Contributors to Issue X
Albert Abonado is the Director of Adult Programs at Writers & Books. Every Thursday he hosts Flour City Yawp on WAYO 104.3FM, a radio show dedicated to poetry and poetry-related news. He is the author of This Is Superbook (H_NGM_N Books). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Big Lucks, Boston Review, The Margins, Pleiades, LIT, and more. He lives in Rochester, NY, with his wife and a hamster.
Vidhu Aggarwal grew up in the Southern US. A Kundiman fellow, she is the founding editor of SPECS. Her work has recently appeared in The Boston Review, VIDA, As[I]Am, and The Missing Slate. Her book of poems The Trouble with Humpadori (2016) received the Editor’s Choice Prize from The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective. She teaches transnational studies and poetry at Rollins College.
Nat Akin’s fiction has appeared in The Missouri Review, Tampa Review, Ecotone, Ascent, and Litro. More recently, his story “Reno” was published as the Florida Review’s 2015 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award winner, and another was a finalist for the Mid-American Review’s Sherwood Anderson Prize. A previous recipient of one of two annual Tennessee Arts Commission Fellowships in Literary Arts, he lives in his hometown of Memphis with his wife, Molly, and their two children.
Lindsey D. Alexander
Lindsey D. Alexander’s poems are forthcoming in The Southern Review and Arts & Letters. In 2015, a poem of hers won the Devil’s Lake Driftless Prize. In 2014, she was a scholar at the National Endowment for the Humanities Institute’s “Reconsidering Flannery O’Connor.” She produces Story of My Life, a podcast that asks interesting guests aged over seventy how they came to be who they are and where they are. For more, visit ldalexander.com.
Eloisa Amezcua is an Arizona native. Her poetry and translations are published or forthcoming from Poetry, The Journal, Prelude, and others. She is the author of On Not Screaming (Horse Less Press) and the founding editor of The Shallow Ends. You can find her at eloisaamezcua.com.
A. Anupama is a poet, critic, essayist, and translator whose work has appeared in Fourteen Hills, CutBank, Numéro Cinq, Tulane Review, and elsewhere. She studied at Northwestern University and Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she received her MFA. She currently organizes literary community (RiverRiver.org) and leads creative writing workshops for kids and teens at Writopia Lab. Honors include a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2015 and a fellowship for emerging writers at the Center for Book Arts in NYC. Anupama lives with her family in Nyack, New York. More about her work can be found at Seranam.com.
Sarah Blake is the author of Mr. West, an unauthorized lyric biography of Kanye West, out from Wesleyan University Press in 2015. Her first chapbook, Named After Death, is forthcoming from Banango Editions with an illustrated companion workbook. Berfrois published her epic poem, The Starship, in illustrated installments online. Blake’s other poems have appeared, or will soon, in the Kenyon Review, Poetry Northwest, Field, American Poetry Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Threepenny Review, and The Rumpus. In 2013, she was awarded a Literature Fellowship for Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is founder of Submittrs, and she lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and son.
Kristin Chang lives in New York. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Souvenir Lit, witch craft mag, The Margins (Asian American Writers Workshop), Perigee (Apogee Journal), Public Pool, and elsewhere. She is located at kristinchang.com and is currently on staff at Winter Tangerine Review.
Jennifer S. Cheng
Jennifer S. Cheng is the author of HOUSE A, selected by Claudia Rankine as winner of the Omnidawn 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize. She has an image-text chapbook, Invocation: An Essay (New Michigan Press), and her poetry and lyric essays appear in AGNI, Tin House, Black Warrior Review, Tarapaulin Sky, Web Conjunctions, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and awards from the U.S. Fulbright program, Kundiman, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Academy of American Poets, the University of Iowa, San Francisco State University, and Brown University. Having grown up in Texas, Hong Kong, and Connecticut, she currently lives in San Francisco.
Michael CoppermanPhoto: Ed Croom
Michael Copperman has taught writing to low-income, first-generation students of diverse background at the University of Oregon for the last decade. His prose has appeared in The Oxford American, The Sun, Creative Nonfiction, Salon, Gulf Coast, Guernica, and Copper Nickel, among other magazines, and has won awards and garnered fellowships from the Munster Literature Center, Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, Oregon Literary Arts, and the Oregon Arts Commission. University Press of Mississippi published his memoir of the rural black public schools of the Mississippi Delta, Teacher, in September 2016. He is currently seeking literary representation.
Courtney Craggett completed her doctorate at the University of North Texas, where she now teaches creative writing. Her fiction appears in Mid-American Review, Washington Square Review, Juked, Word Riot, and Monkeybicycle, among others. Her reviews appear in American Microreviews and Interviews. Courtney lives in Denton, TX, and is finishing a story collection and a novel.
Mary Feeney began work on Jean Follain’s prose poems in 1970, a project initiated by William Matthews (1942-1997), her former professor at Wells College in upstate New York. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing at UNC-G in 1971 and spent the next several years in Paris. Madeleine Dinès, Follain’s widow, collaborated on a months-long revision of the Feeney-Matthews translations, which were published as A World Rich in Anniversaries by Grilled Flowers Press in 1979. Mary continues working as a French translator in Minneapolis.
Jean Follain (1903-1971) was born and raised in Canisy, a village in Lower Normandy. The cataclysm of the First World War and advent of the Second were constant themes in his work. Follain studied law in Caen, then moved to Paris in the mid-1920s, successfully pursuing simultaneous careers in law and literature. After retiring as a judge in 1961, he traveled extensively and chaired literary conferences at Cérisy-la-Salle near Canisy. Jean Follain was awarded the Grand Prix de Poésie de l’Académie Française in 1970; early the next year he was killed by a car while crossing the Place de la Concorde on a late-night walk home.
James Hoch’s poems have appeared in The New Republic, The Washington Post, Slate, The Chronicle of Higher Education, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many other magazines. His first book, A Parade of Hands, won the Gerald Cable Award and was published in March 2003 by Silverfish Review Press. His most recent book is Miscreants (WW Norton, 2007). He has received fellowships from the NEA, Bread Loaf, and Sewanee writers’ conferences, and St. Albans School for Boys, Summer Literary Seminars. Currently, he is Professor of Creative Writing at Ramapo College of NJ and Guest Faculty at Sarah Lawrence College.
Hurray for the Riff Raff
Hurray for the Riff Raff is Alynda Lee Segarra, but in many ways it's much more than that: it's a young woman leaving her indelible stamp on the American folk tradition. If you're listening to her new album, Small Town Heroes, odds are you're part of the riff raff, and these songs are for you.
Kanya Kanchana is an emerging poet, writer, and translator. Her work has appeared in Asymptote, Circumference, The Common, and Paper Darts, and is forthcoming in Aldus Journal and TrinityJoLT. Kanya is also an itinerant practitioner / teacher of yoga and founder of a non-profit that develops community yoga programs for women, children, and those with special needs, often in remote or rural areas.
Mark L. Keats
Mark L. Keats was adopted from South Korea at the age of three. He earned his MFA in fiction from the University of Maryland and is the recipient of a Kundiman fellowship. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Offing, Eastern Iowa Review, The Boiler, Smokelong Quarterly, and others. He is currently a PhD student in English at Texas Tech University.
Lillian Kwok is originally from Philadelphia, and now lives in Honolulu. She has a chapbook published by Awst Press, and her work has been published in the Cortland Review, Paper Darts, Salt Hill, and other journals. She holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Peter LaBerge is the author of the chapbooks Makeshift Cathedral (YesYes Books, 2017) and Hook (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015), recently included on the American Library Association’s Over the Rainbow List. His work appears in Beloit Poetry Journal, Best New Poets, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, Iowa Review, and Pleiades, among others. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the Bucknell University Stadler Center for Poetry and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Adroit Journal. He lives in Philadelphia, where he is an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. He is (finally) twenty-one.
Mario MélendezPhoto: Marco Ugarte
Mario Meléndez (Linares, 1971) studied Journalism at La República University of Santiago, Chile. Figured among his books are: “Autocultura y juicio,” (with prologue from the National Prize of Literature, Roque Esteban Scarpa), “Apuntes para una leyenda,” and “Vuelo subterráneo.” He has received the Municipal Prize of Literature in the Bicentennial of Linares, Chile. His poems have appeared in different magazines of Latin-American literature and in foreign anthologies. His poetry has been translated into many languages including Italian, Arabic, and German.
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of three books of poetry, most recently, Lucky Fish. Her collection of illustrated nature essays, World of Wonder, is forthcoming from Milkweed. She is poetry editor of Orion magazine and is the Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.
Collier Nogues is the author of The Ground I Stand on Is Not My Ground, selected by Forrest Gander as winner of the 2014 Drunken Boat Poetry Book Contest, and On the Other Side, Blue (Four Way, 2011). Her work has been supported by fellowships and grants from the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, and Fishtrap. She is the 2016 Writer-in-Residence at Lingnan University and a PhD Fellow at the University of Hong Kong, where she studies contemporary poetry engaging with US militarization. She also co-edits poetry for Juked and curates Hong Kong’s English-language poetry craft talk series. Her bilingual digital collaboration with poets Mei Kwan Ng and Jhave Johnston launched in June 2016 at the City University of Hong Kong’s 360° immersive theater.
Patanjali was an Indian sage. Many stories, both mythical and historical, are told about him, and it is often hard to disentangle them. He is said to have been from Kashmir in the north of India, Sri Lanka to the south of India, and an assortment of places in between, and to have lived sometime around 400 BCE, give or take a few hundred years. Not much is certain and theories abound. Some historical accounts hail Patanjali as one of the eighteen Siddha saints, a master of Samkhya, Yoga, Ayurveda, and Sanskrit grammar, who wrote authoritative works on each. Others are unsure that he is a single person and not a composite. What we do know is that the body of work he left behind is as intriguing as the man himself.
The author of landscape/heartbreak (Two Sylvias) and Last Night I Dreamt of Volcanoes (Organic Weapon Arts), Michelle Peñaloza’s work can be found in New England Review, Vinyl, TriQuarterly, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships from Kundiman, Hugo House, and Artist Trust, as well as scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and VONA/Voices, among many others.
Colin Rafferty teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Mary Washington. He is the author of Hallow This Ground, a collection of essays on monuments published by Break Away Books/Indiana University Press earlier this year. “The Fear (#8),” “Self-Portrait with Slave Ship (#6),” “State of the Union (#11),” and “What They Said About Him (#44)” are all part of a series of 45 essays on the presidents; read more at colinrafferty.com.
N. D. Rambeau
N.D. Rambeau holds an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, where she has taught courses in African American culture, media studies, and the monstrous feminine.
Mira Rosenthal is the author of The Local World, which won the Wick Poetry Prize. She has received numerous awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN American Center, the MacDowell Colony, and Stanford University, where she was a Stegner Fellow in poetry. Her translation of Polish poet Tomasz Różycki’s Colonies won the Northern California Book Award and was shortlisted for several other prizes, including the prestigious International Griffin Poetry Prize. Her poems, translations, and essays appear regularly in such journals as Ploughshares, Harvard Review, PN Review, A Public Space, and Oxford American.
Tomasz Różycki is a poet, translator, and essayist. Over the last ten years, he has garnered almost every prize Poland has to offer, as well as widespread critical and popular acclaim in translation in numerous languages. He is the author of seven volumes of poetry. Over the course of his career, he has developed an extraordinarily distinctive, personal poetic voice that combines highly concrete imagery with evocative references to the historical legacy of his family and time. He is considered to be an inheritor of the tradition of Czeslaw Milosz and Adam Zagajewski, and his highly formal work deals with questions of both literary and ancestral tradition.
Johnny Salas is a photographer and filmmaker in Phoenix, AZ. He relies a bit too heavily on alcohol and irony. Find more of his shit at butcantheyfight.com.
Raquel Salas-Rivera has published poetry and essays in numerous anthologies and journals. In 2011, her first book, Caneca de anhelos turbios, was published by Editora Educación Emergente. In 2016, her chapbook, oropel/tinsel, was published by Lark Books & Writing Studio. Currently, she is a Contributing Editor at The Wanderer. You can find out more about her work at raquelsalasrivera.com.
Claire Schwartz is a PhD candidate in African American Studies, American Studies, and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Yale. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Apogee, cream city review, The Massachusetts Review, and Prairie Schooner, and her essays, reviews, and interviews in Electric Literature, The Georgia Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.
Diane Seuss’s most recent collection, Four-Legged Girl, was published in 2015 by Graywolf Press and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open (2010) won the Juniper Prize and was published in 2010. Her first book, It Blows You Hollow, was published by New Issues Poetry and Prose. Her poetry has appeared in a broad range of literary magazines, including American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Iowa Review, New England Review, and The New Yorker. Her work has received a Pushcart Prize and been included in The Best American Poetry. Seuss’s fourth collection, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2018.
Danez Smith is the author of [insert] boy (2014, YesYes Books), winner of the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Their 2nd collection, Don’t Call Us Dead, will be published by Graywolf Press in 2017. They are also the author of two chapbooks, hands on ya knees & black movie, winner of the Button Poetry Prize. Their work has been published & featured widely, including in Poetry, Beloit Poetry Journal, Buzzfeed, Blavity, & Ploughshares. They are a 2014 Ruth Lilly – Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellow, a Cave Canem and VONA alum, and a recipient of a McKnight Foundation Fellowship. Danez is a two-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, placing 2nd in 2014. They edit for The Offing & are a founding member of two collectives, Dark Noise and Sad Boy Supper Club. Danez lives in the midwest most of the time.
Originally from Georgia, Jess Smith’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in cream city review, Sixth Finch, Phantom, Lumina, and other journals. She received her MFA from The New School and is currently pursuing a PhD in English at Texas Tech University, where she was the 2016 winner of the Warren S. Walker Prize and is a co-founder of the LHUCA Literary Series.
Jen Soriano is a Filipina-American essayist originally from Chicago. Pieces of her soul live in Puerto Rico and the Philippines, as well as in the California Bay Area and Seattle, where she currently resides with her husband and two-year-old son. Her work has appeared in STIR and aaduna and is forthcoming in TAYO Literary Magazine and Blue Lyra Review. Jen holds a BA in History of Science from Harvard, and is currently an MFA candidate at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.
Lisa Summe was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, and is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech’s MFA program. She works as Associate Editor of Toad, Senior Editorial Assistant of The Cincinnati Review, and is also a WebTeam intern for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Tampa Review, Smartish Pace, Lambda Literary, Salt Hill, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Follow her on Twitter @lisasumme.