SLS Kenya 2018

Sealey headshot by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Born in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and raised in Apopka, Florida, Nicole Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast, finalist for the 2018 PEN Open Book Award, and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the 2015 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her other honors include a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, 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 Foundation, MacDowell Colony and the Poetry Project. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times and elsewhere. Nicole 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 at Cave Canem Foundation and the 2018-2019 Doris Lippman Visiting Poet at The City College of New York.




Lynne Tillman writes novels, short stories, and nonfiction. Her novel NO LEASE ON LIFE was a Finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award (1998), and her essay collection WHAT WOULD LYNNE TILLMAN DO? a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. Her most recent collection THE MADAME REALISM COLLECTION AND OTHER STORIES (2016) was published by Semiotexte. Her sixth novel, MEN AND APPARITIONS, was published by Soft Skull March 13 (2018).

Tillman’s stories have been anthologized widely and published in, for example,  Black Clock; Ploughshares; The Show I’ll Never Forget; The Milan Review; Bomb. They also appear frequently in artists’ books and museum catalogues, including, most recently, those of Raymond Pettibon, Joan Jonas, Cindy Sherman, and Carroll Dunham. She is a columnist for Frieze art magazine.

Tillman is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation grant for arts writing, and is a Professor/Writer in Residence at The University at Albany. She also teaches in New York City’s School of Visual Arts, in its Art Criticism and Writing MFA Program. She lives in Manhattan with bass player David Hofstra.

Writers in residence

jaquiraBorn 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 2016Rolling StonePushcart Prize XXXVII: Best of the Small PressesThe GuardianThe FADERPloughsharesKenyon ReviewThe SunThe Southern ReviewSalonBrevityNinth LetterSliceTriQuarterly, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications.



Author of a poetry collection, The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon, 2018), a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017), and two chapbooks, including That Tree is Mine (dancing girl press, 2018), Virginia Konchan‘s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Boston Review, and The Believer.  Co-founder of Matter, a journal of poetry and political commentary, and Associate Editor for Tupelo Quarterly, she lives and works in Montreal.






SLS Georgia 2018


AUTHORPHOTOTara Isabella Burton‘s debut novel, Social Creature, is forthcoming from Doubleday in June 2018. A nonfiction book about non-traditional religious movements, Strange Rites: Cults and Subcultures After the Death of God, is forthcoming from Public Affairs in 2019. She has lived on and off in Tbilisi since 2010, and has worked as a travel writer for National Geographic, The Economist’s 1843 Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and others, and is currently the staff religion writer for She holds a doctorate in literature and theology from Trinity College, Oxford, where she was a Clarendon Scholar.
Tara has led courses, lectures, and workshops in creative writing at the University of Oxford, Boston College, Calvin College, and others.




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Jonathan Garfinkel is the author of a book of poems, Glass Psalms (2005, Turnstone Press), as well as the internationally acclaimed memoir Ambivalence: Crossing the Israel/Palestine Divide (2008, Penguin Canada + Norton USA). His award-winning non-fiction has been published in The Globe and Mail, Walrus, PEN International, Eighteen Bridges and Tablet Magazine, and has also been anthologized in Cabin Fever: The Best of New Canadian Non-Fiction. Jonathan’s plays have been produced throughout Canada and Europe and include The Trials of John Demjanjuk: A Holocaust Cabaret and House of Many Tongues, nominated for the 2011 Governor General’s Award. Jonathan’s latest play was his adaptation of Rawi Hage’s novel Cockroach, premiering at ATP in Calgary in March 2016. Jonathan currently lives in Montreal, where he teaches playwriting at the National Theatre School of Canada. His novel, “The Altruist”, will be published by House of Anansi Press in April 2019.




Sana Krasikov is the author of the novel The Patriots and the collection One More Year. She was born in Ukraine and grew up in the former Soviet republic of Georgia and in New York. In 2017 she was named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. Krasikov’s debut story collection was a finalist for the 2009 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Prize. It received a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 award and won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker and The Atlantic, Zoetrope and other magazines.






Portrait of Maaza MengisteMaaza Mengiste is a novelist and essayist. Her debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, was selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books and named one of the best books of 2010 by Christian Science MonitorBoston Globe and other publications. She is a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Fulbright Program. She was named the 2013 Puterbaugh Fellow and was the 2011 Runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her work can be found in The New YorkerGranta, the Guardian, the New York TimesRolling StoneBBC RadioCosmopolitan, and Lettre International, among other places. She was a writer on the documentary project, GIRL RISING and THE INVISIBLE CITY: KAKUMA. Her second novel, The Shadow King, is forthcoming.




ariana_reinesNamed 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.


A Guggenheim fellow, Terese Svoboda is the author of 18 books, including seven books of poetry. Last year she published Professor Harriman’s Steam Air-Ship (poetry) with Eyewear (UK). Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet (biography) has just appeared in paper, and Great American Desert (stories) will be published next year. She has won the Bobst Prize in fiction, the Iowa Prize for poetry, an NEH grant for translation, the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, a Jerome Foundation prize for video, the O. Henry award for the short story, a Bobst prize for the novel, and a Pushcart Prize for the essay. She is a three time winner of the New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, and has been awarded Headlands, James Merrill, Hawthornden, and Bellagio residencies. Her opera WET premiered at L.A.’s Disney Hall in 2005. “Terese Svoboda is one of those writers you would be tempted to read regardless of the setting or the period or the plot or even the genre.”–Bloomsbury Review.

zangJenny Zhang is the author of the short story collection Sour Heart, the poetry collection Dear Jenny, We Are All Find, and the poetry and essay anthology, The Selected Jenny Zhang. Her writing has appeared in The New York TimesN+1, Harper’s, Poetry, Buzzfeed, New York, Lenny Letter, Dazed, and RookieHer essay, “How It Feels” was nominated for a National Magazine award. She holds degrees from Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.





 Writers and editors in residence

19_SERGEY_GANDLEVSKYSergey Gandlevsky, Russian poet and writer, graduated Moscow State University in 1977, faculty of philology. In 70s Sergey was a member of poetic group “Moskovskoe Vremja” with Aleksandr Soprovsky, Aleksey Tsvetkov and Bakhit Kenzheev. He has published 20 books, including poetry, prose, essay volumes and translations. He has received several important awards: Little Booker Prize (1996), Anti-Booker (1996),  Moskovskii Schet (2009), Kievskie Lavry (2009), Russian National “Poet” Prize (2010). Sergey has participated in many literary festivals in Austria, England, Germany, Georgia, Italy, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Lithuania, Turkey, France, Switzerland, Croatia and Japan. Since 1992 he has given invited lectures and readings at Yale University, Stanford University, Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, and many others.




033Linor Goralik is a writer, poet and artist living between Israel and Russia. Published a number of novels, short prose and poetry collections, children’s books, and non-fiction, and translates prose and poetry from Hebrew and Engilsh. She teaches costume theory at Russian State University for Humanities and Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Ms. Goralik is the Laureate of the Joseph Brodsky Poetry Prize, as well as a large number of other literature awards.



Anna Halberstadt

Anna Halberstadt has published many works in the field of psychology but has found poetry to be a more adequate and condensed way to expand on the same themes – growing up as a child of Holocaust survivors in a country still struggling with past trauma, living in three countries (Lithuania, Russia, US), and immigration. Her creative work has been published by over fifty literary journals and anthologies in English, Russian, Lithuanian and Ukrainian, among them in Atlanta Review, Caliban, Cimarron Review, Literary Imagination (Oxford Journals) and many others. She is an author of two poetry collections in English–“Vilnius Review, “ Box Turtle Press, Mudfish Individual Poets Series, 2014 and “Green in a Landscape with Ashes,” New Meridian Arts, 2018 and two collections in Russian – “Transit” and “Gloomy Sun”, Evgeny Stepanov publishing house, Moscow. She has published two books of translations of American poetry into the Russian – “Selected Selected” by Eileen Myles, Russian Gulliver, 2017 and “Nocturnal Fire” by Edward Hirsch, 2018, Evgeny Stepanov Pubishing House, Moscow. Anna’s poems had been nominated twice for the Pushcart prize in 2014 and 2016. Atlanta Review selected her as The International Merit Award winner in the Poetry 2016 International Poetry Competition. She was awarded a Poetry Prize in 2016 by Children of Ra Journal for a group of poems in Russian. “Vilnius Diary” in Lithuanian translation won TOP 10 by Lt.15, a Lithuanian news site, it was named as one ten best books, published in Lithuania in 2017. This book also won the Lithuanian Translators Association Award in 2017. She is a member of the PEN American Center.

Gabriel Louis

Gabriel Louis grew up in Washington, D.C. He has attended the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops, and received support from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Ragdale, and VCCA. He has a BA from Columbia University and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. His work has appeared in Subtropics, and he is an associate fiction editor at Fence. He has been the Writer-in-Residence at Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop, and is a 2017-18 Fiction Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center.





Stessin Photo Nov 2017Alexander Stessin graduated from the University at Buffalo Poetics Program where he was a student of Susan Howe, Charles Bernstein, and Robert Creeley whose poetry he subsequently translated into Russian. He then went on to study French literature at the Sorbonne, followed by medical school at Cornell University. He has authored three collections of poetry and three volumes of prose, and his work has been published extensively both in the US and in Russia. In 2011 his collection of poetry “Business Hours” (“Chasy priema”) received the prestigious “Moscow Tally” (“Moscovskij schet”) award, and in 2014 he was awarded the “Russian Prize” (“Russkaja premija”) from the Boris Yeltsin Foundation for the novel “Sankofa” (based on his experiences working as a physician in Ghana). His other accolades include the Gumilev Prize (2007), Tamizdat Prize (2007), and “Bella” Russian-Italian Poetry Prize (2014). He lives in New York and works as a radiation oncologist at the Stony Brook University Medical Center.




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:

Aimee Bender
Christian Bok
Amy Bloom
George Elliot Clarke
Billy Collins
Robert Coover
Robert Creeley
Toi Derricotte
Stephen Dobyns
Cornelius Eady
Dave Eggers
Stephen Elliot
Tibor Fisher
Mary Gaitskill
Vivian Gornick
Saskia Hamilton
Robert Hass
Steve Heighton
Brenda Hillman
Edward Hirsch
Tony Hoagland
Fanny Howe
Denis Johnson
Wayne Johnston
Joe Kertes
Sam Lipsyte
Phillip Lopate
Glyn Maxwell
William Meredith
Erin Moure
Eileen Myles
Padgett Powell
Francine Prose
Claudia Rankine
Dawn Raffel
George Saunders
Lynne Shareon Schwartz
Rebecca Seiferle
Gary Shteyngart
Johanna Skibsrud
Christopher Sorrentino
Anthony Swofford
Lynne Tillman
William T. Vollman
Binyavanga Wainaina
Mac Wellman
C. K. Williams
Lawrence Wright