Entirely student-run, SLC Poetry Festival is the largest free poetry festival in New York State.

2014 Featured Reader - Hoa Nguyen

Born in the Mekong Delta and raised in the DC area, Hoa Nguyen studied Poetics at New College of California in San Francisco where she earned an MFA. She is the author of three full length collections of poetry including As Long As Trees Lastforthcoming from Wave Book in the fall of 2012, Hecate Lochia (Hot Whiskey Press, 2009) and Your Ancient See Through (Subpress 2002). Her poetry has been collected in eight anthologies including Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sound: The Teachers of WritersCorps in Poetry and Prose, City Lights 2009, The Best of Fence,Fence Books 2009, For the Time Being: A Bootstrap Anthology, Bootstrap Books 2008, Black Dog, Black Night: Contemporary Vietnamese Poetry, Milkweed Editions 2008 and Not for Mothers Only, Fence Books 2007.

In 1997, Nguyen designed and implemented an online youth poetry workshop for New York City based Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Students were youth ages 14 – 18; the workshop introduced participants to new writing strategies, encouraged them to develop critical skills and the creation of poetry with focused writing exercises. Discussion and feedback took place in an open online forum; the poetry exercises were indexed on the front page of the Virtual Poetry Workshop (nearly one hundred by its conclusion) so that teachers wishing to introduce poetry writing in the classroom could it as a resource from which to draw specific ideas.

In addition, since 1998, Nguyen has led private poetry writing workshops. These eight- to twelve-week sessions are held three times a year and include in-person as well as virtual participants. Under Nguyen’s guidance, workshop participants engage a primary text by a single poet and write out of resonances and in response to prompts and other considerations drawn from and in dialogue with it. Poets Niedecker, Kyger, Berrigan, Spicer, Whalen, Susan Howe, Creeley, Dickinson, Stein and Charles Olson are among those that Nguyen has taught. Her workshops are referred to as “legendary” and “iconic” and have counted many established poets as repeat participants.

With the poet Dale Smith, Nguyen founded a small press journal of poetry and poetics, publishing contemporary poets such as Amiri Baraka, Alice Notley, Linh Dinh, Kenward Elmslie and Eileen Myles. Nationally distributed, Skanky Possum has received attention from national media such as The Baltimore Sun and Poets and Writers. In 2002, as editor of Best American Poetry, Robert Creeley selected poems by four poets that were published in issue 6 of Skanky Possum. Skanky Possum’s catalogue has been collected by several prominent archives and Special Collections including San Francisco University, SUNY Buffalo, University of Arizona’s Poetry Center, and the New York Public Library.

Nguyen has been invited to perform her work, act as poet in residence, and lecture on poetry for Universities, conferences and literary organizations nation-wide, including, most recently, Ryerson University and The Toronto New School of Writing, Toronto, ON; the University of Texas, Austin, TX; University of Washington, Pullman, WA; the Charles Olson Centenary Conference, Vancouver, BC; Buffalo State, Buffalo, NY; the Association for Asian American Studies Conference, Austin, TX; Naropa University, Boulder, CO; and the Belladonna Conference, New York, NY.

Find out about her private poetry workshops, held in Toronto and cyberspace, here.

2014 Student Reader - Ray Schechter

is a poet. She studies poetry. She is a red head. She recently interned at The New Yorker magazine. She is looking forward to the future. Ray Schechter is a junior at Sarah Lawrence College. She is an R.A., an a capella singer, and works at a cheese shop. 

2014 Student Reader - Rachel Lake

is a current MFA candidate at Sarah Lawrence College, a reader for Lumina literary journal, and a creative writing teacher. More of her work has appeared in Arcadia Magazine’s Online Sundries, The Bicycle Review, and on The Public Radio Exchange. She currently resides in upper Manhattan. To reach Rachel, email her at rachelklake@gmail.com — she’d love to hear from you!

2014 Featured Reader - Mary Stone Dockery

graduated from Missouri Western State University in 2009 with a BA in English Literature. Her poetry and prose has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of journals, including Mochila, Gargoyle, > kill author, Midwestern Gothic, Weave Magazine, The Medulla Review, scissors and spackle, The Montucky Review and many other fine journals. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award in Poetry. She is also the recipient of the Thomas J. O’Donnell Award for creative nonfiction and an honorable mention for the Vic Contoski award in fiction. She has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Mary received her MFA from the University of Kansas in 2012.

Her first collection of poetry, Mythology of Touch was released by Woodley Press in 2012. She also has three chapbooks: Aching Buttons (Dancing Girl Press); Blink Finch (Kattywompus Press); and The Dopamine Letters (Hyacinth Girl Press).

"In addition to writing and publishing, I also consider myself an intense editor. I am the co-editor of Stone Highway Review, and co-edit Blue Island Review. I also serve as a reader for Gemini Magazine and forEcho Ink Reviewand for A Capella Zoo. I have also written very short reviews for Portal del Sol.

While I consider myself a poet, I also tend to write fiction and nonfiction. Most of my work is quite theme-oriented. In the past I have written a lot about mothering. Lately, I’ve tried branching out of my comfort zone, exploring new forms, and trying to get my poems to look differently on the page. The themes I am currently obsessed with – death, dead bodies and the voyeurism involved with funerals and dying. I am also obsessed with sexuality, pleasure, and its relation to pain.” - Mary Stone Dockery


2014 Student Reader - Quincy Scott Jones

earned a Bachelor’s from Brown University, a Master’s from Temple University, & $100 working as supermarket clown.With Nina Sharma he co-created the multicultural, multi-genre, multi-city reading series the Nor’easter Exchange.