Rochester Roots (virtual/hybrid)

Erica Cavanagh, Michael Dumanis, Rachel Galvin, Ilya Kaminsky & Sejal Shah
ASL interpretation provided

Join us for a one-of-a-kind event showcasing five literary luminaries, Brighton High School alumni all, when they return to their greater Rochester roots. Curated by award-winning memoirist and debut short story author Sejal Shah, activities include a feature reading and an opportunity to meet the authors at a book signing that follows.

Erica Cavanagh’s writing has been published and anthologized widely. Her honors include the Ruth Murray Prize, the Missouri Review’s Editors Prize, an Iowa Arts Fellowship, and a residency at the Millay Colony for the Arts. She teaches at James Madison University where she directs the Creative Writing Program. Learn more at

Michael Dumanis is the author of two books of poems, Creature (Four Way Books) and My Soviet Union (University of Massachusetts Press), and co-editor of the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande). Awarded the Juniper Prize for Poetry, his work has been published widely. He lives in North Bennington, Vermont, and teaches at Bennington College, where he also serves as editor of Bennington Review.

Rachel Galvin has published two collections of poems: Elevated Threat Level (2018), a finalist for the National Poetry Series and Alice James Books’ Kinereth Gensler Award, and Pulleys & Locomotion (2009). Her translations include Raymond Queneau’s Hitting the Streets (2013), winner of the 2014 Scott Moncrieff Prize, and Argentinian poet Oliverio Girondo’s Decals: Complete Early Poetry (2018). She is a professor at the University of Chicago.

Ilya Kaminsky is the author of Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press), a New York Times’ Notable Book, and Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press). He is the co-editor and co-translator of many other books.  His work was a finalist for The National Book Award and has won many prizes, including The Los Angeles Times Book Award, The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The National Jewish Book Award, and the Guggenheim Fellowship. He teaches at Princeton.

Sejal Shah is a writer, interdisciplinary artist, and educator. She is the author of the debut short story collection How to Make Your Mother Cry (West Virginia University Press). Her debut essay collection This Is One Way to Dance was an NPR Best Book of 2020, a university common read, and named in over 30 most-anticipated or best-of lists, including Lit Hub, the Los Angeles Times, and PEN America. She lives in her hometown of Rochester, New York.