Specktor’s other books include the novels That Summertime Sound and American Dream Machine, which was long-listed for the Folio Prize. Born in Los Angeles, he received his BA from Hampshire College in 1988, and his MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College in 2009. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, GQ, The Paris Review, Tin House, Black Clock, and numerous other periodicals and anthologies. He is a founding editor of the Los Angles Review of Books.
Gerke’s work has appeared in Tin House, Film Quarterly, The Kenyon Review, and other publications. He is also the author of a story collection entitled Especially the Bad Things, which was published by Splice in 2019. He lives in New York.
Forrest Ganderis the author of the poetry collection Twice Alive, available now from New Directions. In 2019, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection Be With.
Gander’s other books include Core Samples from the World, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has collaborated frequently with other artists including photographers Sally Mann, Graciela Iturbide, Raymond Meeks, and Lucas Foglia, glass artist Michael Rogers, ceramic artists Rick Hirsch and Ashwini Bhat, artists Ann Hamilton, Tjibbe Hooghiemstra, dancers Eiko & Koma, and musicians Vic Chesnutt and Brady Earnhart, among others.
Gander was born in the Mojave Desert and grew up in Virginia. In addition to writing poetry, he has translated works by Coral Bracho, Alfonso D’Aquino, Pura Lopez-Colome, Pablo Neruda, and Jaime Saenz. The recipient of grants from the Library of Congress, the Guggenheim, Howard, Whiting, and United States Artists Foundations, he taught for many years as the AK Seaver Professor of Literary Arts & Comparative Literature at Brown University.
Bastasic is a Yugoslav-born writer. She majored in English and holds a master’s degree in cultural studies. She has published three collections of short stories, one book of children’s stories and one of poetry. She lives in Belgrade.
Her short stories have been included in regional anthologies and magazines throughout the former Yugoslavia. She has won the Best Short Story section at the Zija Dizdarević competition in Fojnica; the Jury Award at the ‘Carver: Where I’m Calling From’ festival in Podgorica; Best Short Story at the Ulaznica festival in Zrenjanin; Best Play by a Bosnian Playwright (Kamerni teatar 55 in Sarajevo) and the Targa Unesco Prize for poetry in Trieste. In 2016 she co-founded Escola Bloom in Barcelona and she now co-edits the school’s literary magazine Carn de cap. She is one of the creators of the ‘3+3 sisters’ project, which aims to promote women writers of the Balkans.
Swanson is a contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine. He was the recipient of a 2015 Pushcart Prize, and his short fiction and essays have been distinguished as notable in Best American Short Stories (2019), Best American Nonrequired Reading (2014), Best American Essays (2014, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020) and Best American Sports Writing (2017). His work has appeared in many places, including Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine, The Believer, American Short Fiction, The New Republic, The Atavist, Guernica, The Guardian, Best American Travel Writing 2018, and Best American Travel Writing 2020. He lives in the Midwest.
Her other books include the critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart(St. Martin’s Press 2010), and the essay collection, Abandon Me(Bloomsbury 2017), which was a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist, a Publishing Triangle Award finalist, an Indie Next Pick, and was widely named a Best Book of 2017. A craft book, Body Work, will be published by Catapult in March 2022.
The inaugural winner of the Jeanne Córdova Nonfiction Award from LAMBDA Literary, her work has appeared in publications including The Paris Review, The Sun, The Kenyon Review, Tin House, Granta, The Believer, McSweeney’s, The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Elle, and Vogue. Her essays have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, Story Quarterly, The Sewanee Review, and The Center for Women Writers at Salem College. She is a four-time MacDowell fellow and has also received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Memorial Foundation, The BAU Institute at The Camargo Foundation, The Ragdale Foundation, and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which named her the 2018 recipient of the Sarah Verdone Writing Award.
She co-curated the Mixer Reading and Music Series in Manhattan for ten years and served on the Board of Directors for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts for five. The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is an associate professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program.
Known for whip-quick wit and rollicking improvisations, Tallent is one of the sharpest, most original rising talents in comedy today. For the last 10 years, he has performed at least 45 weekends annually across America, Canada and France. Called “the absurd voice of a surreal generation” by the Denver Post, Sam is beloved by fans of contemporary comedy. He was a New Face at the 2019 Just for Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival, he won his battle on Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, hosted the Denver episode of VICELAND’s Flophouse and appeared on the Chris Gerhard Show to impress a girl. His critically acclaimed debut novel Running the Light— heralded as the “definitive novel about stand up comedy” (Marc Maron, WTF) — was published in 2020 and his short fiction has been published on VICE.com and in BIRDY magazine. He lives in Colorado with his wife and his dog.
Engel is the author of The Veins of the Ocean, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; It’s Not Love, It’s Just Paris, winner of the International Latino Book Award; and Vida, a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway and Young Lions Fiction Awards, New York Times Notable Book, and winner of Colombia’s national book award, the Premio Biblioteca de Narrativa Colombiana. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her stories appear in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. Born to Colombian parents, Patricia teaches creative writing at the University of Miami.
Bajani is one of the most respected and award-winning novelists and poets of contemporary Italian literature. He is the author of four novels and two collections of poems. If You Kept a Record of Sins has brought him a great deal of attention. In just a few months, the book won the Super Mondello Prize, the Brancati Prize, the Recanati Prize and the Lo Straniero Prize. His works have been translated into many languages, and published by some of the most prestigious European publishers, such as Gallimard, Siruela, MacLehose, Atheneum, DTV, Humanitas. He now lives in Houston and teaches at Rice University.
McLeod is also the author of the essay chapbook Pathetic (University of Indianapolis Etchings Press). Her writing has appeared in Tin House Online, Wigleaf, Hobart, Joyland Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, and Prairie Schooner, among other publications. She teaches high school English in Virginia.
This is Gina’s second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 16on November 9, 2011.
Frangello’s other books include Every Kind of Wanting, A Life in Men, Slut Lullabies, and My Sister’s Continent. Her short fiction, essays, book reviews, and journalism have been published in Ploughshares, The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, HuffPost, Fence, Five Chapters, Prairie Schooner, Chicago Reader, and many other publications. She lives with her family in the Chicago area.
This is Hari’s second time on the program. He first appeared in Episode 57, on April 1, 2012.
Born in London, he is the author of the novels The Impressionist, Transmission, My Revolutions, Gods Without Men, and White Tears, as well as a short story collection, Noise, and a novella, Memory Palace. He is an honorary fellow of Wadham College Oxford, and has received fellowships from the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Academy in Berlin. He is the host of the podcast Into The Zone, coming in September from Pushkin Industries, and lives in New York City.
Manai was born in 1980 in Tunis and currently lives in Paris. Both a writer and an engineer, Manai explores the intersections of past and present, and tradition and technology, in his prose. In The Ardent Swarm (originally published as L’Amas ardent), his first book to be translated into English, he celebrates Tunisia’s rich oral culture, a tradition abounding in wry, often fatalistic humor. He has published three novels with the Tunisia-based Elyzad Editions–a deliberate choice to ensure that his books are accessible to Tunisian readers: La marche de l’incertitude (2010), awarded Tunisia’s prestigious Prix Comar d’Or; La sérénade d’Ibrahim Santos (2011); and L’Amas ardent (2017), which earned both the Prix Comar d’Or and the Prix des Cinq Continents, a literary prize recognizing exceptional Francophone literature.