Andrea Hollander is the author of four full-length poetry collections, including Landscape with Female Figure: New & Selected Poems, 1982 – 2012, a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Her many other honors include two Pushcart Prizes, the D. H. Lawrence Fellowship, the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Hollander lives in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches writing workshops. Her website is www.andreahollander.net.
Ben Greenman is a New York Times-bestselling author who has written both fiction and nonfiction. He is the author of several acclaimed works of fiction, including the novel The Slippage and the short-story collections What He’s Poised to Do and Superbad. He is the co-author of the bestselling Mo' Meta Blues with Questlove; the bestselling I Am Brian Wilson with Brian Wilson; Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You? with George Clinton; and more. His fiction, essays, and journalism have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Paris Review, Zoetrope: All Story, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere, and have been widely anthologized. His most recent book is Emotional Rescue, a collection of music essays; his next book will be Dig If You Will The Picture, a meditation on the life and career of Prince.
Bob Holman is a powerfully influential force in American letters, especially in the areas of Spoken Word, Slam, and performative poetry. He has edited or co-edited numerous anthologies, including The United States of Poetry, Aloud: Voice from the Nuyorican Poets Café, and Spoken Word Revolution, and was the co-founder of Mouth Almighty Records. Recent film and video work include the PBS production of “Language Matters with Bob Holman,” "DeAf Jam,” a documentary of American sign language poets, and “On the Road: Three Documentaries on Endangered Languages.” Recent collections of poetry include Sing This One Back to Me and Picasso in Barcelona. He lives in New York City.
Carole Burns’s collection, The Missing Woman and Other Stories, was awarded the 2015 John C. Zacharis First Book Award by Ploughshares. Burns also writes book reviews and author interviews for the Washington Post. Her non-fiction book, Off the Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings, and Everything in Between, published by W.W. Norton in 2008, was based on interviews with 43 writers including A.S. Byatt, Anthony Doerr, Edward P. Jones, and Jhumpa Lahiri. She’s working on a novel.
Caroline Leavitt is the author of the Indie Next Pick Cruel Beautiful World, the New York Times Bestsellers Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You, and 8 other novels. A book critic for The Boston Globe, People Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle, she teaches novel writing online at UCLA Writers Program Extension and at Stanford. Her essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times’ Modern Love, Real Simple, The Millions, and more. She can be reached at www.carolineleavitt.com.
Carolyn Ferrell is the author of the story collection Don't Erase Me, which won the L.A. Book Times Award for First Fiction. She is a recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bronx Council on the Arts. Ferrell teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in New York with her husband and children.
A graduate of The Ohio State University and Boston University, Carolyn Oliver lives in Massachusetts with her family. Her work has appeared in Tin House’s "Open Bar," Midway Journal, America, matchbook, and Slush Pile Magazine, among other publications. Links to more of her work can be found at carolynoliver.net
Carolyne Wright co-edited, along with M.L. Lyons and Eugenia Toledo, the anthology Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse Press Human Rights Series, 2015). Her other poetry collections include Mania Klepto: The Book of Eulene (Turning Point, 2011); and A Change of Maps (Lost Horse Press, 2006). She is currently an affiliate faculty member for the Antioch University Los Angeles MFA Program and lives in Seattle, Washington.
Charlee Brodsky, a fine art documentary photographer and a professor of photography at Carnegie Mellon University, describes her work as dealing with social issues and beauty. In 2012, she was chosen by Pittsburgh Center for the Arts as Pittsburgh’s Artist of the Year. Her awards include the Tillie Olsen Award with writer Jim Daniels for their book, Street; an Emmy with the film team that created the documentary Stephanie, which is based on her friend’s life with breast cancer; the Pearl of Hope award given by Sojourner House for her work with students in the Pittsburgh community; and two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowships. Additionally, the Society for Photographic Education, Mid-Atlantic Region, named her the 2014 Honored Educator. Her notable books include I Thought I Could Fly… Portraits of Anguish, Compulsion, and Despair, a work that features her photographs and narratives of mental illness; and Knowing Stephanie, authored with Stephanie Byram and J. Matesa. You can find her at www.charleebrodsky.com.
Cristiane Mohallem is a Brazilian artist living in São Paulo. She received a degree in Clinical Psychology from the Catholic University of São Paulo in 2000. For seven years, she coordinated a Play, Art, and Therapy program at Rim e Hipertensão Hospital, UNIFESP. This project led her to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she earned a MAAT in 2008. There she discovered the world of visual arts, and developed a special interested in painting ateliers. In 2012, she held her first solo exhibition at the DConcept Escritório de Arte in São Paulo. In 2014, she stopped working as a psychotherapist to focus exclusively on her art studio work. Her visual works have been exhibited in Brazil, the United States, Germany and Italy.
Her works seeks the essence of natural elements—mangrove, tree, stone, animal—through the language of embroidering and drawing.
Daisy Fried is the author of three books of poetry, Women's Poetry: Poems and Advice , My Brother is Getting Arrested Again, and She Didn't Mean to Do It, all published by University of Pittsburgh Press. She's received Guggenheim, Hodder and Pew Fellowships, is a member of the faculty of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers, and lives in Philadelphia.
Dana Sachs is the author of four books -- the novels If You Lived Here and The Secret of the Nightingale Palace, and two books of nonfiction, The Life We Were Given: Operation Babylift, International Adoption, and The Children of War in Vietnam and The House on Dream Street: Memoir of an American Woman in Vietnam. Her articles, reviews, and essays have appeared in many publications, including National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, Travel and Leisure Family, The International Herald Tribune, and Mother Jones. She teaches in the Honors College at UNC-Wilmington and is currently at work on a book about the refugee situation in Greece.
Dave Singleton is a writer and author of three books, including CRUSH: Writers Reflect on Love, Longing, and the Lasting Power of Their First Celebrity Crush (2016). He covers pop culture, relationships, health, and LGBT life. His published LGBT work includes a twenty-two part multimedia report on the Stonewall Riots’ 40th Anniversary, for which he won three national awards, including the GLAAD Award for Multimedia Journalism; a feature on the 30th Anniversary of AIDS in Washington, D.C.; and an investigative piece on LGBT housing for older adults, which won a National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association award. He lives in Washington, D.C. and teaches at The Writer’s Center. Visit his website for more of his work, and follow him on Twitter @DCDaveSingleton.
David L. Ulin
David L. Ulin is the author, most recently, of the novel Ear to the Ground. A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, his other books include Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles, shortlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, and the Library of America’s Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a California Book Award.
Erica Baum, New York. Recent museum exhibitions include Photo-Poetics: An Anthology, Kunsthalle Berlin and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Reconstructions: Recent Photographs and Video from the Met Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include The Following Information, Bureau, New York, 2016, and Stanzas, Galerie Crevecoeur, Paris, 2015. Selected biennials include AGORA 4th Athens Biennale, Athens, 2013, and the 30th Bienal de São Paulo: The Imminence of Poetics, São Paulo, Brazil, 2012. Publications include Erica Baum, The Naked Eye, 2015 Crèvecœur/œ Paris & Bureau New York, and second edition hard cover Dog Ear, 2016 Ugly Duckling Presse.
Hillary Jordan is the author of the novels Mudbound (2008) and When She Woke (2011) and the digital short “Aftermirth” (2012), all published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. The two novels have been translated into ten languages. Mudbound won multiple awards, including the Bellwether Prize for socially conscious fiction. The film adaptation made its world premiere at Sundance in January 2017 and will be released this fall.
Hillary has a BA from Wellesley College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, along with half the writers in America.
Janice Shapiro is the author of Bummer and Other Stories (Soft Skull Press, 2010). Her stories and comics have been published in The Rumpus, Catapult, The North American Review, 52 Stories, The Santa Monica Review, Everyday Genius, Real Pants, and elsewhere. She is finishing a graphic memoir, Crushable–My Life In Crushes From Ricky Nelson to Viggo Mortensen. Janice lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and mostly well-behaved dog.
Jeanne Larsen is the author of two books of poetry, Why We Make Gardens [& other Poems] (Mayapple Press, 2010) and James Cook in Search of Terra Incognita (AWP series winner; U. of Virginia Press, 1979), as well as two of literary translations, Willow, Wine, Mirror, Moon: Women’s Poems from Tang China (BOA Editions, Ltd. 2005) and Brocade River Poems: Selected Works of the Tang Dynasty Courtesan Xue Tao (Princeton U. Press 1987). She has also published an e-novel, and three print novels. She teaches in the MFA and BA programs of the Jackson Center for Creative Writing at Hollins University.
Jim Daniels’ next books of poems, Rowing Inland, Wayne State University Press, and Street Calligraphy, Steel Toe Books, will both be published in 2017. He is the Thomas Stockham University Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University.
Johnny Horton lives in Seattle where he walks dogs and teaches literature to veterans. He also teaches poetry classes at Hugo House and directs the University of Washington's summer creative writing program in Rome. He's recently published poems in Poetry Northwest, The Los Angeles Review, CutBank, Horsethief, and City of the Big Shoulders: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry.
Julie Upshur graduated summa cum laude from Austin Peay State University. She is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing at Hollins University, where her thesis combines her love for fiction and her love for the intense three-phase equestrian sport of eventing. She makes her home in Nashville, TN, with her parents and nine brothers and sisters.
Kamden Ishmael Hilliard
Kamden is a reader at Gigantic Sequins, an editor at Jellyfish Magazine, and goes by Kam. They got posi vibes from The Ucross Foundation, The Davidson Institute, and Callaloo. The author of two chapbooks: DISTRESS TOLERANCE (Magic Helicopter Press, 2016) and PERCEIVED DISTANCE FROM IMPACT (Black Lawrence Press, 2017), Kam stays busy. Find their work in The Black Warrior Review, West Branch, Salt Hill, and other sunspots.
Karen E. Bender
Karen E. Bender is the author of the story collection Refund, which was a Finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction in 2015 and shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize. She is also the author of the novels A Town of Empty Rooms and Like Normal People. Her fiction has appeared in magazines including The New Yorker, Granta, Ploughshares, Guernica, The Harvard Review, and Zoetrope and has been reprinted in Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, and New Stories from the South; she has also won two Pushcart prizes. Her stories have been read on the Selected Shorts program on NPR; she has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rona Jaffe Foundation. She is Distinguished Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Hollins University.
Mariya Taher has worked in the gender violence field for nearly nine years in the areas of research, policy, program development, and direct service. She received her Master in Social Work from San Francisco State University in 2010 and has worked on the issue of domestic violence at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.; Asian Women’s Shelter; and Saheli, Support and Friendship for South Asian Women and Families. She was a 2014 Women’s Policy Institute Fellow for The Women’s Foundation of California and an adjunct lecturer at San Francisco State University. In 2015, she cofounded Sahiyo, a transnational organization with the mission to empower Asian communities to end female genital cutting.
Mariya also graduated with her MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University in 2016, where she received the 2014 Graduate School of Arts & Social Sciences Dean’s Merit Scholarship and the 2016 Lesley University Graduate Student Leadership Award. She writes both fiction and nonfiction and has contributed articles and stories to Huffington Post, The Fair Observer, Brown Girl Magazine, Solstice Literary Magazine, The Express Tribune, The San Francisco Examiner, The Flexible Persona, Cecile’s Writer’s Magazine, and more.
Mark Svenvold, author of Empire Burlesque and Big Weather, teaches creative writing at Seton Hall University and lives in New York City.
Mebane Robertson earned his B.A. from The College of William and Mary and his Ph.D. from Fordham University. He’s the author of two books of poetry, Signal from Draco (2007) and An American Unconscious (2016), both from Commonwealth Books. His poems have appeared in Guernica, The William and Mary Review, The Journal, Beloit Poetry Journal, Able Muse, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn.
Paul Lisicky is the author of five books: The Narrow Door (a New York Times Editors' Choice), Unbuilt Projects, The Burning House, Famous Builder, and Lawnboy. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, Conjunctions, Fence, The New York Times, The Offing, Ploughshares, Tin House, and in many other magazines and anthologies. His awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he was twice a Fellow. He teaches in the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden. In Fall 2018, he will be the visiting writer at the University of Texas-Austin.
Peter Trachtenberg is the author of 7 Tattoos (1997), The Book of Calamities: Five Questions About Suffering and Its Meaning (2008), and Another Insane Devotion (2012), a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. His essays, journalism, and short fiction have been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s, BOMB, TriQuarterly, O: The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times Travel Magazine, A Public Space, the L.A. Review of Books, the Virginia Quarterly Review, and StoryQuarterly. His commentaries have been broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered. Trachtenberg is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh and part of the core faculty at the Bennington Writers Seminars. His awards include Guggenheim and Whiting Fellowships and the Nelson Algren Award for Short Fiction. The Book of Calamities was given the 2009 Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Ralph Waldo Emerson Award “for scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity.”
Philip Hoover was born in Chicago, Illinois to poets Maxine Chernoff and Paul Hoover. A graduate of the UT Austin MFA film program, Philip has worked for McSweeney’s Publishing in San Francisco, as a correspondent for the Oakland Tribune, and currently as script coordinator on the CW series iZombie. His comedy web-series Language Academy will be out in March, 2017.
Rachel Hadas is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, essays, and translations. Her latest poetry volume is Questions in the Vestibule (Northwestern Univ. Press 2016), and she is currently completing verse translations of Euripides' two Iphigenia plays. A Board of Governors Professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, she is currently working with her husband, the video artist Shalom Gorewitz, on a poetry and video collaborative project: The Rachel and Shalom Show.
Rachel León is a writer, activist, and social worker. She is a contributor for Chicago Review of Books and a Fiction Editor for Arcturus. She interns for a literary agent and is currently working on a novel.
Regie Cabico won the Nuyorican Poets Café and produces Capturing Fire: A Queer Spoken Word Slam. His work appears in Poetry, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, 2 Bridges Review & Painted Bride Quarterly, among others. He coedited Flicker & Spark (Low Brow Press), which received a Lambda Literary Award Nomination. He received the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award and A New York Innovative Theater Award for his work on Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. He resides in Washington, DC, where he is Resident Teaching Artist at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Susan Gubernat’s second collection, The Zoo at Night, won the Prairie Schooner poetry book prize from the University of Nebraska and will be published in September 2017. Her previous book, Flesh, won the Marianne Moore Prize and was published by Helicon Nine Editions. She has published a chapbook (Analog House: A Cabinet of Curiosities, Finishing Line Press), and a number of her poems have appeared in literary journals, including Cimarron Review, Crab Orchard Review, Gargoyle, Michigan Quarterly, and Pleiades. She has been a fellow in residence at MacDowell, Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Arts, and the Millay Colony and is the recipient of fellowships from both the New York and the New Jersey state arts councils. She teaches in the English Department of California State University, East Bay
Suzanne Bottelli’s work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, The Literary Review, and Prairie Schooner, among others, and is forthcoming in The Collagist. Her chapbook, The Feltville Formation (Finishing Line Press), was published in 2015. She teaches Humanities and Writing at The Northwest School in Seattle, WA.
Terese Svoboda's recent books of poetry are Professor Harriman's Steam Air-Ship (Eyewear Press, 2016) and When The Next Big War Blows Down The Valley: Selected and New Poems (Anhinga Press, 2015). Her nonfiction book, Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet, was published by Schaffner Press in 2016.
Thomas Rayfiel is the author of seven novels, most recently In Pinelight, which the Minneapolis Star-Tribune called "a tour-de-force" and Bookforum named "one of this year's hidden gems," and Genius, which Kirkus Reviews called "...morbidly funny conversation." More information about him can be found at thomasrayfiel.com.
Tim Kellner was born in Dresden, Germany. He was a member of the boys' choir Dresdner Kreuzchor and worked for fifteen years as a professional singer. He studied graphic design at the Fachschule fuer angewandte Kunst Heiligendamm and the University of Wismar, specializing in experimental photography. He was an intern in London for Creative Camera.
In 2004, Tim founded the Network for New Subjective Photography, co-curating the show "Refusal Of Reality" and was granted a scholarship by the city of Rostock. His received a travel grant to Australia from the Government of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in 2005. He was the first International Visiting Research Fellow at Sydney College of the Arts in 2008. He was awarded the Rostocker Kunstpreis for photography in 2009.
Tim is a founding member of the Artist Collective SCHAUM. SCHAUM has won prizes and grants for its conceptual art, including the competition for a memorial for the pogrom of Rostock-Lichtenhagen in 2016. Tim has been exhibiting and curating shows continuously for the past 20 years throughout Germany and abroad. He teaches photography at the art school of Rostock, Germany, where he lives by the Baltic Sea.
Timothy Denevi’s first book is Hyper (Simon & Schuster, 2014). His writing has recently appeared in The Normal School and Gulf Coast, and online in New York Magazine, The Atlantic, Time, and American Short Fiction. This summer he reported on the Republican and Democratic National Conventions for Literary Hub. He’s an assistant professor in the MFA program at George Mason University, where he teaches nonfiction. He’s currently working on a book about Hunter S. Thompson. You can follow him on Twitter at @TimDenevi.
Tony Eprile grew up in South Africa, where his father was the editor of the first multiracial mass-circulation newspaper, The Golden City Post, and of Drum Magazine. His novel, The Persistence of Memory, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and won the Koret Jewish Book prize. He recently completed a memoir about his family’s move from South Africa to England, God Save Your Bloody Queen, and is working on a new novel. His articles and book reviews have appeared in The Nation, Gourmet, the Washington Post, The New York Times, and elsewhere, and his photographs have appeared in a variety of magazines. He lives in Bennington, VT.
Tony Mochama is a poet and lawyer-turned-journalist who is a popular columnist with The Standard Media Group, one of Kenya's big media organizations. A pioneer Morland Miles Scholar in 2014, Mochama has won multiple literary awards for his novellas, including the Burt Prize twice (2013 & 2016). Tony enjoys traveling and has been an SLS participant on three continents. He is also the author of a book of nocturnal essays about his native city, Nairobi: A Night Guide through the City in the Sun.
Tracy O'Neill is the author of The Hopeful. In 2015, she was named a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, long-listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan Prize, and was a Narrative Under 30 finalist. In 2012, she was awarded the Center for Fiction's Emerging Writers Fellowship. Her fiction has appeared in Granta, LitHub, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Literarian, New World Writing, Narrative, and Guernica. She has published nonfiction in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Bookforum, Rolling Stone, Grantland, Vice, The Guardian, VQR, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her column Body Language appears in Catapult. She currently teaches at the City College of New York and is pursuing a PhD at Columbia University.
Valerie Block is the author of three novels of contemporary comic fiction, Was It Something I Said? (SoHo Press, 1998), None of Your Business (Ballantine Books, 2003), and Don’t Make a Scene (Ballantine Books, 2007). Her newest novel, Quid Pro Quo, is an ancient historical thriller about status anxiety and the corruption of power, set in the court of Caligula, the third Emperor of Rome. Born and raised in New York City, Block received a BA from Barnard College and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She has been a fellow at Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers, and a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome. She lives with her husband and son in Montclair, NJ, teaches at the Adult School of Montclair, blogs at www.valerieblock.com, and tweets at @vblock12.