Ryan H. Walsh

Ryan H. Walsh is a musician and journalist. His culture writing has appeared in the Boston Globe, Vice, and Boston Magazine. He was a finalist for the Missouri School of Journalism’s City and Regional Magazine Award for his feature on Van Morrison’s year in Boston, from which his new, critically acclaimed book, Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968, developed. His rock band Hallelujah the Hills has won praise from Spin magazine and Pitchfork; collaborated on a song with author Jonathan Lethem; and toured the U.S. extensively over their 10-year existence. The band won a Boston Music Award for Best Rock Artist, and Walsh has twice won the award for Best Video Direction. He lives in Boston with his wife, the acclaimed singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler.

Tom Sleigh

Tom Sleigh is the author of ten books of poetry, including Army Cats, winner of the John Updike Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Space Walk which won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Award. In addition, Far Side of the Earth won an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Dreamhouse was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and The Chain was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Prize. In 2018 a book of prose collecting his essays on refugees in the Middle East and Africa, The Land Between Two Rivers: Writing In An Age Of Refugees, was published simultaneously by Graywolf Press as a companion piece to House of Fact, House of Ruin, his latest book of poems. Widely anthologized, his poems and prose appear in The New Yorker, The Village Voice, and other literary magazines, as well as The Best of the Best American Poetry, The Best American Poetry, Best American Travel Writing, and The Pushcart Anthology. He is a Distinguished Professor in the MFA Program at Hunter College and lives in Brooklyn. During the last decade, he has also worked as a journalist in Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Kenya, Iraq, and Libya. 

Joan Silber

Joan Silber is the author of eight books of fiction. The most recent, Improvement, is the winner of the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. and was listed as one of the year’s best books by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Newsday, the SeattleTimes, and Kirkus Reviews. Her previous book, Fools, was longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Other works include The Size of the World, finalist for the LA Times Fiction Prize, and Ideas of Heaven, finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize. She lives in New York and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program. 

Wayétu Moore

Wayétu Moore’s debut novel, She Would Be King, will be released by Graywolf Press in September, 2018. Moore is the founder of One Moore Book, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that encourages reading among children of countries with low literacy rates and underrepresented cultures by publishing culturally relevant books that speak to their truths, and by creating bookstores and reading corners that serve their communities. Her first bookstore opened in Monrovia, Liberia in 2015.Her writing can be found in Guernica Magazine, The Rumpus, The Atlantic Magazine and other publications.  She has been featured in The Economist Magazine, NPR, NBC, BET and ABC, among others, for her work in advocacy for diversity in children’s literature. Moore is currently a Margaret Mead Fellow at Columbia University Teachers College, is an Africana Studies lecturer at City University of New York’s John Jay College and lives in Brooklyn, NY. 

Maria Hummel

Maria Hummel is the author of Still Lives; Motherland (an SF Chronicle Book of the Year); House and Fire; and Wilderness Run. Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Pushcart Prizes, Narrative, The Sun, and The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine. She received a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and taught there for many years. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Vermont, and lives in Vermont with her husband and sons.