Laura Biagi, MFA Fiction
Laura Biagi grew up in small-town Kentucky and earned her BA in Creative Writing and Anthropology from Northwestern University. After college she spent eight years working in New York at a literary agency, where she represented literary fiction, nonfiction, YA, and children’s books. She likes hot weather and the stars.
Theodora Bishop, PhD Poetry
Theodora Bishop’s poetry and short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, Prairie Schooner, Arts & Letters, and Short Fiction (England), among other journals, anthologies, and exhibits. A Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets nominee, Bishop was the winner of The Cupboard’s 2015 contest for her short story chapbook, Mother Tongues, judged by Matt Bell. Theodora Bishop holds an MFA from the University of Alabama and is pursuing her PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Houston. Her novella, On the Rocks, is forthcoming from Texas Review Press.
Justin Jannise, PhD Poetry
Justin Jannise grew up in Liberty, Texas, and has lived in Houston since 2015. He studied poetry at Yale and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Justin’s work has appeared in Columbia Journal, the Yale Review and The Awl. He likes flamingos and tastefully executed side-eye.
His poetry and creative research develop the relationship between sight, display, public speech, and spectacle; he is at work on a trans-American project that examines specific art scenes of 1960s-1970s Los Angeles, 1980s-1990s Mexico City, and present-day São Paulo.
Ji yoon Lee, PhD Poetry
Ji yoon Lee is a poet and translator whose most recent publication is Poems of Kim Yideum, Kim Haengsook, and Kim Minjeong, the collection of contemporary Korean poetry, for which she collaborated with Jake Levine, Don mee Choi, and Johannes Göransson (Vagabond Press, 2017). She translated Korean feminist poet Kim Yideum’s poetry with Don mee Choi and Johannes Göransson, the collection of which was published as Cheer Up, Femme Fatale (Action Books, 2015). She is also the author of Foreigner’s Folly (Coconut Books, 2014), Funsize/Bitesize (Birds of Lace, 2013), and IMMA (Radioactive Moat, 2012). She is the winner of the Joanna Cargill prize (2014), and her manuscript was a finalist for the 1913 First Book Prize (2012). She was born in South Korea, and immigrated to a small town in East Texas alone as a teen. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame, lived in NYC, and moved back to Texas, the land that keeps pulling her back.
David Nikityn, MFA Fiction
Dave Nikityn was born and raised in rural New Jersey where he grew up playing baseball and basketball. As an undergraduate, he studied radio broadcasting, philosophy, and creative writing. More recently, he has summited Mount Everest twice (once blindfolded), wandered the streets of Bangladesh alongside magician David Blaine in search of ancient snake-charming techniques, and safely landed a critically damaged Boeing 747 jetliner after both pilot and co-pilot had passed out due to shock. He is also the fictitious author of the fictitious bestselling guide to life: Lying: The Fast Track to Impressing Friends and Colleagues Alike.
Paige Quiñones, PhD Poetry
Paige Quiñones received her MFA from the Ohio State University, where she was a poetry editor for The Journal. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Barrow Street, Juked, McSweeney’s, Muzzle Magazine, Quarterly West, and elsewhere. Her poem “Summer, or Daughters I Haven’t Met” was a finalist for Best of the Net 2015. She is currently a graduate fellow with the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Houston.
Annie Shepherd, PhD Fiction
Annie Shepherd taught ESL in China for two years before returning to her home state of Texas to obtain an MFA in creative writing from Texas State University. Prior to entering the PhD program in fiction at University of Houston, she taught writing and literature at Texas State University and University of the Incarnate Word. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in North American Review, The Greensboro Review, and North Dakota Quarterly.
Brendan Stephens, PhD Fiction
Brendan Stephens received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. His work is forthcoming or published in the Southeast Review, Carolina Quarterly, and elsewhere. Currently, he is a PhD student at the University of Houston.
Kaj Tanaka, PhD Fiction
Kaj Tanaka’s stories have been featured in Longform, selected for Wigleaf’s Best (Very) Short Fictions, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He is the nonfiction editor for BULL Magazine.
Richard Thompson, MFA Poetry
Richard Thompson grew up in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. He has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from McGill University in Montreal. He won the 2016 Mary C. Mohr Poetry Award from the Southern Indiana Review, and his poems (some of which do not relate to farming accidents) have also appeared in Empirical Magazine, The Rectangle, and The Avenue.