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Nightjar, Simms’s third full-length collection of poems, is published by Ragged Sky Press. Poet and classical scholar Rachel Hadas notes that the poems “recall the darkly vatic voice of Brecht’s late lyrics. Yet, Simms always sounds like himself: plainspoken, intimate, vulnerable, courageous.”
About the writers who will be sharing their work on Wednesday evening:
Michael Simms is an accomplished poet, writer, editor, publisher, teacher, and blogger. Three full-length collections of his poetry, four novels, and two widely adopted poetry textbooks have been published or are under contract with publishers. He has also been the lead editor of over 100 published books, including the bestselling Autumn House Anthology of Poetry, now in its third edition. Simms is the founding editor of Autumn House Press (1998-2016) and since 2014, Vox Populi. He has taught at a number of universities, including Chatham University’s MFA program from 2005-2013.
Gerry LaFemina is the author of over twenty books, including The Story of Ash (poems, Anhinga Press, 2018) and Baby Steps in Doomsday Prepping (prose poems, Madville Publishing, 2020). Madville will also publish his first book of creative nonfiction, The Pursuit: A Meditation on Happiness, and Long Sky Media will publish Pop and Hiss: Selected Punk Poems 1990-2020 in 2022. A noted scholar, arts activist, and teacher, he is a Fulbright Specialist in Writing and American Culture, a Professor of English at Frostburg State University, and a mentor in the Carlow University MFA program. He also serves as President of Savage Mountain Punk Arts, a non profit dedicated to underground arts in Appalachia and fronts the punk group The Downstrokes.
Gail Langstroth was raised under the Big Skies of Montana, Langstroth is a tri-lingual lecturer, international eurythmy performer, translator, poet and film artist. She is a graduate of Drew University’s M.F.A. in poetry, winner of the Patricia Doblar Poetry Prize, 2011, and poetry editor for the European art journal Cyte Magazin. Get Fresh Books released Langstroth’s bilingual firegarden / jardín-de-fuego, (2020). Voiced: words from asphalt, Langstroth’s recent film, is being showcased in European festivals. Her upcoming performance piece: STAHLWORTE / STEELWORDS will premiere, The Hague, Netherlands, (October 2021). Langstroth teaches and performs internationally. Alongside her work as the movement consultant for the Lemington Gospel Chorale of Pittsburgh, she mentors for Carlow University’s Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops.
Sharon Fagan McDermott is a poet, essayist, and teacher of literature at Winchester Thurston School in Pittsburgh, PA. Her most recent collection of poetry, Life Without Furniture, was published by Jacar Press in May 2018. Additionally, thanks to generous artist awards from The Pittsburgh Foundation and the PA Council on the Arts, Fagan McDermott has published three chapbook collections, Voluptuous, Alley Scatting (Parallel Press, 2005), and Bitter Acoustic, which won the 2011 Jacar Press Chapbook contest. Her poems have been published widely in journals including Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, and Seneca Review, as well as in anthologies, such as Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania.