John Casteen is the author of “For the Mountain Laurel” (2011) and “Free Union” (2009), part of the VQR Poetry Series from The University of Georgia Press. His poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Ploughshares and The Best American Poetry. He has contributed prose on gun policy, professional ethics and environmental policy to Slate.com, The Washington Post, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education and other magazines and newspapers. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was self-employed for 10 years as a designer and builder of custom furniture. Casteen teaches at Sweet Briar College, where he founded and directs the Sweet Briar Undergraduate Creative Writing Conference. He has also taught on Semester at Sea, at the University of Virginia and as visiting artist faculty-in-residence at New York University. He lives in Earlysville, Va.
Sierra Bellows worked as a documentary filmmaker and freelance writer in Toronto before she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow at the University of Virginia, where she received her M.F.A. Her work has appeared in The American Scholar, The Greensboro Review, Brevity and The New York Times, among other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.
Dave Lucas is the author of “Weather” (Georgia, 2011), which received the Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. He has also been awarded a Henry Hoyns Fellowship from the University of Virginia and a “Discovery”/The Nation Prize. Recently Rita Dove selected him to be featured on BillMoyers.com as a “young poet to watch.” A Ph.D. candidate in English language and literature at the University of Michigan, he lives in Cleveland, where he was born and raised.
Dave Griffith teaches the personal essay, memoir, journalism, writing for new media, and writing about human rights and social justice issues. He is the author of “A Good War is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America” (Soft Skull, 2006). His essays and reviews have appeared in The Utne Reader, IMAGE, The Normal School and Killing the Buddha, among other publications. He is a regular contributor to Image’s “Good Letters” blog, and is director of Sweet Briar College’s Bachelors of Fine Arts program in Interdisciplinary Arts, the minor in journalism, new media and communications, and the Blue Ridge Summer Institute for Young Artists.
Leah Naomi Green is the author of the chapbook “The Ones We Have.” Her poems have appeared, among other places, in The Squaw Valley Review and Dirtcakes Literary Journal. She is the recipient of the Flying Trout Press Award, the Dirtcakes Poetry Award, the Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize and the UC Humanities Center International Travel Grant, as well as other honors. She received her M.F.A. from the Poetry Workshop at The University of California, Irvine, and teaches writing and environmental studies at Washington and Lee University. She lives in Rockbridge County, Va., where she and her partner Ben grow food and homestead on 80 acres with a small community.
Emma Rathbone is the author of “The Patterns of Paper Monsters” (Reagan Arthur Books, 2010) for which she received a Christopher Isherwood Grant in Fiction. Her work has been published by or is forthcoming in the New Yorker, the Virginia Quarterly Review and Five Chapters. She lives in Charlottesville, Va.
Aja Gabel‘s fiction has appeared in the New England Review, the New Ohio Review, Bat City Review and elsewhere, and is forthcoming in Glimmer Train. She is the winner of the 2010 Fiction Prize from Phoebe and her work has been awarded honorable mentions in the 2008 Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Contest and the 2011 Pushcart Anthology. She has held editorial positions at Meridian, Virginia Quarterly Review, and is a fiction editor at Gulf Coast. Aja holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. from the University of Virginia, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing at the University of Houston. She is currently a fellow in fiction at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.