The TypewriterGirls

Performer/Artist/Collaborator Bios

sandra-beasleySandra Beasley is the author of I Was the Jukebox, winner of the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize, selected by Joy Harjo and forthcoming from W. W. Norton. Her first collection, Theories of Falling, won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize judged by Marie Howe. Honors include the Friends of Literature Award from the Poetry Foundation, the Maureen Egen Exchange Award from Poets & Writers, and fellowships to the Sewanee Writer’s Conference, VCCA, and the Millay Colony.(Sandra appeared in TypewriterGirls Gone Biblical and TypewriterGirls Save the Libraries)

nancyNancy Krygowski is a poet, author of Velocity (Pitt Poetry Series) and Assistant Artistic Director of Gist Street.  She’s received grants from the PA Council on the Arts and from the Pittsburgh Foundation, plus residencies at the Jentel Foundation and The Kimmel Nelson Harding Center for the Arts.  She is an adult literacy instructor in Pittsburgh.

phatmandeePhat Man Dee: Some call her the Peggy Lee of punk, some call her an intergalactic juggernaut of love, you may call her Phat Man Dee, cosmic jazz chanteuse. Her original tunes pull from her experience in vaudeville and sideshow to create originally classic jazz with just a twist of comedic burlesque.

christiane-dChristiane D, poet, singer, songwriter, visual artist, playwright, cultural advocate, hotel queen…instigator. Christiane D, performs with Soma Mestizo, global dub rebels, has produced various music events with Element Five and received a Sprout Fund grant to produce two MINI m music festivals, is co-founder and former Executive Director of Sun Crumbs, a trans-cultural multi-arts non-profit, and has received a 2003 PCA Fellowship for World/Jazz/Blues musical composition. She was a recipient of a 2002 40 under 40 award and spoke at the 2002 annual Allegheny Conference.

dave-doyleDave Doyle: Fire breather, magician, escape artist, comedian, and more! He is a TypewriterGirl favorite!

nakaNothing Against Kan Achieve (NAKA) Entertainment is a youth dance company located in Pittsburgh, PA specializing in Hip Hop, Contemporary, and Theatrical performances. If you haven’t heard the name NAKA before, listen carefully, you will because their popularity and success is growing fast

seanSean Collier is a writer, performer and comedian living in Pittsburgh. His columns can be found in Pittsburgh Magazine, Pittsburgh Sports Report, and at; he can also be heard as the film critic for the WDVE Morning Show. As an improv comic, Sean performed at festivals throughout the East Coast; against everyone’s better judgment, he’s parlayed those skills into fledgling attempts at stand-up comedy, most frequently at the monthly Alternative Comedy Showcase at Lawrenceville’s Brillobox.


Mary Biddinger (poet) – Mary Biddinger is the author of Prairie Fever (Steel Toe Books, 2007), Editor-in-Chief of Barn Owl Review, and Editor of the Akron Series in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, The Iowa Review, Notre Dame Review, Ploughshares, and many other journals, and are forthcoming in The Laurel Review, Ninth Letter, and Weave Magazine. She is an Assistant Professor at The University of Akron, and teaches poetry writing in the NEOMFA: Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. She recently finished a book manuscript that reinvents Saint Monica, patron of wives in bad marriages, as a contemporary figure coming of age in the rust belt Midwest.

Mary is officially the High Priestess of the Typewritergirls’ Collective. She had read, performed, and danced her ass off at several TypewriterGirls’ events in the past, and we plan on having her back many times in the future.


CA Conrad is the son of white trash asphyxiation whose childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift. He escaped to Philadelphia where he lives and writes with the PhillySound poets. His latest book, The Book of Frank (Chax Press, 2009) received the Gil Ott Book Award. He is also the author of Deviant Propulsion (Soft Skull Press, 2006), (Soma)tic Midge (FAUX Press, 2008), and two forthcoming books, advanced ELVIS course (Soft Skull Press), and a collaboration with poet Frank Sherlock titled THE CITY REAL AND IMAGINED: Philadelphia Poems (Factory School Press). He invites you to visit him online at


Huang Xiang is one of the greatest poets of 20th century China and a master calligrapher. Huang Xiang spent over twelve years in Chinese prisons and endured much suffering for writing his lyrical, free-spirited poetry and for his advocacy of human rights in China.  His poetry and calligraphy is internationally recognized and he has performed for crowds numbering in the thousands. Fifteen of his books have been published in several languages. His latest book in English is A Lifetime is a Promise to Keep: Poems of Huang Xiang, and is available from Berkeley Press. Huang Xiang’s mission today is to use his art to build a bridge between east and west and to promote a universal humanity. Having completed a residency with City of Asylum Pittsburgh, Huang Xiang and his wife, the writer Zhang Ling, live in New York City.


Patrick Rosal is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Uprock Headspin Scramble and Dive, which won the Asian American Writers’ Workshop Members’ Choice Award, and most recently My American Kundiman, winner of the Book Award in Poetry from the Association of Asian American Studies. His chapbook, Uncommon Denominators, won the Palaquin Poetry Series award from the University of South Carolina, Aiken. His poems and essays are forthcoming or have been published widely in journals and anthologies including Harvard Review, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, North American Review, Pindledyboz, Black Renaissance Noir, Brevity, Columbia, and The Beacon Best. His work has been honored by the annual Allen Ginsberg Awards, the James Hearst Poetry Prize, the Arts and Letters Prize, and Best of the Net, among others.


J. Tracy Mortimore enjoys a diverse career performing extensively on modern and historical double basses violone. A native of Toronto, he was a long-standing member of L’ensemble Denis Sching and co-founder of the flute and double bass duo Diaphony. He also appeared with New Music Concerts, Fifth Species, and Continuum. As an Early Music specialist, Mr. Mortimore has worked with Santa Fe Pro Musica, Washington Bach Consort, Musica Pro Rara, Rebel, Tafelmusik, Opera Atelier, Toronto Consort, Wolftrap Opera, Chatham Baroque, Folger Consort, and Aradia Ensemble, with whom he has made over 40 recordings.  Since moving to Pittsburgh in 2000, Tracy has devoted an ever-increasing amount of energy to contemporary classical and jazz movements as an improviser and composer, performing regularly with the jazz trio The Deciders, freestyle sextet Dust and Feathers, and Syrinx Emsemble, a unique quartet project focused upon direct interaction with the avian world. Mr. Mortimore has performed in New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, England, Japan, Italy, and across the United States and Canada.


Adam Atkinson (poet) is a writer, comedian, and the Executive Director of Open Thread, a local arts service organization. Born and raised in Western Pennsylvania, Adam channels his fondness for Pittsburgh into; The Steelers and raising the profile of young artists and writers in the tri-state area through Open Thread’s events and publications. In his free time, Adam is actually employed as a creative writing and literary theory instructor at a high school for the arts in Beaver county. When Adam grows up, he wants to be a poet, a professor, a comedy writer, a comedy actor, or the director of an arts organization in Bizarro Pennsylvania, where state funding for the arts flows like the mighty Allegheny.


Steve Pellegrino has been creating experimental and inter-disciplinary performance works since 1975. He has been the recipient of numerous grants, commissions, and residencies.  In March of 2005 he attended a residency with composer/saxophonist Henry Threadgill at the Atlantic Arts Center. Since the early ’80′s he has been engaged in an ongoing, multi-sectional work called DRYWALL. The impetus behind this series is his bread labor as plasterer and his shamanistic role as an artist. An entire mythos and culture is built on this construction milieu, utilizing tools and process as the basis for rituals, music and dance/movement sections.  These performance pieces range from solo works to full scale operatic spectacles not necessarily confined to theatrical spaces.


Dave English combines puppetry and low brow art to create humorous performances and exhibits. He moved back to his home of Pittsburgh, PA from Prague, CZ in 2005 and re-immersed himself as an artist. Dave is proud to be a stop on Pittsburgh’s shoestring network of do-it-yourself creative culture.


Jay Robinson teaches English Composition at the University of Akron. He is Co-Editor-In-Chief/Reviews Editor of Barn Owl Review. His poems have appeared in Anti, Mars Hill Review, Plainsongs, Softblow, Tar River Poetry, and Weave. His prose has been published in Agni and Poetry.


Ellen McGrath Smith teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. Her poetry has appeared in Kestrel, Oranges & Sardines, CQ, 5 a.m., Oxford Magazine, Pig Iron, The Best of the Prose Poem, Pearl, Zone 3, Southern Poetry Review, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Sistersong, and others. Her critical work has appeared in Sagetrieb, The Denver Quarterly, The Pennsylvania Review, American Book Review, and The Pittsburgh Quarterly. She has received the Rainmaker Award in Poetry from Zone 3, The Academy of American Poets Prize, the Ascher Montandon Prize, and an honorable mention in the Lynda Hull awards (Crazyhorse, 2004). She is reviews editor for Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics and received a 2007 Individual Artist Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.


The Hodgepodge Society (comedy) – Sir Joseph Lyons and Lord Robert Isenberg are the founding members of The Hodgepodge Society, a comedy troupe based out of Pittsburgh. None of the members of The Hodgepodge Society have ever had anything other than a perfectly professional relationship with any of the Typewriter Girls. They appeared in Tempest – Beneath the BumRush.


The Hood Gang (music) – high-concept progressive glam party crunk. The greatest party band that time has ever known rocked out at God vs Poet, then entertained the TypewriterGirls at their not-so-humble abode, for yet another rockin’ performance and a roller boogie party!


TBA Records – Partners in our first Pittsburgh show, Tempest – Beneath the BumRush, run by the ever-fantastical Spat and Swifty. The TypewriterGirls also featured at their “An Evening of Random Bullshit” last November.


Michelle Layden Stoner (poet) – Michelle is the author of Flats and Riots. She is great sexy fun, regardless or whether or not she finds herself in a train graveyard. She first appeared with The TypewriterGirls in A Cabaret of Not-Quite Criminally Insane Poets, God vs Poet, and Avoiding the Pitfalls of the Bohemian Lifestyle.


Angela Bayout (poet) – Angela Bayout has not only read at multiple TypewriterGirls shows, but continues to grace the TypewriterGirls shows with her beauty and craft-savvy. Angela read at Tempest – Beneath the BumRush, Tempest 2 – In the Beginning Was the Word, and Poetry With Manners, and appeared as the lovely Exquisite Corpse Girl and Salome in God vs Poet.


Melissa Andre (poet) – Melissa’s poetry has appeared in YAWP, The Taproot Literary Review, Pittsburgh City Paper, and The New Yinzer and was selected as a Commended Prize winner in the Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse. She performed at Tempest 2 – In the Beginning Was the Word.


DH Productions (comedy) -The lovely lady comedy duo known as DH Productions performed in A Cabaret of Not-Quite Criminally Insane Poets, and will be collaborating with TWG in the future, quite certainly.


Mizz J (music) – The sexy, sultry Mizz J first hypnotized us in A Cabaret of Not-Quite Criminally Insane Poets and God vs Poet.


Skot Jones (poet) – Skot, the last of the magicians, appeared in Poetry With Manners.


Jason Kirin has shocked and awed audiences at several TypewriterGirl shows, including Poetry with Manners, Cabaret of Not-Quite Criminally Insane Poets, and God vs Poet. He is often seen with men of extreme musical talent-the kind that can produce a symphony on a couple of old typewriters…yeah they’re bad ass.


Jonathan Laycheck (poet) – Jonathan appeared in Tempest 2 – In the Beginning was the Word and Poetry With Manners. If you know of anywhere else that Jonathan has appeared lately,please phone his parents. They are growing concerned.


Tait McKenzie (poet) – Tait spends his time hanging out in coffee shops and searching for clothing that resembles that of the Russian peasants. He performed in Tempest – Beneath the BumRush.


Molly Prosser (poet) – Molly earned her MFA in poetry from Carlow University and has appeared in Tempest 2 – In the Beginning Was the Word, and Poetry With Manners, Avoiding the Pitfalls of the Bohemian Lifestyle, and TypewriterGirls Gone Esoteric. Molly has also graciously lent us her electric kettle on occasion. She currently teaches English at Carlow University and is a fasion writer for ModCloth Magazine. She also finds it extremely difficult to stay in one country for more than six months at a time–it gets exhausting.


Janette Schafer (poet) – Janette is the author of Other Names and Places (LBF Books, 2004). She appeared in Tempest 2 – An Evening of Comedic and Poetic Miscellany and God vs Poet. She is also kicked ass at the improv comedy game “Poets.”


Sneaky (music) – Sneaky is definitely as rad as people say he is, and was certainly rad enough to appear in A Cabaret of Not-Quite Criminally Insane Poets. As the front man for The Hood Gang, he also appeared in God vs Poet.


Ringa Sunn (poet) – Ringa, a staunch comrade in the eternal quest for the monkey, and therefor always a TypewriterGirl at heart, appeared in Tempest 2 – In the Beginning was the Word.


Uke Skywalker and Tuba Fett (music) – The orchestral musical stylings of Uke Skywalker and Tuba Fett were heard in Poetry With Manners. They then returned triumphantly at our show at the Carnegie Library.


Shannon Spies (poet) – Shannon appeared in Tempest 2 – In the Beginning was the Word and Poetry With Manners. She recently completed a degree in Creative Writing at the University of Pittsburgh.


Christian Tsu-Raun (men’s rights activist) – Christian made everyone at A Cabaret of Not-Quite Criminally Insane Poets shout “I have a penis!”


Mihnea Vasilescu (photographer) – Mihnea has been the unofficial official photographer for The TypewriterGirls’ shows ever since Tempest 2 – In the Beginning Was the Word. He takes all those pictures of you dancing with and without your pants on.


Nicole Stemple – First Official TypewriterGirl Groupie. She is currently a Teaching Associate at Duqeusne University in the English Department. She is a lover of poetry, hot women, Uke Skywalker and TubaFett, dancing, and chaos. She often finds all of these things at TypewriterGirl Cabarets… which is why she loves us so.


Adam Mistick (photographer) – Adam is a devastatingly handsome and intimidatingly talented young fellow who did the photography for our show Poetry With Manners.

Rob Gray (Photographer and Naked DJ) – Sir Rob Gray acted as photographer and pants-off, dance-off dj for TypewriterGirls Gone Esoteric. With any luck he will be providing pics and jams for a many TWG shows to come!

Julianne Marie Dous – Julianne is Philadelphia’s dark cabaret darling and a good friend to the TypewriterGirls.  She is the founder and producer of the Philly Area Cabaret and an accomplished performer, singer, song-writer, pianist.

John Thomas Menesini (poet) – appeared in Tempest: Beneath the Bumrush. We hope to have him perform in another cabaret. We like John for many reasons–In addition to having published two collections of poetry (The Last Great Meat Million and EPITAPH), The TypewriterGirls have see John naked at KerouacFest 2006…one typewritergirl may have also been naked at the time…sitting at the bar and drinking a beer with beat filmmaker Baird Bryant…good times.

Daniel M. Shapiro (poet) – Daniel M. Shapiro has edited a lingerie catalog, broken his collarbone by jumping from a moving car, and been called “gorgeous” by Burt Reynolds. His poetry has appeared in a number of publications, including the Pittsburgh anthology “Along These Rivers.” His chapbook, “Teeth Underneath,” is available from Foothills Publishing. He graced us with his fabulous poetry, both containing monkeys and not containing monkeys, in God vs Poet.

Renee Alberts lives on a mountain in Pittsburgh with her partner and two cats, Fellini and Pushpaw. From there, she listens to rivers and shortwave and translates the conversations into poetry, sound and collage. She is the author of the recently published No Water (Speed and Briscoe, 2009). She collaborates across mediums with some fine wordsmiths, musicians, and dancers, and has organized numerous poetry and music events, including the Sunday Poetry and Reading Series at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh.

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