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Spring 2022

2022 Spring Issue of SIR illustration depicting a black women with yellow flowers in her hair


The recipient of the prestigious Elizabeth Catlett Award for The New Power Generation,Evita Tezeno has built a career as an acclaimed multi-disciplinary artist. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the African American Museum of Dallas; the Embassy of the Republic of Madagascar; the Pizzuti Collection, Columbus; Bill and Christy Gautreaux Collection, Kansas City; and Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, Palm Beach. Additional collectors include Esther Silver-Parker, Samuel L. Jackson, David Hoberman, Denzel Washington, Star Jones, Laurie David, and Susan Taylor, among others. Tezeno has been awarded commissions by the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, The Deep Ellum Film Festival in Dallas, and the legendary New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, where in 1999 she became the first female artist to design its celebrated poster..


Emma Bolden is the author of three full-length collections of poetry—House Is An Enigma, medi(t)ations, and Maleficae—and four chapbooks. The recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, her work has appeared in The Norton Introduction to Literature, The Best American Poetry, The Best Small Fictions, and such journals as Mississippi Review, The Rumpus, StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, TriQuarterly, Indiana Review, Shenandoah, and Greensboro Review. She currently serves as associate editor-in-chief for Tupelo Quarterly and an editor of Screen Door Review. Bolden's memoir, The Tiger and the Cage, is forthcoming from Soft Skull Press in 2022.

Traci Brimhall is the author of four collections of poetry: Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod; SaudadeOur Lady of the Ruins, selected by Carolyn Forché for the 2011 Barnard Women Poets Prize; and Rookery, selected by Michelle Boisseau for the 2009 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award and finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year Award.

Danielle Cadena Deulen is a poet, essayist, and podcast host. She is the author of three books and a chapbook: Our Emotions Get Carried Away Beyond Us, which won the Barrow Street Press Book Contest; American Libretto, which won the Sow’s Ear Poetry Review Chapbook Contest; The Riots, which won the AWP Prize in Creative Nonfiction and the GLCA New Writers Award; and Lovely Asunder, which won the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize and the Utah Book Award. Deulen is an assistant professor for the graduate writing program at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Joel Dias-Porter is the author of Ideas of Improvisation (Thread Makes Blanket Press, 2022). The recipient of a Furious Flower Emerging Poet Award, he lives in Atlantic City, New Jersey, also known as Abseqami.

Ayokunle Falomo is Nigerian, American, and the author of African, American. A recipient of fellowships from Vermont Studio Center and MacDowell, his work has been anthologized and published in print and online, including The New York Times, Houston Public Media, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Texas Review, New England Review, and Write About Now, among others. Falomo is currently a Zell Postgraduate Fellow at the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program, where he obtained his MFA in creative writing.

William Fargason is the author of Love Song to the Demon-Possessed Pigs of Gadara, winner of the 2019 Iowa Poetry Prize and the 2020 Florida Book Award in Poetry. His poetry has appeared in The Threepenny Review, New England Review, Barrow Street, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, The Cincinnati Review, Narrative, and elsewhere. He earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Maryland and a PhD in poetry from Florida State University. Fargason lives with himself in Sparks Glencoe, Maryland, where he serves as the poetry editor at Split Lip Magazine.

Chanda Feldman is the author of Approaching the Fields. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at Oberlin College. Feldman’s poems appear in journals including The Cincinnati Review, Denver Quarterly, Gettysburg Review, Orion Magazine, POETRY, and The Southern Review. Her work is anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2021, Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, and Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem's First Decade.

John Gallaher’s most recent collection is Brand New Spacesuit; he co-edits the Laurel Review and lives in northwestern Missouri.

Myronn Hardy is the author of, most recently, Radioactive Starlings, published by Princeton University Press. His poems have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.

Rebecca Hazelton is an award-winning poet, writer, critic, and editor. Her first book, Fair Copy, won the Wheeler Prize from Ohio State University Press. Her second, Vow, was an editor’s pick by the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. Hazelton's most recent book of poetry, Gloss, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press, and was a “New and Notable” pick by The New York Times.

Sara Eliza Johnson received her MFA in poetry from the University of Oregon and her PhD in creative writing from the University of Utah. Her first book, Bone Map, won the 2013 National Poetry Series, and her second, Vapor, will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2022.

I.S. Jones is an American / Nigerian poet, essayist and former music journalist. She is a Graduate Fellow with The Watering Hole and holds fellowships from Callaloo, BOAAT Writer’s Retreat, and Brooklyn Poets. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Guernica, Washington Square Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, LA Review of Books, The Rumpus, The Offing, and elsewhere. She received her MFA in Poetry at UW–Madison where she was the inaugural 2019­­–2020 Kemper K. Knapp University Fellowship and is the 2021-2022 Hoffman Hall Emerging Artist Fellowship recipient. She is the Director of the Watershed Reading Series with Art + Literature Laboratory as well as the editor-in-chief of Frontier Poetry. Her chapbook Spells of My Name (2021) is out with Newfound.

Anthony Thomas Lombardi is a poet, activist, and educator. He currently serves as assistant poetry editor for Sundog Lit and is the founder, host, and curator for Word is Bond, a community-centered reading series that raises funds for transnational relief efforts and mutual aid organizations. Lombardi’s work has appeared or will soon in Guernica, Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, North American Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his cat, Dilla.

Thea Matthews is a poet, author, and educator originally from San Francisco, California. She holds an MFA in poetry from New York University, and her work has appeared in Atlanta Review, Tahoma Literary Review, Nimrod, The New Republic, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her first book, Unearth [The Flowers], was listed in Kirkus Reviews' Best Indie Poetry of 2020.

David Roderick is the author of Blue Colonial, winner of the American Poetry Review/Honickman Award, and The Americans, winner of the Julie Suk Award. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, Roderick’s other honors include the Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship, the Campbell Corner Poetry Prize, and the James Boatwright III Prize from Shenandoah. New poems have appeared recently in The Adroit Journal, Georgia Review, Juke Joint, New England Review, and Ploughshares. Roderick co-directs and teaches at Left Margin LIT, a creative writing center serving writers in Berkeley, California. He also serves as the commissioner of Old Man Basketball, an East Bay basketball collective.

Leslie Sainz is a first generation Cuban-American, born and raised in Miami, Florida. The recipient of a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellowship, she received her MFA in poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Yale Review, New England Review, Kenyon Review Online, AGNI, jubilat, Narrative, and others. A two-time National Poetry Series finalist, she’s received scholarships, fellowships, and honors from CantoMundo, The Miami Writers Institute, The Adroit Journal, and The Stadler Center for Poetry & Literary Arts at Bucknell University. Sainz is the managing editor of the New England Review.

Natalie Scenters-Zapico is the author of Lima :: Limón and The Verging Cities. She has won a Windham-Campbell Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and a CantoMundo Fellowship. Scenters-Zapico currently teaches at the University of South Florida.

Charif Shanahan is a poet, essayist, and translator. His first collection, Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing, was the recipient of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and the Publishing Triangle's Thom Gunn Award. Shanahan’s poems appear in American Poetry Review, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, PBS NewsHour, POETRY, and The Yale Review, among other journals. His second collection, Trace Evidence, is forthcoming from Tin House in 2023.

Martha Silano has authored five poetry books, including Gravity Assist; The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, winner of the 2010 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize and a Washington State Book Award finalist; and Reckless Lovely. She also co-authored, with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice. Her poems have appeared in POETRY, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Paris Review, AGNI, American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review, Kenyon Review Online, Copper Nickel, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. Her poem “Love” appears in The Best American Poetry 2009. Silano teaches at Bellevue College.

Laura Paul Watson, a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Florida, has placed poems with AGNI, Poetry Ireland Review, and Boulevard, among others, and has poetry forthcoming in the Bellevue Literary Review. When not writing, Watson works as a general contractor, remodeling homes in Denver, Colorado.


Erin Rose Belair received her MFA at Boise State University, where she wrote her first collection of short stories, Vinegar. Stories from this collection have won awards and been published with Glimmer Train, Narrative, Greensboro Review, Juked, and more. She just finished her first novel, The Only Road Home. Belair lives and writes in Laguna Beach, California.

Scott Nadelson is the author of seven books, and work has recently appeared in Ploughshares, New England Review, Crazyhorse, and The Best American Short Stories 2020.

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Michael O’Brien attended Carleton College and the Syracuse University MFA in fiction writing program. His fiction has appeared most recently in Salamander, Sou'wester, and Washington Square Review. O’Brien lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons.


Marilyn Abildskov is the author of The Men in My Country, a memoir set in Japan, and the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award, a Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award, and honors from the Corporation of Yaddo, the Djerassi Writing Residency, and the Utah Arts Council. Her essays and short stories have been published in Ploughshares, Sewanee Review, Crazyhorse, The Southern Review, The Best American Essays, and elsewhere. Abildskov currently holds the Olivia Filippi Chair in Creative Writing at Saint Mary's College of California where she teaches in the MFA Program.

Beth Ann Fennelly, Poet Laureate of Mississippi from 2016-2021, teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi. She’s won grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the United States Artists, a Pushcart, and a Fulbright to Brazil. Fennelly has published three poetry books: Open House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables; a book of nonfiction, Great with Child; and The Tilted World, a novel she co-authored with her husband, Tom Franklin. Her newest book is Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs. Fennelly and Franklin live in Oxford with their three children.

Lisa Nikolidakis’s work has appeared in The Best American Essays, Los Angeles Review, New Orleans Review, Hunger Mountain, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Salt Hill, The Rumpus, Nimrod, Gulf Coast Online, and elsewhere. Her memoir, No One Crosses the Wolf, will be released in September 2022 by Little A. She teaches creative writing in the Midwest.

Michael Waters has published thirteen books of poetry, most recently Caw, The Dean of Discipline, and Celestial Joyride. He has co-edited several anthologies, including Border Lines: Poems of Migration, Reel Verse: Poems About the Movies, Contemporary American Poetry, and Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing from Homer to Ali. His poems have appeared in POETRY, American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, Kenyon Review, and Rolling Stone. Waters lives without a cell phone in Ocean, New Jersey.