FALL 2012


Thad Ziolkowski is the author of Our Son the Arson, a collection of poems, and a memoir, On a Wave, which was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award in 2003. In 2008, he was awarded a fellowship from the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York TimesSlate,BookforumArtforumTravel & Leisure and Index. He directs the Writing Program at Pratt Institute. Wichita is his first novel.

“Thad Ziolkowski’s Wichita centers around two storms. One has, for years, been brewing in the Chopik family made up of Lewis, his bipolar brother Seth, his distant professor father and his academic family, and his mother’s ponzi schemes and her multiple “life partners.” The other is an actual tornado, a storm Ziolkowski describes in lyric prose as “simply there, out of nowhere, this long stout elephant trunk or length of intestine.”  The novel’s surreal exploration of lives falling apart is a poetic mix of exquisite prose and dialogue.  Ziolkowski writes outrageous story lines, but the characters’ responses to them are natural, believable; I liked them and their relationships despite (and sometimes because of) their flaws.  As when Seth says to Lewis, “Ok, I’m a squirrel, I admit that.  But YOU’RE MY NUT AND YOU’RE IN MY POCKET AND WE’RE NOT RUNNING ANYMORE.”  The masterfully written conversations combined with the approaching storm gives the story a foreboding that somehow still manages to be funny.  Wichita swept me up in the maelstrom of the characters’ lives, and then gently set me down, a little ragged, a little raw, and completely enraptured.”—Charlotte Wilder

Reviews of Wichita


Selected Articles on surfing


Francine Prose grew up in Brooklyn and attended Radcliffe College, where she majored in English literature and from which she graduated in 1968. She briefly attended graduate school in medieval English literature, then left Harvard to live for a year in India, where she began to write her first novel, Judah the Pious.Upon returning home, she sent her novel to a former writing teacher who in turn forwarded it to the legendary editor Harry Ford, then at Atheneum. He bought the book immediately, and it was published when she was 26.

Since then, Prose has written 14 novels, among them Bigfoot Dreams, Primitive People, Household Saints, which was made into a 1993 film directed by Nancy Savoca and starring Lili Taylor, Tracey Ullman and Vincent D’Onofrio, Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, A Changed Man and most recently Goldengrove. Her short story collections includeWomen and Children First and The Peaceable Kingdom; she has also published three books of translation and a collection of novellas, Guided Tours of Hell. She has written five books for children, and two novels for young adults, After and Bullyville. Her books of nonfiction include The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They InspiredCaravaggio: Painter of Miracles, and GluttonyReading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Themwas a New York Times Bestseller. Most recently she wrote Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife.

Her stories, reviews, cultural criticism and essays have appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books. Atlantic Monthly, Art News, Elle, The Paris Review, and Tin House; she has written frequently on art for The Wall Street Journal. She is a contributing editor atHarpers Magazine, for which she has written such controversial essays as "Scent of a Woman’s Ink" and "I Know Why the Caged Bird Can’t Read."

Prose is the recipient of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, The Edith Wharton Lifetime Achievement Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA grants, two New York State Council on Arts grants, a PEN Translation Prize, one Washington University International Medal in the Humanities, and two Jewish Book Council Prizes. In 1989, she traveled throughout the former Yugoslavia on a Fulbright Fellowship. She is currently a Distinguished Visiting Writer at Bard College and has taught at Harvard, the University of Arizona, the University of Utah, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the Sewanee and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the New York Institute for the Humanities, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has been a Resident in Literature at the American Academy in Rome. She was one of the first recipients of a Director’s Fellowship at the New York Public Library’s Center for Scholars and Writers. She is a former President of PEN American Center.

Francine Prose, the mother of two grown sons, lives in New York City with her husband, the painter and illustrator, Howard Michels.

An Essay from Harper's Magazine on Women Writers:  Scent of a Woman's Ink


Photo Cred: Stephanie Berger, AP


Patrick Rosal is the author of three full-length poetry collections: Bonesheperds, named by the National Book Critics Circle as one of the best small press books of the year, My American Kundiman, and Uprock Headspin Scramble and Dive.  His poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Tin HouseAmerican Poetry Review,Harvard ReviewDrunken Boat, and Language for a New Century.  He has won, among other honors, a Fulbright Fellowship, the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award, the Global Filipino Literary Aware, and the Asian American Writers' Workshop Members' Choice Award.  He is a member of the Creative Writing faculty at Rutgers University-Camden.


Audio version of "Tradition of Pianos"



Gideon Lewis-Kraus has written for various newspapers and magazines about books and culture, and is the author of the digressive memoir/travelogue A Sense of Direction: Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful. Originally from New Jersey, of course, he now lives in Brooklyn.




About Nuar Alsadir’s first book of poems, More Shadow Than Bird (Salt Publishing, 2012), David Baker of The Kenyon Review wrote, “These are distinctive, tight, sonic little mysteries. Dickinson abides here”. Nuar’s poems and essays have been published in numerous periodicals, including The Kenyon ReviewPloughsharesGrand Street,SlateThe AwlThe New York Times MagazineTin HouseAGNI andCallaloo. She has received writing fellowships from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, The Fine Arts Center in Provincetown, The Norman Mailer Center, and Ledig House International. She has been nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize.

Nuar received her B.A. from Amherst College, and both an M.A. in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in English Literature from NYU. She is currently on the faculty at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she teaches writing. In addition, she is training to become a psychoanalyst at The Institute of Psychoanalytic Training and Research and is in the Scholars Program at New York Psychoanalytic Institute and Society. She has a blog on the Psychology Today website, The Examined Life.

“Nuar Alsadir’s More Shadow Than Bird abandons the self in order to create a haunting dialogue with the self. These poems converse from the inside out; they come alive in the back and forth of a mind attempting to understand what it means to be in relation to. The couplet is employed here to full effect as relationships, both to others and the world, are interrogated. If ever there was a fantasy of transcendence these poems begin after that in the exacting and ruthless moments of mourning and loss even as the “I” and the “you” continue to orbit each other. Alsadir’s debut collection is lawless and provocative and heartbreaking.” – Claudia Rankine

Alsadir's blog on Psychology Today:  The Examined Life


Cynthia Hopkins is an internationally acclaimed musical performance artist: she writes and sings songs, records albums, and creates groundbreaking multi-media performance works that intertwine truth and fiction, blurring the lines between edification and entertainment. Through the process of making performances, she attempts to alchemize disturbance into works of intrigue and hope that simultaneously stimulate the senses, provoke emotion, and enliven the mind. She has produced four performance works and eight albums of original music. Her work has been honored with many awards, including the 2007 Alpert Award in Theater and a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship. She is currently at work on This Clement World, a new musical performance work addressing the climate crisis (to premiere in early 2013 at St. Ann’s Warehouse and the Walker Art Center); and A Living Documentary, an experimental piece exploring the challenges of earning one’s living as a theater artist in the 21st century.

Spring 2013


Maud Newton's writing has appeared in The New York Times MagazineNarrative MagazineTin HouseGrantaBookforumParis Review DailyThe New York Times Book ReviewThe Los Angeles Times Book ReviewThe AwlBarnes & Noble ReviewThe Boston Globe, NPR, Washington Post Book World, and many other publications. She received the 2009 Narrative Prize for "When the Flock Changed," an excerpt from her novel-in-progress, and the 2004 Irwin and Alice Stark Fiction Prize from City College for the short story "Regarding the Insurance Defense Attorney." Though best known as a book blogger, she blogs a lot more rarely these days, and the scope of what she's written about since starting her site,, in 2002 has always been broad. She still loves wasting time on the Internet. You can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, and the (very neglected) Chimerist.

Novel excerpt

"When the Flock Changed" (not the name of the book, which is Fervor):

Personal Essays

"The Rapture Meets My 40th Birthday":

"Conversations You Have at Twenty":

"Portrait of my Father" (mini-essay):

"Remembering Harry Crews" (on the death of my former teacher):

Criticism, Opinions, Etc.

"My Son Went to Heaven (and All I Got Was a No.1 Bestseller)":

"When Your Shrink Dies: Emma Forrest's Therapy Memoir":

"Another Thing to Sort of Pin on David Foster Wallace" (I didn't come up with the title!):

"After the Affair: On Jean Rhys and Ford Madox Ford" (a back-and-forth with Alexander Chee):

On John Cheever:

On Muriel Spark:

On Adam Levin's The Instructions:

On Joan Didion's Blue Nights:

What Would Jesus Buy?:

Doubt: A Syllabus:

Interview with Alison Bechdel:

Better Boundaries, with Muriel Spark:

Short Stories (very old)

"Luke" (an early piece of what turned into my novel):

"Regarding the Insurance Defense Attorney":


Eli Horowitz was the managing director and then publisher of McSweeney's for eight years, working closely with authors including Nick Hornby, Michael Chabon, Joyce Carol Oates, William Vollmann, and Stephen King. He is the co-author of The Clock Without a Face, a treasure-hunt mystery, and Everything You Know Is Pong, an illustrated cultural history of ping pong. His design work have been honored by I.D.Print, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Before McSweeney's, he was employed as a carpenter and wrote science trivia questions tenuously linked to popular films. He was born in Virginia and now lives in San Francisco.

Matthew Derby is the co-author of The Silent History, and serialized, exploratory novel for iPad and iPhone, now available in the iTunes store. He is also the author of Super Flat Times: Stories (Back Bay Books, 2003).

Stories available to read online:

Kevin Moffett is the author of two books, Permanent Visitors, which won the John Simmons Short Fiction Award, and Further Interpretations of Real-Life Events. He is a frequent contributor to McSweeney's and his stories and essays have appeared in Tin HouseAmerican Short FictionThe BelieverA Public SpaceBest American Short Stories, and elsewhere. He has received the National Magazine Award, the Nelson Algren Award, the Pushcart Prize, and a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Silent History, a collaborative multi-part narrative, written with Matt Derby and Eli Horowitz, was released as an app for mobile devices in October 2012.

Russell Quinn is a software developer, digital designer, and one-third of Ying Horowitz & Quinn. Previously, he co-founded the multi-national digital agency Spoiled Milk, was McSweeney's Digital Media Director, and made tools for game consoles at Sony. His work has been featured in WiredTIMECreative Review and Computer Arts. A native Englishman, Russell left the UK in 2005, eventually settling in California after periods in Denmark and Switzerland.


Cathy Park Hong's first book, Translating Mo'um, was published in 2002 by Hanging Loose Press. Her second collection, Dance Dance Revolution, published in 2007 by W.W. Norton, was chosen for the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Her third book of poems, Engine Empire, was published in May 2012, also by W.W. Norton. 

Hong is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and a Village Voice Fellowship for Minority Reporters. Her poems have been published in A Public SpacePoetryParis ReviewConjunctionsMcSweeney'sHarvard Review, Boston Review, The NationAmerican Letters & CommentaryDenver Quarterly, and other journals. She is an Assistant Professor at Sarah Lawrence College and is regular faculty at the Queens MFA program in Charlotte, North Carolina. 


Internationally recognized and acclaimed poet Anne Waldman has been an active member of the "Outrider" experimental poetry community, a culture she helped create and nurture, for many years, taking on the roles of writer, editor, master teacher, performer, poetics scholar, infra-structure curator, and cultural/political activist. Her poetry is recognized in the lineage of Whitman and Ginsberg, and in the Beat, New York School and Black Mountain trajectories of New American Poetry. Yet she remains a highly original "open field investigator" of consciousness, committed to the possibilites of radical shifts in language and mind-states to create new modal structures and montages of attention. She is the author of more than fourty books, including the mini-classic Fast Speaking Woman, a collection of essays entitled Vow to Poetry, and several selected-poem editions including Helping the DreamerKill or Cure and In the Room of Never Grieve. She has concentrated on the long poem as a cultural intervention with such projects as Marriage: A Sentence, Structure of the World Compared to a BubbleManatee/Humanity, a book-length rhizomic meditation on evolution and endangered species, and the monumental anti-war feminist epic The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment, a 25 year project in three volumes, which was awarded the 2012 PEN Center USA Award for Poetry. Her forthcoming book from Penguin Poets (2013) Gossamurmur is an allegory of Imposters, Doppelgangers, Deciders and a romp through Heian Japan and Vedic India.

Publishers Weekly recently referred to Waldman as "a counter-cultural giant." In 1966, she co-founded and directed The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, working there for over a decade. She also co-founded Full Court Press, with Ron Padgett and Joan Simon, and, in 1974, with Allen Ginsberg, the celebrated Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, the first Buddhist inspired university in the western hemisphere. Colleagues for many years, Ginsberg called Waldman his "spiritual wife." She is a Distinguished Professor of Poetics at Naropa and continues to work to preserve the school's substantial literary and oral archive. She has edited and co-edited many collections based on the holdings of the Kerouac School including Civil Disobediences and Beats at Naropa. She is also the editor of the collection Nice to See You, an homage to poet Ted Berrigan, The Beat Book, and co-editor of The Angel Hair Anthology. A new cross-cultural anthology published by Coffee House Press is forthcoming in 2014. 

Waldman is the recipient of the prestigious Shelley Memorial Award and is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She has been a fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, and has held the Emily Harvey residency in Venice. She has worked at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and at the Women's Christian College in Tokyo. She has presented her work at conferences and festivals around the world, most recently in Wuhan, Beijing, Berlin, Nicaragua, Prague, Kerala, Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Marrakech, Tangiers, Casablanca and Madrid. She worked for the State Department lecturing at Muslim colleges in Kerala, and taught poetry to Berber School children in Marrakech for the Tamaas Foundation in the summers of 2011 and 2012. Her work has been translated into numerous languages. 

She has collaborated extensively with artists, musicians, and dancers, including George Schneeman, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Tuttle, Donna Dennis, and Pat Steir, and the theatre director Judith Malina. Her fine print collaboration with Pat Steir, CRY STALL GAZE, is in production at the Brodsky Center at Rutgers University. Her play Red Noir was produced by the Living Theatre and ran for three months in 2010. Recently, she has been working on audio, film and video projects, with writer and video/film director Ed Bowes, and with her son, musician and composer Ambrose Bye. With Ambrose, she has created four albums, including Eye of the Falcon, and The Milk of Universal Kindness. A workshop performance Cyborg on the Zattere, with music by composer Steven Taylor and twelve performers, including cellist Ha-Yang Kim, reed instrumentalist Marty Erlich and a Renaissance trio, premiered at the Douglas Dunn Salon in the spring of 2011. This "Poundatorio" takes on the "knot" of Ezra Pound, his poetics and politics. It includes settings for parts of the Pisan Cantos.

For many years, Waldman has worked with the anti-nuclear Guardianship Project in Boulder. In the 1970s, she was arrested, along with Allen Ginsberg and activist Daniel Ellsberg, at Rocky Flats, which led to her involvement with nuclear waste accountability. This work, according to Waldman, is "a nearly quarter of a million year project."

Waldman divides her time between New York City and Boulder, Colorado.


Bhanu Kapil teaches writing through memory, prose and the monster at The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. She also teaches in the MFA program at Goddard College. She is the author of four full-length works of experiemntal writing, most recently Schizophrene (Nightboat Books, 2011) and the unpublished BAN. Since 2011, she has been performing compound scene from (for) BAN in venues within and beyond the U.S.

Deb Olin Unferth is the author of the memoir Revolution, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; the story collection Minor Robberies, and the novel Vacation, winner of the Cabell First Novel Award. Her work appears in Harper'sThe New York TimesMcSweeney'sBoston Review, and elsewhere. She has received two Pushcart Prizes and a Creative Capital Grant for Innovative Literature. She is an associate professor as Wesleyan University.

Photo by Margaret Olin


Leigh Newman's memoir Still Points North is forthcoming from Dial Press in spring 2013. She is the Deputy Editor of where she writes about books, life, happiness, survival, and  - on rare, lucky days - food. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in One StoryTin HouseThe New York Times "Modern Love" and "City" sections, FictionNew York TyrantO the Oprah MagazineOprah.comCondé Nast BridesCondé Nast ConciergeTravel HolidaySkiArthur Frommer's Budget Travel, and Bookforum. Her work has been anthologized in Crown's The Collected Traveler book series and My Parents Were Awesome (Villard, 2011). She was the co-editor for One Ring Zero's The Recipe Project (Black Balloon, 2011) and currently serves as an editor-at-large for the indie press Black Balloon Publishing.


"Hers is a knowing voice, world-weary like Lucinda Williams', expressive like Kathleen Edwards' [and] mysterious like Julie Holland's."
- Fred Mills for Harp Magazine

Of her musical objectives, indie songstress Clare Burson explains, "I've always leaned towards poetic simplicity and subtlety in my music - wanting to express as much as I can with the fewest possible words and musical flourishes." This desire for melodic minimalism is evident in her critically acclaimed releases, The In-BetweenIdaho, and Thieves, each of which is marked by evocative imagery, subtle metaphor, and effortless harmonies.

Burson builds upon this aesthetic with Silver and Ash, her most ambitious project yet. Released by Rounder Records on September 14, 2010, and featured in The New York Times and on NPR, Silver and Ash is a concept album that imagines Burson's maternal grandmother's life in Germany, from her birth in 1919 to her escape in 1938. For this project, Burson visited her own childhood home in Memphis, where she conducted interviews with both grandmothers, and ventured to the childhood homes of her ancestors in Germany, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, and the Ukraine.

The result of Burson's travel, research, and ancestral archaeology is a stunning album of 10 original songs that inhabit and give life to her grandmother's story as well as Clare's own struggles with rupture, silence, guilt, empathy, and continuity. The album was produced by Grammy nominated Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket, R.E.M.), and with the help of her band, Mark Spencer on guitar (Son Volt, Laura Cantrell), Tony Leon on drums (Ollabelle, Levon Helm), and Andy Cotton on bass, Burson's lush string arrangements and rich vocals - at times wistful, at times full of desperation, but at all times direct - come together to fill the 10 songs on Silver and Ash with nostalgia and longing.

A classically trained violinist, and later, conversant in Bluegrass, Celtic and Klezmer fiddle tunes, Burson began playing guitar while studying history at Brown University. After college and a year in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar, Burson spent two years in Boston before returning to Tennessee. Currently, Clare lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Fall 2013

JEN HOFER (writer in residence)


Jen Hofer is a Los Angeles-based poet, translator, social justice interpreter, teacher, knitter, book-maker, public letter-writer, urban cyclist, and co-founder of the language justice and literary activism collaborative Antena. Her translations include the homemade chapbook En las maravillas/In Wonder (Libros Antena/Antena Books, 2012); Ivory Black, a translation of Myriam Moscona’s Negro marfil (Les Figues Press, 2011, winner of translation prizes from the Academy of American Poets and PEN); sexoPUROsexoVELOZ and Septiembre, a translation from Dolores Dorantes by Dolores Dorantes (Counterpath Press and Kenning Editions, 2008); lip wolf, a translation of Laura Solórzano’s lobo de labio (Action Books, 2007); and Sin puertas visibles: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by Mexican Women (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003). Her most recent books are the handmade chapbooks we do not see what we do not see (DIY edition), Shroud (collaboration with Jill Magi, part of An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street, 2013) and When We Said This Was A Space, We Meant We Are People (collaboration with John Pluecker, Libros Antena/Antena Books, 2013); a series of anti-war-manifesto poems titled one (Palm Press, 2009); and The Route, (collaboration with Patrick Durgin, Atelos, 2008). Her poems, essays and translations are forthcoming from Dusie Books, Insert Press, Kenning Editions, Litmus Press, and Little Red Leaves (Textile Series). She teaches poetics, translation and bookmaking at CalArts and Otis College, and works nationally and locally as a social justice interpreter through Antena. Her installation titled “Uncovering: A Quilted Poem Made from Donated and Foraged Materials from Wendover, Utah” is currently on view at the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Utah.


Johnny Temple is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Akashic Books, an award-winning Brooklyn-based independent company dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction. He won the 2013 Ellery Queen Award, the American Association of Publishers’ 2005 Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing; and the 2010 Jay and Deen Kogan Award for Excellence in Noir Literature. Temple teaches courses on the publishing business at Wilkes University and Wesleyan University; and is the Chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council, which works with Brooklyn’s borough president to plan the annual Brooklyn Book Festival. He also plays bass guitar in the band Girls Against Boys, which has toured extensively across the globe and released numerous albums on independent and major record companies. He has contributed articles and political essays to various publications, including The Nation, Publishers Weekly, AlterNet, Poets & Writers, and BookForum.


Victor LaValle is the author of four books and his most recent  is The Devil in Silver. It was a New York Times Notable Book and named a best book of the year by the Washington Post and Publisher's Weekly. He teaches at Columbia University and lives in Washington Heights with his wife and two kids, who are all beautiful badasses. Him, too.


Nelly Reifler is the author of a collection, See Through, and a novel, Elect H. Mouse State Judge, which was published earlier this year.  Her stories have appeared in McSweeney's, BOMB, jubilat, and Lucky Peach, among others, and anthologized in books such as Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction from the Edge and Found Magazine's Requiem for a Paper Bag.  She's a Recommendations editor at Post Road, and she teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.  She was co-director of Writers' Forum 2005-2013, and she will be the visiting writer at Western Michigan University in spring 2014.



Aracelis Girmay is the author of the poetry collections Teeth Kingdom AnimaliaTeeth was awarded the GLCA New Writers Award & Kingdom Animalia won the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award & was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Girmay is also the author of the collage-based picture book changing, changing. She is the recipient of grants & fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cave Canem Foundation, & the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. Girmay is on the faculty of Hampshire College's School for Interdisciplinary Arts & she also teaches poetry in Drew University's low-residency MFA program.


Mariah Fredericks has written eight novels for young adults, including the bestselling The True Meaning of Cleavage. Her novel Crunch Time was a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award and Head Games was listed on the NYPL's "Books for the Teen Age." The Girl in the Park was on Bank Street College's Children's Book Committee's list of "Best Books of 2013." Her most recent work is Season of the Witch, of which School Library Journal said, "This darkly honest look at bullying, high school cliques, and teen drama amid family tragedy will have readers glued to the page for every last unexpected plot twist and turn." She has also written two books for adults under the name Emmi Fredericks. She is a lifelong New Yorker and lives in Queens with her husband and son.

Spring 2014


*Photo credit Robin Holland*

Sonya Chung is the author of the novel Long for This World (Scribner 2010). Her stories, reviews, and essays have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Tin House, The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books, FiveChapters, and The Common Online, among others. A recipient of a MacDowell Colony fellowship, she is a staff writer for The Millions, founding editor of Bloom, and currently teaches fiction writing at Skidmore College.


Lorin Stein is the editor of The Paris Review. Previously he was a senior editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where he worked with such writers as Lydia Davis, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Franzen, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and James Wood. Stein's reviews have appeared in Harper's, The New Republic, the London Review of Books, and The New York Review of Books. His translations from French include The Mystery Guest, by Grégoire Bouillier, and Autoportrait, by Edouard Levé. In 2011 he was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.


In the tradition of Walker Evans and James Agee, artist Tim Davis and journalist Joe Hagan are creating a new project about the state of the American Dream.
Crisscrossing the country interviewing Americans of all stripes, orientations, perspectives and desires, they are creating a collective portrait of this country’s sense of itself, in a time beyond bust and boom, and of increasing uncertainty about politics. Inspired by the WPA and by the oral histories of Studs Terkel, Hagan and Davis are working with old-fashioned tools: pen and paper, and a large format view camera.
Portraits will be presented with accompanying text in the most venerable tradition of the photographic documentary — vista and voice — but keyed to the present, in all of its uncertain glory.
Tim Davis is an artist and writer currently at work on a long-form music and video project called It’s OK to Hate Yourself.His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Guggenheim Museum and the Walker Art Center, among many others. He teaches photography at Bard College.
Joe Hagan writes about politics and media for New York Magazine and Rolling Stone. He has published long-form profiles and investigative exposes on Karl RoveHenry KissingerBill MaherDan RatherGoldman SachsThe New York TimesTwitter and the Bush family. In 2010, he discovered and wrote about the secret diary of civil rights singer Nina Simone.
View the project at


Paula Fox is an American author of novels for adults and children.  Included among her numerous, numerous novels are Poor George, The Widow’s Children, The Slave Dancer, A Place Apart, and Desperate Characters, a quintessential text on gentrification in Brooklyn. Fox has won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, a Newbery Medal for The Slave Dancer and a National Book Award.

After Fox’s work had been out of print for years, Jonathan Franzen discovered her novel Desperate Characters on a shelf at the Yaddo. He and Tom Bissell led the charge to bring this incredibly important writer’s work back into print. Franzen has called Fox’s writing, “plainly superior to any novel by John Updike, Philip Roth, or Saul Bellow.”

Fox has also written two memoirs, Borrowed Finery and The Coldest Winter. These books detail events from her truly extraordinary life. Born in 1923, the unwanted daughter of absentee parents, Fox spent her childhood in the care of a series of guardians including a two year stint on a Cuban plantation with her maternal grandmother.

Fox worked several different jobs after finishing high school, ranging from machinist to publishing company employee. She read books for a film studio. She worked as an English teacher for both Spanish-speaking children and emotionally disturbed children. At twenty-two, Fox found work as a stringer for a British news service in newly liberated Europe. She published her first novel at age forty-three.


Judy Grahn is internationally known as a poet, writer, and cultural theorist. 
Her writings helped fuel second wave feminist, gay and lesbian activism, and women’s spirituality movements beginning in 1965 when she picketed the White House for Gay rights, and wrote her first article, “A Lesbian Speaks Her Mind,” published the next year in Sexology Magazine. She co-founded Gay Women’s Liberation and the Women’s Press Collective in 1969. She taught writing, literature, and spirituality in Oakland for fifteen years, sometimes in collaboration with Paula Gunn Allen, and Betty De Shong Meador. She graduated from California Institute of Integral Studies with a Ph.D. concentration in Women’s Spirituality, after doing research in South India.
She has published three poetry collections, eight chapbooks, and two book-length epic poems tracing Helen of Troy as a version of Sumerian goddess Inanna. Much of her work has been dramatized, danced, and put to music. For instance, an acapella chorus, “She Who,” does some of her She Who Poems. Judy is a performer, collaborating with singer-songwriter Anne Carol Mitchell; their cd is called Lunarchy. Judy has also published an ecotopia novel, short stories and articles, and four nonfiction books, including Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds, and Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World. Her latest collection of poetry and prose is The Judy Grahn Reader, and her newly published memoir is A Simple Revolution: the Making of an Activist Poet.
Judy is a professor in the Women’s Spirituality Master’s Program at Sofia University in Palo Alto, Ca. She co-edits an online journal based in her theory of menstrual ritual origins of human culture: Metaformia Journal,

Her work has won awards: an NEA Grant, an American Book Review award, an American Book Award, an American Library Award; a Lifetime Achievement Award (in Lesbian Letters), a Founding Foremothers of Women’s Spirituality Award. Triangle Publishers feature a “Judy Grahn Nonfiction Award”. Seattle Gay Day Parade of (199 was based on Judy’s book,Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds.


Jen Bervin's work brings together text and textile in a practice that encompasses poetry, archival research, artist books, and large-scale art works. She publishes artist books and poetry with Granary Books and Ugly Duckling Presse; titles include The Dickinson CompositesThe DesertThe Silver Book, A Non- Breaking Space, and Nets. Her most recent trade publication, The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems, edited by Jen Bervin and Marta Werner (with a preface by Susan Howe) from Christine Burgin/New Directions, made Best of 2013 lists in The New Yorker and The Times Literary Supplement. Her work has been shown at The Power Plant in Toronto, The Walker Art Center, The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Temple Contemporary, and is in more than thirty collections including Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and The J. Paul Getty Museum. Bervin has received fellowships in art and writing from Creative Capital, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, The New York Foundation for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony, and The Camargo Foundation in France. In 2014, she will be a Fitt Artist in Residence at Brown University and will teach at Vermont College of Fine Arts and Harvard University.  Current research for her Creative Capital project, The Silk Poems, includes consulting nanotechnology and biomedical labs, medical libraries, textile archives, and sericulture museums in over fifty international sites. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Brian Blanchfield is the author of two full-length collections of poetry--Not Even Then (University of California Press) and A Several World (forthcoming, early 2014, Nightboat Books)--as well as a chapbook, The History of Ideas, 1973-2012 (Spork Press) and a book of essay prose in progress, Onesheets (also forthcoming from Nightboat). His work has appeared in The NationThe Brooklyn RailThe Paris ReviewChicago ReviewLana TurnerManor House QuarterlyBoston ReviewThe PEN Poetry SeriesGuernica, and The Awl. A poetry editor for Fence, he lives in Tucson and teaches at the University of Arizona.


Elisabeth Subrin is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and artist, and a professor in the Film and Media Arts Department at Temple University. Her award-winning films and videos have been screened extensively in the United States and abroad, including at The New York Film Festival, The Whitney Biennial, The Vienna International Film Festival, The Museum of Modern Art, American Film Institute, The Rotterdam International Film Festival, The Vienna International Film Festival, The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, the VIPER International Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland, The Guggenheim Museum, The Sundance Channel, PBS, and numerous other major film festivals, museums, and arts institutions. Her narrative short The Caretakers, starring Cara Seymour, premiered at The New York Film Festival. Her video Well Well Well, created for the electro-pop feminist band Le Tigre, has been screened and broadcast internationally. The Fancy premiered at the New York Video Festival and was awarded the 2001 VIPER International Award for Film/Video. Shulie received the 1998 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Independent Film and Best Experimental Film at the 2000 New England Film and Video Festival. Swallow was awarded First Place Experimental at the 1996 USA Film Festival, and Juror’s Choice at the 1996 Charlotte Film and Video Festival. In 2012, Shulie was selected for the once-a-decade British Film Institute’s Sight&Sound Magazine Critic’s Poll for “Greatest Films Ever.”
She has received grants and fellowships from The Rockefeller Foundation, The Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, and The Annenberg Foundation, and she has been a fellow five times at The MacDowell Colony and as well as Yaddo. She has received film commissions from The MacDowell Colony and The Danish Arts Council for recent projects, The Caretakers (2006) and Sweet Ruin (2008). She participated in the Sundance Institute Screenwriting and Directing Fellowships with her feature film project, Up.
In February 2010, Sue Scott Gallery in New York mounted a 20 year retrospective of her film and art work, Elisabeth Subrin: Her Compulsion To Repeat, including her 2010 video installation Lost Tribes and Promised Lands, her 2008 two-channel film projection Sweet Ruin, as well as selected films, videos, and large-scale photographic stills from 1990-2010. Lost Tribes and Promised Lands was subsequently presented at MoMA/PS1's 2010 Greater New York exhibition, as well as at La Musée d'Art Contemporain de Val De Marne, Paris, The Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, Fittja Open in Stockholm, Sweden, and at the Marquette Museum of Art in Milwaukee in 2012. In 2011, her work was the subject of solo exhibitions at The Jewish Museum in New York and VOLTA NY 2011. A new commissioned work, Damage Report, will be presented at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia next spring. Her second feature screenplay, A Woman A Part, starring Maggie Siff and Cara Seymour, is in preproduction.

Fall 2014

Lev Grossman

Lev Grossman is the book critic at Time magazine and the author of the New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy, which is published in 25 countries.  His essays and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Village Voice, Lingua Franca, Salon, Slate, Wired, Entertainment Weekly, the Week, and the Believer, as well as on NPR's All Things Considered.

Téa Obreht and Alexi Zentner

Téa Obreht's debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife, won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a 2011 National Book Award Finalist. Her writing has been published in The New YorkerThe AtlanticHarper’sVogue, Esquire and The Guardian, and she has been named by The New Yorker as one of the twenty best American fiction writers under forty. She was a 2013-2014 fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and is currently working on her second novel.

Alexi Zentner is the author of the novels The Lobster Kings and Touch.  Touch was shortlisted for The 2011 Governor General’s Literary Award, The Center for Fiction’s 2011 Flahery-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the 2012 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and the 2011 First Novel Award, and longlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and the 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.  His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlantic Monthly, Narrative Magazine, Tin House, Glimmer Train, The Southern Review, The Walrus, and many other publications. He is the winner of both the O. Henry Prize and the Narrative Prize, and has been shortlisted for the Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize. He is an Assistant Professor at Binghamton University and a faculty member in the Sierra Nevada College low residency MFA program. 

Zentner was born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario, and currently lives in Ithaca, New York, with his wife and two daughters. He holds both Canadian and American citizenship.

Jenny Offill

Jenny Offill is the author of the novels Last Things and Dept. of Speculation.
She teaches in the MFA program at Columbia University.

Jolika Sudermann and Alma Söderberg

Jolika Sudermann is a freelance theater-maker with a background in dance and environmental sciences. She studied dance theater in Hamburg and graduated from the Mime course at the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in 2010. Sudermann is based in Berlin and works as an artist in residence at Het Veem Theater Amsterdam where she produced the successful duet A Talk, a trip into the musicality of spoken language in collaboration with the Swedish choreographer Alma Söderberg. A Talk premiered in February 2011 and has since been shown more than 50 times in various European venues. It won the audience prize and the prize for a remarkable performance at the Stuttgarter Theaterpreis 2013. Her quintet PULSE was selected into the Aerowaves dance network and toured Europe in 2011/12. Apart from making work, she teaches at Tanzfabrik Berlin and engages in community dance and theater projects with adolescents and asylum seekers.

Alma Söderberg works as a choreographer, performer and performer-musician after having studied flamenco, contemporary dance and choreography. She graduated from SNDO, the choreography department in the Amsterdam arts academy, in 2010. Söderberg makes performances where sound, movement and speech (singing, dancing and talking) are equally important. She has made three solo performances: Entertainment, Cosas and Travail, has an ongoing collaboration with Jolika Sudermann with whom she made the performance A Talk and plays music in the performance band John The Houseband.

Patricia Smith

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 the Phillis Wheatley Award, and finalist for both 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 PoetryThe Paris ReviewThe New York TimesTriQuarterlyTin HouseThe Washington Post, and in both Best American Poetry and Best American Essays. Her contribution to the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir, which she edited, won the Robert L. Fish Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the best debut story of the year and was chosen for Best American Mystery Stories 2013.  She is a 2014 Guggenheim fellow,  a 2012 fellow at both MacDowell and Yaddo, a two-time Pushcart Prize winner, recipient of a Lannan fellowship and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition’s history. She is currently working on a biography of Harriet Tubman, a poetry volume combining text and 19th century African-American photos, and a collaborative novel with her husband Bruce DeSilva, the Edgar-Award winning author of the Liam Mulligan crime novels. Patricia is a professor at the College of Staten Island and an instructor in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College.

Joseph Salvatore

Joseph Salvatore is the Books editor at The Brooklyn Rail and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review. His writing has appeared in The Collagist, Dossier Journal, H.O.W. Journal, New York Tyrant, Open City, Post Road, Salt Hill, and Sleeping Fish, among others. His collection of stories, To Assume A Pleasing Shape, was published by BOA Editions in 2011. He is an assistant professor of writing and literature at The New School, where he founded the literary journal LIT. He lives in New York.

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