AWP 2024 Subcommittee
Kris Bigalk (pronounced BEE-yahk) is the author of the poetry collection Repeat the Flesh in Numbers; her work also appears in several anthologies. She has received two Minnesota State Arts Board Individual Artist in Poetry grants and a Minnesota State Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Teaching. Bigalk serves as director of creative writing at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota, where she founded the first AFA in creative writing program based on “AWP Recommendations on the Teaching of Creative Writing to Undergraduates” and “AWP Hallmarks of an Effective Program in Creative Writing at a Two-Year College.”
Jenny Yang Cropp
Jenny Yang Cropp is the author of the poetry collection String Theory, a 2016 Oklahoma Book Award finalist, and the chapbook Hanging the Moon. Her newest chapbook, Not a Bird or a Flower, was published by Ryga in 2018. She earned an MFA in creative writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato and a PhD in English from the University of South Dakota. She is an assistant professor of English at Southeast Missouri State University, where she teaches writing and publishing and serves as poetry editor for the literary journal Big Muddy.
Travis Kurowski is the editor of Paper Dreams: Writers and Editors on the American Literary Magazine (Atticus Books, 2013), an Independent Publisher Book Award winner, and coeditor of Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century (Milkweed Editions, 2016). He has served on the mastheads of numerous magazines, including Story, winning a CLMP Firecracker Award. His writing has appeared in Ninth Letter, Creative Nonfiction, and TriQuarterly, and he was a columnist for Poets & Writers. He is an associate professor at York College of Pennsylvania, where he directs the writing program. He received his PhD from The University of Southern Mississippi.
Destiny O. Birdsong
Destiny O. Birdsong is the author of the poetry collection Negotiations, which was longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Voelcker Award. She is also the author of the triptych novel Nobody’s Magic, which was a finalist for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and won the 2022 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. In July 2022, she was the Hurston-Wright Foundation’s inaugural Writer-in-Residence at Rutgers University-Newark and now serves as a 2022–24 Artist-in-Residence at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Barrie Jean Borich
Barrie Jean Borich is the author of the lyric memoir Apocalypse, Darling, which was short-listed for a Lambda Literary Award. PopMatters said “Apocalypse, Darling soars and seems to live as a new form altogether. It's poetry, a meditation on life as ‘the other,’ creative nonfiction, and abstract art.” Her hybrid memoir-in-essays Body Geographic won a Lammy, and her memoir My Lesbian Husband won the Stonewall Book Award. Borich’s most recent work appears in Assay and Conjunctions. She is a professor at DePaul in Chicago where she edits Slag Glass City, a journal of the urban essay arts.
KB Brookins is a Black, queer, and trans writer, cultural worker, and artist from Texas. They authored How to Identify Yourself with a Wound (Kallisto Gaia Press 2022), winner of the Saguaro Poetry Prize and an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book in Literature; and Freedom House (Deep Vellum 2023), recommended by Vogue and Autostraddle among others. KB’s writing is published in Poets.org, HuffPost, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. They are currently a National Endowment of the Arts fellow. KB’s memoir Pretty (Alfred A. Knopf 2024) is forthcoming. Follow them online at @earthtokb.
Jen Ferguson (she/her) is Métis/Michif and white Canadian settler and an activist, feminist, auntie, and accomplice armed with a PhD in English and creative writing. She believes writing, teaching, and beading are political acts. Her debut young adult novel The Summer of Bitter and Sweet (Heartdrum/HarperCollins) won a 2022 Governor General's Literary Award and is a 2023 Stonewall Honor Book, and a 2023 Morris Award Finalist. Jen's second young adult novel, Those Pink Mountain Nights is about the hurt of a life stuck in past tense, the hum of connections that cannot be severed, and one week in a small snowy town that changes everything for three teens. She teaches at Coe College.
torrin a. greathouse
torrin a. greathouse is a transgender cripple-punk poet and essayist. Her work is published in POETRY, Ploughshares, and The Kenyon Review. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Effing Foundation for Sex Positivity, Zoeglossia, The Ragdale Foundation, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Their debut collection Wound from the Mouth of a Wound (Milkweed Editions, 2020), was the winner of the 2022 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She teaches at the Rainier Writing Workshop, the low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University.
Jameelah Lang is an assistant professor of English at Rockhurst University. Her work appears in the Michigan Quarterly Review, the Cincinnati Review, the Kenyon Review, and elsewhere, and has received support from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, Hub City Writers Project, and VCCA. She holds a PhD from the University of Houston, where she served as Senior Nonfiction Editor for Gulf Coast and co-organizer for the Poison Pen Reading Series. She currently serves on the board of the Radius of Arab American Writers and as director of the Midwest Poets Series.
Christie Hodgen is the author of four books of fiction, most recently Boy Meets Girl, which won the 2020 AWP Prize for the Novel. Her work has won multiple awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is the Editor-in-Chief of New Letters magazine, and teaches at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Lorraine M. López
Lorraine M. López has authored seven books of fiction and edited three essay collections. Her first book, Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories won the inaugural Miguel Marmól Prize for fiction. Her second book, Call Me Henri was awarded the Paterson Prize for Young Adult Literature. López’s second short story collection, Homicide Survivors Picnic, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Prize and winner of the Texas League of Writers Award for Fiction. Her most recent publication is a collection of short stories titled Postcards from the Gerund State: Stories, released in 2019.
Photo credit: Louis Siegel
Miguel M. Morales
Miguel M. Morales grew up in Texas working as a migrant/seasonal farmworker. He is a Lambda Literary Fellow and alum of VONA/Voices and of the Macondo Writers Workshop. His work appears in several anthologies and journals. He is the co-editor of Pulse/Pulso: In Remembrance of Orlando and Fat & Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives. Miguel has earned several awards including the Society of Professional Journalists’ First Amendment Award. He is currently co-editing a farmworker portfolio for The Common magazine. Follow Miguel as @TrustMiguel on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Phong Nguyen is the author of Bronze Drum, an NPR Best Book of the Year; Roundabout, part of the Missouri Authors Series; The Adventures of Joe Harper, winner of the Prairie Heritage Book Award; Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History; and Memory Sickness and Other Stories, winner of the Elixir Press Fiction Award. He is co-editor, with Dan Chaon, of Nancy Hale: A Lost American Master; and he is co-editor, with Robert Olen Butler, of Best Peace Fiction: A Social Justice Anthology. He currently serves as the Miller Endowed Chair in Literature and Writing at the University of Missouri.
Luke Rolfes lives in Kansas City, Missouri. His first book Flyover Country won the Georgetown Review Press Short Story Collection Contest, and his second book Impossible Naked Life won the Acacia Fiction Prize from Kallisto Gaia Press. His novel Sleep Lake is forthcoming from Braddock Avenue Books. He is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at Northwest Missouri State University, co-editor of Laurel Review and Greentower Press, and former mentor in the AWP Writer to Writer Program.
Photo Credit: Hayley Veilleux
tammy lynne stoner
tammy lynne stoner creates gritty, redeeming, queer stories. Her novel Sugar Land won an IPPY, was shortlisted for the Crook's Corner Prize, a finalist for a Forewords Indie, an Amazon #1 in category, and starred by Kirkus Reviews. The pilot for Sugar Land was a finalist in the NY, Atlanta, Portland, Reno-Tahoe, and Seattle International Film Festivals. A short film based on the novel premiered at the American Pavilion at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. She’s the co-founder of the new Gertrude Writing Conference, a Sou-Wester Artist-in-Residence, and a VCAA Fellow, who lives in Oregon with her lady and their brood.
Courtney Faye Taylor
Courtney Faye Taylor is a writer, visual artist, and the author of Concentrate (Graywolf Press, 2022), selected by Rachel Eliza Griffiths as the winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Concentrate was named a finalist for the 2023 NAACP Image Awards and the 2023 Lambda Literary Awards. Courtney is a recipient of the 92Y Discovery Prize and an Academy of American Poets Prize. Her visual art has been exhibited at the Charlotte Street Foundation and The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art online. Her writing can be found in Poetry Magazine, The Nation, and elsewhere.
Photo credit: Lucas Carpenter
Jermaine Thompson was born in Louisville, Mississippi. He learned language from big-armed women who greased their skillets with gossip and from full-bellied men who cursed and prayed with the same fervor. Though he now lives in Birmingham, Alabama and teaches Humanities at Build Up Community School, Kansas City was his home from 2015–2023. He has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Missouri–Kansas City where he taught Black Studies and Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry. He has publications in The Pinch, Memorious, Whale Road Review, Southern Indiana Review, and New Letters. He enjoys live music, theater, and buying statement hoodies.
Photo credit: Oz Overshiner
Maryfrances Wagner’s newest books are The Silence of Red Glass, The Immigrants’ New Camera, and Solving for X. Her newly reissued book Red Silk won the Thorpe Menn Book Award. She co-edits I-70 Review, is president of The Writers Place, was 2020 Missouri Individual Artist of the Year, and Missouri Poet Laureate 2021-2023. Poems have appeared in New Letters, Midwest Quarterly, Laurel Review, American Journal of Poetry, Poetry East, Green Mountain Literary Review, Voices in Italian Americana, Main Street Rag, Rattle, and Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry.
Photo credit: Andrea Brookhart
Gwen Nell Westerman
Gwen Nell Westerman publishes poetry in Dakota and English. Her poetry collections include Songs, Blood Deep (2023) and Follow the Blackbirds (2013). Her poems appear in numerous journals and are included in When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry, edited by Joy Harjo (2020), and New Poets of Native Nations: 21 Poets for the 21st Century, edited by Heid E. Erdrich (2018). She teaches the MFA Poetry Workshop at Minnesota State University, Mankato and is the current Poet Laureate of Minnesota.