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

Spring 2023 Fellows

Carol Ann Carl

Community Fellow, University of Hawaiʻi
Spring 2023

Carol Ann Carl is a daughter of the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. In 2020, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa. Storytelling and writing are personal forms of pedagogical healing. Professionally and creatively, Carol Ann leans into the intersectionality of her identity – indigeneity, science, health, and civic advocacy – to develop narratives of empowerment for the Micronesian community in Hawaiʻi and the wider Pacific Islander community abroad. Currently, Carol Ann is a Research Associate with the Māpuna Lab at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where her work centers cultural reclamation as disaster response. As a storyteller, her collective work KEWERIWER explores the social context of her life and her life as a transformer of that social context. Her poetry has been featured in the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Celebrate Micronesia Festival, and the Why It Matters civic engagement docuseries for the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities.

Phillip Cash Cash

Community Fellow, luk’upsíimey
Spring 2023

Phillip Cash Cash is a niimíipuu (Nez Perce)/weyíiletpuu (Cayuse) human, an award winning Indigenous scholar, artist, writer, and traditional healer. He is a younger speaker of nimiipuutímt, the Nez Perce language, a severely endangered language. Cash Cash holds doctoral degrees in linguistics and anthropology. His creativity and inquiry are life-centered endeavors committed to cultural revitalization and community-based language advocacy. He sees our Native languages as vital elements of epistemology, consciousness, and spirit that connects us to Indigenous lives, lands, ancestors, and futurity. Philosophy: “the earth and myself of one mind,” Young Chief Joseph, Nez Perce (1840-1904). Dr. Cash Cash is also a co-founder of Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts (a nationally recognized Indigenous arts press and institute) and luk’upsíimey, The North Star Collective (an Indigenous Plateau literary advocacy group). 

Al-An deSouza

Faculty Fellow, UC Berkeley
Spring & Fall 2023

Al-An deSouza works across photo-media, installation, text and performance works as staging grounds for historical memory and its legacies upon the present. Their works draw upon formal and informal archives, remaking them through strategies of humor, fabulation, and (mis)translation. deSouza’s work has been shown extensively in the US and internationally, including at the Johnson Museum, Ithaca, NY, Krannert Museum, IL; Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; Pompidou Centre, Paris, and the Mori Museum, Tokyo. deSouza has published numerous essays and two recent books: How Art Can Be Thought, A Handbook for Change (2018), and Ark of Martyrs (2020), a polyphonic, dysphoric replacement of Joseph Conrad’s infamous Heart of Darkness.

Amanda Galvan Huynh

Graduate Fellow, University of Hawaiʻi
Spring 2023

Amanda Galvan Huynh (she/her) is a Xicana writer and educator from Texas. She is the author of a chapbook, Songs of Brujería (Big Lucks 2019) and Co-Editor of Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making: An Anthology of Essays on Transformative Poetics (The Operating System 2019). Her debut poetry collection, Where My Umbilical is Buried, is forthcoming in 2023 with Sundress Publications. 

Image courtesy of the artist.

Sarah Hennessey

Community Fellow, luk’upsíimey
Spring 2023

Sarah Hennessey is Nimíipuu and she is a poet, performer, playwright, and youth empowerment theater practitioner. Her work highlights the symbiosis of storytelling and language reclamation. By integrating her penchant for literature and performance into her educational outreach, Sarah infuses her instruction with not just interdisciplinary pedagogy, but also both traditional and contemporary storytelling techniques. Her work has been published in literary journals such as Yellow Medicine Review and Pork Belly Press. Her first short play Weet’u Naqaacnim ‘iceyeeye’ (Not My Grandmother’s Coyote) was featured in Lewis-Clark State College’s Humanifest in Spring of 2021.

Fede Kong-Gonzalez

Undergraduate Fellow, UC Berkeley
Spring & Fall 2023

Fede thinks about dragons, wings, wishes, coincidences, spirals, knots, seeds, breath. They’re only at the beginning of their journey with poetry and the arts at large–an exciting prospect. Their poetry is informed by their queer-chinese-latine identity and they find that art-making is a restorative process. They always emerge from a project having pulled out something they could never quite grab at before. Fede loves love, being undone, and a good string. For the new year they plan to do a bird watching Big Year, learn balance, and be in conversation.

Image courtesy of the artist.

Marisa Lin

Graduate Fellow, UC Berkeley
Spring & Fall 2023

Marisa Lin is a daughter of Chinese immigrants and Minnesota native. Her first training in poetry was through western classical music. A 2023 Roots Wounds Words Poetry Fellow, Marisa is an alum of the VONA, Kenyon Review, and Community of Writers workshops. You can find her work at Poetry South, Porter House Review, The Racket, and elsewhere. She is pursuing a Master’s Degree of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and in her free time enjoys hiking, petting cats, and writing random letters to friends.

Image by Clara Pérez

Cristina S. Méndez

Graduate Fellow, UC Berkeley
Spring & Fall 2023

Cristina Méndez (she/her/ella) is a Chicana writer and educator born and raised in the Bay Area (Muwekma Ohlone territory). Through her ongoing work alongside Maya Mam activists on projects of language revitalization, she explores the continuum of how people understand and support each other across lines of difference. Cristina is interested in coalitions, tensions, transformational learning, and healing as she envisions other futurities in the present.

Noʻu Revilla

Faculty Fellow, University of Hawaiʻi
Spring 2023

Noʻu Revilla (she / her / ʻo ia) is an ʻŌiwi poet and educator. Her debut book Ask the Brindled (Milkweed Editions 2022) won the 2021 National Poetry Series. She is a lifetime student of Haunani-Kay Trask and prioritizes collaboration, movement, and gratitude in her practice. 

Image of light brown woman with long black hair smiling against a wooden wall.

Aimee Suzara

Community Fellow, Oakland
Spring & Fall 2023

Oakland-Based Aimee Suzara is a Filipino-American poet, playwright, and performer whose mission is to create poetic and theatrical work about race, gender, and the body to provoke dialogue and social change. As a playwright, her new work THE REAL SAPPHO was commissioned by Cutting  Ball Theater and awarded by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation New Works fund and National Endowment for the Arts, and TINY FIRES will have its World Premiere in 2023. Her poetry book SOUVENIR (2014) was a Willa Award Finalist, and her poems appear in poets.org, numerous journals and anthologies such as Kartika Review, 580 Split, Lantern Review, and two Lockhorn Press anthologies.

Image by Bethanie Hines

Tierra Sydnor

Undergraduate Fellow, University of Hawaiʻi
Spring 2023

Tierra Sydnor (she/her) is currently earning her bachelors in French, English, and German. Her work focuses on how her experience as an African American woman and how that has affected her spiritual and life journey. The daughter of two army veterans, she spent most of her childhood in Fishers Indiana. She has a strong passion for religious tolerance and cross-community cooperation. Tierra in her free time hoards books and watches Golden Girls. 

Kellen Trenal

Community Fellow, luk’upsíimey
Spring 2023

Kellen Trenal (pronounced like “Chanel”) is a visual artist, performer, small business owner, alumnus of the University of Notre Dame, and holistic wellness enthusiast, born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Proudly representing both African (Black American) and niimíipuu (Nez Perce) ancestry, Kellen embraces these multiple identities to empower their work in all its manifestations. Kellen shares (he)artwork through Trenal Original, a traditional-arts based, 2SLGBTQ+/BIPOC-owned, small business. Kellen utilizes a wealth of Indigenous knowledge to explore the tradition of continual innovation. The works range from hand-crafted accessories and jewelry design, gallery art, traditional niimíipuu regalia, modern apparel, to much more.

Fall 2021/Spring 2022

Undergraduate Student Fellows:

Gisselle Medina

Gisselle Medina’s identity consists of multitudes—a Latine, queer, non-binary from Los Angeles. They are a poet, visual artist and journalist in their final year as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley. In Medina’s scholarship, they investigate the history of literature and intertwine various methods and theories into literary and cultural analysis. In their poetry, Medina writes fiercely about their restless past and our collective world, in hopes to inspire and transcend anyone willing to listen. Medina inspires to be an investigative reporter for the LA Times, a multi-published poet and founder of a non-profit organization for mental health. This is only the beginning of their journey.

Anastasia DoanTrinh Le

Anastasia DoanTrinh Le is a poet and printmaker from the Lake Chabot area of the East Bay. Her work can be found in Berkeley Poetry Review’s Midterm Five: Interlace/Intersect, the 2021 Southeast Asian Student Coalition anthology, and on the walls of her former co-op. She approaches poetry with a Vietnamese linguistic sensibility, but writes in English—she’s working on that. You can find her behind the counter at Eastwind Books of Berkeley planning their next open mic.

Graduate Student Fellows:

최 Lindsay | Lindsay Choi

최 Lindsay is a poet and translator working between English, Korean, and Swedish. They are the author of Transverse (Futurepoem, 2021), as well as a chapbook, Matrices (speCt! books, 2017). More of their work can be found in Omniverse, Aster(ix) Journal, and elsewhere, including a forthcoming sound piece for amatter. They are a Kundiman fellow and a Ph.D. candidate in English literature at UC Berkeley. With Noah Ross, they are a founding co-editor of the chapbook press MO(0)ON/IO. Their work has been translated to French, and appears in NIOQUES, 22/23: Nouvelle Poésie Des États-Unis (New U.S. Poetry), edited by DoubleChange Collective, and translated by Abigail Lang. Visit them at lindsaychoi.com.

Vincente Perez

Vincente Perez (He/They) is a Black Mexican-American performance poet, scholar, and writer working at the intersections of Poetry, Hip-Hop, and Digital Black cultural praxis with an interest in the way that artists use narrative to resist dominant stories that attempt to erase, subjugate, or enact violence on marginalized communities. Their work centers Black and Latinx lived experience with a stylistic approach that samples and (re)mixes Hip-Hop and Performance Poetry into counternarratives. He is a PhD Candidate in the Performance Studies program (Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies)

Faculty Fellows:

Ahmad Diab

Ahmad Diab is a Palestinian writer and academic. He is assistant professor of modern Arabic literature and cinema (20th and 21st centuries) at University of California, Berkeley. His work contemplates the relationship between displacement and representation. He received his B.A. from Damascus University. He was awarded a Ph.D. from the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. He is currently finishing his first academic book titled Intimate Others: Representations of Arabs in the Palestinian Imaginary. He is also finishing his Arabic translation of After the Last Sky by Edward Said, and compiling a volume of poetry provisionally titled Measures of Distance.

Jesse Nathan

Jesse Nathan’s poems appear in the Paris Review, Kenyon Review, The Nation, FENCE, The Yale Review, Harvard Review, and American Poetry Review. His translations of Alfonsina Storni and Brenda Solís-Fong in Mantis and Poetry International. Nathan was born in Berkeley, where he lived until he was ten; he spent the second half of his childhood on a wheat farm in rural Kansas. Nathan moved to San Francisco after college, in part to take a position at McSweeney’s. His work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ashbery Home School, Bread Loaf, and the Community of Writers. He lives now in Oakland and is a lecturer in the English Department at UC Berkeley.

Community Fellows:

Maurya Kerr

Maurya Kerr is a bay area-based writer, educator, and artist. Maurya’s poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart prize and appears or is forthcoming in multiple journals, including Inverted Syntax, Chestnut Review, Tupelo Quarterly, little somethings press, and an anthology, “The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry.” Much of her artistic work, across disciplines, is focused on Black and brown people reclaiming their birthright to wonderment.  Maurya was recently chosen by Jericho Brown as a runner-up in Southern Humanities Review’s 2021 Auburn Witness Poetry Prize, and her first chapbook, MUTTOLOGY, will be published with Harbor Editions in 2022. Image by Kimara Dixon.

D’mani Thomas

D’mani Thomas is a Black visual theorist, horror enthusiast, and writer from Oakland, California (Ohlone territory). D’mani has received fellowships from The Watering Hole, Foglifter literary journal, and Bakanal de Afrique via Afro Urban Society. When he’s not writing, find him watching horror movie trailers, drinking smoothies, or reading YouTube spoilers for movies he has no attention span for.  D’mani’s work has been published by The Auburn Avenue, The Ana, MARY: A Journal of New Writing, Shade Literary Arts, and his poem, “Survival Tactics” was recently shortlisted for the 2020 Penrose Poetry Prize. His current work obsesses over what it means to create intimacy under total surveillance.

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 author of Risk, which will be published by Black Ocean in Spring 2024. Her other books include After Urgency (which won Tupelo’s Dorset Prize) and the true keeps calm biding its story (which won Ahsahta’s Sawtooth Prize, James Laughlin Award, N.California Book Award, & DiCastagnola Award). Her poems have been recently published in APR, Fence, and other journals. She is the co-publisher of Omnidawn. She teaches and gives writing consultations. Her website: www.rustymorrison.com

Made Here:

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