George Abraham is a Palestinian-American Poet, Activist, and Engineering PhD Candidate at Harvard University. He is a Pushcart and Best New Poets nominee, a recipient of the Lois Morrell Poetry Prize, the Favianna Rodriguez Award for Artistic Activism, and the honor of “Best Poet” at the 2017 College Union Poetry Slam Invitational. His chapbook, al youm: for yesterday & her inherited traumas, was a winner of the Atlas Review’s 2016 chapbook contest. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Vinyl, Apogee, Kweli, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Winter Tangerine, and the Ghassan Kanafani Palestinian Literature Anthology. He hopes to continue bringing awareness to Palestinian human rights/socio-economic struggles through art.
George Abraham is a contributing poet of Bettering American Poetry Volume 2.
Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), which won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, the GLCA New Writers Award, and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. The collection was also longlisted for the National Book Award for Poetry and named a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. He is the 2018-2020 Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University. With Sam Herschel Wein, he edits Underblong, a journal exploring the queer and magique. He lives in Rochester, NY with his partner, Jeff Gilbert and their pug dog, Mr. Rupert Giles.
Chen Chen is a contributing poet of Bettering American Poetry Volume 2.
Photo by Jess X. Snow
Kenning JP García
Kenning (FKA Kenyatta) JP García is the author of So This Is Story (Shirt Pocket Press), They Say (West Vine Press) and This Sentimental Education. JP is a cronista, poet, editor and humorist originally from Brooklyn, NY but currently resides in Albany, NY where xe also works the graveyard shift trying to make a few bucks to keep a roof overhead and to get to xyr next gig.
Kenning JP García is a contributing poet of Bettering American Poetry 2015.
Candace Williams is a black queer nerd living a double life. By day, she’s a middle school humanities teacher and robotics coach. By night and subway ride, she’s a poet. Her poetry has appeared in Hyperallergic, the PEN Poetry Series, Lambda Literary Review, and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology (Brooklyn Arts Press), among other places. Her first collection, Spells for Black Wizards, won the the Atlas Review’s 2017 TAR Chapbook Series. She’s earned a MA in Education from Stanford University, a Brooklyn Poets Fellowship, scholarships from Cave Canem, and a Create Change Fellowship from the Laundromat Project. Candace has presented original poetry, performances, and lectures at the New Museum, the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, the Museum of Arts and Design, Dixon Place, Eyebeam, the Obie Award-winning Bushwick Starr Theater, and other venues.
Candace Williams is a contributing poet of Bettering American Poetry Volume 2.
Erika T. Wurth
Erika T. Wurth’s publications include a novel, Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend, two collections of poetry and a collection of short stories, Buckskin Cocaine. Her novel You Who Enter Here is forthcoming from SUNY. A writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she teaches creative writing at Western Illinois University and has been a guest writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals including Boulevard, Drunken Boat, The Writer’s Chronicle, Waxwing and The Kenyon Review. She is represented by Peter Steinberg. She is Apache/Chickasaw/Cherokee and was raised outside of Denver.
Poet, art critic, and curator John Yau has published over 50 books of poetry, fiction, and art criticism. Born in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1950 to Chinese emigrants, Yau attended Bard College and earned an MFA from Brooklyn College in 1978. His first book of poetry, Crossing Canal Street, was published in 1976. Since then, he has won acclaim for his poetry’s attentiveness to visual culture and linguistic surface. In poems that frequently pun, trope, and play with the English language, Yau offers complicated, sometimes competing versions of the legacy of his dual heritages—as Chinese, American, poet, and artist. A contributor for Contemporary Poets wrote: “Yau’s poems [are] often as much a product of his visual sense of the world, as his awareness of his double heritage from both Oriental and Occidental cultures.” Yau’s many collections of poetry include Corpse and Mirror (1983), selected by John Ashbery for the National Poetry Series, Edificio Sayonara (1992), Forbidden Entries (1996), Borrowed Love Poems (2002), Ing Grish (2005), Paradiso Diaspora (2006), Exhibits (2010), and Further Adventures in Monochrome (2012). Yau’s work frequently explores, and exploits, the boundaries between poetry and prose, and his collections of stories and prose poetry include Hawaiian Cowboys(1994), My Symptoms (1998), and Forbidden Entries (1996).
Yau has received many honors and awards for his work including a New York Foundation for the Arts Award, the Jerome Shestack Award, and the Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram-Merrill Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and was named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by France. Yau has taught at many institutions, including Pratt, the Maryland Institute College of Art and School of Visual Arts, Brown University, and the University of California-Berkeley. Since 2004 he has been the Arts editor of the Brooklyn Rail. He teaches at the Mason Gross School of the Arts and Rutgers University, and lives in New York City.