Elena Passarello's essays on performance, pop culture, and the natural world have been translated into six languages. She is the author of two collections, the most recent of which, Animals Strike Curious Poses, was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice. It made the Best Books of 2017 lists from several publications including The Guardian, Publisher’s Weekly, and the New York Times Book Review, and it received the Oregon Book Award for nonfiction. In 2019, LitHub listed Animals Strike Curious Poses as one of the best essay collections of the decade.
Nathan Rees is an art historian whose research focuses on the intersections of art, colonization, and religion in the nineteenth and early twentieth-century West. He has published, presented, and curated exhibitions on monuments to Western settlement, representations of Native Peoples, and the theology of visuality. His monograph Mormon Visual Culture and the American West was published by Routledge in 2021.
Dionne Irving Bremyer
Dionne Irving Bremyer teaches creative writing at the University of Notre Dame. Her novel Quint was released in August 2021 from 7.13 Books, and her short-story collection Islands was published by Catapult Books in 2022. Her work has appeared in Boulevard Magazine, LitHub, Missouri Review, and New Delta Review, among others. Her essay “Treading Water” was a notable essay in Best American Essays 2017, and she co-edited the collection Breastfeeding & Culture: Discourses and Representations. She has received fellowships from the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and was recently a finalist for the Pen/Faulkner Award.
Jonathon Smith holds a B.A. in music performance from Lander University, an M.M. in musicology from the University of Tennessee, and Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Illinois. He served as University carillonneur for Lander University and was the first graduate student Chimesmaster for the University of Illinois’ Altgeld Chimes organization. Jonathon is a multi-instrumentalist with experience playing a wide range of musical styles, from the Irish harp and Bulgarian kaval, to classical flute and pipe organ. He is currently lecturer of musicology at the University of Illinois.
Recipient of the 2021 William Peden Prize in fiction, Adam Prince earned his B.A. from Vassar College, his M.F.A. from the University of Arkansas, and his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. His award-winning fiction has appeared in The Missouri Review, The Southern Review, Narrative Magazine, and Sewanee Review, among others. His novel-in-progress earned him a 2024 Individual Artist Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Currently, he lives in Mobile, Alabama, where he serves as a Visiting Writer for the Stokes Center for Creative Writing at the University of South Alabama and is a freelance editor.
Kate Sweeney is a writer and podcast producer living in Atlanta. Her book American Afterlife (University of Georgia Press) won a Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2015. Her writing has appeared in Oxford American, Atlanta Magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and many others. A journalist with 90.1 WABE for more than a decade, Kate produced the first season of the podcast Buried Truths, which won Peabody and Robert F. Kennedy awards. Her radio features have earned five Edward R. Murrow Awards and numerous Associated Press awards.
Visiting Artists and Scholars
Aaron Bremyer currently serves as director of the Office of Student Success at St. Mary's College in South Bend, Indiana, where he also teaches classes on writing and rhetoric. In addition to directing writing centers and teaching academic writing and literature courses at several universities and colleges across the United States, Aaron has taught creative-writing workshops for inmates at a maximum-security prison and for grade-school students with special needs. Since 1999, Aaron has been making art of all kinds–paintings, collage, sculpture– often employing aspects of each to create a hybrid medium.
Jenna Harte’s yoga practice began in 2016, and she received her 200-hour teacher-training from Asheville Yoga Center in 2019. Her favorite style of yoga is a slow, warm vinyasa flow where practitioners build strength and also move into stillness, and she is known for frequently pointing out similarities between writing and yoga. In 2023, Jenna received her Ph.D. in Rhetoric from Georgia State University.
Miriam Calleja is an award-winning Maltese bilingual freelance poet, nonfiction/fiction writer, ghostwriter, workshop leader, and translator. Her poetry has been published in anthologies and in translation worldwide. Her latest chapbook is titled Come Closer, I Don’t Mind the Silence (BottleCap Press, 2023). Her essays and poems have appeared in platform review, Odyssey, Tupelo Quarterly, Modern Poetry in Translation, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a series of nonfiction hybrid essays.
Charlotte Pence is the author of two poetry collections—Code (2020) and Many Small Fires (2015), both from Black Lawrence Press—and editor of The Poetics of American Song Lyrics (2012). Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have recently been published in Harvard Review, Sewanee Review, Southern Review, and others. She serves as director of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing and director of the creative writing program at the University of South Alabama.
Jeffrey Thomson is a poet, memoirist, translator, and editor, and the author of multiple books, including most recently Museum of Objects Burned by the Souls in Purgatory (2022) and Half/Life: New and Selected Poems (2019), both from Alice James Books. He also published the memoir fragile, The Belfast Notebooks (poems), The Complete Poems of Catullus, as well as having edited collection From the Fishouse. He has been an NEA Fellow, the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, and the Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow at Brown University.
Anthony Baxter is a musician skilled in multiple instruments, vocal harmony arrangements, and music recording and production. He was a touring and session musician for ten years after releasing his first independent album in 2009. Based in Carrollton, GA, Baxter is
currently working as a producer and session musician while writing and performing with The Ties That Bind, the band he founded in 2022 with his wife Brittney.
Chad Davidson holds an M.A. from the University of North Texas and a Ph.D. from Binghamton University. He is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Unearth (2020) and From the Fire Hills (2014), both on Southern Illinois University Press. His collection of travel essays, Terra Cognita: Dispatches from an Over-Traveled Italy, was published by Louisiana State University Press in 2022. His new book of essays, Bring Out Your Dead: Elegies from the Plague Year, will appear from LSU in 2024.
Gregory Fraser holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston. He is the author of Strange Pietà (Texas Tech University Press, 2003), Answering the Ruins (2009), Designed for Flight (2014), and Little Armageddon (2021), all from Northwestern University Press. He is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.
Together, Chad and Greg have also published two textbooks: Writing Poetry: Creative and Critical Approaches (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008) and Analyze Anything: A Guide to Critical Reading and Writing (Continuum-Bloomsbury, 2012).