Meet Our Contributors: Issue 59:4 Fall 2020 – Michigan Quarterly Review

Meet Our Contributors: Issue 59:4 Fall 2020

MONCHO ALVARADO is a Latinx-queer-poet, translator, visual artist, and educator. They’ve been published in Tahoma Literary Review, Merdian, Foglifter,, and other publications. They are a recipient of fellowships and residencies from The Helen Wurlitzer Foundation, Lambda Literary, Poets House, Troika House, the Summer Seminar at Sarah Lawrence College, and won the Academy of American Poet’s John B. Santoianni award for excellence in poetry. Visit them at

TARA BALLARD currently lives in Alaska. She is author of House of the Night Watch (New Rivers Press), which won the 2016 Many Voices Project prize in poetry. Her poems have been published in Consequence Magazine, North American Review, Poetry Northwest, Spillway, Tupelo Quarterly, and other literary magazines. Her work received a 2019 Nazim Hikmet Poetry Prize.

NADIA BENABID was raised in Tangier, Morocco and educated in the United States. Her earlier translations include Franz Fanon, Portrait by Alice Cherki (Cornell), Muhammad, A Novel by Driss Chraibi (Lynne Rienner), and I Gave You All I Had by Zoé Valdés (Arcade).  She is currently working on La Vida Perra de Juanita Narboni by Ángel Vásquez, a multi-lingual novel written primarily in Tangerine-Spanish.

SÉBASTIEN BERNARD is a Turkish poet and (non)fiction writer based in Istanbul. He was a Poets House Emerging Poets fellow and a finalist for the 2019 Black Warrior Review poetry contest. His poem in Nat.Brut is nominated for a Pushcart, and his work appears in Evergreen Review, DIAGRAM, Prelude, SUSAN, KGB Bar Lit, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and Black Warrior Review. He edits for Brooklyn Poets’ the Bridge.

ACE BOGGESS is author of five books of poetry, including Misadventure, The Prisoners, Ultra Deep Field, I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled. His poems have appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, River Styx, Bellingham Review, Cream City Review, and other journals. He received a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and spent five years in a West Virginia prison. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.

WESLEY BROWN is an acclaimed novelist, playwright, and teacher. He worked with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1965 and became a member of the Black Panther Party in 1968. In 1972, he was sentenced to three years in prison for refusing induction into the armed services and spent 18 months in Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary. For 26 years, Brown was a much-revered Professor at Rutgers University, where he inspired hundreds of students. He currently teaches literature at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and lives in Chatham, New York.

DEMETRIUS A. BUCKLEY’s poems have appeared in Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing, RHINO, Haight Ashbury, and the Storyteller. He is currently working on two manuscripts.

CHARLES CANTALUPO is Distinguished Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and African Studies at Penn State.  His recent books include a memoir, Joining Africa – from Anthills to Asmara (2012); poetry and translations, Where War Was: Poems and Translations from Eritrea (2016); and selected essays, Non-Native Speaker (2018).  A new book of his poetry, The Woodstock Sandal and Further Steps, will appear later this year.

AMY SARA CARROLL’s books include SECESSION; FANNIE + FREDDIE/The Sentimentality of Post-9/11 Pornography, chosen by Claudia Rankine for the 2012 Poets Out Loud Prize; and REMEX: Toward an Art History of the NAFTA Era. Since 2008, she has been a member of Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0, co-producing the Transborder Immigrant Tool. Currently, she teaches at The New School in New York City. Fall 2020, she’ll be an Associate Professor of Literature and Writing at the University of California, San Diego.

CHARLIE CLARK studied poetry at the University of Maryland. His work has appeared in New England Review, Ploughshares, Threepenny Review, and other journals. A 2019 NEA fellow, he is the author of The Newest Employee of the Museum of Ruin (Four Way Books, 2020). He lives in Austin, TX.

STEPHEN CLARK is Professor of Spanish at California State University Channel Islands, where he teaches literary translation as well as courses on the literature, film, and culture of Latin America. He has interviewed many of Cuba’s most important contemporary writers and has translated works by several leading Latin American authors and intellectuals, including Leonardo Padura Fuentes (Cuba), Denzil Romero (Venezuela), Emilio Bejel (Cuba), and Fernando Fabio Sánchez (Mexico).

NANCY COOK runs “The Witness Project,” a program of free community writing workshops in Minneapolis designed to enable creative work by underrepresented voices. She also serves as flash fiction editor for Kallisto Gaia Press. In 2019 she was the Fermanaugh & Omagh International Artist-in-Residence in Northern Ireland where she worked with people affected by the sectarian conflict known as “The Troubles.” Links to her work can be found at 

MIGUEL ANGEL OXLAJ CÚMEZ (Maya Kaqchikel, Chi Xot-Comalapa, Guatemala, 1978) has a degree in Communication Sciences from the University of San Carlos in Guatemala, a degree in Linguistic Revitalization Strategies from Mondragon University in País Vasco, and teaches at the Maya Kaqchikel University in Chi Xot. He is a union leader, social and digital linguistic activist, a writer and a poet. He is a member of the Movement of Maya Artists Ruk’ux, of the Collective Kaqchikela’ taq tz’ib’anela’, and of the Collective Ajtz’ib’. He is the 2009 winner of Guatemala’s Premio B’atz for Indigenous literature. To date he has published La mission del Sarima’, Mitad Mujer, and Planicie de olvido. His poems have appeared in Spanish and in Kaqchikel in anthologies and digital magazines. He has written more than fifty stories for Guatemala’s Ministry of Education, which have been translated into Maya languages such as Q’eqchi’, Mam, K’iche’, Tzutujil, Q’anjobal, and Achi. He writes poetry and narrative in both Spanish and Kaqchikel, his mother tongue. 

JOSHUA L. FREEMAN is a historian and translator, and is currently a Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow at the Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts. He received his PhD at Harvard University in 2019, and is currently at work on a book manuscript titled “Print Communism: Uyghur National Culture in Twentieth-Century China.” His translations of contemporary Uyghur poetry have appeared in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, Words Without Borders, Asymptote, and elsewhere.

MARVIN S. GARCĺA (Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, 1982) is a poet and editor of Maya K’iche’ origin. He has a degree in Cultural Development and an MA in Social Anthropology from the Centro Universitario del Occidente. He directs the Quetzaltenango’s International Poetry Festival, and has participated in a number of different gatherings and poetry festivals throughout Latin America. His poetry collections include No somos los mismos (Catafixia Editorial, Guatemala, 2011), Solamente el cielo (Vueltegato editors, Guatemala, 2012), El tiempo no se vende (Editorial Casa de poesía, Costa Rica, 2014), Las raíces de la nostalgia (Editorial Cultura, Guatemala, 2017), and El hábito de buscar la ternura (Editorial Casa de poesía, Editorial de la UCR, Costa Rica, 2018). His poems have appeared in anthologies in a number of different countries, and he has consulted on artistic projects throughout Central America. In 2018, the Guatemalan government let him change the Peace Rose in recognition of his cultural and artistic work in the country. 

CHARY GUMETA (Chiapas, México, 1962) Poet and cultural promoter. She has published books on regional history and numerous collections of poetry. Her latest books include the anthology, Como plumas de pájaros (CONECULTA, México 2016), Llorar como la lluvia  (Literatelia, México 2019) and También en el sur matan palomas (La Raíz Invertida, Colombia, 2019). She has participated in a number of different anthologies, festivals, and international book fairs. She is founder and director of the fanzine Yomoram Jayatzame, which promotes literature by women. She coordinates the International Poetry Festival in San Cristóbal de las Casas, México, as well as the Multidisciplinary Project Posh Festival. 

RANDALL HORTON’s latest collection of poetry {#289-128} will be published by the University of Kentucky Press in Fall 2020. Horton is a Professor of English at the University of New Haven. He is also a member of the experimental performance group Heroes Are Gang Leaders which recently received the 2018 American Book Award in Oral Literature. He is the only tenured full professor with seven felony convictions. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, he now resides in New Jersey.

GLORIA L. HUANG is a freelance writer. Her fiction has been accepted for publication in literary journals including The Threepenny Review, Fiction,North American Review, Arts & Letters, Washington Square Review, Gargoyle Magazine, Sycamore Review, and The Antigonish Review. She received her B.A. in English Literature from Stanford University.

TAHIR HAMUT IZGIL was born in 1969 and grew up in Kashgar, in the southwest of China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Since the 1990s, he has become known as one of the leading poets and film directors in the Uyghur language. He is currently a producer at Radio Free Asia and lives with his family in Washington, D.C. His poetry has appeared in English translation in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, Asymptote, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere.

MONA KAREEM is the author of three poetry collections. Her most recent publication Femme Ghosts is a trilingual chapbook published by Publication Studio in Fall 2019. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from SUNY Binghamton, and has taught at SUNY Binghamton, Rutgers, Bronx Community College, and the University of Maryland at College Park. 

ALICIA KOZAMEH (1953-) is among the most widely read Argentine writers of her generation. A political prisoner during Argentina’s most recent military dictatorship, she was forced into exile in 1980 and now lives in Southern California. In addition to teaching her craft at Chapman University, Alicia lectures frequently at universities around the world. Her most well-known novel is Steps Under Water (1996), and her writing has been translated into English, French, German, Italian and Hebrew. 

ROBERT LYNN is a writer from Fauquier County, Virginia. He is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at New York University. He holds a law degree from the University of Virginia. His work has been featured in American Literary Review, Blackbird, New Ohio Review, The Penn Review and other journals. He lives in Brooklyn.

AHMED MARZOUKI is the author of the prison memoir Tazmamart Cellule 10 from which the following passages have been excerpted. Marzouki’s book, written in French (Editions Paris-Méditerranée 2000), is an account of the eighteen years he spent in a secret prison camp in a stark region of Morocco’s interior. The Tazmamart prison compound was expressly built to incarcerate 58 military officers who were following orders and became inadvertently caught up in two failed political coup attempts that occurred in 1971 and 1972 respectively. Marzouki writes with vivid precision about personal and collective experiences that were never intended to see the light of day, and in the process, he resurrects national history.

HUBERT MATIÚWÀA (Guerreo, México, 1986) has a degree in Philosophy and Literature from the Autonomous University of Guerrero (UAGro), another in Creative Writing from the Autonomous University of México City (UACM), and an MA in Latin American Studies from the Autonomous National University of México (UNAM). In 2016 he won the “Premio en Lenguas Originarias Cenzontle,” in 2017 the fifth “Premio de Literaturas Indígrnas de América” (PLIA), and the “Premio Estatal de Poesía Joven del Estado de Guerrero.” He is the author of Xtámbaa/Piel de Tierra (Pluralia Ediciones/Secretaría de Cultura, México, 2016), Tsína rí nàyaxà’/ Cicatriz que te mira (Pluralia Ediciones/Secretaría deCultura de la CDMX, México, 2017), Las Sombrereras de Tsítsídiín, (INALI/Universidad de Guadalajara, México, 2018), Cordel Torcido/Mañuwìín (Universidadde Guadalajara/Departamentode Estudios en Lenguas Indígenas, México, 2018) y Mbo Xtá rídà/Gente piel/Skin people, (Gusanos de Memoria/Ícaro ediciones, México, 2020). He is the founder of the collaborative “Gusanos de la Memoria” cultural project.

JUSTIN ROVILLOS MONSON is a second-generation Filipino-American writer and poet. His work has been published, or is forthcoming, in Poetry, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Offing, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. He was an inaugural PEN America Writing for Justice Fellow, and the recipient of a Kundiman mentorship in poetry. Currently serving a sentence in the Michigan Department of Corrections, he is working on his first collection of poetry, AMERICAN INMATE.

ALBERTO REYES MORGAN is a fiction candidate at the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and a Holden Scholarship recipient. He has translated and contributed interviews concerning human rights and immigration to the Voice of Witness oral history book series titles: Solito, Solita: Youth Migrants from Central America, Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy, and others. He was the 2011 winner of the Tillie Olsen Award for Socially Conscious Writing.

VIVIAN NIXON began writing about social justice in 2004. Her writing appears in many publications including Washington Post, USA Today, New York Times, The Hill, and San Francisco Bee. A Pen America Justice Writing Fellow and Gund Art for Justice Grantee, Vivian holds an MFA, from Columbia University School of Arts and is a 2020 Undergraduate Teaching Fellow. She recently co-edited, What We Know: Solutions from Our Experiences in the Justice System (The New Press).

KATHRYN NUERNBERGER is the author of the poetry collections, RUE, The End of Pink, and Rag & Bone. She has also written the essay collections: Brief Interviews with the Romantic Past  and The Witch of Eye (forthcoming in 2021). Her awards include the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets, an NEA fellowship, and “notable” essays in the Best American series.

LOIDA MARITZA PEREZ is the author of Geographies of Home, a novel.  Her current project, Beyond the Pale, won PEN’s 2019 Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History.  She has also received fellowships from New York’s Foundation for the Arts, MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Yaddo, Ragdale, Millay, and Villa Montalvo.  Her work has appeared in Callaloo, Bomb, MaComere, Best of Callaloo, Meridians, Edinburgh Review, and Latina Magazine.

MATTHEW PITT has published two story collections. These Are Our Demands (Engine Books), his latest, won a Midwest Book Award, while his first, Attention Please Now, won the Autumn House Prize. Individual work has appeared or soon will in Epoch, Oxford American, Conjunctions, River Styx, The Southern Review and (proudly) Michigan Quarterly Review, among others. Matt now lives in Ft. Worth, where he is Associate Professor of English at TCU and Editor of descant.

DONALD QUIST is author of the linked story collection For Other Ghosts and the essay collection Harbors, a Foreword INDIES Bronze Winner and International Book Awards Finalist. His writing has appeared in AGNI, North American Review, The Rumpus, and was Notable in Best American Essays 2018. He is creator of the online micro essay series PAST TEN, and co-host of  the Poet in Bangkok podcast. Donald has received fellowships from Sundress Academy for the Arts and Kimbilio Fiction. He earned his MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is currently a Gus T. Ridgel fellow in the English PhD program at University of Missouri. 

BIRCH ROSEN (they/them) is a nonbinary writer living in the Seattle area. They have been publishing zines since 2015, and their work has been featured in X Marks the Spot: An Anthology of Nonbinary Experiences. You can find them at

MENGHIS SAMUEL is the owner and managing director of Ewan Technology Solutions, Inc. in Eritrea. A former project manager at AT&T, he is chairperson of the board of the Eritrean National Chamber of Commerce.

Pushcart prize winning poet, translator and professor RAVI SHANKAR has published, edited or has forthcoming 15 books, including the award-winning translations, The Autobiography of a Goddess, The Many Uses of Mint: New and Selected Poems 1997-2017 and W.W. Norton & Co.’s Language for a New Century.  He currently holds an international research fellowship from the University of Sydney and his memoir Correctional is under advance contract with University of Wisconsin Press and forthcoming in 2021.

CYNTHIA STEELE is Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her translations include Inés Arredondo, Underground Rivers (Nebraska, 1996), José Emilio Pacheco, City of Memory (City Lights, 2001), and María Gudín, Open Sea (Amazon Crossing, 2018). They have also appeared in Chicago Review, TriQuarterly, The Seattle Review, Gulf Coast, Lunch Ticket, Southern Review, Exchanges, Latin American Literary Review, Plume, Plumwood Mountain, Solstice, Agni, Anomaly, and others.

REDIET TADDESE currently lives and works in Eritrea. An IT consultant, manager, and lecturer, he translates historical and literary documents from Italian, Amharic, Tigrinya, and English.

ADEEBA SHAHID TALUKDER is a Pakistani American poet, singer, and translator of Urdu and Persian poetry. She is the author of What Is Not Beautiful (Glass Poetry Press, 2018) and her debut collection, Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved (Tupelo Press, 2020), is a winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize. Adeeba holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and an Emerging Poets fellowship from Poets House.

MARISA TIRADO is a poet from Chicago. She is currently a graduate student at the Iowa Writers Workshop and also working towards a certificate in literary translation. Her writing is often derived from news articles, instruction manuals, and New Mexican/Southwestern folklore. She also writes about theology and her short stint as a pastor on an island in the Seattle area. You can read more of her poetry in the Colorado Review.

SERGIO MANSILLA TORRES was born in Achao, Chiloé, Chile in 1958. He is a tenured professor at the University of Southern Chile in Valdivia and is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently Quercún (Santiago de Chile: Los Libros del Taller, 2019). These texts are from an unpublished book of poetry, The River Styx. English translations of his other poems have appeared in Lunch Ticket, Trinity Journal of Literary Translation, Southern Review, Ezra, and Michigan Quarterly Review 59.2 (Spring 2020). 

AFAA M. WEAVER’s (尉雅風) recent books include Spirit Boxing, City of Eternal Spring (2015 Phyllis Wheatley Book Award) and The Government of Nature (2014 Kingsley Tufts Award). A Fulbright alum and Guggenheim fellow, in 1998, Afaa became the Cave Canem Foundation’s first elder. In 2005 he received the Gold Friendship medal from the Beijing Writers’ Association. In 2019 he was awarded the Distinguished Artist Award from the St. Botolph Club Foundation of Boston and the 96th Arts & Literature Medal from the Chinese Writers Association in Taiwan. A military veteran and former factory worker, Afaa is a Brown University alum and Emeritus Professor at Simmons University. Currently, he is a member of the MFA faculty at Sarah Lawrence. His papers are in the collection of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University. Photo Credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

RUSHET WOLDEDRIS lives in Eritrea and performs her Bilen language songs and poetry regularly at the annual National Festival.

PAUL M. WORLEY (Charleston, SC, USA, 1976) is Associate Professor of Global Literature at Western Carolina University. Co-written with Rita M. Palacios, his most recent book, Unwriting Maya Literature: Ts’íib as Recorded Knowledge (2019), was given an honorable mention for Best Book in the Humanities by LASA’s Mexico Section. He is also the author of Telling and Being Told: Storytelling and Cultural Control in Contemporary Yucatec Maya Literatures (2013; oral performances recorded as part of this book project are available at, a Fulbright Scholar, and 2018 winner of the Sturgis Leavitt Award from the Southeastern Council on Latin American Studies. In addition to his academic work, he has translated selected works by Indigenous authors from throughout Latin America, and serves as poetry editor for the North Dakota Quarterly.

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