HEADLINERS

Tara Mahadevan

Tara Mahadevan is a freelance hip-hop journalist, who focuses on music discovery and emerging artists. Her work has appeared in Noisey, The Hundreds, the Village Voice, Mass Appeal, the Fader, and Pigeons & Planes, among other publications. She also teaches the Young Chicago Authors journalism program, the Chicago Beat, and is currently working on a book about Chicago hip-hop. Learn More

 

Nate Marshall

National Program Director of Louder Than A Bomb Youth Poetry Festival and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wabash College. He is the author of Wild Hundreds and an editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. Wild Hundreds has been honored with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s award for Poetry Book of the Year and nominated for an NAACP Image Award.  Learn More

 

Eric May

Eric Charles May is author of the novel Bedrock Faith, which was named a Notable African-American Title by Publishers Weekly. The 2015 recipient of the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s 21st Century Award, Eric is an associate professor in the fiction-writing program at Columbia College Chicago and a former reporter for The Washington Post. His short fiction has appeared in Criminal Class, Fish Stories, F,and We Speak Chicagoese. In addition to his writing for the Post, his nonfiction has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Sport Literate, and the 2nd Story anthology, Briefly Knocked Unconscious By A Low-Flying Duck.

 

Megan Stielstra

Megan Stielstra is the author of Once I Was Cool. Her work appears in the Best American Essays, New York Times, Guernica, Poets & Writers, and elsewhere. She performs regularly in Chicago with 2nd Story and The Paper Machete live news magazine, and has told stories for the Goodman, Steppenwolf, Museum of Contemporary Art, and National Public Radio. Her next collection, The Wrong Way to Save Your Life, is forthcoming August 2017 from Harper Perennial.

 

The Sun Brothers

The Sun Bros released Chinatown (2012), Apocalypse Man (2013), and Monkey Fist (2014) after tremendously successful Kickstarter campaigns, and have been featured in numerous comic anthologies such as Killer Queen (Red Stylo Media) and Then It Was Dark (Peppermint Monster Press). They now speak at comic conventions, bookstores, and universities on crowdfunding and self-publishing across the country!

 

GUEST PRESENTERS

 

James Tadd Adcox
James Tadd Adcox is the author of a novel, Does Not Love, and a novella, Repetition. His work has appeared in Granta, TriQuarterly, and The Collagist, among other places. He lives in Urbana, and is a visiting assistant professor of fiction at Purdue University.

 

Alverne Ball
Alverne Ball has a M.F.A in Fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago. He has taught graphic novel writing at Noble charter High School in Chicago and has written comic and graphic novel material for such companies as Di Bona Ventura Productions, Paramount pictures, Mcgraw-Hill, Lions forge comics, New Paradigm entertainment, Campfire graphic novels, and 133art.com.

Mr. Ball is the recipient of the 2014 and 2015 Glyph rising star award and has also received Three Weisman Scholarships from Columbia for his other graphic works. He has also traveled to South Africa to work as a storyline writer on the hit telenovella, Uzalo. Currently, Mr. Ball has written and produced a short film entitled, Tattooed Tears, which was directed by Aaron Lewis and has been chosen as a 2016 Indiewise, Sankofa, and MeccaCon short film.  Mr. Ball has also created and written an online comic series, When we were Kings, published by popular entertainment website, Afropunk.com. His first crime novel, Only the Holy Remain, was released this past November by Vital Narrative Press.

 

Molly Berkson
Molly Berkson is a multi-disciplinary artist from Chicago, IL. Her work spans spans multiple forms of craft and print media, aiming to subversively toe the line between amateur and expert. She graduated with BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015.

 

Emma Claire-LaSaine
Emma LaSaine is a writer and artist from the Chicago with her BA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. She is Managing Editor for Habitat Magazine and worked as Production Editor for Hair Trigger, Columbia’s CSPA award-winning anthology. She is also recipient the 2013-2014 Honors Research Award and Contributing Editor for Hair Trigger 2.0, a digital fiction hub. Emma enjoys teaching in the Story Workshop Method and will gladly debate any topic with you, even usage of the Oxford Comma. Her journalism appears in BORGEN Magazine, her poetry and experimental prose are published in Slacktivist, and you can read her fiction in The Lab Review.

 

RJ Eldrige
RJ Eldridge is a multidisciplinary artist, writer and educator. He has worked as a teaching artist and instructor for Young Chicago Authors, Chicago Slam Works, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. His ongoing projects include a collection of prose and visual works that inquire about time, race and yearning in a shifting moment, a series of photographs documenting Chicago’s Party Noire, a black woman-led, QTPOC-centered space, and explorations in pedagogy. He made a national television debut in September 2013 as a performer in the NAACP Image-Award nominated series, Lexus Presents: Verses and Flow, and stars in the short film Akata. He lives and works in Chicago.

 

Daniel Frost
Daniel Frost is the Editor-in-chief of Hair Trigger 2.0, the online literary magazine associated with Columbia College Chicago. He was the Co-chair of “So You Want to be an Author,” a professional development seminar that was held in conjunction with the Chicago Book Expo. He is also one of the former associate editors of Hair Trigger 39. His written work can be found in The Lab Review: The Fantastical Element. When reading for fun, he leans toward Speculative Fiction.

 

Ali G.
Ali G. was born on August 18 to Mexican parents and has always believed my Mexican roots guided me to the place where she is now. She has a younger sister that helps her through the worst of times, and friends that have molded her into the person she is today. Her writing has always been based off of the emotions she feels whenever she experiences an event. She does her very best to be better than she was before. Her writing is her way of showing this.

 

Sarah Hollenbeck
Sarah Hollenbeck has published personal essays in Dogwood and TriQuarterly. Her essay “A Goldmine” was nominated for a Pushcart and received a Notable Mention in Best American Essays 2014. She has performed at Story Club, Guts & Glory, Essay Fiesta, Story Sessions, and The Bodies of Work Festival, among other live lit shows. Sarah is in the very early stages of writing a collection of essays that explores the experiences of women living with invisible and visible disabilities. But she’s been a little distracted from her writing recently since she bought Women & Children First, one of the last remaining feminist bookstores in the country. As the store’s co-owner she has been featured in New CIty’s Lit50 and in Publisher’s Weekly Star Watch, which honors 40 young people who are making a difference in the U.S. publishing industry.

 

Yorli Huff
Yorli Huff is a real-life superhero.

 

Cora Jacobs
Cora Jacobs is a managing editor and part-time faculty at Columbia College Chicago.  She manages the poetry journal Columbia Poetry Review, the fiction print journal Hair Trigger, and is the faculty advisor for the online magazine Hair Trigger 2.0.  She is a fine art photographer who exhibits both locally and nationally.

 

Russell Jaffe
Russell Jaffe is the Editor of TL;DR magazine, an online journal of hard-to-classify human wonder. He currently teaches at Loyola and College of DuPage and is the author of the poetry collections This Super Doom I Aver (Poets Democracy, ’13), INTROVERT // EXTROVERT (Punk Hostage, ’14), Civil Coping Mechanisms (Civil Coping Mechanisms, forthcoming ’17) and the chapbook LA CROIX WATER (Damask Press, 16). He loves going to bookstores, pro wrestling, Harold’s Chicken, and being a real dad doing dad things.

 

Danny Khlasastchi
Daniel Khalastchi is the author of two books of poetry, Manoleria (Tupelo Press, 2011) and Tradition (McSweeney’s, 2015). A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, his work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Colorado Review, Fence, The Iowa Review, Mississippi Review, The Rumpus, and Best American Experimental Writing. Daniel is the co-founder and managing editor of Rescue Press, and he lives in Iowa City where he directs the Frank N. Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing.

 

Emma LaSaine
Emma LaSaine is a writer and artist from the Chicago with her BA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. She is Managing Editor for Habitat Magazine and worked as Production Editor for Hair Trigger, Columbia’s CSPA award-winning anthology. She is also recipient the 2013-2014 Honors Research Award and Contributing Editor for Hair Trigger 2.0, a digital fiction hub. Emma enjoys teaching in the Story Workshop Method and will gladly debate any topic with you, even usage of the Oxford Comma. Her journalism appears in BORGEN Magazine, her poetry and experimental prose are published in Slacktivist, and you can read her fiction in The Lab Review.

 

Noire Lin
Noire Lin is a junior Creative Writer at the Chicago High School for the Arts, concentrating in the genre of Creative Nonfiction. They have been published in journals such as 826Chi (Compendium) and Canvas/ChiArts Writes. Lin aspires to own the chubbiest dogs and an apartment filled with cute plant terrariums.

 

James B. Michael
B. Michaels, a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, has written stories since he was in fourth grade. He is a history teacher and department chair who loves his job.Married and with a son, Michaels has a great love of family. He has two sequels recounting the further adventures of the Tannenbaum Tailors ready for publication. The Order of St. Michael: A Bud Hutchins Thriller is JB’s first Young Adult book.

 

Ray Salazar
Since 1995, Ray has been an English teacher in the Chicago Public Schools.
In March 2013, his blog the White Rhino tied for second place in the Best Blog category of the Education Writers Association contest.  In 2003, Ray earned an M.A. in Writing, with distinction, from DePaul University. In 2009, he received National Board Certification. His writing aired on National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio and appeared in the Chicago Tribune, CNN’s Schools of Thought blog, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ Website.  Ray is a native Chicagoan.

 

Ricardo Salagado
Born and Raised on the South Side of Chicago. Ricardo’s love of movies pushed him to become a writer and creator. He plans to continue writing in college and hopefully can make a career out of it.

 

Fred Sasaski
Fred Sasaki is the art director for Poetry magazine and a gallery curator for the Poetry Foundation. He is the author of Real Life Emails (Tiny Hardcore Press, 2017) and, with his late father and son, the zine series Fred Sasaki’s and Fred Sasaki’s Four-Pager Guide To: How to Fix You.

 

Don Share
Don Share is the editor of Poetry magazine.  His most recent books are Wishbone (Black Sparrow), Union (Eyewear), and Bunting’s Persia (Flood Editions); he has also edited a critical edition of Basil Bunting’s poems for Faber and Faber. His translations of Miguel Hernández, awarded the Times Literary Supplement Translation Prize and Premio Valle Inclán, were published by New York Review Books.  His other books include Seneca in English (Penguin Classics), Squandermania (Salt), and The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of POETRY Magazine (University of Chicago Press), co-edited with Christian Wiman, a sequel to which will appear in 2017.  His work at Poetry has been recognized with three National Magazine Awards for editorial excellence from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and a CLMP (Community of Literary Magazines and Presses) “Firecracker” Award for Best Poetry Magazine 2015.  He received a VIDA “VIDO” Award in 2015 for his “contributions to American literature and literary community.”

 

MaryGrace Schumann
Marygrace Schumann is a senior at Columbia College Chicago, majoring in Creative Writing. She currently works at Chicago Woman as an editorial assistant and staff writer. She is also the social media manager for Habitat Literary Magazine, a talent scout for the online magazine Not Your Mother’s Breast Milk, a staff writer for Shredded and an editor for Hair Trigger 2.0. Previously, she worked as a production editor and typesetter for Hair Trigger 39, and as the opinions editor for The Blueprint. When she’s not writing or editing, she enjoys eating grilled cheese sandwiches at Cheesie’s, serenading her friends with 80s music and taking her title as “mom friend” way too seriously.

 

Jacob Saenz
Jacob Saenz is a poet living in Chicago. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Triquarterly, Spoon River Poetry Review and elsewhere. He currently serves as an associate editor for RHINO.

 

Zach Stafford
Zach Stafford is editor at large of Out Magazine, a contributing writer for The Guardian, and frequently appears on television to give commentary on the BBC, CNN, and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. He also is co-author of the bestselling book Boys, An Anthology.

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