2015 Featured Authors & Artists (More soon)
Roxane Gay’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, West Branch, Virginia Quarterly Review, NOON, The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Time, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Salon, and many others. She is the co-editor of PANK. She is also the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, Bad Feminist, and Hunger, forthcoming from Harper in 2016.
Bonnie Jo Campbell
Bonnie Jo Campbell (http://www.bonniejocampbell.com/) is the author of the National Bestselling novel Once Upon a River (Norton, 2011). A river odyssey with an unforgettable sixteen-year-old heroine, which the New York Times Book Review declares, "is, rather, an excellent American parable about the consequences of our favorite ideal, freedom." Her first novel, Q Road, delves into the lives of a rural community where development pressures are bringing unwelcome change in the character of the land.
Campbell's critically-acclaimed short fiction collection American Salvage (Wayne State University Press, 2009) was finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award. The collection consists of fourteen lush and rowdy stories of folks who are struggling to make sense of the twenty-first century. Donna Seaman wrote, "Campbell’s busted-broke, damaged, and discarded people are rich in longing, valor, forgiveness, and love, and readers themselves will feel salvaged and transformed by this gutsy book’s fierce compassion." Campbell's collection Women and Other Animals, won the AWP prize for short fiction, and details the lives of extraordinary females in rural and small town Michigan. Her story "The Tatoo" is included in the anthology Shadow Snow, a tribute to Ray Bradbury. Her story "The Smallest Man in the World" was awarded a Pushcart Prize and her story “The Inventor, 1972" was awarded the 2009 Eudora Welty Prize from Southern Review. She is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow.
Bonnie Jo Campbell grew up on a small Michigan farm with her mother and four siblings in a house her grandfather Herlihy built in the shape of an H. She learned to castrate small pigs, milk Jersey cows, and, when she was snowed in with chocolate, butter, and vanilla, to make remarkable chocolate candy. When she left home for the University of Chicago to study philosophy, her mother rented out her room. She has since hitchhiked across the US and Canada, scaled the Swiss Alps on her bicycle, and traveled with the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus selling snow cones. As president of Goulash Tours Inc., she has organized and led adventure tours in Russia and the Baltics, and all the way south to Romania and Bulgaria.
For decades, Campbell has put together a personal newsletter—The Letter Parade—and she currently practices Koburyu kobudo weapons training. She has received her MA in mathematics and her MFA in writing from Western Michigan University. She lives with her husband and other animals outside Kalamazoo, and she teaches writing in the low residency program at Pacific University.
Carol Muske-Dukes (http://www.carolmuskedukes.com/) is the author of 8 books of poems - the most recent of which is Twin Cities from Penguin. Earlier books of poems include Sparrow, from Random House, a National Book Award finalist, and others. She has also published four novels, including Channeling Mark Twain from Random House in 2003. She is also an essayist and anthology editor. Her collections include Married to the Icepick Killer: a Poet in Hollywood (San Francisco Chronicle Best Book) -- and an anthology of poems, co-edited with Bob Holman - Crossing State Lines: an American Renga (from Farrar, Strauss & Giroux) plus two children's poetry "handbooks" - The Magical Poetry Blimp Pilot's Guide, 1 & 2. Many of her books have been New York Times Most Notable Books.
She is professor of English/Creative Writing at the University of Southern California where she founded the PhD Program in Creative Writing/Literature. She recently completed her term as Poet Laureate of the state of California. She writes for the New York Times Book Review & Op Ed, the LA Times (where she was poetry columnist for some years), The Huffington Post, and The New Yorker, Page-Turner on-line. She has been the recipient of many awards & honors, including a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Library of Congress award, a Castagnola Award, and the Ingram/Merrill award, as well as a finalist for the National Book Award and the LA Times Book Prize, among others. She is anthologized widely and has published her poems and essays in various nationally renowned publications from The New Yorker to SLATE to The Atlantic. Her work has also appeared in Best American Poetry, 2012 and the 25th Anniversary edition of Best American Poetry. She has recently completed a play called I Married the Icepick Killer.
Carol has been a professor for many years at USC, but has also taught (as Visiting Writer, etc.) at Columbia's MFA Program, the Iowa Writers Workshop, the University of Virginia grad MFA, UC Irvine's MFA Program and the New School's MFA.
Although Carol is currently bi-coastal - New York & L.A. - she has strong ties to Minnesota and North Dakota. Beyond Twin Cities, she has a collection of poems entitled Wyndmere (1985), in honor of Wyndmere, North Dakota, a place where extended family called home. She also edited Wyndmere Wind-Rows: Memories of Growing Up on the Dakota Plains (2013) by her mother, Elsie Kunchera Muske.
Tara Betts (http://tarabetts.net/) is an author and a Cave Canem fellow. She recently received her Ph.D. in English from Binghamton University. Tara is the Poetry Editor for Blackberry: a magazine and a Contributing Editor for Radius. She has collaborated with interdisciplinary projects such as John Sims’ “Recoloration Proclamation” and “Rhythm of Structure” installations, filmmaker Nijla Mu’min, Jen Abrams' web series "Any Resemblance," and Peggy Choy Dance Company’s “THE GREATEST: An Afro-Asian Tribute to Muhammad Ali." Tara Betts appeared on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam.” She also appeared in the Black Family Channel series “SPOKEN." In 2010, she was selected as one of Essence magazine's 40 favorite poets. She has shared her work in Cuba, London, and Ghana. Her writing has appeared in Steppenwolf Theater's “Words on Fire,” The Black Scholar, Obsidian, Callaloo, RHINO, Crab Orchard Review, and anthologies such as DISMANTLE: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA Writers Workshop, The Incredible Sestina Anthology, Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books , Saul Williams’ chorus: a literary mixtape, VILLANELLES, A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, Gathering Ground, Bum Rush the Page.
Alexandra Grant (http://alexandragrant.com/) is a Los Angeles-based artist who uses language, literature and exchanges with writers as the basis for her work in painting, drawing and sculpture. Grant’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LAMCA), among other museums and galleries. She has collaborated with artists and writers including philosopher and playwright Hélène Cixous, hyptertext pioneer Michael Joyce, and actor and writer Keanu Reeves.