Brooklyn Poets Staff Picks is a quarterly reading series curated by the poets who assist with our web, events and office work. Each reading features a lineup of six poets nominated by different staff members as among the most essential new voices today. The series focuses on writers yet to publish a full-length collection of poetry, with an emphasis on Brooklyn-based poets and those from underrepresented communities. All readings are free and open to the public.
Seth Leeper is a queer poet. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in River Styx, Salamander, Hobart After Dark, Juked and Always Crashing. He holds an MA in special education from Pace University and a BA in creative writing and fashion journalism from San Francisco State University. Leeper was named a Brooklyn Poets Fellow in the spring of 2022. He lives and teaches in Brooklyn, NY, and tweets @sethwleeper.
Author photo by Megan Bayley
danilo machado (he/they) is a poet, curator and critic living on occupied land who is interested in language’s potential for revealing tenderness, erasure and relationships to power. Their writing has been featured in Hyperallergic, Poem-a-Day, the Recluse, GenderFail, ArtCritical, Art Papers, Long River Review, TAYO Literary Magazine and No, Dear, among others. A 2020–21 Poetry Project Emerge–Surface–Be Fellow, danilo is a co-founder and co-curator of the reading series Maracuyá Peach and the chapbook/broadside fundraiser Already Felt: Poems in Revolt & Bounty. danilo is producer of public programs at the Brooklyn Museum and curator of the exhibitions Otherwise Obscured: Erasure in Body and Text (Franklin Street Works, 2019), support structures (Virtual/8th Floor Gallery, 2020) and We turn (EFA Project Space, 2021). They are working to show up with care for their communities. More @queershoulders on Twitter / IG.
Author photo by Avery Camp
A poet from Texas, Binx R. Perino is pursuing their MFA at Emerson College in Boston. They lead workshops with GrubStreet and organize within the Boston chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. Their work has appeared in Variant Literature, Cold Mountain Review, Mixed Magazine, GASHER and elsewhere.
C. Quintana, or CQ, (she/any) is a queer writer with Cuban and Louisiana roots based on Canarsee and Munsee Lenape land in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. She is the author of the full-length play Scissoring (Dramatists Play Service) and The Heart Wants, a chapbook of poetry (Finishing Line Press). CQ is the recipient of fellowships and residencies from MacDowell, QUEER|ART, Van Lier New Voices at the Lark, Lambda Literary and beyond. Her writing is featured or forthcoming in Third Coast Press, Foglifter, BOMB and great weather for MEDIA, among others. Most recently, the Café Royal Cultural Foundation selected CQ as a Literature Grantee for her novel-in-progress, The Twisted Fate of La Media Luna, and her musical Beastgirl with music by Janelle Lawrence, based on Elizabeth Acevedo’s chapbook of poetry, premiered at the Kennedy Center Theatre for Young Audiences. Find more at @cquintanatown on Twitter / IG.
Author photo by Antonio De Lucci
Cynthia J. Roman-Cabrera is a loudmouth Dominican and Puerto Rican native of Brooklyn who grew up in the Bronx. She is a storyteller, essayist and poet exploring culture and identity, cityscape, familismo and the healing of her inner child. It is important for her to write in Spanglish as a way to challenge the ways in which the writing field traditionally labels writers, drawing boundaries around what is considered worthy work and contributing to the erasure of targeted storytellers. Her experiences as a scholar, broke girl, comelona, reader, community advocate and queer person in love help shape and transform her work. She has been published in Brooklyn Poets, changing womxn collective, HerStry, Breadcrumbs, Moko Magazine, Spanglish Voces and the Bronx Magazine. In the spring of 2021, Cynthia was named a Brooklyn Poets Fellow. She is currently working on her first collection of poems.
Author photo by Karla Gil
Mya Spalter is a writer and editor. Her nonfiction book Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession is forthcoming in its second edition from the Dial Press in 2022. Her chapbook Crush Reactor (2019) is available courtesy of the author. Spalter was named a Brooklyn Poets Fellow in 2019 to attend the seventh annual summer retreat. She’s mostly a poet, but she’s writing a novel anyway. Find her online @mya.spalter.
Author photo by Mel Barlow