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Authors | Kwame Dawes | Abby Frucht | Philip Graham | Robin Hemley | Josip Novakovich | Lasana M Sekou | Sue William Silverman | Rowena T Torrevillas | Russell Valentino | Xu Xi |

Kwame Dawes
Kwame Dawes, Distinguished Poet in Residence, Louise Frye Scudder Liberal Arts Professor, and Founder and Director of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative at the University of South Carolina, was born in Ghana in 1962. He moved to Jamaica in 1971 and has lived in the US since 1992. He has published nine collections of poetry including Progeny of Air (1994), winner of the Forward Poetry Prize (UK) for best first collection, Resisting the Anomie (1995); and Prophets (1995), Requiem (1996), Jacko Jacobus (1995), and Shook Foil: A Collection of Reggae Poems (1997). Mapmaker (Smith Doorstop, 2000) a chapbook of poems, won the Poetry Business Contest in the UK for 2000. His other awards include the Hollis Summers Poetry, Prize Pushcart Prize and the Silver Musgrave Medal. His children’s book I Saw Your Face, appeared in 2005. Dawes has also edited two major anthologies, a collection of interviews, two groundbreaking critical studies on reggae music, a collection of short stories, and a play. His novels Bivuoac (Peepal Tree) and She’s Gone (Akashic Books) are forthcoming. Wisteria, his most recent collection of poems will appear in January 2006 (Red Hen Press). Dawes is the programming director of the Calabash International Literary festival and was recently named Founding Director of the University of South Carolina Arts Institute and Special Advisor to the Provost on the Arts.

Abby Frucht
Abby Frucht, who won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize for 1987, has since published five novels, including Snap (Ticknor & Fields), Licorice (Graywolf), Are You Mine? (Grove), Life Before Death (Scribner), and Polly's Ghost (Scribner). The recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a New Voices Award from Quality Paperback Bookclub, and several citations in Notable Books of the Year from the New York Times, Ms. Frucht reviews fiction and has written literary essays for The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Village Voice, The New York Times, and numerous other publications. A committed and devoted teacher, she has taught for ten years at the Vermont College MFA in Writing Program and has been a visiting writer at Oberlin College, Cleveland State University, and most recently at the Stone Coast Writers' Conference in Maine. A seasoned traveler and voracious reader especially of contemporary fiction and creative nonfiction, she lives in Wisconsin.

Philip Graham
Philip Graham is the author of two short story collections, The Art of the Knock (William Morrow, 1985) and Interior Design (Scribner, 1996), the novel How to Read an Unwritten Language (Scribner, 1995; paperback Warner Books 1997), and he is the co-author (with Alma Gottlieb) of the memoir of Africa, Parallel Worlds (Crown/ Random House, 1993; paperback University of Chicago Press 1994), winner of the 1993 Victor Turner Prize. Graham’s fiction has been published in The New Yorker, North American Review, Carolina Quarterly, Fiction, The Washington Post Magazine, Missouri Review, Western Humanities Review, Crab Orchard Review and elsewhere, and has been reprinted or translated in England, Germany, the Netherlands and India. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post and Poets & Writers Magazine. Graham is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, two Illinois Arts Council grants, and the William Peden Prize in Fiction, as well as fellowship residencies at the MacDowell and Yaddo artist colonies. Graham is the fiction editor of the literary/arts journal Ninth Letter, and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Illinois, where he has been the recipient of three campus teaching awards. He also teaches in the low-residency MFA program of Vermont College.

Robin Hemley
Robin Hemley is the author of eight books of fiction and nonfiction. His work has won such awards as The Nelson Algren Award for Fiction from the Chicago Tribune, the George Garrett Award for Fiction, Story Magazine's Humor Award, The Governor's Award for Nonfiction from the State of Washington, the Independent Press Book Award for Nonfiction, Foreword Magazine's Award for Nonfiction, the Walter Rumsey Marvin Award from the Ohioana Library Association, and two Pushcart Prizes. His work has been widely anthologized and published in Great Britain, Germany, the Philippines, Sweden, and Japan. His short fiction has been heard on NPR's “Selected Shorts,” performed onstage, and adapted into a short film. His book Turing Life Into Fiction is a widely-used craft text that will be reissued by Graywolf in 2006 and his book NOLA is often cited as an important work dealing with schizophrenia. His most recent book, Invented Eden: The Elusive, Disputed History of the Tasaday (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003) was named an Editor's Choice Book of 2003 by the American Library Association. An anthology of nontraditional stories, Extreme Fiction: Formalists and Fabulists, co-edited with Michael Martone, was published in 2004 by Longman. He is the former editor of the Bellingham Review, and has taught creative writing at many universities and writing conferences. He is the former Faculty Chair of the MFA in Writing at Vermont College and is currently Director of the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

Josip Novakovich
Croatian-born Josip Novakovich moved to the United States at the age of twenty. He has published a novel (April Fool's Day, which appeared in translation in ten countries), three story collections (Infidelities, Yolk, and Salvation and Other Disasters), two collections of narrative essays (Plum Brandy: Croatian Journeys and Apricots from Chernobyl), and was anthologized in Best American Poetry, Pushcart Prize, and O.Henry Prize Stories. His textbook, Fiction Writer's Workshop, was a Book of the Month Club selection. He received the Whiting Writer's Award (1997), Guggenheim Fellowship (1999), two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships (1991 and 2002), the Ingram Merrill Award, an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation and he has been a writing fellow of the New York City Public Library. His work has appeared in many journals, including Paris Review, Tin House, DoubleTake, The New York Times Magazine, European Magazine, and he contributes regularly to the Zagreb daily Jutarnji list. Mr. Novakovich teaches in the MFA program at Penn State University.

Lasana M Sekou
Lasana M. Sekou is the author of 11 books of poetry, monologues, and short stories. He is the leading writer of St. Martin and is considered one of the prolific Caribbean poets of his generation. His newest collection is 37 Poems, published in 2005. Sekou’s other titles include The Salt Reaper – Poems from the flats (2005, 2004), Big Up St. Martin: Essay & Poem (1999), Brotherhood of the Spurs (1997), Quimbé – The Poetics of Sound (1991), Mothernation (1991), Love Songs Make You Cry (1989), Nativity & Dramatic Monologues for Today (1988), Born Here (1986), Maroon Lives - A Tribute to Grenadian Freedom Fighters (1983), Images in the Yard (1983), For the Mighty Gods … An Offering (1982), and Moods for Isis – Picture Poems of Love and Struggle (1978). In 1991, Sekou produced Fête - The First Recording of Traditional St. Martin’s Festive Music by Tanny & the Boys. He is the editor of The Independence Papers - readings on a new political status for St. Maarten/St. Martin (1990) and National Symbols of St. Martin - A Primer (1996). Sekou’s poetry, drama, and fiction have been required reading at York University, Kenyon College, and the University of St. Martin. His writings are taught in high schools and dramatized on stage and in carnival presentations. Sekou has participated in literary conferences and recited poetry in the Caribbean, the USA, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Sekou’s poetry has appeared in Callaloo, The Caribbean Writer, Del Caribe, The Massachusetts Review, De Gids, Revue Noir, Das Gedicht, Calabash, Prometeo, and ChickenBones among other journals. His poems have been translated into Spanish, Dutch, German, and Chinese. Awards and honors include an IWW Visiting Fellow (Hong Kong Baptist University), a James Michener Fellow (University of Miami), a knighthood (the Netherlands), Recognition for literary excellence in the service of Caribbean unity (Dominican Republic), University of St. Martin Heroes & Heroines Award (Literature), Culture Time Literary Artist of the Decade, Conscious Lyrics Artist of the Decade, Jaycees Outstanding Young Persons award, and a Carlos Cooks Community Service Award. In 2003, Shujah Reiph of the Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF) invited Sekou to co-found the first St. Martin Book Fair as a CLF/House of Nehesi Publishers project. In the 2005, the book fair entered its third year. Lasana M. Sekou is an advocate for the independence and unification of St. Martin, which is a colony of France and The Netherlands. For further information, please visit

Sue William Silverman
Sue William Silverman’s first memoir, Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You (University of Georgia Press), won the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award Series in creative nonfiction and is in its 6th printing, with additional editions translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Norwegian. Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey Through Sexual Addiction (W. W. Norton) is her second memoir, also translated into German. Her poetry collection is Hieroglyphics in Neon (Orchises Press, Jan. 2006). Individual prose pieces and poems have appeared in such places as Prairie Schooner, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Redbook, WordWrights, Dominion Review, Charleston Review, Gulf Stream Magazine, Chronicle of Higher Education, Water~Stone, The Writer’s Chronicle, Lilith, Louisville Review, Potomac Review, Rosebud, The Caribbean Writer, Brevity, and River Teeth (forthcoming). Her essay “Tramping the Land of Look Behind” won Hotel Amerika’s 2005 essay contest, while other essays are included in the anthologies Peninsula: Essays from Michigan as well as Big Water, forthcoming from Michigan State University Press. In addition to writing, she is associate editor of the literary journal Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction and teaches in the MFA in Writing program at Vermont College. As a professional speaker, she has appeared on many nationally syndicated radio and television programs including “Anderson Cooper 360” on CNN, “To the Contrary” on PBS, a John Stossel Special on ABC-TV, and both the U. S. and Canadian Discovery Channels. She is featured in the award-winning documentary “Pursuit of Pleasure.” For more information please visit

Rowena T Torrevillas
Rowena T. Torrevillas writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, for which she has received Philippine National Book Awards, the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, and the Gawad Balagtas from the Writers' Union of the Philippines. Her works have been translated into various languages, including Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, Bengali, Ibo, and several European languages. She holds a Ph.D. in English and Literature from Silliman University. She teaches transnational literature and nonfiction writing at the University of Iowa.

Russell Valentino
Russell Valentino has published four books of literary translations from Italian (Materada, 2000; Persuasion and Rhetoric, 2004), Serbo-Croatian (Between Exile and Asylum: An Eastern Epistolary, 2005), and Croatian (A Castle in Romagna, with Tomislav Kuzmanovic, 2005), as well as essays and translated fiction (from Italian, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, and Russian) in journals such as The Iowa Review, Two Lines, Poroi, and 91st Meridian. He is the recipient of a 2002 NEA Literature Fellowship and a 2004 Howard Foundation grant, both in literary translation, as well two Fulbright research awards to Croatia (1993-94 and 1999-2000). He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Autumn Hill Books, a press devoted to publishing contemporary literature from around the world in English translation. He teaches in the MFA in translation program at the University of Iowa.

Xu Xi
Xu Xi is the author of three novels, The Unwalled City, Hong Kong Rose and Chinese Walls, two short fiction collections, History’s Fiction and Daughters of Hui, and the mixed-genre collection, Overleaf Hong Kong: Stories and Essays of the Chinese, Overseas. She is also co-editor of two anthologies of Hong Kong literature in English, City Stage (drama) and City Voices (prose & poetry 1945 to the present) and is the Hong Kong regional editor for the 2nd edition of Routledge’s Encyclopedia of Post Colonial Literature. Her fiction and essays have been published and broadcast internationally, and her books are regularly taught at universities worldwide. Awards include an O. Henry story selection, a Ploughshare fiction Cohen award, a New York Arts Foundation fiction fellowship, a winning entry in the South China Morning Post story contest; residencies include the Jack Kerouac Project, the Anderson Center, Kulturhuset USF; the Chateau de Lavigny. A Chinese-Indonesian native of Hong Kong, she left multinational corporate life for the writing life after eighteen years in international marketing and management. She is currently on the fiction faculty at Vermont College’s MFA program and inhabits the flight path connecting New York, Hong Kong and New Zealand. For further information, please visit

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