Ashia Ajani is a senior Environmental Studies major specializing in environmental justice and food rights at Yale University. She is originally from Denver, Colorado but currently resides in New Haven, Connecticut. She is a Minor Disturbance Denver Youth Poetry alumni and took 4th place alongside her team at the 2014 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival. She has been published in Brushfire Literature & Arts, Atlas&Alice Magazine, Apeiron Magazine, Pilgrimage Press and The Hopper Magazine. She released her first chapbook, We Bleed Like Mango, in October of 2017. Follow her on Instagram here.
Zea Archer is a writer and librarian based in the New York City area. Her poems and plays have been read and performed in queer spaces. This is her first published essay.
Andrea Coates received a Master of Fine Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, a Bachelor of Art in Art Studio, and a Bachelor of Art in Integrated Strategic Communication from the University of Kentucky. Having spent most of her design career with nonprofits, she has worked with organizations like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Nine Network of Public Media, and Island Press at Washington University. She has earned two mid-America EMMY nominations for her illustrations with Nine’s PBS KIDs. Recent works have been featured in national publications and exhibitions, including LBIF’s National Juried Exhibition of Works on Paper, 2016 and 2017, juried by Carter E. Foster, Curator of Drawing, and Jane Panetta, Associate Curator of Drawing, the Whitney Museum of American Art. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
At the age of three, Hempfield High School senior Malcolm Corley was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, a category of autism that no longer exists. At about the same time, he began to draw the sketches from the TV show, Blues Clues. His artistic talent has been nurtured throughout his time in school, where he has been blessed to work with excellent instructors. Highlights include receiving art awards in elementary and middle school, having two of his works chosen to hang in the Hempfield Administration building, and winning a gold medal for his oil painting, “Kiana.” He had two solo art shows in Lancaster, PA in 2017. A few years ago, Malcolm became obsessed with visiting a Dutch amusement park he’d seen online. Malcolm’s Tiles was established in the summer of 2015 to help him fund what seemed like an impossible dream. By January 2017, Malcolm had sold enough hand-drawn tiles to allow his sister and his mother to accompany him on a summer trip to Europe. He continues to sell his work online and at local craft shows. He has also been invited to be a recurring vendor at the National Autism Convention in State College. Eight of his portraits are slated for publication in Up the Staircase, a journal of poetry and art, in February, 2019.
Chase Dimock is an English Professor from Los Angeles and he serves as the Managing Editor of As It Ought To Be. His creative work has been published in Waccamaw, Mayday Magazine, Saw Palm, and San Pedro River Review. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois and his works of literary scholarship and criticism have appeared in College Literature, Western American Literature, Modern American Poetry, The Lambda Literary Review, and several edited anthologies. Learn more about Chase here and follow him on Twitter.
Siaara Freeman is from Cleveland Ohio, where she is the current Lake Erie Siren. She is an avid reader & adores myths & fairytales. Once upon a time she was 16 and competed in a competition called Brave New Voices & from that day forward poetry was her happily ever after. She is a two time nominee for the pushcart prize, a finalist for the 2017 button poetry chapbook competition, a 2017 Bettering American poet and Best Of The Net Poet, a 2018 Winter Tangerine chapbook fellow and a 2018 Poetry Foundation incubator fellow. She is the founder of Wusgood.Black and a reader for Tinderbox & Winter Tangerine journals. In her spare time she is growing her afro so tall God mistakes it for a microphone and tries to speak through her. Her first collection of poems Raised By The Dead is forthcoming in 2019 from Honeysuckle Press.
Cassie Garison currently resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and has a degree in English and Classical Languages. Cassie has work published or forthcoming in River Styx, Columbia Journal Online, Nimrod International, Third Point Press, Hobart, The Penny Dreadful, and others and is currently a Poetry Reader for The Adroit Journal.
Isaac Ginsberg Miller‘s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Callaloo, The Collagist, Colorado Review, Sonora Review, The Shallow Ends, Tupelo Quarterly, and Vinyl. His chapbook Stopgap won The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review Chapbook Contest, and is forthcoming in 2019. Isaac earned an MFA in poetry at NYU, where he was a Goldwater fellow. Additionally, he has received fellowships from the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Ragdale Foundation. He is currently a PhD student in African American Studies at Northwestern University, where he is also a member of the Poetry and Poetics Graduate Cluster. You can find him online here and on Twitter.
Alice Hatcher’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Notre Dame Review, Fiction International, Lascaux Review, and Monkeybicycle, among other journals. Her novel The Wonder That Was Ours won Dzanc Books’ 2017 Fiction Prize and made the long list for the Center for Fiction’s 2018 First Novel Award. More about Hatcher and her work can be found here.
Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Darise JeanBaptiste earned her MFA in creative writing from Rutgers-Newark and her MA in English from Brooklyn College. She is a VONA (Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation) alum and a Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop fellow. Darise is currently working on a novel. You can learn more about her work here and follow her on Twitter.
Tayler Karinen lives in Saginaw, Michigan. She is a graduate student at Central Michigan University pursuing an MA in English Language and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Her flash fiction has previously appeared in the Fall 2015 and 2017 editions of Cardinal Sins.
Joplin Morgan is a poet in Boise, Idaho. They currently attend Boise State University as an undergraduate. Their work includes themes of indigineity, poesis and magic. They love fermented foods and japanese motorcycles. You can find them online here.
Joshua Nguyen is a Kundiman Fellow, collegiate national poetry champion, and a native Houstonian. He has been published in The Offing, The Acentos Review, Rambutan Literary, Button Poetry, The Texas Review, Gulf Coast, and Birds Thumb. He is currently an MFA candidate at The University of Mississippi. He is a tapioca connoisseur and plays an aggressive-tight strategy in poker. You can find Joshua online here and follow him on Twitter.
Jessica Poli is the author of four chapbooks: Canyons (BatCat Press, 2018), Alexia (Sixth Finch, 2015), Glassland (JMWW, 2014), and The Egg Mistress (Gold Line Press, 2013). Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Southern Indiana Review, and Caketrain, among others. She earned her MFA from Syracuse University, and is pursuing her MA at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is the founder and editor of Birdfeast Magazine and can be found online here.
After retiring from a career in public health research in early 2015, Jim Ross resumed creative pursuits in hopes of resuscitating his long-neglected left brain. He’s since published 75 pieces of nonfiction, several poems, and over 200 photos in 80 journals in North America, Europe, and Asia. His publications include 1966, Bombay Gin, Columbia Journal, Entropy, Friends Journal, Gravel, Ilanot Review, Lunch Ticket, Kestrel, MAKE, Pif, The Atlantic, and Thin Air. He and his wife—parents of two health professionals and grandparents of four wee ones—split their time between Maryland and West Virginia.
Hannah Soyer is a disabled creative writer and journalist interested perceptions and representations of what we consider ‘other.’ She is the creator of the This Body is Worthy project, and founder of Freedom Words, a program to design and implement creative writing workshops specifically for students with disabilities. She has been published in Cosmopolitan, InkLit magazine, Mikrokosmos Journal, Rooted in Rights, and her most recent piece, “Displacement,” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Learn more about her work here and follow her on Twitter.
Katherine Witt is an Air Force officer and currently instructs English at the United States Air Force Academy. She has previously published in Santa Clara Review, The Laurel Review, and War, Literature & the Arts.