Judges 2019

Chair: Matthew Shenoda

Matthew Shenoda is an Egyptian-American writer and professor whose poems and essays have appeared in a variety of newspapers, journals, radio programs and anthologies. He has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his work has been supported by the California Arts Council and the Lannan Foundation among others. His debut collection of poems, Somewhere Else (Coffee House Press), was named one of 2005’s debut books of the year by Poets & Writers Magazine and was winner of a 2006 American Book Award. He is also the author of Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone (BOA Editions Ltd.), editor of Duppy Conqueror: New & Selected Poems by Kwame Dawes, and most recently author of Tahrir Suite: Poems (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press), winner of the 2015 Arab American Book Award and with Kwame Dawes, editor of Bearden’s Odyssey: Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press in 2017).

Leila Chatti

Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and author of the chapbooks Ebb (Akashic Books, 2018) and Tunsiya/Amrikiya, the 2017 Editors’ Selection from Bull City Press. She is the recipient of scholarships from the Tin House Writers’ Workshop, The Frost Place, and the Key West Literary Seminar, grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Cleveland State University, where she is the inaugural Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Publishing and Writing. Her poems have received awards from Ploughshares’ Emerging Writer’s Contest, Narrative’s 30 Below Contest, the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize, and the Academy of American Poets. She is the Consulting Poetry Editor for the Raleigh Review and her work appears in Ploughshares, Tin House, American Poetry Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere.

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers is an award-winning South African writer and performance artist. Her poetry collections include Taller Than Buildings and The Everyday Wife. She has toured widely her autobiographical one-woman show, Original Skin. Her many awards include the National Arts Festival/de Buren Writing Beyond the Fringe Prize (2009) and a South African Literary Award (2011). She was also the recipient of the 2012 Overseas Scholarship for studies in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. She was selected in 2014 as Commonwealth poet and commissioned to write and perform a poem in celebration of Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family as well as politicians and dignitaries.