The 9th Annual New Voices Festival

April 28–30, 2021

New Voices Festival logo

In light of the pandemic, the New Voices Festival will again be virtual in 2021. Join us! All events are free and open to the public, but registration is required.


The Short Short
5:30-7:00pm EST
The launch of the New Voices Festival, featuring all seven writers reading for 5-7 minutes each. Co-sponsored by Buffalo Street Books. Register here.


$@%&! Reclaiming Taboo Language
12:10-1:00pm EST
A panel conversation with Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Gina Femia, Benjamin Garcia, and Damon Young, moderated by student director Jalen Lisbon. Register here.

Thursday Night Reading
5:30-6:30pm EST
A reading with Damon Young, Benjamin Garcia, and Souvankham Thammavongsa. Register here.

@CODE_SWITCH: Navigating Systems
7:00-7:30pm EST
A premiere of the musical collage created by musical director Emma Tyme with collaboration from DJ Evo and Daisy Wu and inspiration from the words of our New Voices. Register here.


(Un)Belonging: Borders Real and Imagined
12:00-12:50pm EST
A panel discussion with Nicole Chung, Fernando A. Flores, Benjamin Garcia, and Souvankham Thammavongsa, moderated by assistant student director Amulya Ravitej Bachara. Register here.

Friday Night Reading
5:30-6:30pm EST
A reading with Nicole Chung, Fernando A. Flores, and Lillian-Yvonne Bertram. Register here.

The Virtuous Fall of the Girls from Our Lady of Sorrows
7:00-9:00pm EST
A staged reading of the play by Gina Femia, directed by Professor Claire Gleitman for On the Verge. With a talk-back moderated by student guides Lou Baron and Rachael Powles. Register here.

Contact Eleanor Henderson at ehenderson@ithaca.edu or Chris Holmes at cholmes@ithaca.edu for more information.

The 2021 New Voices

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram author photo

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, where they teach in and direct the UMass Boston MFA in Creative Writing Program. They are the author of the poetry collections Travesty Generator (Noemi Press, 2019), winner of the 2018 Noemi Press Poetry Prize, finalist for the National Poetry Series, and long-listed for the National Book Award. Travesty Generator received the 2020 Poetry Society of America Anna Rabinowitz Prize for interdisciplinary and venturesome work. They are also the author of Personal Science (Tupelo Press, 2017); a slice from the cake made of air (Red Hen Press 2016); and But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise (Red Hen Press, 2012), chosen by Claudia Rankine as the winner of the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award. Bertram holds a PhD in Literature & Creative Writing from the creative writing program at the University of Utah. 

author headshot of Nicole Chung

Nicole Chung is the author of the national bestselling memoir All You Can Ever Know. Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, Library Journal, and many other outlets, All You Can Ever Know was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, a semifinalist for the PEN Open Book Award, an Indies Choice Honor Book, and an official Junior Library Guild Selection. Chung’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, GQ, TIME, and Vulture, among others, and she also writes a weekly advice column for Slate. Her next book is forthcoming from Ecco Books/HarperCollins.

Gina Femia author photo

Gina Femia has written 32 full-length plays which include ALLOND(R)A (Winner: Leah Ryan Prize, Runner-up, Yale Drama Prize), We Are a Masterpiece (Winner: The Doric Wilson Award), The Mermaids’ Parade (Semifinalist, The Relentless Award, Finalist, Princess Grace Award), REBELS TIL DEATH (Reading, Playwrights Horizons), Annie and the Fat Man (Honorable Mention, The Kilroys), THIS HAPPENED ONCE AT THE ROMANCE DEPOT OFF THE I-87 IN WESTCHESTER (Workshop, Youngblood), Super, or, How Clark Graves Learned to Fly (semi-finalist The O’Neill and The Princess Grace Award), For The Love Of (Center Theatre Group’s Block Party, Theatre of NOTE, Original Works Publishing), and The Violet Sisters (Great Plains Theatre Conference). She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, where she won the Lipkin Prize in Playwriting, and she was the 2019 Writer-in-Residence with Spicy Witch Productions for The Virtuous Fall of the Girls from Our Lady of Sorrows, which will be produced in a virtual staged reading by On the Verge at New Voices.

Fernando Flores author photo

Fernando A. Flores was born in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and raised in South Texas. He is the author of the novel Tears of the Trufflepig (FSG, 2019), long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and the story collection Death to the Bullshit Artists of South Texas (Host Publications, 2018).

Benjamin Garcia smiling with a rainbow mug

Benjamin Garcia is the author of the debut collection Thrown in the Throat, which was selected by Kazim Ali for the 2019 National Poetry Series (Milkweed Editions, 2020). He is the son of Mexican immigrants, one of whom is formerly undocumented and one whose family has lived in New Mexico long before it was claimed by the United States. He is originally from New Mexico, raised in Texas, and currently lives in Ithaca, New York. He received his BA from the University of New Mexico and his MFA from Cornell University. He works as a Sexual Health and Harm Reduction Educator throughout the Finger Lakes region of New York. He was the 2017 Lantinx Scholar at the Frost Place, the 2018 CantoMundo Fellow at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and a 2019 Lambda Literary fellow.

Souvankham Thammavongsa author photo

Souvankham Thammavongsa is the author of four acclaimed poetry books, and the short story collection How to Pronounce Knife, winner of the 2020 Scotiabank Giller prize, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and PEN/America Open Book Award, out now with McClelland & Stewart (Canada), Little, Brown (U.S.), and Bloomsbury (U.K.), available in French, with foreign rights sold in China, Korea, and Turkey. Her stories have won an O. Henry Award and appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, Granta, and NOON. Thammavongsa is a judge for the 2021 Griffin Poetry Prize. She was born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand and was raised and educated in Toronto.

Damon Young sitting against a window

Damon Young is a writer, critic, humorist, satirist, and professional Black person. He’s a co-founder and editor in chief of VerySmartBrothas and a columnist for GQ. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, LitHub, Time Magazine, Slate, LongReads, Salon, The Guardian, New York Magazine, EBONY, Jezebel, and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. His debut book, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir In Essays (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2019), was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. A native Pittsburgher who attended Canisius College on a basketball scholarship, Young currently resides in Pittsburgh’s Northside.