Bruce Smith was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the author of seven books of poems, The Common Wages, Silver and Information, Mercy Seat, The Other Lover, which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, Songs for Two Voices, Devotions, and a forthcoming collection, Spill. Devotions was named a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award and won the William Carlos Williams Award from the American Academy of Poets. Poems of his have appeared in The Best American Poetry,The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and the Kenyon Review, among others. In 2000 he was a Guggenheim fellow and has twice been a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts. In 2010 he received an award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has taught at Tufts, Boston, and Harvard Universities, and on the West Coast at Portland State and Lewis & Clark College, and at University of Alabama before moving to Syracuse University in 2002. Recently he’s been a visiting professor at University of Houston and Columbia University and was a resident at the American Academy in Rome in 2016.
Joan Houlihan is the author of five books of poetry: Shadow-feast (2018), Hand-Held Executions: Poems & Essays (2003); The Mending Worm, which received the 2006 Green Rose Award from New Issues Press; The Us, which received a Must Read distinction from the Massachusetts Center for the Book, and Ay (2014), a sequel to The Us(2009), both from Tupelo Press. Houlihan received her BA and MAT in English from University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and she has taught at Columbia University, Emerson College, and Smith College. She currently serves on the faculty of Lesley University’s Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is Professor of Practice in Poetry at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Houlihan founded and directs the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference.
Jenny Xie was born in Hefei, China, and raised in New Jersey. She holds degrees from Princeton University and New York University’s creative writing program, and has received fellowships and support from Kundiman, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and Poets & Writers. Her debut poetry collection, Eye Level, was selected by Juan Felipe Herrera as the winner of the 2017 Walt Whitman Award, given by the Academy of American Poets, and was published by Graywolf Press in 2018. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches at New York University.
Baron Wormser is the author or co-author of fourteen books and a poetry chapbook.His books include Scattered Chapters: New and Selected Poems, The Road Washes Out in Spring: a Poet’s Memoir of Living Off the Grid, and The Poetry Life: Ten Stories. His novel Tom o’ Vietnam, about a Vietnam veteran who is obsessed with King Lear, was published in the fall of 2017 and his new book, Legends of Slow Explosion, was published in April. Wormser has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. From 2000 to 2006 he served as poet laureate of the state of Maine. He has taught many dozens of workshops across the United States and continues to offer generative workshops along with workshops focusing on the works of a particular poet. He also teaches in the Fairfield University MFA Program.
Bianca Stone is the author of The Mobius Strip Club of Grief, forthcoming in February 2018 from Tin House Books, and Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Tin House/Octopus Books, 2014), and is also the illustrator of Antigonick (New Directions, 2012), a collaboration with Anne Carson. She runs the Ruth Stone Foundation in Vermont and New York City.