top of page


2021 Season


Kenyatta Rogers is a Cave Canem Fellow and has been awarded scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. He has also been nominated multiple times for both Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes. His work has been previously published in Jubilat, Vinyl, Bat City Review, the Volta, PANK, and MAKE Magazine, among others. Kenyatta is a lead teacher for the Poetry Foundations Teacher Institute and Chautauqua Institution’s Young Writer Institute. He is a cohost of the Sunday Reading Series with Simone Muench and serves on the creative writing faculty at the Chicago High School for the Arts.

Kenyatta Rogers
Bar-Nadav Author Photo by SG.jpg

Hadara Bar-Nadav is an NEA fellow and author of several award-winning books of poetry, among them The New Nudity, Lullaby (with Exit Sign), The Frame Called Ruin, and A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight, as well as the chapbooks Fountain and Furnace and Show Me Yours. She is also co-author of the best-selling textbook Writing Poems, 8th ed. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Poetry, and Tin House. She is Professor of English and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Hadara Bar-Nadav
DSC_0615-web copy.jpg

Beth McDermott is the author of How to Leave a Farmhouse, a chapbook published by Porkbelly Press. Her work has been published in journals such as Tupelo Quarterly,, 

DIAGRAM, Southern Humanities Review, Kenyon Review Online, The Trumpeter, After the Art, American Book Review, and Kudzu House Quarterly, where she was also Poetry Editor. She’s an Assistant Professor of English at the University of St. Francis and coordinator of the St. Francis Writers’ Conference, for which she received an Illinois Speaks Micro-Grant in 2017.

Beth McDermott
2017-07-09 11.58_edited.jpg

Mike Puican’s debut book of poetry, Central Air, was released by Northwestern Press last August. He’s had poems in Poetry, Michigan Quarterly Review, and New England Review among others. He was a member of the Chicago Slam Team and has been a long-time board member for the Guild Literary Complex. He has taught poetry to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals at the Federal Metropolitan Correctional Center and St. Leonard’s House in Chicago.

Mike Puican

Ignatius Valentine Aloysius earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University. Born and raised in India, he is a naturalized U.S. citizen and lives in Evanston with his wife. Ignatius is a lecturer, designer, and musician. He is the author of the novel Fishhead. Republic of Want.(Tortoise Books, 2020) and his writing has appeared in several venues. He is a 2020 juror for the National Scholastic Writing Awards (NYC), and serves on the curatorial board at Ragdale, an artist residency in Lake Forest, Illinois. He is also co-curator of Sunday Salon Chicago, a bi-monthly reading series in Chicago.

Ignatius V Aloysius

2020 Season

(on hiatus due to Covid)

A Cave Canem alumnus, Tommye Blount is the author of Fantasia for the Man in Blue (Four Way Books, 2020) and What Are We Not For (Bull City Press, 2016). A graduate from Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers, he has been the recipient of scholarships and fellowships from Kresge Arts in Detroit and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His work has been featured in Poetry, Magma, New England Review, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Ecotone, Ninth Letter and elsewhere. Born and raised in Detroit, Tommye now lives in Novi.

Tommye Blount

Daniel Suárez is a first generation Cuban American born and raised in Chicago, IL. He holds an MA in English, and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. His poem can be found in the Columbia Poetry Review, RHINO, Eleven Eleven, 5x5, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Third Coast, [PANK] LATINX/Latinidad Folio, and other journals.

Daniel Suárez

Jessica Berger is a Chicago-based fiction writer as well as a founding editor of Grimoire and Always Crashing Magazine. Her work has been featured in Ninth Letter, Suspira, Nat. Brut,  Barrelhouse, The Spectacle, Maudlin House, and elsewhere.

Jessica Berger

Julia Story is the author of Spinster for Hire (The Word Works) and Post Moxie (Sarabande Books). Her work has been awarded a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in many publications including Diode, Ploughshares, The Paris Review, Sixth Finch, and The New Yorker. She is from Indiana and now lives in Massachusetts. 

Julia Story

Parneshia Jones is the author of Vessel: Poems (Milkweed Editions), winner of the Midwest Book Award and featured as one of “12 Books to Savor” by O, The Oprah Magazine. Jones has been honored with the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Margaret Walker Short Story Award, and the Aquarius Press Legacy Award. Named one of the “25 Writers to Watch” by the Guild Complex and one of “Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago” by Newcity Magazine, her work has appeared in anthologies including, She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. Jones has been featured on PBS Newshour, the Academy of American Poets, and espnW. 

Parneshia Jones

Jeffrey Thomson is a poet, memoirist, translator, and editor, and the author of nine books including: Half/Life: New and Selected Poems from Alice James Books (October 2019), the memoir fragile, The Belfast Notebooks, The Complete Poems of Catullus, and the edited collection From the Fishouse. He has been an NEA Fellow, the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, and the Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow at Brown University.  He is currently professor of creative writing at the University of Maine Farmington.

Jeffrey Thomson

Katy Yocom’s debut novel, Three Ways to Disappear, won the Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature and was named a Barnes & Noble Top Indie Favorite. The book’s publication received widespread coverage in the Indian press, including the front page of the Jaipur Times. A recipient of the Al Smith Fellowship for artistic excellence, Kentucky’s highest honor for an individual artist, she has written for Newsweek, Salon, LitHub, American Way (the American Airlines in-flight magazine),, and elsewhere. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, holds an MFA from Spalding University, and serves as associate director of the low-residency graduate programs of Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing.

Katy Yocom

Kristi Maxwell is the author of seven books of poems, including My My (Saturnalia Books, March 2020) and Bright and Hurtless (Ahsahta Press, 2018). Her individual poems have recently appeared in Bennington Review, jubilat, 

RHINO, Black Warrior Review, and Boston Review. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Louisville. 

Kristi Maxwell

Cynthia Atkins is the author of Psyche’s Weathers, In The Event of Full Disclosure, and Still-Life With God. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including, Alaska Quarterly Review, Apogee, BOMB, Denver Quarterly, Green Mountains Review, Los Angeles Review, North American Review,  and Verse Daily. Atkins has received fellowships from Bread Loaf and the VCCA. Formerly, Atkins worked as the assistant director for the Poetry Society of America. Currently, she is an Interviews Editor at American Microreviews & Interviews, and also teaches Creative Writing at Blue Ridge Community College. Atkins lives with her family on the Maury River of Rockbridge County VA. More info at: @catkinspoet 

Cynthia Atkins

Born in Kuching, Malaysia, Daniel W.K. Lee was/is a third-generation refugee going back to China via Vietnam and Malaysia before settling in the United States. Raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Daniel moved to New York City in 1996 where he earned a BA at NYU and an MFA in Creative Writing at The New School. Daniel relocated to Seattle, WA in March 2014 and after a little over five years in the Pacific Northwest, he and his whippet Camden moved to New Orleans in December 2019 soon after the publication of his debut collection of poetry Anatomy of Want.

Daniel WK Lee

Holly Amos is a humor writer and poet in Chicago, as well as the associate editor of Poetry. Her first poetry collection is Continual Guidance of Air. Her poems and humor have appeared at The Academy of American Poets, jubilat, Prairie Schooner, McSweeney’s, and Tenderly, among other places.

Holly Amos

Cheswayo Mphanza was born in Lusaka, Zambia and raised in Chicago, Illinois. His work has been featured in or is forthcoming from New England Review, New Orleans Review, American Literary Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Vinyl, Prairie Schooner, and RHINO. He has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Hurston/Wright Foundation, Callaloo, Cave Canem, and Columbia University. A recipient of the 2017 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers, he earned his MFA in poetry from Rutgers-Newark.

Cheswayo Mphanza

Dolly Lemke lives and works in Chicago. She is the author of four chapbooks, O Town Heights (DoubleCross Press, 2012), I’m so into you (plumberries press, 2013), Wyoming (dancing girl press, 2018), and DUET DUET #4 with Kelly Lorraine Andrews (pitymilk press, 2018). She founded and co-curated of The Dollhouse Reading Series from 2011-2016 and also co-founded the online poetry journal PINWHEEL where she served as Poetry Editor from 2012-2018. You can find her online at

Dolly Lemke

Tina Boyer Brown is the Managing Director of the Arts Conservatories and Creative Writing Department Head at The Chicago High School for the Arts. She is a lead teacher at the Summer Poetry Teachers’ Institute sponsored by the Poetry Foundation. Her work has appeared in RHINO, POETRY Magazine, The Journal of Education, and Jet Fuel Review

Tina Boyer Brown

billy lombardo is the founder and managing editor of Polyphony Lit,a student-run, international litmag for high school writers and editors. He’s the author of The Logic of a Rose: Chicago Stories, The Man with Two Arms, and Meanwhile, Roxy Mourns. His novel, Morning Will Come will be launched in January 2021. billy is a 2011 Nelson Algren Fiction Award winner and is at work on the House of Fiction Deconstructed, a book on the craft of fiction for apprentice writers. billy can be reached through his writing and editing business, Writing Pros/e. He lives in the Albany Park neighborhood.

Billy Lombardo

Patty Seyburn has published five collections of poems: Threshold Delivery (Finishing Line Press, 2019), Perfecta (What Books Press, Glass Table Collective, 2014); Hilarity, (New Issues Press, 2009), Mechanical Cluster (Ohio State University Press, 2002) and Diasporadic (Helicon Nine Editions, 1998). She earned a BS and an MS in Journalism from Northwestern University, an MFA in Poetry from University of California, Irvine, and a Ph.D. in Poetry and Literature from the University of Houston. She is a professor at California State University, Long Beach.

Patty Seyburn

Nickole Brown received her MFA from Vermont College, studied literature at Oxford University, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She worked at Sarabande Books for ten years. She’s the author of Sister, published in 2007 with a new edition reissued in 2018. Her second book, Fanny Says (BOA Editions), won the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Poetry in 2015. Currently, she is the Editor for the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and teaches at the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program and the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNCA. She lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs, in Asheville, NC, where she volunteers at three different animal sanctuaries. A sequence called The Donkey Elegies will be published as a chapbook by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2020. 

Nickole Brown

Mark Turcotte (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) is the author of 4 poetry collections, including The Feathered Heart and Exploding Chippewas. His poetry and prose have appeared in national and international journals and magazines, and he is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and Wordcraft Circle among others. He teaches in the English Department at DePaul University.

Mark Turcotte

Barbara Monier has been writing since the earliest days when she composed in crayon on paper with extremely wide lines. She studied writing at Yale University and the University of Michigan. While at Michigan, she received the Avery and Jule Hopwood Prize. It was the highest prize awarded that year, and the first in Michigan’s history for a piece written directly for the screen. She has three completed novels, YOU, IN YOUR GREEN SHIRT and A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME (available on Amazon) as well as PUSHING THE RIVER (Amika Press, October 2018).  She lives and works in Chicago.

Barbara Monier

Barbara Monier has been writing since the earliest days when she composed in crayon on paper with extremely wide lines. She studied writing at Yale University and the University of Michigan. While at Michigan, she received the Avery and Jule Hopwood Prize. It was the highest prize awarded that year, and the first in Michigan’s history for a piece written directly for the screen. She has three completed novels, YOU, IN YOUR GREEN SHIRT and A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME (available on Amazon) as well as PUSHING THE RIVER (Amika Press, October 2018).  She lives and works in Chicago.

Barbara Monier has been writing since the earliest days when she composed in crayon on paper with extremely wide lines. She studied writing at Yale University and the University of Michigan. While at Michigan, she received the Avery and Jule Hopwood Prize. It was the highest prize awarded that year, and the first in Michigan’s history for a piece written directly for the screen. She has three completed novels, YOU, IN YOUR GREEN SHIRT and A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME (available on Amazon) as well as PUSHING THE RIVER (Amika Press, October 2018).  She lives and works in Chicago.

Dipika Mukherjee is the author of the novels Shambala Junction, which won the UK Virginia Prize for Fiction, and Ode to Broken Things, which was longlisted for the Man Asia Literary Prize. Her short story collection is Rules of Desire (Fixi, 2015) and she has two poetry collections, The Third Glass of Wine (Writer’s Workshop, 2015), and The Palimpsest of Exile (Rubicon Press, 2009). Her work is included in The Best Small Fictions 2019 and she frequently writes for World Literature TodayAsia Literary Review and Chicago Quarterly Review as well as a literary column for The Edge in Malaysia.

Dipika Mukherjee

Thomas Burke received a BA from Union College and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Eastbound into the Cosmos (MadHat Press, 2019) is his first novel. He has contributed work to Tin House, The Rumpus, Playboy, Hobart Pulp and St. Petersburg Review, among other places. He has taught at UMass Amherst, the Newberry Library, and Northwestern University, where he is currently assistant director of the Kaplan Humanities Institute.


Formerly Burke helped direct the Summer Literary Seminars in Russia and co-founded its sister program in Kenya. He lives in Evanston, IL with his wife and two children.

Thomas Burke

Molia Dumbleton’s debut collection of fiction was a finalist for the 2018 Iowa Short Fiction Award. Individual stories from that collection have been awarded the Sean O’Faolain International Story Prize, the Columbia Journal Winter Fiction Prize, and other honors, and can be read in New England Review, Kenyon Review, Cincinnati Review, Witness, SmokeLong Quarterly, the Bath and Bridport Prize Anthologies, and elsewhere. She writes, edits, and teaches for various universities and arts organizations around the city.

Molia Dumbleton

Rachel DeWoskin is on the core fiction faculty and is an affiliated faculty member of Jewish Studies and East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago. She is the author of five novels, including the critically acclaimed BansheeSomeday We Will Fly; and Big Girl Small. Her essays, articles, and poems have appeared in a variety of outlets and anthologies, and her memoir, Foreign Babes in Beijing, has been published in six countries and is being developed as a television series. 

Rachel DeWoskin

William Stobb is the author of six poetry collections including You Are Still Alive (2019, 42 Miles Press) and the National Poetry Series selection, Nervous Systems (2007, Penguin Books). His poems appear in American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Kenyon Review, and other journals and zines. His experimental audio appears on TextSound and The Volta, and is collected on his Soundcloud page. He works on the editorial staff of Conduit, and on the Creative Writing faculty at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse.

William Stobb

Jessica Jacobs is the author of Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going (Four Way Books) and Pelvis with Distance (White Pine Press), winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Her poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in publications including Orion, New England Review, Guernica, and The Missouri Review.  An avid long-distance runner, Jessica has worked as a rock climbing instructor, bartender, and professor, and now serves as the Chapbook Editor of Beloit Poetry Journal. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her wife, the poet Nickole Brown.

Jessica Jacobs

2019 Season

Nami Mun is the author of Miles from Nowhere, which has received a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Hopwood Award, the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and the Asian American Literary Award. Miles from Nowhere went on to become a national bestseller. Some of Nami’s honors include fellowships and support from The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Bread Loaf, Tin House, and Northwestern University. Her work can be found in The New York Times, Granta, Tin House, The Iowa Review, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, and Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation, among others. She’s currently an Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern.

Nami Mun

Jennifer Steele is a native of Middletown, CT, and a current Chicagoan, and received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago in 2008. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Revolving Door Arts alongside her service to the young people of Chicago through her work at Chicago Public Library. She is a 2015 fellow of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and her work has appeared in Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Callaloo, Columbia Poetry Review, and others. She is the author of the chapbook A House In Its Hunger (Central Square Press, 2018). 

Jennnifer Steele

Aricka Foreman is a poet, editor and educator from Detroit, MI. Author of Dream with a Glass Chamber and Salt Body Shimmer (forthcoming from YesYes Books), she has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Her poems, essays and features have appeared in The Offing, Buzzfeed, Vinyl, RHINO, The Blueshift Journal, Day One, shuf Poetry, James Franco Review, THRUSH, Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation (Viking Penguin), among others. 

Aricka Foreman

Erika L. Sánchez is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. A poet, essayist, and fiction writer, she is the author of a young adult novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, a 2017 finalist for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, and instant New York Times Bestseller; and the poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion, a finalist for the PEN America Open Book Award. She is a 2019 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts in Poetry, and was a 2017-2019 Princeton Arts Fellow. She was recently appointed the Son Juana Inés de la Cruz Chair at DePaul University.  

 Erika L. Sánchez

Tara Betts is the author of Break the Habit and Arc & Hue and the chapbooks 7 x 7: kwansabas and THE GREATEST!: An Homage to Muhammad Ali. She is part of the MFA faculty at Stonecoast-University of Southern Maine. Her poetry and prose has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.

Tara Betts

Kevin Coval is a poet & author of A People's History of Chicago, Everything Must Go: The Life & Death of an American Neighborhood & over ten other collections, anthologies & chapbooks. He is the founder & editor of The BreakBeat Poets series on Haymarket Books, Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors, which won a MacArthur Award in 2016, & founder of Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, the world's largest youth poetry festival, now in more than 19 cities around North America. He also is the recipient of the 2019 Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Advocacy Award, the 2018 Studs Terkel Award & the 2017 John Peter Altgeld Freedom of Speech Award. He co-hosts the podcast The Cornerstore on WGN Radio & can be found @kevincoval.

Kevin Coval

Fred Schmalz is an artist and poet. His first collection, Action in the Orchards (Nightboat Books), responds to encounters with dance, music, and visual art. His writing has appeared in Poetry, Conduit, A Public Space, and elsewhere. He makes art with Susy Bielak in the collective Balas & Wax.

Fred Schmalz

Rebecca Makkai's latest novel, The Great Believers, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; it was the winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Book Award, and the LA Times Book Prize; and it was one of the New York Times' Ten Best Books of 2018. Her other books are the novels The Borrower  and The Hundred-Year House, and the collection Music for Wartime -- four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. Rebecca is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University. She is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago. Visit her at on Twitter @rebeccamakkai.

Rebecca Makkai

Ola Faleti is an essayist, poet, occasional fiction writer, and native Chicagoan. Her work has appeared in Hypertext Magazine, Rustbelt Chicago: An Anthology, Lunch Ticket, James Franco Review and elsewhere. Currently, Ola is working on a collection of poems about fictional best friends. In the daytime, she writes grants for a local creative writing nonprofit. She believes there's no such thing as too many flowers. 

Ola Faleti

Laura Adamczyk is the author of the short story collection Hardly Children, published by FSG Originals in 2018. Her writing has appeared in such journals as McSweeney’s, Salt Hill, and Tin House, and in 2014, her story “Girls,” published in Guernica, won the Dzanc Books/Disquiet International Literary Program Award. She lives in Chicago.

Laura Adamczyk

Amish Trivedi is the author of Your Relationship to Motion Has Changed, out from Shearsman this past January, and Sound/Chest, which came out in 2015. He has an MFA from Brown’s Program in Literary Arts and is at work on a PhD in Critical Theory and English at Illinois State University. He has poems in New American Writing, Kenyon Online, and Typo. He has reviewed books for Jacket2, Pleiades, and Sink. He has review music for The Rumpus. For the time being, he lives in Normal, IL.

Amish Trivedi

Maya Marshall is a writer and an editor. She is co-founder of the journal on the practical magic of poetic revision. Marshall has earned fellowships from MacDowell, Vermont Studio Center, Callaloo, and Cave Canem, and the Community of Writers. She serves as a senior editor for [PANK] and works as a manuscript editor for Haymarket Books. Her poems have appeared in RHINO, Potomac Review, Blackbird and elsewhere.

Maya Marshall

Canadian-American poet James Arthur is the author of The Suicide’s Son (Véhicule Press 2019) and Charms Against Lightning (Copper Canyon Press, 2012.) His poems have also appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Review of Books, The American Poetry Review, The New Republic, and The London Review of Books. He has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Hodder Fellowship, a Stegner Fellowship, a Discovery/The Nation Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship to Northern Ireland, and a Visiting Fellowship at Exeter College, Oxford. Arthur lives in Baltimore, where he teaches in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

James Arthur

Douglas Kearney has published six books, including Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), winner of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, and California Book Award silver medalist (Poetry). Kearney’s Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly Award for Poetry, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. Kearney teaches Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. (Photo by Bao Phi)

Douglas Kearney

Micah Ruelle is a queer poet from America’s heartland. She holds a CPTS from Oxford University’s Wycliffe Hall and an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State. Her forthcoming chapbook, Failure to Merge, is out this June from Finishing Line Press. She currently resides in the Kansas City area.

Micah Ruelle

Connie Voisine is the author of The Bower (2019) and the recent chapbook of poems, And God Created Women. Her work has been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and has won the Associated Writing Program’s Award in Poetry. She has poems published in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. A former Fulbright Fellow to Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, she lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico and Chicago. 

Connie Voisine

Hannah Gamble is a poet, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, and director. Her first book of poems Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, won the National Poetry Series in 2011. In 2014, she received the Ruth Lilly/ Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg fellowship from the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. She is the writer and director of “Rad Program” (a short play about the midwest’s first community college to offer an associate’s degree in not getting raped) and is currently working on a web series called Choose Me: An Abortion Story.

Hannah Gamble

Vu Tran was born in Vietnam and raised in Oklahoma. His first novel, Dragonfish, was a NY Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of the Year. He is the recipient of a Whiting Award and an NEA Fellowship, and his short fiction has appeared in the O. Henry Prize Stories, the Best American Mystery Stories, and other publications. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Black Mountain Institute in Las Vegas, he is currently a criticism columnist for the Virginia Quarterly Review and an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts at the University of Chicago.

Vu Tran

Jeremy T. Wilson is the author of the short story collection Adult Teeth. He is a former winner of the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award for short fiction, and his work has appeared in literary magazines such as The Carolina Quarterly, The Florida ReviewHobart, RHINO, Sonora Review, Third Coast and other publications. He holds an MFA from Northwestern University and teaches creative writing at The Chicago High School for the Arts. He lives in Evanston, Illinois with his wife and daughter.

Jeremy T. Wilson

Jan-Henry Gray was born in the Philippines, grew up in California, worked as a chef in San Francisco, and lives in Chicago, where he co-hosts Meanwhile, a live lit and zine-making event. Jan is the recipient of awards from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, and the Undocupoets Fellowship. His work has been published in Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color, The Rumpus, DIAGRAM, and other journals. He is the author of the chapbook Selected Emails of Jan-Henry Gray. His first book, Documents, won BOA Editions’ Poulin Poetry Prize and comes out through in April, 2019.

Jan-Henry Gray

John McCarthy is the author of Scared Violent like Horses (Milkweed Editions, 2019), which won the Jake Adam York Prize, and Ghost County (Midwestern Gothic Press, 2016), which was named a Best Poetry Book of 2016 by The Chicago Review of Books. He is the 2016 winner of The Pinch Literary Award in Poetry and his work has appeared in American Literary Review, Copper Nickel, Hayden's Ferry Review, Sycamore Review, TriQuarterly, Zone 3 and in anthologies such as Best New Poets 2015 and New Poetry from the Midwest 2017. He serves as an editor for Quiddity International Literary Journal and Public-Radio Program as well as RHINO magazine. John received his MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and now lives in Evanston, Illinois.

John McCarthy

Juan Martinez is the author of Best Worst American, a story collection published by Small Beer Press and the inaugural winner of the Neukom Institute Award for Debut Speculative Fiction. He lives in Chicago and is an assistant professor at Northwestern University. His work has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies, including Glimmer Train, McSweeney's, Huizache, Ecotone, NPR's Selected Shorts, Mississippi Review and elsewhere. Visit and say hi at

Juan Martinez

Logan February is a Nigerian poet. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Washington Square Review, The Adroit Journal, Vinyl, Paperbag, Tinderbox, Raleigh Review, and more. He is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, and his debut collection, Mannequin in the Nude (PANK Books, 2019) was a finalist for the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. He is the author of two chapbooks, and the Associate Director of Winter Tangerine's Dovesong Labs.  

Logan February

Megan Volpert writes for PopMatters 

and is the author of a bunch of books on communication and popular culture, including two Lambda Literary Award finalists. Her most recent book is Boss Broad (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019). She has been teaching high school English in Atlanta for over a decade and was 2014 Teacher of the Year. She edited the American Library Association-honored anthology This assignment is so gay: LGBTIQ Poets on the Art of Teaching, and co-edited Tom Petty and Philosophy.

Megan Volpert

Nik De Dominic is an essayist and poet, the author of the forthcoming collection of poems Dear Wolf (Spork Press '19) and the chapbook, Your Daily Horoscope (New Michigan Press '15). Work has appeared in Guernica, Los Angeles Review, DIAGRAM, Fairy Tale Review, Sonora Review, and elsewhere. He is the poetry editor of New Orleans Review and a founding editor of The Offending Adam. De Dominic teaches in the Writing Program at the University of Southern California, where he is also the Co-Director of Public Humanities at the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics, coordinating its prison education initiative.

Nik De Dominic

Diana Khoi Nguyen’s debut collection, Ghost Of (Omnidawn, 2018), was selected by Terrance Hayes for the Omnidawn Open Contest. In addition to winning the 92Y "Discovery" / Boston Review Poetry Contest, she is pursuing a PhD in creative writing at the University of Denver.

Diana Khoi Nguyen
Toni Nealie

Toni Nealie is the author of the essay collection The Miles Between Me and the Literary Editor of Newcity. Her nonfiction and fiction have appeared in Guernica, Rust Belt: Chicago, The Guardian, The Rumpus, The Offing, Essay Daily, Chicago Quarterly Review, Hobart, Entropy, Hypertext 

Review, Tell You What: Great New Zealand Nonfiction and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing – Nonfiction from Columbia College Chicago, a BA in English Literature and a diploma in Journalism. She worked in magazine journalism, politics and public relations in her native New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Singapore, and now edits, writes and teaches in Chicago.

Vincent Francone

Vincent Francone is the author of the memoir Like a Dog and the essay collection The Soft Lunacy. His work has appeared in Rain Taxi, Rhino, New City, The Oklahoma Review, and other web and print journals. He won 1st place in the 2009 Illinois Emerging Writers Competition. He hosts a podcast called Drinking and Talking and is at work on a story collection. Visit his website to learn more and see pictures of his dog.

Krista Franklin

Krista Franklin is the recipient of the Propeller Fund and the Albert P. Weisman Award and has held residencies at A Studio in the Woods, Cave Canem, and the University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life Initiative. Her poems and visual art have been published in Black CameraCopper NickelCallalooVinyl , and BOMB Magazine. Willow Books published Study of Love & Black Body, her chapbook of poems, in 2012. Franklin’s work has exhibited nationally and was featured on 20th Century Fox’s Empire (Season Two). She is the co-curator of the Chicago citywide poetry and art initiative, EKPHEST: A Festival of Art + Word. She holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts – Book & Paper from Columbia College Chicago.

Sam Herschel Wein

Sam Herschel Wein lives in Chicago and specializes in aimless frolicking. His chapbook, Fruit Mansion (Split Lip Press, 2017) was the winner of the 2016 Turnbuckle Chapbook prize. He runs a new journal, Underblong, with his best friend, Chen Chen. See what he's up to at

Marty McConnell

Marty McConnell's recently released second poetry collection, when they say you can’t go home again, what they mean is you were never there, won the 2017 Michael Waters Poetry Prize. Her work has recently appeared in Best American Poetry, Vinyl, Southern Humanities Review, Gulf Coast, and Mid-American Review. She is co-founder and editor of underbelly, an online magazine focused on the art and magic of poetry revision. Her first full-length collection is “wine for a shotgun,” (EM Press,) and YesYes Book recently published her first non-fiction book, Gathering Voices: Creating a Community-Based Poetry Workshop

Leila Chatti

Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and author of Ebb (Akashic Books, 2018) and Tunsiya/Amrikiya (Bull City Press, 2018). She is the recipient of scholarships from the Tin House Writers’ Workshop, The Frost Place, and the Key West Literary Seminar, a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Cleveland State University, where she is the inaugural Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Publishing and Writing. Her poems appear in Ploughshares, Tin House, American Poetry Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere.

Anna Maria Hong’s first poetry collection, Age of Glass, won the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s First Book Poetry Competition and was published in April 2018. Her novella, H & G, won the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Clarissa Dalloway Prize and was published by Sidebrow Books in May 2018. Her second poetry collection, Fablesque, won Tupelo Press’s Berkshire Prize and is forthcoming in early 2020. A former Bunting Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, she has published poetry, fiction, and essay in The Nation, The Iowa Review, Poetry, The Best American Poetry, and many other places. She joined the Literature faculty at Bennington College in July 2018.

Anna Maria Hong

Anders Carlson-Wee is the author of The Low Passions (Norton, 2019). His work has appeared in BuzzFeed, Ploughshares,The Nation, Kenyon Review, The Sun, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. His chapbook, Dynamite, won the Frost Place Chapbook Prize. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the McKnight Foundation, Bread Loaf, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He is codirector of the award-winning poetry film Riding the Highline and winner of Ninth Letter’s Poetry Award, Blue Mesa Review’s Poetry Prize, New Delta Review’s Editors’ Choice Prize, and the 2017 Poetry International Prize. He holds an MFA from Vanderbilt University and lives in Minneapolis.

Anders Carlson-Wee
Tyler Mills

Tyler Mills is the author of two books of poems, Hawk Parable (winner of the 2017 Akron Poetry Prize) and Tongue Lyre (winner of the 2011 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian, and Poetry, and her essays have appeared in AGNI, Copper Nickel, and The Rumpus. The recipient of residencies from Yaddo, Ragdale, and the Vermont Studio Center, and scholarships/fellowships from Bread Loaf and Sewanee, the Chicago native is an assistant professor at New Mexico Highlands University, editor-in-chief of The Account, and a resident of Santa Fe, NM.

GennaRose Nethercott’s book The Lumberjack’s Dove (Ecco/HarperCollins) was selected by Louise Glück as a winner of the National Poetry Series for 2017. She is also the lyricist behind the narrative song collection Modern Ballads and is a Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellow. Her work has appeared widely in journals and anthologies including The Massachusetts Review, The Offing, and PANK, has she been a writer-in-residence at the Shakespeare & Company bookstore, Art Farm Nebraska, and The Vermont Studio Center, among others. A born Vermonter, she tours nationally and internationally composing poems-to-order for strangers on a 1952 Hermes Rocket typewriter.


Elizabeth Schmuhl is a multidisciplinary artist whose work appears in The Rumpus, Michigan Quarterly Review, Gramma, Paper Darts, PANK, Pinwheel, and elsewhere. Her book, Premonitions, is recently out from Wayne State University Press. Elizabeth has worked at various non-profits, including the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and currently works as a Marketing Strategist and Campaign Manager for Shamel Pitts, and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Find her online here.

Elizabeth Schmuhl

2018 Season


C. Russell Price is a genderqueer poet originally from Virginia but now lives on Chicago’s north side. Previous publications include Assaracus, Court Green, Hound, MiPOesias, Weave, and elsewhere. Price works with The Offing (a channel of the LA Review of Books), Story Club Magazine, and TriQuarterly. They are a 2015 Lambda fellow in poetry and hold a BA from the University of Virginia and an MFA from Northwestern University, where they currently teach creative writing. Price’s chapbook Tonight, We Fuck The Trailer Park Out of Each Other was released by Sibling Rivalry Press in Summer 2016. ​

C. Russell Price

Anne K. Yoder fiction, nonfiction, and criticism have appeared in Fence, Bomb, Tin House, and BlackBook, among other publications. Her story “The Art of Forgetting,” originally published in Fence, was listed as a notable story in the Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012. Anne is a staff writer for The Millions, and co-editrix of Projecttile, a journal of nontraditional writing with a feminist bent. She received an MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was a Trustee Scholar and Writing Fellow. She currently lives in the tundra, better known as the city of Chicago.

Anne K. Yoder

Janice Tuck Lively is a fiction writer and holds a PhD in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her fiction and creative non-fiction has appeared in the anthology The Thing About Love Is..., Hair Trigger, Obsidian III: Literature in the African Diaspora, Valley Voices: A Literary Review, among other publications. She lives in Chicago and teaches creative writing and literature at Elmhurst College. She is currently working on her first novel A Dress for Dorothy Dandridge.

Janice Tuck Lively

Tina Jenkins Bell is an active member of Chicago’s writing community, having been a Ragdale resident twice and a CAAP’s grant recipient. As a cofounder of the West Side Writer’s Guild and FLOW (For Love of Writing), Bell has contributed to efforts to educate other writers on the business side of art. She’s also performed readings at various venues, including the Harold  Washington Library, University of Chicago, American Bookseller Association’s Expo, Printer’s Row, Lollapalooza, Columbia College, The African Festival, and the Beverly Arts Center. Bell is currently completing final edits for Mud Pies, a novel and Cut the Baby in Half, a play. She lives with her family and unpredictable pup, Bella, on Chicago’s South Side.

Tina Jenkins Bell

Carlo Matos has published ten books, including The Quitters (Tortoise Books) and It's Best Not to Interrupt Her Experiments (Negative Capability Press). He also co-edited an anthology with Luis Gonçalves, Writers of the Portuguese Diaspora in the United States and Canada. His poems, stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in such journals as Iowa Review, Boston Review, Rhino, among others. Carlo has received grants and fellowships from CantoMundo, the Illinois Arts Council, the Fundação Luso-Americana, the Sundress Academy for the Arts, and the La Romita School of Art in Italy.  He currently lives in Chicago, is a professor at the City Colleges of Chicago, and is a former MMA fighter and kickboxer. 

Carlo Matos
Carlo Matos

Amy Sayre Baptista’s writing has appeared in The Best Small Fictions 2017, Ninth Letter, The Butter, Alaska Quarterly Review, and other journals. Her flash fiction chapbook Primitivity is available from Black Lawrence Press, Sept 2018. She has received a SAFTA fellowship, a CantoMundo Poetry fellowship, and a scholarship  to the Disquiet Literary Festival in Lisbon, Portugal. She performs with Kale Soup for the Soul, a Portuguese-American artist’s collective, and Poetry While You Wait. She is a cofounder of Plates&Poetry, a community arts program focused on food and writing. She earned an MFA in fiction at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and she teaches humanities at Western Governors University. 

Amy Sayre Baptista

Emily Jungmin Yoon is the author of Ordinary Misfortunes (Tupelo Press, 2017), winner of the Sunken Garden Chapbook Prize, selected by Maggie Smith. Her first full-length, A Cruelty Special to Our Species, is forthcoming from Ecco. Born in Busan, Republic of Korea, Yoon earned her BA in English and communication at the University of Pennsylvania and her MFA in creative writing at New York University. Her poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in the New Yorker, 

Poetry, Pinwheel, and elsewhere. She is the poetry editor for The Margins, and is pursuing a PhD in Korean literature in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. In 2017, Yoon was a recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.

Emily Jungmin Yoon

Ben Clark grew up in Nebraska and now lives in Chicago, where he works as an editor for Muzzle Magazine and Thoughtcrime Press. He has two collections of poetry: if you turn around I will turn around (2015) and Reasons to Leave the Slaughter (2011). Collaboration has become a major part of his writing practice, and he’s been lucky enough to work with GennaRose Nethercott, Whitney Seiler, Colin Winnette, Rebecca Elliott, and Kate Jury. He’s widely published in both online and print journals, included in several print anthologies, been featured online at Verse Daily, and nominated for a Best of the Net award. This October, he’ll be living with raccoons, sipping whiskey, and collaborating with Josh Gaines at Art Farm Nebraska, a multi-disciplinary artist and writer residency.

Ben Clark

Sam Gennett recently received a B.A. in English at Lewis University, alongside a minor in Film Studies. While attending Lewis, Sam served as Managing Editor of Jet Fuel Review. Her poetry has been featured in Windows Fine Arts Magazine, and her chapbook  Schadenfreude (with artwork by Lauren Levato Coyne) is available from dancing girl press, 2018.

Sam Gennett

Matthew DeMarco is a writer and editor living in Chicago. His work has appeared on and in Columbia Poetry Review, Ghost City Review, Landfill, and elsewhere. Poems that he wrote with Faizan Syed have appeared in Dogbird and are forthcoming in They Said, an anthology of collaborative writing from Black Lawrence Press.

Matthew DeMarco

Poet and editor Jacob Saenz was born in Chicago and raised in Cicero, Illinois. He earned a BA in creative writing from Columbia College in Chicago. Saenz has been an editor at Columbia Poetry Review and an associate editor at RHINO. He works as an acquisitions assistant at the Columbia College library and has read his poetry at a number of Chicago venues. A CantoMundo fellow, he has also been the recipient of a Letras Latinas Residency Fellowship and a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship. His poetry book Throwing the Crown was awarded the 2018 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize and will be published in September 2018.

Jacob Saenz

Tim Kinsella is a musician, author, and film director. He has been a member of many bands, including Cap'n JazzJoan of ArcMake BelieveAmerican FootballOwls, Friend/Enemy, 

Everyoned, and others. He is the writer-director of the feature film Orchard Vale, which opened at the Chicago Underground Film Festival on August 15, 2007. His first novel, entitled The Karaoke Singer's Guide to Self-Defense, was published by Featherproof Books in September 2011. His second book, Let Go and Go On and On (Curbside Splendor Publishing), takes its inspiration from the late actress Laurie Bird's brief film career in the '70s, and was published in April 2014.

Tim Kinsella

David Welch is the author of the forthcoming collection, Everyone Who Is Dead, and a chapbook, It Is Such a Good Thing to Be In Love with You. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in journals including Cincinnati Review, Greensboro Review, and Pleiades. The recipient of the Poetry Society of America's Lucille Medwick Memorial Award and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers' Conference, he lives in Chicago and teaches at DePaul University, where he is Assistant Director of Literary Programs and Outreach. 

David Welch