Hamra Abbas’ works draws upon widely accepted traditions, often in a playful manner. By appropriating culturally loaded imagery and iconography, and transforming them into new works that can be experienced spatially and temporally, she creates new platforms from which to view notions of cultural ownership, tradition, exchange and power. Hamra Abbas is the 2011 winner of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize.  She was awarded a Jury prize at the Sharjah Biennial 9: Provisions for the Future. Her work is included in Aluminium, 4th International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Baku, Azerbaijan, the International Artist’s Workshop of the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennial and the 2nd International Incheon Women Artists Biennale, Korea (2009). Her work was included in the Guangzou Triennial (2008), the 10th Istanbul Biennial (2007), the Biennale of Sydney (2006), and the Cetinje Biennial,(2004). Abbas’ work has been exhibited at V&A Museum, London, ARTIUM de Álava, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, ifa Gallery, Berlin; and the Manchester Art Gallery, UK.  Her work Read is currently at display at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. She is also part of the exhibition Hanging Fire at Asia Society Museum, New York; and Everyday Miracles (Extended) at Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute and at REDCAT, LA.  She has been awarded residencies and scholarships by institutions such as Vermont Studio Center, the Triangle Arts Trust, VASL and DAAD. Hamra received her BFA and MA in Visual Arts at the National College of Arts, Lahore before going on to the Universitaet der Kuenste in Berlin in 2004 where she received the Meisterschueler. Hamra Abbas lives and works between Boston and Islamabad, but is currently based in New York.


Ekiwah Adler Belendez is the author of five collections of poetry, the most recent being Love on Wheels. His life story and poetry were featured on NBC Dateline, December 04. He has given numerous talks, readings and workshops in colleges, high schools and festivals both in Mexico and the United States. He has had the pleasure of reading with Li-Young Lee, Coleman Barks, Franz Wright and Mary Oliver. His work is featured on blueflowerarts.com. His interests include performance, myth, disability studies and mystical experience. He spends his time between Mexico, where he was born and raised, and Massachusetts. He is convinced we all have an inner poet.


Cristina J. Baptista is a New England-born, now Bronx-dwelling writer whose concept of “home” has been shaken, stirred, and sometimes surrendered to her senses, overcome with the shift from suburbs to city. And often, she is most snugly at home in her Portuguese heritage. Her poetry has won awards and has appeared in various publications, including DASH; Oranges & Sardines; MARGIE, The American Journal of Poetry; The Cortland Review; and The Baltimore Review. She is a Ph.D. in English with a Modern American Literature focus at Fordham University, where she also teaches undergraduate English courses.


Robert Bly is the author of more than thirty books of poetry, including Reaching Out to the World: New and Selected Prose Poems (White Pine Press, 2009); My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy (2006); The Night Abraham Called to the Stars (2001); Snowbanks North of the House (1999); Loving a Woman in Two Worlds (1987); This Body is Made of Camphor and Gopherwood (1977); and The Light Around the Body (1967), which won the National Book Award.  Bly is also the author of a number of nonfiction books, including The Sibling Society (Addison-Wesley, 1996); The Spirit Boy and the Insatiable Soul (1994); Iron John: A Book about Men (1990); and Talking All Morning: Collected Conversations and Interviews (1980). Bly's honors include Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. 


Rigoberto González is the author of ten books of poetry and prose, and the editor of Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing. The recipient of Guggenheim, NEA and NYFA fellowships, winner of the American Book Award, The Poetry Center Book Award, and the Shelley Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America, he writes a Latino book column for the El Paso Times of Texas. He is contributing editor for Poets and Writers Magazine, on the Board of Directors of the National Book Critics Circle, and is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers—Newark, State University of New Jersey.


Henry W. Leung is a Kundiman Fellow and columnist for the Lantern Review. He has work forthcoming from ZYZZYVA and Cerise Press. He will be at AWP 2012 on a panel, "Speaking in Tongues," about writing within multiple linguistic and cultural traditions.


Mbomai, Motamburu, Namfua, Nduweni, Tarakea Day Schools (with the Wheaton-in-Tanzania 2011 Program) address President Obama as one of their own, a respected African elder, a father.


Elisabeth McNair is an illustrator living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her work is inspired by animals, fairy tales, and literature. She likes to paint and walk her dog, and she also plays keyboard in a band called Noel Stephen & the Darlings. To see what she is up to, you can visit her blog: http://www.afternoonpityparty.com.


Idra Novey is the author of Exit, Civilian, chosen by Patricia Smith for this year's National Poetry Series (University of Georgia Press, 2012), and The Next Country (Alice James Books, 2008).  Her most recent translations include a book by the Brazilian poet Manoel de Barros, Birds for a Demolition, and a retranslation of Clarice Lispector's novel The Passion According to GH, forthcoming in fall 2012. She's taught in the Bard Prison Initiative, at the University of Chile and currently teaches in the MFA Program at Columbia University.


Lia Purpura’s recent books include On Looking (essays, Sarabande Books), a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and King Baby (poems, Alice James Books), winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award. Her awards include NEA and Fulbright Fellowships, three Pushcart prizes, work in Best American Essays, 2011, the AWP Award in Nonfiction, and the Ohio State University Press Award in Poetry.  Recent work appears in Agni, Field, The Georgia Review, Orion, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and elsewhere.  She is Writer in Residence at Loyola University, Baltimore, MD and teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA Program. Her new collection of essays, Rough Likeness, will be published in January 2012 (Sarabande Books).


Christopher Ready is a senior at Fordham College at Rose Hill studying philosophy and English. He is from Massachusetts and currently lives on Hoffman Street in the Bronx. He has been an avid reader of fiction for years and is recently discovering the world of Internet literature. He finds shorter pieces, more intense and fast in creativity, especially intriguing.


Bushra Rehman's mother says Bushra was born in an ambulance flying through the streets of Brooklyn. This would explain a few things. Bushra was a vagabond poet who traveled for years with nothing more than a greyhound ticket and a bookbag full of poems. Her poetry has been featured on BBC Radio 4, KPFA, the Brian Lehrer Show and in The New York Times, India Currents, Crab Orchard Review, Sepia Mutiny, Mizna and NY Newsday. Bushra is co-editor of Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism, and her book of stories Bhangra Blowout is forthcoming through Upset Press.


Evie Shockley is the author of two books of poetry—the new black (Wesleyan UP, 2011) and a half-red sea (Carolina Wren P, 2006)—and the critical study Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (U of Iowa Press, 2011). Her poetry has been published internationally in journals and anthologies and supported with residencies and scholarships from the Millay Colony for the Arts, Cave Canem, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and Hedgebrook. She is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where she teaches African American literature and creative writing.


Rodrigo Toscano’s latest book is Collapsible Poetics Theater (a 2007 National Poetry Series Selection). A new collection of poetic prose, Deck of Deeds, is due out from Counterpath Press in late 2012. His poetry has been translated into French, Dutch, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Catalan. Toscano has worked in labor politics and environmental justice movements for over 15 years. He's currently with the Labor Institute and works tandem with the United Steelworkers and Communication Workers of America. His current project is to oversee a nation-wide National Institute of Environmental Health Science education / integration program around Health, Safety, and the Environment.