Meet Our Contributors, MQR 55:4

Browse By

Purchase MQR 55:4 (Fall 2016) in print or as a downloadable PDF. 


Keith TaylorKeith Taylor: “Returning to Greece: An Introduction”

Keith Taylor’s latest collection of poetry, The Bird-while, is forthcoming from Wayne State University Press in January 2017. He currently teaches at the University of Michigan and serves as associate editor of Michigan Quarterly Review. Find out more about Taylor’s work at and follow him on Twitter @keithtaylora2.

Lauren K. Alleyne: “Reading Among the Ruins”

Lauren AlleyneAlleyne is the author of Difficult Fruit (Peepal Tree Press, 2014). Her work has been widely published and has received awards such as the 2016 Split This Rock Poetry Prize, a Picador Guest Professorship at the University of Leipzig in Germany, and a 2014 Iowa State Artist Fellowship. Alleyne is a Cave Canem graduate, and is originally from Trinidad and Tobago. She holds an MFA in Poetry and a graduate certificate in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Cornell University, and an MA in English and Creative Writing from Iowa State University. She currently works at James Madison University as Assistant Director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center and an Associate Professor of English. Find out more about Alleyne’s work at, or follow her on Facebook @poetlaurenkalleyne.

Christopher BakkenChristopher Bakken: “Days of 2015”

Bakken’s most recent book of poetry, Eternity & Oranges, was published by the Pitt Poetry Series in 2016.  He is the author of two previous books of poetry, Goat Funeral and After Greece, as well as the culinary memoir Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table.  He also co-translated The Lions’ Gate: Selected Poems of Titos Patrikios. Follow him on Twitter @bakkenpoet.

Natalie BakopolousNatalie Bakopoulos: “Thessaloniki”

Bakopoulos is the author of The Green Shore (Simon & Schuster), and her work has appeared in Tin House, VQR, the New York Times, Granta, Glimmer Train, O. Henry Prize Stories, and various other publications, and she co-authored Creative Composition with Eileen Pollack and Jeremiah Chamberlin. She was a 2015 Fulbright Fellow in Athens, Greece, and currently teaches at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. Find out more about Bakopoulos’s work at and follow her on Twitter @nbakopoulos.

Nickole BrownNickole Brown: “Bestiary: Thasos, Greece”

Brown received her MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, studied literature at Oxford University, was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson, and worked for Sarabande Books for ten years. Her first collection, Sister, was published in 2007 by Red Hen Press, and Fanny Says came out from BOA Editions in 2015. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Kentucky Arts Council. She is currently at work on her next manuscript, a linked collection tentatively titled Down The Center Line of Spine. Find out more about Brown’s work at

Jessica JacobsJessica Jacobs: “In New York” & “I Remember Greece (So As Not to Remember Her)”

Jacobs is the author of Pelvis with Distance (White Pine Press), winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry, an Over the Rainbow selection by the American Library Association, and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and Julie Suk Award. Her chapbook In Whatever Light Left to Us is just out from Sibling Rivalry Press.Jacobs holds an M.F.A. from Purdue University, where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of Sycamore Review, and a B.A. from Smith College. Find out more about Jacobs’s work at

Adrianne KalfopoulouAdrianne Kalfopoulou: “The Taxi Driver Laments” & “Fatherland”

Kalfopoulou is the author of two poetry collections, several chapbooks, and most recently a book of prose, Ruin, Essays in Exilic Living; her third poetry collection, A History of Too Much, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2018. Follow Kalfopoulou on Twitter @akalf1, and find out more about her work at and

Allison WilkinsAllison Wilkins: “Cassandra, 1” & “Cassandra, 2”

Wilkins’s first book of poetry, Girl Who, was published by CW Books in November 2014. Her work has been published in STILL, Broken Bridge Review, The Georgetown Review, The Prose Poem Project, The Adirondack Review, The Lyric, Nassau Review, Alimentum, and other publications. Wilkins teaches at Lynchburg College and is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada Las Vegas International MFA program. Follow her on Twitter @wilkins_poet.


John HaggertyJohn Haggerty: “The Passion of Sheepdogs”

Haggerty’s work has appeared in dozens of magazines such as Nimrod, New Orleans Review, and Santa Monica Review. He is a recipient of the Pinch Literary Award in Fiction, and is a founding editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. He holds a BS in Mathematical Sciences, an MS in computer science from Stanford University, and an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. Find out more about Haggerty’s work at

David McDannaldDavid McDannald: “Migrants at the Door”

McDannald cowrote The Last Great Ape: A Journey through Africa and a Fight for the Heart of the Continent (Pegasus Books, 2012), a nonfiction book about Africa and activism. His writing has appeared in American ScholarOxford AmericanSubtropics, Sierra, TriQuarterly, and other publications. He is a graduate of The Kinkaid School and Washington and Lee University, where he completed a major in philosophy and another in business and economics. Find out more about McDannald’s work at

Natania RosenfeldNatania Rosenfeld: “The Autonomous Land of Prapruninma”

Rosenfeld’s book Outsiders Together: Virginia and Leonard Woolf appeared from Princeton University Press in 2000, and her book of poems, Wild Domestic, was published in 2015 by Sheep Meadow Press. Three of her personal essays, including one published previously in Michigan Quarterly Review, have been listed as Notable in recent Best American Essays collections.

The UW Stroum Center for Jewish Studies presents the Stroum Lecture series with Ilan Stavans on May 24, 2016 and the Hebrew Symposium.

Ilan Stavans: “Dying in Hebrew”

Stavans is the Publisher of Restless Books and the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. He is the author of On Borrowed Words, Spanglish, Dictionary Days, The Disappearance, and A Critic’s Journey. He has additionally edited The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature among other volumes. Stavans is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Chile’s Presidential Medal, and the Jewish Book Award. His work has been translated into a dozen languages as well as adapted to the stage and screen. He hosted the syndicated PBS television show Conversations with Ilan StavansFollow him on Twitter @IlanStavans.


Marianne Boruch by Will DunlapMarianne Boruch: “Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter On Loan in America”

Boruch’s ninth poetry collection, Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing, came out last summer from Copper Canyon Press. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, residencies from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, and she has served as a Fulbright/Visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh. Boruch teaches in the MFA programs at Purdue University and at Warren Wilson College.

Rasaq MalikRasaq Malik: “Ode to My Sister” & “Nothing New”

Malik is a graduate of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals, including Poet Lore, Spillway, Rattle, Juked, Connotation Press, Heart Online Journal, Grey Sparrow, Jalada, and elsewhere. His poem was among the finalists for the 2015 Best of the Net Awards. Follow him on Twitter @rasaqmalik.

Sara McKinnonSara McKinnon: “Exaltation” & “June 1986”

McKinnon’s work has appeared in Agni, Alaska Quarterly Review, the Iowa Review, and elsewhere, and her nonfiction has received special mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University in addition to serving as a consulting editor for Fourth Genre. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from The Ohio State University and an MA in English from Ohio University.

Eric RiveraEric Rivera: “Smoke”

Rivera has written for animated children’s shows including Disney’s Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil, Nickelodeon’s Wild Grinders and Get Blake, and the upcoming international series Bat Pat. He has additionally written for Keep up with Rivera at

Laura WetheringtonLaura Wetherington: “Birds Predict the Weather” & “The Book is a Mirror”

Wetherington’s first book, A Map Predetermined and Chance (Fence 2011), was selected by C.S. Giscombe for the National Poetry Series. Her poems appear in the Colorado ReviewEleven Eleven, the Normal SchoolDrunken Boat, and elsewhere. Find out more about Wetherington’s work at and follow her on Twitter @L_Wetherington.


Vivienne ChenVivienne Chen: “Chasing Sublime”

Chen is a writer, videographer, and journalist. She graduated from the Princeton Creative Writing Program in 2014 and received the Joyce Carol Oates Award for promising young writers as well as the Martin A. Dale Fellowship for her debut novel, Saltwater Sister. She filmed and produced The Third Gender: A Documentary on Thailand’s Transgender Community, and her nonfiction has been featured in Bitch Magazine, Huffington Post, AsiaLIFE Thailand, and other publications. This is her first short story publication. Find out more about Chen’s work at and follow her on Twitter @viviennexchen.

John ClaytonJohn J. Clayton: “A Matter of Life and Death”

Clayton grew up in New York City. He taught modern literature and creative writing at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst. He’s published four novels and four collections of stories; his latest, Minyan, is out now from Paragon House. He holds a Ph.D. in Modern Literature from Indiana University and has additionally authored books of literary criticism, including Saul Bellow: In Defense of Man and Gestures of Healing: Anxiety and the Modern Novel. Find out more about Clayton’s work at

Steven GillisSteven Gillis:  “Daddy”

Gillis is the author of the novels Walter Falls, The Weight of Nothing, Temporary People, and The Consequence of Skating, and Benchere in Wonderland. He additionally authored the short story collections Giraffes and The Law of Strings. He founded 826Michigan, a mentoring program for students, in 2004, and in 2006 he cofounded Dzanc Books, where he remains now as publisher. Follow him on Twitter @barkingman.

Ofir OzOfir Oz: “Criminal”

Oz is an emerging Israeli writer. The short story “Criminal,” which he originally wrote in Hebrew, received the Steimatzky Award. His second book, The First Name, has earned him the Israeli Ministry of Culture award for Promising Writers, 2015. Oz is currently working on his third novel. Follow him on Facebook @OfirOz.writer.

Jennie RathbunJennie Rathbun: “There Will Never Be Another You”

Rathbun’s stories have appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Gulf Stream, Sou’wester, Notre Dame Review, Valparaiso Fiction Review, Bananafish, Solstice Magazine, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and teaches in Arlington, Massachusetts. Follow her on Twitter @birder8.

Kayla WhaleyKayla Whaley: “Bruised”

Whaley is a graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop and is a senior editor at Disability in Kidlit, a site dedicated to discussing the portrayal of disability in middle grade and young adult fiction through reviews, articles, interviews, and roundtable discussions. Whaley’s work has appeared in the Toast, the Establishment, and Uncanny Magazine, among other venues. She is based in Georgia. Find out more about Whaley’s work at and follow her on Twitter @PunkinOnWheels.

Bess WinterBess Winter: “Talking Dolls”

Winter’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming from American Short FictionAlaska Quarterly Review, Ecotone, W.W. Norton’s Flash Fiction International, and elsewhere. She has been awarded a Pushcart Prize and the American Short[er] Fiction Prize,and she has additionally received fellowships and scholarships from Yaddo and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Cincinnati. Find out more about Winter’s work at and follow her on Twitter @BessWinter.

Photo of Ilan Stavans by Meryl Scheker. Photo of Lauren K. Alleyne by Rachel Eliza Griffiths.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *