Tyehimba Jess (Featured Poet) is a Detroit native. Jess’ first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004-5 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000 – 2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He recently exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TedX Nashville Conference. Jess is an Assistant Professor of English at College of Staten Island. Jess’ fiction and poetry have appeared in American Poetry Review, Beyond The Frontier: African American Poetry for the Twenty-First Century, Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Power Lines: Ten Years of Poetry from Chicago’s Guild Complex, Slam: The Art of Performance Poetry, Brilliant Corners, Ploughshares, Obsidian III: Literature in the African Diaspora, Warpland: A Journal of Black Literature and Ideas, Mosaic, Blu Magazine, American Poetry Review, Indiana Review, Nashville Review and 580 Split.