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.
Dante Clark is a poet, musician, actor and essayist from the Bronx, New York. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications including the Root, Afropunk, wildness, the Slowdown and the Poet of the Week series with Brooklyn Poets. A graduate of Hunter College with a BA in creative writing, Clark has performed and won poetry slams at the Nuyorican Poets Café and the Bowery Poetry Club. He has also received support from organizations including Catapult and Cave Canem. This past spring, he was named a Brooklyn Poets Fellow for study in Shira Erlichman’s poetry revision workshop “The Possibility Lab.”
Starr Davis is a poet and essayist whose work has been featured in multiple literary magazines such as the Kenyon Review, the Rumpus, So to Speak and Transition. She is the creative nonfiction editor for TriQuarterly. She currently lives in Houston, Texas.
Paul Hlava Ceballos has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Artist Trust and Poets House. His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, BOMB, the PEN Poetry Series and the LA Times, among other journals and newspapers, and has been translated into Ukrainian and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His chapbook Banana [ ]: A History of the Americas is coming out in 2021 from the 3rd Thing Press. He has an MFA from NYU and currently lives in Seattle, where he practices echocardiography.
Luther Hughes, born and raised in Seattle, is the author of A Shiver in the Leaves (BOA Editions, 2022) and the chapbook Touched (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018). He is a 2020 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Poetry Fellow, the founder of Shade Literary Arts and executive editor for the Offing. He is also the recipient of the 2020 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize. He received his MFA from Washington University in St. Louis.
Safia Jama was born to a Somali father and an Irish American mother in Queens, New York. A Cave Canem graduate fellow, she has published poetry in Ploughshares, RHINO, Cagibi, Boston Review, Spoken Black Girl and No, Dear. Her poetry has also been featured on WNYC’s Morning Edition and CUNY TV’s Shades of US series. Jama is the author of Notes on Resilience, which was selected for the New-Generation African Poets chapbook box set series (Akashic Books, 2020).Photo credit: Jess X. Snow
Tori Ashley Matos (they/them) is a queer Afro-Indigenous poet and actor. Their work focuses on ancestors, queer love, black liberation and the compassionate decolonization of not only the self and the mind, but the community and its ripple effects throughout the world. They have been published in Name and None, Newtown Literary, Cobra Milk, Sinister Wisdom and No, Dear. They are a winner of the Loving Gaze poetry contest, a DreamYard Fellow and a finalist for a Brooklyn Poets fellowship. Their debut collection will be published in 2021 by Papeachu Press.