Sept 22 • 1:30 pm

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Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize Winners
Michelle Peñaloza, Elizabeth Cantwell, Rachelle Cruz, Kenji Liu

September 22 • 1:30 pm
Barbara & Art Culver Center of the Arts
3834 Main Street, Riverside, CA 92501

Celebrate this year’s winners of the Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize.  Elizabeth Cantwell, winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Regional Poetry Prize, and Michelle Peñaloza, winner of the Hillary Gravendyk National Poetry Prize discuss their books of poetry and join in conversation with former winners Kenji Liu and Rachelle Cruz about the poetry process.

Elizabeth Cantwell is a high school teacher and poet living in Claremont, California, with her husband, two sons, and small dog. She is the author of two books of poetry, Nights I Let The Tiger Get You (Black Lawrence Press) and All The Emergency-Type Structures (Inlandia Institute), which was a finalist for the 2018 National Poetry Series and won the 2018 Regional Hillary Gravendyk Prize. If you need her, you can find her watching horror movies, listening to Fiona Apple, or reading incessantly about climate change. 

The proud daughter of Filipino immigrants, Michelle Peñaloza is author of Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire, winner of the 2018 Hillary Gravendyk National Poetry Prize. She is also the author of two chapbooks, landscape/heartbreak (Two Sylvias, 2015), and Last Night I Dreamt of Volcanoes (Organic Weapon Arts, 2015).

Kenji C. Liu is author of Monsters I Have Been (Alice James Books, 2019) and Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize (Inlandia Institute, 2015). His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, Gulf Coast, Apogee, and elsewhere, including two chapbooks and several anthologies. An alumnus of Kundiman, VONA/Voices, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the Community of Writers, he lives in occupied Tongva land.

Rachelle Cruz is from Hayward, California. She is the author of God’s Will for Monsters (Inlandia Institute, 2017) and Experiencing Comics: An Introduction to Reading, Discussing and Creating Comics, among other books. She hosts The Blood-Jet Writing Hour, a writing podcast with Muriel Leung. She is a Lecturer in the Creative Writing Department at the University of California, Riverside. An Emerging Voices Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow and a VONA writer, Rachelle lives and writes in Southern California.

Thanks to our sponsor, UCR Center for Ideas and Society

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