Jasminne Mendez is an award-winning author, playwright, poet, performer, and educator. Mendez has been published both nationally and internationally in literary journals and anthologies including The New England Review, The Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, The Texas Review, The Rumpus, and others. Her first multi-genre memoir Island of Dreams (Floricanto Press, 2013) was awarded Best Young Adult Latino Focused Book by the International Latino Book Awards in 2015, and her second book Night-Blooming Jasminne: Personal Essays & Poetry (Arte Publico Press) was released in May 2018. Her debut children’s book Josefina’s Habichuelas is forthcoming with Piñata Books an imprint of Arte Público Press in 2021.

She is the Co-Founder and Program Director of the Houston-based Latinx literary arts organization Tintero Projects and a co-host to the poetry and writing podcast series InkWell a collaboration between Tintero Projects and Inprint Houston. She received her MFA in creative writing from the Rainier Writer’s Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University and she is a Canto Mundo Fellow, a Kenyon Review Writer’s Workshop Peter Taylor Fellow, and a Macondo and VONA alumni. She lives and works in Houston, TX.


Sarah Einstein teaches creative writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She is the author of Mot: A Memoir (University of Georgia Press, 2015) and Remnants of Passion (SheBooks, 2014). Her essays and short stories have appeared in the Sun, Ninth Letter, PANK, and other journals. Her work has been reprinted in the Best of the Net and awarded a Pushcart Prize and the AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction.


Matthew Salesses is the author of three novels, most recently Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear.