Ignatius Valentine Aloysius teaches advanced writing and experimentation in the Integrated Design and Strategy graduate program at Northwestern, and is a lecturer in creative writing at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). A designer and lead guitarist, he co-curates Sunday Salon Chicago, a bi-monthly reading event series, and is a recipient of a 2017 Ragdale Foundation residency. His novel Fishhead. Republic of Want is forthcoming from Tortoise Books. Ignatius carries purple pride and lives with his wife in Evanston.
Sarah Aronson began writing for kids and teens when someone in an exercise class dared her to try. Since then, she has earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and published three stand alone novels: Head Case, Beyond Lucky, and Believe. Her most recent books are part of a series for young readers, The Wish List (Scholastic, 2017-2019) as well as the picture book biography, Just Like Rube Goldberg (Beach Lane Books), illustrated by Robert Neubecker. When Sarah is not writing or reading (or cooking or riding her bike), she is talking to readers about creativity, writing, social action, and of course, sparkle power! She loves working with other writers in one of her classes at the amazing Highlights Foundation or Writers on the Net (www.writers.com). She serves as the PAL coordinator for Illinois SCBWI. She loves hot yoga. She overuses exclamation points. When she’s excited, she talks with her hands.
Gint Aras (Karolis Gintaras Žukauskas) has been trapped on planet Earth since 1973. He is the author of two novels, Finding the Moon in Sugar (Infinity, 2009) and The Fugue, (Tortoise, 2016), and a memoir, Relief by Execution: A Visit to Mauthausen (Homebound, 2019). His prose and translations have appeared in The St. Petersburg Review, Quarterly West, Antique Children, Criminal Class Review, The Hellgate Review, Curbside Splendor, Šiaurės Atėnai, STIR Journal, Dialogo, The Good Men Project and other publications. Aras earned his MFA in Writing from Columbia University, and a BA in English and American Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He currently lives in Oak Park, IL with his family.
Lesley Nneka Arimah was born in the UK and grew up in Nigeria and wherever else her father was stationed for work. She has been a finalist for a National Magazine Award and the Caine Prize, and a winner of the African Commonwealth Short Story Prize and an O. Henry Award, and other honors. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, GRANTA and has received support from The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, and MacDowell, among others. She was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 and her debut collection What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky won the 2017 Kirkus Prize and the 2017 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. She lives in Minneapolis and is working on a novel about you.
Virginia Bell is the author of From the Belly (Sibling Rivalry Press 2012). Her poetry is forthcoming in RiverSedge: A Journal of Art & Literature and has appeared in Kettle Blue Review, Hypertext Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Rogue Agent, Gargoyle, Cider Press Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Poet Lore, and other journals and anthologies. Bell is a Senior Editor with RHINO Poetry and teaches at Loyola University Chicago.
David W. Berner has been fascinated with stories since his days delivering The Pittsburgh Press newspaper as a young boy. Many early Sunday mornings, when he was supposed to be dropping off the latest edition on the doorsteps of his customers, he instead sat on the curb and read about the world. He began telling his own stories and the stories of others as a reporter for numerous radio stations, including freelance work at National Public Radio and more recently for CBS in Chicago. His reporting background has given birth to award-winning memoirs and novels. He has been the Writer-in-Residence for the Jack Kerouac Project in Orlando, where he was privileged to live and work at the Kerouac House in Orlando for two-and-a-half months. He later was honored with the Writer-in-Residence position at the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, Illinois.
Elizabeth Bird is the Collection Development Manager of Evanston Public Library. Her blog A Fuse #8 Production is hosted by School Library Journal. Elizabeth reviews for Kirkus Reviews and the New York Times. She is the co-author of Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature and the upcoming picture book The Great Santa Stakeout, out this September.
Timuel D. Black, Jr. has spent his life furthering the cause of social justice, and his two volumes of oral histories, Bridges of Memory: Chicago's First Wave of Black Migration and Bridges of Memory: Chicago's Second Generation of Black Migration, published by Northwestern University Press, chronicle black Chicago history from the 1920s to the present.
Nancy Burke is a writer, musician and psychoanalyst. Undergrowth (Gibson House Press, October 2017), her debut novel, delves deep into a clash of indigenous and outside cultures, family ties, and greed in the lush Amazon rainforest, where a remote tribe, mercenaries, government agents and well-meaning advocates struggle for control of natural resources amid complex character relationships. The award-winning anthropologist and human rights advocate Terry Turner called it “a titanic feat of imagination . . . dramatically powerful.” Burke’s poetry has been published in Permafrost, Confrontation, The American Poetry Journal, Whitefish Review, The Seattle Review, Green Mountains Review, and other literary journals. She has been a featured writer in After Hours, and her work has been recognized with a Gradiva award, an Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship, an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award, an International Merit Award from the Atlanta Review, and a Fish prize. She lives in Evanston, Illinois, with her husband, two children, and three cats.
Thomas Burke received a BA from Union College and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Eastbound into the Cosmos is his first novel. He has contributed work to Tin House, The Rumpus, Playboy, Hobart Pulp, and St. Petersburg Review. He has taught at UMass Amherst, the Newberry Library, and Northwestern University, where he is currently assistant director of the Kaplan Humanities Institute. Formerly Burke helped direct the Summer Literary Seminars in Russia and co-founded its sister program in Kenya. He is the recipient of the Eugene Yudis Prize for fiction, a fellowship from the UMass Amherst MFA Program, and a residency at Art Omi’s Ledig House, among other honors. He lives in Evanston with his wife and two children.
Susanna Calkins writes historical mysteries. Her first series, the award-winning Lucy Campion Mysteries, is set in 17th century London. Her second series, the Speakeasy Mysteries, is set in a Prohibition-Era Chicago speakeasy. She holds a PhD in history and currently works at Northwestern University. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two sons.
Lorene Cary was born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1956. In 11th grade, she enrolled in the formerly all-white, all-male St. Paul's School in New Hampshire. Cary tells the story in Black Ice, which reviewers have called “brutally honest” and “stunning.” Her first novel, The Price of a Child, fictionalized the story of a female fugitive from slavery and was selected in 2003 as the inaugural One Book, One Philadelphia choice. Cary’s other works include a girlfriend novel, Pride; FREE! Great Escapes from Slavery on the Underground Railroad, for young readers; and If Sons, Then Heirs, a family saga with love, land, and lynching at its center. The founder of Art Sanctuary and SafeKidsStories.com, she has twice received the Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania where she teaches Creative Writing. Cary wrote scripts for the videos at President’s House memorial on Independence Mall; and she has received the Philadelphia Award and six honorary doctorates. Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century will be published in May 2019 by Norton.
Héctor Carrillo is Professor of Sociology and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Northwestern, and also serves as co-director of the Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN), which promotes interdisciplinary research and education on sexuality and health in social context. He is the author of two books: The Night Is Young: Sexuality in Mexico in the Time of AIDS (University of Chicago Press, 2002), and Pathways of Desire: The Sexual Migration of Mexican Gay Men (University of Chicago Press, 2017). His current research investigates the sexualities of straight-identified men who are sexually interested in both women and men, as part of a larger project on the paradoxes of sexual identity as a social construction. Carrillo serves as a member of the editorial boards of Sexuality Research and Social Policy, and Sexualidad, Salud y Sociedad: Revista Latinoamericana.
Hollis Clayson, Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities at Northwestern, is a historian of modern art who specializes in 19th-century Europe, especially France, and transatlantic exchanges between France and the U.S. Her first book, Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist Era, appeared in 1991 (Yale U. Press). Paris in Despair: Art and Everyday Life Under Siege (1870-71) was published in 2002 (U. of Chicago Press). In 2013, she curated the exhibition ELECTRIC PARIS at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. An expanded version of the exhibition was at the Bruce Museum of Art in Greenwich, CT during the spring and summer of 2016. Her co-edited book (with André Dombrowski), Is Paris Still the Capital of the Nineteenth Century? Essays on Art and Modernity, 1850-1900, appeared in 2016 (Routledge). Her new book, Illuminated Paris: Essays on Art and Lighting in the Belle Époque (U. of Chicago Press), will appear in spring 2019. Her current project is The Inescapability of the Eiffel Tower.
Elizabeth Cobbs earned her Ph.D. in American history at Stanford University. She now holds the Melbern Glasscock Chair at Texas A&M University and a Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Her books have won four literary prizes, two for American history and two for fiction. Elizabeth has been a Fulbright scholar in Ireland and a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. She has served on the Historical Advisory Committee of the U.S. State Department and on the jury for the Pulitzer Prize in History. Her book, The Hello Girls, is the defining account of the first women to serve in the U.S. Army for the Signal Corps during WWI. Her latest novel, The Tubman Command, brings Harriet Tubman to life at the moment of her greatest gamble. Cobbs, author of the bestselling The Hamilton Affair, has taken yet another iconic figure from American history and crafted a story rich in emotional depth and astonishing realism.
John Corbett is the author of several books, including A Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation, Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium, and Microgroove: Forays into Other Music. His latest book is Pick Up the Pieces: Excursions in Seventies Music. He is co-owner of Corbett vs. Dempsey, an art gallery in Chicago.
Kimberly Dixon-Mays is a Cave Canem, Callaloo, and Ragdale fellow whose publications include Reverie, Anthology of Chicago, Trigger Warning, Uproot magazine, and Consequence magazine (finalist, Prize in Poetry, 2014). Her collections are SenseMemory and More Than a Notion: Reflections on (Black) Marriage. She holds degrees from Yale, UCLA, and Northwestern.
Nikkita Duke is a writer of diverse genres currently pursuing her MFA in Screen/Stage Writing from Northwestern University. Her poetry has earned her a commendation from the Poetry Society UK (Black Snow, 2009). Her short story “Edidiong” was shortlisted for the DWL Short Story Competition (2015) and her first stage play Affiong’s First Novel won second place in a Nigerian Playwriting Competition in 2016. In Chicago, she has had a reading at the Chicago Dramatists for her short play Before The War. This past summer, she was part of the Maria Fornés Workshop and also interned at the Fehinty African Theatre Ensemble.
Dina Elenbogen is an award winning and widely published poet and prose writer. She is author of the memoir Drawn from Water (BkMKPress, University of Missouri) and the poetry collection Apples of the Earth (Spuyten Duyvil, NY). Her work has appeared in magazines such as Lit Hub, Bellevue Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Paterson Literary Review, December Magazine, Tiferet, Woven Tale Press and anthologies including City of the Big Shoulders (University of Iowa Press), Rust Belt Chicago, Where We find Ourselves (SUNY Press), and Beyond Lament (Northwestern University Press). She has received fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council and Ragdale Foundation. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writer's Workshop and teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago Writer's Studio.
Krista Franklin is the recipient of the Propeller Fund and the Albert P. Weisman Award, and has held residencies at A Studio in the Woods, Cave Canem, and the University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life Initiative. Her poems and visual art have been published in Black Camera, Copper Nickel, Callaloo, Vinyl, BOMB Magazine and Encyclopedia, Vol. F-K. Willow Books published Study of Love & Black Body, her chapbook of poems, in 2012. Franklin’s work has exhibited nationally, and was featured on 20th Century Fox’s Empire (Season Two). She is the co-curator of the Chicago citywide poetry and art initiative, EKPHEST: A Festival of Art + Word, and 2nd Sun Salon, a community meeting space for writers, visual and performance artists, musicians and scholars. She holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts – Book & Paper from Columbia College Chicago.
Naoko Fujimoto was born and raised in Nagoya, Japan. She was an exchange student and received a B.A. and M.A. from Indiana University. Her forthcoming poetry collections are Mother Said, I Want Your Pain, winner of the Shared Dream Immigrant Contest by Backbone Press, Where I Was Born, winner of the editor's choice by Willow Books, and Glyph: Graphic Poetry=Trans. Sensory by Tupelo Press (May, 2020). Her first chapbook, Home, No Home, won the annual Oro Fino Chapbook Competition by Educe Press and another short collection, Silver Seasons of Heartache is published by Glass Lyre Press. She is an Associate Editor with RHINO.
Marnie Galloway is a cartoonist & illustrator working in Chicago, Illinois. She was born in Austin, Texas and studied philosophy & logic at Smith College. She has previously worked as an offset press apprentice, a letterpress studio assistant, an art director at Muse and Cicada magazines, a co-organizer at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo, and as co-host of the podcast Image Plus Text. These days she divides her time equally between making new books and doing freelance illustration. She lives in a Moomin-esque yellow house with her husband Tom, her newly-toddling son Ilan, and a beastly cat named Al.
Terrence Gant is the owner of Third Coast Comics in Chicago.
Jeff Garrett, with wife Nina, co-founded Evanston’s independent bookstore Bookends & Beginnings in 2014. In his earlier life (or lives), he was deputy director of Northwestern University Library, president of the jury that awards the Hans Christian Andersen medals, and a librarian at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and the University of Munich, and has published articles in American Libraries, Library Quarterly, the Times Educational Supplement—and, of course, the Knight Letter, the newsletter of The Lewis Carroll Society of North America.
Reginald Gibbons has published ten books of poems, including Last Lake and Slow Train Overhead: Chicago Poems and Stories, and three of fiction, most recently An Orchard in the Street. He teaches creative writing and literature at Northwestern, where he is the director of the new Litowitz Creative Writing Graduate Program.
Julian K. Glover is a Ph.D. student in African American Studies at Northwestern. His research interests include Black masculinity; LGBT studies; transgender studies; Black feminist thought; gender and sexuality studies; performance studies; sound studies; public policy; and ethnography.
Nestor “the Boss” Gomez was born in Guatemala and came to Chicago Undocumented in the mid 80’s. He told his first story at a Moth story slam to get over the stuttering that plagued his childhood, since then he has won close to 40 Moth Slam and several Grand slams. His stories have been featured at several National radio shows such as The Moth Radio Hour and Snap Judgment. Nestor also created, host, produce and curates his own storytelling show 80 Minutes Around the World a show that features the stories of Immigrants, their descendant and allies with ongoing presentations in Chicago, New York and Detroit and a soon to be release as a Podcast. To learn more about Nestor visit his web site Nestorgomezstoryteller.com
Chris Green is the author of four books of poetry: The Sky Over Walgreens, Epiphany School, Résumé, and Everywhere West (forthcoming from Mayapple Press, 2019). His poetry has appeared in such publications as Poetry, The New York Times, Court Green, Prairie Schooner, and Columbia Poetry Review. He’s edited four anthologies including Brute Neighbors: Urban Nature Poetry, Prose & Photography and most recently I Remember: Chicago Veterans of War (Big Shoulders Books, 2015). He teaches in the English Department at DePaul University.
Mary Hawley is a poet, novelist, and occasional translator. Her poetry collection Double Tongues was published by Tia Chucha Press, and her poems and short stories have appeared in many journals and anthologies including Fifth Wednesday, Easy Street, Notre Dame Review, Mudlark, and The Bloomsbury Review. She was the co-translator of the bilingual poetry anthology Astillas de luz/Shards of Light and helps coordinate Palabra Pura, the bilingual reading series of the Guild Literary Complex. She is a Goodreads author and a recipient of a 2019 Illinois Arts Council Literary Award.
Alex V. Hernandez is the engagement director of 90 Days, 90 Voices and a reporter for Block Club Chicago, where he covers the Lincoln Square, North Center, and Irving Park neighborhoods of Chicago. His reporting has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, Chicago magazine, In These Times magazine and City Bureau.
Alex Higley is the author of Cardinal (longlisted for the PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction) and Old Open. He has been previously published by Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, New World Writing, PANK, and elsewhere. He lives in Evanston, Illinois with his wife and daughter.
Liam Hubbard is a sophomore attending Beacon Academy in Evanston. He is also a poet and a podcaster.
Bennett Johnson is a legendary civil rights activist and publisher in Evanston. He helped found Evanston’s branch of the Congress of Racial Equality and the Chicago League of Negro Voters. He has worked for Urban Consulting Inc. and as the president of the Evanston Minority Business Consortium He co-founded Path Press, which began publishing books in 1969 as one of the first black-owned publishers, and continues to this day.
Parneshia Jones was raised in Evanston, and spent her childhood in the Evanston Public Library and her mother’s kitchen. She is the author of Vessel: Poems (Milkweed Editions), winner of the Midwest Book Award. After studying creative writing at Chicago State University, earning an MFA from Spalding University, and studying publishing at Yale University, Jones has been honored with the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Margaret Walker Short Story Award, and the Aquarius Press Legacy Award. Named one of the “25 Writers to Watch” by the Guild Complex and one of “Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago” by Newcity Magazine, her work has been anthologized in She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems, edited by Caroline Kennedy and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, edited by Nikky Finney; and featured on PBS Newshour, the Academy of American Poets, and espnW. A member of the Affrilachian Poets, she serves on the board of Cave Canem and Global Writes. She currently holds positions as Sales and Community Outreach Manager and Poetry Editor at Northwestern University Press.
Ellen King is the Co-Owner and Head Baker at Hewn, a bakery at 810 Dempster in Evanston, creating hand-forged artisan bread. Recognized in The New York Times, Saveur, Chicago magazine, Forbes, and other notable publications, Hewn has also been featured as the Best Bakery in the Suburbs in 2018 by Make It Better and as one of Time Out Chicago’s 100 Best Dishes in Chicago. A classically trained chef, King attended the Seattle Culinary Academy where she was awarded the Les Dames d’Escoffier 2003 scholarship, and she holds an MA in American History from the University of Maine, and a BA in History from St. Norbert College. King is a member of Women Chefs and Restauranteurs, the Bread Bakers Guild of America, Les Dames d’Escoffier, and the Illinois Restaurant Association. Her first cookbook, Heritage Baking: Recipes for Rustic Breads and Pastries Baked with Artisanal Flour, was published by Chronicle Books in October, 2018.
Ken Krimstein's cartoons have been published in The New Yorker, Barron's, The Harvard Business Review, Prospect, Punch, The National Lampoon, the Wall Street Journal, Narrative, and three of S. Gross’s cartoon anthologies His humor writing has been in The New York Observer’s “New Yorker’s Diary” and humor websites, including McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Yankee Pot Roast, and Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood. A book of his Jewish-themed cartoons, Kvetch as Kvetch Can, has been published by Random House/Clarkson Potter. In addition to teaching at DePaul University and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he is also an advertising creative director. His latest book is The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt.
Juan Martinez is a fiction writer and English professor at Northwestern. He was born in Bucaramanga, Colombia, and has since lived in Orlando, Florida, and Las Vegas, Nevada. His work has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies, including Glimmer Train, McSweeney's, TriQuarterly, Conjunctions, National Public Radio's Selected Shorts, Norton's Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America, and The Perpetual Engine of Hope: Stories Inspired by Iconic Vegas Photographs. Best Worst American, his story collection, came out from Small Beer Press in 2017.
Carlo Matos has published ten books, including The Quitters (Tortoise Books) and It’s Best Not to Interrupt Her Experiments (Negative Capability Press). His poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in such journals as Iowa Review, Boston Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Rhino, DIAGRAM, and Handsome, among many others. Carlo is a Disquiet ILP, CantoMundo and SAFTA fellow. He currently lives in Chicago, teaches at the City Colleges, and is a former MMA fighter and kickboxer. At this event, he will be reading translations of the poetry of Florbela Espanca, a firebrand and a precursor of the feminist movement in Portugal. She published her first book of poems, O livro D’ele, in 1917, which was dedicated to her beloved brother, Apeles. In 1919, Espanca began to show signs of the depression she would struggle with for the rest of her short life. In this year she also had her first miscarriage, which may have influenced the writing of Livro de Mágoas, which translates to The Book of Sorrows. To complicate matters, Espanca’s two divorces and three marriages exposed her to significant social prejudice from conservative Portuguese society, stifling her writing for a short time. But in 1923 she published her next book Livro de Soror Saudade. The death of her brother Apeles Espanca in an airplane crash—some say it was a suicide—deeply affected her and may have inspired the writing of her next book As Máscaras do Destino. In October and November of 1930, Espanca twice attempted suicide shortly before the publication of her last book Charneca em Flor. Florbela Espanca died on December 8, 1930, on her 36th birthday. Though the official documents say otherwise, it is suspected that it was a suicide.
Anna Michelson is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at Northwestern. Her research interests include Cultural Sociology, Popular Culture, Media, Music, Education, Theory, and Qualitative Methods.
Faisal Mohyuddin, the son of immigrants from Pakistan, is the author of the collection The Displaced Children of Displaced Children (Eyewear, 2018), winner of the 2017 Sexton Poetry Prize and selected by the Poetry Book Society as a “Summer 2018 Recommendation,” and of the chapbook The Riddle of Longing (Backbone Press, 2017). In addition, he was a finalist in Narrative’s Eighth and Ninth Annual Poetry Contests and is the winner of the 2014 Edward Stanley Award. Mohyuddin received an MSEd from Northwestern University and an MFA from Columbia College Chicago and teaches English at Highland Park High School in Chicago, where he lives with his wife and son.
Foster Monroe grew up in Evanston and Chicago. She is finishing her freshman year at The Chicago High School for the Arts, studying creative writing. She writes to understand and reflect on the world around her. Common themes shown in her work are home, nature, and memories. She is a Scholastic Awards Gold and Silver Key recipient for both poetry and fiction. She is also a member of her school’s Louder than a Bomb spoken word team.
Daniela Morales was born in Cali, Colombia, but moved to Chicago in 2015. Writing played an important role in her adapting to the new country and culture, and ever since then it has remained a central feature of her life. Daniela attends the Chicago High School for the Arts, where she is a sophomore part of the Creative Writing Conservatory. She is part of her school’s LTAB team. She is a Scholastic Art and Writing Awards national medalist as well as regional winner. She’s also part of 826 CHI’s Teen Writer’s Studio.
Nami Mun grew up in Seoul, South Korea and Bronx, New York. For her first book, Miles from Nowhere, she received a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, The Hopwood Award, and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and the Asian American Literary Award. Miles from Nowhere was selected as Editors’ Choice and Top Ten First Novels by Booklist; Best Fiction of 2009 So Far by Amazon; and as an Indie Next Pick. Chicago Magazine named her Best New Novelist of 2009. After earning a GED, she went on to get a BA in English from UC Berkeley, an MFA from University of Michigan, and has garnered fellowships from organizations such as Yaddo, MacDowell, Bread Loaf, and Tin House. In 2011 she became a US Delegate for a China/America Writers Exchange in Beijing and Chicago. Her stories have been published in The New York Times, Granta, Tin House, The Iowa Review, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Evergreen Review, Witness, and elsewhere. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing in Chicago.
Jennifer C. Nash is Associate Professor of African American Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her work focuses on black sexual politics, black feminism, and intersectionality and the debates around it. Her first book, The Black Body in Ecstasy: Reading Race, Reading Pornography (Duke University Press, 2014), sought to re-make black feminism's relationship to visual culture. The book was awarded the Alan Bray Memorial Book Prize by the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association in 2015. Her second book, Black Feminism Reimagined (Duke University Press, 2019), rewrites black feminist theory’s engagement with intersectionality, an innovation that is often celebrated as black feminism’s primary intellectual and political contribution to feminist theory and related fields.
Wendy Pearlman teaches political science at Northwestern and is the author of four books. The first, Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada (Nation Books, 2003), was a Boston Globe and Washington Post bestseller. The second, Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2011), was named one of Foreign Policy’s best books on the Middle East in 2011. Her third book, We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled: Voices from Syria (Custom House, 2017) is based on interviews that she conducted with more than 400 displaced Syrians in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and the United States. The book is a collection of first-hand testimonials that chronicles the Syrian rebellion, war, and refugee crisis through the stories and reflections of people who have lived it. Her fourth book, co-authored with Boaz Atzili, is Triadic Coercion: Israel’s Targeting of States That Host Nonstate Actors, Wendy’s current book project returns to interviews with displaced Syrians, which she has continues to conduct. She plans to focus on the meaning of home, exile, belonging, and identity in a context of protracted war and indefinite displacement.
Cecilia Pinto has had her poetry and prose published in a variety of journals, including Quarter After Eight, Fence, The Seneca Review, Triquarterly, and RHINO. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for poetry and an Illinois Arts Council award and won the Esquire short fiction contest. She is also a CAAP grant recipient. In 2015, she was voted a writer to watch by The Guild Literary Complex.
Mike Puican has had poems in Poetry, Michigan Quarterly Review, Bloomsbury Review, and New England Review, among others. His essays and reviews have appeared in TriQuarterly, Kenyon Review, Brevity, and MAKE Magazine. He won the 2004 Tia Chucha Press Chapbook Contest for his chapbook, 30 Seconds. Mike was a member of the 1996 Chicago Slam Team and has been president of the board of the Guild Literary Complex in Chicago.
Nissa Rhee is the executive director of 90 Days, 90 Voices, a nonprofit news outlet that's reimagining immigration journalism for a more just and equitable future. In her decade-long career as a journalist, she has covered global issues as a producer at Chicago Public Radio, served as a foreign correspondent in South Korea and Vietnam, and reported on police abuse and gun violence in Chicago.
Keiler Roberts is an Evanston-based artist whose autobiographical comic series Powdered Milk has received an Ignatz Award for Outstanding Series and was included in The Best American Comics 2016. Her first book with Koyama Press, Sunburning, was published in 2017.
Scott Roberts worked on comics from 1975-1985, but for the next 25 years was side-tracked by animation, sculpture and video installation. Now he does comics again, but this time it's personal. Scott lives in Evanston with his wife, daughter and dog and is an Associate Professor in Animation at DePaul University's School of Cinema & Interactive Media in Chicago, where, along with Josh Jones, he co-founded the Animation program.
Kenyatta Rogers is a Cave Canem Fellow and has been awarded multiple scholarships from the Breadloaf Writers' Conference. He has also been nominated multiple times for both Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes. His work has been previously published in or is forthcoming from Jubilat, Vinyl, Bat City Review, The Volta, PANK, MAKE Magazine among others. He is as a co-host of the Sunday Reading Series with Simone Muench, an Associate Editor with RHINO Poetry and currently serves on the Creative Writing Faculty at the Chicago High School for the Arts.
Lucina Schell works in international rights for the University of Chicago Press and is founding editor of Reading in Translation. She is a member of the Third Coast Translators Collective, and translates poetry from the Spanish. She is the translator of Vision of the Children of Evil, by Miguel Ángel Bustos (1932-1976), a major poet of the Argentine Generation of 1960, an illustrator, and a literary critic. During his lifetime, he published Cuatro Murales (1957), Corazón de piel afuera (1959), Fragmentos fantásticos (1965), Visión de los hijos del mal (1967), winner of the second Buenos Aires Municipal Prize for Poetry, and El Himalaya o la moral de los pájaros (1970). Bustos's last book was published with the support of a grant from the National Foundation for the Arts. His poetry was included in many contemporaneous anthologies of the Generation of 1960, and in 1998 Alberto Szpunberg published the anthology of his poetry Despedida de los ángeles. Bustos studied painting with Juan Battle Planas in the 1960s and had a solo exhibition of his artworks in 1970, with a catalog written by Aldo Pellegrini. In 2014, Miguel Ángel Bustos and Emiliano Bustos had a joint exhibition of their paintings and drawings at the Centro Cultural Borges in Buenos Aires. During the 1970s, Bustos worked primarily as a literary critic for Siete Días, Panorama, La Opinión, and El Cronista Comercial, and his collected prose was published in 2007. His collected poetry was published in 2008, the first time it had appeared in print in more than thirty years. On May 30, 1976, Bustos was arrested by military police and for decades remained "disappeared," his work censored. In 2014, Bustos's remains were identified by forensic anthropologists. It is now known that he was executed by firing squad on June 20, 1976.
Bart Schultz is a senior lecturer in humanities and director of the Civic Knowledge Project at the University of Chicago. He is the author of many works, including Henry Sidgwick: Eye of the Universe.
Shalini Shankar is a sociocultural and linguistic anthropologist at Northwestern who has conducted ethnographic research with South Asian American youth and communities in Silicon Valley, with advertising agencies in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, and with spelling bee participants and producers in various US locations. Shankar’s new book, Beeline: What Spelling Bees Reveal about the New American Childhood (Basic Books), is based on qualitative research funded by the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. The project investigates how spelling bees have grown into a mass-mediated, sport-like spectacles, factors contributing to the South Asian American winning streak, and how this model of competition is proliferating worldwide. It is comprised of interviews and observations with spellers and their families, spelling bee officials, lexicographers, and media producers, as well as archival research on spelling competitions and their media broadcasting. Shankar's previous books are, Advertising Diversity: Ad Agencies and the Creation of Asian American Advertising (Duke University Press, 2015) and Desi Land: Teen Culture, Class, and Success in Silicon Valley (Duke University Press, 2008).
Rebecca Sive’s career has spanned executive positions − in business, government, philanthropy, academia, and the not-for-profit sector − where she has earned a reputation as a smart and inspirational women’s leadership and politics strategist, writer, speaker, and teacher. Her widely-praised book, Vote Her In, demonstrates how to break down the last barrier standing between American women and girls and their ability to fully realize their dreams of public leadership. At the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy, Sive was the founding Program and Academic Director of its Women in Public Leadership executive education initiative, and was a lecturer. Sive has received distinguished achievement awards from her undergraduate alma mater, Carleton College, and from the University of Illinois (from which she received an M.A. in American History), and leadership awards from the United Negro College Fund, the Jaycees, and the YWCA, among others. Sive was among the national leaders who developed women's issues agendas for Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. She was a gubernatorial appointee to the Illinois Human Rights Commission; a mayoral appointee as a commissioner of the Chicago Park District; a founding board member of the Chicago Foundation for Women; is in Feminists Who Changed America, University of Illinois Press (2006), and has served as a director of many other organizations and foundations.
Cornelia Maude Spelman, MSW, was a therapist with children and families before turning full-time to writing and art, and she’s written eleven books for children that help them manage emotion and difficult life situations. Her “The Way I Feel” series of books for young children–described by reviewers as “sensitive” and “compassionate”–have sold over a million copies and been translated into Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Greek, Japanese, German, Arabic, and Danish. Her latest picture book, Everybody’s Somewhere, invites young readers to think about where others are in our world, what they might be doing, and our connections to one another.
Layli Long Soldier earned a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA with honors from Bard College. She is the author of the chapbook Chromosomory (2010) and the full-length collection Whereas (2017), which won the National Books Critics Circle award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has been a contributing editor to Drunken Boat and poetry editor at Kore Press; in 2012, her participatory installation, Whereas We Respond, was featured on the Pine Ridge Reservation. In 2015, Long Soldier was awarded a National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry. She was awarded a Whiting Writer’s Award in 2016.
Diana Sudyka is a Chicago-based illustrator. Early on she created screenprinted gigposters for musicians including Andrew Bird, St. Vincent, The Black Keys, and The Decemberists. Examples of this early poster work can be seen in Gigposters Volume 1: Rock Show Art of the 21st Century (Quirk Books). She has illustrated several volumes of the award-winning children's book series The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, as well as The Secret Keepers. Sometimes Rain by Meg Fleming (Beach Lane Books/Simon and Schuster) is her first picture book illustration work; When Sue Found Sue by Toni Buzzeo (Abrams) is her latest book.
Maja Teref is a College Board AP Lit reader, and a Past President of IL TESOL BE (Illinois Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). She teaches English at the University of Chicago Lab School. Her translations (with Steven Teref) include Novica Tadić’s Assembly. Their translations have appeared in The New Yorker, Aufgabe, Asymptote, and elsewhere. They founded and edited the journal Ricochet Review.
Steven Teref is the author of Foreign Object, Pleasure Objects Teaser, and The Authentic Counterfeit. He is currently editing an anthology on Yugoslav modernism with Columbia University professor Aleksandar Bosković. His translations (with Maja Teref) include Novica Tadić’s Assembly. They are currently translating the Croatian avant-garde writer Branko Ve Poljanski.
Alison Thumel is a Chicago-based poet, writer, and erasurist. Her work has recently appeared in or is forthcoming in DIAGRAM, The Rumpus, and Ninth Letter. She is the author of two chapbooks.
Helen Thompson teaches eighteenth-century British and transatlantic literature, philosophy, the history of science, and feminism at Northwestern. She is the author of two books. Ingenuous Subjection: Power and Compliance in the Eighteenth-Century Domestic Novel (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005) and Fictional Matter: Empiricism, Corpuscles, and the Novel (University of Pennsylvania Press, January 2017). She is the faculty chair of One Book, One Northwestern.
Deborah Tuerkheimer is the Class of 1940 Professor of Law at Northwestern. She teaches and writes in the areas of criminal law, evidence, and feminist legal theory. Her book, Flawed Convictions: “Shaken Baby Syndrome” and the Inertia of Injustice, was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. She is also a co-author of the casebook Feminist Jurisprudence: Cases and Materials and the author of numerous articles on sexual violence and domestic violence. After clerking for Alaska Supreme Court Justice Jay Rabinowitz, she served for five years as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office, where she specialized in domestic violence prosecution.
Mark Turcotte was raised on North Dakota's Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation. After attending school in Lansing, Michigan, he lived on the road for nearly 15 years. Turcotte moved to Chicago in 1993, where his literary career was given a boost by Illinois Poet Laureate, Gwendolyn Brooks, who awarded him the first Gwendolyn Brooks Open-mic Poetry Award and named him a Significant Illinois Poet. Much of Turcotte's work deals with his personal experience straddling the line between the cultures of natives and whites. He reveals the harsh truths of prejudice and emphasizes the importance of knowing one's cultural heritage.
Sachin Waikar’s award-winning writing appears in national magazines and journals including Esquire, The Rumpus, Chicago Quarterly Review, Day One (Amazon), Drunken Boat (now Anomaly), South Asian Review, Highlights, and in several published anthologies. His screenwriting has placed in HBO/Miramax’s Project Greenlight and been nominated for an ABC/Disney Talent Grant. Before turning to writing, Sachin worked as a business strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company and as a Beverly Hills psychologist.
Esmé Weijun Wang is a novelist and essayist. Her debut novel, The Border of Paradise, was called a Best Book of 2016 by NPR and one of the 25 Best Novels of 2016 by Electric Literature. She was named by Granta as one of the “Best of Young American Novelists” in 2017, won the Whiting Award in 2018, and is the recipient of the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize for her forthcoming essay collection, The Collected Schizophrenias. Born in the Midwest to Taiwanese parents, she lives in San Francisco, and can be found at esmewang.com and on Twitter @esmewang.
Katie Watson is an award-winning Associate Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Medical Education, and Obstetrics & Gynecology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, where she has taught bioethics, medical humanities, and constitutional law to medical students and masters students for fifteen years. Professor Watson is also a lawyer who began her career clerking in the federal judiciary and practicing public interest law, and in 2017-2018 she worked part-time as Senior Counsel to the Women's and Reproductive Rights Project of the ACLU of Illinois. Professor Watson has been a Board member of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, and she is currently on the Board of the National Abortion Federation, and a Bioethics Advisor to and Member of the National Medical Council of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She is the author of Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law & Politics of Ordinary Abortion.
Michele Weldon is editorial director of Take the Lead, and a senior leader with The OpEd Project. She has led OpEd Project initiatives at Northwestern, Stanford, Princeton, Brown, Cambridge, Rush and Loyola universities, the Ms. Foundation, Boone Family Foundation, the Center for Global Policy Solutions and Urgent Action Fund Africa. She is an award-winning journalist and author with four decades of experience and is emerita faculty in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School where she taught for 18 years. She is the author of five nonfiction books including Escape Points: A Memoir (2015) and chapters in seven other books; has delivered more than 200 keynotes and appeared on scores of TV and radio outlets globally. A frequent contributor on issues of gender, media and popular culture, her work appears in hundreds of sites including New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, TIME, Christian Science Monitor, Guardian, Slate, Chicago Tribune, USA Today and more. She serves on the advisory boards of Life Matters Media, Global Girl Media Chicago and Between Friends. She is a former member of the board of directors of Journalism & Women Symposium and is completing her sixth book, a collection of nonfiction essays, Act Like You're Having A Good Time.
Jeff Zwirek’s comics work includes Jack Rabbit, Black Star, Pinstriped Bloodbath, and Burning Building Comix. He has received a nomination for an Ignatz award, and his comics have been named "Notable Comics" multiple times by the Best American Comics anthology. He was also a founding organizer of CAKE, The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo. He lives and works in Chicago, with his wife, daughter, and two sons.