Gbenga Adesina, Tyehimba Jess, R.N. Villanueva
Gbenga Adesina is the author of Painter of Water (Akashic Books, 2016), one of eight volumes included in Tatu, the 2016 edition of the New-Generation African Poets chapbook box set series, an African Poetry Book Fund project edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani. His poem “How To Paint A Girl” was selected by Mathew Zapruder for the New York Times Magazine in July 2016. His poems and interviews have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Washington Square Review, Brittle Paper, Vinyl, Ploughshares and elsewhere. A 2017 Emerging Poets Fellow at Poets House in New York City, he has received other fellowships and scholarships from the Norman Mailer Center, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop at Oxford University, and the 2015 poets’ residency on Goree Island Organized by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa. His manuscript Holy Bodies was a finalist for the 2017 Sillerman First Book Prize from the African Poetry Book Fund. Born in Nigeria, he is currently a Starworks Poetry Fellow in the MFA program at New York University.
Tyehimba Jess is the author of Leadbelly (Wave Books, 2005), winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series, and Olio (Wave Books, 2016) winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, among other honors. His fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Jess holds an MFA in creative writing (poetry) from NYU. He was a Cave Canem fellow and a Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. He received a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as numerous other awards and honors. Jess is a Professor of English at College of Staten Island.
R.A. Villanueva is the author of Reliquaria (U. Nebraska Press, 2014), winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Recent poems appear in Poetry, the American Poetry Review, Guernica, and other publications. His honors include a commendation from the Forward Prizes, the Ninth Letter Literary Award, and fellowships from Kundiman, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, and The Asian American Literary Review. A founding editor of Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art, he lives in Brooklyn.