Sundress Publications is pleased to present Poets in Pajamas (PiP), a free, bi-monthly reading series run through Facebook Live that encourages worldwide literary connection by attending a virtual reading from the comfort of your pajamas. Poets read from their work for around fifteen minutes and welcome questions from the audience after the reading.
Our episodes for June will feature Melissa Fite Johnson (June 13th) and Akua Lezli Hope (June 27th) and will air on Facebook Live at 7:00 PM ET.
Melissa Fite Johnson is the author of Green (Riot in Your Throat, 2021) and While the Kettle’s On (Little Balkans Press, 2015), a Kansas Notable Book. She is also the author of A Crooked Door Cut into the Sky (Paper Nautilus Press, 2018), winner of the Vella Chapbook Prize. Her poems have appeared in Pleiades, SWWIM, Whale Road Review, Broadsided Press, and elsewhere. Melissa teaches high school English in Lawrence, KS, where she and her husband live with their dogs.
Akua Lezli Hope is a creator and wisdom seeker who uses sound, words, fiber, glass, metal, and wire to create poems, patterns, stories, music, sculpture, adornments, and peace. She wrote her first speculative poems in the sixth grade and has been in print every year, except one, since 1974. She is published in numerous literary magazines and national anthologies. A third generation New Yorker, her honors include the NEA, two NYFAs, an SFPA award, Rhysling and Pushcart Prize nominations, among others. She twice won Rattle’s Poets Respond. Her first collection, EMBOUCHURE, Poems on Jazz and Other Musics, won the Writer’s Digest book award. A Cave Canem fellow, her collection, THEM GONE, was published 2018. She launched Speculative Sundays, an online poetry reading series, in 2020.
She just won an individual artist grant for Now Voyager, her sculpture project about the immigration of her four grandparents from the West Indies to New York. She won Sundress Publications anthology competition to edit a speculative poetry anthology by BIPOC creators. Later this year, she is also editing an edition of Eye to the Telescope on the Sea.
An avid hand papermaker and crochet designer with over 130 patterns published, she exhibits her artwork regularly. A paraplegic, she founded a paratransit nonprofit. Her chapbook, Otherwheres (ArtFarm Press 2020) is available on Amazon. She sings songs from her favorite anime in Japanese, practices her soprano saxophone and prays for the cessation of suffering for all sentience.