Named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture” by Brooklyn Magazine, Jason Koo is the founder and executive director of Brooklyn Poets and creator of the Bridge. He is the author of the poetry collections More Than Mere Light, America’s Favorite Poem and Man on Extremely Small Island and coeditor of the Brooklyn Poets Anthology. The winner of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center and New York State Writers Institute, he earned his BA in English from Yale, his MFA in creative writing from the University of Houston and his PhD in English and creative writing from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is an associate teaching professor of English at Quinnipiac University and lives in Williamsburg.
Justin Maki is a poet and editor living in Sunset Park. His work has appeared in Blue Lyra Review, Strategic Confusion, Square One and matchbook. He studied writing at the University of Colorado–Boulder and in Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program and has edited books and journal articles related to global media, humanitarian crisis reporting and the politics of representation in foreign news. After four years as a teacher in Osaka, Japan, he currently works in the NYC bureau of a Japanese news agency. He joined Brooklyn Poets in 2013.
Sébastien Bernard is a poet and fiction writer living in New York. He completed his MFA at the New School, winning the Prize of Excellence in Poetry. His poems appear in Public Pool and Queen Mob’s Tea House. An excerpt from his novel is featured in Evergreen Review. Originally from Turkey and France, he’s also lived in Maputo, Mozambique, where he taught English.
Anne Marie Bompart is an undergraduate student at Barnard College studying English, creative writing, women’s studies and philosophy. She has won national and regional Scholastic awards for her fiction and been published in a national magazine for young authors. She is an editor at the Columbia Daily Spectator and hopes to pursue a career as a writer, academic and graphic novelist.
Ada Chen is an undergraduate student at New York University studying English with a track in Creative Writing and Media, Culture, and Communications currently living in Brooklyn. She won first place in the Shoreline Head of English Department’s Writing Competition in Poetry in 2013, was published in Aphros Magazine, self published several nameless poetry collections, and works as a freelance photographer. She is currently working on a collection of ethnographic poetry.
Josephine Blair is a 27-year-old writer who recently relocated from Miami to Brooklyn. She majored in global studies and political economy at St. Lawrence University, but somehow decided that she’d rather travel working in restaurants and writing poetry than work for the government. She has called places from Rouen to San Ignacio to Dakar home, and her poetry has been featured in Epiphany, Soliloquies Anthology, Meniscus, Allegory Ridge and elsewhere. In February 2019, she was awarded a Brooklyn Poets Fellowship. She has no regrets.
Veer Patel is a recent graduate from Rutgers University, where he studied biology, philosophy and south Asian studies. He currently lives in Brooklyn and works as an MCAT tutor and content writer.
Arnaav Bhavanani is an undergraduate student at Wesleyan University studying European literature, history, philosophy and writing. He won the Wesleyan Fiction Prize in April 2019 and the India Wesleyan Summer Grant for his upcoming novel centered on Sindhi history and diaspora. On campus, he edits a film magazine, acts, and writes plays and poetry between classes.
Eliana Swerdlow is originally from New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. She is a rising junior at Yale University, where she studies English and human rights. This summer she is also interning at Voice of Witness, a human rights nonprofit organization. In New Haven, she is an editor for the street publication Elm City Echo. She won second prize in the age 18–22 bracket of our Whitman Bicentennial Poetry Contest.