Jesse Ball has written two novels, The Way Through Doors and Samedi the Deafness, and a collection of poetry, March Book. Ball also wrote Vera & Linus, a collection of short prose, in collaboration with his wife Thordis Bjornsdottir. A winner of the 2008 Plimpton Prize, Ball teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Andrew Bird‘s latest album is Noble Beast. Based out of Chicago, Bird plays the violin, guitar, mandolin, and glockenspiel.

Bon Iver is Michael Noyce, Matthew McCaughan, Sean Carey, and founder Justin Vernon. For Emma, Forever Ago was released in 2008, the Blood Bank EP in 2009.

Bobby Braddock is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2007 he published a memoir, Down in Orburndale: A Songwriter’s Youth in Old Florida, through Louisiana State University Press.

Jeffrey Brown is the author of numerous graphic novels both autobiographical (Clumsy, Funny Misshapen Body) and humorous (Incredible Change-Bots, Cats Are Weird). His comics have appeared in Best American Comics, MOME, and McSweeney’s, among others. He received his MFA from The School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago, where he has recently begun teaching a comics class. He lives in Chicago with his wife and son.

Norman Dubie‘s new collection of poems, Volcano, will be available this winter. He lives in Tempe, Arizona.

Dawson//Caplan is the experimental / found sound project of Evan Dawson and David Caplan, both Hope College students.

Cathy Linh Che was born to Vietnamese parents in Los Angeles, CA. She’s received fellowships from Poets & Writers, Kundiman, The Center for Book Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown. She co-edits Paperbag: an online journal of the arts ( and is collecting work for an anthology called Inheriting the War.

Paul Robert Chesser is an emerging writer living in Lubbock, Texas. An alum of University of South Carolina Aiken and Texas Tech University, Chesser‘s works have also recently appeared in L.A.’s Underground Voices and the Australian Roar and Thunder.

Mary Gauthier‘s latest album is The Foundling. Born in New Orleans, Gauthier now lives in Nashville. In 2005 she was named New Artist of the Year by the Americana Music Association.

Half Dozen Brass Band was formed in May 2008 and was the 2009 Flagpole Athens Music Award Winner for “Best Jazz Band.”  HDBB is based in Athens, Georgia.

Edward Hirsch is the author of eight books of poetry, including Wild Gratitude, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award, and most recently The Living Fire, a new and selected volume. Hirsch is also the author of several books of prose, including the bestselling How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry. Currently he is president of the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Peter Ho Davies has written two short story collections, The Ugliest House in the World and Equal Love, and a novel, The Welsh Girl.  He has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.  He teaches at the University of Michigan.

Jalan Crossland is Jalan Crossland, banjo and vocals; Shaun Kelley, electric bass, double bass, cello, vocals; Andy Phreaner, drums. The band is based out of Wyoming.

Tyehimba Jess‘ first book, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Jess is the winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. He teaches at CUNY.

Michael Kaffka is a dancer and photographer based out of Chicago.

Lisa Lim is a writer and cartoonist whose work has appeared in Guernica Magazine, The Agriculture Reader, Kill Author, InDigest Magazine, Wigleaf, and Word Riot.

Rebecca Makkai‘s first novel, The Borrower, will be released next July from Viking. Her short stories have been anthologized in the past three issues of The Best American Short Stories, and appear regularly in journals such as Tin HousePloughshares and New England Review. She lives near Chicago on the campus of the boarding school where her husband teaches.

Hugh Martin is from Macedonia, Ohio and served in Iraq in 2004.  He is a graduate of Muskingum University and now attends the MFA program at Arizona State.  His work has appeared in the Army Times, CONSEQUENCE Magazine, Mid-American Review, Gargoyle and Third Coast.  His chapbook, So, How Was the War, was published by the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University.

Owen Pallett formerly performed under the name Final Fantasy. Winner of the Polaris Music Prize, Pallett was born and lives in Toronto, Ontario. Albums include Has a Good Home and Heartland.

Michelle Peñaloza grew up in Nashville. Currently she is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Oregon.  Michelle is a carnivore and sometimes omnivore. Her poetry has been published in Kartika Review and Mythium.

Unwed Sailor is a Seattle band founded by Jonathon Ford. At various points Unwed Sailor has included Pedro the Lion’s David Bazan, Sufjan Stevens’ James Mcallister, and Lovedrug’s Matthew Depper and Matthew Putman. Unwed Sailor’s nine albums include Little Wars and The Marionette and the Music Box.

Jeannine Savard is an Associate Professor of English at Arizona State University. She is the author of several collections of poetry, including her most recent, My Hand Upon Your Name. She is the recipient of a Shestak Prize from The American Poetry Review.

Heather Sellers is the author of Georgia Under Water, a short story collection (Sarabande), and a new memoir, You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know (Penguin/Riverhead).  She recently completed a new manuscript of essays on faith.  Sellers teaches creative writing at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

Jess Smart Smiley was born barefoot in Utah’s mountains. He draws pictures all the time and is smiling right now because his first graphic novel, Upside Down, comes out from Top Shelf Productions on Halloween 2011. His comic “The Joke Seller” was featured in Summer 2010 Nashville Review.

Bridget Talone is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poems have been published in Tin House and she has a chapbookIn the Valley Made Personalout with Small Anchor Press.

Paul Zografi lived in Austin, Chicago, and Minneapolis, writing and playing roots Americana music, before settling in Nashville in 1993.  To date he has recorded six albums of original songs, most recently Sight, recorded in 2009.