Adrian Blevins is the author of Appalachians Run Amok, winner of the Wilder Prize from Two Sylvias Press; Live from the Homesick Jamboree; The Brass Girl Brouhaha; and the chapbooks Bloodline and The Man Who Went Out for Cigarettes. She is the recipient of many awards and honors including a Kate Tufts Discovery Award for The Brass Girl Brouhaha, a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Foundation Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Cohen Award from Ploughshares, and a Zone 3 Poetry Award. Ohio University Press published a co-edited collection of essays— Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia—in 2015. New poems have recently been published in The Baffler, Gettysburg Review, Greensboro Review, Southern Cultures, and other magazines.
Sarah Braunstein is the author of The Sweet Relief of Missing Children (W.W. Norton), winner of the 2012 Maine Book Award for Fiction. The novel was a finalist for the 2011 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction and was an Oprah Magazine Top Ten Pick of the Month. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, AGNI, Ploughshares, The Sun, Nylon Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, and in other publications. She co-wrote a play, String Theory: Three Greek Myths Woven Together, produced in New York City in 2009 and at Vassar College in 2010. In 2010 Sarah was named one of “5 Under 35” fiction writers by the National Book Foundation, and she received a 2007 Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award. Sarah is on the selection panel and teaches for the National YoungArts Foundation. Since 2011 she has been on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA at the University of Southern Maine. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and an MSW from Smith College School for Social Work.
Michael Burke, Director of the Creative Writing Program, is author of The Same River Twice: A Boatman’s Journey Home (University of Arizona Press), a finalist in the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment’s nonfiction prize; and the editor of Maine’s Place in the Environmental Imagination (Cambridge Scholars Publishing), a collection of ecocritical essays. His essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, Outside, Islands, Yankee, Down East, New England Monthly, Country Life, the Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education and in South Africa, The Sunday Times (Cape Town). He won the award for Drama in the 2018 Maine Literary Arts competition, for his play, The Town Meets. He has a BA in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
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Mark Mayer’s first book, Aerialists: Stories (Bloomsbury 2019), won the Michener Copernicus Prize and was an American Booksellers Association Indie Next Selection. He has been published in American Short Fiction, the Kenyon Review, Guernica, the Iowa Review, Granta, Best American Mystery Stories, and the New York Times and interviewed in the Paris Review and BOMB. His academic essays have appeared in Twentieth-Century Literature and LIT: Literature, Interpretation, Theory. He has a BA from Brown University, an MFA from Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a PhD from the University of Denver.
Debra Sparkis the author of five books of fiction, including Unknown Caller, The Pretty Girl, and Good for the Jews. Other books include Curious Attractions: Essays on Fiction Writing, and the anthology Twenty Under Thirty. Her short work has appeared in Agni, AWP Writers’ Chronicle, the Boston Globe, the Cincinnati Review, the Chicago Tribune, Epoch, Esquire, Five Points, Food and Wine, Harvard Review, Huffington Post, Maine Magazine, Narrative, New England Travel and Life, the New England Review, the New York Times, Ploughshares, salon.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, Yankee, and Yale Alumni Quarterly, among other places. In addition to writing book reviews, fiction, articles, and essays, she has a side specialty in writing about home and design in New England, including a decade of work for Maine Home+Design and, more recently, for Decor Maine, Down East, Interiors Boston, New England Home, and Yankee. She has been the recipient of several awards including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Bunting Institute fellowship from Radcliffe College, Wisconsin Institute Fellowship, Pushcart Prize, Michigan Literary Fiction Award, and John Zacharis/Ploughshares award for best first book. A graduate of Yale University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is a professor at Colby College and teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She lives with her husband and son in North Yarmouth, Maine.
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Arisa White is the author of Perfect on Accident, Black Pearl, Post Pardon, A Penny Saved, and Hurrah’s Nest. Her debut collection Hurrah’s Nest was nominated for a 44th NAACP Image Award, the 82nd California Book Awards, and the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards. Her recent collection, You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, was nominated for the 29th Lambda Literary Award and a semifinalist for the Julie Suk Award. The chapbook “Fish Walking” & Other Bedtime Stories for My Wife won Daniel Handler’s inaugural Per Diem Poetry Prize. Forthcoming in 2019 is the children’s book Fighting for Justice: Biddy Mason Speaks Up, co-written with Laura Atkins, and the hybrid poetry memoir Who’s Your Daddy? For a project that explores absent fathers, Arisa received an Investing in Artist Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation; she was awarded a Cultural Funding Grant from the City of Oakland [CA] for the libretto adaptation of Post Pardon; and she serves on the board of directors for Nomadic Press. Arisa holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is a Cave Canem graduate fellow.
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