RHINO Reads! 3-25-16 Poetry & Justice: #Flint to Benefit FlintKids.org with Sarah Carson, Traci Currie, Nic Custer, Larry O. Dean, Jade Ponds, Kelsey Ronan, Jan Worth-Nelson


Sarah Carson


Traci Currie

Nic Custer

Nic Custer

Larry O. Dean

Larry O. Dean

Jade Ponds

Jade Ponds


Kelsey Ronan

Jan Worth-Nelson

Jan Worth-Nelson

Open Mike        6:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Featured Readers        6:45 pm – 7:30 pm

Brothers K

500 Main St.



This month’s RHINO Reads! features seven writers from Flint, Michigan whose work explores the joys and challenges of living in a city best known for blight, violence and, most recently, poisoned drinking water.

Proceeds from book sales at the event will be donated to flintkids.org — an initiative of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint aimed at ensuring Flint’s children are afforded the resources and interventions to overcome exposure to lead.


Sarah Carson was born and raised in Flint but now lives in Chicago. She is the author of the poetry collections Poems in which You Die and Buick City. Her poetry and other writing has appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, the Nashville Review, New Orleans Review, the Minnesota Review and Whiskey Island, among others. Sometimes she blogs at sarahamycarson.com.


As a 20-year spoken word artist, Traci Currie uses the stage as a platform to address gender, race, class and sexual orientation. She is currently teaching at the University of Michigan-Flint in the Communication and Visual Arts Department. In addition, she co-facilitates spoken word workshops with young women in the juvenile detention system and is working to complete a book of poetry.


Nic Custer is a poet, playwright, journalist, and MC who has contributed to eight original plays about Flint. He served as Artist-in-Residence for a National Endowment for the Arts project and is the author of the poetry collection Nothing Works, Everyone Labors.


Larry O. Dean‘s numerous books include Activities of Daily Living (forthcoming, 2017), Brief Nudity (2013), Basic Cable Couplets (2012), abbrev (2011), About the Author(2011), and I Am Spam (2004). He is also an acclaimed singer-songwriter whose latest solo album is Good Grief (2015). The sophomore album from his band, The Injured Parties, is due in 2016. For more info, go to larryodean.com.


Jade Ponds was born in Banbury, England but moved to Flint in 1984 at the age of 2.  She has been writing since 10 years old. She pursued her undergraduate and graduate work in Creative Writing at University of Michigan-Flint. She has published 2 books of poetry and is presently working on her 3rd book called One Petal At a Time.


Kelsey Ronan grew up in Flint, Michigan. Her fiction and journalism have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Belt Magazine, Indiana Review, Cream City Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and the St Louis Post-Dispatch. She lives in St. Louis, where she coordinates Grand Boulevard Workshops, a creative writing outreach program.


Jan Worth-Nelson a tried-and-true Flintoid who balances exasperation with abiding love for her adopted hometown. Worth-Nelson’s essays, poems and fiction have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Fourth Genre, Passages North, and Midwestern Gothic, among others.  MFA graduate of the Warren Wilson College program in creative writing, she wrote the 2006 novel Night Blind, based on her experiences in the Peace Corps.  Retired from a longtime career as a writing teacher at the University of Michigan – Flint, she commutes between Flint and San Pedro, CA with her husband.