Celebrating the Visiting Teaching Artists of Forms & Features

Join us for a virtual reading featuring the 2022 Forms & Features Visiting Teaching Artists.

We will celebrate the diverse voices, rich experiences, and powerful words of six extraordinary poet-educators: Megan Fernandes, Bethanie Humphreys, Leonora Simonovis, Leigh Sugar, Andrew Venell, and Jorrell Watkins.

Megan Fernandes is a South Asian American writer living in New York City. She earned a PhD in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MFA in poetry from Boston University. Her second book of poetry, Good Boys (Tin House Books, 2020), was a finalist for the Kundiman Book Prize and the Saturnalia Book Prize. Fernandes is an assistant professor of English and the writer-in-residence at Lafayette College, where she teaches courses on poetry and environmental writing. She is a book reviewer for Harriet Books.

Bethanie Humphreys is a writer, editor, mixed-media visual artist, and teacher in Sacramento, California. Humphreys has served as editor-in-chief for the American River Review and associate editor and art director for Tule Review. Her work has been published in Artemis, Nonbinary Review, and Found Poetry Review, among others; her chapbook, Dendrochronology, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2019. A California Certified Naturalist and a certified Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) method instructor, Fernandes leads various workshops including: poetry editing, a guided NaPoWriMo experience, and AWA-method generative writing.

Leonora Simonovis is a Venezuelan American poet, educator, and scholar who holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles and teaches Latin American and Caribbean literature and Creative Writing at the University of San Diego. Simonovis’s poetry has received Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations, and her debut poetry manuscript, Study of the Raft, was selected by Sherwin Bitsui as the winner of the 2021 Colorado Prize for Poetry. Some of her work can be found in Gargoyle, Kweli Journal, The American Journal of Poetry, Tinderbox poetry Journal, The Rumpus, Inverted Syntax, Arkansas International, and Diode Poetry Journal, among others.

Leigh Sugar is a Michigan-born writer, educator, and movement artist who holds an MFA in Poetry from NYU, where she served as a Veteran Writing Fellow. Sugar has taught writing at CUNY's Institute for Justice and Opportunity, Hugo House, Justice Arts Coalition, and various Michigan state prisons. Her appear or are forthcoming in Poetry, Split this Rock, and jubilat, among others. Sugar’s personal and professional interest areas include mass incarceration, disability, and gender and illness; she lives in Brooklyn with her dog Elmo. Learn more at leighksugar.com.

Andrew Venell is a Chicago-based visual artist, and the author of the collage comic book Male Tears, the early internet hyperfiction BuyOrBeware.com, and the video game Live Disasters. Venell has been published in TIMBER, force / fields anthology, and Petrichor, among others. His multimedia text-and-artworks have been exhibited in galleries, museums and new media festivals worldwide. He holds a BA in Art-Semiotics from Brown University and an MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Jorrell Watkins hails from Richmond, VA; he is a 2020-21 Fulbright Japan Graduate Research Fellow, alum of Hampshire College and the University of Iowa, Writers’ Workshop. Watkins is the author the collection, Play|House, shortlisted for the 2020 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry, and the chapbook If Only the Sharks Would Bite, which won the inaugural Desert Pavilion Chapbook Series in Poetry. In 2019, Combined Efforts Theater Company produced his disability inclusive play, Meet us at the Horizon. He collaborated with writers Claretta Holsey, DJ Savarese, and Lateef Mcleod to publish Studies in Brotherly Love (Prompt Press, 2021), a poetry chapbook based on Malcolm Corley’s paintings. Currently, he studies Enka, poetry, and Aikido in Kansai, Japan.

Poetry Foundation's events are completely free of charge and open to the public. This event will include CART captioning and ASL interpretation. For more information about accessibility at the Poetry Foundation, please visit our Accessibility Guide.