Cate Marvin, Co-Founder
Cate Marvin’s first book of poems, World’s Tallest Disaster, was chosen by Robert Pinksy for the 2000 Kathryn A. Morton Prize and published by Sarabande Books in 2001. In 2002, she received the Kate Tufts Discovery Prize. She is co-editor with poet Michael Dumanis of the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande Books, 2006). Her second book of poems, Fragment of the Head of a Queen, for which she received a Whiting Award, was published by Sarabande in 2007. She teaches poetry writing at Columbia University’s MFA Program and Lesley University’s Low-Residency M.F.A. Program, and is an associate professor in creative writing in the College of Staten Island, City University of New York.
Erin Belieu, Co-Founder
Erin Belieu is the author of three poetry collections, all from Copper Canyon Press, including Infanta, One Above & One Below and Black Box. Belieu has been a winner of the National Poetry Series, The Rona Jaffe Foundation Award and was a finalist for the 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She is also the coeditor of The Extraordinary Tide, an anthology published by Columbia University Press, featuring the work of contemporary American women poets. Belieu has worked extensively in literary publishing and was previously the managing and poetry editor for AGNI magazine as well as the founding editor of Hotel Amerika. She is presently the director of The Creative Writing Program at Florida State University.
Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of How to Leave Hialeah, winner the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Award; she is the first Latina to win this prize in its forty-year history. The book also received the John Gardner Book Prize and the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Prose and was a finalist for the Chicano/Latino Literary Award; it went on to be named a best book of the year by the Miami Herald, the New Times, and the Latinidad List. The collection’s title story won a PEN/O. Henry Prize and appears in the O. Henry Prize Anthology (2011, Vintage/Anchor Books). Her work has appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Epoch, The Southern Review, and other magazines. Crucet served as the fiction editor for the most recent edition of the PEN Center USA’s Handbook for Writers, which is used in their Emerging Voices and Writers in the Schools programs. A former sketch comedienne, she has also worked in the non-profit sector as an advisor to first-generation college students from low-income families living in the South Los Angeles area. www.jcapocrucet.com
Alyss Dixson received a BA in Comparative Literature from Yale. She began her career as an intern for the Story Department for New Line Cinema, New York and later transferred to New Line’s West Coast office. She left New Line to work as an assistant and Script Coordinator on the film Money Talks, the debut film of director Brett Ratner. Afterward, Brett hired her to head up his new company, Rat Entertainment, based at New Line. For five years she acted as principal executive and producer at the company working on films like Rush Hour, Family Man, Paid in Full (Dimension/Miramax) and as an associate producer on Double Take (Disney). Later, she joined Paramount Pictures as a Vice President of Production, Worldwide, and now writes and produces and consults for film and television. Writer Mollie Gregory featured Ms. Dixson in her book Women Who Run the Show (St. Martin’s Press, 2000). She is hard at work on her forthcoming debut novel, A Place Called Paradise.
Kekla Magoon is a New York City-based author, editor, speaker and educator. Her debut novel, The Rock and the River (Aladdin, 2009), has earned praise from teen and adult readers alike, including mention in The New York Times and a Booklist starred review. Kekla is Co-Editor of YA and Children’s Literature for Hunger Mountain, the arts journal of Vermont College of Fine Arts. She also leads writing workshops for youth and adults, and writes non-fiction titles for the educational market. Kekla holds a B.A. in History from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts (www.keklamagoon.com).
Lisa Schlesinger’s plays and radio plays include Wal-martyrs, Celestial Bodies, Twenty One Positions (with Naomi Wallace and Abed Fattah Abusrour), Same Egg, Manny and Chicken, Rock Ends Ahead, Bow Echo, The Bones of Danny Winston and Leaner than Light: 12 Frames of Paul Engle. She is at work on an opera, Harmonicus Mundi, commissioned by the Ensemble Studio Theatre with Portland Stage Company and funded by the Sloan Foundation, and a new play with Rivendell Theatre. Schlesinger coordinates the Playwriting Program at Columbia College Chicago.
Cheryl Strayed is the author of #1 New York Times bestseller WILD, the New York Times bestseller TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS, and the novel TORCH. WILD will also be published in more than thirty countries across the world. WILD was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. It has been optioned for film by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Pacific Standard. IndieBound selected WILD as their #1 Indie Next pick for April, Barnes and Noble named it a “Discover Great New Writers” pick on their Summer 2012 list, and Amazon named it a “best of March” pick. Strayed’s debut novel, TORCH was a finalist for the Great Lakes Book Award and was selected by The Oregonian as one of the top ten books of the year by writers from the Pacific Northwest. Strayed has written the “Dear Sugar” column on TheRumpus.net since March 2010. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Allure, Self, The Missouri Review, Brain, Child, Creative Nonfiction, The Sun and elsewhere. The winner of a Pushcart Prize as well as fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, her essays and stories have been published in THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS, THE BEST NEW AMERICAN VOICES, and other anthologies. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. Photo Credit: Joni Kabana
Ann Townsend, Treasurer
Ann Townsend is the author of two collections of poetry: Dime Store Erotics (Silverfish Review Press, 1998), and The Coronary Garden (Sarabande Books, 2005). She is the editor of a collection of essays, Radiant Lyre: On Lyric Poetry (with David Baker), published by Graywolf Press in 2007. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, an Individual Artist’s grant from the Ohio Arts Council, and a Discovery Prize from The Nation. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies, including The New Young American Poets, American Poetry: The Next Generation, and The New American Poets: A Bread Loaf Anthology. Dominic Consolo Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Denison University, Ann Townsend also owns and operates Bittersweet Farm in Granville, Ohio. Visit her at www.anntownsend.com.