Urayoán Noel is a poet, performer, scholar, translator, and assistant professor of English and Spanish at NYU. He is the author of the critical study In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam (University of Iowa Press, 2014), winner of the Latina/o Studies Book Prize from the Latin American Studies Association, and several books of poetry in English and Spanish, the most recent of which are Hi-Density Politics (2010), Los días porosos (2012; second edition 2014), and EnUncIAdOr (2014). His forthcoming books include the poetry collection Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico (University of Arizona Press) and a bilingual edition of the poetry of Pablo de Rokha (Shearsman Books). He has also produced poetry in a range of alternative formats, including the CD and DVD, the artist book, the digital archive, and the multimedia installation. A contributing editor of NACLA Report on the Americas, Noel has been a fellow of the Ford Foundation and CantoMundo, and his creative and critical writings have appeared in Bomb ,Contemporary Literature, Fence, Lana Turner, Latino Studies, Small Axe, and in numerous anthologies. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Urayoán Noel earned his B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, his M.A. from Stanford, and his Ph.D. from NYU. He lives in the Bronx.
Lissette Norman is the author of the children’s book, My Feet are Laughing (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006). Her work appears in anthologies: Moving Beyond Boundaries, Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam, and Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art. She has also been published in Mosaic Literary Magazine, African Voices, Dialogue, Long Shot and Drum Voices Revue. Lissette won the Lee & Low Books’ “2003 New Voices Honor Award, the “2007 Original Work” grant from the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island, the “2007 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People” (Special Recognition) from The Poetry Center (PCCC), the “Americas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature” (Commended Title), and the Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year. Lissette received her B.A. in English at SUNY-Binghamton and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Amanda Nowlin-O’Banion is a prose writer whose work has appeared in Callaloo, Gulf Coast, Vandal, Liars’ League NYC, and The Dallas Morning News, among others. Awards include a Barbara Deming Award for feminist artists and the TEX Emerging Writer Award. Amanda has a MFA in Fiction from New York University and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. She currently teaches creative writing at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas where she is also a reluctant beekeeper. She is completing a collection of essays on beekeeping and motherhood tentatively titled, The Queen.
Daniel José Older is the author of the upcoming Young Adult novel Shadowshaper (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015) and the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, which begins in January 2015 with Half Resurrection Blues from Penguin’s Roc imprint. Publishers Weekly hailed him as a “rising star of the genre” after the publication of his debut ghost noir collection, Salsa Nocturna. He co-edited the anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History and guest edited the music issue of Crossed Genres. His short stories and essays have appeared in Tor.com, Salon, BuzzFeed, the New Haven Review,PANK, Apex and Strange Horizons and the anthologies Subversion and Mothership: Tales Of Afrofuturism And Beyond. Daniel’s band Ghost Star gigs regularly around New York and he facilitates workshops on storytelling from an anti-oppressive power analysis. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic and hear his music at ghoststar.net/ and @djolder on twitter.
Sofía Quintero is the author of several novels and short stories that cross genres. Born into a working-class Puerto Rican-Dominican family in the Bronx, the self-proclaimed “Ivy League homegirl” earned a BA in history-sociology from Columbia University in 1990 and her MPA from the university’s School of International and Public Affairs in 1992. After years of working on a range of policy issues from multicultural education to HIV/AIDS, she decided to pursue career that married arts and activism. Under the pen name Black Artemis, she wrote the hip hop novels Explicit Content, Picture Me Rollin’ and Burn. Sofía is also the author of the novel Divas Don’t Yield and contributed novellas to the “chica lit” anthologies Friday Night Chicas and Names I Call My Sister. As an activist, she co-founded Chica Luna Productions (chicaluna.com), a nonprofit organization that seeks to identify, develop and support women of color who wish to create socially conscious entertainment. She is also a founding creative partner of Sister Outsider Entertainment, a multimedia production company that produces quality entertainment for urban audiences. Sofía is the author of the young adult novel Efrain’s Secretpublished by Knopf in 2009.
Nelly Rosario is the author of Song of the Water Saints: A Novel. She holds an MFA from Columbia University. She was formerly on faculty in the MFA Program at Texas State University and is currently assistant director of writing for the Blacks at MIT History Project.
Charlie Vázquez is a Bronx native and the Director of the Bronx Writers Center. He is a published author and freelance editor, as well as the CCO of the e-book press Editorial Trance. Charlie serves as the event coordinator for Puerto Rico’s Festival de la Palabra in New York, and is writing his third novel, a suspense thriller set in Puerto Rico.
Ibi Zoboi’s debut young adult novel, American Street, was a National Book Award Finalist and her debut middle grade novel, My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich, was a New York Times bestseller. She is also the author of Pride, a contemporary YA remix of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which is in development with HBO as a limited series; and editor of the anthology Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America. Her most recent New York Times bestseller, Punching the Air, co-authored by prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five, is a Walter Award winner and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Born in Haiti and raised in New York City, Ibi lives in New Jersey with her husband and their three teenage children.
Angie Cruz is one of the founders, along with Leslie Shipman and Emily Raboteau, of the National Book Foundation’s after-school program, BookUp, She holds a BA in English and MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. She is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, and the author of two novels, Soledad (Simon & Schuster 2001), which she has adapted into a screenplay, and Let It Rain Coffee (S & S 2005), which was also a finalist in 2007 for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She has published short fiction and essays in magazines and journals, including Callaloo, a journal of African Diaspora, The New York Times, Kweli, Phatitude, and South Central Review. She has been teaching creative writing for over 15 years in academic and nontraditional settings such as Texas A&M University, NYU, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and to middle schoolers for the National Book Foundation’s Bookup in Texas where she also serves on the advisory board. She has received numerous grants for her teaching and writing, including the Barbara Deming Award, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, Camargo Fellowship, Van Lier Literary Fellowship, and NALAC Fund for the Arts Fellowship. She has also been awarded residencies: Yaddo, The Macdowell Colony, Fundacion Valparaiso, La Napoule Foundation and The Millay Colony. She is the editor of Aster(ix), a literary/arts journal. Currently she is finishing her third novel, In Search of Caridad.