Carolee Bertisch has been President of the Board of the Ponte Vedra Friends of the Library, and she has chaired the St. Johns County Library Advisory Board. She was honored in 2010 by being nominated for the EVE (Education, Volunteer, Employment) award for her leadership promoting the library budget in St. Johns County, and she is the recipient of a 2014 ROWITA (Recognizing Outstanding Women in the Arts) Award. Carolee is the author of two books of poetry and prose, including her newest, Walking To The Beat: Life, Mystery, Melody and Music – A Memoir in Poetry and Prose.
Lynn Skapyak Harlin is an editor, writer and poet who worked as an educator for 20 years. She taught English, Journalism, AP and Standard classes 7 - 12 in Duval County, and served as an instructor at FSCJ and JU. She became Senior Editor of Closet Books in 2001, and edited JU professor emeritus Sharon Scholl’s two poetry collections. She has worked with many award-winning authors, including former First Coast News anchor Donna Deegan, who worked with Lynn on both of her books detailing her battles with breast cancer.
On September 27, 2014, 300 international events are scheduled as part of “100,000 Poets for Change.” Chris Bodor and other Ancient City Poets will lead the audience our own Poets for Change event and discuss how words can change the world. Participants will then write and workshop a poem about change. The next day (Sunday, September 28th), a reading will be held at St. Augustine’s City Coffee at 3 p.m. for anyone who would like to read their "change" poem during the monthly Ancient City Poets open mic. Poems written during the workshop will be considered for publication in the St. Johns County literary magazine.
Chris Bodor, Publisher Poet Plant Press
New York transplant Chris Bodor relocated to Saint Augustine in 2003 after working for ten years in NY City. Five years ago, Chris started hosting monthly poetry open mic readings one the last Sunday of every month, under the name Ancient City Poets. The name was created by Glenda Bailey-Mershon for a series of 2009 National Poetry Month events. Chris also runs his own imprint, called Poet Plant Press, with his wife Mary Beth. Having published seven titles to date, they are currently working on a Florida literary journal called AC PAPA. Chris has also revived his journalism career by shooting pictures and writing pieces for Old City Life, the St. Augustine Record and other national publications.
Michael Henry Lee, Haiku Enthusiast
Haiku and senryu poet Michael Henry Lee moved to Saint Augustine in 2004 from south California. He attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City, receiving a B.A. in Sociology with a double minor in Theatre and English. He is internationally published. His work has appeared in Frogpond, Heron's Nest, Mainichi Daily News, One Hundred Gourds, and Haiku News, among others. This year Michael received an honorable mention from the Mildred Kanterman Memorial Merit Book Award for his collection of poems Against the Grain (Eleven Hour Press, 2013).
Kimmy Van Kooten, Founding member of Ancient City Poets
Kimmy Van Kooten, first and foremost is a wife and mother of 11 children. She has been inspired by her journey from her birth place in New Jersey to Pennsylvania, where she and her 15 siblings resided on a seventy acre horse farm. In 1994 she and her children moved to Saint Augustine from Daytona Beach. Kimmy now attends Flagler College, pursuing her lifelong dream of obtaining her BFA in Fine Arts. In her spare time she illustrates children's books, book covers, and writes poetry. She also might be found downtown playing on her red conga drums. Her collection, Peace of Language (Avenue U, 2013), features many of her playful, spirited poems as well as several of her inspiring illustrations
Ann Kiyonaga-Razon, Ancient City Poet
Ann Kiyonaga-Razon and her family have been living in Saint Augustine since 1998. She received a Master’s Degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She has taught poetry classes, and workshops and she has has facilitated local poetry gatherings. Ann feels anyone can write poetry for it is that intuitive expression that is available to all. Additionally, poetry can be a powerful voice for transformation—both inner and outer. Ann has written a book of poems entitled Flight into the Dawn - A Collection of Poems celebrating Life's Moments. Aside from being a poet, Ann is also a yoga teacher, artist and writer. She is presently working on a children's book as well as a memoir.