Beth Ann Fennelly, Poet Laureate of Mississippi, teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. She has won grants from the N.E.A., the United States Artists, and a Fulbright to Brazil. Fennelly has published three poetry books: Open House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables, and a book of nonfiction, Great with Child, all published with W. W. Norton. A novel she co-authored with her husband, Tom Franklin, called The Tilted World was published by HarperCollins. Her sixth book, Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-memoirs, recently published by W. W. Norton, was named an Atlanta Journal Constitution Best Book of 2017 and a Goodreaders Favorite for 2017. Fennelly and Franklin live in Oxford with their three children.
Brenda Flanagan teaches creative writing, Caribbean and African-American literature, and literary Analysis at Davidson College in North Carolina. She was named the first Armfield Professor of English in May 2006. Her publications include a collection of stories, In Praise of Island Women and Other Crimes (KaRu Press 2005) and the novels You Alone Are Dancing (University of Michigan Press 1996.), and Allah in the Islands (Peepal Tree Press 2009). Her short story “Sea Baths” appeared in the March–October 2010 issue of BIM: Arts for the 21 Century (Vol. 3. No 2). She has received numerous awards for her fiction and drama in the United States. While at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, she received three major Hopwood awards, for fiction, drama, and short story. She received three National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, four Global Partners to work with Czech surrealist writers, a Mellon Foundation Grant, a James Michener Creative Writing Fellowship, and a Michigan Grant for creative writing. In 2009, she received a literary nonfiction award from the North Carolina Arts Council to write a book on singer Nina Simone.
Martina Kohl holds an M.A. and a Dr. phil. in American Studies, English Studies and History from Johannes-Gutenberg University Mainz. She first came to the U.S. on a scholarship to study at Florida Southern College and returned to teach writing and conduct research at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her publications include several co-edited volumes such as Arab American Literature and Culture (2013), Visual Culture in the American Studies Classroom (2005) and the book The Wilhelm Meister Pebble: Bildungsromanelemente in Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel (1929), Of Time and the River (1935), The Web and the Rock (1939) and You Can’t Go Home Again (1940) based on her dissertation (1994). In 2011, she edited the first issue of Women’s Voices from the House of Time published online in the ASJ and in print. She frequently teaches in the American Studies programs of Humboldt University Berlin and the Obama Institute at Mainz University. She serves on the advisory board of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) and is Deputy General Editor of the American Studies Journal which she helped launch as an e-publication in 2007. Though she has been writing throughout her career, she is a latecomer to fiction writing and feels inspired by Annie Proulx and Louis Begley. “Life in a Frame” is her first published short story. She is currently working on a collection of literary memoir pieces.
Nahid Rachlin went to Columbia University Writing Program on a Doubleday–Columbia Fellowship and to Stanford University Writing Program on a Wallace Stegner Fellowship. Her publications include a memoir, Persian Girls (Penguin), four novels, Jumping Over Fire (City Lights), Foreigner (W.W. Norton), Married To A Stranger (E. P. Dutton), Crowd of Sorrows, a novella, (Kindle Singles), and, most recently, a short story collection, A Way Home (Fall 2018). Her short stories have appeared in many magazines, including The Virginia Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Redbook, and Shenandoah. One of her stories was chosen by Symphony Space, “Selected Shorts,” and was aired on NPR’s around the country. Three stories were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her work has been widely translated, and her reviews and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Newsday, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. She is the recipient of the Bennet Cerf Award, PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. She has taught creative writing at Barnard College, Yale University and at a wide variety of writers’ conferences and has been a judge for several fiction awards and competitions.
Susan Stewart, a poet, critic, and translator, is the Avalon Foundation University Professor in the Humanities and Professor of English at Princeton University. She is also a member of the Associated Faculty of the Department of Art and Archaeology and serves as the editor of the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets. From 2009 to 2017, she was the Director of Princeton’s Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts. She teaches the history of poetry, literary criticism, and aesthetics. Her most recent books of criticism include The Poet’s Freedom: A Notebook on Making; Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, which won the Christian Gauss Award for Literary Criticism from Phi Beta Kappa and the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism; The Open Studio: Essays on Art and Aesthetics, a collection of her writings on contemporary art; Crimes of Writing; On Longing and Nonsense. Her most recent books of poetry are Cinder: New and Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2017); Red Rover, Columbarium, which won the 2003 National Book Critics Circle award, and The Forest. Her translations include Love Lessons: Selected Poems of Alda Merini, and she has published co-translations with her Princeton colleague Sara Teardo—Laudomia Bonanni’s novel The Reprisal—and, with Patrizio Ceccagnoli, two books of poetry by Milo De Angelis—Theme of Farewell and After-Poems. She also has translated Euripides’ Andromache with Wesley Smith and the poetry and selected prose of the Scuola Romana painter Scipione with Brunella Antomarini. A former MacArthur Fellow and recipient of Princeton’s Behrman Award in the Humanities, Stewart served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2005-2011. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005 and in the Spring of 2009 she received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2014, she was a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. In 2020 she will deliver the Clarendon Lectures at Oxford University.
Mindy Weisel was born in the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp, Germany, near the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, as the only daughter of Holocaust survivors and moved to the U.S. with her parents at the age of three. She began painting at the age of fourteen in order to find her own voice, putting her feelings and experiences, both past and present, into her work. Among her several solo exhibitions are Not Neutral (Works on Paper and Silvia Levenson’s Glass), Lorch+Seidel Galerie, Berlin (2013), AFTER: The Survival of Beauty at Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago (2010), Full Circle at Lorch+Seidel Galerie, Berlin (2009; co-sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, Berlin), Of Roses and Rasa at Prada Gallery, Washington, DC (2008) and Words on a Journey at the Katzen Art Center, American University, Washington, DC (2006). Mindy Weisel is the author of Touching Quiet: Reflections in Solitude (2002) and the editor of Daughters of Absence: Transforming a Legacy of Loss (2001). She currently lives and works in Israel.