The New Social Environment#156

Radical Poetry Reading with Ama Birch and Bennet Bergman

Featuring political poetry read by Cedar Sigo, David Mills, Michael Cavuto, Paul Legault, Sarah Wang, and Shelley Marlow.


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Poets Ama Birch and Bennet Bergman co-curate the tenth Radical Poetry Reading, featuring Cedar Sigo, David Mills, Michael Cavuto, Paul Legault, Sarah Wang, and Shelley Marlow.

In this talk

Ama Birch

A photograph of poet Ama Birch in front of a multi-colored wall.
Calvin Lee
Ama Birch is the author of three books, “Faces in the Clouds,” “Sonnet Boom!,” “Ferguson Interview Project,” and a video game available for android, “Space Quake by Ama Birch”. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the California Institute of the Arts.

Bennet Bergman

A photo of poet Bennet Bergman with his hand covering his face.
Courtesy Bennet Bergman
Bennet Bergman is a poet, educator, and publisher. He earned a BA from Yale University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His poems have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Gulf Coast, and Electric Literature. He is the founder and editor of Changes, a nonprofit press dedicated to publishing exceptional poetry by emerging writers in the United States. He lives in New York City.

Cedar Sigo

A photo of poet Cedar Sigo.
Courtesy Cedar Sigo
Cedar Sigo, the Bagley-Wright lecturer for 2019, has just completed work with Joy Harjo and several other poets on a new Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry and his recent 2019 poetry has appeared in Harper’s, Freak Fam, and Splinter. He currently lives in Lofall, Washington.

David Mills

A headshot of poet David Mills
Luigi Cazzaniga
David Mills is the author of The Sudden Country, The Dream Detective and the chapbook After Mistic. He has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Breadloaf and Arts Link. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Brooklyn Rail, Jubilat and Hanging Loose Press to name a few. He lived in Langston Hughes’ landmark Harlem home for three years. The Juilliard School of Drama commissioned and produced Mr. Mills’ play The Serpent and the Dove. He has also recorded his poetry on ESPN and RCA Records.

Michael Cavuto

A photo of poet Michael Cavuto reading from some pages near a window.
Courtesy Michael Cavuto
Michael Cavuto is a poet based in Queens whose first book, Country Poems, was recently published by Knife Fork Book, Toronto. He is a founding editor of Slow Poetry in America Newsletter and auric press. His work is included in the current issue of The Tiny.

Paul Legault

A black and white photo of poet Paul Legault in front of a stone wall.
Rachel Stern
Paul Legault is the author of, most recently, The Tower (Coach House Books, 2020). His previous books include The Madeleine Poems (Omnidawn, 2010), The Other Poems (Fence, 2011), The Emily Dickinson Reader: An English-to-English Translation of the Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (McSweeney’s, 2012), Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror 2 (Fence, 2016), and Lunch Poems 2 (Spork, 2018). He also co-edited The Sonnets: Translating and Rewriting Shakespeare (Nightboat, 2012).

Sarah Wang

A black and white photo of poet and writer Sarah Wang.
Courtesy Sarah Wang
Sarah Wang is a writer in New York. She has written for BOMB, The New Republic, n+1, PEN America, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and American Short Fiction, among other publications. She is a Tin House Scholar, a Kundiman Mentorship Lab Fellow, the winner of a Nelson Algren prize for fiction, and was a fellow at the Center for Fiction and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s Witness Program. She has received support from PEN America, Poets & Writers, Author’s League, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

Shelley Marlow

A black and white photograph of writer Shelley Marlow.
Alice O’Malley
Shelley Marlow wrote Two Augusts In a Row In a Row, a novel (Publication Studio, Portland, 2015) plus art editions (Hudson and London, 2017); and the new manuscript The Wind Blew Through Like a Chorus of Ghosts. Marlow is a recipient of an Acker Award in writing. Multigenerational communities gathered to celebrate and perform scenes from Two Augusts In a Row In a Row at the London Centre for Book Arts and NYC’s Bureau of General Services Queer Division. Marlow served as prose editor of The Henry Miller Library’s literary journal. Marlow’s writing and art appear in Resist Much/Obey Little, Inaugural Poems to the Resistance; Evergreen Review; Hyperallergic; KGB Bar Lit Mag; the Rail; Altar-ed Bodies, Clarity Haynes; Rilking; LTTR (Lesbians To The Rescue); alLuPiNiT; St. Petersburg Review.

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