Notes on Contributors

Hussain Ahmed is a Nigerian writer and environmentalist. His poems are featured or forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, The Cincinnati Review, Magma, Nashville Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook was a semifinalist for the 2018 Black River contest.

Ruth Awad is a Lebanese-American poet whose debut poetry collection Set to Music a Wildfire (Southern Indiana Review Press 2017) won the 2016 Michael Waters Poetry Prize and the 2018 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. She is the recipient of a 2016 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and her work has appeared in The New Republic, The Rumpus, The Missouri Review Poem of the Week, Sixth Finch, Crab Orchard Review, CALYX, Diode, Southern Indiana Review, The Adroit Journal, Vinyl Poetry, Epiphany, BOAAT Journal, and in the anthologies Bettering American Poetry Volume 2 (Bettering Books, 2017), The Hundred Years’ War: Modern War Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2014), New Poetry from the Midwest 2014 (New American Press, 2015), and Poets on Growth (Math Paper Press, 2015). She won the 2012 and 2013 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and the 2011 Copper Nickel Poetry Contest, and she was a finalist for the 2013 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. She has an MFA in poetry from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, she is a copy editor for Button Poetry, and she lives in Columbus, Ohio with her two Pomeranians.

Jeni Bate lives in Salton City, California—though she grew up in Wales. As a child, she enjoyed painting, but as a teenager art gave way to academics. In 2001, Jeni was working on photography but soon had an epiphany: “Now you have to paint!” The sky is her primary subject—both now and in childhood paintings. Jeni began painting in watercolor, subsequently adding acrylics and oils. A series of errors progressed into her signature refractured watercolor technique. She later met quilters who likened her reorganized images to ‘refractured quilting,’ so she stole the word. As the years have progressed, she developed her technique to meld acrylic with refractured watercolor and frequently adding poetry, written for and included in the painting. Her work continues to inch to the more abstract.

One of the things that allowed Jeni to develop her voice quickly was having teachers who taught materials handling and composition, but not style; why, not just how. These are important aspects of her teaching.

Cicily Bennion is an MFA candidate at Brigham Young University where she studies and writes creative nonfiction. “On Face Washing” is Cicily’s first publication in a literary journal. She lives in Utah with her husband.

TR Brady is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Diagram, Pleiades, Passages North, and Forklift, Ohio. Originally from the Arkansas Delta, she currently lives in Iowa City with her partner.

Kristin Chang‘s poetry has been anthologized in Best New Poets 2018, the 2019 Pushcart Prize Anthology, Bettering American Poetry Vol. 3, and Ink Knows No Borders.  She is located at and on Twitter @KXinming. Her debut chapbook “Past Lives, Future Bodies” is out on Oct. 31 from Black Lawrence Press.

Christopher DeWeese is the author of three books of poems: The Black Forest and The Father of the Arrow is the Thought, both published by Octopus Books, and The Confessions (Periplum Poetry).  His poems have appeared in Australian Book Review, Granta, Poetry London, Tin House, and elsewhere. He is currently Associate Professor of Poetry at Wright State University.

Tarik Dobbs is a queer, Lebanese-American poet from Dearborn, MI. He is the winner of a fellowship and two awards in the 2018 Michigan Hopwood Program. His poems are forthcoming or recently appear in Diode, Tinderbox, and Glass. He draws inspiration from stories of his mother and grandmother.

Asa Drake is an information services librarian. Her writing is published or forthcoming with The Margins, American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Frontier Poetry, and elsewhere. She received her MFA in poetry from The New School and was a finalist for Gold Line Press’s 2017 Chapbook Competition.

William Evans is a writer from Columbus, OH, a Callaloo Fellow and the founder of the Writing Wrongs Poetry Slam (September 2008).

Dustin M. Hoffman is the author of the story collection One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist, winner of the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. He painted houses for ten years in Michigan and now teaches creative writing at Winthrop University in South Carolina. His stories have recently appeared in  Baltimore Review, The Adroit Journal, Washington Square Review, Witness, and Threepenny Review.

Ben Kingsley is best known for his Academy Award winning role as Mahatma Gandhi. A touch less famous, Affrilachian author Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley has not acted since his third-grade debut as the undertaker in Music Man. A Kundiman alum, Ben is currently the Tickner Writing Fellow and recipient of a Provincetown FAWC fellowship. He belongs to the Onondaga Nation of Indigenous Americans in New York. Peep his work from 2018 in Boston Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, & Tin House, among others. His first book is out fall 2018: Not Your Mama’s Melting Pot, selected by Bob Hicok.

Ellen Kombiyil is the author of Histories of the Future Perfect (2015), and a micro chapbook avalanche tunnel (2016). She has read, performed, or taught workshops at Split This Rock, the Prakriti Poetry Festival in Chennai, the Raedleaf Poetry Awards in Hyderabad, and Lekhana in Bangalore, India. Recent work has appeared in diode, Muzzle, Plume, Pleiades, and The Offing. She is a founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, a mentorship-model press publishing emerging poets from India and the diaspora. A graduate of the University of Chicago and Hunter’s MFA program, she currently teaches English at Hunter College.

Cade Leebron is a writer living in Columbus, OH. She holds an MFA from Ohio State, where she served as an editor at The Journal. Her work has appeared in Brevity, Electric Literature, Day One, and elsewhere. She exists online at and on Twitter @CadeyLadey.

Chessy Normile is currently at the Michener Center for Writers studying poetry and pursuing her MFA. She received the Andrew Julius Gutow Academy of American Poets Prize in 2018 and the Andrea K. Willison Poetry Prize from Sarah Lawrence College in 2013. Her poems appear in jubilat,, and

Ali Rachel Pearl is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at the University of Southern California. She is a writer, scholar, and teacher whose work appears in Cosmonauts Avenue, Hobart, Redivider, DIAGRAM, The New York Times, and elsewhere. Most of the year, she lives and teaches in Los Angeles.

Emily Pettit is a poet, artist, editor, and teacher from Western, Massachusetts. She has taught and lectured at Columbia University, the University of Iowa, the University of Massachusetts, Elms College, and Smith College. Emily is an editor for Factory Hollow Press and jubilat. Her first collection of poems Goat In The Snow was published by Birds LLC and her second collection of poems is forthcoming.

Liz Robbins‘ third collection, Freaked, won the 2014 Elixir Press Annual Poetry Award; her second collection, Play Button, won the 2010 Cider Press Review Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Adroit Journal, Beloit Poetry Journal, Kenyon Review Online, and Rattle, as well as on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. She’s an associate professor of creative writing at Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL.

Eliza Smith lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio. Her work appears in The Offing, The Rumpus, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. She tweets sometimes at @realelizasmith.

Kathryn Smith is the author of the poetry collection Book of Exodus (Scablands Books, 2017). Her poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, The Laurel Review, The Boiler, Redivider, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere, and have been nominated for Best American Poetry and the Pushcart Prize. In 2017, she received a Spokane Arts Grant Award for her interdisciplinary project “Chosen Companions of the Goblin,” which combines poetry, erasure, and embroidery.

Nicole Stockburger earned an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her manuscript was a finalist for the 2018 Center for Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Poetry program and a finalist for the 2018 Frontier Poetry Digital Chapbook Contest. Finalist for the 2017 Indiana Review Poetry Prize, she received the 2017 Kakalak Poetry Award. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Indiana Review, Raleigh Review, The Southeast Review, The Carolina Quarterly, and Michigan Quarterly Review, among other journals. She lives outside of Mount Airy, NC, where she and her partner co-run York Farm.