Valerie Sayers, chair of the English department at the University of Notre Dame, is the author of six novels, including her most recent, “The Powers.” Her previous novels “Brain Fever” and “Who Do You Love” were named “Notable Books of the Year” by the New York Times Book Review, and a film based on “Due East” and “How I Got Him Back” premiered on Showtime. Her literary honors include a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Pushcart Prize and “Notable” and “Distinguished” citations from Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. Her stories, essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Commonweal, Zoetrope, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Image and many other journals.
Allison Seay’s first book, “To See the Queen,” will be published this spring by Persea Books. Her poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, The Southern Review, Meridian, Arts and Academe and Pleiades. She has enjoyed two retreats at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, Va. She worked for several years at UNC Greensboro as assistant director of the M.F.A. program and associate editor of the Greensboro Review. She has taught at UNC Greensboro, Greensboro College, Lynchburg College and Mary Washington before moving back to Richmond, Va. She is a 2013 National Endowment for the Arts literature fellow and a recipient of the Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.