BONK! 109 @ The Branch

This month’s event will be held at The Branch at 1501, 1501 Washington Ave, Racine, Wisconsin. The Branch at 1501 is a historical venue with a modern vibe, located in the heart of the artistic Uptown neighborhood of Racine.


Raena Shirali is the author of GILT (YesYes Books, 2017). Her honors include a 2016 Pushcart Prize, the 2016 Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize, the 2014 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, & a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize in 2013. She has also been recognized as a finalist for the 2016 Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize & a 2014 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. Her poems & reviews have appeared in BlackbirdNinth LetterCrazyhorseIndiana ReviewPleiadesFour Way Review, & elsewhere. Born in Houston, Texas, the Indian American poet earned her MFA from The Ohio State University. She recently completed the Philip Roth Residency at Bucknell University’s Stadler Center for Poetry, & currently serves as a poetry reader for Muzzle Magazine.
Brandon Courtney is a veteran of the United States Navy, and the author of The Grief Muscles (The Sheep Meadow Press, 2014) and Rooms for Rent in the Burning City (Spark Wheel Press, 2015), as well as the chapbook, Inadequate Grave (YesYes Books, 2016). YesYes Books will publish a full-length collection in 2017-18. He has received fellowships and scholarships from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Colgate University, Juniper Summer Writers’ Institute, and Seaside Writers’ Conference. His poetry appears or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2009Tin House, Boston ReviewGuernicaMemoriousThe Progressive, and American Literary Review.
Sam Trump is a multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter from Houston, TX, and has been a student of music from first picking up the trumpet at age 7. Since moving to Chicago in 2009 to obtain his fine arts degree in music, he has become heavily involved in Chicago’s live music scene as a band leader, sideman, and show curator. Sam Trump is also a long standing member of HipHop/Soul/Jazz band “Sidewalk Chalk”, who’s 4th album, AN ORCHID IS BORN (produced by multi-Grammy Winner, Robert “Sput” Searight) was released on Ropeadope Records in 2017, along with a massive 55-city tour. His two latest Official Music Videos have received critical global acclaim for their positive message and imagery. Check out “Brother” & “Cheers” at

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