Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Contributors: Fall 2015


Miranda Brandon is an animal enthusiast and advocate, as well as bird rehabilitator. Her photographic work challenges how we perceive the world around us and strives to promote a greater understanding and appreciation for the interconnectivity between human and non-human animals. Originally from Oklahoma, Brandon moved to Minneapolis to obtain her BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and later completed her MFA at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2014. Since then, Brandon has been a Showcase Artist at the Bell Museum of Natural History, a Jerome Emerging Artist Fellow and has participated in multiple group shows, both local and national, while also teaching in the greater Twin Cities area. mirandabrandon.com


Dima Alzayat is a Syrian-American fiction writer and freelance journalist. She was the recipient of a 2013 Highly Commended Bridport Prize and was shortlisted for the 2014 Scottish Book Trust’s Callan Gordon Award for New Writers. Her fiction has appeared in the Bridport Prize Anthology and Enizagram. Her articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Flaunt, and the Skinny. She holds an MSc in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh.

HK Coit is a 2004 graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts with an MFA in writing. Coit received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 2001. She is a professor at a community college in central New Jersey.

Peter LaSalle is the author of the novels Strange Sunlight and Mariposa’s Song as well as four story collections and a forthcoming essay collection. His fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Zoetrope, Paris Review, Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review, and others. His nonfiction has also been widely represented in many fine journals. He has received several awards, including the Flannery O’Connor Award. He currently teaches creative writing at the University of Texas, in both the English department and the Michener Center for Writers.

Niala Maharaj has previously published fiction and poetry in Stand (UK), the Malahat Review, Paris Transcontinental, the Toronto Review of Contemporary Writing Abroad, and others. Her first novel was published by Random House UK in 2006. Her journalism has been published by Harpers, the Guardian, and other leading publications around the globe. She has also published one book of nonfiction.

Ezra Olson recently graduated from Northwestern University, where he won several awards for his poetry and prose. and was selected as a Daniel Bonbright Scholar.

Gregory Pardlo's collection Digest (Four Way Books) won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Digest was also shortlisted for the 2015 NAACP Image Award and a finalist for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His other honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; his first collection Totem was selected by Brenda Hillman for the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. Pardlo's poems appear in the Nation, Ploughshares, Tin HouseThe Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. Pardlo lives with his family in Brooklyn.

Sujata Shekar Sujata Shekar’s stories have appeared in StoryQuarterly, the Common, and Georgetown Review. Her stories for children and young adults have appeared in Kahani and Cricket, and have been selected for Cricket’s anthology The Realm of Imagination. She is a 2015 Tennessee Williams Scholar in Fiction for the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and a 2015 VONA (Voices Of Our Nation) Resident. Sujata grew up in India and now lives in New York, where she is working on a collection of short stories and a novel.

Rachel Unkefer’s fiction and poetry have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Prime Number Magazine, the Citron Review, and elsewhere. She is a founding member of WriterHouse, a nonprofit community writing center in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Greg Wrenn is the author of Centaur, which was awarded the Brittingham Prize in Poetry. His essays and poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry 2014, the American Poetry Review, AGNI, Kenyon Review, New Republic, and elsewhere. He is currently at work on a book of linked lyrical essays about coral reefs and human destiny. A former Stegner Fellow, he is a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University.


Bruce Bond is the author of fourteen books of poetry, most recently Choir of the Wells: A Tetralogy (Etruscan, 2013). He has several forthcoming books, including For the Lost Cathedral (LSU Press). He has won recognition for his poems, including the Allen Tate Award, the TIL Best Book of Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Texas Institute for the Arts. Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at the University of North Texas and poetry editor for American Literary Review.

Mary Lenoir Bond holds an MFA from Pacific University. She has poems published or forthcoming in Silk Road and december and is a recipient of the Virginia Middleton Award for poetry. She also crafts and sells natural perfume, soap, and origami.

Matthew Cooperman is the author of, most recently, the text and image collaboration Imago for the Fallen World, with Marius Lehene (Jaded Ibis Press, 2013). A new full-length collection, Spool, is forthcoming in 2016 as the winner of the New Measure Prize, from Free Verse Editions. A founding editor of Quarter After Eight, and co-poetry editor of Colorado Review, Cooperman teaches at Colorado State University. He lives in Fort Collins with his wife, the poet Aby Kaupang, and their two children. 

Tyree Daye studies creative writing at North Carolina State University, where he is currently pursuing an MFA in poetry. He’s been published in San Pedro River Review, Jacar Press, and Connotation Press. He is the author of a chapbook, Sea Island Blues, available from Backbone Press.

Robert Gibb’s books include The Origins of Evening (1997), which was a National Poetry Series winner. Among his other awards are two NEA Fellowships and a Pushcart Prize. His most recent books are Sheet Music (Autumn House) and The Empty Loom (Arkansas).

Sandra M. Gilbert’s latest book of poems is Aftermath (Norton, 2011), and she is now at work on a new collection, tentatively titled “Saturn’s Meal,” from which this issue’s pieces are drawn. Several are heavily influenced by her work on her latest prose book, The Culinary Imagination: From Myth to Modernity (Norton, 2014).

Aracelis Girmay is the author/illustrator of the collage-based picture book changing, changing, and the poetry collections Teeth and Kingdom Animalia. She has received grants and fellowships in support of her projects from the NEA, Civitella Ranieri, the Jerome Foundation, the Watson Foundation, the Cave Canem Foundation, and the Whiting Foundation. For the past few years, she has been studying texts and other materials that, through form, language(s), diction, and gesture, perform and think about place and loss of place (or displacement), and what this sometimes has to do with the sea.

Tresha Faye Haefner is a native Californian. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in several journals and magazines, including Blood Lotus, the Cincinnati Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Rattle, and Poet Lore. Her work has received the Robert and Adel Schiff Poetry Prize and a 2012 Pushcart nomination. She is also the author of Take This Longing (Finishing Line Press, 2013).

John Murillo is the author of the poetry collection Up Jump the Boogie, finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Open Book Award. His honors include a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the NEA, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Cave Canem Foundation, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. He teaches at Hampshire College and New York University.

John Poch’s poems have appeared in Poetry, the Common, AGNI, and other journals. His most recent collection of poems, Fix Quiet, won the 2014 New Criterion Poetry Prize.

Sassy Ross holds an MFA in poetry from New York University. Her work has appeared in Poetry International, the Caribbean Review of Books, Calabash, Caribbean Beat, as well as in the anthology, Coming Up Hot: Eight New Poets from the Caribbean.

Wesley Rothman's poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Harvard Review, Mississippi Review, Narrative, and New England Review, among other venues. Recipient of a Vermont Studio Center fellowship, he works with Salamander, Tupelo Quarterly, and American Microreviews and Interviews. Rothman teaches throughout Boston.

Floyd Skloot’s eighth collection of poems, Approaching Winter, will be published by LSU Press in September 2015. LSU also published his collections The End of Dreams (2006), a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize, and The Snow’s Music (2008). Skloot’s work has won three Pushcart Prizes and the PEN USA Literary Award. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Laura Van Prooyen is author of two collections of poetry, Our House Was on Fire (Ashland Poetry Press, 2015) and Inkblot and Altar (Pecan Grove Press, 2006). Her poems also have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and Ploughshares, among others. Van Prooyen lives in San Antonio, Texas. For more, see www.lauravanprooyen.com.


Susan Cohen is the author of Throat Singing (WordTech Communications). Her recent poems appear or are forthcoming in the Greensboro Review, Hunger Mountain, Los Angeles Review, and Southern Humanities Review, among others. Her recent poetry honors include the Rita Dove Poetry Award and the Literal Latte Poetry Prize. She received an MFA from Pacific University.

Ryler Dustin earned his MFA in writing from the University of Houston and is a current PhD candidate at the University of Nebraska. He has represented his native Seattle on the final stage of the Individual World Poetry Slam and his poetry appears in New South, the Portland Review, and elsewhere.

Tom Griffen is a writer and adventurer based in North Carolina. After a career in the running industry, he received his MFA in poetry from Pacific University in 2015. His work has appeared in Harpur Palate, Crab Orchard Review, O-Dark-Thirty, and others. Tom is an artist, long distance backpacker, and travel/fiction blogger. His website is www.tomgriffen.com.  

Joseph Holt is pursuing his PhD in the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. His book reviews have also appeared in Colorado Review, the Iowa Review Online,

Eric Severn holds an MFA from the University of Idaho, has served as fiction editor of Fugue, and was the recipient of the University of Idaho’s Hemingway Fellowship. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Michigan Quarterly Review, Beloit Fiction, Lake Effect, Pleiades, and Moss.