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.
Philipe AbiYouness is a Lebanese-American poet and teaching artist. His work has been published or is forthcoming in New England Review, Muzzle Magazine, Mizna, Best of the Net and elsewhere. Philipe is an MFA candidate at Rutgers University–Newark and unfortunately a very nostalgic person.
Gabrielle Bates is a Southern writer currently living in Seattle, where she works for Open Books: A Poem Emporium and co-hosts the Poet Salon podcast. Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review and Gulf Coast, among other journals, and her debut collection Judas Goat was recently named a finalist for the Bergman Prize. You can connect with her on Twitter @GabrielleBates.
Sally Familia (they/them) is a queer poet, editor and bookseller. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Washington Heights, Familia currently resides in Bushwick. They hold a BA in creative writing with a focus on poetry from SUNY–Oswego. Their work can be found in the BX Writers Anthology and Genre: Urban Arts, and their poem “The Trouble with Reminiscing” won an Academy of American Poets Prize in 2019. Most recently, Familia was named a Brooklyn Poets Fellow in 2020 and nominated for a Pushcart Prize for the poem “Esperanza, Republica Dominicana.”
Karisma Price is from New Orleans, LA, and holds an MFA in poetry from New York University. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Four Way Review, wildness, the Adroit Journal and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem and New York University and was a 2019 Best of the Net winner, a finalist for the 2019 Manchester Poetry Prize and the winner of the 2020 J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize from the Poetry Foundation. She is currently a visiting assistant professor of poetry at Tulane University.
Cai Rodrigues-Sherley (he/they) is a Queer Black poet, teaching artist and archivist. He cares about the preservation of trans Black histories, heritage and love. He is a recipient of the 2019 Emily Babcock Poetry Prize, a 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee and a 2020 Watering Hole Winter Fellow. Their work can be found in the Brooklyn Review, Cosmonauts Avenue and Volume Poetry as well as My Loves: A Digital Anthology of Queer Love Poems from Ghost City Press. They currently live in Harlem and are an MFA candidate in creative writing at New York University. You can find him on Twitter @caifieri and on Instagram @crsed_poet.
DeShara Suggs-Joe is a queer Black poet. She co-founded Daughter’s Tongue and is a former member of the Youth Speaks Collective. She received her MFA in writing from California College of the Arts. She is a 2016 Callaloo Fellow, a 2017 Poetry Incubator Fellow and a 2018/2019 Pink Door Fellow. She’s been published in Apogee Lit, Voicemail Poems, Tinderbox Journal, the Texas Review and elsewhere. She has also been featured on Button Poetry’s YouTube platform and has performed for the likes of Spotify, Yahoo and Pinterest. But she considers home inside a classroom teaching creative writing to youth or listening to her Feels playlist.