April 19: Poetry Reading by Irène Mathieu, Yolanda Wisher, and Shevaun Brannigan
Irène Mathieu is a pediatrician, writer, and public health researcher who has lived and worked in the United States, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Peru, and elsewhere. She is the 2016 winner of the Bob Kaufman Book Prize and author of the poetry chapbook the galaxy of origins (dancing girl press, 2014) and book orogeny (Trembling Pillow Press, 2017). Irène has been a Fulbright scholar and a Callaloo fellow, and her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She is a poetry book reviewer for Muzzle Magazine, an editor for the humanities section of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and a contributing author on the Global Health Hub blog. Irène holds a BA in International Relations from the College of William & Mary and a MD from Vanderbilt University.
Yolanda Wisher is a multidisciplinary poet and educator. Currently the 3rd Poet Laureate of the City of Philadelphia, Wisher is a Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence (2016), Pew Fellow (2015), Catalyst Initiative Grantee (2015), Leeway Art & Change Grantee (2008), Cave Canem Fellow (1999-2000), and the first Montgomery County Pennsylvania Poet Laureate (1999). Born in Philadelphia and raised in North Wales, Pennsylvania, Wisher attended Lafayette College, where she received a B.A. in English/Black Studies. Wisher later earned an M.A. in English/Creative Writing-Poetry from Temple University. Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afro (Hanging Loose Press, 2014) and the co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song (City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, 2013). Her work has been featured in Fence, GOOD Magazine, Harriet: The Blog, MELUS, Ploughshares, The Sun Ra Mixtape Vol. 1, and in the anthologies Gathering Ground, Gravyland, Lavanderia, Stand Our Ground, and The Ringing Ear. As an English teacher at Germantown Friends School, Wisher founded and directed the Germantown Poetry Festival (2006-2010). She also served as the Director of Art Education for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (2010-2015). Wisher was a Founding Cultural Agent and the Chief Rhapsodist of Wherewithal for the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (2014-2016). She lives in Philadelphia.
Shevaun Brannigan is a graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, as well as The Jimenez-Porter Writers’ House at The University of Maryland. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as Best New Poets 2012, Rhino, Washington Square Review, and Crab Orchard Review. She is the first place recipient of the 2015 Jan-ai Scholarship through the Winter Poetry and Prose Getaway. Her favorite poetry gig is the workshop she leads at her local Domestic Violence Shelter, and her work can be found at shevaunbrannigan.wordpress.com.
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