Ciona Rouse is the author of the chapbook Vantablack. Her poetry has appeared in The Account, Talking River, Gabby Journal, Matter: a journal of political poetry and commentary and other publications. She is poetry editor of Wordpeace. Along with poet Kendra DeColo, Rouse hosts the literary podcast Re/VERB.
Mitchell L.H. Douglas is the author of dying in the scarecrow’s arms, \blak\ \al-fə bet\, winner of the Persea Books Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award, and Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem, an NAACP Image Award and Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominee. His poetry has appeared in Callaloo, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (University of Georgia Press), The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket Books), Crab Orchard Review, and Ninth Letter, among others. He is a cofounder of the Affrilachian Poets, a Cave Canem graduate, and Associate Professor of English at IUPUI.
Chimene Suleyman is a writer from London. She edited The Good Immigrant USA and was a contributing author to the original award-winning best-selling The Good Immigrant. She has spoken on race and immigration politics for the Guardian, The Independent, IBTimes, Debrief, Sky News, BBC Newsnight, and NPR, to name a few. Her poetry collection Outside Looking On was included in a Guardian’s Best Book of 2014 list. She currently lives in New York.
Douglas Jackson lives and writes in Roanoke, Virginia. For the past twelve years at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), he’s provided strategic support to communities as they create new possibilities around unique cultural, outdoor, and arts assets. He is the Arts and Culture Coordinator in the City of Roanoke. Douglas served as an officer in the US Navy and holds degrees in economics (Duke); urban and regional planning (UC Irvine); and creative writing (Hollins). A book lover, he’s currently leading a community effort to explore equity and engagement at the intersection of books and place through BOOK CITY * Roanoke—a blog, podcast, convening point, and strategic community partner.
Joseph O. Legaspi is the author of the poetry collections Threshold and Imago, both from CavanKerry Press; and three chapbooks: Postcards (Ghost Bird Press), Aviary, Bestiary (Organic Weapon Arts), and Subways (Thrush Press). His works have appeared in POETRY, New England Review, World Literature Today, Best of the Net, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day. He cofounded Kundiman, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature. He lives with his husband in Queens, NY.
Teri Ellen Cross Davis is the author of Haint (Gival Press, 2016), winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. She is a Cave Canem fellow and a member of the Black Ladies Brunch Collective. She has received fellowships to attend the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Hedgebrook, Squaw Valley Community of Writers Workshop and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is the recipient of a Meret grant from the Freya Project and a 2019 Sustainable Arts Grant. Her work can be read online and in many journals, including: Academy of American Poets, Auburn Avenue, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Gargoyle, Harvard Review, Kestrel, Little Patuxent Review, Natural Bridge, North American Review, MiPOesias, Mom Egg Review, Pacifica Literary Review, Poet Lore, Poetry Ireland Review, and Tin House. She is the Poetry Coordinator for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. and lives in Maryland with her husband, poet Hayes Davis, and their two children.
Natasha Lyonne started her film career in Pee-wee’s Playhouse which led to roles in more than 50 films including But I’m a Cheerleader and Slums of Beverly Hills. She stars as a series regular in Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, a role for which she received an Emmy nomination. Lyonne co-created the upcoming Netflix series Russian Doll with Amy Poehler. She wrote and directed for the series which stars her as Nadia, a young woman on a journey as the guest of honor at a seemingly inescapable party one night in New York City. Last year, Natasha made her directorial debut with the Kenzo film Cabiria, Charity, Chastity. She also wrote the screenplay for the film which stars Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, and Leslie Odom Jr.,among others. Next year she will be seen alongside Lucas Hedges and FKA Twigs in Alma Harel and Shia Labouef’s Honey Boy.
Nick Offerman is an actor, writer, and woodworker best known for his role as Ron Swanson on NBC’s hit comedy Parks and Recreation. Most recently, he reunited with his Parks and Recreation co-star Amy Poehler as a co-host and executive producer for NBC’s Making It, an unscripted competition series celebrating craftiness and creativity. Offerman is currently in production on the FX tech thriller series Devs, starring opposite Sonoya Mizuno. The show, created by Alex Garland, will be released next year. Earlier this year, he starred alongside Kiersey Clemons in Brett Haley’s Hearts Beat Loud. Offerman is a four-time New York Times–bestselling author. He released his fourth book, The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, this October with his wife Megan Mullally.
Amanda Stern is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Long Haul. She’s been published in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Believer, Filmmaker, Paste, Spinning Jenny, Swink, Fivechapters.com among many others. In 2003 she founded the popular, Happy Ending Music and Reading Series, in the Chinatown bar, Happy Ending. It ran for five years and was widely considered the most best authors’ series in the city. Throughout its five year run, the event was praised regularly by New York Magazine, Time Out New York, The Village Voice, NY Press and The New Yorker, The Village Voice and NY Press. The New York Times Magazine called Stern a “New Bohemian,” who is “helping to keep downtown, New York alive.” In January 2009, The famed series moved to Joe’s Pub to become that venue’s first-ever ongoing literary series. Stern has held residencies at Yaddo and MacDowell and is currently working on her next novel.