Thursday, March 11, 2021

16th Annual Scissortail: The Poster

Schedule of Live-stream Readings (all times are Central Time Zone)

Scissortail Creative Writing Festival: April 1, 2 & 3, 2021

The Festival live stream will appear on Tiger Media*'s YouTube page:

When we are live, the stream should be the most recent video option to click on.

Thursday, April 1
4:00pm - Welcome to Scissortail 2021 with Moderator / Kai Coggin
6:00pm – Andrew Geyer

Friday, April 2
4:00pm - Tiffany Midge
6:00pm - Quraysh Ali Lansana

Saturday, April 3
2:00pm - Students
4:00pm – Barbara Crooker
6:00pm - Author 6 / Closing out Scissortail 2021 with Moderator / Octavio Quintanilla

*Tiger Media is a student production group at East Central University under the Art + Design : Media + Communication department in the School of Fine Arts.

2021 Scissortail Biographies

Kai Coggin is the author of three full-length poetry collections PERISCOPE HEART (Swimming with Elephants 2014), WINGSPAN (Golden Dragonfly Press 2016), and INCANDESCENT (Sibling Rivalry Press 2019), as well as a spoken word album SILHOUETTE (2017). She is a queer woman of color who thinks Black lives matter, a teaching artist in poetry with the Arkansas Arts Council, and the host of the longest running consecutive weekly open mic series in the country—Wednesday Night Poetry. Recently named “Best Poet in Arkansas” by the Arkansas Times, her fierce and powerful poetry has been nominated three times for The Pushcart Prize, as well as Bettering American Poetry 2015, and Best of the Net 2016 and 2018. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Cultural Weekly, Entropy, NELLE, Sinister Wisdom, Calamus Journal, Lavender Review, Luna Luna, Blue Heron Review, Yes, Poetry and elsewhere. Coggin is Associate Editor at The Rise Up Review. She lives with her wife and their two adorable dogs in the valley of a small mountain in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas.

Barbara Crooker is a poetry editor for Italian-Americana, and author of nine full-length books of poetry, with Some Glad Morning coming out in the Pitt Poetry Series in 2019. Her awards include the WB Yeats Society of New York Award, the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, and three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships. Her work appears in a variety of literary journals and anthologies, including The Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Chariton Poetry Review, Green Mountains Review, Tar River Poetry Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Hollins Critic, The Denver Quarterly, Smartish Pace, Gargoyle, Christianity and Literature, The American Poetry Journal, Dogwood, Zone 3, Passages North, Nimrod, Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania, The Bedford Introduction to Literature Nasty Women: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse, and has been read on the ABC, the BBC, The Writer’s Almanac, and featured on Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry.

Andrew Geyer’s ninth book, the story cycle Lesser Mountains (Lamar University Press, 2019), won a 2020 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) for U.S. South - Best Regional Fiction. His other individually authored books are Dixie Fish, a novel; Siren Songs from the Heart of Austin, a story cycle; Meeting the Dead, a novel; and Whispers in Dust and Bone, a story cycle that won the silver medal for short fiction in the Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Awards and a Spur Award for short fiction from the Western Writers of America. He is the co-author, with Jerry Craven and Terry Dalrymple, of the hybrid story cycle Dancing on Barbed Wire. Geyer also co-authored Parallel Hours, an alternative history/sci fi novel; and Texas 5X5, another hybrid story cycle from which one of his stories won a second Spur Award for short fiction. He co-edited the composite anthology A Shared Voice with Tom Mack. A member of the Texas Institute of Letters and the South Carolina Academy of Authors Literary Hall of Fame, Geyer currently serves as English Department Chair at the University of South Carolina Aiken and Fiction Editor for Concho River Review.

Quraysh Ali Lansana is author of nine poetry books, three textbooks, three children's books, editor of eight anthologies, and coauthor of a book of pedagogy. He is a Fellow with the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, an adjunct professor for Oklahoma State University – Tulsa, and Curriculum Auditor for Tulsa Public Schools. He is a former faculty member of both the Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Drama Division of The Juilliard School. Lansana served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University from 2002-2011, where he was also Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing until 2014. Lansana is currently a Contributing Editor for Oklahoma Today magazine, and served as the Poetry Section Editor for Black Issues Book Review, as well as a Reading/Language Arts Editor for three of the largest educational publishing companies in the nation. He also worked as a Special Program Editor for Chicago Public Radio’s Every Other Hour series InVerse. Lansana was also an Assignment Desk Assistant for KWTV-9 in Oklahoma City and a News Director for KGOU Radio in Norman. Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community (with Georgia A. Popoff) was published in March 2011 by Teachers & Writers Collaborative and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee. His most recent books include the skin of dreams: new & collected poems, 1995-2018 (The Calliope Group, LLC); The Whiskey of Our Discontent: Gwendolyn Brooks as Conscience & Change Agent, w/Georgia A. Popoff (Haymarket Books, 2017); Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writings of Gwendolyn Brooks w/Sandra Jackson-Opoku (Curbside Splendor, 2017); A Gift from Greensboro (Penny Candy Books, 2016); The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop w/Kevin Coval and Nate Marshall (Haymarket Books, 2015) and The Walmart Republic w/ Christopher Stewart (Mongrel Empire Press, 2014).

Poet Tiffany Midge is the author of Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s, (Nebraska UP, 2019), a collection of life, politics, and identity as a Native woman in today’s America. Other books include Guiding the Stars to Their Campfire, Driving the Salmon to Their Beds (Gazoobi Tales); the full-length poetry collection Outlaws, Renegades and Saints: Diary of a Mixed-Up Halfbreed (Greenfield Review Press, 1996), winner of the Diane Decorah Memorial Poetry Award; the collection, The Woman Who Married a Bear (The University of New Mexico Press, 2016), winner of the Kenyon Review Earthworks Prize for Indigenous Poetry; and the children's book Animal Lore and Legend: Buffalo (Scholastic, 1995). Midge's work has appeared in North American Review, World Literature Today, The Raven Chronicles, Florida Review, South Dakota Review, Shenandoah, Poetry Northwest and the online journals No Tell Motel and Drunken Boat. She earned an MFA from the University of Idaho, and an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. She is of Hunkpapa Sioux and German ancestry, and grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where she lives now.

Octavio Quintanilla is the author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing (Slough Press, 2014) and the 2018-2020 Poet Laureate of San Antonio, TX. His poetry, fiction, translations, and photography have appeared, or are forthcoming, in journals such as Salamander, RHINO, Alaska Quarterly Review, Pilgrimage, Green Mountains Review, Southwestern American Literature, The Texas Observer, Existere: A Journal of Art & Literature, and elsewhere. Reviews of his work can be found at CutBank Literary Journal, Concho River Review, San Antonio Express-News, American Microreviews & Interviews, Southwestern American Literature, Pleiades, and others. You can check out his Frontextos (visual poems) in Gold Wake Live, Newfound, Chachalaca Review, Chair Poetry Evenings, Red Wedge, The Museum of Americana, About Place Journal, The American Journal of Poetry, The Windward Review, Tapestry, and Twisted Vine Literary Arts Journal. His visual work has been exhibited at Presa House Gallery, AllState Almaguer art space in Mission, TX, the Weslaco Museum, Our Lady of the Lake University, El Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos, and at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center / Black Box Theater. An exhibit of work is forthcoming at The Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, TX. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas and is the regional editor for Texas Books in Review and poetry editor for The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism. Octavio teaches Literature and Creative Writing in the M.A./M.F.A. program at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. Check out his website: or find him on Instagram @writeroctavioquintanilla & Twitter @OctQuintanilla

Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, 2010 to the Present

Click on the following links to see reading schedules, author bios, and posters from previous festivals.
2010: Schedule, Bios
2020: Schedule, Bios, (canceled due to Covid-19)

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Winners of the 17th Annual R. Darryl Fisher Creative Writing Contest

Poetry Winners:
First place: Cora Bosse, “The Weightless Coat of Regret” (Norman/Instructor: Sara Doolittle)
Second place: Elaine Gao, “The Impossible Life,” (Jenks/Emily Stewart)
Third place: Jordan Six, “Man” (Washington/Haley Price)

Honorable Mentions:
Nathaniel Bowman, “The Child’s Truth” (Lawton/Dr. Freeman)
Emily Spotts, “Deadalus” (Lawton/Dr. Freeman)
Natalie Schubert, “Old Man Mountain” (Claremore/Jill Andrews)
Isabelle Clement, “The Arts” (Norman/Sara Doolittle)
Catherine Thai, “Victory or Defeat” (Norman/Sara Doolittle)
Carter Marshall, “Knight Takes Rook” (Edmond/Ms. Kelly Bristow)
Journey Bennett, “Last Line Poem” (Marlow/Mrs. Field)
Jenna Watson, “Evergreen Conversations” (Noble/Mrs. Alger)
Kira Berkey, “We are the good guys” (Hydro/Lia Hillman)
Danielle Pador, “In a Perfect World” (Durant/Mrs. Hogan)

Fiction Winners:
First place: Ashleigh Ross, “Consequences” (Collinsville/Melissa Brown)
Second place: Cassandra Diehl, “We Always Leave” (Norman/Sara Doolittle)
Third place: Lillian Phillips, “The Intricate Ritual” (Cascia Hall/Sarah Kennedy)

Honorable Mentions:
Gracie Kinnaman, “Delilah’s Letters” (Cascia Hall/Mary Suliburk)
Carter Marshall, “The Last Dream” (Edmond Memorial/Kelly Bristow)
Tayah Darks, “Flower of Death” (Edmond Memorial/Kelly Bristow)
Elissa Marks, “You, Too, Are Something of a Star” (Edmond Memorial/Kelly Bristow)
Liberty Rogers, “When the Animals Began to Speak” (Dale/Taylor Chesser)
Sarah Peters, “The Shadow Plague” (Shawnee/Linsey Mastin)
Natalie Schubert, “The Land Beyond the Trenches” (Claremore/Jill Andrews)
Helen Sanders, “Weighed Down” (Noble/Manuela Alger)
Marshall Stubblefield, “At My Fault” (Shattuck/Gina Huenergardt
Evan Boothe, “Captain Nemo and the Esoteric Order of Dagon” (Washington/Haley Price)