River Malik is a native Atlantan whose nomadic spirit has taken her to New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. A self described free spirit, River has never met a stranger. Her life changed dramatically when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996. From that moment on, she has made a commitment to live her life to its fullest. As the mother to a beautiful daughter named Cairo, River takes each day as a gift and never takes anything for granted. With a degree in Film/Video with an emphasis in Screenwriting from Columbia College Chicago, she specializes in docudramas about real people and the issues that drive them. She currently resides in Las Vegas but hopes to return to New York one day.

Carmen Bardeguez-Brown's work was showcased in the documentary: Latino Poets in the United States. She has been invited to read at The Nuyorican Poets Café, The Fez, Mad Alex Foundation, Smoke, The Soho Arts Festival, Long wood Gallery, The Kitchen,La Casa Azul, New Years Alternative Poetry Marathon at Dixon Place The Boricua College Poetry Series and many other venues in the tri-state area. Some of her work has been performed by Felipe Luciano’s Poets’s Choir and Butch Morris Conduction series #27performed at The Whitney Museum. Her work has been published in Tribes, Long Shot, Fuse, School Voices, Anthology: Aloud Voices from the Nuyorican and Pha'titude. Her poetry book Straight from the Drums :Al Ritmo del Tambor can be purchased on Amazon.

esther louise

born and continue to live in Brooklyn, NY.  mother of five, grandmother of three.   a retired NYC public school librarian.  educated and graduated from NYC public schools and colleges, including Medgar Evers College, City College and Queens College. currently a graduate student of poetry at Drew University.

Wynne Y. Henry received her B.A. in Theatre Arts from Cal State University Dominguez Hills and has also studied music and dance, often combining the three genres in her poems that have been published nationally and internationally. As an advocate of the arts for youth, she works with children and teens in the public schools in her community, teaching creative writing, drama and dance. She continues to study, write, and perform poetry as a healing outlet to share with others. More of her work can be read on her poetry blog at

Téa M. Harmony is an author, accountability coach and publisher.  Téa began Harmony Network to coach, publish and consult writers and businesses.  Among her work is Soul Therapy a monthly publication (2007), Manic Monday Motivation weekly column in a magazine (2008), Walking in New Shoes book (2010), she co-authored A Letter to My Mother book (2013), published Fragments of My Life through Poetry book (2013).  Téa connects with her readers deeply, expressing her art stretching readers beyond their comfort, to overcome fears, to use experiences as a springboard to foster a life of liberation toward a relentless drive for progress.

Patricia Philippe is an emerging writer and founding member of Kalyani Magazine, a literary magazine featuring diverse writing styles from women of color.  Kalyani Magazine’s mission is to provide a voice to all those who remain voiceless and encourages women of color to express their views, tell their experiences, and explore their feelings.  Patricia's writing addresses themes of truth, showing up authentically in the world and boundaries imposed by others as well as ourselves.   Most of her writing is inspired by her own journey of discovery and reaching for life.  You can read more of her writing at


Patsie Ifill is a Bajan (Barbadian) writer and poet. Patsie has had a career in fashion since 1980. She is also a graduate of New York University class of 2000 where she majored in creative writing and literature.  At the moment, she is working to finish her novel Blacksage, Her book of poetry Echo and  her book of short stories Pouchline.  When writing poetry and creative non fiction, Patsie tries to capture nuances of Bajan life,  culture and nature as they unfold through time past and present. Her  poems also reflect the American Diaspora and other places where she has traveled.

Shyle Sales is a performer, poet and host. She is featured     in the Inaugural edition of Kalyani Magazine, which featured "The Cleansing", her first published work. She facilitates a writing workshop for LGBT youth and young adults who struggle with the circumstances of growing up gay.  Shye heads Djeli Writing Ministry of UFC NewArk; is writing a book of poetry, "Salutations to the Dawn", a fictional novel, "The Cleansing"; hosts a monthly feature/open mic; co-facilitates a workshop  encouraging couples to tune the five senses to their opportune love frequency, and will appear on a panel to discuss Domestic Violence in October.

Margie Shaheed believes writing transforms lives!  She is a community poet, writer, and performance artist.  She is a contributor in Liberation Poetry, An Anthology, edited by Tontongi and Jill Netchinsky (Trilingual Press, 2011).  She has published poems in several journals including, Essence Magazine and Femficatio. In April, 2012 she completed her first book-length manuscript entitled, The Playground:  Poems, Snapshots and Childish Babble. Margie has began writing her second book, Code Breakers & Tongue Shakers, a collection of first person narrative poems on mother tongue and the politics of language to be published under Coal Publishing in 2013/14.

Nandi Keyi writings as a journalist, playwright and author has been published, anthologized and produced in the Caribbean, North American and Europe. Her best work is still ahead as she has been pushed, and prodded to the late realization that the only possible outcome of not writing is a slow, lonely and empty death. She was born in England; she was raised in Trinidad and Tobago and has made her home in Toronto Canada, and Brooklyn, New York.
Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is really happy to be here. Her work has been published in journals, anthologies, and magazines including Listen Up!, BOMB, Crab Orchard Review and online in the Badilisha Poetry X-Change and ChickenBones. Ekere has two daughters, one husband and a love for nature that is growing by the day.

Cheryl J. Fish has poems published or forthcoming in, Big City Lit, New American Writing, Not Enough Night, The Village Voice, Talisman, Santa Monica Review, and in various poetry anthologies. She is the author of the study Black and White Women’s Travel Narratives: Antebellum Explorations  and co-editor, with Farah Griffin, of A Stranger in the Village: Two Centuries of African American Travel Writing.  She has been a Fulbright lecturer in Finland, and has published essays on environmental justice activism in literature and film in the journals MELUS  and Discourse.  Her website is She is at work on her first novel.

Born in Trinidad and raised in New York City, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor is a poet, teaching artist, social worker and mother. The author of three collections of poetry, Raw Air, Night When Moon Follows and Convincing the Body.Cheryl holds an MFA from Stonecoast, University of Southern Maine. She currently curates The Calypso Muse Reading Series, The Glitter Pomegranate Performance Series, and is the original founder of The Hot Poets Collective, an on-line writing circle that evolved after April's (30/30) thirty poems in thirty days in 2011. Cheryl is currently working on a series of poems titled, The Red Bible.
Victoria Shockley is a freelance writer and editor and the Assistant Editor for Women Writers, Women Books. She is originally from south Florida but moved to Raleigh, North Carolina in 2009. Victoria is a motivated student in her sophomore year at North Carolina State University, and is working on her B.A. in English (with a concentration in language and writing). She is planning to continue on to graduate school. Her work has been published in a number of venues, including Girl Talk magazine, the Apogee Social Media Group blog,, Teen Ink magazine, and Women Writers, Women Books.

Sarah Stern’s first book Another Word for Love was published by Finishing Line Press in 2011. Her poems have appeared in magazines, anthologies, and online, and most recently in Epiphany and Verse Daily. Sarah is a four-time winner of the Bronx Council on the Arts’ BRIO Award for Poetry. She received Honorable Mentions from the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Awards and Lilith Magazine’s Poetry Prize. She graduated from Barnard College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Sarah has worked as a journalist, editor, writer, and press officer.

Zoë Flowers is the founder of Highest Good Consulting (HGC). HGC is a group of dynamic training professionals who provide a wide range of training on domestic violence, culturally competent advocacy and primary prevention of domestic violence. They also specialize in project management and conduct self-healing retreats. Ms. Flowers is also a Reiki Master and the author of the book Dirty Laundry: Women of Color Speak Out about Domestic Violence; a meditation CD entitled Balance-An Evening Meditation for Activists, Advocates and Helping Professionals and has appeared on National Public Radio. Flowers also works internationally on the issue of domestic violence. In 2011, Zoe started the Angel’s Dust Theatre Company to produce culturally responsible theater. The Company’s first production is “From Ashes to Angel’s Dust: A Journey Through Womanhood.”

Michal Mahgerefteh is an award-winning poet and artist from Israel, living in Virginia since 1986. Her works of poetry and art have been published in many literary magazines, in print and e-editions. Michal is an active member of local and national women writers and artists organizations. She isThe Poetry Society of Virginia board member and poetry editor and publisher of Poetica Magazine. She is author of three poetry collections; Sipping Memories (2012), What's Left Behind (2011) and In My Bustan (2009).
nzingha tyehemba born in Harlem hails from a large family started teaching this year writes sporadically, which among other things needs to change.

Lorraine Currelley, poet, writer and Psychotherapist holds a MS, MHC in Mental Health Counseling and a Certificate in Thanatology (grief and bereavement.) She writes for scientific journals, mental health, and grief and bereavement issues. As a poet, she is widely anthologized in literary publications, and facilitates poetry and creative writing workshops. She's the founder of Poets Network & Exchange, a venue for poets and writers of all levels to come together in a wholistic, positive and supportive space. Professionally she is known for her work, which encourages persons to find and speak in their own authentic voice. She says, “in finding ones voice we are likely to live healthier and fulfilling lives psychologically, emotionally, spiritually and physically.”
Lissa Kiernan is poetry editor of Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal and founder / director of online poetry cooperative, The Rooster Moans. Her writing can be found or is forthcoming in journals such as Albatross,Redheaded StepchildCanaryMiPOesiasunSplendid, and Swell.
Keisha-Gaye Anderson's work has appeared in Small Axe; Afrobeat Journal; Streetnotes: Cross Cultural Poetics; Poems on the Road to Peace; Sometimes Rhythm, Sometimes Blues; Carribean in Transit; the Killens Review of Arts and Letters, and For the Crowns of Your Heads: Poems for Haiti. She is a past fellow of the North Country Institute for Writers of Color and was short listed for the 2010 Small Axe Literary Competition. As a journalist, she has worked for CBS and PBS, and has contributed articles to Psychology Today, Black Enterprise, Honey, and Teen People. Keisha is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at The City College, CUNY.

Anastacia Tolbert is a multifarious mix of grit, sunshine, alphabet juice & butterflies. She is a writer, performance artist, documentarian, teacher and workshop facilitator planting her roots in Japan.
Pamela L. Laskin is a lecturer in the English Department at The City College, where she directs The Poetry Outreach Center. Five of her poetry books have been published, VAN GOGH'S EAR, the most recent (Cervena Barva Press). Diversion Press recently published VISITATION RITES, based on a short story of the same title published in SASSY magazine. She has edited two collections:LIFE ON THE MOON: MY BEST FRIEND'S SECRETS (Linus Publications) and THE HEROIC YOUNG WOMAN (Clique Calm Books).
Renee Bess is the first generation born up north from the southern migration. She celebrates her African and Native American ancestry. She holds a BFA in Theatre and Dance from Pratt Institute. Renee has traveled extensively but has her sight on Cuba as soon as it is legal to go there. Writing helps Renee to express the things that she finds difficult to verbalize. She believes that Oral Traditions are important in preserving our history, and tries to commit them to pen and paper as often as she can so that we never forget. All thoughts are powerful. "Write On"

Elizabeth Lara has worked as a language teacher and editor. Her experiences living in Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean often emerge in her writing. Her poems have appeared in the online magazines The Rose & Thorn,Persimmon Tree, and damselfly press; and in The Equinox (2008) and Reflections 2009. In 2008 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives and writes in New York City.
Regina Jamison has written a novel, short stories, and poetry- some wild and some tame. Wild women can find her erotic short stories in Zane's Purple Panties and the upcoming lesbian vampire anthology, Girls Who Bite. Tame women can read her poetry in Clamour, and Off the Rocks Vol. 14 & 15. She is currently working on her MFA in Creative Writing at City College in New York.

Malena Baizan is humbled by the opportunity to share her writing with all of us. She has published a bilingual poetry book called: "Hikari: Illuminations Desde el Alma". Malena is an elementary school teacher in East Harlem, and loves to dance. She is currently working on her first novel about immigration, love, and resurrection.

D.R.E.D. (Daring Reality Every Day), aka Mildred Gerestant has been performing, educating, lecturing, and presenting workshops all over the world since 1995. Her work is written about in at least 12 books. Her act is less a typical impersonation, and more of what it means to be ‘yourself’, without worrying about if society will accept you or not. It is her mission, her purpose, to inspire people to honor, accept, and love all of who they are, using poetry, humor, education, music, theater, and movement. D.R.E.D. has shared her work in Africa, Europe, Asia and the US. D.R.E.D. website (photo courtesy of Mirrored Impressions Photography)


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