Spokane’s Poet Laureate Presents: 2015 Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award Winners

6 PM // Chapbook panel
7 PM // Free public reading

Would you like to know how to create a winning, publishable chapbook manuscript? Spokane’s Poet Laureate, Laura Read, herself a 2010 Floating Bridge Press award winner for her chapbook The Chewbacca on Hollywood Boulevard Reminds Me of You, presents a panel of the 2015 FBP award winners/authors Michael Schmeltzer, Brian Cooney, and Maya Jewell Zeller. In a panel from 6-7 PM, Michael, Brian, and Maya will offer advice and discuss the choices they made while putting together their manuscripts and will include a Q & A with the audience. This panel will be followed at 7 PM by a free, public reading and chapbooks for sale.


Michael Schmeltzer is the author of “Elegy/Elk River,” winner of the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award, and a forthcoming full-length poetry book from Two Sylvias Press. He earned an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop and his honors include numerous Pushcart Prize nominations, the Gulf Stream Award for Poetry, and the Blue Earth Review’s Flash Fiction Prize. He has been a finalist for the Four Way Books Intro and Levis Prizes, the Zone 3 Press First Book Prize, as well as the OSU Press/The Journal Award in Poetry. He has been published in PANK, Rattle, Brevity’s blog, Natural Bridge, and Mid-American Review, among others.

Maya Jewell Zeller grew up in the Northwest, mostly living in coastal communities of Oregon and Washington. She has taught writing and literature to high school and college students, fourth graders, and senior citizens, and has been a writer-in-residence in the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. Her poetry has won awards from Sycamore Review, New South, New Ohio Review, Dogwood,  Florida Review and Crab Orchard Review, and has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She is the author of the poetry collections Rust Fish (April 2011, Lost Horse Press) and Yesterday, the Bees (October 2015, Floating Bridge Press). Other manuscripts have been finalists with the National Poetry Series, University of Wisconsin, Prairie Schooner, Waywiser, and elsewhere, and poems, essays, and reviews appear in journals such as Bellingham Review, West Branch, Pleiades, New Ohio Review, High Desert Journal, Cincinnati Review, and Rattle. Maya serves as Fiction Editor for Crab Creek Review; she also co-directs the Beacon Hill Reading Series in Spokane, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and young son; and where she teaches English at Gonzaga University.

Brian Cooney grew up in New York, picked up a PhD in 19th c. British Literature from University of South Carolina, and lives now in Spokane, WA, where he teaches at Gonzaga University.  He was awarded the 2014 Paula Jones Gardiner Memorial Award by Floating Bridge Review, finished second in the 2014 Lumina poetry, and was a finalist in the 2015 Floating Bridge chapbook contest. His poems have appeared in a number of journals and his chapbooks The Descent of Ham (Alice Blue) and My Idea of Fun (Floating Bridge) will be published in 2015.