A. Van Jordan (Chair) is the author of four collections: Rise, which won the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award; M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A; Quantum Lyrics; and The Cineast. Jordan has been awarded a Whiting Award, an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and a Pushcart Prize. He is also a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a United States Artists Fellowship, and a Lannan Literary Award in Poetry. He has taught at a number of institutions including the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the University of Texas at Austin, Rutgers University-Newark where he served as the Henry Rutgers Presidential Professor, and at the University of Michigan, where he currently serves as the Robert Hayden Collegiate Professor of English Language & Literature and as Director of the Helen Zell Writers MFA Program. (Photo credit: A. Alvarez)
Laura McNeal holds an MA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and is the author of Dark Water, a 2010 Finalist for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature, and You Can’t Leave Me Now: Three Stories of True Crime. She and her husband Tom McNeal are the authors of Crooked, Zipped, Crushed, and The Decoding of Lana Morris. Her forthcoming novel, The Incident on the Bridge, was published by Knopf in 2016.
Monica Youn is the author of From From and three previous poetry collections, including Ignatz, a Finalist for the National Book Award, and Blackacre, winner of the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. The daughter of Korean immigrants, she grew up in Houston, Texas, and now splits her time between New York and California, where she teaches at the University of California, Irvine.
(Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan)
Tor Seidler is the critically acclaimed and bestselling author of more than a dozen children’s books, including Firstborn, The Wainscott Weasel, A Rat’s Tale, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Gully’s Travels, and most notably Mean Margaret, which was a National Book Award Finalist. He lives in New York, New York.
Cornelius Eady is the author of eight books of poetry, including Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems. His second book, Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, won the Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets in 1985; in 2001 Brutal Imagination was a Finalist for the National Book Award. His work in theater includes the libretto for an opera, “Running Man,” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1999. His play, “Brutal Imagination,” won Newsday’s Oppenheimer award in 2002.
In 1996 Eady co-founded, with writer Toi Derricotte, the Cave Canem summer workshop/retreat for African American poets. More than a decade later, Cave Canem is a thriving national network of black poets, as well as an institution offering regional workshops, readings, a first book prize, and the summer retreat.
Eady has been a teacher for more than twenty years and is now a professor at Notre Dame University.
Marjorie Garber is an author, Shakespeare scholar, and professor at Harvard University. Her most recent work is Shakespeare and Modern Culture, published in 2009.
Joanna Scott is a novelist and short story writer, and the Roswell Smith Burrows Professor of English at the University of Rochester. Her most recent book is Follow Me, a novel published in 2009.
Marc Aronson is an author, historian, and publisher who created Edge, an imprint that brings international voices to young adult readers in the United States. His essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. His book Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science, was published in 2010.
Elizabeth Alexander’s most recent book is Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems 1990-2010. She is the author of five previous books of poetry, including American Sublime, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and two books of essays, including The Black Interior. Her awards and honors include the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement in Poetry award, the Jackson Poetry Prize of Poets & Writers, Inc., and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among others.