Chris Abani

Chris Abani's prose includes Song For Night (Akashic, 2007), The Virgin of Flames (Penguin, 2007), Becoming Abigail (Akashic, 2006), GraceLand (FSG, 2004), and Masters of the Board (Delta, 1985). His poetry collections are Sanctificum (Copper Canyon Press, 2010), There Are No Names for Red (Red Hen Press, 2010), Feed Me The Sun - Collected Long Poems (Peepal Tree Press, 2010) Hands Washing Water (Copper Canyon, 2006), Dog Woman (Red Hen, 2004), Daphne's Lot (Red Hen, 2003), and Kalakuta Republic (Saqi, 2001). He holds a BA in English (Nigeria), an MA in Gender and Culture (Birkbeck College, University of London), an MA in English and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing (University of Southern California). He is currently a Regents Board of Trustees Endowed Professor of English at Northwestern University in Evanston.  He has been the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize & a Guggenheim Award.

Neil Aitken

Neil Tangaroa Aitken is the author of The Lost Country of Sight which won the 2007 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry and was published by Anhinga Press in 2008. His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times and has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, The Drunken Boat, Ninth Letter, Poetry Southeast, Sou'wester, and elsewhere. In collaboration with Chinese poet-translator Ming Di, he translated The Book of Cranes by Zang Di and later, Ming Di's own first selected poems, River Merchant's Wife. He is currently co-translating an anthology of contemporary Chinese poets and recently received the DJS Translation Prize for his translation work.

Andrew Allport

Andrew Allport is the author of the book the body | of space | in the shape of the human (New Issues Press, 2012) and the chapbook The Ice Ship & Other Vessels (Proem Press, 2008). He holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California, and his poems and essays appear widely.

Josh Bernstein

Josh Bernstein is the fiction editor of Tikkun magazine and an assistant professor of English at the University of Minnesota Duluth. A Chicago native, he studied Near Eastern History at Brown University and went to Jordan on a Fulbright Scholarship, after which he lived in the Middle East for five years and completed a doctorate at USC. His stories and essays have appeared in the Boston Review, Kenyon Review, Tin House, Shenandoah, and other literary venues, as well as academic journals, and have won honors from Crab Orchard Review, Madison Review, The Atlantic, and the James Jones First Novel Award. 

Jackson Bliss

Born and raised in Northern Michigan until early adolescence, groomed in Chicago and the West Coast until warped adulthood, Jackson Bliss is a hapa fiction writer. He has a BA in comp lit from Oberlin College, a MFA in fiction from the University of Notre Dame where he was the Fiction Fellow and the 2007 Sparks Prize winner, MA in English, and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from USC. Jackson was the 1st Runner-up for the 2012 Poets & Writer's California Writer's Exchange Award in fiction. His short stories and lyrical essays have appeared in Tin House, Antioch Review, Kenyon Review, Fiction, Boston Review, Quarterly West, ZYZZYVA, Fiction International, Notre Dame Review, African American Review, Kartika Review, Quarter After Eight, Connecticut Review, Stand (UK), 3:am Magazine, The Good Men Project, News (Australia) and Huffington Post UKamong others. He's a lecturer in the English department at the University of California, Irvine. 

Amaranth Borsuk

A poet and scholar, Amaranth Borsuk’s work focuses on textual materiality—from the surface of the page to the surface of language. Her most recent book is As We Know, an erasure collaboration with Andy Fitch (Subito Press, 2014). Her previous books include Handiwork, selected by Paul Hoover for the 2011 Slope Editions Poetry Prize (Slope Editions, 2012); a chapbook, Tonal Saw (The Song Cave, 2010); and, with Brad Bouse, the hybrid digital/print artist’s book Between Page and Screen (Siglio Press, 2012). Abraa collaboration with Kate Durbin, is forthcoming from 1913 Press. She is the 2011 recipient of the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize for “A New Vessel,” selected by Ilya Kaminsky, and her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared widely in print and online.

Amaranth recently served as Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at MIT where, in addition to researching technological mediation in the work of modernist and contemporary poets, she taught classes in creative writing and digital and visual poetry and poetics. She currently teaches in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and in the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics at the University of Washington, Bothell.

Jillian Burcar

Jillian Burcar is a writer of fiction.

Michael Reid Busk

Michael Busk was born Catholic and Pentecostal in northern Indiana during the tail end of the first Reagan Administration. The seventh of eight high-octane siblings, he attended Notre Dame, where he wrote much and drank little, but at least had the comfort of returning home every night to Knute Rockne’s old house, which was later occupied by Flannery O’Connor’s fiancé. Although the forward pass was perfected in his backyard, he still believes a solid running game is the key to a successful offense. After graduating, he completed a master’s at the University of Nebraska, where he survived homicidal neighbors and Willa Cather winters, and had a long chat with Gillian Welch at a pizza bar. A few summers ago he played on a barnstorming baseball team that toured rural Nebraska in an un-airconditioned 1977 Toyota Dolphin camper, a period during which he subsisted off of hot dogs, Snickers bars, and High Life. He’s a PhD candidate in the University of Southern California’s Literature and Creative Writing Program, but usually he can be found in South Bend, where he lives with his wonderful wife. He can also be found in the pages of journals such as Gettysburg Review, Fiction International, Florida Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and other magazines. His fictional interests include: wine snobs, savant children, cartoons, fertility cults, the undead, Young Republicans, football, phrenology, Bono, crucifixion, 50s housewives, rock and roll, Brian Boitano, the Resurrection of the Dead, and the end of the world.

Elizabeth Cantwell

Elizabeth Cantwell is a poet and teacher. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, screenwriter Christopher Cantwell, and their son and small dog. She teaches Humanities at The Webb Schools in Claremont.

Elizabeth has a B.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of journals, including PANK, Anti-, The Los Angeles Review, La Petite Zine, and The Literary Review.

Her book of poems, Nights I Let The Tiger Get You (Black Lawrence Press, 2014), was a finalist for the 2012 Hudson Prize; she is also the author of a chapbook, Premonitions (Grey Book Press, 2014).

Jeff Chisum

Jeffrey Chisum is a fiction writer.  His stories have appeared in L.A. Weekly, The Mississippi Review, and in the anthology, Literary Nevada.  His literary scholarship has focused on the American West, with a special emphasis on the Great Basin--especially Nevada. 

Ava Chin

Ava Chin is the author of Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal (Simon & Schuster), which won 1st Prize in the MFK Fisher Book Awards. Kirkus called Eating Wildly “A delectable feast of the heart,” and Library Journal chose it as one of the “Best Books of 2014.” Her writing has appeared in The New York Times (“Urban Forager”), the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Marie Claire, Saveur, The Village Voice, and Eating Well, among others. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, and an M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. A former slam poet, she is an associate professor of creative nonfiction at CUNY and a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University. The Huffington Post named her one of "9 Contemporary Authors You Should Be Reading."

Jennifer Clark

Jennifer Clark is a fabulist. Through art she tells stories that have moral leanings. She peeks under rocks and lets her imagination get away from her. She gets carried away. She photographs and paints. She writes essays and fables and poems. Maybe a documentary film. She hikes. A lot. She hugs trees and worships the water. She imbibes on occasion. Then she hugs more trees.

Stephan Eirik Clark

Stephan Eirik Clark is the author of Sweetness #9 (Little, Brown & Company Aug. 2014), and the short story collection Vladimir’s Mustache (Russian Life Books 2012), a finalist for the 2013 Minnesota Book Award. Clark’s short stories have been published in numerous magazines, including Ninth Letter, Cincinnati Review, Witness, and LA Weekly; twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize; short-listed for the Fish Publishing Historical Fiction Prize; and given special mention in Drunken Boat’s inaugural Pan Literary Awards contest, among other honors. His novella, The Castrato of St. Petersburg, was named a finalist in the Ruth Anne Wiley Novella Contest, judged by Josip Novakovich, and later published by Salt Hill. Clark’s essays have appeared in Swink, Ninth Letter, Salt Hill and elsewhere, and been recognized as notable works in Best of the Web 2009 and Best American Essays 2009 and 2010.

Clark has taught writing at UC Davis, USC, and Kharkov National University, the second-oldest university in Ukraine. He holds an M.A. in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing from the University of California, Davis and a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. A former print and radio journalist and one-time member of USC Film School’s filmic writing division, he currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota and teaches at Augsburg College.


Jennifer Kwon Dobbs

Poet, librettist, teacher, and critic, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs's Paper Pavilion received the White Pine Press Poetry Prize and the New England Poetry Club’s Sheila Motton Book Award, and Song of a Mirror was a finalist for the Tupelo Snowbound Chapbook Award. In 2015, Essay Press published the mixed-genre chapbook Notes from a Missing Person. Most recently, Jennifer's work has appeared in 5 AM, Asian American Poetry and Writing, BlackbirdCrazyhorseCimarron Review, Fulcrum, Marsh Hawk Review, MiPOesiasPoetry NZSOLO NOVOamong others. She has received grants for her writing from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Intermedia Arts, and the Daesan Foundation. 

Committed to community, Dobbs is a regional coordinator for Nodutdol's Korea Education and Exposure Programs and a past fellow of the Korea Policy Institute. Previously, she has worked with transnational adoptee community as a life writing workshop facilitator; policy analyst for Justice for Adoptees: Stop the Deportation of Russell Green; advisory board member for Adopsource; steering committee member for IKAA's Second International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies; coordinator for IKAA's 2010 LIT Gathering; and education director for Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea. She has given over 50 print and radio interviews and presentations advocating for Korean unwed mother and transnational/transracial adoptee rights. She is associate professor of English and program director of Race and Ethnic Studies at St. Olaf College as well as the faculty adviser for The Quarry.

Emily Fridlund

Emily Fridlund grew up in Minnesota and currently lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Her fiction has appeared in a variety of journals, including Boston Review, Zyzzyva,Southwest Review, Five Chapters, New Orleans Review, New Delta Review, and Sou’wester. She holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Her collection of stories, Catapult, won the 2015 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and will be published with Sarabande Books. Her first novel, History of Wolves, is forthcoming with Grove / Atlantic Inc.

Stewart Grace

Originally from New York, Stewart Grace is the author of a hand-bound chapbook, The Shepherd’s Hour, and an as-yet untitled book-length collection of poems. Formerly a Poetry Editor for Canteen Magazine, he now teaches English at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory in San Francisco.

Bridget Hoida

Bridget Hoida lives and writes in an imaginary subdivision off the coast of Southern California. In a past life she was a librarian, a DJ, a high school teacher and a barista. In this life she experiments with poetry and fiction and has taught writing at UC Irvine, the University of Southern California and Saddleback College.

Bridget is the recipient of an Anna Bing Arnold Fellowship  and the Edward Moses prize for fiction. She was a finalist in the Joseph Henry Jackson/San Francisco Intersection for the Arts Award for a first novel and the William Faulkner Pirate’s Alley first novel contest.  Her short stories have appeared in the  Berkeley Fiction Review, Mary, and Faultline Journal, among others, and she was a finalist in the Iowa Review Fiction Prize and the Glimmer Train New Writer’s Short Story Contest. Her poetry  has been recognized as an Academy of American Poets Prize finalist and she was a Future Professoriate Scholar at USC.

She has a BA from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. So L.A. is her first novel.

Bryan Hurt

Bryan Hurt is the author of Everyone Wants to Be Ambassador to France (Starcherone) and editor of Watchlist: 32 Stories by Persons of Interest (OR Books). His stories and essays have been published in The American ReaderGuernicaThe Kenyon ReviewThe Los Angeles Review of BooksThe New England ReviewTin HouseTriQuarterly, among many others. He lives in Colorado.

Laura Johnson

Laura Johnson writes poems.

Siel Ju

Siel Ju is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Feelings Are Chemicals in Transitfrom Dancing Girl Press, and Might Club from Horse Less Press. Her poems and stories appear in Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, The Missouri Review, ZYZZYVA, Hobart, LIT, and other places.

Genevieve Kaplan

Genevieve Kaplan is the author of In the Ice House (Red Hen Press, 2011), winner of the A Room of Her Own Foundation's poetry publication prize, and Settings for These Scenes (Convulsive Editions, 2013), a chapbook of continual erasures. Her poems have been published in many journals, including ZYZZYVA, Gulf Coast, Copper Nickel, and Western Humanities Review. She documents artists' books, appropriated texts, and erasure practices in contemporary poetry on her blog The Forest and The Trees, and her critical essays on these subjects have appeared in Post45 Contemporaries and Opon. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz, Genevieve went on to earn her MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Since 2003 she has edited the Toad Press International chapbook series, publishing contemporary translations of poetry and prose. Genevieve lives in southern California where she teaches writing at Scripps College and coordinates the Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards at Claremont Graduate University. 
Vieve is also an editor and publisher -- she and her husband have been running the Toad Press international chapbook series since 2003, publishing contemporary translations. And, with her peers at USC, Vieve started Gold Line Press, which specializes in perfect-bound chapbooks of poetry and prose.

Katherine Karlin

Katherine Karlin's short story collection, Send Me Work, published by Northwestern University Press in fall 2011, was named a Kansas Notable Book of 2012. It received the Balcones Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award. Karlin's stories have appeared or are forthcoming in One Story, Triquarterly, New Letters, Kenyon Review, [PANK] and elsewhere. Her work has been selected for the Pushcart Prize and New Stories from the South. Her short story "Muscle Memory" was read as part of the "Stories on Stage" series at the Denver Performing Arts Center, and her short story “Sleeping Where Jean Seberg Slept” appears in the anthology Watchlist, edited by Bryan Hurt. Her essays have appeared in Lumen, Post Road, and the anthology One Word from Sarabande Press.

Karlin has written over 60 theater reviews and arts features for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Los Angeles Daily News. Earlier, she worked in oil refineries in Pennsylvania and Texas, a New Orleans shipyard, and a New York printshop. She received her MFA from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. She teaches creative writing and film at Kansas State University, where she directs the Gordon Parks Archive project.

Alexis Landau

Alexis Landau studied at Vassar College and received an MFA from Emerson College, and a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. The Empire of the Senses is her first novel, was published by Pantheon. She lives with her husband and her two children in Los Angeles.

Bonnie Nadzam

Bonnie Nadzam holds a BA in English Literature and Environmental Studies from Carleton College, and an MA and a PhD from the University of Southern California. Her novel Lamb (Other Press) was the winner of the 2011 Center for Fiction's Flaherty Dunnan First Novel Prize.

Jessica Piazza

Jessica Piazza is the author of three poetry collections: Interrobang (Red Hen Press), the chapbook This is not a sky (Black Lawrence Press) and Obliterations (with Heather Aimee O'Neill, Red Hen Press).  Interrobang won the 2011 To the Lighthouse Prize from the A Room of Her Own Foundation and the 2013 Balcones Prize from the Balcones Poetry Center in Austin, TX.  Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jessica now lives in Los Angeles where she teaches Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Southern California and poetry in the online MFA program at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, as well as moderating book clubs for Literary Affairs, a full service book club and literary event company in Beverly Hills. She is also Poetry Editor of Southern Pacific Review and curates Poetry Has Value, a site focused on conversations about poetry, money and worth.

Joshua Pryor

Professor Josh Pryor earned his PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California and is currently a member of the English faculty at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California. His deep fascination with the natural world and cutting edge science is evident in much of his work, including the nationally recognized novel Monkey in the Middle. Though primarily a fiction writer, it is the complex nature of reality and humankind’s role in the universe that holds for him the greatest intrigue. In his spare time, Josh extensively researches alternative theories in cryptozoology, history, evolution, and technology. Currently, Josh is researching a book of historical fiction chronicling the life and work of famed occultist, Aleister Crowley, of whom he is a direct descendant. His most recent book is Fade to Black (Red Hen Press).

Eric Rawson

Eric Rawson is the author of The Hummingbird Hour. When he is not writing poems, he follows the Dodgers with a disturbing intensity and produces jazz recordings. 

Saba Razvi

Saba Syed Razvi's poetry has appeared in The Offending Adam, Diner, Karamu, Anthology, The Homestead Review, 10x3 plus, 13th Warrior Review, The Arbor Vitae Review, Arsenic Lobster, and in the anthology Voices of Resistance: Muslim Women on War, Faith and Sexuality (Seal Press 2006). Her chapbook Of the Divining and the Dead was published by Finishing Line Press. She has been the recipient of a James A. Michener Fellowship, a Fania Kruger Fellowship, and a Virginia C. Middleton Fellowship on the basis of merit of her poetry. She recently completed a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at USC, where in addition to writing her doctoral dissertation on interfaces between science and contemporary poetry, she studied Sufi poetry in translation and worked on her fourth poetry manuscript. She is currently the Director and Assistant Professor of English at University of Houston-Victoria.

Richard Reid

Richard Reid is a conceptual artist and writer currently living in Brooklyn, New York, where he is developing a number of works that combine public space, poetics, handwriting, photography, paint, and the body. to be hung from the ceiling by strings of varying length is his latest book.

Chris Santiago

Chris Santiago's poems and book reviews have recently appeared in or are forthcoming from FIELD, Pleiades, Canteen, The Asian American Literary Review, and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. He currently teaches English at University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Nicky Sae-un Schildkraut

Nicky Sae-un Schildkraut’s first book Magnetic Refrain was published by Kaya Press in 2013. Her poems have appeared in Salmagundi, The New England Review, The Mississippi Review, The Sante Fe Review Online, the 2007 Korean-English anthology I Didn’t Know Who I Was, and most recently has poems featured in Asian American Poets and Writers. Nicky's critical dissertation investigates representations of Japanese colonization, the Korean civil war, and revolution in contemporary avant-garde poetry by Korean American artists. She served as the President for the Circle For Asian American Literary Studies, an organization of scholars, professors, and graduate students interested in Asian American and South/Southeast Asian literature. She currently teaches creative writing and college composition in Los Angeles.

Amy Newlove Schroeder

Amy Newlove Schroeder's first book, The Sleep Hotel, received the Field Prize and was published by Oberlin in 2010. Her poems and prose have appeared in American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, Boston Review, Ploughshares, and Pleiades. She currently lives and teaches in Los Angeles.

Suraj Shankar


Suraj Shankar is a fiction writer.

Ryan Shoemaker

A Pushcart-nominated writer, Ryan Shoemaker is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in the The MacGuffinWeber: The Contemporary WestSanta Monica Review, and Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, where he won the 2008 Best in Fiction Award, as well as two New Voices awards. Ryan lives in Burbank, California with his wife, Jennifer, and two children, Kieran and Haven.

Josie Sigler Sibara

Josie Sigler is the author of The Galaxie and Other Rides, a collection of stories set largely in post-industrial Detroit. Her book of poems, living must bury, won the Motherwell Prize and was published by Fence Books. Josie’s short work “The Compartment” garnered Gulf Coast’s Barthelme Prize. She has been a resident at The Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, The Millay Colony for the Arts, and The Studios of Key West. Josie also completed a PEN Northwest Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Residency, which affords a writer the opportunity to live on a remote homestead above Rogue River in southern Oregon’s Klamath Mountains. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant. Her novel recently won the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. Josie is a contributing editor to Tethered by Letters.

Brandon Som

Brandon Som holds degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Pittsburgh and has recently earned his Ph.D. in the Creative Writing and Literature program at the University of Southern California. Recent work has been published in Best New Poets 2007, McSweeney's Poets Picking Poets, Barrow Street, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook Babel's Moon won the Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Award. His collection The Tribute Horse won the Nightboat Poetry Prize in 2014, and then the Kate Tufts Discovery Award in 2015.

Anupa Srinivasan

Anupa Srinivasan is a writer of fiction.

Cody Todd

Cody Todd is the author of Graffiti Signatures (Main Street Rag, 2013) and of the chapbook To Frankenstein, My Father (Proem Press, 2008). His poems have appeared in the Gettysburg Review, Salt Hill, The Literary Review and elsewhere. He is the co-founder and Managing Editor of the online poetry journal, The Offending Adam. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of Writing at Ithaca College.

Luisa Villani

Luisa Rossina Villani was born on a vineyard in Tujunga, California in 1964. She holds degrees in English from California State University Northridge, a Masters in Fine Art in Poetry and a Masters in Women’s Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. She has taught English in Russia and the Ukraine, and in 1997 was the coordinator for Project Chiapas, a nonprofit organization which conducted a field study of indigenous politics at the Na-Bolom Cultural Museum in San Cristobal, Mexico. Her poetry chapbook, On the Eve of Everything, was published by WECS Press in 1998 as winner of their annual competition. Her poems have appeared in The New England Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Hiram Poetry Review, and other journals, and she has been a finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize.

  • Janalynn Bliss, Creative Writing Graduate Coordinator
  • University of Southern California
  • Department of English
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway, THH 431
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0354