Lightning Strikes II features 22 pairings of poets and visual artists. The 44 contributors are distinguished by their exceptional talent and often world-renowned reputations. This diverse group includes visual artists, writers, actors, curators, musicians, editors, a Buddhist priest, and the Chief Attorney of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. They have received impressive recognitions for their creative efforts, including a Pulitzer Prize, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Golden Globe, Grammy awards, Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards, Guggenheim Fellowships, a MacArthur “Genius” Grant, roles as U.S., New York State, and San Francisco Poet Laureates, membership to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Pushcart Prizes, National Book Awards, a Pew Fellowship, and a National Humanities Medal, given by Barack Obama.

Poet and Artist pairings: Naomi Shihab Nye and John DiPaolo, Devorah Major and Mayme Kratz, Billy Collins and Gary Ruddell, Peter Coyote and Kai Samuels-Davis, Jane Hirshfield and Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Charlie Pendergast and Alex Kanevsky, Brenda Hillman and Vanessa Marsh, Tess Taylor and Ann Gale, Ada Limón and David Kelso, Tamsin Smith and Danae Mattes, Renny Pritikin and Maria Porges, Kathleen Brennan and Lisa Russell, Erik Campbell and Éric Antoine, David Whyte and Louise LeBourgeois, Dean Rader and Robert Kingston, Robert Hass and Edwige Fouvry, Louise Glück and Lisa McCutcheon, Matt Gonzalez and Ian Kimmerly, Tom Waits and Lou Ros, Sara Mumolo and Travis Collinson, Matthew Zapruder and Elizabeth Fox, Jack Hirschman and Matt Gonzalez.