Vijay Seshadri

Vijay Seshadri was born in Bangalore, India, and came to America as a small child. He is the author of four collections of poems: 3 Sections, winner of the Pulitzer Prize; The Long Meadow, winner of the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets; Wild Kingdom and his newest collection, That Was Then, This Is Then. He is currently the Myers Professor of Writing at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Jia Lynn Yang

Jia Lynn Yang is national editor at The New York Times. Before joining The Times in 2017, she was deputy national security editor at The Washington Post, where she was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of Trump and Russia. Before becoming an editor, Jia Lynn wrote about business and economics at the Post and at Fortune magazine for over a decade. Jia Lynn’s family immigrated to the United States from Taiwan in the 1970s and was able to stay in the country thanks to the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. Her book, One Mighty and Irresistible Tide is her effort to understand the people who fought to give her family a place in America.

Russell Banks

Russell Banks, twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, is one of America’s most prestigious fiction writers, a past president of the International Parliament of Writers, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous prizes and awards, including the Common Wealth Award for Literature. His new book, Foregone, explores aging, memory, and reputation in thoughtful and touching ways. He lives in upstate New York and Miami, Florida.

Mateo Askaripour

Mateo Askaripour was a 2018 Rhode Island Writers Colony writer-in-residence. His debut novel, Black Buck, was a New York Times bestseller and a Today Show Book Club pick.  His writing has appeared in Entrepreneur, Lit Hub, Catapult, The Rumpus, Medium, and elsewhere. Mateo lives in Brooklyn, and his favorite pastimes include bingeing music videos and movie trailers, drinking yerba mate, and dancing in his apartment. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @AskMateo.