The reading will be facilitated by resident poet Megan Levad, and will feature a special performance from Mariposa County’s 2022 Poetry Out Loud Champion, Maegan Matchett. Following the readings, audience members are encouraged to participate in an open Q & A session.
Registration for this event is open now by clicking here or calling the Arts Council at 209-966-3155.
This spring, the Arts Council was able to provide opportunities for Matchett to work with Karyna McGlynn in preparation for the Poetry Out Loud state finals. Together with Megan Levad, they practiced emotive delivery, poetry comprehension, performance techniques and overall helped Matchett come into her own as a poet and performer. A testament to their work together, Matchett placed within the top 13 finalists in one of the most competitive state Poetry Out Loud contests in the nation.
In addition to supporting Maegan Matchett, this virtual reading allows community members special access to interact with and hear from major contemporary poets Karyna McGlynn and Michael Mlekoday. The event is intended to inspire and expand concepts of what poetry can be, which is an accessible form of individual, cultural and social expression. McGlynn and Mlekoday are prime examples of poets who break poetry’s academia stereotype, offering work that revels in pop-culture, hip-hop, gothic literature and celebrations of self.
Karyna McGlynn is an award-winning writer, professor, and visual artist. She is the author of three poetry collections from Sarabande Books: “50 Things Kate Bush Taught Me About the Multiverse,” “Hothouse,” and “I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl.” McGlynn holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Michigan, a PhD in Creative Writing & Literature from the University of Houston, and a Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing Fellowship. Recent honors include a New York Times Editor’s Choice, the Rumi Prize for Poetry, and the Florida Review Editors’ Award in Fiction. With Erika Jo Brown and Sasha Debevec-McKenney, she’s co-editing the anthology “Clever Girl: Witty Poetry by Women.” She’s also designing a collaged tarot deck called “Paper Arcana.” This summer, she will begin serving as the Director of Creative Writing at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Explore her work at www.karyna.io or on Instagram and Twitter at @karynamcglynn.
Joining McGlynn is Michael Mlekoday, an award-winning poet hailing from the California coast. Mlekoday lives in the Putah Creek watershed of California, teaching classes on hip-hop, Gothic literature, and wilderness poetics. A National Poetry Slam Champion, Mlekoday co-founded Button Publishing and currently serves as Poetry Editor of Ruminate Magazine.
Mlekoday’s first book, “The Dead Eat Everything,” was chosen by Dorianne Laux as winner of the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize. Their second book, “All Earthly Bodies,” was chosen by Patricia Smith for the Miller Williams Poetry Series. Their work has won the Florida Review Editors’ Prize, the AWP Intro Journals Award, and the Katharine Bakeless Nason scholarship from the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference. Mlekoday descends from the West Slavic tribes of Central Europe and was born on the banks of the Mississippi River — in lands the Dakota people and their ancestors have called home for thousands of years. They currently live in the homelands of the Patwin people. Find more on Michael at www.michaelmlekoday.com or explore Button Poetry on Instagram at @buttonpoetry.
Poetry Out Loud coordinator and coach Megan Levad will be hosting the virtual reading. She is the author of “Why We Live in the Dark Ages” and “What Have I to Say to You.” A recent MacDowell Fellow, her poems have appeared in Tin House, the San Francisco Chronicle and more. She also writes lyrics and libretti, including “When There Are Nine,” a song cycle about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg composed by Kristin Kuster, recently debuted at the Cabrillo Festival in Summer 2019, where Megan Levad was the writer-in-residence. She is now the creative director at Fahey Associates, and teaches ethics and social justice classes for Boise State from her home with her husband and son in Midpines.
The Arts Council is an incorporated not-for-profit organization, created to promote and support all forms of the cultural arts, for all ages, throughout Mariposa County and is supported in part by the County of Mariposa, the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the California Arts Council, a state agency.