Sarah Rose Etter is a fiction writer and cultural critic who recently departed Philadelphia for San Francisco. She is the author of Tongue Party, selected by Deb Olin Unferth as the winner of the Caketrain Press award, and The Book of X, her first novel, which is available from Two Dollar Radio. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Cut, Electric Literature, Guernica, VICE, New York Tyrant, Juked, Night Block, The Black Warrior Review, Salt Hill Journal, The Collagist, and more. She is the co-founder of the TireFire Reading Series and is a contributing editor at The Fanzine. She has also served as an arts columnist at Philadelphia Weekly. Etter has been awarded residencies at the Disquiet International program in Portugal and the Gullkistan Writing Residency in Iceland, and, in 2017, she was the keynote speaker at the Society for the Study of Women Writers conference in Bordeaux, France. She earned her B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University and her M.F.A. in Fiction from Rosemont College.
Neely B. is a Philadelphia-based fiction writer and activist. Her work has appeared in Essence and Southern Exposure, and she has produced numerous shows for the African News Service. She is best known for her Blanche White detective novel series, the first of which, Blanche on the Lam, won three of four major mystery awards in 1992 for a best first novel: The “Agatha,” the “Anthony,” and the “Macavity.” The novel also received the Go on Girl! Award from the Black Women's Reading Club. She holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Pittsburgh, and her advocacy has included designing better corrections systems for female inmates. She also holds a degree in creative writing.
Edwin Muir (1887–1959) began life on a farm in Deerness, in the remote and bucolic Orkney Islands, off the northern coast of Scotland. By the time he was fourteen, tenant farming had become financially untenable for the Muirs, who left Orkney and eventually settled in a poor neighborhood of Glasgow, then an overcrowded, unhealthy, and chaotic city sustained by heavy industry. Within a few years, his parents and two of his five siblings died. To support himself, Muir worked menial jobs in offices and factories, and began a lifelong commitment to socialism. In February 1939, after one of many visionary experiences, he began to think of himself, also, as a heterodox Christian. Muir’s work includes an autobiography, The Estate of Poetry (his Harvard lectures), and a body of dreamy (sometimes nightmarish), quietly virtuosic poems on elemental subjects and themes such as good and evil, time, the natural world, and the lapsed state of humanity. Muir also helped his wife, Willa, produce many early translations of Kafka’s novels and tales. In 2008, Faber and Faber published his most recent Selected Poems, edited by Mick Imlah.
Joanna Nowak is a photographer, artist, and designer who earned her BFA in fibers from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2011. She has traveled internationally as a photographer and stylist, and worked with Philadelphia entrepreneurs and health and wellness professionals to elevate their brand and message through photography, and captured social justice stories for Aetna in partnership with both The Food Trust and Clean Air Council. As a photographer, she is a natural-light enthusiast. Nowak is certified as an RYT 200 yoga teacher and hopes to share the practice of yoga with artists. She is also an advocate for women’s rights.
Helen Pluckrose is a British scholar who considers herself an exile from the humanities. She has research interests in late-medieval/early modern religious writing by and about women. Pluckrose is currently writing a book about postmodernism and critical theory and their impact on epistemology and ethics in the academy and more widely. She is editor-in-chief of Areo, a digital magazine of opinion and analysis focused on current affairs. Areo publishes thoughtful essays from a variety of perspectives compatible with broadly liberal and humanist values, in particular: culture, politics, human rights, science, and free expression. It places particular priority on evidence-and-reason-centered pieces. Its contributors are intellectually, professionally, and ideologically diverse and include liberals, conservatives, socialists, libertarians, atheists, Christians, Muslims, Jews, and more.
Christopher Spencer serves as the varsity fencing coach at Haverford College. He maintains a focus on athletics during the winter season, has been a member of the NCAA Division 1 Championship Committee, and was selected as cadre coach for the World University Games. Outside of the fencing season, he works as a fine artist, muralist, illustrator, and church restoration artist for Master Liturgical Designs. Spencer is a graduate of the Lorenzo de' Medici art school in Florence, Italy. He also holds an undergraduate degree in Peace Studies from Brandeis University, and has studied with such luminaries as Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn.
Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody lives in Brussels. He has translated the work of French and Belgian poets, including Paul Valéry and Benjamin Fondane for whose Ulysses he was awarded the 2013 Susan Sontag Prize for Translation.