A Kansas City Reading Series

Emily Spencer & Diana Khoi Nguyen

October 16th, 7:00PM CDT

Online Event (Register here)

Emily SPENCER is a poet and author of East Walnut Hills, winner of the Zone 3 Press First Book Award in Poetry. Spencer earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was a Boston University global writing fellow. Her poems appear in the Kenyon Review, POETRY, Pleiades, and elsewhere. 


A poet and multimedia artist, Diana KHOI NGUYEN is the author of Ghost Of (Omnidawn 2018) and recipient of a 2021 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to winning the 92Y Discovery Poetry Contest, 2019 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and Colorado Book Award, she was also a finalist for the National Book Award and L.A. Times Book Prize. A Kundiman fellow, she is core faculty in the Randolph College Low-Residency MFA and an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Nate Marshall & Kaveh Akbar

September 25, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM CDT

Online Event (Register here)

Nate MARSHALL is the author and editor of numerous works including Finna, Wild Hundreds, The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, and the audio drama Bruh Rabbit & The Fantastic Telling of Remington Ellis Esq. He teaches creative writing and literature at Colorado College. Nate was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago.

Kaveh AKBAR is the author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf and has received honors such as a Levis Reading Prize and multiple Pushcart Prizes. Born in Tehran, Iran, he teaches at Purdue University and in low-residency programs at Warren Wilson and Randolph Colleges. His newest collection of poetry, Pilgrim Bell, has been received with overwhelming praise - "it is a book we need now."

This event is co-sponsored and in conjunction with Race Project KC and supported with funds from the Creative Writing program at KCAI.


Robert Brown & Chell Navarro

April 24, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT

Online Event

Robert BROWN is a poet and multimedia artist who works with the Foundation Department at KCAI. His poems have appeared in Chicago Quarterly Review and Kansas City Ballet educational materials. He is a writer at KC Studio magazine.

Chell NAVARRO is a poet and founder and EIC of Savage Torpor Poetry. She is the author of Don’t Shoot the Augury, The Fetish of Maude Tatum, as well as her most recent collection, Sister of the Heath, which was released the week the world shut down due to the plague. Her poems appear in Bear Review, Sprung Formal, Lily Poetry Review, and forthcoming in Got Too High: An Anthology on Addiction. Navarro works freelance as a writer and copy editor. And to afford her lavish lifestyle as a poet, as a personal shopper for Instacart. She looks forward to the day she can once again hug The Lawrence Tree in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico.

Emily Pettit & Jason Teal

March 27, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT

Online Event


Emily PETTIT is the author of Goat in the Snow (Birds LLC) and Blue Flame (Carnegie Mellon University Press).


Jason TEAL is the author of We Were Called Specimens (KERNPUNKT Press, 2020). He edits Heavy Feather Review and lives in Kansas. His MFA is from Northern Michigan University. Writing appears in Sprung Formal, 3:AM, Quarterly West, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and Hobart, among others. Recently, he and others organized the 100% free to participate virtual book fair SMOL Fair, smolfair.com.

Kiki Petrosino & BJ Soloy

February 27, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT

Online Event

Kiki Petrosino is the author of four books of poetry: White Blood: a Lyric of Virginia (2020), Witch Wife (2017), Hymn for the Black Terrific (2013) and Fort Red Border (2009), all from Sarabande Books. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, Best American Poetry, The Nation, The New York Times, FENCE, Gulf Coast, Jubilat, Tin House and on-line at Ploughshares. She teaches at the University of Virginia as a Professor of Poetry. Petrosino is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a Fellowship in Creative Writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Al Smith Fellowship Award from the Kentucky Arts Council.



BJ Soloy is the author of Our Pornography and other disaster songs, selected by Ocean Vuong as winner of the Slope Editions Book Prize, and Selected Letters, out with New Michigan Press. He has work in places like FIELDForklift, OhioColorado ReviewNew American Writing, and Court Green, and lives and teaches in and around Kansas City, MO.


KCAI Creative Writing Double-Majors Reading

JANUARY 30TH, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT

Online Event
Please click on the following link to register for this reading.

Featured Readers:

Emily Mooney
Rylie Lawver
Opal Roberts-Baca

Diannely Antigua & Caryl Pagel

Oct 17, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT
Online Event
Please click on the following link to register for this reading.

Diannely ANTIGUA is a Dominican American poet and educator, born and raised in Massachusetts. Her debut collection Ugly Music (YesYes Books, 2019) was the winner of the Pamet River Prize and a 2020 Whiting Award. She received her BA in English from the University of Massachusetts Lowell where she won the Jack Kerouac Creative Writing Scholarship; and received her MFA at NYU where she was awarded a Global Research Initiative Fellowship to Florence, Italy. She is the recipient of additional fellowships from CantoMundo, Community of Writers, and the Fine Arts Work Center Summer Program. Her work has been nominated for both the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her poems can be found in Washington Square Review, Bennington Review, The Adroit Journal, and elsewhere. Her heart is in Brooklyn. 

Caryl PAGEL is the author of Out of Nowhere Into Nothing (FC2, fall 2020), Twice Told (University of Akron Press), and Experiments I Should Like Tried At My Own Death (Factory Hollow). She teaches in the NEOMFA program, directs the Cleveland State University Poetry Center, and is a publisher and editor at Rescue Press.

This event was made possible by generous contributions from the KCAI Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice and the Creative Writing Program at the Kansas City Art Institute.


Carrie Lorig & Jane Wong


Oct. 17th, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT 
Online Event
Please click on the following link to register for this reading. 



Carrie LORIGis a school psychologist and a poet. She is the author of The Pulp vs. The Throne (Artifice Books) and several chapbooks, including The Blood Barn (Inside the Castle), The Book of Repulsive Women (Essay Press), and NODS. (Magic Helicopter Press). She is currently a doctoral student in School Psychology at Georgia State University. 



Jane WONG's poems can be found in places such as Best American Nonrequired Reading 2019, American Poetry Review, Agni, Poetry, Third Coast, and others. Her essays have appeared in McSweeney's, Black Warrior Review, Ecotone, The Georgia Review, The Common, Shenandoah, and This is the Place: Women Writing About Home. A Kundiman fellow, she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships and residencies from the U.S. Fulbright Program, Artist Trust, the Fine Arts Work Center, Willapa Bay AiR, Hedgebrook, the Jentel Foundation, and the Mineral School. She is the author of Overpour from Action Books, and How to Not Be Afraid of Everything, which is forthcoming from Alice James in 2021. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University.

This event was made possible by generous contributions from the KCAI Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice and the Creative Writing Program at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Anaïs Duplan & Tim Earley

Sep 12, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT 
Online Event
Please click on the following link to register for this reading. 

Anaïs DUPLAN is a trans* poet, curator, and artist. He is the author of a forthcoming book of essays, Blackspace: On the Poetics of an Afrofuture (Black Ocean, 2020), a full-length poetry collection, Take This Stallion (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016), and a chapbook, Mount Carmel and the Blood of Parnassus (Monster  House Press, 2017). He has taught poetry at the University of Iowa,  Columbia University, and will teach at Sarah Lawrence College and St.  Joseph’s College. His video works have been exhibited by Flux Factory, Daata Editions,  the 13th Baltic Triennial in Lithuania, Mathew Gallery, NeueHouse, the Paseo Project, and will be exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art in L.A in 2021.


As an independent curator, he has facilitated curatorial projects in  Chicago, Boston, Santa Fe, and Reykjavík. He was a 2017-2019 joint  Public Programs fellow at the Museum of Modern Art and the Studio Museum  in Harlem. In 2016, he founded the Center for Afrofuturist Studies,  an artist residency program for artists of color, based at Iowa City’s  artist-run organization Public Space One. He works as Program Manager at  Recess.



Tim EARLEY is the author of five collections of poems, including Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (Horse Less Press, 2014), winner of the 2015 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Award, and Linthead Stomp (Horse Less Press, 2016). He is the recipient of fellowships from the  Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and Hawthornden Castle in Lasswade, Scotland. His work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Chicago Review, Denver Quarterly, Southern Humanities Review, jubilat, the Ecopoetry Anthology, and the Hick Poetics Anthology (edited by Abraham Smith and Shelly Taylor). He is the lead designer of  the forthcoming tabletop role-playing game, Holler, an Appalachian dark fantasy that focuses on regional folklore, labor conflict, ecological collapse, and demonic infestation.


This event was made possible by generous contributions from the KCAI Gallery: Center for Contemporary Practice and the Creative Writing Program at the Kansas City Art Institute.


Saturday, March 28th, 7pm, Epperson Auditorium, Kansas City Art Institute (4415 Warwick Blvd, KCMO)

Hadara BAR NADAV’s most recent book of poetry is The New Nudity (Saturnalia Books, 2017). Her previous books include Lullaby (with Exit Sign) (Saturnalia Books, 2013), awarded the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize; The Frame Called Ruin (New Issues, 2012), Runner Up for the Green Rose Prize; and A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight (Margie/Intuit House, 2007), awarded the Margie Book Prize. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Fountain and Furnace (Tupelo Press, 2015), awarded the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize, and Show Me Yours (Laurel Review/Green Tower Press 2010), awarded the Midwest Poets Series Prize. In addition, she is co-author with Michelle Boisseau of the best-selling textbook Writing Poems, 8th ed. (Pearson, 2011). Her awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, the Lucille Medwick Award from the Poetry Society of America, and others. She is a Professor of English and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Andrew FARKAS is the author of a novel: The Big Red Herring (KERNPUNKT Press), and two short fiction collections: Sunsphere (BlazeVOX Books) and Self-Titled Debut (Subito Press). His work has appeared in The Iowa Review, North American Review, The Cincinnati Review, The Florida Review, Western Humanities Review, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere. He has been thrice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, including one Special Mention in Pushcart Prize XXXV and one Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2013. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an M.F.A. from the University of Alabama, an M.A. from the University of Tennessee, and a B.A. from Kent State University. He is a fiction editor for The Rupture (the new iteration of The Collagist) and an Assistant Professor of English at Washburn University. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

Marianne KUNKEL is the author of Hillary, Made Up (Stephen F. Austin State University Press) and The Laughing Game (Finishing Line Press), as well as poems that have appeared in The Missouri Review, The Notre Dame Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Rattle, and elsewhere. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and Publishing at Missouri Western State University, where she directs the creative writing program. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. While earning her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she was the managing editor of Prairie Schooner and the African Poetry Book Fund. She currently is the editor-in-chief of Missouri Western State University’s national literary journal, The Mochila Review, and advisor of its campus literary journal, Reach.