Jabari Asim is the Director of the Graduate Creative Writing Program at Emerson College and former Executive Editor of The Crisis magazine, the flagship journal of the NAACP. He is the author of several books, including his latest, Only The Strong. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts.
John Skoyles is the Poetry Editor of Ploughshares. He has published six books of poems, and four of prose. His awards include two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as fellowships from the New York and North Carolina Arts Councils. He has previously taught at Southern Methodist University, Sarah Lawrence College, Emerson College and Warren Wilson College, where he directed the MFA program. He currently serves as a member of the Writing Committee of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.
Vincent Xeus is a visual artist. His artworks have been featured in museum exhibitions and international art fairs such as Autry National Museum, Art Basel Miami Beach, LA Art Show, and Art Market San Francisco. He is the recipient of international awards from institutions including Portrait Society of America and Art Renewal Center. He served as the Board Director of Arts Council of Napa Valley and as Yountville Arts Commissioner. Xeus was named one of the top 100 living artists of the contemporary era by Buzzfeed and Poets And Artists. Vincent Xeus holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Columbia University.
Born and raised in Harlem and the Bronx, Rose graduated from Yale University where she received a BA in Sociology (1984) and then received her Ph.D. from Brown University in American Studies (1993). She has taught at NYU, and UC Santa Cruz and has, since 2006 been a Professor of Africana Studies at Brown. Rose is an internationally respected scholar of post civil rights era black U.S. culture, popular music, social issues, gender and sexuality. She has been awarded for her teaching and has received several scholarly fellowships including ones from the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the American Association of University Women.
She is most well known for her groundbreaking book on the emergence of hip hop culture. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America is considered a foundational text for the study of hip hop, one that has defined what is now an entire field of study. Black Noise won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 1995, was voted among the top 25 books of 1995 by the Village Voice and in 1999 was listed by Black Issues in Higher Education as one of its “Top Books of the Twentieth Century.” In 2003 Rose published a rare oral narrative history of black women’s sexual life stories, called Longing To Tell: Black Women Talk About Sexuality and Intimacy. In 2008, Professor Rose returned to hip hop to challenge the field she helped found, with: The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop-And Why It Matters.
Rose is currently working on a multimedia project called How Structural Racism Works. This project examines how deep racial inequality is reproduced today and the stories that obscure it.
Thomas H. McNeely teaches literature and composition in the Honors Program at Emerson College and fiction writing in the Stanford Online Writing Studio. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Wallace Stegner Program at Stanford University. His short stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, Epoch, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and other magazines and anthologies. Ghost Horse, his first novel, was published in 2014.