March means double happiness! Spring is heading our way and so is the much-anticipated Sixth Annual BREAD LOAF WRITERS FROM THE DARK TOWER event at Sunday Salon! This special event will feature talented writers of color, who’ve connected and cultivated their work at past Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences. Join us and Ru Freeman, author of On Sal Mal Lane and our marvelous MC for the evening, in welcoming this year’s line up of five award-winning writers who’ll share their illuminations on race and identity on the Salon stage. 7pm at Jimmys no. 43. Join us!
JoAnn Balingit is the author of Words for House Story (WordTech Editions, 2013) and Forage (Wings Press, 2011), winner of the Whitebird Chapbook Prize. Her poems and prose have appeared in journals and anthologies such as the Best New Poets, The Crafty Poet, DIAGRAM, Kweli Journal, MiPoesias, Smartish Pace, Salt Hill and Verse Daily. Honors include the 2010 Global Filipino Literary Award in poetry, two Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation fellowships, and a 2014 Bread Loaf Bakeless/ Camargo Foundation fellowship in fiction. She is an assistant editor for YesYes Books. As Delaware’s poet laureate, she works in collaboration with the Division of the Arts to engage audiences with poetry and teach workshops for schools and nonprofit organizations across the state. She coordinates the Delaware Writing Region of Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, a national recognition program for creative teens in grades 7 – 12.
Reginald Dwayne Betts is a writer and poet. His first collection of poems, Shahid Reads His Own Palm, won the Beatrice Hawley Award. His memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison, was the recipient of the 2010 NAACP Image Award for non-fiction. His writing has also led to a Soros Justice Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship and a Ruth Lily Fellowship. He serves as the national spokesperson for the Campaign for Youth Justice and was appointed to the Coordinating Council of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention by President Barack Obama. He is currently a student at Yale Law School. His latest collection of poems, Bastards of the Reagan Era, is forthcoming from Four Way Books.
Charles Rice-González, is an award-winning writer, playwright, and community and LGBT activist. He received a B.A. in Communications from Adelphi University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College. His debut novel Chulito (Magnus Books 2011) has received several awards including a 2013 Stonewall Book Awards – Barbara Gittings Literature Award Honor from the American Library Association and a “Small Press Highlights” mention from the National Book Critics Circle. He co-edited, From Macho To Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction (Tincture/Lethe Press 2011) with Charlie Vazquez. In 2014, he received the Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from the Lambda Literary Foundation. Rice-González is the Executive Director of BAAD! The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance and a Distinguished Lecturer at Hostos Community College – CUNY where he also serves as Associate Artistic Director of Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture.
Crystal Hana Kim lives in Chicago and is working on her first novel. She holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia University, an MS in Education from Hunter College, and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University, where she was awarded a writing fellowship and a two-year teaching fellowship. She has received fellowships and support from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Fine Arts Work Center, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Hedgebrook, and the Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Fellowship. Currently, she is the Development Manager of Apogee Journal and an education consultant for the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute.
Idrissa Simmonds is a Brooklyn born, Vancouver raised writer. Her writing has appeared in Event, Pearls, Black Renaissance Noire, The Caribbean Writer, As/Us, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships from VONA, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Poets House, and Hedgebrook, and is the 2013 winner of the Crab Creek Review poetry award, a 2014 finalist for the Commonwealth Short Fiction Prize, and a 2014 NYFA grant finalist. Her literary and food salon Brunch and Word gathers writers for literature, fellowship, and good food in her Bed-Stuy home. She curates the website ineslouise.com, which profiles women of color globally who are using their lives to create change within their communities.