May will be a delight!



ELIZABETH McDERMOTT”s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Harpur Palate,, Watershed Review, Red Earth Review, Southern Humanities Review, and DIAGRAM. She received an honorable mention for the 2013 AWP Intro Journals Project and first place in the Regional Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest. She recently earned her PhD in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and lives in New Lenox, IL.

JAKE HINKSON is the author of the novel Hell On Church Street and the novellas The Posthumous Man and Saint Homicide. Hinkson is a regular contributor to Macmillan’s website Criminal Element and the film journal Noir City. In addition, he has written for The Los Angeles Review Of Books, Mental Floss, Mystery Scene and Bright Lights Film Journal. His short fiction has been published in anthologies such as Beat To A Pulp and Lee, and his essays on film have appeared in anthologies such as Film Noir: The Directors. His books Hell On Church Street and The Posthumous Man have been acquired for translation into French by èditions Gallmeister and will be released in Europe in new hardcover editions in 2015. He lives in Chicago and blogs at

WILLY NAST is the co-host of the live lit show Essay Fiesta, which takes place on the third Monday of every month at The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square. Willy also co-hosts the “completely unpretentious” literary podcast All Write Already! Willy is originally from Aurora, Illinois, and yes, he has seen the movie Wayne’s World an astounding number of times. You can find out more about what Willy is writing and where he’ll be reading at

TONI NEALIE writes and teaches in Chicago, where she earned her MFA in nonfiction from Columbia College Chicago. She previously worked in magazines, politics, and public relations in the U.K. and her native New Zealand. This essay is part of a collection in progress about journeys and homelands.

KAREN SHIMMIN is the co-host of All Write Already!, the “completely unpretentious” literary podcast. Karen also co-hosts and co-produces Essay Fiesta, which takes place at the Book Cellar on the third Monday of each month. Karen graduated from Northwestern’s creative writing and theatre programs and has performed her work around the city.

April…get ready!


Joel Craig is the author of The White House (Green Lantern Press, 2012), and the chapbook Shine Tomorrow(Lost Horse, 2009). His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Iowa Review, Fence, GutCult, A Public Space, TYPO, and Rabbit Light Movies. He co-founded and curates The Danny’s Reading Series and edits poetry for MAKE: A Literary Magazine—where he lives, in Chicago, Illinois.

Kendra DeColo is the author of Thieves in the Afterlife (Saturnalia Books, 2014), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 2013 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in Southern Indiana Review, Calyx, The Collagist, Best Indie Lit of New England and elsewhere. She is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission, a work-study scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and residencies from the Millay Colony and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She is the founding poetry editor of Nashville Review and Book Review Editor at Muzzle Magazine.

Nami Mun grew up in Seoul, South Korea and Bronx, New York. For her first novel, Miles from Nowhere, she received a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and the Asian American Literary Award. Miles From Nowhere was selected as Editors’ Choice and Top Ten First Novels by Booklist; Best Fiction of 2009 So Far by Amazon; and as an Indie Next Pick. Chicago Magazine named her Best New Novelist of 2009. Her short stories have been published in Granta, Tin House, The Iowa Review, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Evergreen Review, Witness, and elsewhere. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing in Chicago.

Virginia Smith Rice received her MFA in creative writing from Northwestern University. Her poems appear in BathHouse Journal, Canopic Jar, Cincinnati Review, Denver Quarterly, Meridian,Rattle, and Southern Poetry Review, among other journals. Her first full-length poetry collection,When I Wake It Will Be Forever, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications.

Augustus Rose was born in the Northern California coastal town of Bolinas, and grew up there and in San Francisco. A novelist and screenwriter, he currently makes his home in Chicago, where he teaches fiction writing at University of Chicago and Columbia College.

March is dynamite!



BRIAN BAILLIE was born and raised on a small island in Washington State, then moved around the country; Tacoma, Chicago, San Francisco— where he saddled up with some vagabond performers and toured the country doing performance-poem/folk/hip-hop/zombie-apocalypse fusion variety shows. Moved back to Chicago, where he is a fiction writing major, poetry minor and tutor at Columbia College. He also runs youth performance poetry workshops. And he has a kid. He’s two and rad. Potty training and editing consume 80% of his awake time.

TARFIA FAIZULLAH is the author of Seam (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014), winner of the 2012 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Her poems appear in American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, The Southern Review, Massachusetts Review, Ninth Letter, New England Review, Washington Square, and elsewhere. A Kundiman fellow, she received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and is the recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Project Award, a Ploughshares Cohen Award, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Copper Nickel Poetry Prize, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, scholarships from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Sewanee Writers’ Conference, fellowships from the Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop and Vermont Studio Center, and other honors. She lives in Detroit, where she serves as a writer-in-residence for InsideOut and co-edits the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Press with Jamaal May.

NATHAN HOKS is the author of two books of poetry, Reveilles and The Narrow Circle, which was chosen by Dean Young as a winner of the 2012 National Poetry Series and recently published by Penguin. He is an editor and letterpress printer for Convulsive Editions, a micropress that publishes poetry. He works at Truman College and lives in Chicago with his family.

KATE MAGNOLIA holds an MFA in poetry from Columbia College Chicago, where she was the recipient of the 2011 Grant Assistantship Award. She has taught composition and creative writing both inside and outside the university classroom. Currently, she serves as a co-editor for Black Tongue Review. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Redivider, Ghost Proposal, Columbia Poetry Review, Arsenic Lobster, Black Tongue Review and more.

JAMAAL MAY s a poet and editor from Detroit, MI where he has taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer and touring performer. His first full-length poetry collection, Hum (Alice James Books, 2013), received the Beatrice Hawley Award and an NAACP Image Award nomination. Other honors include the Indiana Review Poetry Prize, Stadler Fellowship, and the Kenyon Review Fellowship. Jamaal’s poems appear in such publications as The New Republic, The Believer, Poetry, Ploughshares,Poetry Daily, and Best American Poetry. A graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA program and former Associate Editor for West Branch, he currently co-edits the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook and Video Series with Tarfia Faizullah and teaches in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program.