Bonk! 36–Saturday, September 3rd

BONK! 36
6PM (doors open 5:30)
poet                        Robert Fernandez
poet                        Joshua Edwards
poet                        Mark Bilbrey

Robert Fernandez was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1980, but grew up in South Florida. After earning a B.A. in English, he attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he graduated with an M.F.A. in Poetry in 2006. Also in 2006, he and the poet Mary Hickman founded Cosa Nostra Editions, a letter-press chapbook press dedicated to publishing early career poets. Through 2006-2007 he published extensively in the now defunct journal The Modern Review. His poems have also appeared in 1913, American Letters & Commentary, Quarterly West, Volt, Fence, Octopus, The Canary, Aufgabe, and elsewhere. Fernandez is the recipient of a PIP Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Poetry. We Are Pharaoh, his first collection of poems, was selected for publication from a 2009 open reading by the editors of Canarium Books. A second manuscript, a book-length lyric sequence titled Pink Reef, is forthcoming from Canarium. Fernandez currently lives in Iowa City, where he teaches literature and is a graduate fellow in the University of Iowa’s Ph.D. program in English.


Joshua Edwards is founder and co-editor of The Canary literary journal and Canarium Books (, a poetry press sponsored by the University of Michigan, where he received his MFA and worked as a creative writing instructor. His poems have appeared in Slate, Colorado Review, The Literary Review, Northwest Review, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere, and his translations of Mexican poet Maria Baranda have appeared in Chicago Review, Circumference, LIT, Washington Square, and Zoland PoetryFicticia, his translation of Baranda’s book-length poem, was published by Shearsman Books in 2010. He’s received grants and fellowships from the Fulbright-Garcia Robles Program, Vermont Studio Center, Zoland Poetry, University of Michigan International Institute, and Stanford University, where he is currently a Stegner Fellow. Campeche, published in 2011 by Noemi Press, is Edwards’s cautionary lyric composed of poems and photographs (by collaborator Van Edwards) in which a real place is overlaid with the parable of a mythical world on the verge of an apocalyptic flood.


Mark Bilbrey graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, and the University of Georgia’s doctoral program in English. His poetry and prose have appeared in Versal, LIT, 42Opus, Verse online, Straylight, and Action Yes. Currently, he is finishing his first poetry manuscript, The Dog Poems. He also teaches composition and creative writing in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where he advises the poetry editors of Straylight Literary Arts Magazine.


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