Marianne Boruch recently published her tenth book of poems, The Anti-Grief (Copper Canyon, 2019). Her forthcoming collection, Bestiary Dark (Copper Canyon, 2021), is based on her experience two years ago as a Fulbright Scholar in Australia where she closely observed the continent’s astonishing wildlife. Gone rogue and emeritus from Purdue University, she continues to be on faculty at the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
Odette Casamayor-Cisneros is a Cuban-born writer, scholar, and Associate Professor of Latin American Cultural Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. The author of the short-story collection Una casa en los Catskills, published by La Secta de los Perros in 2011 and by Letras Cubanas in 2016, she has also published a book of literary essays, Utopía, distopía e ingravidez: Reconfiguraciones cosmológicas en la narrativa post-soviética cubana [Utopia, Dystopia and Ethical Weightlessness: Cosmological Reconfigurations in post-Soviet Cuban Fiction], from Vervuert Verlagsgesellschaft in 2013. She is currently completing several fiction and nonfiction book projects, focusing on the Afro-Latinx experience.
Marianne Chan grew up in Stuttgart, Germany, and Lansing, Michigan. She is the author of All Heathens (Sarabande Books, 2020). Her poems have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Cincinnati Review, West Branch, Rumpus, and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati.
Susan Daitch is the author of The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir (City Lights, 2016), The Colorist (Vintage, 1990), three other novels, and a collection of short stories. Her work has been the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, two Vogelstein grants, and an NEA Heritage award. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is currently working on a book about eugenics and consciousness.
Carl Dennis is the author of thirteen books of poetry, including Practical Gods (2001), New and Selected Poems, 1974–2004 (2004), Callings (2010), and Night School (2017), all from Penguin Books. A winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Ruth Lilly Prize, he taught for many years in the English Department of the State University of New York and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. He lives in Buffalo, New York.
Matt Donovan is the author of two collections of poetry—Rapture & the Big Bam (Tupelo Press, 2017) and Vellum (Mariner, 2007), as well as a book of lyric essays, A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Meditations on Ruin and Redemption (Trinity University Press, 2016). Donovan is the recipient of a Whiting Award, a Rome Prize in Literature, a Creative Capital Grant, and an NEA Fellowship in Literature. He serves as the director of the Boutelle-Day Poetry Center at Smith College.
Ahmel Echevarría (b. Havana, 1974) is a writer and member of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) and the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). His books include Días de entrenamiento (2010 Franz Kafka Novelas de Gaveta Prize; FRA, Czech Republic, 2012), Búfalos camino al matadero (2012 José Soler Puig Novel Prize; Oriente, 2013), La noria (2012 Italo Calvino Novel Prize; Unión, 2013; 2013 Literary Critics’ Prize), and Caballo con arzones (2017 Alejo Carpentier Novel Prize; Editorial Letras Cubanas, 2017; 2017 Literary Critics’ Prize).
Norge Espinosa Mendoza (b. 1971, Santa Clara) is a Cuban poet, playwright, and cultural critic. He holds the distinction of being the first Cuban to participate in the University of Iowa’s prestigious International Writing Program. His poem “Vestido de novia” was the first poem on a homoerotic theme to win the Premio de Poesía from Cuba’s state cultural magazine El Caimán Barbudo, and has since become one of the most anthologized poems by poets of his generation. He is the author of numerous published works, including poetry, essays, and plays. His plays have been staged in Cuba, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico, Peru, and the United States.
Blas Falconer is the author of three poetry collections, including Forgive the Body This Failure (Four Way Books, 2018). The recipient of an NEA fellowship and a Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award, he teaches in the MFA program at San Diego State University.
Lucy Ferriss is Writer in Residence at Trinity College and the author of ten books, most recently the novel A Sister to Honor (Penguin, 2015). Foreign Climes: Short Stories is forthcoming from Brighthorse Books. “Meditation on Middle G” is part of Meditations for a New Century, a collection in progress.
Víctor Fowler Calzada has published more than ten books of poetry and four books of essays. His poetry has been anthologized in numerous collections of Cuban poetry. He was a teacher for many years, and he has also worked as a specialist of the National Reading Program at the Cuban National Library and as the Editor of Publications at the International Film and Television School of San Antonio de los Baños. In 2008, he was awarded the Nicolás Guillén national poetry prize in Cuba, and in 2015–2016 he was a visiting fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.
Erin Goodman is a frequent translator for the New York Times Opinion Section and other publications. Her creative translations have been featured in Los Angeles Review, Poetry International Rotterdam, spoKe, and the Lifted Brow, among others. “Patriotic Sex” is part of a collection of twelve stories by Odette Casamayor-Cisneros. Erin’s translation of an extensive selection of poetry by Juana Rosa Pita (b. 1939, Havana), The Miracle Unfolds, is forthcoming from Song Bridge Press in summer 2021.
Kimberly Grey is the author of two books, Systems for the Future of Feeling (Persea Books, 2020) and The Opposite of Light (Persea Books, 2015), winner of the 2015 Lexi Rudnitsky Book Prize. Her poetry and nonfiction have been published in Kenyon Review, Tin House, A Public Space, Narrative, and other journals. She is the recipient of fellowships from Stanford University, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the University of Cincinnati, where she is completing her PhD in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing.
David Groff’s poetry collection Clay (Trio House Press, 2013) was chosen by Michael Waters for the Louise Bogan Award. His book Theory of Devolution (University of Illinois Press, 2002) was selected by Mark Doty for the National Poetry Series. An independent book editor, he teaches in the MFA program at the City College of New York.
Rebecca Hanssens-Reed is a translator and writer whose work can be found in Conjunctions, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Washington Square Review, Asymptote, and elsewhere. She has an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Iowa, where she was also a Provost’s Postgraduate Visiting Writer. Her translation of the novel Gelsomina Inside the White Madhouses, by Margarita Mateo Palmer, is forthcoming from Cubanabooks Press.
George Henson is a translator of contemporary Latin American prose. His translations include Elena Poniatowska’s The Heart of the Artichoke (Alligator Press, 2010); Sergio Pitol’s The Art of Flight (2015), The Journey (2016), and The Magician of Vienna (2017), all with Deep Vellum Publishing; and, most recently, Alberto Chimal’s The Most Fragile Objects (Katakana Editores, 2020). He teaches Spanish translation at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
Edgardo Hinginio hails from the remote town of San Ramón, Campechuela, in Granma Province. His work has appeared in the original Spanish in many publications, including Ventana Sur, La Palma del Auriga, and the anthology of short stories Desde ninguna parte una palabra (Ediciones Bayamo, 2004). His poetry collection El hombre obscuro (Ediciones Bayamo) was published in 2007. He was a recipient of the Coral Horse Scholarship from the Onelio Jorge Cardoso Literary Education Center in Havana in 1999.
Margot Kahn is a poet, essayist, biographer, and editor. She is the author Horses That Buck (University of Oklahoma Press, 2008) and co-editor of the New York Times Editors’ Choice anthology This Is the Place (Seal/Hachette, 2017). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Mantis, New Ohio Review, and elsewhere.
Jorge Enrique Lage (b. Havana, 1979) is a writer and editor. His story collections include El color de la sangre diluida (Letras Cubanas, Havana, 2008) and Vultureffect (Unión, Havana, 2011; Bokeh, Leiden, 2015). His novels include Carbono 14. Una novela de culto (Altazor, Lima, 2010; Letras Cubanas, Havana, 2012), La autopista: the movie (Caja China, Havana, 2014; Esto no es Berlín, Madrid, 2015; Sudaquia, New York, 2016), Archivo (Hyper-media, Miami, 2015), and Everglades (Hypermedia, Miami, 2020). His story “Bitches” was included in McSweeney’s 46: Thirteen Crime Stories from Latin America.
Matthew Lansburgh’s collection of linked stories, Outside Is the Ocean (University of Iowa Press, 2017), won the Iowa Short Fiction Award and was a finalist for the thirtieth annual Lambda Literary Award and the 2018 Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction. His fiction has appeared in journals such as One Story, Glimmer Train, Ecotone, Alaska Quarterly Review, Guernica, and Epoch, and has been shortlisted in the Best American Short Stories series. Recent honors include fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony.
Margarita Mateo Palmer was born in Havana, Cuba, and is a writer and professor with a PhD in Literary Sciences from the University of Havana. A member of the Cuban Academy of Language, she has published seven volumes of essays, as well as the novel Desde los blancos manicomios (Atom Press, 2010), which won the Alejo Carpentier prize. Her writing on Caribbean literature has earned her fellowships at Harvard and Tulane and six iterations of the National Literary Critics Prize. In 2016, she was awarded Cuba’s most prestigious award, the National Literature Prize.
Michael McGriff is the author of several books, including a forthcoming volume of poetry, Eternal Sentences (University of Arkansas Press, 2021), which won the Miller Williams Poetry Prize. He serves on the creative writing faculty at the University of Idaho.
Kat Meads is the author of twenty books and chapbooks of prose and poetry, including Dear DeeDee, a memoir-in-letters (Regal House Publishing, 2020). Her essays have appeared in Agni Online, American Arts and Letters, Southern Review, Crazyhorse, Drunken Boat, Full Stop, Broad Street, World Literature Today, and elsewhere. Her nonfiction has been recognized by four Notable citations from Best American Essays and an IPPY Gold Medal for 2:12 am, a collection of essays inspired by insomnia.
Jamila Medina Ríos (b. Holguin, 1981) is a poet, novelist, essayist, and editor who lives in Havana. She is the author of two novels and five books of poetry, including Huecos de araña (Ediciones Union, 2008), Anémona (Santa Clara, Cuba, 2013; Madrid, 2016), and Del corazón de la col y otras mentiras (Havana, 2013). Her works have received several major literary awards, including the David Prize in 2009, the Alejo Carpentier Prize in 2012, and the Nicolás Guillén Prize in 2017. Medina Ríos is a poetry editor for Unión Publishers and an editor for the literary magazine and publishing house Rialta.
Askold Melnyczuk is the author of The Man Who Would Not Bow, a story collection to be published in late 2021 from Grand Iota (UK). He has published four novels, as well as stories, essays, and poems in the Missouri Review, Threepenny Review, the Antioch Review, and the American Poetry Review. He is founding editor of Agni and Arrowsmith.
Jill Osier’s poetry includes the recent collection The Solace Is Not the Lullaby (Yale University Press, 2020), selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets.
Xan Padrón (b. Galicia, Spain, 1969) is a Galician photographer, musician, and composer. The son of an old-school journalist, he grew up used to being the silent observer who sees things quietly and finds stories everywhere. As a former professional touring musician, traveling the world with his bass and his camera, he was able to pursue his career as a photographer by focusing on the people around him. He lives and works in New York City with his wife, the musician, composer, writer, and educator Cristina Pato.
César Pérez (b. Santa Clara, Cuba, 1973) studied journalism at the Universidad de La Habana and holds an MA in Spanish from the University of Iowa and an AM in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University. He has lived in Massachusetts since 2004 and teaches Spanish and Medieval History at the Commonwealth School in Boston. He is the ridiculously proud father of three children, Adrián, Julián, and Elliot, and does his best to deserve them. He has published very little but is finishing a long novel, Cubamerón, from which “The World’s Second Shortest Story” is an excerpt.
Ethel Rackin is the author of three books of poetry: The Forever Notes (Parlor Press, 2013); Go On (Parlor Press, 2016), a National Jewish Book Award finalist; and Evening (Furniture Press, 2017). Her collaborative lyric sequence, “Soledad,” written with Elizabeth Savage, was awarded the Thomas Merton Prize for Poetry of the Sacred by Elizabeth Robinson, and another collaborative sequence, “Silent e,” is included in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Collaborative Writing (Black Lawrence Press, 2018). A MacDowell fellow, she has taught at Penn State Brandywine, Haverford College, and Bucks County Community College in Pennsylvania, where she is a professor of English.
Legna Rodríguez Iglesias (b. Camagüey, Cuba, 1984) currently lives in Miami. She has published thirteen books of poetry and narrative, and one of theater, including the poetry collection Dame spray (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2016), the short story collection La mujer que compró el mundo (Los Libros de la Mujer Rota, 2017), and the play Si esto es una tragedia yo soy una bicicleta (Casa de las Americas, La Habana, Cuba, 2015). For the latter, she received the Premio Casa de las Américas in 2016. In 2011, she received the Premio Iberoamericano de Cuentos Julio Cortázar; in 2017 she was awarded the Paz Prize, by the National Poetry Series; and in 2019 she received the Premio Centrifugados de la Poesía Joven in Spain. The poems in this issue of NER are from the book Transtucé (Editorial Casa Vacía, 2017).
Heidi Astrid Schmaltz (1982–2021), who passed away just as this issue was going to press, was a writer and translator based in the Pacific Northwest. She received an MA in Spanish Language and Literature from Portland State University as well as an Award of Achievement in Spanish Translation from the University of British Columbia. As an undergraduate, she studied Latin American poetry at the University of Chile, Concepción. Her own poems have appeared in VoiceCatcher, Perceptions Literary Magazine, the Feminist Wire, the Gorge Literary Journal, and others. A language advocate at the Oregon Society of Translators and Interpreters, she was also a professional community-based interpreter and Spanish faculty at Grays Harbor College.
Katerina Gonzalez Seligmann is an Assistant Professor of Literature in the Department of Writing, Literature, & Publishing at Emerson College. She is a literary translator and a scholar of Caribbean literature, history, and social theory. She is also the translator of the poetry collection Spinning Mill (Cardboard House Press, 2019), by Legna Rodríguez Iglesias.
Charif Shanahan is the author of Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry, 2017), which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship at Stanford University, a Fulbright grant to Morocco, and residency fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, among other awards and recognitions. He teaches poetry in the undergraduate and Litowitz MFA+MA programs at Northwestern University.
Jennifer Shyue is a translator focusing on contemporary Cuban and Asian-Peruvian writers. Her work has been supported by grants from Fulbright, Princeton University, and the University of Iowa and has appeared in the Common online, Hyperallergic, the Margins, and elsewhere. Her translation of Julia Wong Kcomt’s Bi-rey-nato is forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse’s Señal chapbook series. She can be found at shyue.co.
Cynthia Steele is Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her translations of Latin American authors include José Emilio Pacheco’s City of Memory and Other Poems (with David Lauer, City Lights, 1997) and Inés Arredondo’s Underground Rivers and Other Stories (University of Nebraska Press, 1996). Her translations have also appeared in Chicago Review, Seattle Review, TriQuarterly, Gulf Coast, Trinity Journal of Literary Translation, Lunch Ticket, Plumwood Mountain, Plume Poetry, and Michigan Quarterly Review; others are forthcoming in Ezra, Southern Review, Washington Square Review, and Latin American Literary Review.
Debbie Urbanski is a writer living in Central New York. Her stories have been published in Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Sun, Kenyon Review, Nature, Conjunctions, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and the Best American Experimental Writing. In 2019, she received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award.
Anna Lidia Vega Serova (b. Leningrad, 1968) is a Cuban writer and visual artist. She is a two-time winner of the Premio David, and her work has been translated into English, French, German, Italian, and Japanese. Her books include the novels Bad Painting (Ediciones Unión, 1998) and Ánima fatua (Editorial Letras Cubanas, 2007), the story collections El día de cada día (Ediciones Unión, 2006) and Imperio doméstico (Editorial Letras Cubanas, 2005), and the poetry collections Retazos (de las hormigas) para los malos tiempos (Ediciones Vigía, 2004) and Eslabones de un tiempo muerto (Reina del Mar Editores, 2005). She lives in Havana.