Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. He is the author of The Crown Ain't Worth Much (Button Poetry/Exploding Pinecone Press, 2016), nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award and They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us (Two Dollar Radio, 2017), named a best book of 2017 by NPR, Pitchfork, Oprah Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Slate, Esquire, GQ, and Publisher's Weekly, among others. He is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow, a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine, and a member of the poetry collective Echo Hotel with poet/essayist Eve Ewing. Abdurraqib has multiple forthcoming books including a book on A Tribe Called Quest titled Go Ahead In The Rain (University of Texas Press, February 2019), the new collection of poems A Fortune For Your Disaster (Tin House, 2019) and a history of Black performance in the United States titled They Don't Dance No Mo' (Random House, 2020).
Lesley Nneka Arimah
Lesley Nneka Arimah was born in the UK and grew up in Nigeria and wherever else her father was stationed for work. She has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, a National Magazine Award, and won the African Commonwealth Short Story Prize and an O. Henry Award. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, GRANTA and has received support from The Elizabeth George Foundation and MacDowell, among others. She was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 and her debut collection WHAT IT MEANS WHEN A MAN FALLS FROM THE SKY won the 2017 Kirkus Prize and the 2017 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. She lives in Minneapolis and is working on a novel about you.
Derek DelGaudio is a writer, performance artist, and three-time Academy of Magical Arts Award–winning magician. Widely recognized as one of the greatest living sleight of hand artists, DelGaudio has garnered critical acclaim for his innovative theatrical productions and conceptual performances. He cofounded, along with Glenn Kaino, the performance-art collective A.BANDIT, staging work at LAX Art, Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Art Basel Miami, and other venues. In 2014, DelGaudio was selected to be the Artist in Residence for Walt Disney Imagineering. He wrote and costarred in the acclaimed show Nothing to Hide. His most recent theatrical production, In & Of Itself, directed by Frank Oz, played in New York at the Daryl Roth Theater.
Natalie Diaz was born in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian community. She earned a BA from Old Dominion University, where she received a full athletic scholarship. Diaz played professional basketball in Europe and Asia before returning to Old Dominion to earn an MFA. She is the author of the poetry collection When My Brother Was an Aztec (2012). Her honors and awards include the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry from Bread Loaf, the Narrative Poetry Prize, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship. Diaz lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, where she has worked with the last speakers of Mojave and directed a language revitalization program.
Justin Favela is a Las Vegas native working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, and performance. His work draws from art history, popular culture and his Guatemalan/Mexican heritage. He has participated in exhibitions and artists residencies across the United States, Mexico and Europe. Favela has curated many shows throughout southern Nevada, at spaces such as UNLV’s Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art to El Porvenir Mini-Market in North Las Vegas. Recent exhibitions of note include Unsettled at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno; Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place, featuring site-specific installations by 13 Latino artists that express experiences of contemporary life in the American West at the Denver Art Museum and the group exhibition Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness touring the United Kingdom. FavyFav is also the 2018 recipient of the Alan Turing LGTBIQ Award for International Artist. To view Favy's work please visit, justinfavela.com, or check out our News and Updates section below for upcoming exhibitions in a city near you.
Lolita Hernandez is the author of two collections of short stories: Making Callaloo in Detroit, a 2015 Michigan Notable Book, and Autopsy of an Engine and Other Stories from the Cadillac Plant, winner of a 2005 PEN Beyond Margins Award. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in a wide variety of literary venues. She is also a 2012 Kresge Fellow. After over thirty-three years as a UAW member at General Motors and twelve on the faculty of the University of Michigan Creative Writing Department at the Residential College, she recently retired to Las Vegas, Nevada from her native Detroit, Michigan.
Mira Jacob is the author of the graphic memoir Good Talk, and the novel The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, which was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick, shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award, and longlisted for the Brooklyn Literary Eagles Prize. In addition, it received an honor from the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, and was named one of the best books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews, the Boston Globe, Goodreads, Bustle, and The Millions.
Her writing and drawings have appeared in The New York Times, Guernica, Vogue, the Telegraph, Buzzfeed, and Tin House, and she has a drawn column on Shondaland. She has appeared on national and local television and radio, and has taught writing to students of all ages in New York, New Mexico, and Barcelona. She currently at The New School and is a founding faculty member of the Randolph MFA Program.
Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. In his sharply observant, often hilarious work, Laymon does battle with the personal and the political: race and family, body and shame, poverty and place. His latest work, Heavy: An American Memoir, is a finalist for the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction and was shortlisted for the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction. Heavy was named a best book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, and more. The audiobook, read by the author, was named the Audible Audiobook of the Year. He is also the author of How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, a collection of lacerating essays on race, violence, celebrity, family, and creativity; and the novel Long Division. Laymon has written for Gawker, Esquire, ESPN The Magazine, NPR, Colorlines, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Ebony, Guernica, and The Oxford American, among others. He teaches at the University of Mississippi, and has taught at Vassar College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His next novel, And So On, is out in 2020.
Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa and India. An acclaimed writer of both fiction and nonfiction, she is the author of the essay collection Sidewalks; the novels Faces in the Crowd and The Story of My Teeth; and, most recently, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions. She is the winner of two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and an American Book Award, and has twice been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kirkus Prize. She has been a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and the recipient of a Bearing Witness Fellowship from the Art for Justice Fund. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, and McSweeney’s, among other publications, and has been translated into more than twenty languages. She lives in New York City.
Thao Nguyen, whose songwriting tends toward the musically playful and lyrically heavy-hearted, was raised in the City of Falls Church, Virginia. Nguyen took up the guitar and songwriting as a pre-teen, and was part of a country-pop duo in high school. In 2005, she released a solo album, Like the Linen, which revealed her somewhat raspy, punky voice and folky indie pop style. She subsequently collaborated on a single with tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus under the name Merrillthaocracy, and formed Thao & the Get Down Stay Down with Like the Linen producer Frank Stewart and her fellow College of William and Mary students Adam and Willis Thompson in 2006. In 2011, having relocated to San Francisco, Nguyen released the album Thao & Mirah, a project with her singer/songwriter friend Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn that was co-produced by Garbus.
Jill Soloway is an artist and activist who created the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Amazon streaming program Transparent. Jill also co-created and directed I Love Dick and wrote and directed the feature film Afternoon Delight, which won the 2013 Directing Award at Sundance. Jill founded TOPPLE, an intersectional brand for the revolution to create TV and film content as well as TOPPLE BOOKS, an imprint of Little A. Jill has published two memoirs, She Wants It - Desire, Power and Toppling the Patriarchy from Crown/PRH and Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants from Free Press/Simon and Schuster. Jill cofounded 5050by2020, an artist empowerment network and strategic initiative of Time’s Up, as well as the community organization East Side Jews and the spoken word series Sit n’ Spin. Jill also co-created theatrical experiences The Real Live Brady Bunch and Hollywood Hell House. Jill lives in Los Angeles with their family.
Craig Winslow is an experiential designer based in Portland, OR with a passion for blending the physical and digital, and a fascination with how we incorporate the past within our future. He worked with the Neon Museum to create Brilliant! - a 360-degree audiovisual immersion experience that uses projection mapping to reanimate 40 of the Neon Museum’s iconic vintage signs. He was an Adobe Creative Resident 16/17', currently teaches at PNCA as a research fellow in the Make+Think+Code Lab, and has also worked on projects with NikeLab, Coca-Cola Consolidated, Princeton University, and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Reggie Watts is an internationally renowned vocal artist/ beatboxer/ musician/ comedian who wows audiences with his live performances which are 100% improvised. Using his formidable voice, looping pedals, and his vast imagination, Reggie blends and blurs the lines between music and comedy. No two performances are the same and to that end, “genius” is the word most often used to describe Reggie Watts. LA Weekly crowned him “the most wildly inventive new talent of the past five years” while New York Magazine hailed Reggie as “Spectacularly original,” Rolling Stone featured him as “Hot Comedian,” SPIN named him as “Best New Comedian” and the LA Times praised Reggie is “a superstar.”