Gemma Cooper-Novack, Playwriting, Syracuse, NY – Gemma Cooper-Novack is a writer, arts educator, and writing coach, and a doctoral student in Literacy Education at Syracuse University, focusing on the relationship between writing pedagogy and social justice. Gemma’s plays have been produced in Chicago, Boston, and New York, her first play a winner of the Young Playwrights Festival when she was seventeen, her most recent part of the Open Theatre Project’s SLAM Boston. Her comic opera adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, co-written with Joshua Tyra, has been workshopped at universities across the country.
Recently, Gemma was a runner-up for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in more than twenty journals, including Ballard Street Poetry Journal (Pushcart Prize nomination), Bellevue Literary Review (Pushcart Prize nomination), Cider Press Review, Hanging Loose, Santa Fe Writers Project, and Printer’s Devil Review. She diablogs on sinnerscreek.com. She has been awarded multiple artist’s residencies from Catalonia to Virginia and a grant from the Barbara Deming Fund, and enjoys baking cookies and walking on stilts in her spare time. Her debut poetry collection We Might As Well Be Underwater will be published by Unsolicited Press in 2017.
Harriet Clark, Fiction; Oakland, CA – Harriet Clark received her B.A. from Stanford University, an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and returned to Stanford as a Wallace Stegner Fellow from 2008 until 2010. She has also been a Truman Capote Fellow, a Teaching-Writing Fellow, a MacDowell Fellow, and an N.E.A. Writer-in-the-Schools Fellow. Currently she is a Jones Lecturer in Stanford’s Creative Writing Program.
Amelia Evans, Visual Arts; Oakland, CA – Committed to social activism, Amelia Evans first trained and worked as a human rights lawyer in New Zealand. In 2010, she was offered a Fulbright Scholarship and moved to the United States. Since then, Amelia has co-founded a nonprofit human rights organization focused on the actions of multi-national corporations, and was a Global Human Rights Fellow and instructor at the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School.
Throughout her career as a human rights advocate, she had always been interested in visual art and filmmaking. She utilized her time teaching at Harvard to pursue her passion, studying filmmaking under Ross McElwee and Alfred Guzzetti. Owing in large part to their encouragement, filmmaking is now a large part of her life. She has collaborated on installations (Central/Central, 60min, with Pacho Velez (Manakamana) & others), directed and edited short films, and used film as a social advocacy tool in a variety of countries, including Papua New Guinea and Haiti.
Amelia Evans was a MacDowell Colony Fellow in filmmaking in 2014 and was named one of Independent Magazine’s “Ten to Watch in 2015” for her directing in Minor Attraction. Minor Attraction is her first feature film.
Darryl Lauster, Visual Arts; Arlington, TX – A 2010 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Painters and Sculptors, Darryl Lauster is an Intermedia artist and an Associate Professor of Sculpture at the University of Texas at Arlington. He has exhibited nationally at the Cameron Museum of Art, Appalachian State University, the Urban Center for Contemporary Art, the John Michael Kohler Foundation and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, as well as internationally in Berlin, London and Rutten. He is represented by the Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas, TX, and by the Devin Borden Gallery in Houston, TX. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, McNeese State University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He was recently awarded a Cultural Grant from the Netherland-American Foundation to research in Holland and is the 2015 recipient of the Moss/Chumley Award for Outstanding North Texas Artist awarded by the Meadows Museum.
Judson Merrill, Fiction; Portland, ME –“I grew up in Maine, studied literature and writing at Brown University, and received my MFA from Brooklyn College. I taught composition and fiction at Brooklyn for four years before recently returning home to Maine to pursue other opportunities.
My work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Iowa Review, The Southampton Review, Unstuck, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Used Furniture Review, Stolen Island Review, and Brazenhead. In 2016 I was a writing fellow at Lighthouse Works in New York and an Artist in Residence at Ox-Bow in Michigan.”
Lauren Russell, Poetry; Pittsburgh, PA – Lauren Russell’s first full-length book, What’s Hanging on the Hush, will be out from Ahsahta Press in 2017. A Cave Canem graduate fellow, she was the 2014-2015 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the 2016 VIDA fellow to the Home School, and a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts fellow. Russell’s chapbook Dream-Clung, Gone came out from Brooklyn Arts Press in 2012. She is Assistant Director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics at the University of Pittsburgh.
Hui-Ying Tsai, Visual Arts; Brooklyn, NY – Hui-Ying Tsai is a Taiwanese artist based in New York. She gained her BFA in National Kaohsiung Normal University and became a licensed High School Art teacher in Taiwan in 2005. At the age of 24 she came to the US pursuing her MFA degree in San Francisco Art Institute majoring in New Genres. She has been exhibiting internationally in Taiwan, USA, Korea, and Europe over a decade. In 2008, her video ”Plastic Bag Girl” was featured in International Guerrilla Video Festival, Dublin, Ireland. A series of digital work “Embrace” was collected by National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in 2010. The same year she also collaborated with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the San Francisco Arts Commission developed community based project. She was awarded several reputable artist in residency fellowships through out her career, including MacDwell Colony, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Vermont Studio Center, and Taitung Railway Arts Village. In 2016, she participated in the On Site Art Festival in Taipei, Taiwan, where she built a piece ”HOME” in the exhibition hours live.
Hui-Ying was featured in several art and creative publications, including “An Illustrated History of Taiwan Art”, and “History of Fine Art in Postwar Taiwan” authored by professor Chiung-Jui Hsiao. Some of her pieces were selected as the professional illustration winner in Creative Quarterly Issue 19. Aside from art making, she writes art and culture columns for Ppaper Magazine and Crossing Magazine in Taiwan to promote international culture exchange.
Kristen Arnett, Fiction; Maitland, FL (2nd session) – Kristen is a fiction and essay writer who has held fellowships at Tin House, Kenyon Review, and Lambda Literary Foundation. She was awarded Ninth Letter’s 2015 Literary Award in Fiction and was runner-up for the 2016 Robert Watson Literary Prize at The Greensboro Review. Her work has either appeared or is upcoming at North American Review, The Normal School, The Greensboro Review, OSU’s The Journal, Portland Review, Ninth Letter, Grist Journal, Tin House Flash Fridays/The Guardian, Salon, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her debut story collection, Felt in the Jaw, will be published by Split Lip Press in 2017. You can find her on twitter here: @Kristen_Arnett
Michael Yates Crowley, Playwriting, Brooklyn, NY (1st session) – Michael is a Brooklyn-based playwright and performer. His work has been produced in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Berlin, Edinburgh, and elsewhere. His works for theater include Song of a Convalescent Ayn Rand Giving Thanks to the Godhead (American Repertory Theater, Joe’s Pub); temping (developed at NYTW, premiered at the 53rd New York Film Festival); Evanston: A Rare Comedy (selected for the 2013 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference; 2015 Alliance/Kendeda Prize Finalist; developed at the Orchard Project); The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias (UMASS New Play Lab 2015); and The Ted Haggard Monologues (published by S. Fischer Verlag in Germany; filmed by HBO). In New York, his work has been produced at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub/The Public Theater, PS 122, HERE Arts Center, the Bushwick Starr, Ars Nova, and other theaters.
He is a member of Ars Nova’s Play Group, a former NYFA Playwriting fellow and member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and Artist-in-Residence at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. He is a graduate of Columbia University and the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwrights Program at Juilliard. Together with the director Michael Rau, he founded the narrative technology company Wolf 359.
Michael Harrison, Composing; Yonkers, NY (1st session)- Composer/pianist Michael Harrison has been called “an American Maverick” by Philip Glass. Through his expertise in “just intonation” tunings and Indian ragas, Harrison has created “a new harmonic world…of vibrant sound” (The New York Times). Harrison’s professional engagements have included associations with filmmakers, choreographers, visual artists and architects, including filmmaker Bill Morrison, cellist Maya Beiser, Bang on a Can, Stuttgart Ballet, Kronos Quartet, JACK Quartet, Del Sol Quartet, and Contemporaneous, as well as with his mentors, composers La Monte Young and Terry Riley. Recent commissions include Roomful of Teeth, New Music USA for a collaborative CD with Indian vocalist Mashkoor Ali Khan and tabla virtuoso Anindo Chatterjee, violinist Mari Kimura, cellist Clarice Jensen, and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. His compositions have received performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, Park Avenue Armory, the Louvre, Centre Pompidou, MASS MoCA, Spoleto Festival USA, the United Nations, Ojai Music Festival, Bang on a Can marathon, Big Ears Festival, National Sawdust, Other Minds, Klavier Festival Ruhr, Quattro Pianoforti in Rome, American Academy in Rome, Strings of Autumn in Prague, Havana Contemporary Music Festival, Sundance and other film festivals throughout the world.
Time Loops (2012) and Revelation (2007), Harrison’s CDs on Bang on a Can’s Cantaloupe Music label, were chosen by The New York Times, Boston Globe, Time Out New York, and NPR among the Best Classical Recordings of the Year. Recent awards include American Composers Forum Delegation to Cuba, New Music USA, Aaron Copland Fund, Classical Recording Foundation, University of Oregon Distinguished Alumnus, IBLA Foundation Grand Prize, and fellowships from the Millay Colony, Yaddo, Bogliasco, Djerassi, Ucross, and MacDowell, where he has served on the Fellows Executive Committee since 2013.
Denise Iris, Visual Arts; NY, NY – Denise’s work has been presented at the Museum of Modern Art in NY, on PBS, and internationally in France, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania. Her videos have won a Silver Spire at the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Critics’ Prize at the Dakino International Film Festival, and the Director’s Choice Award at the Black Maria Film and Video Festival. They are in the permanent collections of Harvard University, Colgate University, The New School, University of Colorado Boulder, and University of Massachusetts Boston, among others. The film studies textbook “The Film Experience,” by Timothy Corrigan and Patricia White (Bedford St. Martins Press) discusses Denise’s videos in the chapter on new media.
Recent shows include FlexFest Florida, Vanity Projects (NY), Microscope Gallery (NY), and Anthology Film Archives (NY). Denise received her BA in semiotics from Brown University, MFA in film from Columbia, and also attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. She has been awarded grants and fellowships from the NY Foundation for the Arts (3 times), NY State Council on the Arts (twice), MacDowell Colony, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Jerome Foundation, and the Wexner Center for the Arts, among others. Denise has taught at Columbia University, Swarthmore College, and Parsons The New School. Born and raised in Romania, she lives in NYC.
Lucy Ives, Non-Fiction; NY, NY – Lucy Ives is a novelist and critic. She is the author of several books of poetry and short prose, including a long poem, Anamnesis, winner of the 2008 Slope Editions Book Prize, and the novella nineties. Her first full-length novel, Impossible Views of the World, will be published by Penguin Press in August 2017. Her work has appeared in Artforum and Vogue, among other publications. For five years, she was an editor of Triple Canopy, with whom she participated in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Currently, Ives is editing a collection of writings by the artist Madeline Gins.
Hannah Layden, Visual Arts; NY, NY – Hannah Layden (b. 1987) is an artist living and working in New York City. She received a BFA in Printmaking and Painting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009 and an MFA in Printmaking from Pratt Institute in 2012. She has participated in group shows in Wisconsin and New York, and has been an Artist in Residence at AS | Epic Epoch Artists Studios Residency (2015), Vermont Studio Center (2016) and The Millay Colony for the Arts (2017).
John Liberatore, Composing; South Bend, IN (2nd session) – Exploring intersections between music, poetry, and other art media, music of composer John Liberatore has been performed in venues around the world: the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, The Four Seasons Center, and prestigious venues in Europe, Asia, and South America. Leading ensembles and soloists have performed his work, including the Washington National Opera, Dinosaur Annex, the Mivos Quartet, Duo Damiana, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and The New York Virtuoso Singers. Recently, he became the owner of a glass harmonica, which will be the subject of forthcoming collaborations with percussionist Daniel Druckman, soprano Jamie Jordan, and others.
Notable distinctions include a commission from the American Opera Initiative, a Tanglewood composer’s fellowship, two ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, and the Brian Israel Prize. He has been invited to the I-Park Artist’s Enclave, the Brush Creek Artist’s Colony, and the VIPA, MusicX, and Bowdoin festivals. With funding from the Presser Foundation, he studied in Tokyo with Jo Kondo in the summer of 2012, an experience and mentorship which made an indelible impression on his music. He holds degrees from the Eastman (PhD, MM) and Syracuse University (BM). In 2015, he was appointed assistant professor of theory and composition at the University of Notre Dame.
Cynthia Manick, Poetry; Brooklyn, NY (2nd session)- Cynthia is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). A Pushcart Prize nominated poet with a MFA in Creative Writing from the New School; she has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Fine Arts Work Center, the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences, Hedgebrook, Poets House, and the Vermont Studio Center. She was also a 2014 finalist for the New York Foundation of Arts Fellowship in Poetry. Manick serves as East Coast Editor of the independent press Jamii Publishing and is Founder of the reading series Soul Sister Revue. Select poems have been performed by Emotive Fruition, a performance series in NYC where actors bring life page poetry for the stage; the 92nd Street Y Words We Live In project, and is currently being developed by Motionpoems, a organization dedicated to video poetry. Her work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poet-A-Day Series, Argos Books Poetry Calendar, African American Review, Bone Bouquet, Callaloo, Clockhouse, DMQ Review, Gemini Magazine, Human Equity Through Art (HEArt), Fjords Review, Kweli Journal, Muzzle Magazine, Obsidian: Literature in the African Diaspora, Passages North, Pedestal Magazine, Poetry City, USA, PLUCK! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts and Culture, St. Ann’s Review, The Wall Street Journal, Tidal Basin Review, and elsewhere. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Lisa Thompson, Playwriting; Austin, Texas (1st session)– “I am a playwright and native San Franciscan now living in the south. My books include Single Black Female (Samuel French Inc., 2012), a nominee for the 2004 LA Weekly Theatre Award, and Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class (University of Illinois Press, 2009) which received Honorable Mention in competition for the National Women’s Studies Association’s 2010 Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize. My work has also been published in Contemporary Plays by African American Women: Ten Complete Works (University of Illinois Press, 2015), From Bourgeois to Boojie: Black Middle Class Performances (Wayne State University Press, 2011) and Catch the Fire: A Cross-Generational Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry (Riverhead Books, 1998). My plays include: Monroe, Dreadtime Stories: One Sista’s Hair, Mother’s Day, I Don’t Want to Be (Mamie Till), The Mamalogues, Watch, and Underground. My plays have been produced and/or developed by Crossroads Theatre Company, The Vortex Repertory Company, New Professional Theatre, Brava Theater Center, Theatre Rhinoceros, New African Grove Theatre Company, Black Spectrum Theatre, Company of Angels Theater, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, Inner City Cultural Center, FronteraFest, The One-Minute Play Festival, and the National Black Theatre Festival.
My work has been recognized from a variety of institutions. I was a Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at Harvard University’s Hutchins Institute for African and African American Research and a Mendenhall Fellow at Smith College. I have also been fortunate to receive fellowships from the Michele R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, the University of California’s Office of the President, the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Liberal Arts, UCLA’s Center for African American Studies, the Humanities Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, and Stanford University’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
Scriptworks recently awarded me a Seed grant to support the production of my play Underground at the Vortex Repertory Company. I am currently Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and affiliate faculty in the departments of Theatre and Dance, Women and Gender Studies, and English at the University of Texas at Austin where I teach classes on black cultural studies, theatre, film, playwriting and performance studies.”
Barbara Bernstein, Visual Arts; Amherst, VA – Barbara Bernstein was the 2017 Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellow at the Millay Colony for Virginia. Other residencies include The American Academy in Rome, the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and other international venues. She has received grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Pennsylvania Arts Council, The Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts, and The HK Mellon/Pittsburgh Foundation among others.
She has had numerous solo exhibitions in the US and abroad; her work is represented by the Drawing Center and Artists Space, both in New York City. Bernstein was awarded a commission by the Virginia Transit System for design enhancements of seven stations in the Crystal City/Potomac Yard areas. Her project for the Lynchburg Neighborhood Development Foundation was featured in the Public Art Dialogue Journal, an international review published by Routledge.
Bernstein’s essay, “Drawing a Breath “by is one of ten treatises included in, “Drawing in the Twenti-first Century: The Politics and Poetics of Contemporary Practice”, edited by Elizabeth Pergam and published by Ashgate in 2015. Also in 2015, Bernstein’s Lecture, “Drawing Attention” discussed her methodologies of drawing at the National Science Foundation in Washington, DC as part of its Art and Science series. In 2016, she was invited to exhibit in the International Art of Paper, a small group show of selected artists, the exhibit sponsored by the University of North Carolina. She has been invited back to the Philips Collection (Washington, DC), for her drawing workshops, and upcoming exhibitions are underway for 2018 and 2019 in Mexico City and Europe.
Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes, Fiction; Athens, Georgia – “My first novel, The Sleeping World, was published by Touchstone (Simon & Schuster) in September 2016. My work has appeared or is forthcoming in One Story, Cosmonauts Avenue, Slice, Pank, The Georgia Review, The Collagist, The Coffin Factory, NANO Fiction, Western Humanities Review, and elsewhere. I have received fellowships from Yaddo and Blue Mountain Center and was a Bernard O’Keefe Scholar in Fiction at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. My short story “The Elephant’s Foot” was a Distinguished Story in Best American Short Stories 2016.
I graduated from Brown University with honors, Magna Cum Laude, and Phi Beta Kappa. I earned my MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. At the University of Colorado, I was awarded a competitive University Fellowship. I am pursuing a PHD at the University of Georgia where I was awarded a Research Assistantship which relieved two years of teaching. I am currently a Graduate Assistant teaching creative writing. I am Cuban-American, was born in Madison, Wisconsin and now call Athens, Georgia home.”
Eva Heisler, Poetry; Ramstein, Germany – Eva Heisler is a Maryland-born poet and art critic/historian. Her poems have been widely published in journals such as Crazyhorse, The Indiana Review, Poetry Northwest, Tupelo Quarterly, and BOMB. She has published two books of poems: Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic (Kore Press) and Drawing Water (Noctuary Press). Honors include The Nation’s “Discovery” Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Emily Dickinson Award, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar grant. A Fulbright grant brought her to Iceland in 1997 where she lived for several years, researching Icelandic art with a focus on conceptual practices. Art historical publications include “Soulful Mathematics: Poetry and Icelandic Conceptualism,” an essay exploring the relevance of Icelandic literary traditions to the emergence of Icelandic Conceptualism published in Mosaic, An Interdisciplinary Critical Journal (2016) and the catalog essay for Katrin Sigurdardottir’s installation Foundation at the 2013 Venice Biennale. She is the Visual Arts editor of Asymptote, a journal of world literature in translation.
Kyrin Hobson, Visual Arts; Flossnor, IL – “I have always been an artist. Growing up in New Orleans, art making was my natural way of interacting with the characters, spirits, and stories that filled my eyes and ears. Everything I have done since has created what I consider an inspired foundation, leading to a point in my life when I am most able to make work and have a self-assured artistic voice. My art is almost completely based on visions and understanding derived from my family history and culture; my decade-long career in non-western art museums (The Museum for African Art, NY and the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History); and my experiences (ongoing) of raising four magical and challenging children.
Though I went to art school (UCLA 1988) and followed that with a Master’s degree in Museum Studies (NYU 1993), I am now a mostly self taught artist. I committed to having an art career when I was knee-deep in raising a family and it has been my salvation. I have grown tremendously through my involvement with the Women’s Art Institute at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, through studio intensives with NY artist Steven Assael, through reading countless books on art theory and practice, through taking the occasional class and by just gritting through working in my studio in every moment I could find. I have shown at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Inner City Arts (MN), Bloomington Art Center (MN) and College of Saint Catherine (MN). My work has been supported by a grant form the Minnesota State Arts Board. I do a limited number of commissioned portraits to self-fund my personal work. These are held in private collections in the US, France and Germany.”
Yigit Kolat, Composing; Seattle, WA – Born in Ankara, Turkey in 1984, Yigit received Doctor of Musical Arts degree from University of Washington (2014). Selected professional recognitions can be listed as follows: Edward T. Cone Bogliasco Fellowship in Music (2016), Nomination for 2017 Rome Prize in Music Composition (2016), First Prize in Toru Takemitsu Competition (2015, Jury: Kaija Saariaho, second American to receive the award), Finalist, Queen Elisabeth Competition (2013), Second Prize in Seventh Henri Dutilleux International Composition Competition (no First Prize was given in its category).
Collaborations include: Talea Ensemble, The Argento New Music Project, Seattle Symphony Orchestra (USA), Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (Japan), Solistes de L’Orchestre de Tours, Pascal Gallois, Donatienne Michel-Dansac (France), Nieuw Ensemble, Black Pencil Ensemble, Duo Mares (The Netherlands), Peter Sheppard-Skærved and Aaron Shorr (Great Britain), Athelas Ensemble (Denmark), Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey.
Jonathan Monaghan, Visual Arts; Washington, DC – Jonathan Monaghan (b. 1986, New York) works across a range of media, including prints, sculpture and animated video, to produce otherworldly objects and narratives. Drawing on wide-ranging sources, such as historical artworks, science fiction, and advertising, his works seem to elicit subconscious anxieties associated with technology, consumerism and authority. Past exhibitions and screenings of his work include The Sundance Film Festival, The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and The Eyebeam Art + Technology Center. His work has been featured in several media outlets including The Washington Post, VICE, The Wall Street Journal and The Village Voice. Monaghan is represented by bitforms gallery in New York and Galerie 22,48m2 in Paris.
Rafia Zakaria, Non-Fiction; Indianapolis, IN – Rafia is a journalist, attorney and a human rights activist. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, she moved to the United States in 1994 at the age of 18 as a young bride in an arranged marriage to a man of Pakistani American descent. She attended Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1998, and obtained a law degree from Indiana University in 2003. She passed the Bar Exam while she was going through a divorce and raising her small daughter. In 2004 she began work on her doctorate in Political Philosophy focusing on issues of multiculturalism, Muslim women and Sharia Law. In 2008, she was awarded the John Edwards Fellowship, the highest honor a graduate student can receive at Indiana University.
Rafia writes a weekly column for DAWN, the largest English language newspaper in Pakistan where she covers an array of topics including political assassinations, war on terror, suicide bombings and Talibanization of Pakistan, and Sharia law. She uses this platform to advocate for women’s rights in an environment where religious fundamentalism and extremism are grave and pressing threats to women’s autonomy. She is a columnist for Boston Review and writes regularly for Guardian Books, The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic and Lithub. She recently published a white paper with the Tow Center at the Columbia University School of Journalism on American-Muslims and the 2016 Elections. From 20012-2016 she was a regular contributor for Al Jazeera America. She has been recognized by numerous organizations in Pakistan and the United States for her work on women’s rights.
April Residents: Lenny Sideman, Seema Yasmin, Brandon Shimoda, Kathy Conde, Jessica Hankey, Robert Brinkenhoff
Robert Brinkerhoff, Visual Arts; Barrington, RI – Robert is an illustrator, painter and professor, but that constellation of professional activity is always in delightful flux. At Rhode Island School of Design since 1996, he has served many leadership roles at the College, including nine years as Illustration Department Head and, beginning in July 2017, Dean of Fine Arts. His curriculum development—for both RISD and other institutions—explores the intersection of illustration, design, writing, literature, semiotics, social justice and narrative theory, as well as studio engagement which transcends arbitrary boundaries in fine arts. Brinkerhoff is committed to both practical and theoretical concerns in the development of young artists and designers in both his teaching and professional activity, and his career as an illustrator and designer has enabled productive relationships with major corporations and institutions of higher learning including MIT, Brown University and Brandeis University, and regional and national magazines. Since 2011 he has been the illustrator for Annenberg VUE: Voices in Urban Education, a publication produced by The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.
Robert has exhibited his paintings, drawings and video work both nationally and internationally and has been awarded artist residencies in the US, Ireland and Italy. From 2007-2009 he served as Chief Critic for RISD’s European Honors Program in Rome and was a Fine Arts Faculty Mentor for the Salama Foundation’s Emerging Artists Fellowship in the UAE, helping shape a studio residency program for young Emirati artists. In service to the illustration profession he was Education Chair for ICON7: The Illustration Conference, and ICON8’s Vice-President from 2010-2014. In 2015 RISD hosted the Illustration Research Symposium: Illustrator as Public Intellectual under his co-leadership and organization.
Kathy Conde, Fiction; Superior, CO – Kathy Conde’s work has appeared in Atlanta Review, Crab Orchard Review, CutThroat: A Journal of the Arts, New Poets of the American West, Orbis Quarterly, Poetry East, South Dakota Review, Southword, Underground Voices, Word Riot, and others. She has received prizes and scholarships from the Salem International Literary Awards, Crab Orchard Review, the Munster Literature Centre, Aspen Words, CutThroat: A Journal of the Arts, and Writing by Writers and has recently been a finalist at Glimmer Train and New Letters. In addition to the Millay Colony residency, she has also been awarded residencies at Playa and Writing by Writers. She holds an MFA from Naropa University and is past fiction editor for Bombay Gin, Naropa’s Literary Magazine. She has lived in the Rocky Mountain West, herding cattle and training horses, and in Spain, teaching English as a second language, and has traveled in South America, India, Nepal, Japan, and Europe. She now lives in Colorado with her husband and son.
Jessica Hankey, Visual Arts; Ithaca, NY – Born in Los Angeles, California in 1979, Jessica Hankey graduated from Bard College in 2003 with a BA in Studio Art and Latin American Studies. She received an MFA from UC Berkeley in 2014 and was a resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2015.
Hankey has exhibited nationally and internationally, at institutions that include the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, CA. She has participated in recent exhibitions at HERE in New York, NY and CTRL+SHFT in Oakland, CA. In the summer of 2017 Hankey will begin work on a site-specific project at the Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at the University of Texas, El Paso.
Lenny Seidman, Composing; Philadelphia, PA – Lenny is a composer and tabla player whose work since the early 90’s has focused on contemporary applications for tabla with emphasis on collaboration with predominantly non western drumming and post modern and non western dance traditions. He is co director of Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra (20 years) that unifies the drumming traditions of Afro Cuban bata, North Indian tabla, Afro Brazilian samba and West African djembe. He toured internationally as a music collaborator and performer with pioneer hip hop choreographer Rennie Harris’ “Facing Mekka” for 70 shows over a 4 year span. His international touring also includes Atzilut (Arabic/Jewish Middle Eastern music), Philip Hamilton’s Voices and Group Motion Dance Co. Lenny has also performed with such musicians as Zakir Hussain, Simon Shaheen, Kenny Endo, Michael Daugherty, Yair Dalal, Butch Morris, Yacouba Sissoko, and choreographers/dancers Michael Sakamoto, Viji Rao, Cynthia Lee, Helmut Gottschild, Cheng-Chieh, Sen Hea Ha, Ananya Chatterjea, Kim Arrow and Pallabi Chakravorty. He is the composer for Nadine Patterson’s feature film “Tango Macbeth”, helped develop the percussion music and performed in the contemporary opera “Ghosts of Monticello” by composer Garret Fischer and directed by Emily Martin, and was commissioned by Kim Arrow for his “Quasimodo in the Outback”, Helmut Gottschild for his “Meet Mr. R” and Ballet X’s Christine Cox. Lenny was a guest artist at Swarthmore College’s Department of Music and Dance for 12 years collaborating with their taiko and gamelan ensembles, teaching tabla and working with the kathak classes.
He was awarded residency fellowships at APPEX (Asian Pacific Performing Arts Exchange) at UCLA and Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA. His creative work has been supported by Independence Foundation, PA Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, Pew Center for Arts and Heritage and Philadelphia Cultural Fund. Lenny has studied tabla with Zakir Hussain, Ishwar Lal Misra, Chhote Lal Misra and Kiran Deshpande and Carnatic music with Adrian L’Armand. He is also the world music and jazz curator at Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia and teaches tabla privately.
Brandon Shimoda, Non-Fiction; Portland, OR – Brandon Shimoda is a poet and writer. He is the author of several books, most recently Evening Oracle (Letter Machine Editions), which received the 2016 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. Other books include Portuguese (co-published by Octopus Books and Tin House Books) and O Bon (Litmus Press). He is also the co-editor of a retrospective collection of writing by Lebanese-American poet Etel Adnan (To look at the sea is to become what one is; Nightboat Books), and a collection of poems by Wong May (Picasso’s Tears; Octopus Books).
He is currently writing a book about (the ongoing ruins of) the mass incarceration of Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans during WWII. Some of these writings have been published in Design Week Portland, Hyperallergic, The Margins (Asian American Writers Workshop), and The New Inquiry.
He has lived the past few years with his partner, the poet Dot Devota, in Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Kure (Hiroshima), Marfa (TX), Portland (OR), St. Louis (MO), and, for the moment, in Tucson (AZ).
Seema Yasmin, Non-Fiction; Dallas, TX – Seema Yasmin is a poet, doctor and journalist from London currently living in the U.S. She was a Pulitzer prize finalist in 2017 for her reporting with the Dallas Morning News. Yasmin trained in medicine at the University of Cambridge and in journalism at the University of Toronto. She served as an officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where she investigated disease outbreaks in prisons, bordertowns and tribal reservations. Yasmin won the 2016 Diode Editions poetry chapbook contest. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Glass, Coal Hill Review, Bateau and The Shallow Ends, among others. She is working on a memoir about epidemics, her first full length collection of poems and a biography of an AIDS scientist which will be published in 2018.