Volume 69, Number 1 · Fall 2019


Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-three books including, most recently, Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (Louisiana State University Press, 2017), which won the 2018 L. E. Phillabaum Award; Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Press, 2018), which won the Elixir Press Fiction Award; Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, 2018); Frankenstein’s Children (Lost Horse Press, 2018); and Plurality and the Poetics of Self (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). He is currently the Regents Professor of English at the University of North Texas.

Holly Burdorff earned an MFA in creative writing at the University of Alabama. Her poems and multimedia works appear or are forthcoming in the Common, Quarterly West, and Barnhouse. She lives and works near Cleveland, Ohio.

Marianne Chan grew up in Stuttgart, Germany and Lansing, Michigan. She is the author of All Heathens, forthcoming from Sarabande Books in March 2020. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in the Michigan Quarterly Review, the Cincinnati Review, the Indiana Review, West Branch, Poetry Northwest, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing a PhD in creative writing at the University of Cincinnati, where she is an Albert C. Yates Fellow.

Marguerite Dabaie, author of the graphic novel The Hookah Girl: And Other True Stories (Rosarium Publishing, 2018) draws autobiographical, socio-political, and historical-fictional comics with a decorative flair. She is currently working on a graphic novel about the seventh-century Silk Road. Marguerite is a freelance illustrator and has worked with publications such as the Nib, the Believer, Abrams, and Viking Penguin, among others. Once a year, Marguerite cohosts Pete’s Mini Zine Fest, the fest-in-a-bar, in Brooklyn.

Kyle Dargan is an associate professor and assistant director of creative writing at American University in Washington, DC. His latest poetry collection, Anagnorisis, which was published by Northwestern University Press in 2018, was awarded the 2019 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and was longlisted for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

Armen Davoudian’s poems and translations from Persian appear or are forthcoming in AGNI, Narrative, the Sewanee Review, the Yale Review, and elsewhere. His work has been supported by scholarships from Bread Loaf and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He grew up in Isfahan, Iran and is currently pursuing a PhD in English at Stanford University.

Brian Komei Dempster’s debut book of poems, Topaz (Four Way Books, 2013), received the 15 Bytes 2014 Book Award in Poetry. His second poetry collection, Seize, was published by Four Way Books in fall 2020. Dempster is editor of From Our Side of the Fence: Growing Up in America’s Concentration Camps (Kearny Street Workshop, 2001), which received a 2007 Nisei Voices Award from the National Japanese American Historical Society, and Making Home from War: Stories of Japanese American Exile and Resettlement (Heyday, 2011). He is a professor of rhetoric and language at the University of San Francisco, where he serves as Director of Administration for the Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies program.

Safia Elhillo is the author of the poetry collection The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), which received the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and a 2018 Arab American Book Award, and a novel in verse, Nima on the Other Side, which is forthcoming from MAKE ME A WORLD/Random House. She is coeditor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019) and a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

Jenn Givhan, a Mexican American writer and activist from the Southwestern desert, is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Rosa’s Einstein (Camino del Sol, 2019), two chapbooks, and two novels, Trinity Sight and Jubilee, both forthcoming from Blackstone Press. Her poems appear in Best of the Net, Best New Poets, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Poetry, the New Republic, Crazyhorse, and the Kenyon Review. She has received, among other honors, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, an Emerging Voices Fellowship, and New Ohio Review’s NORward Prize for Poetry, chosen by Tyehimba Jess.

Ellen Goldstein was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is the author of Stuff Every Beer Snob Should Know, which was published by Quirk Books in 2018. Her writing appears in journals such as Post Road, the Common, Tahoma Literary Review, Lunch Ticket, and elsewhere. Her work also appears in the anthologies Spectral Lines, Not Quite What I Was Planning, Letters to the World, The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, and Queer South, which was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.

Robin Gow is a queer and trans poet, editor, and educator in the New York City area. He is the author of the chapbook Honeysuckle by Finishing Line Press and his first full-length collection is forthcoming with Tolsun Books. He is the editor-at-large of Village of Crickets and a managing editor at the Nasiona.

Caitlin Hayes’s short fiction appears in Ecotone, Epoch, the New England Review, and the Southern Review. She earned her MFA from Syracuse University and has been a fellow at Colgate University, Yaddo, and the Carson McCullers Center. She lives in Ithaca, New York, where she is working on a story collection and novel.

Cynthia Hogue has published nine poetry collections, including In June the Labyrinth (2017). Her co-translations include Fortino Sámano (The Overflowing of the Poem), from the French of Virginie Lalucq and Jean-Luc Nancy, which won the 2013 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets. Hogue’s honors include two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and the H. D. Fellowship at Yale University. She is the inaugural Marshall Chair in Poetry and Emerita Professor of English at Arizona State University.

Maria Hummel’s poetry collection, House and Fire, won the 2013 APR/Honickman First Book Prize in Poetry. She is also the author of three novels, most recently Still Lives, which was published by Counterpoint Press in 2018.

Michelle Har Kim lives in the San Gabriel Valley, east of Los Angeles. She is a 2016 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, and has translated poems by José Watanabe for Guernica, Epiphany, and the Asian American Literary Review.

David Kirby teaches English at Florida State University. His collection The House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected Poems was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. Kirby is the author of Little Richard: The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll, which the Times Literary Supplement called “a hymn of praise to the emancipatory power of nonsense.” His latest poetry collection is More Than This.

Fabio Lastrucci was born in Naples, Italy in 1962. He is a sculptor, has worked for the theater and for national television networks, and his illustrations have recently been published in U.S. literary magazines. He has published novels, a fantasy saga, and some essays. His most recent essay was a collaboration with Vincenzo Barone Lumaga, Com’era weird la mia valle (Milena edizioni, 2018) and a tribute to Stephen King, La pelle del re (Delos Digital, 2018).

Bethany Maile is the author of Anything Will Be Easy After This: A Western Identity Crisis, which is forthcoming in fall 2020. Her essays have been notable selections three times in The Best American series, and her work appears or is forthcoming in the Rumpus, the Normal School, Prairie Schooner, and River Teeth, among others. Her essays are anthologized in Essay Daily: A Reader and What Happened on June 21st, 2018. She is writing a memoir about Alaska and motherhood, and she lives in Idaho with her husband and two daughters.

Manini Nayar’s stories and articles appear in Alaska Quarterly Review, Bellevue Literary Review, London Magazine, Boston Review, Stand, Words and Images, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, and other publications. She was awarded individual artist fellowships in fiction from the Pennsylvania and Indiana Arts Councils, and has won the BBC World Service Short Story Competition (co-winner), the Chelsea Award in Short Fiction, and Boston Review’s Aura Estrada Short Story Award. Her collection of short fiction was recently a finalist for the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing. She lives in State College, Pennsylvania, and teaches English and women’s studies at Penn State.

Jason Ockert is the author of Wasp Box, a novel, and two collections of short stories, Neighbors of Nothing and Rabbit Punches. His honors include the Dzanc Short Story Collection Prize, the Atlantic Monthly Fiction Contest, the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award, as well as inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories. His stories appear or are forthcoming in Granta, Oxford American, McSweeney’s, and One Story. He teaches at Coastal Carolina University.

Brenda Peynado’s short story collection, The Rock Eaters, is forthcoming from Penguin Press in early 2021. Her stories have won an O. Henry Prize, a Pushcart Prize, the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Literary Award, inclusion in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, a Dana Award, a Fulbright Grant to the Dominican Republic, and other awards. Her work appears in the Georgia Review, the Sun, the Southern Review, the Kenyon Review, the Threepenny Review, Tor.com, and other journals. She received her MFA at Florida State University and her PhD at the University of Cincinnati. She’s currently writing a novel about the 1965 civil war in the Dominican Republic and a girl who can tell all possible futures. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Central Florida.

Esteban Rodríguez is the author of the collections Dusk & Dusk (Hub City Press, 2019), Crash Course (Saddle Road Press, 2019), In Bloom (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2020), and (Dis)placement (Skull + Wind Press, 2020). His poetry appears in the Gettysburg Review, the New England Review, TriQuarterly, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. He is the interviews editor for the EcoTheo Review, an assistant poetry editor for AGNI,, and a regular reviews contributor for [PANK] and Heavy Feather Review. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Felicity Sheehy’s poems appear in the New Republic, the Yale Review, the Adroit Journal, and elsewhere. She has received an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Tennessee Williams Scholarship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Jane Martin Poetry Prize for UK residents under thirty. In 2019, she was named one of Narrative’s 30 Under 30 Writers. Originally from Hudson Valley, New York, she is a PhD candidate at Cambridge University.

Described by critics as one of Bolivia’s greatest poets, the repertoire of author, journalist, and scholar Pedro Shimose Kawamura (1940–) includes an array of genres, from his acclaimed verses, to his short stories, textbooks, and musical work. Born in Riberalta, Bolivia, he has lived as an expatriate in Madrid since 1971. The 1972 recipient of the Casa de las Américas Prize for the book of poems Quiero escribir, pero me sale espuma, and the Premio Nacional de Novela in 1999, Shimose been rendered into over ten languages. His original volumes of poetry also include, among others, Caducidad del fuego (1975), Reflexiones maquiavélicas (1980), Bolero de caballería (1985), Riberalta y otros poemas (1996), and No te lo vas a creer (2000).

Jennifer Shyue is a translator from Spanish focusing on contemporary Cuban and Asian-Peruvian writers. She has an MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa and a BA in comparative literature from Princeton University, and is the recipient of a 2019 Fulbright grant to Peru. Her translations have appeared in American Chordata and Inventory. She can be found on the web at shyue.co.

Mike Soto’s debut book-length work of poetry, A Grave is Given Supper, will be published by Deep Vellum Books in summer 2020.

Morgan Talty was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and grew up on the Penobscot Indian Nation in Maine. He received his BA in Native American studies from Dartmouth College and an MFA from the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast. His work appears or is forthcoming in the Georgia Review, Narrative, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. He lives in Levant, Maine.

After moving from Mexico City to the United States, photographer Xavier Tavera experienced a sense of cultural alienation that compelled him to document the spaces, places, events, people, and artifacts of those living in marginalized communities. Tavera's images offer insight into the diversity of numerous subcultures, giving a voice to those who are often invisible. This exhibition focuses on the notion of borderlands as Tavera explores the echoes of cultural clashes at the United States/Mexican border that reverberate through other Latina/o/x geographies. Tavera has shown his work extensively nationally and internationally including in Germany, Scotland, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, and China. He lives and works in Minneapolis, where he teaches at the University of Minnesota.

Varsha Tiwary considers writing a tool to authentic living—a way to catch small, fleeting, butterfly-like moments of truth in a net of words. Varsha has lived in various parts of India and, during her two-year sabbatical in DC, explored local writing groups. Her stories, memoir, and essays appear on the 2017 DNA-Out Of Print short fiction shortlist and in Kitaab, the Basil O'Flaherty, Muse India, Jaggery Lit, Manifest-Station, Spark, Usawa Literary Review, Café Dissensus, Emerge, and Kaani. Her piece is also forthcoming in DC’s Gargoyle Magazine. She is currently working on a fiction project.

María Alejandra Barrios Vélez is a writer born in Barranquilla, Colombia. She has lived in Bogotá and Manchester, where in 2016 she completed a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Manchester. Her stories appear in Hobart, Pulp, Reservoir, Bandit Fiction, Cosmonauts Avenue, the Jellyfish Review, Lost Balloon, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn. Her poetry appears in the Acentos Review. Her work has been supported by organizations such as the Vermont Studio Center and the Caldera Arts Center.

Matthew Vollmer is the author of two story collections—Future Missionaries of America and Gateway to Paradise—as well as two collections of essays—inscriptions for headstones and Permanent Exhibit. He teaches creative writing and literature in the English Department at Virginia Tech, where he is an associate professor.

The late José Watanabe (1946–2007) is one of Peru’s most beloved contemporary poets. Along with his numerous articles, children’s books, and screenplays (that include the screen adaptation for Mario Vargas Llosa’s La ciudad y los perros), Watanabe’s publications feature seven original volumes of poetry. The latter is brought together in the posthumous Poesía completa (2008)—from his alpha Albúm de familia (1971), to the omega Banderas detrás de la niebla (2006). Included in the anthology is Watanabe’s rendition of Sophocles's Antígona, performed by el Grupo Yuyachkani, the radical theater troupe that won Peru’s National Human Rights Award in 2000. Watanabe is a main contributor to La memoria del ojo: cien años de presencia japonesa en el Perú (1999), a “photographic history” that narrates scenes of everyday life, loss, and northward “relocation” of approximately eighteen hundred Japanese Peruvians to internment camps in Texas during World War II.

David Heska Wanbli Weiden, an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota nation, is the author of the novel Winter Counts (Ecco/HarperCollins, forthcoming 2020) and the children’s book Spotted Tail (Reycraft, 2019). His work appears in the Yellow Medicine Review, Transmotion, the Criminal Class Review, and other magazines. He’s the recipient of a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a Ragdale Foundation residency, the PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship, and was a Tin House Scholar. He received his MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. He’s associate professor of Native American studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver and lives in Colorado with his family. You can find him on Twitter @WanbliWeiden.

Florence Weinberger is the author of five published collections of poetry, the most recent Ghost Tattoo, which was published by Tebot Bach. She has been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize, and her poetry appears in a number of literary magazines, including the Comstock Review, the Antietam Review, the Rockvale Review, Nimrod, Poetry East, Solo, Rattle, the Baltimore Review, Calyx, Miramar, River Styx, Another Chicago Magazine, the North American Review, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Her poems have also been published in many anthologies.

Catherine Wong is a computer and cognitive science graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She can do a decent Kermit impression. Her fiction appears in the Chicago Quarterly Review, the Cimarron Review, and Glimmer Train.

Julia Wong Kcomt is a Chinese-Peruvian writer. Born in Chepén, Peru, she has lived on three continents. Her publications—a dozen volumes of poetry, three novels, one novella, one short-story collection, and two collections of hybrid prose work—include Ladrón de codornices, Doble felicidad, and Pessoa por Wong.