Sunset Salons: Women in Writing
Calling all bibliophiles and wordsmiths! Local female writers come together to share pointers for publication and insights into their writing process. Be sure to bring a sharpened pencil!
Missed the program, but still interested in the conversation?
Check out the video recording of the live stream discussion below!
- Jasmine Griffin, Mercantile Library Membership Coordinator & Carve Magazine Features Editor
- Briana Rice, Cincinnati.com Trending News Reporter
- Leyla Shokoohe, Journalist and Communications Professional
- Lauren M. White, Poet and Author
- Felicia Zamora, Poet, Editor, and Assistant Professor of Poetry at the University of Cincinnati
- Panel facilitated by Hillary Copsey, Mercantile Library Book Advisor
5:55pm – Online stream opens
6:00 – Featured panelist conversation begins
7:00 – Closing remarks, questions, and farewells
Featured Panelists Bios
Jasmine Griffin is a Black queer writer and an avid reader. She is the membership coordinator for The Mercantile Library and the features editor for Carve Magazine. In both writing and books she enjoys the supernatural, paranormal, and unsettling. Griffin is presently at work on her first novel, “Blackbird at the Crossroads,” which incorporates African mythology, African American folktales and Southern Crossroads lore. She was recently published in Cincinnati Refined, Eunoia Review, Genre: Urban Arts, and Cleaning up Glitter. In 2020, Griffin was selected as a Mentee for the AWP Writer to Writer Mentor Program and was paired with Maisy Card, debut author of “These Ghosts Are Family.” In 2019, she was awarded an Author Fellowship to attend the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Summer Conference. Griffin has completed her MA in Creative Writing at Wilkes University. A Cincinnati native, she resides in Amelia, Ohio with her familiars, Tabby cats Honey and Oliver.
Briana Rice is a reporter and social media editor for the Cincinnati Enquirer. She serves on the board of the Greater Cincinnati Association of Black Journalists and the Society of Professional Journalists. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with degrees in journalism and digital media. Prior to the Enquirer, Rice worked for FOX19 and had fellowships with ProPublica and Columbia. In her free time, Rice writes poetry, reads and loves spending time with her friends and family.
Leyla Shokoohe is a communications professional and award-winning freelance journalist based in Cincinnati. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a degree in journalism and minor in creative writing, she has worked for several major arts organizations in the city, including Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and ArtsWave. Shokoohe writes about the arts and culture in Cincinnati for several publications, including Cincinnati Magazine, CityBeat, Movers and Makers and the Business Courier. Her work received first place honors from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists in 2020. She currently serves as the director of communications for the Cincinnati Bar Association and editor of the CBA’s bi-monthly legal magazine, the CBA Report. She is a creative writer in her spare time, and a 2018 winner of the Cincinnati Public Library’s Poetry in the Garden Contest. When she’s not writing or working, Shokoohe is a DANCEFIX devotee, avid reader, and general Cincinnati enthusiast.
LAUREN M. WHITE
Lauren M. White is a poet, writer, and spoken word artist. She has a BBA in Marketing, a certification in Public Relations and is pursuing her master’s degree in Educational Studies with a focus in Higher Education Leadership. White has a passion for highlighting issues surrounding identity, social injustice, and social inequity. As a young Black woman, her culture and identity inspire her work and performances. White has always had a deep appreciation for reading, performing and people, and started performing her poetry while a student at the University of Cincinnati. Currently she works at her alma mater in Student Affairs, helping students find passion through community engagement. White is also the author of Cries from the Dark Side of the Moon, a poetry collection of passion, pain, and promise.
White is active in her community through her work, church, school and sorority. She created LEGACY (Literacy Education Growing All Cincinnati Youth), a community-service experience that partners college students with elementary school students to develop a passion for reading and combat illiteracy rates. She is an advocate for community and continues to share her passion through her writing.
Felicia Zamora is the author of six books of poetry, including I Always Carry My Bones, winner of the 2020 Iowa Poetry Prize forthcoming in 2021; Quotient forthcoming from Tinderbox Editions in 2021; Body of Render, winner of the 2018 Benjamin Saltman Award from Red Hen Press (2020); Instrument of Gaps (Slope Editions, 2018); & in Open, Marvel (Parlor Press, 2018); and Of Form & Gather, winner of the 2016 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize (University of Notre Dame Press). She’s received fellowships and residencies from CantoMundo, Ragdale Foundation, PLAYA, Moth Magazine, and Noepe Center at Martha’s Vineyard. Zamora has also authored two chapbooks, won the 2019 Wabash Prize for Poetry and the 2015 Tomaž Šalamun Prize, and was the 2017 Poet Laureate of Fort Collins, CO. Her poems are found or forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, American Poetry Review, Boston Review online, Georgia Review, Missouri Review Poem-of-the-Week, Orion, Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, The Nation, and others. She is an assistant professor of poetry at the University of Cincinnati and is the associate poetry editor for the Colorado Review.
Hillary Copsey is a former newspaper journalist and editor. She’s a writer and reader, and the founder and publisher of the Make America Read newsletter. As book advisor at the Mercantile Library, she leads book discussions and gives general and personalized book recommendations, and she believes in the power of story to build compassion, critical thinking, and civil discourse.