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Natasha Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Misssissippi in 1966. She received an MA from the Hollins College Creative Writing Program and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts. She is a recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and her poems have appeared in such journals as Agni, The American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Gettysburg Review, New England Review, The North American Review, and the Southern Review. She is Assistant Professor of English at Auburn University.

Thomas Sayers Ellis, was born and raised in Wahsingotn, D.C., studied poetry at Harvard with Seamus Heaney and received and M.F.A. from Brown University in 1995. His work has appeared in The American Poetry Review; AGNI; Best American Poetry 1997; Boston Review; Callaloo; Grand Street; Hambone; Harvard Review; the Kenyon Review; Ploughshares; the Pushcart Prize 1998; the Southern Review and The Garden Thrives: Twentieth-Centry African-American Poetry. He has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, The Fine Arts Work Center (in Provincetown) and YADDO: and in 1993 he coedited On the Verge: Emerging Poets and Artists (Faber & Faber). His first collection The Good Junk was published in the Graywolf annual "Take Three" in 1996. He teaches in the Bennington Writing Seminars and is currently Assistant Profesor of English and African American Literature at Case Western Reserve Universitiy.

Kevin Young attended Harvard University, where he won the Academy of American Poets Prize his first year. He went on to win prestigious Hoopes and Garrison Prizes from the same university before holding a Stegner Fellowship in Poetry from Stanford. After receiving an M.F.A from Brown University and several MacDowell Colony residencies, Young currently serves as assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at University of Georgia, teaching poetry and film studies. Young's first book, Most Way Home, won the National Poetry Series and the Zacharis First Book Prize from Ploughshares; William Morrow published it in 1995 (Quill paperback, 1996). Publications from Seventeen, Emerge and Jet, to Poetry, Harvard Review and the Villiage Voice Literary Supplement reviewed or featured the book widely.

Sharan Strange is a native of Orangeburg, South Carolina, and was educated at Harvard and Sarah Lawrence Colleges. She now lives in Washington, D.C., where she teaches writing, literature and social studies in an alternative school which focuses on experiential learning. She has also taught poetry workshops in high schools, colleges and universities throughout the East coast and in the Midwest, and has been writer-in-residence this past year at Fisk University, Spelman College and the California Institute of the Arts. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies - - most recently in American Poetry Review, Agni and Callaloo-and is forthcoming in Identity Lessons ,Bittersweet: Contemporary Black Women Writers, Radcliffe Quarterly and What I Never Said: Leters from Daughters and Sons to their Fathers.

Major Jackson is a graduate of Temple University and Central High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While at Temple University, he studied poetry under the tutelage of poet Sonia Sanchez. He is the recipient of fellowships from Pew Charitable Trusts, MacDowell Artist Colony, and Bread Loaf Writers' Confernce. He has read his poetry widely at such institutions as the St. Mark's Poetry Project, Bowdoin College, Gettysburg College, Swarthmore College, Third Avenue Performance Space, and University of Pennsylvania. His work has been published in the American Poetry Review, Boulevard, Callalloo, Absidian II, Painted Bride Quarterly, and in the anthologies, CrossConnect: Writers of the Information Age, and Spirit & Flame: An Anthology of African-American Poetry. From 1992-97, he worked as Curator of Literary Arts & Programs at Poetry. From 1992-97, he worked as Curator of Literary Arts & Programs at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia. Currently, he is enrolled in the creative Writing Program at the University of Oregon.

Vera Beatty received her bachelors from Emerson College and her M.F.A. from Brown University. She has studied with Michael S. Harper and Cornelius Eady. In the Spring of 1993 she joined the Dark Room Collective. "I was very lucky to have been a part of the Dark Room. The Collective continues to be many things for me and I hope that the emerging young Black artists of tomorrow find or begin to build on what I experienced with the Collective." Ms. Beatty presently lives, teaches and organizes around Political Prisoners in Brooklyn, NY.


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