Students Meet Diverse Voices in Dalton Working Poets Project

Verse is coming alive for sophomores in the Introduction to Poetry classes as the English Department and Creative Writing Program welcome early-career, post-MFA poets to the classroom virtually through the Dalton Working Poets Project. The poets share work in progress with students, discuss the writing process, and reflect on aspects of their own identities, as their work explores issues of race, gender, and nationality in our contemporary world.
Digital Dalton has allowed for a great diversity of geographic range in this inaugural group of poets, all of whom are visiting classes through Zoom. As their bios below demonstrate, they are an accomplished and remarkable group, and the whole high school was treated to a selection of their work in a recent assembly.
  • Kabel Mishka Ligot is a Library Science graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also finished an MFA in Poetry in 2019. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Waxwing, RHINO, Indiana Review, and other journals. Mishka is a two-time Tin House Summer Workshop alumnus, and the 2019 Don Belton Scholar at the Indiana University Writers’ Conference. Originally from Quezon City in the Philippines, he currently lives on occupied Ho-Chunk land (Madison, Wisconsin).  
  • April Freely holds a BA from Brown University and MFAs from the University of Iowa and NYU. Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Ninth Letter, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and awards from Cave Canem, the Ohio Arts Council, Vermont Studio Center, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. She lives in Harlem, New York. 
  • Sarina Romero holds an MFA from New York University. This year her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and she was a finalist for the Rona Jaffe Writers' Award. She lives in Brooklyn with her Rottweiler, Rose.
  • Justine Yan is a writer and audio producer currently based in Philadelphia and Cooperstown, NY (she keeps moving!). She recently completed her MFA in poetry at the University of California, Irvine. This fall, she’s working for two NPR podcasts, Embedded and Rough Translation. She’s spent much of the last several years living and writing in China, and she’s currently completing her first manuscript, Ways of Counting.
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