Ailish Hopper is the author of Dark~Sky Society (2014), selected by David St. John as runner up for the New Issues prize, and the chapbook Bird in the Head (2005), selected by Jean Valentine for the Center for Book Arts Prize. Individual poems have appeared in Agni, APR, Blackbird, Harvard Review Online, Ploughshares, Poetry, Tidal Basin Review, and other places. In addition to page poetry, she performed with the band Heroes are Gang Leaders, along with poets Thomas Sayers Ellis and Randall Horton, and saxophonist James Brandon Lewis.
Her essays on art and literature that deal with race and art have appeared in Boston Review, The Volta, and the anthology, A Sense of Regard: Essays on Poetry and Race, as well as other places.
She has received support from the Baltimore Commission for the Arts and Humanities, the MacDowell Colony, Maryland State Arts Council, and Yaddo. She teaches in the Creative Writing and Peace Studies programs at Goucher College.
I perform page and body-poetry; essay and draw questions that my poetry can't hold; teach classes in poetry, social practice, and cultural rewriting; and collaborate in a number of ways with my communities. All of my work is crucially informed by growing up white in (then) mostly-black DC, by being the daughter of an immigrant from Ireland, by generous mentoring from those in liberation movements, and many other of my life experiences. In all my roles, I try to honor the tradition that Paolo Friere characterized as "the vocation to be fully human."
I welcome new verse-family, colleagues, comrades, friends. See my "Try Me" page for contact info.