Contributors to Issue XXII
Author of four books of poetry, Two Full Moons (Bombaykala Books), Words Not Spoken (Brown Critique), The Longest Pleasure (Finishing Line Press), and The Silk of Hunger (AuthorsPress), Vinita Agrawal is an award-winning poet, editor, translator, and curator. She is joint Recipient of the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2018 and Gayatri GaMarsh Memorial Award for Literary Excellence, USA, 2015. Her poetry won a prize for the Moon Anthology on the Moon by TallGrass Writers Guild, Chicago, 2017, and a special mention in the Hawker Prize for best South Asian poetry. In September 2020, she edited an anthology on climate change titled Open Your Eyes (Hawakal). She has read at the FILEY Book Fair, Merida, Mexico, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival among others. She is on the Advisory Board of the Tagore Literary Prize. She has curated literary events for PEN Mumbai. She can be reached at www.vinitawords.com.
María Alejandra Barrios
María Alejandra Barrios is a pushcart nominated writer born in Barranquilla, Colombia. She has lived in Bogotá and Manchester where in 2016 she completed a Masters degree in Creative Writing from The University of Manchester. She was selected for the Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Performing Literary Arts for the city of New York in 2018. Her stories have been published in Hobart Pulp, Reservoir Journal, Bandit Fiction, Cosmonauts Avenue, Jellyfish Review, Lost Balloon, Vol.1 Brooklyn, El Malpensante, and Shenadoah Literary. Her poetry has been published in The Acentos Review. Her work has been supported by organizations like Vermont Studio Center, Caldera Arts Center and the New Orleans Writing Residency. She’s the 2020 SmokeLong Flash Fiction fellow.
Zoë Brigley is a Welsh-American writer. She has three collections of poetry: The Secret, Conquest, and Hand & Skull, from one of the UK’s best poetry publishers, Bloodaxe, as well as a collection of nonfiction essays, Notes from a Swing State. She won an Eric Gregory Award for the best British poets under 30, was Forward Prize commended, and listed in the Dylan Thomas Prize for the best international writers under 40. She produces an anti-violence advocacy podcast: Sinister Myth: How Stories We Tell Perpetuate Violence. She works as an Assistant Professor in English and Sexuality Studies at the Ohio State University.
Kiran Bhat is a global citizen formed in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, to parents from Southern Karnataka, in India. An avid world traveler, polyglot, and digital nomad, he has currently traveled to over 130 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. His list of homes is vast, but his heart and spirit always remains in Mumbai, somehow. He currently lives in Melbourne.
Francesca Bell is the author of Bright Stain (Red Hen Press, 2019), a finalist for the Julie Suk Award and the Washington State Book Award. She is also the translator of Max Sessner’s collection, Kitchens and Trains, forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2023. Her poems and translations appear in journals such as B O D Y, New Ohio Review, Mid-American Review, Prairie Schooner, and Rattle. She lives with her family in Novato, California.
Don Bogen is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Immediate Song (Milkweed, 2019), and the translator of Europa: Selected Poems of Julio Martínez Mesanza (Diálogos, 2016). His translations of Juan Lamillar have been published in Notre Dame Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere, with recent poems of his own in Poetry Northwest and The Yale Review. His website is www.donbogen.com.
Tina Boyer Brown
Tina Boyer Brown is the Artistic Director and Creative Writing Department Head at The Chicago High School for the Arts. Her work has appeared in RHINO, POETRY Magazine, and Jet Fuel Review.
Hannah Cajandig-Taylor is a poet & flash writer residing in the Upper Peninsula, where she reads for Passages North and Fractured Lit. Her work is forthcoming in journals like Milk Candy Review, Sidereal Magazine, and Sonora Review, among others. She has been nominated for a Best Small Fictions award & still plays Nancy Drew games on her computer. Her debut chapbookRomantic Portrait of a Natural Disaster will be released through Finishing Line Press this winter. Find her on twitter @hannahcajandigt.
Stephanie Chang is a rising freshman at University College London (September 2021) and currently lives in Vancouver, Canada. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Kenyon Review, Storm Cellar, Hobart, and Diode Poetry Journal. She edits for Sine Theta Magazine and reads for Muzzle Magazine. Her debut micro-chapbook, Night Market in Technicolor, was published by Ghost City Press in August 2020.
Gina Chung is a Korean American writer from New Jersey currently living in Brooklyn, New York. She is the communications manager at PEN America and an MFA candidate in fiction at The New School. She holds a BA in literary studies from Williams College. Her work appears or is forthcoming in F(r)iction, Split Lip Magazine, Jellyfish Review, the VIDA Review, and LIT Magazine. She is currently working on a collection of short stories about family, memory, and myths and a novel about climate change, sea creatures, and loss.
Lisa Fay Coutley
Lisa Fay Coutley is the author of tether (Black Lawrence Press, April 2020), Errata (Southern Illinois University Press, 2015), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award, and In the Carnival of Breathing (Black Lawrence Press, 2011), winner of the Black River Chapbook Competition. Her poems have been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a Rona Jaffe scholarship to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and an Academy of American Poets Levis Prize. Recent poetry and prose appears/is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Brevity, Copper Nickel, Missouri Review, NELLE, and Poetry Daily. She is an Assistant Professor of Poetry & Creative Nonfiction in the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she advises the student-run journal and coordinates the fall reading series. She can be found at www.lisafaycoutley.com.
Tim DeJong is originally from Hamilton, ON, Canada, and teaches in the English Department at Baylor University. He is the author of Hope and Aesthetic Utility in Modernist Literature (Routledge, 2020). His poems have twice been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and have appeared or are forthcoming in several journals, among them EcoTheo Review, Booth, Rattle, Nomadic Journal, and Roanoke Review.
Dana Diehl is the author of Our Dreams Might Align (Splice UK, 2018) and the collaborative collection, The Classroom (Gold Wake Press, 2019). Her chapbook, TV Girls, won the 2017-2018 New Delta Review Chapbook Contest, judged by Chen Chen. Diehl earned her MFA in Fiction at Arizona State University. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in North American Review, Passages North, Necessary Fiction, Juked, and elsewhere.
Kara Dorris is the author of two poetry collections: Have Ruin, Will Travel (Finishing Line Press, 2019) and When the Body is a Guardrail (2020). She has also published five chapbooks: Elective Affinities (dancing girl press, 2011), Night Ride Home (Finishing Line Press, 2012), Sonnets from Vada’s Beauty Parlor & Chainsaw Repair (dancing girl press, 2018), Untitled Film Still Museum (CW Books, 2019), and Carnival Bound [or, please unwrap me] (The Cupboard Pamphlet, 2020). Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, DIAGRAM, Harpur Palate, Cutbank, Hayden Ferry Review, Puerto del Sol, The Tulane Review, and Crazyhorse, among others literary journals, as well as the anthology Beauty is a Verb (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011). Her prose has appeared in Wordgathering, Breath and Shadow, and the anthology The Right Way to be Crippled and Naked (Cinco Puntos Press, 2016). Currently, she is a visiting assistant professor of English at Illinois College. For more information, please visit karadorris.com.
Mohamed Elhassan is a rising senior at Hammond High School in Columbia, Maryland. He is from Sudan and currently resides in Maryland. His work mainly incorporates his strong views on animal rights, nature, and climate change in its subtle yet powerful visual metaphors. He has received recognition from the Scholastic and others. He has also been published in the Interlochen Review, Celebrating Arts, and more. During his free time, he likes to write excessively about rain.
Carson Faust is a queer writer, and an enrolled member of the Edisto Natchez-Kusso Tribe of South Carolina. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in TriQuartely, Anomaly Journal, Empty Mirror, Foglifter Journal, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Minnesota.
Kim Garcia is the author of The Brighter House (White Pine Press), DRONE (The Backwaters Press), Madonna Magdalene (Turning Point Books), and a chapbook, Tales of the Sisters. Her poems have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in New Ohio Review, Sugar House Review, IMAGE, Quarterly West, Tupelo Quarterly (winner of the 2019 Broadside Prize), Summerset Review, and Colorado Review. Garcia teaches creative writing at Boston College.
Morio Hayashida (Aug. 25, 1904 Fukuoka, Japan–Apr. 23, 1993 Los Angeles, USA) was a first-generation Japanese immigrant who came to Los Angeles at about seventeen years old. He worked as a writer for the Rafu Shimpo and Kashu Mainichi newspapers and as a gardener. In 1928, while living near the Crenshaw neighborhood, he published a collection of Japanese-language poems, Where to Go. He actively participated in local literary clubs and the flourishing Japanese American literary community. He was also part of a community of gardeners who regularly published senryu poems in association magazines about daily life caring for the gardens of Los Angeles’ wealthy. During World War II, he and his brother rented land and farmed near Salt Lake City. After, he served as president of the Southern California Gardeners’ Federation in the 1970s and was a co-founder of the Japanese American Community Credit Union.
Charlotte Hughes is a high school senior from Columbia, South Carolina. She was a 2020 Adroit Journal Summer Mentee. Her writing can be found or forthcoming in PANK, The Columbia Journal, The Raleigh Review, and monkeybicycle, and has been honored by The Kenyon Review, Third Coast, Princeton University, and The Poetry Society of the UK, among others.
Amanda Galvan Huynh
Amanda Galvan Huynh (she/her) is a Mexican American writer and educator from Texas. She is the author of a chapbook, Songs of Brujería (Big Lucks September 2019) and co-editor of Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making: An Anthology of Essays on Transformative Poetics (The Operating System 2019). Amanda has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, and Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net. She was a 2016 AWP Intro Journal Project Award Winner, 2018 Best of the Net Winner, a finalist for the 2015 Gloria Anzaldúa Poetry Prize, and a finalist for the 2017 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. Her poetry can be read in print and online journals such as Hayden’s Ferry Review, Puerto del Sol, The Southampton Review, and others. Currently, she is a doctoral student in English at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.
Kabir (15th century AD) was an Indian poet who hailed from a caste of weavers. Very few details are known for certain about his life. Even his religious background is a matter of debate; his poems contain wry, often scathing comments about doctrinaire and orthodox members of both of the major faith traditions, Hinduism and Islam, in his milieu; his poems went on to be woven into the most sacred book of Sikhism, the Adi Granth. Kabir’s poems, all in rhyme, were originally song lyrics, and to this day, they continue to be enjoyed primarily as songs.
Vandana Khanna is the author of two collections of poetry, Train to Agra and Afternoon Masala, and the chapbook, The Goddess Monologues. Her poems have won the Crab Orchard Review First Book Prize, The Miller Williams Poetry Prize, and the Diode Editions Chapbook Competition, and have appeared in publications such as the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, New England Review, Narrative, and Guernica. She is a poetry editor at the Los Angeles Review.
Laura Kendall received her MFA from Butler University, where she was the nonfiction editor of the journal Booth. Her essays have appeared in Vela, Tahoma Literary Review, Creative Nonfiction, and others. She owns Second Flight Books, a dog-friendly bookstore in Lafayette, Indiana.
Born in Seville in 1957, Juan Lamillar is the author of ten books of poetry, including Entretiempo (Renacimiento, 2015), a volume of selected poems. Among his other books are a study of contemporary Spanish poetry and a biography of the poet Joaquín Romero Murube. Prizes for his poetry include the Premio Luis Cernuda, the Premio Vicente Nuñez, and the Premio Villa de Rota.
Kenji C. Liu
Kenji C. Liu is author of Monsters I Have Been (Alice James Books, 2019), finalist for the California and Maine Book Awards, and Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize (Inlandia Institute). His poetry is in numerous journals, anthologies, magazines, and two chapbooks, Craters: A Field Guide (2017) and You Left Without Your Shoes (2009). An alumnus of Kundiman, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the Community of Writers, he lives in Los Ángeles.
Lindsay Lusby is the author of the poetry collection Catechesis: a postpastoral (The University of Utah Press, 2019), winner of the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize, judged by Kimiko Hahn. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Blackbird Whitetail Redhand (Porkbelly Press, 2018) and Imago (dancing girl press, 2014), and the winner of the 2015 Fairy Tale Review Poetry Contest. Her poems have appeared most recently in New South, Gulf Coast, The Cincinnati Review, Passages North, and Plume. Her visual poems have appeared in Dream Pop Press and Duende. She is a Senior Poetry Reader for Cherry Tree. This is her first lyric essay.
Amit Majmudar is an American poet, translator, novelist, and essayist. His main work of translation before Kabir was Godsong: A Verse Translation of the Bhagavad-Gita, with Commentary. His next work of translation, The Mystical Rhymes of Kabir, from which these poems are taken, is forthcoming from Penguin Random House India.
Catherine Pierce’s fourth book, Danger Days, will be published by Saturnalia Books in October. Her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, the New York Times, American Poetry Review, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, and elsewhere. An NEA Fellow and two-time Pushcart Prize winner, she co-directs the creative writing program at Mississippi State University.
Meg Pokrass is the author of six flash collections, two novellas-in-flash, and an award-winning collection of prose poetry. She has received the Blue Light Book Award two times, and her work has appeared in places like Electric Literature, Wigleaf, and Washington Square Review. Meg serves as Founding Co-Editor of Best Microfiction, Founding Editor of New Flash Fiction Review, Festival Curator of Flash Fiction Festival UK, and she teaches flash fiction online. Find out more at megpokrass.com.
Kevin Prufer’s newest book, How He Loved Them (Four Way Books) won the Julie Suk Award and was on the longlist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize. His next book, The Art of Fiction: Poems is forthcoming from Four Way Books next year. Prufer teaches in the graduate creative writing program at The University of Houston where he also co-curates The Unsung Masters Series (www.unsungmasters.org), a book series devoted to bringing great but forgotten writers to new generations of readers.
Kayla Rutledge is a graduate student in the MFA program at NC State University. She is the recipient of the 2019 James Hurst Prize for Fiction from NC State and the 2020 Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Prize in Creative Writing from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her work is published and forthcoming in journals such as 3Elements Review, Peatsmoke, and Gone Lawn, among others. More of her writing can be found at www.kaylarutledge.com.
Max Sessner’s poems are widely published in German-language magazines, and he is the author of eight books of poetry including, most recently, Das Wasser von Gestern (The Water of Yesterday) published by edition Azur in 2019, and Küchen und Züge (Kitchens and Trains) and Warum Gerade Heute (Why Especially Today), both from Literaturverlag Droschl. He lives with his wife in Augsburg, Germany where he works at the public library.
Amy Smith is a poem maker, children’s writer, and former practicing attorney. She received her JD from Washington and Lee University School of Law. Her children’s poetry has appeared in Highlights Hello and elsewhere. She works with books and kids in a high school library in central New York, where she grew up.
Nicole Stockburger is the author of Nowhere Beulah (Unicorn Press, 2019). Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, The Adroit Journal, and elsewhere. Nicole received an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. You can find her working on a farm near her hometown, Winston-Salem, and at nicolestockburger.com.
Laura Thorp is a poet and student from South Carolina. She received her MFA in Poetry at North Carolina State University in 2015 and she is currently earning her PhD in Horror Studies, American Literature, and African American Literature and Culture at the University of South Carolina. Her poems have appeared in Pretty Owl Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere. She works as an adjunct instructor teaching English at Columbia College and UofSC. Find her on Twitter @horror_grl.
Neela Vaswani is the author of the short story collection, Where the Long Grass Bends; the mixed-genre memoir, You Have Given Me a Country; the middle-grade novel, Same Sun Here (co-written with Silas House), and the picture book, This Is My Eye (author and illustrator). She is the recipient of the American Book Award, a PEN/O.Henry Prize, the ForeWord Book of the Year Gold Medal, the Italo Calvino Prize for Emerging Writers, and other literary honors. Also an audio book narrator, she received a Grammy for her narration of I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, and multiple Audies for other work. Vaswani lives in New York with her family and teaches at Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing Program. She is an education activist in the U.S. and India, a collaborator with multimedia performance groups based in New York, and serves on the board of Kweli Journal.
Marcus Wicker is the author of Silencer (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) — winner of the Society of Midland Authors Award, as well as the Arnold Adoff Poetry Award for New Voices. His debut collection, Maybe the Saddest Thing (Harper Perennial), was a National Poetry Series selection. He is the recipient of a Tennessee Arts Fellowship, Pushcart Prize, Ruth Lilly Fellowship, as well as fellowships from Cave Canem, and The Fine Arts Work Center. Marcus teaches in the MFA program at the University of Memphis where he is Associate Professor of English.
Shelley Wong is the author of As She Appears, winner of the 2019 Pamet River Prize (YesYes Books, 2022), and the chapbook RARE BIRDS. She is an affiliate artist at Headlands Center for the Arts and has received fellowships from MacDowell, Kundiman, and Vermont Studio Center.
Liwen Xu is a Chinese American writer based in the SF Bay Area. Her work has appeared in literary magazines such as bitter melon poetry, American Writers Review, Model Minority, and Mangrove Journal, and she is a graduate of the Tin House Summer Workshop. In her free time, she’s frequently running park trails, exploring new pockets of cities, and curating a haiku food Instagram @bon_appepoetry. You can find some of her work at liwen-xu.com.