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Featured Poet Bios

Bao Phi


Bao Phi has been a performance poet since 1991. A two-time Minnesota Grand Slam champion and a National Poetry Slam finalist, he has performed as a featured artist all over the United States, has appeared on HBO Presents Russell Simmons Def Poetry, and a poem of his appeared in the 2006 Best American Poetry anthology. He has been a City Pages and Star Tribune Artist of the Year.  He is currently Program Director at the Loft Literary Center, where he started as a receptionist 15 years ago. His first collection of poems, Sông I Sing, was published by Coffee House Press in 2011. His second collection of poems, Thousand Star Hotel, was published in summer of 2017, also by Coffee House, for which he was selected by Minnesota Monthly as Author of the Year. His first children’s book, to be illustrated by Thi Bui and was published by Capstone Press in the fall of 2017.


Gary Boelhower


Gary Boelhower has taught ethics, leadership, and spirituality at the undergraduate and graduate levels for thirty years. He is the author of Marrow, Muscle, Flight: Poems, which won the Midwest Book Award for poetry. His latest collection, Naming Rites, was released by Holy Cow! Press in 2017.


Ryan Vine


Ryan Vine’s debut full collection To Keep Him Hidden (Salmon, 2018) was a finalist for the May Swenson Prize, the New Issues Prize, the Crab Orchard Series, the MVP Prize from New Rivers Press, and—selected by Robert Pinsky—the Dorset Prize. His poems have appeared in a grip of places, including The American Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Ploughshares, Verse Daily and on National Public Radio. His chapbook, Distant Engines (Backwaters Press, 2006), won a Weldon Kees Award and spent time on the Poetry Foundation’s contemporary best-seller list. He’s received the Greensboro Review’s Robert Watson Poetry Prize, a McKnight/ARAC Career Development Grant, an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and he’s been a finalist or nominee for numerous others. Ryan is associate professor, a member of the Honors faculty, the Rose Warner Professor, and chair of the English Department at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN.

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