The son of an African-American father and a Mexican mother, poet and playwright John Murillo grew up in Los Angeles. He was educated at Howard University and New York University, where he earned an MFA. Murillo makes use of both formal and free verse as he engages themes of family history and personal identity. In a Q&A with the Poetry Society of America, Murillo states, “I write, first of all, in the tradition of the witness.”
Murillo’s debut poetry collection, Up Jump the Boogie (2010) was a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Open Book Award, and was also named one of Huffington Post’s “Ten Recent Books of Poetry You Should Read Right Now.” Murillo’s poetry has also been included in Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of African American Poetry (2013, edited by Charles Henry Rowell). His choreo-play Trigger premiered with the Edgeworks Dance Theater in 2011.
Murillo’s additional honors include two Larry Neal Writers Awards, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Fine Arts Work Center, the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing, and the New York Times. Murillo lives in Brooklyn.
Caits Meissner is a poet and transformative facilitator invested in the rehabilitative capacity of art. Her poems have been published in various journals and anthologies including Drunken Boat, Duende, The Offing, Radius, The Feminist Wire, Amazon.com’s Day One and The Literary Review.