Upcoming Readings

The House Party Reading Series

a salon-style reading series

Hosted in Hillsborough and Durham, NC, the House Party Reading Series is a chance for writers and readers to hear some of the most exciting voices in contemporary letters… and then have a party. Head chef Ashley Nissler prepares the spread and the Bull City Press gang brings authors from all over the country to read new work. To commemorate the evening, Gabrielle Bates creates original artwork for our broadside series.

Join the mailing list to receive an invitation: https://bullcitypress.com/reading-series/join-the-mailing-list/

Upcoming Readings


November 10, 2018: Jenny George, Fred Joiner, Sarah Rose Nordgren & Anna Rose Welch

Jenny George is the author of The Dream of Reason (Copper Canyon Press, 2018) and a winner of the 2015 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in PloughsharesFIELDGulf CoastCimarron ReviewThe CollagistCrab Orchard ReviewfailbetterIndiana Review, and Shenandoah. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fund, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo Corporation. Jenny lives in Santa Fe, NM, where she runs a foundation for Buddhist-based social justice. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Fred Joiner is a poet and curator living in Chapel Hill, NC. His work has appeared in About Place, Callaloo, Gargoyle, and Fledgling Rag, and other publications. As a writer/curator, Joiner has worked with Belfast Exposed Gallery (Northern Ireland), CAM Raleigh, Medina Galerie (Bamako, Mali), the Smithsonian and others.  He is the co-founder of The Center for Poetic Thought and a Board Member of The American Poetry Museum, a member of the Artist Advisory Board for the Orange County Arts Commission and a member of the Carrboro Poet’s Council.

Sarah Rose Nordgren is a poet, teacher, and multiform text artist. Her two books of poetry are Best Bones (2014), winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, and Darwin’s Mother, which is recently released from University of Pittsburgh Press (November 2017). Her poems and essays appear widely in periodicals such as Agni, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, Copper Nickel, and American Poetry Review, and she creates video and performance text art in collaboration with Kathleen Kelley under the name Smart Snow.

Anna Rose Welch holds an MFA from Bowling Green State University. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets 2014, Kenyon Review Online, Guernica, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal, The Paris-American, and other publications. She lives in Erie, PA, where she is the chief editor of a pharmaceutical publication and a violinist in a local chamber orchestra. Her first book of poems, We, the Almighty Fires, was published by Alice James Books in April, 2018.


February 2, 2019: Leila Chatti, Anna Maria Hong & Anna Lena Phillips Bell

Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet. Her chapbooks are Tunsiya/Amrikiya (Bull City Press, 2018) and Ebb (Akashic Books, 2018). She is the recipient of the 2017-2018 Ron Wallace Poetry Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, a 2016-2017 writing fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, scholarships from the Tin House Writers’ Workshop and Dickinson House, and prizes from Ploughshares’ Emerging Writer’s Contest, Narrative Magazine’s 30 Below Contest and 8th Annual Poetry Contest, and the Academy of American Poets. Her poems appear in Best New PoetsPloughshares, Tin House, New England Review, The Georgia Review, The Missouri Review, West Branch, Narrative, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from North Carolina State University, and is originally from East Lansing, Michigan.

Anna Maria Hong’s first poetry collection, Age of Glass, won the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s 2017 First Book Poetry Competition and was published in April 2018. Her novella H & G won the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Clarissa Dalloway Prize and was published by Sidebrow Books in May 2018. Her second poetry collection, Fablesque, won Tupelo Press’s Berkshire Prize and will be published in early 2020. She joined the Literature faculty at Bennington College in July 2018.

Anna Lena Phillips Bell is the author of Ornament, winner of the 2016 Vassar Miller Poetry Prize. Her projects include A Pocket Book of Formsa limited-edition, travel-sized guide to poetic forms, and Forces of Attention, a series of printed objects designed to help people mediate their interactions with screened devices. The recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship in literature, she teaches at UNC Wilmington, where she is the editor of Ecotone and an editor of Lookout Books.She lives with her family near the Cape Fear River, and calls Appalachian square dances in North Carolina and beyond.


May 3, 2019:  Sandra Beasley, Nickole Brown, Jessica Jacobs, & Valencia Robin

Sandra Beasley is author of three poetry collections: Count the WavesI Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize; and Theories of Falling, winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize. Honors for her work include a 2015 NEA Literature Fellowship, the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize, and three DCCAH Artist Fellowships. She is also the author of the memoir Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, which engages living with disability. She lives in Washington, D.C., and is on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at the University of Tampa.

Nickole Brown received her MFA from the Vermont College, studied literature at Oxford University, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She worked at Sarabande Books for ten years. Her first collection, Sister, a novel-in-poems, was first published in 2007 by Red Hen Press and a new edition will be reissued by Sibling Rivalry Press in October 2018. Her second book, a biography-in-poems called Fanny Says, came out from BOA Editions in 2015, and the audio book of that collection became available in 2017. She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for four years until she gave up her beloved time in the classroom in hope of writing full time. Currently, she is the Editor for the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and teaches periodically at a number of places, including the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program, the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNCA, and the Hindman Settlement School. She lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs, in Asheville, NC, where she volunteers at a four different animal sanctuaries. Currently, she’s at work on a bestiary of sorts about these animals, but it won’t consist of the kind of pastorals that always made her (and most of the working-class folks she knows) feel shut out of nature and the writing about it—these poems speak in a queer, Southern-trash-talking kind of way about nature beautiful, but damaged and dangerous. A clutch of these new poems recently won Rattle‘s 2018 Chapbook Contest—To Those Who Were Our First Gods will be published in December.

Jessica Jacobs is the author of Pelvis with Distance, winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry, an Over the Rainbow selection by the American Library Association, and a finalist for the Lambda Literary and Julie Suk Awards. Her chapbook In Whatever Light Left to Us was published by Sibling Rivalry Press and her second full-length collection Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going is forthcoming from Four Way Books in 2019.  Jacobs holds an M.F.A. from Purdue University, where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of Sycamore Review, and a B.A. from Smith College. Her poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in publications including Orion, New England Review, The Missouri Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and the Oxford American. An avid long-distance runner, Jessica has worked as a rock climbing instructor, bartender, editor, and professorand is now the Associate Editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her wife, the poet Nickole Brown.

Valencia Robin is the winner of Persea Books’ 2018 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry; her collection, Ridiculous Light, will be published in April 2019. A visual artist as well as a poet, her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in TriQuarterly, The St. Petersburg Review, Foundry, Black Renaissance Noire, Kweli, The Cortland Review and elsewhere. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and the 2014 winner of the Hocking Hills Festival of Poetry Competition. She holds an MFA in Art & Design from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia.