We are pleased to feature an evening with student poets from New Trier High School and Highland Park High School. These young writers study with poet/educators John O'Connor and Faisal Mohyuddin. It's an excitng and vibrant time for contemporary poetry, and this is the community's chance to hear the fresh new voices of young people at the forefront of today's art. We'll have a list of participating poets soon! Here are the bios of our wonderful co-hosts:
John S. O'Connor's poems have appeared in places such as Poetry East and RHINO. He has written two books on teaching: This Time It's Personal: Teaching Academic Writing through Creative Nonfiction (2011) and Wordplaygrounds: Reading, Writing, and Performing Poetry in the English Classroom (2004). He earned his BA and MAT from the University of Chicago and his PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has taught for 25 years in a wide variety of settings, including the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, Pennsylvania State University, urban public and parochial schools, an adult literacy center, and a maximum security prison. In 2007, he was named a Golden Apple Teacher of Distinction. O'Connor currently teaches at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois.
Faisal Mohyuddin's poetry, fiction, and visual art have appeared in many publications, including Prairie Schooner, the Missouri Review, Narrative, RHINO, Poet Lore, Chicago Quarterly Review, Crab Orchard Review, New England Review(online), Atlanta Review, Catamaran Literary Reader, the minnesota review, Tinderbox, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and Hair Trigger. He received the 2014 Edward Stanley Award from Prairie Schooner and a 2017 Gwendolyn Brook Poetry Prize, and he was a finalist in Narrative's Eighth and Ninth Annual Poetry Contests in 2016 and 2017. His first full-length collection, The Displaced Children of Displaced Children, was selected by Kimiko Hahn as the winner of the 2017 Sexton Prize and was just released by Eyewear Publishing, Inc.
The child of immigrants from Pakistan, Faisal received his undergraduate degree from Carleton College, an MS in education from Northwestern University, and an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago. He has taught English at Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Illinois, since 2003, and he continues to serve as educator adviser to Narrative 4, a global not-for-profit dedicated to empathy-building and barrier-breaking through the exchange of stories. He is an alumnus of the U.S. Department of State's Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) Program; as part of this global education fellowship, Faisal traveled to and studied in Senegal in April 2016. He has been recognized for innovative teaching by Microsoft and has twice been a National Endowment for the Humanities summer teaching fellow.