Tara 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 Vox.com. 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.
Jonathan Garfinkel (playwriting) 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.
Maaza 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 Monitor, Boston 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 Yorker, Granta, the Guardian, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, BBC Radio, Cosmopolitan, and Lettr
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.
Jenny 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 Times, N+1, Ha
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Writers and editors in residence
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.
Mary Gaitskill‘s works include the Collection, Because They Wanted To, which was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1998 and the novels, The Mare (2015), Bad Behavior (1988), Two Girls, Fat and Thin (1991), Veronica (2005), and Don’t Cry (2009). Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire, The Best American Short Stories (1993), and The O. Henry Prize Stories (1998). Her story “Secretary” was the basis for the film of the same name. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Gaitskill is one of the leading contemporary writers at work today. She teaches creative writing at Syracuse University and lives in New York.
Sergey 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.
Linor 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.
Alexander 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.
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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