May 2016

Richard Jeffrey Newman
As a poet and essayist, Richard Jeffrey Newman’s work explores the impact of feminism on his life as a man, especially as a survivor of childhood sexual violence. As a co-translator of classical Persian poetry, he writes about the impact of that canon on our contemporary lives. His books include For My Son, A Kind of Prayer (forthcoming in April 2016 from Ghostbird Press), The Silence of Men (Cavankerry Press), and the translation The Teller of Tales: Stories from Ferdowsi’s Shahameh (Junction Press).He curates the First Tuesdays reading series in Elmhurst, NY and is President of the Board of Directors of Newtown Literary Alliance, a Queens-based literary non-profit. In 2015, he received an individual artist’s grant from the Queens Council on the Arts to complete his second book of poems Words for What Those Men Have Done. His essays have been published in, among other places, Salon.com, The Scavenger, The Good Men Project. Newman is Professor of English at Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY. His website is http://www.richardjnewman.com.

Amy Koppelman
Amy Koppelman is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, A Mouthful of Air and I Smile Back. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Pennsylvania, and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. Koppelman and her screenwriting partner adapted I SMILE BACK for the screen. The film, starring Sarah Silverman, premiered at the 2015 Sundance, Toronto and Deauville Film Festivals. Amy lives in New York City with her family. She is an outspoken advocate for women’s mental health.

Kem Joy Ukwu
Kem Joy Ukwu’s fiction has appeared in BLACKBERRY: a magazine, Carve Magazine, TINGE, Blue Lake Review, PANK and Jabberwock Review. Her short story, “Speakers & Headphones,” was selected as a Top-25 finalist in Glimmer Train’s June 2012 Open Fiction Contest and her story, “By Name,” received an honorable mention for Glimmer Train’s October 2015 Very Short Fiction Contest. In April 2016, she will serve as an Institute Scholar in the Writing from the Margins Institute at Bloomfield College. More of her work can be found at kemjoyukwu.com. She lives in New Jersey with her husband.

Chandra Steele
Whatever else she’s doing, Chandra Steele should be writing because she has a novel to finish. But you can probably find her on Twitter instead (@ChanSteele). Chandra’s excuse is that she’s senior features writer at PCMag.com. Before that she was a semi-finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Award and won the MTV Write Stuff competition. She’s drunk kvass and eaten Jesus Harvest Seeds and lived to tell people about it on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. In sum, Chandra is the only person who has managed to procrastinate writing by writing.