BONK! 145 – Nick’s Last BONK!

In recognition of Demske’s departure from the organization, the BONK! March event will include him as one of its featured performers. This month’s BONK! Event will again be virtual, taking place on Saturday, March 27th, at 6 p.m. Alongside Demske, it will feature two other poets: Millissa Kingbird and Kazim Ali. BONK! is a free event and is open to the public.  This event will be live streamed via the BONK! Facebook page. To join as an audience member and participate in the comment thread, visit

Nick Demske is a poet, children’s librarian and County Supervisor of Racine County’s First District. His self-titled manuscript was given the Fence Modern Poets Series Award and published by Fence Books in 2010. He also had a chapbook published in 2012 called “Skeetly Deetly Deet” (Strange Cage Press). In 2010, he was included as one of the 10 debut poets to watch by Poets and Writers Magazine. The new manuscript which he is currently submitting to publishers is titled “Anti-suicidal Miraculous Dopeness.” Nick was instrumental in creating the Racine/Kenosha Poet Laureate program, serving on its board for several years, and he is currently serving as the Chair of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. He has had work appear in many publications, including ACM, Artful Dodge, Colorado Review, Conduit, Fence, jubilat, Spoon River Poetry Review, Sugar House Review and others.

Millissa Kingbird holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Her poetry highlights womanhood, bodies, nature, trauma and indigeneity. She has been published in Hinchas de Poesia, Yellow Medicine Review, Red Ink, Connotations Press, The Rumpus, Heavy Feather Review and LitHub. She co-guest edited the Spring 2019 Yellow Medicine Review. An enrolled member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, she still lives on the rez.

Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom and has lived transnationally in the United States, Canada, India, France, and the Middle East. His books encompass multiple genres, including the volumes of poetry Inquisition, Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth Day; All One’s Blue; and the cross-genre texts Bright Felon and Wind Instrument. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet and among his books of essays are the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. He is also an accomplished translator (of Marguerite Duras, Sohrab Sepehri, Ananda Devi, Mahmoud Chokrollahi and others) and an editor of several anthologies and books of criticism. After a career in public policy and organizing, Ali taught at various colleges and universities, including Oberlin College, Davidson College, St. Mary’s College of California, and Naropa University. He is currently a Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. His newest books are a volume of three long poems entitled The Voice of Sheila Chandra and a memoir of his Canadian childhood, Northern Light.

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