MAXINE HONG KINGSTON, this year’s LARB/UCR Creative Writing Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, is a Chinese-American novelist, journalist, feminist icon, anti-war advocate, and Professor Emerita at her alma mater, the University of California, Berkeley. Her extensive list of publications includes The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts (1976), which won the National Book Critics Circle’s General Nonfiction Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, China Man (1980), for which she received the National Book Award for Nonfiction, and Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book (1989), which won a PEN West Award in fiction. She is also a two-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts (1980, 1982), a recipient of the National Humanities Medal (1997), a Lifetime Achievement Award for the Asian American Literary Awards (2006), a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation (2008), and the National Medal of Arts (2013).
HADARA BAR-NADAV is a poet and a Professor of English at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She is the author of two chapbooks: Show Me Yours (2010), which won the Midwest Poets Series Prize, and Fountain and Furnace (2016), which received the Sunken Garden Prize. Her poetry collection A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight (2007) received the Margie First Book Prize, The Frame Called Ruin (2012) was a runner up for the Green Rose Prize, while Lullaby (with Exit Sign) (2013) was awarded the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She also co-authored the bestselling textbook Writing Poems (8th edition) with Michelle Boisseau. Recently, she received the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, the Lucille Medwick Award, and others. Her latest book of poetry, The New Nudity was published in 2017.  @hadarabar on Twitter
SHERWIN BITSUI is a Navajo poet, whose work has appeared in The Iowa Review, American Poet, Lit Magazine, and more. He holds an AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts’ Creative Writing Program, and has been a visiting faculty at several writing programs. His first book, Shapeshift, was published in 2003, and his second poetry collection Floodsong, won the PEN Open Book Award and the American Book Award. He has also been the recipient of a Truman Capote Fellowship, an Individual Poetry Grant from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, a Soul Mountain Residency, a Lannan Foundation Literary Residency Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and an NACF Artist Fellowship in Literature.  @sbitsui on Twitter
CHRIS BUCKLEY is a poet, memoirist, editor, critic, and professor, whose work has appeared in The Nation, The Hudson Review, The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and many more. He is the author of over 50 books and chapbooks, including Star Apocrypha (2001), Sky (2004), Modern History (2008), Rolling the Bones (2010), and White Shirt (2011). He has received dozens of awards, including the PA Council of Arts Fellowship Grant in Poetry, the Gertrude B. Clayton Memorial Award, the Writer’s Choice Award, the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, multiple grants in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, four Pushcart Prizes, a Fulbright Award in Creative Writing, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a Professor Emeritus at UC Riverside.
MICAH CHATTERTON writes, edits, teaches and tends library at various locations in the Inland Empire, where he grew up. His work has appeared in a number of journals, including B O D YSixfoldRuminateTupelo QuarterlyLETTERS, and Slice. His work is also featured in Best New Poets 2013 (University of Virginia Press, 2013), The Cancer Poetry Project 2 (Thasora Books, 2013) and The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss (Fast Foreword, 2014).  @micahchatterton on Twitter
CHARMAINE CRAIG studied literature at Harvard University, received her MFA in fiction from UC Irvine, and is an Assistant Professor at UC Riverside. Her first novel, The Good Men (2002), was a national bestseller and translated into six foreign languages. Her second novel, Miss Burma (2017) which tells the story of Burma in the 20th Century through the lens of one family, inspired by the lives of her own parents and grandparents, was an Indie Next Selection, an Amazon Best of the Month Editor’s Pick in Literature and Fiction, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, and was longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction.
NANETTE DEETZ is a Dakota, Lakota, Cherokee, and German poet, journalist, educator, and musician with the band Redbird Giving. Her poetry has been published in numerous anthologies, and as a journalist her writing has appeared in Native News Online, the Tribal Business Journal, and Bay Area News Group. She teaches drama and creative writing at Da Vinci Center for Gifted Children, and with the California Dept. of Rehabilitation. @starzdancing7 on Twitter ‏
JOSH EMMONS holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught creative writing at Grinnell College, Monmouth University, Loyola University New Orleans, and, currently, UC Riverside. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, ZYZZYVA, Esquire, The American Scholar and The San Francisco Chronicle, and his stories have been honorably noted in The Best American Non-Required Reading. He is the author of two novels and a short story collection. The Loss of Leon Meed (2005), has won the James Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award, and has been translated into several languages. His second novel, Prescription for a Superior Existence was published in 2008, and his latest is A Moral Tale and Other Moral Tales, which came out in 2017.
JANET FITCH is this year’s Steven Minot Lecturer, the author most recently of The Revolution of Marina M. (2017), a sweeping historical saga of the Russian Revolution, based on decades of research into Russian history.  Her bestsellingWhite Oleander was an Oprah Book Club pick, was translated into 24 languages, and became a film by the same name starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Her Paint It Back was made into a feature film last year, as well, directed by Amber Tamblyn. She is a third-generation Angeleno. @janetfitch323 on Twitter
TEE FRANKLIN, a queer, black, and disabled comic writer and advocate from New Jersey, won the 2017 Queer Press Grant for Bingo Love, a Kickstarter-funded novella representing the lives of queer black women. Bingo Love will be released on Valentine’s Day 2018 in comic shops everywhere. @mizteefranklin on Twitter; Cosponsored by the LGBT Resource Center and African Student Programs.
ROXANE GAY is a Haitian-American fiction writer, essayist, critic, editor, and professor. Her short stories have appeared in Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review, McSweeney’s, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best American Mystery Stories 2014, and others. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times on issues of gender, race, politics, culture, current events, and more, and an editor for The Rumpus and PANK. She is the author of the short story collection Ayiti (2011), the novel An Untamed State (2014), the New York Times Bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist (2014), the short story collection Difficult Women (2017), as well as her most recent New York Times Bestseller Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (2017). She is also the recipient of PEN Center’s 2015 Freedom to Write Award, an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Purdue University, and a well-known Twitter personality. @rgay on Twitter; Cosponsored by African Student Programs, LGBT Resource Center, The Well, and Women’s Resource Center.
MYRIAM GURBA is a Chicana writer, spoken-word artist, and visual artist, and a member of Sister Spit, the lesbian feminist spoken-word and performance art collective. She is the author of five chapbooks: Sweatsuits of the Damned(2013), Menudo & Herb: a little book to reach for during big bowel movements (2013), A White Girl Named Shaquanda: A Chomo Allegory and Trewish Story (2013), River Candy, and Wish You Were Me (2011). Her 2007 book, Dahlia Season: Stories and a Novella (2007) won The Edmund White Award for debut fiction and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. She is also the author of Painting Their Portraits in Winter: Stories (2015). Her latest is a nonfiction novel titledMean, which blends true crime, memoir, and ghost story with humor, about her coming of age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. @lesbrains on Twitter
JOHN JENNINGS is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies and a Cooperating Faculty Member in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. His work centers around intersectional narratives regarding identity politics and popular media. Jennings is co-editor of the Eisner Award-winning essay collection The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art and co-founder/organizer of The Schomburg Center’s Black Comic Book Festival in Harlem. He is co-founder and organizer of the MLK NorCal’s Black Comix Arts Festival in San Francisco and also SOL-CON: The Brown and Black Comix Expo at the Ohio State University. Jennings sits on the editorial advisory boards for The Black Scholar and the new Ohio State Press imprint New Suns: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Speculative. He is currently the Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow at the Hutchins Center, Harvard University. @JIJennings on Twitter;  JIJennin70 on Tumbler; Cosponsored by African Student Programs
KRYS LEE published her debut novel How I Became a North Korean last year after moving back to Korea. She was born there, but grew up, went to school, and wrote her first book (Drifting House, is a collection of stories) in the US. She is the recipient of the Rome Prize and many others, and now teaches at Yonsei University in Seoul. @krysleewriter on Twitter
JAMES LUNA is an internationally renowned performance and installation artist with more than 30 years of performance and exhibition experience. Since 1975, he has had more than 41 solo exhibitions, participated in 85 group exhibitions, and performed internationally at venues including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and New Museum, among others. @JamesLu16150789 on Twitter
MARCO MAISTO is a contumbled list, a rogue signal, a stamped envelope with pieces of two-way mirror inside, and a writer interested in the natural history of future qualities. His work explores the emotional landscape of conceivable worlds. He was educated at the University of Chicago and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and has been a contributing and guest editor for Drunken Boat, co-curating their poetry comics and animation folio with Michael Chaney. Marco’s long poem, “The Loneliness of the Middle-Distance Transmissions Aggregator,” (Bayou Magazine) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Parts of Traces of a Fifth Column, his first full-length book have been published in Electric Literature, Okey Panky, The Colorado Review, Fjords, The Offing, jubliat, small po[r]tions, TYPO, Pangyrus and other fine outlets. Marco lives in New York City. @networkbreakdown on Instagram;  @marcomaisto on Twitter
GINA NAHAI was born in Iran, and moved to the US the night that Elvis Presley died. She is the author most recently of The Luminous Heart of Jonah S., partly a murder mystery, partly a social satire of the expatriate Persian community in Los Angeles. Her other novels include Cry of the Peacock, Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith, Sunday’s Silence, andCaspian Rain, which have been translated into eighteen languages. She has taught writing at UCLA and USC. @ginanahai on Twitter
TESS TAYLOR is a poet, an on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and the chair of the poetry committee of The National Book Critics Circle. Her writing has appeared in Boston Review, Harvard Review, The Atlantic, and more. Her chapbook The Misremembered World (2003) won her the Poetry Society’s inaugural chapbook fellowship, and her first book, The Forage House (2013), in which she explores her personal history as a descendant of Thomas Jefferson, was a finalist for the Believer Poetry Award. She is also the author of Work & Days, which was named one of the Best Books of Poetry of 2016 by The New York Times. @Tessathon on Twitter
JUSTIN TORRES is a writer whose work has appeared in Tin House, Harper’s, The New Yorker, Glimmer Train, and more. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he has received the Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, the Cullman Center Fellowship at the New York Public Library, and the Rolon United States Artist Fellowship in Literature. He is currently an assistant professor at UCLA. His bestselling debut novel We the Animals was published in 2011, has been translated into fifteen languages, and is being adapted into a feature film.
VICKIE VERTIZ is a poet and UC Riverside MFA alumna, who teaches creative writing workshops nationwide and works with the nonprofit 826LA. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Ghost Town, KCET Departures, Statement, The Volta, Huizache, and more. She is the author of the poetry collections Swallows (2013) and Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut (2017). @vickievertiz on Twitter