Leah Umansky is a poet and teacher in New York City. Her latest collection, The Barbarous Century, is a journey through the stories that inform us and the stories we tell ourselves. With compelling wordplay and lyricism, Umansky illustrates the many challenges we all face in being human: how to be good in a world gone wrong. It uses varied dystopias embedded in myth, story, technology and popular culture to highlight the struggle of being a woman in the 21st century. Umansky is the author of the dystopian-themed chapbook Straight Away the Emptied World, the Mad Men-inspired Don Dreams and I Dream, and the full-length collection Domestic Uncertainties. She earned her MFA in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and was the recipient of a fellowship at the Norman Mailer Writers Colony. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Guernica, Barrow Street, and the New York Times, and her Game of Thrones-inspired poems have been translated into Norwegian and Bengali.
Ruth Awad is the recipient of a 2016 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the 2012 and 2013 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, and the 2011 Copper Nickel Poetry Prize. Her most recent collection, Set to Music a Wildfire, explores the violence of living, the guilt of surviving, the loneliness of faith, and the impossible task of belonging through the perspective of one man, his family, and even his country.Winner of the 2016 Michael Waters Poetry Prize, this collection is set in Lebanon during the civil war, where a teenage boy and his family witness leveled cities, displaced civilians, the aftermath of massacres. Resources are scarce, and uncertainty is everywhere. These poems follow a man in search of security as he leaves his country for America, falls in love, and becomes a single father to three daughters.
Darren C. Demaree is the recipient of a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Louise Bogan Award from the Trio House Press, and the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal. He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children. Emily as Sometimes the Forest Wants the Fireis his eleventh collection of poetry.