Alexia Arthurs is the author of the short story collection How to Love a Jamaican (Ballantine, 2018). The story “Bad Behavior” was awarded the Paris Review’s 2017 Plimpton prize and “Mermaid River” was awarded a 2019 O. Henry award and a 2019 Best American Short Stories honorable mention. Before joining the English department at George Mason, she taught fiction writing at the University of Iowa and Colby College.
Courtney Angela Brkic (M.F.A., New York University, 2001) is the author of The First Rule of Swimming (Little, Brown, and Company, 2013), Stillness: and Other Stories (FSG, 2003) and The Stone Fields (FSG, 2004). Her work has also appeared in Zoetrope, The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, Harpers & Queen, the Utne Reader, TriQuarterly Review, Guernica, National Geographic, and others. Brkic has been the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Whiting Writer’s Award. Stillness, her short fiction collection about the wars in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, was named a Barnes and Noble Discover pick, a 2003 Chicago Tribune "Best Book" and a 2003 New York Times "Notable Book". The Stone Fields records her work on mass gravesites around Srebrenica, as well as her family's history during the Second World War in Sarajevo, and was shortlisted for a Freedom of Expression Award by the Index on Censorship.
Timothy Denevi's most recent book is Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson's Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism, (2018, Hachette/PublicAffairs). He is also the author of Hyper (2014, Simon & Schuster). His essays on politics, sport, and religion have recently appeared in Salon, New York Magazine, CNN.com, and Literary Hub.
Tania James is the author of the novel The Tusk That Did the Damage (Knopf, 2015), Aerogrammes and Other Stories (Knopf, 2012), and the novel Atlas of Unknowns (Knopf 2009). Tusk was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, and named a Best Book of 2015 by The San Francisco Chronicle and NPR, and was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and longlisted for the Financial Times Oppenheimer Award. Her short stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Oxford American, Granta, Kenyon Review, One Story, and A Public Space. She has received fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, the Macdowell Colony, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and the Fulbright Program.
Sally Keith graduated from the Iowa Writers Workshop in 2000 and holds a B.A. from Bucknell. She has published four collections of poetry, most recently River House (Milkweed Editions 2015). She has published individual poems in journals and anthologies, including Colorado Review, Conjunctions, New American Writing, and A Public Space. Keith, a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, has been awarded fellowships to the BreadLoaf Writers' Conference, a Pushcart Prize, and the Denver Quarterly's Lynda Hull Award.
Listen to Sally reading a poem from The Fact of the Matter on PBS Art Beat, here.
Kyoko Mori is the author of three nonfiction books (Yarn; Polite Lies; The Dream of Water). The title essay from her book, “Yarn,” was selected for The Best American Essays 2004, and Polite Lies was short-listed for PEN’s Martha Albrand Nonfiction Award. She has also published novels (Barn Cat; Stone Field, True Arrow; One Bird; Shizuko’s Daughter). Her essays have appeared in journals such as Ploughshares, the American Scholar, the Missouri Review, and Harvard Review. Prior to joining the faculty at Mason, Mori taught nonfiction writing at Harvard as a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Creative Writing.
Vivek Narayanan was born in India to Tamil parents and grew up in Zambia. He earned a master’s degree in cultural anthropology from Stanford University and a master’s in creative writing from Boston University. He has taught at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and in the mid-2000s worked at Sarai-CSDS, a center for experimental practice and theory in New Delhi. His books of poems include Universal Beach, Life and Times of Mr S and, most recently, After (NYRB Poets, 2022). A full-length collection of his selected poems in Swedish translation was published by the Stockholm-based Wahlström & Widstrand in 2015. He has been a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University (2013-14) and a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library (2015-16). His poems, stories, translations and critical essays have appeared in journals like The Paris Review, Chimurenga Chronic, Granta.com, Poetry Review (UK), Modern Poetry in Translation, Harvard Review, Agni, The Caribbean Review of Books and elsewhere, as well as in anthologies like The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem and The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poetry. Narayanan is also a member of Poetry Daily’s editorial board. He was the Co-editor of Almost Island, an India-based international literary journal from 2007-2019.
The artist credit for the image is Dyuti Mittal.
Helon Habila's current book is The Chibok Girls: The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria, a nonfiction investigation into the kidnapping of 276 girls in Nigeria by Islamist militants in 2014. His first novel, Waiting for an Angel, has been translated into many langauges including Dutch, Italian, Swedish, and French. His writing has won many prizes including the Caine Prize, 2001; the Commonweath Writers Prize, Africa region, 2003; the Emily Balch Prize, 2008, and the Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction, 2015.
He is a contributing editor to the Virginia Quarterly Review. His second novel, Measuring Time, published in 2007, won the Virginia Library Foundation Fiction Award, 2008, and was shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, 2008. His third novel, Oil on Water, was published in the U.S. in 2011. His stories, articles, reviews, and poems have appeared in various magazines and papers including Granta, AGNI, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Guernica, and the London Guardian. His short story, The Hotel Malogo, was selected for the Best American Non-required Reading Anthology. Habila is the editor of the Granta Book of African Short Story, 2011.
Eric Pankey (MFA, University of Iowa, 1983) is the author of many collections of poems: For the New Year (Atheneum 1984),which was selected as the winner of the Walt Whitman, Heartwood (Atheneum 1988), which was reissued by Orchises Press in 1998, Apocrypha (Alfred A. Knopf 1991), The Late Romances (Alfred A. Knopf 1997), Cenotaph (Alfred A. Knopf 2000), Oracle Figures (Ausable Press 2003), Reliquaries (Ausable Press 2005), The Pear as One Example: New and Selected Poems (Ausable Press 2008), Trace (Milkweed Editions 2013), Dismantling the Angel (Free Verse Editions 2013), which won the New Measures Prize, Crow-Work (Milkweed Editions 2015), Augury (Milkweed Editions 2017), The Owl of Minerva (Milkweed Editions 2019), Vestiges: Notes, Responses, and Essays 1988-2018 (Parlor Press 2019), Alias:Prose Poems (Free Verse Editions 2020) and Not Yet Transfigured (Orison Books 2021). His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared widely in such journals as The Iowa Review, The Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review,The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Yale Review. His work has been supported by fellowships from John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Brown Foundation. He teaches poetry workshops and courses on modern and contemporary poetry. He is professor of English and the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University. A new chapbook, The Future Perfect: A Fugue, which won the 2020 Snowbound Chapbook Award, is out from Tupelo Press now.
Peter Streckfus is the author of two poetry books: Errings, winner of Fordham University Press’s 2013 POL Editor’s Prize, and The Cuckoo, winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 2003. His awards include fellowships and grants from the Breadloaf Writers' Conference, the Peter S. Reed Foundation, the University of Alabama, George Mason University, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Academy in Rome, where he a Brodsky Rome Prize Fellow In Literature.
He and Sally Keith are editorial co-directors of Poetry Daily.
Photo © Don Usner.
Read an interview in which Peter speaks about teaching at GMU, here.