RESIDENTS AND COLLABORATORS

Porch Light supports interdisciplinary, non-traditional and outreach oriented endeavors in the Literary Arts. This year we are proud  to host to three literary nonprofits, one interdisciplinary resident artist, and generative workshops for writers of all levels of experience

JENNIFER COLVILLE / PROMPTPRESS

PromptPress provides inspiration for and invites collaboration between writers and visual artists. We believe cross-media collaboration strengthens existing art communities and is vital to the creation of innovative work. PromptPress provides a space for artists to connect, study each other’s work, and publish within the national scene. In our exploration of how word becomes image becomes word, we invite book artists, for whom words can be images, to design special editions of our biannual print journal.

 

Jennifer Colville is the founding editor of Prompt Press. She holds an MFA from Syracuse University and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Elegies for Uncanny Girls, a collection of short stories, was published in 2017 by Indiana University Press. Earlier short stories and non-fiction appeared in Diagram, The Iowa Review, The Huffington Post, The Literary Review, The Northwest Review and the Mississippi Review. Jennifer has taught Writing and Literature at The University of San Francisco, The University of Iowa, The University of Arizona, The University of Utah, and Coe College. She currently leads creative writing workshops through the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and speaks on “The Inventive Female Voice,” and the intersection of writing and visual art. In Iowa City she co-organizes the Free Generative Writing Workshops, an alternative style workshop for writers of all backgrounds, identities and life stages.

 

 

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LISA ROBERTS / IOWA CITY POETRY

A non-profit arts organization, Iowa City Poetry builds community through a love of poetry. We share the wealth of poetry resources in Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature and home to the Iowa Writers' Workshop, with writers of all ages, incomes, identities, and experience levels.

 

Lisa earned her BA at Princeton University and MA at The University of Virginia. Over eighteen years, she taught literature and writing at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Virginia, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and the University of Nebraska. After moving to Iowa City, she served as Assistant Director of the Iowa Youth Writing Project and worked to bring free creative writing workshops to children throughout Eastern Iowa. Her poems have appeared in Plainsongs, The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets, and Little Village. She has performed spoken word poems at a variety of shows, including Was the Word, Voicebox, and The Hook.

 

 

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CASSI ELTON / ANTELOPE LENDING LIBRARY

Antelope Lending Library, founded in 2012, is an independent, non-profit bookmobile library working to overcome barriers and provide full and equal access to information and ideas in our community. All materials are lent on a no-fees basis, so access is always free, no matter what.

 

Cassi Elton holds a Masters in Library and Information Science and a Masters Certificate in Book Arts from the University of Iowa. She has 9 years of experience working in libraries and nonprofits in Johnson County and believes passionately in the value of community collaboration and breaking down barriers so great opportunities and resources are truly accessible to ALL. She started the Antelope Lending Library bookmobile in 2012 while a graduate student at the University and continues to serve in the role of Library Director, overseeing a growing team of paid staff and volunteers.

 

 

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KEREN ALFRED / RESIDENT ARTIST

CALEB RAINEY / IC SPEAKS

IC Speaks is a program dedicated to developing and sustaining an inclusive, thriving spoken-word poetry community in Iowa City that empowers youth from all backgrounds to speak their truths through writing workshops and performance opportunities. 

 

Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey is an author, performer, and producer. He hails from Columbia, Missouri, and holds a bachelors degree in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Iowa. His debut book, Look, Black Boy, became Amazon’s #1 new release in African American poetry, and was featured on Iowa Public Radio. His second book, Heart Notes was published in 2019. In 2020 he was named Best Poet/Spoken Word Performer in Cedar Rapids & Iowa City. In 2021 he converted the poems from his first book to create his first spoken word album, Look, Black Boy. He co-founded the literary magazine Black Art; Real Stories, was published in Iowa's Best Emerging Poets - 2019, the Little Village Magazine, and wrote a monthly column for The Real Mainstream. 

 

As a performer he is the winner of the Des Moines Poetry Slam, the Iowa City Poetry Slam, a two-time winner of the Fire & Ice Poetry Slam, and a finalist for the UNESCO City of Literature Global Poetry Slam – Iowa City. He has done spoken word across the nation including Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, Colorado, Illinois, New York City, and has even performed internationally in London, England. He was the opening poet for Dan Brown, featured on the album Blk Boi Joy, and acted in the Iowa debut of the plays, Exit Strategy and Luna Gale. 

Keren Alfred is an artist and an environmentalist. Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, she is fascinated with learning about the land and often says that her interest in the environment is in her blood. She is pursuing an MFA in Book Arts at the University of Iowa’s Center for the Book (UICB). Keren is particularly drawn to papermaking, letterpress printing, and calligraphy. Prior to UICB, she majored in Environmental Studies at Brown University and worked for an environmental non-profit that focuses on land conservation along the eastern seaboard of the US. Her artwork builds on her environmental background to show the ways plants influence culture – particularly in the Caribbean. Her work is in the LuEsther Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Garden as well as several private collections. Her hope is to get more people to pay attention to the land around them and to learn to take care of it. 

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