Tarfia Faizullah

Jamaal May


Jamaal May was born and raised in Detroit. His first book, Hum (2013), won a Beatrice Hawley Award and an American Library Association Notable Book Award and was an NAACP Image Award nominee. May’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Best American Poetry 2014, and others. His second collection is The Big Book of Exit Strategies (2016).

May’s honors and awards include a Spirit of Detroit Award, an Indiana Review Poetry Prize, and fellowships from Cave Canem, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The Frost Place, the Lannan Foundation, and the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University. He was the 2014–2016 Kenyon Review Fellow at Kenyon College and a recipient of the Civitella Ranieri Fellowship in Italy. He was a Visiting Poet at Smith College, and he serves as Distinguished Writer at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 
May has taught poetry in Detroit public schools and worked as a freelance sound engineer. He has taught in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program and codirects, with Tarfia Faizullah, the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook and Video Series.

Festival Years: 2012