2018 Featured Poets

International Featured Poet

Kirpal Singh 

Kirpal Singh, Singapore

Kirpal Singh is a poet, fictionist and cultural critic, and is currently Director of the Wee Kim Wee Centre at the Singapore Management University where he also teaches creative writing. He was a founding member of the Centre for Research in New Literatures at Flinders University, Australia, in 1977, served for many years as chairman of the Singapore Writers' Festival in the 1990s and has the distinction of being the first Asian director of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1993 and 1994. He is an internationally recognized scholar whose core research areas include post-colonial literature, Singapore and Southeast Asian literature and technology, and creativity thinking. His research articles and critical writings have been published in international journals such as Ariel, Diogene, Commonwealth Novel In English, Literary Criterion, Quadrant, Southern Review and Westerly. He has written four books of poetry, two collections of stories and edited over twenty-five publications, including the prestigious literary journal, World Literature Written in English. He has attended international writers' festivals all over the world, in places such as Adelaide, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Mexico, USA, Toronto and Kent. In addition, Singh is a member of several international literary journals and associations. In 2010, he represented Singapore at the Shanghai World Expo. Currently, he is also involved in conceptualizing and promoting creative thinking in Singapore's undergraduate education system at the Singapore Management University. In 2004, Singh became the first Asian and non-American to be made a director on the American Creativity Association's (ACA) board where he is now Vice-President and Chair of ACA International.


International Featured Poet

David C Johnson, United Kingdom

David Johnson is a witty and quirky performance poet, who mixes his stand-up humor with his own verse. His inspiration comes from the bizarre world that we live in combined with a wry commentary on change and progress. David has been a featured artist at poetry and literary festivals in Bristol, Cheltenham, Bath, Sheffield, Swindon, Oxford, Hay, Houston and Austin (Texas).He has also appeared several times at: Nuyorican Poetry Café, New York. In April 2005, he completed a three week tour of the USA. He was a featured poet at the 2009 Austin International Poetry Festival (Texas).  He is a multi-slam winner -Swindon Literary Festival Slam Champion 2003, Oxford All Star Slam Champion 2004, Lydney Arts Festival 2005 Slam Champion, Thornbury Arts Festival Slam Champion 2006. He was Poet in Residence for the Bristol Cycle Festival 2010. He has written radio plays for the BBC in the UK. In 2014, he read his poetry at the Association for the Promotion of Literary Translation in Leipzig, Germany.  In 2015, he participated in the Theaster Gates Sanctum Project in Bristol. In 2017, he has developed a poetry and song show, with song-writer/performer Mike Scott “ Still Doing It”. He has collaborated with Bristol film maker Diana Taylor to produce several poetry films (see Diana Taylor You tube site).  These films have been shown at Film festivals in many countries. He has 5 volumes of poetry published by Paralalia. The most recent, “ Earwig In The Radio” (2015)


National Featured Poet

Rick Lupert, California

Rick Lupert has been involved with L.A. poetry since 1990. He is the recipient of the 2017 Ted Slade Awrd, and the 2014 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Distinguished Service Award and was a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets for 2 years. He created the Poetry Super Highway (http://poetrysuperhighway.com/) and hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading for almost 21 years. His first spoken word album "Rick Lupert Live and Dead" featuring 25 studio and live tracks was released in March, 2016. He’s authored 21 collections of poetry, including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion” (Ain’t Got No Press, August, 2017), “Donut Famine”, "Professor Clown on Parade", "Romancing the Blarney Stone", “Making Love to the 50 Foot Woman”, “The Gettysburg Undress”  (Rothco Press) and “Nothing in New England is New”, and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah” and the noir anthology “The Night Goes on All Night. He also writes and draws (with Brendan Constantine) the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” and writes the Jewish Poetry column “From the Lupertverse” for http://www.JewishJournal.com/. He is been lucky enough to read his poetry at venues all over the world.


National Featured Poet 

Regie Gibson, Massachusetts

Literaryperformer & educator, Regie Gibson, has lectured & performed in the U.S., Europe & Cuba. Representing the U.S., Regie competed for & received the Absolute Poetry Award in Monfalcone, Italy. Himself & his work appear in "love jones”: a film based on events in his life. He is a Former National Poetry Slam Champion, has featured on HBO, several TED X events & various NPR programs including On Point & Radio Boston. He’s received the Walker Scholarship for Poetry from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center & a YMCA Writer’s Fellowship. He’s served as a consultant for both the National Endowment for the Arts “How Art Works” initiative & “The Mere Distinction of Color”: an exhibit at James Madison’s Montpelier, examining the legacy of slavery. Regie has performed with & composed for The Boston City Singers, The Mystic Chorale & the Handel+Haydn Society. His volume of poems, “Storms Beneath the Skin” received the Golden Pen Award & his work appears in Poetry Magazine, Harvard’s Divinity Magazine & The Iowa Review, among others. He has received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Award & a Lexington Education Foundation Grant. He is Co-creator of the Shakespeare Time-Traveling Speakeasy: A multi-media performance focusing on the influence of William Shakespeare.


National Featured Poet 

Timothy Mason, Massachusetts

A dynamic performing poet who has featured at festivals and venues throughout North America notably at The Ottawa Folk Festival where he collaborated with Grammy Award winners The Carolina Chocolate Drops, also The Austin International Poetry Festival and The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (NY). Often collaborating with songwriters he has produced two CD’s and published two books. His work has been heard on HEAT on National Public Radio.


State Featured Poet

Robin Davidson, Texas

Robin Davidson is author of two poem chapbooks, Kneeling in the Dojo (Finishing Line Press) and City that Ripens on the Tree of the World (Calypso Editions), and a full collection, Luminous Other, recipient of the Ashland Poetry Press’s 2012 Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize. She is co-translator with Ewa Elbieta Nowakowska of The New Century: Poems from the Polish of Ewa Lipska (Northwestern University Press), and is the recipient of, among other awards, a Fulbright professorship at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland and a National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowship. Davidson was named the 2015-2017 Poet Laureate for the City of Houston by Mayor Annise Parker, and was a finalist for Texas State Poet Laureate in 2017. She teaches literature and creative writing as professor of English for the University of Houston-Downtown.


State Featured Poet

Steve Sanders, Texas

Stephen Sanders, also known as “Blackbead the Pirate Laureate,” also known as “The Steampunk Poet,” is a poet who writes in many voices.  First published in 1975, Sanders has become an award-winning poet with book/magazine/anthology credits too numerous to list here.  He regularly performs with “The Seadog Slam,” a pirate poetry troupe that he helped create that entertains at Renaissance faires and festivals throughout Texas.  Sanders also performs and speaks at Steampunk events such as “Steampunk November,” AMA-Con, ConDFW and All-Con.  He is on the Board of Directors of Seadog Enterprises which includes a publishing firm, Blackbead Books, a recording studio, Seadog Studios, and Galaxy of Voices, a stable of voice-over talents.  He is the current President of the Fort Worth Poetry Society and is a member of the Poetry Society of Texas.  His works can be found in Characters: The Buffalo Soldier and Other Poems, Echoes From Other Worlds, Takin’ the Prize, Songs for a Mechanical Age and A Year on the Train to Dallas.  Sanders can be heard on “Maiden Voyage,” “A Night at Devil’s Tavern,” “The Call,” and “Roads Less Traveled,” a compilation CD from the Fort Worth Poetry Society.  If you want to know more about him, simply do a web search for “Stephen Sanders poetry.”


Local Featured Poet

Jena Kirkpatrick, Del Valle  

Poet for Hire, Jena Kirkpatrick, is editor of the poetry anthology Writing for Positive Change for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Texas. She is co-editor of the Austin International Poetry Festival’s di-verse-city Youth Anthology.  Jena tours nationally as a member of the Trio of Poets. She writes poems for clients worldwide. Jena is an artist instructor for Badgerdog Literary Publishing. Her work in the classroom was featured in Teachers & Writers Magazine. Over the last two decades, she has self-published seven books, co-written, three multi-media performance art shows, competed in two National Poetry Slam competitions and released two poetry CDs.  jena@jenapoetforhire.com


Local Featured Poet

Roja Chamankar, Austin
Born in Borazjan in southern Iran in 1981, Roja Chamankar is a poet-filmmaker currently residing in Austin, Texas. She has an MA in Dramatic Literature from the University of Art in Tehran, Iran, and another MA in Cinema from the University of Strasbourg in France. She has published nine books of poetry in Persian, co-written two books for children, and translated a collection of poems by Henri Meschonic from French into Persian. Her works have been translated into other languages, including two collections in French, and one in English, expecting to be published in the near future by the University of Texas Press. She has participated in numerous poetry readings and festivals in Iran, France, Sweden, Austria, Malta, and the United States. She has won a number of national and international awards for her poetry, including the Greek Nikos Gatsos prize in 2016.


2018 Special Guest Poet


Paul Richmond, Massachusetts

Paul Richmond has been named Beat Poet Laureate of Massachusetts by the National Beat Poetry Foundation headquartered in Wolcott, Ct. for 2017 to 2019. Paul's is best described as political, deadpan and wryly humorous delivered in his own style.He has been called, Assassin of Apathy – power of words / humor - on the unthinkable, the unsolvable, to analyze to digest to give birth to creativity and hope Richmond hosts and promotes monthly and annually spoken-word poetry events & festivals; the Greenfield Annual Word Fest (GAWFEST.org) many venues, writers, during the multiple day festival, now the Great Falls Word Festival, in Turners Falls, MA. and the “Word Stage,” at the North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival in Orange, MA, and Greenfield Third Tuesday.Richmond has performed nationally and internationally on stages from the Austin International Poetry Festival, in Austin TX, to Gödör Klubban at the Jazzköltexzeti est in Budapest, Hungry. His work has been published in four books, in journals, magazines, anthologies and poetry collections.