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 Brooklyn. 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.
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.
Kyndal Thomas is a Texas-raised, Brooklyn-based poet. She graduated with honors from the creative writing program at Northwestern University, where she received a Faricy Award for Poetry. Her work explores multiraciality, privilege, lineage and intimacy as navigated within the everyday. She works in the literary nonprofit sphere and is passionate about inclusive and accessible creative spaces. In her spare time, you can find her listening to ghost podcasts and attempting to prove to her loved ones that she has, in fact, taught her cat how to play fetch. In the summer of 2019, she was awarded a Brooklyn Poets Fellowship.
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Eliana Swerdlow is originally from New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. She is a rising junior at Yale University, where she studies English and human rights. She is an editor for the street publication Elm City Echo in New Haven. She won second prize in the age 18–22 bracket of our Whitman Bicentennial Poetry Contest.
Sébastien Bernard is a Turkish poet and fiction writer based in Istanbul. His work appears in Evergreen Review, DIAGRAM, SUSAN/The Journal, KGB Bar Lit, Prelude and Queen Mob’s Teahouse, among other places. He was a 2018 Poets House Emerging Poets Fellow and has also called NYC, Poughkeepsie and Maputo home.
Anne Marie is a graduate of Barnard College, where she majored in English literature and women’s studies. She has won national and regional Scholastic awards for her fiction, and her poetry has been published in a national magazine for young authors. She plans to pursue a career in academia and in fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry writing.
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.
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.