RHINO Reads!
NOV 18 2016
Featuring Women of Willow
With publisher Heather Buchanan
and authors Kelly Norman Ellis, Sahar Mustafah, and Cole Lavalais





Featured Readers        6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Brothers K Coffeehouse
500 Main St., Evanston, IL


H. Buchanan is a writer and multimedia producer. The owner of Aquarius Press and co-founder of Willow Books, her own work appears in print and digital publications, including MÖBIUS, The Blood Jet Writing Hour and Brooklyn’s Look At Flatbush, where she is the managing director of the books section. A musician, Buchanan is a member of the Society for American Music. She is the executive producer of The Remembrance Project, a centennial print, digital, and musical tribute to the Harlem Hellfighters.

Kelly Norman Ellis is an associate professor of English and director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Chicago State University. She is the author of Tougaloo Blues and co-editor of Spaces Between Us: Poetry, Prose and Art on AIDS/HIV, both from Third World Press. Her work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Sou’Wester, PMS (Poem, Memoir, Story), Tidal Basin Review, Calyx, and The Ringing Ear. In 2010 Essence Magazine voted her one of their forty favorite poets. She is a Cave Canem Poetry Fellow and founding member of the Affrilachian Poets.

Sahar Mustafah is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, an inheritance she explores in her fiction. Her short story collection is the 2016 winner of the Willow Books Grand Prize, forthcoming in 2017. She teaches English and creative writing to wonderfully misunderstood teenagers, who tell her she will make it big someday and leave them when her book is optioned. She’s also a proud co-founder of Bird’s Thumb, an online literary journal, devoted to new, emerging, and established voices.

Cole Lavalais’ short stories have appeared in The Offing, Obsidian, Apogee, Warpland, Tidal Basin Review and others. She’s been awarded writer residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and The Noepe Center for the Literary Arts. She is a fellow of the Kimbilio Center for Black Fiction, VONA, and the Callaloo Writing workshops. She holds an M.F.A. from Chicago State University and a Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a Visiting Writer at Mississippi University for Women and teaches community-based writing workshops on the south side of Chicago.

Poetry Forum Workshop led by Kelly Norman Ellis – February 22, 2015



Evanston Public Library
Church & Orrington
1:30-4:30 — ROOM 108 – Small Meeting Room

Kelly Norman Ellis

Topic: Writing From Our Roots.  What are the traditions of your people or region — the music, foods and religious practices? As with music — from blues and bluegrass to hip hop — America’s folk traditions run deep. How do we incorporate our cultural and aesthetic influences in our work without using clichés? We will read poets from Langston Hughes to Patricia Smith and, time permitting, also write, accessing our memories and traditions.

Bring 15 or more copies (2 page limit) of a poem you want critiqued.  *$5 – $10 donation appreciated.

This project is partially supported by grants from: Poets & Writers, the Illinois Arts Council and The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.