A Brief Word 01
Barefoot in the Summer 02
Sonnet While Black 04
Brown Girl Walking 09
Table For Two 11
Black Worshop 15
Shame in Music Class 17
She Named Me After the Moon 20
The Day a Song Dared to Soar 22
Author Bios 23
Cover Art : Hold It In Your Mouth A Little Longer
© Toyin Ojih Odutola. Courtesy of the artist
and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
The successful 2019 relaunch of The Amistad created a starting point for resurrecting Howard University’s oldest student-run literary arts journal. The small staff, managed by Kyndall Flowers, shaped a fresh, new direction. Since last year’s publication, the Department of English created a class, Topics in Literature and Writing: Publishing The Amistad, so undergraduates may earn academic credit for building the magazine. Throughout the semester, students workshopped their own creative pieces for publication while also judging, editing, and designing the spring 2020 issue. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our face-to-face meetings migrated online. Determined to push forward with this year’s edition, the staff worked diligently through emails, discussion boards, and video conferences. Despite the challenging circumstances, we managed to produce a beautiful issue filled with diverse voices and brilliant work.
I would like to take a moment to thank graphic designer Adam Garcia, creative director of The Pressure and senior art director at Apple, who created an updated masthead and publisher’s mark. Adam crafted a modern brand identity that speaks to our mission, history, and future. Additionally, the staff and I are extremely grateful to Toyin Ojih Odutola and the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York for use of Hold It In Your Mouth A Little Longer, our cover image. Finally, we are much obliged to Dr. Jacoby Carter and Dean Kim Lewis for their instrumental funding assistance as well as Dr. Yasmin DeGout and the Department of English for their ongoing support.
Without the hard work of a wonderful staff, this year’s issue would not have come to fruition. To my students, I’m very proud of what we collectively created. Thank you for making the semester one I will especially cherish.
Editor & Faculty Advisor
Kathy Z. Price
A Brief Word
Barefoot in the Summer
Come to what’s been left, we touch the brain for a remnant of when the grass was 100 hundred shades
of green, o it sang every blade under the bare foot, held up by a white doctor, (the black ones had not
been invented yet,) rotating my naked being slowly like the first revolution of the sun, and i remember
my birth, biblical, the umbilical tangled at first cry, the first protest, now, lying on my stomach, the
burnt smell of coffee, sputtering like a left over hallelujah, the boar’s hair had not yet penetrated my
lower extremity, rust brown hair, had found its way lace, soft and seeking the inner upmost part of my
underarm, my breath like that tree between sapling and wild oak, when your tongue moved without
hesitation, that day at the beach, my hair sprouted into a memory, legs were the newly split rose water
of the mermaid, and still hands grasping, snake children of Medea-head severed, bouncing under their
arm uproot me in the dark when all eel and evils blossom to utmost urgent when an adult body pulsed
on the graveyard of a little girl s bed, boo boo bones explode into shrapnel, her sea legs, dying blue
this day the grass it is hard, bitter needle sharp on my bare feet, the imprint digs into achilles, stiff-
yellow as a passing sun, the taunt, Twinkie, a formal accusation of my private school upbringing, flung
into the air, i squint up at my shadow running
back in the house for shoes
Sonnet While Black
things happen when tequila, black girls, pressed
glitter & tina snow get together.
a gospel of real hot girl shit, we blessed
& doused in sweet water, mouth bones unfettered.
early on, we chant at the top of our bronchial trees
neva let a broke nigga sex me, neva been scared of the money.
we a venue of sparkling selves caroling this creed
backsides bob atop plush seats, fleshes unravel like honey.
after, we still dance, sing, drunk, & cackling
like our mothers do on our childhood stoops.
even after there are two policemen at the front door,
& three squad cars outside asking to come take a look,
the house is a sanctuary of us,we are in the spirit, for
we are such holy selves, we escape the night our bodies un-took.
No hour is ever eternity, but it has its right to weep.
- Zora Neale Hurston
Class of 1924
Cannibals who eat their consonants
Sly vocabulary from pidgins displaced
Speech thrown with a slick spin
Hurled to plead for love
Golden egg struck from violent outbursts
Fragrant twangs haunt us
Nailed to a glottal stop between Continents
Weakened reflexes from cruel hierarchies
Cries or torment sound like lullabies to European ears
Stress translated to error for lay speakers
Me a persona non grata
In both worlds
My West Indian stock was bad
My lips still had the taste of foreign spice
I was told to wash out my mouth
Spluttering on the suds I tried to catch the bubbles
Each sphere retained the stain of curry paste.
When Caliban said ‘curse you for teaching me your language’
It was the first time I thanked a fictional character.
Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa
I told my teacher Caliban’s story sounded mighty familiar
Her bottom eyelids mumbled expletives at me
Son enslaved and taught English
Poor Caliban did weep bitter tears
Brave Caliban cursed Prospero back
On rare occasions
The Europeans will pump the sap
Hidden beneath terracotta
Roots dusted and unkept
Removed to keep the economy stable
On these occasions
I was blessed with the holy oils of linguistics
The textures of my motherland’s tongue
A strange marriage of letters
Rich full bodied spices
Dust that swept alphabet mirages
Settled into my earlobes
Brushed out for respectability
in the manner of oddities, grief collects in strange places,
like fingertips -
picking wildflowers from the undergrowth
to adorn the ephemeral graves of roadkill.
on quiter days, longing suddens into hiccups
& other days- tremors, that only settle when a body is spent
on acts of moral turpitude.
the day her eyes exchanged their fireflies
for a forlorn start
& their favorite star plotted its descent across the night sky
her fingers, tightly inverwoven, squirrelled around
his heart & squeezed until it cracked.
& it is said that of all his bad decisions in life, three scores & three,
the worst was committing her memory to music, to scent,
to taste, to adventurine pendants, to kodak,
to road trips & vodka.
Brown Girl Walking
Somewhere in the distant memories of “just how many years have gone by”
Before 10 years could seem as short as they were long
Across countless traces of things that were given more importance than their true meaning
A thought of darkness unable to hide from itself sheds into light
Prayer freed closets cleansed in holy tears
Ain’t I a woman still
Through the sleepless nights
Wrapping up in arms seeking comfort but finding no home nor resting place
Thinking I could promise forever on borrowed seasons
We dug graves of apologies on perfected lies and built love on unstable time
Backtracking footsteps of those who walked out, then in, now back to be gone and repeat the cycle all
Unable to be washed clean while the marker has remained on spin
Circling in our own mess
Clutching spirits against bare chest praying that this one…
This one right here might stay
It was not the relationships that I felt most hurt by but by the betrayal of me against my own self
Orangutan jumping on cue to sit down self and live up to someone else expectations
Change this, move that, be, don’t, do, go, stay,
All of everything and not enough self
Diary of a young girl before she could become a mad black woman
Unable to just be
Not knowing how to
Simply finding safety in the closed box of another’s mind
Chasing dreams in the traces of nightmare realities
I have spent more time planning for the future than living in the day
Sight for sore eyes trying to use vision
Unable to see through the curve because of all the shit crowding my space
Praying that my locs will be enough to cushion my fall from grace
Internally damned by conscious decisions
I am learning that tunnel vision has but one meaning
I am shedding layers
To love for the first time
To love from the core
No false expectations or representation
Me at my finest
Brown girl ok to walk in her own skin
Ok with the span of my hips
Finger tracing the depth of my thighs
The sag of my breast, my belly
Embracing the scars I have gathered along the way
Healing what I’ve neglected for so many years
Removing the makeup
Allowing myself to breathe
Learning to love all of me
To love me before I can love anyone else
I am finally learning how to truly love me
Table for Two
Nipples. Gum. Saliva. Tongue. Gasp.
And gasp, Nneoma did. She gasped when the warmth of her baby’s mouth latched onto her exposed nipple, cold from the air-conditioning in her hospital room. She gasped when her baby began to suckle, steadily drawing fluid from her body with the working of its jaw and tongue, the rhythmic bob of the anterior fontanelle; working away at its task like a mechanical suction engine, like a vacuum cleaner, like a leech. She gasped when she looked up and met the doctor’s eyes, seeing the smile on his face and the slight bulge of his trousers which hadn’t been there five minutes before. She almost told him to “look away you toad!” but she caught herself at the last second remembering that all of herself had become tucked away in a shroud of motherhood. She knew that people would laugh if she told them that she had caught the doctor staring at her boobs especially because, the same doctor had been staring down her vagina ten minutes before. Especially because, all that she is now, came down to a picturesque image of motherliness. Nneoma pulled her eyes away from the doctor’s which had a twinkle in it. She closed them, forcing down bile; trying to ignore how her skin crawled with the awareness that knew he had won this round. She fixed her eyes instead on the calendar, the picture of Madonna and child.
That was then. Now, Nneoma no longer gasped. This was the consequence of the numbness that now lived where her imagination used to exist. Better still, this was the consequence of a war that left nothing to the imagination. Presently, the growling of her stomach brought her back from daydreaming which, for Nneoma, meant mentally rationing all the food you have in order to stay alive until the next batch of food sent by the allies miraculously appeared. The problem with that however was, how did one make a schedule for things that didn’t operate according to a schedule such as: aid from the allies, hunger and death by starvation? Nneoma pulled herself up from the settee, it was time to eat. The bread in the fridge had mold, green colonies scattered on each slice from one end to the next. The loaf was twenty days old. She knew this because she had counted the number of slices in each loaf at the store before she bought this one; the others had twenty-four, but this one had twenty-five – five days until she had no more bread. Nneoma sat down to her brunch which consisted of one slice of moldy bread and watered-down Milo (cocoa beverage that she had made with room temperature water). She had unripe mangoes and an orange from the tree outside which she wasn’t sure she was going to eat because she had purged once from having too many, defeating the purpose of eating them to begin. She ate her bread slowly, rubbing her tongue over each mold colony, familiarizing herself with its borders and saluting its chief. She drank her beverage. Done with her meal, Nneoma walked to the door and called her son in from play – if you could call it play – a group of boys pretending to be pregnant because they all had swollen stomachs.
As he made his way towards her, she admired his frame, thankful for the absence of a bulge in his torso. Two months away from his fourth birthday, he was smaller than you would expect a boy of his age to be under normal circumstances but then, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. She held his hands once he reached thedoor calling him a mini masquerade as she dusted his body of the red earth he had been playing in. Once inside, he walked ahead, past the living room, past the dining areaand connecting kitchen, past the toilet and bathroom and all the way to the bedroom. He knew the drill.
“Mummy look,” he said, pointing to the open blinds.
Nneoma sighed, she had forgotten to close them. She smiled at her son and said
“Thank you Obim.” Then she dealt with the offending piece of furniture.
Satisfied, she sat down on the bed and lifting her shirt she said, “Bon appetit,” smiling down into her son’s eyes.
Nipples. Saliva. Tongue. Teeth.
Smack! And smack him she did, across his buttocks. He knew better than to bite the nipple that fed him. If he bit her again, she would end this feeding session. Even then, he did not pause, not even once, his face buried in her bosom as he sucked his life force from her body. She could see the veins in his neck clench and unclench. She could feel emptiness grow in places that once held fluid, milk. And still he sucked on, sitting beside her with his hands by his side clutching the mattress. He never paused, not even when there was so little left that he had to stand and help the milk flow better by working her breasts with his hands as she had taught him to. And while his mouth and hands worked, Nneoma thought,this is the stuff of good mothers.
* * *
As a girl, Nneoma once wondered out loud about her name. She was sitting at the top of a cashew tree and taking out the braids of another girl who sat on a branch below.
“Ihuoma, were you really that beautiful at birth? I thought when babies are born, they barely even have a face not to talk of a beautiful one.” She asked, referring to her friend’s name which meant ‘beautiful face’.
Without giving Ihuoma a chance to reply, she continued, “Take Chiboy for instance,” she said, referring to Ihuoma’s week-old brother, “He looks like a lizard."
“Don’t call my brother a lizard!” Ihuoma scowled.
“Ihuoma”, Nneoma said with a sigh. “It is so like you to fixate on little things. Who cares whose brother gets called a lizard – even though no one was actually called a lizard? I used a metaphor, M E T A P H O R E,” she spelt out.
She went on to explain what metaphors were in her overly pedantic manner. More than anything else, she wished in that moment that she was beside her chalkboard and not atop a tree – the presence of a chalkboard always made for a more convincing lesson.
“So you see,” she said concluding her explanation, “there was no need for a fuss especially because my questions are for the purpose of science.”
Ihuoma didn’t ask for an explanation for that statement for, in those days, even the adults knew that all Nneoma did was for the sake of science – and who wanted to argue with that?
“Take myself for instance,” Nneoma said, finally able to go on having dealt with the interruption to her satisfaction. “Did I come out of the womb with a spatula and scowl? Did I immediately proceed to scold the nurses for soiling their dresses? Did I sing the doctors a lullaby?” Nneoma went on, listing all the things mothers were known to do; all the things her mother did. Did the doctors yell “it’s a mother!” when they congratulated my anxious father on the birth of his child?” Nneoma continued, referring to the fact that her name meant “good mother”. “Did I do something to make my parents think they had birthed a fully developed baby making machine and not an infant? Nneoma concluded and was rewarded with a burst of laughter from her companion.
“You really shouldn’t be saying things like this,” Ihuoma chided.
“And why is that?” Nneoma asked.
“For one, we’re up in a tree and I could fall to the ground laughing at your dumbness and secondly it’s just a dumb thing to say.”
“Nothing is ever a dumb thing to say if it’s for the sake of science”, Nneoma concluded with a humph. That was then.
* * *
Now, Nneoma no longer asked questions; questions made a mother look ungraceful. They didn’t help you clean a soiled nappy or silence a hungry child.
The war started before her baby turned one. Just as she had decided that time had come to wean her child. She had planned it all out in her head as she tended to do. She was going to start her son on a diet of millet and guinea corn gruel. They were ideal transitions into solid food because they were highly nutritious, semisolid and smooth and could be fed to a baby using a bottle – none of that chemical-infused baby formula for her precious son. She was going to do this right or else, her name didn’t mean good mother.
Her plans were cut short as the war broke out and the first things that disappeared from market stalls were millet and guinea corn which only grew in the savannah of the north and not in her Biafran forests. Soon enough, other potential baby foods were out of the question. Maize for one became scarce and too expensive to start a child on – what would happen to your child when you couldn’t get anymore? Farmers weren’t cultivating any crops. It had become too dangerous to be out in open field. It made no sense to process any grains into the pudding-like consistency that infants were fed – too much potential food, stuff that had been considered chaff in ordinary time, would be lost in the process. And even if she courageously braved the challenge, ignoring scorn from her fellow hungry country people, and went on to attempt to process the grain, her efforts would fail because there was no fuel to run the grinding engines. So, Nneoma kept on breastfeeding. Besides, the war was going to be only for a while until normalcy returned was what she thought.
It was dinner time according to her stomach’s churnings which she could no longer ignore. Having spent the entire day recovering from the morning’s breastfeeding session, it was time for Nneoma tosoak and travel. Nobody in war time ate garri simply; the rustic cereal took on a life-altering significance.
NNEOMA’S RECIPE FOR WARTIME GARRI.
1.Take a fistful of garri from the container you keep under the bed to conceal from potential thieves.
2.Pour fistful of garri into a large bowl, preferably with a garri to bowl ratio of 1:5
3.Fill up the bowl the rest of the way with water – you want to allow the garri reach its maximum potential of swelling.
4.Take a stroll, travel, leave this place and never return because only death lives here and death here is slow.
5.Pray while you walk. Ask God to stretch his mighty hand and work a miracle. Remind him that he is the same God who fed five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fishes. Bargain. Promise to pray more often if the garri swells to half of the bowl and promise to pray without ceasing if the garri swells all the way to the top.
6.Return home to your swollen bowl of garri and pour off the excess water. Eat. Rest and let your body thank you for taking another step in aiding your stomach’s protrusion liberation from the rest of your frame.
As it was, Nneoma had taken her stroll and was now standing behind the gate. Better still, behind what used to be the gate before it was blown to bits by enemy bombs. She stood as she watched the children play, her son with them. The boys were still pretending to be pregnant. She watched them hold their extended stomachs and writhe on the earth in throes of pretend labor. One of them just lay there like he was too weak to writhe. They played close to the bunker as the adults had told them to; they didn’t need any adult supervision because they had hunger to dissuade them from mischief and their survival instinct which made for very obedient children. Nneoma walked past them into her house. She sat with her dinner and ate slowly. Once she was done, she went to the door, waited until her son met her eyes, then beckoned. He came, dusting his body as he walked. He was still covered in red earth when he reached her. She held his hand as they walked into the house caressing his knuckles with her thumb as they went. It was time for another feeding session. This time, the other breast would get a turn.
I watched all this happen from a tiny hole in her bedroom wall that she had failed to notice. Just like the many similar holes throughout the house that Nneoma refused to see. They could have been made by bullets, or shards sent flying by a bomb, but I do not care. All I know is that I will remain eternally grateful for the holes it made in Nneoma’s walls. Small enough that I remained undetected but big enough that I saw it all. I had been watching for months even as my son’s stomach extended a little further with Kwashiorkor each day. Today, he lay on the ground while the children played, and he couldn’t even muster enough strength to writhe as the others did. He just lay there on his side, supporting his extended belly with his palm. I only waited this long because I considered myself a pacifist. A non-neighbor-blackmailing pacifist. That was until this morning. My growing consciousness of my son’s impending demise had driven me to scripture, to my Bible. Frantically leafing through its pages to keep my mind from imploding, I found Hezekiah. I found the famed Jewish king who fought invasion by cutting off the water supply of enemy troops; pushing past the limitations of the technology of his time to innovate engineering miracles that allowed him to harness his most formidable weapon yet, thirst. All along, I had never been a pacifist, Hezekiah taught me, not if my starvation was the greatest weapon in this war.
I grabbed my son off the ground and we walked into Nneoma’s house hand in hand; an allegiance of weaponized bodies. We walked into the bedroom and my son gasped at the sight of his play mate milking his mother.Nneoma looked up and we stared into each other’s eyes in mourning. My eyes dared Nneoma to refuse me, to protest, to fight the violence that was about to be done to her. I said quietly,
“Nne, you will feed my son. You will nourish his weakening body until his stomach like your son’s no longer protrudes. You will provide the sustenance that my body cannot provide. You will feed my five-year-old till he is seven if this war chooses to continue. You will do this so that it would not be know why your son’s stomach remains flat amidst a sea of extended torsos”
I watched as Nneoma, tears running down her face snatched her nipple away from her son’s mouth and beckoned to mine. I led my son to Nneoma’s nipple and helped him suckle, working her breasts with my hands to help the milk flow better. Nneoma stared at the wall. Her son who was getting his first lesson in sharing watched from the doorway with confusion in his eyes. We remained there in silence long after the meal was over, neither of us with the slightest idea that the war would end in a week. No victor, no vanquished the newspaper headline would read.
She could feel emptiness grow in places that once held fluid, milk.
There is an evil creature
who lives Its life behind my back
When I turn,
It turns with me,
It leaves no trace or track
And if I try my hand at good,
at kindness or give care
It wraps Its claws around my heart,
you’ll find no sweetness there
There are some times It sleeps a spell
and I can be myself
But when It wakes,
It takes control,
I live life on Its shelf
I’ve tried to reach behind me
on occasion and find out
Of what this creature could be made,
with whom I have these bouts
But when my hands go fiddle ‘round
the place where It should be
I find the only Thing back there is
another side of Me
of singing slave songs
in fourth grade
and the audacity
of that little
looking back at me
and when i kicked
the music teacher
with frosted tips
and cat eye glasses
stopped the music
she looked at me.
are you ashamed of
she wouldn’t press the
damn power button on
the damn radio
without an answer
so i shook my head
and the white boy’s
sneer grew bigger.
This is a magical place, a place where the dynamics of positives and negatives shift in extremes... anything can happen here... as you honor your past, press on with purpose.
- Chadwick Boseman
Class of 2000
My mother named me after a moon goddess,
for she hoped I would at least light my own path,
not trip over too much of life’s debris,
and certainly not trip others.
When I told my family what I saw
the day the clouds fell down and emptied the sky,
soft pillows blanketing 1959 Plymouths
and Cadillacs, until nothing was left
except baby blue above, and everyone
dismissed it as fog, my mother never doubted
the visions I could see. I was her daughter,
child of the moon, who chose
not to read messages unless
lit by starlight.
My mother named me after a moon goddess
who was born on a mountain with her twin brother.
They say if you are born alone and left handed,
you had a twin, a ghost sibling
who got lost. I am
left handed, and have always known
someone was missing.
When the clouds fell from the sky
on the morning of that summer day,
I know my twin would have believed me
because he would have been right beside me
peering up into that cloudless baby blue,
touching the soft pillows that were
like the fog on Lookout Mountain,
but too heavy
even to hold.
My twin and I,
When the yellow moon
is round and confident,
we still converse, our words starlit.
I feel the ghosts,
and he sees them. He brings me
and I sing him their songs.
He has seen
what Martin Luther King dreamed.
His soul has already taken thatlook back,
How we got over.
Cynthia Robinson Young
She Named Me After the Moon
The Day a Song Dared to Soar
The day travellers returned
and picked new faces for rebirth,
we stopped meeting in dark
where we had to compress ourselves
into eyes and dissolve the rest.
Eyes that packed our souls into fragments
for easy passage through silence,
from my breath to yours
with such intensity that we could only be us
when we were not seen, not heard, not touched.
We were not sensed
in the dark of invisible flames
only we knew about,
and we carried the faith between our eyes.
Like one touch of your finger to burst open life,
we cracked open a day to produce day light,
the day we let mammoth weight shed itself
and bright light worked on building our limbs,
infusing blood in tired skin,
the day we held each other in our arms.
The day a song dared to soar,
longed to be more,
and scratched the surface of joy.
In church my father talks
about the Ten Commandments
as clean things that enable us
to limn the gross and lascivious
clasp of our chthonic natures
And the thing that always strikes me
--as the cart driver who reached out
merely to steady the Ark of the Covenant
damned dead --
is that you can never
break one only
the first commandment
comprises all the ten,
is ever at issue
& the levels of betrayal,
intentional or innocent of intent,
Rois M. Beal was Howard University’s first Pickering Fellow to become a Foreign Service Officer. The 1998 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences worked at embassies in Asia. She attended the Voices of Our Nations summer workshop. Her work has appeared in African Voices and The Washington Post. She currently resides in Belgium.
Nykieria Chaney is an Author, Playwright, and Director encrypting her mark on the world through her many dynamic talents.Chaneyis the recipient of the 2017 Atlanta Black Theatre Festival Best Producer award and the 2018 Best Non Fiction award from the Atlanta LGBT Film Festival. A best selling author of over 20 books, she launched the iNspire Journal Collection in 2018, a series of journals dedicated to the inclusion of African American artists throughout the arts. Nykieria's works explores the personal aspirations of people when confronted with inequality, social and economic disadvantages, and lack of representation. The means by which they overcome those situations serve as a driving force to inspire and motivate both audience members and those participating in her productions to rise to their full potential. Nykieriais currently working on The Chairman, a play on the assassination of Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton.
Vanessa Charlot is a Haitian- American documentary photographer based in Miami, Florida. She shoots primarily in black and white to explore the immutability of the collective human experience and to disrupt compositional hierarchy. Her work focuses on the intersectionality of spirituality, socio-economic issues and sexual/gender expression. The purpose of her work is to produce visual representations of varied human existences that are free of an oppressive gaze.
Kymberli Corprue is a first year doctoral student in the English program at Howard University. Her concentration is 19th and 20th century American literature. She was recently rewarded a Just Julian Fellowship for the 2020-2021 school year.
Melie Ekunno is a Junior Chemistry and English double major. She grew up in Abuja, Nigeria - the city where her love for literature began. She credits her full recovery from a lifelong addiction to novels to the impossible schedule she currently maintains at St. Olaf College. On a good day, you may spot her ridiculous Afro-puffs (space buns) from miles away; she maintains that they are a symbol of her commitment to not growing up anytime soon.
Shaina Phenix is a poet, educator, and Virginia Tech MFA poetry candidate from Harlem, New York. She is—her work is—obsessed with and possessed by many sounds of black and femme existences, the passing down of stories, ocean, the body, mothering, acts of loving, and home(s). She has poems in Rue Scribe, at Crooked Arrow Press, and is forthcoming in West Branch Wired. She tweets at @ShainaPhenix
Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa is a British born Barbadian raised poet and dancer. She has been commissioned by The Original Wailers and BBC Bitesize. Her work is published in: The Caribbean Writer, Finished Creatures and the Alter Egos Anthology (Bad Betty Press).
Madhu Kailas is the pen name of Kingshuk Basu. He is a native of Kolkata, India and has lived, worked and studied in various places in India and USA. He is the author of ‘The Birds Fly in Silence and Other Poems’ published by Writers Workshop Kolkata. He has been published in journals like Indian Literature, Slippery Elm, The Gateway Review, Dragon Poet Review, New Mexico Review, Marathon Literary Review, Langlit, and The Literary Voyage.
Trinity Lule is an emerging writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in the award-winning literary magazine Pulp and works as a staff member on BatCat Press. She usually writes short prose, but enjoys creating poetry and creative nonfiction all the same. Her goal in writing is to tell compelling stories for audiences of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy.
Efe Ogufere is a banker, poet and pop culture critic working in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. A few of his poems featured on journals and magazines such as Sediments Literary Review, The Kalahari Review, Ibis Head Review and The Single Story Foundation Issue I. His debut chapbook A Portrait of Violence will be published in 2020 by SankofaMag in Nigeria.
Kathy Z. Price is a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Poetry, Community of Writers Squaw Valley, and Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown. Her poetry is included or appearing soon TriQuarterly, Pleiades, Cincinnati Review, Bayou, Prairie Schooner and Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poet’s Café, Henry Holt. Price is also the author of forthcoming Mardi Gras Almost Didn't Come This Year, Simon & Schuster 2021, and The Bourbon Street Musicians, Houghton Mifflin which received a starred review from ALA Booklist, a Notable Book Award, and New York Times Book Review.
Cynthia Robinson Young is a native of Newark, New Jersey, but currently lives and writes in the South. Her work has appeared in various journals, including The Ekphrastic Review, Sixfold, Rigorous, and Catalpa:a magazine of Southern perspectives. For her chapbook, Migration, she was named Finalist in the Georgia Author of the Year Award in her category.
Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa
Kathy Z. Price