In the Spotlight

A periodic feature of AWP members.


  • Jennifer Acker

    Jennifer Acker

    Location: Amherst, MA

    Member Since: 2012

    About: Jennifer Acker is the founding editor of The Common, a new print and online journal featuring literature and images with a strong sense of place. She has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, and her translations, essays, and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in publications such as Harper’s, The New Inquiry, Ascent, and Ploughshares. Acker was a visiting lecturer at Amherst College in 2011-12 and is currently a Faculty Fellow at New York University Abu Dhabi. She writes a monthly column about her Middle Eastern adventures for The Common Online.
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  • Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano

    Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano

    Location: San Francisco, CA

    Member Since: 2010

    About: A Queer Xicano writer of Rarámuri descent, Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano is the author of Santo de la Pata Alzada: Poems from the Queer/Xicano/Positive Pen and co-author of Tragic Bitches: An Experiment in Queer Xicana & Xicano Performance Poetry. He is the editor of Queer Codex: Chile Love, an anthology of visual and literary works by queer men of color from across the U.S.; Queer Codex: Rooted, a mix-genre anthology by queer women and trans-identified writers and visual artists; and the forthcoming Joto: An Anthology of Queer Xicano & Chicano Poetry. His work appears in Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry, as well as the journals ZYZZYVA and Yellow Medicine Review. He is the founder of Kórima Press, an independent Queer Chicana/o and Xicana/o press.
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Previously in the Spotlight


  • Kirstin Chen

    Kirstin Chen

    Location: San Francisco, California

    Member Since: 2011

    About: Kirstin Chen's debut novel, Soy Sauce for Beginners, is forthcoming in the fall of 2013. A 2011-12 Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing, her fiction has won awards from the Sewanee and Napa Valley writers' conferences. Her stories have appeared in Hobart, Pank, The Good Men Project, and others, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best New American Voices anthology. She holds a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from Emerson College.
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  • Michael Dumanis

    Michael Dumanis

    Location: Bennington, Vermont

    Member Since: 2002

    About: Michael Dumanis is the author of My Soviet Union and coeditor of Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century. From 2007 to 2012, he taught in Cleveland State University’s NEOMFA program and directed the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. He is a recipient of a 2012 Creative Workforce Fellowship from the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture and a member of the literature faculty of Bennington College.
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  • Kirstin Chen

    Sarah Gorham

    Location: Louisville, Kentucky

    Member Since: 1985

    About: Sarah Gorham is a poet, essayist, and publisher. She founded Sarabande Books in 1994 and serves as the press’s president and editor-and-chief. The author of four poetry collections, including Bad Daughter and The Cure, she has received grants and fellowships from Yaddo, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the MacDowell Colony, and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, as well as the Gertrude Claytor Prize from the Poetry Society of America.
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  • Kelle Groom

    Kelle Groom

    Location: Incline Village, Nevada

    Member Since: 2006

    About: Kelle Groom is the author of three poetry collections: Five Kingdoms, Luckily, and Underwater City. Her memoir, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers and a New York Times Book Review editor’s pick for 2011. She has held residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Ucross Foundation, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the Black Mountain Institute. For 2012-13, Groom will be the distinguished writer-in-residence at Sierra Nevada College, where she is also on the faculty of the college’s low-residency MFA program.
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  • C.J. Hribal

    C.J. Hribal

    Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Member Since: 1990

    About: C.J. Hribal is the author of two novels and two short fiction collections, including The Company Car, which won the Anne Powers Book Award, and The Clouds in Memphis, which won the AWP Award for Short Fiction. A Guggenheim Fellow, he is the Louise Edna Goeden Professor of English at Marquette University and also teaches at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.
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  • Gerald Richards

    Gerald Richards

    Location: San Francisco, California

    Member Since: 2011

    About: Gerald Richards is the CEO of 826 National. With twenty years of management and development experience at national nonprofit organizations, Gerald is a respected trainer and speaker on topics of youth and education access. He holds a BA in Film Studies from Wesleyan University and an MFA in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
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  • Alex Shakar

    Alex Shakar

    Location: Urbana, Illinois

    Member Since: 2010

    About: Alex Shakar’s first novel, The Savage Girl, was selected as a New York Times Notable Book and has been translated into six foreign languages. His story collection, City In Love, was the winner of the FC2 National Fiction Competition. A native of Brooklyn, he teaches fiction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and lives in Chicago with his wife, the composer Olivia Block. His newest novel, Luminarium, was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction in 2012.
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  • Sholeh Wolpé

    Sholeh Wolpé

    Location: Los Angeles, California

    Member Since: 2005

    About: Poet and literary translator Sholeh Wolpé was born in Iran and grew up in the Caribbean and Europe before settling in the United States. She is the author of three poetry collections, Keeping Time with Blue Hyacinths (forthcoming, March 2013), Rooftops of Tehran, and The Scar Saloon; a book of translations, Sin: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad; and editor of two anthologies, The Forbidden: Poems from Iran and Its Exiles and Breaking the Jaws of Silence: Sixty American Poets Speak to the World (forthcoming, March 2013). She is a regional editor of Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East and also a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Review of Books.
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