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Grace Ocasio
Contest Co-Chair
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A recent Pushcart Prize nominee, Grace C. Ocasio placed as a finalist in the 2016 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award in Poetry.  She is also a recipient of the 2014 North Carolina Arts Council Regional Artist Project Grant.  She won honorable mention in the 2012 James Applewhite Poetry Prize, first prize in the 2011 Sonia Sanchez and Amiri Baraka Poetry Prize, and a 2011 Napa Valley Writers' Conference scholarship.  Her first full-length collection, The Speed of Our Lives, was published by BlazeVOX Books in 2014.  Her poetry has appeared in Black Renaissance Noire, Rattle, Court Green, Poetry South, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Two Hawks Quarterly, and elsewhere.  Her chapbook, Hollerin from This Shack, was published by Ahadada Books in 2009.  She is a Soul Mountain Fellow and an alumna of the Fine Arts Work Center, The Watering Hole Retreat, and Frost Place.  She is also a member of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective.  Currently, she teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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