PUP is… SAMANTHA THORNHILL, ADAM FALKNER, JON SANDS, ELANA BELL AND SYREETA MCFADDEN.
SAMANTHA THORNHILL is a poet, educator, and published children’s author. She has been invited to perform on stages across the United States as well as South Africa, Bermuda, Hungary and her homeland of Trinidad & Tobago. After receiving her poetry MFA (Masters in Fine Arts) from the University of Virginia, Samantha moved to New York City where she currently serves as writer in residence at the Bronx Academy of Letters and teaches poetry to actors in training at the Juilliard School. She is currently filming a documentary about the Law of Parties in Texas that sends people to death for murders that the state admits they did not plan or commit. Numerous literary journals and anthologies have featured Samantha’s poems and her first volume of poetry, as well as her third children’s book, are forthcoming in 2013.
ADAM FALKNER is a poet, performer, high school English teacher and educational consultant. His work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and has been featured in curricula for use at several prominent institutions of higher education including the University of Michigan and the University of Washington. He regularly teaches and performs at colleges and universities across the country and has appeared on HBO, BET, Michigan and New York Public Radio and in Time Out New York. He currently teaches 10th grade Creative Writing at the Academy for Young Writers in Brooklyn, New York.
JON SANDS is a Brooklyn based author known for electrifying readings. He wrote, The New Clean (2011, Write Bloody Publishing), and starred in the award winning 2011 web-series “Verse: A Murder Mystery” from Rattapallax Films. He is Director of Poetry Education at the Positive Health Project (a syringe exchange center in Midtown Manhattan), an adjunct with the City University of New York, as well as a Youth Mentor with Urban Word-NYC. His work is published or forthcoming in RATTLE, The Millions, Word Riot, Muzzle, and The Rattling Wall from PEN USA. He is a member of the groundbreaking performance poetry tours, “The Whirlwind Company” and “The SpillJoy Ensemble,” and tours extensively, both nationally and internationally. Say yes to www.jonsands.com
ELANA BELL‘S first collection of poetry, Eyes, Stones was selected by Fanny Howe as the winner of the 2011 Walt Whitman Award and was published by Louisiana State University Press in 2012. She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the Edward Albee Foundation, and the Brooklyn Arts Council. Her work has recently appeared in AGNI, Harvard Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Elana leads creative writing workshops for women in prison, for educators, for high school students in Israel-Palestine and throughout the five boroughs of New York City, as well as for the pioneering peace building and leadership organization, Seeds of Peace. She was a recent finalist for Split This Rock’s Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism, an award which recognizes and honors a poet who is doing innovative and transformative work at the intersection of poetry and social change. Elana also teaches literature and creative writing at CUNY College of Staten Island and sings with the a cappella trio Saheli.
SYREETA MCFADDEN is a Brooklyn based writer, photographer and adjunct professor of English. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, New York Times, BuzzFeed, Feministing, NPR, Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches and Storyscape Journal.She is is an editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station. She is currently working on collections of short stories and essays.