Poetry Reading at Central Library

About the poets:

Born in Santa Ana, El Salvador, poet William Archila immigrated to the United States in 1980 to escape his native country’s civil war. He earned an MFA at the University of Oregon. His poems engage themes of social justice, brutality and identity. Archila is the author of the poetry collections The Art of Exile (2009), which won the Emerging Writer Fellowship Award from the Writer’s Center as well as the International Latino Book Award, and The Gravedigger’s Archaeology (2013), which won the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize. His poetry is also featured in the anthologies Another City: Writing from Los Angeles (2001) and New to North America: Writing by U.S. Immigrants, Their Children and Grandchildren (1997). He lives in Los Angeles.

Brendan Constantine first book, Letters To Guns, is now taught extensively in schools across the nation. His most recent collection is Dementia, My Darling, forthcoming in April 2016. His work has inspired artists in a variety of other mediums, from the canvas to the concert hall, and he has received grants and commissions from the Getty Museum, James Irvine Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A popular performer, he has presented his work to audiences throughout the U.S. and Europe, also appearing on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and KPFK’s “Inspiration House.” In 2014 he headlined at the Dodge Poetry Festival with many of the nation’s most celebrated authors. He currently teaches poetry at the Windward School in Los Angeles, California, and regularly conducts workshops for hospitals, foster homes, and with the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project.

Victoria Chang's third book of poems, The Boss (McSweeney's), won the 2013 PEN Center Literary Award and a California Book Award. Her other books are Salvinia Molesta andCircle. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, Kenyon Review, New Republic, Best American Poetry, and other places. She lives in Southern California and works in business.

Brynn Saito is the author of The Palace of Contemplating Departure (Red Hen Press, 2013), winner of the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award and finalist for the Northern California Book Award, and recipient of a Kundiman Asian American Poetry Fellowship, the Poets 11 award from the San Francisco Public Library, and the Key West Literary Seminar’s Scotti Merrill Memorial Award. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Percival Everett is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California and the author of nearly thirty books, including Percival Everett by Virgil Russell, Assumption, Erasure, I am Not Sidney Poitier, and Glyph. He is the recipient of the Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Believer Book Award, the 2006 PEN USA Center Award for Fiction, and the 2015 Guggenheim fellowship for fiction. He has fly fished in the West for over thirty years. He lives in Los Angeles.

Jenny Factor is an archaeologist of object and mind; she is also a feminist, a mother, and a dog-lover. Her poem collection, Unraveling at the Name (Copper Canyon Press), won a Hayden Carruth Award and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Factor's poems and reviews have appeared in more than a dozen anthologies, including Poetry 180 and The Best American Erotic Poems (Scribner, 2008). Her work has been supported by an Astraea Grant in poetry. Jenny Factor received her MFA in Literature from Bennington College, and her B.A. in Anthropology from Harvard College. She serves on the Core Faculty at Antioch University Los Angeles, the only MFA program with a dual focus on literature and the pursuit of social justice.

Piotr Florczyk is a poet, essayist, and translator. He was born and raised in Kraków, Poland, and moved to the United States at the age of sixteen. In addition to his books, he has published poems, translations, essays, and reviews in many journals, including The American Scholar, Boston Review, Harvard Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and World Literature Today. He is one of the founders of Calypso Editions, a cooperative press. After earning his M.F.A. from San Diego State University in 2006, he taught poetry and literature undergraduate and graduate courses at Antioch University Los Angeles, University of California-Riverside, University of San Diego, and San Diego State University. Piotrand his wife Dena, who met as competitive swimmers, live in Los Angeles, where he studies in the Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing Program at University of Southern California.