Ed Falco's latest book is Toughs, a novel based in part on historical events in the life of gangster Vince Coll. His previous novel was The Family Corleone, which was developed from a screenplay by Mario Puzo. His most recent short story collection is Burning Man (SMU, 2011). His previous short story collections are Sabbath Night in the Church of the Piranha: New and Selected Stories (Unbridled Books, 2005), Acid (University of Notre Dame Press, 1996), and Plato at Scratch Daniel's and Other Stories (University of Arkansas Press, 1990). He is also the author of four novels: Saint John of the Five Boroughs (Unbridled Books, 2009), Wolf Point (Unbridled Books, 2005), A Dream with Demons (Eastgate Systems, 1997), and Winter in Florida (Soho, 1990), as well as a collection of literary and experimental short fictions, In the Park of Culture (University of Notre Dame Press, 2005), and a collection of hypertext short fictions, Sea Island (Eastgate Systems, 1995). Ed's plays--The Center, Possum Dreams, Sabbath Night in the Church of the Piranha, and others--have mostly been produced and read in and around Blacksburg, Virginia, where he teaches in Virginia Tech's MFA program, and he edits The New River, an online journal of new media writing.
Nikki Giovanni is the proud recipient of seven NAACP Image Awards for her poetry. She has been awarded The Langston Hughes Medal for Poetry and she is the first recipient of The Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award. The state of Tennessee, her birth state, has placed an Historic Marker at 400 Mulvaney Street, the home of her Grandparents, where she lived during her teen years; the city of Lincoln Heights, Ohio, her childhood home, has also placed an Historic Marker on the street of St. Simon’s, her elementary school. Giovanni was invited to create the poem, At This Moment, celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Abraham Lincoln. Standing where Marion Anderson stood was one of her proudest moments, she says. 2008 was an unusually productive year with Giovanni bringing four books to publication. Hip Hop Speaks To Children; Lincoln and Douglas: An American Friendship; and The Grasshopper’s Song added to her children’s canon. Hip Hop reached Number 3 on the New York Times Best Seller List. Her latest collection of adult poetry, Bicycles: Love Poems, was honored with her sixth NAACP Image Award. 2010 saw the publication of The 100*Best African American Poems (*But I Cheated), along with the accompanying CD with readings by Ruby Dee Novella Nelson and Sonia Sanchez, among others. Giovanni also produced the DVD VT READS celebrating The Steger Poetry Prize at Virginia Tech and co-produced 73 (Poems) for 73 (Years): The Lucille Clifton Memorial Reading. Giovanni is especially pleased that she partnered with Maya Angelou to celebrate Toni Morrison at Sheer Good Fortune, which brought together a host of special artists, including legendary Angela Davis, MacArthur Genius awardee Edwidge Danticat, former United States Poet Laureate Rita Dove, and many others. Giovanni, whose new collection of poems is entitled Chasing Utopia, can frequently be seen sharing stories in Shanks Hall.
Bob Hicok’s eighth collection is Sex & Love & (Copper Canyon, 2016). His previous collections were Elegy Owed (Copper Canyon, 2013) and Words for Empty and Words for Full (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010). This Clumsy Living (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007), was awarded the 2008 Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress and published in a German translation by Luxbooks in 2013. His other books are Insomnia Diary (Pitt, 2004); Animal Soul (Invisible Cities Press, 2001), finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Plus Shipping (BOA, 1998); and The Legend of Light (University of Wisconsin, 1995), which received the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry and was named a 1997 ALA Booklist Notable Book of the Year. A recipient of six Pushcart Prizes, a Guggenheim and two NEA Fellowships, his poetry has been selected for inclusion in eight volumes of Best American Poetry, including the upcoming Best of the Best American Poetry.
Jeff Mann grew up in Covington, Virginia, and Hinton, West Virginia, receiving degrees in English and forestry from West Virginia University. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in many publications, including Arts and Letters, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Willow Springs, The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, Crab Orchard Review, and Appalachian Heritage. He has published three award-winning poetry chapbooks, Bliss, Mountain Fireflies, and Flint Shards from Sussex; five full-length books of poetry, Bones Washed with Wine, On the Tongue, Ash: Poems from Norse Mythology, A Romantic Mann, and Rebels; two collections of personal essays, Edge: Travels of an Appalachian Leather Bear and Binding the God: Ursine Essays from the Mountain South; three novellas, Devoured, included in Masters of Midnight: Erotic Tales of the Vampire,Camp Allegheny, included in History’s Passion: Stories of Sex Before Stonewall, and The Saga of Einar and Gisli, included in On the Run: Tales of Gay Pursuit and Passion; four novels, Fog: A Novel of Desire and Reprisal, which won the Pauline Réage Novel Award, Purgatory: A Novel of the Civil War, which won a Rainbow Award, Cub, and Salvation: A Novel of the Civil War; a book of poetry and memoir, Loving Mountains, Loving Men; and two volumes of short fiction, Desire and Devour: Stories of Blood and Sweat and A History of Barbed Wire, which won a Lambda Literary Award. In 2013, he was inducted into the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival Hall of Fame. He teaches creative writing at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Erika Meitner is the author of Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore (Anhinga Press, 2003), Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls (Anhinga Press, 2011), and Ideal Cities (Harper Perennial, 2010), which was a 2009 National Poetry series winner. Her fourth book of poems, Copia, was published by BOA Editions in 2014. Meitner’s poems have been anthologized widely, and have appeared in Ploughshares, Oxford American, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Tin House, and elsewhere. Her essays have appeared in venues including Virginia Quarterly Review, Best African American Essays 2010, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Poetry Foundation's website. She has received fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Blue Mountain Center, and The MacDowell Colony, and she was a 2014-15 US-UK Fulbright Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast. She holds a BA from Dartmouth College, and an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. Meitner is currently an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she directs the MFA program in Creative Writing.
Lucinda Roy is Alumni Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing at Virginia Tech where she teaches creative writing in the graduate and undergraduate programs. A 2005 recipient of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award, Professor Roy’s publications include the poetry collections Wailing the Dead to Sleep and The Humming Birds (winner of the Eighth Mountain Poetry Prize); and the novels Lady Moses (a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection), and The Hotel Alleluia. Her memoir-critique entitled No Right to Remain Silent: What We’ve Learned from the Tragedy at Virginia Tech, was published by Three Rivers/Random House. Professor Roy was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Richmond in 2000, and she was selected by the Virginia Press Women’s Association as Newsmaker of the Year in 2009. At Virginia Tech, she has served as Chair of English, Director/Co-Director of Creative Writing, and Associate Dean for Curriculum, Outreach, and Diversity. She has been a guest on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, The Today Show, Sunday Morning, Oprah, NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show, Sky News, Al Jazeera, and many TV and radio shows. She has also been a featured guest on PBS and BBC documentaries. Her poetry, fiction, and commentaries have appeared in numerous publications including North American Review, American Poetry Review, Rattle, Prairie Schooner, the New York Times, Newsweek’s College Guide, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Guardian, Inside Higher Education, and USA Today. Professor Roy is currently at work on another poetry collection, articles and commentaries on school safety and gun violence, a young adult novel series, and a series of oil paintings depicting the Middle Passage.
Matthew Vollmer is the author of Future Missionaries of America (published by MacAdam Cage and Salt Modern Fiction), a collection of stories, and inscriptions for headstones, a collection of essays. A second story collection, titled Gateway to Paradise, was published by Persea Books in 2015. With David Shields, he is the co-editor of Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, “Found” Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts (forthcoming from W. W. Norton). To read samples from this work, and to browse a collection of literary artifacts, visit literaryartifacts.tumblr.com. His work has appeared in Paris Review, Glimmer Train, The Sun, Virginia Quarterly Review, Epoch, Tin House, The Oxford American, Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, Ecotone, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Antioch Review, Willow Springs, DIAGRAM, Portland Review, Tampa Review, Passages North, PANK, New England Review, The Normal School, Confrontation, Salt Hill, Fugue, PRISM International, and New Letters. Vollmer is the recipient of a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts grant, as well as the Sturm Award for Creative Arts at Virginia Tech. His work has been short-listed three times for the Best American Short Stories series, and appears in Best American Essays 2013. He also edits the 21st Century Prose Series for the University of Michigan Press.Vollmer holds a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina, an M.A. in English from North Carolina State University, and an M.F.A. in fiction writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. As an Assistant Professor, he is a member of the MFA Faculty in the English Department at Virginia Tech, where he directs the undergraduate creative writing program.
Carmen Giménez Smith
Carmen Giménez Smith received a BA in English at San Jose State University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the author of a memoir and four poetry collections, including Milk and Filth, a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle award in poetry. She was awarded an American Book Award for her memoir Bring Down the Little Birds and the Juniper Prize for Poetry for her collection Goodbye, Flicker. She also co-edited Angels of the Americlypse: New Latin@ Writing, an anthology of contemporary Latinx writing (Counterpath Press, 2014). She has received fellowships from the Howard Foundation, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, the Ragdale Foundation and CantoMundo. She now serves on the planning committee for CantoMundo and on the board of RASA, which sponsors the Thinking Its Presence conference on race and art. She serves as the publisher of Noemi Press. Noemi has published over 40 full-length collections of poetry and fiction, which have received reviews in Boston Review, Publishers Weekly, The Rumpus, and Pleiades. With Francisco Aragon, she co-founded the Akrilica Series, a Noemi book series for innovative writing by Latinos, and Infidel Poetics, a series of short-form poetics on gender, identity, and the 21st century. Her next collection of poems will be a volume in the City Lights Spotlight Series. Be Recorder will be published by Graywolf Press in 2019.
Evan Lavender-Smith is the author of a hybrid-genre work, From Old Notebooks, which was a NewPages Noteworthy Book, a Small Press Distribution Recommended Book, a finalist for the Fence Modern Poets Series, and named a best book of the year by Biblioklept, HTMLGiant, Dzanc Books, 32 Poems and others. He is also the author of Avatar, a short novel, which was a Small Press Distribution Bestseller. His writing has been published by Arts & Letters, BOMB, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Evergreen Review, Fence, Glimmer Train, Harvard Review and many other magazines. His co-translation of Chilean poet Pablo de Rokha’s “Canto del macho anciano” was recently included in Pinholes from the Night: Essential Poems from Latin America. He is the founding editor of Noemi Press, the former editor-in-chief of Puerto del Sol, and a contributor at HTMLGiant. Recently he was named a finalist for the Creative Capital Award and he served as an ArtWorks grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts.