Zack Bean grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, in a heavily-armed neighborhood where people had a fun time by taking potshots at each other's dogs. This, it turns out, was good preparation for creative writing workshops. Zack earned an MFA in fiction from Penn State University in 2006. His stories are forthcoming in The Cream City Review and Fiction.
Sean Bishop, a first-year MFA student in creative writing at the University of Houston, graduated from Hampshire College in 2005 with a degree in literature and social theory. His work has appeared in Poetry magazine and The Minnesota Review. He is a recipient of the 2007 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship.
Laurie Ann Cedilnik was born and raised in Queens, NY. Since graduating from Wellesley College, she has worked as an editorial assistant at Penguin Group (USA) and an account executive for a book marketing agency. She is the recipient of two Scholastic Art & Writing awards. Her reviews have appeared in Newsday and Bust magazine. She is working towards an MFA in Fiction at UH.
Mark Doty is the author of seven books of poems and four volumes of nonfiction prose, most recently Dog Years (HarperCollins, 2007). His work has been honored by the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction, and the T.S. Eliot Prize. Next spring HarperCollins will publish his new collection, Fire to Fire: New & Selected Poems. He's taught at the University of Houston since 1998.
Mat Johnson was born and raised in Philly, where he grew up in the Germantown and Mount Airy sections of the city. As an adult, he has lived elsewhere. His first novel, Drop, was a B&N Discover Great New Writers selection. His second novel, Hunting in Harlem, won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. He has written for a variety of publications, including a stint as a columnist for Time Out-NY. Mat Johnson currently teaches at the University of Houston, Creative Writing Program.
Ellen Kirby was born, grew tall and fair, pursued her MFA at the University of Houston, grew old, and died an abbess.
Alexander Parsons is the author of the novels Leaving Disneyland, winner of the Associated Writing Programs Award Series for the Novel, and In the Shadows of the Sun, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. He is the recipient of a 2002 Texas Literary Fellowship, a 2004 Chesterfield Screenwriting Fellowship, and a 2004 National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellowship, and holds graduate degrees from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and New Mexico State University.
Liz Waldner was born in Cleveland Ohio, raised in rural Mississippi and lived in 17 other states before arriving in Texas. She's the author of six poetry collections, some of them published as winners of the Iowa Poetry Prize, The Contemporary Poetry Series, The James Laughlin Award, and the Beatrice Hawley Prize. She is an Assistant Visiting Professor in the Creative Writing Program.