Meet the editors, readers, and interns whose work—from discovering up-and-coming authors to assembling engaging new issues—makes MQR the vibrant journal it is today.
Editor-in-Chief: Khaled Mattawa
Khaled Mattawa is the author of four books of poetry, Tocqueville (New Issues Press, 2010), Amorisco (Ausable Press, 2008), Zodiac of Echoes (Ausable Press, 2003), and Ismailia Eclipse (Sheep Meadow Press, 1996). He is also the author of Mahmoud Darwish: The Poet’s Art and His Nation, a critical study of the great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, published by Syracuse University Press. He has translated nine books of contemporary Arabic poetry by Adonis, Saadi Youssef, Fadhil Al-Azzawi, Hatif Janabi, Maram Al-Massri, Joumana Haddad, Amjad Nasser, and Iman Mersal. Mattawa has co-edited two anthologies of Arab American literature. Mattawa has been awarded the Academy of American Poet’s Fellowship Prize, the PEN-American Center award for poetry translation, a Guggenheim fellowship, the Alfred Hodder fellowship from Princeton University, an NEA translation grant, and three Pushcart prizes. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Antioch Review, Best American Poetry, and many other journals and anthologies. Mattawa was born in Benghazi, Libya and immigrated to the United States in his teens.
Poetry Editor: Carlina Duan
Carlina Duan is a writer-educator from Michigan, and the author of the poetry collections I Wore My Blackest Hair (Little A, 2017) and Alien Miss (University of Wisconsin Press, 2021). Her poems have appeared in POETRY Magazine, Narrative Magazine, Poets.org, and other publications. She has an M.F.A. from Vanderbilt University, and is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Joint Program in English and Education at the University of Michigan. Among many things, she loves river walks, snail mail, and being a sister.
On what kind of submissions she’s looking for: “I’ve always been drawn to poems that are deeply rooted in movement—poems that are courageous in their heart-matter, in their form, in their ability to expand both into and beyond the self, poems that journey somewhere with care and curiosity; poems that ask (sometimes unresolvable) questions. Elizabeth Alexander writes, “Many things are true at once,” and I remain curious about poetry as a space to explore multiplicity. I love poems that weave together, revel in, expand and subvert the known contours of human experience; poems that sing towards the textures of community, history, and place; poems that are attuned to the slants and strangenesses and physicality of language. As a reader, I hope to be surprised by—moved by—what the poem offers me.”
Fiction Editor: Polly Rosenwaike
Polly Rosenwaike’s story collection, Look How Happy I’m Making You, was published by Doubleday in 2019. Her fiction has appeared in the O. Henry Prize Stories, Glimmer Train, New York Magazine’s The Cut, Colorado Review, New England Review, and other journals. Book reviews and essays have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Millions, Lit Hub, and Dame Magazine. She currently works as a freelance editor in Ann Arbor.
On what kind of submissions she’s looking for:“Literature contains more intimacy than life,” Lorrie Moore said. I’m looking for stories and essays that draw the reader into an intimate relationship with a voice, a consciousness—that give us characters who feel particular and alive. I want to laugh, and cry, and marvel at how the writer has managed to capture truths big and small.
Nonfiction Editor: Laurel Billings
Laurel Billings TBD
On what kind of submissions she’s looking for: TBD
Online Editor: Tyler Dunston
Tyler Dunston is a PhD candidate in English Language & Literature at the University of Michigan. He received his MFA in poetry from Boston University and his poems and criticism have appeared or are forthcoming in Narrative, Red Wheelbarrow, Nimrod International, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere.
On what kind of submissions he’s looking for: Whether a piece engages with a text, a question, an idea, a memory, a form, etc., I often seek out a sense of depth with respect to said engagement—a sense of attunement which frequently results in a corresponding depth of thought. Like many readers, I am often hoping to be surprised, but I am less interested in surprise for surprise’s sake than in a freshness which emerges from a kind of engagement which I think of as a form of meditation. This sort of meditation, I think, can lead us to forego the easy answers in favor of the more difficult ones (or in favor of questions themselves), and I think the feeling of surprise we get when we read something fresh is often a result of that. Another quality I am drawn to, which I think is not unrelated, is a kind of openness, a sense of a writer who is open not only to a variety of perspectives—and aware of the limits of their own perspective—but also to astonishment.
Managing Editor: Aaron J. Stone
Aaron J. Stone (they/them) is an Affiliated Scholar in the English Department at Lafayette College; they received their PhD in English Language and Literature with a Graduate Certificate in LGBTQ Studies from the University of Michigan. Aaron’s primary research interests span queer and trans studies, modernist studies, and narrative theory. Their book project, Desires for Form, explores the social crisis of form that nascent queer communities faced in early twentieth-century America as queer people tried to imagine what shapes their lives might take. The project investigates how these subjects turned to narrative to work out their desires for form. Aaron has also written a chapter for the edited collection The Cultural Impact of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Why Are We All Gagging? (Intellect Books, 2021). Their work on Charles Chesnutt and American sexology is forthcoming in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.
Assistant Managing Editor: Dana Moss
Dana Moss is a PhD candidate in the English Language & Literature department at the University of Michigan, focusing on the nineteenth century. Her dissertation is provisionally titled ‘Noncathartic Intimacy in Nineteenth-Century Poetry’; in her spare time, she is working on a novel she describes as ‘Middlemarch but with ghosts’. She is originally from England, where she did her BA at University College London and an MSt in English Literature 1700-1830 at Exeter College, Oxford.
Elinam Agbo was born in Ghana and grew up in Kansas. She is a winner of the 2018 PEN/Dau Short Story Prize, two Hopwood Awards for Short Fiction and Nonfiction, and the Les River Fellowship for Young Novelists. Her work has received support from Aspen Words, the Clarion Foundation, and the Hurston/Wright Foundation, among others. A graduate of the 2019 Clarion UCSD Workshop, she holds a BA from the University of Chicago and an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, where she co-founded MQR Mixtape, an online imprint of Michigan Quarterly Review. Her writing has appeared in The Bare Life Review, American Short Fiction, Nimrod, PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018, and elsewhere. She is currently the 2021-2023 Kenyon Review Fellow in Prose.
Urvi Kumbhat holds a BA from the University of Chicago and is currently an MFA candidate at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Her work appears in The Margins, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Apogee, Protean Magazine, and other publications. She grew up in Calcutta. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @curvi_k
Kabelo Sandile Motsoeneng is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied English and Human Rights Studies at Trinity College-Connecticut. An MFA in Fiction candidate, his short fiction appears in Joyland Magazine, Lolwe, Prairie Schooner, and others. Motsoeneng is currently at work on a novel.
Josh Olivier is a writer from Redlands, California. When he isn’t working on fiction, he’s busy writing twee anthems and heartbreak songs for his band, No Better. He really is trying his best.
A. Shaikh (they/he/she) is a queer immigrant poet raised in the heat of Texas. They are the 2021 winner of The Boiler Prize, MAYDAY Poetry prize, and an Aquarius who loves the color blue. They are currently pursuing their MFA in Poetry at the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Before arriving in Ann Arbor, they were an associate and intern at the Kenyon Review. You can find their poems in Underblong, EX/POST and elsewhere. Their Twitter thoughts exist @apricotpoet. When not online, A. is daydreaming and/or giving their beautiful partner a kiss.
Chloe Alberta is a writer born and raised in Michigan. She is currently a Zell Fellow in fiction at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program and holds a BA in English from the University of Michigan. Her writing has won the Henfield Prize and a Hopwood Award. She’s working on a story collection about bodies, mayonnaise, and human connection. Find her bad jokes on Twitter @chloe_alberta.
Social Media Coordinator
Lauren Champlin is a writer born and raised in Metro Detroit. As a first-generation college student, she received her BA from the University of Michigan in 2022 where she majored in English Literature with minors in Woman’s and Gender Studies and Digital Studies. She has been a features writer for SHEI Magazine since 2018, and in her senior year, she served as the Digital Features Editor for SHEI. Her essays and poetry are most interested in identity, sexuality, and disability justice. When Lauren isn’t reading, her hobbies include making zines, thrift shopping, napping in the sun, and pasting every scrap of paper she’s ever collected into her journal.
Courtney DuChene (she/her/hers) is a poet from Philadelphia. She is currently an MFA in poetry candidate at the university of Michigan and holds a BA in English and Media and Communications Studies from Ursinus College. Her poems draw on her experiences growing up in a farming family in northern Minnesota and are influenced heavily by eco and environmental poetry traditions. Prior to moving to Ann Arbor to pursue her MFA, DuChene was working as a journalist in Philadelphia where she covered business, sustainability, environmental issues and nonprofits. A 2021 Lillie Robertson Prize winner, her work appears in Philadelphia Stories, Paper Dragon, The Blue Route and elsewhere.
Sarah Anderson is from Philadelphia and holds a degree from Colgate University. She is an MFA candidate in fiction at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Previously, she lived in New York City and Lusaka, Zambia, where she worked in public health. In third grade, she had bangs and exclusively wore corduroy overalls before they were cool. When she’s not writing, she’s busy watching reality TV and feeling guilty about how she really should be writing right now.
Diepreye Amanah is a Nigerian immigrant poet from Charlotte, North Carolina. She holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill, and is currently an MFA candidate in Poetry in the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Academy of American Poets (poets.org), Up the Staircase Quarterly, Rising Phoenix Press, and elsewhere. She is a 2022 Best New Poets nominee.
Michael O’Ryan holds a BA in Cinema Studies from the University of Oregon, where he served as a poetry editor for Unbound Journal. He is the author of the chapbook Post-Fondness (Finishing Line Press, 2020), and an MFA candidate in poetry at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Find him on Twitter @michaelxoryan.
Jeffrey Chin was born in New Jersey and holds degrees from the University of Chicago. He is pursuing his MFA in Fiction in the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Previously he lived in New York City, where he worked in trade book publishing.
David Joez Villaverde is a postdisciplinary artist and CantoMundo Fellow. His work has appeared in Best New Poets, Black Warrior Review, THRUSH, The Rumpus, Dreginald, and Diode Poetry Journal among others. He is currently a Helen Zell Fellow at the University of Michigan and can be found at schadenfreudeanslip.com
Lola Yang (she/her) is a senior at the University of Michigan pursuing a degree in Asian Studies and a minor in Creative Writing for poetry. Prior to joining MQR, Lola wrote and edited for Michigan in Color, a section of The Michigan Daily dedicated to BIPOC voices. Her essays and poetry explore the idea of home among queer diasporas, daughterhood, and violent desires. When she is not reading or writing, she can be found sipping on a silly little iced drink and snapping pictures of the moon.
Jamie McCarthy is a Senior studying English Language & Literature at the University of Michigan. She worked as an Editorial Intern at The Adirondack Review before joining MQR, and is primarily interested in editing and writing fiction and creative nonfiction. She hopes to have her first piece published within the year.
Bryant Taylor is a freshman studying business administration and history at the University of Michigan. He takes a special interest in the development of science fiction and the role that historical context plays on authors and their literature. In his spare time, Bryant enjoys playing video games, hanging out with friends, and buying Legos he can’t afford.
Visit our Internship page to learn more.