We’re excited to bring you news of this year’s Friday afternoon poetry event, which takes place this year at Cafe Berlin, from 4;30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 19 - just ahead of the festival keynote with George Saunders at the Missouri Theatre. We have an amazing line-up of poets to read for you.

Like all Unbound events, this reading is completely free to attend. There are no tickets to reserve - just show up and enjoy the poetry. (It might not be a bad idea to get there early, though…)

The event will be MC’d by T'Keyah Thomas, who is on the Unbound programming committee. TK is a poet and community organizer living in Columbia, MO. She's an on-air announcer and producer for KBIA and is the host and co-founder of the spoken word collective, OneMic. Her poetry has been featured in several written & visual arts exhibits, including Interpretations (Columbia Art League) and Ekphrasis (Kansas City, 2018). She is the creative director of Mid-Missouri's chapter of Louder than a Bomb. She aspires to be a filmmaker one day.

Here is who will be reading:

Alex Bergman is set to receive their BA in Studio Art from Columbia College in April 2019, with a minor in Art Education. Bergman works primarily in three-dimensional media including fibers, alternative photography, and functional ceramics. Bergman is a frequent poet at Columbia’s OneMic poetry events, as well as a guest poet at Columbia College’s Night of Unity. Bergman’s fine art has been exhibited in solo and group shows across Boone County since 2015.

Grant H. Blackwell A.K.A BWELL or Eddy English, is a visual artist, poet, novelist and scholar born in the Saint Louis 80s. He is the author of Ant Life and Marie. Blackwell is a founding member of IndyGround Entertainment and the Big Black Lies (BBL) art crew. As a graduate of the University of Missouri--Columbia, BWELL is a father on necessity's path for a daughter and life to emulate.

Miranda S. Craig is a poet and comedienne, born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised practically everywhere else. Having attended twelve different schools by the time she was a senior in high school, she then chose to study at the University of Missouri and make Columbia her home. Her influences are rooted in mysticism, religiosity, spacetime and in attempts at understanding how humans are a part of all this in the first place.

Poet and community builder Kevin Coval is the author of 10 books, including A People’s History of Chicago, co-editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, and co-writer of the play This is Modern Art. Additionally, he is the Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors and founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival. He teaches hip-hop poetics in high schools, colleges, and community centers around the globe.

Farah El-Jayyousi is a Palestinian american poet and artist from Columbia, MO. By day, she is the Social Media Director for LaunchGood, the world's largest crowdfunding platform for Muslims. In her free time, she can be found volunteering for the high school youth group at the Islamic Center and abandoning art projects halfway through.

Marcel Jaentschke is a Graduate Student at the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Mizzou. He has published two poetry collections in Spanish: Sobre el desasosiego, and Dilatada República de las luces.  In 2015 he published his first novel: Anotaciones a la Banana Republic.  A selection of his poetry work has been translated into Finnish: Onko tämä suomalaista kirjallisuutta? and French: Boustro IV.

Jennifer Maritza McCauley is the author of SCAR ON/SCAR OFF. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Kimbilio, CantoMundo and the Knight Foundation, and awards from Independent Publisher Book Awards and the Academy of American Poets. She is poetry editor at The Missouri Review and fiction editor at Pleiades. She received her MFA from Florida International, and is pursuing her PhD in creative writing at the University of Missouri.

Marc McKee is the author of one chapbook and four full-length collections of poetry: What Apocalypse?, FuseBewildernessConsolationeer, and the forthcoming Meta Meta Make-Belief, all from Black Lawrence Press. His poetry appears widely in online and print journals. He is the managing editor of the Missouri Review in Columbia, Missouri, where he lives with his wife Camellia Cosgray and their son, Harold. 

A Mississippi native, Treasure Shields Redmond is a published poet, master educator, community arts organizer, and successful entrepreneur. Treasure was raised in the federal housing projects, and went on to be signed to M.C. Hammer’s label as a hiphop artist and writer. She is the author of chop: a collection of kwansabas for fannie lou hamer. Treasure has co-founded a funding collective for Black artists called The Black Skillet, and a podcast that centers voices of color called Who Raised You?

Stuart Smith is a third generation Hickman High School graduate. He graduated from Mizzou with a degree in English and an emphasis in creative writing for poetry, and then spent time in New York City and Portland, Oregon. Now back again in Columbia, he is working on a memoir, helps coach high school sports teams, and also works as a substitute teacher and bartender. 

Chris Ware is an award-winning spoken word artist, actor and musician. When not onstage, he works as a teaching artist, aiding children in discovering their own artistic talents. Chris also teaches computer aided design and machining classes at the MADE in STL Maker Space, giving others the tools to create what they may. Recent credits for Chris include "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" (Mustard Seed Theatre, STL) "Romeo and Juliet" (Shakespeare Festival, STL).