Anne Gisleson’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Oxford American, The Believer,Ecotone, The Cairo Review of Global Affairs and many other publications. Her work has been selected for inclusion in anthologies such as Best American Non-Required Reading, Best Music Writing, Life in the Wake, and others. She co-edited and co-wrote How to Rebuild a City: Field Guide from a Work in Progress, about ground-up rebuilding efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and wrote the accompanying essays for photographer Michel Varisco’sShifting, a book about the beauty and degradation of the coastal wetlands. She has received fellowships and grants from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, the Surdna Foundation, the Arts Council of New Orleans and others. She has an MFA in fiction from the Louisiana State University.
Michael Lee has a B.A. in English from UCLA and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama. In addition to NOCCA, he also teaches at Tulane University. Lee’s first collection of stories, Something in My Eye, won the Mary McCarthy Prize in Fiction, and he recently received a Yale Educator Award in recognition of his teaching. His stories have appeared in Conjunctions, Denver Quarterly, and Indiana Review, among others, and new work is forthcoming in several anthologies.
Lara Naughton is a New Orleans-based writer and teacher. As a documentary playwright, she hascreated work with groups such as AIDS Project Los Angeles, the Program for Torture Victims, and Resurrection After Exoneration. Never Fight a Shark in Water, a documentary play about Gregory Bright who wrongfully spent 27 ½ years in Louisiana’s infamous Angola prison for a murder he didn’t commit, first toured professionally before coming home to New Orleans to be performed by Gregory Bright himself (directed by Naughton). She has taught a variety of workshops to writers of all ages across the country and in southern Africa, including creative writing, writing for social change, and interdisciplinary workshops. Receiving degrees in literature and writing from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Southern California, she has published poetry and non-fiction and is the recipient of many writing awards, including the Alice Hayes fellowship for work that addresses social justice. She currently leads writing workshops with inmates in New Orleans’s Parish Prison, and is Chair of the Creative Writing Department at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. She is training to become a certified compassion teacher through The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University’s School of Medicine.
Andy Young received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, MFA from Warren Wilson in January 2011. She is the co-editor of Meena, a bilingual Arabic-English literary journal. Her work has recently appeared in Best New Poets 2009, the Norton Anthology Language for a New Century and U.S. publications such as Guernica, Callaloo and Lungfull, as well as in Egypt, Ireland, Lebanon and Mexico. Her work has also been featured on buses in Santa Fe, in a flamenco play in New York, on jewelry designs by Jeanine Payer, and in a tattoo parlor in Berlin.