The First Person Plural Reading Series was founded in 2011 with the hope of bringing more attention to creative communities in Harlem.  We began this series by inviting inventive, inspiring writers and artists to showcase work written from a “we” or plural POV.  We don’t know what our writers are going to produce, but we do know that it’s always powerful work.

Who “We” Are:

Amy Benson’s book, The Sparkling-Eyed Boy, was chosen by Ted Conover as the 2003 Katherine Bakeless Nason Prize winner in creative nonfiction, sponsored by Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference.  Published by Houghton Mifflin in June 2004, The Sparkling-Eyed Boy was an Elle Magazine Must Read book and a USA Today Summer Reading List selection.  Her poetry and prose have appeared in journals such as Boston Review, Seneca Review, PANK, Pleiades, Black Warrior Review, and New England Review.  She has been awarded fellowships at Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and Ledig House International Residency, and teaches literary nonfiction in the Writing Program at Columbia University. www.amybenson.com

Stacy Parker Le Melle (formerly Stacy Parker Aab) is the author of the memoir Government Girl: Young and Female in the White House (Ecco/HarperCollins). She has written political and social commentary for The Huffington Post and Salon.com, and served as the primary contributor to Voices from the Storm: The People of New Orleans on Hurricane Katrina and Its Aftermath (McSweeney’s). She continues to work on Hurricane Katrina-related research projects, including The Katrina Experience: an Oral History Project. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. www.stacyparkeraab.com

Melody Nixon joined The First Person Plural Reading Series as a co-curator in January 2015. She is an essayist, poet, and activist. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Conjunctions, Public Books, Cura Magazine, Electric Literature, Midnight Breakfast, No Dear Magazine, and Hoax Publication. She co-founded Apogee Journal, is the interviews editor for Amherst, Massachusetts-based literary journal The Common, and holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. From 2014-2015 she led a creative writing workshop at the Ali Forney Center, Harlem, a center for LGBTQ homeless youth.

Wendy S. Walters is a co-founder of The First Person Plural Reading Series. She is the author of Longer I Wait, More You Love Me and a chapbook, Birds of Los Angeles, both published by Palm Press (Long Beach, CA).  She is a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Poetry.  Walters’ poetry has been recognized with residency fellowships from Bread Loaf, MacDowell, Cave Canem and Yaddo.  She has been a nominee for the Essay Prize and her prose has been published or is forthcoming in Bookforum, The Iowa Review, Coldfront, Seneca Review, Seattle Review, and Harper’s Magazine. She is Associate Professor of Poetry in the Department of Literary Studies at the Eugene Lang College of the New School University. www.wendyswalters.com