Michael Byers

Michael Byers is the author of The Coast of Good Intentions, a book of stories, and Long for This World, a novel. His first book was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, won the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and garnered a Whiting Writer’s Award, among other citations. Long for This World received the First Novel Award from Virginia Commonwealth University, won the annual fiction prize from Friends of American Writers, and was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Both were New York Times Notable Books. Byers’s fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards; his nonfiction has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Best American Travel Writing, and elsewhere. A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford, he teaches creative writing at the University of Michigan. His new novel, Percival’s Planet, will be published in 2010 by Henry Holt.

Ron Carlson

Ron Carlson is the author of ten books of fiction, most recently the novel, The Signal (2009). Previous work includes Five Skies, At The Jim Bridger, and The Hotel Eden, a New York Times Notable Book and Los Angeles Times Best Book. His work is included in many anthologies, including the O’Henry Prize Stories and Best American Stories. Carlson is currently director of the graduate writing program at UC Irivine. In 2006, GQ Magazine called him “one of the great things about America.” In April, 2009, he was the awarded the Aspen Prize in Literature.

Lan Samantha Chang

Lan Samantha Chang is the author of the novel Inheritance and Hunger: A Novella and Stories, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award. Her fiction has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, and The Best American Short Stories. Chang is the director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford, and the recipient of fellowships from Princeton University, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Curtis Sittenfeld

Curtis Sittenfeld is the author of the bestselling novels American Wife, Prep, and The Man of My Dreams, which are being translated into twenty-five languages. Prep also was chosen as one of the Ten Best Books of 2005 by The New York Times, nominated for the UK’s Orange Prize, and optioned by Paramount Pictures. Sittenfeld won the Seventeen magazine fiction writing contest in 1992, at age sixteen, and since then her writing has appeared in many publications, including The Atlantic Monthly, Salon, Glamour, and on public radio’s This American Life. A graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she was the 2002–2003 writer in residence at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C.


Brenda Hillman

Brenda Hillman’s most recent work is Pieces of Air in the Epic, her eighth volume of poetry. Previous titles include Cascadia and Loose Sugar. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award for Poetry from the Poetry Society of America and Norma Farber First Book Prize, also from the Poetry Society of America. She edited, with Patricia Dienstfrey, the collection The Grand Permission: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood. A longtime faculty member of the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, she has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Iowa, among other universities, and is the Olivia Filippi Professor of Poetry at St. Mary’s College.

Major Jackson

Major Jackson is the author of two collections of poetry: Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. Hoops was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literature: Poetry. Jackson is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at University of Vermont and a core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars. He serves as the Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review. His third volume of poetry, Holding Company, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton.

Arthur Sze

Arthur Sze is a poet and translator whose books include The Redshifting Web: Poems 1970-1998, a finalist for the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and The Silk Dragon, winner of the Western States Book Award in Translation. His most recent work of poetry is Quipu. Sze is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Award, an Asian American Literary Award, and multiple fellowships from both the Witter Bynner Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

C.D. Wright

C.D. Wright’s most recent work is Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil. Previous titles include Steal Away: New and Selected Poems, Deepstep Come Shining, and a collaboration with photographer Deborah Luster, One Big Self: Photographs of Louisiana Prisoners. Her honors include a Whiting Award and an award from the Poetry Center.