Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom and has lived transnationally in the United States, Canada, India, France, and the Middle East. His books encompass multiple genres, includingthe volumes of poetry Inquisition, Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth Day; All One’s Blue; and the cross-genre texts Bright Felon and Wind Instrument. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet and among his books of essays are the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. He is also an accomplished translator (of Marguerite Duras, Sohrab Sepehri, Ananda Devi, Mahmoud Chokrollahi and others) and an editor of several anthologies and books of criticism. After a career in public policy and organizing, Ali taught at various colleges and universities, including Oberlin College, Davidson College, St. Mary’s College of California, and Naropa University. He is currently a Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. In 2020 his newest books will be published: a volume of three long poems entitled The Voice of Sheila Chandra and a memoir of his Canadian childhood, Northern Light. He attended the Community of Writers as a poetry participant in 1998 and has returned several times to teach. www.kazimali.com
Photo Credit: Brett Hall Jones
Mónica de la Torre is the author of six books of poetry, most recently The Happy End/All Welcome (Ugly Duckling Presse). Born and raised in Mexico City, she translates poetry, writes about art, and is a contributing editor to BOMB Magazine. Publications include Triple Canopy, Harper’s, Poetry, The White Review, Erizo, the New Yorker, and huun: arte/ pensamiento desde México. She teaches in the Literary Arts program at Brown University.
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Robert Hass is a poet, translator and essayist. In 2017, HarperCollins published his most recent book of essays, A Little Book on Form: An Exploration Into the Formal Imagination of Poetry. His other books include his book of prose, What Light Can Do: Essays 1985-2010 (Ecco/HarperCollins); his selected poems, The Apple Trees at Olema (Ecco/HarperCollins); Time and Materials (Ecco/ HarperCollins), which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; and his edition of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself and Other Poems (Counterpoint). His other books of poetry include Sun Under Wood: New Poems, Human Wishes, Praise, and Field Guide. He has also co-translated many volumes of the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz and is the author or editor of several other collections of essays and translations, including The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa; Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry; and Now & Then: The Poet’s Choice Columns 1996-2000. He served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997. Awarded a MacArthur Fellowship and, twice, the National Book Critics Circle Award, he is a professor of English at UC Berkeley. www.barclayagency.com.
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Sharon Olds is the author of eleven books of poetry. The Dead and the Living received the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Unswept Room was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and One Secret Thing was a finalist for the Forward Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize. She teaches at New York University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing, where she has been involved with New York University’s outreach workshops. The Goldwater Hospital Writing Workshop is in its 30th year, which includes a workshop for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Her collection of poetry, Stag’s Leap, published by Knopf in the US and Jonathan Cape in the UK, won the 2012 T.S.Eliot Prize and the 2013 Pulitzer Prize. In 2015 she was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2016 The Academy of American Poets awarded her the Wallace Stevens Award. Her most recent collection, Odes, was published by Knopf in 2016. www.sharonolds.net
Photo Credit: Brett Hall Jones
Evie Shockley is the author of several collections of poems including most recently semiautomatic (2017) , which was a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize, and the new black (2011), both published by the Wesleyan Poetry Series. the new black won the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry. She has also published a critical study, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (2011). Her poetry and essays appear widely in journals and anthologies. Her honors include the 2015 Stephen Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry and the 2012 Holmes National Poetry Prize. Currently serving as creative editor for Feminist Studies, Shockley is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.
Photo Credit: Nancy Crampton
Dean Young’s numerous collections of poetry include Strike Anywhere (1995), winner of the Colorado Prize for Poetry; Skid (2002), finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Elegy on Toy Piano (2005), finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Primitive Mentor (2008), shortlisted for the International Griffin Poetry Prize. He has also written a book on poetics, The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction (2010). His poems have appeared frequently in The Best American Poetry. He holds the Livingston Chair of Poetry at the University of Texas, Austin. His most recent book is Shock by Shock, published by Copper Canyon Press in 2015.