Princess Dr. Sweet Ufumwen Akenzua-Ebeigbe was born in Benin City, Edo State (Nigeria) into the royal family of Benin, the last child of His Majesty, Oba of Benin, Oba Akenzua II (1899-1978). She has a BA in ceramics, MA in industrial design, and PhD in art history (specializing in the style, form, content, function, iconography, media, and techniques of African art), and has published many articles in various local and international journals and held several solo exhibitions and participated in many group exhibitions in Nigeria and outside the country.
"A Poem for Clint Fraizer" —Leslie Marie Aguilar was born and raised in Abilene, Texas. She has served as the Poetry Editor of Harbinger Journal of Literature and Art and is the current Web Editor of Indiana Review. She is also the recipient of a National Society of Arts and Letters Literature Award. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Bellingham Review, Iron Horse Literary Journal, Ninth Letter, Rattle, Spillway, and The Más Tequila Review among others. She is currently an MFA candidate at Indiana University.
"The Dead Walk Over Your Land" — Ruth Awad is poet, tattoo artist, and copywriter with an MFA in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a BA in English from The Ohio State University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Republic, Anti-, Rattle, The Missouri Review Poem of the Week, Vinyl, Epiphany, Drunken Boat, Copper Nickel, RHINO, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She was the winner of the 2011 Copper Nickel Poetry Contest, the 2012 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, and she was a finalist for the 2013 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. She is currently writing a collection of poems about her father's coming of age during the Lebanese Civil War and his eventual emigration from Lebanon. She spends most of her time with her two wily Pomeranians.
"Imago" —Stacey Lynn Brown is a poet, playwright, and essayist from Atlanta, Georgia. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Oregon. She is the author of the book-length poem Cradle Song (C&R Press, 2009) and is the co-editor, with Oliver de la Paz, of A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry (University of Akron Press, 2012). She teaches at Indiana University in Bloomington.
"What You Need" — Ryan Collins is the author of three chapbooks, most recently Dear Twin Falls (H_NGM_N, 2013). His poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary; Black Clock; Columbia Poetry Review; DIAGRAM; Forklift, Ohio; Handsome; iO: A Journal of New American Poetry; PEN Poetry Series; Spork; Transom; and many other places. He is the Executive Director of the Midwest Writing Center and an English instructor at St. Ambrose University and Scott Community College. He plays drums in The Multiple Cat and curates the SPECTRA Poetry Reading Series in Rock Island, IL, where he lives.
"He Died After a Long Illness" — Kelly Davio is the poetry editor of Tahoma Literary Review. She is the author of the poetry collection Burn This House (Red Hen Press, 2013) and the novel-in-poems Jacob Wrestling (Pink Fish Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Verse Daily, The Rumpus, and others. She earned her MFA in poetry from Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and teaches English as a Second Language in the Seattle area.
"Two Years After My Father's Death, I Read About Mt. Athos" —Katy Didden is the author of The Glacier’s Wake, winner of the 2012 Lena-Miles Wever Todd prize from Pleiades Press. She earned a PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of Missouri, and her awards include a John Ciardi scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and an Emerging Writer Fellowship from the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Smartish Pace, Ecotone, 32 Poems, Memorious, and Poetry. She was recently a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, and now works as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the MFA Program at the University of Oregon.
"If Then" and "At Montauk" — William Fargason’s poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from New England Review, Barrow Street, Grist, Nashville Review, The Baltimore Review, and elsewhere. He earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Maryland, and is currently a doctoral candidate at Florida State University. He lives with himself in Tallahassee, Florida.
"the fire is falling" —Rebecca Foust’s books include Paradise Drive, winner of the 2015 Press 53 Book Prize; All That Gorgeous Pitiless Song; and God, Seed. Foust is the 2014 Dartmouth Poet in Residence, and the recipient of fellowships from the Frost Place and the MacDowell Colony. New poems are in The Hudson Review, The Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, North American Review, OmniVerse,and other journals.
"Punk" — Keith Kopka is a native of Rhode Island, but he currently lives and writes in Florida where he is a PhD candidate at Florida State University. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Normal School, The Greensboro Review, The New Orleans Review, South Dakota Review, Quarter After Eight, Barnstorm and others. He is also the poetry editor of The Southeast Review and has been a recipient of a Chautauqua Arts fellowship, and a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship for poetry.
"Ofrendas" — Karen Kovacik, professor of English, directs the creative writing program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Her translations of contemporary Polish poetry have appeared in such journals as American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Crazyhorse, Southern Review and West Branch, as well as in various anthologies, including Six Polish Poets (Todmorden, U.K.: Arc Publications, 2008). In 2004-05, she held a Fulbright Research Grant to Poland for literary translation. The recipient of a number of awards, including the Charity Randall Citation from the International Poetry Forum, she's the author of the poetry collections Metropolis Burning, Beyond the Velvet Curtain and Nixon and I. In 2012-13, she will be Indiana's poet laureate.
"A List of Awful Things I've Done" —Micah Ling earned her MFA at Indiana University with the Neal-Marshall Fellowship. In 2011, she won the Indiana (Emerging) Authors Award. Micah currently lives in Brooklyn and teach writing and literature courses at Fordham University in Manhattan. Her collection of poems, Settlement, was published in 2012 by Sunnyoutside Press (Buffalo).
"The Prostitute Expounds the Virtues of the Good Ol' Boys" —Savannah Sipple is a poet from Eastern Kentucky. Her work has been published in Deep South Magazine, Her Limestone Bones, Now & Then, Still, Appalachian Heritage, The Louisville Review, New Southerner, Motif 3: all the livelong day, and on the Accents Publishing Blog. She is also the co-creator and writer at Structure and Style, a poetry blog.
"Dear Ruth" —Emily Skaja is a writer from northern Illinois. Her poems have appeared on the Black Warrior Review website, in Indiana Review, The Journal, PANK, The Pinch, Pleiades, and Southern Indiana Review. She was a finalist for the 2013 Indiana Review Poetry Prize and the runner-up for the 2014 Black Warrior Review Poetry Contest. Along with Julie Henson, she works as the Poetry Editor of Sycamore Review. She lives with two dogs & a fish in Indiana, where she is a third-year poet in the MFA program at Purdue. Emily can be contacted via twitter and facebook.
"So This is What it Has Come To" and "Damage Done" — S. Stephanie’s poetry and book reviews have appeared in many literary magazines such as, Birmingham Poetry Review, Café Review, Literary Laundry, OVS, Rattle, St. Petersburg Review, Solidus, The Southern Review, The Sun and Third Coast. She has two chapbooks, Throat (Igneus Press) and What the News Seemed to Say (Pudding House) and one forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches in the MFA and BFA programs at the NH Institute of Art in Manchester, NH . She is also Editor Emeritus for The Tower Journal. Currently she lives in Manchester, NH.
"Apotemnophilia," "The Problem with Fiction" and "First Love" — Casey Thayer received an MFA from Northern Michigan University. He has work published or forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Poetry, Smartish Pace, and elsewhere. He is a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.
"Here is Your Tiny Sorry" — Corey Zeller is the author of Man vs. Sky (YesYes Books, 2013) and You and Other Pieces (Civil Coping Mechanisms, forthcoming in 2015). His work has appeared in Puerto del Sol, Mid-American Review, Indiana Review, The Colorado Review, The Kenyon Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Diagram, Salt Hill, West Branch, Third Coast, The Literary Review, The Paris-American, New York Tyrant, New Orleans Review, Green Mountains Review, The AWL, The Rumpus, The Journal, PEN America, Chorus (MTV Books), among others. He currently works in crisis support at a mental health facility for at-risk youth.
Andrew Hudgins is the author of The Joker: A Memoir, American Rendering: New and Selected Poems, Shut Up, You're Fine: Poems for Very, Very Bad Children, Ecstatic in the Poison, Babylon in a Jar, The Glass Anvil, Saints and Strangers, After The Lost War: A Narrative, The Never-Ending: New Poems, The Glass Hammer: A Southern Childhood, articles on Whitman, Hawthorne, Adrienne Rich, Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Frederick Goddard Tuckerman, and Jorie Graham, as well as articles on sentimentality in contemporary poetry, articles on anthologies of contemporary poetry.He has been published in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, The Hudson Review, Poetry, The Southern Review, The Missouri Review, Contemporary Authors: Autobiography Series, The Oxford American, The Hudson Review, The American Scholar, andThe Washington Post Magazine. Hudgins is the recipient of the Writer Bynner Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, s finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Saints and Strangers, and finalist for the National Book Award for After the Lost War, and recipient of The Poet's Prize for After the Lost War. He is also the recipient of the Haines Prize for poetry from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, The Taft Distinguished Faculty Award, the Ohioiana Award for lifetime contributions to poetry in Ohio, two NEA fellowships, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2007, he was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers.
"Almost a Wolf" —Elizabeth Genovise grew up in Villa Park, Illinois and is a graduate of Hillsdale College, Michigan. After a short stint in the Ph.D. program at the University of Iowa, during which she found herself skipping classes to write fiction, she changed her plans and moved south. She earned her MFA at McNeese State University in southwest Louisiana and eventually moved to east Tennessee for its mountains and hiking trails. She is currently teaching literature and writing, and trekking through the woods in her spare time. Her fiction has been published in The Southern Review, The Pinch, Relief, Yemassee, Pembroke Magazine, Labletter, Driftwood Press, Cold Mountain Review, and other journals. Her next short story collection, Where There Are Two or More, will be published by Fomite Press in 2015.
"Say Something Nice About Me" — Sara Schaff is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College. She graduated from Brown University and received an MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan. Her work is forthcoming in Hunger Mountain and Sou’wester and has appeared in Tampa Review, The Rumpus, The Saint Ann’s Review, Carve Magazine, and elsewhere. Her short story collection, When I Was Young and Swam to Cuba, was a finalist for the Iowa Short Fiction & John Simmons Short Fiction Awards. The recipient of a Hopwood Award in Drama and a residency from the Ragdale Foundation, she has taught at the University of Michigan and in China, Colombia, and Northern Ireland, where she also studied storytelling. Sara lives in Ohio with her husband, the poet Benjamin Landry, and their daughter.
"Inheritance" —Chelsea Lane Campbell is a graduate of the Texas State University MFA program, where she was a W. Morgan amd Lou Claire Rose Fellow. She teaches writing at Southern Utah University.
"Having Faith" —Terrance Flynn, winner of SIR's 2014 Thomas A. Wilhelmus Nonfiction Award, is currently working on a memoir titled Dying to Meet You, a darkly humorous tale of having a daughter through surrogacy followed shortly by a heart transplant. He is 2013-14 Stanford Calderwood fellow at the MacDowell Colony, and a 2013 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices fellow. He was awarded a 2014 Promise Award by the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and was a finalist for the Wabash Prize for Nonfiction judged by Cheryl Strayed. He's been published in Slice Magazine, and has two essays forthcoming in Sycamore Review and Creative Nonfiction. His short fiction has been published by Cleis Press, Collectedstories.com, and in 2013, he won The Rattling Wall's annual microfiction contest. Terrance is a licensed psychotherapist currently living in Southern California with his partner and their four year old.
"Southern Exposure" —George Korolog is a San Francisco Bay Area poet whose work has been widely published in over fifty print and online journals such as Word Riot, Forge, The Monarch Review, Naugatuck River Review, Blue Fifth Review, Poets and Artists Magazine, The Journal of Modern Poetry, Red River Review, Connotation Press, The Chaffey Review, Thin Air Magazine, Grey Sparrow Journal and many others. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. His first book of poetry, Collapsing Outside the Box, was published by Aldrich Press in November 2012 and is available on Amazon. His second book of poems, Raw String was published in October, 2013 by Finishing Line Press.
"Graven Images" —Rachael Peckham's poetry and prose have appeared in the journals Brevity, Diagram, Dos Passos Review, Gulf Coast, Inkwell, Passages North, Southeast Review, South Loop Review, Xavier Review and many others. In 2006 she won the Briar Cliff Review Nonfiction Contest, and she has work forthcoming in the anthology of Daughters of the Land (Texas Tech U. P.). She teaches creative writing at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, where she lives with her husband and son.
"Love and Death in Dar es Salaam" —Richard Prins is a New Yorker who sometimes lives in Dar es Salaam. He received his MFA degree in poetry from New York University. His work appears in Los Angeles Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Rattle, Redivider and Transition Magazine.