Before cofounding Nonfiction Research, Gunny was the head of strategy at VICE Media’s digital agency, where he oversaw a team of strategists working on brands such as Unilever, Kraft, Activision, Rolex, and VICE properties such as VICELAND and VICE Impact. Prior to VICE, Gunny was head of strategy at Tenthwave Digital (now Accenture Interactive), where he led strategy engagements for BlackRock and helped make Duncan Hines the most shared CPG brand on Facebook. He previously worked for three years as head of marketing at the Abernathy Group, a hedge fund. A graduate of Columbia University, Gunny has lived in New York City for over twenty years. He’s an AS Roma fan. Strangers should feel free to talk to him about Brooklyn, bourbon and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Modesto “Flako” Jimenez is a Dominican-born actor, writer and arts educator raised in Brooklyn. He is the author of the poetry collection Oye, Para Mi Querido Brooklyn (Listen, For My Dear Brooklyn) and has performed on stage with the Wooster Group and Repertorio Español in New York. He starred in the lead role in Alexandra Collier’s Take Me Home, an immersive theater piece set inside a cab (which he drove), garnering rave reviews from the New York Times, the New Yorker and Time Out New York. Jimenez is the founder and executive director of Oye Group, an eclectic artist collective presenting annual showcases of new work in theater, dance, poetry and film that spark dialogues on critical issues of immigration, economics and urban survival.
Tiffany Gibert is a writer, editor and communications professional who has worked for nonprofits and media companies from New York to Singapore, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, Time Out New York and Penguin Random House. After five years in New York—where she lived in Red Hook, Brooklyn, home to the city’s best key lime pie, cobblestones and blacksmiths—she now resides in Washington, DC, and manages digital content at the Public Broadcasting Service.
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.
Hala Alyan is a Palestinian American writer and clinical psychologist. She is the author of Atrium (Three Rooms Press, 2012), winner of the 2013 Arab American Book Award in Poetry; Four Cities (Black Lawrence Press, 2015); Hijra (Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), winner of the 2015 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry; and The Twenty-Ninth Year (Mariner Books, 2019). Her debut novel, Salt Houses, was published to rave reviews by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017 and won the 2018 Arab American Book Award in Fiction and the 2018 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Alyan has been awarded a number of fellowships, including Lannan and Yaddo residencies, and has led workshops at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center and the Lemon Tree House Residency in Italy. She lives in Brooklyn.
Emily Blair works as a web developer and graphic designer. Her poetry has appeared in Gulf Coast, Sixth Finch, New Ohio Review, the Gettysburg Review and elsewhere. She has received New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships in both poetry and fiction, along with a Xeric Foundation Comic Publishing Grant and a Stein Scholarship from the Center for Book Arts. She holds a BA in fine arts from Wesleyan University and an MFA in graphics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In addition to writing, she creates artists’ books and collaborates on social practice projects with Michelle Illuminato under the name Next Question.
Rozanne Gold is a celebrated chef, food writer, journalist and international restaurant consultant. At age 23, she was the first chef at Gracie Mansion for Mayor Ed Koch, where she cooked for Presidents and Prime Ministers. She is a four-time winner of the James Beard Award, the author of thirteen cookbooks and consulting chef to several of the world’s most legendary restaurants, including the Rainbow Room and Windows on the World. A graduate of Tufts University with degrees in psychology and education, she holds an MFA in poetry from the New School, where she teaches a course on “The Language of Food.” She is host of the podcast One Woman Kitchen and curates a poetry series at the Garrison Institute. A former trustee of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, she was responsible for a pop-up kitchen in Brooklyn to feed those in need after Hurricane Sandy. She calls Brooklyn home.
JP Howard is the author of SAY/MIRROR (The Operating System, 2016), a 2016 Lambda Literary finalist, and the chaplet bury your love poems here (Belladonna*, 2015). She has received a Lambda Emerging Writer Award and was a finalist for the 2017 Split This Rock Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism, and she is a 2018 featured author in Lambda Literary’s LGBTQ Writers in Schools program. The winner of fellowships from Cave Canem, VONA and Lambda, she curates the Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon and has facilitated numerous writing workshops for Apogee, the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, City College and others. Howards holds a BA in English from Barnard College, a JD from Brooklyn Law School and an MFA in creative writing from City College.
Isaac Myers III holds an MFA in creative writing from the New School, where he studied poetry and graduated in 2013. His poetry has appeared in Barrow Street as well as the Best American Poetry blog. He graduated from Drake University Law School in 2011 and since then has worked as an attorney in the fields of civil rights, foreclosure defense and bankruptcy litigation. In 2017 he founded Curlew Quarterly, a print literary and photo journal of New York City neighborhoods, which publishes fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction and includes nearly all forms of reporting and journalism, along with portraits and interviews of poets and writers in their homes and writing spaces. Ultimately, the journal aims to help poets and writers carve out residences within the city, and to help keep the fabric of the literary history and tradition of New York City’s ever-changing neighborhoods intact.
Caroline Gonzalez has over fifteen years of experience in urban policy, advocacy and strategic communications. Her passion is in helping to create vibrant and effective communities that realize cool and meaningful things—which she has done through education reform policy work, in public-private partnerships around economic development, as a social entrepreneur working with artisan cooperatives, and on the Obama campaign and administration. She is a native New Yorker who loves parks, painting and gardening.
Dorothea Lasky is the author of Milk (Wave, 2018), Rome (Norton/Liveright, 2014), Thunderbird (Wave, 2012), Black Life (Wave, 2010) and Awe (Wave, 2007). She is also the author of several chapbooks, including Poetry Is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010), and coeditor of Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry (McSweeney’s, 2013). She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, an EdM in Arts in Education from Harvard and an EdD in Creativity and Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She is an assistant professor of poetry at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, codirects Columbia Artist/Teachers and lives in Bed-Stuy.