The Tucson Poetry Festival 2023-24 Board Members
Melanie (she/her) is a storyteller, essayist, and poet who originally hails from the crossroads desert city of Barstow, California. Madden has called Tucson home since 2012 and is honored and humbled to serve the Tucson Poetry Festival in its 41st year. She also works in curricular affairs at the University of Arizona
Bryanna (she/her) is a freelance editor and substitute teacher. A writer of fiction, memoir, and poetry, her flash fiction has been long and short-listed in several competitions, and she is a previous Grand Prize winner in Tucson's Hearst undergraduate poetry competition. Most recently, she was nominated for a 2024 Pushcart Prize. Born and raised in Tucson, she holds a Bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. Bryanna joined the board in 2021 and this is her first year as Co-Director.
Photo Credit: Kayla Spies
Laura Talarsky Stevens
Active Board Member
Eleanor (she/her) is the author of Between the Earth and Sky (C&R Press, 2020), a finalist for the 2021 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards and the 2020 Best Book Awards. She is also the author of the chapbook The Offering (Liquid Light Press, 2016). Her forthcoming collection is Twelve Days from Transfer (3: A Taos Press, 2024). An award-winning poet, Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, her work appears in various journals, magazines, and anthologies. Kedney is the founder of the Tucson branch of the New York-based Writers Studio and served as the director for ten years. She retired from The Writers Studio in 2015. Inspired by craft techniques utilized in her books, Eleanor developed the “Writing Toward Forgiveness” workshop. She joined the Tucson Poetry Festival board in 2021. Learn more at: eleanorkedney.com.
Photo Credit: Christ Conforti
Photo Credit: Patri Hadad
Active Board Member
Sarah (she/her) is a poet and librarian who has called Tucson home for the last 13 years. Her debut collection of poems, Ganbatte, won the Felix Pollak Prize from the University of Wisconsin Press, and her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Feminist Wire, among others. She currently serves as Library Director at The University of Arizona Poetry Center. A long-time admirer of the Tucson Poetry Festival, she was delighted to join the Board in 2021.