Kiese Laymon

Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. He’s the author of the essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, novel Long Division, and most recently, Heavy: An American Memoir.

Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. He’s the author of the essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, novel Long Division, and most recently, Heavy: An American Memoir, which won the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and the Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose. A contributing editor for Vanity Fair, he teaches at the University of Mississippi.

MJ Franklin

MJ Franklin is an editor at the New York Times Book Review. Previously he worked at Mashable as an assistant editor and host of the MashReads podcast.

MJ Franklin is an editor at the New York Times Book Review. Previously he worked at Mashable as an assistant editor and host of the MashReads podcast. Find him on Twitter and Instagram and talk to him about what books you’re loving at @heyitsfranklin2.

Naomi Murakawa

Naomi Murakawa is an associate professor of African American Studies at Princeton, author of The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America, and editor of The Abolitionist Papers book series at Haymarket Books.

Naomi Murakawa is an associate professor of African American Studies at Princeton, author of The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America, and editor of The Abolitionist Papers book series at Haymarket Books.

Mahogany L. Browne

Mahogany L. Browne is a writer, organizer, and educator. Executive Director of Bowery Poetry Club, Artistic Director of Urban Word NYC, and Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, AIR Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Mahogany L. Browne is a writer, organizer, and educator. Executive Director of Bowery Poetry Club, Artistic Director of Urban Word NYC, and Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, AIR Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. She is the author of Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice, Woke Baby, Black Girl Magic, Kissing Caskets, and #Dear Twitter. She is also the founder of the Woke Baby Book Fair—a nationwide diversity literature campaign—and, as an Arts for Justice grantee, is excited to release her first young adult novel, Chlorine Sky, in January 2021. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Cristina Rodriguez

Cristina Rodriguez is the general manager and head buyer at Deep Vellum Books, a bookstore in Dallas, TX that specializes in international literature, independent presses, and marginalized writers.

Cristina Rodriguez is the general manager and head buyer at Deep Vellum Books, a bookstore in Dallas, TX that specializes in international literature, independent presses, and marginalized writers. She is a Publishers Weekly 2020 Star Watch Honoree, a Bookselling Without Borders fellow, and a 2020 CLMP Firecracker Award judge.

Franklin Leonard

Franklin Leonard is a film and television producer, cultural commentator, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of the Black List, the company that celebrates and supports great screenwriting and the writers who do it via production; an annual survey of best unproduced screenplays; an online marketplace; and writer labs.

Franklin Leonard is a film and television producer, cultural commentator, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of the Black List, the company that celebrates and supports great screenwriting and the writers who do it via production; an annual survey of best unproduced screenplays; an online marketplace; and writer labs. More than 400 scripts from the annual Black List survey have been produced as feature films—earning more than 250 Academy Award nominations and 50 wins, including four of the last thirteen Best Pictures and eleven of the last twenty-four screenwriting Oscars. Franklin has been one of Black Enterprise’s “40 Emerging Leaders for Our Future,” Fast Company‘s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” and was the recipient of the 2019 Writers Guild of America, East Evelyn F. Burkey Award. He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

William Johnson

William Johnson is a Brooklyn based essayist, cultural critic, and arts administrator. His writing has appeared in numerous art catalogs and periodicals, including CrushFanazine, LitHub, and Spunk.

William Johnson is a Brooklyn based essayist, cultural critic, and arts administrator. His writing has appeared in numerous art catalogs and periodicals, including CrushFanazine, LitHub, and Spunk. He is currently the Deputy Director of Lambda Literary, an organization dedicated to promoting LGBTQ literature.

Lovia Gyarkye

Lovia Gyarkye is the associate editor at The New York Times Magazine Labs. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Believer, and The New Republic.

Lovia Gyarkye is the associate editor at The New York Times Magazine Labs. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Believer, and The New Republic.

Jeremy O. Harris

Jeremy O. Harris (Playwright) is a writer and performer living in New York City. His plays include Slave Play, “Daddy,” Xander Xyst, Dragon: 1 and WATER SPORTS; or insignificant white boys.

Jeremy O. Harris (Playwright) is a writer and performer living in New York City. His plays include Slave Play, “Daddy,” Xander Xyst, Dragon: 1 and WATER SPORTS; or insignificant white boys. His work has been presented or developed by Pieterspace, JACK< Are Love, The New Group, NYTW, Performance Space New York and Playwrights Horizons. In 2018, Jeremy co-wrote A24’s upcoming film Zola with director Janicza Bravo. In television, he is developing a pilot with HBO and consulted on their new series “Euphoria.” He is the 11th recipient of the Vineyard Theatre’s Paula Playwrighting Award, a 2016 MacDowell Colony Fellow, an Orchard Project Greenhouse artist and under commission from Lincoln Center Theatre and Playwrights Horizons. Jeremy is a graduate of the Yale MFA Playwrighting Program. Upcoming: A Boy’s Company Presents: “Tell Me If I’m Hurting You,” “Daddy.”