May 2012

Nancy Agabian (Guest Host)
Nancy Agabian is the author of Princess Freak, a mixed genre collection of poems, short prose, and performance texts, and Me as her again: True Stories of an Armenian Daughter, a memoir about the influence of her Armenian family’s history on her coming-of-age. Me as her again was honored as a Lambda Literary Award finalist for LGBT Nonfiction and shortlisted for a Saroyan International Prize. A Fulbright scholar in 2006, she is currently working on a nonfiction novel on the influences of nationalism, corruption, and family on personal freedom in post-Soviet Armenia. For several years, she was the host of Gartal, an Armenian reading series in Greenwich Village. She teaches writing at NYU and Queens College and lives in Queens.

Joel Allegretti
Joel Allegretti ( is the author of four collections of poetry: Europa/Nippon/New York: Poems/Not-Poems (Poets Wear Prada, 2012); Thrum (Poets Wear Prada, 2010); Father Silicon (The Poet’s Press, 2006), selected by The Kansas City Star as one of 100 Noteworthy Books of 2006, a list that included novels by Cormac McCarthy and Thomas Pynchon; and The Plague Psalms (The Poet’s Press, 2000).

Allegretti’s poems have appeared in Smartish Pace, PANK, The New York Quarterly, Maintenant: A Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing & Art, MARGIE, Fulcrum and many other national journals, as well as in The Best American Poetry blog.

He is represented in two new anthologies: Divining Divas (Lethe Press, 2012), alongside Mark Doty, David Trinidad and Timothy Liu, and Token Entry: New York City Subway Poems (Smalls Books, 2012), which includes work by Langston Hughes, Hart Crane, Alicia Ostriker and Edward Hirsch. Allegretti’s fiction has appeared in Think Journal, The Adroit Journal, autolycus: rogue literary journal and Petrichor Machine, among other periodicals. His Aqua: A Play in One Repeated Act was a semifinalist in the 2010 KNOCK International Play Contest. He wrote the texts for three song cycles by Frank Ezra Levy, whose symphonic work is released on Naxos American Classics. Allegretti is a member of the Academy of American Poets and ASCAP.

Cassandra Faustini
Cassandra Faustini is a 26-year-old resident of Union City, New Jersey, who recently established residence there after spending 8 years in Astoria, Queens. She has been writing poetry since a young age, and has been previously published by Sarah Lawrence College and Emerson College. Although primarily a poet, she has also worked in the short-story and personal essay format. The poems she will be reading tonight are selections from the tentatively titled “A Squatter in the House of Love”, which she hopes to publish as a chapbook.

Yvette Perez
Yvette Perez is an NYC-based vocalist, musician, songwriter, and bandleader. She is currently the lead singer for the Iranian pop/funk cover band Mitra Sumara. She has also released recordings of original music for the groups Birdbrain (“I Fly”) and H*E*R. (“Songs About the Mysteries of Housework and Nature”). She has written articles for music ‘zines Sound Collector and Sound Collector Audio Review. Half-Iranian by birth, adopted by Anglo-American parents, then given a Spanish surname, she has a unique perspective on race and affiliation. She will read from a work-in-progress memoir about identity, adoption, and her successful search for her Persian birth father.

Michael T. Young
Michael T. Young has published three collections of poetry: Transcriptions of Daylight, Because the Wind Has Questions and, most recently, Living in the Counterpoint, which was published by Finishing Line Press. His next full-length collection, The Beautiful Moment of Being Lost, will be published in 2013 by Black Coffee Press. He received a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and was twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He received a William Stafford Award and the Chaffin Poetry Award. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous print and online journals including Fogged Clarity, Iodine Poetry Journal, The Potomac Review, The Raintown Review, and The Same. His work is also in the anthologies Phoenix Rising and Chance of a Ghost and forthcoming in The Bug Book, and In the Black/In the Red. He lives with his wife and children in Jersey City, New Jersey. His website is His blog is The Inner Music: