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The Poetry Center's Audre Lorde Creative Writing Award, having been originally initiated by Jewelle Gomez during the late 1990s, is once again as of this year being presented annually by The Poetry Center for an original, outstanding work of poetry (or hybrid work) by a continuing SF State student that in its artistry expresses a social conscience. For the opening event of our Fall 2020 season, Elizabeth Rosas, winner of this year's award, is joined by the two other finalists: Samantha Cosentino, and Lillian Giles. With emcee, TreVaughn Malik Roach-Carter.
Media captioning provided..
In 1996, Elizabeth Rosas picked up a book of poems by Sandra Cisneros. It was the first time that she felt a poem. Around the same time, she discovered Rudolfo Anya and Gary Soto, two Chicano writers who told outrageously beautiful stories about the lives of Mexican-Americans. It is because of these greats, and her mother Rosemarie, that Elizabeth writes. She has been published in Epiphany and Transfer magazines. She is the winner of the Mark Linenthal Award, the Ann Fields Poetry Prize, and the Audre Lorde Creative Writing award.
Originally from Buenos Aires, Samantha Cosentino has recently returned to the San Francisco Bay Area after years living on an island, in the desert, and all over Germany. Home still eludes her—she suspects she writes in search of it. Samantha holds an MA in Creative Writing and works to translate the poetry of life onto the page and stage. She was the 2020 Browning Society Gita Specker Monologue Contest award winner and has written and choreographed local cirque nouveau productions. Samantha translates from Spanish and German and is an MFA candidate in Literary Translation at SFSU where she is currently working on a hybrid collection of poetry that explores the immigrant experience, language acquisition, and translation inspired by an old collection of 50 poetry books in Spanish brought over in the move and the selective mutism she suffered as an immigrant child.
Lillian Giles is a Black Queer writer and educator living in Oakland, California. She holds a BA in literature and is currently earning an MFA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State. Lillian is finishing a novel that is based on her great grandmother’s life as a midwife and defender of the 1940s Black Queer nonbinary community. It is fiction but all of those stated parts are true. Lillian has been published in The Rumpus, awarded the Joe Brainard writing fellowship in fiction and was a finalist for the Audre Lorde poetry award. You can reach or follow her on instagram @bsidereading or on twitter at @lilliangiles01.