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Derrick Austin is the author of Trouble the Water (BOA Editions 2016), selected by Mary Szybist for the 2015 A. Poulin Jr Prize. A Cave Canem fellow, Pushcart Prize and four-time Best New Poets nominee, he earned his MFA at the University of Michigan where he also earned Hopwood Awards in poetry. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2015, New England Review, Image: A Journal of Arts and Religion, Memorious, Callaloo, Nimrod, Crab Orchard Review, and other journals and anthologies. This fall he will be the 2016-2017 Ron Wallace Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing.
F.J. Bergmann writes poetry and science fiction, often simultaneously. A lack of academic literary qualifications does not preclude friendship with those so encumbered.
Believing wholeheartedly in the power and healing found in the written word, my poetry has largely been called "confessional" or autobiographical. I believe one's personal experiences can be formed and molded into a literary kaleidoscope in which to see a better world. Knowing suffering and struggle can make up our daily lives, I seek to lead others to a place of confident creativity, of believing their unique story has value. Besides writing, I lead a number of workshops related to using creative writing as a vehicle for emotional healing. Poetry can translate the unspeakable to a language that liberates us from insecurity and the smallness of life. Workshops led via AllWriters' Workplace & Workshop: "The Bridge Poem," "The Memory at Work," "Translating the Language of Loss," and "Alchemy of the Wounded Heart." I have performed and presented poetry to a variety of people ranging from school-aged children to seniors with dementia. If you breathe, you have a story to tell. Someone is waiting to hear your story.