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.”
Editor in Chief
Paula Whyman’s new book, Mad Land: Rediscovering the Wild, One Field at a Time, is forthcoming from Timber Press. She is the author of You May See a Stranger, a linked story collection that won praise from The New Yorker, a starred review in Publishers Weekly, and the Towson Prize for Literature. Paula’s writing has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly, Ploughshares, VQR, The Hudson Review, The Washington Post, and on NPR. Paula has taught in writers-in-schools programs through the Pen/Faulkner Foundation in Washington, DC and The Hudson Review in Harlem and the Bronx, New York. She is a fellow of MacDowell, Yaddo, VCCA, and The Studios of Key West, and Vice President of the MacDowell Fellows Executive Committee. She was recently awarded a 2022 Creativity Grant by the Maryland State Arts Council to support work on Mad Land. Before earning her MFA, Paula edited books for the American Psychological Association on topics ranging from the study of personality to PTSD among refugees.
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. She is Distinguished Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Hollins University.
Daisy Fried is the author of three books of poetry: Women’s Poetry: Poems and Advice (2013), named by Library Journal as one of the five best poetry books of the year, My Brother is Getting Arrested Again (2006), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and She Didn’t Mean to Do It (2000), winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Award. She has been awarded Guggenheim, Hodder and Pew Fellowships, a Pushcart Prize, the Ploughshares Cohen Award for best poem of the year, as well as Poetry magazine’s Editors’ Prize for a feature article, for Sing, God-Awful Muse! about reading Paradise Lost and breastfeeding. Her poems have appeared recently in Best American Poetry, the London Review of Books, Poetry, the Nation, the New Republic, American Poetry Review, Threepenny Review and elsewhere. Her writing about poetry has appeared in the New York Times, Poetry, Poetry (London), Poetry Ireland, Partisan Magazine and elsewhere. She serves on the board of the National Book Critics Circle, is a member of the faculty of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers, and lives in Philadelphia.
Contributing Editor at Large
Robert Anthony Siegel is the author of two novels, All the Money in the World and All Will Be Revealed. A collection of autobiographical essays, Criminals, is forthcoming from Counterpoint Press in the summer of 2018. His short stories, essays, and journalism have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian, The Paris Review, The Oxford American, and Tin House, among other venues. His web site is: www.robertanthonysiegel.com
Contributing Editor, Nonfiction
Dave Singleton is a writer, editor and author of three books, including CRUSH: Writers Reflect on Love, Longing, and the Lasting Power of Their First Celebrity Crush (Harper Collins 2016). He covers pop culture, relationships, health, and LGBT life, and is a regular columnist for Caring.com. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, PBS’s Next Avenue, AARP Media, Yahoo, MSN, the BBC, Washingtonian, Harper’s Bazaar, Huffington Post, OUT magazine, and Scoundrel Time.
His honors include the 2010 Media Industry Award for Outstanding Writing, the GLAAD Award for Outstanding Multimedia Journalism, and two National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association “Excellence in Online Journalism” awards.
Elisabeth Booze is originally from Colorado. She attended the University of Denver where she earned her B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. She then went on to join Teach For America and teach three years of reading and writing to the founding class of a charter school in Kansas City, Missouri. Booze then went on to earn her M.F.A. in Fiction from Hollins University and then returned to Kansas City to teach Creative Writing to her favorite high schoolers. She believes that writing, especially prose, is a medium through which stories that have long been silenced can be told, and that writing is (at best) an act of justice and love.
Ellie Paolini lives and teaches in Austin, Texas. In May of 2017, she earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Hollins University, where she served as a Teaching Fellow and was runner-up for both the Andrew James Purdy Prize in Short Fiction and the Melanie Hook Rice Award in the Novel. In 2014, she earned her B.A. in English and French and Francophone Studies from Santa Clara University. Ellie grew up on the central coast of California, a setting that has influenced much of her work, including the novel-in-stories she is currently revising. Some of her recent short stories appear in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine and Collateral Journal.
Glorious Piner BFA ’19 is currently in the MFA program at the University of Maryland focusing on poetry. She teaches Poetry at the University of Maryland and at the University of the Arts. She has two works published in Queerbook, the first-ever anthology released by the first LGBTQ+ bookstore in the country, Giovanni’s Room Bookstore’s attendant press. You can find more of Glorious’ work in Prolit Magazine and Toho Journal. Soon, you’ll also be able to read her work in forthcoming issues of Conduit Magazine, the Florida Review and the American Poetry Review. Glorious is finishing up the first season of a poetry podcast, co-hosting another poetry podcast, curating an anthology of American sonnets, and resurrecting, reshaping and reimagining Paperback Literary Journal. You can follow @gloriouspiner on every relevant social media platform for updates on the release of projects and forthcoming published works.
Heather Hughes is a Miami native relocated, to her unending surprise, to Somerville. Her poems appear in The Adroit Journal, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Vinyl Poetry, and Whiskey Island Magazine, among others. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her chapbook was a 2016 finalist for The Atlas Review Chapbook Series. Heather is also a writer for Mass Poetry online, and her book reviews have been featured in venues such as The Rumpus. She MFA-ed at Lesley University. Heather can often be found using antiquated machinery to make inky letterpress messes. She is dedicated to hand-typesetting and blockcarving, and her printwork focuses on poetry postcards and broadsides, including commissions for the James Webb Space Telescope Art Project and the Cambridge Public Library Poetry Reading Series. She maintains an alternate life in academic publishing, and she never outgrew her science fiction and fantasy obsession. Find her online at birdmaddgirl.com.
Joshua Zeitler is a poet, playwright, and theatre artist hailing from the small town of Alma, Michigan. He received a B.A. in English from Alma College, where he is currently pursuing an MFA in Poetry. He serves on the Board of Directors for his community theatre, helped found the Blush Theatre Company to produce the work of local playwrights like himself, and pays his bills by working at his favorite independent bookstore, Ballyhoo Books.
Meghana Mysore, from Portland, Oregon, is an MFA candidate in creative writing at Hollins University, where she is a teaching fellow and graduate assistant. The recipient of fellowships and support from the Tin House Winter Workshop, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and The Rona Jaffe Foundation, Meghana is also the second-place winner in prose in the 2021 Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Annual Contest and the runner-up for the 2021 Melanie Hook Rice Award in Creative Nonfiction. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in The Yale Review, Boston Review, Roxane Gay’s The Audacity, The Rumpus, Indiana Review, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. You can find her at www.meghanamysore.com or on Twitter @MysoreMeghana.
Francesca Phillippy received her MA in English with a concentration in Fiction writing in 2015 from Seton Hall University. She is the current Associate Director of Project Acceleration and an Adjunct Professor in English at Seton Hall.
Maia Siegel’s poetry is published or forthcoming in Poetry London, The Bennington Review, Rattle, and elsewhere. She attends Yale University.