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SIR 2021 Spring


Justin Hamm's is most recent books are The Inheritance: Poems and Photosand Midwestern, a book of photographs. Past and future solo exhibitions of his photographs include shows in Columbia, Missouri; the Normal Public Library in Normal, Illinois; Presser Arts Center in Mexico, Missouri; The Mississippi River Gallery in Hannibal, Missouri; and the Kansas City  Public Library. An alumnus of the MFA in creative writing program at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Justin works as the district librarian at North Callaway R-1 Schools and lives in Mexico, Missouri, with his wife and two daughters.


Kelli Russell Agodon’s fourth collection of poems, Dialogues with Rising Tides, was recently published by Copper Canyon Press. She is the co-founder of Two Sylvias Press as well as the co-director of Poets on the Coast: A Weekend Retreat for Women. Agodon lives in a sleepy seaside town in Washington State where she is an avid paddleboarder and hiker. You can write to her directly at

Alyse Bensel is the author of Rare Wondrous Things, a poetic biography of Maria Sibylla Merian (Green Writers Press, 2020), and three chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Gulf Coast, Poetry International, and West Branch. She serves as poetry editor for Cherry Tree and teaches at Brevard College, where she directs the Looking Glass Rock Writers’ Conference.

Marianne Chan grew up in Stuttgart, Germany, and Lansing, Michigan. She is the author of All Heathens from Sarabande Books (2020). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review, Michigan Quarterly ReviewThe Cincinnati Review, The Rumpus, West Branch, and elsewhere. Chan is currently pursuing a PhD in creative writing at the University of Cincinnati.

Kwame Dawes is the author of twenty-two books of poetry and numerous other books of fiction, criticism, and essays. His latest collection, Nebraska, was published in 2020. He is Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and teaches at the University of Nebraska as George W. Holmes University Professor of English, and at the Pacific MFA program. He is  director of the African Poetry Book Fund and artistic director of the Calabash International Literary Festival. Dawes is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His awards include an Emmy, the Forward Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the prestigious Windham Campbell Prize for Poetry. In 2021, Dawes was named editor of American Life in Poetry.

Kendra DeColo is the author of three poetry collections, I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers From the World (BOA Editions, 2021); My Dinner with Ron Jeremy; and Thieves in the Afterlife, selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 2013 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She is also co-author of Low Budget Movie (Diode, 2021), a collaborative chapbook written with Tyler Mills. She has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Millay Colony, Split this Rock, and the Tennessee Arts Commission. Her poems and essays have appeared in American Poetry ReviewTin House, Waxwing, Los Angeles Review, Bitch Magazine, VIDA, and elsewhere.
DeColo currently teaches at The Hugo House and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Poems from Amy Fleury’s current manuscript, Stardust & Luck, have appeared in or are forthcoming from 32 Poems, Image, Crazyhorse, Los Angeles Review, and Southern Poetry Review. She is author of two poetry collections, Beautiful Trouble and Sympathetic Magic, both from Southern Illinois University Press. Fleury teaches in and directs the MFA program in creative writing at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Christine Guaragno is a poet and bookseller living in Memphis, Tennessee. You can find her work online at Seventh Wave Magazine, the Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and Pidgeonholes Magazine.

Rage Hezekiah is a Cave Canem, MacDowell, and Ragdale fellow who earned her MFA from Emerson College. She is author of Unslakable, a 2018 Vella Chapbook Award Winner, and Stray Harbor. Her poems have appeared in The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, ZYZZYVA, and The Cincinnati Review, as well as other journals. Her writing is featured in various anthologies including Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out, All We Can Hold: poems of motherhood, and Nasty Women Poets: An Anthology of Subversive Verse.

Ashley M. Jones holds an MFA in poetry from Florida International University, and is the author of Magic City Gospel, dark / / thing, and REPARATIONS NOW! (Hub City Press, 2021). Her poetry has earned several awards, including the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, the Silver Medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards, the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Poetry, a Literature Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize, and the Lucille Clifton Legacy Award. Her poems and essays appear in or are forthcoming at CNN, POETRY, The Oxford American, Origins Journal, Obsidian, and many others. Jones teaches at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, co-directs PEN Birmingham, and is the founding director of the Magic City Poetry Festival. 

Gary McDowell is the author of Aflame (White Pine Press, 2020), winner of the 2019 White Pine Press Poetry Award, as well as Caesura: Essays, Mysteries in a World That Thinks There Are None, Weeping at a Stranger’s Funeral, and American Amen. He is also the co-editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice. His poems have appeared recently in PloughsharesColorado Review, Poetry Northwest, Cimarron Review, and others. McDowell lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is an associate professor of English at Belmont University.

Tyler Mills is the author of the chapbook The City Scattered (Snowbound Chapbook Award, Tupelo Press, 2022), co-author with Kendra DeColo of Low Budget Movie (Diode Editions Chapbook Prize, Diode Editions, 2021), and author of the poetry books Hawk Parable and Tongue Lyre. A poet and essayist, her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The  Guardian, The New Republic, The Believer, and POETRY, and her essays in AGNI, Brevity, Copper Nickel, and The Rumpus. Mills teaches for Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute, edits The Account, and lives in Brooklyn.

Christina Olson is the author of Terminal Human Velocity. Her chapbook The Last Mastodon won the Rattle 2019 Chapbook Contest. Other work appears in The Atlantic, The Normal School, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Best Creative Nonfiction. She is an associate professor at Georgia Southern University and tweets about coneys and mastodons as @olsonquest.

Seattle poet Susan Rich is the author of four poetry books, most recently, Cloud Pharmacyand The Alchemist’s Kitchen. She has earned an Artists Trust Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, the PEN USA Award for Poetry, and The Times (of London) Literary Supplement Award. Rich’s publications include the Harvard Review, New England Review, Poetry Northwest, and World Literature Today. She has two collections forthcoming: A Gallery of Postcards and Maps: New and Selected Poems (Salmon Press) and Blue Atlas(Red Hen Press).

Eileen Rush is a queer writer, poet, and narrative designer raised in Appalachia and living in Louisville, Kentucky. Her work has appeared in The Southern ReviewPleiades, and elsewhere. She lives on a farm with too many chickens. 

Maggie Smith is the author of five books, including Keep Moving, Good Bones, and a new collection of poems, Goldenrod, forthcoming from One Signal/Simon & Schuster in July 2021. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New York Times, POETRY, The New Yorker, the Washington Post, and The Paris Review

Adam Tavel is the author of four books of poetry, including the forthcoming Sum Ledger(Measure Press, 2021). His most recent collection, Catafalque, won the Richard Wilbur Award. His recent poems appear, or will soon appear, in Ploughshares, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, Beloit Poetry JournalNinth Letter, The Massachusetts Review, Copper Nickel, and Western Humanities Review, among others.

Natalie Louise Tombasco is pursuing a PhD in creative writing at Florida State University and serves as the interviews editor of the Southeast Review. Her work can be found in Copper Nickel, Southwest Review, Painted Bride QuarterlyMeridian, Salt Hill, Third Coast, The Rumpus, Poet Lore, and VIDA Review, among others. A chapbook, Collective Inventions, is forthcoming with CutBank in 2021.

Phillip B. Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois, and is author of the poetry collection Thief in the Interior, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and Lambda Literary Award. He is a recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award and 2020 Radcliffe Fellowship. Williams currently teaches at Bennington College.

Greg Wrenn’s first book of poems, Centaur, was selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2013 Brittingham Prize. His work has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2014, AGNI, TheAmerican Poetry Review, The Yale Review, Kenyon ReviewThe New Republic, and elsewhere. A former Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, Wrenn is an assistant professor of English at James Madison University.


Joe Dornich’s stories have won contests and fellowships with South Central MLA, Carve Magazine, The Master’s Review, and Key West Literary Seminars, among others. He lives in Knoxville and teaches at the University of Tennessee. 

Katherine Sanchez Espano is the author of a novel, The Infinity Bloom, and a poetry collection, The Sky’s Dustbin. Her short fiction and poetry are forthcoming or have appeared in Green Mountains Review, The Massachusetts Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and elsewhere. Espano holds an MFA from the University of Florida, and teaches English and creative writing at the University of North Florida.

Susan Holcomb holds an MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and studied for a PhD in physics at Cornell. Her writing has been published in The Boston Globe and at CBS News online. She lives in Los Angeles.

Holly Goddard Jones is the author of The Salt Line, The Next Time You See Me, and Girl Trouble: Stories. Her newest book, a collection of short stories titled Antipodes, will be published in spring 2022. She lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with her husband and children and teaches at UNC Greensboro.

Leslie Pietrzyk’s collection of linked stories set in Washington, D.C., Admit This to No One, is forthcoming in November 2021 from Unnamed Press, the publisher of her 2018 novel Silver Girl. Her first collection of short stories, This Angel on My Chest, won the 2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize and was published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Fiction and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, Story Magazine, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Sun, and other journals. Awards include a Pushcart Prize in 2020.

Scott R. Sheppard is an OBIE award-winning playwright and theater artist living in Astoria, New York. He is a co-director of the theater company Lightning Rod Special and the co-writer/performer of Underground Railroad Game, named by The New York Times in 2018 as one of the top twenty-five plays in twenty-five years. Sheppard was a lead writer/performer for the musical The Appointment (Best Theater of 2019: The New York Times, New Yorkmagazine and Time Out New York).


Mohan Fitzgerald is a writer and musician from Toronto, Canada, currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing at The Ohio State University. He writes fiction and nonfiction and produces audio essays with original music and sound design. Fitzgerald’s fiction is forthcoming in EVENT magazine.

Sharon Goldberg is a Seattle writer whose work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, New Letters, The Louisville Review, Cold Mountain ReviewRiver Teeth, Under the Sun, Chicago Quarterly Review, The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, The Raven Chronicles, The Manchester Review, four anthologies, and elsewhere. She is an avid but cautious skier and enthusiastic world traveler.

Julia Koets is the winner of the 2017 Red Hen Press Nonfiction Book Award for The Rib Joint: A Memoir in Essays. Her first poetry collection, Hold Like Owls, won the 2011 South Carolina Poetry Book Prize, and her second, Pine, won the 2019 Michael Waters Poetry Prize. Koets’s essays and poems have recently appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Indiana Review, The Los Angeles Review, and Portland Review. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of South Carolina and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati. Koets is an assistant professor of creative nonfiction at the University of South Florida.

Adam Szetela is a PhD student in the English department at Cornell University. He has written for The Boston Globe, Vice, Salon, Ninth Letter, Rattle, and elsewhere. Szetela splits his time between Ithaca, New York, and Boston, Massachusetts.