Best of the Net 2018  


Threa Almontaser is a Yemeni-American writer, translator, and multimedia artist from New York City. A first generation college student, she is an MFA candidate at North Carolina State University and the recipient of scholarships from the Tin House Summer Workshop, Winter Tangerine, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, among others. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets, she is winner of the 2019 Claire Keyes Poetry award, the 2018 Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Poetry Prize, the 2017 Unsilenced Grant for Muslim American Women Writers, and more. Her work is published or forthcoming in Nimrod International Journal, The Adroit Journal, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Baltimore Review, and elsewhere. She currently teaches English to immigrants and refugees in Raleigh and enjoys traveling to places not easily found on a map.

Krys Malcolm Belc's collection of flash essays, In Transit, is forthcoming from the Cupboard Pamphlet. His work has been featured in Redivider, Brevity, Sonora Review Online, and elsewhere. Krys lives in snowy Marquette, Michigan, with his wife and three children, and is a student in the MFA program at Northern Michigan University.

Carolee Bennett is an artist and poet living in Upstate New York, where she has fun saying she has been the "almost" poet laureate of Smitty's Tavern. She has an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Ashland University in Ohio and works full-time as a writer in social media marketing.

Brian Broome is a writer, teacher, performance artist, and K. Leroy Irvis fellow at the University of Pittsburgh writing program. His work has been published in Hippocampus, Creative Nonfiction, and The Guardian among others. You can read some of his published work and listen to his Moth performances at

Hayan Charara's poetry books are The Alchemist's Diary (2001), The Sadness of Others (2006), and Something Sinister (2016). He also edited Inclined to Speak (2008), an anthology of contemporary Arab American poetry, and is series editor, with Fady Joudah, of the Etel Adnan Poetry Prize. He is also the author of a children's book, The Three Lucys, about the July War in Lebanon. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and author of Deluge, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2020, and the chapbooks Ebb (Akashic Books, 2018) and Tunsiya/Amrikiya, the 2017 Editors' Selection from Bull City Press. She is the recipient of grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Cleveland State University, where she is the inaugural Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Publishing and Writing. Her poems have received awards from Ploughshares' Emerging Writer's Contest, Narrative's 30 Below Contest, the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize, and the Academy of American Poets. She is the Consulting Poetry Editor for the Raleigh Review and her work appears in Ploughshares, Tin House, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere.

Imani Davis is a queer Black writer from Brooklyn. Their poetry appears on PBS NewsHour and in ROOKIE, Winter Tangerine, and elsewhere. A recipient of fellowships from Mellon Mays and the Stadler Center for Literary Arts, they currently study English and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. They also serve as the Outreach Coordinator at Kelly Writers House. To read more of their work, visit

Alice Friman's seventh collection, Blood Weather, is forthcoming from LSU. Her last two books are The View from Saturn and Vinculum, for which she won the 2012 Georgia Author of the Year Award in Poetry. Other books include Inverted Fire and The Book of the Rotten Daughter, both from BkMk, and Zoo, Arkansas, which won the Sheila Margaret Motton Prize from New England Poetry Club and the Ezra Pound Poetry Award from Truman State University. She is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize, is included in Best American Poetry, and is the winner of the 2016 Paumanok Award. Professor emerita of English and creative writing at the University of Indianapolis, she lives in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she was Poet-in-Residence at Georgia College.

Ephiny Gale has written more than two dozen published short stories and novelettes that have appeared in publications including GigaNotoSaurus, Daily Science Fiction, and Aurealis. Much of her short fiction has recently been collected in Next Curious Thing. She is also the author of several produced stage plays and musicals.

Megan Giddings is a fiction editor at The Offing and a features editor at The Rumpus. Her short stories have been recently published or are forthcoming from Barrelhouse, Gulf Coast, and The Iowa Review. Megan's debut novel, Lakewood, will be published in March 2020.

Sarah Giragosian is the author of the poetry collections Queer Fish, a winner of the American Poetry Journal Book Prize (Dream Horse Press, 2017) and The Death Spiral (Black Lawrence Press, forthcoming). Her poems and essays have recently appeared in such journals as Tin House, Orion, Ecotone, and Prairie Schooner, among others.

Marcos Gonsalez is an essayist and PHD candidate in Literature living in NYC. His essay collection about growing up a gay son of an undocumented Mexican immigrant and poor Puerto Rican mother in white America is represented by agent Lauren Abramo and is currently on submission with publishers. His essays can be found or are forthcoming at Electric Literature, Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review, The New Inquiry, among others.

Amanda Galvan Huynh has received scholarships/fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and Sundress Academy for the Arts. She was a winner of a 2016 AWP Intro Journal Project Award and a finalist for the 2015 Gloria AnzaldĂșa Poetry Prize. Her work can be found in RHINO, Muzzle Magazine, Tahoma Literary Review, Silk Road Review, The Boiler Journal, and others.

Christine Kitano is the author of Sky Country (BOA Editions) and Birds of Paradise (Lynx House Press). Recent poems appear in the Massachusetts Review and A Women's Thing. She teaches at Ithaca College and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Joanna Lee is a young Singaporean writer and aspiring scholar of Chinese and Comparative Literature. She graduated from Columbia University in 2016 with a BA in Comparative Literature, and currently works at Yale-NUS College as Dean's Fellow. She hopes to continue telling stories, and she believes that fiction plays an important role in interrogating the narratives and myths that anchor us in our identities and communities. She is also interested in translation as a mode of reading and creation.

Raven Leilani's work has appeared in Granta, Conjunctions, New England Review, Pigeon Pages, and McSweeney's. She is a recipient of the Matt Clark Fiction Prize, the Bat City Review fiction prize, and she was selected for the 30 under 30 list for Narrative Magazine. She is currently an MFA candidate at NYU.

T.S. Mendola is an editor and writer. She has published at The Rumpus, The Modern Language Review, Rewire, Lilith, The Yearbook of Comparative Literature, Narrative Culture, and Health Affairs. She can be found on Twitter @tsmendola or at

A resident of northern Appalachia, Abby Minor directs community writing programs that honor under-heard voices in her region. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Penn State and is the author of Plant Light, Dress Light, a poetry chapbook published by dancing girl press.

Carley Moore is an essayist, novelist, and poet. Her debut collection of essays, 16 Pills, was published in May of 2018 by Tinderbox Editions. Her debut novel, The Not Wives, is forthcoming from the Feminist Press in the fall of 2019. In 2017, she published her first poetry chapbook, Portal Poem (dancing girl press) and in 2012, she published a young adult novel, The Stalker Chronicles (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux). She lives in New York City and teaches at NYU and Bard College.

Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor is a Nigerian writer whose work has appeared in The Guardian, Litro Magazine, Harvard University's Transition Magazine, Warscapes, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. A 2018 Rhodes Scholar finalist, he has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction. He is an alumnus of the 2015 Association of Nigerian Authors Creative Writing Workshop and the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Writing Workshop, and a two-time recipient of the Festus Iyayi Award for Excellence for Prose and Playwriting (2015/2016).

Wendy Oleson is the author of two award-winning chapbooks, Please Find Us (Gertrude Press) and Our Daughter and Other Stories (Map Literary). Her stories and poems have appeared in Passages North, Copper Nickel, Crab Orchard Review, Quarterly West, and elsewhere. Wendy teaches for the Writers' Program (UCLA Extension) and Washington State at Tri-Cities and lives with her wife in Walla Walla, Washington. Find her on Twitter @weoleson.

Dean Rader's most recent books include Suture, collaborative poems with Simone Muench (Black Lawrence Press, 2017) and Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry (Copper Canyon, 2017). Along with Brian Clements and Alexandra Teague, he edited the forthcoming anthology Bullets Into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence (Beacon Press, 2017). He is a professor at the University of San Francisco.

Katherine Riegel's newest book is Love Songs from the End of the World and is forthcoming in Fall 2019. She is also the author of the chapbook Letters to Colin Firth and two other full-length books of poetry. Her work has appeared in Brevity, The Gettysburg Review, The Offing, Orion,, Tin House, and elsewhere. She is co-founder and poetry editor for Sweet Lit.

F. Daniel Rzicznek's books of poetry are Settlers (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press), Divination Machine (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press) and Neck of the World (Utah State University Press), and he is coeditor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice (Rose Metal Press). His poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, West Branch, Blackbird, Colorado Review, and Notre Dame Review. He currently teaches and directs the Creative Writing program at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Grace Singh Smith's stories and essays are forthcoming or have appeared in AGNI, Santa Monica Review, Cleaver, Aster(ix), The Texas Review, and The Tishman Review. Her short story "Oshini" was a semi-finalist & special mention for the Tillie Olsen Short Story Award 2017 from The Tishman Review, and "The Promotion" (Santa Monica Review) was cited as Notable in Best American Short Stories 2016. A native of Assam, India, Grace lives in Santa Monica and is finishing her first novel.

Brandon Taylor is the Assistant Editor of Electric Literature's Recommended Reading and a staff writer at Literary Hub. He has received fellowships from Lambda Literary, Kimbilio Fiction, and Tin House. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in or are forthcoming in Amazon's Day One, Necessary Fiction, Little Fiction, Gulf Coast, Catapult, Out Magazine online, and elsewhere. This fall, he will begin his MFA in fiction at The Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Jessie van Eerden is the author of two novels, Glorybound (WordFarm, 2012), winner of Foreword Reviews 2012 Editor's Choice Fiction Prize, and My Radio Radio (Vandalia Press, 2016); she's also the author of the essay collection The Long Weeping (Orison Books, 2017). Her work has appeared in Oxford American, Image, Willow Springs, and elsewhere. Van Eerden holds an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa and directs the low-residency MFA program at West Virginia Wesleyan College.