2018 Poetry Prize Judges
Jamie-Lee Josselyn is Associate Director for Recruitment for Penn's Creative Writing Program. She is also Director of the Summer Workshop for Young Writers at the Kelly Writers House and has taught writing at the New England Young Writers Conference, St. Paul’s School’s Advanced Studies Program, and numerous workshops for high-school students in Philadelphia. In 2016, she was listed among Penn’s Top 30 Professors based on student evaluations, and in 2017, she received the Beltran Family Award for Innovative Teaching and Mentoring. From 2014 to 2017, she served as a Faculty Fellow in two of Penn’s College Houses. Her writing has been published in The New Republic, Literary Hub, Cleaver Magazine, and elsewhere. Jamie-Lee received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from Bennington College, where she was the nonfiction editor of The Bennington Review.
Lynn Levin is a poet, writer, translator, and teacher. She is the author of six books, most recently: Birds on the Kiswar Tree (2Leaf Press, 2014), a translation from the Spanish of a collection of poems by the Peruvian Andean poet Odi Gonzales; Miss Plastique (Ragged Sky Press, 2013), a 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist in poetry; and, as co-author, Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets (Texture Press, 2013), a 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist in education/academic books. Lynn Levin’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Boulevard, Washington Square Review, Cimarron Review, 5 A.M., Kerem, Verse Daily, and on Garrison Keillor’s radio show The Writer’s Almanac. She has published essays in Southwest Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Contemporary Poetry Review, Alimentum, Wild River Review, and other places. Her short fiction appears in Cleaver, The Rag, Rathalla Review, and YARN. Her website is www.lynnlevinpoet.com.
Jessica Lowenthal is a poet and Director of the Kelly Writers House. She holds an MA in literature from Penn and an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers Workshop. Lowenthal's work has appeared in various journals (Apex of the M, Colorado Review, The Germ, Talisman, and elsewhere) and her chapbook, as if in turning, was published by Burning Deck Press.
Michelle Taransky is the author of Barn Burned, Then, selected by Marjorie Welish for the 2008 Omnidawn Poetry Prize. Taransky teaches critical and creative writing at University of Pennsylvania and poetry workshops at Temple University and works as assistant to the director at Kelly Writers House. Taransky is also the Reviews Editor for the online poetry and poetics magazine Jacket2 (jacket2.org).
Yolanda Wisher is the author of the poetry collection Monk Eats an Afro and the coeditor of the anthology Peace Is a Haiku Song. She was named the first Poet Laureate of Montgomery County Pennsylvania in 1999 and the third Poet Laureate of Philadelphia in 2016. She founded and directed the Germantown Poetry Festival (2006-2010), served as Director of Art Education for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (2010-2015), and worked as a Cultural Agent and Chief Rhapsodist of Wherewithal for the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (2014-2016). Wisher performs a unique blend of poetry and song with her band The Afroeaters, and her writings have been featured in a variety of media including GOOD Magazine, PennSound, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Citizen, Contemporary Black Canvas, Harriet the Blog, PoetryNow, Obsidian, Ploughshares, and CBC Radio. A Pew Fellow, Cave Canem Fellow, and Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence, she is currently the 2017-2018 CPCW Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of Pennsylvania