This LAB presentation will feature a reading and discussion with contributors to Veils, Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women. Conceived in response to both the brutal rape and murder of Jyoti Singh in 2012 and the worldwide outpouring of activism that took place in response, Veils, Halos & Shackles is a first-of-its-kind anthology, gathering work from poets in dozens of countries--from Brazil to Bangladesh, from New Zealand to Nigeria—all of it written in opposition to violence against women.

Editors Charles Fishman and Smita Sahay have explicitly positioned publication of the anthology as itself a form of activism, a necessary raising of poets' voices alongside those raised by women and men all over the world as they do the hard, hard work of ending the violence to which the anthology is a response. This event will bring five contributors to Veils, Halos & Shackles together with members of the Queens community for a reading and moderated discussion on why poetry needs to be part of that work and what difference it makes.

Friday, October 7th, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Queens Council on the Arts
37-11 35th Ave, Entrance on 37th St
Astoria, NY 11101

Admission: $10
QCA Members: Free




Richard Jeffrey Newman: As a poet and essayist, Richard Jeffrey Newman’s work explores the impact of feminism on his life as a man, especially as a survivor of childhood sexual violence. As a co-translator of classical Persian poetry, he writes about the impact of that canon on our contemporary lives. His books include For My Son, A Kind of Prayer (Ghostbird Press 2016), The Silence of Men (Cavankerry Press 2006), and the translation The Teller of Tales: Stories from Ferdowsi's Shahameh(Junction Press 2011)He curates the First Tuesdays reading series in Elmhurst, NY. His poems have appeared in a wide range of journals and his essays have been published in, among other places, Salon.comThe Scavengerand The Good Men Project. Newman is Professor of English at Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY. His website is



Matt Pasca: Matt Pasca has been using the written word to defamiliarize, deconstruct, and reconstruct the world around him since he was eleven. Matt’s poetry has received two Pushcart Prize nominations and been published in over 25 journals and 10 anthologies. His two full-length poetry collections, A THOUSAND DOORS (2011, JB Stillwater) and RAVEN WIRE (2016, Shanti Arts), have been lauded in both academic and non-academic circles. Matt has been a featured poet/performer at SOMOS in Taos, NM, Shakespeare & Co. in Missoula, MT, off-site at AWP in Minneapolis, MN, The Orchard House School in Richmond, VA, the Parkside Lounge, Cornelia Street Cafe and Makor in NYC, and Hofstra University, CW Post, Stony Brook University, Molloy College, Nassau Community College and The Walt Whitman Birthplace on Long Island. 


Nancy Agabian (moderator): Nancy Agabian is the author of Princess Freak, a collection of poems and performance texts, and Me as her again: True Stories of an Armenian Daughter, a memoir honored as a Lambda Literary Award finalist for LGBT Nonfiction and shortlisted for a William Saroyan International Prize. Her recently completed novel, “The Fear of Large and Small Nations”, was a finalist for the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. Nancy teaches creative writing at NYU and in Queens through Heightening Stories, her workshops focusing on social issues as well as



Terri Muuss: Terri Muuss, whose poetry has appeared in numerous journals including Paterson Literary Review, Apercus Quarterly, Atticus Review, Stirring, Long Island Quarterly, and Red River Review, and three anthologies, has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. She is the author of Over Exposed (JB Stillwater, 2013) and the one-woman show, Anatomy of a Doll. Anatomy of a Doll was named  ͞Best Theatre: Critics’ Pick of the Week͟ by the New York Daily News and has been performed throughout the US and Canada since 1998. Recently, she co-edited an anthology of New York women poets entitled Grabbing the Apple and is looking forward to having two poems in the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion from Drew University. As a licensed social worker, Muuss specializes in the use of the arts as a healing mechanism for trauma survivors.


Donna Kaz is a multi genre writer whose memoir, “UN/MASKED, Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour” will be published by Skyhorse on November 1, 2016. She has been published in Lilith, Turning Wheel, Step Away Magazine, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, Western Press Books, Mason’s Road and Hawai’i Review (Ian MacMillian Award). A 2013 Pushcart Prize nominee, Kaz is also the recipient of residency fellowships from Yaddo, Djerassi, The Blue Mountain Center, CAP21, Wurlitzer and The Ucross Foundation.  Her nonfiction essays have appeared in The Dramatist, Ful Art Magazine, The Sun, Girl Drive Blog, Gender Across Borders and Women’s Studies Quarterly. Her screenplay, King Me, recently won a Boundary Stone Screenwriting Award. Kaz has been a featured reader at the Pulse Poetry Slam, Carpo, Uncle Mo’s and Wordstock. MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. For more information visit or @donnakaz

Charles Fishman, editor of Veils, Halos & Shackles, co-founded the Long Island Poetry Collective in 1973, and, in 1979, he created the Visiting Writers Program at Farmingdale State College on Long Island. He also created the Distinguished Speakers Program for the college in 2001. He has served as series editor of the Water Mark Poets of North America Book Award (1980-83), founder and coordinator of the Paumanok Poetry Award competition (1990-1997), Associate Editor of The Drunken Boat (1999-2005); and Poetry Editor of many magazines and journals, most recently PRISM: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust Educators (2008-present). He has also served as poetry consultant to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, since 1995.

Among Fishman’s best-known books are Chopin’s Piano (2006) and Blood To Remember: American Poets On The Holocaust (2007), both from Time Being Books; In The Language of Women (2011) and Water under Water (2009), both from Casa de Snapdragon; and The Death Mazurka (Texas Tech University Press, 1989), an ALA “Outstanding Book of the Year” that was nominated for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

His awards include the Paterson Award for Literary Excellence in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2012; the New Millennium Poetry Prize (2012); a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry (1995); and the Gertrude B. Claytor Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America (1987). His selected poems, In the Path of Lightning, was published by Time Being Books in 2012.

Susana H. Case’s newest and fourth poetry book is 4 Rms w Vu (Mayapple Press, 2014). She is also the author of 4 chapbooks, including The Scottish Café  which was re-released in a Polish-English version,Kawiarnia Szkocka, by Opole University Press in Poland, and was just re-released in its original version by Slapering Hol Press. Case is a Professor and Program Coordinator at the New York Institute of Technology. Recent poems can be found in: Fourteen Hills, The Cortland Review, Portland ReviewPotomac Review, Rattle, and over a hundred other magazines and anthologies.