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
Fall 2021/Spring 2022
Undergraduate Student Fellows:
Anastasia Le is a poet, printmaker, and student co-operative member in her final year of a BA in comparative politics at UC Berkeley. Her first published poem appears in the 2021 Southeast Asian Student Coalition Anthology, in honor of the 46th anniversary of the Southeast Asian diaspora. Her work concerns reconciliation: political, sacramental, or otherwise. Anastasia was born and raised in the Lake Chabot area of the East Bay, among the Vietnamese Catholic community of the Oakland Diocese. She is the oldest of three daughters. Her favorite color is red. Image by Lindsey Guan.
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.
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 (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)
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’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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Graduate Student Fellows:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Graduate Student Fellows:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.