Camille Acker is the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection Training School for Negro Girls. She grew up in Washington, D.C., and holds a B.A. in English from Howard University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from New Mexico State University. Her writing has received support from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Voices of Our Nations Arts, and the Millay Colony for the Arts and has appeared n The New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, and Electric Literature, among other publications. In 2020, she was a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and in 2022, she was named a Fellow by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Project Description: A Very Special Episode is about a young Black socialite and president of an elite philanthropical organization who is on the brink of realizing her professional dreams until she discovers a strange and secret housing facility tailored to a very specific vision of the past—the set of her favorite 1990s sitcom.
Sarah Ghazal Ali is the author of THEOPHANIES (Alice James Books 2024), selected as the Editors' Choice for the 2022 Alice James Award. A Djanikian Scholar and winner of the Sewanee Review Poetry Prize, her poems appear in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Pleiades, The Yale Review, Guernica, and elsewhere. A former Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University, Sarah is the editor for Palette Poetry and poetry editor for West Branch. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and lives in the Bay Area, California. Sarah will be working on her second poetry collection, which examines art and iconoclasm, religious iconography, and the name versus the image of God, all situated under and through the relentless gaze of the surveillance state.
Jada Renée Allen is a writer, educator, and conjure woman from Chicago, Illinois. A 2022 92Y Discovery Poetry Contest winner, she has received fellowships, scholarships, and support from Tin House, the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Community of Writers, and VONA, among others. Her work either appears or is forthcoming in the Academy of American Poets’ “Poem-a-Day,” Hayden’s Ferry Review, Paris Review Daily, Virginia Quarterly Review, Wildness, and elsewhere. She has received grants from the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Currently, she lives upon U.S.-occupied O’odham Jewed, Akimel O’odham, and Hohokam lands. Discussing topics of gender, sexuality, childhood, home & the spirit, Moyo (from the Kikongo meaning ‘womb’) is a curative cry against the backdrop of transmisogynoir. Moyo seeks to reframe cycles of birth, death, & rebirth from a Black trans lens (which is to say an ancestral one).
Manuel Aragon is a Latinx writer, director, and filmmaker from Denver, CO. His work has appeared in ANMLY. His short story, "A Violent Noise," was nominated for the 2020 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. He is a 2021 Periplus Collective Fellow. He is currently working on a short story collection, Norteñas. Norteñas is a collection of speculative fiction short stories centered in the Northside, a Mexican and Mexican- American centered part of Denver, and the people, ghosts, and demons that live there.
Sloan Asakura (she/he/they) is a poet and memoirist from Los Angeles. Their work can be found in magazines such as Rogue Agent, The Lantern Review, Joyland, and Zone 3. They're a '22 Periplus Collective Fellow and editor for Mawth Magazine. In their free-time, they can be found talking to trees, making elaborate coffee drinks, and investing in yet another hobby. Sloan will be working on Window, a hybrid memoir separated into snapshots. A series of memory fragments, dreamlike trances, hallucinations, animal facts, ad-libs, and mirror images of times forward and past, this manuscript begs the reader to give it a new possible ending.
Po Bhattacharyya is a writer and designer of South Asian extraction, currently based in Oakland, CA. His work has appeared in the Johannesburg Review of Books, the Wire, the New York Times, and other publications. He is a 2023 NEA Distinguished Fellow at the Hambidge Center. More at www.pobhattacharyya.com. Project Description: This summer, he'll be working on ORDINARY DEVOTION, which tracks the evolution of the pubescent Indian state as seen through the lens of one family living in West Bengal. The novel is inspired by his grandmother, who is eighty-five and lives in Kolkata, where she often grumbles about the boredom of old age—a fate no revolutionary deserves.
Claire Calderón is an Oakland-based writer and reader with a fondness for stories from the fringes. She has an MFA in creative writing from Mills College and has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center, the San Francisco Writers Grotto, and elsewhere. Claire is at work on her debut novel, Tomato Skin, a speculative biography about her Chilean bisabuela’s life in the shadows. Tomato Skin is an archive of the unsaid. Part memoir, part speculative biography, it follows Claire’s great-grandmother—once a maid for one of Chile’s most elite families—prodding the weighted silence surrounding her past.
Grace Chao was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is completing her MFA in fiction at the University of Oregon. She is the winner of The Sewanee Review’s 2022 Fiction Contest, as well as the recipient of a 2023 Oregon Literary Arts Career Fellowship. She holds a BA and MA from Stanford University. Grace’s debut story collection, oriented around a Taiwanese American family, is preoccupied with how time and memory distort perceptions of crucial relationships; with loss of faith; and with what happens when a family’s dreams, whether grand or ordinary, are broken.
River 慧瑩 Dandelion is a keeper of ancestral medicine through writing poetry, teaching, facilitating, and creating ceremony. he writes to connect with the unseen so we can feel and heal. River has been awarded fellowships from Kundiman, Asian American Writers' Workshop, VONA/Voices of Our Nations, and more. his work is published and anthologized in Best New Poets, The Offing, The Margins, Asian American Journal of Psychology, and elsewhere. he is the recent winner of the AWP Kurt Brown Prize for the title poem of his manuscript. River has performed and presented his work internationally from the Dodge Poetry Festival to the University of Havana. For more: riverdandelion.com. Project Description: River will be working on his debut poetry collection on ancestral memory, reclaiming severed histories, matriarchal legacies, and self-remembrance.
A 2021 Guggenheim fellow, Edward Gauvin has translated in various fields from film to fiction, with a personal focus on contemporary comics (BD) and post-Surrealist literatures of the fantastic. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s, The Guardian, and World Literature Today, and twice placed in the British Comparative Literature Association’s John Dryden Translation Competition. It has also been shortlisted for several major awards—the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize, the Albertine Prize, the Best Translated Book Award, the National Translation Award—and twice nominated for French-American Foundation Translation Prize. He has received fellowships from the NEA, PEN America, the Fulbright program, and the Centre National du Livre, as well as residencies from Ledig House, the Lannan Foundation, the Banff Centre, and the Belgian government. A multiple grantee of the French Voices program from the French Embassy, he is a frequent contributor to their cultural initiatives. As a translation advocate, he has written widely, spoken at universities and festivals, and taught at the Bread Loaf Translation Conference. The translator of over 400 graphic novels, he is a contributing editor for comics at Words Without Borders. Project Description: The intellectual autobiography of a pen name, or: what happens when the “model” minority meets the “invisible” profession? It situates itself in a contemporary discussion of Asian American identity that includes acts of imposture like Michael Derrick Hudson’s and recent hybrids of memoir and nonfiction (Cathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings, Jay Caspian Kang’s The Loneliest Americans). In the tradition of translator’s accounts reflecting on the paradoxes of career and calling, it discusses translation as a creative act, but in the context of a modern moment when the natures of authorship and creativity are being redefined with relation to legal and commercial ideas of “content” (Alice Kaplan’s French Lessons, Polly Barton’s Fifty Sounds, Mary Ann Caws’ Surprised in Translation).
S. J. Ghaus is a Pakistani American writer, organizer, and community gardener. Bay Area-raised with a brief stint in Ohio, they are back in the Midwest as an MFA candidate at Indiana University, where they also served as Poetry Editor of the Indiana Review. They are a VONA/Voices of Our Nation Fellow, Tin House Workshop alum, and the recipient of the 2020 Vera Meyer Strube Academy of American Poets Award. Their work is published or forthcoming in poets.org, Poetry Daily, NPR, Hayden’s Ferry, and elsewhere. S.J. will be working on a lyric memoir exploring the confluence of land, myth, and queerness, that, alongside their family histories of migration and complicity in state violence, complicate their ability to belong in any of the places they call home. Part essay, part love letter to their mother, the memoir dives into the oceanic between-spaces of belonging across the United States and Pakistan, attempting to learn a decolonial language of home and recovering the vast love that exists in the dream of repair.
Natalie J. Graham is an award-winning author and performer who has toured nationally with her collection of poems, Begin with a Failed Body. In August 2021, Natalie was appointed Poet Laureate of Orange County. A widely-published scholar with research interests in identity performance, food culture, and music, she is also a professor in the Department of African American Studies at Cal State University, Fullerton. Project Description: Season of Woe is set in the contemporary, small town of Anthony, Georgia. It centers on protagonist Quinisha Tate in the wake of her mother’s death. The plot is punctuated by her ambivalent carrying out of a series of “grief labors,” or mourning rituals based on local folklore, intended to “set right a woman’s world.” As Quinisha navigates the “labors,” she uncovers a legacy of corruption and exploitation at Franklin Brothers, the most successful Black-owned business in Georgia. Her discovery, which is prompted by visions of her mother, coincides with Franklin Brother #1’s well-funded bid for County Commissioner. Compelled by the pervasive presence and voice of her mother, Quinisha launches an impossible campaign against Franklin Brother #1, jeopardizing her relationships with her sister, Trish Tate; lover, Frank Minor; and best friends Mae Rains and Sweetie Minor. In the tangle of unraveling secrets, Quinisha struggles to make sense of grief, duty, and love and is increasingly unsure of her ability to control her mother’s influence. Extending the themes of frailty and brokenness from my poetry collection, Begin with a Failed Body, this narrative figures the central character’s humanity as revealed through her frailty rather than her strength.
Lisa Lee’s work has appeared in Ploughshares, VIDA, North American Review, Sycamore Review, Gulf Coast, The Tusculum Review, Reed Magazine, New World Writing, and elsewhere, and has been featured on Bitch Media’s feminism and pop culture podcast Popaganda on the episode “Writing About Race.” She has been named a NYC Emerging Writer Fellow at The Center for Fiction and her novel excerpt “Paradise Cove” was awarded a Pushcart Prize. Lisa has received fellowships and awards from Kundiman, Millay Colony, Hedgebrook, Tin House, Jentel Artist Residency, The Korea Foundation, and other organizations. Lisa completed a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California. www.hellolisalee.com Lisa will be working on AMERICAN HAN, a novel about Asian anger. It’s about how the past can stand as an obstacle to the way immigrants – and specifically Korean immigrants – relate to other Americans and how that dissonance can bloom in their children into a simmering rage. Rage at other Americans; rage at their parents and at themselves. My work explores issues of inherited trauma, class and gender expectations, Korean American masculinity, and police violence.
Born and raised in Malaysia, Grace Shuyi Liew is a lesbian writer and poet currently living in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Electric Lit, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. Her awards include the MacDowell Fellowship, Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize (judged by Min Jin Lee), New York Center for Fiction Emerging Fellowship, Best of the Net, Squaw Valley Community of Writers Scholarship, Atlantic Center for the Arts Fellow, and more. She is the author of the poetry collection Careen (Noemi Press, 2019), which has been named Electric Literature’s “14 Unmissable Poetry Books of 2019. Grace will be working on a novel, "Most Beautiful Things", set in a fictional gambling resort in Malaysia, about an illegitimate casino heiress who must choose between retribution for the past and love in the present.
Jane Marchant is a writer and photographer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned her BA and MFA from Columbia University’s nonfiction writing programs, where she served as co-president of Our Word, a student group advocating for diversity and inclusion in the graduate writing program. Formerly the PEN America Literary Awards Program Director, her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from ZYZZYVA, Guernica, Catapult, Apogee, Kweli Journal, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere, as well as anthologized in The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives about Being Mixed Race in the Twenty-First Century (2Leaf Press). Her book art has been exhibited with the Center for Book Arts in New York City and ACCI Gallery in Berkeley, California, and she currently resides in Oakland, California. Project Description: Jane Marchant’s Encyclopedia of Botany uses plants found in her childhood garden to tell the story of how her parents met, had three children, and divorced; when her white British father moved out, the garden died. And a Black man knocked on the front door and introduced himself as her mother’s brother. Metaphors of fertility, colonialism, and root systems entangle as Marchant uncovers her maternal lineage and identity as a woman of Black and Mexican heritage.
m. mick powell (she/they) is a queer Black Cape Verdean femme poet, an artist, an Aries, and the author of the chapbook chronicle the body. Their poems have been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and a Pushcart Prize and have been published in Frontier Poetry, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. An Assistant Professor in Residence at the University of Connecticut in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, mick's work situates Black queer femme existence and experience as rupture, revolution, revelation, and revival. She enjoys chasing waterfalls and being in love. During their time at Tin House, mick will work on her first full-length project, dead girl cameo. dead girl cameo is an archival poetic project that focuses on the lives and experiences of superstars Aaliyah, Whitney Houston, Left Eye, and others to examine the intersections of celebrity, intimate partner and industry abuse, survivorhood, and death (including literal deaths as well as public and professional reincarnations that seek to bury the “original” girl). Using ekphrasis, erasure, digital collage, archival research, and imaginative/speculative nonfiction in verse, dead girl cameo illuminates the spaces where these women (and sometimes their girl-selves) live on.
Steven Sanchez’ debut book, Phantom Tongue (Sundress Publications, 2018), was selected by Mark Doty for the Rochelle Ratner Memorial Award. A CantoMundo and Lambda Literary Fellow, he won the inaugural Federico García Lorca Poetry Prize and completed a residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. His poems appear in Agni, American Poetry Review, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. Project Description: bell hooks argues that boys kill parts of themselves to become “men.” Steven’s next book, tentatively titled Variations on Drowning, responds by asking what if masculinity is the grief men experience for the parts of themselves they’ve lost?
Nafissa Thompson-Spires is the author of Heads of the Colored People, which won the PEN Open Book Award, the Hurston/Wright Award for Fiction, and the Los Angeles Times’s Art Siedenbaum Award for First Fiction. Her collection was longlisted for the National Book Award, the PEN/ Robert W. Bingham Award, and several other prizes, including an NAACP Image Award. She is also the recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award. She earned a doctorate in English from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. With dark humor and covering topics from identity to chronic illness, her short fiction and essays have appeared in The Paris Review Daily, New York Magazine’s “The Cut,” The Root, The White Review, Ploughshares,400 Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019, and The 1619 Project, among other publications. Her web series, Doing Stuff with Writers, premiered in 2020, and she made her television debut on Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2018. In addition to a novel under contract, she has new writing forthcoming in Fourteen Days: A Community Gathering, edited by Margaret Atwood. She is currently the Richards Family Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Cornell University, teaching both in the MFA and undergrad programs. Project Description: When Richard Aloysius Milford turns up dead, stinking, gangrenous, and missing a foot, shot, poisoned, floating in the small gorge that overlooks the Milford property, his four wives, and some of his forty children all become suspects, as does the entire town of Nahoo. Told in alternating focalizations from a first-person plural narrator a la Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” the novel plays with time and space and asks questions about epigenetic scarring, patrilineal trauma, broader meta concerning the nature of storytelling, and most importantly the bonds the four women in Rich's life forge in the wake of the complicated choices they have to make.
Andy Tan Tuck Ming
Christopher R. Alonso
Elisa Wouk Almino
Jean Chen Ho
Kay Ulanday Barrett
Abbey Mei Otis
Kirin M. Khan
Lilly U. Nguyen
Stacy Austin Egan