niv Acosta is a dance artist, educator, black Dominican, transexual, queer, and native New Yorker. He attended the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance (New York City), American Dance Festival (Duke University) and CalArts (Dance BFA). In 2010 niv received an Art and Social Change Grant from The Leeway Foundation with which he presented two solo works titled denzel and denzel prelude at Studio 34 in Philadelphia. He moved back to New York and presented denzel superstructure through Movement Research Open Performance (New York City) and The Community Education Center (Philadelphia). In 2011 niv was accepted into the Fresh Tracks Residency Program through New York Live Arts. i shot denzel was presented in various stages at Center for Performance Research (2012), 92nd Street Y, Judson Memorial Church (2013), MOMA PS1, Abrons Arts Center, Human Resources (Los Angeles), and New York Live Arts (2014). Since the close of the “denzel series,” niv has been working on a new project expanding on his interests in sci-fi, astronomy, and disco. He’s presented two solo works titled cosmic muck and inner disco at Vox Populi in Philadelphia and at The Studio Museum in Harlem. niv has collaborated with artists Malik Gaines, Alexandro Segade, Andrea Geyer, A.K. Burns, and Ralph Lemon.
Kenzie Allen is a recent graduate of and Zell Fellow at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, and a descendant of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center and an Emerging Writers Fellowship to the Aspen Summer Words festival. Her poems can be found in The Iowa Review, Sonora Review, Word Riot, and Day One. She is Editor in Chief of the Anthropoid collective.
José Felipe Alvergue is a graduate of both the Buffalo Poetics Program (PhD) and the Cal Arts Writing Program (MFA). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Kadar Koli, Black Clock, Nocturnes, P-QUEUE, Fourteen Hills, and TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics. His poetic examination of law, architecture, religion, and the last wild passenger pigeon to be shot in Wisconsin, gist : rift : drift : bloom, is forthcoming from Further Other Book Works; and precis, a sustained poetic account of memory, migration, and the securitization politics of the US/Mexico Border, from which this selection is taken, will be out in early Spring 2015.
Koa Beck’s writing has appeared in Salon, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Alternet, and The New York Observer. Her fiction has been published in Slice and Kalyani Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Hisham Bustani was born in 1975 in Amman, Jordan. He has published four collections of short fiction: Of Love and Death (Dar al-Farabi, 2008), The Monotonous Chaos of Existence (Dar al-Farabi, 2010), The Perception of Meaning (Dar al-Adab, 2012), and Inevitable Preludes to a Stalled Disintegration (Dar al-Ain, 2014). The German review Inamo has chosen him as one of the Arab world’s emerging and influential new writers, translating one of his stories into German for its special issue on New Arab Literature in December 2009. He was also featured in the March/April 2012 issue of Poets & Writers. He is acclaimed for his contemporary themes, style, and language, and experiments on the boundaries of narration and poetry, and often utilizes philosophy, physics, biology, cosmology and visual arts in his fiction. His translated stories have appeared in The Saint Ann’s Review, The Common, CutBank, Banipal, and World Literature Today. He was recently listed among the six best contemporary Jordanian writers by the UK-based cultural website, The Culture Trip.
Gyasi Byng is a writer currently living in South Florida. Her recent publications include short stories for Black Magnolias Literary Journal and Coastlines Literary Magazine, as well as a nonfiction essay for Rivet: The Journal of Writing that Risks. She recently completed her Master of Arts at Florida Atlantic University and will be starting her PhD at the University of Rochester in the fall.
Jess X. Chen is a Chinese-American poet, artist, and filmmaker, and the author of the chapbook, From the Earthworm To The Night. She is a member of Justseeds, an international collective of socially-engaged artists. Find more of her work at www.jessxchen.com.
Terese Coe’s poems and translations have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Poetry, New American Writing, Ploughshares, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Cincinnati Review, Poetry Review, the Times Literary Supplement, Agenda, New Walk Magazine, Warwick Review, The Stinging Fly, and many other publications and anthologies. One of her poems was chosen for the 2012 London Olympics Rain of Poems and heli-dropped across London.
Alex Cuff was born in Bay Ridge and grew up in the suburbs of Babylon, Long Island. She currently lives in Brooklyn where she teaches tenth grade at a public school and edits No, Dear magazine. Her writing can be found online in Sink Review, Leveler and Two Serious Ladies; and in print in Diner Journal. She is a graduate of the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College.
Ann DeWitt is a fiction writer, essayist and critic. Her writing has appeared in Granta’s New Writing, NOON, Tin House, The American Reader, Guernica, The Believer Logger, Esquire.com, BOMBlog, Electric Literature, art+culture, elimae, Dossier Magazine, Two Serious Ladies, Publishing Genius and The Faster Times, amongst others. Her story, “Influence,” which first appeared in Esquire’s Napkin Fiction Project was recently anthologized in Short: An International Anthology, edited by Alan Ziegler (Persea, 2014). Ann was a Co-Founding Editor of Gigantic, a literary journal of short prose and art distributed throughout the US and abroad. Ann holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University School of the Arts. She teaches in the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program at Columbia and recently completed her first novel, an excerpt of which was just released in the 15th anniversary edition of NOON. She currently pens a bimonthly nonfiction column about art, literature, film, and criticism for The Believer, called “Various Paradigms.”
Thoraya El-Rayyes is a writer and literary translator living in Amman, Jordan. Her work has appeared in various magazines including World Literature Today, The Outpost, The Common, CutBank, and Banipal, among others.
Mya Green graduated with an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She currently works as a shoe designer, editorial assistant, and freelance content developer for medical research journals and textbook publishers. Although she adores her Mid Atlantic haven, it is likely she will move to Europe as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
At work on her first full-length collection, The Certain Body, Julia Guez has received a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia, a Fulbright Fellowship and the 2013 “Discovery”/ Boston Review Poetry Prize. Her work has recently appeared in The Literary Review, DIAGRAM, The Brooklyn Rail and BOMBLog. Guez is one of the editors at Circumference, a journal of poetry in translation. She works at Teach For America–New York and lives with her family in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Aimee Herman is a Brooklyn-based poet and performance artist looking to disembowel the architecture of gender and what it means to queer the body. Find Aimee’s poems in Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books); in the full-length collection to go without blinking (BlazeVOX books); the recent chapbook, rooted, (Dancing Girl Press); and in the full-length book of poems, meant to wake up feeling (great weather for MEDIA). Read more at: aimeeherman.wordpress.com.
Soleil Ho is a writer living in the Deep South. She primarily slings haute cuisine to the masses. Her writing has appeared in BITCH, Interrupt Mag, The Atlas Review, and others. She edits Quaint Mag, a feminist literary quarterly, with Kia Groom. You can find more of her work at soleilho.tumblr.com.
Tsitsi Jaji was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. Her poetry has appeared in Seven New Generation African Poets (Slapering Hol, 2014), Poetry International, Bitter Oleander, Munyori, Black Renaissance Noire, Runes and elsewhere. She is also the author of Africa in Stereo: Modernism, Music and Pan-African Solidarity (Oxford, 2014).
Devin Kenny is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and independent curator. He also produces music under the Devin KKenny moniker, amongst others. Hailing from the South Side of Chicago, he relocated to New York to begin his studies at Cooper Union. He has since continued his practice through the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, Skowhegan artist residency, SOMA, and collaborations with DADDY, pooool, Studio Workout, Comotroovay-sa, Wild Isle, and Adult Contemporary. He has presented work at various art and music venues in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and elsewhere including: Recess, Het Roode Bioscoop, St. Cecilia’s Convent, Freak City, and Santos Party House. He received his MFA in 2013 from the New Genres department at UCLA and is a recent alumnus of the Whitney Independent Study Program.
Alison Kuo is a Texas native with an MFA from the School of Visual Arts and a BA from Southwestern University. She has exhibited her work at CANADA, Christopher Henry Gallery, ICI, Present Company, Cathouse FUNeral, Superchief, and Art Jam in New York City, Eleven Seventeen Garland, SOFA Gallery, Co-Lab, and Domy in Austin, and the Untitled art fair and OHWOW in Miami. Kuo is Art Editor at the Brooklyn literary magazine GIGANTIC, a contributor of reviews to Artslant, and the creator of the popular blog Accidental Chinese Hipsters. Website: http://www.kuospace.com.
Astrid Larson is the Manager of Programs and Special Events at the American Friends of the Louvre. Her artistic focus is on sculpture, stenciling, and book arts. Her work has been shown in Amsterdam, Washington DC, New York, Portland, and Madison. She lives with her two cats and fiancé in Brooklyn.
Rebecca Liu is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and the Glascock Poetry Prize. A poetry reader for the Boston Review, she is a James A. Michener Fellow at the University of Texas in Austin.
Originally from Mexico and Nor Cal, Paco Márquez is editor of OccuPoetry and Washington Square Review. His work has appeared in Late Peaches: Poems by Sacramento Poets, Squaw Valley Review, and has recently been displayed on the side of a building in Sacramento through the Sacramento Metropolitan Art Commission’s Del Paso Words & Walls Project. He was also recently featured as Lo-Writer of the Week on Juan Felipe Herrera’s California Poet Laureate website. He is currently working towards his MFA in Poetry at New York University, and is greatly enjoying getting to know New York City.
Caitlin MacBride is a painter living and working in Brooklyn. She recently completed her MFA at Bard College and holds a BFA from RISD. She has appeared in exhibitions at Real Fine Arts, Zach Feuer, NADA Art Fair and Greene Naftali; and she has an upcoming show at Chapter NY.
Victoria Matsui is a writer and freelance editor. In the past, she has served as an editor at Little, Brown and Company; an advertising associate at Poets & Writers Magazine; and a bookseller at BookCourt. She lives in Brooklyn.
Victoria McArtor lives near Oklahoma State University. She was recently named a member of The Honor Club with Mutual of Omaha. Her poems have appeared in PANK, Hobart, H_NGM_N, Tupelo Press’s 30/30 Project, and others. Her fiction has appeared in Passages North and Cease, Cows. All of the above writing appears at victoriamcartor.com.
Mollie McKinley is a New York- and Hudson Valley-based interdisciplinary artist. With a background in photography and performance, her current work also integrates installation and sculpture. Her hybrid artworks envision planes of existence beyond the mundane; tinged with darkness, mystery, iconoclasm, and comedic hope. Occult histories of colonialism, transcendence from trauma, and textural studies of metaphysics all inform her work. Her performance persona, PRIESTESS, creates live and video-based rituals of her own sect in collaboration with a rotating roster of fellow artists and postmodern mystics. Her moving image work has been screened at Anthology Film Archives, the MoMA Pop Rally, the LUMEN Festival, the Brucennial, and a host of others. Her photographs, sculptures, and installations have been featured in the NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1; The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art; the Wassaic Project Exhibition; SPRING/BREAK Art Show; Anna Kustera Gallery; The Humble Arts Foundation; and many others. Her work has been featured by Creative Capital, and she has lectured at BHQFU, SVA and Bard. She is a professor at several pop-up alternative schools such as The School of Making Thinking and The Golden Dome. She is a Virgo with a Leo Moon (Virgo rising)! www.molliemckinley.com
Roberto Montes is the author of I DON’T KNOW DO YOU (Ampersand Books, 2014) and “HOW TO BE SINCERE IN YOUR POETRY” WORKSHOP now available in full at napuniversityonline.com. His poetry and critical work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Coconut Magazine, Sink Review, ILK, Nepantla: A Journal of Queer Poets of Color, and elsewhere.
Ladan Osman is the winner of the African Poetry Book Fund’s 2014 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets for her manuscript, The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony (University of Nebraska Press). She has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem Foundation, and the Michener Center for Writers. A 2012 Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Life in Poetry, Broadsided, Narrative Magazine, Prairie Schooner, and Vinyl Poetry. She lives in Chicago.
Migueltzinta Cah Mai Solís Pino was raised in Mexico and California. He earned his BA from The Evergreen State College in interdisciplinary studies (Chicana/o, post-colonial, landscape and queer studies, experimental writing and media). His work has appeared in Midnight Breakfast. He is also a VONA/Voices 2014 alumnus. For more of Migueltzinta’s work, including visual and performance art, please visit cauhboi.wordpress.com
Khadijah Queen is the author of Conduit (Akashic, 2008) and Black Peculiar (2011), which won the Noemi Press Book Award for poetry and was a finalist for the Gatewood Prize at Switchback Books. Individual poems and prose appear in jubilat, Aufgabe, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Rattle, Tupelo Quarterly, Eleven Eleven, Memoir, Fire and Ink: A Social Action Anthology, The Force of What’s Possible, and widely elsewhere. Her digital chapbook I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On was published by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2013.
Patrick Rosal is the author of three full-length poetry collections, most recently Boneshepherds (Persea, 2011), named a notable book by the National Book Critics Circle and the Academy of American Poets. His poetry and prose have appeared in Grantland, The New York Times, Hyphen, Tin House, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, and many other journals and anthologies. He is a founding co-editor of Some Call It Ballin’, a literary sports journal. A former Fulbright Fellow, he has been honored with the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award and the Asian American Writers Workshop Members’ Choice Award. He teaches at Rutgers University–Camden’s MFA program and has taught at the Kundiman summer writers’ retreat.
Bayeté Ross Smith is a photographer, multi-media artist, filmmaker, and educator living in New York City. He is represented by beta pictoris gallery/Maus Contemporary. He began his career as a photojournalist with the Knight Ridder Newspaper Corporation. Bayeté has exhibited with San Francisco Arts Commission, the Brooklyn Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, MoMA P.S.1, the Missouri History Museum, BRIC Arts gallery, Rush Arts Gallery, the Leica Gallery, the Goethe Institute (Ghana), and Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Poland), to name a few. His accolades include the FSP/Jerome Fellowship, fellowships and residencies with the McColl Center for Visual Art, the Kala Institute, A Blade of Grass Fellowship, and Create Change the Laundromat Project’s Create Change residency, to name a few. He has taught with the International Center of Photography, New York University, Parsons: the New School for Design, the California College of the Arts, and Kean University. Bayeté is currently the Associate Program Director for KAVI (Kings Against Violence Initiative), a violence prevention non-profit organization in New York that has a partnership with Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn.
Eliza Swann is an interdisciplinary artist, teacher, and tarot healer based in Los Angeles and New York. Swann is a graduate of the Central St. Martin’s MFA program. Her work has been exhibited internationally—most recently at the Beijing Film Academy in Beijing, China, Oxford Modern Art in Oxford, England, and Krowswork Gallery in Oakland, CA. She also acts as director of the Golden Dome School and director of The Bride of Fire Dance Troupe.
Grant Worth grew up in the forests of Central Wisconsin. In 2001, he received his BFA in Photography and Imaging from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Grant is enthusiastic about sound and image, machine elves, transformations, and the trajectories of human beings. Collections built from family trips, generous friends he’ll never meet, and living room dance floors generate both the input and the formal result of his work. Worth was represented by John Connelly Presents (New York City) until the gallery’s closure in 2010. He currently enjoys specializing in mistakes with beauty and lifestyle collective, FCKNLZ. Most recently, his Polaroid work was featured in the The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation (Prestel, 2013). Last summer, he spent time working on his first short film “My Life As A Woman,” loosely based on Roseanne Barr’s autobiography of the same title. www.missionfantastic.com