Natasha Ria El-Scari is a writer, Cave Canem fellow, 2016 Ragdale Residency recipient and educator for over a decade. Her poetry, academic papers, and personal essays have been published in anthologies, literary and online journals. She has been featured at a host of universities and venues nationwide. Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Natasha has a BA from Jackson State University and a MA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Natasha’s Black Feminist approach is reflected in her writing, poetry and performance pieces. Once asked in an interview what makes her unique she replied, “…most people lie to themselves, but I like to reveal myself.” In 2015 Natasha released her first book, Screaming Times (Spartan Press, 2015). Her CDs, DragonButterFirefly (2006), This is Love… (2010) and DVD Live at the Blue Room (2015) display how Natasha connects with any crowd with maternal warmth and unrelenting honesty. Her second book, The Only Other (Main Street Rag) was released in June 2016. For details and booking: www.natasharia.com
Gustavo Adolfo Aybar is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he received his MA in Romance Languages & Literature. He is a Cave Canem and Artist Inc. fellow. He has served on the board of the Latino Writers Collective (501c3) and his work can be found in their anthology, Primera Pagina: Poetry from the Latino Heartland. Other publications include: Harvest of New Millennium, Black Magnolias Literary Journal, NINE: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture, and Oranges & Sardines. Currently, Aybar’s second collection, We Seek Asylum has an April 2017 release date, with Willow Books/Aquarius Press.
The Riverfront Readings series of poetry and fiction readings was started in Kansas City, Missouri in 1986 by Philip Miller and Donn Blevins. In those days, the location actually was in the Riverfront area, in the Kansas City Artists Coalition space. Now they are held at The Writers Place and in other Kansas City area locations. More information here.