Ross Gay

Ross Gay is the author of three books: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. He is a founding editor of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin', in addition to being an editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press. Ross is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project.

Julia Pierpont

Julia Pierpont is the author of the debut novel Among the Ten Thousand Things. She is a graduate of Barnard College and the M.F.A. program at N.Y.U., where she was a Rona Jaffe Graduate Fellow and a Stein Fellow. Her writing has appeared in such places as The New York Times Book Review, Guernica, and Blunderbuss. Her work will be included in the forthcoming essay collection CRUSH: Writers Reflect on Love, Longing and the Power of Their First Celebrity Crush. Julia works at The New Yorker and teaches creative writing at Catapult and Electric Literature.

T. Geronimo Johnson

Born in New Orleans, T. Geronimo Johnson received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The fellowships that he has held include a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford and an Iowa Arts Fellowship at the University of Iowa. His first novel, Hold It Till It Hurts, was published in 2012 and was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. His recent follow-up, Welcome to Braggsville, is a socially provocative dark comedy that explores political identity, racial anxiety, and cultural taboos. It was long-listed for the 2015 National Book Award. He is currently the University Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State University-San Marcos.

Mary Ruefle

Mary Ruefle was born in Pennsylvania in 1952. She is the author of many books of poetry, including Trances of the Blast; Madness, Rack, and Honey; Selected Poems; A Little White Shadow, an art book of erasures; and The Adamant, winner of the 1988 Iowa Poetry Prize. Ruefle is the recipient of numerous honors, including an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Whiting Award. She lives in Bennington, Vermont, and teaches in the MFA program at Vermont College.

Terrance Hayes

Charles D'Ambrosio is the author of two books of fiction, The Point and Other Stories, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and The Dead Fish Museum, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and two collections of essays, Orphans, and Loitering: New & Collected Essays. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Zoetrope All-Story, and A Public Space. His work has been selected for the Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories, and the O. Henry Award. He has been the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Whiting Writer's Award and an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Ada Limón

Ada Limón is the author of four books of poetry, including Bright Dead Things, which was named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry and one of the Top Ten Poetry Books of the Year by The New York Times. Her other books include Lucky Wreck, This Big Fake World, and Sharks in the Rivers. She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program, and the 24Pearl Street online program for the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. She also works as a freelance writer splitting her time between Lexington, Kentucky and Sonoma, California.


Elisa Albert

Elisa Albert is the author of After Birth, The Book of Dahlia, How This Night is Different, and the editor of the anthology Freud’s Blind Spot. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Tin House, The New York Times, Post Road, The Guardian, Gulf Coast, The Believer, Time Magazine, and numerous others. She has received fellowships from The Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Djerassi, Vermont Studio Center, The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in Holland, the HWK in Germany, and the Amsterdam Writer's Residency. She lives in upstate New York with her family.


Stephen Dunn

Stephen Dunn is the author of sixteen books, including Different Hours, which won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Fellowship, and three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Since 1974 he has taught at Richard Stockton College of NJ, where he is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing. He has read his poetry at The Library of Congress, and at many universities and colleges throughout the country. In addition to his books, his work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, the New Republic, the New Yorker, The Georgia Review, and the American Poetry Review.

Laurie Ann Guerrero

Marlon James was born in Jamaica in 1970. His most recent novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, won the 2015 Man Booker Prize, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for fiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction, and the Minnesota Book Award. It was also a New York Times Notable Book. James is also the author of The Book of Night Women, which won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Minnesota Book Award. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice.