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Virtual Event
Wednesday, June 09, 2021 at 7:00PM


FEATURING Brendan Constantine, Chiwan Choi, Kim Dower, Donna Spruijt-Metz & Amy Uyematsu 

HOSTED BY Rich Ferguson & Stephanie Barbé Hammer

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Brendan Constantine


Brendan Constantine is a poet based in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in numerous journals, most notably Poetry, Best American Poetry, Tin House, and Poem-A-Day. His most recent collections are ‘Dementia, My Darling’ (2016) from Red Hen Press and ‘Bouncy Bounce’ (2018), a chapbook from Blue Horse Press. He currently teaches at the Windward School. Since 2017, he has been working with speech pathologist Michael Biel to develop poetry workshops for people with Aphasia and Traumatic Brain Injury.

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Chiwan Choi


Chiwan Choi is the author of 3 books of poetry, The Flood (Tía Chucha Press, 2010), Abductions (Writ Large Press, 2012), and The Yellow House (CCM, 2017). He wrote, presented, and destroyed the novel Ghostmaker throughout the course of 2015. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The New York Times Magazine, ONTHEBUS,, and The Nervous Breakdown. Chiwan is a partner at Writ Large Press, a Los Angeles based indie publisher, focused on using literary arts to resist, disrupt, and transgress, and a member of The Accomplices. Chiwan was born in Seoul, Korea, spent his early childhood in Asunción, Paraguay, and now splits his time between Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.

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Kim Dower


Kim Dower grew up in New York City and received a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, where she also taught before moving to Los Angeles. Former City Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, Kim has published four collections of poetry, all with Red Hen Press: Air Kissing on Mars, Slice of Moon, Last Train to the Missing Planet, and Sunbathing on Tyrone Power's Grave. Nominated for three Pushcart Prizes, Kim's work has been featured in Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac, and Ted Kooser's "American Life in Poetry," as well as in Ploughshares, Barrow Street, and Rattle. Her poems are included in several anthologies, notably, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, (Beyond Baroque Books/Pacific Coast Poetry Series, ) and Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles, (Tia Chucha Press.) She teaches Poetry and Memory in the B.A. Program of Antioch University. She is also the proud founder of Kim-from-L.A. a well-known literary marketing and publicity company that helps writers get their beautiful words out into the world.

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Donna Spruijt-Metz


Donna Spruijt-Metz is a poet, translator, and Professor of Psychology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Her first career was as a professional flutist. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in venues such as Occulum, Naugatuck River Review, Juked and Poetry Northwest. She lives in Hollywood with her husband, the artist Gershom, and their very handsome Australian Shepherd, Yra. She gets restless.

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Amy Uyematsu


Amy Uyematsu is a third-generation Japanese-American poet and teacher from Los Angeles. She has published several previous poetry collections including 30 Miles from J-Town (Story Line Press, 1992), Nights of Fire, Nights of Rain (Story Line Press, 1997), and Stone Bow Prayer (Copper Canyon Press, 2005). Her first book was awarded the 1992 Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Amy was a co-editor of the widely-used UCLA Asian American Studies anthology Roots: An Asian American Reader.

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Richard Ferguson

Host & Poet

Pushcart Prize-nominated poet Rich Ferguson has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Moby, and other esteemed poets and musicians. Ferguson has been selected by the National Beat Poetry Foundation, Inc. (NBPF), to serve as the State of California Beat Poet Laureate (Sept. 2020 to Sept. 2022). He is a featured performer in the film, What About Me? featuring Michael Stipe, Michael Franti, k.d. lang, and others.  His poetry and award-winning spoken-word music videos have been widely anthologized, and he was a winner in Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match, L.A. He is the author of the poetry collection, 8th& Agony (Punk Hostage Press), and the novel, New Jersey Me (Rare Bird Books). Ferguson’s newest poetry collection, Everything Is Radiant Between the Hates, has recently been released by Moon Tide Press.
Picture credit: Alexis Rhone Fancher


Stephanie Barbé Hammer

Host & Poet

Stephanie Barbé Hammer is a 6-time Pushcart Prize nominee in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. She is the author of the prose poem chapbook SEX WITH BUILDINGS (dancing girl press), the full-length collection HOW FORMAL? (Spout Hill Press), the fabulist novel THE PUPPET  TURNERS OF NARROW INTERIOR (Urban Farmhouse Press), and the novelette RESCUE PLAN (Bamboo Dart Press). She is currently seeking a publisher for her second novel in the Narrow Interior series, THE JOURNEY TO MERVEILLEUX CITY. Originally from Manhattan, Stephanie lived in SoCal for 30 years and now currently resides in rural Washington State. She is managing editor of SHARK REEF Literary Magazine and sits on the advisory board of WRITERS BLOC Los Angeles. She teaches creative writing at Hugo House Seattle, and the Inlandia Institute, Riverside.

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