Best of the Net 2019  


Alfredo Aguilar is the son of Mexican immigrants. He is the author of On This Side of the Desert, selected by Natalie Diaz for the 2019 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, and the chapbook What Happens On Earth (BOAAT Press 2018). He is a winner of the 92Y's Discovery Poetry Contest and has been awarded fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and the Frost Place. His work has appeared in The Shallow Ends, Best New Poets 2017, The Adroit Journal, and elsewhere. Originally from North County San Diego, he now resides in Texas.

Liz Breazeale is a recipient of a 2020 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her first book, Extinction Events: Stories, won the 2018 Prairie Schooner Book Prize for Fiction and was recently published by University of Nebraska Press. She holds an MFA from Bowling Green State University and lives in Denver, where she works as an editor at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and teaches at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Hayden's Ferry, New Ohio Review, The Rupture, Pleiades, Fugue, Sycamore Review, Monkeybicycle, Passages North, and others.

K-Ming Chang is a Kundiman fellow and Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her poems have been anthologized in Best New Poets 2018, Bettering American Poetry Vol. 3, the 2019 Pushcart Prize Anthology, and Ink Knows No Borders. Her debut novel BESTIARY is forthcoming from One World / Random House in September 2020.

Cortney Lamar Charleston is the author of Telepathologies, selected by D.A. Powell for the 2016 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, and Doppelgangbanger, forthcoming in Fall 2020 from Haymarket Books. He was awarded a 2017 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and he has also received fellowships from Cave Canem, The Conversation Literary Festival, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Winner of a Pushcart Prize, his poems have appeared in POETRY, The American Poetry Review, New England Review, Granta, The Nation, and elsewhere. He serves as a poetry editor at The Rumpus and on the editorial board at Alice James Books.

Megan Dorame is a Tongva poet who lives and writes in Santa Ana, California. She holds a BA in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma, and works to reclaim and revitalize the Tongva language. Megan is a 2020 PEN Emerging Voices Fellow and her work has appeared in The Ear, Dryland, and The Offing, among others. Megan is working on a collection of poems inspired by the complicated history of her people.

Lindsey Drager's novels have won a John Gardner Fiction Prize and a Shirley Jackson Award. She is an assistant professor at the University of Utah.

Camille T. Dungy is the author of the essay collection Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History and four collections of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade. She has edited three anthologies, including Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Book Award, a Colorado Book Award, and fellowships from the NEA in both prose and poetry. She teaches at Colorado State University.

Gabriela Garcia is the author of the novel Of Women and Salt, forthcoming from Flatiron/Macmillan. Her fiction and poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Tin House, Zyzzyva, Iowa Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. She is the winner of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award and a Steinbeck Fellowship from San Jose State University and has an MFA in fiction from Purdue University. You can find her at

p.e. garcia is a features editor for The Rumpus. They are the author of fictions&incantations (Sad Spell) and dear god, dear gordon (tenderness lit). You can find more at

Faylita Hicks (she/her/they) is a writer and justice impacted organizer specializing in pretrial justice reform in rural communities and the cultural impact of trauma on queer black people. She is the author of HoodWitch (Acre Books, 2019), Editor-in-Chief of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and a finalist for the 2018 PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship and the 2019 Palette Poetry Spotlight Award. Hicks was awarded fellowships from Lambda Literary and Jack Jones Literary Arts. Their op-eds, interviews, poems, and personal essays have appeared in or are forthcoming in the Texas Observer, Longreads, SLATE Magazine, Huffington Post, Color Bloq, POETRY, Adroit, Barrelhouse, The Rumpus, Austin PBS' Decibel Dialogue, and others. She received her BA from Texas State University, her MFA in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada University and is currently at work on a memoir about her 2010 carceral experience.

Justin Jannise earned an M.F.A. in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His work has appeared in Best New Poets (selected by Cate Marvin), Copper Nickel, Yale Review, New Ohio Review, North American Review, and The Awl. He is the recipient of the Inprint Verlaine Prize in Poetry, selected by Tomás Q. Morín. He lives in Houston, where he is the Editor-in-Chief of Gulf Coast.

Saudha Kasim is a writer and communications professional working in Bengaluru, India. Her short stories and essays have been published in Elle India, Cha, Out of Print, Eclectica, RIC Journal, Memoir Mixtapes, and elsewhere. She was a writer-in-residence at Sangam House in 2017-18. She's currently working on a novel.

Grace Shuyi Liew is the author of Careen (Noemi Press, 2019), which has been named Electric Literature's "14 Unmissable Poetry Books of 2019" and Entropy Magazine's "Best Poetry Books of 2019." Her work has appeared in West Branch, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, PANK, and elsewhere. Her other honors include the Lucille Clifton Poetry Fellowship from Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Associate Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts with US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, Aspen Summer Words scholarship, resident writer at Can Serrat in Barcelona, and others. Born and raised in Malaysia, she currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she is at work on her second book of poetry, a book-length transnational epic poem, and a novel.

LaTanya McQueen is the author of the novel WHEN THE RECKONING COMES, forthcoming from Harper Perennial, as well as the essay collection AND IT BEGINS LIKE THIS, with Black Lawrence Press. She is an Assistant Professor at Coe College.

Romeo Oriogun is the author of Sacrament of Bodies (University of Nebraska Press) and the chapbooks The Origin of Butterflies, Burnt Men, and Museum of Silence. His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Boudin, Brittle Paper, and others. He is the 2017 winner of the Brunel International African Poetry Prize and has received fellowships from the Ebedi International Residency, Harvard University Department of English, Oregon Institute for Creative Research and The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. He currently lives in Iowa where he is an MFA candidate for poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Constance Renfrow's first book, Songs of My Selfie: An Anthology of Millennial Short Stories was an IndieFab Finalist and was hailed by Bustle as "Doing for bad millennials what Bad Feminist did for uncertain feminists." Her short fiction has appeared in such places as Litro, Mud Season Review, and Red Earth Review and most recently won the 2019 Porter House Review Prize. She received her MFA in fiction from Pacific University and has recently completed her first novel. Find out more at

Evan Steuber hails from Kentucky where they spent their first twenty-some years working in restaurants and retail, meeting the love of their life, and getting educated. In August 2018, they received a PhD from the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where they are currently a Visiting Lecturer. Evan's creative work has appeared in journals such as Apofenie, Crack the Spine, and The Gravity of the Thing, and you can follow them on Twitter @justevanjs.

Debra J. Stone is a writer, avid bicyclist and a member of the Minnesota Major Taylor Bicycle Club. In the short but beautiful Minnesota summers, you can find her glamping with the tear drop trailer along with husband and Ziggy, the German Boxer, in the Minnesota state parks. After early retirement from a career in education, Debra is enjoying the freedom of living her next chapter in life. When not riding the bicycle paths or traveling, she co-facilitates the Northside Writers Group. Debra has published short stories, essays and poetry in literary journals: Ageless Authors, Saint Paul Almanac, Wild Age Press, Gyroscope, Tidal Basin, and in other literary journals forthcoming. She's received residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Intermedia Arts, Beyond the Pure, Callaloo, The Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, New York Mills Arts Residency and Kimbilio. In 2018-19, she was a Loft Fellow for the Minnesota-based The Loft Mentor Series in creative nonfiction and was a finalist for The Loft Emerging Writers Grant. She is also a recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Community Partnership Grant. Debra is a board member and Chair of the Engagement Committee at Graywolf Press in Minneapolis.

Aldrin Valdez is a bakla writer & visual artist. They are the author of ESL or You Weren't Here (Nightboat Books), selected as a 2019 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Poetry.

Jane Wong's poems can be found in places such as Best American Nonrequired Reading 2019, Best American Poetry 2015, American Poetry Review, POETRY, AGNI, Third Coast, and others. Her essays have appeared in McSweeney's, Black Warrior Review, Ecotone, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, and This is the Place: Women Writing About Home. A Kundiman fellow, she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships and residencies from the U.S. Fulbright Program, Artist Trust, the Fine Arts Work Center, Bread Loaf, Willapa Bay AiR, Hedgebrook, the Jentel Foundation, the Sundress Academy for the Arts, and the Mineral School. She is the author of Overpour from Action Books and How to Not Be Afraid of Everything, which is forthcoming from Alice James Books. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University.

Khaty Xiong is a poet from Fresno, California. She is the author of Poor Anima (Apogee Press, 2015), which holds the distinction of being the first full-length collection of poetry published by a Hmong American woman in the United States. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Montana and has had work featured in POETRY, the New York Times, How Do I Begin?: A Hmong American Literary Anthology (Heyday, 2011), as well as Academy of American Poets and Poetry Society of America websites, and elsewhere. In 2018, her poem, "On Visiting the Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens" was highlighted in an immersive poetry installation at the Poetry Foundation Gallery in Chicago (June–September) centering on the conversation of grief and loss. She's been awarded fellowships and grants from Vermont Studio Center, Jack Jones Literary Arts, The MacDowell Colony, and the Ohio Arts Council.

C Pam Zhang's debut novel, How Much of These Hills Is Gold, is forthcoming in April 2020 from Riverhead Books in the US and Virago Press in the UK. It is an Indies Introduce pick. Born in Beijing but mostly an artifact of the United States, Zhang has lived in thirteen cities across four countries and is still looking for home. She currently lives in San Francisco and also online.