2015 Fall Convergence Bios

Amaranth Borsuk Rebecca Brown micha cárdenas Renee Gladman Jeanne Heuving C. Davida Ingram Mike Katell Gregory Laynor Nathaniel Mackey Sarah Mangold Alex Martin Doug Nufer Shanghai Pearl Jessica Obrist Eleni Stecopoulos Danielle Vogel

Amaranth Borsuk is the author of Handiwork and, with programmer Brad Bouse, Between Page and Screen, an interactive book of augmented-reality poems. Abra, a collaboration with Kate Durbin, will be published by 1913 Editions. The recipient of an Expanded Artists' Books grant from the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago, Abra is forthcoming as an artist's book and iPad app, created with text/sound/performance artist Ian Hatcher. Another collaboration with Andy Fitch, As We Know (2014), was selected by Julie Carr for the Subito prize. Borsuk is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell.

Rebecca Brown has published over a dozen books in the U.S. and in translation. She has exhibited visual work in museums and has lectured, read, and performed widely.  She collaborates frequently with actors, artists, dancers, and musicians and also curates events. Her one woman show, Monstrous, premiered at Northwest Film Forum in December. Her books include American Romances, The Last Time I Saw You, The Dogs, The Gifts of the Body and The Terrible Girls. She writes regularly for The Stranger.  Brown is a Senior Artist-in-Residence in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell.

micha cárdenas is an artist, theorist, and educator. micha’s solo and collaborative work has been seen in museums, galleries, biennials, keynotes, community and public spaces around the world. Her co-authored books, The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities and Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs, were published by Atropos Press. In 2015 micha was a visiting scholar in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, and a MacArthur Foundation HASTAC Scholar. She holds a PhD from University of Southern California’s Media Arts and Practice (iMAP) where she was a Provost Fellow; an MFA from University of California, San Diego; an MA in Communication from the European Graduate School; and a BS in Computer Science from Florida International University. She is a member of the artist collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0, an an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell.

Renee Gladman is an artist and writer preoccupied with lines, crossings, thresholds, geographies, and syntaxes as they play out in the interstices of poetry and fiction. She is the author of eight published works, including a cycle of novels about the city-state Ravicka and its inhabitants, the Ravickians. Morelia, a novella, and Calamities, a collection of essays, are forthcoming in 2016. A 2014-2015 Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University, she currently lives in Providence, RI, with the poet-ceramicist, Danielle Vogel.

Jeanne Heuving is a scholar and a writer. Her published books include Incapacity, Transducer, and Omissions Are Not Accidents:  Gender in the Art of Marianne Moore. Her book length-study The Transmutation of Love and Avant-Garde Poetics is forthcoming from the University of Alabama Press and she recently published her long poem, “Miss  Lonelyhearts,” in Hambone 20. Her cross genre book Incapacity won a 2004 Book of the Year Award from Small Press Traffic.  Heuving directs the MFA program in Creative Writing & Poetics at the University of Washington, Bothell and she is on the graduate faculty in the English Department at the University of Washington Seattle.   She is the recipient of grants from the Fulbright Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Simpson Humanities Center, and the Beinecke Library at Yale.  

C. Davida Ingram is an artist, activist, and self-described “cultural worker” whose creation takes many forms: performances, installations, photographs, videos and private performance art. Community, space, and memory is at the heart of her work, as well as queer theory, gender politics and race. She is co-founder of Seattle People of Color Salon and recipient of the 2014 The Stranger Genius Award. Recent work includes, Detour (oral history/guided walking tour, 2012), I Wish a Motherfucker Would (workshop and performance, 2014), The Elephant in the Room (video installation, 2014), stereoTYPE (curated exhibition, LxWxH 2014 ), and Eyes to Dream: A Project Room (curated exhibition, Northwest African American Museum, 2015). Ingram holds degrees from the School of Art Institute Chicago and Bard College and currently manages Teen, Family, and Community Programs for Seattle Art Museum.  She’s worked previously for Gage Academy of Art, Video Machete, and Insight Arts.

Mike Katell is a composer, performer and academic. He was trained in classical music, but as a lifelong rock n’ roller, has tried to dispense with orthodoxies and approach every project with a mix of reverence and hedonistic pleasure. Katell’s musical CV includes a couple of short films, a bunch of dance pieces, and an opera, which was collaboration with Rebecca Brown and Alex Martin in the mid-oughts. He has also played a lot of rock music, including playing and singing for the indie rock trio Faster Tiger. The piece he is performing today stems from his fairly recent discovery of the musical pleasures of text. While writing has long been a creative outlet for Katell, creating text pieces for live performance is new and pretty exciting. In addition to being an artist, he is an academic, currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Washington Information School in Digital Policy and Ethics (mikekatell.wordpress.com). 

Gregory Laynor has appeared in several modern and contemporary poetry and poetics roles in Philadelphia and Seattle. He is currently appearing in the English Department at the University of Washington in Seattle as a PhD student, writing on poetry and musical theater, and as instructor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell. His reading of Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans appears on UbuWeb. He is a contributing editor of the journal EOAGH and is co-editing the collected writings of the late Philadelphia poet and publisher Gil Ott. In 2011-2012, he curated a series of poetry events and art talks at the Hedreen Gallery at Seattle University. 

Nathaniel Mackey is known for ground-breaking critical works, including, Discrepant Engagement:  Dissonance, Cross Culturality, and Experimental Writing (Cambridge) and prize-winning poetry and fiction. Mackey has published six books of poetry, most recently Nod House and Blue Fasa (New Directions) and four volumes in his ongoing project From A Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate (New Directions.)  Yet to categorize Mackey’s work by genre is to belie its cross-fertilization as well as its cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary experimentation.  His work is defined by serial composition and improvisatory modes and draws inspiration from music and Black Mountain (or New American) and Caribbean writers. Mackey’s distinguished career has earned him multiple awards including the National Book Award for Poetry (2006), the Stephen Henderson Award from the African American Literature and Culture Society (2008), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2010), the Ruth Lilly Life-Time Achievement Award from the Poetry Foundation (2014) and Yale’s Bollingen Prize for American Poetry in 2015.  He is the Reynolds Price Professor of English at Duke University.

Sarah Mangold is the author of Electrical Theories of Femininity and Household Mechanics, selected by C.D. Wright for the New Issues Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts 2013 Poetry Fellowship as well as residencies from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and a grant from the Seattle Arts Commission. She is the founder and editor of the print literary journals Scout and Bird Dog, a journal of innovative writing and art.

Alex Martin is a choreographer, performer and designer in projects that defy categorization, and a producer of live events. For her Brown Dress Project, Alex wore the same brown dress for 365 days, performed at On the Boards (Northwest New Works Festival) and at Consolidated Works, rode a wave of international media interest that crested on the Today Show (NBC), and was presented in a sustainable design exhibit at the University of Technology, Sydney Australia.  Alex was Co-Director of Seattle’s BetterBiscuitDance 1999 – 2006 and was a founding partner at Open Flight Studio.  Alex’s work has been presented by dozens of partners including Bumbershoot, Velocity Dance Center (for The Bridge Project, Strictly Seattle and on the SCUBA tour to ODC Theater in San Francisco CA), The City of Kent WA, Centrum Arts in Port Townsend WA, and ROMP Festival in Victoria BC Canada.  Alex’s choreography has received support from Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, 4 Culture, Artist Trust, Centrum Arts and others.  

Doug Nufer is the author of seven novels and three books of poetry, almost all of which are based on formal constraints. His books include Never Again (2004), Negativeland (2004), We Were Werewolves (2008), By Kelman Out of Pessoa (2011), and Lifeline Rule (2015). He has performed with dancers, musicians, solo, and with the groups Staggered Thirds and Interrupture, on stage, on video, and in the middle of the Stillaguamish River.

Jessica Obrist is a burlesque producer, performer and historian who explores the intersection of feminism and pop culture. She is professionally known as Jo Jo Stiletto and is Seattle’s reigning Mayor of Burlesque. Jessica is currently working on a book project titled Nerdlesque: The New Burlesque, represented by Red Sofa Literary. As an expert on burlesque, she has presented at the National Women’s Studies Association’s Annual Conference, GeekGirlCon, BurlyCon, Nerd Nite, and has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Penthouse and more. Her works have included performances titled Whedonesque Burlesque, The Burl-X-Files and Bechdel Test Burlesque.

Shanghai Pearl/Jenny Ku is a Seattle-based performer and artist with a background in visual arts, theater, and burlesque. She has been involved in the arts for over fifteen years and has been performing burlesque as The Shanghai Pearl for over ten years. She uses humor, glamour, and striptease to create work that explores body politics, race, pleasure, and wildness. She uses her brain and body to ask and answer questions about finding and presenting the un-colonized body.The Shanghai Pearl has performed and taught internationally with frequent features in New York, San Francisco and Paris.  She has been a featured guest with the illustrious Teatro Zinzanni in Seattle and San Francisco. She can also be seen in A Wink and A Smile and Waxie Moon’s Fallen Jewel. Jenny Ku has also presented nationally on race and performance, performance theory, and cultural appropriation in burlesque. She is thrilled to be presenting at the 2015 Fall Convergence.

Eleni Stecopoulos is the author of Visceral Poetics (2015), Daphnephoria (2012), and Armies of Compassion (2010). She curated an award-winning series on “The Poetics of Healing” for the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University, hosting writers, artists, health practitioners, scholars, and activists in performance and conversation, and she is finishing a related book called “Dreaming in the Fault Zone.” Her writing is published in venues such as Harriet, Encyclopedia, ecopoetics, Open Space (SFMOMA), Supple Science: A Robert Kocik Primer (2013), and Somatic Engagement: The Politics and Publics of Embodiment (2011). She appears in George Quasha’s video work poetry is (Speaking Portraits). Stecopoulos has taught at Bard College, in the Naropa Summer Writing Program, and in the MFA programs at San Francisco State and the University of San Francisco. She lives in Berkeley and co-teaches a workshop with the dance poet and movement educator Margit Galanter.

Danielle Vogel is an artist and cross-genre writer who grew up along the south shore of Long Island. Her visual works—which investigate the archives of memory stored within language—have been exhibited most recently at RISD Museum, The University of Arizona’s Poetry Center, Abecedarian Gallery, Temple and Pace Universities. As a writer, Danielle explores the bonds between language and presence, between a reader and a writer, and how a book, as an extended architecture of a body, might serve as a site of radical transformation. She is the author of Between Grammars (Noemi 2015), the artist book Narrative & Nest (Abecedarian Gallery 2012), and lit (Dancing Girl Press 2008). She teaches writing and book arts at Wesleyan University.