Raluca Albu, Non-Ficiton; Brooklyn, NY– Raluca Albu is a writer, teacher, and translator born in Romania, raised in the Bronx. She edits for Guernica and BOMB magazine, and is a judge for the 2018 Best Translated Book Awards.
Alice Gosti, Performance Arts, Seattle, WA- Alice Gosti is an Italian-American choreographer, hybrid performance artist, curator and architect of experiences, working between Seattle and Europe since 2008.
Gosti’s work has been recognized with numerous awards, commissions and residencies. Gosti was also a two-time Cornish Artist Incubator Awardee, Velocity Dance Center’s 2015 Artist-in-Residence, is Seattle University 2016 Artist-in-Residency at the University of Washington.
In 2016 she received the prestigious National Dance Project from the New England Foundation for the Arts for the Production and touring of her next new project – Material Deviance in Contemporary American Culture.
Gosti’s work has been commissioned and presented nationally, by On the Boards, Velocity Dance Center, Seattle Art Museum, Intiman Theatre, Vilcek Foundation at the Joyce (NY), ODC Theater (SF) as part of the SCUBA national touring network, Risk/Rewards Festival (PDX) and Performance Works Northwest (PDX). Internationally, her works have been presented in Italy by Associazione Culturale Dance Gallery, Teatro Stabile Dell’Umbria, Premio Equilibrio Roma, Rassegna per la Giovane Danza D’Autore, Anticorpi XL, FAST di Terni, Verdecoprente/Associazione Ippocampo and Museo Civico di Palazzo della Penna.
She is the founder of Yellow Fish // Epic Durational Performance Festival, the world’s only festival dedicated exclusively to durational performance—international artists create original performances presented at at various sites throughout Seattle.
Casey Llwewlyn, Playwriting; Brooklyn, NY– “I am a writer and theater maker whose work interrogates identity, collectivity and form. In 2016, a production of my play O, Earth commissioned and produced by The Foundry Theatre ran at HERE Arts Center. It received critical acclaim including 5 out of 5 stars in Time Out New York and inclusion in best of 2016 lists from Broadway World—“11 Superb New Theatrical Experiences”—and The Advocate—“Top Ten of New York Theater”. Brooke O’Harra’s I Am Bleeding All Over the Place: A Living History Tour, which I co-wrote with her also in 2016, got an honorable mention on The Advocate’s list. O, Earth was nominated for Best New Play by the Off Broadway Alliance Awards, and I was nominated for the Doric Wilson Independent Playwriting Prize.
My essay “What We Could Do With Writing” appears in The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind, edited by Claudia Rankine, Beth Loffreda, and Max King Cap (Fence Books 2015). My prose collaboration with Claudia Rankine “Theatre of intimacy and abandon” is forthcoming in Imagined Theatres: Writing for a Theoretical Stage, edited by Daniel Sack (Routledge 2017). Other works for theatre include: The Body which is the Town, Zaide!, Obsession Piece, The Quiet Way, Existing Conditions (co-written with Claudia Rankine), and I Love Dick, an adaptation for theater of the book by Chris Kraus. I am on the Curation Team for The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII) and am a New Georges Affiliated Artist.”
Benjamin Schaefer, Fiction,Rochester, NY– Benjamin Schaefer is a writer and editor from upstate New York. He studied literature and creative writing at Bard College and the MFA program at the University of Arizona, where he taught in the UA Writing Program and Department of English. His fiction has appeared in Guernica, and he is the recipient of fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and The Millay Colony for the Arts. He serves as the prose editor for Fairy Tale Review. For more information visit www.benschaefer.com.
Tony Shore, Visual Arts; Baltimore, MD- Tony Shore is a painter from Baltimore Maryland, best known for his paintings on black velvet depicting his friends and family in the working class neighborhoods of Southwest Baltimore where he was raised.
Tony received his M.F.A. in Painting from Yale University School of Art, his B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and has studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His awards include The Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize, The Bethesda painting Prize, several Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards, and most recently, He was the recipient of a Baltimore Rubys Artist Project Grant. He was also organized, curated and participated in the highly recognized Baltimore Rising exhibition which showcased 15 established artists with strong ties to Baltimore, exhibiting work in response to the Baltimore Uprising that followed the death of Freddie Gray. Tony is also the Chair of the Painting department at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Steven Tagle, Fiction; Brooklyn, NY– Steven Tagle is the recipient of a 2016 Asian American Writers’ Workshop Margins Fellowship, a 2016-2017 Creative Writing Fulbright to Greece, and a 2013 Soros Fellowship. He recently graduated from the UMass Amherst MFA Program, where he received the Harvey Swados Fiction Prize and the Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award in Fiction. He has been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, New Delta Review, Spork, and The Rumpus.
HuMeng Weng, Visual Arts; San Francisco, CA – Born and raised in Inner Mongolia of China, HuiMeng Wang studied Bio-medical Engineering at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and later went to San Francisco Art Institute where she received her MFA in Studio Art in 2016. Her work has widely been exhibited in galleries, cultural centers and film festivals, including Embark Gallery, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, SOMArts Cultural Center, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center and APAture. She was a guest lecturer at The Central Academy of Fine Arts in China.
Aricka Foreman, Poetry, Chicago, IL – Aricka’s poems and essays have appeared in The Drunken Boat, Minnesota Review, RHINO, Day One, Phantom, shuf Poetry, James Franco Review, thrush, Vinyl, PLUCK!, Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the NextGeneration by Viking Penguin, among others. She is the author of Dream With A Glass Chamber from YesYes Books and the Art co-editor at The Offing. Originally from Detroit, she currently lives in Chicago.
Anja Marais, Visual Arts; Miami, FL – South African multi-disciplinary artist Anja Marais was born in Sabie, Mpumalanga. She is one of the post-apartheid generation artists whose work deals with the trek of the disenfranchised. Coping with history became one of her leitmotivs, along with exploring African and ancient mythology, and later, Shaman mysticism.
She apprenticed at a young age with a well-known regional landscape painter and studied with him until she left to study art in Pretoria city. After graduating with a B.F.A, Honours from the University of South Africa, she emigrated to the United States. Her work has since been included in solo and group exhibitions internationally. Marais has held residencies in Japan, the Mino Art Residency; the Seoul Art Space Geumcheon Residency in Korea; Kronstadt Art Residency in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Arteles Art Residency, Finland, Ucross Art Residency, the Vermont Studio Center and the Sedona Summer Colony in the States. She has been selected and participated in various, esteemed programs such as the Enrique Martinez Celaya Summer Workshop (in affiliation with the Anderson Ranch Art Center). She is also the recipient of the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship 2014, Florida Division of Cultural Affairs Individual Artist Fellowship 2010, the Anne Mckee Grant 2011 & 2013 and the 2009 People’s Choice Award from Sculpture Key West which was curated by Shamim M Momin in 2009 and by Mary Ceruti in 2008. She participated in collaborations that were awarded the MOCA Miami Optic Nerve 2012’s best short and selected for the Short Corner Film Festival at Cannes. Her work is included in numerous private collections and Museum collections like MOCA(Miami), Kronstadt History Museum(Russia), Akari Museum(Japan). She currently works and lives in Miami, Florida.
Anne de Marcken, Interdisciplinary Arts; Olympia, WA – Anne approaches creative work as a process of critical inquiry, centering questions about impermanence, loss, invisibility, and the abject. She works with time-based media, text, and various visual disciplines in response to the demands of a specific project. Her credits include poetry, short stories, hybrid narratives, short and feature-length films and videos, interactive web environments, and multi-disciplinary, site-specific installation work. She is known for the rigorous, process-based installations The Redaction Project and Invisible Ink, for the award-winning, gender-queer, experimental feature Group, and for her literary fiction, featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts and in such publications as Best New American Voices, Glimmer Train, Hunger Mountain, and Southern Indiana Review. She has been awarded the Howard Frank Mosher Prize for Short Fiction, the Stella Kupferberg Memorial Prize, the Mary C. Mohr Short Fiction Award and has received grant and fellowship support from the Jentel Foundation, Centrum, Artist Trust and the Hafer Family Foundation. Anne lives in Olympia, Washington.
Carlos Sirah, Playwriting; Providence, RI – Carlos is performer, writer, and veteran. His work encounters exile, rupture, displacement in relation to institutions, local and beyond. His most recent theater pieces include: The Light Body and Planets Measured by Parallax. His work has been performed and/or shown at Poet’s House, Nuyorican Café, KGB, The Wild Project, The Granoff Centre,, and the National Black Theatre Festival. Sirah has also performed on the main stage at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, and his next project will be performed at The Flea Theater of April 2017. Carlos has developed work at Vermont Studio Center, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Warrior Writers in collaboration with William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences. The Hambidge Center, The Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and The Blue Mountain Center. He is a facilitator and serves on the steering committee of Warrior Writers, a community of veterans who make art. Sirah also facilitates a weekly workshop at the ACI, the Rhode Island State correctional facility. He previously worked as an organizer for Iraq Veterans Against the War.
Natalie Smith, Composing, NY, NY – “I grew up in NYC and attended La Guardia H.S. for the performing arts. After high school I trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London for my B.F.A. Among many New York theatre venues I appeared in the Broadway production of One Man Two Guvnors, starred in the film Beautiful Dreamer, and composed the music for As You Like It for Shakespeare in the parking lot. I perform original music regularly at Rockwood Music Hall solo at the piano as well as with my band.”
Kyle Lucia Wu, Fiction; Brooklyn, NY – Kyle Lucia Wu is a writer based in Brooklyn. She is the co-publisher of the literary journal Joyland and an Asian American Writers’ Workshop Margins Fellow for 2017-2018. She is a PEN prison writing mentor and has been a Byrdcliffe Colony Artist-in-Residence. She has an events column at Literary Hub and has written for Guernica, Electric Literature, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and Interview Magazine. Kyle is currently working on a novel that explores biracial identity and blended families.
Elizabeth Bayer, Composing; Phoenix, AZ – Elizabeth’s works have been heard most recently at the 2017 Waterloo Regional Contemporary Music Sessions (Canada), 2016 Toronto Creative Music Lab, the 2016 Cabrillo Festival, the 2014 Rhymes with Opera Chamber Music Workshop, the 2011 Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, the 2012 and 2013 soundSCAPE Festivals, the 2010 Cortana Sessions for New Music and highSCORE festivals, the 2014 UNK New Music Festival, and the 2015 Carlsbad Music Festival. Elizabeth is the winner of the AZ Centennial Composer Competition (Judges’ Award, 2012) and the 2009 winner of the Cambridge Chamber Singers’ Annual Choral Composition Competition.
Elizabeth was recently awarded a Professional Development Grant from the AZ Commission on the Arts. She will present a new work at the Waterloo Regional Contemporary Music Sessions in August 2017, and her residency at the Millay Collony will happen in September 2017.
Her works can be heard on the album Quintets produced by the highSCORE institute and on Sonic Flux, a mixed media and electro-acoustic album produced by EMPiRES.
Megan Gillespie, Poetry; Narberth, PA – Megan is a poet and creative nonfiction writer based in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in The Florida Review, New Delta Review, and Cimarron Review. Her previous honors include a Pushcart Prize nomination and a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she received a BA in English and Anthropology, and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. By day, she is a businesswoman and a mom. She also enjoys acting, dancing, and volunteering as a writing tutor at Philadelphia’s Mighty Writers.
Daniel Handal, Visual Arts; NY, NY – Daniel Handal is a Honduran born artist who lives and works in New York. He received his BS in Applied Sciences from Rutgers University and studied Photography at the International Center of Photography. Handal’s work centers on portraiture and explores issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and community. He has had a solo at the Brooklyn Public Library (Flatbush Branch) and has been shown in group exhibitions at the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Deborah Colton Gallery in Houston and The powerHouse Arena in New York among others. He has been exhibited internationally at the Australian Centre for Photography and MKII in London. Handal’s work has been published in The Huffington Post, Slate and Hyperallergic. He has been awarded with residencies at the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Handal currently serves on the board of Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York.
JD Scott, Fiction; Tuscaloosa – JD Scott is a Florida-based writer, editor, and educator. Recent and forthcoming publications include Best American Experimental Writing, Best New Poets, Denver Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Salt Hill, Sonora Review, Ninth Letter, Tampa Review, and elsewhere. More of JD can be found at jdscott.com.
Yanyi, Poetry; Brooklyn, NY – Yanyi serves as Senior Editor at Nat. Brut, Contributing Editor at Foundry, and Curatorial Assistant at The Poetry Project. The recipient of a 2015 Emerging Poets Fellowship from Poets House, his poems and criticism have appeared in Model View Culture, cellpoems, and The Shade Journal, among other journals, and he has been named a 2017-2018 Margins Fellow by the Asian American Writers Workshop.
Rebecca Webb, Visiual Arts; San Diego, CA – Rebecca is a fine art photographer who visually investigates the dynamics of human relationships and the connection between identity and the places people inhabit. Webb has a background in painting, printmaking, and film. She has worked on documentaries and feature films with directors such as William Klein, Darren Arronofsky and Hal Hartley, and lectures on the topics of photography and film production. She exhibits her photography in galleries and museums nation-wide. Webb also explores the future of film-going and making. From 2014-16, she launched and directed the Filmatic Festival at the University of Califormia, San Diego, to present new media experiences at the intersection of science, cinema, and technology. Presently, Webb is the director for Wonderspacs San Diego, a pop up arts exhibition of interactive and immersive art works from international festivals.
Rennie Ament, Poetry; Astoria, NY – Rennie earned her BA in English from Skidmore College, then studied poetry at Hunter College, where she has taught creative writing. Her work has appeared in Colorado Review, Sixth Finch, Prelude, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Journal, and elsewhere. She lives in Astoria, Queens and works as a Program Assistant at Poets House in Manhattan. She runs the Roots Reading Series in Brooklyn.
Rocket Caleshu, Non-Fiction; Los Angeles, CA – Rocket Caleshu is a Los Angeles-based writer. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the California Institute of the Arts, where he was the inaugural Truman Capote Literary Fellow, and a BA in Africana Studies from Brown University. He received the 2016 Black Warrior Review Prize in Nonfiction, and is writing a book based on the winning essay, titled Whatever.
Karissa Chen, Fiction; Gutenberg, NJ – “I am the author of the fiction chapbook, Of Birds and Lovers published by Corgi Snorkel Press. My fiction and essays are forthcoming or have previously appeared in many publications, including: Gulf Coast, PEN America, Guernica, The Asian American Writers Workshop Go Home! Anthology, PANK, VIDA Web, The Toast, Midnight Breakfast, The Good Men Project, and Eclectica Magazine. My short story, “Pomegranate” was selected for Wigleaf’s 2016 Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions and my short story “Decency” placed 5th in the 13th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition.
I am a 2015-2016 Fulbright Fellow to Taiwan, as well as a Kundiman Fellow and a VONA Voices Fellow. I also received a diFilipis-Rosselli Scholarship to the Napa Valley Writers Conference in 2011. I graduated with an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and currently serve as the Senior Literature Editor at Hyphen magazine.”
Rae Howell, Composing; London, UK – Rae Howell is an Australian composer and multi-instrumentalist. She is founding director of Sunwrae, an ensemble, label and sheet music publisher, and works across a range of genres and disciplines, in film, theatre, dance, concert hall, and multimedia projects. Rae holds a BMus from Melbourne University, an MMus from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, and has produced a large catalogue of original music albums, sheet music publications, collaborative recordings and sound designs. A represented composer with the Australian Music Centre, she has performed for Royalty in London, and at festivals and concerts worldwide with Sunwrae and other touring productions, including Australia House in London, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House Vietnam, SxSW Festival USA, Museu de Arte Moderna Bahia Brazil, Sydney Opera House, Golden Plains, Brisbane Festival and The Famous Spiegeltent. Rae’s fellowships and awards include an UNESCO Aschberg Bursary, a Finzi Trust Scholarship, Guildhall Trust Scholarship and Artist in Residence programs in USA, Canada, South America, West Africa, Europe, Palestine, Vietnam, and Australia, working independently, in collaboration with local communities, and with some of the world’s most prolific artists. More info: www.raehowellmusic.com and www.sunwrae.com
Naima Lowe, Visual Arts; Olympia, WA – “I’m a 38 year old queer, African-American artist living and working in the Pacific Northwest. I have exhibited my film, video and performance works at The Newark Black Film Festival, The Philadelphia International Film Festival, Scribe Video Center (PHL), Hayti Heritage Film Festival, Cinema du Parc (Montreal) Anthology Film Archive (NYC), Mix Experimental Film Festival (NYC), Saint Anne’s Warehouse (NYC), Judson Memorial Church (NYC), Art Department Gallery (PHL), FluxSpace (PHL), Black Lily Film and Music Festival (PHL), The Wing Luke Museum (Seattle), The Evergreen Gallery (Olympia, WA), Denniston Hill, Southern Alberta Art Gallery. My first film, Birthmarks, was the regional finalist for the 35th Student Academy Awards, Awarded best Experimental Film in the Newark Black Film Festival, and best Sound Design in the Nextframe International Student Film Festival.
I have also been awarded numerous grants and awards to support my work from The Evergreen State College Foundation, Temple University Foundation, Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association. I served on the board of the Leeway Foundation from 2006-2010, and I am currently a member of the faculty in Visual and Media Arts at The Evergreen State College.”
Kevin Sudeith, Visual Artist; Brooklyn, NY – Kevin practices the oldest extant art form, carving petroglyphs. Kevin’s petroglyphs are presented through a variety of ancillary mediums, including photography, video, collage, a relational database and a unique form of printmaking: Sudeith makes archival impressions of the petroglyphs on paper. To make the impressions, the carvings are painted with pigmented ink and then wet paper is applied to the carving; the paper absorbs the colored ink and captures the three-dimensional space of the carving as an embossing. In early 2010 he dispatched his personal property and had been “at large” ever since, traveling and making petroglyphs in North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, and California. Over the next few years he made pieces across North America. He currentlydedicates half the year to traveling and carving petroglyphs around the USA and half the year applying for residencies, public art projects, and grants. In 2013, Kevin had a solo show that was covered in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. And in 2016, he had an introductory show at Mike Weiss Gallery that was covered by Alva Noe for the NPR arts blog.
Separately, Kevin introduced Afghan war rugs to a broad swath of American society, and he is one of the most respected experts in the world about war rugs. Kevin succeeded in recontextualizing carpets into fine art. He curated, and his collection was featured in, gallery shows and museum exhibitions. He was featured in Forbes, NPR, and the New York Times and reviewed in the New York Times.
Anna Tsouhlarakis, Visual Arts; Washington, D.C. – Anna Tsouhlarakis works in sculpture, installation, video and performance. She received her BA from Dartmouth College and MFA from Yale University. She has participated in several art residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Yaddo. Her work has been included in exhibitions both nationally and internationally. She has been awarded various grants and fellowships including the Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Contemporary Art in 2011. Her recent awards include an Artist Fellowship from the Harpo Foundation, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities as well as a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellowship. She currently resides in Washington, DC with her partner and 3 children.
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)– Lisa B. Thompson grew up in San Francisco, California. Her plays include UNDERGROUND (Vortex Repertory Company, 2017 David Mark Cohen New Play Award from the Austin’s Critics Table), SINGLE BLACK FEMALE (Cassandra Project at the Complex, 2005 LA Weekly Theatre Award for Best Comedy nominee), MOTHER’S DAY (FronteraFest Short Fringe, Hyde Park Theatre, Finalist), WATCH (Out of Ink Ten-Minute Play Festival, Hyde Park Theatre), DREADTIME STORIES: ONE SISTA’S HAIR (Inner City Cultural Center Talent Fest, Finalist), and MOTHER NATURE (Washington Women in Theatre Festival). Her work has also been developed and produced at Crossroads Theatre Company, New Professional Theatre, Brava for Women in the Arts, Theatre Rhinoceros, New African Grove Theatre Company, Company of Angels Theater, and the National Black Theatre Festival. Thompson is also Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and affiliate faculty in the departments of Theatre & Dance, English, Women & Gender Studies at University of Texas at Austin where she teaches courses on black cultural studies, feminism, playwriting, theatre and performance. She is the author of Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class (University of Illinois Press, 2009, Awarded Honorable Mention in competition for the 2010 Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize, National Women’s Studies Association). Her scholarly and creative work has been supported with fellowships and awards from Harvard University’s Hutchins Institute for African and African American Research, the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Liberal Arts, the University of Texas at Austin’s Humanities Institute, the University of California’s Office of the President, the Michele R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, UCLA’s Center for African American Studies, the Five Colleges Inc., Stanford University’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and Hedgebrook. She received her MA in African American Studies from UCLA and her Ph.D. from Stanford University’s Program in Modern Thought & Literature.
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),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.