Poet and songwriter, Paul Allen received the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry (twice), the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award (George Mason University), the Vassar Miller Poetry Prize from the University of North Texas Press (American Crawl), the Distinguished Research Award from The College of Charleston, and a Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses (XXXII, 2008).  About Allen’s most recent book of poems, poet Andrew Hudgins says, “Ground Forces (Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2008), is about brokenness—brokenness and, with richly explored theological implications, everything in the broken world, the fallen world. The voice of these poems is wildly funny, often profane…but always exact, smart, self-aware, and driven to a song like nothing else I know in contemporary poetry.” Songwriter Josh Ritter said of Allen’s first album of poems and songs “[This] CD is AMAZING.  It has totally made me rethink the potential for recorded music.  I’m going to play it for everyone I know.” In May, 2010, Allen retired from teaching poetry writing and writing song lyrics at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. He is currently living on the road.

Jade Benoit grew up in south Louisiana and received a B.A. in English from Louisiana State University.  She is currently a student at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington, pursing an MFA in Poetry. Her poems are forthcoming in Apalachee Review, espresso ink, and Smoking Glue Gun Magazine.

Sean Bishop is the Creative Writing Program Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin, where from 2010–2011 he was the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow. He is the former managing editor of GULF COAST, and in 2007 he was awarded a Ruth Lilly Fellowship by the Poetry Foundation. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in ALASKA QUARTERLY REVIEW, FORKLIFT OHIO, HARVARD REVIEW, HAYDEN’S FERRY REVIEW, MID-AMERICAN REVIEW, THE MINNESOTA REVIEW, NINTH LETTER, POETRY, and elsewhere.

Blonde Summer is a four-piece indie-rock band based out of LA.

Joshua Camp Brown is a bluegrass mandolinist, biscuit-tin luthier, and poet living in Fort Smith, AR with his wife and son. He’s also a MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas and a 2011 Arkansas Arts Council Fellow.

Weston Cutter is the following: from Minnesota, the author of You’d Be a Stranger, Too, and recent + hopefully temporary listener to squirrels in the walls. Fuckers.

Victoria Grace Elliott is a Media Studies & Linguistics student living in Austin, TX. She works at The Daily Texan as a comics artist, illustrator, and editor.

Alice George’s first collection of poetry was published in 2008: This Must Be The Place (Mayapple Press). Her poetry and prose has appeared in such magazines as Field, Bellingham Review, Sentence, Denver Quarterly, Another Chicago Magazine, Quarter After Eight, New Orleans Review, American Literary Review, Seneca Review, and Diagram. Her work is anthologized in eight volumes, most recently: A Writers’ Congress: Chicago Poets on Barack Obama’s Inauguration (DePaul Humanities Center, 2009); Mentor & Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets (SIU Press, 2010); and ) and Brute Neighbors: urban poetry, prose and photography (DePaul, 2011). Painting is her next frontier; see images at www.alicegeorge.org.

Hooded Fang is a six-piece indie-pop outfit out of Toronto.

Rachael Lyon grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. She is the author of The Normal Heart and How It Works (forthcoming 2011), winner of the 2010 White Eagle Coffee Store Press Poetry Chapbook Award and finalist for the 2010 Black River Chapbook Competition. She received an MFA in poetry from George Mason University and recently completed a 2009-10 Fulbright grant in Vienna, Austria, where she translated poetry from German. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as The Crab Orchard Review, Southern Humanities Review, The Journal, The Hopkins Review, and The Midwest Quarterly. At work on her first collection of poems, she teaches at Penn State.

Marmalakes is a three-piece folk-pop outfit comprised of Austin natives.

David McLoghlin is an Irish poet and translator who lives in New York, where he is a student at NYU’s MFA Program. Recently, his poems have appeared on this side of the Atlantic in freerangenonfiction.com, Mead: The Magazine of Literature and Libations (meadmagazine.org), and a special New York issue of The Stinging Fly, and are forthcoming in Blue Island Review, Prick of the Spindle, and Birmingham Poetry Review. In 2008, he was awarded 2nd prize in The Patrick Kavanagh Awards, Ireland’s most important first manuscript competition, and he has received grants from The Arts Council of Ireland and Kerry County Council. He was Howard Nemerov Scholar at the 2011 Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and is currently a Goldwater Fellow at NYU, and co-International editor of Washington Square Review. His first collection, Waiting for Saint Brendan, will be published by Salmon Poetry in May 2012.

Tyler Mills lives in Chicago. Her manuscript, Tongue, won the 2011 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award and will be published by Southern Illinois University Press in January 2013.

Mike Peterson is a PhD candidate in English at the University of New Hampshire, specializing in family-history writing. If he ever finishes his dissertation, he plans on writing a Broadway musical.

Rick Pechous writes and teaches in Chicago, Illinois. His fiction has appeared in The Elements, Knee-Jerk Magazine, Underground Voices, and elsewhere. He is currently the fiction editor for Saxifrage Press. You can reach him at richard.pechous@gmail.com.

Phantom Power is the moniker of musician/composer Eric Littmann out of New York, NY. He has recently acquired a degree in natural science and is seeking research opportunities throughout the city, particularly in molecular biology and biochemistry.

Erin Radcliffe’s poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry ReviewThe Donkey Journal, and The Spoon River Poetry Review. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Ryder Richards, born in Roswell, NM 1977, is the current gallery coordinator for Richland College, Dallas. His work is centrally concerned with empowermnet and restraint, often embracing the seduction and compromise in such systems.

Ryan Sanford Smith is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s MFA program. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in: The Pedestal Magazine, JMWW, Ozone Park Journal, Mannequin Envy, and Merge Poetry. Provocations and book reviews erratically show up at www.wwbi.wordpress.com.

TV Girl is a two-piece post-modern pop band born skating the streets of San Diego.

Wildlife is a five-piece indie-rock band based out of Toronto but conceived in the Gaelic mists of Scotland.

Katie Williams is the author of the YA novel The Space Between Trees and many short stories for teenagers and adults, which have appeared in American Short Fiction, The Atlantic, Subtropics, and elsewhere. She lives in San Francisco, California, where she writes and teaches writing.  Her next novel, about a group of ghost kids trapped in a high school, will be out in 2013 through Chronicle Books. You can find more information about Katie at her website,www.katiewilliamsbooks.com.

Philip Williams’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Callaloo, Painted Bride Quarterly, Hunger  Mountain, Boxcar Poetry Review and others. He has a chapbook out through BLOOM called Bruised Gospel, a fellowship from Cave Canem, and a Work-Study scholarship from Bread Loaf. Currently, he edits poetry for the online journal Vinyl Poetry.

Y La Bamba is an acoustic folk band based out of Portland.