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. He will be teaching fiction/nonfiction at SLS Georgia 2017.
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. She will be teaching poetry at SLS Georgia 2017.
Maaza Mengiste is an Ethiopian-born 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. Her fiction and nonfiction can be found in The New Yorker, Granta, the Guardian, the New York Times, BBC Radio 4, World Literature Today, Guernica, and Lettre Internationale, among other places. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship as well as fellowships from Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Santa Maddalena Foundation. Maaza writes fiction and nonfiction dealing with conflict, migration, and the relationship between photography and violence. She was a writer on the documentary projects, GIRL RISING and THE INVISIBLE CITY, and sits on the boards of Words Without Borders and Warscapes. Her second novel is forthcoming. She will be teaching fiction at SLS Georgia 2017.
Tara Isabella Burton has reported travel, religion and culture stories from Iran to Uzbekistan to Argentina. She is a regular contributor to National Geographic Traveler, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist’s 1843 Magazine, and more. She has received the Shiva Naipaul Award, Lowell Thomas Award, and NATJA Awards for her travel writing. She is based between Tbilisi, New York, and Oxford, where she is finishing a doctorate in Theology as a Clarendon Scholar at Trinity College, Oxford. She will be teaching travel writing at SLS Georgia 2017.
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. He will be teaching playwriting at SLS Georgia 2017.
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.
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