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 is looking forward to reading the 2021 submissions. To check out last year's writers, see the list here. To apply to read at the 2021 festival, click 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 the continued generosity of Brad Kuhn & Associates LLC and Scribbles, Jax by Jax will once again offer a cash award to the participating writers.
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 pleased to announce that FEATURED POET Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams will offer a workshop on "Writing for Civic Engagement and Social Justice" at the festival, as well as a virtual workshop called "Submit Your Best Work: JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival Community Workshop." Watch our Facebook Events for details.
In addition, FEATURED PLAYWRIGHT Tim Gilmore will host a production of his ground-breaking play, "Repossessions."
Brilliant young writers from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, FSCJ, and UNF will be featured in the Student Showcase.
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!
Meet the 2020 writers below.
(Click on photo to see writer's name and bio.)
Lynn Skapyak Harlin
Featured Poet Lynn Skapyak Harlin, also a writer and editor, has led Writers Workshops for 30 years. Her writing and poetry appeared in textbooks, trade magazines, literary magazines, newspaper articles and features. Her first published poem “War Waste,” 1970 appeared in Time. Her latest collection of poems, Twists and Turns, 2019 was published by Hidden Owl Books. Poetry gives her light.
Yvette Angelique, MA-TLA, is a poet, teaching artist, and proven culture change strategist. Yvette's recent work is a digital poetry chapbook book, Something Old, New, Borrowed, and The Blues (2020) and poetry chapbook Shut Eyes See (2018). Her poems, essays, and epistles appear in book chapters, anthologies, and journals. Her writing explores the intricacies of race, gender, and arts activism. She completed her graduate work in Creative Writing at the University of Denver.
Ben Atkinson’s first collection, Spider Lightning (Hidden Owl), was released at JaxByJax last year. His poems have appeared in Cadence, Chelonian Conservation and Biology, Facets, FM Quarterly, and Stockpot. Ben has read for the JaxByJax Literary Arts Festival, Sing Out Loud Festival, and the Southeastern Sister Cities Reading Tour.
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 and are raising three children.
Crooks is a multidisciplinary eco feminist artist/educator. Home is Here Along Red Pearl River is her first published book, funded in part by a grant from the FL Division of Cultural Affairs and an Art Ventures Grant from The Community Foundation of NE Florida. The work takes a deep look at the culture of colonization that arrived on our shores of North FL and creates a new narrative of belonging based on partnership with rather than dominance over the living world.
Thomas Ferriello is a graduate of the University of North Florida where he studied English and creative writing. His work has appeared in Bending Genres, The Talon Review, and is forthcoming in Quarterly West. He reads, writes, and attempts to play the piano so people will think he is cultured. It’s yet to work. He co-hosts the literature loving podcast, Alive Poets Society, with two much smarter and funnier people.
Michelle Lizet Flores
A native Floridian, graduate of the FSU and NYU creative writing programs, she works as a middle school English teacher. She has been published in magazines and journals such as The Miami Rail, Chiricu Journal, and Travel Latina. Her first chapbook, Cuentos from the Swamp, is available from Finishing Line Press. Her first picture book, Lito the Bat Learns How to Trick-or-Treat, is forthcoming from Atmosphere Press.
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.
Tim Gilmore is the author of 19 books, including Channeling Anna Fletcher and Repossessions: Mass Shooting in Baymeadows. Director Emeritus of JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival and creator of jaxpsychogeo.com, Gilmore was named Jacksonville’s 2018 Literary Artist of the Year by the Cultural Council. He teaches writing at FSCJ. (Photo by James Hunter)
Lex Hamilton is a poet and essayist. As a Douglas Anderson School of the Arts alumni, Lex has been growing her passion for writing for many years. More recently, her work explores the intersectionality of her life as a woman, a person of color, and an artist. Currently, Lex is a student at the UNF, studying ways writing can help others to heal from trauma. She dreams of creating programs that promote writing as a means of expression and healing for all children.
Abel Harding is a bank executive who toils as a writer in the early morning hours between workouts and his day job. A 7th generation Floridian, Harding was raised in rural Levy County and moved to Jacksonville in the mid-1990s. Harding won three Sunshine State Awards for investigative reporting and blogging during his time as a columnist with The Florida Times-Union. His first novel, “Beulah Land,” is in search of a publisher. Harding is currently hard at work on his second novel.
Brad Kuhn wasn’t born in Jacksonville, but he has taken to it like a spoonbill to mud bugs. Here, he realized his life-long dream of living on the water. He is a founding director of the Jack Kerouac House Project, and has received the Thomas Burnett Swann/Gwendolyn Brooks Prize for Poetry, the Green Eyeshade for Investigative Reporting, a Royal Palm Literary Award from the FL Writers Association, and awards for excellence from the Florida Magazine Association.
Author of Two Spoons of Bitter - a winner of the 2019 Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association . Journalist, memoirist, songwriter and blues harmonica player, she is a retired professor of English (University of Puerto Rico) where she specialized in creative writing. She currently teaches in the Western Connecticut State Low Residency MFA in Creative & Professional Writing. Projects: Riders of the Dust - a 1920s Western screenplay inspired by her fierce Montana grandmothers
Johnny Masiulewicz is author of the poetry collection Professional Cemetery (Puddin’head Press), creator of the Happy Tapir zine series, and founder of the artisan publishing house Happy Tapir Press. His work has appeared in a variety of literary journals, sites and anthologies including Curbside Review, The Main Street Rag, Third Wednesday, Ash & Bones and The Alembic. A native Chicagoan, he now lives and works in St Johns, Florida.
Tayve Neese’s work has appeared in journals and anthologies, including The Paris Review, Comstock Review, Fourteen Hills, and Diode. She is longlisted for the 2019 University of Canberra Vice Chancellor's International Poetry Prize in Australia. Blood to Fruit, her full-length collection of poems, was published in 2015. She is Executive Editor of Trio House Press, and was interviewed by The Best American Poetry in 2018. She is a member of the Concord Poetry Center in Massachusetts.
Shannon Pulusan is currently a poetry candidate at Rutgers Newark's MFA program. She reviews poetry as an editorial assistant for Flock, manages her blog quiet planet, and draws round-faced characters with triangle noses and pepperoni cheeks under the name moonmemo. Her work has been featured in Bridge Eight, Entropy, Talon Review, and more.
Andres Rojas is the author of the chapbook Looking for What Isn’t There (Paper Nautilus Press Debut Series Winner, 2019) and the audio-only chapbook The Season of the Dead (EAT Poems, 2016). He has served as poetry editor for Compose and Bridge Eight and is currently a poetry reader at New England Review. His work has been featured in the Best New Poets anthology and has appeared in AGNI, Barrow Street, Colorado Review, Diode Poetry Journal, Massachusetts Review, New England Review, and more.
Damon Thomas grew up on the banks of the Suwannee River. Here he experienced a Southernness that included sea monsters, swamp cabbage, and makeshift graves. Damon writes short "Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead"-like pieces that describe how the bookish might pass time in a Southern Gothic setting.
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."
Nikesha Elise Williams
Nikesha Elise Williams is an Emmy award winning news producer and author. Born and raised in Chicago, she attended The Florida State University where she graduated with a B.S. in Communication: Mass Media Studies and Honors English Creative Writing. Nikesha’s debut novel, Four Women, was awarded the 2018 Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Award in the category of Adult Contemporary/Literary Fiction. The book was also recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists
Click on the logos below
to visit our 2021 Sponsors
Jacksonville Cultural Development Corporation
Brad Kuhn & Associates, LLC
Chamblin's Uptown &
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 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.
The writers who will read their work in the documentary will be announced on September 1, 2021. For an alphabetical list of last year's writers,
click here to go to the Writers Page
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.
2021 Women Writing for a Change
Learn about the newest anthology featuring WWFAC authors and enjoy conversation with leader Jennifer Wolfe, who will present a workshop on "Activism through Self-Expression."