2021 Applications are now closed.
Click musical note in lower right corner of videos to hear or mute sound.
(Guitar and Vocals by Jesse Montoya)
JaxbyJax VII is "in the can," as they say in the movie biz. Video production is complete and we're absolutely LOVING what we've seen and heard so far. For an idea that started out as a quaranatine consolation prize, this video has opened up a whole new level of awesome. Of course, it was pretty awesome to begin with. And speaking of beginnings, here's a little truth from JaxbyJax Founder and Director Emeritus, Tim Gilmore.
The anonymous Jax by Jax Selection Committee has made their selections from the 2021 submissions. To check out this year's writers, see the list here.
Jax by Jax 2021 is thrilled to introduce a new sponsor: Jacksonville Cultural Development Corporation (JCDC).
JCDC Director Shawana Brooks is bubbling over with great ideas to make this year's festival the best one yet! Through her donation via Moving the Margins and the continued generosity of Brad Kuhn & Associates LLC and Scribbles, Jax by Jax will once again offer a cash award to the participating writers. The Literacy Alliance of Northeast Florida also made a generous donation in support of the 2021 writer/readers.
We are pleased to announce that FEATURED AUTHORS Rodney L. Hurst, Sr. and Rudy F. Jamison, Jr., Ed. D. will read from Never Forget Who You Are.
We are also delighted to announce that FEATURED POET Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams will offer a workshop on "Writing for Civic Engagement and Social Justice" at the festival, and Jacksonville native Michele Parker Randall of Stetson University will offer a worshop called "Lead Me On: Extended Metaphor as Write-around Strategy." A third workshop will be led by Jenn Wolfe of Women Writing for a Change, and is entitled, "Activism through Self-Expression.
In addition, FEATURED PLAYWRIGHT Tim Gilmore will host a production of his ground-breaking play, "Repossessions: Mass Shooting in Baymeadows," directed by Barbara Colaciello. REGISTER HERE for this FREE event.
Brilliant young writers from the Literacy Alliance of Northeast Florida, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, FSCJ, and UNF will be featured in the Student Showcase. And for the first time, poet Andres Rojas will award the inaugural Dr. James Robert Cobb Student Writer Awards to six student writers at the JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival Student Showcase on Saturday, October 16, 2021. There will be three poetry winners and three prose winners. Cash prizes are $250 for 1st place, and $125 each for 2nd and 3rd places.
And Jacksonville Writers Writing Jacksonville will read from their work.
This celebration of Jacksonville talent would not be possible without the generosity, support, and enthusiasm of our sponsors. The writers and readers of JaxbyJax thank you!
Documentary Film Debut
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our writers and their fans, JaxbyJax did not hold a face-to-face reading as part of the festival in 2020. Instead, we produced a documentary video.
TO WATCH JAXBYJAX LITERARY ARTS FESTIVAL VII, you MUST have a Facebook profile and GO TO: facebook.com/JaxbyJax and LIKE the page.
Here are links to JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival VII, in the video section of the JaxbyJax Literary Arts page.
Please note that both videos have identical openings for the first minute and twenty seconds, but different writers and different content after that.
Day One will LIFT YOUR SPIRITS and OPEN YOUR MIND, featuring poetry and prose by Yvette Angelique, Ben Atkinson, Tayve Neese, Abel Harding, Lex Hamilton, Tim Gilmore, Taryn "Love Reigns" Wharwood, Brad Kuhn, Shannon Pulusan, Johnny Masiulewicz, Michelle Lizet Flores, Damon Thomas, singer/songwriter Jesse Montoya, and featured poet Lynn Skapyak Harlin, who will read her work and also wrap things up with a 15-minute workshop on HOOKS that you won't want to miss.
Day Two will HEAL YOUR HEART, featuring poetry and prose by Andres Rojas, Sarah Crooks, Thomas Ferriello, Sonja Mongar, Tricia Booker, Nikesha Williams, Sohrab Homi Fracis, singer/songwriter Jesse Montoya, and the fabulous STUDENT SHOWCASE. We'll learn how to get involved with Women Writing for a Change from Jennifer Wolfe, talk with Ron Chamblin about the importance of bookstores, and walk with Tommy Shapard through his experience at Baptist Health with COVID-19.
The JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival VIII will be held on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at the Jessie Ball DuPont Center, 40 East Adams Street, Jacksonville, Florida, 32202
2021 Student Showcase
2021's JaxbyJax Student Showcase will feature the work of talented Jacksonville students from the Literacy Alliance of Northeast Florida, Douglas Anderson, UNF, and FSCJ. Creative Writing Teacher Tiffany Melanson and Adjunct Professor Darlyn Finch Kuhn will work with the selected students to provide a great literary experience.
2021 Book Signing
The selected authors with books for sale who wish to do so will have pre-signed books available for purchase at Chamblin's Uptown and Chamblin's Bookmine. There will also be books available for purchase and signing at the festival.
Meet the 2021 writers below.
(Click on photo to see writer's name and bio.)
Featured Playwright Tim Gilmore (photo by Bob Self)
Tim Gilmore writes about the haunted South, his hometown of Jacksonville as his case study. He has written 20 books, including Murder Capital: 8 Stories, 1890s-1980s and 3 works for the stage at FSCJ, where he teaches Writing. He’s the founder of JaxbyJax and the creator of JaxPsychoGeo.com, a literary mapping project telling 600 strange NE Florida stories. Gilmore has won awards from Jax City Council, the Community Council of Greater Jax, and FSCJ. He holds a Ph.D. in English from UF.
Featured Poet - Yvette Angelique (photo by Amanda Rosenblatt)
Poet and storytelling facilitator Yvette Angelique runs Narratives for Change, an art, culture, and social change practice. Studying at the University of Denver and Goddard College, Yvette completed her graduate work to produce poetry and prose that speak to the context and complexity of Black women's lives. She works with women and girls to use storytelling for healing, literary art-making, consciousness-raising and advocacy.
Featured Memoirist Tricia Booker
Tricia Booker is an award-winning journalist who has written for Folio Weekly, Southern Living, Notre Dame Magazine, and other publications around the country. She currently teaches journalism at the University of North Florida and writes a popular blog about topics ranging from politics and literature to adoption and manners. Her first book is a memoir about how Tricia and her husband adopted three children.
Featured Co-Author Rodney L. Hurst, Sr.
The author of 3 award-winning books, Hurst was the 16 year-old President of the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP, a leader of the 1960 sit-in demonstrations downtown, and a first-hand witness to Ax Handle Saturday. His most recent book was the Readers View Nonfiction Book of the Year AND Grand Prize winner, "Never Forget Who You Are: Conversations about Racism and Identity Development." Hurst speaks extensively on Civil Rights, Black History, and Racism.
Featured Co-Author Rudy F. Jamison Jr., Ed.D.
Dr. Jamison is the Director of the Urban Education Scholars Program and Assistant Director of the Center for Urban Education and Policy at UNF, as well as Executive Director of Leadership is for Everyone, Inc. (LIFE). A native of Jacksonville, he is committed to advancing education, equity, justice, and community as instruments to move humanity forward. His latest book is "Never Forget Who You Are: Conversations about Racism and Identity Development."
Cheri "Junebug" Royal
A Jacksonville native, Junebug springs from a pioneer Westside family. Heavily influenced by snakes, wakes and whiskey, she considers her upbringing to be her greatest writing asset. At UNF she studied people and problem-solving, earning a BFA in figure painting. Her blog is sprinkled with family antics, paintings and photos ruled by the concept, "the unexamined life is not worth living."
Andres Rojas, born in Cuba, came to the U.S. at 13. He currently edits for $ - Poetry Is Currency and has served as poetry editor for Compose and Bridge Eight, as well as reading for New England Review. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks and a full-length book, Third Winter in Our Second Country (Trio House Press, 2021). His poetry, featured in the Best New Poets anthology, was in AGNI, Barrow Street, Colorado Review, Diode, Mass. Review, New England Review, & Poetry Northwest.
Melissa Gopp-Warner is a creative nonfiction writer exploring human relationships and their intersection with sexual orientation & gender. After graduating from UNF, she served 9 years as senior writer and editor for a DC-based maternal health nonprofit. Her memoir-in-progress follows the evolution of her own identity. Melissa’s writing has appeared in Yoga Journal, The Writer, Jacksonville Mom, Uncomfortable Revolution, and (a) river rising: Anthology of Women’s Voices.
Damon Thomas is a sixth-generation Floridian who grew up on the banks of the Suwannee in rural Dixie County, FL. Here he experienced a Southernness that included sea monsters, swamp cabbage, and makeshift graves. Damon writes short "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"-like pieces that describe how the bookish might pass time in a Southern Gothic setting.
Neese’s work has appeared in The Paris Review, Comstock Review, Fourteen Hills, and diode. Her full-length collection, Blood to Fruit, was published in 2015. Locust, her second collection, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry, and her manuscript, Evolutions Psalms, was a finalist for the Hudson Poetry Prize from Black Lawrence Press. She is Co-founder & Co-executive Editor of Trio House Press and Primary Editor of The Banyan Review, an international online journal.
Sohrab Homi Fracis
Sohrab Homi Fracis is the first Asian American to win the Iowa Short Fiction Award, for Ticket to Minto: Stories of India and America. His novel, Go Home, was shortlisted by Stanford Univ. Libraries for the William Saroyan International Prize. He was Visiting Writer in Residence at Augsburg College & Artist in Residence at Yaddo. He received the FL Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature/Fiction. The South Asian Literary Assoc. bestowed on him its Distinguished Achievement Award.
Taryn "Love Reigns" Wharwood
Taryn's love of poetry began with her mother, and grew when her kindergarten class had to recite a poem every day when entering school.
She is co-founder of The Cypher Open Mic Poetry & Soul, Jacksonville's longest running open mic.
Her chapbook is entitled, "Random Thoughts of Reign."
Julie G. Delegal is a freelance journalist and author living in Jacksonville, Florida. Through her writing in Folio Weekly, Jacksonville Magazine, Florida Politics Online and other media, Julie has developed a reputation as an advocate for education and social justice. She is also “editor emeritus” at Delegal and Poindexter, PA, for which she has written and edited for more than 25 years. She is the mother of three adult children. Seen is her debut novel.
Author of the poetry collection Professional Cemetery (Puddin’head Press), Masiulewicz is creator of the award-winning Happy Tapir zine series. His artisan publishing house, Happy Tapir Press, also produces and distributes the work of other NE FL creatives. He has written for Folio, The Mandarin News and the Times-Union, and his poetry has appeared in a wide variety of literary journals, sites and anthologies.
Erica Saffer 2021
Erica Saffer is a writer, educator, and literacy advocate, living in Jacksonville with her three children. She graduated from the University of Tampa MFA Program as the Distinguished Graduate and her work has been featured in print and online publications for High Shelf Press, the University of Tampa Press, Women Writing for (a) Change, and others. She currently teaches composition for the Communications Department at Florida State College at Jacksonville as is a two-time Jax by Jax reader.
Princess Simpson Rashid (Photo by Jesse Brantman)
Princess Simpson Rashid is an American visual artist, designer and writer. Now a resident of Florida, Rashid serves as a contributing member of the Ancient City Poets in St. Augustine, FL. Currently, she’s working on a book of poetry entitled, “All is Not”. She operates her creative studio practice as a resident artist in the CoRK Arts District located in Jacksonville, FL.
John Aloszka is a designer, writer, and creative from Jacksonville, Florida. His most recent record, I've Seen You Around, blends folk, jazz, electronica and pop to tell a story of aging from various perspectives. The project was accompanied by multiple videos. In 2020 John graduated from the University of North Florida with a BA in public policy and communications, he is currently the creative director for Folio Weekly Magazine, where he oversees the layout, design, and print production.
A native of north Florida and a 35 year resident of Jacksonville, Linda descended from a Florida pioneer family, the Davises of Wakulla County. She is proud of her heritage and seeks to unearth and write about the things that made us uniquely Floridian before condos and Disney. She is also the author of the children’s book, “Mrs. Shiny and Her Magic Tail”. Linda is working in collaboration with her graphic designer/Illustrator husband, Michael, to bring it to print.
Kayla Frances Murray
Kayla Frances Murray is an up-and-coming poetess/writer in NE Florida. She's working on developing her voice in writing and has been published in Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Plainsongs by Hastings College Press, and Tiny Seed Journal. She presently works as an English Tutor in Jax.
Valarie grew up writing and directing plays for her church, as well as performing in local theatre. She worked as a creative for TeleNext Media and Flyover Studios, companies that produced family-friendly movies of the week for Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble. Valarie was one of four artists chosen for the arts integration residency program “Lift Every Voice” sponsored in part by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and Duval County Public Schools.
Workshop Leader Michelle Parker Randall
Take part in a workshop on Writing from Trauma with Michele Parker Randall - "Lead Me On: Extended Metaphor as Write-around Strategy."
Author of Museum of Everyday Life (Kelsay Books, 2015), Michele has also been a resident artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts twice. She is currently working on a manuscript about the lives of the neuro-divergent and their caregivers, is a Sullivan Visiting Lecturer at Stetson University, and co-runs a community writers workshop in the city of Sanford, FL.
Workshop Leader Jennifer Wolfe
Women Writing for a Change
Bill is a writer, marketing director and higher education professional whose writing focuses on the culture and history of the First Coast. He is co-owner, writer and editor of The Jaxson, Modern Cities, and Edible Northeast Florida magazine, and author of the book Secret Jacksonville: A Guide to the Weird Wonderful, and Obscure. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of North Florida. Reach Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Erik Hamilton
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Moving the Margins
Jacksonville Cultural Development Corporation
Brad Kuhn & Associates, LLC
Literacy Alliance of