Josip Novakovich emigrated from Croatia to the United States at the age of 20, and after quitting medical school, studied psychology, theology, and philosophy, before turning to fiction writing. He has published a novel, April Fool’s Day (in ten languages), a novella in three forms, Three Deaths, and four story collections (Infidelities: Stories of War and Lust, Yolk, Salvation and Other Disasters, and Ex-YU) and three collections of narrative essays as well as two books of practical criticism, including Fiction Writers Workshop. His work was anthologized in Best American Poetry, the Pushcart Prize and O. Henry Prize Stories. His stories have appeared in many journals—The Paris Review, Threepenny, Ploughshares, etc. He has received the Whiting Writer’s Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, the Ingram Merrill Award and an American Book Award, and in 2013 he was a Man Booker International Award finalist. Novakovich has been a writing fellow of the New York Public Library and has taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Die Freie Universitaet in Berlin, Penn State and now Concordia University in Montreal. He is revising a novel, Rubble of Rubles, and putting together another story collection, Wanderer.
Named one of Flavorwire’s 100 best living writers and “a crucial voice of her generation” by Michael Silverblatt, Ariana Reines lives in Queens, mostly. Her books include The Cow (Alberta Prize, 2006), Coeur de Lion (2007); Mercury (2011), A Sand Book (2017), from FENCE, and The Origin of the World (2014) from Semiotext(e). TELEPHONE, her first play (2009) was commissioned by The Foundry Theatre and received two Obie Awards; a Norwegian translation will premiere in Mollebyen, Norway in 2017. FRANCESCA, a play by Nathalie Rozanes based on writings & performances by Reines premiered at the National Theatre of Belgium in 2016. Other performance & theatrical works include: MORTAL KOMBAT (2015), commissioned by Le Mouvement Biel/Bienne & performed at The Whitney Museum, New York, NY, USA, & Gallery TPW, Toronto, CA, and LORNA (2013) at Martin E. Segal Theatre, New York, USA, both in collaboration with Jim Fletcher, The Origin of the World (2013) at Modern Art, London UK, & many others. Art exhibitions include PUBIC SPACE (2016), a collaboration with Oscar Tuazon at Modern Art in London, UK, EXHAUST (2016) at Contemporary Art Tasmania, AU, and JANE DARK (2014) at Western Front, Vancouver, CA. Reines is the translator of Baudelaire’s My Heart Laid Bare (Mal-O-Mar, 2009); Jean-Luc Hennig’s The Little Black Book of Grisélidis Réal: Days and Nights of an Anarchist Whore (Semiotext(e) 2009); and Tiqqun’s Preliminary Materials Toward a Theory of the Young-Girl (Semiotext(e) 2012). She has taught at Columbia University, the European Graduate School, NYU, Tufts, Naropa, and The New School,. In 2009 she was Roberta C. Holloway Lecturer in Poetry at the University of California-Berkeley.
Mikhail Iossel, the Leningrad-born author of the story collection Every Hunter Wants to Know (W.W. Norton) and co-editor of the anthologies Amerika: Russian Writers View the United States (Dalkey Archive, 2004) and Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia (Tin House, 2010), is a professor of English/Creative Writing at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada – and the founding director of the Summer Literary Seminars international program. Back in the Soviet Union, he worked as an electromagnetic engineer and as a roller-coaster security guard, and belonged to the organization of samizdat writers, Club-81. He came to the US in 1986, and started writing in English in 1988. Among his awards are the Guggenheim, NEA and Stegner Fellowships. His stories, in English and in translation to a number of other languages, have appeared in NewYorker.com, The Literarian, Agni Review, The North American Review, Boulevard, Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere.
Billy Kahora is the Managing Editor of Kwani? He also writes fiction and completed an MS.c in Creative Writing with distinction at the University of Edinburgh as a Chevening Scholar in 2007. Before that, Billy studied and worked in South Africa for 8 years and in between worked as an Editorial Assistant for All Africa.com in Washington D.C. He has a Bachelor of Journalism degree and post-graduate diploma in Media Studies from Rhodes University. His short story, ‘Treadmill Love’, was highly commended by the 2007 Caine Prize judges. He edited ‘Kenya Burning’, a visual narrative of the Kenya post-elections crisis published by the GoDown Arts Centre and Kwani Trust in March 2009. His extended feature, ‘The True Story of David Munyakei’ on Kenya’s biggest whistleblower has been developed into a non-fiction novella and was released by Kwani Trust in July 2009. Billy was a Regional judge for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize as well as the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature.
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor is a Kenyan writer, who was named “Woman of the Year” by Eve Magazine in Kenya in 2004 for her contribution to the country’s literature and arts. She won the 2003 Caine Prize for African Writingfor her story “Weight of Whispers”, which considers an aristocratic Rwandan refugee in Kenya. The story was originally published in Kwani?, the Kenyan literary magazine set up by Binyavanga Wainaina after he won the Caine Prize the previous year. In September 2015, her book Dust won the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature.
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami Beach, Jaquira Díaz is the 2016-18 Kenyon Review Fellow in Prose, and recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, the Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and an NEA Fellowship to the Hambidge Center for the Arts. She’s been awarded fellowships or scholarships from The MacDowell Colony, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Summer Literary Seminars, the Tin House Summer Writers’ Workshop, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Best American Essays 2016, Rolling Stone, Pushcart Prize XXXVII: Best of the Small Presses, The Guardian, The FADER, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, The Sun, The Southern Review, Salon, Brevity, Ninth Letter, Slice, TriQuarterly, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications.
Simon Han‘s stories have won Indiana Review‘s Fiction Prize and Texas Observer‘s Short Story Contest, and have also appeared in Guernica, West Branch, and Narrative. His writing has been supported by the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and Vanderbilt University, where he received his MFA. He is at work on a novel and a collection of stories.
Past SLS faculty members include Poet Laureates of the US, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the MacArthur Foundation Genius Award — luminaries such as:
George Elliot Clarke
Lynne Shareon Schwartz
William T. Vollman
C. K. Williams