Contributors 2023

sterling-elizabeth arcadia is a Pushcart Prize nominated trans poet and lover of birds, cats, and her friends, currently living in Philadelphia, where she is pursuing her MFA in creative writing. Her poems have been published, or are forthcoming, in venues including Poetry Online, New Delta Review, ANMLY, HAD, the lickety~split, beestung, Stone of Madness Press, en*gendered, and Delicate Friend. Her debut chapbook, Heaven, Ekphrasis was published by Kith Books in February 2023. You can reach her on twitter @flower_dommy. 

Yasmine Bolden (they/she) is a Pushcart Prize and Scholastic American Voices nominated Black American poet dedicated to nurturing the voices of, and creating accessibility for, young BIPOC involved in the arts. A Juneteenth Resiliency Awardee and I, Too Am the Dream Grand Prize Winner, they’re also the co-founder of Johns Hopkins University’s premier poetry and performance club. She currently teaches language arts and creative writing with collegiate learning and she attends Hopkins as a writing seminars and Africana studies double major. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Feminist Center for Creative Work, Perhappened Magazine, the lickety~split, Rootwork Journal, Alocasia,, and elsewhere. Find her on twitter at @blkpunningpoet.

Diamond Braxton is a queer, mixed-race Black-Chicana writer and editor pursuing an MFA at Texas State. She has work published or forthcoming in the Best Microfiction 2023 anthology, The Forge, Stanchion, Rejection Letters, The Acentos Review, Hellebore Press, and is also a Tin House 21′ Alum. She has a microchap forthcoming with Belle Point Press (2023) and is the Editor-in-Chief for Defunkt Magazine and a Copy Editor for the Porter House Review.

Nicola Brayan is a young, aspiring artist from Sydney, Australia. She has rediscovered her passion for art during the pandemic. She uses vivid colors and contrasts to capture emotions and expression. Her work is a love letter to what it means to be human. She can be found on Instagram at @an.aesthetic.mirror.

Sunni Brown Wilkinson’s most recent work can be found in Missouri Review, Terrain, On the Seawall, New Ohio Review, Western Humanities Review, Sugar House Review, and South Dakota Review. She is the author of the poetry books The Marriage of the Moon and the Field (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and The Ache & The Wing (winner of Sundress Publications’ 2020 Chapbook Prize). Her work has been awarded New Ohio Review’s NORward Poetry Prize, the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, and the Sherwin W. Howard Award and was runner-up for the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize. She teaches at Weber State University and lives in northern Utah with her husband and three sons. 

K-Ming Chang is a Kundiman fellow, a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree. She is the author of the New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice novel Bestiary (One World/Random House, 2020), which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. In 2021, her chapbook Bone House was published by Bull City Press. Her most recent book is Gods of Want (One World/Random House, 2022). Her next books are a novel titled Organ Meats (One World, 2023) and a novella titled Cecilia (Coffee House Press).

Jie Venus Cohen is a mixed, intersex creator whose work has been recognized or is forthcoming in The Minnesota Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Sycamore Review, Nat-Brut, Singapore Unbound,, and others. They have received support from Kenyon Review, and was awarded the Naomi Kitay Creative Writing Fellowship in 2022. They are assistant editor at smoke and mold journal and editor-in-chief of LUPERCALIA press.

Adachioma Ezeano is a writer and screenwriter based in Anambra and Florida. She is a 2021 O. Henry Prize recipient. Her work has been anthologised by Best Small Fictions, The Best Short Stories, and appeared in GrantaGuernicaMcSweeney’s Quarterly, amongst others. Currently a reader for the O. Henry Stories, and a PhD candidate at Florida State University, Adachioma Ezeano is working on a novel and a story collection. 

grace (ge) gilbert is a hybrid poet, essayist, and collage worker based in Brooklyn. they received their MFA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh in 2022. they are the author of 3 chapbooks: the closeted diaries: essays (Porkbelly Press 2022), NOTIFICATIONS IN THE DARK (Antenna Books 2023), and today is an unholy suite (Barrelhouse 2023). they were the MCLA Under 27 Writer-in-Residence Fellow at Mass MoCA. their work can be found in the Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, Passages North, the Offing, the Adroit Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Diode, TYPO, ANMLY, and elsewhere. they currently teach hybrid collage and poetics courses at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and they are a 2023 Visiting Teaching Artist at the Poetry Foundation. they are passionate about making the hybrid arts accessible to all.

Robin Gow (fae/ it/ he) is a trans witch and poet from rural Pennsylvania. Fae is the author of several poetry books and chapbooks as well as an essay collection and Young Adult and Middle Grade novels in verse, including A Million Quiet Revolutions and Dear Mothman.

Shakiba Hashemi is an Iranian-American poet, painter and teacher living in Southern California. She holds a BFA in Drawing and Painting from Laguna College of Art and Design. Her chapbook Murmur will be published in 2023 by WordTech Communications. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared in The New York Quarterly, Atlanta Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Indianapolis Review, Ibbetson Street Magazine, I-70 Review, Cream City Review, The Summerset Review, Roanoke Review, Third Wednesday, Collateral and The New York Quarterly Anthology, Without a Doubt: Poems Illuminating Faith.

Sy Hoahwah is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma. He received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Arkansas. Hoahwah is the author of three collections of poetry, Ancestral Demon of a Grieving Bride (University of New Mexico Press, 2021), Night Cradle (USPOCO Books, 2011), and Velroy and the Madischie Mafia (West End Press, 2009). In 2013, Sy was a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship.

D. Nolan Jefferson is an academic librarian and writer based in Washington, D.C. His prose appears in Tahoma Literary Review, Orca Literary, SFWP Quarterly, Hobart Pulp, TriQuarterly, The Adroit Journal, the anthology Fat and Queer, and other literary journals. He is an AWP Intro Journal Project Award winner, a Kimblio Fiction fellow, and a Lambda Literary fellow. He enjoys tacos, collecting records, and fellow introverts.

Cindy Jimenez Vera (San Sebastian del Pepino, 1978) is a poet, editor and librarian from Puerto Rico. She is the author of four full length poetry collections (all in Spanish), as well as a children’s book entitled El gran cheeseburger y otros poemas con dientes. Her poetry has been featured in periodicals and anthologies in the Caribbean and Latin America. As an editor, she curated the small independent press Ediciones Aguadulce. A bilingual edition of her selected poems, translated by Guillermo Rebollo Gil, was published by Aguadulce in 2018, under the title I’ll trade you this island/te cambio esta isla. 

Esther Lin was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and lived in the United States as an undocumented immigrant for 21 years. She is the author of The Ghost Wife, winner of the 2017 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. In 2020 she was a Writing Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, and from 2017 to 2019, a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. You may find her poems in 32 Poems, Hyperallergic, New England Review, Pleiades, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She co-organizes the Undocupoets, which raises consciousness about the structural barriers undocumented poets.

Timothy Liu’s latest books are Let It Ride and Luminous Debris: New & Selected Poems (1992–2017).

Adam Lupton’s work grows out of his OCD, where his every day is filled with performing mental and physical rituals (checking multiple times to see if the door is locked), endlessly seeking assurance (constantly Googling to see if his emotions are “correct”), and repeating mantras and projections (what if this happens in the future, then what? then what? then what?) – thoughts that mediate between him and the exterior world. Using variations or alternative versions of himself to express in some familiar-but-off landscape the unfolding emotions and actions of his OCD, Lupton works with non-traditional methods of paint application: using stamps, printmaking, and craft applications to express the varied, repetitive, and frantic emotions of intrusive thoughts. These applications mediate between him and the painting, much like OCD mediates between him and his world. Through this lens, the work weaves together individual and societal rituals, spiritual tension, and self-defining myth, thereby illuminating the various attempts at and desires for clarity. These overlaps create narratives that play out on the canvas – borrowing their basis from Greek myths, religious rituals, rock lyrics, modern dating plights, domestic routines, history, introspection, sexuality, and compulsions – as Lupton casts a contemporary world of anxiety though questions of identity, masculinity, ego, modern-day loneliness, domesticity, and mental health. Adam Lupton (°1987, Vancouver, Canada) currently lives and works in Berlin.

Chantel Massey (she/her) is a storyteller, poet, author, teaching artist, editor, organizer, educator, practicing Afrofuturist, and avid anime lover from Indiana. Massey is a fellow of The Watering Hole, VONA poetry resident, and MFA candidate at Randolph College. She has received support from Brooklyn Poets, Hurston/Wright Foundation, and Tin House. She is a Best of Net Award nominee and 2020 Indiana Eugene and Marilyn Glick Author Awards Emerging Author finalist for her first collection of poetry, Burting at the Seams  (VK Press, 2018), a Midwest Black girl coming of age story. Massey founded the literary arts organization, UnLearn Arts, radically dedicated to amplifying and cultivating the craft and wellness of BIPOC writers in the Midwest and elsewhere. 

Massey’s work advocates for wellness, human rights, and social justice through themes of Blackness, identity, Afrofuturism, memory/archive, familial relationships, the process and act of giving up self- betrayal, and the riot of Black joy. Massey is on a life-long mission, through poetry and the transformative power of storytelling, to make the pursuit and vision of what has not yet been, irresistible, to inspire curiosity, and challenge how we engage with the world. Her work can be found featured Indianapolis Review, Turnpike Magazine, and other online and print publications coming elsewhere. Massey is a 2023 Creative Renewal Fellow. She is a 2022 Art & Soul, an annual celebration of Black artists and creativity, Featured Artist, focusing on the theme of Black health & wellness, and a recipient of the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ 2022 Beckmann Emerging Artist Fellowship Award, 2021 Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Poetry & Author Fellowship Award, a Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) 2021 Artist Ambassador grant recipient, and the 2020 Indiana Writers Center Mari Evans grant award recipient. Alongside performing poetry, Massey serves as board member and Community Outreach Committee member for youth poetry organization, Word as Bond, and a reader at Revolute Magazine. Massey is also a teaching artist for the Asante Art Institute, Zora’s Daughters writing program, and a Caliban Art Board Member.

Kimberly Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American diaspora poet originally from Omaha, Nebraska but now living in New York City. Her work can be found in diaCRITICS, Muzzle Magazine, The Minnesota Review, The Journal and others. She was a recipient of a Beatrice Daw Brown Prize, and she was a finalist for Frontier Poetry’s 2021 OPEN and New Poets Awards and Palette Poetry’s 2021 Previously Published Poem Prize. She was a 2021 Emerging Voices Fellow at PEN America and is currently a 2022-2023 Poetry Coalition Fellow.

Abigail Platter illustrates primarily in watercolor, sharing her gestural interpretations of the natural world, classical stories, and ancient themes. Over the last 10 years, her work has included private commissions, illustrations, design, and gallery works. She currently teaches at The Workshop Academy, an online art and design school, Digipen Technical Institute, and Seattle Pacific University. Grief House, Her first solo show opened in February 2022 in the Nickerson Studios at Seattle Pacific University. She is accepting illustration work and commissions.

Guillermo Rebollo Gil (San Juan, 1979) is a writer, sociologist, translator, and attorney. His publications include poetry in Fence, Poetry Northwest, Second Factory and Whale Road Review; literary criticism in Annulet and The Smart Set; scholarly articles in the Journal of Autoethnography and Liminalities. He serves as editor at The Autoethnographer and associate CNF editor at JMWW.  In 2020, the Spanish publisher Ediciones Liliputienses published a selection of his poetry under the title Informe de Logros: poemas 2000-2019. He is the author of Writing Puerto Rico: Our Decolonial Moment (2018) and Whiteness in Puerto Rico: Translation at a Loss (2023). 

Ra’Niqua Lee writes to share her particular visions of love and the South. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cream City Review, Split Lip Magazine, Indiana Review, Passages North, and elsewhere. Her debut collection of flash, for what ails you, is forthcoming with ELJ Editions in 2023. You can find her on Twitter @raniqualee. Every word is in honor of her little sister, Nesha, who battled schizoaffective disorder until the very end. For her always.

Veronica Silva is a Provost Fellow at the University of Central Florida, where she is currently pursuing her MFA in poetry. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in PANK MagazinePassages NorthPleiadesThe Pinch, the Mississippi Review, and elsewhere.

Makshya Tolbert (she/they) is a poet, potter, and cook who just found their way back to Central Virginia. Their recent poems and essays have been published in Interim Journal’s “Black The [Or] Y” issue, Narrative Magazine, Emergence Magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, Queer Poem-a-Day’s 2022 series, Cake Zine: Wicked Cake, RHINO Poetry, Ran Off with the Star Bassoon Journal, The Night Heron Barks, Earth in Color, Gastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies, The New Farmer’s Almanac, and For the Culture. Makshya serves on the Charlottesville Tree Commission, is a 2022-23 Lead to Life Curatorial Fellow, and is currently working on Shade is a Place as New City Arts’ 2023 Spring Research Artist-in-Residence (Charlottesville, VA).

Ria Unson is a Filipino American artist living and working in St. Louis, Missouri. She was born in Manila and emigrated to the United States at age 13. Unbeknownst to her, Unson’s great-grandfather was sent to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis right after the American colonization of the Philippines. By sheer coincidence (or destiny) she moved to the historic neighborhood that once housed the Philippine Reservation at the Fair. Her work explores the continuing legacies of imperialism on identity, migration, and culture. Unson works with hybrid workspaces, blending traditional and digital media to mirror cultural collision, working in between spaces the way she navigates worlds and countries. Her work is an archive of her research and lived experiences; her practice being how she grapples with the fracture and complexity that comes with being a migrant and post-colonial subject.

April Yee’s poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have won or been listed for The Best American Essays, Ivan Juritz Prize, Fitzcarraldo Essay Prize, Manchester Poetry Prize, and Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award. A Harvard alumna and former journalist, she reported in more than a dozen countries before moving to London, where she has served as a Refugee Journalism Project mentor and The Georgia Review’s editor-in-residence. Her work has been supported by the National Book Critics Circle, Ledbury Poetry Critics, the Southbank Centre, and the University of East Anglia, where she is a Malcolm Bradbury Memorial Scholar. She tweets at @aprilyee.

Lucy Zhang writes, codes, and watches anime. Her work has appeared in CRAFT, The Spectacle, Redivider, and elsewhere. She is the author of the chapbooks Hollowed (Thirty West Publishing) and Absorption (Harbor Review). Find her on twitter @Dango_Ramen.

Vivian Zhu is a Chinese-American writer from Adlai E. Stevenson High School. She has been recognized by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and Bennington College. Her work is published in Diode, National Poetry Quarterly, CHEAP POP, and elsewhere. A lover of all things orange, she can be found peeling tangerines for her younger brother.