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Participant Bios

Kim Addonizio is the author of several books, most recently the poetry collection Now We’re Getting Somewhere (W.W. Norton, 2021) and an essay collection, Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life (Penguin, 2016). Exit Opera is forthcoming in September 2024. Her work appears widely in anthologies and literary journals. She is the recipient of two NEA Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and other honors. She lives in Oakland, CA and teaches Zoom poetry workshops.

Ellery Akers is the author of four poetry books, most recently, A Door into the Wild: Poetry and Art. Her previous collection, Swerve: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Resistance, won BookAuthority’s Award for Best Environmentalism Books of All Time.  She also received an IPPY Award and the Poetry International Prize. Her poetry has been featured on National Public Radio, Poetry and The New York Times Magazine. Akers is also an award-winning visual artist, and her artwork has been exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, including the San Diego Museum of Art, the Anchorage Museum, and the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art. She is a recipient of the Watson Cross Jr. Award from the National Watercolor Society.  www.elleryakers.com

Amna Ali is a librarian by profession. She translates fiction from Punjabi to English and her translations have appeared in A Letter From India: Contemporary Short Stories from Pakistan (Penguin India, 2004), Hero and Other Stories (Weavers Press, 2022) and Borderless Journal (online). She lives in San Francisco.

Sarah Alvarez is a communications, marketing, and PR professional with more than 10 years of experience developing written content for technology, beauty, and retail brands. She has been an avid reader her whole life and is looking forward to pivoting her career and beginning to work toward a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Dominican University this summer.

Rocio Anica is a former lecturer at Cornell University where she garnered the Martin Sampson teaching distinction. Her work has appeared in various literary publications, including Driftwood Press, Acentos Review, Woven Tale Press, Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas, and Chiricú Journal. She has written and collaborated on several theatrical works, including a one-act debut at Casa 0101 in Boyle Heights. Her awards include first place in Juxtaprose Magazine’s 2016 Short Fiction Contest and Wigleaf’s Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions 2017. She now fully devotes herself to writing, teaching, and traveling between upstate New York, Northeast Pennsylvania, and the Florida panhandle with her husband, Mike, and their two dogs, Corrido and Cajita. Cajita, naturally, is her mejor amiga. Find out more at

Sophia Aust is currently in the process of receiving her MFA in fiction writing at San Jose State University. She is chief copy editor at Reed Magazine, and teaches English 1A to freshmen at San Jose State.

Ishya Bahl left high school after sophomore year to attend Ohlone Community College last year. Since her elementary years, writing poetry has been central for her self-expression and commentary. She was a finalist for the Alameda County Youth Poet Laureate and seeks opportunities to perform her work for Bay Area audiences. 

Allegra Balbuena is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at San José State University. She is the Senior Nonfiction Editor for Reed Magazine Issue 157. Allegra is a woman writer of color who is proud of her Filipino heritage. She writes memoir essays and poems focusing on infertility, being married to the love of her life, being immersed in Latino culture, her big chaotic Blue family (her mother’s side) living in Hawaii and living with her big Balbuena family (10 in total, plus 2 dogs) in California.

Jennifer Barone is an Italian-American poet and artist. She is the author of three books of poetry, her most recent, Saporoso – Poems of Italian Food & Love, now in its second edition from Feather Press. She is known to collaborate with artists and musicians as the co-host of the monthly WordParty Poetry & Jazz Series. She has been a featured poet at The SF Public Library, The SFJazz Poetry & Jazz Festival, SF LitQuake, Marin Poetry Center, The Beat Museum, SF MoMa, DeYoung Museum, The Red Poppy Art House, Bird & Beckett Books and Libreria Pino. She is a winner of the 2007 and 2012 SF Public Library’s Poets Eleven contest for North Beach where she resides and has been published in literary journals such as The Marin Poetry Center Anthology, This Wandering State, poems from Alta, Vol. 1: San Francisco, edited by Kim Shuck, SF Poet Laureate Emeritus, Forum Literary Magazine of CCSF, The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Quiet Lightning’s Sparkle & Blink, Accolades, A WWS Anthology and two Poets 11 Anthologies, published by the SF Public Library, and edited by Jack Hirschman, SF Poet Laureate Emeritus. She is currently working on a new collection of poetry. Visit

Virginia Barrett is a poet, writer, artist, editor, and educator. She earned her MFA in Writing from  the University of San Francisco where she was poetry editor of Switchback. Her six books of poetry include Between Looking (Finishing Line Press, 2019) and Crossing Haight—San  Francisco poems (Jambu Press, 2018). Her prose has appeared in The Writer’s Chronicle, The  Raven’s Perch, Awakenings and elsewhere. Lead designer for Light on the Walls of Life—a  tribute anthology to Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Jambu Press, 2022), she is also the editor of four  anthologies including RED: a Hue Are You anthology (Jambu Press, 2023). She has taught  poetry, creative writing, and visual art throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for over two  decades, including in the MFA in Writing program at the University of San Francisco.

Francesca Bell is a poet and translator and the current poet laureate of Marin County. She is the author of two collections of poetry and the translator of a third. She is a translation editor for the Los Angeles Review and the events coordinator for the Marin Poetry Center.

Brennen Belogorsky is a California native with a BA in English Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing from Dominican University of California. She works as the Donor Engagement Manager for Providence Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital Foundation. Brennen enjoys writing about anything that tickles her fancy, gardening, reading, traveling, art-trailing, theatre, green-bathing, and all things food related. Brennen lives in west Sonoma County with her partner, two dogs, and two rambunctious cats.

Andrea Bewick has published stories in American Short Fiction, Epoch, and elsewhere, and she was a finalist for the Nelson Algren Award. She currently teaches at Napa Valley College and has also taught fiction writing in the Continuing Studies program at Stanford University, and creative writing at Berkeley City College and City College of San Francisco. Andrea is the recipient of the Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, and a MacDowell Fellowship. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She currently serves as Managing Director of the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference

Dr. Derek Blechinger has had a long, long, long (did we mention long?) love affair with tabletop gaming and collaborative storytelling, playing numerous concurrent campaigns of a variety of D&D editions throughout the last quarter century, as well as campaigns in White Wolf’s World of Darkness game settings (Werewolf the Apocalypse is a favorite!) that have spanned a decade and produced more story content than a team of writers for Buffy the Vampire Slayer (though perhaps not more than Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time…). Flirting with systems like Call of Cthulhu, Aberrant, Blades in the Dark, Scum and Villainy, Spire, Pendragon, as well as cosplay and LARP communities (and most recently the blockbuster Real Royalty!) over the years, he’s found the wellspring of his passion for gaming comes from a deep appreciation and awe for the art of communal storytelling, the creative power of “yes, and”,  the epic nature of playing-to-lose, and the potentiation for community building inherent to these creative spaces. In his free time from his gaming life, he also works as a physician in San Francisco and moonlights as Doctor (Very) Strange for the AIDS Lifecycle.

Pamela Bordisso is a poet in Northern California. She lives in a rural area under massive oaks. She tends chickens, bees, vegetables, and plants for pollinators. She has been published in Last Stanza Journal, Colussus:Body, Lake County Bloom, and has been heard on The Rooted In Poetry Podcast. She tries to take action every day to keep up hope. Some days it’s writing postcards to encourage voting, other days it’s growing flowers or writing a poem.

Ági Bori was raised in Hungary and settled in the United States as an adult. A fierce advocate for bringing more translated works into English, she specializes in the prose of famed Hungarian author Miklós Vámos. Her work is widely published in international literary magazines, and she is a translation editor for the Los Angeles Review.

Evan Burkin (he/him) is working toward an MFA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University and serves as an assistant poetry editor for the literary journal Fourteen Hills. His work has been published or is forthcoming in New American Writing, River Styx, THRUSH, Birdcoat Quarterly, and elsewhere.

Bonnie Carasso is a graduate of Dominican University of California’s MFA program. She writes poetry, prose, and the occasional uncensored text rant from the POV of her daughter’s corgi. She has worked as a broadcast designer for television, owned her own graphic design firm, and raised three children before returning to college alongside them to complete her undergraduate degree. Her work has been published in print and online in the Tuxedo Literature & Arts Journal, and she is currently working on her debut novel.

Deidre Cavazzi is completing her MFA in Creative Writing at Dominican University. She is the Honors Program Chair at Saddleback College, and has completed international artist residencies in Svalbard and Iceland. She worked for many years as a choreographer, telling stories with her body, and now she enjoys crafting tales with words.

Michaela Chairez is a Latina poet from the Inland Empire. She holds a BA in English from Cal State Fullerton and is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University.

MK Chavez is an Afro-Latinx writer and educator. Chavez co-directs Berkeley Poetry Festival, co-founder/curator of Lyrics & Dirges reading series, and founder and director of Ouroboros Coaching & Writing Lab. Chavez’s writing explores identity, social justice, environmental resilience, horror cinema, magic, and ritual. Chavez’s work has been recognized with a Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award, Alameda Arts Leadership Award, San Francisco Foundation/Nomadic Press Literary Award, 2023 Ruth Weiss Maverick Award, and a 2023 YBCA 100 fellowship. Chavez’s literary offerings include Dear Animal, Mothermorphosis, the lyric essay chapbook A Brief History of the Selfie, and Virgin Eyes. Recent work can be found among the trees in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park through the Voices of the Trees Project.

Jane Ciabattari, author of the short story collection Stealing the Fire, is a former National Book Critics Circle president (and current NBCC vice president/events), a Lit Hub columnist, BBC Culture contributor, on the advisory boards of the Bay Area Book Festival, Lit Camp, and The Story Prize; a Pushcart Prize contributing editor, and a member of the Writers Grotto. Her reviews, interviews, and cultural criticism have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Guardian, Paris Review, the Washington Post, Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and Alta, among other publications.

Bobby Coleman's friendly yet incisive editing style is a throwback to Max Perkins, whom he  claims to have never met nor to have even seen the movie. A traditional man of letters who  refuses to wear bow ties and round glasses, he is a graduate of Columbia and Stanford, a singer  in a touring Leonard Cohen choir, and an influential figure in cultural and political affairs for  many decades. His hobbies include nicknaming urban trees and stray cats, riding transit to the  end of the line, and visualizing streetscapes prior to their pavement.

Gillian Conoley is a poet, editor, and translator. Often comprising narrative, lyric, and fragmented forms, her work takes up an inquiry into spirit and matter, the individual and thestate. Conoley’s new collection, her tenth book, is Notes from the Passenger (Nightboat Books, 2023) short-listed for the California Independent Bookseller’s Golden Poppy Award. Conoley received the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, and a Fund for Poetry Award. Conoley has taught at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the University of Denver, Vermont College, Tulane, and Sonoma State University. A long-time resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, she is editor of VOLT magazine. Her translations of three books by Henri Michaux, Thousand Times Broken, appearing in English for the first time, is with City Lights. Conoley has collaborated with installation artist Jenny Holzer, composer Jamie Leigh Sampson, and Butoh dancer Judith Kajuwara.

John Creger is a writer and independent professional development trainer. Building on 35 years of classroom research with sophomores in his English classes at American High School in Fremont, John challenges classroom teachers in his trainings to question their assumptions about the nature of learning. He prompts them to find methods of teaching to expand their students’ self-knowledge and cultivate their wisdom. John writes about classroom interactions hoping to illustrate students’ journeys of self-discovery, often involving their experiences with his Personal Creed Project. He has published recent pieces in the East Bay Echo and the Bay Area Writing Project’s Digital Paper. John is delighted to work in the Personal Creed Organization with former students and a colleague to promote self-discovery in and beyond the classroom.

Cassandra Dallett lives in Oakland CA. Cassandra has published multiple chapbooks and full-length books of poetry, (two of which On Sunday, A Finch and Collapse, both on Nomadic Press, were nominated for CA Book awards.) She has been nominated for six Pushcart Prizes and was recently in the running for Oakland’s first Poet Laureate. Cassandra has graced many stages, hosts the weekly writing workshop ONTWOSIX, is co-host of the quarterly-themed reading series MoonDrop Productions, host of The Badass Bookworm Podcast, and The Badass Bookworm’s Lit Loft. Her most recent book of poetry, A Pretty Little Wilderness, came out on Be About It Press June of 2020.

Judith Day has been writing fiction since childhood. She has worked as a cook and a cab driver, and she has graduate degrees in history and psychology. Since 1990 she has worked in private practice as a psychotherapist. She has also worked in emergency psychiatric response, inpatient psychiatric settings, residential treatment, low-fee mental health clinics, and as a military family life consultant. She has taught mindfulness meditation since 1993. Her stories and essays are published in several journals and anthologies. Her first book, Glowing in the Dark, Stories of Wounded Healers, draws on her experience as a therapist. Each of the three stories portrays the troubled inner world of a doctor seeking healing for self as well as others. In Judith’s second book, Going Where They Belong, she presents nine short stories that take the reader into the minds of a wide range of ordinary, eccentric, and memorable characters. Both books are available in bookstores and on Amazon. In 1964 Judith was voted Most Likely to Succeed in her St. Louis, Missouri high school class. She also jumped out of an airplane for the first of over 500 times. Married for forty years, Judith lives with her husband near the ocean in northern California. She may be contacted at

Scott Russell Duncan, a Xicano writer, is senior editor at Somos en escrito Literary Magazine and Press and was editor on the first Chicano sci-fi anthology, El Porvenir, ¡Ya!, which was a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.  He is director of Palabras del Pueblo, a writing workshop for la raza. In 2016 his story “How My Hide Got Color” won San Francisco Litquake’s Short Story Contest. His nonfiction piece “Mexican American Psycho is in Your Dreams” won first place in the 2019 Solstice Literary Magazine Annual Literary Contest.  He is at work on a collection of short stories called Plurality. His novel, Old California Strikes Back, a mix of the reality of growing up mixed-raced and of a fantasy tour of California with the head of Joaquin Murrieta will be published through FlowerSong Press.

Iris Jamahl Dunkle was the 2017-2018 Poet Laureate of Sonoma County, CA. Her newest poetry collection West : Fire : Archive was published by Mountain/ West Poetry Series in March 2021. Her other poetry collections include Interrupted Geographies (Trio House Press, 2017) Gold Passage (Trio House Press, 2013) and There's a Ghost in this Machine of Air (Word Tech, 2015). Her poem “Listening to the Caryatids on the Palace of Fine Arts” was featured on 100 buses as part of the San Francisco Beautiful and Poetry Society of America Muni Art 2020 campaign. Her works have been published in Tin House, San Francisco Examiner, Fence, Los Angeles Review of Books, Split Rock Review, Taos Poetry Journal, Pleiades, Calyx, Catamaran, Poet's Market, Women's Studies, and Chicago Quarterly Review. Her biography Charmian Kittredge London: Trailblazer, Author, Adventurer was published by the Oklahoma Press (2020 print edition 2023 audiobook edition). Her biography Riding Like the Wind: The Life of Sanora Babb will be published by the University of California Press, in fall 2024.

Susanne Dyckman is the author of the poetry collections, A Dark Ordinary (Furniture Press Books), and equilibrium’s form (Shearsman Books), as well as five chapbooks. With Elizabeth Robinson, she is co-author of Rendered Paradise (Apogee Press, 2024). She was a previous winner of the Five Fingers Review Poetry Award and finalist for both the Electronic Poetry Review Discovery Award and the Ashahta Press Sawtooth Poetry Prize. She has taught in the creative writing programs at the University of San Francisco and SF State University, and for a number of years hosted the now occasional Evelyn Avenue Summer Reading Series. She lives in Albany, California.

A lifelong passion for games shaped Dr. Roberto Faller’s career and the pursuit of a PhD in the topic at the IIT Institute of Design. His works and research involve playful experiences capable of communicating ideas, causing reflection, and provoking change. Some of his previous projects involved an action-adventure video game for learning and practicing a foreign language and a tabletop simulation for exploring transitional and traumatic experiences. Since moving to the United States from Brazil, Roberto found in tabletop RPGs like Mutant, Heart, and City of Mist an avenue to get in touch with this creativity and imagination on a deeper level, inspiring his creative writing. He is currently editing a novel co-written with his husband, Johnny Nolen, titled The Sands of San Francisco, a love story in the ruins of the post-apocalypse. He enjoys writing speculative fiction through the exploration of philosophical themes and the complexity of emotions. Roberto is a member of Cat Island Games and is currently developing Apocalypse Cats!, a cooperative card game.

Liz Faraim has a full plate between balancing a day job, parenting, writing, and finding some semblance of a social life. In past lives she has been a soldier, a bartender, a shoe salesperson, an assistant museum curator, and even a driving instructor. She focuses her writing on strong, queer, female leads who don’t back down. Liz transplanted to California from New York over thirty years ago, and now lives in the East Bay Area. She enjoys exploring nature with her wife and son.

Grant Faulkner is the former Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), the co-founder of 100 Word Story, and an Executive Producer on the upcoming TV show, America’s Next Great Author. He recently published The Art of Brevity: Crafting the Very Short Story. He's also published Fissures, a collection of 100-word stories; All the Comfort Sin Can Provide; Nothing Short Of: Selected Tales from 100 Word Story; and Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo. His stories have appeared in dozens of literary magazines, including Tin House, The Southwest Review, and The Gettysburg Review, and he has been anthologized in collections such as Norton’s New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, Flash Fiction America, Best Small Fictions, and Best Microfiction. His essays on creativity have been published in The New York Times, Poets & Writers, Literary Hub, Writer’s Digest, and The Writer. Find Grant online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Listen to his podcast Write-minded and subscribe to his newsletter Intimations: A Writer's Discourse.

Anita Felicelli is the author of Love Songs for a Lost Continent, Chimerica: A Novel (WTAW Press, 2019), and the forthcoming How We Know Our Time Travelers (WTAW Press). Her short stories have appeared in the Massachusetts Review, The Normal School, Kweli Journal, and Midnight Breakfast, among other places. She is the editor of Alta Journal's California Book Club, and her nonfiction has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She was elected to the board of the National Book Critics Circle for the term 2021-2024, and she served as Fiction Award Committee Chair in 2022-2023, and the VP of Fundraising from 2021-2022 and 2023-2024.

Josh Fernandez is an antiracist organizer, a father, a runner, a fighter, an English professor, a writer, and a journalist, whose stories have appeared in Spin Magazine, the Sacramento Bee, the Hard Times, and several alternative newsweeklies, where he worked as an arts and culture editor for more than a decade. His memoir, The Hands That Crafted the Bomb: The Making of a Lifelong Antifascist, is now out on PM Press. He lives in Sacramento, CA.

Patrick Fontes grew up in Fresno, 4th generation Chicano, working class, where he currently lives. He received his PhD in American History from Stanford University. Current research centers on El Movimiento at Fresno State College during the 1960s through the early 1970s. Patrick’s chapter on the events at Fresno State 1968-1969, titled “We Were in a Foreign Land,” in the recent anthology Rewriting the Chicano Movement, examines the hard-fought battle of the Chicano generation as they fought for dignity and equal representation on campus. Patrick’s poetry has appeared in multiple journals, including La Bloga, The Mas Tequila Review, and The Acentos Review. Patrick is also an avid and published photographer: Floricanto Press published Patrick’s first novel, Maria’s Purgatorio, in 2017. Bone & Ink Press published his first poetry collection in 2019, titled Mountains of Rust. Patrick is Professor of US History at Clovis Community College and also teaches Chicano Studies at Fresno State.

Micheal Foulk is a non-binary queer comedian, writer, and educator thriving in Oakland, California. They host a weekly podcast called I'm Not Busy where they discuss anything and everything except what's currently going on with their comedy partner Vanessa Gonzalez. Micheal has been featured on the SF Sketchfest, Crom Comedy Festival, Moontower, OUTsider Festival, Frontera Fest, Austin Sketchfest, and Out Of Bounds Comedy Festival. They are the co-creator of the LGBTQ+ storytelling show Greetings, from Queer Mountain and the film screening series Queer Film Theory 101 produced in collaboration with Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas. Micheal's essays and articles have been published in Slate, VICE, Intomore, 68to05, and TimeOut Magazine.

Diane Frank is author of eight books of poems, two novels, and a photo memoir of her 400 mile trek in the Nepal Himalayas. She is also Chief Editor of Blue Light Press. Listening to the Enigma Variations: New and Selected Poems won the 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Poetry. Diane plays cello in the Golden Gate Symphony and collaborated with Matt Arnerich to create an orchestral suite based on her poem, "Tree of Life." She teaches poetry, fiction, flash fiction and memoir workshops at San Francisco State University and Dominican University. She also leads the Blue Light Press On-Line Poetry Workshop.

Joan Frank is the author of thirteen books of literary fiction and nonfiction, many of them award-winners. Her most recent works are Juniper Street: a Novel, winner of the C&R Press Fiction Prize, and the essay collection Late Work: A Literary Autobiography of Love, Loss, and What I Was Reading, from the University of New Mexico Press. She reviews literary fiction and nonfiction for the Washington Post, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Alta, American Book Review, and similar venues.

Joey Garcia answered more than 50,000 questions during her 24 years as the relationship advice columnist for the Sacramento News & Review. She was also the on-air Relationship Expert for KTXL-TV for eight years and has been a featured relationship expert on TV, radio, and in print from LA to Stockholm, Sweden. Joey is the author of When Your Heart Breaks, It's Opening to Love: Healing and finding love after an affair, heartbreak or divorce. She lives in Sacramento with a dog who kisses strangers.

R. Ch. Garcia had a dozen adult, short stories and one alternate-world novel published under another name. But that's unimportant because anymore he only writes stories for young adults and children. His first was a children's fable, in Spanish, published by Cricket in Revista Iguana. Writing in Northside Denver, he gardens, landscapes, woodworks and cares for cactus and wild birds that visit his and wife Carmen's gardens, like his two Nietos. Plus he has a bright, friendly dog Menqui and a sorta good cat, Great Huntress. He's lucky and privileged to live well, so his writing focuses on young people for the day everyone can be as lucky. His adopted credo: "Give up on the adults! Give up on the adults!" – P. Bacigalupi

Michelle Cruz Gonzales is the author of a memoir, The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Female Punk Band. Gonzales writes about the intersections of race, class, and gender, has published in anthologies, Longreads, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Her Marisolandia was a finalist for the 2023 WTAW Alcove Chapbook Contest and will be published by the WTAW Alcove Chapbook Series in 2024. She teaches English and Creative Writing at Las Positas College.

Wayne Goodman has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of his life (with too many cats). Goodman hosts Queer Words Podcast, conversations with queer- identified authors about their works and lives. When not writing or recording, he enjoys playing Gilded Age parlor music on the piano, with an emphasis on women, gay, and Black composers.

Caroline Goodwin served from 2014-2016 as the first Poet Laureate of San Mateo County. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in poetry, she is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Old Snow, White Sun from JackLeg Press.

Ebony Haight is a queer writer and artist based in Oakland, California. Her writing has appeared in The Audacity, Good Company Magazine, the anthology This Long Thread: Women of Color on Craft, Community, and Connection, and elsewhere. She’s the recipient of multiple awards and support for her writing, including from The Periplus Collective, Hedgebrook, The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts, Tin House, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and the Mendocino Writers’ Conference, among others. Ebony writes about a broad range of subjects—including grief, identity, belonging, creativity, and style—and often uses her artistic practice as a way to, as Audre Lorde once said, “make friends with all the different pieces of me.” She’s currently working on a speculative memoir, tentatively titled Relatives, about cultural heritage and self-discovery, set against the backdrop of her transracial adoption.

A genre-nonconforming writer, Laird Harrison keeps finding new ways to put words together. He has published essays in Salon and The Nation, poetry in Catamaran and Blood Tree, short fiction in The Fabulist, and journalism in Time and Reuters. WUNC and KQED have broadcast his radio scripts. In 2012, Verdant Books published his novel, Fallen Lake, the story of two couples who fall in love with each other. His novel in progress compares alternative realities in fiction to alternative universes in physics.

Bianca Hernandez-Knight (she/her) is the Marketing Director at Aunt Lute Books by day, and a nerd of many fandoms by night. From fighting for a more inclusive Jane Austen community, to ignoring her TBR pile, Bianca is always ready for niche conversations about literary spaces. On weekends she can be found doing homework for her Costume Design MFA program or learning to use her new spear. For more, check out

Kim D. Hester Williams teaches at SSU in the English and American Multicultural Studies departments. She is co-editor of the award-winning anthology Racial Ecologies published by the University of Washington Press in 2018. In addition to her scholarly work on the representation of race, gender, economy and ecology in new media, popular culture, and film, she writes poetry which is eco-feminist-centered and grounded in the long tradition of Afro/Black poetics.

Lillian Howan is the author of the award-winning novel The Charm Buyers. Her writing has been published in Alta Journal, Calyx, New England Review, South Dakota Review, Vice Versa, and many other journals and anthologies. Her forthcoming novel The Spellbound will be published by WTAW Press.

Caitlin Howery received her BA in English from Sacramento State University and is now attending the MFA in Creative Writing at Dominican University. She spent two years as a copywriter for Folsom Lake College’s newspaper, The Talon, and as editor for Folsom Lake College’s first literary magazine, the machine. She is now the Editorial Manager for Dominican’s literary and art journal, Tuxedo. When she isn’t writing her memoir, she is working full-time to provide a luxurious lifestyle for her tuxedo cat, Jerry. You can find her work on a feminist blog called Slough Happens and Mountain Democrat newspaper.

Petr Hruška is one of the Czech Republic's leading contemporary poets. He is also a literary historian who writes screenplays, short stories, columns, and essays and publishes a literary magazine. A selection of his poetry, Everything Indicates, translated by Jonathan Bolton, was recently published by Blue Diode Press.

Jenny Irizary is an editor at Somos en escrito magazine and press. Their/her work has been published in CERASUS, Squalorly, Hinchas de Poesía, Weber: The Contemporary West, Communion, Sick Lit, Snapping Twig, and other journals. Jenny grew up in a rural canyon outside a small town in Northern California, the only Boricua for miles, and has a BA in Ethnic Studies and an MA in literature from the former Mills College.

Miah Jeffra is author of four books—most recently the short story collection The Violence Almanac (finalist for several awards, including the Grace Paley and St. Lawrence Book Prizes) and the novel American Gospel, winner of the Clark-Gross Award—and co-editor, with Arisa White and Monique Mero, of the anthology Home is Where You Queer Your Heart. Work can be seen in StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, The North American Review, Barrelhouse, DIAGRAM, storySouth, jubilat and many others. Miah is co-founder of Whiting Award-winning queer and trans literary collaborative, Foglifter Press, and teaches writing and decolonial studies at Sonoma State University and the MFA program at The University of San Francisco. 

Christopher Jones, now living in west Sonoma County, is a writer pursuing his MFA for creative writing at San Francisco State University. He is Co-Editor-In Chief of 14 Hills: The SFSU Review and works occasionally as a freelance editor. His poetry has been seen in Flux magazine and focuses on climate change, the environment, and social injustices due to western hegemony and capitalism. Oglala poet and author Kurt Schweigman says Chris’ writings provide an insight of storytelling from experiences in his well-traveled life, both in place and spiritual journey.

Jennifer Joseph has been publisher/editor of award-winning, internationally distributed Manic D Press since its founding in 1984. She has been a guest speaker at the Library of Congress, the AWP Conference, Rice University, CalArts, the American Booksellers Association Convention, and San Francisco State University, among other venues. She has also appeared on CSPAN’s BookTV in a panel discussion about West Coast publishing presented by the National Writers Union, and on KQED radio's Forum.

Joanna Choi Kalbus was born in North Korea. She made two critical migrations—first from North Korea to South Korea after the Communist takeover, and then to the United States as a ten-year-old immigrant during the Korean War before settling and coming of age in Los Angeles, California. She earned her B.S. in Elementary Education at UCLA and received her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of California, Riverside. She served as a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent / regional superintendent for 35 years. She was also involved in community efforts to address the pressing issues of abused and neglected children, homelessness, and gangs. Now retired, she lives in the Bay Area where she can view her favorite bridge, the Golden Gate, that she and her mother sailed under in 1951. Betty, WTAW Press’s new imprint, will publish her memoir, The Boat Not Taken, in spring 2025.

Ingrid Keir is a poet, curator, and educator. She runs Feather Press, an independent women’s literary press based in the Bay Area. She is co-founder of the WordParty, a long-running San Francisco poetry and jazz series. Ingrid taught undergraduate Creative Writing at San Francisco State University while simultaneously engaging students with writers in the local community. She has been a featured reader at many diverse venues in the Bay Area including the DeYoung Museum, The Beat Museum, Quiet Lightning and San Francisco City Hall. She has written several chapbooks: The Secrets of Like  (2004), Toward the Light  (2007) and The Choreography of Nests (2016). Recent and upcoming publications include: In Love Dancing: A Memoir (forthcoming Fall 2024, Feather Press), Dash Literary Journal, Two Hawks Quarterly, Sparkle + Blink and Hot Tub Astronaut. In 2016, she was shortlisted for the Litquake poetry contest.

Yume Kim is a poet, essayist, educator, and author of her debut poetry chapbook, Reserve the Right. A Kundiman Fellow in 2012, she was also a Ruby Fellow recipient for the 2022-2023 year. Some of her works can also be found in the following journals: gesture, sPARKLE + bLINK, West Wind Review, Transfer, Sugared Water, Writing Without Walls, The Bangalore Review, You Might Need to Hear This, and The Sad Girls Lit Club. Yume currently resides in San Francisco, where she both tutors and teaches.

Maya Khosla is a biologist and writer. As Sonoma County Poet Laureate (2018-2020), she brought Sonoma’s communities together to heal through gatherings, field walks, and shared writing after the recent wildfires. Her books include All the Fires of Wind and Light (Sixteen Rivers Press) and Keel Bone (Bear Star Press; Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize). Her recent awards include the 2023 Fund for Wild Nature Grassroots Activist Award, 2020 Environmentalist of the Year Award (Sonoma County Conservation Council, SCCC), and the 2020 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award). Her work has been featured in For the Wild, and the film Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire, and she wrote for the award-winning documentary films including Village of Dust, City of Water, about water crises in rural India.

Matthew Kline is a writer of imaginative short fiction with a novel in the works. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Dominican University of California, and his work has been published in Dominican's journal Tuxedo and the Pennsylvania Poetry Society's Prize Poems 2020 volume. In addition to fiction and humorous poetry, he dabbles in writing scripts and drawing black-and-white cartoons. He works at the cozy waterside bookstore Sausalito Books by the Bay and encourages all book lovers in the Bay Area to check it out.

Peter Kline is the author of two poetry collections, Mirrorforms (Parlor Press/Free Verse Editions) and Deviants (Stephen F. Austin State University Press). A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and James Merrill House, Amy Clampitt House, and Hemingway House resident, he teaches writing at the University of San Francisco and with Stanford’s Master of Liberal Arts Program. Since 2012 he has directed the San Francisco literary reading series Bazaar Writers Salon. He lives in San Francisco, and can be found online at

Lita Kurth, MFA, has published in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is the author of a book of prompts, One Creative Writing Prompt a Day: a journal to build your craft and unlock your inner storyteller (Callisto 2024). She has received multiple Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations and is the co-founder of San Jose’s literary reading series, Flash Fiction Forum. She won the Diana Woods Memorial Award (Lunchticket) and has taught creative writing at De Anza College and in numerous private workshops with students from ages 8 to 80 and from jail residents to published writers. Advisory Council member of the Working Class Studies Association.

Rosa Lane, poet and architect, is author of four poetry collections including Called Back (forthcoming September 2024, Tupelo Press); Chouteau’s Chalk (2019, winner, UGA Poetry Prize); Tiller North (2016, Sixteen Rivers Press); and Roots and Reckonings (chapbook). Lane’s work won the 2023 Morton Marcus Memorial Poetry Prize among other prizes and has appeared in the Asheville Poetry Review, Catamaran, Massachusetts Review, Nimrod, RHINO, River Heron Review, Southampton Review, and elsewhere. She splits her time between her native home in coastal Maine and Santa Rosa where she lives with her wife.

Born in Hong Kong and raised in Manila and San Francisco, Christina Lloyd holds a PhD in creative writing from Lancaster University. Her work appears in a wide variety of publications, including Canadian Woman Studies, EcoTheo, Hive, Meniscus, Poetry Daily, Poetry Ireland, Poet Lore, The North, and SWWIM. Women Twice Removed, published by Sixteen Rivers Press, is her first full-length collection. She lives in San Francisco.

Linda Loveland-Ried is the author of two novels available on Amazon (Touch of Magenta and Something in Stone). Her stories, essays, and poems have been published in over 30 anthologies and magazines. Linda has two B.A.s from SSU, graduating cum laude. She lectures for SSU and Dominican Universities in the Osher Lifelong Learning program. As president of Redwood Writers for three years, a branch of the prestigious California Writers Club, she is a recipient of the Jack London Award. Several of Linda’s short plays have been presented by Readers Thater. She has directed community theater in Sonoma and Marin Counties for over 30 years, most recently “readings”of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milkwood and the Pulitzer Prize play Our Town. Linda's professional career began as Associate Executive Director of United Way in Sonoma County. She then founded an insurance firm specializing in employee benefits, now managed by her daughter. You can see Linda’s figurative and abstract paintings, along with her writing, at her website:

Thoreau Lovell is originally from Fresno, California. He currently lives in Berkeley, with his wife, their two dogs and cat. He previously worked in the library at San Francisco State University as a technology and collection access administrator. Currently, he’s the publisher and co-founder of Wet Cement Press. He has published two books of poetry, Amnesia’s Diary (Ex Nihilo Press) and Wilson Wiley Variations (Wet Cement Press). The obscure mystery writer B.E. Lovell is his father. More info at

Emilie Lygren is a poet and outdoor educator who is fascinated by the intersections between scientific observation and poetic wonder. Emilie has developed dozens of publications and curricula focused on outdoor science education and social-emotional learning through her work with the award-winning BEETLES Project at the Lawrence Hall of Science. She's also widely published as a poet, and her poems appeared in Thimble Literary Magazine, The English Leadership Quarterly, and numerous anthologies. Emilie's debut poetry collection, What We Were Born For, won the Blue Light Book award in 2021. In her writing and teaching, Emilie centers awareness and curiosity as tools to bring people into deeper relationship with themselves, their communities, and the places they inhabit. Emilie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geology-Biology from Brown University and an MFA in poetry from Maharishi International University. She lives in San Rafael, California, and spends much of her time wondering about oaks and teaching poetry in local classrooms.

Randall Mann is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Deal: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2023). Recent work appears in Poetry, Poem-A-Day, Revel, The Hopkins Review, and the anthology Essential Queer Voices of U.S. Poetry. He works as a medical writer, is on the faculty at Bennington Writing Seminars, and lives in San Francisco.

Tania Martin (she/her) is a writer/art teacher from San José. She writes about dreams in literature on Substack and is Co-founder of Flash Fiction Forum, a bimonthly reading series for short fiction in San José, CA. She has organized Lit Crawls in the South Bay area, was an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine for many years, a writing contest judge for Red Wheelbarrow magazine, and co-editor of Flash Fiction Forum Volume One, an anthology of Flash Fiction, 2022.  Her work has appeared in Catamaran Literary Reader, Caesura, Anser Journal, Flashflood Online, and Sugar Mule Literary Magazine.

Alex Mattraw is the author of the poetry collections Raw Anyone (2022), We fell into weather (2020), and small siren (2018), all with Brooklyn’s Cultural Society. Her poems and/or reviews have appeared in places including The Brooklyn Rail, Jacket2, Lana Turner, Tupelo Quarterly, and VOLT. A frequent collaborator with other writers, Alex is currently working with photographer Adam Thorman on VOIDS, a book-length text + image dialogue that will have a partial feature in the next issue of POSIT. She is also the founder and curator of the Bay Area reading, art, and performance series, Lone Glen, now in its twelfth year.

Richard May’s short fiction has been published in his collections Gay All Year, Because of Roses, Inhuman Beings, and Ginger Snaps: Photos & Stories (with photographer David Sweet) and in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He is a member of the 18th Street Writers and the Bay Area Queer Writers Association.

Ian Meadows was born & bred in Santa Clara, California and is getting his BA in English from San Jose State University. A literary nerd, he plans to work in journalism and be a fiction author. Outside that he loves singing songs on the radio and going to the gym.

antmen pimentel mendoza (they, he, she) is the author of the chapbook MY BOYFRIEND APOCALYPSE (Nomadic Press, 2023; reprinted by Black Lawrence Press). antmen writes, works at the Multicultural Community Center at UC Berkeley, and studies at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. antmen’s poetry is published in Underblong, Peach Mag, Split Lip and anthologized in Best New Poets 2023. antmen lives in Oakland and is online as @antmenismagic and at

Loria Mendoza (she/they) is a queer Chicanx writer, curator, event producer, and performance artist from Austin, Texas. Their book, Life’s Too Short (Fourteen Hills Press) won the Michael Rubin Book Award. They are the curator and host of Red Light Lit Austin, gallery co-curator of LLCreative, Director of Events for the South Austin Art Project, and a big time believer in the healing power of art, community, storytelling, and love.

Rashaan Meneses is a recent Albertina Tholakele Dube Scholar for the 2023 Mendocino Coast Writers Conference. She received a Parent-Writer residency with Mineral School, sponsored by Tahoma Literary Review along with residencies and fellowships from Seventh Wave Magazine, MacDowell, and The International Retreat for Writers at Hawthornden Castle, UK. Her fiction and non-fiction have been featured in Write or Die Magazine, LitHub, Kartika Review, Puerto Del Sol, New Letters, and the anthology Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults. When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s hiking and paddling the California coast with her family. You can find her at  

R.L. Merrill brings you stories of Hope, Love, and Rock ‘n’ Roll featuring quirky and relatable characters. Whether she’s writing romance or horror, she loves to give readers a shiver with compelling stories that will stay with them long after. You can find her connecting with readers on social media, educating America’s youth, raising two brilliant teenagers, writing horror-infused music reviews for, trying desperately to get that back piece finished in the tattoo chair, or headbanging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area! Stay Tuned for more Rock ‘n’ Romance.

Julian Mithra hovers between genders and genres, border-mongering and -mongreling. Winner of the 2023 Alcove Chapbook Prize, Promiscuous Ruin (WTAW, 2023) twists through labyrinthine deer stalks in the imperiled wilderness of inhibited desire. Unearthingly (KERNPUNKT, 2022) excavates forgotten spaces to mine the occult for queer solidarity. Read recent work in Storm Cellar and Permafrost.

Matthew M. Monte grew up near San Francisco, California, and attended the University of Hawaii-Manoa, where he studied botany. His fiction, poetry, book reviews, music reviews, journalism, and essays have appeared in Sidestream, Creosote Journal, Transfer, Ashcan Magazine, The Snackbar Collective, iNaturalist, Panorama, and the Poets 11 Anthologies (2014 and 2016). He lives in San Francisco with his wife and son. His newest collection, All Tomorrow’s Train Rides, was published by Sixteen Rivers Press. His debut collection, The Case of the Six-Sided Dream, won the 2017 Blue Light Poetry Prize.

Claudia Morales is an author and scholar from Chiapas, Mexico. Her debut novel, No Habrá Retorno (Coneculta Chiapas 2015, reissued by Los Libros del Perro 2021) won the National Rosario Castellanos Prize for Short Novels. Her work has been supported by the Fulbright Program and the Foundation for Mexican Letters where she was a writing fellow. Claudia's stories have been featured in Rio Grande Review, The Offing Magazine, Lunch Ticket, Ficción Atómica (Palindroma 2020), Mexicanas: Trece Narrativas Contemporáneas (Fondo Blanco 2021), Latin American Literature Today and her second novel Calao Bicorne was recently published in Fondo Blanco, Spring 2023.

Dylan Mueller is an aspiring poet based out of San Jose, California. They are currently working to finish a bachelor’s degree in creating writing with plans to follow through into a master's program. They can be found spending what extra time they have dreaming of a nicer room or two to call their own and finding an annoying but lovable little cat to fit right in.

Michelle Murphy is the author of two previous poetry collections, Jackknife & Light (Avec Books) and Synonym for Home (Wet Cement Press). She lives with her husband and cat near the Truckee River in Reno, Nevada.

A life-long poet, Ed Mycue’s work started to become well-known in the 1970s. He has worked in a wide variety of genres, including text, visual poetry, graphics, sound and performance poetry, mail art, film and media, and has collaborated with other writers and artists from around the globe. Ed was a Lowell Fellow at Boston University, a WGBH-TV Boston intern, a Macdowell Colony Fellow, a Peace Corps teacher in Ghana, and he taught American Literature. He was editor of the Norton Coker Press and of TOOK magazine. His books include Nightboats, The Singing Man My Father Gave Me, Root Route and Range: the Song Returns, Because We Speak the Same Language, The Torn Star, Great Country, Chronicle, Damage Within the Community, Edward, No One For Free, Pink Garden Brown Trees, Mindwalking and I Am a Fact, Not A Fiction. Ed lives in San Francisco with his partner of 51 years Richard Steger, whose art graces the cover of I Am a Fact, Not a Fiction and many others over the years, beginning with Damage Within the Community, Panjandrum Press, 1973.

Meg Neville is grateful to be in the company of writers at the Sonoma County Writers Festival. A recent creative writing MFA graduate of Dominican, Meg writes fiction, plays, and scripts; she also throws spaghetti at the wall. As a professional costume designer, she has worked in theater, dance and opera. Her dream is to write and design a glorious extravaganza for stage and film. Her current work in progress is an epistolary novel addressed to Saint Augustine. A mother of three and wife of one, she lives with her family in Mill Valley.

Hieu Minh Nguyen is the author of two collections of poetry,This Way to the Sugar (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014) and Not Here (Coffee House Press, 2018), which went on to win the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. Some awards and fellowships Hieu has received include the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, a McKnight Writing Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. His work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and elsewhere. He is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Hieu lives in Oakland and is a Jones Lecturer in Poetry at Stanford University.

Christine No is a Korean American writer, filmmaker and daughter of immigrants. She is a Sundance Alum, VONA Fellow, Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee. In 2022, she was the featured literary artist at Kearny Street Workshop's APAture Festival. You can find her work in print and online at the Columbia Journal, Story Magazine, The Rumpus and elsewhere. Her First full length poetry collection, Whatever Love Means, is available via Barrelhouse Books. She lives in Oakland with her dog Ruthie Wagmore. Check her out on the internet at @iamchristineno.

Johnny Nolen is a non-profit director by day and prolific gamer by night, and also an aspiring science fiction fantasy writer by early mornings. Born with the curse of the forever GM, he prefers to run games in the indie/punk rock spectrum like Spire, Blades in the Dark, and Apocalypse World. He has been writing and gaming since he was a tiny embryo, but his creative writing really took form when it became part of an iterative cycle with his gaming. Johnny is a founding member of Cat Island Games along with his rad husband, Roberto Faller, and has produced Mythos Forged, a Blades in the Dark cosmic horror supplement, and is working on the cooperative card game Apocalypse Cats! He has written two collaborative spec fic manuscripts and is currently working on his first solo piece, Welcome to Cthuland, an absurdist existential horror, all the while maintaining a ceaseless discharge of submissions to litmags and anthologies.

Michael J. O’Connor is a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a graduate of Sonoma State University’s Creative Writing program and a former prose editor for the Zaum literary magazine. He has had short stories published in journals like River River, Flying South, and Hive Avenue and has performed poetry on stage for the Found Poets series. His first novel, the semi-autobiographical Dead Broke in the Yonder Void, was published by Spaceboy Books in 2024.

Brittany Perham is the author of Double Portrait (W.W. Norton), which received the Barnard Women Poets Prize; The Curiosities (Free Verse Editions); and, with Kim Addonizio, the collaborative word/art project The Night Could Go in Either Direction (SHP). Her work has received support from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Hemingway House, the James Merrill House Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, the Wallace Stegner Fellowship Program, and Yaddo. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Stanford University and lives in San Francisco.

Meredith Pike-Baky has been a teacher trainer and writer for many years, having worked with students and teachers in the U.S. and overseas. She’s co-authored several textbooks for university English language students and two books for middle and high school writing teachers. Her most recent book is a memoir of her years as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching high school in Togo, West Africa. Currently, she facilitates a monthly virtual writing group and co-directs an early summer writing retreat in northern Spain.

Angela Pneuman is the author of a book of short stories, Home Remedies, and a novel, Lay It on My Heart (HarperCollins). Her work has also appeared in Best American Short Stories, Ploughshares, the Los Angeles Review, Iowa Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, New England Review, Glimmertrain, The Believer, and elsewhere. She teaches fiction writing in the Continuing Studies program at Stanford University and has also taught in the MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College and undergraduate creative writing at Stanford, SUNY Albany, and Indiana University. Angela has received the Stegner Fellowship from Stanford, the Presidential Fellowship from SUNY Albany, and the inaugural Alice Hoffman Prize for short fiction from Ploughshares. She holds an MFA in writing and a PhD in literature, and currently directs the Napa Valley Writers' Conference.

Peg Alford Pursell is the author of Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow, the 2017 INDIES Book of the Year for Literary Fiction, a collection of fiction and hybrid prose selected by Poets & Writers magazine for its second annual “5 over 50” feature. Her second collection of fiction and hybrid prose, A Girl Goes Into the Forest (Dzanc Books), was a short list finalist for the California Booksellers Alliance’s Golden Poppy Award. She founded the national literary reading series Why There Are Words in the Bay Area in 2010, which ran monthly until 2020, and beginning in 2016, operated in NYC, LA, Pittsburgh, Portland, New Orleans, Austin, and Asheville, NC. The Associated Program of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) featured Peg on their website “In the Spotlight” (2017) for her literary citizenship and community building. In 2015, she founded WTAW Press, a nonprofit literary book publisher of award-winning books. Betty, the new imprint of WTAW Press founded in 2023, focuses on publishing books by women for everyone and aims to showcase the diversity of women’s voices, stories, and experiences: Betty will publish its first book in fall of 2024.

Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of The Five Wounds, which won the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Lambda Literary Award. The Five Wounds was named a Best Book of 2021 by NPR, PBS News Hour, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Booklist, and Book Riot. Night at the Fiestas won prizes from the National Book Critics Circle, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. She is an associate professor in Stanford’s Creative Writing Program.

Angelika Quirk is a poet, memoirist, and German teacher. Raised in Germany, she immigrated to the United States after WWII.

A true renaissance man, Jesse Ragozzino has been actively writing most his life. He buckled down during the pandemic and finished the first book in his series, Vo. He is also an avid improviser and loves playing D&D, as well as any other tabletop game that tickles his fancy.  He’s always had a passion for storytelling and world building, making sure his writing is always otherworldly yet rooted in reality, leaning on his own personal experiences to tell a fictional story. Of course he likes to take a break from thinking when playing games, often opting for the fighter or barbarian. Besides writing and gaming, he also enjoys making music and performing standup comedy!

Elizabeth Robinson is the author of several collections of poetry, including the Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist On Ghosts. With Susanne Dyckman, she is co-author of Rendered Paradise (Apogee Press, 2024). She has been a winner of the National Poetry Series and the Fence Modern Poets Prize and has received grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Fund for Poetry. Recently, Robinson has received Editors’ Choice Awards from New Letters and Scoundrel Time and was also awarded a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Pinole, California with her husband, the poet Randy Prunty.

Marianne Rogoff, PhD, is the author of the Pushcart-nominated story collection Love Is Blind in One Eye, the memoir Silvie’s Life, and numerous travel stories, short fictions, essays, and book reviews. Since 2018, her writing has been a Finalist in Narrative magazine’s Spring Story Contest, Top 10 for the Tillie Olsen Story Award, on the Short List for the Bath International Novella-in-Flash Award, Top 10 for Sequestrum Editor’s Reprint Award, Finalist for ScreenCraft’s Cinematic Short Story Award, Semifinalist for the Tamaqua Award from Hidden River Arts for a book of essays, and Finalist for the Ernest Hemingway Flash Fiction Prize. As adjunct professor at Dominican University, she teaches fiction, creative non-fiction and the personal essay.

Noah Sanders is the founder and host of The Racket Reading Series and the editor of The Racket Journal. He has a seven month old baby so if his writing about anything of an erotic nature seems dated, well, you know why.

sam sax is the author of PIG (2023, Scribner), Yr Dead (2024, McSweeney’s), Madness, and Bury It. They were the two time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion and have received fellowships from The NEA, Poetry Foundation, The Academy of American Poets and Yaddo. Work has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Nation and elsewhere. Sam currently serves as an ITALIC Lecturer at Stanford University.

Prartho Sereno’s most recent collection, Starfall in the Temple, was published by Blue Light Press, Fall 2023. Her 4 other full-length collections include Indian Rope Trick, Elephant Raga, Call from Paris, and her illustrated Causing a Stir: The Secret Lives and Loves of Kitchen Utensils, all of which won national prizes. Poet Laureate Emerita of Marin County (2015-17), MFA Syracuse University (2013), and Radio Disney Super Teacher (2005), she was a Poet in the Schools for 21 years and currently teaches The Poetic Pilgrimage: Poem-Making as Spiritual Practice online.

Max Sessner was born in Fürth, Germany in 1959 and has published eight books of poetry. He has held a wide variety of jobs, working as a bookseller, for the department of public health, and for the Augsburg public library.

Dave Seter is a civil engineer, poet, and essayist, and the author of Don’t Sing to Me of Electric Fences (Cherry Grove Collections) and Night Duty (Main Street Rag). He is also a translator of contemporary Lithuanian poetry. His writing is informed by his environmental career protecting drinking water in the eastern United States and healing the scars of mineral extraction in the western United States. Learn more about Dave at

Moazzam Sheikh is a librarian by profession and is the author of four books of fiction, the most recent being the second volume in his San Francisco Quartet, Unsolaced Faces We Meet In Our Dreams (Weavers Press, 2024). He translates across Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and English. He lives in San Francisco.

Red Studio (2024) is Murray Silverstein’s third book of poems from Sixteen Rivers Press. His first collection, Any Old Wolf (2007), received the Independent Publisher’s Bronze Medal for Poetry and was followed by Master of Leaves (2014). His poems have appeared in Rattle, ZYZZYVA, The MacGuffin, The Brooklyn Review, West Marin Review, Plainsongs, Nimrod, and Under a Warm Green Linden, among other journals. The senior editor for two Sixteen Rivers anthologies, America, We Call Your Name: Poems of Resistance and Resilience (2018), which received the Independent Publisher’s Silver Medal for anthologies, and The Place That Inhabits Us: Poems of the San Francisco Bay Watershed (2010), he also directs the Sixteen Rivers Press Youth Poetry Project, which has published three chapbooks by teen poets: Anthems (2022), Dear Earth (2023), and Our Own Light (2024). A practicing architect for forty years and coauthor of four books on architecture, including A Pattern Language (Oxford University Press) and Patterns of Home (The Taunton Press), Silverstein lives in Oakland, California.

giovanni singleton is the author of Ascension, informed by the life and work of Alice Coltrane, which won the California Book Award Gold Medal, and the visual art collection AMERICAN LETTERS: works on paper, and the forthcoming collection Library of Dreams. Her work has been featured in the Smithsonian's American Jazz Museum, the Jeremy Ingalls Gallery at University of Tucson’s Poetry Center, and GEORGIA, a Denver, CO pop-up art space. Founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, singleton is the recipient of the African American Literature and Culture Society’s Stephen E. Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry.

Originally from San Clemente, Calif., Ryan Steel is an MFA in Creative Writing candidate at SJSU. Ryan previously worked as a production assistant in the entertainment industry before changing gears to a career in academics and literature, specifically literary criticism. Ryan is a graduate assistant on campus and can be found during his free time running laps on the indoor track at Spartan Recreation, playing Badminton, snapping film photos, and even trying his hand at Bluegrass Banjo.

Mark Tate's book of poems, Walking Scarecrow, won the Blue Light Press Book Award in 2023. He is also author of three novels, Beside the River, its sequel, River’s End and Butterfly on the Wheel (McCaa Books). He served for ten years on the Sonoma County Poet Selection Committee for the Sonoma poets laureate. He is a long-time resident of Sonoma County where he lives with his wife, Lori.

Alice Templeton’s collection of poems The Infinite Field will be published in April 2024 by Sixteen Rivers Press. Her chapbook Archaeology won the 2008 New Women’s Voices Prize in Poetry from Finishing Line Press. She is also the author of a critical book on Adrienne Rich’s poetics and articles on contemporary poetics and literary theory. Originally from Tennessee, Templeton lives in Point Richmond, California.

Barbara Tomash is the author of five books of poetry including most recently Her Scant State (Apogee Press), PRE- (Black Radish), and two chapbooks, Of Residue (Drop Leaf) and A Woman Reflected (palabrosa). Her writing has been a finalist for the Dorset Prize, the Colorado Prize, the Test Site Poetry Prize, and the Black Box Poetry Prize. She lives in Berkeley, California and teaches creative writing at San Francisco State University.

Virgie Tovar is a leading expert on weight-based discrimination and body positivity. She is a contributor for where she covers the plus-size market and how to end weight discrimination at work. Tovar edited the anthology Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion and she's the author of three books: You Have the Right to Remain Fat (2018), which was placed on the American Library Association's Amelia Bloomer List, The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color (2020) and The Body Positive Journal (2022). In 2018 she was named one of the 50 most influential feminists by Bitch Magazine. She has received three San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Commissions as well as Yale's Poynter Fellowship in Journalism. Virgie has been featured by the New York Times, Tech Insider, BBC, NPR, and Yahoo Health. She lives in San Francisco.

Elodie Townsend (she/her) is a poet from San Francisco. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from U.C. Berkeley, and is set to receive her M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University in May 2024. Her work has been published in The Berkeley Fiction Review, Made at Berkeley, and The Ana Magazine. Elodie's poetry and prose have been described as toeing the line between absurd mundanity and objective surrealism. She lives in San Rafael with her chihuahua, Tilly.

Steve Trenam teaches poetry writing for Santa Rosa Junior College. Blue Light Press published his book of poems, An Affront to Gravity, in 2021. His work appears in Pandemic Puzzle Poems and in the ekphrastic poetry book, Canyon, River, Stone and Light. He is a founding member of Poetic License Sonoma. Other poems appear in the Redwood Writers poetry anthologies; California Writers’ Club Literary Review; Moonlight and Reflections, Nine Sonoma Poets, Valley of the Moon Press, as well as Larry Robinson’s and Jerry Jazz Musician’s online. 

Patti Trimble’s art practices are forms of thinking holistically, an inquiry into sustainable practices on the fragile planet. A Sonoma County poet, she’s best known for performances of lyric poetry with music. In USA and Europe, she collaborates withmusicians, actors, and dancers for festivals, theater, and art installation, and has CD recordings on Spotify and Apple.

Nichole Turnbloom works to spark joy, alleviate pain and facilitate healing and connection with clients and students through creativity, movement, breathwork and presence. Her BA is from the Hutchins School at SSU and her MFA from Dominican University. When not working or writing poetry, flash fiction or essays, she can be found drinking copious amounts of tea while summing the 10th muse. Her poetry manuscript Out of the Unexpected that works with the fragments of Sappho is currently on submission.

Maggie Holman Tuteur began making poems when she was learning, awkwardly, how to make words. She wanted to say how the sunlight in the kitchen garden bounced off the grass blades and made them shine. That impulse led to poetry submersion in Berkeley in the ’60s and an MA from Stanford in Creative Writing in 1978. Her favorite teachers have been Seamus Heaney, Jean Valentine, Jane Hirshfield, Kim Addonizio, and Terry Ehret. Her poems have appeared in various publications, including The Dark Horse, The Hudson Review, The Nation, the anthology WomanPrayers, Marin Poetry Center anthologies, and Zero-Earth Journal. How the Earth Holds Us is a collection of her poetry spanning five decades. Themes of intimacy and exile, grief and ecstasy, mortality, kinship, and the resilience of the creative impulse thread through the book’s seven sections, accompanied by the poet’s own dream- wrought and imaginative drawings.

Kelechi Ubozoh is a Nigerian-American writer and mental health advocate. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, she was the first undergraduate published in The New York Times. Her book with LD Green, We’ve Been Too Patient, elevates marginalized voices of lived experience who have endured psychiatric mistreatment. Her personal story has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, CBS This Morning with Gayle King, and Good Morning America. Her work is featured in Argot Magazine, Multiplicity, Essential Truths, sParkle & bLINK, Trauma, Tresses, & Truth, and When We Exhale. She co-hosts the Bay Area reading series MoonDrop Productions with Cassandra Dallett and has received a Pushcart Prize nomination. Learn more at

Luis Valderas received a BFA in Secondary Art Education from the University of Texas-Pan American. Valderas co-founded Project: MASA I, II, and III, a national group exhibit featuring Latino artists and focusing on Chicano identities. He is also the co-founder of 3rd Space Art Gallery, a space devoted to representing current trends in the San Antonio visual arts scene, A3—Agents of Change LLC, a public art community engagement collaborative. Valderas has had the opportunity to show not only locally and nationally, but also internationally. His work was exhibited at OSDE Espacio de Arte in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the Medellin Museum of Art in Medellin, Colombia. Valderas’ work has been featured in books such as: Altermundos-Latin@ Speculative Literature, Film and Popular Culture. Mundos Alternos-Art and Science Fiction in the Americas. Chicano Art for Our Millennium-2004 and Triumph in Our Communities: Four Decades of Mexican American Art-2005. His work is part of several collections including UTSA, the Arizona State University, International Museum of Art and Science, Mexic-Arte Museum, Art Museum of South Texas, Instituto for Latino Studies/Notre Dame and the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Marianne Villanueva was born and raised in the Philippines, received a creative writing fellowship from Stanford University, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the author of three short story collections—Ginseng and Other Tales from Manila (a finalist for the Philippines' National Book Award), Mayor of the Roses (the inaugural publication of the Miami University Press Fiction Series), and The Lost Language, published in the Philippines by Anvil Press. Her novella, Jenalyn, was a finalist for the UK's Saboteur Award. She also co-edited Going Home to a Landscape, a groundbreaking collection of Filipino women writers from around the world. Her new collection, The Last American Governor: A Novella and Stories, is forthcoming in 2026 from Betty Books, an imprint of WTAW Press.

Karlee Vincent’s passion for empowering nursing moms in the workplace is the inspiration behind her book Pump or Bust: A New Mama’s Guide to Office Politics, Breast Health, and Pumping on the Road! Her essays have appeared in Scary Mommy, Tiny Beans, Her View From Home and TODAY's Parenting Team. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the California Breastfeeding Coalition. Karlee has also been a featured expert for articles published on WSJ, CNN, Ms. Magazine and has appeared on the Tamron Hall Show. Karlee, her husband, and their two school-aged daughters, live in Petaluma, California.

Laura Walker is the author of six books of poetry: psalmbook (Apogee Press, 2022), story (Apogee Press, 2016), Follow-Haswed (Apogee Press, 2012), bird book (Shearsman Books, 2011), rimertown/an atlas (UC Press, 2008), and swarm lure (Battery Press, 2004). She is also the author of a chapbook, bird book, from Albion Books (2010). Her poetry has appeared in various journals, including New American Writing, VOLT, Ambush, Thermos, and Fact-Simile, among others. Since receiving her MFA from San Francisco State University (SFSU) in 2003, Laura has taught poetry at SFSU, University of San Francisco’s MFA in Writing program, and at UC Berkeley Extension. Laura grew up in rural North Carolina and now lives in Berkeley, California.

Born and raised in Chicago, Carla D. Williams' first novel, Blues Highway, shares a Black migration story beginning with the journey of a Pullman Porter. It can be found on Audible and bookstores around the Bay Area and The author started writing in high school publications, before later getting published in the Chicago Sun-Times at 19. She earned a bachelor’s degree in History and Government from Harvard University and a Master’s in French from Clark Atlanta University. She’s taught history and English in the Bay Area for the past 18 years, mostly in Oakland Unified schools. After a summer institute at the Bay Area Writing Project in 2010, her fiction and poetry appeared in Digital Paper, Poetry Express, Dillydoun Review and elsewhere. She is a member of the National Writing Project Writers Council and recently joined Black Gold Storytellers collective, a YBCA 100 notable.

Kathleen Winter is author of three prize-winning poetry collections: Transformer, I will not kick my friends, and Nostalgia for the Criminal Past. Her poems appear in The New Republic, The New Statesman, Cincinnati Review, Poetry London, Agni, and Michigan Quarterly Review. She was granted fellowships at the Heinrich Böll Cottage, Maison Dora Maar, Cill Rialaig Project, James Merrill House, and Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Awards include Poetry Society of America’s The Writer Magazine/Emily Dickinson Award, the Rochelle Ratner Memorial Prize, and the Ralph Johnston Fellowship. She’s an associate editor with the journal 32 Poems.

Chingling Wo received her PhD in English (Comparative Literature) at State University of New York at Stony Brook. She joined the English Department in 2005. Her work in general engages issues of empire formation, transnational print culture, and modernization in Asia and Europe. Her teaching interests include 17th-19th century British literature, the epistemological impact of global trade in long eighteenth century, travel writing, image of China in British Literature, cultural theory, feminism, Chinese studies, colonialism and post-colonial literature and criticism. Most of her research work focuses on the intersection between capitalism as an economic system and the colonial structure of feeling. Recently she is working on literary representation of plague and climate change, in connection with communal representations of mourning and healing.

Eliana Yoneda is a mixed genre writer from the foggy North Coast. Stunned to find herself living back in her rural hometown, her work has become an ongoing investigation into the meaning of home and inheritance as well as the impact of place on character and perspective. Her poetry has been featured in Loves Me/Loves Me Not and she is currently working on her first novel.

A long-time tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) nerd, from Dungeons & Dragons to World of Darkness, Traveller to Call of Cthulhu, David Zeeman started producing professional content for RPGs in the early 2000s, when he made maps for the Mappa Hârnica Project and Columbia Games. He then started writing and editing for the venerable King Arthur Pendragon RPG (Chaosium, Inc.) in the mid-2000s and hasn’t stopped. He officially became a lead developer for Pendragon a few years ago, and has contributed text, maps, and artwork for the game. His work includes editing and writing for the Book of the Manor (2007), the Book of Knights and Ladies (2011), the Book of the Entourage (2012), the King Arthur Pendragon 6th Edition Starter Set (2023), the King Arthur Pendragon 6th Edition Core Rulebook (2024), and several more titles in the pipeline.

Dan Zhou is an educator, writer and entrepreneur specializing in helping young people navigate their education journeys. After leaving Google in 2012, he decided to dedicate his career to helping students learn about themselves and founded ReadyEdgeGo. His clients come from as far away as New York, Hyderabad, and Singapore, and he believes writing and reflecting about one’s own experiences is a necessary life skill. With his passion for self-discovery, Dan has long been a supporter of the Personal Creed Project. He has joined the Personal Creed Organization, bringing many skills and gifts to foster a community of self-learners and help the organization move forward. Dan is currently writing a book about what’s wrong and could be right about high school.

Olga Zilberbourg’s first English-language book, a collection of short and flash fiction, Like Water and Other Stories, was published by WTAW Press in 2019. It explores “bicultural identity hilariously, poignantly,” according to The Moscow Times. It also explores themes of bisexual identity and parenthood. It received warm reviews from a number of publications and was named a finalist in the 2019 Foreword INDIES Book Award. Zilberbourg's fiction and essays have appeared in Lit Hub, Electric Literature, Bare Life Review, Narrative Magazine, World Literature Today, Alaska Quarterly Review, and others. She co-hosts the weekly San Francisco Writers Workshop.