Mar 27, 2023

Poetry Electric: WORDS BREAKING DOWN WALLS (Women's History Month)


Featuring: Leah Kogen-Elimeliah, Ama Birch, Ilka Scobie, Rylan Sylvester, Meg Hennessy, and Tamra Plotnick

a black arrow pointing downward

Finish Women's History month on a high note with powerful words from even more powerful women.

Spend an evening hearing an extraordinary collective of writers, comics, and story tellers speak truth to power and move the world forward.


Leah Kogen-Elimeliah
Ama Birch
Ilka Scobie
Rylan Sylvester
Meg Hennessy
Tamra Plotnick

Leah Kogen-Elimeliah is a poet, essayist, short story & nonfiction writer from Moscow, currently living in New York. She earned her MFA from City College of New York where she is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor in World Literature. She is the Founder and Director of WordShedNYC Reading Series and an Editorial Associate for Fiction literary magazine. Leah has collaborated on various poetry/visual/dance projects with independent artists, experimenting with cross genres, multimedia and poetry. She's read her work on The Red Stage organized by Creative Time, The NYC Poetry Festival, The Higher Ground Arts Festival, and was selected as a Public Humanities/Arts Graduate Fellow for the Zip Code Memory Project supported by Columbia, CCNY, NYU, Yale and the Social Science & Humanities Research Council. She is a mentor with Girls Write Now, a nationally award winning leader in arts education writing and mentoring organization. Her writing focuses on cultural identity, alienation & language, immigration, intergenerational trauma, and sexuality.

Ama Birch is the author of "(Spirit),” "The Bird Trade,” "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow," "Faces in the Clouds," "Sonnet Boom!," "Ferguson Interview Project," and a video game available for Android, "Space Quake by Ama Birch." She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from the State University of New York at New Paltz and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the California Institute of the Arts. She has been published by Grove Atlantic, Great Weather for Media, Autonomedia, A Gathering of the Tribes, Vail/Vale, Vitrine, Insert Blanc Press, Live Mag!, Fellswoop, Apricity, Belladonna*, Spiral Editions, and The Brooklyn Rail. 

Ilka Scobie writes for American Book Review, London Artlyst and is an editor of Live Mag. Her book “Any Island” was published by Spuyten Duyvil in 2021.

Rylan Sylvester is a comedian, writer and solo artist from NYC. She has sold out venues all across New York, including her La MaMa debut back in 2019. You may recognize her from one of her many viral TikToks or Instagram Reels under the handle @Rizadoink. She’s written for the comedy podcast network Headgum, has created videos for Pepsi affiliates, is a model for Reductress, and is so happy you’re reading this!!! Omg hi!!!!! Love you!!! Isn’t this cRAZY?? <333

Meg Hennessy is an actor and poet from Limerick Ireland. She made her Off-Broadway debut at the Irish repertory theater as the character of Lily in The Dead before appearing in four more plays with the rep. She landed a role in the Netflix series Archive 81 and will be appearing in the upcoming film Inappropriate Behaviour with Robert DeNiro. She has performed her poetry at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and the Irish American Writers association.

Tamra Plotnick’s poetry and prose works have been published in a variety of journals and anthologies, including: Serving House Journal; The Waiting Room Reader, Vol II: Words to Keep You Company, edited by Rachel Hadas; Tribes #8, Stickman Review, LiveMag, BigCityLit; Atlantic Review; Lurch; Burrow; The Midwest Review; Hunger Enough and Global City Review: International Edition. Her memoir excerpt “Barbie and Gandhi Sitting in a Tree” appeared in The Coachella Review. After ranking as a semifinalist in a variety of contests, her poetry collection In the Zero of Sky has been published by Assure Press.

She has read and performed her work in multimedia shows at a range of venues, including La Mama Theater, Zinc Bar, KGB, and Cornelia Street Café. With a long and varied background as a dancer, she has performed her own works and those of others at theaters such as Dixon Place, Teatro Julia de Burgos, The Caribbean Cultural Center and PS 122. She has created and led workshops melding creative writing with movement and continues her practice of dance forms such as samba, Afro-Caribbean, improvisation, and raqs sharqi.

She earned a master’s degree in Creative Writing from City College of New York, where she won a New York Times Fellowship, and an undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College. Additionally, she holds a Masters’ degree in education and is a certified yoga instructor. She teaches English Language Arts at The James Baldwin School in Chelsea and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Tamra is currently writing a novel.

Poetry Electric


The Poetry Electric fuses music, movement, sound, and dance with the spoken word and presents artists working in a wide range of styles including beatboxing, jazz and hip-hop theatre. This series has presented over 200 emerging poets from diverse cultural backgrounds.

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