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Literary acts appearing at The Flyover Fest 2017.


Literary acts appearing at Flyover 2019.

Danez Smith.jpg

DANEZ SMITH is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of "Don’t Call Us Dead" (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, and "[insert] boy" (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. Danez’s third collection, “Homie”, will be published by Graywolf in Spring 2020.

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Erika L Sanchez.jpg

ERIKA L. SANCHEZ is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. A poet, essayist, and fiction writer, she is the author of a young adult novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, a 2017 Finalist for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature and an instant New York Times bestseller; and the poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion, a finalist for the PEN America Open Book Award. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a “Discovery”/Boston Review Prize, and a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from The Poetry Foundation. She is a currently a Princeton Arts Fellow.

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Elana K Arnold.jpg

ELANA K. ARNOLD is the author of many books for and about children and teens including Damsel, a 2018 Michael L. Printz Honor winner; What Girls Are Made Of, a Finalist for the 2017 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature; and A Boy Called Bat, a 2018 Global Read Aloud selection. Elana’s books have been included on numerous best lists and earned many awards, including Junior Library Guild Selections, a Westchester Fiction Award, and a Gold Medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. Elana holds a BA in comparative literature from the University of California at Irvine and a master’s degree in English and creative writing/fiction from UC Davis, where she has taught creative writing and adolescent literature. She teaches in the MFAC program at Hamline University and lives in Southern California.

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Authors Elana K. Arnold and Erika L. Sánchez join Flyover through a partnership with the National Book Foundation.

Speaking for Ourselves: Elana K. Arnold and Erika L. Sánchez
Perhaps at no other moment in history have readers had access to such a wide range of literary voices that center the lives and stories of women and girls. How can we continue to shed shallow portrayals of young women and the tropes that have defined so many stories for younger readers? Join National Book Awards Finalists Elana K. Arnold (What Girls Are Made Of) and Erika L. Sánchez (I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter) for a discussion about the vital importance of sharing stories that are complex and empathetic, and that shed light on the realities and nuanced experiences of young women.

The mission of the National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards, is to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture. The Foundation approaches this work from three programmatic angles: Awards & Honors, recognizing exceptional authors, literature, and literary programs; Education & Access initiatives, helping young and adult readers develop a lifelong passion for books; and Public Programs, bringing acclaimed authors to communities nationwide to engage in conversations about books and the power of literature as a tool for understanding our world, cultivating meaningful discourse around the issues of our age. Information on all of the Foundation’s programs can be found online at  

Alison Rollins.jpg

Born and raised in St. Louis city, ALISON C. ROLLINS currently works as a librarian for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Literature fellow and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry ReviewNew England ReviewPoetry, and elsewhere. A Cave Canem and Callaloo fellow, she is also a 2016 recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. Rollins has been awarded support from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and in 2018 was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers' Award. Her debut poetry collection Library of Small Catastrophes is out with Copper Canyon Press April 2019.

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Nate Marshall.jpg

NATE MARSHALL is a writer, rapper, and educator from the South Side of Chicago. He is the author of Wild Hundreds and an editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. His next book, FINNA, is forthcoming in 2020 from One World/Random House.

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Franny Choi.jpg

FRANNY CHOI is the author of two books of poetry, Soft Science and Floating, Brilliant, Gone, as well as a chapbook, Death by Sex Machine. She hosts the Poetry Foundation podcast VS along with fellow poet Danez Smith and edits for Hyphen Magazine. She is a Kundiman Fellow, a Zell Fellow at the University of Michigan, and a member of the Dark Noise Collective. She lives in Hamtramck, MI and teaches poetry through the CityWide Poets program in Detroit.

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Scott Woods.jpg

SCOTT WOODS is a writer and event organizer in Columbus, Ohio. He is the founder of Streetlight Guild, a performing arts non-profit. He is a 2018 Columbus Foundation 2018 Spirit of Columbus Award recipient, as well as the GCAC winner of the 2017 Columbus Makes Art Excellence Award for his event series “Holler: 31 Days of Columbus Black Art,” and was named the first-ever “Face of Columbus” by Columbus Alive. Woods is the author of Urban Contemporary History Month (2016), We Over Here Now (2013) and Prince and Little Weird Black Boy Gods (2017) and has been featured multiple times in national press, including multiple appearances on National Public Radio. He is the co-founder of the Writers’ Block Poetry Night and in 2006 became the first poet to ever complete a 24-hour solo poetry reading…a feat he bested seven more times without repeating a single poem.

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