Marcus Bales is a man of mystery, except that he lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio, and his work has appeared in neither Poetry Magazine nor the New Yorker.

Jacqueline Doyle has published creative nonfiction in South Dakota Review, Ninth Letter online, Southern Indiana Review, Waccamaw, Cold Mountain ReviewJabberwock Review, and Grist: The Online Companion, among others. Her essays have earned Pushcart nominations from Southern Humanities Review and South Loop Review, and Notable Essay citations in Best American Essays 2013 and Best American Essays 2015. This is her third appearance in Bluestem. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches at California State University, East Bay. Visit her at

Sophie Summertown Grimes holds an MFA in Poetry from Boston
University, and has spent an extensive amount of time living and traveling in China as an Oberlin Shansi Fellow and as a Robert Pinsky Global Fellow. She has published poems in The Literary ReviewThe Spoon River Poetry
, and AGNI Online, among others. Author of the chapbook City Structures, published by Damask Press, Sophie was second runner-up for the 2011 New Letters Prize for Poetry and writes poetry reviews for Publishers Weekly. Twitter: @synopsissophie

Penny Guisinger is the author of the book Postcards from Here, which will be released by Vine Leaves Press in February 2016. Her essay “Coming Out” was named a notable in 2015 Best American Essays. Other work has appeared in Fourth Genre, River Teeth, The Rumpus, Guernica, the Brevity blog, Solstice Literary Magazine, Under the Gum Tree, multiple anthologies, and other places. She is an Assistant Editor at Brevity, the founding organizer of Iota: The Conference of Short Prose, and a graduate of the Stonecoast MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine.

Lynn Marie Houston is an award-winning poet, an essayist, and an
educator. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Squalorly, Word Riot, Full Grown People, and other journals and anthologies. Her first collection of poems, The Clever Dream of Man, was published by Aldrich Press in 2015.  She is currently pursuing an MFA at Southern Connecticut State University.

Rachel Kennedy is a New Hampshire native and recently moved back home from New York. She has studied at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and earned her M.F.A. in poetry from Adelphi University, where she also taught creative and composition writing. Some of Rachel’s earlier work can be seen in The Whistling Shade, The Fiddleback, and Bay Leaves, which is produced by the North Carolina Poetry Council.
Follow her on Twitter  @rachelkennedy88

James R. Kincaid is an English Professor masquerading as an author (or the other way around). He’s published two novels  (Lost and A History of the African-American People by Strom Thurmond — with Percival Everett). He is also the author of a couple dozen short stories, and ever so many nonfiction articles, reviews, and books, including long studies of Dickens, Trollope, and Tennyson, along with two books on  Victorian and modern eroticizing of children: Child-Loving and Erotic Innocence.  Kincaid has taught at Ohio State, Colorado, Berkeley, USC, and is now at Pitt.  Contact him through email at–or Jim Kincaid on Facebook.

Sandra Meek is the author of five books of poems, An Ecology of Elsewhere (Persea Books, May 2016), Road Scatter (Persea Books, September 25, 2012), Biogeography, winner of the Dorset Prize (Tupelo Press, 2008), Burn (2005), and Nomadic Foundations (2002), as well as a chapbook, The Circumference of Arrival (2001). She is also the editor of an anthology, Deep Travel: Contemporary American Poets Abroad (Ninebark 2007), which was awarded a 2008 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry, Conjunctions, and The Iowa Review, among others. A recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and the 2015 Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, she has twice been awarded Georgia Author of the Year, in 2006 for Burn, and in 2003 for Nomadic Foundations, which also was awarded the Peace Corps Writers Award in Poetry. Meek served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Manyana, Botswana, 1989-1991. She is a co-founding editor of Ninebark Press, director of the Georgia Poetry Circuit, poetry editor of the Phi Kappa Phi Forum, and Dana Professor of English, Rhetoric, and Writing at Berry College in Georgia, USA.

Mary Moycik is a former attorney.  In her next life, she hopes to be a dancer and in the one after that, a veterinarian.  Whatever she is, she hopes to make people laugh.  She has published in J Journal, Bacopa Literary Review, and Counterexample Poetics.

Martin Ott, a former U.S. Army interrogator,  is the author of six books of poetry and fiction, including the poetry book Underdays, Sandeen Prize
Winner, University of Notre Dame Press and the short story collection
Interrogations, Fomite Press. More at

Robin Shectman Richstone has published poems in Poetry, Atlanta Review, Borderlands, Briar Cliff Review, New England Review, North American Review, and other magazines, mostly under her previous name of Robin Shectman. Her book-length collection, Under a Thin Roof, has been a finalist or semi-finalist in three manuscript competitions. She recently moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan.

J. T. Townley has published in Collier’s, Harvard Review, Hayden’s Ferry
Review, Prairie Schooner, The Threepenny Review
, and other magazines and journals.  He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of
British Columbia and an MPhil in English from Oxford University, and
he teaches at the University of Virginia.  To learn more, visit

Jordan Wiklund is a writer and editor from St. Paul, Minnesota. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fourth Genre, Brevity, Hobart, and elsewhere. Find him on Twitter @JordanWiklund, or at the St. Paul Curling Club most Sunday afternoons, working on his takeouts and draws.