Hala Alyan is an Arab American poet and clinical psychologist whose work has appeared in numerous journals including The Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner and Columbia Poetry Review. Her poetry collection “Atrium” (Three Rooms Press) was awarded the 2013 Arab American Book Award in Poetry. “Four Cities,” her second collection, is forthcoming by Black Lawrence Press later this year. Her latest collection, “Hijra,” was recently selected as a winner of the 2015 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry and will be published by Southern Illinois University Press.
Recognized as one of advertising’s most accomplished creative talents, Steve Penchina has won more than 350 awards, including 19 Clios, numerous Gold and Silver medals for The One Show, The New York Art Director’s Club, The Andys, Addys, Effies, International Film Festival and Cannes Lions. The founder of Penchina, Selkowitz Inc., Penchina created award-winning campaigns, for Xerox, NBC, Newsweek, Citibank, Canon, Hertz, Fiat, BusinessWeek, CNBC, Japan Airlines, Proctor & Gamble, and many more.
Néstor David Pastor is a writer and musician originally from Queens, NY. He attended Binghamton University and now studies at Queens College. He works with Radio Ambulante, an award-winning Spanish-language podcast and released an EP last year under the name Neutral Tones. His work has been published by The Rumpus, Newtown Literary, Qns Made, and is forthcoming in En Clave. More of his writing can be found at http://www.bewarethedilettante.com
Michael P. Kusen is an author/illustrator who has developed a chess teaching curriculum of seven chess books. In addition Mr. Kusen has also published non-chess related articles, essays and poetry including The Journey Of A Poet (a volume of personal poetry) and he is currently compiling a volume of his short stories. Mr. Kusen has a B.A. from the SUNY in the twin disciplines of literature and art.