Pavel Forman was born in eastern Czechoslovakia and raised in the borderland with Poland. His visual understanding of the world was affected by the era of social realism in which he grew up. Forman focuses on visual art: painting, figurative, and high-scale formats. He graduated from Palacký University in Olomouc and continued his studies at Humboldt University of Berlin and Berlin University of the Arts. In the past few years, he has worked in Russia, Denmark, Lithuania, Germany, and the Netherlands. His work was honored at the Portugese Biennale in 2009 and the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art in 2010. He is represented by galleries and institutions in Europe and the United States. Forman has also published three collections of poetry.
"Osage Ave." — Malik Abduh received his MFA in creative writing from Rutgers-Camden in 2011. He was the recipient of the 2008 Rutgers University Alumni Association Award for Creative Writing. Abduh lived abroad for many years in Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and other countries. He is fluent in classical Arabic and works as a translator/interpreter. His interests are the Bedouin verse of early Arab poets and the Imagist movement of the early 20th century.
"The Flattened Grass that Holds Your Shape" — Ari Banias is the author of a chapbook, What’s Personal is Being Here With All of You. His work has appeared in Guernica, Gulf Coast, The Volta, FIELD, and elsewhere. The recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Djerassi, Headlands Center for the Arts, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Banias is a 2013-14 second-year writing fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.
"Self-Portrait While Operating Heavy Machinery" — Nicky Beer is the author of The Diminishing House, winner of the 2010 Colorado Book Award for Poetry. Her second book of poems, The Octopus Game, will be published in 2015. Her awards include a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and a Discovery/The Nation award. She is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver.
"Black Morning" & "The Theorist" — Bruce Bond is the author of nine published books of poetry, most recently Choir of the Wells: A Tetralogy. In addition, he has two books forthcoming: The Other Sky (poems in collaboration with the painter Aron Wiesenfeld) and For the Lost Cathedral. Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at the University of North Texas and poetry editor for American Literary Review.
"Souvenir" — Denise Duhamel is the author, most recently, of Blowout, Ka-Ching!, Two and Two, and Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems. The guest editor for The Best American Poetry 2013, she teaches at Florida International University in Miami.
"Family Grammar" — Rebecca Foust's fourth book of poetry, God, Seed, won the 2010 Foreword Book of the Year Award, and All That Gorgeous Pitiless Song, published the same year, received the Many Mountains Moving Book Award. New poems are in current or next issues of The Cincinnati Review, The Hudson Review, Narrative, North American Review, The Sewanee Review, ZYZZYVA, and other journals, and fiction, book reviews, and essays are in CALYX, Chautauqua, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere.
"Lexicon" & "Saint Me" — Rob Griffith's latest book, The Moon from Every Window, has been nominated for the 2013 Poets’ Prize; and his previous book, A Matinee in Plato’s Cave, was the winner of the 2009 Best Book of Indiana Award. His work has appeared in PN Review, Poetry, North American Review, Oxford American, and many others. He is the editor of the journal Measure and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Evansville.
"Wings on Wheels" & "Bonfire" — Katie Hartsock's poems have recently appeared in Birmingham Poetry Review, RHINO, and Beloit Poetry Journal, and are forthcoming in Fifth Wednesday, Measure, and Iron Horse Literary Review. Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Hartsock received her MFA from the University of Michigan, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Comparative Literary Studies program at Northwestern University.
"Sea Psalm" & "Archipelago: Tabula Rasa" — Sara Eliza Johnson's poetry has appeared in New England Review, Best New Poets 2009, Boston Review, Tampa Review, Memorious, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a Winter Fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a work-study scholarship to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her first book, Bone Map, was selected for the 2013 National Poetry Series and will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2014.
"Tom: The Later Years" & "Poem in Which I Give My Body a Kiss" — Allison Joseph lives, writes, and teaches in Carbondale, Illinois, where she’s on the faculty of Southern Illinois University. Her latest book, My Father’s Kites, was published by Steel Toe Books; her newest chapbook, Trace Particles, is forthcoming from Backbone Press.
"Meditation on Balsam Mountain" — Contributing editor Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum's first book of poems, Ghost Gear, is forthcoming in 2014 with the University of Arkansas Press; his anthology, Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days, was released in 2012. He is founder and editor of PoemoftheWeek.org, acquisitions editor for Upper Rubber Boot Books, and teaches writing at Metro State University. His poems, essays, interviews, and reviews recently appear or are forthcoming in The Writer’s Chronicle, Blackbird, Glimmer Train, Iron Horse Literary Review, American Literary Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Poet Lore, The Missouri Review, and storySouth, among others.
"Cojones" — Dave Nielsen's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, Parnassus, Ploughshares, and other magazines. He is a PhD student in English at the University of Cincinnati.
"Offering of Two Burning Calves" — Jeffrey Schultz's poems have appeared in Boston Review, Indiana Review, The Missouri Review, Northwest Review, Poetry, and elsewhere, and have been featured on the PBS NewsHour’s “Art Beat” and Poetry Daily. He’s received the “Discovery”/Boston Review prize and a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Schultz lives in Los Angeles and teaches at Pepperdine University.
"Recalling Your Death, Two Years Later" & "On your birthday" — Matthew Siegel is a poet and essay writer from New York living in San Francisco. He was a 2009-2011 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and earned degrees from Binghamton University and the University of Houston, where he was a teaching fellow. His poems recently appear or are forthcoming in Cimarron Review, The Tusculum Review, Southern Humanities Review, and Spinning Jenny. Siegel is a member of the general education faculty at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is a contributing editor at The Offending Adam.
"The Business of Shadows" — Danez Smith is a proud Cave Canem Fellow from St. Paul, Minnesota. Danez is the author of hands on ya knees, a chapbook published by Penmanship Books. Their full-length collection, [insert] Boy, will be published in 2014 by Yes Yes Books. Their recent writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Devil’s Lake, PLANK, The Cortland Review, and elsewhere. Danez was a finalist for the 2013 Rattle Poetry Prize and is the 2013 Rustbelt Midwest Regional Slam Champion.
"One Little Good Thing About It" — Patricia Smith is the author of six books of poetry, including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the 2013 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Balcones Prize. She also authored Blood Dazzler, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Teahouse of the Almighty, a National Poetry Series selection. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, TriQuarterly, Tin House, and in both The Best American Poetry and The Best American Essays. Her contribution to the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir won the Robert L. Fish Award from the Mystery Writers of America and is upcoming in The Best American Mystery Stories 2013. Smith is a professor at the College of Staten Island and an instructor in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College.
"Hymn for the Colt" — Casey Thayer holds an MFA from Northern Michigan University. He has poems published or forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Devil’s Lake, Poetry, and elsewhere. Currently, he lives in Chicago, Illinois.
"Living on the Page: An Interview with Erika Meitner" — Erika Meitner is the author of three books of poems: most recently, Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls (Anhinga Press, 2011) and Ideal Cities (HarperCollins, 2010), which was a 2009 National Poetry Series winner. Her poems have been published in The New Republic, VQR, Tin House, The Best American Poetry 2011, and elsewhere. A fourth collection of poems, Copia, is due from BOA Editions in 2014. Meitner is currently an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she teaches in the MFA program.
"The Importance of Dead Girls" — Nancy Scott Hanway is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she received her MFA in fiction writing. She holds an MA and PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Iowa. Originally from New York, Hanway has traveled widely and lived in France and Argentina. Now based in Minnesota, she is Director of Latin American, Latino & Caribbean Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College. Hanway’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Apalachee Review, The Florida Review, Grey Sparrow, North Dakota Quarterly, Portland Review, Southern Humanities Review, and other journals.
"Tombstone" — Justin Herrmann's fiction has appeared in journals including River Styx, Green Mountains Review, and CutBank. He works in Antarctica and Alaska.
"Florida" — Douglas W. Milliken is the author of White Horses and occasionally reviews for the Believer. Other work also appears in McSweeney’s, Slice, and Monkeybicycle. “Florida” was written as part of a fellowship with the I-Park Foundation.
"All Your Parts Will Taste the Same" — Brett Smith is a graduate of the MFA program at Brooklyn College. His work has appeared in The Brooklyn Review, The Internationalist, and elsewhere. Currently, he is working on a novel about angels and substance abuse. Smith lives in Kansas City, Missouri.
“East of East” — 2013 Thomas A. Wilhelmus Nonfiction Award Winner Gabrielle C. Burton is a writer and filmmaker in Columbus, Ohio. After going to film school at the ESAV in Toulouse, France, she founded her production company, Five Sisters Productions, with her four real-life sisters whose award-winning films include Manna From Heaven, Temps, Just Friends, The Happiest Day of His Life, and Julia Sweeney’s Letting Go of God. Burton is currently helming Kings, Queens & In- Betweens, a documentary on drag queens and kings in Columbus. Her poetry is forthcoming in Los Angeles Review.
“The Girl Who Died” — Jacqueline Doyle lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches at California State University, East Bay. Her recent creative nonfiction has appeared in South Loop Review, New Plains Review, Birkensnake, and Frontiers, and is forthcoming in Jabberwock Review and Southern Humanities Review. "Nineteen Ways of Looking at an Essay" won the online “Study Questions” meta-essay contest at Ninth Letter, and her essay "The Tyranny of Things," published in South Dakota Review, was just named a "Notable Essay" in The Best American Essays 2013, edited by Cheryl Strayed.
“The Wilderness We Can't Contain” — Barbara Haas has creative nonfiction in current issues of South Dakota Review, Sinister Wisdom, New Madrid, and Confrontation. She teaches in the Creative Writing & Environment MFA program at Iowa State University and is conducting research in Russia through January 2014.
“Topography” — Jill Kolongowski has worked as an editor, writer, and doughnut maker. She grew up in Michigan but has since lived on both American coasts. Currently, Kolongowski works as managing editor at YesYes Books and is an MFA candidate in creative nonfiction and teaching fellow at St. Mary’s College of California. Her work can be found in Revolution House, Fugue, and elsewhere.