Board of Advisors
Alexander Chee is the author of the novels Edinburgh (Picador, 2002) and The Queen of the Night, forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is a recipient of a 2003 Whiting Writer Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in Fiction and a 2010 Masschusetts Cultural Council of the Arts fellowship, and residencies from the MacDowell Colony , the VCCA, Ledig House, the Hermitage and Civitella Ranieri. In 2003, Out Magazine honored him as one of their 100 Most Influential People of the Year. His essays have appeared in Granta.com, LIT, Out, The Morning News and The Paris Review Daily, and are widely anthologized. He has taught fiction and nonfiction writing at the New School, Wesleyan University, Amherst College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and currently teaches the graphic novel at Columbia University's MFA in Writing program. He lives in New York City and blogs at Koreanish.
Christopher Abani (or Chris Abani) (born December 27, 1966) is a Nigerian author. He holds a BA in English (Nigeria), an MA in Gender and Culture (Birkbeck College, University of London), an MA in English and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing (University of Southern California). He is a Professor at the University of California, Riverside and the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the 2001 Prince Claus Awards, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize & a Guggenheim Award. Chris Abani's prose includes Song For Night (Akashic, 2007), The Virgin of Flames (Penguin, 2007), Becoming Abigail (Akashic, 2006), GraceLand (FSG, 2004), and Masters of the Board (Delta, 1985).
His poetry collections are Sanctificum (Copper Canyon Press, 2010), There Are No Names for Red (Red Hen Press, 2010), Feed Me The Sun - Collected Long Poems (Peepal Tree Press, 2010) Hands Washing Water (Copper Canyon, 2006), Dog Woman (Red Hen, 2004), Daphne's Lot (Red Hen, 2003), and Kalakuta Republic (Saqi, 2001). Sanctificum is his fifth and most recent collection of poetry. It is a book-length sequence of linked poems which combines religious ritual, the Igbo language of his Nigerian homeland, and reggae rhythms to create a postracial, liturgical love song.
Cole Swensen received her B.A. and M.A. from San Francisco State University and a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Swensen is the recipient of a 2006 Guggenheim fellowship. Her books include Gravesend, (University of California Press, upcoming 2012); Noise That Stays Noise, a collection of critical essays (University of Michigan Press, 2011); Ours, poems on the gardens of André Le Nôtre (University of California Press, 2008), which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award; The Glass Age, (Alice James Books, 2007); The Book of a Hundred Hands (University of Iowa Press, 2005); Goest (Alice James Books, 2004), which as a finalist for the National Book Award; Such Rich Hour (2001); Oh (2000); Try (1999), which won the Iowa Poetry Prize and the San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award; Noon (1997), which won the New American Poetry Series Award; Numen (1995); Park (1991); New Math (1988), which won the National Poetry Series competition; and It's Alive, She Says (1984). Her translations of contemporary French poetry include The Island of the Dead, which won the 2004 PEN USA Award for Literary Translation, and The Real Life of Shadows (2002 and 2009, by Jean Frémon), The Field is Lethal and Ring Rang Wrong (2011 and 2006, by Suzanne Doppelt), Physis and Juliology (2007 and 2008, by Nicolas Pesquès); The Fairy Queen, Future, Former, Fugitive, and Art Poetic’ (1999, 2004, and 2009, by Olivier Cadiot); Oxo and Natural Gaits (2004 and 1995, by Pierre Alferi), and Bayart (2001, by Pascalle Monnier).
Excerpted from Poets.org & updates provided by C. Swensen
Educated at LeMoyne College (B.S. 1959), Syracuse University (M.A. 1962) and Yale University (Ph.D., 1966), McGann is the John Stewart Bryan University Professor, University of Virginia (1986–present). He is a leading scholar in fields ranging from 18th century to contemporary literature to the theory of textuality. McGann is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received honorary doctoral degrees from University of Chicago (1996) and University of Athens (2009). Other awards include: Melville Cane Award, American Poetry Society, 1973, for his work on Swinburne as "The Year's Best Critical Book about Poetry"; Distinguished Scholar Award from the Keats-Shelley Association of America (1989); Distinguished Scholar Award from the Byron Society of America, 1989; and the Wilbur Cross Medal, Yale University Graduate School, 1994.
In 2002 he was the recipient of three major awards: the Richard W. Lyman Award for Distinguished Contributions to Humanities Computing, National Humanities Center (first award recipient); the James Russell Lowell Award (from the Modern Language Association) for Radiant Textuality as the Most Distinguished Scholarly Book of the Year; and the Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award. He has been a Fulbright Fellow (1965–66), an American Philosophical Society Fellow (1967) and Guggenheim Fellow (1970–71, 1976–77) and has been awarded NEH grants in 1975-76, 1987–89, 2003–2006, as well as grants from the Getty Foundation, the Delmas Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation. He has held more than a dozen other appointments, including President, Society for Textual Scholarship, 1995–1997; and President, Society for Critical Exchange, 2005-6. Since 1999 he has been a Senior Research Fellow, Institute of English Studies, University of London and since 2000 a Senior Research Fellow, University College, London. McGann has written four books of poetry including Air Heart Sermons (1976) and Four Last Poems (1996), both published by Pasdeloup Press in Canada. In 1993, McGann began work on The Rossetti Archive (1993–2008). He is also the founder of the Applied Research in Patacriticism digital laboratory, which includes such software projects as IVANHOE and NINES.
John Cayley writes digital media, and has practiced as a poet, translator, publisher, and bookdealer. Links to his writing in networked and programmable media are at: programmatology.shadoof.net. Recent and ongoing projects include imposition, riverIsland, what we will, and The Readers Project (thereadersproject.org). His last printed book of poems, adaptations and translations was Ink Bamboo (Agenda & Belew, 1996). Cayley was the winner of the Electronic Literature Organization's Award for Poetry 2001 (www.eliterature.org). He has taught or been associated with a number of universities in the United Kingdom, including the Performance Writing degree at Dartington College of Arts and the Department of English, Royal Holloway College, University of London, where he was an Honorary Research Associate. In the United States, he has taught or directed research at the University of California San Diego and Brown University, where he is now Professor of Literary Arts, with a brief to teach and develop writing in digital media. His most recent work explores ambient poetics in programmable media, writing in immersive artificial audiovisual environments, and aestheticized vectors of reading; with parallel theoretical interventions concerning the role of code, the temporal properties of textuality, and 'writing to be found' with/against the services of totalizing statistical models of language.
John Yau studied at Bard College (BA, 1972) and Brooklyn College (MFA, 1977). He has published books of poetry, fiction, and criticism, contributed to many art cataloguesand monographs, and is the publisher of Black Square Editions. His books include Exhibits (Letter Machine Editions, 2010); Borrowed Love Poems (Penguin, 2002); Forbidden Entries (Black Sparrow Press, 1996); Berlin Diptychon (Timken, 1995); Edificio Sayonara (Black Sparrow Press, 1992); Corpse and Mirror (Holt Rinehart,1983), which was a National Poetry Series book selected by John Ashbery; and Crossing Canal Street (Bellevue Press, 1976). He has a book of poetry, Further Adventures in Monochrome, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press.
He has received numerous awards including the Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, the American Poetry Review Jerome Shestack Award, and a three New York Foundation for the Arts Awards. He is also the recipient of a 1977 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, two Ingram-Merrill Foundation Fellowships, and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
Yau’s books of criticism include In the Realm of Appearances: The Art of Andy Warhol (Ecco, 1993), A Thing Among Things: The Art of Jasper Johns (D.A.P., 1997), andThe Passionate Spectator: Essays on Art and Poetry (University of Michigan Press, 2006). He edited Fetish (Four Walls Eight Windows, 1998), a fiction anthology. He has collaborated with numerous artists on artist’s books, most recently Squeak Carnwath, Max Gimblett, Leiko Ikemura, Thomas Nozkowski, Norbert Prangenberg and Hanns Schimansky.
He was a distinguished visiting critic at the Pratt Institute Graduate School of Art,Maryland Institute College of Art and School of Visual Arts in the late 1980s. In 1992, hewas a visiting poet at Brown University and in 1994 and 1995, was a visiting professor atUniversity of California, Berkeley. He was also the Ahmanson Curatorial Fellow at theMuseum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Yau was the Arts editor of The BrooklynRail from March 2004 to October 2011, publishing more than one hundred reviews,essays, and interviews. He is an Associate Professor at Mason Gross School of the Arts(Rutgers University).
Katherine Sugg is an associate professor of English and Coordinator of Latino Studies at Central Connecticut State University. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1997. She is a Faculty Advisory Board member of UCONN's Institute of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies for 2010-2011. Her essays on comparative narrative and cultural theory of the Americas have appeared in various journals including Meridians: Feminism, Transitionalism, Activism; Narrative; and CR: The New Centennial Review. Her book, Gender and Allegory in Transamerican Fiction and Performance, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2008. She writes and teaches on topics related to hemispheric perspectives on U.S. and Latin American culture and literature.
Laird Hunt is the author of a book of short stories, mock parables and histories, The Paris Stories (2000), originally from Smokeproof Press, though now re-released by Marick Press, and four novels, The Impossibly (2001), Indiana, Indiana (2003), The Exquisite (2006) and Ray of the Star (2009) all from Coffee House Press. His translation of Oliver Rohe’s Vacant Lot is recently out from Counterpath Press. He is published in France by Actes Sud, and has novels either published or forthcoming in Japan and Italy. His writings, reviews and translations have appeared in the United States and abroad in, among other places, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, Bomb, Bookforum, Grand Street, The Believer, Fence, Conjunctions, Brick, Mentor, Inculte, and Zoum Zoum.
Currently on faculty in the University of Denver’s Creative Writing Program, he has had residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France.
Lucy Raven is an artist based in New York City and Oakland, California. Her work has been exhibited at art and film spaces internationally, including the The Manchester International Festival, the Museum of Modern Art, Mass MoCA, the Wexner Center for the Arts, Storefront for Art and Architecture, and the Pacific Film Archives. Raven is currently an artist in residence at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and a new article, “The Second Eye,” is forthcoming in the journal October. She is currently teaching at USC in the Art/Curatorial Practice in the Public Sphere program, and is Associate Producer of a new documentary about urban design around the world, called Urbanized by Gary Hustwit. Raven has been an artist in residence with The Center for Land Use Interpretation and The Wexner Center for the Arts. She is a Contributing Editor to BOMB Magazine where she writes about art and film. She interviewed Mike Davis for their Summer, 2008, issue, and a conversation between Raven and Thom Andersen appeared in the September 2010 issue of Artforum. Her recent writing is included in the catalogues of Rachel Harrison (CCS/Whitechapel, 2010), Deborah Stratman (Gahlberg Gallery, 2010) and Nancy Shaver (Feature, 2008) and in the introduction to a book of the photographs of Magnum photojournalist Inge Morath (Road to Reno, 1960, Steidl 2007).
Called “the Latino poet of his generation” and “the Pablo Neruda of North American authors,” Martín Espada has published seventeen books in all as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. The Republic of Poetry, a collection of poems published by Norton in 2006, received the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; his next collection, The Trouble Ball, is forthcoming from Norton in spring 2011. A collection of essays, The Lover of a Subversive is Also a Subversive, was just released by the University of Michigan. An earlier book of poems, Imagine the Angels of Bread (Norton, 1996), won an American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Other books of poetry include A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (Norton, 2000), City of Coughing and Dead Radiators (Norton, 1993), and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (Curbstone, 1990).
He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the American Book Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the Charity Randall Citation, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. His poems have appeared in the The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Harper’s, The Nation, and The Best American Poetry. He has also edited two anthologies, Poetry Like Bread: Poets of the Political Imagination from Curbstone Press (Curbstone, 1994) and El Coro: A Chorus of Latino and Latina Poetry (University of Massachusetts, 1997), and released an audiobook of poetry called Now the Dead will Dance the Mambo (Leapfrog, 2004).His work has been translated into ten languages; collections of poems have recently been published in Spain, Puerto Rico and Chile. A former tenant lawyer, Espada is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Nick Flynn’s most recent book is The Ticking is the Bomb, which the Los Angeles Times calls a “disquieting masterpiece.” His previous memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, was shortlisted for France’s Prix Femina, and has been translated into thirteen languages. He is also the author of two books of poetry, Some Ether, and Blind Huber, and a play, Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins, for which he received fellowships from, among other organizations, The Guggenheim Foundation and The Library of Congress. Some of the venues his poems, essays and non-fiction have appeared in include The New Yorker, the Paris Review, National Public Radio’s This American Life, and The New York Times Book Review. His film credits include artistic collaborator and “field poet” on the film Darwin’s Nightmare, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best feature documentary in 2006. Each spring he teaches at the University of Houston, he then spends the rest of the year in (or near) Brooklyn.
Rukmini Bhaya Nair is Professor of Linguistics and English at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1982. Widely recognized for her work in the areas of linguistics, cognition and literary theory, she has taught at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, the National University of Singapore and the University of Washington at Seattle. Academic books by Nair include Technobrat: Culture in a Cybernetic Classroom (Harper Collins, 1997); Narrative Gravity: Conversation, Cognition, Culture (Oxford University Press, India, 2002 and Routledge, London and New York, 2003); Lying on the Postcolonial Couch: the Idea of Indifference (Minnesota University Press and Oxford University Press, India, 2002); as well as an edited volume, Translation, Text and Theory: the Paradigm of India (Sage, 2002).
In addition to contributing to major national dailies and magazines, Nair is a frequent panelist on programs such as Mark Tully's BBC broadcast 'Something Understood' and is on numerous international editorial boards. Her creative and critical writings are taught in university courses at Chicago, Kent, Oxford and Washington. In 1990, Nair won the first prize in the All India Poetry Society/ British Council competition. Her work has appeared in Penguin New Writing in India (1992), in the anthology Mosaic (1999) which featured award-winning writers from the U.K and India, Reasons for Belonging: Fourteen Contemporary Indian Poets (2002), and in a special issue of Poetry International (2004). Her work has also been translated into languages as varied as Swedish, Macedonian, Bengali and Hindi. Nair has published three books of poetry: The Hyoid Bone (Viking Penguin, 1992), The Ayodhya Cantos (Viking Penguin, 1999) and Yellow Hibiscus (Penguin, 2004). Called ‘the first significant post-modern poet in Indian English’, Nair is currently working on a fourth volume of poems, Shataka – on the Mumbai terror attack – inspired by the work of the 6th century Sanskrit grammarian-poet, Bhartrhari.