Tyehimba Jess

Tyehimba Jess is the author of two books of poetry, Leadbelly and Olio, which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry. His fiction and poetry have appeared in many journals, as well as in the anthologies Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, Beyond The Frontier: African American Poetry for the Twenty-First Century, and Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art. He is currently a Professor of English at College of Staten Island.

Valeria Luiselli

Valeria Luiselli is the author of Faces in the Crowd, Sidewalks, Story of My Teeth, and Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions. She has been named as one of the 20 best Mexican writers under 40, and received a National Book Foundation '5 under 35' award. Her next novel, Lost Children Archives, will be published by Knopf in 2019. Her works have been recognized by the National Book Critics Circle, The National Book Foundation, The New York Times, NPR, The Guardian, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. She is based in New York City.

Karen Russell

Karen Russell, a native of Miami, won the 2012 National Magazine Award for fiction, and her first novel, Swamplandia!, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011. She is a graduate of the Columbia MFA program, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2012 Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, and a recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” fellowship. Russell is the author of St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Vampires in the Lemon Grove: Stories, and Sleep Donation: A Novella. She currently serves as the Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State University.

Kim Barnes

Kim Barnes is the author of In the Kingdom of Men, named a best book of 2012 by The San Francisco ChronicleThe Seattle Times, and The Oregonian. Her second novel, A Country Called Home, was the winner of the 2009 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction. She is a recipient of the PEN/Jerard Award in nonfiction for her first memoir, In the Wilderness, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Fourth Genre, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. She is a professor of English in the MFA program at the University of Idaho.

Robert Wrigley

Robert Wrigley has published ten books of poems, the most recent of which are Box and Anatomy of Melancholy & Other Poems. His work has appeared in The New YorkerThe Atlantic MonthlyThe Best American Poetry, and the Oxford Book of Twentieth Century Poetry. His books have received the Kingsley Tufts Award, The Poet’s Prize, The San Francisco Poetry Center Book Award, and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award. He is a Distinguished University Professor of English in the MFA program at the University of Idaho.


Marie Howe

Marie Howe is the author of four volumes of poetry: Magdalene: Poems, The Kingdom of Ordinary TimeWhat the Living Do, and The Good Thief. She is also the co-editor of a book of essays, In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, Agni, Ploughshares, Harvard Review, and The Partisan Review, among others. Her honors include National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim fellowships.


Nikky Finney

Nikky Finney was born by the sea in South Carolina and raised during the Civil Rights, Black Power, and Black Arts Movements. She began reading and writing poetry as a teenager growing up in the spectacle and human theatre of the deep South. She has written extensively for journals, magazines, and other publications. For twenty-one years she taught creative writing at the University of Kentucky and now holds the John H. Bennett, Jr., Chair in Creative Writing and Southern Letters at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.


Cheston Knapp

Cheston Knapp is the managing editor of Tin House. He is the author of Up Up, Down Down, a collection of essays which explores the psychology of UFO hunters, regional professional wrestling, growing up and out of Christian and fraternity fellowship, adult skateboarding camp, and his own evolution as a writer. His fiction has appeared in One Story.


Viet Thanh Nguyen

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel The Sympathizer won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His other books are The Refugees, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America. He is a University Professor, the Aerol Arnold Chair of English, and a Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. He is a critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times and a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.