Born in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., and raised in Apopka, Florida, Nicole Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast, forthcoming from Ecco, and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the 2015 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her other honors include an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from the American Poetry Review, a Daniel Varoujan Award and the Poetry International Prize, as well as fellowships from CantoMundo, Cave Canem, MacDowell Colony and the Poetry Project. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker and elsewhere. She holds an MLA in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida and an MFA in creative writing from New York University. She is the executive director of Cave Canem.
Emily Skillings is the author of two chapbooks: Backchannel (Poor Claudia) and Linnaeus: The 26 Sexual Practices of Plants (No, Dear/ Small Anchor Press). Her first full-length collection of poetry, Fort Not, will be published by the Song Cave in 2017. Recent poems can be found or are forthcoming in the Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, LitHub, Jubilat, Pleiades, Phantom Limb, Philadelphia Review of Books and Washington Square. The recipient of a 2017 Pushcart Prize, she is an MFA candidate at Columbia University, where she is a 2017 Teaching Fellow, and organizes the Earshot reading series with Allyson Paty. She lives in Brooklyn, where she is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist poetry collective and event series.
The recipient of a 2017 NEA fellowship, Danez Smith is a Black, queer, poz writer and performer from St. Paul, MN. They are the author of [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and Don’t Call Us Dead, forthcoming from Graywolf Press. They are also the author of two chapbooks, hands on your knees (Penmanship Books, 2013) and black movie (Button Poetry, 2015), winner of the Button Poetry Prize. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation and the McKnight Foundation, and their work has been featured widely, including on Buzzfeed, Blavity, PBS NewsHour and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. They are a two-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, three-time Rustbelt Poetry Slam Champion, and a founding member of the Dark Noise Collective.