Archival Bios


Shyanne Bennett is a native Brooklyn poet, with roots in Panama, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica. She’s taught creative writing at schools in Chicago and at The Writer’s Studio KW in New York City. She currently resides in Orlando, Florida.


Natasha Carrizosa is a poet, writer, and spoken word artist. Her work is deeply rooted in her childhood and life experiences. Raised as the daughter of an African-American mother and Mexican father, her writing reflects the dichotomy of these two rich cultures.

She has a powerful and unique voice. Natasha is able to speak about the appreciation and beauty of our diversity that lives within us all. She is a published author of several projects – including heavy light, mejiafricana, and Of Fire and Rain (co-authored with Joaquin Zihuatanejo.) She has performed her work and conducted workshops for audiences in Madrid, Paris, St. Lucia, New York, Chicago, Houston and countless other cities.


Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and is a VONA Voices Alumna, having worked with award-winning poets Willie Perdomo and Danez Smith. She currently performs spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and has previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Her work has been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, The Acentos Review, A Gypsy’s Library, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.


Malcolm Friend is a poet originally from the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. He received his BA from Vanderbilt University and his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of the chapbook mxd kd mixtape (Glass Poetry, 2017), and has received awards and fellowships from organizations including CantoMundo, VONA/Voices of Our Nations, Backbone Press, the Center for African American Poetry & Poetics, and the University of Memphis. His manuscript Our Bruises Kept Singing Purple won the 2017 Hillary Gravendyk Prize and will be published by Inlandia Books in 2018.


Kenning (FKA Kenyatta) JP García is the author of They Say (West Vine Press), So This Is Story (Shirt Pocket Press), as well as the ebooks ROBOT and Yawning on the Sands. Kenning is a chronicler, humorist, and antipoet. Xe is a nuyorican raised in Brooklyn but is currently residing in Albany where xe studied linguistics before going on to cook for a dozen years. These days, Kenning continues on in low wage, blue collar work as a graveyard shift laborer whose tasks including lots of counting, arithmetic and moving boxes from one place to another arbitrary place within certain allegedly well-calculated time frames. By day, xe is an editor at Five 2 One, Rigorous and the Operating System and occasionally writes reviews and lyric guessays.


Darrel’s poems have previously appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, The Caribbean Writer, Callaloo, Best American Experimental Writing, and elsewhere in print and online. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the Helen Zell Writing Program at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, and is a Cave Canem and Canto Mundo fellow. His poetry has also earned him scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, VCFA Postgraduate Writers Conference, and various residencies. His poem, ‘Praise Song for My Mutilated World’ won the 2017 C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize from Poetry International. Darrel is currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Playwriting at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York, and he teach at New York University.


Dr. Raina J. León, Cave Canem graduate fellow (2006) and member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective, CantoMundo and Macondo, is the author of three collections of poetry, Canticle of Idols, Boogeyman Dawn, sombra: (dis)locate (2016) and the chapbook, profeta without refuge (2016).  She is a founding editor of The Acentos Review.


Jennifer Maritza McCauley teaches at the University of Missouri, where she is working on her PhD in creative writing and literature. She is also Contest Editor at The Missouri Review and poetry editor at Origins Literary Journal. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, CantoMundo, Kimbilio, and Sundress Academy of the Arts. Her most recent work appears in Pleiades, Columbia Journal, Passages North, The Los Angeles Review, Puerto del Sol, Latinas: Protests and Struggles in the 21st Century (Red Sugarcane Press) and elsewhere. Her prose/poetry collection SCAR ON/SCAR OFF is now available from Stalking Horse Press.


YESENIA MONTILLA is an Afro-Latina poet & translator. Her poetry has appeared in The Wide Shore, Prairie Schooner, and others. She received her MFA from Drew University in poetry & poetry in translation and is a CantoMundo Fellow. The Pink Box is published by Willow Books and was long-listed for the Pen Open Book Award 2016.


Paula Ramirez is a native NYC poet from The Bronx. She has been writing and since early childhood.  Recently, she was awarded a VONA/Voces Writing Residency and has been published in Wildspice Magazine and African Voices. She has held the honor to feature at multiple venues across the country including DC’s “Busboys and Poets”,  Bowery Poetry Club, and Nuyorican Poetry Cafe. Her recent installment, SisHerHood debuted in Winter 2015. Recently, she completed a tour in Santo Domingo through the Kiskeya Libre Artist Residency in June 2017.


Julian David Randall – Resume & References – 2012 Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. He has received fellowships from Callaloo, BOAAT and the Watering Hole and was the 2015 National College Slam (CUPSI) Best Poet. Julian is the curator of Winter Tangerine Review’s Lineage of Mirrors. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as New York Times Magazine, Prairie Schooner and The Adroit Journal and in the anthologies Portrait in Blues, Nepantla and New Poetry from the Midwest. He is a candidate for his MFA in Poetry at Ole Miss. His first book, Refuse, is the winner of the 2017 Cave Canem Poetry prize and will be published by University of Pittsburgh Press in Fall 2018.


henry 7. reneau, jr. writes words in conflagration to awaken the world ablaze, free verse that breaks a rule every day, illuminated by his affinity for disobedience: a phoenix-flux of red & gold immolation that blazes from his heart, like a chambered bullet exploded through change is gonna come to implement the fire next time. He is the author of the poetry collection, freedomland blues (Transcendent Zero Press) and the e-chapbook, physiography of the fittest (Kind of a Hurricane Press), now available from their respective publishers. Additionally, he has self-published a chapbook entitled 13hirteen Levels of Resistance, and is currently working on a book of connected short stories. His work was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by LAROLA.


María Fernanda Lara Chamorro is a poet from Washington, D.C. A proud Black Ecuadorian, she has performed her work at MoMa PS1, New York City’s 2017 Poetry Festival, the Bronx Museum, John Jay College, and more. Her poems and translations have appeared in Kweli Journal, The Wide Shore, Luna Luna magazine, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Callaloo, and VONA/Voices.

© The Acentos Review 2020