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International Women's Writing Guild

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Poetry Palooza Kickoff Event

  • Tuesday, September 14, 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Digital Village


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Poetry Palooza Kickoff Event

Join IWWG with your host Trish Hopkinson for an evening of celebration, literary citizenship, poetry programming, and a poetry contest kick-off event! We’ll be announcing the upcoming poetry programming, including a poetry contest with cash prizes in collaboration with Kelsay Books, and gathering together literary advocates, poetry advocates, and of course poets, to talk about literary citizenship and how to grow and strengthen your poetry community. Panelists include:

  • Karen Kelsay, founder of Kelsay Books
  • Karen Craigo, contest judge and past Poet Laureate of Missouri
  • Erika Dreifus, literary advocate and author of Birthright: Poems (Kelsay Books, 2019)
  • Kai Coggin, Wednesday Night Poetry host and author of MINING FOR STARDUST (FlowerSong Press, 2021)
  • Tacey Atsitty, award-winning poet, instructor, and author of Rain Scald (University of New Mexico Press, 2018)

Host: Trish Hopkinson

Trish Hopkinson is a poet, blogger, and advocate for the literary arts. You can find her online at and provisionally in Utah, where she runs the regional poetry group Rock Canyon Poets and folds poems to fill Poemball machines for Provo Poetry. Her poetry has been published in several literary magazines and journals, including Tinderbox, Glass Poetry Press, and The Penn Review, and her fourth chapbook Almost Famous was published by Yavanika Press in 2019. Hopkinson happily answers to labels such as atheist, feminist, and empty nester; and enjoys traveling, live music, and her day job as a software product director.

Karen Kelsay and her husband owned a business in Southern California for 24-years, where she worked as a buyer and salesperson. She regularly met with university bookstore managers in three counties and gathered significant distribution knowledge, which helped lay the groundwork for her publishing company. Karen is an award-winning poet who enjoys writing free verse and formal poetry. In 2012 she created Kelsay Books and has now edited over 800 titles (as of 2021). Karen schedules national and international poetry readings for Kelsay Books, coedits The Orchards Poetry Journal, and selects published titles each year for poetry contests.

Karen Craigo is a business reporter at the Springfield (Missouri) Business Journal and was Missouri's fifth Poet Laureate. She has five poetry collections, including Passing Through Humansville and No More Milk (Sundress, 2018 and 2016) and three chapbooks, and she is also a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Springfield with her husband, Michael Czyzniejewski, and their two sons.

Erika Dreifus is the author of Birthright: Poems, published by Kelsay Books in fall 2019. She is also the author of Quiet Americans: Stories, a short-story collection that is largely inspired by the histories and experiences of her paternal grandparents, German Jews who escaped Nazi persecution and immigrated to the United States in the late 1930s. Erika earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, where she taught history, literature, and writing for several years. A fellow in the Sami Rohr Jewish Literary Institute and adjunct associate professor at Baruch College of The City University of New York, she writes and lectures widely. Erika is also the publisher-editor of  The Practicing Writer, a free (and popular) e-newsletter for writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. She lives in New York City.

Kai Coggin is the author of four poetry collections, most recently MINING FOR STARDUST (FlowerSong Press 2021) and INCANDESCENT (Sibling Rivalry Press 2019). She is a queer woman of color who thinks Black Lives Matter, a teaching artist in poetry with the Arkansas Arts Council, and the host of the longest running consecutive weekly open mic series in the country—Wednesday Night Poetry. Recently awarded the 2021 Governor’s Arts Award and named “Best Poet in Arkansas” by the Arkansas Times, her fierce and powerful poetry has been nominated four times for The Pushcart Prize, as well as Bettering American Poetry 2015, and Best of the Net 2016 and 2018. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in POETRY, Cultural Weekly, SOLSTICE,Bellevue Literary Review, Entropy, SWWIM, Sinister Wisdom, Lavender Review, Luna Luna, Blue Heron Review, Tupelo Press, West Trestle Review, and elsewhere. Coggin is Associate Editor at The Rise Up Review. She lives with her wife and their two adorable dogs in the valley of a small mountain in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas.

Tacey M. Atsitty, Diné, is Tsénahabiłnii (Sleep Rock People) and born for Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle People). Her maternal grandfather is Tábąąhí (Water Edge People) and her paternal grandfather is Hashk’áánhadzóhí (Yucca Fruit Strung-Out-In-A-Line People) from Cove, AZ.

She is a recipient of the Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship, the Corson-Browning Poetry Prize, Morning Star Creative Writing Award, and the Philip Freund Prize. She holds bachelor’s degrees from Brigham Young University and the Institute of American Indian Arts, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY Magazine, Kenyon Review Online, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, Literary Hub, New Poets of Native Nations, and other publications. Her first book is Rain Scald (University of New Mexico Press, 2018).

She is the poetry judge for Eggtooth Editions chapbook contest, director of the Navajo Film Festival, a member of the Board of Directors for Lightscatter Press, a member of the Advisory Council for Brigham Young University’s Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, and member of the Advisory Board for the Intermountain All-Women Hoop Dance Competition. She is a PhD student in the Creative Writing Program at Florida State University.

She lives in Peru with her husband.

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att: Michelle Miller

22 Parsonage St #293

Providence, RI 02903

telephone: (518) 290-1636 

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888 8th Avenue, #537
New York, NY 10019

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