Anis Mojgani

Anis Mojgani is a two time National Poetry Slam Champion and winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam. A TEDx Speaker and former resident of the Oregon Literary Arts Writers-In-The-Schools program, Anis has performed at numerous universities, festivals, and venues around the globe and has performed for audiences as varied as the House of Blues and the United Nations. His work has appeared on HBO, NPR, and in the pages of such journals as Rattle, Forklift Ohio, Used Furniture Review, and Thrush.

A founding member of the no longer touring Poetry Revival, Anis is also the author of three poetry collections, all published by Write Bloody Publishing: Songs From Under the River (2013), The Feather Room (2011), and Over the Anvil We Stretch (2008). A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, he still tries to make tiny spaces for visual art, doing the covers for his own books, and occasionally providing work for others, be it illustrations, the random poster, or whatever else may spark up. Originally from New Orleans, Anis currently lives in Austin TX, though finds himself often away from there. He is represented by Blue Flower Arts.

Lonnie Holley

Lonnie Holley was born on February 10, 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama. From the age of

five, Holley worked various jobs: picking up trash at a drive-in movie theatre, washing

dishes, and cooking at Disney World. As a child, he lived in a whiskey house across from the

state fairgrounds, a state run juvenile home, and finally was reunited with his natural born

family at the age of 14. His early life was chaotic and Holley was never afforded the pleasure

of a real childhood.

Since 1979, Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art

and music, born out of struggle, hardship, but perhaps more importantly, out of furious

curiosity and biological necessity, has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture,

photography, performance, and sound. Holley’s sculptures are constructed from found

materials in the oldest tradition of African American sculpture. Objects, already imbued with

cultural and artistic metaphor, are combined into narrative sculptures that commemorate

places, people, and events. His work is now in collections of major museums throughout the

country, on permanent display in the United Nations, and been displayed in the White House

Rose Garden. In January of 2014, Holley completed a one-month artist-in- residence with the

Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva Island, Florida, site of the acclaimed artist’s


Holley did not start making and performing music in a studio nor does his creative process

mirror that of the typical musician. His music and lyrics are improvised on the spot and

morph and evolve with every event, concert, and recording. In Holley’s original art

environment, he would construct and deconstruct his visual works, repurposing their

elements for new pieces. This often led to the transfer of individual narratives into the new

work creating a cumulative composite image that has depth and purpose beyond its original

singular meaning. The layers of sound in Holley’s music, likewise, are the result of decades

of evolving experimentation.

Holley’s music caught the attention of Matt Arnett, whose father has been Holley’s primary

art patron since the 1980s. In 2006, Matt organized the first professional recordings

of Holley’s music. In 2010, Arnett set up a performance by Holley at Grocery on Home. One

of the people in attendance was Lance Ledbetter, founder and owner of the record label

Dust-to- Digital. Deeply moved by Holley’s keyboard playing and singing, Ledbetter

signed Holley to his record label. Soon after, Holley found himself in the studio again, and in

2010 and 2011, a number of studio sessions ensued. The result was the album “Just Before

Music.” More recordings are continuing to be made to celebrate and to document one of

America’s most compelling musicians. In 2013, “Keeping a Record of It,” Holley’s second

record was released. In early 2014, Holley recorded again with Richard Swift, acclaimed

musician and producer at his studio, National Freedom, in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

In addition to the studio sessions, Holley began touring as a musician. In August and

September of 2013, Holley toured the West Coast with Deerhunter. That tour was followed

by a tour of the East Coast with Bill Callahan, and in November and December of

2013, Holley had his first tour through Western Europe (Spain, Portugal, Germany, Denmark,

Belgium, The Netherlands, England, and France). Holley has been joined on stage by a

variety of musicians, including members of Deerhunter, Black Lips, The War on Drugs,

Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors, Bon Iver, Gang Gang Dance, Julia Holter, Megafaun, as

well as Ben Sollee, Steve Gunn, Jim White, Sinkane, Stevie Nistor, Jenny Hval, Marshall

Ruffin, Daniel Lanois, Brian Blade, Mammane Sani, and Bill Callahan. In 2013, Holley’s first

records were named to a number of critics’ Top Records of the Year lists, including The

Washington Post (#4) and The Chicago Sun Times (#2).

In 2014, Holley continued to tour, completing another tour of Europe (Belgium, Norway,

England, Denmark, the Netherlands, and France) and a USA/Canada tour with Daniel

Lanois. Also in 2014, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that they had acquired

three sculptures by the acclaimed artist and musician.

His visual art has been displayed in numerous museums and galleries around the United

States. In the late summer, 2015, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art opened

Lonnie Holley: Something to Take My Place, accompanied by the first significant

monograph of the artist’s work.

In 2015, Holley recorded music for the film Five Nights in Maine (David Oyelowo, Diane

Wiest, Rosie Perez), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and has

its theatrical release in the summer of 2016.

Holley continues to make visual art and music.

"The closest thing America has to a prophet."––Noisey

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