Zeina Hashem Beck is a Lebanese poet. Her third poetry collection, O, won the 2023 Arab American Book Award for Poetry and was named a Best Book of the Year by Literary Hub and The New York Public Library. Her previous full-length collections are Louder than Hearts, winner of the 2016 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize, and To Live in Autumn, winner of the 2013 Backwaters Prize. She’s also the author of two chapbooks: 3arabi Song, winner of the 2016 Rattle Chapbook prize, and There Was and How Much There Was, a 2016 Laureate’s Choice selected by Carol Ann Duffy. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Poetry, Ploughshares, World Literature Today, The Nation, Academy of American Poets, and elsewhere. Zeina’s invented The Duet, a bilingual poetic form where English and Arabic exist separately and in relationship to each other. She’s the co-creator and co-host, with poet Farah Chamma, of Maqsouda, a podcast in Arabic about Arabic poetry. After a lifetime in Lebanon and a decade in Dubai, Zeina has recently moved with her family to California.
Marianne Chan grew up in Stuttgart, Germany, and Lansing, Michigan. She is the author of All Heathens (Sarabande Books, 2020), which was the winner of the 2021 GLCA New Writers Award. Her second collection, Leaving Biddle City, will be published in 2024. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, Best American Poetry, New England Review, Kenyon Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She teaches poetry and nonfiction at Old Dominion University.
Tom Drury is the author of five novels, two screenplays, and numerous short stories. He received an MFA from Brown University, and eleven chapters of his first novel, The End of Vandalism, appeared serially in The New Yorker. His short fiction and essays have also appeared in The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Harper’s, The Mississippi Review, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and the anthologies Best of BBC Radio’s Recent Short Fiction and Reverse Engineering II. His novels have been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, and German, and his work has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy in Berlin, and MacDowell. He’s taught fiction writing at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Bard College Berlin, the University of Leipzig, Hollins University, and Wesleyan University. His novel Pacific was longlisted for the National Book Award in 2013.
Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Ph.D., is the author of three books: the novel Big Girl, a New York Times Editors’ Choice and winner of the Balcones Fiction Prize and the Next Generation Indie Book Award for First Novel; a short story collection, Blue Talk and Love, winner of the Judith Markowitz Award from Lambda Literary; and The Poetics of Difference: Queer Feminist Forms in the African Diaspora, winner of the William Sanders Scarborough Prize from the MLA. In her writing, she explores the links between language, imagination, and bodily life in Black queer and feminist experience. Her work has earned honors and support from Bread Loaf, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Institute for Citizens and Scholars, the Mellon Foundation, the Center for Fiction, the NEA and others. Originally from Harlem, NY, she is Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University and lives in Washington DC.
Natalie Bakopoulos is the author of two novels: Scorpionfish (Tin House, 2020) and The Green Shore (Simon & Schuster, 2012). Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Tin House, VQR, The Iowa Review, The New York Times, Granta, MQR, The Mississippi Review, O. Henry Prize Stories, and various other publications. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, and in 2015 she was a Fulbright scholar in Athens. She’s an associate professor at Wayne State University in Detroit.
Poet, fiction writer and memoirist, Karen Brennan is the author of nine books including the forthcoming Rabbit in the Moon: The Mexico Stories, and, most recently, Television, a Memoir, a hybrid collection of micro-memoir and lyric essays. Her work has been appeared in anthologies from Norton, Penguin, Greywolf, Michigan, Georgia and Spuyten Duyvil, among others. She is a recipient of an AWP award in fiction, a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award and a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts. A Professor Emerita from The University of Utah, Brennan lives in Tucson where she paints, writes and ruminates abstractly and expressionistically.
Jonathan Escoffery is the author of the linked story collection, If I Survive You, a New York Times and Booklist Editor’s Choice, an IndieNext Pick, and an International Bestseller. If I Survive You was longlisted for the National Book Award, the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, the PEN/ Robert W. Bingham Prize For Debut Short Story Collection, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, the Aspen Words Literary Prize, and the Story Prize, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, the Southern Book Prize, and the California Independent Booksellers Alliance’s Golden Poppy Award. Jonathan is the recipient of American Short Fiction‘s 2023 Constellation Award for a Story Collection, The Paris Review’s 2020 Plimpton Prize for Fiction, the 2020 ASME Award for Fiction from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Oprah Daily, Electric Literature, Zyzzyva, American Short Fiction, AGNI, and elsewhere. He has received support and honors from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, Aspen Words, Kimbilio Fiction, the Anderson Center, and elsewhere. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Creative Writing MFA Program and was a 2021-2023 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.
Rita Banerjee is the author of the poetry collections Echo in Four Beats, which was named one of Book Riot’s “Must-Read Poetic Voices of Split This Rock 2018,” and Cracklers at Night. She is also editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, and author of the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps. She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard University and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and has taught creative writing, pedagogy, publishing, foreign language, and literature courses at Harvard, UC Berkeley, LMU Munich, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and elsewhere. She received a Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from the Derek Bok Center at Harvard University and is a recipient of the Tom and Laurel Nebel Fellowship, South Asia Initiative Grants, and Tata Grants among other awards. She serves as Editor-at-Large of the South Asian Avant-Garde and Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Her work appears in Academy of American Poets, Poets & Writers, PANK, Nat. Brut., Hunger Mountain, Tupelo Quarterly, Isele Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, VIDA, Vermont Public Radio, and elsewhere. She is the co-writer and co-director of Burning Down the Louvre, a forthcoming documentary film about race, intimacy, and tribalism in the United States and in France. She received a 2021-2022 Creation Grant from the Vermont Arts Council for her new memoir and manifesto Merchants of Cool: How Female Cool Could Not Be Sold, and one of the opening chapters of this memoir, “Birth of Cool” was a Notable Essay in the 2020 Best American Essays. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and Director of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
A 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, Brian Teare is the author of eight chapbooks and six critically acclaimed books, including Companion Grasses, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award, and Doomstead Days, winner of the Four Quartets Prize and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle, Kingsley Tufts, and Lambda Literary Awards. His most recent publication is the 2022 Nightboat reissue of The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven; his seventh book, Poem Bitten by a Man, is forthcoming in the fall of 2023. His honors include Lambda Literary and Publishing Triangle Awards, and fellowships from the NEA, the Pew Foundation, the American Antiquarian Society, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the MacDowell Colony. After over a decade of teaching and writing in the San Francisco Bay Area, and eight years in Philadelphia, he’s now an Associate Professor of Poetry at the University of Virginia. An editorial board member of Poetry Daily, he lives in Charlottesville, where he makes books by hand for his micropress, Albion Books.
Carter Sickels is the author of the novel The Prettiest Star (Hub City Press), which won the 2021 Ohioana Book Award in Fiction, the Southern Book Prize, and the Weatherford Award. It was selected as a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews and a Best LGBTQ Book of the Year by O Magazine. His debut novel The Evening Hour (Bloomsbury) was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award, the Lambda Literary Award for Debut Fiction, and the Publishing Triangle’s Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. The Evening Hour was recently adapted into a 2020 feature-length film by the same title, directed by Braden King and starring Lili Taylor, and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Oxford American, Poets & Writers, Guernica, Joyland, and Catapult. Carter is the recipient of the Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Award, and has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, MacDowell, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He teaches at Eastern Kentucky University.