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.
Wo Chan is a poet and drag performer. They are the author of TOGETHERNESS (Nightboat Books, forthcoming 2022). Wo has received fellowships from MacDowell, New York Foundation for the Arts, Kundiman, the Asian American Writers Workshop, Poets House and Lambda Literary. Their poems appear in Poetry, Wussy, Mass Review, No Tokens and the Margins. As a member of the Brooklyn-based drag/burlesque collective Switch N' Play, Wo has performed at the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA PS1, National Sawdust, New York Live Arts and elsewhere. They hold a BA from the University of Virginia and an MFA in poetry from New York University. Born in Macau, Wo currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. Find them on Instagram at @theillustriouspearl.
Imani Davis is a queer Black writer from Brooklyn. A Pushcart Prize–nominated poet, they’ve earned fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Lambda Literary Foundation, BOAAT Press and the Stadler Center for Poetry. They completed their BA in English and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and they’re currently pursuing a PhD in American Studies at Harvard. Imani’s poetry appears in Best New Poets 2020, Best of the Net, PBS NewsHour’s Brief But Spectacular series, the Offing, Shade Literary Arts and elsewhere.
Bernard Ferguson (he/him and they/them) is a Bahamian poet and proser. By great luck, he’s the winner of the 2019 Hurston/Wright College Writers Award and the 2019 92Y Discovery Contest, among others. His work has been supported by NYU’s Global Research Initiative, New York’s Writers in the Public Schools, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency. By the kindness of friends and editors, his work has been featured, published or is forthcoming in the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, the New Yorker, Paris Review and Georgia Review and elsewhere. He’s currently working on a nonfiction project, The Climate Sirens (Graywolf Press), about Hurricane Dorian, the Alliance Of Small Island States and how small islands have been facing the climate crisis for decades.
Michael Frazier is a poet and educator living in central Japan. He graduated from NYU, where he was the 2017 poet commencement speaker and a co-champion of CUPSI. Frazier has performed at venues including Nuyorican Poets Café, the Lincoln Center and the Gallatin Arts Festival, and his poems appear or are forthcoming in Poetry Daily, Tinderbox, RHINO, the Offing, Tokyo Poetry Journal, the Visible Poetry Project and elsewhere. He has received fellowships and residencies from Callaloo, the Watering Hole, the Seventh Wave and Brooklyn Poets. Currently he reads / curates poems for the Adroit Journal and Button Poetry and is working on a poetry collection about his mother and oyakodon. He is uber passionate about anime, RnB music and, most importantly, the power of Christ to transform lives. Since last year, Frazier has been facilitating a biweekly Zoom poetry book club open to the public—message @fraziermichael to join!
Angbeen Saleem is an artist, poet, aspiring farmer and filmmaker. She hails from the home of cheesesteaks and Tastykakes, played Othello once in a high school English class and is a Pink Door Fellow. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pigeon Pages, the Margins, the Slowdown, Underblong and in other timelines of the multiverse. Follow her on Instagram (@angribeen) and Twitter (@angbe3n).
Cindy Tran is a 2020 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Poetry. A recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Project, the Loft Literary Center and Brooklyn Poets, her work appears in SLICE, the Margins and Copper Nickel, which awarded her an Editor’s Prize. The poems in her current manuscript address the losses that accumulate through childhood and have a lasting presence in adulthood. Her work explores compliance, alienation and estrangement, while creating an imaginative shelter of memory, grief and desire. Cindy is also working on “Crown of Sonnets for NYC,” commissioned by the Shed. She lives in New York City.