Meet Our Contributors, MQR 56:3

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Purchase MQR 56:3 (Summer 2017) in print or as a downloadable PDF. 


Jasmine Bailey

Jasmine V. Bailey: “Mountain Laurel”

Bailey’s first poetry collection, Alexandria, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2014 and won the Central New York Book Award. Her second collection, Disappeared, will be published by Carnegie Mellon in October, 2017. She has been an O’Connor fellow at Colgate University and a fellow at the Vermont Studio Center. She is a PhD student at Texas Tech University.

Naira Kuzmich

Naira Kuzmich: “Hava Nagila”

Kuzmuch was born in Armenia and raised in the Los Angeles enclave of Little Armenia. Her nonfiction has appeared in Ecotone, The Threepenny Review, Cincinnati Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Guernica. Her fiction has appeared in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2015, West Branch, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere.

Lynn Levin

Lynn Levin: “Ritualizing”

Levin’s essays, poems, translations, and stories have been published in Michigan Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Boulevard, Southwest Review, and other places. Her most recent books are the poetry collection Miss Plastique (2013); Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets (as co-author, 2013); and a translation from the Spanish, Birds on the Kiswar Tree, poems by Odi Gonzales (2014). Find out more at

Zhanna Slor

Zhanna Slor: “Surrounded”

Slor was born in the former Soviet Union and moved to Wisconsin with her family in the early 1990s. Currently, she lives with her husband in Chicago, where she is finishing up a young adult novel about Ukrainian-born twins with unusual superpowers. She has been published in numerous literary magazines, including Ninth Letter, Bellevue Literary Review, Sonora Review, Tusculum Review, Hobart, and Michigan Quarterly Review, which published a group of essays that later received a notable mention in Best American Essays 2014.


D.M. Aderibigbe

D.M. Aderibigbe: “Window”

Aderibigbe is from Nigeria. He’s the author of a chapbook, In Praise of Our Absent Father (Akashic Press, 2016). He has received fellowships and honors from Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, James Merrill House, OMI International Arts Center, Ucross Foundation, Jentel Foundation, and Boston University, where he received his MFA in creative writing and was a recipient of a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship. His poems appear in Alaska Quarterly Review, jubilat, Ninth Letter, Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, River Styx, and elsewhere. His poetry received a 2017 Pushcart Prize Special Mention. His first manuscript was a finalist for the 2015 and 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. Follow him Instagram @dmaderibigbe, on Twitter @DMAderibigbe, or on Facebook @damilola.m.aderibigbe.

Nick Harp

Nick Harp: “East Then West”

Harp lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan. His work has appeared in Adirondack Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Missouri Review, Can We Have Our Ball Back?, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. He is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Michigan. Follow him on Twitter @nickbriefly.

Zhu Zhu

Zhu Zhu (translated by Dong Li): “Inland” and “It Comes to Me This Is Nalan Xingde’s City”

Zhu Zhu was born in Yangzhou, in the People’s Republic of China. He is a poet, critic, and curator of art exhibitions, and has published numerous volumes of poetry and prose, such as Drive to Another Planet, Salt on Wilted Grass, Blue Smoke, The Trunk, Stories, Vertigo, and Grey Carnival—Chinese Contemporary Art since 2000. Zhu’s honors include Liu Li’an and Anne Kao national poetry prizes, the Chinese Contemporary Art Award for Critics, and the Henry Luce Foundation Chinese Poetry Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center.

Dong Li

Li was born and raised in the People’s Republic of China. His honors include fellowships from the Akademie Schloss Solitude (2015–2017), the Alexander von Humbolt-Stiftung Foundation (2015–2016), the PEN/Heim Translation Fund, Yaddo, and elsewhere. His work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Conjuctions, Cincinnati Review, Black Warrior Review, West Branch, Quarterly West, manuskripte, and other journals. His translations have appeared in World Literature Today, Circumference, the Brooklyn Rail, PEN America, Guernica, and elsewhere. His book-length translation of Zhu Zhu’s The Wild Great Wall will be published by Phoneme Media in late 2017.

Sam Sax

Sam Sax: “First Writing Following the Newest Movie Theater Massacre”

Sax is the author of Madness (Penguin, 2017), winner of The National Poetry Series, and Bury It (Wesleyan University Press, 2018). He’s received fellowships from the NEA, Lambda Literary, and the MacDowell Colony. He’s the two-time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion, winner of the 2016 Iowa Review Award and Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, and his poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, BuzzFeed, Poetry Magazine, Tin House, and other journals. He’s the poetry editor at BOAAT Press. Find out more at or follow him on Twitter @samsax1.

Rob Shapiro

Rob Shapiro: “After Exodus”

Shapiro received an MFA from the University of Virginia, where he was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize. His work has appeared in The Southern Review, River Styx, Blackbird, and The Greensboro Review, among other journals. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. Find out more at or follow him on Twitter @robshapiropoet.

Robert VanderMolen

Robert VanderMolen: “An Ax”

VanderMolen lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His new collection of poems, Skin, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in the fall of 2018. His previous collection, Water, was published by Michigan State University Press in 2008.


Chaya Bhuvaneswar

Chaya Bhuvaneswar: “The Bang Bang”

Bhuvaneswar’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Narrative Magazine, The Awl, Tin House online, Michigan Quarterly Review, Nimrod, Asian American Literary Review, Notre Dame Review, aaduna, r.k.v.r.y., Redux, Bangalore Review, and elsewhere. She is the winner of the 2017 Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Prize for White Dancing Elephants. Follow her on Twitter @chayab77.

Lydia Conklin

Lydia Conklin: “Mrs. Sadness”

Conklin was the 2015–2017 Creative Writing Fellow in fiction at Emory. She has received two Pushcart Prizes, a scholarship from Bread Loaf, and fellowships from Princeton, MacDowell, Yaddo, Djerassi, and Hedgebrook, among others. Her fiction is forthcoming in Tin House and a compilation of the best of the last twenty-five years of the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Narrative Magazine, and elsewhere. She has drawn graphic fiction for Lenny Letter, The Florida Review, and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. She holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Follow her on Instagram @lydiaconklin or on Twitter @lydiaconklin.

Amy Gustine

Amy Gustine: “The Asylum Officer”

Gustine is the author of the story collection, You Should Pity Us Instead, a 2017 Finalist for the Ohioana Book Award in Fiction. Her work has also received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award and Pushcart Prize special mention. Keep up with her at or on Twitter @AmyGustine.

Lara Markstein

Lara Markstein: “The Great Inland Sea”

Markstein’s short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, Agni, The Greensboro Review, and The Four Way Review, among others. Previously, she has written for the Let’s Go travel guides. Lara received her MFA in Fiction from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and currently serves as the Program Officer at the UC Berkeley Center for New Media. Follow her on Twitter @laramarkstein.

Joel Morris: “Tenure”

Morris’s stories have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Copper Nickel, American Literary Review, Fiction Southeast, and elsewhere. He lives in Colorado.

Anzhelina Polonskaya

Anzhelina Polonskaya (translated by Andrew Wachtel): “In Andalusia”

Polonskaya’s poetry and prose have been translated into several languages. Paul Klee’s Boat, a bilingual edition of poems, was published in 2013 and shortlisted for the 2014 Best Translated Book Award and 2014 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Schwärzer als Weiß (Selected Poems) and a volume of prose, Greenland, were published in Germany. Her work has appeared in World Literature Today, Poetry Review, Boulevar,Ameircan Poetry Review, and International Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, and elsewhere. Find out more at

Wachtel’s most recent published books are The Balkans in World History (Oxford University Press, 2008); Russian Literature (with Ilya Vinitsky, Polity Press, 2008); and Remaining Relevant After Communism: The Role of the Writer in Eastern Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2006). He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His translation of Anzhelina Polonskaya’s Paul Klee’s Boat (Zephyr Press, 2014) was shortlisted for the PEN Poetry Translation Prize. Wachtel has translated poetry and prose from Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Bulgarian, and Slovenian.

Dalia Rosenfeld

Dalia Rosenfeld: “Daughters of Respectable Houses”

Rosenfeld is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her work has appeared in publications including The Atlantic Monthly, AGNI, Los Angeles Review, Mississippi Review, Colorado Review, and FICTION, and her first collection of stories, The Worlds We Think We Know, was recently published with Milkweed Press. She teaches creative writing at Bar Ilan University and lives with her three children in Tel Aviv, Israel. Find out more at

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