Joyce Carol Oates is the author of some one hundred books in multiple genres, including the novel Little Bird of Heaven (2009), the story collection Sourland (2010), and the memoir A Widow’s Story (2011), all from Ecco. The 2010 recipient of the Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement of the National Book Critics Circle, Oates is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, where she has taught since 1978. Oates’s “Ballerina” appeared in our fortieth-anniversary retrospective (Spring 1986).
Maurya Simon’s tenth volume of poetry, The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems, 1980–2016, was recently published by Red Hen Press (2018). Other recent publications include The Raindrop’s Gospel: The Trials of St. Jerome & St. Paula (Elixir Press, 2010), and Questions My Daughter Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Her (Blackbird Press, 2014). Simon has received an NEA Fellowship in poetry and two awards from the Poetry Society of America, and this fall she will serve her third visiting artist residency at the American Academy in Rome. Simon is currently a Professor of the Graduate Division and a Professor Emerita at the University of California–Riverside, where she taught literature and creative writing for nearly thirty years.
Kathryn Stripling Byer received the 2013 North Carolina Book Award and the 2013 Southern Independent Booksellers Award for Poetry for her most recent collection, Descent (Louisiana State University Press, 2012). A native of south Georgia, she recently completed five years as North Carolina’s first woman poet laureate. Frequently anthologized, her poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in publications ranging from the Atlantic to Appalachian Heritage.