of poetry due out this summer from the same publisher (Crandall, Dostie and Douglass Books). She was born in Queens, NY, raised in a small upstate NY town and then in Lauderhill Florida. She lives now near the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers and teaches English and creative writing, as an adjunct, with Northampton Community College’s online division and Rennsalaer Polytechnic Institute. More at ekg3.com.

Shira Erlichman
10x10 Poetry

Shira Erlichman

Shira Erlichman (Shira E) is a nationally acclaimed poet, musician, and artist. A Pushcart Prize nominee who has toured the country with some of the nation's leading performers and writers, her prolific and unique style has brought her acclaim as "one of the most original and compelling voices in performance poetry." Her poetry has been featured in NARAL's National Pro-Choice campaign Free.Will.Power, as well as set to motion by the dancers of the Sound Dance Company. Her award-winning music has appeared in multiple independent films, NPR and national TV. She has shared stages with Ani Difranco, Mirah, TuNe-YaRds, and Coco Rosie. She has been independently recording and releasing her records for over 10 years. Born in Israel, raised in Massachusetts, she now lives in Brooklyn, NY in an indoor treehouse.

Thom Francis

Thom Francis
10x10 Poetry

Thom Francis is the president of Albany Poets and has been organizing, promoting, and hosting open mics and poetry / spoken word events in Albany such as Nitty Gritty Slam, School of Night, Albany Poets Presents…, and the Albany Word Fest for over 13 years. As a poet and performer, Thom has been featured at many of the upstate poetry and spoken word events from Saratoga to Woodstock as well as LarkFest, Art on Lark, 1st Friday, and the Albany Word Fest. albanypoets.com/poets/thom-francis

Joanna Hoffman
10x10 Poetry

Joanna Hoffman

Joanna Hoffman is a poet, performer, teaching artist and LGBTQ advocate living in Brooklyn, New York. She is a ten-year veteran of competitive performance poetry, or slam. She has been a member of five National Poetry Slam (NPS) teams. In 2011, she represented Urbana at the 2011 Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWPS), National Poetry Slam, and Individual World Poetry Slam, placing in the top 10 at all three. This past year, she represented Louder Arts at WOWPS, placing 4th overall, and is the Grand Slam Champion for the 2012 Urbana team. She is the 2012 Champion of Capturing Fire, the queer international poetry competition.

Joanna has featured at schools, venues and festivals across the country, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Atlanta Queer Poetry Festival. Her work has appeared in decomP, Spindle, Sinister Wisdom and as part of the recent GirlChild Press anthology, Women’s Work and the Jewish lesbian poetry anthology Milk and Honey. Her full-length book of poetry will be published by Sibling Rivalry Press in August 2013. joannahoffman.com

Omar Holmon

Omar Holmon
WXW Winter Invitational

Holmon is a Rutgers graduate, 4 time grand slam champion and the only man alive to punch the planet Jupiter in the face. He is featured on season 2 of Verses and Flow and as of 5 minutes ago discovered a 3 species of ferns all of which that he did not just make up to fill space in this bio. He also really likes otters and pandas.

Ian Khadan

Ian Khadan
WXW Winter Invitational

Ian Khadan is author of the upcoming chapbook The Kaieteur Fall, he’s a curator of poetry events in New York City including Urbana Poetry Slam and The Ginsberg Turnon. You can find him at iankhadan.com and @iankhadan on Twitter.

Marie-Elizabeth Mali

Marie-Elizabeth Mali
10x10 Poetry

Marie-Elizabeth is the author of Steady, My Gaze (Tebot Bach, 2011) and co-editor with Annie Finch of the anthology, Villanelles (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets, 2012).

Mojavi

Mojavi
10x10 Poetry

Mojavi has been on the Albany poetry scene for many years as a feature at Lionheart Cafe, Lark tavern, Poet's in the Park, and Mother Earth's Cafe. He has read, slammed and featured AS220, the Nuyorican Poetry Cafe, The Sugar Shack Cafe in Harlem and Mangoes in Washington, DC. He is currently the president of Urban Guerrilla Theatre a poetry/spoken word performance group in Albany, as well as an organizer, slam coach, and open mic host for Nitty Gritty Slam. albanypoets.com/poets/mojavi/

Kevin Peterson

Kevin Peterson
10x10 Poetry

Kevin Peterson is an Albany native and has been writing poetry since the age of 13. His work is observational and people-centric, ingrained with an unfaltering sense of humor. He thoroughly enjoys the performative aspects of poetry, is a regular competitor/performer at the Nitty Gritty Slam, and member of the 2012 slam team selected to compete at the National Poetry Slam. albanypoets.com/poets/kevin-peterson/

Emily Pulfer-Terino

Emily Pulfer-Terino
Open Mic Host

Emily Pulfer-Terino teaches Creative Writing and English at Miss Hall’s School, a boarding school for girls. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. Her work is published or forthcoming in Hunger Mountain, Numero Cinq, The Southeast Review, Poetry Northwest, Stone Canoe, The Louisville Review, The Alembic, Oberon, and other journals and anthologies.

Jon Sands

Jon Sands
Featured Author

Jon Sands is a teacher and performer who has performed and led workshops at universities and arts organizations both nationally and internationally. He is Director of Poetry Education Programming at the Positive Health Project in Manhattan and a Youth Mentor with Urban Word-NYC. His work has been published in numerous journals and his book "The New Clean" was published by Write Bloody Press in 2011. jonsands.com (Click here to download press photo Credit: Jonathan Weiskopf)

Shannon Shoemaker

Shannon Shoemaker
10x10 Poetry

Shannon Shoemaker is an out poet who has been knocking around the Albany poetry scene fore more than a dozen years. Her poetry is meant to be heard. albanypoets.com/poets/shannon-shoemaker/

Jared Singer
WXW Winter Invitational

Jared Singer
Jared Singer is an audio engineer and poet who lives in NYC. He is proud to represent himself, nerds and the south. He hopes his poems bring his love of science and love to anyone who wants to hear them. He has been in several journals including the Legendary and Has represented The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Louder Arts Poetry Slam, and Urbana Poetry Slam at the national level. He has been on final stage at both the individual and team national poetry competitions. He is proud to have been the 2009 Urbana Grand Slam Champion as well as the 2011 and 2012 Louder Arts Grand Slam Champion.
Gabriel Squailia

Gabriel Squailia
Open Mic Host

Gabriel Squailia is professional DJ and amateur novelist whose interests include writing things, reading things, and talking about writing and reading things. He likes his coffee strong and dark, like his opinions. (Photo by Joseph Wilk)

Dan Wilcox

Dan Wilcox
10x10 Poetry

Dan Wilcox is the host of the Third Thursday Poetry Night at the Social Justice Center in Albany, N.Y. and is a member of the poetry performance group "3 Guys from Albany". As a photographer, he claims to have the world's largest collection of photos of unknown poets. dwlcx.blogspot.com