HANIF ABDURRAQIB is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His first full length poetry collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, was released in June 2016 from Button Poetry. His first collection of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was released in winter 2017 by Two Dollar Radio and was named a book of the year by Buzzfeed, Esquire, NPR, Oprah Magazine, Paste, CBC, The Los Angeles Review, Pitchfork, and The Chicago Tribune, among others. He is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow, an interviewer at Union Station Magazine, and a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine. He is a member of the poetry collective Echo Hotel with poet/essayist Eve Ewing. His next books are Go Ahead In The Rain, a biography of A Tribe Called Quest due out in 2019 by University of Texas Press, and They Don't Dance No' Mo', due out in 2020 by Random House.
QUENTON BAKER is a poet, educator, and Cave Canem fellow. His current focus is anti-blackness and the afterlife of slavery. His work has appeared in Jubilat, Vinyl, Apogee, Poetry Northwest, Pinwheel, and Cura and in the anthologies Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters and It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop. He has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Southern Maine and is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. He is a 2017 Jack Straw Fellow and a former Made at Hugo House fellow, as well as the recipient of the 2016 James W. Ray Venture Project Award and the 2018 Arts Innovator Award from Artist Trust. He is the author of This Glittering Republic (Willow Books, 2016).
RICK BAROT was born in the Philippines, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and attended Wesleyan University and The Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. He has published three books of poetry with Sarabande Books: The Darker Fall (2002); Want (2008); and Chord (2015), which was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and received the 2016 UNT Rilke Prize, the PEN Open Book Award, and the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award. Barot is the poetry editor of New England Review. He lives in Tacoma, Washington and teaches at Pacific Lutheran University. He is also the director of The Rainier Writing Workshop, the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at PLU. His fourth book of poems, The Galleons, will be published by Milkweed Editions in Spring 2020.
GEFFREY DAVIS is the author of Night Angler (BOA Editions), winner of the 2018 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Revising the Storm (BOA Editions), winner of the 2013 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. He also coauthored the chapbook Begotten (URB Books, 2016) with LA-based poet F. Douglas Brown. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Davis lives with his family in Fayetteville, AR. He teaches at the University of Arkansas and with The Rainier Writing Workshop, Pacific Lutheran's low-residency MFA program. Davis also serves as poetry editor for Iron Horse Literary Review.
ROSS GAY is the author of three books of poetry: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His collection of essays,The Book of Delights, was released by Algonquin Books in 2019. Ross is the also the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook "Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens," in addition to being co-author, with Richard Wehrenberg, Jr., of the chapbook, "River." He is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin', in addition to being an editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press. Ross is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University.
CASANDRA LÓPEZ is a Chicana and California Indian (Cahuilla/Tongva/Luiseño) writer who’s received support from CantoMundo, Bread Loaf and Jackstraw. She’s been selected for residencies with the School of Advanced Research and Hedgebrook. Her chapbook, Where Bullet Breaks was published by the Sequoyah National Research Center and her poetry collection, Brother Bullet is forthcoming from University of Arizona. She’s a founding editor of As/Us: A Space For Women Of The World and teaches at Northwest Indian College. You can follow her on Twitter @casandramlopez
NABILA LOVELACE is a first-generation Queens native currently living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her people hail from Trinidad & Nigeria. Sons of Achilles, her debut book of poems, was published by YesYes Books.
ERIKA MEITNER is the author of five books of poems. Her first book, Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore, won the 2002 Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry, and was published in 2003 by Anhinga Press. Her second book, Ideal Cities, was selected by Paul Guest as a winner of the 2009 National Poetry Series competition, and was published in 2010 by HarperCollins. Her third collection, Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls, was published by Anhinga Press in 2011. Her fourth collection of poems, Copia, was published by BOA Editions in 2014 as part of their American Poets Continuum Series, and her newest collection, Holy Moly Carry Me, was also published by BOA Editions in September 2018. Holy Moly Carry Me is the winner of the 2018 National Jewish Book Award in poetry, and a finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle award in poetry.
DANEZ SMITH is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, and [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Danez's work has been featured widely including on Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. Danez’s third collection, “Homie”, will be published by Graywolf in Spring 2020. Listen to our conversation with Danez here.
LENA KHALAF TUFFAHA is an American poet, writer, and translator of Palestinian, Jordanian, and Syrian heritage. She is the winner of the 2016 Two Sylvias Chapbook Prize for Arab in Newsland, and the author of Water & Salt, a book of poems from Red Hen Press published in April 2017, which won the Washington State Book Award. You can follow her @LKTuffaha. Listen to our first conversation with Lena here and our second conversation with her (about Mahmoud Darwish’s poem “To Our Land”) here.