TORCH Wildfire Reading Series: Nov 6

Torch Literary Arts is proud to launch the Wildfire Reading Series in partnership with BookWoman Book Store. This series will bring TORCH contributors and allies from across the country to the greater Austin area for readings and discussions that support creative writing by black women. Each reading will also open with a 30 minute community open mic. The inaugural reading will feature Parneshia Jones, author of Vessel (milkweed editions), and Ellen Hagan, author of Hemisphere (Nothwestern University Press).

Torch Literary Arts is a nonprofit organization established to support and promote creative writing by black women. We publish contemporary poetry, prose, and short stories by experienced and emerging writers alike. Our online journal,TORCH, has featured work by Colleen J. McElroy, Tayari Jones, Sharon Bridgforth, Crystal Wilkinson, Patricia Smith, Natasha Trethewey and many more.


Parneshia Jones is the author of Vessel: Poems (Milkweed Editions). After studying creative writing at Chicago State University, earning an MFA from Spalding University, and studying publishing at Yale University, Jones has been honored with the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Margaret Walker Short Story Award, and the Aquarius Press Legacy Award. Her work has also been anthologized in She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems, edited by Caroline Kennedy and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, edited by Nikky Finney. A member of the Affrilachian Poets, she serves on the board of Cave Canem and Global Writes. She currently holds positions as Sales and Subsidiary Rights Manager and Poetry Editor at Northwestern University Press. Parneshia Jones lives in Chicago.


Ellen Hagan is the author of two poetry books, Hemisphere and Crowned. She serves as Poetry Chair of the DreamYard Project and co-leads the Alice Hoffman Young Writers Retreat at Adelphi University. Hagan’s work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Underwired Magazine and in the anthologies She Walks in Beauty (edited by Caroline Kennedy) and Southern Sin. She lives with her husband and daughters in New York City.


Amanda Johnston earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. Her poetry and interviews have appeared in numerous online and print publications, among them, The Drunken Boat, Small Batch, New Literati, Pluck and the anthologies, di-ver-city and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. In 2014, she published two chapbooks: Guap and Lock & Key. The recipient of multiple Artist Enrichment grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Christina Sergeyevna Award from the Austin International Poetry Festival, she is a member of the Affrilachian Poets and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. She has served on the board of directors for the National Women's Alliance, the Kentucky Women Writers Conference, is the founder and executive director of Torch Literary Arts, and one of the co-founders of Black Poets Speak Out, a campaign that unites poets and allies to speak out against police violence.

Event date: 
Friday, November 6, 2015 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
5501 North Lamar #A-105
Austin, TX 78751