Poetry & the Senses Fellows

I want to lift / your fear / like a bonnet
and kiss / your living / face.
Eileen Myles

Should I cry out and see what happens?
Frank O’Hara, Meditations in an Emergency

Spring 2021

Undergraduate Student Fellows:

Vethea Cerna Cole

Vethea Cerna Cole is a queer, Filipinx writer, artist, and lover in their final year of pursuing a BA in Gender & Women’s Studies at UC Berkeley. Her research analyzes the intergenerational trauma passed between mothers who have emigrated from the Philippines and queer, trans, first generation children adapting to life in the settler colony that is the U.S. Centering decolonization in their art and scholarship, Vethea hopes to contribute to new frameworks of healing and restorative justice for QTBIPOC. To them, sharing community, language, and vulnerability is at the heart of everything.

Made Here:

Mirrors | Poetry Reading Video

Elizabeth Zhiying Feng

Elizabeth Zhiying Feng is a visual artist, writer, and programmer from the Bay Area. Elizabeth is a second year Electrical Engineering & Computer Science major at Berkeley. She creates visual poetry that combines writing with elements of photography, typography, cinematography, and composition. She’s also interested in new media, immersive computing, and machine creativity, and hopes to discover new ways to combine art and technology in the future.

Made Here:

Polo Horses | Poetry Reading Video

Graduate Student Fellows:

reelaviolette botts-ward

reelaviolette botts-ward is a homegirl, an educator, and a nontraditional multimedia artist from Philadelphia, PA. She is currently a doctoral candidate in African Diaspora Studies researching Black women’s healing spaces in Oakland. ree centers “everyday round the way Blackgirl methodology” to theorize creative innovation in the wake of displacement. Founder of blackwomxnhealing, ree curates healing circles and exhibitions for and by Black womxn, using Black feminist poetics and artistry as tools for translation between academic and community audiences. Her first book, mourning my inner[blackgirl]child, will be published with Nomadic Press in 2021 (info here).

blackwomxnhealing.com / @blackwomxnhealing.

Made Here:

sanctified children | A Reading of sanctified children

Noah Warren

Noah Warren is the author of The Complete Stories (Copper Canyon, 2021) and The Destroyer in the Glass (Yale, 2016). His honors include the Yale Series of Younger Poets and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, and his poems appear in The Paris Review, POETRY, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. At Berkeley, his research traces the pervasive influence of natural history and its classificatory logic in nineteenth century America, investigating how these structure practices of observation, encourage anti-progressivism, and subtend the nefarious racism of American ethnography. 

Made Here:

Emergency | A Reading of Talk

Faculty Fellows:

Ramona Naddaff

Ramona Naddaff is the author of a collection of prose-poems, Paris/Paris (Tête d’Affiche, 1991) and of a permanent installation of a poem-collage, “Ancient Greece and Democracy” in the Lisbon metro station.  She has written a scholarly monograph, Exiling the Poets: The Production of Censorship in Plato’s Republic (University of Chicago, 2002) as well as essays on ancient Greek philosophy and literature, and on literary censorship.  She is currently completing a manuscript on the writing practices of the novelist Gustave Flaubert, Never Alone: The Making of Madame Bovary.  Associate Professor in the Rhetoric Department, Naddaff is also founding director of the Art of Writing program at the Doreen B.Townsend Humanities Center. She has been an editor at Zone Books in New York since its inception.

Made Here:

Da capo al fine | A Reading of Petty Pandemic

Ken Ueno

Rome Prize and Berlin Prize winner Ken Ueno is a composer, vocalist and sound artist. Ueno’s collaborators include the Hilliard Ensemble, Kim Kashkashian and Robyn Schulkowsky, Steve Schick and SFCMP, and Frances-Marie Uitti. As a vocalist, he has performed his concerto with orchestras in Boston, New York, Poland, Lithuania, Thailand, North Carolina, and California. His sound installations have been installed at MUAC, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Art Basel, and at SCI-Arc.  Ueno is currently a Professor in Music at UC Berkeley.  His bio appears in The Grove Dictionary of American Music.


Made Here:

Non-time and Decolonizing Affordances of Failure | A Reading of Shadowless Sun

Community Fellows:

Sara Mumolo

Sara Mumolo is the author of Day Counter and Mortar, both published by Omnidawn. She serves as the Associate Director for the MFA in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College of CA. Writing has appeared in Lana Turner, The Millions, PEN Poetry Series, Pleiades, San Francisco Chronicle, and Zyzzyva, among others. She created and curated the Studio One Reading Series in Oakland, CA from 2007-2012. She has received residencies to Vermont Studio Center, Caldera Center for the Arts, and has served as a curatorial resident at Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland, CA. 


Made Here:

Making Trauma Notes | A Reading of Trauma Note

Maw Shein Win

Maw Shein Win is a poet, editor, and educator who lives and teaches in the Bay Area. Her poetry chapbooks are Ruins of a glittering palace (SPA/Commonwealth Projects) and Score and Bone (Nomadic Press). Invisible Gifts: Poems was published by Manic D Press in 2018. She was a 2019 Visiting Scholar in the Department of English at UC Berkeley. Win is the first poet laureate of El Cerrito, California (2016 – 2018), and her full-length poetry collection, Storage Unit for the Spirit House (Omnidawn, 2020) was recently longlisted for a 2021 PEN Open Book Award. She often collaborates with visual artists, musicians, and other writers.


Made Here:

Thought Log #15, 16, 17 | A Reading of Fires


Undergraduate Student Fellows:

Menat Allah El Attma

Menat Allah El Attma is an Egyptian Muslim woman, educator, writer, and visual artist. Menat graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in English literature and is pursuing her teaching credential. She is a logophile and linguaphile, working to affect a similar love for words/languages in her students through the practice and art of storytelling. She believes art is in the telling of the story as much as the story itself.

Made Here:

Sensing, Knowing, and Other Matters

Gracia Mwamba

Gracia Mwamba is a visual artist, composer and writer from DRCongo, by way of South Africa. Currently in her final year of a BA in Art Practice, Gracia works interdisciplinarily to communicate through her work. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue credentials to become a licensed Art Therapist and strong advocate for art as an accessible means of healing and social change.

Made Here:

To You: In the tradition of izibongo (south-african praise prose)

Graduate Student Fellows:

Jared Robinson

Jared Robinson is from Indianapolis, IN. He is a poet and scholar in the UC Berkeley English department. In his scholarship, he interrogates the relationship between the transatlantic slave trade and Enlightenment philosophy through careful attention to early African-American literature and its reception. In his poetry, he attempts an understanding of everything else. He does not care for this California weather. He is glad to greet you.

Made Here:

The First Day of the Plague Was My Birthday | Poetry Reading Video

Jenif(f)er Tamayo

Jenif(f)er Tamayo is a queer, migrant, formerly undocumented poet, essayist, and performer. Her poetry collections include [Red Missed Aches] (Switchback, 2011), YOU DA ONE (Noemi 2017) and her latest publication, TO KILL THE FUTURE IN THE PRESENT (Green Lantern Press, 2018). Currently, JT lives and works on Ohlone and Patwin lands and is pursuing her PhD in Performance Studies at the University of California Berkeley. Her research explores how contemporary Black and Indigenous poets use vocal practices to counternarrate histories of colonial violence.

Made Here:

Poetry, Voice & Violence | What If Every

Faculty Fellows:

Beth Piatote

Beth Piatote is author of two books: a mixed-genre collection, The Beadworkers: Stories (Counterpoint 2019); and a scholarly monograph, Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature (Yale 2013), as well as numerous essays and short stories stories in journals and anthologies. Her recent work, The Beadworkers, has been long-listed for the Aspen Words Literary Prize and the PEN/Bingham Prize. She is currently associate professor of Native American Studies, where she specializes in Native American literature and law; Nez Perce language and literature; Indigenous Language Revitalization; and creative writing. She earned a PhD from Stanford University.

Made Here:

kawá/then | I cause my heart to pour out is how to say remember

Alex Saum-Pascual

Alex Saum-Pascual is a digital artist, poet and professor. She is Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches Contemporary Spanish Literature and Culture (20th and 21st Centuries) and Electronic Literature (Digital Humanities). She is also part of the Executive Committee of the Berkeley Center for New Media and the board of directors of the Electronic Literature Organization. Her academic work on digital media and literature in the Spanish-speaking world has been published in Spain, Mexico and the United States. Her digital artwork and poetry has been exhibited in galleries and art festivals in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Norway and the UK.

Made Here:

Room 1 and Room 2 | Sore Thumbs | Room 3 | Poetry Reading Video

Community Fellows:

Nathalie Khankan

Nathalie Khankan is the author of quiet orient riot (Fall 2020), winner of Omnidawn’s 2019 1st/2nd Book Prize, selected by Dawn Lundy Martin. Her work appears in the Berkeley Poetry Review, jubilat, The Volta, and Crab Creek Review. Straddling Danish, Finnish, Syrian and Palestinian homes and heirlooms, Nathalie currently lives in San Francisco. She teaches Arabic language and literature in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley.

Made Here:

inside calamity, calamity

Rusty Morrison

Rusty Morrison is the co-founder and co-publisher of Omnidawn (www.omnidawn.com) since 2001. Her five books include After Urgency (won Tupelo’s Dorset Prize) & the true keeps calm biding its story (won Ahsahta’s Sawtooth Prize, James Laughlin Award, N.California Book Award, & DiCastagnola Award from PSA). Her recent book: Beyond the Chainlink (Ahsahta; finalist for the NCIB Award & NCB Award) She teaches in MFA programs as a visiting poet, workshops through Omnidawn and elsewhere. Offering private consultations.


Made Here:

notes from the understory (level 5) | catastropha | This Piece of Writing Began