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Meet Our Contributors: Issue 59:2 Spring 2020

AYA OSUGA A. was born in Japan and raised in Los Angeles. She received a degree in computer science from Yale University, where she also had the privilege of studying under influential novelists. Her first publication appeared in McSweeney’s. She left a career in banking to focus on writing and currently runs a school and works as a freelance translator. She lives in the countryside of Panama with her husband, children, and a lot of monkeys.

JASMINE V. BAILEY is the author of Alexandria (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2014), Disappeared (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2017) and the chapbook Sleep and What Precedes It (Longleaf Press, 2009). She was the winner of Michigan Quarterly Review’s Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize in 2019 and the 2020 VanderMey Prize for Nonfiction from Ruminate Magazine. She was a finalist for the 2018 Gulf Coast Translation Prize, and has held fellowships at Colgate University and the Vermont Studio Center. She is a contributing editor for Waxwing Literary Journal.

DAVID BAKER’s latest book is Swift: New and Selected Poems, published in 2019 by W. W. Norton. He teaches at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and serves as poetry editor of The Kenyon Review.

CARSON ASH BEKER (they/them) is a hybrid storyteller/experience creator, co-founder of The Escapery Pirate Art Collective and Queer Cat Productions Theater Company. Their stories appear in Joyland, Fairy Tale Review, Spunk, Foglifter, Gigantic Sequins, and on ships and in cemeteries and on stages. They are proud to be a Lambda writer, a graduate of Clarion West, and an associate editor at Pseudopod. Find them at CarsonBeker. com, QueerCatProductions.com, and Escapery.org. They are most definitely haunted.

JOHN-MICHAEL BLOOMQUIST is a human poet from planet Earth but sometimes feels like he is from another star system. He is living in Mexico as a Peace Corps volunteer. He has volunteer taught poetry at the Monroe County Jail in Indiana, and he co-edited Poems from the Jail Dorm, a collection of poetry by incarcerated men. His poetry has been published in
COG, The Superstition Review, Matter, Third Coast, Painted Bride Quarterly,and more.Poems from the Jail Dorm,  a collection of poetry by incarcerated men. His poetry has been published in COG, The Superstition Review, Matter, Third Coast, Painted Bride Quarterly, and more.  

AARON BROWN is the author of the poetry collection Acacia Road, winner of the 2016 Gerald Cable Book Award (Silverfish Review Press, 2018), and of the memoir Less Than What You Once Were (Unsolicited Press, 2022). He has been published in Image, World Literature Today, Tupelo Quarterly, Waxwing, Cimarron Review, and Transition, among others, and he is a contributing editor for The Windhover and blogs regularly for Ruminate. Brown grew up in Chad and now lives in Texas, where he   is a professor of English and directs the Writing Center at LeTourneau University. He holds an MFA from the University of Maryland.

In addition to dozens of articles, essays, and humor pieces, BRETT BUSANG has published I Shot Bruce, a novel, which appeared in 2016, followed by Laughter and Early Sorrow, a collection of short stories, which came out the following year. Two Lights, his play about an artist couple whose marriage goes ambiguously awry, was produced at the Elite Theater in 2017.

SARAH CARSON is the author of the poetry collections Poems in Which You Die and Buick City. Her poetry and other writing have appeared in Diagram, Guernica, The Minnesota Review, Nashville Review, and New Ohio Review, among others. She lives in Michigan with her daughter and two dogs.

ZOË DUTKA was born in New York and moved to Venezuela in her teens. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in n+1 and Shenandoah. In 2016, she moved to the Brazil-Venezuela border, where she is a founding member of La Mochila Migrante, an immigrant artist collective that com- bats xenophobia through cultural activism and creative media production.

SARA ELKAMEL is a poet and journalist, living between her home- town, Cairo, and New York City. She holds an MA in arts journalism from Columbia University and is currently pursuing an MFA in poetry at New York University. Her writing has appeared in The Common, The Rumpus, American Chordata, Winter Tangerine, Nimrod International Journal, the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019), and elsewhere.

SHARIF S. ELMUSA is a scholar, poet, and writer. He writes on the politics and culture of the environment, including water politics, especially in the Middle East. He has authored and edited four volumes on these topics, in addition to numerous articles in both academic and trade publications. He is a widely published poet; his work includes his own collection and a co-edited volume of Arab-American poetry. Elmusa taught at the American University in Cairo for many years and as a visitor at Georgetown University in Qatar and at Yale and is recipient of several fellowships, including a Fulbright.

MARIANNE JAY ERHARDT is a recipient of a 2019–2020 North  Carolina Arts Council Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction. Her work appears in Oxford American, Conjunctions, phoebe, and Ninth Letter. She has an MFA from UW–Madison and is a writing professor at Wake Forest University. Her current project is a book of lyrical essays.

AYOKUNLE FALOMO is Nigerian, American, a TEDx speaker, and the author of African, American (New Delta Review, 2019) and two self-published collections. A recipient of a fellowship from the MacDowell Colony and winner of Fourteen Hills Press’s Stacy Doris Memorial Poetry Award and FlyPaper Magazine’s Music Poetry Contest, his work has been featured in The New York Times, Houston Public Media, Write About Now, Glass Mountain, Berkeley Poetry Review, The Texas Review, and elsewhere.

WILLIAM FARGASON is the author of Love Song to the Demon-Possessed Pigs of Gadara (University of Iowa Press, 2020), winner of the 2019 Iowa Poetry Prize. His poetry has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, Barrow Street, Rattle, Narrative, and else- where. He earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Maryland and a PhD in poetry from Florida State University. He lives with himself in Tallahassee, Florida.

GABY GARCIA is a Pushcart Prize–nominated poet whose work has appeared in North American Review, Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She is a James Hearst Poetry Prize finalist, Best of the Net nominee, founder of the podcast On Poetry, and served as a Lucie Brock-Broido Teaching Fellow at Columbia University, where she received her MFA in poetry. She lives in Brooklyn.

REGINALD GIBBONS’s eleventh book of poems will be published in early 2021 by Four Way Books. His most recent fiction is An Orchard in the Street (BOA, 2017). His book How Poems Think (Chicago, 2015) is a poet’s account of the ways in which language, as it is used in poetry, sees, discovers, listens, feels, and inquires with resources that go beyond the meanings of words. He’s the director of the Litowitz Creative Writing Graduate Program at Northwestern University.

MARILYN HACKER is the author of fourteen poetry collections, including Blazons (Carcanet, 2019) and A Stranger’s Mirror (Norton, 2015); a book of essays, Unauthorized Voices (University of Michigan Press, 2010); and sixteen books of translations of French and Francophone poets. She received the 2009 American PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, the 2010 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, and the international Argana Prize for Poetry from the Beit as-Sh’ir/House of Poetry in Morocco in 2011. She lives in Paris.

KATHRYN HARLAN is a fiction writer, currently based in Madison, Wisconsin, where she is working on a novel and a book of stories. Her work can also be found in Strange Horizons and the Gettysburg Review, and she can be found on Twitter @kay__harlan.

BROOKS HAXTON has published eight books of poetry, one book of nonfiction prose, and four books of translations. He teaches for the MFA programs at Syracuse University and Warren Wilson College.

DONOVAN  HOHN  is  the  author  of  Moby-Duck:  The  True  Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea (Viking, 2011). A recipient of MQR’s Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize, he now teaches nonfiction at Wayne State University. His essays have appeared most frequently in Harper’s andThe New York Times Magazine. His second book, The Inner Coast: Essays,from which portions of “Deep Sea Fishing” are drawn, will be published by W. W. Norton in June of 2020.

JAIME LUIS HUENÚN was born in 1967 in Valdivia and grew up in Osorno, Chile. He is an award-winning Mapuche-Huilliche poet whose books include Ceremonias (1999), Puerto Trakl (2001), Reducciones (2012), Fanon City Meu (2014), and La calle Mandelstam y otros territorios apócrifos (2016). Reducciones, from which these poems are taken, was recognized as the best Chilean work of literature in 2012 by the Chilean National Council on Arts and Culture.

FADY JOUDAH’s most recent collection of poetry is Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance (Milkweed Editions, 2018). His poetry and translations have earned him a Yale Series prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Griffin Poetry Prize. He is a practicing physician in Houston, Texas.

JEN KARETNICK is the author of nine poetry collections, including The Burning Where Breath Used to Be (David Robert Books, 2020) and The Crossing Over (2019), winner of the 2018 Split Rock Review Chapbook Competition. Her work appears in Barrow Street, The Comstock Review, december, Poet Lore, Tampa Review, Terrain, and elsewhere. Co-founder/editor of the daily online literary journal SWWIM Every Day, she is a Deering Estate Artist-in-Residence for 2019–2020.

YASSER KHANJER was born in 1977 in the village of Majdal Shams in the occupied Golan Heights. He was imprisoned from 1997 till 2005 by the Israeli occupation forces, on charges of resisting the occupation. His first collection of poems, Freedom Bird, was published in Beirut during his incarceration; two others followed, and a fourth, It Is Not Midway, will be published in Milan in 2017. His poems have been translated into French, English, Hebrew, and German.

ANA BELÉN LÓPEZ was born in Sinaloa, Mexico. Her writing often touches on ecological subjects, as well as on nature affecting human life and vice versa. She helped found the journal Poesía y poética. She has been a professor of literature for more than two decades, teaching twentieth-century Latin American fiction and poetry. Her books of poetry include Alejándose avanza (Going forward moving away), Del barandal (About the balustrade), Silencios (Silences), and Retrato hablado (Spoken portrait).

FARAH MARKLEVITS’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in West Branch, Interim, PromptPress, Diagram, and other places. She calls Iowa home and travels across the Mississippi River to teach and tutor at Augustana College, on the best days by bicycle.

AMALIA MELIS was born in New York. She is a hard news/feature writer (Ms., Elle, Melbourne Age, National Public Television, CNN iReports, etc.). She has interviewed Pulitzer Prize–winning authors Michael Cunningham and Frank McCourt and published fiction/essays in Guernica, Glimmer Train, KYSO Flash, Ducts, and MacQueen’s Quinterly. She created Aegean Arts Circle Writing Workshops in Andros, Greece. An artist as well, her assemblage sculptures have been part of group art exhibits in the United States, Germany, and Greece.

EMILIE MENZEL is the recipient of the Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award in Poetry (selected by Diana Khoi Nguyen) and the Cara Parravani Memorial Award in Fiction (selected by Leigh Newman). Her  writing has been featured by such journals as Black Warrior Review, The Spectacle, and Yalobusha Review, and she completed her MFA at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Raised amongst the doldrums of Georgia summers, Emilie currently lives in wooded North Carolina and online atemiliemenzel.com.

AMY NEWMAN is the author of five poetry collections, most recently On This Day in Poetry History (Persea Books, 2016) and Dear Editor (Persea Books, 2011). Her translations of Antonia Pozzi’s poems and letters appear in Poetry, Rattle, Bennington Review, Cagibi, Delos: A Journal of Translation and World Literature, and elsewhere. She teaches in the Department of English at Northern Illinois University.

AIMEE NOEL writes from Dayton, Ohio. Her essays and poems have been featured on NPR affiliates and published in Witness (forthcoming); Provincetown Arts; Forklift, Ohio; and elsewhere. She earned Ohio Arts Council’s Individual Excellence Award and was OAC’s Summer Fellow at Provincetown’s Fine Arts Work Center. Find her at aimeenoel.net.

CINDY JUYOUNG OK comes from Los Angeles, California, and now lives in Iowa City, Iowa. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Truman Capote Trust, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Richter Fund.

ROMEO ORIOGUN is the author of The Origin of Butterflies, selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the APBF New-Generation African Poets Chapbook Series. His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Narrative Magazine, Brittle Paper, and others. He is the 2017 winner of the Brunel International African Poetry Prize and has received fellowships from the Ebedi International Residency, Harvard University Department of English, Oregon Institute for Creative Research and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. His debut poetry collection, Sacrament of Bodies, will be published by African Poetry Book Fund in the spring of 2020. He currently lives in Iowa where he is an MFA candidate for poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

EUGENIO POLISKY authored the poetry collections Silencio en la nada luz (Silence in Nothingness Light), Quimera Bulevar (Pipe-Dream Boulevard), and desde el fondo (from the depths). He has translated poetry by Irene Gruss, Liliana Díaz Mindurry, Daniel Freidemberg, and Hugo Mujica into English, as well as poetry by Anne Carson and Dan Bellm into Spanish.

HENRY POLLACK is a Professor Emeritus of Geophysics at the University of Michigan. He was a contributing author to the Nobel Prize– winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report and is a science advisor to former Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Project. In his book A World Without Ice (Penguin, 2009), he guides readers through the topic of global climate change as seen through the prism of ice.

Poet and photographer ANTONIA POZZI, born in Milan in 1912, lived a brief life, dying by suicide in 1938. She left behind photographs, diaries, notebooks, letters, and over 300 poems; none of her poems were published in her lifetime. After her death, Pozzi’s poetry was altered by her father Roberto, who scrubbed any evidence of his daughter’s passionate love af- fairs and her doubts about religion. In 1989 her work was restored to its original form in Parole (Garzanti). The copyright of Pozzi’s poem belongs to the “Carlo Cattaneo” and “Giulio Preti” International Insubric Center for the Philosophy, Epistestemology, Cognitive Sciences and the History of the Science and Techniques of the University of Insubria.

SAYD RANDLE is a postdoctoral scholar with the University of Southern California’s Society of Fellows in the Humanities. She received her PhD  in anthropology and environmental studies from Yale University in 2018. Her essays have been featured in a range of online forums, including Metropolitics, The Awl, Sage Magazine, and Platypus.

MARGARET RAY grew up in Gainesville, Florida. She is graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA program. She has been a contributor at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in FIELD, The Gettysburg Review, The Threepenny Review, American Literary Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She teaches in New Jersey. www.margaretbray.com

ELISÉE RECLUS (1830–1905) was recognized in his time as the founder of the field of cultural geography. Today, he is primarily studied as a thinker who, with Kropotkin, helped define and advance nineteenth-century left- wing anarchism, which can be seen in his defense of causes as diverse as eth- ical vegetarianism, the “anti-marriage movement,” and the Paris Commune. Less well known is his work on water and the landscape that anticipates the modern environmental movement while providing an effective counter- point to the back-to-nature ethos of the American transcendentalists.

RICHARD ROBBINS has published six books of poems, most recently Body Turn to Rain: New & Selected Poems, which Lynx House Press released in 2017. He has received awards from The Loft, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Society of America. From 1986–2014, Robbins directed the Good Thunder Reading Series at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where he continues to direct the creative writing program.

ZACK ROGOW was a co-winner of the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Award for Earthlight by André Breton and winner of a Bay Area Book Reviewers Award (BABRA) for his translation of George Sand’s novel Horace. His poetry collections include Irreverent Litanies (2019) and The Number Before Infinity (2008). zackrogow.com

LAURA ROMEYN is the author of Wild Conditions, winner of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University (2015–2017), her poems have appeared in AGNI, Crazyhorse, Harvard Review, and The Yale Review, among other journals, and her writing has received support from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Born and raised in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area, Laura currently lives and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area.

MASHA SHUKOVICH is a writer, poet, storyteller, scholar, mother, chef, performer, demigirl, neurodivergent person, shapeshifter, and an immigrant from a country that no longer exists. She’s the winner of the 2017 San Francisco Writing Contest (Adult Fiction), finalist in the 2017 Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest and International Literary Awards Reynolds Price Award in Fiction, and semi-finalist in the 2019 American Short(er) Fiction Contest, among other things. For more info about Masha, visit mashashukovich.com.

CYNTHIA STEELE is Professor Emerita of  Comparative Literature   at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her translations include Inés Arredondo, Underground Rivers (Nebraska, 1996) and José Emilio Pacheco, City of Memory (City Lights, 2001, with David Lauer). Her translations have also appeared in Chicago Review, TriQuarterly, The Seattle Review, Gulf Coast, Trinity Journal of Literary Translation, and Lunch Ticket.

RICHARD STIMAC is influenced by twentieth-century poets who used traditional forms to explore contemporary life. He is also influenced by the local St. Louis landscape of water and stone, dominating metaphors in his poetry for movement and rest and the relationship of both to time. He lives in Maplewood, Missouri, with his cat, Mr. Leo, short of Leonidas, king of the Spartans at Thermopylae.

JON SWAN, born in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1929, is the author of three collections of poems. His poems have appeared in several American and British publications. He has translated plays and novels from the Dutch and German, and in 1981, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, which supported research for a recently completed narrative poem, Freydis Erik’s-daughter & the Vinland Venture. Jon and his wife, Marianne, live in Yarmouth, Maine. They have three daughters.

FIONA SZE-LORRAIN is the author of three poetry collections, most recently The Ruined Elegance (Princeton, 2016), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She is also a zheng harpist and widely published trans- lator of contemporary Chinese, French, and American poets. Her latest translation is Ye Lijun’s My Mountain Country (World Poetry Books, 2019). A 2019–2020 Abigail R. Cohen Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination, she lives in Paris.

FIONA SZE-LORRAIN is the author of three poetry collections, most recently The Ruined Elegance (Princeton, 2016), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She is also a zheng harpist and widely published translator of contemporary Chinese, French, and American poets. Her latest translation is Ye Lijun’s My Mountain Country (World Poetry Books, 2019). A 2019–2020 Abigail R. Cohen Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination, she lives in Paris.

RICHARD WATTS, Associate Professor of French, is Co-director of the Translation Studies Hub and an affiliate of the Environmental Humanities program at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of Packaging Post/Coloniality: The Manufacture of Literary Identity in the Francophone World (Lexington Books, 2005) as well as a series of scholarly articles that focus on literary and artistic responses to the contemporary water crisis.

SEAN J. WHITE arrived in prison in 1997 at the age of nineteen. His short fiction and poetry have appeared in a number of journals, most recently Santa Fe Literary Review, Florida Review, and Muse Literary Journal. He has received awards from PEN America’s Writing Awards for Prisoners several times in various genres. Tales of Relatable Cynicism, his first graphic novel, was recently published. 

MAW SHEIN WIN is a poet, editor, and educator who lives and teaches in the Bay Area. Her poetry chapbooks are Ruins of a Glittering Palace (SPA, 2013) and Score and Bone (Nomadic Press, 2016). Invisible Gifts: Poems was published by Manic D Press in 2018. Maw is the first poet laureate of El Cerrito (2016–2018), and her poetry collection Storage Unit for the Spirit House will be published by Omnidawn in 2020. mawsheinwin.com

SPENCER WOLFF is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist based in Paris, France. An adjunct faculty member of the École normale supérieure (Paris), he teaches a master’s course focused on the history of diaspora and migration. A graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Law School, he worked at the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Rabat, Morocco, in 2009. His first novel, The Fire in His Wake, will be published by McSweeney’s Publishing in May 2020.

YU XIANG is a key figure of the post-70s Chinese poets.  Laureate of several major literary prizes in China, she is the author of multiple titles, including Surging toward Them (2015), Sorceress (2015), and Poem in a Pocket (2016).  Her first bilingual volume I Can Almost See the Clouds of Dust (Zephyr, 2013; translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain) was longlisted for the 2014 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.  She lives in Ji’nan, Shandong province.