Death Rattle was born out of a hunger for more opportunity. It was born out of a frustration with the lack of unaffiliated, independent outlets for up and coming writers to share with a live audience. We are pushing the festival into existence so that aspiring writers have a place alongside professionals to celebrate their literary endeavors, and so audiences have fresh and compelling ways to look at themselves and their world.

The 2017 Death Rattle Writers Festival has developed into a raucous four day celebration of the literary arts: poetry, flash fiction, one act plays, hip-hop, short fiction, true live stories and more. The festival rolls through a variety of venues in Nampa, Idaho on October 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th. 

We believe that the Death Rattle Writers Festival represents a reverberation of raw speech and artistic opportunity in Idaho; lending voice to those in our community who are given little chance to speak. We want to make the invisible, visible. We want to make the impossible, possible. We want to make the unstimulated, stimulated. 

Here is a look at Death Rattle 2017's featured poets, authors, and musical guests. 

Serena Bio Pic.jpg

Serena Chopra

2017 Keynote Poet


Serena is the author of This Human (Coconut Books, 2013) and Ic (Horse Less Press, 2017), as well as the chapbooks, Penumbra (Flying Guillotine Press, 2011) and Livid Season (Free Poetry, 2012). She is a 2016-2017 Fulbright Scholar for which she is composing a novel informed by her research with queer women in Bangalore, India. She is a multidisciplinary artist, working as a professional modern dancer and five-year company member with Evolving Doors Dance, as well as a visual artist, serving as a 2011-2013 resident artist at RedLine Gallery in Denver. She is the co-founder and an actor in the poet's theater group, GASP, and recently worked with Splintered Light Theater on a shadow/light production of her book, Ic, for which she composed the soundscape. She is currently working on a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Denver.


Feature: Quenton Baker

Quenton Baker is a poet and educator from Seattle. His current focus is the fact of blackness in American society. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Jubilat, Vinyl, Apogee, Poetry Northwest, The James Franco Review, and Cura and in the anthologies Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters and It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop. He has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Southern Maine and is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. He is a 2015-2016 Made at Hugo House fellow and the recipient of the James W. Ray Venture Project award from Artist Trust. He is the author of This Glittering Republic (Willow Books, 2016).


Feature: Indrani Sengupta

Indrani Sengupta is a poet from Kolkata, India, living in the Bay Area. Her work is interested in fairy tales, body horror, monsters and mental illness, obsession, and the loss of the “I.” Indrani has an MFA in poetry from Boise State University, and has had poems appear in The Feminist Wire and Fogged Clarity

Rachel Jensen Bio.jpg

Feature: Rachael Jensen

Rachael Jensen’s first chapbook, Free Junk, was published on Snoot Books. She lives in Portland, OR by way of Idaho.

Jayy Dodd.jpg

Feature: Jayy Dodd

jayy dodd is a blxk question mark from los angeles, california– now based on the internet. they are a professional writer & literary editor. their work has appeared / will appear in Broadly, The Establishment, Entropy, LitHub, BOAAT Press, Duende, & Nashville Review among others. they’re the author of [sugar in the tank]  (Pizza Pi Press 2016) & Mannish Tongues (Platypus Press 2017). their collection The Black Condition ft. Narcissus is forthcoming on Siren Song / CCM Press. they are a Pushcart Prize nominee, co-editor of Bettering American Poetry & a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow. their work has been featured in Teen Vogue & Entropy. find them talking trash online or taking a selfie.


Feature: Robert Lashley

A 2016 Jack Straw Fellow, Artist Trust Fellow, and nominee for a Stranger Genius Award, Robert Lashley has had poems published in Poetry Northwest, Seattle Review Of Books,  NAILED, GRAMMA,  and The Cascadia Review. His firs full-length book: The Homeboy Songs, was published by Small Doggies press in April 2014. His new book, Up South, was published in March of this year.


Feature: Mike Young

Mike Young is the author of two poetry collections: 2014’s Sprezzatura (Publishing Genius Press), and 2010’s We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough (Publishing Genius Press), which was selected by readers of The Believer as one of the Top 20 Poetry Books of 2010.

He is also the author of the 2010 story collection Look! Look! Feathers (Word Riot Press), which Publishers Weekly called "relevant, wise, and immensely enjoyable.” In 2015, Black Cake Records released his first album Imagine a Fire You Can Wear as a Coat.

For 10 years, Young has published and designed the free online/print literary magazine NOÖ Journal, and for 7 years he's run a small press called Magic Helicopter Press. He’s been a guest reader at Brown, Cal Poly, Emory, the Center for Fiction in NYC, and elsewhere. He lives in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

2017 DR schedule.jpg