Mark Z. Danielewski is the author of House of Leaves, The Whalestoe Letters, Only Revolutions, and The Fifty Year Sword. (Photo credit: Lindsey Best)


Aisha Karefa-Smart was born in New York City and raised in a house where famous African-American writers, artists, and musicians often congregated. Her uncle, the late James Baldwin, when not busy writing his next novel in the South of France, often had all night literary and political "jam sessions" with other world famous black writers such as Amiri Baraka, Maya Angelou, and Toni Morrison. Ms. Karefa-Smart has an essay about her relationship with her uncle forthcoming in a special issue of the journal African American Review devoted to Baldwin's work. She is also the author of Dining While Black: A Guide to the Art of Modern Dining.
Kali-Ma Nazarene lives in Brooklyn and was born and raised in New York City. She is mainly a self-taught photographer, having taken a few classes at Photo Manhattan and International Center for Photography (ICP). Kali prefers old analogue cameras, in line with the aesthetic of her work pertaining to a bygone era. Her work has been exhibited on the Brooklyn art blog, BRIC Contemporary Art, where she was featured as artist of the month.


Stephen Duncombe is an Associate Professor at the Gallatin School and the Department of Media, Culture and Communications of New York University where he teaches the history and politics of media. He is the author, editor, co-author and co-editor of six books, including Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy; Notes From Underground: Zines and the Politics of Underground Culture; The Bobbed Haired Bandit: Crime and Celebrity in 1920s New York; the Cultural Resistance Reader; White Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race; and (Open) Utopia. Duncombe is also the creator of the Open Utopia, an open-access, open-source, web-based edition of Thomas More's Utopia, and writes on the intersection of culture and politics for a range of scholarly and popular publications, from the cerebral, The Nation, to the more prurient, Playboy. In 1998, he was awarded the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching by the State University of New York and was presented with the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching at NYU's Gallatin school in 2012. Duncombe is a life-long political activist, co-founding a community based advocacy group in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and working as an organizer for the NYC chapter of the international direct action group, Reclaim the Streets. In 2009 he was the lead instructor for the Fulbright Summer School in the Humanities at Moscow State University and a Research Associate at the Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology in New York City, where he helped organize The College of Tactical Culture. With funding from the Open Societies Foundations he co-created the School for Creative Activism in 2011, and is presently co-director of the Center for Artistic Activism. Duncombe is currently a Senior Research Fellow of Theatrum Mundi, an international consortium of artists, designers and scholars, and is working on a book on the art of propaganda during the New Deal.


Judith Goldman is the author of Vocoder (Roof 2001), DeathStar/Rico-chet (O Books 2006), and I.b.; or, catenaries (Krupskaya 2011). She co-edited the annual journal War and Peace with Leslie Scalapino from 2005-2009, and was the Holloway poet at UC Berkeley in Fall 2011. Currently, she is poetry features editor for the online academic journal Postmodern Culture and recently published an article there on conceptual writing, "Re-thinking 'Non-retinal Literature': Citation, 'Radical Mimesis,' and Phenomenologies of Reading in Conceptual Writing." Poems have recently appeared in/on The Claudius App; Fence; They Will Sew the Blue Sail; textsound; and Berkeley Poetry Review. She is core faculty in the Poetics Program at SUNY Buffalo, where she is currently teaching a course on 21C U.S. Poetries and a graduate seminar on Ecopoetics and Biopolitics. (Photo credit: Bruce Jackson)

MAY 8, 2013 • TRACY K. SMITH

Tracy K. Smith is the author of three books of poetry. Her most recent collection, Life on Mars (Graywolf, 2011), won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. The collection draws on sources as disparate as Arthur C. Clarke and David Bowie, and is in part an elegiac tribute to her late father, an engineer who worked on the Hubble Telescope. Duende (2007) won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. The Body's Question (2003) was the winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Award in 2004 and a Whiting Award in 2005. She currently teaches Creative Writing at Princeton University, and has also taught at Columbia, City University of New York, and the University of Pittsburgh. She lives in Brooklyn. (Photo credit: Tina Chang)