Mary Szybist earned degrees from the University of Virginia and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. Her first collection of poetry, Granted (2003), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the winner of the 2004 Great Lakes Colleges Associations New Writers Award. Her second book, Incarnadine (2013), won the National Book Award for Poetry. According to judge Kay Ryan, Syzbist’s “lovely musical touch is light and exact enough to catch the weight and grind of love. This is a hard paradox to master as she does.” Szybist is also the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Pushcart Prize in 2012. She has been awarded residencies from the MacDowell Colony and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. Her work has appeared in the Iowa Review and Denver Quarterly and was featured in Best American Poetry (2008). In 2009, she was awarded a Witter Bynner Fellowship and a literature fellowship from the NEA. She is an associate professor of English at Lewis & Clark in Portland, Oregon, and is a member of the faculty at the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers.
Mitchell S. Jackson’s debut novel The Residue Years received wide critical praise. Jackson is the winner of a Whiting Award. His novel also won The Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence and was a finalist for The Center for Fiction Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the PEN / Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, and the Hurston / Wright Legacy Award. His honors include fellowships and awards from John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center, the Lannan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, PEN America, TED, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Center for Fiction. His writing has been featured on This American Life, on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, Time Magazine, Esquire Magazine, and Marie Claire Magazine, as well as in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar Magazine, The Paris Review, The Washington Post Magazine, The Guardian, and elsewhere. His nonfiction book Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family was published in 2019 and named a best book of the year by fifteen publications, including NPR, Time Magazine, The Paris Review, The Root, Kirkus Reviews, and Buzzfeed. Jackson is a columnist for Esquire Magazine and teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago. His next novel John of Watts is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Sindya Bhanoo’s first collection of fiction is forthcoming from Catapult in 2022. She has worked as a reporter for The New York Times and The Washington Post and is currently a Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellow at the University of Michigan. Her fiction has appeared in or is forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Granta, the New England Review and elsewhere. She was the winner of the DISQUIET Literary Prize and her work has received support from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Michener Center for Writers. Sindya Bhanoo will teach the Michener Center First-year Seminar in Fall 2021.