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.”
Paula Whyman is the author of You May See a Stranger, a linked story collection that won praise from The New Yorker and a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Paula’s writing has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly, Ploughshares, VQR, and The Washington Post, and on NPR’s All Things Considered. Paula teaches 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 The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and The Studios of Key West, and Vice President of The MacDowell Colony Fellows Executive Committee. A music theater piece based on a story from her book is in development with composer Scott Wheeler. 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.
Christine Mallon received her B.A. and M.A. in English (with a creative writing concentration) from Seton Hall University. Since then, she has worked in the publishing industry and is currently an adjunct English professor at Seton Hall University.
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 is a writer from West Philly. She is a lover of literature and all other good things. She has a BFA in Creative Writing from University of the Arts, and she’s now pursing an MFA in Poetry at the University of Maryland.During the summer, she organizes an annual literary event called Paperback Poetry Festival, originally planted in 2018 in the backyard of West Philly’s sanctuary venue, the Sankofa House. Now, Glorious manages the general operations of the event’s attendant literary journal. She has taught for companies such as Bloomberg: Arts & Cultural Alliance and Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement’s Slam League, and has done writing and editorial work for Esquire Magazine, Motivos Magazine, and The Underground Pool. Glorious is one of 2019’s recipients of the Novelli Award for her essay “Understanding the Plural Self in Whitman’s Song of Myself.” Fiction and poetry forthcoming in literary journals will be announced soon!
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.
Olivia Loving is an MFA candidate in fiction and a teaching assistant at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She was born in New York City and raised in South Florida. Her main loves are writing, reading and crocodilians. She recently finished an internship with The Croc Docs in South Florida, where she assisted biologists with their work on American crocodiles and invasive reptiles. Her nonfiction work on obsessive-compulsive disorder has appeared in TheAtlantic.com and HuffPost. She’s on Twitter @olivialoving.
Sarah Gray received her MFA in Creative Writing from Converse College, where she also founded and served as Editor-in-Chief of, South 85, the program’s online literary journal. In recent years, she has served as the Associate Director of Converse’s MFA program and worked as an undergraduate adjunct instructor. Sarah lives and writes in Greer, SC, with her husband, daughter, giant dog, and two judgmental cats.
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, an English tutor at C2 Education, and an Adjunct Professor in English at Seton Hall.