Gerry Bergstein's work contrasts the awesome and the trivial, the high and the low, the manic and the melancholic using sources from Brueghel to "The Simpsons." He is the recipient of an Artadia grant (2007), a career achievement award from the St. Botolph Club (2007), and a four-week residency at the Liguria Study Center in Genoa, Italy (2006). His solo shows include Gallery NAGA and the Danforth Museum (scheduled for 11/09); Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston ('04, '02, '99, '97); Stephan Stux Gallery, NY ('99); Galerie Bonnier, Geneva, Switzerland; Zolla Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, IL; and the DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA. He is represented in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; MIT; DeCordova Museum; Davis Museum at Wellesley College; IBM; and many others. He has been reviewed widely in the local press as well as Tema Celeste, ARTnews, Art in America, and Artforum. He has been on the faculty at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for over two decades.
Daniel Berrigan was an American Jesuit priest, university educator, and poet. Berrigan was also a lifelong anti-war activist committed to social and political justice. He led faith-driven coalitions against the Vietnam War including the Catonsville Nine - a group of nine Catholics that burned draft files in protest, in Maryland, 1968. Berrigan then went on to form the Plowshares Movement, an anti-nuclear protest group that practiced the destruction of military weapons a decade later. This activism continued in his later life, with continued pacifism toward conflict with the Middle East. In his literary life, Berrigan authored over 50 books, won many awards, and taught at Fordham University from 2000, until his death in 2016.
Sumita Chakraborty is poetry editor of AGNI, art editor of At Length, and a fellow at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University, where she is a PhD candidate in English with a certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her articles, essays, and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Cultural Critique, the Los Angeles Review of Books, POETRY, and other publications. In 2017, she received the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship.
Martin Edmunds' book, The High Road to Taos, was chosen by Donald Hall for the National Poetry Series. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, The Paris Review, Little Star, Grand Street, The Nation, The Partisan Review, Southwest Review, and Agni among other journals and anthologies; three poems are featured on the Yeats Society of NY website. Awards and honors include an Artist Fellowship in Poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the “Discovery”/ The Nation Prize, the Lloyd McKim Garrison Medal for Poetry, and the Harvard Monthly Prize. Edmunds was an Artist-in-Residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for many years, where he wrote plays, verse plays, libretti, and entertainments. He has also co-written screenplays, including Passion in the Desert, a feature adaptation of the Balzac story for Roland Films released by Fine Line. Edmunds works as a freelance editor, teaches creative writing and versification, and digs life on the Outer Cape as a landscaper, clam raker, and oysterer.
Poet, photographer, professor and bandleader Thomas Sayers Ellis is the author of The Maverick Room and Skin, Inc., He co-founded The Dark Room Collective and The Dark Room Reading Series in 1989 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has taught in various Universities and published, both poems and photographs, in numerous journals, including The Paris Review, Poetry, The Nation and Best American Poetry (1997, 2001, 2010, 2015). In 2015, he co-founded Heroes Are Gang Leaders, a literary free Jazz band of artist. and was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in Poetry.
Amira El-Zein is a poet, translator, and scholar writing in English, Arabic, and French. She published two collections of poetry, “The book of Palm Trees”, “Bedouins of Hell”, and a chapbook “The Jinn and Other Poems.”
Her translations of the poet Mahmoud Darwish appeared in Unfortunately it Was Paradise edited by Carolyn Forche and Munir Akash. She is the author of the acclaimed book Islam, Arabs, and the Intelligent World of the Jinn (Syracuse University Press, 2009) which went into several prints and is now available in paperback. She is also the co-editor of the book “Creativity and Exile” (Washington DC: Jusoor Books, Kitab Publications, 1996.) She teaches at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti is an American poet, painter, and social activist. After serving as a Navy officer in World War II, Ferlinghetti co-founded City Lights Booksellers & Publishers in San Francisco, CA, a bookstore-publisher dedicated to world literature and progressive politics. Ferlinghetti often collaborated with Beat poets - publishing Allen Ginsberg’s Howl - and got arrested, as a result, for its “obscene” content. Ferlinghetti’s politically-charged paintings, essays, and poetry won him many awards, and speak to his belief that art needs to be witnessed by those in the public sphere.
Melissa Green is a poet and author of Magpiety: New & Selected Poems (2015) and Fifty-Two (2007), both from Arrowsmith; The Squanicook Ecologues (1987), which won multiple awards and was hailed by Derek Walcott as “reverential elations [that] uplift and soothe the reader as naturally and cleanly as the morning wind.”
Her work has appeared in publications such as Yale Review, Agni, Paris Review, and The New York Review of Books. She has also written Color Is the Suffering of Light (1995) and The Linen Way (2013), two memoirs. She lives in Winthrop, Massachusetts.
Donald Hall Jr. was an American poet, writer, editor and literary critic. He was the author of over 50 books across several genres from children's literature, biography, memoir, and essays, including 22 volumes of verse. Early in his career, Hall became the first poetry editor of The Paris Review (1953–1961), and was noted for interviewing poets and other authors on their craft. In June 2006, Hall was appointed as the Library of Congress’s 14th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. He is regarded as a "plainspoken, rural poet," and it has been said that, in his work, he "explores the longing for a more bucolic past and reflects [an] abiding reverence for nature." Hall was respected for his work as an academic, having taught at Stanford University, Bennington College, and the University of Michigan, and having made significant contributions to the study and craft of writing. Hall passed away in 2018.
Maureen N. McLane grew up in upstate New York and was educated at Harvard University, Oxford University, and the University of Chicago. She is the author of five books of poetry: Some Say (FSG, 2017), Mz N: the serial: a poem-in-episodes (FSG, 2016), This Blue (FSG, 2014—Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry), World Enough (FSG, 2010), and Same Life(FSG, 2008), as well as the poetry chapbook, This Carrying Life (Pressed Wafer/Arrowsmith, 2006). Her book My Poets (FSG, 2012)—an experimental hybrid of memoir and criticism—was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award in autobiography. She has also published two books of literary criticism, Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry (Cambridge UP, 2008) and Romanticism and the Human Sciences (CUP, 2000), and coedited The Cambridge Companion to British Romantic Poetry (CUP, 2008).
Mitch Manning teaches in the English and Labor Studies programs at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and is Associate Director at the Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences. He is a poetry editor for Consequence Magazine and founding editor of NO INFINITE. His poems and interviews have been published in The Doris, BOOG City, Let The Bucket Down, Consequence Magazine, Sundial, Hollow, GAFF and elsewhere. He can be found online at mitchmanning.info
Romeo Oriogun is a Nigerian poet whose poems have appeared in Brittle Paper, Connotation Press, Prairie Schooner, Dissident Blog, and Expound, among other publications. His poems have been translated into Estonian, Slovenian, and Swedish, and rendered into songs in Portuguese. He is the author of the chapbooks “Burnt Men” (Praxis) and “The Origin of Butterflies” (APBF and Akashic Books). He is the winner of the 2017 Brunel International African Prize for Poetry, his manuscript “My Body Is No Miracle” was shortlisted for the 2017 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, and his poem “Metamorphosis” was shortlisted for the inaugural Brittle Prize for Poetry. He is currently a Resident Scholar at Dunster House, an Institute of International Education Artist Protection Fund Fellow, a W.E.B. DuBois Research Institute Fellow, and the Harvard Scholars at Risk Fellow for Spring 2019.
Catherine Parnell earned an MFA in Literature and Creative Writing from Bennington College. She is the author of the memoir The Kingdom of His Will (2007), along with many short stories in publications like Redivider, TSR: The Southampton Review, and The Baltimore Review. A writing and editing consultant, she currently works as the senior associate editor for Consequence magazine, and teaches creative writing at Grub Street in Boston.
William Pierce is the author of Reality Hunger: On Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle (Arrowsmith, 2016). His fiction has appeared in Granta, Ecotone, and elsewhere; his essays, in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, and Consequence. He is senior editor of AGNI, where he writes an irregular column called “Crucibles.” With the Caine Prize-winning Nigerian novelist E. C. Osondu, he coedited The AGNI Portfolio of African Fiction.
Etnairis Rivera was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1949. She belongs to the Poetic Generation of 1975. She wrote from an early age, publishing her first poems in the literary press at age 15. Her poetry has been translated into English, French and Portuguese, and published in various anthologies and magazines of Puerto Rican and international poetry. Rivera writes stories, essays, and scripts for cultural television programs. She is Professor of Hispanic Literature at the University of Puerto Rico. Rivera has published the books of poems: Wydondequiera, 1974; María Mar Moriviví, 1976; Canto de la Pachamama, 1976; The day of the pollen, 1981; Ariadna del Agua, 1989; Between cities and almost paradises, 1995; The journey of kisses, Of the flower of the sea and death, 2000; Intervenidos (anti-war poems dedicated to the struggle of the people of Vieques, 2003).
One of Ukraine’s leading women of letters, poet, activist, and publisher, Marjana Savka lives in Lviv. She has published twelve books of poetry and children’s literature. As editor-in-chief of Old Lion Publishers, she has brought out the work of Ernest Hemingway, Saul Bellow, Jorge Luis Borges, Stephen Hawking, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Sofia Andrukhoych. Savka is also a member of the Center for the Study of Young Adult and Children’s Literature. Her own work has been translated into half a dozen languages, including English, Russian, and Latvian. In 2003 she was awared the Stus Prize for poetry.
George Scialabba is a Boston-area book critic referred to by James Wood as “one of America’s best all-around intellects.” He has authored five collections of essays, including Divided Mind (2006), The Modern Predicament (2011), and Low Dishonest Decades: Essays & Reviews, 1980-2015. Richard Rorty wrote that he is “one of many readers who stay on the lookout for George Scialabba’s bylines. His reviews and essays are models of moral inquiry.” His reviews can be found in many publications.
Lloyd Schwartz’s poetry collections include These People (1981), Goodnight, Grace (1992), Cairo Traffic (2000), and, most recently, Little Kisses (2017). His poems have been selected for the Pushcart Prize, The Best American Poetry, and The Best of the Best American Poetry. Author Roger Rosenblatt calls him “A major poet with a gentle comic soul.” Poet James Merrill has described his work as “the Chapliniana of our later, darker day.” And Times Literary Supplement has praised him for “how powerfully [his] verse can still deliver the idioms and nuances of American speech.” In Salmagundi, poet Peter Campion wrote that “Schwartz does what should make any reader or fellow poet grateful: he enlarges the range of living speech as artwork.” He is also a noted Elizabeth Bishop scholar, co-editor of the Library of American’s Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose, & Letters, and editor of the centennial edition of Bishop’s prose. In 1994, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his columns on music in The Boston Phoenix. Since 1987, he has been the classical music critic for NPR’s Fresh Air. He is currently the Frederick S. Troy Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Jason Shinder was an American poet who authored three books and founded the YMCA National Writer's Voice. His last book, Stupid Hope (Graywolf Press, 2009), was released posthumously. He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1955, and published his first literary work in 1993, with the release of Every Room We Ever Slept In, which became a New York Public Library Notable Book. He went on to author Among Women and Uncertain Hours, and edit numerous anthologies, including The Poem That Changed America: "Howl" Fifty Years Later and The Poem I Turn To: Actors and Directors Present Poetry That Inspires Them. Shinder also served as director of the Sundance Institute Writing Program, as a teacher in the graduate writing program at Bennington College, as a graduate teacher at New School University, and was a Poet Laureate of Provincetown. Shinder also earned a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2007. Shinder died from cancer in 2008.
Tom Sleigh is an award-winning poet and translator. His latest work, Station Zed (2015), won praise from the Los Angeles Times and Ploughshares. Seamus Heaney wrote that Sleigh’s poems are “hard-earned and well founded.” Sleigh’s awards include the Shelley Prize from the Poetry Society of America, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is currently program director and senior poet of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Hunter College.
On February 8, 2018, Graywolf Press will publish two books by Sleigh that both take up the tensions between political convictions and political emotions as he has experienced them in writing about Syrian, Palestinian, and Somali refugees. The book of essays, THE LAND BETWEEN TWO RIVERS: WRITING IN AN AGE OF REFUGEES, and the book of poems, HOUSE OF FACT, HOUSE OF RUIN, are being published jointly because they are meant to be companion pieces.
Matiop Wal was born in southern Sudan. Displaced by the civil war in 1987, he fled to Ethiopia, remaining there for almost four years before civil war broke out there as well. After staying in a refugee camp on the border of Sudan and Ethiopia for nearly nine months, he was re-displaced, this time to Kenya and another refugee camp, where he stayed from 1993-2001. In March of 2001, he and other Sudanese young men, who had suffered for more than fourteen years in the jungle around north east Africa, were given the opportunity to start a new life in America.
Novelist, poet, and philosopher, Oksana Zabuzhko is one of Ukraine’s best known and most important public intellectuals. Her controversial novel, Field Work in Ukrainian Sex, is widely regarded as a contemporary classic and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. Her most recent novel, Museum of Abandoned Secrets, explores the untold stories of Soviet life in the second half of the twentieth century. Zabuzhko has been a Fulbright scholar, and has taught Ukrainian literature at Penn State, Pittsburgh University, and Harvard. Her book Notre-dame d’Ukraine is a cultural study focused on the work of the fin-de-siecle writer Lesia Ukrainka. Founding editor of Komora Publishers, she works at the Hryhori Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy at the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine.