Laura Kasischke is a poet and novelist whose fiction has been made into several feature-length films. Her book of poems, Space, in Chains, won the National Book Critics Circle Award. She currently teaches at the University of Michigan and lives in Chelsea, Michigan.
Tim Seibles is the author of five collections of poetry, including Fast Animal, which won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and was a 2012 National Book Award Poetry Finalist. His honors include an Open Voice Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. He teaches at Old Dominion University, and has taught at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program and at Cave Canem.
Lorrie Moore is the author of three story collections and three novels, the most recent being A Gate at the Stairs (2009), a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of the Irish Times Prize for International Fiction, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the PEN/Malamud Award, the O. Henry Award, and a Lannan fellowship. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dinaw Mengestu is the author of three novels, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (2007), How to Read the Air (2010), and All Our Names (2015). He is a graduate of Georgetown University and of Columbia University’s MFA program in Fiction, a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree, and a New Yorker 20 Under 40 selection. His journalism and fiction have appeared in such publications as Harper’s, Granta, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2012, he received a 2012 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He lives in New York City.
Ben Fountain (Chair) is the author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, a Finalist for the National Book Award. His work has received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction, the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, the PEN/Cerulli Award for Excellence in Sports Writing, and a Whiting Award, among other honors. He lives in Dallas, Texas.
(Photo credit: Thorne Anderson)
Eric Sundquist is the author of To Wake the Nations, winner of the James Russell Lowell Prize from the Modern Language Association for best book published during the year, the Christian Gauss Award from Phi Beta Kappa for the best book in the humanities, and the Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award. He is Chair of the Department of English and Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University.
Charles McGrath is former editor of The New York Times Book Review and before that deputy editor at The New Yorker.
Sharon M. Draper is a professional educator, as well as an accomplished writer of over thirty award-winning books for adolescents and teachers, including Copper Sun, Winner the 2007 Coretta Scott King Award and the highly acclaimed Jericho and Hazelwood trilogies. She served as the National Teacher of the Year, has been honored at the White House six times, and is a New York Times bestselling author. She was selected by the US State Department to be a literary ambassador to the children of Africa as well as China.