AMY BASS’ research interests include African-American history; modern American culture, with a particular focus on sports; identity politics; and historical theory and methodology. She has published her research extensively, including the prestigious Journal of American History and South Atlantic Quarterly, and has presented at a range of national meetings, including the American Historical Association, the American Studies Association, the Organization for American Historians, and Association for the Study of African American Life and History. As well, she has contributed to organs such as Slate, Salon, CNN Opinion, and The Christian Century. Her first book, Not the Triumph but the Struggle: The 1968 Olympic Games and the Making of the Black Athlete, is considered a standard-bearer for those interested in writing about sports from a cultural perspective. Her edited collection, In the Game: Race, Identity and Sports in the 20th Century, solidified that reputation. Her most recent work, Those About Him Remained Silent: The Battle Over W.E.B. Du Bois, on the culture of civil rights struggles and memory, received an Honorable Mention from the National Council on Public History.
Her new book is entitled “One Goal: A Coach, A Team, and the Game that Brought a Divided Town Together” (2018) from Hachette Book Group.
She also edits her own series, “Sporting,” for Temple University Press, and has served as senior research supervisor for NBC Olympic Sports since 1996, winning at Emmy Award for her work at the London Olympics in 2012. Bass teaches a range of courses in the History Department, the Women’s Studies Program, and the Honors Program, including “Popular Culture and the Making of Modern America," “Race and Ethnicity," “Civil Rights Struggles," “Race, Sport, and Society," “Once Upon A Time: American Princess," “Women in American History,” and “The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager."
MICHAEL DOWNS' debut novel, The Strange and True Tale of Horace Wells, Surgeon Dentist, was recently published from Acre Books (May 2018). His other books include The Greatest Show: Stories (Louisiana State University Press) and House of Good Hope: A Promise for a Broken City (University of Nebraska Press), which won the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize. Hollywood's Team: Grit, Glamour, and the 1950s Los Angeles Rams, written with Jim Hock, was published in 2016 by Rare Bird Books. Downs's stories and essays have appeared in The George Review, Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. His writing has won fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and most recently the Greater Baltimore Arts Council.
LAWRENCE JACKSON is the author of My Father’s Name: A Black Virginia Family after the Civil War (Chicago 2012), The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics (Princeton 2010) and Ralph Ellison: Emergence of Genius, 1913-1952 (Wiley 2002). Two of his books have been finalists for the Hurston-Wright Prize and The Indignant Generation won the 2011 William Sanders Scarborough Prize from the Modern Language Association and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association 2012 award for non-fiction. Harper’s Magazine, N+1, New York Times Book Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Baltimore Magazine, New England Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Antioch Review, Washington Post, American Literature, American Literary History and Best American Essays have published his criticism and non-fiction. Professor Jackson earned a PhD in English and American literature at Stanford University, and has held fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University, the Stanford Humanities Center, the Ford Foundation, and the William J. Fulbright program at the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. He began his teaching career at Howard University in 1997 and he is now Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of English and History at Johns Hopkins University. His biography of Chester Himes was published by W.W. Norton in July 2017.
RICHARD SLOTKIN is a leading scholar of American cultural history, and a historical novelist. His non-fiction includes Regeneration Through Violence (1973) and Gunfighter Nation (1992), which were National Book Award Finalists. His novel Abe (2000) won the Michael Shaara Prize for Civil War Fiction and the Salon Book Award; and The Crater(1980) was the first novel to be made a selection of the History Book Club. Both novels were Times “Notable Books of the Year.” His latest book, Greenhorns (2018), is a collection of short stories based on the experiences of immigrant ancestors who came to the US between 1905 and 1921.
WILL SCHUTT is the author of Westerly, winner of the 2012 Yale Series of Younger Poets prize. A graduate of Oberlin College and Hollins University, he is the recipient of fellowships from the James Merrill House and the Stadler Center for Poetry. His work has appeared in Agni, FIELD, Harvard Review, The Southern Review and other journals. For more information, visit his website www.wschutt.com.
JESSICA ANYA BLAU is the author of four novels, the most recent of which is The Trouble with Lexie. Her books have been optioned for film and television and have been featured on The Today Show, CNN, NPR and in Vanity Fair, Cosmo, Oprah.com and in other national publications. She has ghostwritten books and cowrote the screenplay for the movie, Love on the Run.
SHERRIE FLICK is the author of the novel Reconsidering Happiness and two short story collections Whiskey, Etc. and Thank Your Lucky Stars (Autumn House Press, 2018). Her fiction has appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Flash Fiction Forward, New Sudden Fiction, and New Micro, as well as Ploughshares, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Booth. She has received fellowships from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Ucross, and Atlantic Center for the Arts. She serves as series editor for The Best Small Fictions 2018 and teaches in the MFA and Food Studies programs at Chatham University in Pittsburgh.
ELISSA BRENT WEISSMAN is an award-winning author of novels for 8-to-12-year olds. She is best known for the popular Nerd Camp series, which won the Cybils Award for middle grade fiction and was named a best summer read for middle graders in The Washington Post. The Short Seller, about a seventh-grade stock-trading whiz, was a Girls’ Life must-read and featured on NPR’s “Here and Now.” Elissa also created and edited Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids, a Junior Library Guild selection that was featured in Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. Her most recent novel, The Length of a String—a part-historical, part-contemporary story about an adopted Jewish girl who discovers her great-grandmother’s diary from 1941—came out May 1, 2018. Named one of CBS Baltimore’s Best Authors in Maryland, Elissa lives in Baltimore City, where she teaches creative writing to children, college students, and adults. Connect online at ebweissman.com.
S.L. PRICE, a Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated since 1994, has written four books—including the just-released Playing Through The Whistle: Steel, Football and an American Town, a biography of Aliquippa, Pa. Of Price’s work, the New York Times said, “The seasoned reporter … is a master of the new journalism developed by Hunter Thompson, Gay Talese and Price’s personal paragon, Pete Hamill. Whenever he writes about sports–or about the craft of writing–he hits it over the fence.”
KHRIS BAXTER is a screenwriter, producer, and a founding partner of Boundary Stone Films, a film finance and development company. Boundary Stone, along with partners Crystal City Entertainment, Echo Lake Entertainment, and Cross Creek Pictures, develops and finances projects for Film and Television. Baxter has been a screenwriter and story consultant for two decades and has taught screenwriting since 2004 at various colleges and universities, including Gettysburg College, American University, and Dickinson College. He's a member of the Virginia Film Office where he has been a judge for the annual Virginia Screenwriting Competition since 2004.
LAUREN FRANCIS-SHARMA is the author of 'Til the Well Runs Dry, her first novel, short-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize and awarded the Honor Fiction Prize by the Black Caucus of the ALA. Lauren holds a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in African-American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. She is the Assistant Director of Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the owner of DC Writers Room, a MacDowell Fellow, the mother of two beautiful, brilliant girls, and she is currently working on her sophomore novel One True Place to be published by Grove Atlantic in late 2019.
Longtime All Things Considered commentator MARION WINIK is the author of The Baltimore Book of the Dead, First Comes Love, Highs in the Low Fifties, and seven other books. Her Bohemian Rhapsody column at BaltimoreFishbowl.com has received the Best Column and Best Humorist awards from Baltimore Magazine, and her essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Sun, and many other publications. She is the host of The Weekly Reader radio show and podcast, based at the Baltimore NPR affiliate, WYPR. She reviews books for Newsday, People, and Kirkus Reviews and is a board member of the National Book Critics Circle. She is a professor in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore. More info at marionwinik.com.
DORA MALECH'S third collection of poetry, Stet, will be published by Princeton University Press in 2018, and her fourth collection, Flourish, will be published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2020. She is also the author of Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011) and Shore Ordered Ocean (The Waywiser Press, 2009). She has been the recipient of an Amy Clampitt Residency Award from the Amy Clampitt Fund, a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and a Writing Residency Fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and she has served as Distinguished Poet-in-Residence at Saint Mary's College of California. She is a co-founder and former director of the arts engagement organization the Iowa Youth Writing Project. Having taught at institutions that include the University of Iowa, Augustana College in Illinois, and the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, she is now an assistant professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, where she received the 2016 Crenson-Hertz Award for Community Based Learning and Participatory Research. She serves on the advisory board of Writers in Baltimore Schools and as an associate editor of The Waywiser Press. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in publications that include The New Yorker, The Best American Poetry, Crazyhorse, Poetry, Tin House, and The New England Review, and her visual art has appeared or is forthcoming in publications that include Pinwheel and Poetry. She blogs about poetry, poetics, and pedagogy for The Kenyon Review.
KAREN HOUPPERT is the Associate Director of the M.A. in Writing Program at Johns Hopkins. She was a contributing writer for The Washington Post magazine for several years and now freelances for many magazines, covering social and political issues. She is also the author of three nonfiction books. Her most recent book, Chasing Gideon: The Elusive Quest for Poor People’s Justice, takes the pulse of the public defense system fifty years after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright and was selected as one of the Top 10 Books Investigative books of 2013 by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.
RON TANNER is the author of four books and dozens of short stories, articles, and essays. His work has been cited as “notable” in both Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. His awards for writing include a gold medal from the Faulkner Society, a Pushcart Prize, a New Letters first prize, two Maryland Arts Council grants, and many others. He has held numerous fellowships, including those awarded by the James Michener/Copernicus Society, Lyon College, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He is currently a professor of Writing at Loyola University-Maryland, which recently awarded him the Nachbhar Award for outstanding achievement in the humanities.
KATIA D. ULYSSE is a fiction writer, born in Haiti. Her short stories, essays, and Pushcart Prize–nominated poetry appear in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including: The Caribbean Writer, Smartish Pace, Phoebe, Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism; Mozayik, The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora, and Haiti Noir. The 2017 Kratz Writer in Residence at Goucher College has taught in Baltimore public schools for thirteen years. She is the author of the critically acclaimed story collection, Drifting. Mouths Don’t Speak is her latest novel.
Special Critique Faculty:
Geoff Becker is the author of four books of fiction, most recently Hot Springs, a novel (Tin House), and Black Elvis (U. of Georgia Press), a collection which won the 2009 Flannery O'Connor Prize for Short Fiction. He is a professor at Towson University.
Joseph J. Capista is the author of Intrusive Beauty, which won the 2018 Hollis Summers Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from Ohio University Press. Poems by Capista have appeared in Agni, The Georgia Review, The Hudson Review, and Ploughshares. A two-time Maryland State Arts Council award winner, he lives with his spouse and their daughters in Baltimore and teaches at Towson University.
Kathryn Rhett’s most recent book, Souvenir, was published in 2014. A collection of poetry, Immortal Village, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2018. She is the author of Near Breathing, a memoir, and editor of the anthology Survival Stories: Memoirs of Crisis. Her work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, River Teeth and elsewhere. The recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship in nonfiction, she is a Professor of English at Gettysburg College. She also teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte, and in the Pan-European MFA at Cedar Crest College. Visit her website at kathrynrhett.com.
Jeannie Vanasco is the author of The Glass Eye, a memoir (Tin House, 2017). Her writing has appeared in The Believer, Longform, Longreads, NewYorker.com, Times Literary Supplement, and elsewhere. She lives in Baltimore and is an assistant professor at Towson University.
David Bergman is the author, editor, and translator of over a dozen books, including the award-winning Cracking the Code, Gaiety Transfigured, and Men on Men 2000. His poetry and commentary have appeared in The New Republic, The Paris Review, Poetry, American Poetry Review, and The Yale Review, among many other journals and magazines.
Leslie Harrison's second book, The Book of Endings, was the 2016 Editor's Choice at the University of Akron Press. It was published in February 2017, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her first book, Displacement, won the Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize in poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. It was published by Mariner Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in 2009. She is a 2011 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry.
Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, The Bennington Review, The New Republic, New Limestone Review, Cherry Tree and elsewhere. She teaches at Towson University.