Lana K. W. Austin
Author of the novel Like Light, Like Music (West Virginia University Press 2020), Lana K. W. Austin’s poems and short stories have recently been featured in Mid-American Review, Sou’wester, Columbia Journal, and The Pinch, etc. Winner of the 2019 Alabama State Poetry Society Book of the Year Award, a 2019 Hackney Poetry Award & the 2018 Words & Music Poetry Award, Austin has been a finalist and semi-finalist in multiple other competitions, including the James Wright Poetry Award, the Crab Orchard Review First Book Award, the Zone 3 Book Award, the American Short Fiction Award, the Still: The Journal Fiction Award, and the Machigonne Fiction Award. Austin has an MFA from George Mason University and her full-length poetry collection, Blood Harmony, is from Iris Press (2018). Austin teaches writing at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and is also a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance.
Tina Mozelle Braziel
Tina Mozelle Braziel is the author of Known by Salt (Anhinga Press), winner of the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry, and Rooted by Thirst(Porkbelly Press). She has been awarded an Alabama State Council on the Arts fellowship, an artist residency at Hot Springs National Park. As the Magic City Poetry Festival’s 2019 Eco Poet, she collaborated with the Cahaba River Society to develop eco-poetry curriculum and videos. She directs the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop for high school students at UAB. She and her husband, novelist James Braziel, live and write in a glass cabin that they are building by hand in Blount County. They are currently writing a memoir about building their home.
Melissa Yes is an intermedia artist who tinkers with the cultural de/construction of American bodies, landscapes, and value systems. A conceptually-driven and project-based artist, Yes works in painting and sculpture alongside video, installation, and other extended media. Her moving image pieces treat digital video like a physical material that she manipulates and layers to emphasize the medium itself. Layers, glitches, and multichannel presentations in Yes’s videos emphasize the pleasure and power of destruction as a creative process. Recent work includes Pressure, a short screendance created in collaboration with Fen Kennedy, Matt Reynolds, and students from the University of Alabama Department of Theatre and Dance. Yes keeps her studio in Birmingham, Alabama where she is an active member of the art community, working as an educator at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and as Co-Director of a contemporary art nonprofit, Vinegar.
Salaam Green, M.S. is an award winning Poet and Author, the 2016 Poet Laurette for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a CO.STARTERS and TEDx speaker Birmingham alum, social entrepreneur, and daughter of Alabama’s Black Belt. As owner and founder of Literary Healing Arts and Red Couch Writers, she can be found helping others write to heal on red couches across the city. She is a New Economy Coalition Climate Solutions Fellow and an advocate for environmental and restorative justice in rural Alabama. A writer and storyteller, her work has appeared in The Birmingham Times, Scalawag, Bust, Feminist Review, Black Youth Project, Elephant Journal, Southern Women’s Review, AL.com, Birmingham Arts Journal and more
Randi Pink, author of Girls Like Us, is a writer and mother. Her latest book, Angel of Greenwood, is a YA historical novel that follows teenagers Angel and Isaiah as they fall in love in their Black neighborhood of Greenwood on the eve of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. www.randipink.com
Lauren Goodwin Slaughter
Lauren Goodwin Slaughter is author of the poetry collections, a lesson in smallness, which was a finalist for the Rousseau Prize for Literature and the Eric Hoffer Award in poetry, and, Spectacle, forthcoming from Panhandler Books and the University Press of Florida. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her poems, essays, and short stories appear or are forthcoming in Harvard Review, Image, North American Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Pleiades, 32 Poems, Kenyon Review Online, and Canary among many other places. She is an associate professor of English at The University of Alabama at Birmingham where she is also Editor-in-Chief of NELLE, a literary journal that publishes writing by women.
Adam Vines is the Director of Creative Writing at UAB where he teaches poetry and literature. He has published poetry in Poetry, Southwest Review, The Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, Barrow Street, The Cincinnati Review, 32 Poems, The Literary Review, Five Points, Ecotone, The Hopkins Review, Verse Daily, and Poetry Daily, and others. He is the author of three single-authored books of poetry — Lures (LSU Press, forthcoming 2022), Out of Speech (LSU, 2018), and The Coal Life (University of Arkansas Press, 2012) — and two collaborative poetry collections written with Allen Jih, Day Kink (Unicorn Press, 2018) and According to Discretion (Unicorn Press, 2018). He is editor of Birmingham Poetry Review.
Halley Cotton teaches rhetoric and literature at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is the poetry editor for NELLE and managing editor of the Birmingham Poetry Review Her work has appeared in places such as The Greensboro Review, Poetry South, and Smokelong Quarterly, among others. She is the director for the SPARK Writing Festival and teaches at the University of Alabama at Birmingham when she’s not busy kayaking or finding four-leaf clovers.
Patti Callahan Henry
Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of fifteen novels, including the (Historical Fiction), BECOMING MRS. LEWIS—The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis (writing as Patti Callahan). In addition, she is the recipient of The Christy Award—A 2019 Winner “Book of the Year.” ; The Harper Lee Distinguished Writer of the Year for 2020 and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year for 2019.
Patti Callahan is the co-creator and co-host of the weekly web show and podcast Friends and Fiction featuring the five bestselling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Kristin Harmel, and Mary Alice Monroe with endless stories, special guests, and a way to connect readers and writers.
A full-time author and mother of three children, she now resides in both Mountain Brook, Alabama, and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.