Poet, performer, and interdisciplinary artist Adrian Castro says that he writes and performs in a “rhythmic Afro-Latino style.” He has published three books of poetry. The first, Cantos to Blood and Honey (1997), won the Eric Mathiue King Award from the Academy of American Poets. The New York Times Review of Books selected his second collection, Wise Fish: Tales in 6/8 Time as an Editor’s Choice, noting its “sinuous syncopated verses.” Castro has taught at several universities, including the University of Miami. He is also a trained Chinese medical practitioner as well as a Babalawo, a priest in the Yoruba Ifá divination system.
Known primarily as a fiction writer, Aleksandar Hemon has, since 1993, lived in the U.S., where he became stranded during the outbreak of the Bosnian war while visiting from his native Sarajevo. He writes about displacement and exile, mixing autobiography and fiction. Hemon has published two novels and two collections of short stories. His first novel, Nowhere Man (2002), was shortlisted for a National Book Critics Circle Award. His second novel, The Lazarus Project (2008), was a finalist for the National Book Award. Hemon has received numerous honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2004.
LeAnne Howe is a novelist, poet, playwright, and screenwriter as well as a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Her work deals primarily with American Indian experiences. Howe’s debut novel, Shell Shaker (2001), received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation as well as the Wordcraft Circle Writer of the Year award. Her second novel, Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story (2007), recounts the story of a Choctaw baseball pitcher and his team and moves between 1907 and the present. Howe served Director of Creative Writing and Professor of English and Native Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne.
Born to an American father and an Armenian-Lebanese mother, novelist Micheline Aharonian Marcom spent many childhood summers in Beirut. Her first book, Three Apples Fell From Heaven (2001) deals with the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman government and was named one of the best books of the year by both The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. The Daydreaming Boy (2004), about a genocide survivor living in 1960s Beirut, won the 2005 PEN/USA Award for Fiction. Marcom received a Whiting Writer’s Award in 2006 and is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Mills College and Goddard College.
Writer C. E. Morgan’s debut novel, All the Living (2009), won the Weatherford Award as an outstanding work of fiction depicting Appalachia. It was also a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway First Fiction Book Award and the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. Morgan was selected by the National Book Foundation as one of its “5 under 35” honorees (2009) and was included on The New Yorker’s 2010 “20 under 40” list of best emerging fiction writers.
Renowned fiction writer Annie Proulx worked as a journalist before turning to short stories. Proulx has said that her work concerns “rural working class occupations against a background of social and economic change.” She is best known for second her novel, The Shipping News (1993), which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award (both 1994). Her equally famous “Brokeback Mountain” originally appeared as a short story in The New Yorker in 1997. The story won an O. Henry Prize in 1998, and the collection in which it appeared, Close Range: Wyoming Stories, was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize (2000).
Playwright Annie Baker has had three works produced for the stage. Baker’s first play, Body Awareness, premiered in 2008 and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Play and an Outer Circle Critics Award. Her 2009 play, Circle Mirror Transformation, won the 2010 Obie Award for Best New American Play and a New York Drama Critics Special Citation Award. She shared these awards with her 2010 play, The Aliens. All three plays take place in a small town in Vermont, and Baker says she is interested “in celebrating the strangeness of everyday life.”
Poet Terrance Hayes has published four collections of his work. Hayes, who writes in a variety of styles and forms that include high and low cultural references, is interested in “the nuances of history and identity.” His poetry has won several awards, including a Whiting Writers Award for his first collection, Muscular Music (1999), a National Poetry Series Award for Hip Logic (2002), and the National Book Award for Poetry for Lighthead (2010). Hayes is Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Miami Beach, FL
Poet Campbell McGrath has published nine collections of his work, predominantly free-verse, long form, documentary poems about the American landscape, culture, and history. He has been awarded many prestigious honors, including The Pushcart Prize (1992), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1998), and a MacArthur Fellowship (1991). McGrath is the Phillip and Patricia Frost Professor of Creative Writing at Florida International University.
Poet A. E. Stallings has published two collections of her work, Archaic Smile (1999) and Hapax (2000), and a translation of Lucretius’s De rerum natura. After studying classics at the University of Georgia and Oxford University, Stallings moved to Greece, where she has lived since 1997, and her work is infused with mythological references. Her first book, Archaic Smile, won the 1999 Richard Wilbur Award. Stallings’s poetry has twice appeared in The Best American Poetry anthology (1994 and 2000) and has received numerous awards, including a Pushcart Prize in 1997 and MacArthur Fellowship in 2011.