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Nathan Englander
photo of Nathan Englander
  Nathan Englander grew up in New York and lives in Jerusalem. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and a recent recipient of the Pushcart Prize. His stories have appeared in Story magazine, Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker.

Jackie Kay
photo of Jackie Kay
  Jackie Kay was born and raised in Scotland. She is the author of two collections of poetry: Other Lovers, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, and The Adoption Papers. She lives in England.  
Pope Brock
photo of Pope Brock
  Pope Brock was born in Atlanta, Georgia, grew up primarily in Baltimore and graduated from Harvard University in 1971. After training in New York as an actor, he became a freelance journalist and has written for Esquire, GQ, Rolling Stone, Life, and many other magazines. Brock lives in Chappaqua, New York with his wife and their twin girls. He is currently at work on a novel.  
Benjamin Cheever
photo of Benjamin Cheever
  Benjamin Cheever is the author of The Plagiarist and The Partisan (Editor's Choice of The New York Times Best Books of 1994). A former editor at Reader's Digest, he has written for The New York Times, The Nation, and he edited The Letters of John Cheever. He lives in Pleasantville, New York.

Jill Ciment
photo of Jill Ciment
  Jill Ciment is the author of Half A Life, The Law of Falling Bodies, and Small Claims. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Foundation for the Arts and teaches at Columbia University.

Georgia Johnson
photo of Jill Bialosky
  Jill Bialosky was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She studied at Ohio University and received a Master of Arts degree from the Writing Seminars at The John Hopkins University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from The University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her poems have been published in many magazines, including Partisan Review and TriQuarterly, and have received a number of awards. She is currently an editor at W.W. Norton & Company and lives in New York City.

Mary Jo Salter
photo of Mary Jo Salter
  Mary Jo Salter grew up in Detroit and Baltimore, and was educated at Harvard and at Cambridge University. She is the author of three previous collections of poems, Henry Purcell in Japan (1985), Unfinished Painting (1989, the Lamont Selection for the year's most distinguished second volume of poetry), and Sunday Skaters (1994), as well as a children's book, The Moon Comes Home (1989).

Her many awards include the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

She is an editor of The Norton Anthology of Poetry. Most recently she was an Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholar and an Emily Dickinson Lecturer in the Humanities at Mount Holyoke College. She lives in South Hadley, Massacheusetts, with her husband, the writer Brad Leithauser, and their two daughters, Emily and Hilary.
Georgia Johnson
  Georgia Johnson (1886-1966) was born in Atlanta and studied music at Oberlin College. She became a schoolteacher, moving with her husband to Washington, D.C. Her books include The Heart of A Woman (1918), Bronze (1922), An Autumn Love Cycle (1928), and Share My World (1962).

Mark Twain
  Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens, 1835-1910) was born in Florida, Missouri, and grew up in Hannibal, which provided him with the background for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. "Ode to Stephen Dowling Bots" appears in Huckleberry Finn.

Jeanette Winterson
photo of Jeanette Winterson
  Jeanette Winterson lives in the English countryside outside London. Her honors include the Whitbread Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize, and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Jeanette Winterson's novels Sexing the Cherry, Written on the Body, Art & Lies, and Gut Symmetries, and her collection of essays, Art Objects, are available in Vintage paperback.

Devin Burnam
photo of Devin Burnam
  Devin Burnam lives in Manhattan. He is currently at work on a play and a collection of short stories.  
    Photo Credits: Nathan Englander: Brian Tarr; Jackie Kay: Ingrid Pollard; Pope Brock: Jerry Bauer; Benjamin Cheever: Susan Farley; Jill Ciment: Kenneth Chen; Jill Bialosky: Marion Ettlinger; Mary Jo Salter: Lesleigh Brisson; Jeanette Winterson: Jayne Wexler Photography