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May 14, 2013


We are honored to introduce the inaugural team of poet advisers who have generously agreed to review submissions to UNCOMMON/WORD: A collection of commons-inspired poetry. The team includes poets Sarah Browning, Douglas Kearney, Juliet Patterson, Crystal Ann Williams. And our poet fellow is Elizabeth Dingmann. Please read on to learn more about these writers who inhabit the vanguard of contemporary poetry.

Sarah Browning is a poet and the Director of Split This Rock and DC Poets Against the War. She is the author of Whiskey in the Garden of Eden (The Word Works, 2007), and co-editor of D.C. Poets Against the War: An Anthology (Argonne House Press, 2004). The recipient of an artist fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Sarah has also received a Creative Communities Initiative grant and the People Before Profits Poetry Prize. Browning has worked as a community organizer in Boston public housing and as a political organizer for reproductive rights, gay rights, and electoral reform, and against poverty, South African apartheid, and U.S. militarism. She was founding director of Amherst Writers & Artists Institute—creative writing workshops for low-income women and youth—and Assistant Director of The Fund for Women Artists, an organization supporting socially engaged art by women. She has written essays and interviewed poets and artists for a variety of publications and is a resident of Washington D.C. You can read On the Commons’ feature of Browning “here”:http://www.onthecommons.org/magazine/poetry-provocation.

Douglas Kearney’s first full-length collection of poems, Fear, Some, was published in 2006 by Red Hen Press. His second manuscript, The Black Automaton, was chosen by Catherine Wagner for the National Poetry Series and published by Fence Books in 2009. It was also a finalist for the Pen Center USA Award in 2010. His chapbook-as-broadsides-as-LP, Quantum Spit, was released by Corollary Press in 2010. His newest chapbook, SkinMag (A5/Deadly Chaps) is now available. He has received a Whiting Writers Award, a Coat Hanger award, and fellowships at Idyllwild and Cave Canem. Kearney has performed his poetry at the Public Theatre, the Orpheum, The World Stage, and others. Kearney’s poems have appeared in many journals, including Callaloo, jubilat, Ploughshares, nocturnes, Ninth Letter, miPoesias, Southampton Review, Washington Square, and Tidal Basin Review. He has been commissioned to compose poetry in response to art by the Weisman Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, FOCA, and SFMOMA. Performances of Kearney’s libretti have been featured in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Europe, and he has been invited to speak on poetics in New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Malmö, Sweden. Born in Brooklyn, and raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in California’s Santa Clarita Valley. He teaches at CalArts and Antioch.

Juliet Patterson is the author of The Truant Lover, winner of the Nightboat Poetry Prize, and Dirge, a chapbook recently published by Albion Books. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous magazines including 26, American Letters & Commentary, Arts & Letters, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, Knockout, New Orleans Review, Pebble Lake Review, Rain Taxi, Redivider, Swerve, Water~Stone Review, and Verse. Patterson’s recent awards include the 2011 Arts & Letters Susan Atefat Prize in Non-Fiction, the 2010 Lynda Hull Memorial Poetry Prize, a 2012 Minnesota Emerging Writer’s Grant, as well as grants from Minnesota State Arts Board and a fellowship from the Minneapolis-based Institute for Community and Cultural Development. Patterson edits poetry for Konundrum Engine Literary Review and serves on the editorial board of Quodilbetica. She teaches at Hamline University and serves as a faculty mentor in Chatham University’s MFA program. As a community activist and teaching artist, she has collaborated with a number of organizations including the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Whittier International School, United Cambodian Association of Minnesota, Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, and Pathways Health Crisis Resource Center. She is also working on a memoir-in-progress entitled Sinkhole: A Natural History of A Suicide. She lives in Minneapolis with her partner and son near the west bank of the Mississippi and the Great River Road that stretches from Canada to the Gulf.

Crystal Ann Williams is the author of three collections of poems, most recently Troubled Tongues, winner of the 2009 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Prize, finalist for the 2009 Oregon Book Award, and shortlisted for the Idaho Prize. Widely anthologized, her poems also appear in journals and publications like The American Poetry Review, Tin House, The Northwest Review, 5AM, The Sun, Ms. Magazine, The Indiana Review, Court Green, and Callaloo, among others. Raised in Detroit, Michigan and Madrid, Spain, she has just completed a fourth manuscript, titled Detroit as Barn. Crystal Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts from New York University, a Master of Fine Arts from Cornell University, and has received fellowships and grants from The MacDowell Arts Colony, Literary Arts, the Oregon Arts Commission, and Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. In 2011, she was also appointed Dean for Institutional Diversity at Reed College, where she has been on faculty since 2000. In 2012, she was appointed to the Oregon Arts Commission by Governor John Kitzhaber.

Elizabeth Dingmann is a graduate student at Hamline University preparing to complete her MFA in Creative Writing in 2014. Her work has appeared in Studio One, Among Women, and DOGEAR, and is forthcoming in the Saint Paul Almanac. Her poem “Double Bound” was selected for the mnLIT What Light Poetry Project. Elizabeth has served on the editorial boards for rock, paper, scissors and The Water~Stone Review. She works at Augsburg Fortress Publishers and has provided editorial services to a variety of publishers in the Twin Cities area. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis with her partner.