Staff Picks is a virtual-only quarterly reading series curated by the poets who assist with our space, web, events and office work. Each reading features a lineup of three 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. The event begins with an open mic and culminates in readings by our three featured poets.
Each reader for the open mic can read one poem for up to three minutes. Participants can register for one of ten open mic spots. Once those are taken, guests can register for the waitlist. If you register for the open mic, you will be contacted ahead of the reading for a copy of your poem to share on screen for accessibility purposes.
Michaela Coplen is an American poet living in London. In 2013 she was appointed a National Student Poet by First Lady Michelle Obama. Her poems have been published in Adroit, the Atlantic, the London Magazine, Poets.org, and the Rialto. She won the 2019 Troubadour International Poetry Prize and the 2020 York Poetry Prize, and her work is included in Here: Poems for the Planet and the 2020 Best New Poets anthology. Her debut poetry chapbook, Finishing School, was published by ignitionpress in 2022.
Caelan Ernest is a nonbinary poet, writer and performer. They are the author of two forthcoming collections: night mode (2023) and ICONOCLAST (2024), both being published by Everybody Press. Most recently, their work has been published in them., Blush Lit, Channel Void, WUSSY, Hayden’s Ferry Review, baest: a journal of queer forms & affects, We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics and elsewhere. They hold an MFA in writing from Pratt Institute. They are director of publicity at Nightboat Books. They live with their cat named Salad in Brooklyn.
Joshua Garcia‘s debut collection, Pentimento, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press. His poetry has appeared in the Cincinnati Review, Georgia Review, Ninth Letter, North American Review and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the College of Charleston and was a 2021–22 Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University. He lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York.