Beatrice Jane Ekesa is a Kenyan high school teacher currently on a J-1 exchange teacher programme with the Sumter School District in South Carolina, USA, sponsored by the Foreign Academic and Cultural Exchange Services Inc. She is also pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy degree in literature at the University of Nairobi. She is a poet as well as a literary critic. Her work is published in peer reviewed journals including the Journal of Critical Studies in English and Literature and the Nairobi Journal of Literature.

Bengt O Björklund
was born on 15th of August 1949. He wrote his first poem while in jail in Istanbul in 1970. He later played Eric in the movie Midnight Express. Since then he has published nine poetry collections (five in Swedish and four in English). Bengt is also an artist, a percussionist, a photographer and a cook.

Christopher Okemwa
is the editor of this anthology. He is also the editor of the massive world anthologies, Musings during a Time of Pandemic: A World Anthology of Poems on Covid-19; I Can’t Breathe: A Poetic Anthology of Social Justice; Coming Out of Isolation: Poems on Resilience, Triumph & Hope; The Griots of Ubuntu: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry from Africa; and Voices from the Woods: An Anthology of Poems from East Africa & Beyond. Okemwa has written 10 collections of poems, four oral literature text books, four children stories, two novels, one collection of short stories and one play. Okemwa has been a guest poet at international poetry festivals in Turkey, Belgium, Vietnam, Colombia, Spain, Northern Ireland and England. He is also the founder and current director of Kistrech International Poetry Festival in Kenya.

Dr. Andrea Grieder
is the founder of Transpoesis, a poetry organisation based in Rwanda and in Switzerland. She teaches poetry and brings poetic performances on Stage: At the International Arts Festival Ubumuntu, Kigali and at Arts Festivals in Athens (Platforms Project), Stockholm (Supermarket Independent Art Fair), Switzerland (FatArt and Window of Fame).  In Rwanda, Transpoesis was running the three monthly poetry competition Kigali vibrates with Poetry (2015-2019).  

Andrea writes a column for African.Poetry.PressShe is the co-director of International Refugee Poetry Network and curated On the Wings of Technology. She holds a PhD in Social Anthropology and is the director of inArtes, an art therapy insitut in Zurich and Winterthur, member of European Graduate School EGS in Expressive Art Therapy. She talks about her vision and the transformative power of poetry on TEDx Nyarugenge, 2019.

Joseph Muleka is a writer, critic, scholar, musician and educationist. He holds a PhD in Literature from the University of Nairobi (Kenya) and is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Literature, University of Nairobi. He has published in numerous local and international journals, on subjects of literature, culture, theory and gender, with a seminal paper: “Theory in the Study of African Oral Literature: The Oral Artist’s Agenda,” published in Journal of Arts & Humanities. His complete works in the area of gender include Images of Women in African Oral Literature and Girl Characters in Children’s Books: A Patriarchal Portrait. He has further served as an editor for journals, including: NGANO Journal for Kenya Oral Literature Association; Tydskrif vir Letterkunde, of South Africa; and, Pathways to African Feminism and Development: Journal of African Women’s Studies Centre, University of Nairobi.  Muleka has also written student guides, short stories and story books for junior readers. Some of the titles for the junior readers category include: Naomi and the Cannibals; Naomi in her New School; Naomi the Detective (Nominated for The Wahome Mutahi Prize for Literature, 2014); Naomi’s Stories; Naomi and Cindy; A Terrible Disease and Lion the King. He has also collected poetry under the title “Three Sides of a Coin” from which he has read individual titles during Kistrech Festivals and from which a selection was made and translated into German and French to serve as set pieces for Universities’ (KUPAA) Festival of 2023. More of his poems have been published in international poetry anthologies, such as: Musings during a Time of a Pandemic: A World Anthology of Poems on COVID-19; and, I Can’t Breathe: A Poetic Anthology of Social Justice. He is also working on an anthology of short stories by the title “The Brick Fence” as well as a play by the title “The African Bride”. Muleka also holds Certificate in Teacher Education – P1 (Mosoriot Teachers Training College); Dip. Ed (Kagumo College); B.Ed. (The Catholic University of Eastern Africa) and MA in Literature (Kenyatta University).

Photo Credit: David Konecny

Erlend Wichne is a writer, translator and researcher based in Oslo, Norway. He has published two poetry books, as well as one novel and three book volume translations of French poetry.

Evans Gesura Mecha (c. 1974-date) is an established contemporary Kenyan Poet. His works are recondite and his poems are rewarding on a second reading. He has written two poetry collections so far: Coronach to Ophir (2020) and Window into Worlds (2022). His works have featured in several international Anthologies and Journals.

Photo Credit: Linda Bournane Engelberth/ Aschehoug

Fatemeh Ekhtesari is an Iranian poet, writer, and freelance filmmaker, with a Master's degree in midwifery. She has published ten books, including poetry, short stories, and novels in Farsi and Norwegian.  In 2013 she was imprisoned and later released on bail. Her verdict came in 2015 when she was sentenced to 99 lashes and 11.5 years imprisonment for crimes against the Iranian regime and blasphemy. She is a FreeCity Writer from ICORN and lives in Norway since 2017.

Hassanal Abdullah is the author of more than 53 books in various genres including 20 collections of poetry, and the editor of Shabdaguchha, an international bilingual poetry magazine. He introduced Swatantra Sonnets, seven-seven stanza and abcdabc efgdefg rhyming scheme, and wrote an epic illustrating the relationship between human beings and the stars based on scientific findings.  Mr. Abdullah received the Homer European Medal of Poetry and Art (2016), Klement Janesky International Poetry Award (2021) from Poland, a Translation Grant from NYC (2019), and Labubhai Foundation Award (2013). His poetry has been translated into eleven languages and was published in various poetry anthologies throughout the world. Recently, his Collected Poems (in Bengali Text) has been published in two volumes. Hassanal has been invited to the international poetry festivals in China, Poland, Greece, Mexico, Canada, and India. Mr. Abdullah teaches math and computers in a New York City High School.

Photo Credit: TaSin Sabir

Karla Brundage
( is author of two books of poetry, including Swallowing Watermelons, and co-author of Mulatta–Not so Tragic. Her work as editor and publisher for Pacific Raven Press has included authors in the Bay Area, Hawaii, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya in the following anthologies:  Sisters Across Oceans, Our Spirits Carry Our Voices, and Black Rootedness: 54 Poets from Africa to America.  Media credits include Sister Power on ThinkTech Hawaii, C-SPAN, LitSeen, Wanda's Picks and Chills at Will Podcast. Her poetry, essays and short stories can be found in Konch, Literary Magazine, sPARKLE & bLINK, MiGoZine, Black Fire This Time, Essential Truths, and A Gathering of Tribes: Black Lives Matter Issue amongst others.  A graduate of Vassar College, Mills College MFA Program, and San Francisco State Clinical Schools Project, Karla is curator for the 2023 LitQuake Poetic Tuesday reading series and founder of West Oakland to West Africa Poetry Exchange. Her newest collection Blood Lies: Race Trader will be published in 2024 by Finishing Line Press.  Please see Karla for pre-ordering details.

Photo Credit: LexMexArt 

Kevin Dublin is an educator, economic justice advocate, and writer of poetry, prose, scripts, and code. Founder of The Living Room SF, a project incubator for writers & Director of the Elder Writing Project for Litquake Foundation, he’s committed to helping nurture emerging writers of all ages and share stories. Kevin produces as well as leads several reading series, pop-up events, and workshops that provide economic opportunities for writers. Kevin is a Writers Studio Ralph Dickey Scholar and has received fellowships and awards from the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI), Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, and more. He's the author of the chapbooks How to Fall in Love in San Diego (Finishing Line Press, 2017) & Eulogy (Raven & Wren Press, 2023). He holds a Masters of Fine Art in Poetry from San Diego State University and teaches in the community. Kevin believes in you and our collective power to change the world.

Lucilla Trapazzo
 is an award-winning, internationally recognized poet, translator, artist and performer.  After years spent abroad, for studies and work, (DDR, Brussels, Washington DC and New York City), she now lives in Zurich, Switzerland. 

Poetry editor of MockUp Magazine, Italy, editorial board member of INNSAEI Journal, India, editorial advisor of Zheng Xin International Award and Journal, China, juror of poetry competitions, moderator and co-organizer of international festivals and art exhibitions, her poems, translated into 18 languages, are published in international anthologies and literary magazines. Guest of International Festivals – North Macedonia (including Struga Poetry Evenings, N. Macedonia 2021, Princeton, USA 2021, and Babylon International Festival of the Arts, Baghdad, Iraq 2022), Tunisia, Albania, Serbia, Italy, Argentina, Columbia, Croatia, India, Crimea, China.

Manfred Chobot, born 1947 in Vienna, lives as a freelance writer. Member of the Austrian writers league “IG Autorinnen Autoren“ (member of the board), member of the Austrian authors association “Grazer Autorenversammlung” (member of the board), member of “Podium”, member of the international authors association ”Kogge“. Co-founder of the First Vienna Theatre of reading performances. Editor of the series of books “Lyrik aus Österreich” (Poetry from Austria), Editor Staff of the literary magazine “Podium”. Exhibitions of “BildGedichte” (Picture Poems, photos). Approximately 50 radio plays for various broadcasting stations. Books: twelve books of Poetry in German; thirty books of Prose; two novels, two volumes of photo books, and two books for children. Books of Poetry in English, French, Spanish, Slovak, Czech, Polish, Bulgarian, Georgian, and Bangla. Books of Prose in Ukrainian, and Polish. Participant among others: XII. International Poetry Festival of Medellin/Columbia 2002; XIII. Festival Internacional de Poesía, Rosario/Argentina 2005; III. Festival Internacional de Poesía, Granada/Nicaragua 2007; Festival of Literature, Lviv/Ukraine 2007; Festival of Poetry and Wine, Valtice/Czech Republic 2009; 10. Internationales Poesiefestival Al-Mutanabbi, Zurich/Switzerland 2010; 1. Festival International de Poesia, Lima/Peru 2012; 9è Printemps des Poètes Luxembourg, 2016; 14th International Poetry Festival Ars Poetica, Bratislava/Slovakia 2016; Dhaka International Poets Summit 2017, Bangladesh; 5th Tbilisi International Festival of Literature (TIFL), Tbilisi/Georgia 2019.

Mattia Scarpulla is a poet and novelist, PhD Arts-Dance and PhD Literary Studies. In France, he worked in the dance industry as a playwright, physical trainer and cultural mediator. He became a writer and pedagogue in literary creation and literature in Quebec. Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher in literary studies and social sciences at Saint Paul University in Ottawa.

Among his books: the poetic collections journal des traces et hallucinations rêvées et origines en fuite (diary of traces and hallucinations dreamed and origins on the run) – Rolande-Gauvin Poetry Prize, Laval University (L’Harmattan, 2011 and 2018); the collection of poetic narratives Au nord de ma mémoire (north of my memory) – Vivacité creation grant, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec – and the novel Errance (wandering) (Annika Parance Éditeur, 2020 and 2021). He co-edited the anthology of new Epidermes (epidermis) (Tête première, 2021). He leads somatic writing workshops and is interested in literature dealing with identity issues, migratory routes and the crossing of territories. Poet representing Quebec City, for the Poetry Cities project of the Manchester Poetry Library  villes à travers la poésie, 2022, he was a finalist for the ICQ Excellency Awards – Arts and Cultures, Capitale Nationale, Quebec, 2022. He has also won a Merit Award and was a finalist for the best communication, two awards presented by the APFUCC during the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation in 2022. Until 2020, Mattia Scarpulla directed the online Academic Journal Le Crachoir de Flaubert. Today, he is the literary director of Éditions Tête Première – Productions Somme tout, and a member of the board of directors of the Centre québécois du PEN international.

Nora Atalla is author of nine poetry collections, a collection of tales and short stories and two novels. She is the winner of the 2022 Annette-Mbaye-d'Erneville International Poetry Prize – Dakar International Literature Festival for La révolte des pierres (the rebellion of stones), which was also a finalist in 2023 for the International Francophone Prize – Montreal Poetry Festival, and Morts, debout! (dead, stand up!) in 2021 for the same prize. She was a finalist for two other important prizes in Canada: Alain-Grandbois Poetry Prize in 2014 for Hommes de sable (men of sand) and Radio-Canada Literary Awards in 2008 for À l’angle de la peur (at the angle of fear). Her texts were published in nearly fifty anthologies and literary magazines in Quebec and abroad, and have been translated into several languages. With poet Claudine Bertrand, she directed the anthology Mosaïque québécoise Femmes des Forges, published in 2022 by Écrits des Forges. Very involved in the literary world, spokesperson for Quebec poets and writers abroad, Nora Atalla launched in 2009 her project "Les livres voyageurs" (the travelling books) carrying nearly 750 books and poetry magazines (about 1000 authors) which are today on several shelves of public and university libraries in Africa, Europe and Latin America. Founder in 2009 of the Poetry Night in Quebec City, she has hosted it every year since. Grants recipient and member of juries and advisory committees at the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, at the Canada Council for the Arts, she was a member of the evaluation committee for the Governor General's Award in 2019 (poetry). She leads workshops with young students and mentors emerging writers. She was a poet in residence in Mexico (2019) and in France (2022 and 2023).

Peggy Morrison is a California poet who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has read poetry in English and Spanish in the US, Mexico and Cuba, and published in journals and anthologies including Plants and Poetry, Colossus: Home, Narrative Paths Journal, Cloud Woman Quarterly, riverbabble, Poecology, Let the World Wonder, Naked Bulb Anthology and Day Without Art. Peggy is a mom and bilingual teacher who loves reading, gardening, music, and backpacking. She has published one book of poetry: Mom Says, 2020.

Mom Says captures the presence of a loved one in memory through voice. The assembled poems and stories bring the reader to perceive how language and culture are interwoven. Everyday ways of saying and naming our world embody personal heritage and history and, simultaneously, evoke a piece of the collective culture and history of a time and place. Mom's voice is at once her living legacy and testament that language is constantly alive and evolving. "When I find myself speaking with my mom's voice, it is because she and her way of being flow through my veins and breathe in my breath. Our history lives within us."

Salim Abdali is a Danish and Arabic poet and translator, writes in Danish, Arabic and English.

Author of 7 poetry books, published in Denmark and Egypt (2012- 2023), among his poetry titles are Places are Graveyards for Time, The Maker of Alphabet, and latest, That She is.

Co-authored one theatre play and a short film, performed at the Royal Danish Theatre (2015) and in the Danish TV (2016), respectively. Translated a number of Arabic and Danish poets (since 1988), and was the first to translate the most influential Arabic philosopher and poet Adonis into Danish (2010 & 2017). Moreover, translated 3 novels and 20 children books (2008-2019). Author of several essays in the daily newspapers both in Denmark and in the Arabic World, and contributed to 8 anthologies (1996-2023).

Abdali is also a scientist, published more than 45 articles in international peer-review journals (1993-2015), working as academic scholar at several universities, e.g. Denmark, USA, The Nederland, Germany, China, and others. A traveller and nomad, Salim Abdali has lived in a number of countries, such as France, USA, Germany, China, Kurdistan, Kuwait, Greece, though his home has always been Copenhagen.

Winston Farrell
presently works as the Cultural Arts Officer at the Barbados Youth Advance Corp. He is a graduate of the University of Leeds with a Masters in Theatre and Development Studies. A theatre practitioner and creative writer, Farrell has over forty-five years of experience within the Barbadian cultural landscape as an actor, stage director and drama tutor. He has toured extensively as a performance poet and storyteller, and has distinguished himself as a trained theatre for development facilitator specialising in Community and popular theatre methodology. An award winning playwright and recipient of the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment for poetry, Farrell has held Artist/Writer in Residence at Jefferson Community College and the University of Louisville Kentucky and the Sunny Campus of Albany State University Farrell has also released song/poems entitled, ‘I Am Standing Up’, ‘I Cry, Jes’ us & Dem,’ ‘The African’ along with the well-known Busman’ and Mini Bus Hustle.’ Farrell has three published collections of poetry, Bustin’ the Blues, Call of the Quarter Master and Barefoot on Ice which won Gold at NIFCA 2015 and the Governor General Award for Excellence in Literary Arts. Farrell officiated as the NIFCA Drama/Speech chief judge from 2011-2013, and has also contributed as a Party Monarch chief judge, Sweet Soca and Pick of the Crop judge over the years.