Born in Trinidad and raised in Queens, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor is the recipient of the 2015 Barnes & Nobles Writers for Writers Award. A graduate of Stonecoast MFA Poetry Program, she curates Calypso Muse and The Glitter Pomegranate Performance Series. A VONA fellow, her work has been published in Revolutionary Mothering: Love On The Front Lines, Adrienne, Prairie Schooner and Aloud:Voices From The Nuyorican Poets Cafe. The author of three collections of poetry her fourth book Arrival is forthcoming from Northwestern University Press.


Christine Hume is the author of three books, most recently Shot (Counterpath), and three chapbooks, Lullaby: Speculations on the First Active Sense (Ugly Duckling Presse), Ventifacts (Omnidawn), and Hum (Dikembe). She teaches in the interdisciplinary creative writing program at Eastern Michigan University.


Ruth Ellen Kocher has published seven poetry books including Third Voice (Tupelo 2016), Ending in Planes (Noemi Press, 2014), Goodbye Lyric: The Gigans and Lovely Gun (Sheep Meadow Press, 2014), and the 2014 PEN/Open Book Award winner, domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press, 2013). Her digital poetry has been curated by Trickhouse and has been featured by Poets & Writers Magazine. She teaches at the University of Colorado - Boulder.

Detroit-bred Jamea Richmond-Edwards graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Art degree from Jackson State University in 2004 where she studied painting and drawing. She went on to earn an MFA from Howard University in 2012. In February 2013, she was included in Huffington Post’s “Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know.”


Carl Hancock Rux is an award winning playwright, poet, novelist, essayist, performer, theater director and recording artist. He is the author of several publications including Pagan Operetta (poetry), Asphalt (novel) and the OBIE award winning play Talk. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Doris Duke Awards for New Works, the Doris Duke Charitable Fund, the New York Foundation for the Arts Prize and the Alpert Award in the Arts. His archives are housed at the Billy Rose Theater Division of the New York Public Library, the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution as well as the Film and Video/Theater and Dance Library of the California Institute of the Arts. 


Tracy K. Smith is the author of the memoir Ordinary Light and three books of poetry: Life on Mars, which received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize; Duende, recipient of the 2006 James Laughlin Award, and The Body's Question, which won the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith is also the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Award and a Whiting Award. She was the Literature protégé in the 2009-2011 cycle of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.


Kat Sommers is a junior English major with a double minor in Philosophy and Theology, planning to graduate this coming summer. As proud Rochestarian, Kat enjoys hiking, photography and the occasional garbage plate. As a quasi-New Yorker, she enjoys making friends in the subway and playing games of pick up chess. Most of her inspiration comes from summers of flipping burgers and making milk shakes. 


Malcolm Tariq is from Savannah, Georgia and is currently a PhD candidate in English at the University of Michigan. His work has appeared in Red Truck Review and Kinfolks: a journal of black expression.


Quenton Baker is a poet and educator from Seattle. His current focus is the fact of blackness in American society. He is a 2015-16 Made at Hugo House fellow and a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. He is the author of This Glittering Republic, forthcoming from Willow Books in 2017.


Jesús Hilario-Reyes (born 1996, San Juan, Puerto Rico) is an Afro-Latino artist currently pursuing his BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work, which has been nationally recognized with the American Visions Award (2015), consists of a series' of works that mirror the black existence within American and Latin American communities. 


Dewayne C. Wrencher is a contemporary native-born Black American visual and spoken word artist working primarily with themes relating to identity, power, and historical events of social injustice. He received a Bachelor of Science in Art, emphasis on Printmaking with a minor in Ethnic and Racial Studies, from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse and holds an Associate degree in Graphic Design. Dewayne is currently pursuing an MFA in Studio Art at Stony Brook University. More work and spoken words can found here:


Daniel A. Harris's second collection of poems, RANDOM UNISONS (2013), followed LOOSE PARLANCE (2008). His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart award. His poems have been published in The Threepenny Review, Blueline, The Silt Reader, Tiger's Eye, Slant, Blue Unicorn, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, The California Review, The Kerf, Coal City Review, Iodine, Kerem, Midstream, Illuminations, Taproot Literary Review, The Rockford Review, Tulane Review, Clavier, Gargoyle, The Listening Eye, Lullwater Review, Bryant Literary Review, Regarding Arts and Letters, Prelaton, and Poetica. He has written books of literary criticism on William Butler Yeats, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Alfred Tennyson. Daniel is also an active environmentalist currently focusing on regional land-use issues, sustainable urban planning, and plastic bag reduction. He won a Sustainable Princeton Award in 2010 and a Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association Advocacy Award in 2012. Please visit his website: