Leslie C. Youngblood

Leslie C. Youngblood received an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A former assistant professor of creative writing at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, she has lectured at Mississippi State University, UNC-Greensboro, and the University of Ghana at Legon. She’s been awarded a host of writing honors, including a 2014 Yaddo’s Elizabeth Ames Residency, the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Prize, a Hurston Wright Fellowship, and the Room of Her Own Foundation’s 2009 Orlando Short Story Prize. In 2010 she won the Go On Girl! Book Club Aspiring Writer Award. Born in Bogalusa, Louisiana, and raised in Rochester, New York, she’s fortunate to have a family of natural storytellers and a circle of supportive family and friends. And an avid reader and viewer of Chopped. Love Like Sky is her debut novel, and she’s proud to be a part of Rochester’s thriving literary and arts community.

Joanna Scott


Joanna Scott is the author of twelve books, including the novels Arrogance, The Manikin, and Follow Me, and two collections of short fiction, Various Antidotes and Everybody Loves Somebody. Her new novel, Careers for Women, has just been published.  She has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and her books have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN-Faulkner, and the LA Book Award. She teaches at the University of Rochester.




Christine Kitano


Christine Kitano is the author of the poetry collections Sky Country (BOA Editions) and Birds of Paradise (Lynx House). Recent work is published in Portland ReviewMiramar, and Wildness. She teaches at Ithaca College and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Rachel Hall


Rachel Hall is the author of Heirlooms (BkMk Press), which was selected by Marge Piercy for the G.S. Sharat Chandra Book Prize. She teaches at the State University of New York in Geneseo, where she holds two Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence—one in teaching and one for her creative work.

Jennifer Grotz


Jennifer Grotz is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Window Left Open. Also a translator from the French and Polish, her most recent translation is Rochester Knockings, a novel by Tunisian-born writer Hubert Haddad. Her poems, reviews, and translations have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, The New Republic, New York Review of Books, Ploughshares, New England Review, and in four volumes of the Best American Poetry anthology. Director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences, she teaches at the University of Rochester.