President, Albany Poets
Thom Francis is the president of Albany Poets and has been organizing, promoting, and hosting open mics and poetry / spoken word events in Albany such as Nitty Gritty Slam, School of Night, Albany Poets Presents…, Brass Tacks, and the Word Fest for over 20 years. As a poet and performer, Thom has been featured at many of the upstate poetry and spoken word events from Saratoga to Woodstock as well as LarkFest, Art on Lark, and 1st Friday in Albany. Thom’s poetry has been published in Chronogram, Pine Hills Review, and Up The River.
Vice President, Albany Poets
Mary Panza, Vice President of Albany Poets, is Albany’s poetry diva. She originated and hosted the poetry open mic at Border’s and currently hosts the series Poets Speak Loud at McGearys. Mary has also been active in promoting, hosting, and participating in many arts events throughout Upstate New York. Her assertive, colorful readings inspire courage and openness in emerging poets.
Internship Coordinator, Albany Poets / Founder, NY Writer's Compendium
Courtney (Galligan) Semoff is the founder of NY Writer’s Compendium. She is an alum of UAlbany’s English department where she specialized in creative writing, specifically, poetry. During her time there she birthed NYWCompendium and her daughter, Adelyn Jo. This second event led to her inspiration to write a mixed media poetry series on pregnancy, motherhood, giving birth and all the complicated emotions involved. Her future endeavors include publishing this series (among others she plans to write), participating in a literary community spanning the country and reading everything possible to her mini literati.
James H Duncan
James H Duncan is the editor of Hobo Camp Review and the author of such books as Nights Without Rain, What Lies In Wait, and We Are All Terminal But This Exit Is Mine, among other collections of poetry and fiction. He is a former editor at Writer’s Digest and American Artist, and upon moving back to Albany from NYC, he began visiting and reviewing independent bookshops for his blog, The Bookshop Hunter.
Rebecca Schumejda is the author of several full-length collections including Falling Forward (sunnyoutside press), Cadillac Men (NYQ Books), Waiting at the Dead End Diner (Bottom Dog Press) and most recently Our One-Way Street (NYQ Books). She is the co-editor at Trailer Park Quarterly. She received her MA in Poetics from San Francisco State University and her BA from SUNY New Paltz. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her family.
Don Levy has been part of the Albany poetry scene since 1989, when he first read at the QE2 open mic. He has read at various venues and events in Albany, including The Albany Public Library, Poets in the Park, Poets Speak Loud at McGeary’s (where he was once roasted), and the Third Thursday Poetry Night at The Social Justice Center. He has hosted a number of readings over the years, the first being at The Albany Art Gallery on Jefferson Street, to his last series, a featured reader/open mic called Live From the Living Room, a straight-friendly reading held at The Pride Center of the Capital Region. He was one of the editors of Open Mic: The Albany Anthology. He published 2 chapbooks with local artist Kevin Bruce: How Green Was My Big Eden, a collection of gay fantasy poems, and Super Queer Poet Saves the Day. He currently writes a book blog called The Next Chapter on the Albany Poets website. He is exhausted looking back at all he has done in his life
Dan Wilcox is the host of the Third Thursday Poetry Night at the Social Justice Center in Albany, N.Y. and is a member of the poetry performance group “3 Guys from Albany”. As a photographer, he claims to have the world’s largest collection of photos of unknown poets. He has been a featured reader at all the important poetry venues in the Capital District and throughout the Hudson Valley and is an active member of Veterans for Peace.
He also publishes poetry under the imprint, A.P.D. (albany’s poetic device, another pleasant day, etc.). His own poems have been published in Post Traumatic Press 2007, Chronogram, Poetica and the anthology American Society: What Poets See, as well as in other small press journals and anthologies, on the internet, as broadsides & in self-published chapbooks. His chapbook boundless abodes of Albany published by Benevolent Bird Press of Delmar, NY is available for Kindle from Amazon. His latest book Gloucester Notes is available from FootHills Publishing.
Cheryl A. Rice
Long Islander by birth, Cheryl A. Rice has called the Hudson Valley home for almost forty years. She attended SUNY New Paltz, and, briefly, the University at Albany, NY. A frequent featured reader at venues from Manhattan to Albany, she is founder and host of the now-defunct Sylvia Plath Bake-Off. Publications include Moses Parts the Tulips (2013: APD Press), My Minnesota Boyhood (2012: Post Traumatic Press), and the forthcoming collaboration with Guy Reed, Until The Words Came (2019: Post Traumatic Press). Rice was a 2015 nominee for Best of the Web, and took First Prize in the 2016 Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Prize. Her RANDOM WRITING workshops, “For New and Used Poets” are held throughout New York’s Hudson Valley.
Over the last 25 years or so Author-Poet- Writer R.M. Engelhardt‘s work has been published and has appeared in many journals & magazines such as Poetic Diversity, Rusty Truck, Sure! The Charles Bukowski Newsletter, Thunder Sandwich, Writer’s Resist, The Boston Literary Review, Full of Crow, Fashion For Collapse, The Hobo Camp Review, and in many, many others.
He has published over 13 books of poetry and is the author of The Resurrection Waltz (2012).
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