R. T. Smith is writer-in-residence at Washington and Lee University, where he edits Shenandoah. The latest of his many books are Outlaw Style: Poems (University of Arkansas Press, 2007) and a collection of stories, The Calaboose Epistles (Iris Press, 2009). His work has been reprinted in such notable anthologies as Best American Poetry, Best American Short Stories, and the Pushcart Prize.
Richard Bernstein’s “Wheeling and Dealing” and “Wheelman” mark his fourth appearance in The Georgia Review. A twelve-time recipient of the Bright Hill Press New York State Poetry Teacher of the Year Award, he is currently in his twenty-eighth year as a high school English, creative writing, and drama teacher in Norwich, New York. He also teaches courses in English and public speaking at Morrisville State College.
David Gessner’s Ultimate Glory, his memoir of his years playing Ultimate Frisbee, is due out in June 2017 from Riverhead Books. He is the author of All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West (W. W. Norton, 2015), as well as eight other books—among them The Tarball Chronicles (2011), My Green Manifesto (2011), and Sick of Nature (2003). Founder of Ecotone, the literary journal of place, Gessner served as host of the National Geographic Explorer television show, Call of the Wild, which explored how our constant use of screens is damaging our brains and how nature can be restorative.
Rita Dove, born in 1952 in Akron, Ohio, earned degrees from Miami University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her record of achievement is unprecedented. When in February 2011 she received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama, she became the first person to have received all three of the country’s highest arts distinctions—the others being the Humanities Medal and a term of service as Poet Laureate (2003–5). She has been a frequent guest of Bill Moyers’ PBS series. In 1987, she received the Pulitzer Prize for her third collection of poems, Thomas and Beulah, which is loosely based on her maternal grandparents’ lives. She also has nine other volumes of poetry: Collected Poems 1974–2004 (2016), Sonata Mulattica (2009), American Smooth (2004), On the Bus with Rosa Parks (1999), Mother Love (1995), Selected Poems (1993), Grace Notes (1989), Museum (1983), and The Yellow House on the Corner (1980). She has published a collection of essays, The Poet’s World (1995); a drama, The Darker Face of the Earth: A Verse Play in Fourteen Scenes (1994); a novel, Through the Ivory Gate (1992); and a collection of short stories, Fifth Sunday (1985). She has edited two volumes, The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2011) and The Best American Poetry 2000 (2000). From 2004 to 2006, Dove served as the Poet Laureate of Virginia. She holds twenty-five honorary doctorates, is a classically trained musician (viola de gamba), and has done numerous musical collaborations, including Seven for Luck, seven poems by Rita Dove with music by John Williams, and Umoja: Each One of Us Counts, music by Alvin Singleton, commissioned by the Atlanta Olympic Summer Games. Since 1989, she has taught at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she holds the chair of Commonwealth Professor of English.